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3:00 PM on 04.08.2014

Wargaming.net League Grand Finals recap from Warsaw, Poland

The skinny arms of one of the team members of team Natus Vincere (also known as Na'Vi) were warbling dangerously as he attempted to lift the massive block of solid metal that is the trophy for the Wargaming.net Leag...

Dale North


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Sony's Project Morpheus: An impressive first showing photo
Sony's Project Morpheus: An impressive first showing
by Dale North

Sony choose GDC as its coming out party for its virtual reality platform, Project Morpheus. The goal was to build interest at a show where just about every developer in the industry is in attendance. And from the look of the lines at their GDC floor booth yesterday, every one of those developers had someone in line to try it out. 

We finally got our faces in the headset late last night to try out the new demos that Sony prepared for the show. We were surprised to find that Project Morpheus is already on a level playing field with Oculus Rift, and even shows it up in some places.  

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XSplit Gamecaster makes game streaming so easy photo
XSplit Gamecaster makes game streaming so easy
by Dale North

Are you streaming gameplay? Well, forget cables, configurations, multiple PCs, software hacks, and confusion. That's all gone when it comes to streaming and capturing gameplay on your PC, starting today. XSplit Gamecaster is a simple software program that lets you send your PC or console gameplay to Twitch, Ustream, YouTube, and other sites without the hassles of previous solutions. 

We've known about it since last year, and have played with it a bit more recently, but the good news is that you won't have to wait long before you can try it out for yourself as it will be available on February 18.

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Here are your favorite gaming moments of 2013! photo
Here are your favorite gaming moments of 2013!
by Mr Andy Dixon

Last week, we asked you to share your favorite gaming memories of the year with the community, and the response was FANTASTIC! Seriously, the love you people expressed for some of your favorite games of 2013 was downright moving, and I enjoyed reading each and every comment.

Here's a brief recap of some of your responses. WARNING: Spoilers abound for many new games, so read with caution!

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Here are the worst games you played this year photo
Here are the worst games you played this year
by Mr Andy Dixon

Last week, I asked you to share your stories about the worst new games you played all year.

I am so sorry I asked.

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Here are your favorite songs and soundtracks of 2013! photo
Here are your favorite songs and soundtracks of 2013!
by Mr Andy Dixon

All week, we've been asking you to sound off on some gaming-related topics for our end of the year recap. Many of you took the time to chime in on our favorite and least favorite character posts, and the same rang true for our favorite songs or soundtracks call as well! BECAUSE MUSIC!

Our eardrums were rocked with some killer songs and OSTs in 2013, so let's crank up our speakers and take a listen to some of your favorites! If I were you, I'd also go ahead and bookmark this post for later, because there is a TON of awesome gaming music about to hit your face...

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Here are your favorite new characters from 2013! photo
Here are your favorite new characters from 2013!
by Mr Andy Dixon

Earlier in the week we asked you to sound off on your favorite new videogame characters in 2013. Here are the results!

From cartoon characters to muscular senators to a young woman who just will not stop dancing, a wide range of new characters were represented from just about every genre imaginable (no farming simulators this time, sadly). Hell, most of them weren't even unshaven white men with gruff voices!

Most of them, anyway.

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Here are your most hated new characters of the year photo
Here are your most hated new characters of the year
by Mr Andy Dixon

Earlier this week, we asked you to share your thoughts on the WORST new videogame characters of 2013. Here are the results!

Many of you took this opportunity to vent your frustrations (or at least upvote or downvote comments) regarding DmC's Dante, which is neat. Other than that obvious choice, there were quite a few other nominees for the wall of shame, and some that I certainly didn't expect!

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What were your favorite gaming moments of 2013? photo
What were your favorite gaming moments of 2013?
by Mr Andy Dixon

[All week long we've been asking for your thoughts on certain topics related to the year in gaming. Here's the final call for entries!]

2013 has been an amazing year for gaming. Hell, we've reviewed more 9.5s and 10s in the past three months alone than I think I've ever seen in all my time here. And it's not because we're getting soft in our old age; rather, this year's games have just been that good.

I already shared my favorite gaming memory of the year in our PS3 farewell post, but it's worth repeating. The game was The Last of Us, and the moment was when Joel and Ellie [SPOILERS] first make it to the university and a tower of giraffes pass by them. Joel, Ellie and I stood and watched those giraffes lumber their way out of view for what seemed like an eternity, and it was such a beautiful moment in such a bleak game that I will never forget it.[/SPOILERS]

A truly great game can mark your memory for a lifetime, and those are the stories we want to hear about right now! So go share your favorite gaming moments of 2013 with us in the comments below. Or, if you find yourself getting long-winded, write a blog! (Be sure to share the link below.) We'll be pulling in quotes from the community for a special recap post later this weekend, so take some time to think about your responses.

Have fun!

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What was the WORST new game you played this year? photo
What was the WORST new game you played this year?
by Mr Andy Dixon

[All week long we'll be asking for your thoughts on certain topics related to the year in gaming. Miss yesterday's post? Click here to chime in with your favorite new songs or soundtracks!]

Ride to Hell: Retribution. Final Fantasy All the Bravest. Resident Evil 6. Aliens: Colonial Marines. You get the point. Please don't make me keep looking these up. It hurts.

I thankfully avoided every stinker of a game released this year, but I know some of you weren't as fortunate. Some of you got conned into a ticket on the pre-order hype train and had no choice but to ride it to the end of the line. Some no doubt played through these toxic specimens because you knew they were turds, possibly to fulfill some masochistic fantasy that you should probably see a therapist about. Whatever the case, you no doubt played some real shit games this year, and we want to hear about them!

Share your awful game stories in the comments below. Or, if you find yourself getting long-winded, write a blog. (Be sure to share the link below.) We'll be pulling in quotes from the community for a special recap post later this week, so take some time to think about your responses!

Have fun! If it's even possible...

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What was your favorite song or soundtrack of 2013? photo
What was your favorite song or soundtrack of 2013?
by Mr Andy Dixon

[All week long we'll be asking for your thoughts on certain topics related to the year in gaming! Miss a previous post? Click here to sound off on your favorite and least favorite new characters!]

Gaming is graced with some amazing original songs and scores every year, and 2013 was no exception. From The Last of Us to Tomb Raider, Ni No Kuni to Super Mario 3D World, and everything in between, our ears were just as blessed as our eyes and fingers this year, and I'm not even sure I could pick my favorite if I tried!

What about you? Have a favorite song or soundtrack from 2013? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below! Or, if you find yourself getting long-winded, write a blog! (Be sure to share the link below.) We'll be pulling in quotes from the community for a special recap post later this week, so take some time to think about your responses.

Have fun!

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Who was the WORST new videogame character of 2013? photo
Who was the WORST new videogame character of 2013?
by Mr Andy Dixon

[All week long we'll be asking for your thoughts on certain topics related to the year in gaming!]

2013 added some amazing new characters to our medium, but it also brought with it some serious stinkers. Annoying (and unwanted) co-op sidekicks, painful reimaginings of fan favorites from generations past, MERLENDERL -- the list goes on.

The object of my personal disaffection had to be Carver from Dead Space 3. The simple addition of an optional co-op character to one of my favorite horror series didn't turn out to be the harbinger I had worried it would be, but the design of said character couldn't have been much worse if they actively tried. Loud, brash, and full of the same grating military-FPS bravado I play games like Dead Space to avoid, I cringed every time Carver popped up on screen and the game didn't let me put a Plasma Cutter shot through his one good eye.

What about you? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below! Or, if you find yourself getting long-winded, write a blog! (Be sure to share the link below.) We'll be pulling in quotes from the community for a special recap post later this week, so take some time to think about your responses.

Have fun!

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Who was your favorite new videogame character this year? photo
Who was your favorite new videogame character this year?
by Mr Andy Dixon

[All week long we're going to be asking for your thoughts on certain topics related to the year in gaming. Here's the first!]

2013 was absolutely ripe with juicy new characters in the realm of gaming. Badass '80s action heroes, hilarious narrators, endearing psychopaths, robot dogs, annoyingly philosophical trans-dimensional twins, ass-kicking little girls, and a little dude with a lamp hanging from his nose barely scratch the surface as to the eclectic selection or protagonists and NPCs on display this year.

My personal favorite has to be Rex Colt from Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. His cheesy dialog and banter was straight out of the best (worst?) '80s action movies, and was a far cry (HAR HAR) from the usual FPS protagonist.

What about you? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below! Or, if you find yourself getting long-winded, write a blog! (Be sure to share the link below.) We'll be pulling in quotes from the community for a special recap post later this week, so take some time to think about your responses.

Have fun!

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Wii Fit U weekly weigh-in: Week 3 photo
Wii Fit U weekly weigh-in: Week 3
by Dale North

[Every week, from early November through the end of 2013, I'll report on my use of Wii Fit U and how it benefits my health.]

Read Week 1's weigh-in here.

If this Wii Fit U weekly weigh-in accomplishes only one thing, I want it to be a clear measure of just how much weight I'll gain Thanksgiving week. It's going to be gross, folks.

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Destructoid's favorite last-gen multi-platform games photo
Destructoid's favorite last-gen multi-platform games
by Brett Makedonski

To commemorate the launch of new consoles, we've taken to retrospective pieces to remember some of the best titles on each system. We did it with the Wii last year, and we've done it with the PS3 and Xbox 360 over the last two weeks. But, that doesn't really paint a complete picture of the past eight years of gaming.

Undoubtedly, third-party published games were just as important to the growth and prosperity of the last generation of consoles as first-party titles were. It wouldn't be right to deny them their time in the limelight just because they could be found on multiple systems. These were the Destructoid Staff's favorite multi-platform titles:

[Image source]

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Destructoid's favorite Xbox 360 games: A warm look back photo
Destructoid's favorite Xbox 360 games: A warm look back
by Brett Makedonski

We're almost there. With the release of the Xbox One just a few hours away, the torch will finally be passed, and what we've referred to as "next-generation" for years will simply become "this generation." Exciting times to be a gamer.

Of course, the release of the Xbox One doesn't simply make the Xbox 360 vanish into thin air. Games will still be developed for it for a long time to come, and a lot of people will probably just stick to their 360s for quite a while. That being said, it's undeniable that the focus will squarely shift to what's happening on Xbox One.

But, in a way, that shift can sort of be a tough pill to swallow. A lot of good things came out of the 360's lifespan. Just as we did with the Wii and the PS3, we want to reflect on our personal experiences with the Xbox 360 before setting our sights on Microsoft's new console. These were the Destructoid Staff's favorite Xbox 360 titles:

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Wii Fit U weekly weigh-in: Week 2 photo
Wii Fit U weekly weigh-in: Week 2
by Dale North

[Every week, from early November through the end of 2013, I'll report on my use of Wii Fit U and how it benefits my health.]

Read Week 1's weigh-in here.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I'm always on the quest for good food. I'm one of those a-holes that tweets pictures of his food all day. After one post earlier this week, one of my followers asked me if I ever ate anything healthy. I told him that I wouldn't want to waste my life doing that.

But now I look at my stomach... 

I was in New York all week, covering the PS4 launch as well as meeting with Microsoft on Xbox One. I'm in the city about 5 or 6 times a year, and when I'm there I eat a lot. So this week's weigh-in should be interesting.

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Destructoid's favorite PS3 games: A fond adieu photo
Destructoid's favorite PS3 games: A fond adieu
by Brett Makedonski

The tail-end of console generations always feel a tad bittersweet. In our haste to eagerly welcome a new, shiny machine to the ever-growing stack of boxes underneath our televisions, we begin to neglect the systems we're currently graced with -- the ones that have kept us entertained for the better part of a decade. It's an easy enough trap to fall into; everyone shrugs off the ol' housecat in favor of the spritely, young kitten. But, truth be told, that housecat was a damn fine companion for a long time.

As we get set to usher in a new era with the PlayStation 4, it's a fine time to remember all that the PS3 had to offer. Just like when the Wii U was set to launch, we'd like to take a moment to look back at the experiences that personally defined this generation of games for us. These were the Destructoid Staff's favorite PlayStation 3 titles:

[Image source]

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Wii Fit U weekly weigh-in: Week 1 photo
Wii Fit U weekly weigh-in: Week 1
by Dale North

[Every week, from early November through the end of 2013, I'll report on my use of Wii Fit U and how it benefits my health.]

This year, being the biggest console launch year in a decade, has been really busy for me. I normally travel over 80,000 miles a year for Destructoid, but this year has me nearly doubling that, and it's not over yet. 

I eat well everywhere I go. It has become sort of a goal to find the best food I can in every city I visit. So I leave home for a week, pig out, come home stuffed, stressed, sometimes hung over, and  always lacking rest, doing this every two weeks or so.

I looked down at my stomach last week. And on the floor, just past my bulging gut, I saw the Wii Fit Balance Board... 

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Let's look at Tropes Vs. Black Guys in Videogames photo
Let's look at Tropes Vs. Black Guys in Videogames
by Jonathan Holmes

There is only one major Black male character in Total Recall (1990). His name is Benny. He is a buffoon. He is not entirely human. He's poor. He can't be trusted. He's a killer. He meets an untimely death about 25 minutes before the end of the movie. Isn't that interesting? 

Ever since seeing the movie at the tender age of 14, I've made a habit of taking a look at the Black characters in movies and videogames to see what patterns come up. Are they the only Black character in said movie or game? Are they the only one with a hideously lumpy forehead, or who is blind, or is constantly dancing? Are they always carrying a gun? Are they the only one who is humongous? Are they played by Samuel L. Jackson? Can they be trusted?

I put together a chart featuring a few of these tropes and their correlating Black male videogame characters to see how they intersect. It could use some work. There are a lot of notable characters missing (Henry from The Last of Us, Brad from Dead Rising, DARPA Chief from Metal Gear Solid, Mike Tyson) because the chart was already getting huge or because they already had representation by a similar character. There are also quite a few interesting tropes (Untimely Death, Grumpy Papa, Constant Smile, Constant Gun, Unnatural Hair Color, has the word "Black" in their name, etc) that didn't make the cut, either because we ran out of space, they were too subjective, or because they couldn't potentially apply to everyone here. There is simply no way of knowing if "Black Guy" in Kung-Fu is a Grumpy Papa, but we definitely know he's humongous. 

So it's not perfect, but it's still worth a look. I'm hoping it inspires others to make their own fun charts. One specific to zombie games would be particularly interesting. Thanks to Darren Nakamura and Sarah Thomas for helping me put these together, and look forward to more fun discussion of race and videogames right here on Destructoid!

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Cookie Clicker gets inside your psychological kitchen photo
Cookie Clicker gets inside your psychological kitchen
by Brett Makedonski

What's your CPS? That question is a litmus test, and if you have no idea what it means, good. You're safe. I envy you. I'm not as fortunate. I, like a whole bunch of other people, fell prey to the recent Internet phenomenon, Cookie Clicker, and things just aren't the same anymore. By the way, my CPS is 1.8 billion, as if any of it really matters.

CPS, or Cookies per Second for the uninitiated, is the statistic that's at the heart of Cookie Clicker. Ask anyone that plays, and they'll be able to ballpark their most recent figure. Their answer is unimportant. What is important is the fact that regardless of progression, their response will almost always come with a twinge of pride and accomplishment.

That's because we're not just baking cookies here; we're building empires. And if Cookie Clicker does one thing extremely well, it's giving the player a constant pat on the back, assuring them at every step of the way that their cookie kingdom is growing. Likewise, the next big breakthrough is always right around the corner. Always.

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This Killer is Dead cosplay sure is mondo photo
This Killer is Dead cosplay sure is mondo
by Wesley Ruscher

If there was ever an upcoming week for epic cosplay it would be this week. PAX Prime in Seattle and, from what I'm told, the mecca of all cosplay destinations Dragoncon in Atlanta are sure to provide some amazing displays for weeks to come.

With that said, I'll be ditching the Dtoid family this week (going to miss one wild party for sure) as I brave a trip to Atlanta to witness (and capture with my new camera) some hopefully insanely brilliant cosplay. 

Enjoy this week's gallery. There are some fantastic cosplays old and new, a little Killer is Dead action, and even one our own Jim Sterling could get behind. 

Remember, if you have any spectacular cosplays you'd like to show off here make sure to send them in to tips@destructoid.com.

Until next time!

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Ubisoft's Southeast Asian outpost, Ubisoft Singapore photo
Ubisoft's Southeast Asian outpost, Ubisoft Singapore
by Dale North

The sweltering, tropical city-state of Singapore is home to one of Ubisoft's branch studios, Ubisoft Singapore. This is the studio behind the naval combat segments of Assassin's Creed III, and those went over so well that they're now working on several aspects of Assassin's Creed IV's open-world gameplay, including the water tech, underwater exploration, naval battles, and awesome shark harpooning

We had the pleasure of visiting Singapore to learn more about this studio, its staff, and the fascinating city itself. I enjoyed the visit so much that I wanted to share a bit more about the studio and city.

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Exploring the depths of the ocean in Assassin's Creed IV photo
Exploring the depths of the ocean in Assassin's Creed IV
by Dale North

Water is usually a background element in action/adventure games. Or at best, water gets a temporary spotlight in levels that let you take a break from standard play -- a quick splash and then back to land.  It's rarely ever a focus in these games. Usually, underwater segments are the worst parts of these games. Poor water.

The ocean played a sizable role in Assassin's Creed III with its naval battles, and while that was fantastic, it only served as a tease for what the ocean offered. Reacting to feedback, Ubisoft is now bringing the deep blue sea to the forefront in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. They've embraced the open-world concept, and the free exploration extends to the ocean, not only by boat, but through underwater play. 

We visited the team behind Assassin's Creed IV's ocean tech, Ubisoft Singapore, to learn how deep they were willing to dive this time around.

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These Tales inspired cosplays will soothe your soul photo
These Tales inspired cosplays will soothe your soul
by Wesley Ruscher

It only took two years for the thirteenth flagship title in the Tales series to reach western shores, but now that Tales of Xillia has finally arrived what better way to celebrate than with a collection of some fantastic cosplay traversing the series' lineage. 

From the PlayStation classic Tales of Destiny, to the soon to be remastered Tales of Symphonia, all the way to the present with Tales of Xillia; there definitely is no shortage of breathtaking cosplays to admire. To narrow it down we've limited this week's entries to a few characters from the most prominent games in the series. Even this was near impossible.

So let us know below which one is your favorite. And as always, if you have any spectacular cosplays you'd like to show off here, send them in to tips@destructoid.com.

Until next time!

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A Kingdom Under Fire cosplay that will blow your mind photo
A Kingdom Under Fire cosplay that will blow your mind
by Wesley Ruscher

Welcome to our new regular column showcasing some of the world's most amazing videogame and other geek centric cosplays (costume play).

To kick it off, we're going mostly old-school with a stunning Princess Zelda, feisty Street Fighters, a serene Tifa Lockheart, and a downright disturbing Alice. Not to keep it completely retro though, we also have a look at one of my favorite new characters of this generation: a brilliant Nilin worth remembering from Capcom's sci-fi thriller Remember Me.

Perhaps the most elaborate cosplay of the week goes to a character from a MMO I've never even heard of based on the Kingdom Under Fire universe. The armor work and intricate detail on each sword for Age of Storms' Elyuin is utterly ridiculous. Follow this link for in-game footage of the actual character to see just how accurate the cosplay is.

Also if you have any spectacular cosplays you'd like to show off here, send them in to tips@destructoid.com

Until next time!

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Troubadour: An Xbox employee and his desire to make games photo
Troubadour: An Xbox employee and his desire to make games
by Brett Makedonski

Securing a job in the videogame industry is a lifelong goal for a lot of people. Some eventually get there; many of them never do. Eric Doty got there a few years ago. He's worked his way through the ranks of the Microsoft Xbox team on the community side. But Doty's not content to simply "get there." He has a deep-burning passion that doesn't exactly parallel his day job.

No, Doty (maybe better known as "DMZilla" to the Internet community) has a fervor for creating. He's already authored a comic book (about a cyborg corgi!), but now he's moved on to a more interactive medium. After playing videogames for the majority of his life and being surrounded by the culture at work, Doty has decided to try developing them.

So that's exactly what he's doing. He's acquired game development software, he's written the story, and he's enlisted the help of Seattle artist Zak Alexander to collaborate on the game's tone and visual elements. The only problem is despite the desire to make a videogame, Doty didn't actually have the know-how to program it.

Luckily, he has the drive to figure it out. Doty began the process figuratively neck-deep in online tutorials. As he continues work on the game, he learns new things every day. Mechanics that were once difficult to grasp have become increasingly easy. He's treating the entire endeavor as a learning experience and as an experiment -- because that's exactly what it is.

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What would you do if you were Microsoft today? photo
What would you do if you were Microsoft today?
by Niero Gonzalez

There is little debate over who "won" E3 this year: In our internal poll following the conference most of our readers chose the PlayStation 4 as the superior contender.

Sony put on a quite a strong show, came $100 under Microsoft's next-gen offering, and reassured gamers that no online or DRM restrictions or used game policies would impede them from enjoying their console. Still, to say that Microsoft has lost the battle would be underestimating one of the most capable companies around. The Xbox One launch is still several months away and there is time for the Microsoft PR machine to get their act together.

Now, imagine if you were in that hot seat tonight in Redmond.  You've got a gazillion dollars to patch that hole in the wall. How would you "fix" this?

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The Xbox One reveal wasn't nearly as bad as you think photo
The Xbox One reveal wasn't nearly as bad as you think
by Brett Makedonski

We're only a few short days beyond the official unveiling of Microsoft's next-generation videogame console, the Xbox One, and things haven't gone all that well. Microsoft is catching a ton of flak from every direction for an event that the masses have somewhat unanimously declared "underwhelming." Digital lines are being drawn in the virtual sand over this press conference, and the most vocal bunch is loudly siding with Team Sony.

Given some of the reactions to the Xbox One reveal, you'd think that Microsoft was guilty of some sort of legendary gaffe, a mistake so serious that it sunk any chance the console had before it was even born. But that's not the case. Xbox One is positioned for success just as well as PlayStation 4. In fact, maybe even more so.

The most commonly drawn comparison between the PS4 and Xbox One events is that Sony showed games while Microsoft didn't. This is completely accurate. However, anyone that expected Microsoft to actually show off games clearly hasn't been paying attention. Microsoft so much as publicly stated before the event that it wasn't going to focus on games. Rather, E3 was where it intends to flaunt the system's software.

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Gamer identity: Fanboys, tradition, and perspective photo
Gamer identity: Fanboys, tradition, and perspective
by Chris Carter

I grew up as a Nintendo kid, through and through. From the very first time I laid eyes on a Nintendo Entertainment System at a Sears at the age of four, I wanted to be a part of that world. I have no idea why a four-year-old would have the tenacity to save up money he had gotten from relatives to purchase a gaming console, but according to my parents, that's what happened.

From there, I moved onto the SNES when I was seven, naturally. After all, I was an all-out fanboy, not content with exploring other options and broadening my horizons -- I mean, what could they possibly offer me that Nintendo didn't already? Unfortunately for me, I stayed in that tunnel vision-centric mentality for quite some time -- that is, until my cousin showed me the PlayStation, and my whole perspective changed.

Or should I say, I gained perspective.

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Confessions of an Achievement whore: Demands for next-gen photo
Confessions of an Achievement whore: Demands for next-gen
by Mr Andy Dixon

Earlier this month, Brett shared his love of Xbox Achievements with us, and cautioned that Microsoft's rumored next-generation revamp to the system may end up ruining part of what makes them great. For Brett, the idea of Achievements soon spanning multiple titles or being added willy-nilly, post-launch by nefarious developers is a frightening prospect that any Achievement-loving completionist should fear. I couldn't have agreed more.

So when Microsoft confirmed the rumor during their Xbox One reveal earlier this week, I was disappointed. And the more I started thinking about it, the more I started to realize that, dammit, we've been at this for long enough now to rightfully expect certain things from developers where Achievements are concerned. After seven years, shouldn't we be past the growing pains? Shouldn't they know what we want by now?

So with that in mind, I present to you my Achievement Whore's Manifesto. Think of this as a list of demands for what we should expect to see (and expect to not see) in a game's Achievement list in 2013 and beyond. I know not all of us agree on Achievements' worthiness or impact on gaming, but I think we can all get behind the idea that a shit Achievement is a waste of everyone's time, and if they're here to stay, we might as well get the most enjoyment we can out of them.

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Remember Me exclusive music samples, composer commentary photo
Remember Me exclusive music samples, composer commentary
by Jayson Napolitano

Are you looking forward to Remember Me next month? I've been looking forward to the game's soundtrack, composed by Olivier Deriviere, who some may know from Alone in the Dark and Of Orcs and Men.

We're now getting a sense of what the game will sound like with samples via Deriviere's SoundCloud account, but we've got some exclusive samples of our own which you can find below along with some liner notes-style commentary from Deriviere himself.

Check it out and let us know what you think of the digitized orchestral soundscape that's been created for the game. 

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From insult to identity: What exactly is a nerd? photo
From insult to identity: What exactly is a nerd?
by Taylor Stein

Following a swift completion of BioShock Infinite's 1999 mode last week, I was hit with a particularly potent wave of boredom. Quelling the bubbling cauldron of monotony was easy while skating through the battle-torn dystopia of Columbia. Feverishly hunting down achievements, collecting voxophones, and Bucking Bronco-ing my way to victory pacified me for a time, but that time had passed.

Upon repetition, (three play-throughs, in fact) the vibrant collective of American idealism, religious fervor, and technological prowess dreamt up in the minds of Ken Levine and the folks at Irrational Games had unfortunately been reduced to a memorized script. Like a well-oiled machine I stood front and center stage, wielding a flurry of headshots and premeditated vigors until the credits rolled. With the experience complete on every level, the post-game reality crept into consciousness. Now what do I do with myself?

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Meet the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm sound team photo
Meet the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm sound team
by Jayson Napolitano

Maybe you played StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. Maybe you enjoyed the soundtrack disc that came packed in with the collector's edition, or perhaps you simply enjoyed it in-game. With this expansion focusing on the Zerg, I was most looking forward to this installment in terms of its music, and it didn't disappoint as you can read in our soundtrack review.

We've had the opportunity to pull together the key players on the StarCraft II audio team, including six composers and the lead sound designer. They've all provided exclusive audio samples that you can hear below via our SoundCloud, explaining what you're hearing while giving us insight into the behind-the-scenes work and thought processes that went into the game's impressive soundscape.

Check it out below and let us know what you think of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm's music! 

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I hate the rumored next Xbox Achievement system photo
I hate the rumored next Xbox Achievement system
by Brett Makedonski

If I had to choose a single aspect of this generation of consoles that personally defined the past seven years, I'd immediately turn to the Xbox 360's Achievement system. For better and for worse, Achievements have completely dominated my psyche and have fully affected the way that I play games. I feel guilty at times that I can't just enjoy a game until I'm done enjoying it. Instead, I will grind away at the most arduous of tasks, as long as there's an Achievement to be unlocked. On several occasions, the habit has tainted an otherwise positive experience.

It's not my fault that I'm like this. I'm just wired this way. When it comes to videogames, if there are objectives to be completed, I need to complete them. Microsoft catered perfectly to this with the implementation of Achievements upon the Xbox 360's launch in 2005. Rather than set my own constraints as to what construes completion, Achievements feel like a list of endeavors handed down from the developers themselves. It's as if they're saying "this is what you need to do to properly play my game." It's what drove me to attain 100% in Super Meat Boy.

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This is not an article about David Cage photo
This is not an article about David Cage
by Allistair Pinsof

The first twelve paragraphs are about David Cage. AKA David De Gruttola. AKA Composer-turned-game designer. AKA Founder of French developer Quantic Dream, responsible for excellent implementation of David Bowie (see: Omikron) and poor implementation of twist endings (see: all other games). AKA second only to Peter Molyneux in being a recognizable game designer that internet commenters love to hate.

Tonight, David Cage has something to say about emotions, but doesn’t he always?

The setting, however, couldn’t be more different: Cage is on stage at the SVA Theater in New York, sharing the spotlight with other actors, film directors, and famous personalities known mostly for being famous who are all in town for the Tribeca Film Festival.

And they have chosen to be here. At a videogame demo -- or, as the man who was standing behind me in line explained to his friend: “An interactive entertainment preview.” It's like CD-ROM adventure game box descriptions all over again.

In listening to nearby audience members woefully explain the concept of videogames and the utter lack of recognition when Cage took the stage, it became abundantly clear that everyone here is a starf*cker and they are just waiting until this Frenchman gets off the stage so they can undress Page and Dafoe (not in attendance, sadly) with their eyeballs and imagination.

But for now, Cage is on stage and he’s getting emotional.

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In defense of boobies photo
In defense of boobies
by Vito Gesualdi

Let me preface this article by stating a few simple facts. I am a young, white, American male who consumes vast amounts of pornography. As such, I am occasionally drawn to depictions of the female form which are perhaps outside the realm of realism, with silicone implants and soft lighting helping to emphasize certain erotic areas.

Am I ashamed of my interest in these depictions? About as ashamed as anyone might be when discussing their sexual interests. However, I am also a logically thinking adult who understands that real women don’t look anything like the bizarre sexual fantasies on my computer monitor, nor would I want them to.

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What BioShock Infinite could have been photo
What BioShock Infinite could have been
by Taylor Stein

Almost a month after its release, BioShock Infinite is still on my mind, but not for the reasons you might suspect. If you grow tired of seeing the game plastered on just about every gaming website, magazine, and TV commercial, fear not. This commentary does not exist to reiterate the title's excellence nor is it a rant geared at opposing such praise. Instead, I'd like to shine some light on the world of Columbia before it was a fully realized sky-bound paradise; years ago when the idea of the game was just gaining traction in the imaginations of Ken Levine and creative team at Irrational Games.

After traversing every nook and cranny of the firmament-born dystopia and following the tale of Booker DeWitt and the dimension-tearing Elizabeth not one, not two, but three times, I happily retired BioShock Infinite to its rightful place in my gaming library while tucking away my many admirations into a mental filing cabinet. I'm finally done, or so I told myself before I received an unsuspecting gift shortly after the exhausting completion.

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Why people hate Electronic Arts photo
Why people hate Electronic Arts
by Vito Gesualdi

It wasn't much of a surprise when Electronic Arts was recently voted the Worst Company in America by readers of Consumerist for the second year in a row. Though the game publisher's sins are arguably less substantial than those of their competition, nerds have soundly declared that borked SimCity servers are officially worse than the predatory housing loan tactics responsible for the current financial crisis. 

Regardless of whether you agree with EA's win, it's obvious that gamers really dislike this software giant. Let's take a look at the reasons why.

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BioShock Infinite's problem is not violence photo
BioShock Infinite's problem is not violence
by Daniel Starkey

Last week, Jim and I were both on Destructoid’s new video series The Question. We took opposite positions of a question that seems to be tearing through a lot of the game world right now: “Is BioShock Infinite too violent?”

At the time, I think I had some kind of spontaneous, temporary brain damage, because I really didn’t do a good job of explaining anything I meant. After about a week of thinking though, I know why Infinite bothers me so much -- I can’t really share the experience with others.

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