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Game of Thrones screens photo
Game of Thrones screens

Game of Thrones: A Nest of Vipers screenshots, we have some


Hisssss
Jul 21
// Darren Nakamura
Another episode of Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series, another batch of screens I took while playing through for review. This batch seems especially small, for two reasons. For one, I was less diligent about taking scree...

Review: Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series: A Nest of Vipers

Jul 21 // Darren Nakamura
Game of Thrones - A Telltale Game Series: A Nest of Vipers (Android, iOS, Mac, PC [reviewed], PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Telltale GamesPublisher: Telltale GamesReleased: July 21, 2015MSRP: $4.99 (episode), $29.99 (season)Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit [Editor's note: there will be no major spoilers present for the episode reviewed here, but events in previous episodes may be discussed.] Throughout the series, Asher and Mira have been the more interesting characters to follow, the former for his action and wit and the latter for her suspense and guile. Ethan and Rodrik at Ironrath have been fine as central characters, but haven't stood out. Gared's exploits at The Wall and beyond have easily been the least exciting thus far. A Nest of Vipers shakes up that split, if only a little. Asher still stands at the top with scenes dense with action and dialogue choices that feel important. He and his partner Beskha find themselves in a fighting pit in Meereen, seeking combatants to follow them back to Westeros. During this sequence, the stakes are high and it genuinely seems like failure is possible, forcing Asher to return home without any extra aid. One other point for Asher is Telltale's injection of humor into his lines. Though Game of Thrones takes an entirely different tack than Tales from the Borderlands, the little pockets of comedy help to break up the oppressively somber tone of the episode. One line in particular had me audibly chuckling, which I think is a first for this series. [embed]296123:59553:0[/embed] Mira's sections, on the other hand, lacked a lot of the punch they have had in past episodes. Where the coronation ceremony scene in Sons of Winter left me feeling smart for having successfully navigated and manipulated King's Landing politics, both of Mira's major scenes here just had me along for the ride. The first scene is one with Cersei and the second features Tyrion in his cell, locked up and awaiting trial for the incident at Joffrey's wedding. Perhaps because she was playing opposite two of the strongest personalities in Westeros, Mira didn't seem to do anything important or have much of an impact. This episode does set up for one final showdown with Cersei, in what sounds like it might be a life-or-death situation. Gared's journey toward the nebulous North Grove continues, and how it can possibly help House Forrester so many miles south is still a mystery. That said, it's finally getting to the point where Gared feels important again. The first four episodes were spent putting him in place, first getting him to The Wall, then getting him north of it. Now he actually gets to do something. Of all the intertwined stories, Gared's feels the most hopeful at this point. He's in a pretty sticky situation, but it's difficult to imagine a scenario where he doesn't make it out to at least play his part in the grand scheme during the finale. Everybody else in House Forrester might die and the clan might be wiped from the map, but he's going to get to the dang North Grove. Next time. The crux of the story still lies in Ironrath, with Rodrik dealing with the fallout from the last episode. It's a little disappointing; all of the clever politicking from Episode Four is essentially nullified by the traitor. Where it previously seemed like a peaceful resolution could be possible, it's now clear that this story can only end with bloodshed. That isn't to say Rodrik's sections were bad; there were still plenty of interesting decisions to make along the way. They may not all have a major effect on where things end up, but a few appeared to have serious immediate consequences and a few others appeared to affect how the final episode will shake out. This episode culminates with a particularly emotionally impactful finale, the kind Telltale has steeled us for with series like The Walking Dead. It's difficult to discuss without going too far into spoiler territory, but I can say that I was thinking about the last scene hours after I played through it the first time. It could go down as the most memorable section for the entire series. It's strange. Detailing all of A Nest of Vipers' parts makes it sound about average, if not even a little disappointing compared to the previous episode. But this one ends up working well as a cohesive unit, even if some pieces fall flat. This episode has its highs and its lows, but it still leaves an unforgettable impression. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Game of Thrones review photo
Now we're getting somewhere
Anyone following my exploits as House Forrester in Telltale's slice of A Song of Ice and Fire will know that the first four episodes have been a lot of setup for the main event. While only one episode felt like filler (The Lo...

Alongside Messi photo
Alongside Messi

Women's national team players grace FIFA 16 cover


Alongside Messi
Jul 20
// Steven Hansen
FIFA 16 marks a first for the series with its inclusion of women footballers in the form of 12 playable women's international teams from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Swede...
Kojima photo
Kojima

A Ground Zeroes mission foretold the Kojima and Konami split


And Konami's reaction
Jul 20
// Brett Makedonski
"You might be able to erase the markings, but the memories will never disappear." That's what a Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes mission had to say about scrubbing away the logos for all the Metal Gear games. In h...
Atlus photo
Atlus

That Atlus x Vanillaware game is Odin Sphere on PS3, PS4, and Vita


I'm in
Jul 20
// Chris Carter
[Update: check out the new trailer!] A short time ago Atlus and Vanillaware were teasing a special project, and now, they have confirmed that it's none other than Odin Sphere: Leifdrasir -- a new port for PS3, PS4,...
PSN flash sale photo
PSN flash sale

PSN weekend flash sale discounts sci-fi games


These deals are out of this world!
Jul 18
// Kyle MacGregor
Sony is hosting a science fiction-themed flash sale on PlayStation Network this weekend. Here are some of the deals that caught my eye: Jamestown+ ($4.80) Resonance of Fate ($5) Metal Gear Rising - Ultimate Edition ($7....
BioShock sweater photo
BioShock sweater

Hold on, that's what BioShock's protagonist looks like?!


(I skipped Burial at Sea ep. 2)
Jul 17
// Jordan Devore
I had this mental image of BioShock protagonist Jack as a normal, non-sweater-wearing guy. That's gone now, and it's never coming back.
Read me, senpai photo
Read me, senpai

Gust's anthropmorphic book girl RPG Atelier Sophie gets fuller trailer


PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Vita
Jul 17
// Steven Hansen
Gust announced Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book for PS3, PS4, and Vita last month and has since expanded on that first trailer, not that you need a trailer to tell you what to expect from the 15th Atelier in as many years.
Evamon photo
Evamon

Monster Hunter adds Neon Genesis Evangelion characters, armor


Evamon
Jul 17
// Steven Hansen
Monster Hunter continues its quest to cross over with everything. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate has been getting regular, free DLC including Animal Crossing, Devil May Cry, and Final Fantasy nods. Japan's Monster Hunter Frontier...
Gearbox photo
Gearbox

Furious 4 became Battleborn, but Gearbox plans for a new Brothers in Arms


Like Duke Nukem, it will continue
Jul 17
// Steven Hansen
"Has Gearbox Software dropped Brothers in Arms: Furious 4?" Jordan asked over three years ago. Yes. Furious 4 dropped the Brothers in Arms brand and then morphed into a new game entirely, Battleborn. Hot on the heels of Randy...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Bungie nerfs Gjallarhorn, tweaks our favourite Destiny Exotics


How am I gonna get through PoE 35 now?
Jul 17
// Vikki Blake
Bungie has messed with our weapons, you guys. In a long update ("I hope you’re wearing your reading pants"), Destiny's sandbox designer, Jon Weisnewski, has detailed the various tweaks made to base weapons, as well as a...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Bungie plucked its newest community manager from the Destiny subreddit


Straight from the community
Jul 16
// Brett Makedonski
The creator of the subreddit for Destiny has leveraged his message board helpfulness into a paying gig at Bungie. The Destiny developer has hired a new community manager, and it went straight to a leader in one of the ga...
Game of Thrones trailer photo
Game of Thrones trailer

Telltale's Game of Thrones Episode Five: A Nest of Vipers trailer ramps up


The calm before the storm (of swords)
Jul 16
// Darren Nakamura
From that trailer, A Nest of Vipers seems like a perfect title for this episode. The question is: which character is in the nest? Asher finds himself in a pit fight (presumably to the death), Gared is north of The Wall in Wi...
Deadpool photo
Deadpool

Deadpool is inexplicably back on Steam after it was removed a year ago


Ok, I'll take it
Jul 16
// Chris Carter
I was pleasantly surprised by High Moon's Deadpool game. Sure it wasn't the most polished action game, but it was mostly true to the character, and was a decent enough little romp. Then... it was gone. One day it just va...
Game of Thrones photo
Game of Thrones

Episode 5 of Game of Thrones will drop later this month


Here, look at some pretty pictures
Jul 16
// Vikki Blake
The fifth installment of Telltale's Game of Thrones series, A Nest of Vipers, will be released later this month. Good news if you've been growing impatient, particularly as we're already halfway through July. Yay. The confirm...
PSN fighting sale photo
PSN fighting sale

Fighting games galore in this PlayStation Network sale


Also, TowerFall!
Jul 15
// Jordan Devore
Hey, PlayStation 4 owner, have you downloaded TowerFall Ascension yet? It's some of the best local multiplayer you can experience on the system. Fun, chaotic, challenging co-op, too. Sony's fighting game-centric sale has you ...
NHL 16 photo
NHL 16

NHL 16 video shows off the literal small steps the game's taking


On Frozen Pond
Jul 15
// Brett Makedonski
Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon isn't always going to zoom up ice, spin around Blackhawk blue-liners, and leave Corey Crawford looking for his jock in the rafters. I mean, that'll happen a good chunk of the time, but not ...
Deals photo
Deals

Here are the top gaming deals with Amazon UK Prime Day


Get Primed
Jul 15
// Vikki Blake
Amazon has been hyping up "Prime Day" as Black Friday's more generous sibling, and there's plenty on offer today for those of us with a penchant for gaming. The catch? You need to be a Prime Member to access the sale. Althoug...
The Last of Us photo
The Last of Us

Naughty Dog devs thought The Last of Us would ruin the studio's name


It obviously didn't
Jul 14
// Brett Makedonski
The Last of Us was the game that proved to a lot of people that Naughty Dog could handle a mature narrative. Its writing explores the human condition and examines the child/guardian protective emotional bond. Upon relea...

Review: Godzilla

Jul 14 // Jordan Devore
Godzilla (PS3, PS4 [reviewed])Developer: Natsume Atari Inc.Publisher: Bandai Namco GamesMSRP: $59.99Released: July 14, 2015 Half an hour and several levels in, I wasn't sure Godzilla could really be hurt, much less die. That's not an inherently bad thing, as he's supposed to be tough, but I wondered where the challenge was. A few hours later, I found it. Godzilla is far too easy except when it veers into overwhelming, unfair, not-fun territory. Then it becomes a boring battle of attrition against the same old kaiju. A lot of frustration lies in the controls. You use L1/R1 to turn Godzilla, which is weird at first but eventually feels fine. He's got a forward-charging attack (that you'll frequently use given his normal plodding pace), a standard three-hit punch combo, a heavy tail whip, and atomic breath. The latter needs to charge up before you can fire it, but the cooldown isn't terribly long, especially with upgrades. Aiming, however, is a total nightmare; you don't have exact control over it. Say you want to shoot down a helicopter. You'll need to position Godzilla close to it -- but not too close! -- and line up his body. Next, you can turn the camera to confirm his head is more or less tilted in the correct direction. Now fire away and hope that a) the helicopter hasn't moved and b) the blast doesn't just hit the ground. That's my best strategy and it's not even consistently successful. Thankfully, it got me through the aggravating fights in which you're forced to take down a kaiju while multiple aerial vehicles (Super X, X2, and X3) come close, shoot you, then zip away. [embed]296005:59509:0[/embed] For some baffling reason, there's no blocking in the traditional sense. While Godzilla's roar acts like a block to an extent, initiating it is by no means instantaneous. You have to know in advance that an attack is imminent or you'll be too late. There is also this odd invincible dodge move, but it runs on the same gauge as your atomic breath, so it's often unavailable when you need it most. The end result is a slow, awkward fighting system that effectively recreates the movies but is annoying in practice. Although your attacks can and will be interrupted by strings of combos, you can't always interrupt your enemy's moves. To that end, I stuck with Battra whenever and wherever possible (Versus, King of Kaiju, etc.) -- the moth is quick, easy to control, and cheap. The main mode, God of Destruction, is something out of an arcade game. Levels are tiny, bland, and feature the same goal: destroy the generators. That's the focus. Generally, you'll also need to fight a monster, work within a time limit, or both. As you blow up vehicles and buildings, you'll earn points that fuel Godzilla's growth. There's a multiplier to encourage you to move quickly from structure to structure. By the end, he'll be about twice as big as when he first came ashore. Branching levels give you control over which kaiju you engage as well as the overall difficulty. You're meant to replay this mode several times to see all of the (super-light) story and unlock characters, but environments are so similar, so unengaging. I've literally punched hundreds of generators to death. There are variations on God of Destruction that have you invading as another beast, or defending as a protector like Jet Jaguar or Mothra. The format doesn't help. The game's extensive character upgrade system requires even more replays. Godzilla has quite a few moves that are locked until you can find and defeat specific monsters, some of which appear under mysterious circumstances. King of Kaiju mode's six quick back-to-back fights help with gathering resources, but tied to such repetitious content, the progression system is flat-out awful. It was also disappointing to learn that the Versus mode for up to three players is online only. No split-screen support. There are Godzilla-obsessed fans playing, at least, so it's not a total wasteland. The only other bright spot is the Kaiju Guide, a collection detailing the playable creatures as well as quite a few not featured. I adored seeing old stills from the films and, sure, there is a certain appeal to playing as a bunch of these guys. But the feeling fades before long. A love of the movies can only get you so far when the experience is this frustrating and hollow. What a letdown. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Godzilla PS4 review photo
Better luck next time
This was supposed to be the game for Godzilla fans -- an authentic adaptation that captured the look and feel of the films. In some ways, it is. There's a satisfying cast of playable characters including Mothra, Destroyah, an...

Review: Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess

Jul 14 // Chris Carter
Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess (PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Vita)Developer: Tecmo KoeiPublisher: Tecmo KoeiMSRP: $49.99 (PS4)Released: July 14, 2015 Since the core experience hasn't changed all that much, head to the original review to get a full breakdown of the main mechanics. The gist is that you'll be controlling a character that, for all intents and purposes, can't attack on their own, and must rig an elaborate combination of traps to do their dirty work for them. You'll do this by pausing the game, bringing up a menu, and placing a number of wall, ceiling, and floor traps that can be used with one another for maximum mayhem. For instance, you can hold an enemy in place with a beartrap, shock them with a wall taser, then drop a giant boulder on their head from the ceiling. It's glorious. So before you get confused, The Nightmare Princess is an all-new SKU that includes everything in the original package on top of another story with 100 quests, a new character with a different moveset, and a "Studio" mode so you can create your own scenarios. The extra campaign is easily the new draw, and I have to say, newcomer Velguirie holds her own here. Her tale runs concurrently with Laegrinna's and doesn't feel tacked-on in the slightest. 100 new quests also isn't really anything to shake a stick at either, though it must be said that there's only a few new zones (which are rather small), as some quests re-use old areas from the base game. The second campaign does stand up on its own, and even playing both stories back to back, they didn't overstay their individual welcomes. Velguirie's big gimmick is that she can kick enemies now -- something no other protagonist was able to do in the history of the franchise. [embed]295432:59487:0[/embed] But it's important to put things into perspective here. She can't just karate-kick bad guys into oblivion with flashy combos. It's a simple timed kick on a cooldown that can be used to tactically slot foes into position for traps (or stomp them on the ground), which are still going to do the real legwork here. It's not a game-changer, but again, the story, bonus traps, and the new character design themselves are enough to carry another playthrough. Yep, I said bonus traps, including a deadly toilet, a bolt of lightning, a wardrobe that eats armor, and sticky flooring. At this point there are so many trap combos at your disposal that you're only limited by your imagination.  You'll get to test your inner demon plenty with the Studio mode, the other big addition in Nightmare Princess. Here, you can create enemies with various custom parts and name them, placing each creation inside an existing arena. You can craft fun scenarios like battling the entire Justice League, and even download or upload them online for all to see. It's not as expansive as I would have liked, but the fact that you can download new missions every so often is a breakthrough for the series. Keep in mind that your fun is also going to be limited by how many actual parts you have, which are unlocked by completing both campaigns. Here's the bad news for those of you who already bought the original. While the new story is enjoyable and the Studio is fun to mess around with, you aren't getting a substantial new expansion to pour over for weeks here. Think of it more like a hefty DLC package. In other words, unless you absolutely love Deception, it probably isn't a good idea to shell out $50 for Nightmare Princess. It's a really weird thing for Koei Tecmo to do, as it could have easily provided an "upgrade" for say, $20, and then released a package version on the side. As it stands, you either have to go all or nothing. At the very least, there is the added bonus of being able to import your old save data, so you don't have to complete the original campaign all over again to reap the unlock benefits. Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is in a really weird spot, but here's the rub -- as a Deception enthusiast, I was more than happy enough to take Velguirie's story for a spin, and I found myself beating the original game again as well as creating a few levels in the Studio. Just know exactly what you're getting into with Nightmare and make an informed decision. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Deception IV review photo
Hardcore trappers only
I really liked the original release of Deception IV. It was refreshing to see the series get another lease on life after taking a hiatus with Trapt all the way back in 2005, and newcomer Laegrinna fit right in. This...

Metal Gear Solid V photo
Metal Gear Solid V

Konami removes all Kojima branding from MGSV: Phantom Pain cover


Shock horror what a surprise
Jul 14
// Vikki Blake
In the latest of a long line of hideously public oh-my-God-will-this-ever-fecking-end-I-love-Mummy-and-Daddy-equally-why-won't-they-stop-fighting spats since Hideo Kojima parted ways with Konami, the publisher has now removed...
Dishonored photo
Dishonored

Ahh, so that's how you're supposed to play Dishonored


Why is he... oh
Jul 13
// Jordan Devore
Dishonored gives us the freedom to look like a total fool or an unstoppable force of nature. In this video, YouTube user StealthGamerBR shows once again that he knows what his targets are thinking before they do. And he even makes use of the rat swarm! Daud never stood a chance.
Tony Hawk trailer photo
Tony Hawk trailer

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 trailer darkslides a powerline


Pop shove-it into your eyeholes
Jul 13
// Darren Nakamura
Yep, that looks like a Tony Hawk game all right. There are highly technical tricks on absurdly dangerous terrain. Grinding that increases speed instead of decreasing it. Just the right amount of jank in aerial maneuvers, as ...
Slay Momma, slay photo
Slay Momma, slay

Watch Dragon's Dogma Online beta gameplay right now!


Free-to-play, free-to-slay
Jul 11
// Jed Whitaker
The free-to-play Dragon's Dogma Online beta is now out in Japan on PS3, PS4, and PC for the lucky few who were selected to test it. Sadly the game hasn't been announced for other regions, but never say never. For the time being, feast your eyes on what you're missing out on.
Disgaea photo
Disgaea

The Disgaea Triple Play Collection is coming to the US


Expect it soon
Jul 10
// Chris Carter
NIS has announced that the Disgaea Triple Play Collection is coming to the US on September 15. It's currently available in Europe, but today is the first time the publisher has revealed that it will be coming furthe...
Black Ops III photo
Black Ops III

Black Ops III has a classic Zombies map remake, but only for special editions


We've seen this trick before
Jul 10
// Brett Makedonski
Treyarch's at San Diego Comic-Con spilling the beans about Black Ops III's Zombie modes. The biggest splash came from the new film-noir "Shadows of Evil" and its star-studded cast. But, Black Ops III also has something f...

Resident Evil 0 N64 prototype shows how far remaster has come

Jul 10 // Kyle MacGregor
[embed]295730:59450:0[/embed]
Resident Evil 0 prototype photo
A long, long way
Today, Capcom took a trip down memory lane, reanimating some old footage of a Nintendo 64-era Resident Evil 0 prototype originally shown at Tokyo Game Show in 1999. The following year, the publisher reworked the project for n...

Transformers: Devastation photo
Transformers: Devastation

Watch Comic-Con footage of Platinum's Transformers game


Where's Transformers Animated 2??
Jul 09
// Mike Cosimano
Today, Hasbro announced the release date for Transformers: Devastation at its SDCC Generations panel. The game will be released on pretty much everything on October 6, 2015. Coincidentally, that will be the day I retreat into...
The Phantom Pain photo
The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid V producer responds to early 'downgrade' complaints


The Phantom Pain
Jul 09
// Steven Hansen
Wow. If my math is right  (it always is), we're 69* days away from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, but enterprising gamers are getting a jump on graphics downgrade controversies, sarcastically tweeting at Konami pr...

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