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New Cabela's trailer puts a happy face on hunting photo
New Cabela's trailer puts a happy face on hunting
by Conrad Zimmerman

Cabela's Big Game Hunter: Pro Hunts was released into the wild today for Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and Wii U. Activision released this trailer to accompany the launch. I love it so, so much. It's less about the gameplay, which I completely admit has appeal, but the expressions made by the character models. These digital versions of hunting pros all have the same joy on their faces, the kind of joy that only comes from having an implement of death in your hand. 

It fills me with mirth, particularly when you consider how serious most characters are made to look while holding a gun in their hands. These guys have a sense of merriment and it just seems so strange and hilarious.

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Escape Goat 2 released as Tim Schafer tries to take credit photo
Escape Goat 2 released as Tim Schafer tries to take credit
by Conrad Zimmerman

Are you ready to laugh? Double Fine has released this video to promote the launch of Escape Goat 2 today on Windows, Mac and Linux PCs, and I suspect it's the funniest thing I'm going to see today. Watch what happens when Tim Schafer mistakes the developers of Escape Goat 2, MagicalBeanTime, for burglars and unleashes some street justice before attempting to steal all the glory from their work.

As many good ones do, the joke arises out of reality. MagicalBeanTime completed the final weeks of development on Escape Goat 2 using a spare office at Double Fine headquarters. 

Even if you don't give a whit about this really fun and strange puzzle-platform game, that's a damned funny ad. And if you do care, you can pick it up from Steam, Humble or GOG.com this week for 10% off the regular price of $9.99.

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Escape from 1954: Alcatraz photo
Escape from 1954: Alcatraz
by Steven Hansen

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San Francisco is an underused setting in games. I still need to play Driver: San Francisco, but I'm not sure how much it takes advantage of the city.

Daedalic's new adventure game 1954: San Francisco seems to, as you split playtime between Christine, scouring the streets of San Francisco, and her husband, Joe, whose doing a 40 year stint on The Rock.

Meanwhile, there's a large cash sum at stake in this seedy noir. As Joe, you'll have to pull a Clint Eastwood and escape from Alcatraz. As Christine, you can abet your husband's escape or leave him to rot in jail and go shack up with his ex-partner. Damn.

You can pick 1954: Alcatraz up today on Steam. It's even on sale.

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Awesomenauts Assemble! to arrive on PS4 March 4 photo
Awesomenauts Assemble! to arrive on PS4 March 4
by Conrad Zimmerman

My favorite online multiplayer game is finally going to land on PlayStation 4 next week, as Awesomenauts Assemble! releases on PlayStation Network. The title releases in North America on March 4 for $9.99, with a European release on the following day.

As an avid Awesomenauts player, the arrival of the PS4 version brings with it mixed feelings. The original console releases were great fun, until the Steam version rendered them obsolete with a steady stream of new content and balance tweaks. Now comes Assemble!, already behind the curve, with portions of the Kickstarted Starstorm DLC content already in the wild on Steam and numerous balance and gameplay shifts having been made in adjustment to that.

It still calls to me. Maybe it's a desire for a simpler time before Ted McPain and his goddamn shotgun completely countered my melee strategy with Gnaw. Or when aggressive Voltars were as rare as they were dangerous (they're all just dangerous now). And maybe it's a little bit that I want to play more stuff I love on the PS4. Doesn't matter if it's a time capsule, I want to play it all the same.

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Double Dragon: Neon now available on Steam photo
Double Dragon: Neon now available on Steam
by Conrad Zimmerman

The zaniest adventure of Billy and Jimmy Lee is available for PC players today, as Double Dragon: Neon arrives on Steam. You may now purchase it for the perfectly reasonable sum of $9.99.

Setting aside all of the awesome music, goofy plot line, and absurd villains, it's still my favorite Double Dragon game. There's a satisfying technical depth to be found in the combat and the addition of the game's collectible progression system has kept me coming back over and over. If you're into brawlers and haven't played this yet for some inexplicable reason, you should probably get to it.

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Mario Kart 8 coming in May 2014 photo
Mario Kart 8 coming in May 2014
by Jonathan Holmes

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata just dropped a load of information to reassure shareholders that he had a plan to save the company from ruin. A lot of his ideas are really interesting. One of them was not. Mario Kart 8 is being released in May, guys. Not a particularly mind-blowing reveal, but it's important news all the same. 

It makes sense that Nintendo would throw a little game talk into their otherwise OS/Smartphone/Infrastructure/Online Storefront focused presentation, as games is the one place where Nintendo always manages to pull in money. While the Wii U hasn't sold a ton yet, it does have a pretty impressive attach rate, with Super Mario 3D World, Wii U Party, and Wind Waker HD all selling over a million units with less than a year on the market. That means that on average, about one of six Wii U owners bought those three titles. Nintendo is surely hoping to keep that software momentum going with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in February and then Mario Kart 8 a few months later.

We already knew that Mario Kart 8 will get a simultaneous global release (like Pokemon X/Y), which will help consolidate marking power and make for a nice selling point right out of the game. Knowing that I can play against strangers in France on day one is pretty neat. Will the game go on to sell 24+ million units like Mario Kart Wii did? It will be fun to find out!

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Earth Defense Force 2025 lands February 18 photo
Earth Defense Force 2025 lands February 18
by Conrad Zimmerman

D3 Publisher has announced the launch date for Earth Defense Force 2025 in the US. You'll be able to blast those bugs on February 18 when the game releases for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. 

That's not all that is releasing, however. The first downloadable expansion for EDF 2025, "Special Ops," will also arrive on launch day, offering five additional missions for $2.99. Two more mission packs, "Mutant Rampage" and "Beyond Despair," release on February 25 and March 11, respectively, each containing 20 more missions a piece, priced at $8.99. D3 Publisher has additionally stated that these packs will be made available in a bundle at an unspecified date.

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Bloody Valentine: Last of Us DLC coming February 14 photo
Bloody Valentine: Last of Us DLC coming February 14
by Steven Hansen

You don't have plans on Valentine's Day, right? Are you feeling...left behind? Don't worry. It's just some corporate call to arms that guilts you into spending way too much money on seasonal garbage. Why go out to dinner in elbow-to-elbow crowds with 45-minute wait times when you could stay home and play videogames?

The Last of Us is getting prequel DLC, Left Behind, that focuses on Ellie and her friend Riley. It's going to be $15 and, according to Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann, it'll be out on February 14. Spend your Friday night indoors, why don't you.

Also, apparently you can buy an American flag hat for a dollar, presumably for use in the multiplayer. Ew.

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Kim Swift's Soul Fjord out this month, still Ouya only photo
Kim Swift's Soul Fjord out this month, still Ouya only
by Steven Hansen

The new game Airtight Games and Kim Swift (Portal, Quantum Conundrum) joint, Soul Fjord, will be released on January 28 exclusively for the Ouya. A year ago, the exclusive inspired faith in the platform. After subsequent Ouya backlash and eventual cold indifference, it just seems a bit sad to see the 70's soul viking game release to the Ouya.

It would be nice if, like Towerfall, this can get itself extricated from the Ouya eventually, but Ouya funded development so it looks like it's stuck. Hopefully I can at least buy the Austin Wintory (Journey, Banner Saga) soundtrack separately. Love me some good funk.

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Mutant Mudds Deluxe arrives on PS3 and PS Vita photo
Mutant Mudds Deluxe arrives on PS3 and PS Vita
by Conrad Zimmerman

Mutant Mudds has been slowly creeping its way around to platforms for nearly two years now, starting life as a Nintendo 3DS title, followed by releases on PC and Wii U. You can now add PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita to that list, as Mutant Mudds Deluxe has become available today on the PlayStation Store. 

While 2D platform games are probably my favorite to play, I've still not tried Mutant Mudds. I was watching Jordan play it the other week, however, and the screams of frustration as I watched him struggle with the exceeding challenge have made me question whether or not I'm man enough for it. It scares me, frankly.

Mutant Mudds Deluxe Makes a Splash on PS3 and PS Vita Today [PlayStation Blog]

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flOw releasing on PlayStation 4 next week photo
flOw releasing on PlayStation 4 next week
by Conrad Zimmerman

flOw, the first PS3 game released by thatgamecompany, will soon be making its appearance on PlayStation 4. In a post to the PlayStation Blog, Sony Santa Monica producer Eric Fong announced that the title will be available on Tuesday, December 17. Through Cross-Buy, players who have already purchased fl0w on PS3 or PS Vita will be able to download the PS4 version free of charge, while newcomers will be asked to cough up $5.99 for the game.

Oddly, I don't think I actually got around to playing fl0w. I loved Flower (thatgamecompany's second release, which launched with the PS4 console) and I recall that giving me the thought that I should play fl0w, but I was likely then distracted by some other shiny object because I have no recollection of experiencing the game. Is it too late for me? 

Thatgamecompany’s Flow Comes to PS4 Tuesday [PS Blog]

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The Novelist has released on Steam photo
The Novelist has released on Steam
by Conrad Zimmerman

The Novelist, a game where the player assumes the role of a ghost inhabiting a house visited by a struggling writer and his family, has released today on Steam. As with many new releases, it's enjoying a 25% off introductory sale price of $14.99.

I adore the idea behind this. Part stealth game, part life simulator, as the ghost you seek to help the members of the family work through a difficult time but you can only help them if they don't know you're in the house (presumably because they'd flee in terror if they did). If the writing is half as good as that premise, we could have a real winner on our hands.

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Space Hulk digital version now available on iPad photo
Space Hulk digital version now available on iPad
by Conrad Zimmerman

Space Hulk, the Games Workshop board game of paranoid derelict exploration, has found a new home on iPad today. Featuring cross-platform play with the PC and Mac versions, you can now skulk around killing your friends pretty much anywhere for $9.99.

Few games manage to capture the Aliens vibe better than Space Hulk does. With its modular board design that makes each exploration fresh and the uncertainty which comes from not knowing how dangerous a group of Genestealers might be at first gives the most delightful tension to everything. Unfortunately, I've yet to read a glowing review of the digital release, so I'll probably just stick to the tabletop for now.

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Vita launch title Escape Plan hitting PS4 this week photo
Vita launch title Escape Plan hitting PS4 this week
by Steven Hansen

The neat, stylish, slightly problematic Vita launch game Escape Plan is coming to PS4 this week. I certainly wasn't escape planning for that. It will be crossbuy, so if you own the original, you can fool around with it on PS4 for no extra charge. I'm rather curious how the game, which purely makes use of the Vita's extraneous functions (front and rear touch, etc), will handle on PS4. Will it (esc)ape these input methods on the DS4, or use traditional controls? 

Two PS3 titles are also making their way to Vita this week. Pretty, grind heavy Rainbow Moon might just work better on a handheld than a console. Meanwhile, the super zany, recently released Stick It to the Man!, which reviewer Ian Bonds loved, is coming to Vita as well.

Tiny Brains is coming to PS4 if you need a fun couch co-op title. You can use the Vita as a controller to account for your presumed lack of four DualShock 4s. December 6 is Gran Turismo 6 day, of course.

The Drop: New PlayStation Releases for December 3rd, 2013 [PlayStation Blog]

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Stick It to the Man looks proper nuts, out today  photo
Stick It to the Man looks proper nuts, out today
by Steven Hansen

Stick It to the Man is out today, November 19, on PS3. The Vita version is dropping sometime in December and it will be crossbuy, so you'll get both versions regardless of which you buy.

When this got on my radar earlier this year, I dug it. Nice and grimy, like Rocko's Modern Life and cartoons of that ilk. This trailer turns up the weird and crazy factor even higher, somehow, and gives a few glimpses at gameplay.

That geriatric clown was creepy, and then got out-creeped by the cannibalistic cook slowly suckling on a finger. 

We've got a review coming this week, but you can always stick it to us and buy it before we weigh in.

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Batman: Arkham Collection to bundle your Batmen photo
Batman: Arkham Collection to bundle your Batmen
by Steven Hansen

Warner Bros. is bundling its Batmen with the Arkham Collection, set to release in the UK on November 22.

The package consists of a physical copy of the newly released Arkham Origins, which Jim did not like. It also seems to retcon Arkham Origins Blackgate from the series by exclusion. The previous, Rocksteady-developed Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are included via download codes.

Strangely, only the PC bundle includes all of the Game of the Year Edition content for the previous two games, though the PS3 bundle at least has Origins' Knightfall pack. All the PC copies are Steam compatible. No word on pricing or a release outside of the UK. Also no word on why you should buy this instead of just buying the first two better games on the cheap. 

Batman: Arkham Collection headed to PC, PS3, Xbox 360 next week [Eurogamer]

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