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4:00 PM on 01.12.2015

The Grudge director is working on Project Scissors 'for free'

Earlier this month, our first look at Clock Tower spiritual successor Project Scissors: NightCry arrived in the form of a live-action trailer made by Ju-on and The Grudge director Takashi Shimizu. It was p...

Jonathan Holmes

8:45 PM on 01.11.2015

We're streaming Bayonetta 2 again tonight 'for the thrill'

Spatterhouse champ Caitlin Oliver and her trusty sidekick Kenny are coming back tonight at 9pm CMT to stream more of one of your favorite games of 2014, Bayonetta 2. Caitlin's got about half way through the game las...

Jonathan Holmes

8:15 PM on 01.11.2015

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is fun, on sale on 3DS

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse recently launched on the Wii U eShop, and while I haven't played through the whole thing yet, I can attest to the consistently charming comedy in its first few hours or so. It's clear that the ...

Jonathan Holmes



We just shot the first couple episodes of Samus and Sagat photo
We just shot the first couple episodes of Samus and Sagat
by Jonathan Holmes

[Animation and thumbnail by EndShark]

I've done a lot of video series on YouTube over the years -- Teenage Pokemon, Talking to Women about Videogames, Constructoid, Sup Holmes, Art Hawk, and of course, The Dtoid Show. None of them probably would have happened if it weren't for Sundays with Sagat, an admittedly slapdash "rant" show I put together for Destructoid back in 2010. It was my first attempt at an ongoing YouTube series. For better or worse, making the show taught me a lot.

Some say that the first thing you make is always going to be your worst thing. That could very well be true in this case, though in the years that followed Sundays with Sagat, people never stopped asking for me to return as the character. Regardless whether the show itself was any good, folks seemed to like the idea of me playing the part of an out-of-shape, horribly disfigured former final boss. 

If you're one of those people who's been asking for more Sagat, get ready to either be pleasantly surprised or horribly disappointed. I just got back from shooting two episodes of a new show called Samus and Sagat with Paste.com videogame editorialist/critic Maddy Myers. We'll be doing out best to roll out one episode a month, starting next week.

Maddy and I both have mountains of writing assignments glaring at us at all times, and neither of us are professional actors, so it would be best for you to temper your expectations now. One thing is for sure though, if the show is half as fun to watch as it is to make, you'll have a good time with it.

We shot two episodes plus a bonus unboxing video in a little under three hours. I would guess at least two of those three hours were spent giggling and making fun of ourselves. If we're lucky, that feeling of friendship and self-aware idiocy will be something you can share with us. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

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2:45 PM on 01.11.2015

Sup Holmes masters mathematical masculinity with Tim Rogers

[Update: Thanks for watching everybody! Rerun will be up next week. Enjoy Tim's video expose' on Divekick in the meantime.] Today on Sup Holmes we'll be talking to Tim Rogers, Earthbound anthropologist, football fanatic, gam...

Jonathan Holmes



VVVVVV composer is planning a game that changes the way you communicate photo
VVVVVV composer is planning a game that changes the way you communicate
by Jonathan Holmes

[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on Youtube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.]

Last weekend on Sup Holmes we welcomed Magnus "SoulEye" Palsson to the program, composer of VVVVVV and many other scores. This man surprised me many times. I had no idea that Magnus was originally going to compose music for Mega Man 2.5, but was asked to step down from the project so that preexisting Mega Man music could be used instead. When you have the composer of one of the most best  original "exciting, death dealing platformer" soundtracks in recent memory, and he's willing to work with you for free, I figure it would be smart to take advantage of that. It's hard to imagine that the game will be better without Magnus's involvement. 

We talked about that and a lot of other subjects, like Magnus's early fascination with using primitive computers to create music, the recent run of fetish posts in the Destructoid Community Blogs, what it's like to know that millions of people have heard your music, and his plan to develop a game about learning to be more emotionally expressive and present in real life. It sounds amazing, like a cross between Super Better, Skype and Let's Quip. It's an ambitious project, certainly not something that will come together overnight, but knowing that Magnus once made an electric typewriter sing makes me confident he'll pull this off too. 

Thanks again to Magnus for being on the show, and be sure to tune in today at 4pm EST when we welcome Tim Rogers (Shadows of the Damned, ZiGGURAT, Videoball) back to the program. Maybe we'll finally find just what the heck is going on at Midnight City....

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So what's next for Dtoid video, bath, and beyond?  photo
So what's next for Dtoid video, bath, and beyond?
by Jonathan Holmes

Destructoid was hit with a one-two punch in the past week. One of our oldest and most beloved staff members, Hamza "Cybernetic Tiger Z" Aziz, has retired his mantle of sidekick to Dtoid founder Niero Gonzalez and is off on his own path.

We also lost our one and only video warlock, Max Scoville, who has taken up shop at one of the more fun videogame mega-blogs down the street. I wish I was surprised to see him snatched up by a big friendly baby and taken for a wild ride in the woods, but I knighted him for a reason. He's pretty good at that sort of thing.

Max has been the center of Dtoid's video content for a long time now. In fact, some of you may not have know that Dtoid did video before Max came along, back when the likes of Jim Sterling and Anthony Burch called the Dtoid YouTube channel their home.

With Max off on a new adventure, we're going to try dialing the channel back to the kind of thinking that birthed the Jimquisition and Hey Ash Watcha Playin' way back when. The plan is to pool ideas from all of the Dtoid front-page staff, and work to make YouTube more of an extension of the front page, as opposed to a connected-but-different entity. 

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RuPaul on drag, games, and those who fear a changing world photo
RuPaul on drag, games, and those who fear a changing world
by Jonathan Holmes

RuPaul has taken just about every form of media by storm. Film, music, talk shows, reality shows, live performances, comedy, drama: You name it, Ru's tried it. Now she can also scratch game development off the list as well.

Dragopolis 2.0 is a "drag puzzle-action game filled with stunning fashion, challenge, levels, outrageous humor, and more." Yes, in a move that few expected, Dragopolis 2.0 combines aspects of pinball, Bust-A-Move, something akin to Street Fighter X Tekken's gem system, and an evil super villain who hatches a plot to steal all the cutest outfits in town. This may be the closest thing to a Bayonetta puzzle game we ever see.

No one would accuse RuPaul of shying away from self promotion. Thankfully, she was willing to take the time to answer a few of our questions regarding her game, the parallels between videogames and drag, and her similarities with Sonic the Hedgehog. Her answers were relatively brief, aside from the one about Sonic. That one seemed to strike a chord for some reason.  

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2:30 PM on 01.04.2015

Sup Holmes goes live with Souleye, the composer of VVVVVV

[Update: Show's over everybody! Thanks so much for watching, and to Magnus for hanging out with us. That new game he's planning sounds completely bonkers. If you missed the live recording, definitely watch the rerun. You won...

Jonathan Holmes



The 'Pac-Man pair' attempts to break Smash Bros. doubles photo
The 'Pac-Man pair' attempts to break Smash Bros. doubles
by Jonathan Holmes

The honeymoon period for Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and the Wii U is just about over. Some of the people who said a month ago that it's the best game ever made are now starting to come out with emotionally charged complaints, like the roster isn't as good as Project M or Brawl, that it's a pain to unlock all of the custom moves, that the single player component is lacking, and other niggling gripes.

My thought is that if there is ever a completely perfect Smash Bros. game, then we'll just have less to look forward to in the inevitable follow up. I love the new Smash, I'm already excited about the next one, which I expect to see in stores sometime in 2021. Hopefully we won't have to wait that long for Nintendo to patch out this exploit for doubles Pac-Man players, allowing them to use their Up-B to go so far off screen that they can't be hit by most characters. Ness, Pit, and Mega an could probably tag them with projectiles, and Shulk, Kirby, or Villager might be able to soar high enough to knock their blocks off, but even then, what a pain in the neck! 

While this trick may not be as unstoppable as it looks, it's still a bummer to see these kinds of cheap (but admittedly funny) tactics make their way into the latest Smash. I'll be awfully sad if this brand of Pac-Man doubles play starts to flood online For Glory battles. That said, if you're looking for an easy wins in doubles Classic, Master Orders, or Crazy Orders modes, this may be a skill-free way to get ahead. 

Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS - Pac-Man bounce exploit [GoNintendo]

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4:30 PM on 01.03.2015

What the heck is going on with this Hyrule Warriors concept art?

The Hyrule Warriors strategy guide came out a while ago, so this art isn't exactly news, though it was news to me as I stumbled upon it earlier today. It doesn't look like many others have taken note of this bizarre sketch fr...

Jonathan Holmes



Here are all of Destructoid's Game of the Year 2014 editorials  photo
Here are all of Destructoid's Game of the Year 2014 editorials
by Jonathan Holmes

With so much to organize and help put together, I didn't get a chance to do my own personal Game of the Year list for 2014. It's probably for the best, as picking favorites games is very difficult for me. It's like picking favorite people. I like a lot of people, and they are all so different, but all so important to me. I'd have an easier time picking a favorite finger. I'd probably go for the left pinky, as that's the one with the coolest freckle. 

Still, I can safely guess that I spent more time in 2014 playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf, 1001 Spikes (Wii U), Pokemon Puzzle Challenge (3DS VC), Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (Wii U VC), Advance Wars (Wii U VC) Rouge Legacy (PS3), Skullgirls: Encore (PS3), Rhythm Heaven Fever (Wii), Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS (Smash Run mode), Bayonetta 2 (Wii U), Luftrausers (PS3) and the God damn Maverick Bird than just about anything else. I didn't have to play any of them, for work or otherwise. In fact, I probably shouldn't have played them at all, as I always have time sensitive work breathing down my neck. Yet these games kept pulling me back, whether I liked it or not. I think it's because they all utilize a rigid structure to house a huge amount of potential variables and surprises. That seems to be the best way to keep me fascinated these days. 

How about everyone else at Destructoid? What did True Detective's Rust Cohle think of 2014? How about The Badger? Game developer Adam Tierney? Read on to find out! 

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1:00 PM on 01.01.2015

What are you hoping for in the next Bayonetta game?

[Art by jnkboy] Bayonetta 2 won Destructoid's overall best game of the year award, its community choice award, and multiple personal game of the year awards. While I'm sure Platinum appreciates the praise, chances are that th...

Jonathan Holmes

11:59 PM on 12.31.2014

Person offers to 'show boobs' for Captain Falcon or Pit amiibo

Depending on your time zone, this may be your final Destructoid post of 2014. If the doomsday predictions of 2012 come true two years late and this is the final thing you ever read, then I'm sorry, and you're welcome.  A...

Jonathan Holmes

10:00 PM on 12.31.2014

Devolver asks Sega to let Seaman loose

We at Destructoid have been clamoring for a new Seaman title for years now. From denied iPhone spin-offs to teased holiday appearances, Nintendo trademarks, newspaper reports, and appearances on the Dtoid Show, Seaman is neve...

Jonathan Holmes

8:00 PM on 12.29.2014

Pixar's Up coming to New 3DS in Japan

Back when Nintendo thought the 3D part of the 3DS was a marketable, they promised that we'd all be watching 3D movies on the thing all the time and everyday. While there are a few cool shows like Bee and Puppycat on Nintendo ...

Jonathan Holmes

11:00 AM on 12.28.2014

Gameboy Tetris being taken off the 3DS eShop at the end of the year

[Update: Looks like Tetris Axis is also getting yanked. We can guess that the retail version of the game is also going the way of the dodo. Interested parties would do well to snatch it up quick.] Nintendo UK's Twitter accoun...

Jonathan Holmes



Lost Constellation is a pay-what-you-want Night In The Woods ghost story photo
Lost Constellation is a pay-what-you-want Night In The Woods ghost story
by Jonathan Holmes

The success of Night In The Woods on Kickstarter once again proved that the best way to win at crowd funding is to create something that people actively want to lob on to their own image/identity. So many games on Kikcstarter look fun, well made, and interesting, but they lack that charm that drives others to wave the game's flag and join up with its developers. 

Would Obama have become President if those "Hope" images didn't make cool t-shirts and desktop wallpapers? Would so many people have proudly backed KONY 2012 if the campaign had targeted an evildoer with a harder to pronounce name? Probably not. Marketing is everything, and though it may sound obvious, the most important part of marketing is being marketable. 

Thankfully, a lot of marketable games are also genuinely great. If reaction to Lost Constellation is any indication, Night In The Woods will fit that bill. This Holiday-themed romp is available now for the suggested price of $5, but how much you pay is up to you. I haven't gotten a chance to play it myself, but if it's anywhere as good as this, we'll all have cause to laugh and be disillusioned at the same time. What a feeling!

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Two scrappy upstarts discuss working with Xbox and Playstation photo
Two scrappy upstarts discuss working with Xbox and Playstation
by Jonathan Holmes

[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on Youtube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.]

With the year winding down, videogame news has dribbled to a crawl. I've you've never listened to the show before, then it may be the perfect time to take the Sup Holmes plunge.

We've got a rerun here with Mike Mika, creator of #IDARB (I Drew a Red Box) that's pretty amazing. Mike's worked on over 100 games over the years,causing him to cross paths with Jimmy Fallon, Adam Sandler (almost) John Lithgow, and a host of other unexpected celebrities. Having worked on everything from Street Fighter to Alice In Wonderland, Mike has insider experience on what it's like to collaborate with Nintendo, Disney, Capcom, and many other huge names in the industry.

Surprisingly enough, it was the creation of a Donkey Kong hack for his daughter that put him in the mainstream spotlight. That experience inspired him to create #IDARB, which led to partnering with Microsoft to create the first home console game with built in Twitter and Twitch integration. What people say on Twitter or Twitch can actually affect your game. It's pretty bonkers. 

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Destructoid's award for Overall Best Game of 2014 goes to... photo
Destructoid's award for Overall Best Game of 2014 goes to...
by Jonathan Holmes

[Image credit: Mike Lambert]

Why do we love videogames? Some say it's the escapism, or the ability to wrap you up in a story that you get to help tell as it's being told to you. Others say it's the way they can bring friends together, or occupy your mind with interesting mechanics to master and problems to solve. 

The truth is though, no one really knows why we love videogames so much. When you truly connect with something, be it a song, a movie, a game, or another person, it's not always easy to put the feeling into words. When asked "How do you know when it's love," legendary rock and roll group Van Halen responded with the unhelpful axiom "I can't tell you but it lasts forever." If Van Halen couldn't explain love, then how the heck are we supposed to? 

We may not be able to explain why we love games, but we sure as spit can talk about which ones we love the most. We saw a lot of write-in votes here, for games like Bravely Default, Hyrule Warriors, Grimrock 2, inFamous: Second Son, Tomodachi Life, and a bunch of others that we talked about in the Mechanics, World Design, Multiplayer Design, and Narrative Design award announcements earlier this week. In the end, the top four games came within arm's reach of each other. Dark Souls II came in fourth, Shovel Knight beat it out for third. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U just barely missed the top spot, landing in second. 

The winner is a true Cinderella story of gaming, which I will likely gush about in the paragraphs to follow. Before we get into that, be sure to vote in our reader's poll. It's democracy in action.

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The award for Best World Design of 2014 goes to... photo
The award for Best World Design of 2014 goes to...
by Jonathan Holmes

[Image credit: Mike Lambert]

Growing up, a lot of kids I knew liked to try to sound grown up by saying they played videogames "for the story". Maybe they had adapted the phrase from the adults they saw on TV who said they read Playboy magazine "for the articles". Regardless, the stories in the games they loved were often terrible, and they weren't the only ones. I'm not one to point fingers. There was a time when this was some of my favorite storytelling ever, in gaming or otherwise. 

So why are we so enthralled with bad stories? I can only speak for myself when I say that the world crafting in a game can often compensate for failings in narrative. When we watch a good movie or read a good book, effective storytelling can transport us to other worlds. A game doesn't need to rely on storytelling to do that. Instead, we can skip over the storytelling part through methods unique to gaming as a medium, planting us directly into their worlds through techniques that we're still learning to truly understand.  

This year in videogames brought many amazing worlds to life. The write-in votes for this category, including Tomodachi Life, Shovel Knight, Broken Age: Act 1, Bayonetta 2, Hohokum, and Extrasolar are about as varied a bunch of games as you could expect to see. That came across in the voting as well, where our staff's preferences were on full display. One staff member would give nearly every vote to South Park, where another would place the game at the bottom of the barrel. In the end, we had yet another three way tie for third place between Valiant Hearts, Five Nights at Freddy's, and Dragon Age: Inquisition. That left two games to fight it out, Bravely Default and Alien: Isolation, with just a vote between them deciding the winner. Read on to find out who came out on top, and don't forget to vote in our reader's poll on the way out

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Review: Xeodrifter photo
Review: Xeodrifter
by Jonathan Holmes

A lot of the kids who grew up with Metroid, Super Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda are now older than than their creators were when those legendary Nintendo franchises were first released. Some of those kids are now videogame developers themselves. Jools Watsham of Renegade Kid is one example. He created Xeodrifter in five months, fueled by financial stress, time constraints, and a raw love of Super Metroid. You can read about his process here

Showing your Metroid DNA on your sleeve is a blessing and a curse. It instantly communicates to the relatively large Metroid fan base that your game was made for them. It also sets the bar incredibly high. Begging for a comparison to Super Metroid is a dangerous thing. As we saw with the reaction to Other M, a disappointed Metroid fan can be an intensely spiteful force. 

My guess is Xeodrifter won't inspire that kind of caustic reaction in the Metroid faithful. If it were an official Metroid game, it would rank near or above many of the other games in the franchise. As long as you go into it expecting something short and sweet, it's hard to imagine that Metroid fans will be disappointed. 

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11:00 AM on 12.25.2014

Report: PSN and Xbox Live down after DDoS attack

I'm currently away from my consoles so I can't confirm this myself, but word on the street is that PSN and Xbox Live are both inaccessible. They've apparently been down off-and-on since last night. Business Insider reports th...

Jonathan Holmes

9:00 AM on 12.25.2014

Duck Hunt on the Wii U Virtual Console is too easy

[Update: Reader Darren Bolton reports you can turn off the cross-hairs by using the D-pad. Is this true, dear readers? Has my Duck Hunt Christmas been saved?] Nintendo released Duck Hunt on the Wii U Virtual Console tod...

Jonathan Holmes

6:00 PM on 12.24.2014

Platinum Games teasing a gift for Christmas Day

[Update: The present is the first page of an ongoing downloadable Bayonetta calender, coinciding with the announcement that the weekly Bayonetta 2 dev blog updates are ending. Also, Kamiya blocked me again. Thanks f...

Jonathan Holmes



The winner of Destructoid's Best Narrative Design of 2014 is... photo
The winner of Destructoid's Best Narrative Design of 2014 is...
by Jonathan Holmes

[Image credit: Mike Lambert]

Any game can use cut scenes to tell a great story. That trick was impressive back when CD-ROMs were cutting-edge technology. Today, the expectation for story-focused games is to work towards interweaving narrative techniques into every aspect of the design. Videogames can do so much more than pure linear storytelling devices like text or film. The best Narrative Design award is Destructoid's way of acknowledging the games that best proved that in 2014. 

Telltale had two games nominated this year. Neither won the award, though they didn't do half bad either. The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead Season 2 found a place next to Broken Age: Act 1, Either One, and Dragon Age: Inquisition near the middle of the pack. Notable write-in votes include The Talos Principal, The Banner Saga, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Danganropa 2, Civilization: Beyond Earth, 80 Days, Wasteland 2, and Valiant Hearts, among others.

In what some would call a Christmas miracle, two games got the exact same amount of votes to win, making them Prom King and Queen of this year's best Narrative Design award ceremony. I know a lot of people hate ties, but I love them, so I'm going to embrace it. Sometimes two things are equally successful, standing side by side with their own important roles to fill. It's hard for me to find anything not to like about that. If you don't feel the same, go on and vote in our Reader's GOTY poll and make your tie-hating voice heard. The two winners of today's best narrative design award will be waiting for you below when you get back. 

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The award for Best Game Mechanics of 2014 goes to... photo
The award for Best Game Mechanics of 2014 goes to...
by Jonathan Holmes

[Image credit: Mike Lambert]

The idea behind the best mechanics category is to highlight games that you'd love to play even if they had stick-figure graphics, no multiplayer, no music, and no story. Some of them may be filled with complex operations. Others may be simple one-button affairs. Regardless, these are games that keep you coming back again and again, hoping to get all the parts to fit together just a little bit better each time.  

The votes were really all over the place here. Games that I figured had a good chance of taking the top spot like Sunset Overdrive and Geometry Wars 3 were beat out by write-ins like Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, The Castle Doctrine and Divinity: Original Sin. Other surprise staff nominations like Wolfenstein: The New Order, Xeodrifter, Road Not Taken, Mario Kart 8, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Bravely Default, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Xenonauts, Mercenary Kings, Freedom Wars, Destiny, and Infamous: Second Son didn't do quite as well, but regardless, the message is clear: the Destructoid staff plays a lot of different kinds of games strictly for the mechanics. 

There was also a three-way tie for third place in this category, between three games that couldn't be much more different. In the end, Bayonetta 2, Octodad, and Shovel Knight all tied for the bronze medal in this particular popularity contest. Now that's a three-way crossover I'd pay top dollar for. With those games down, only OlliOlli and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor remained. Keep reading to see which one landed on top, and don't forget to vote in our Reader's Poll for your favorite game of 2014

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The winner of Destructoid's Best Multiplayer Design of the year is... photo
The winner of Destructoid's Best Multiplayer Design of the year is...
by Jonathan Holmes

[Image credit: Mike Lambert]

Counting up the votes for Dtoid's Best Multiplayer Design was exciting. I had no idea how the voting would go. Big games like Destiny, Titanfall, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare didn't do half as well as you might have expected In fact, Advanced Warfare got just as many votes as small-but-scrappy titles like Sportsball and 1001 Spikes. Nidhogg and Sportsfriends managed to beat the lot of them though, landing near the middle of the ranks.

Sadly, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare didn't do so hot, though I chalk that up in part to the fact that not a ton of our staff have played it yet. On the other hand, it was nice to see a strong showing from write-ins like Samurai Gunn, Octodad, Divinity: Original Sin, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Screencheat, Crawl, Cannon BrawlGang Beasts, Mercenary Kings, Hearthstone, Magicka Wizard, and GTA Online.

In the end, it was down to three big games: Towerfall: Ascension, Mario Kart 8, and Smash Bros. for Wii U. Keep reading to find out which title won, and don't forget to vote in the Reader Poll!

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5:00 PM on 12.21.2014

Dtoid on Twitch returns with a Splatterhouse champ playing Bayonetta 2

I'm proud to have been a part of Destructoid's Twitch channel back when Jon Carnage got it started in 2010. Kicking off the Super Meat Boy charity stream with DannyB was one of the highlights of my whole darn life. For a vari...

Jonathan Holmes



Playstation Vita, Death and rising from the ashes with Luc Bernard photo
Playstation Vita, Death and rising from the ashes with Luc Bernard
by Jonathan Holmes

[Update: Argh! Sorry to everyone who was confused seeing that the video was "private". That's because the live show ended on 12/21/2014 at 5:30pm EST. The rerun should be up this weekend. Here's a trailer for Desert Ashes in the meantime.]

Today on Sup Holmes, we welcome Luc Bernard back to the program. Luc was one of our original guests on the show, back when he was working on Imagination is the Only Escape and Mass Effect's sex options were still a hot topic of discussion. Luc has been through a lot since then, though lately he's been riding high in the horse with Steam titles like Desert Ashes and the free-to-play Playstation Vita exclusive Death Tales (formerly known as Reaper). 

We'll be talking to Luc about his highs, lows, our games of the year, ambitions for Playstation TV,and whatever else comes up along the way. Join us at 4pm EST and maybe something good will happen to you. 

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Nominees for Destructoid's Overall Best Game of 2014 photo
Nominees for Destructoid's Overall Best Game of 2014
by Jonathan Holmes

[Image credit: Mike Lambert]

I've long been of the opinion that the relationship between a person and a videogame is similar to the relationship between a person and another living being. It's part of why you see people fiercely defend their favorite games, like they would their friends or family. It's undeniable -- we form two way relationships with these things. I first picked up on that back when Little Computer People launched on the Commadore 64, though the idea didn't really solidify in my mind until Nintendogs was released on the Nintendo DS. 

The idea of reviewing a videogame like it is a static, concrete product is similar to the idea of reviewing a person via some testing method or other wholly "objective" assessment tool. It can't ever be totally accurate. There will always be some subjectivity in there. More so, trying to diminish the importance of the personal relationship between two things, be they a game and person or a person and a person, causes you to bypass the most interesting stuff. We can't ever completely separate our unique perspectives from out assessment of videogames, so why not embrace them? 

That's what we did with this year's Game of the Year Awards. While we worked to do a some analysis on why the world design, multiplayer design, mechanics, and narrative design of various games were particularly impressive in 2014, the truth is we don't really understand why we love certain games, just like we don't always understand why we love certain people. We just do. They fit with our brains and make us feel right. 

Here are some of the games we loved the most in 2014. Don't forget to vote for yours

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10:00 AM on 12.21.2014

Iconoclasts creator imagines a Daisy focused 2D action game

My first waking thought this morning was "What if the next Wii U Mario game stars Peach, Daisy, Rosalina and Toadette as they giant sentient broccoli people who reluctantly eat children because they are nutritious?" The ...

Jonathan Holmes



Jonathan's personal GOTY for best butt goes to... photo
Jonathan's personal GOTY for best butt goes to...
by Jonathan Holmes

The Captain Falcon amiibo is apparently pretty hard of get a hold of right now. Through a strange series of events, I ended up with one last night. Without getting into all the details, I'll let you know that I ended up standing beside a local Pokémon champion at nearby Target store. He influenced the clerks behind the counter to look in their backroom for Captain Falcon amiibos. The clerks were sure they didn't have any in stock. The Pokémon champion was sure that they did. Somehow, he was sure.  

Guess who was right?

To be clear, I don't entirely approve of the amiibo craze. Seeing so many people spend their time and money on all these ornamental plastic statues while they ignore great Wii U games like Stealth Inc 2, Lone Survivor, 1001 Spikes, and Thomas Was Alone makes me a little blue. That said, the Captain Falcon amiibo is a charmer worth squawking about, which is why it won my personal butt of the year award.

Thanks again to the Beastie Boys. 

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A game like X-Files and True Detective? Just don't go Normcore photo
A game like X-Files and True Detective? Just don't go Normcore
by Jonathan Holmes

Oh no! It's the end of our three part interview with Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, creators of Maniac Mansion and the masterminds behind Thimbleweed Park, a game that has currently raised over $500K on Kickstarter. We didn't learn that David Fox, the creator of Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, was on the team until after this interview was over. Otherwise we would have included him in this interview too. Sadly, it's too darn late for that, as the Kickstarter has less than 24 hours to go until it's all over

The campaign recently hit the stretch goal for full voice acting, but it's still far off from the iOS/Android goals. It'd be a big deal if they got there, as it would open up their potential audience by at least a few hundred people, maybe more if Apple could just figure out how to properly market the iPhone. C'mon Apple, when are you going to learn how to properly promote your brand?

We talked to Ron and Gary about why those smart phone stretch goals are important to them, the potential for console ports, fetishes, being otherwise unemployable, Joe Flaherty, and a lot more. Thanks again for the interview gentleman, and for returning to the style of game design that helped me to fall in love with the medium all those years ago. I've been waiting for you two to get the band back together since I was 12 years old. Now let's just cross our fingers and hope that you can live up to 25 years of built-up expectations.

No pressure.

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