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The Black Tower photo
The Black Tower

Final Fantasy's PS1 glory days recaptured in indie game

The Black Tower is an RPG epic in the style of classic Square RPGs
Apr 23
// Allistair Pinsof
What becomes antiquated will eventually become cool again. It happened to 16-bit sidescrollers and voxels, so why not pre-rendered backgrounds and world maps? The Black Tower is a love letter to PlayStation Japanese RPGs, cu...
Gunslinger  photo

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger shoots the sheriff on May 22

Techland take the series back to the Old West
Apr 22
// Allistair Pinsof
Techland's Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, the latest entry in the Western FPS series, will hit PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and PC on May 22. Even with a new trailer, I still don't have a good grip on exactly what thi...
Sperm is not real photo
Sperm is not real

Grand Theft Auto V viral video introduces new character

Also, confirms sperm is not real
Apr 22
// Allistair Pinsof
Rockstar posted a video (which doubles as a downloadable screensaver) that lists The Epsilon Program's -- the Scientology parody first introduced in San Andreas' radio ads -- values. Hidden behind the text are scenic day-nig...
Gearbox photo

Gearbox has rights to classic RTS Homeworld

Plans to bring Homeworld 1 & 2 to digital platforms
Apr 22
// Allistair Pinsof
Update: Along with Darksiders, Red Faction, and other THQ properties getting picked up by Nordic Games for a cool $4.9 million, it's come to light that Gearbox spent $1.35 million in acquiring Homeworld. Borderlands developer...
Workout photo

Virtual reality is the future of treadmills ... I think?

Harder, Better, Faster, Sweatier
Apr 19
// Allistair Pinsof
You don't need a gym when you have a 3DS and elliptical machine, I've realized in recent months. Playing Fire Emblem while working my calfs is both great fun and great fitness, yet my mind has been wondering what else is out...
SimShady photo

Upcoming SimCity patch will address top requested fixes

Servers will be down during this April 22, 1 PM PST update
Apr 19
// Allistair Pinsof
On April 22, SimCity will continue its arduous trek to becoming a game worthy of its name. The Update 2.0 patch will address "a number of top-requested bug fixes and improvements," according to developer Maxis. Along with som...
Dishonored photo

Dishonored's lore summed up in a minute

They make it sound so simple
Apr 19
// Allistair Pinsof
Dishonored is the game with the racists people in the sky? Or is it the one with the head crabs? I've been playing Black Mesa and BioShock Infinite recently, so Dishonored feels like a distant memory, despite it being my per...
CS:GO photo

Play Super Mario Bros. within a Counter-Strike map

Now this is the sort of crazy mod hack I've been waiting for out of CS:GO
Apr 19
// Allistair Pinsof
Sometimes you need to put down the AK-47, pause the terrorist hunt, and play Super Mario Bros. Using a server plugin, a clever modder that goes by the name skwumpy created the Sourcemod Entertainment System or SMES, which le...

Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us

Apr 19 // Allistair Pinsof
Injustice: Gods Among Us (Xbox 360 [reviewed], PlayStation 3, Wii U)Developer: NetherRealm StudiosPublisher: Warner Bros. Interactive EntertainmentRelease: April 16, 2013MSRP: $59.99I don’t know who Cyborg is. Nor do I know how to pull off the intricate combos that one needs in order to survive in a tournament. Consider this a disclaimer of sorts: I come to Injustice mainly as a fan of NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat reboot. Some DC fans that come mainly to see their favorite heroes interact may grimace at my confession, but that’s the beauty of Injustice: by the very nature of its concept, it speaks to a greater audience than most fighting games can dream of. More importantly, it successfully makes the most of it.I don’t dare to compare Injustice’s single-player campaign to Mortal Kombat’s (which was what I loved most of all in that release). For one thing, Injustice doesn’t have the novelty of working within a set storyline or the nostalgia trip that revisiting old arenas and characters brought out of me. Instead of B-movie camp, Injustice brings B-comic spectacle. Like with MK9, Injustice offers a cinematic story that seamlessly blends the transition from cutscene to combat while offering loads of memorable, over the top battles. Unlike MK9, the battles that occur with controller in hand compare favorably to the non-interactive cinematics. [embed]252010:48226:0[/embed]When I call Injustice a “B-comic,” it’s a mighty generous word choice. “Hot garbage” may be more accurate. But there is bad trash and then there is good trash. Exploring an alternate universe where Superman mistakenly fired a laser at his girlfriend’s belly which sets off a nuclear weapon that destroys the world? Good trash. Explaining Superman being as strong as The Joker with  nanomachines (did I miss Kojima's name in the credits?) Good trash. Frequently pitting characters against their evil doppelganger? Okay trash. Maybe I don’t have the stomach for such a trashy comic book story because I felt downright exhausted and confused in the game’s final stretches. I often couldn’t tell apart the good versions of characters to their bad counterparts, nor could I keep track of which one is on whose side -- a lot of traditionally evil characters, such as Lex Luthor, are good guys in this alternate dimension which serves as an excuse to let the player control them. While the overall story is a mess, Injustice manages to give every notable hero and villain faithful dialog and some time in the spotlight. Most DC characters take themselves way too seriously, which makes for a story that is the opposite of Joss Whedon’s Avengers. For this reason, I wish the fun loving, wise cracking characters, like Joker and Green Arrow, had a greater presence throughout the entirety of this six hour adventure. It's still worth seeing the story to its end, as it contains loads of eye candy and ridiculous fights. When compared to the brutal challenges available both offline and online, Injustice’s story mode is essentially a tutorial that familiarizes the player with most (but not all) of its characters and mechanics. It’s a good thing too because approaching the game’s traditional Battle mode, S.T.A.R. challenge rooms, and multiplayer can be downright daunting out of the gate, even for MK9 players. You may not find Raiden or Scorpion, but Injustice builds upon the foundation of MK9 without feeling like a sequel. From layout (three punches, must hold back or down to block) to the game’s unique environment and character specific abilities, Injustice is very much its own thing, both within the MK series and the greater history of fighting games.Here’s what makes Injustice a tricky game to learn, at first: the tactical options available to you are dependent on your character AND arena. It’s true that every character in a fighting game is (or at least should) offer its own learning curve, but Injustice provides a special character trait button that can be radically different from character to character. Batman’s trait can summon instant projectiles that slowly refill, while Doomsday can activate a shield that decreases damage. Most traits fall into these two categories but there are also some unique ones like Flash, who can slow down time temporary. Between my own experience and observing players online, it seems it’s easy to forget these perks even exist since they are so unique to Injustice. I can only imagine what can be achieved with them, once the competitive fighting game community tears into the game.One thing veteran players may not immediately take to is Injustice’s interactive arenas that supply creative ways of dealing damage. That motorcycle in the background can be hijacked and driven into Solomon Grundy. Suddenly being cornered isn’t such a bad thing, since there is a button to launch a rocket at Batman. Many of these objects react differently depending on the character. Bigger characters can pick up and throw objects, roguish characters can plant bombs on them, and nimble characters can use them as springboards. Discovering which category your character falls into will take some trial-and-error. I fought many online matches where it was hilariously apparent that my opponent expected to throw an object at me instead of hurl himself into my uppercut. Players can also kick opponents into entirely different areas of a level, triggering an over the top scenario during the transition. It’s too early for anyone to have the authority to say that these environmental elements make for an unbalanced game -- you still need to spend meter and consider timing and positioning, after all -- but those who are concerned can disable them in local play. MK9’s super bar returns with the ability to power-up special moves, counter the enemy, and unleash a devastating blow via outlandish cinematic when full. What worked in MK9 works well here. Injustice side-steps Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe’s limp finales by filling the void of grotesque finishers with hysterical super moves that defy even comic logic: Batman ghost rides the Batmobile, Aquaman feeds his sharks, and Doomsday auditions for the next Asura’s Wrath. Discovering each special is part of the fun. Even though these lengthy moves (along with arena transitions) can put a halt to the action, I never grew tired of watching. Injustice has a generous cast of characters (24 with more to come via DLC) that cleverly remixes abilities and builds from Mortal Kombat. Sure, Batman has a hook shot that brings to mind Scorpion and Shazam is comparable to Raiden, but no character feels like a direct copy of any Mortal Kombat favorite. I was pleasantly surprised then to find myself becoming so attached to the characters, especially Aquaman. I got comfortable with a couple others, while there are still others I have barely toyed with. Each character has a great range of moves that is further amplified by environmental objects. You may find players machine gun spamming with Deathstroke this week, only to find Nightwing’s furious combos become favored next week.Online offers ranked and player matches with a ranking system and netcode that worked as promised during my post-release sessions. There are no tag team matches, but Injustice makes up for it with its awesome revision of King of the Hill. Eight players can occupy a room, compete for the crown, set challenges for themselves (that will earn them XP), and bet XP on players in a match. This mode can be a double-edged sword for newbies, as you’ll likely lose when you play against the king but you can also learn a lot by watching others play. But screw learning! Simply watching the environments crumble and the insane special moves is fun enough. I feel exhausted writing this review, as I constantly remind myself of all the parts I haven’t even touched on yet. The massive S.T.A.R. Lab that offers 240 character-specific challenges, arcade-style Battle mode that places a variety of mutators on matches (play while poisoned, for example), and a huge amount of unlockables (costumes, art, XP boosts) all deserve more attention than I can give in this review without droning on. Also, these are my least favorite parts of the package along with the lack of character-specific tutorials. At the same time, I can see these being someone’s favorite parts. Injustice is large in both concept and execution. Just as some may come for MK gameplay instead of DC characters, some may stay for offline challenges while others settle into online matches.Going into Injustice, I worried that as much as I enjoyed the game that I would wish it was just a Mortal Kombat game instead. My greatest fear was unfounded. As much as I enjoyed the game’s outlandish story, intense combat, and various modes, I can only imagine how much more it will mean to someone who is also a DC junkie. Instead of asking for Sub-Zero to appear in Injustice, I am now prepared to ask for Aquaman DLC in the next Mortal Kombat. Because Aquaman feeds his enemies to sharks. And that’s pretty badass.
Injustice review photo
Can't justify this love
When DC Comics’ most popular heroes and villains appeared in 2008’s Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Aquaman was nowhere to be found. Thought of as a laughing stock with a shaky history in videogames -- the less sai...

Need for sequels photo
Need for sequels

Criterion is moving away from racing games and sequels

Creative director says next game will not be a Need for Speed, Burnout, or Black sequel
Apr 15
// Allistair Pinsof
Criterion creative director Alex Ward has had enough with floating rumors, so he's taken to Twitter to debunk speculation that his team is working on a Need for Speed or Burnout sequel. In addition, he said his next game won'...

BioShock Infinite is the history lesson gamers deserve

Apr 15 // Allistair Pinsof
Great science-fiction, from The Twilight Zone to Star Trek, provides commentary on the state of our society through the lens of another, offering an outlandish world that parallels ours in ways subtle enough to be lost on the greater populace. Instead of focusing on the present, Infinite focuses on our overlooked past, exploring a history in miniature that isn't talked about much. It's the forgotten history of our country. America never floated away or invented sky-hooks, but the majority of Columbia's history is not so unlike our own. Columbia isn't a complete fantasy and that's what makes Infinite such a brilliant, disturbing, and emotionally complex adventure at times. Before going further, I must warn that there will be early-to-mid-game plot spoilers. I also recommend reading Rober Rath's excellent historic look at Infinite on The Escapist. I will not go as into depth, but I owe his history lesson a great deal as it opened my eyes to what makes Infinite such a smart game. Booker DeWitt, Infinite's anti-hero, is the embodiment of America's ills of the time that it wished its citizens would quickly forget, ignore, and move past. Booker served at Wounded Knee, where 150-300 Native Americans were slaughtered, many of which were unarmed women and children fleeing. After that, he became an agent at the government funded Pinkerton Agency that hunted down and armed union leaders that protested for fairer treatment at factories and other industries. Whether Booker is a willing participant in 20th century America's deplorable acts or a victim of being part of a country that would ask him to do these things is something that is left to the player to decide. Perhaps, a closer look at Columbia may guide your feelings. While Rapture was an outlandish social experiment populated by cartoon psychos that embodied unrestrained Objectivism, Columbia explores unrestrained Capitalism that mirrors America in the early 20th century to a surprisingly accurate degree. Columbia has three leaders that progress the story throughout Infinite: Fink the industrial leader, Fitzroy the anarchist leader, and Comstock the spiritual leader. To tax the black more than the white, is that not cruel? To forbid the mixing of the races, is that not cruel? To give the vote to the white man, and deny it to the yellow, the black, the red, is that not cruel? Hm. But is it not cruel to banish your children from a perfect garden? Or drown your flock under an ocean of water? Cruelty can be instructive. And what is Columbia, if not the schoolhouse of the Lord? - Comstock Comstock's pursuit of spiritually cleansing the world (via fire and brimstone) makes him feel it's okay if the lower class and minorities are treated like caged animals as long as the true men of worth (read: wealth) live honorable lives. Comstock's philosophy and actions reflect those of the Third Great Awakening ministers of the mid-to-late 19th century. Comstock's take may be a bit more extreme, but it's a fair comparison, nonetheless. These beliefs and leaders also made their way into colleges, industry, and political offices. That Comstock is a spiritual leader who also runs the city is not so far fetched. It's this philosophy that allows a man like Fink to exist. The truth is, I don't have a lot of time for all that prophecy nonsense. I tell you, belief just a commodity. And old Comstock, well, he does produce. But, like any tradesman, he's obliged to barter his product for the earthly ores. You see, one does not raise a barn on song alone, no sir! Why, that's Fink timber, a Fink hammer, and Fink's hand to swing it. He needs me...lest he soil his own. - Jeremiah Fink Discovering Fink and his hellhole factory Finkton is one of the most interesting parts of Infinite, as it lets the player see what really goes on below the realm of shiny happy people. There are parts of Finkton that seem far too extreme to have ever been part of American history, but it's really not. Paying employees with time tokens? That happened. Having laborers compete at work auctions? Yes. Threatening unhappy work forces with hired military force? It didn't stop with Booker leaving the Pinkertons. In fact, most of these awful conditions continued until the 1930s. You ever see a forest at the beginning of a fire? Before the first flame, you see them possums and squirrels, runnin' through the trees. They know what's coming. But the fat bears with their bellies fulla' honey, well--you can't hardly wake them up from their comfortable hibernation. We're going to Emporia. And then, we gon' see what it takes to rouse them from their slumber. - Daisy Fitzroy And then there is Fitzroy, who went from Comstock caretaker to being wanted for assassination attempts against the Comstock house. In our history classes, we like to pretend that progress was made in the treatment of factory workers, minorities, and lower class through discussions on Capital Hill. As Infinite so aptly demonstrates, it's through bloodshed that these discussions were ever even raised. Horrific acts of terrorism, that led to public bombings and the death of innocents, were done on the part of unhappy workers who demanded change, even if it meant death must come first. Fitzroy may be a monster but her environment made her that way. If these class terrorists never acted, would America be what it is today? This is what I love about Infinite. It demands you to look at America's history and not ignore the hard truth. Great force is necessary to incite great change. There will always be a janitor to clean up the upper classes' mess. And unrestrained capitalism can create a society in unrest. But maybe you got something else out of it, because Infinite is so subtle in its delivery that it never tells you what to think. It only asks you to look. Science fiction serves as a conduit to serving the player a history lesson in condensed time, Wounded Knee, zealots, and worker retaliation all fit on the same platter through the game's use of science fiction. It paints a much clearer picture of American history, since it is taken out of context and exists in its own little floating utopia. To say that you disagree with Columbia's actions is to say you disagree with America's actions of the time, but you likely wouldn't know it. It's unfortunate then that all the interesting ideas, characters, and places of Infinite get thrown out in the final act, as the narrative turns the lens off its world and onto its protagonist. Much like the original BioShock, it's the world that I invested in and fell in love with so the finale felt like a distraction. So much of a distraction that it seems like the only thing I see people discussing when there is a much more interesting dialog to be had about the game's representation of early America. From the abandoned Six Days in Fallujah to the lukewarm Spec Ops: The Line, we've often been let down by game developers' reluctance to provide commentary on America, industry, war, and politics in the way that great films like Apocalypse Now and There Will Be Blood have done. BioShock Infinite is the first game to really put the lens on our country and dare to have us ask ethical questions. If the downloadable expansions to come don't further explore the world of Columbia and its combating leader's ideologies (or explore new ones), I'll be disappointed because science-fiction is only the tool that gets us to the point of introspection. It is a means to an end, but never the actual end. So, let's observe, continue this dialog, and hope another developer comes along that is as daring and smart as Irrational. We could use another, but that we focus so heavily on violence and science-fiction logic makes me worry that we may not be mature enough an audience to deserve one.
BioShock Lessons photo
Made in America
According to Google, "Boxer Rebellion", "Pinkerton" and "Wounded Knee" have been trending lately. BioShock Infinite is teaching gamers about the American history that often evades classrooms, churches, and homes. After years ...

pretty badass photo
pretty badass

Become the crazy nastyass badger in Shelter

By Pid developer, Might and Delight
Apr 15
// Allistair Pinsof
Pid was one of the most charming games I played in 2012, so it's no surprise that developer Might and Delight's next project, Shelter, focuses on the most mighty and delightful creature in the animal kingdom: the crazy nasty...
Mickey Mouse photo
Mickey Mouse

Castle of Illusion remake announced for PSN, XBLA, and PC

Nostalgia engaged
Apr 15
// Allistair Pinsof
Remember the '90s? Before our eyes ever (accidentally) set upon Disney hentai and before Mickey Mouse got thrown into a bunch of lame platformers? We had Castle of Illusion and it was enough to get me giddy to visit my grand...
Tetris photo

Apple co-founder shows off his legendary Tetris skills

Woz the Tetris wiz
Apr 12
// Allistair Pinsof
Steve Wozniak is an oddity. Though many know Wozniak for his work at Apple, in his earlier days he was known for his work with videogames, both as a designer (creating Atari's Breakout) and player. This video shot by Game In...
Road Rash photo
Road Rash

Road Redemption channels Road Rash for 21st century

Get those chains ready
Apr 12
// Allistair Pinsof
It's been a long time since there was a Road Rash sequel, but Road Redemption may take away the ache of waiting. Composed of a team with 35 years of combined experience and in production since 2009, Road Redemption is a homa...
Crime, indeed photo
Crime, indeed

Taito's Crime Connection wants your phone's contact info

I'd rather pay to play than agree to these terms
Apr 11
// Allistair Pinsof
Crime Connection, the latest iOS and Android title from Square Enix subsidiary Taito, is a free-to-play "social crime simulation" in the style of Mafia Wars. There is a serious caveat to the game, however, and I'm not talking...
Dark Souls 2 trailer photo
Dark Souls 2 trailer

Cram this Dark Souls II trailer into your dark holes

Nothing like dramatic pans to get your audience excited
Apr 11
// Allistair Pinsof
It's been Dark Souls II day at Destructoid, as we finally got to see it in action in footage, screens, and in person. Now, Namco Bandai presents this gloomy teaser ("Despair") that shows off some of the environments. Yeah, t...
layoffs photo

EA Montreal faces more layoffs, rumored studio closure

EA Montreal is to be shutdown, says source
Apr 11
// Allistair Pinsof
EA Mobile in Montreal faces 200 - 250 employee layoffs with more to come, a source with connections to EA Mobile told Gamasutra, and the studio will gradually become completely shutdown. EA confirmed layoffs but said that the...
Music photo

GTA radio playlists now on iTunes and Spotify

Everybody Wang Chung tonight
Apr 11
// Allistair Pinsof
Popular music has defined Grand Theft Auto's eras, styles, and budget. It also has defined many of our lives, as Vice City introduced us to 80's classics and GTAIV reminded us of a great 90's band we forgot about. Now, you ca...
Poor Darkstalkers sales photo
'We've not given up. But I'm disappointed in the opening sales'
Capcom senior VP Christian Svensson recently said that fighting game re-releases are dropping in popularity, and now the sales numbers for Darkstalkers Resurrection confirm his theory. After years of fans asking for a downloa...

Always bet on Duke photo
Always bet on Duke

Surprise: Japan doesn't like Duke Nukem Forever either

You don't say?
Apr 11
// Allistair Pinsof
Japanese gamers have spoken and they have said, "You know, Duken Nukem Forever isn't all that good. In fact, it's the worst game of the year." But, you know, in Japanese. The Kusoge ("crap game") of the Year Wiki lets Japanes...
Don't do drugs photo
Don't do drugs

Jeff Minter's next ball tripper simulation is TxK on Vita

I'm getting really hot and thirsty just thinking about it
Apr 11
// Allistair Pinsof
Lover of goats, llamas, and psychedelic arcade games, Jeff Minter and his development house Llamasoft will continue his legacy with a Vita release called TxK, a sequel to Atari Jaguar classic Tempest 2000. "We’re going ...
Tales of Xillia photo
Tales of Xillia

Tales of Xillia Collector's Edition doesn't hold back

Collector's Edition includes figure, music CD, and book
Apr 11
// Allistair Pinsof
Tales of Xillia, Namco's anticipated entry in the Tales Of RPG series, will arrive on PlayStation 3 on August 6. After setting a high bar with its Ni no Kuni limited edition, Namco is once again not slouching: Tales of Xilli...
Shadowrun Returns photo
Shadowrun Returns

Shadowrun Returns comes to Steam this June

Collector's Edition pre-orders end April 28
Apr 10
// Allistair Pinsof
Shadowrun Returns, the long-awaited Shadowrun reboot funded through Kickstarter, will come to PC in June, developer Harebrained Schemes announced in an update. As the days to release count down, so does the time before the Co...
SimCity photo

SimCity: Cheetah speed returns, Mac release June 11

It's kind of like the game I bought, now.
Apr 10
// Allistair Pinsof
"Do you like to play with Cheetah Speed?" SimCity's Facebook asks. "No, I prefer not having basic functionality that keeps the game from being boring and painfully slow!" But for the rest of you, you may be happy to hear that...
Carnival of Monkey Island photo
Carnival of Monkey Island

Carnival of Monkey Island is a fanmade, hand-drawn sequel

Please don't Cease and Desist this, Disney!
Apr 10
// Allistair Pinsof
I want a new Monkey Island. So does some guy on the Adventure Game Studio forum, who announced Carnival of Monkey Island, which is a fanmade entry that will take place inbetween the second and third MI games (is that a m...
Donate photo

Indie developer asking for donations for surgery [update]

You've funded games that may suck. So help fund someone's life who may continue to make games that may not suck
Apr 08
// Allistair Pinsof
[Update: Indiegogo has removed Chloe Sagal's page and is refunding the money to those who backed it. "When suspicious activity is detected, the campaign is immediately suspended and all contributions are refunded," an Indiego...
Micro$oft photo

Retro City Rampage dev's Microsoft horror story

Developer says Microsoft cancelled his game and then released it at wrong price
Apr 08
// Allistair Pinsof
After a shaky relationship that put his career and game on the line, Retro City Rampage developer Brian Provinciano joins Jonathan Blow and Team Meat in talking mess about Microsoft. After developing RCR for over four years, ...
DualShock 4 photo
DualShock 4

Developers told Sony to change DualShock 4 controller

By game developers, for game developers
Apr 08
// Allistair Pinsof
Sony put the future of the DualShock 4 in the hands of developers, who dictated changes to the longstanding controller's form and feel. Guerrilla Games (Killzone) and Evolution Studios (DriveClub), in an interview with Edge, ...
Surveys!! HELL YEAH!!! photo
Surveys!! HELL YEAH!!!

Male game developers earn 25% more than females

Game Developer Magazine's survey shows
Apr 08
// Allistair Pinsof
Though we often discuss the insensitivities that females face in the game industry (see above image), a recent survey conducted by Game Developer Magazine presents a more internal conflict: on average, male game developers ea...

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