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EVO 2014 recap: Here's who won photo
EVO 2014 recap: Here's who won
by Jordan Devore

And just like that, another EVO has come and gone. What a weekend.

Despite not playing fighting games much myself, I'll never miss watching the year's big tournament. The audience's energy, the drama that unfolds on stage -- it never ceases to amaze.

If you missed out on the grand finals for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Ultra Street Fighter IV, or any of the other featured games, look no further.

You're gonna want to watch that BlazBlue final.

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Those new Smash Bros. mystery characters are Lucina and Robin from Fire Emblem photo
Those new Smash Bros. mystery characters are Lucina and Robin from Fire Emblem
by Chris Carter

Today, Nintendo was set to tease a "New Fighter Intro Video" at 7AM PST, and tease they did. The new fighter was revealed to be none other than Lucina from Fire Emblem: Awakening. But wait, there's more! Robin from Fire Emblem is also in, and he has a female gender swapped costume! Chrom was revealed as well, but it isn't clear if he is a playable character or just a skin/assist trophy/Final Smash, but all signs point to the latter.

Finally, Captain Falcon was revealed as a returning fighter. That's three confirmed characters with two new additions and one returning character (we'll see what Chrom is soon enough). Sakurai noted last week that they were "nearing the bottom of the stash" in terms of new announcements, so I wouldn't expect a whole lot more.

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I'm going to miss tripping in Super Smash Bros. 4 photo
I'm going to miss tripping in Super Smash Bros. 4
by Jonathan Holmes

[Art by Fallen Party]

[Update: Some of you are pretty upset about the article! Sorry about that.

Also, a few people pointed out a couple of mistakes I made. First, I wrote that you can block in the air in Smash Bros. Looks like I "tripped" up! I meant to say "dodge." Sometimes when you type too fast, you put down the wrong word, and it may not get caught in the proofread. My apologies.

Also, there is some dispute over if "L-canceling" is an "unintended abuse" of the game's system, or something intended by the developers. My guess is that it's both -- that "L-canceling" was intended by the developers, but players learned to exploit it to a degree that Sakurai and the gang didn't intend, which could be why it was removed from Brawl entirely. It's hard to say for sure though, as Sakurai hasn't made any comment on the subject that I know of. Either way, you should know that "L-canceling" may be an intended mechanic in Melee and Smash Bros on the N64. Hope that helps, and if you find any other mistakes, you can let me know on twitter- @tronknotts. Thanks everybody!]

[Update 2: I asked Michael "Mr Bean" Molinary to write a counterpoint to my point and it's really good.]

There's a Smash Bros. tournament going on tonight at a local comic book store. The creator of Catlateral Damage and I were planning on attending, but they changed the game from Brawl to Melee at the last minute. We both backed out, resigned to the reality of the situation, but still disappointed. It's totally understandable that the majority of competitive Smash players prefer the increased level of fast and precise character control that Melee offers over Brawl, but as diehard Lucas, Olimar, and Squirtle fans, Melee isn't worth the $15 entry fee. 

I figured I'd get over it by watching some Melee at EVO, and I quickly found myself feeling frowny. It seems like the longer the game is played, the less high level competitors try new things. Most of the matches were just a high-speed poke and fake contest. The only times things got really interesting was when a character is in the clutch, trying to recover from being knocked off the edge, but those mechanics are just as fun to watch in Brawl or even the original N64 Smash Bros

I wondered how much more interesting it would be to watch some aggressive play in Brawl. Yes, even though it has tripping. Especially because it has tripping. 

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The best stuff on Destructoid this week [7/12] photo
The best stuff on Destructoid this week [7/12]
by Steven Hansen

You should watch Ping Pong: The Animation. It's why Lebron James realized he needed to go back to Cleveland, true story. But be warned, watching other anime after will be hard because it leaves you extra acutely aware of how mediocre and awful most anime is. Sorry, Beck.

There's only two World Cup games left to occupy yourself with, anyway. What else are you going to do?

Here's last week's post. Let's begin anew.

[We post a lot of articles here at Destructoid. The endless, ouroboros news cycle has us burning the snake at both ends, which will ultimately push big news, thoughtful original pieces, and all sorts of other great content off of the front page. Check here every Saturday for my attempt to rectify that.]

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A grand social experiment: Final Fantasy XIV's monster hunts photo
A grand social experiment: Final Fantasy XIV's monster hunts
by Chris Carter

For those of you who haven't played Final Fantasy XIV, a new patch just arrived that implemented a major mechanic into the game -- worldwide monster hunting. The concept is simple enough. Across the world in each zone, various rare monsters randomly spawn throughout, granting those who kill them extra bonuses and rewards.

These encounters are not instanced -- or -- they do not take place in separate locations for each party. They are on the same world as every other player, leading to conflicts, jolly cooperation, and everything in-between.

They're also one of the most fun things I've ever played in a game.

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Review in Progress: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.3) photo
Review in Progress: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.3)
by Chris Carter

MMOs are constantly evolving beasts. Particularly in the subscription realm, developers are always searching for ways to keep players hooked, usually in the form of major updates -- big content patches that help ease the wait between even bigger expansions. The latest MMO to get an overhaul is Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which is seeing its "Defenders of Eorzea" patch this week, bringing up the current version of the game to 2.3.

Since this update is even bigger than the vast majority of $60 retail releases, I'll be looking at everything it has to offer to supplement to our already existing review of A Realm Reborn, which covered up to patch 2.2.

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Who wants a code for the Destiny beta?! photo
Who wants a code for the Destiny beta?!
by Mr Andy Dixon

[Update: Contest over! Check your PMs to see if you won!]

We've recently come into a hefty heap of Destiny beta codes, and we're going to hand them out to the Destructoid community!

There are three ways to win:

  1. Comment in this very thread, and we'll be drawing 30 of your names at random! You have until tomorrow at noon Pacific time to enter.
  2. Retweet this and follow @Destructoid on Twitter! 30 of you retweeters will win codes at random.
  3. Become a Destructoid Huge member! I'm going to be sending 20 of these codes to random Huge members at noon tomorrow, so get your name in the hat now!

These beta codes are good for your choice of Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, or PlayStation 4! Good luck!

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I messed around in the bizarre, experimental reboot of Rust photo
I messed around in the bizarre, experimental reboot of Rust
by Jordan Devore

I first played Rust back in January. It was at times scary, confusing, and frustrating, which is to be expected in an anything-goes online multiplayer game about naked men trying to survive with rocks and crudely-fashioned hatchets while others possess pistols, assault rifles, and explosives.

Thanks to its players and their chaos, Rust was entertaining in a way that a scripted game could never be -- up until the point at which it wasn't. It eventually got old. I stopped playing.

More than that, I quit paying attention to all of the updates in the pipeline for this Steam Early Access game. At about 16 hours of play time, I had gotten my fill, thanks. So I left, impatient and somewhat unsatisfied, unsure if I'd ever truly return to the game.

But I have, now that Facepunch Studios is rebooting Rust. Work has ceased on the original version most players know while the team rebuilds the game from scratch in what it is calling an experimental branch. It's playable now and as janky as things are, it's promising.

Let's take a look! (Warning: there will be some butts.)

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Review: Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn  photo
Review: Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn
by Brittany Vincent

When I was a kid, I loved watching Gundam Wing and the original Mobile Suit Gundam on Cartoon Network. The mecha genre has always been a personal favorite of mine so I tried to capture the same feeling while playing a video game as I had watching Gundam anime and pretending that I was Heero Yuy or Amuro Ray.

With interest in Gundam on the rise in the US after the Cartoon Network runs, some of the games were finally localized for North America. I thought I’d finally be able to play through the stories I loved so much, picking up Mobile Suit Gundam: Journey to Jaburo as soon as it came out and the disappointment I had in that game resonates with me today. It sure didn’t feel like I was in command of the mobile suit that won the One Year War. I felt like I was in control of a robot-shaped RC car.

Luckily, I was finally able to find the game that would finally reproduce the warm and fuzzy feelings that viewing Gundam for the first time did so long ago, and who would have thought it would have come in the form of a Dynasty Warriors game?

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Review: The Wolf Among Us: Cry Wolf photo
Review: The Wolf Among Us: Cry Wolf
by Chris Carter

The Wolf Among Us has been one hell of a ride. Although Tellltale's The Walking Dead managed to craft a grimdark world worth seeing time and time again, Wolf has a more nuanced take, with larger-than-life fairy tale characters who have decidedly human problems.

All of it comes to an end here with Cry Wolf, the last episode of the series. While I'll refrain from spoiling anything in particular, I will say that is indeed a satisfying conclusion.

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Gearbox reveals Battleborn for PS4, Xbox One, PC photo
Gearbox reveals Battleborn for PS4, Xbox One, PC
by Kyle MacGregor

Battleborn is the next big game from Gearbox Software, and, much like the developer's Borderlands series, it's looking to put a unique spin on the first-person shooter.

Billed a "hero-shooter" by Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford, the title infuses MOBA elements into its narrative-driven co-op and competitive multiplayer in place of Borderlands' hallmark loot-heavy RPG flare. The story, penned by former Destructoid editor Aaron Linde, is set in the distant future in a "science fantasy" universe on the brink of destruction.

Battleborn is slated to release sometime during Take-Two Interactive’s upcoming fiscal year ending March 31, 2016 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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Review in Progress: WildStar (Mid-levels) photo
Review in Progress: WildStar (Mid-levels)
by Chris Carter

[We'll be reviewing WildStar over an extended period of time. For more details, check out our Reviews in Progress program.]

As we all know, MMOs can drastically change not only over the course of months of updates, but even from level to level. We have already given you an early look at the first 20 hours or so of the game, but as I climb the ladder of leveling more and more starts to open up.

Let's take a look at levels 14-30.

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Natural Doctrine is a brutal, sort of ugly turn-based strategy game photo
Natural Doctrine is a brutal, sort of ugly turn-based strategy game
by Steven Hansen

Sure, Natural Doctrine doesn't look great (well, the environments; it does look better in miniature on the Vita). It's a far cry from director Atsushi Ii's gorgeous minimalism in Patapon.

But Kadokawa Games' first internal venture can get a pass for looking a bit dated if the core gameplay can hold up, and it just might. Producer Kensuke Tanaka felt that JRPGs were "lacking in difficulty," that they didn't "make you think," NIS America representatives explained. Natural Doctrine is an answer to that.

However, NIS America was not able to answer why exactly the lead in a fantasy RPG of orcs, magic and lizard men is named Jeff. 

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Mighty Number 9 opens new crowd funding campaign, teases cartoon show photo
Mighty Number 9 opens new crowd funding campaign, teases cartoon show
by Jonathan Holmes

It seems like only yesterday that Keiji Inafune announced the Kickstarter campaign form Mighty Number 9 at PAX East. It was an exciting day for Mega Man fans. Just looking at the commemorative t-shirt from that event still puts a smile on my face. 

Since then, the game has raised nearly $4 million in funding. That's a lot of money to generate based off some promotional art, a little test footage and the goodwill of emotionally invested fans. That's why its both surprising and perfectly logical for Comcept to re-open the the game to crowdfunding support. It worked pretty well for them the first time, so why not try it again?

The new funding will strictly go towards additional content not promised in the original crowd funding campaign. The first goal is full English voice acting, which will cost... $100,000? That's either asking way too much or a sign that the game will have a whole lot of talking in it. Either way, that's not necessarily good news. Comcept also announced plans to partner with Digital Frontier on a Mighty Number 9 animated series (trailer below), which like the game, sports some nice 2D promotional and some less than impressive polygon-based animation.

This whole thing speaks to a strange mix of raw enthusiasm and overconfidence that is, at the very least, interesting to watch unfold. Comcept is acting like Mighty Number 9 is already a beloved time-tested franchise, when in reality, it just looks like one. Time will tell if the game ends up warranting all the faith and financing that's already been put into it.

Mighty Triple-Header: Exciting Announcements from Anime Expo 2014! [Kickstarter]

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Another fair comparison: 1001 Spikes is better than Game of Thrones photo
Another fair comparison: 1001 Spikes is better than Game of Thrones
by Jonathan Holmes

Believe it or not, there once was a time when many, many people thought that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was better than Advance Wars. Thankfully, those days are over now. According to my numbers, 89.6% of those who once suffered from the false belief that Kevin Spacey's upcoming AAA blockbuster competitive murder-spree is better than Nintendo's classic cartoon general simulator have been successfully converted to the truth. Though it's hard to be sure just how responsible I am for this turn of events, it's fair to guess that I'm largely responsible, because why not? You're welcome everybody. 

But a cowboy's work is never done. There are still many poor souls out there suffering from the delusion that a thing that they like is better than a thing that I like. Case in point -- Game of Thrones. Apparently, many of of you out there believe this show/book series is as good as, or even better than, the new death-trap stuntman 2D platformer Aban Hawkins and the 1001 Spikes.

Sorry Throners, but you're about to get pwned(ers). 

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Hey, new Wii U owners: Don't forget to play Nintendo Land photo
Hey, new Wii U owners: Don't forget to play Nintendo Land
by Jordan Devore

I forgot Nintendo Land existed until a couple weeks ago. Like some of you, I only recently bought a Wii U and after looking at some "what to play" lists for my next multiplayer game, I was reminded of this minigame collection, took a chance on it, and promptly fell in love.

You should absolutely be playing excellent exclusives like Mario Kart 8, Pikmin 3, Super Mario 3D World, etc. but, eventually, you should check out Nintendo Land, too. Or immediately, if you're in need of a game that can bring family/friends together only to tear them apart.

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