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The Network Round-Up: I Am In Control Day


Mar 30
// Matthew Razak
Ready to get some history laid one you? In 1981 on this day President Reagan was shot. While he was in the hospital then Secretary of State Alexander Haig uttered the words "I am in control here." The media took off with i...
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The Network Round-Up: The day Coke was invented


Mar 29
// Matthew Razak
Today's holidays were a bunch of suck so I've gone with a historical fact. On this day in 1886 Coca-Cola was invented. In case you didn't know, the secret recipe for Coca-Cola is totally top secret. In fact the awesome peo...
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The Network Round-Up: Something on a Stick Day


Mar 28
// Matthew Razak
Here's a day I can get behind. Put something on a stick and it's instantly better. It just is. In the past you could only get things like hot dogs and corn on a stick, but these days daring chefs are putting all sorts of s...
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The Network Round-Up: Wha's in a name?


Mar 27
// Matthew Razak
All right, folks. New marching orders. Old jokes from movies only a partial part of the reading audience gets and even less think is funny are out, straight forward is in. Welcome (again) to The Network Round-Up. I actuall...
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Wha' Happened: Spinach Festival Day


Mar 26
// Matthew Razak
I have to admit I am not a big fan of spinach. Despite the repeated attempted brainwashings by the nefarious sailor Popeye and his animated antics I never came over to the cult of Spinach. It's just so mushy and gross when...
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Wha' Happened: National Goof-off Day


Mar 22
// Matthew Razak
Sometimes I'm upset that I do these posts at night because I don't realize that the day is some holiday and thus I don't celebrate it. Today I totally missed my chance to goof-off at work all day without getting in trouble...
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Wha' Happened: National French Bread Day


Mar 21
// Matthew Razak
French bread is by far the best kind of bread. Slather some butter on that baby and you've got a simple tasty snack that's as long as a yard stick. Sure, there's garlic bread and banana nut bed, but those don't stand on th...
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Wha' Happened: Extraterrestrial Abductions Day


Mar 20
// Matthew Razak
An entire day for the celebration of alien abductions? I mean, I guess so. I kind of wonder how people celebrate this holiday. Do they go out and stand in a field hoping to be taken up to the stars? Does the family gather ...
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Wha' Happened: National Poultry Day


Mar 19
// Matthew Razak
Hurray for chickens! Aren't they just delicious and everything tastes like them. Fried, grilled or diced up and compressed into a nugget form they just keep on giving. But let's not forget that there is so much more to th...
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Wha' Happened: Niero's Birthday


Mar 16
// Matthew Razak
What? The birthday of this entire wonderful network's founder is totally a holiday. You wait and see. 100 years from now we'll all be getting this day off in celebration. Also, we will be living a lot longer so that we can...
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Wha' Happened: National Everything You Know Is Wrong Day


Mar 15
// Matthew Razak
I'm not making these holidays up. According to Hallmark, the people who make holidays up professionally, every holiday I put here is totally real. Of course since today is National Everything You Know is Wrong Day and you ...
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Wha' Happened: National Pi Day


Mar 14
// Matthew Razak
You know it's mighty disrespectful to the flaky crust and fruity filling of pies everywhere that everyone seems to be spelling the name of the holiday that recognizes them wrong. Nah, I'm just kidding. I know all about Pi a...
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Wha' Happened: Earmuff Day


Mar 14
// Matthew Razak
Yea, you heard right. It's Earmuff Day... or it was. I'm a bit late today so the holiday is technically over in some places, but that shouldn't keep everyone from wearing some earmuffs despite the unseasonably warm weather...
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Wha' Happened: National Alfred Hitchcock Day


Mar 12
// Matthew Razak
Did you know today was National Alfred Hitchcock day? I had no clue, but it's inspired me to rename this feature so that each day we learn of an awesome new holiday such as this. I mean without this day would have stopped ...
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Wha' Happened: The Network Roundup (3/9/12)


Mar 09
// Matthew Razak
Today I was going to try to tie all the posts from around the Modern Method network together with some kind of theme. So before writing this I went around and collected everything that caught my eye and then stared at it f...
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Wha' Happened: The Network Roundup (3/8/12)


Mar 08
// Matthew Razak
I really want an hot dog, but I don't have any. I'm not sure when hot dogs became a thing that I didn't readily have on hand, but this is where I find myself. Sad state of affairs, I tell you. Anyone have any awesome hot d...
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Wha' Happened: The Network Roundup (3/7/12)


Mar 07
// Matthew Razak
I'm working my way through every episode of every show of Star Trek and can I just tell you that Next Generation is even better than I remembered it as a kid. I'm still a Kirk guy, but I can feel myself moving closer to Pica...
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Wha' Happened: The Network Roundup (3/6/12)


Mar 06
// Matthew Razak
You know what's awesome about doing these daily recaps for the MM network? I get to use a random image for the header like all the cool kids do. So here it goes. RANDOM HEADER IS GO! That was a bit less exciting than I thou...
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Wha' Happened: The Network Roundup (3/5/12)


Mar 05
// Matthew Razak
Fun fact: There's an entire network of awesome sites just like Destructoid! Maybe you didn't know about them. Maybe you did and forgot about them. Possibly you've been avoiding them because you heard they all had some STDs...

Review: GoldenEye 007: Reloaded

Nov 15 // Matthew Razak
GoldenEye 007: Reloaded (PlayStation 3 [reviewed], Xbox 360)Developer: EurocomPublisher: ActivisionReleased: November 1, 2011MSRP: $59.99 This review is going to feel a little bit like a DLC review; in all honesty, the single-player aspect of this game is exactly the same except for the graphical improvements and new hidden medallions to collect. The new stuff, the MI6 challenge mode and multiplayer content, could easily be considered robust DLC if they were delivered digitally post release. That explained, if you really want to read a full review on the single-player, just head on over to my original Wii review because most of what is in there still stands. This is the exact same game reworked for more powerful systems. There are, obviously, some changes in the single-player experience. This isn't just a straight port with "upgraded" graphics that don't actually look any better, but the same game based on a much more powerful game engine. While I thought the game looked perfectly fine on the Wii, and I'm no graphics whore, I must say that playing through the exact same only much prettier levels is not something I'm going to complain about. The new engine and more powerful platforms not only make the graphics more "hi-defier," but also make the levels feel more alive. Details like rain, water effects, and improved lighting just make levels pop in ways they couldn't on the Wii. In fact, the night club section I raved about in the Wii's review looks absolutely fantastic thanks to the fact that the engine can handle more things on screen at once. So when the entire scene slows down and the debris starts flying like in a John Woo action scene, it looks really, really good. Compared to the Wii, that is. Graphically, the game is no slump, but it isn't stand-out either. As I said, this isn't a Wii game polished up, but that doesn't mean it's one of the best looking games out now. The graphics are definitely middle of the road overall, and while they look fine, you won't be blown away by anything. This is especially apparent in the textures, which don't seem to have gotten as much love as the lighting and other aspects. Now, on to the new part. The major addition to the game is the MI6 Ops mode, which is basically a bunch of challenges for the player to try to complete in the fastest time they can. There are three types of challenges (and an extra one that unlocks): stealth, defense, and elimination. All of them take place in slightly varied sections of single-player levels or in multiplayer levels. The modes are all pretty much exactly what they sound like. "Stealth" involves getting through levels without alerting any guards. "Defense" tasks the player with downloading information from three computer terminals while waves of enemies attack; each terminal takes three minutes to download from while enemies flood in at set time intervals during. Finally, "elimination" has the player attempting to kill every bad guy in the level as quickly as possible. By completing challenges fast enough or on high enough difficulties, you're awarded with a higher score which gets you more stars which in turn unlock more challenge levels. It's pretty standard stuff as far as challenge modes go, but what sets it apart from most others is in how adjustable the challenges are. Instead of simply having easy, medium, and hard settings, difficulty is set by a plethora of variables the player can adjust before jumping into the challenge. You can pretty much adjust everything from enemy damage to rag doll physics. Bump up the enemies strength and you'll get more points as you start the level off. Remove your radar capabilities and your score will go up. Increase your own life and your starting score will go down. Implement paintball mode and... well, nothing happens, but it's way more fun. Thus, to get the best score, you have to balance out challenge and time. Make it too hard and you won't be able to complete it in any decent amount of time, too easy and you won't start off with a high enough score. In theory, it's a great idea, but from my play, it seemed like completion time outweighed challenge points by too much. Thus, beating the game on a really difficult collection of settings wasn't as good as speeding through it on an easier setting. There's no way of really knowing this ahead of time since it's unclear how the time scores work; believe me, it's incredibly annoying to redo a level over and over on a difficult settings just to have it not pay off in as many stars as you thought it would. I suppose the online leaderboards help to assuage this annoyance since you're competing against others, but I'd rather have a better idea of what I'm going to score ahead of time. MI6 Ops isn't the only new stuff in the game. Multiplayer has not only gotten a graphical overhaul, but also four new maps and a plethora of new game modes have been added. Some we've seen before, like Elimination where players progress through a pre-set series of guns each time they take someone out, but with a Bond twist since slappers melee is the final weapon. Others are a bit fresher, like Data Miner, where one player has to download data while he fights off all the others, and every kill he makes increases his download speed. I have to say the online multiplayer is quite fun, and thanks to the fact that more of the random multiplayer options are present in this version, it feels a whole lot more old-school GoldenEye when you're online. Of course, all of the random fun settings (paintball, golden gun, etc.) are back in multiplayer in this version, but Eurocom has also included some other random stuff, like a mode where Jaws' metal teeth can deflect bullets or Dr. No's metal arms prevent him from taking damage from shots to the arm. The game also features more Bond villains to choose from, including Tee Hee, Max Zorin, Auric Goldfinger, Dr. Kananga, and Hugo Drax (exclusive to the PS3). All these definitely make the game a bit more fun, but again, they can't be considered much more than DLC to an already complete game. I should note that the PS3 version has full Move support (in fact, there's a special edition that comes with that big gun thing and all the Move accouterments) and, well, it works. I played most of the game with a standard controller since I don't own a Move and had to borrow one. Just like the Wii, though, the Move controls function and are fun to play with. So yeah, Move works. The question then becomes (if you haven't already played the game on the Wii) why would you pick this up over the plethora of other FPS out there that are admittedly better in almost every aspect. Do me a favor and walk over to your game collection to check the back of all your FPSes for how many players can play at once on one console. I'll put good money that the majority of your FPSes don't allow you and three other friends to sit around in the same room and shoot each other. Four-player split screen just doesn't show up on the PS3 and 360 anymore, but it's here in GoldenEye 007: Reloaded; just like the Wii version, it's plain fun to play with your friends in the room. Yes, the same flaws exist in the rest of the game, but with the ability to split your screen into four equal parts and shoot your friends in the same room being such a rarity on both systems these days, I would argue that Reloaded sets itself apart from the pack in a major way by actually having what should be a standard feature. With Reloaded, you're basically getting GoldenEye 007 plus a bit more. This leaves me in a bit of a quandary when scoring the game. Technically, it should get a higher score than its Wii counterpart since its graphics are better, it has more content, and its online is more robust. However, I can't say that any of this actually makes the game any better, it just makes for more of it. More of an 8.5 is still an 8.5. What it comes down to is that, if you own this on the Wii, I can't really see that big a reason to pick up this version. If you don't own it, however, this will be a great acquisition to actually get some split screen action on your hi-def console while also getting a really solid game at the same time. I understand it's the holiday season and there are a plethora of other games to pick up, but if you come across GoldenEye 007: Reloaded a little down the road when the influx of games has passed, and if the price has dropped a bit, you (and your friends who can finally play videogames with you when they come over) won't regret it one bit.
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Last year, James Bond returned to videogames in both GoldenEye 007 for the Wii and Blood Stone for the PS3 and 360. In a change from the standard outcome when a franchise hits multiple platforms, the Wii game was the one that...

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L.A. Noire week kicks off across the network


May 09
// Matthew Razak
I think it's pretty safe to say that everyone on Destructoid is excited for the release of L.A. Noire, but it isn't the only site on the network excited for the game. That's why the sites of the Modern Method network have joi...

Review: Conduit 2

Apr 29 // Matthew Razak
Conduit 2 (Wii)Publisher: SegaDeveloper: High Voltage SoftwareReleased: April 19, 2011Price: $49.99 Both Jonathan Holmes and I found a solid amount of flaws with the original The Conduit, but behind that we both discovered a fun and interesting game that pushed the boundaries of what we'd seen on the Wii. Still, there was plenty of room for improvement as you can probably tell by reading our reviews. The guys at High Voltage heard that loud and clear. In fact, I'm pretty positive they read our reviews and made adjustments based off of our exact complaints to the letter. Almost everything about The Conduit 2 is an improvement on exactly what Jonathan and I complained about in our review. The entire game that is Conduit 2 feels like a gut reaction to everything that was said about the original. Where the first game felt old school in a plethora of ways (both good and bad) this one is like a testament to how modern FPS work (both good and bad). The perfect example of this is in the removal of the talking heads that gave expository dialog in the first game. It felt right out of some PS1 disc from years ago and delivered the game's story terribly. This time around that is gone and most of the story is told from the first-person point of view, a al almost every modern FPS you play these days. The mindset between these two games is in such stark contrast that it's almost impossible to call this one a sequel to the previous game. Someone with far more time on their hands and a really strong ability to bullshit could easily write an essay on how the two games represent two completely different ideals of game development. It's absolutely stunning how far The Conduit 2 has come from its predecessor and it shows in almost every aspect of the game. Let's start with one of the things both game's have consistently bragged about: the graphics. High Voltage's infamous tech demo for their game engine on the Wii had people instantly turning heads and thinking that finally someone other than Nintendo had managed to use the Wii's power well. Unfortunately this was only partially true when the first Conduit landed. Sure the enemies and weapons looked great, but the game's levels and textures were bland and boring. Not so in Conduit 2. Whatever advancements the team made with the engine it worked. The levels seem positively vibrant in comparison to the original game's and it is very clear that the art direction of the entire game was a major focus. Level design and look is light years beyond the original and so much more varied. The game even takes you back to Washington D.C. for a bit as if to say, "See, this is what we were going for. We can really do it well." There were parts in this game where I would have expected it to be on my 360 or PS3 if it wasn't for that pesky lack of high definition. This extra level of polish can be seen throughout the game. Enemy AI and type is better all around, especially on the harder levels and there are some pretty impressive shootouts that can occur. The level design actually allows for some of the gun fights to be pretty epic. Unlike in the last game where for most of the time you felt like you were running down the cramped hallways of an early FPS, Conduit 2 feels more open and expansive. The levels are still linear and closed off compared to other more open, modern shooters, but the emphasis on design and adding liveliness to the world makes them feel much bigger and more grandiose. It also helps that they threw in a plethora of actually destructible items, a detail you wouldn't really notice if that hadn't been so obviously missing from the previous game. While there are a few new guns in the game it should be reemphasized what a great job High Voltage has done in designing clever weapons that really just work better when using the Wii Remote and Nunchuck (though I suppose now they'd work with PlayStation Move as well). Thanks to the fact that the game also supports the Classic Controller I can tell you for a fact that these guns just aren't as fun without the Wii Controller. And, speaking of support, the game also allows for the use of the Wii MotionPlus, which I initially thought would be utterly useless in an FPS. However, the extra nudge of control was noticeable (or I'm slightly crazy) in my aim, and if not there it was definitely noticeable in the motion controlled melee. Without the MotionPlus the melee, which is triggered by stabbing the Wii Remote forward, made your aim basically go insane. With it the melee movement you made with your hand actually translated into a normal melee on screen. Of course if you don't have the Wii MotionPlus you can remap everything in pretty much any way you want. The insane depth of control options has returned for this game, but it feels even more intuitive to work out your controls this time around. Another one of those improvements that just had to be because Jonathan and I complained about it is the game's "hook," the All Seeing Eye (A.S.E.). In the original game the A.S.E. simply shined a beam of light like a flashlight and with this light you could uncover puzzles and invisible bad guys and all other sorts of gameplay elements. But it was a pain the ass to find things with the beam of light and eventually got to be not so much fun. Thankfully the A.S.E. this time around (in your new crazy, alien armor) works more like Samus' scan visor in the Metroid Prime games. This means that instead of a single stream of light you have to shine everywhere to find things you instead get your entire screen to actually look around. On top of this the A.S.E. has an even better ping function that helps you find collectibles and items in the world. These collectibles can be anything from random notes that fill in the back story to coordinates to your next level, which brings me to the final big change that makes The Conduit 2 feel more like a modern FPS. Instead of charging straight through levels you're taken back to a home base of sorts each time you complete your missions in a level. From here you can actually change your loadouts (once you find gun schematics in levels using the A.S.E.) or choose which level you want to jump into (once you find a level's coordinates in previous levels using the A.S.E.) in case you want to try to go back and find all the hidden A.S.E. stuff. Sure, it's pretty much the same as having a level select menu, but it's the kind of design that bespeaks of a more modern and interesting take on game design and a take that brings the gamer more into the game's world. Sadly, not much else helps with bringing the gamer into the world of the game. The story, which actually starts off sounding like it could be interesting, dives headlong into "go here and get these to save the world" until it concludes in a twist ending so terrible that you wonder where they're taking the franchise. Then you stop wondering because you realize they're taking it straight to the the bottom of the barrel. I suppose I should mention that you are once again playing as super agent Michael Ford and chasing after the evil alien Adams with the help of the good alien Prometheus. Apparently, these two and a few of their alien friends have been on earth for years messing with humans and you're the final piece in the little war. Unfortunately, Ford has gone from being a slightly bland character with bland voice acting to the most annoying protagonist ever with the worst voice acting I've heard since the original Resident Evil. I am not even being harsh here. It is that bad. For some reason the designers decided that Ford, a supposed ex-military super badass, would now be a wisecracking gamer who every so often turns and winks at the camera metaphorically with a horrible joke delivered terribly. It's even odder because the rest of the characters seem normal enough and their voice actors actually deliver their lines competently. Game ruining? Well RE is still a classic, right? But in this day an age it's highly disappointing. Thankfully you don't have to put up with it too long because the game's single player is short. If you simply charged through it you could probably beat it in 3-4 hours. I collected everything the game had and my game clock still didn't break nine hours. The developers must have realized this because they put in some of the multiplayer levels as bonus worlds you can go into in single player and pick up more items, but again, I completed all of those within the said nine hours. Maybe the new focus on the art direction and level design meant less time to develop the game, but it felt like there should have been at least one more full level on there. I'd actually theorize that they planned to do that as well since near the end of the game you're swept off into a jungle level that is short and pointless and taken from the multipalyer, but would have made a fine opening into one last concluding level. Thank goodness then for the game's multiplayer, which is about as robust as you can get on the Wii. If it's in your favorite modern FPS's mutliplayer it's most likely in Conduit 2's as well -- plus you actually get split screen. You've got a full profile; a store to pimp out your armor and character's in; a wide array of selections for your loadouts; perks that you can purchase with points that you earn in the single player or multiplayer world; levels designed around different tactics and character abilities. You can, believe it or not, even talk with your friends over a headset while you shoot each other. The creative weapons for the game also mean that shooting each other can be a lot more fun than in a game with strictly realistic weapons. You probably won't find the depth of strategy you do in other top-tier FPS's multiplayer, but for me that actually makes it more fun to play. Yes, friend codes are present here too, but the game also has a system called "Rivals" which allows you to select people you've played with previously online and would like to play with again. When someone is your rival you'll be alerted to the ability to play with them again if it ever happens and you don't need a Friend Code. Of course you can't interact with them as deeply as you can with a friend, but it's a great end around to being able to quickly add someone without a bunch of friend code swapping. There's a plethora of multiplayer game modes as well ranging from the standard shoot everyone you see until they're all dead to a Mario Kart inspired Balloon Battle. I may sound like I'm gushing on the game a bit so let's do a reality check right here. In comparison to most top-tier FPS Conduit 2 is flawed in many ways. While I've championed its improved graphics and gameplay it still feels overall like it's one step behind the best FPSs out there. It's fun to play, has some awesome multiplayer and is a massive step forward from the first game in terms of design and philosophy. If you enjoyed the first game you won't be upset playing or owning this game, but has the Conduit series graduated into a top tier shooter? Not yet.
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I've spent the past week playing through the short, but inevitably sweet single player campaign of the sequel to one of the most talked about games last year. I then spent some time playing through its new multiplayer modes a...

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Tribeca L.A. Noire preview and swag to win


Apr 28
// Matthew Razak
Despite Jim's recent rantings the worlds of film and gaming are growing ever closer. We can argue over whether this is a boon or a detriment to gaming all we want, but when this fact means that Destructoid's sister manly brot...

Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia

Mar 04 // Matthew Razak
Hyperdimension Neptunia (PS3)Developer: Idea FactoryPublisher: Compile Heart, NIS AmericaReleased: February 15, 2011MSRP: $59.99 You wouldn't be blamed for getting excited when you hear about HN's premise. The idea behind the game is that the videogame industry is an actual world with the major game consoles battling it out against each other in the form of sexy anime goddesses who rule over four separate lands that supposedly take on the characteristics of the four major companies (we're including Sega because, well, they distributed the damn game). There's Black Heart, the goddess of Lastation (PS3/Sony); White Heart, the goddess of Lowee (Wii/Nintendo); Green Heart, the goddess of Leanbox (Xbox/Microsoft); and Purple Heart, goddess of Neptunia (the unreleased Sega Neptune console/Sega). As far as caricatures of their representative companies, they're all pretty spot on. Though Leanbox, being sort of a medieval country, doesn't really jive with my view of the Xbox. When the game opens and establishes these four characters, you start to believe the developers were actually being pretty clever. That belief is wrong. The general gist of the story is that the other goddesses decide Purple Heart should be the sacrificial lamb; so to end the war between the consoles, they kill her off. She's revived in human form by a mysterious female voice as a young girl named Neptune. Neptune has no memory of her previous self or the world, but is tasked with finding four keys, one located in each land. Joining her are Compa (a representation of publisher Compile Heart) and IF (developer Idea Factory). You're pretty much stuck with these three throughout the entire game until near the very end. There are two other characters you can kind of unlock by completing side-quests, but you can't play as them until you download some future DLC (with another two already released in Japan). As I discussed in the opening, it's really the story and battle system that make an RPG, so let's dive into those. We can start with the story since this is the aspect of the game that I really thought I was going to enjoy, but sadly, the game misses a lot of chances to be clever and funny. Instead, it's just blunt and boring. The perfect example of this is the world where the game takes place. It's called Gameindustri. Seriously. That's about as deep as the game referencing humor goes as well. Jokes are either simple references to gaming things (Oh! Look at those people stacking odd-shaped blocks!) or bad puns that start out funny, but get ridiculously annoying by the end of the game. The clever goddess representations that you thought were coming at the beginning of the game devolve into no more than slightly veiled references to cultural gaming cliches. It doesn't help that there isn't actually a world to explore. Unless you're in a dungeon, many of which are simply the same narrow hallways reorganized into a different shape, you're navigating menus. The entire story is also told through still animations over backgrounds so, as a matter of fact, there is literally no outside world to explore. It's like reading the description of an amazing world on the cover of a book and then opening it up to find out it's simply an index and some pictures hinting at the world you want to read about. Evidently, this is how Idea Factory has made previous games, but I don't see why that is an excuse to keep doing it. Exploring menus is not fun, and by adding repetitive dungeons into the mix, you have almost no reward for actually taking part in the game world. Thus, the entire quality of the RPG rests on the battle system, which one would hope was fantastic because clearly no time was spent on the creation of the world. Unfortunately, the battle system doesn't pan out for a myriad of reasons. On the surface it actually appears like it could offer up enough variety and challenge to save the game. The game features a turn-based battle system that uses points for moves and combos to chain together attacks. Attacks are mapped to the circle, X and triangle buttons with block mapped to the square. You can chain together button combinations (up to four) to perform a combo, with each button selection leading to other options like a branching tree. When you start out, circle and triangle are basic melee attacks and triangle is a shooting attacking. Any shooting attack can use a variety of elemental bullets. As you level up, you'll get more attacks and more points to use the attacks with. Every move can be mapped to button pushes to make combos. Depending on how you organize your combos, you'll get bonuses at the end of a combo that can either link your combo into another one with an increase in your points for more and varied attacks or switch your character for one of the characters in the back row. The latter is almost entirely useless, as you only have three characters for the majority of the game, and switching means that one of them would be wasted in the back instead of being able to attack readily.  The combo system, which seems interesting and deep with its ever-branching options, loses most of its charm very quickly. Once you level up a few times, you realize that you're only going to be using the latest and greatest moves over and over again. Almost every attack is replaced rather quickly by another, more powerful one and the combo system ends up feeling relatively useless. This is especially so because the game's difficulty is horrific (even hard mode is a snore). Except for bosses and a random bad guy here and there, you pretty much tear through every battle in the blink of an eye, pressing the same buttons over and over again. There's a guard break system that eventually becomes totally useless and strategy is a thing that flies straight out the window the second you level up once. On top of this, Neptune can turn into her goddess counterpart within one turn of a battle at no real cost and become ridiculously powerful. Battles simply become a matter of waiting for her turn, transforming into her goddess mode and then killing the bad guy. The goddess mode also has a separate equipment mode in which you can equip Neptune with different goddess armor. The utter pointlessness of this is underlined by the fact that the game never really explains what half the stats the armors have mean. I literally only changed it because it made Neptune look different, not because I saw a change in the the battles (which were only lasting ten seconds anyway). Despite all of these issues, I could still see having fun with the battle system thanks to its incredible amount of editability (you can even upload your own images for attacks) and the nods to many classic games in some of the attacks. However, any goodwill I could muster was completely destroyed by the game's health/magic system. Instead of the standard potions or spells that you can use any time during a battle, the characters in HN have item skills that are earned when you level up. These skills are not triggered by the player wanting to use them, but are instead assigned usage percentage points for how often they should occur. For example, if you wanted to use a healing spell because your character was almost dead, you couldn't. Instead, the computer would trigger it once your character's life got below a certain percentage. Of course if you didn't have enough points to make the cure spell occur one-hundred percent of the time, then the spell could not happen at all and you'll just die because the computer randomly decided curing was not a thing that would happen this turn. This means that almost every type of spell you can cast on your own in a normal RPG -- health, poison cures, paralysis cures -- are left entirely up to chance if you don't have the points to crank them up to one-hundred percent. It is twice as annoying as it sounds, and leads to you losing battles that should easily have been won. If I wanted to lose three hours of work thanks to luck, I'd go to Vegas. To be fair, you can adjust the percentage chance of a spell being cast mid-battle, but that makes the health system all the more annoying; the developer could have simply put in a normal one and let you do it yourself. I will give this game props for one thing, and I only do it because this one thing shines so brightly among the rest of the game that I feel I should mention it. The voice acting is surprisingly good, and while the bad puns are still punny, the actual delivery is done well. Sadly, all they accompany are the static anime images that can only jump from one frozen emotional state to another. Even if they chose this option for budget-saving reasons, it would have been a better idea to cut back on the already sub-par graphics and just have even the slightest attempt at real cut scenes. Of course, looking and feeling like a budget game doesn't seem to have meant savings for us as you'll be paying $59.99 just to get bored. A few other things of note, since I've already rambled on far longer than I should about the game. There are a plethora of side-quests that amount to almost nothing more than a way to grind your character. Collecting items in dungeons is relentlessly pointless and you rarely get anything good from the bosses of these side-quests, either. Whatever you do get can usually be replaced quickly the next time you go to the store. Each character also has a unique special ability you can use while exploring a dungeon. These basically amount to the developers realizing that the only part of their game with actual gameplay was repetitive and bland, so they had to put in one more thing for the player to do even if it meant nothing to the actual game experience. Oh, and you can't sell your old equipment. Unless they hid the sale shop somewhere where I couldn't find it (Which could be true; there were a lot of action-packed menus to flip through.). It seems you're pretty much stuck with every single item you acquire throughout the 30-plus hour game. Wooo, more menu fun! What we have with Hyperdimension Neptunia is a shell of an RPG. The idea for the world is there and the idea for a unique battle system is there, but nothing is actually inside these ideas. Maybe Idea Factory should have turned the game over to Actually Making An Interesting Game Factory once they came up with the concept for the game. Or maybe they should have just not made it at all.
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I literally fell asleep playing Hyperdimension Neptunia. Full on, snoring for thirty minutes while my characters bobbed up and down in battle stances waiting for me to input their next attack. Now I will admit it was late, bu...

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Zen Albatross rocks us all at MAGFest


Jan 23
// Matthew Razak
I'm a bit late at getting this up, but I had to bring everyone's attention to Zen Albatross's set at MAGFest. MAGFest had a huge Chiptunes component to it and not only did Zen (that's him above) perform in the show, but he al...
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MAGFest photos are one tenth as awesome as being there


Jan 17
// Matthew Razak
Every time Destructoid gets together it is awesome. I haven't had a bad time when I've gotten to hang out with this awesome and totally amazing community. However, MAFest 9 was seriously epic to an extent I couldn't even fath...
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Destructoid dominates Windjammers at MAGFest


Jan 16
// Matthew Razak
I'm waiting for an influx of amazing photos to really show you how awesome MAGFest was this year, but while I'm doing that let me tell you how Destructoid rolls. Our second place finish at the Iron Chef competition may have h...
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D.I.C.K.S. comes in second, still first in our hearts


Jan 15
// Matthew Razak
This past Thursday was a sad day, for it is a day that we discovered that MAGFest's Gamer Iron Chef was rigged! How else can you explain Destructoid's Iron Chef Kickass Superteam (D.I.C.K.S.) coming in second!? Clearly the ba...
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REMINDER: Destructoid's photo at MAGFest


Jan 15
// Matthew Razak
(Hey everyone at MAGFest. Hope last night was awesome as it was for me. Remember to roll up for the Destructoid photo. Here the previously posted details.) As it is with all great, history-making events throughout time Destru...
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IT'S ON: D.I.C.K.S. to compete in MAGFest's Iron Chef


Jan 12
// Matthew Razak
That's right, bitches! It's game time. Destructoid's Iron Chef Kickass Superteam (D.I.C.K.S.) has been selected as one of the three teams to compete in MAGFest 9's Gamer Iron Chef competition. In case you missed it here's a r...

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