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Review: Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- photo
Review: Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
by Chris Carter

I've spent many late nights with Guilty Gear. Week-long tournaments, money-matches between friends; it was the perfect series to play around with, and one of my most competitive. But as time went on, the franchise started to get a little stale. We saw the same exact character models, the same movesets, and not much in terms of innovation.

Guilty Gear Xrd changes that significantly with a complete overhaul of the visual style on top of everything that made Guilty Gear so great in the first place.

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GTA Online heists look good and sound even better photo
GTA Online heists look good and sound even better
by Jordan Devore

Alright, heists in Grand Theft Auto Online look terrific. It's been a long wait, and we're not done waiting just yet -- Rockstar says the free update for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One will arrive in early 2015 -- but at least we've got something to look at, finally. Eases the tension.

Speaking to IGN, GTA Online producer Imran Sarwar admits designing four-player heists "turned out to be a lot more difficult than we originally thought [and] took several passes from scratch." One challenge, he says, "is that unlike a heist in Story Mode, every player needs to feel central to the action at all times, and that's much more challenging than it appears."

The final design sounds cool. The leading player will have to put money down to set up a heist and won't receive a payout until the finale is finished, but they have control over the crew, their outfits, and their cuts. "Switching between the roles of crew member and heist leader will give players a totally different experience," says Sarwar. "Some missions have all players working as one unit, some require players to take on specific tasks like hacking or crowd control, while others require players to split into smaller teams to complete separate high value objectives."

Each heist, of which there are "five unique strands involving over 20 total missions," will culminate in a set-piece mission. "I don't want to spoil a whole heist," says Sarwar, "but a favorite would be the finale of an epic prison break where players come from different points on the map to join together at just the right time. It requires a pilot, a demolitions expert, and some undercover work to pull it off, and it takes real teamwork, the ability to think fast and a lot of communication to put all the pieces in place to extract the target flawlessly."

GTA Online Heists: New Trailer and Info [Rockstar]
Grand Theft Auto 5 Online Heists (Finally) Revealed [IGN]

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Don't Starve Together works just as well as you'd expect it to photo
Don't Starve Together works just as well as you'd expect it to
by Chris Carter

Starting this week, you can buy into the Don't Starve Together beta if you don't have access already. It's $5 if you own the base game, and it comes with a gift code for the core package as well as two Together codes.

So how does it work? First you'll have to sign up for developer Klei's proprietary service with your email and date of birth. The process was kind of buggy, as the in-Steam browser constantly errored out and didn't display the right screen. I had to restart Steam twice, and then wait 15 minutes for an "instant" verification link.

Thankfully, everything was smooth sailing after that.

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Review: Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris photo
Review: Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris
by Darren Nakamura

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was a surprise hit for me. I had never been a huge Tomb Raider fan, but its focus on puzzles, asymmetric cooperative multiplayer, and replayability drew me in. It's hard to believe that was already four years ago.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (abbreviated as Lara Croft: TOO, which any word nerd will appreciate) picks up the torch from Guardian of Light, adding four-person multiplayer, new puzzle mechanics, and updated visuals. It has a great formula for success, but it slips a little in execution.

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How did Destructoid's most anticipated games of 2014 come out? photo
How did Destructoid's most anticipated games of 2014 come out?
by Steven Hansen

Want to feel old? January 2014 was just about one year ago. That's one whole season of a TV show or a complete Earth's orbit around the sun. Way back then--I can hardly remember it in the shadow of the god awful year--the Destructoid staff did a list of our most anticipated games of 2014

And what suckers we were! Most of the damned things didn't even come out. Chris was right to go with sure-thing Dark Souls II. It would've been hard to mess up (or not release). And a few folks who picked things way back in the first Year of Luigi (AL) didn't follow up for various reasons, but be assured that Patrick Hancock was definitely happy with Super Smash Bros

It was a weird year of games, though, rife with big-name delays, big-name flops, and lovely games that came out of nowhere to end up being the most fun (like Invisible Inc.) Maybe 2015 will do right by us (or us by it). For now, let's look back. 

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Capcom re-releasing DmC and Devil May Cry 4 on PS4 and Xbox One with new content photo
Capcom re-releasing DmC and Devil May Cry 4 on PS4 and Xbox One with new content
by Jordan Devore

Devil May Cry returns next year but not with an all-new installment. I know, I know. But this is the age of higher-res re-releases, after all. Capcom will launch DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition ($39.99 / €39.99) on March 17, 2015 and Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition (price to be announced) in summer 2015 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

No more talk about how 30 frames per second feels right for DmC; the Definitive Edition runs at a smooth 60 frames per second. The updated game includes all the DLC, a higher difficulty setting, a 20-percent-faster Turbo Mode, Hardcore Mode, popular community mods, and new character skins like Devil May Cry 1 Dante and Classic Vergil. DmC has also been rebalanced.

If you only care about DMC4, not DmC, skip to 1:45 for a quick word from Vergil. Capcom isn't sharing much about the new special edition and notes it'll say more "in the coming months."

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Review: Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX photo
Review: Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX
by Brittany Vincent

The odd concept of melding a host of characters from Square Enix’s seminal Final Fantasy series, Disney’s perennial film favorites, and a cast of original personalities, seemed as though it was destined for failure. I mean, who would want to hear Donald Duck’s honking lisp while sharing the screen with the likes of Cloud Strife or Sephiroth?

Being a Square fan, I had to try it out though, and not only did I fall in love with the games, but I rediscovered my love for the Disney franchises of my youth. Although it took almost four years for a sequel to be released, Kingdom Hearts was and is a series that has stuck with me. Then, when Kingdom Hearts II was released in early 2006, I bought it immediately.

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World's first Street Fighter V match premieres at Capcom Cup photo
World's first Street Fighter V match premieres at Capcom Cup
by Alessandro Fillari



Closing out the incredibly tense Capcom Cup, Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono surprised the audience with a live demo of Street Fighter V. With the audience giving them their full attention, Mike Ross and Combofiend, both legendary players within the fighting game community, took the stage to compete in the world's first public match in Street Fighter V.

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The most disrespectful push-ups in videogames photo
The most disrespectful push-ups in videogames
by Jonathan Holmes

Like I was saying to the creators of Pocket Rumble, the minutia is what will make or break a fighting game. All the little moment-to-moment experiences in a given round of combat have to come together to create a vast psychological landscape. That big picture is easy to take for granted unless you take the time to pick it apart now and again.

For instance, winning or losing a fight doesn't have to be about how the game defines victory. The player can define victory on their own terms if they choose to. Using the old Dan/Servbot/Amingo team in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and knocking just one of the opponent's characters out of the match is the peak of competitive fighting game majesty for some. For others, taking on all comers with Pichu and surviving a three-minute battle in Super Smash Bros. Melee is the zenith of videogame achievement. Setting a goal and reaching it. That's what winning is all about, regardless of how the game or anyone else judges you.

Maybe the Wii Fit Trainer's unorthodox crawl animation in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U will become the next great disrespectful fighting game handicap. Doing a quick set of push-ups while in the middle of a super-powered combat scenario really sends a message. It's a message about priorities, about how seriously you take your opponent, and the importance of doing whatever the heck you want. It's beautiful. So beautiful that I had to write a song about it. 

Thanks Leonard Nimoy!

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The five best indie games at PlayStation Experience photo
The five best indie games at PlayStation Experience
by Brett Makedonski

With regard to games shown at last weekend's PlayStation Experience, Sony had two noticeable strengths: its first-party mega-titles and the projects of its ever-growing stable of independent developers. While PlayStation fans finally got the chance to go hands-on with the publisher's biggest names like The Order: 1886 and Bloodborne, it was the indies along the length of the entire side wall where the true gems could be found.

In that sense, PlayStation Experience stepped right in line with all the year's other conventions; in relatively small crowds, players got to move from station to station, and fell in love with new games that they knew little-to-nothing about. Checking out the giant booths is all fine and fun, but ask anyone and they'll tell you that talking to passionate indie devs about their games and playing it at their small, humbling exhibits is the glue that holds community shows together.

These were Destructoid's favorite indie games at PlayStation Experience.

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Review: Destiny: The Dark Below photo
Review: Destiny: The Dark Below
by Chris Carter

Having basically played the new Destiny expansion The Dark Below nonstop since launch, I've experienced everything it has to offer. That in itself is an issue, because although I have played more than the average person, to exhaust the content this early isn't a good sign.

While Destiny feels just as great as ever, perhaps even more-so due to the design of a few mechanics herein, I can't help but feel underwhelmed just like I did back in September.

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The Vita needs more games like Freedom Wars photo
The Vita needs more games like Freedom Wars
by Chris Carter

At every Sony event this year, the portable rhetoric was identical -- the Vita is getting games, but they're ports, or in rare cases, multi-platform releases of existing games.

As an original Vita and 32GB memory card owner since day one, I will be the first to tell you that I love playing it when I feel compelled to do so. I'm so glad that I was an early adopter and got to keep that OLED screen, as it's one of the best portable experiences I've ever had. I enjoyed exclusives like Tearaway and Gravity Rush for months on end. It was awesome.

Then the games stopped. The Vita still gets the occasional unique game like Toukiden: The Age of Demons, but for the most part, it loses exclusives these days. I'm not against ports and sometimes the Vita is my preferred method of playing them, but the platform is not sustainable without system sellers and exclusives.

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Happy 21st anniversary to the most important FPS in my life photo
Happy 21st anniversary to the most important FPS in my life
by Brett Makedonski

My, how time flies. Today, we're 21 years removed from the launch of one of the most influential videogames ever, Doom. It may not have been the original first-person shooter, but it was certainly the most important one in my life. Well, indirectly.

That prestige actually goes to Final Doom. Back in fourth grade, I made a new friend. We went to his house one day after school. The first thing he wanted to do was to boot up his computer and show me Final Doom. I remember being blown away by how awesome it was.

We weren't taking legit runs at Doom, mind you. IDDQD, IDKFA, and IDCLIP made sure that we could run wherever we wanted and kill whatever we wanted with absolutely no problem. Cyberdemons and Arch-viles fell by the hundreds. And, there was always a squeemish glee to watching a Cacodemon die in a messy pile of gloop.

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Review in Progress: Destiny: The Dark Below photo
Review in Progress: Destiny: The Dark Below
by Chris Carter

Destiny was released earlier this year, and like many hyped games, it failed to deliver on its promises. The good news? It was still a well crafted shooter, and practically everything involving the actual gameplay was excellent. In fact, I find it hard to go back to other shooters now -- that's how good Destiny feels.

Unfortunately, the folks over at Bungie made a number of design choices that prevent players from consistently having fun. There was also backpedaling over the past few months -- some of which led to changes to the raid -- that brought even more glitches alongside of the update.

So far in my testing, The Dark Below plays out similarly. The core of the game is still intact, but there's a lot of weird choices that prevent it from reaching its potential.

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Vote now for your 2014 Game of the Year! photo
Vote now for your 2014 Game of the Year!
by Mr Andy Dixon

Another year has come and gone and holy sh*t were a lot of videogames released in 2014. Did you folks play any this year? I played a few, but mostly I just watched Netflix because it has achievements now.

Anyway, some of you were bound to have played a videogame or two in 2014, and if so, we want to hear which one you thought was the best! To participate, just vote for your personal game of 2014 in the poll below, and then let us know your choice in the comments so we can all argue about it because, well, this is the Internet god dammit.

In the coming weeks, the Dtoid staff will be unveiling our own awards (we're doing things a bit differently this year, so stay tuned for details!), after which we will count up the votes and unveil the official Destructoid Game of the Year 2014 Community Choice Award!

Have fun!

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PlayStation Experience was my favorite convention of the year photo
PlayStation Experience was my favorite convention of the year
by Brett Makedonski

I've been to a lot of videogame conventions this year. From the relatively small BitSummit to the monstrosity that is gamescom, I've pretty much seen them all. I didn't think this past weekend's trip to Las Vegas would result in me saying this, but for better and for worse, I think Sony's PlayStation Experience was my favorite convention of the year.

Part of what makes that so surprising is that the event itself was surprising. Nobody really knew what to expect from the PlayStation Experience. How big would it be? What would the booths look like? Would third-party publishers show up in force? Would it be a ghost town? No one knew.

The doors to the show floor opened up just as Saturday morning's keynote ended, and we finally got a glimpse at the mysterious PlayStation Experience. At first, it was bustling. Everyone coming off the high of the keynote, and they just wanted to play some games. Attendance was probably at its peak in those moments. It didn't feel packed, but there was certainly a steady flow of people at all times.

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