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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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Uncharted 4 trailer analysis: Hints at improvements over Uncharted 3 photo
Uncharted 4 trailer analysis: Hints at improvements over Uncharted 3
by Steven Hansen

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa" - Nathan Drake. 

As Chris mentioned when the trailer debuted at PlayStation Experience, Uncharted 4 looks, "very Uncharted." There are Nolan North quips at everything you see. The dark and dingy cave gives way to a sun-washed, cinematic vista as three birds fly by right as your eyes adjust to the sun.

The climbing, too, looks same as it ever was, save for the addition of a centuries-old, apparently indestructible soft-rock-climbing dagger. And a grappling hook, which was at least used once. 

But while the base mechanics are familiar, the layout, at least as it appears in this trailer, is different, and that's why I'm a bit more excited for A Thief's End after being less impressed with Uncharted 3

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Dear devs, stop it with tutorials all the way through the game photo
Dear devs, stop it with tutorials all the way through the game
by Nic Rowen

“THA'S HOW YOU RIDE A CARRRRRAGOR!"

Yeah, thanks asshole. I've already done this like two dozen times. You might have noticed I rode up to your mission marker ON a Caragor.

“WHEN UN' ORC IS DOWN, THA'S WHEN YOUR CARRRAGOR CAN POUNCE ON EM!”

DIE IN A FIRE.

I loved Shadow of Mordor. You know, unlike some people. I could ignore the generic revenge-driven plot, put up with Gollum's shenanigans, and embrace the hell out of the unique cast of orcs the game generated for me. Hell, I even loved the Arkham-style combat and the kill-crazy orc murder sprees it enabled. I'm not sick of that brand of carnage yet, not by a longshot.

But the game committed one unforgivable sin – It was still tutorializing basic mechanics well into the back half of the game. Every time it happened it was enough to make me want to pitch the game into Mount Doom's lava basement.

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Katamari creator teams with former EA designer for Wattam photo
Katamari creator teams with former EA designer for Wattam
by Jonathan Holmes

Wattam is a new PS4 exclusive from Robin Hunicke (Boom Blocks, My Sims) and Keita Takahashi (Katamari Damacy, Noby Noby Boy, Tenya Wanya Teens). The game was inspired by Takahashi's experiences playing with his two year old son, as they wondered "what if all toys lived, and connected by themselves?" Sounds a lot like amiibo and Skylanders, though knowing Takahashi, it's unlikely that Wattam will end up going in that direction. 

We'll be finding out more about Wattam when 2015 rolls around. Hopefully Funomena doesn't stretch out the reveals for too long. 

Introducing Wattam, the new PS4 game from Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi [Playstation]

 

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Drawn to Death: A PS4 arena shooter from David Jaffe photo
Drawn to Death: A PS4 arena shooter from David Jaffe
by Steven Hansen

"They said I could cuss." Oh, Jaffe.

Jaffe's (Twisted Metal, God of War) new studio's PS4 exclusive (in conjunction with Sony San Diego) is Drawn to Death, a third-person arena shooter set in a high school kid's violent notebook. That should get someone sent to a principal's office.

There are a number of different characters and some oddball weapons, like a dragon stuffed with gasoline breathing fire. Oh, teens. That everything--levels, guns, characters--comes from some teen's messed up imagination could make for a lot of wild, interesting stuff.

Drawn to Death is playable at PlayStation Experience, but in pre-alpha, so the team will be impromptu focus-testing at the show. 

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Street Fighter V confirmed as PS4, PC exclusive photo
Street Fighter V confirmed as PS4, PC exclusive
by Kyle MacGregor

Street Fighter V is coming "exclusively" to PlayStation 4 and PC, Sony and Capcom announced today onstage at the PlayStation Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The fighting game will support cross-platform play, meaning PS4 owners and PC users will be able to compete against one another, something Capcom's Yoshinori Ono notes is a first for the series.

During the keynote, Sony's Adam Boyes asserted PS4 "will be the only console this game ever appears on." So don't hold out hope for an Xbox One version.

Check out the title's debut gameplay footage and screenshots right here:

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Shovel Knight is coming to the PS3, PS4, Vita, Kratos boss teased photo
Shovel Knight is coming to the PS3, PS4, Vita, Kratos boss teased
by Chris Carter

Coming off of Yacht Club Games' 300k sales of Shovel Knight on the Wii U, 3DS, and PC, they have just announced that the game is coming to PlayStation platforms. It'll arrive on the PS3, PS4, and Vita sometime in the near future.

Also, a Kratos boss fight was teased, which looks pretty damn amazing. It's really cool to see the team partner up with Sony like this to get the game on these three platforms and have a licensed tie-in.

Expect to see it in quite a few Game of the Year conversations. It's their first game, people! 

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Adr1ft is a stunning VR space exploration, and it came from a 'f*ck it' mentality photo
Adr1ft is a stunning VR space exploration, and it came from a 'f*ck it' mentality
by Brett Makedonski

Adam Orth is a recognizable figure in the videogame industry, but not necessarily for the reasons he should be. He played a creative role in several renowned triple-A titles -- God of War, Medal of Honor, and Twisted Metal are some examples of franchises he worked on -- and that's what he should be known for. Instead, in 2013, Orth found himself the videogame industry's Villain of the Week after his now infamous "deal with it" tweet regarding Xbox One's always online requirement.

It was a tough time for Orth. "I couldn't really talk to anyone. I felt like I let my friends and family down," he said. But, his creative spirit endured. After a week's time went by, Orth got back to doing what he knew best: making videogames. Holed up in his office, he started designing a game about space -- or, more fittingly, a game about an unbelievably desperate situation and being completely alone.

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Buy these nine games to support the Ferguson Public Library photo
Buy these nine games to support the Ferguson Public Library
by Steven Hansen

Altruism is better when you get something in return. Contradictory? Sure. Ignoble? Someone will tell you why from their high horse. But wouldn't it be sweet if in paying your internet bill or buying a new blender, all the proceeds went to the World Wildlife Fund or Doctor's Without Borders. You get something, the world gets something, Comcast gets nothing. In a perfect world.

Of course, we live in a tragically imperfect world, which is why game developers have bundled nine games together, "in support of the Ferguson Public Library and in solidarity with protesters resisting antiblack state violence and white supremacy."

For $9 (or more), you'll get 9 games, 8 of which are provided as direct downloads, the 9th as a Steam key because of the filesize. All proceeds go to the Ferguson Public Library. The bundle will be up until tomorrow, December 6, at 11:59 Eastern. If you do donate, make sure to download your games before then, as the bundle page will be taken down then.

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Harmonix returns to classic rhythm-action with Amplitude photo
Harmonix returns to classic rhythm-action with Amplitude
by Alessandro Fillari

Before the folks at Harmonix Studios put themselves on the map with Guitar Hero and Rock Band, it was known for the cult hits Frequency and Amplitude. Blending fast-paced rhythm-based action with mesmerizing visuals and an electronic soundtrack, players could tap their feet along with the beat while using quick reflexes to achieve the high score. Though the titles never lit the charts on fire, they garnered a cult following and were fondly remembered among fans of rhythm games.

With the success of Rock Band, Guitar Hero, and Dance Central under their belts, the developers at Harmonix decided it was time to revisit the long-dormant series. Keen to show off an early build of the game in time for the upcoming PlayStation Experience event, the devs were confident they nailed their reboot of Amplitude.

And with the success of their Kickstarter campaign, they've definitely got an audience ready to check out the reunion with the long-missed series.

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