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John Romero's about to make you his pitch for Gunman Taco Truck  photo
John Romero's about to make you his pitch for Gunman Taco Truck
by Steven Hansen

Indie developers make some cool as heck games, but they're not always so great at selling them. We want to them work on their pitch game until they're at Bumgarner levels and we want to take advantage of the the horrible, horrible GDC elevators that get gummed up with folks who don't know you're supposed to walk on the left, stand on the right.

Welcome to another Escalator Pitch. We've gone from pitching classics to meta escalator pitches to, hey, an actual game in development. One from storied id co-founder John Romero (Doom, Quake, Daikatana), who is working on Gunman Taco Truck with Brenda Romero and their sons Michael Romero and Donovan Romero-Brathwaite. The latter thought up the idea.

Headline courtesy of Jonathan Holmes, that lovely man.

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Lots of games are morally bankrupt, we get it photo
Lots of games are morally bankrupt, we get it
by Anthony Burch

With Hotline Miami 2 recently released, I realized I am really, really tired of games that belong in its genre. When I say "genre," I refer not to "action games" or "indie games" or even "violent games," but a subtler, more hypocritical classification: I'm referring to videogames that criticize violent videogames and their fans, while still being violent videogames.

Hotline Miami. Far Cry 3. Games that turn a mirror on the player and say, "look at you! Look at how much you love simulated, throwaway violence, you absolute monster! Let me rub your nose in how gross you are...by filling your screen with lovely, lovely violence!"

There are much better ways to deal with violence in videogames, and they don't involve hypocrisy.

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Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima expected to split with Konami after The Phantom Pain photo
Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima expected to split with Konami after The Phantom Pain
by Jordan Devore

"After we finish [Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain], Mr. Kojima and upper management will leave Konami," a source within Kojima Productions told GameSpot today amidst speculation that some real crazy shit is happening at the publisher. "They said their contract ends in December."

There have reportedly been a "fallout" and "power struggles" between Kojima Productions and Konami, which have led to some senior Metal Gear staff, including series creator Hideo Kojima, to be designated "essentially [as] contractors, not permanent employees," according to the source.

Staggering. Just staggering. And there's more: Kojima is no longer listed as an executive of Konami. Kojima Productions Los Angeles is now named "Konami Los Angeles Studios," and its @Kojima_Pro_Live Twitter account has "moved" to @metalgear_en. Lastly, online marketing materials for The Phantom Pain have excised the standard "A Hideo Kojima game" descriptor.

In a statement to press, Konami said it is "shifting [its] production structure to a headquarters-controlled system..." and added that "Konami Digital Entertainment (including Mr. Kojima) will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products."

Welp, I'm worried about Silent Hills.

Kojima Expected to Leave Konami After MGS5, Inside Source Confirms [GameSpot]

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Atari bullying indie developer behind Tempest 2000 photo
Atari bullying indie developer behind Tempest 2000
by Kyle MacGregor

Atari thought it was "absolutely rubbish," the Jaguar designer told developer Jeff Minter in 1993. The man felt compelled to pull Minter aside at the console's launch party and let him know how little Atari thought of Minter's latest creation, Tempest 2000, a remake of the 1981 arcade classic.

Minter still finished the game, which went on to enjoy a good bit of success, so much so that the developer has continued to tinker with the formula for over two decades. Just last year, Minter's studio Llamasoft released a spiritual successor called TxK on PlayStation Vita. It garnered a fair amount of critical acclaim, but sales were modest -- something Minter hoped to improve upon by casting a wider net on PlayStation 4, PC, Android, and various VR platforms.

It's unlikely to ever happen, though. Minter says the other versions of TxK will "never see the light of day," thanks to Atari (or at least the wolf in sheep's clothing now parading around as the once-beloved company). Threats of legal action have the multiplatform release dead in the water.

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StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void seeks to conclude the trilogy with an exciting finale photo
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void seeks to conclude the trilogy with an exciting finale
by Alessandro Fillari

Where were you when that debut trailer for StarCraft II popped up online? It made its announcement all the way back in 2007 at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in South Korea. Much has changed since then. With the release of two StarCraft II titles so far, Blizzard has been trying to keep things interesting for the series in the face of evolving tastes and new games.

But one thing sure hasn't changed in the time since its debut all those years ago. People are still very much into the series, and with the final expansion rearing its head, the developers at Blizzard want players to get some hands-on time with the legendary real-time strategy title before its official release. Which, of course, hasn't quite been revealed yet.

During GDC, I got the opportunity to speak with Blizzard about its plans for the future of StarCraft, and how the upcoming expansion plans to tie everything up in dramatic and epic fashion. 

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Nintendo's NX console could be a phone, a dud, or a return to form photo
Nintendo's NX console could be a phone, a dud, or a return to form
by Dtoid Staff

Though it's slowly opening up, the videogame industry is still pretty closed to anyone over a certain age. Most console games are firmly targeted people aged 10-to-30, and that's the way its been for a long time. This is part of why so few videogame console developers have managed to stick around for more than 20 years. People grow up, and as they move forward, the game brands and consoles that they once loved often look childish and obsolete to them. Meanwhile, new generations growing into a love of the medium often see the consoles producers that the older generation enjoyed as passé, or worse, for "old people."

That's part of why it's such a miracle that Nintendo has been able to remain so popular for so long. It's been 32 years since the NES first exploded on the market, and since that time, we've seen multiple generations of gamers grow into Nintendo, grow out of them, get nostalgic for them, get sick of that nostalgia, and then fall in love with them all over again. Regardless of how often you play Nintendo games now, almost everyone has strong feelings about them. Here's a sample of a roundtable discussion among Destructoid staff about Nintendo recent announcements of a new game console, partnering with DeNA for smartphone games and services, and a lot more. 

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Review: Bladestorm: Nightmare photo
Review: Bladestorm: Nightmare
by Josh Tolentino

Bladestorm: Nightmare is not a Dynasty Warriors game.

That bit of information might be good or bad news, depending which side of the fence one falls on with regard to Tecmo Koei's long-running brawler series.

At the same time, though, the game does manage to capture just enough of the essence of Dynasty Warriors to drive away those who dislike it, while disappointing those who come in hoping for a more conventional entry into the franchise. 

Which is a shame, as despite being an almost eight-year-old design, Bladestorm still has a few tricks its more popular cousins could stand to crib.

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Jackbox Games talks You Donít Know Jack, Twitch, and the future photo
Jackbox Games talks You Donít Know Jack, Twitch, and the future
by Chris Carter

Jackbox Games has been busy. In addition to reviving the You Don't Know Jack franchise for modern consoles, it's also built an intriguing online infrastructure from the ground up. As an innovative way to solve the "controller problem" for fairly new platforms, Xbox One and PS4 owners can use their mobile devices (or anything that has internet access) to tap in and play with seven other people.

It's a really cool concept, and now Jackbox is poised to integrate it with Twitch for a full-on virtual party. Since the company is launching a Kickstarter for a brand new game that uses the same tech, I decided to reach out and pick CEO Mike Bilder's brain a bit.

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Nintendo teases new 'NX' hardware photo
Nintendo teases new 'NX' hardware
by Laura Kate Dale

[Ed. Note: Super fake console photo added for emotional trauma. It's an old gag by GreenStar Studios.]

Earlier today we reported on the news that Nintendo is partnering up with DeNA to bring Nintendo franchises to smart phones. During the announcement, Satoru Iwata was eager to reassure core Nintendo fans that while the company is moving into smart phone development, this does not mark the end of them as a dedicated gaming hardware manufacturer. 

In order to reassure core Nintendo fans of its commitment to dedicated hardware, Iwata teased that they had a new piece of dedicated gaming hardware in the works dubbed the Nintendo NX.

While this is not something directly relating to the collaboration that we have announced today, here is one thing I would like to mention to avoid any misunderstandings.

Nintendo has decided to deploy its video game business on smart devices but it is not because we have lost passion or vision for the business of dedicated video game systems. On the contrary, now that we have decided how we will make use of smart devices, we have come to hold an even stronger passion and vision for the dedicated video game system business than ever before. Nintendo has made this decision because we have concluded that the approach of making use of smart devices is a rational way for us to encourage even more people around the world to recognize the great value of the wonderful game software available on our dedicated game systems.

As proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for the dedicated game system business, let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept under the development codename "NX." It is too early to elaborate on the details of this project, but we hope to share more information with you next year.

It's currently unclear what kind of hardware the NX will be, but the general consensus is that the hardware is likely to replace the Wii U, in one form or another. So, expect a reveal at E3 2016?

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Resident Evil Revelations 2's extra episodes are fun, but non-essential photo
Resident Evil Revelations 2's extra episodes are fun, but non-essential
by Chris Carter

As you might be aware, Capcom is taking a really weird approach to Resident Evil: Revelations 2. In addition to bringing in an episodic format, they've also hitched two secretive "extra episodes" to the package, exclusive to either the Season Pass or the disc-based version. For a full rundown that makes sense of everything, click here.

Now that the final episode is out, I can talk about what the extra episodes actually are. While they probably aren't worth going crazy over, I have to say they're both a nice little extra that sweeten the deal.

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Review: Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 4 photo
Review: Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 4
by Chris Carter

That's it, folks. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is finally done with its odd episodic format, delivering small chunks every week for the past month or so. The final package is out in all of its glory, including the disc version that should be hitting stores this week.

It's been quite an amazing ride, due in part to the best take on the Mercenaries and Raid Mode formula yet, and a nice callback to some of my favorite games in the series.

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Review: Tales from the Borderlands: Atlas Mugged photo
Review: Tales from the Borderlands: Atlas Mugged
by Darren Nakamura

[Disclosure: Anthony Burch, who consulted on the story for Tales from the Borderlands, was previously employed at Destructoid. As always, no relationships, personal or professional, were factored into the review.]

Tales from the Borderlands: Zer0 Sum released nearly four months ago, and it was fantastic. As an introduction to the intertwined stories of Rhys and Fiona, it did everything it needed to do. It laid out the groundwork for the main narrative arc, it kept me engaged and laughing throughout, and it ended on a note that left me anxious to continue the story as soon as possible.

And then the waiting happened. Months passed with little word on the second episode. Could it live up to the anticipation after all this time?

It turns out that it does. Though perhaps not quite as excellent as the first episode, this one turned out great in its own right, and now I'll be eagerly awaiting the next installment. I just hope it isn't another four months away.

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Review: Battlefield Hardline photo
Review: Battlefield Hardline
by Steven Hansen

Following a year characterized by increased public awareness of rampant police violence against citizens and the militarization of local law enforcement, a gun fetishist's game riding a "cops versus criminals" tagline feels slimy.

Not unexpectedly, Hardline doesn't want to interact with that discussion. Before you can even press a button, every time you load the game, you're met with loud, fast cuts of the EA and Visceral logos, then an explosion.

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Review: Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 photo
Review: Fruit Ninja Kinect 2
by Brett Makedonski

Any way you slice it, Fruit Ninja is one of the most popular mobile games of all time. It's built around such an unassuming foundation that it lends itself perfectly to those lulls in life when you don't really want to think about anything. Hell, as fast as the fruit flies, there isn't time for thinking, just reacting. It's certainly easy to understand and appreciate the appeal.

Shortly following the advent of the Kinect, Halfbrick released a version of Fruit Ninja that made use of the Xbox 360's motion control peripheral. While it was generally well-received, it was still a curious decision that seemingly flew in the face of everything the title stood for. After all, this was a game that lent itself to short bursts during downtime; now that you have to lug a coffee table across the living room to get started, well, it's just a different experience.

Unsurprisingly, Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 hasn't changed much from its 2011 Xbox 360 adaptation. Sure, there are new bells and whistles, and it's definitely an improvement. But, the core game is still the same, and again, just like nearly four years ago, it's the limitations of the hardware that hold everything back.

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Destructoid turns nine: Let's celebrate with our favorite articles photo
Destructoid turns nine: Let's celebrate with our favorite articles
by Ben Davis

Destructoid turned nine today! Can you believe it? This lovely place full of incredible people has been doing its thing for nearly a decade, and it's not slowing down anytime soon. We can keep this wonderful, crazy community alive and thriving for years to come!

Destructoid has had nine great years of entertaining features, heartwarming stories, creative videos, zany podcasts, impressive community blogs, amusing forum threads, and all kinds of awesome stuff. Some of our favorite staff and community members have come and gone, but the spirit remains the same. We're still the weird, fun-loving community we've always been.

This year, we're celebrating by taking a look back at some of Destructoid's best moments. Here are some of the staff's favorite Dtoid memories:

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Review: Mario Party 10 photo
Review: Mario Party 10
by Chris Carter

I haven't enjoyed the past few console editions of Mario Party. I felt like 8 was rushed to the Wii as an excuse to show off the technology, and it ended up being a generic waggle-fest that was a stark drop in quality compared to 7.

I never could have predicted that 9 would be even worse, introducing the new vehicular-based progression system (also known as "the car"), which tied every player to each other and forced them to ride along together on maps.

Mario Party 10 on the Wii U keeps that same format sadly, but improves upon a few other aspects of the experience. It's just not enough to return the franchise to its former glory.

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