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Contest: Win an iPad courtesy of World of Warriors! photo
Contest: Win an iPad courtesy of World of Warriors!
by Mr Andy Dixon

Destructoid has partnered with the fine folks behind the awesome World of Warriors to give away a 16GB iPad Mini 3 to one lucky reader!

World of Warriors blends fighting and RPG gameplay in a pick-up-and-play, console-quality experience, and is available now on the App Store and Google Play. Journey across the Wildlands and amass an army of history's greatest warriors to battle the mighty Skull Army and defeat evil King Boneshaker and his menacing bosses! (In the Dixon house, we call that "Wednesday.")

To enter to win the iPad:

  1. Tweet the following: I want to win an iPad Mini 3 from @Destructoid and @WorldofWarriors! #FightLikeAWarrior http://tinyurl.com/dtoidipad
  2. Leave a comment in the thread below with a link to your tweet!*

Limit one entry per person, and the contest is open to anyone with a North American mailing address. You have until next Friday, January 23 at 11:59pm Pacific to enter.

Good luck! And remember, our Huge Members get automatic entry into all contests (and double entries if you enter one manually), exclusive beta code giveaways for upcoming games, monthly newsletters direct from the staff, ad-free browsing, and more! And most of all, your $3 a month helps directly support the site you love. Try us out!

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I unboxed the New 3DS XL and tickled its sensitive nub photo
I unboxed the New 3DS XL and tickled its sensitive nub
by Bill Zoeker

After a Nintendo press event yesterday, I was sent home with a review unit of the New Nintendo 3DS XL. I figured it would be a good idea to record my opening of it so that I could share my trademarked cynical indignation with you all. So, sorry about that. But, you get to see what thing looks like right out of the box! Shiny toys!

It's a pretty standard package, with the glaring exception of the lack of an AC adapter. Nintendo gave IGN the predictable company line, "Rather than raise cost of New Nintendo 3DS XL by charging consumers for a component they may already own, we are giving them the option to only buy if they need an AC adapter."

Cool. You know, except that this device is an upgrade of an existing device, and people might want to sell the obsolete model. Not to mention, people who don't already own a compatible power plug will be praying there will be one in stock when they go to buy the New 3DS XL, and will probably get stuck with a shitty third-party knock-off.

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It's getting hot in here! Top 10 fire levels photo
It's getting hot in here! Top 10 fire levels
by Ben Davis

The holidays may be over, but the snow keeps falling and the temperatures are still way too cold for comfort. So what better way to warm up during these cold winter months than taking a stroll through some of your favorite fire levels? These places will heat you right up!

What makes a good fire level? Pools of lava, volcanoes, flames licking at your heels... fire levels are imminently dangerous and tricky to navigate. They're often designated as the final area of a game, or at least near the end of the game, due to how dangerous they can be.

Can you take the heat?

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Review: Assassin's Creed Unity: Dead Kings photo
Review: Assassin's Creed Unity: Dead Kings
by Brett Makedonski

If our time spent wandering the Parisian streets in Assassin's Creed Unity has taught us anything, it's that Arno Dorian is a self-serving man. Almost all of his actions, whether aligned with the cause of the Brotherhood or not, weren't altruistic, but rather, efforts for personal gain. With his attention wholly divided between personal vendettas and the apple of his eye, Arno was the least sympathetic model for role-playing Assassins since, well, last year when Edward Kenway held that mantle.

Given his affinity for all things Arno, it should come as no surprise that the Dead Kings add-on extrapolates upon that theme heavily. While Ubisoft dialed up the protagonist's selfish pretense, it took pause with the gameplay and varied it up moreso than the base game.

That is, as much as can be expected with the tried-and-tested Assassin's Creed formula.

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Project Scissors dev: 'Working with a renowned film director could easily become a nightmare'  photo
Project Scissors dev: 'Working with a renowned film director could easily become a nightmare'
by Jonathan Holmes

[Art by Mariel "Kinuko" Cartwright]

We're closing out our Project Scissors: NightCry pre-release interview series with director Hifume Kono by bringing the focus back on the historic pairing between developer Kono-san (Clock Tower) and his new partner in horror Takashi Shimizu (Ju-on, The Grudge). This was the second biggest paring of a horror film director and a game developer that I heard about in 2014. The first was Guillemo del Toro and Hideo Kojima, who are currently working to develop Silent Hills.

I asked Kono-san what he thought of the pairing between Kojima and del Toro, how his collaboration with Shimizu-san might work to combine the best aspects of Ju-on with Clock Tower, and for a final word on what makes Clock Tower/Project Scissors so special.

Thanks again to Kono-san for sharing his one-of-a-kind insights and inspirations with us. He has left and indelible mark on the evolution of the survival horror genre. It will be exciting to see what fascinating, nail-biting tour of doom he takes us on next.

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New Nintendo 3DS, amiibo, trailers: Everything you need to know from today's Nintendo Direct photo
New Nintendo 3DS, amiibo, trailers: Everything you need to know from today's Nintendo Direct
by Steven Hansen

Doozy of a Nintendo Direct today. Watch it above in full, or see our coverage below in summation, with all the key trailers rounded up. Highlights include: New Nintendo 3DS (just XL) release date and price, a special Majora's Mask themed 3DS, new Fire Emblem, reprint of the thought discontinued Marth amiibo, new amiibo waves (including a second set of Mario series amiibo), and Kirby being real cute.

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New Nintendo 3DS XL launches in North America this February photo
New Nintendo 3DS XL launches in North America this February
by Chris Carter

Nintendo has announced a February 13, 2015 release date and $199.99 price tag for the New 3DS XL in North America. All of the previously announced features are in, including the extra C-Stick control, speedier boot-up times, enhanced processing power, extra shoulder buttons, slightly longer battery life, a switch to micro-SD memory cards, NFC (for amiibo), and the face-tracking 3D system, to ensure "stable viewing at a wider angle."

It will launch with both a red and black model, and will still work with every previous 3DS game. Sadly, there is no word of a "smaller" 3DS model -- just the XL.

Nintendo will announce a way to transfer your data to the new unit in the "coming weeks." it will not include an AC adapter, but any adapter since the DSi will work. Um, okay Nintendo.

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Grand Theft Auto V PC pushed to March, system specs revealed photo
Grand Theft Auto V PC pushed to March, system specs revealed
by Jordan Devore

I should have known something was up, but here it is: Grand Theft Auto V won't be available on PC this month as previously announced. Rockstar has delayed the game to March 24, 2015.

The good news, at least for console owners, is that online heists are almost here at long last. That's the plan, anyway. You'll be able to find and play those through GTA Online "in the coming weeks ahead of the PC launch." Heists will be playable on PC at launch on March 24.

Rockstar also sent out new screenshots and system requirements, viewable below.

GTAV PC: New Release Date, First Screens and System Specs [Rockstar]

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Review: Super Mega Baseball photo
Review: Super Mega Baseball
by Chris Carter

Like many people out there, I learned how to play most sports through videogames. By the time I entered various real-life leagues for baseball, basketball, and football, I had a grasp of the basic concepts of each, mostly thanks to classics like Bad News Baseball and Super Baseball 2020, two of my personal favorites.

Super Mega Baseball seeks to remind us of that retro arcade-like era of sports, where the games were mechanically sound, but more exciting than a hardcore simulation.

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Give me games inspired by weirdos and madmen photo
Give me games inspired by weirdos and madmen
by Nic Rowen

Celebrities are making games now, this is a thing we're going to have to live with. Kim Kardashian's done it, RuPaul's done it (and apparently her game is surprisingly fun, as our Jonathan Holmes discovered), and of course, 50 Cent beat them all to the punch years ago with his towering monument to self adulation, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand. Hell, the Duck freaking Dynasty crew put out a timid Grand Theft Auto clone last year. The nerve.

As an abrasive former class-warrior, I already bristle at the sheer commercial gall of celebrities slapping their name and likeness on a box to try and pump a few dollars out of some gullible fans. But even more than that, I look at the stars who have dipped their toes into the videogame world and I think “what a waste.”

Reality stars? Rednecks? Narcissistic rappers? Why are these boring walking brands making games, and where are the pop icons and eccentric artists that could actually do an interesting job of it? Where are the weirdos and oddballs that populate my playlists and DVR recording schedules? If celebs and other artists are going to be making games, I've got a few suggestions.

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Predicting Nintendo's next big crossover photo
Predicting Nintendo's next big crossover
by Kyle MacGregor

Somewhere on the slopes of Mount Nintendo there's an oracle that straddles a chasm wherefrom vapors emerge. She speaks in tongues, relying on an intern to interpret her enigmatic ramblings. The system has its misfires (this is how things get named Wii U, for example), but relying on these portents and premonitions has kept Nintendo in business for over a century.

In recent years, the oracle has spawned a number of bizarre crossover concepts, culminating in the creation of Hyrule Warriors, Pokkén, and Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition.

It's a fascinating trend, one I hope continues for a long time to come. Let's assume that it does. Let's make some wildly speculative predictions about what other mashups the future has in store.

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2014's Game of the Year from 2006 because 2014 kind of sucked for games photo
2014's Game of the Year from 2006 because 2014 kind of sucked for games
by Steven Hansen

Yes, it's now 2015--though I'm still writing 2014 on all my checks!!!--but how can anyone do a definitive Game of the Year award until the year is officially over? Until that big dang ball drops down in The Big Apple, the Big City, New York, New York baby! What if Valve decided to stealth release Half-Life 3 on 12/31 like Beyoncé in 2013 or Run the Jewels 2 this year? It would be everyone else with egg on their face and my face wouldn't be covered in egg at all.

I tried to go back and find the tweet wherein I predicted 2014 would be The Worst Year, but all I could find were really good jokes about Pokémon and cellphones and unrequited yoga-friend seeking. Fitting that I started 2014 unable to find someone to do yoga with and end it unable to find someone with whom to hoop.

So I hid the prediction too well. Like any good prediction, it would have been forgotten if it hadn't come true at no cost to my reputation, but if it did come true? Man, I'd be direct linking that piece of soothsaying ad nauseum (by the way, sources tell me that Half-Life 3 is going to be released on April 4, 2015). 

Unfortunately, this prediction did come true and 2014 was the worst year since 2009 and I don't even get to take credit for calling it. But I won't bore you with My Bad Year. Instead, I want to award Clover Studio's God Hand with the Steven Hansen's Destructoid's Game of the Year 2014 Award for Best Game of the Year from 2006 because 2014 kind of sucked.

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Updates on amiibo: Toys
Updates on amiibo: Toys"R"Us, discontinued figures, and more
by Chris Carter

The first bit of 2015 amiibo news is the juicy rumor that Toys"R"Us may be holding an "amiibo event" on the 15th, with rare figures such as Captain Falcon and Pit going on sale that day. According to this post, the retailer is holding stock until then, which is why you won't see any restocks on the shelves. Toys"R"Us has denied this after my inquiry, but anything could happen. If you're free that day and are amiibo crazy, think about giving the store a call, or at the very least checking online in the morning.

Having said all that, I strongly suggest you move all your current pre-orders at Toys"R"Us over to another location if possible -- as I've stated in the past, GameStop and Amazon are by far the best outlets for amiibo, since Target, Walmart, Toys"R"Us, and Best Buy have all had non-isolated cancellation issues. Speaking of Best Buy, our own Bill Platt informed me that his order of Captain Falcon was canceled, among other readers who had the same issue.

As far as discontinued news goes, a new Reddit AMA with a Nintendo rep has shed some light on the situation. According to the rep, the discontinued amiibo will operate similar to the "Disney Vault," where they will come back later. This semi-contradicts statements made in the past, so we'll see what happens. Wave 4 is said to launch "as soon as spring," and the 3DS amiibo reader is projected to release somewhere around Waves 3 and 4. When asked about retailer exclusives, the rep stated that "retailer exclusives will be around as long as stores put the money up for them." Awful.

So what are the cancellations? So far the rumors seem to indicate that in addition to Villager, Marth, and Wii Fit Trainer; Captain Falcon, Little Mac, and Pit are the next to be gone. In fact, they may be mostly gone already, hence Toys"R"Us holding stock. I have confirmed this with multiple GameStops in my area, but Nintendo continues to deny it. I sense a pattern.

In summation -- move over your pre-orders if you can from Toys"R"Us, and if you see the above six rare amiibo, you might want to pick one up. Also, the hilarious picture below kind of sums up the amiibo situation at retailers right now.

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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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Swery's 2014 games that I haven't completed, but think are amazing photo
Swery's 2014 games that I haven't completed, but think are amazing
by Steven Hansen

[Swery is the man behind Deadly Premonition and D4. The latter has kept him busy over the last year, so he hasn't been able to finish every game he loves. But love is not finite, finished, and with an eyebrow game this on point, Swery's offered to tell us all about the games he loves anyways - Steven Hansen]

At first, I'd just like to make one thing clear. I think that all the games on this list are excellent, top-quality games. I haven't completed them due to personal reasons, and this in no way affects my evaluation of them. I love all games from the bottom of my heart.

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Xbox dethrones PlayStation as porn console king, Wii grows 69.9% (nice)  photo
Xbox dethrones PlayStation as porn console king, Wii grows 69.9% (nice)
by Steven Hansen

Pornhub, which I am told by other people familiar with the webpage is a site for viewing adult, pornographic films, has released its statistical year in review. It's not as detailed on the videogame console side of things like last year's data, which we covered here deeply, but the infographics are still interesting, particularly as porn terminology is hilarious in the abstract.

Teen, lesbian, and milf all retained top search billing, for example, but "step mom" pole vaulted into the top 5 worldwide search terms (number 2 in the US) and "step sister" into the top 15 worldwide (the biggest ranking change, going up 53 spots in 2014), top 10 in the US.

Back to the videogame side, there's been a shift. The 2013 numbers attributed 55% of console porn viewing to PS3 users (compared to 39% on Xbox). 2014's numbers have Xbox at 45.7%, PlayStation at 40%. The Wii (8.2%), Vita (5%) and 3DS (1.1%) finish things off.

That marks a 69.9% increase in the Wii's market share, which is funny 'cause that's a sex number. Because these numbers are a percentage of a shared whole, it doesn't mean fewer PlayStation users are using their consoles for porn (plus, this is just data from one porn streaming service, of which I am told by people familiar with them there are many), but it is likely that a lot more Xbox users are using the service, which would account for their turgid, swollen numbers. 

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