Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

metroidvania photo

Heart Forth, Alicia is really coming along

Get outta my dreams
Nov 30
// Jordan Devore
The latest Kickstarter update for Heart Forth, Alicia is a lot to get through. There's been a delay -- from Q1 2016 to the second half of the year -- but rather than just give a basic explanation for the change of plans, the ...
Platinum Games photo
Platinum Games

Platinum is doing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles next

Mutants in Manhattan
Nov 30
// Jordan Devore
Australia's classification board has a listing for a multiplatform game called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan and, hot damn, it's developed by Platinum Games. Question is, will its scope fall more in line ...

Review: Just Cause 3

Nov 30 // Patrick Hancock
Just Cause 3 (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 4, Xbox One)Developer: Avalanche StudiosPublisher: Square EnixMSRP: $59.99Release Date: December 1, 2015 Reviewed on: Intel i7-4770k 3.50 GHz, 8GB of RAM, Geforce GTX 970, Windows 10.  Just Cause 3 once again follows the exploits of Rico Rodriguez on a quest to liberate a region from a corrupt dictator, settlement by settlement. This time Rico has access to Medici, a nation under the control of Sebastiano Di Ravello. Medici is about the same size of Just Cause 2's Panau, which is to say it is huge. One big reason why Medici is a sought-after nation is due to its resource of Bavarium, a super-resource that allows for all sorts of militaristic applications. While I'm sure most players are not coming for the plot, the writers do a great job to keep the player entertained with the cast of characters involved. Rico has a handful of allies that aid him and the rebels throughout the campaign, and each character is great. Sure, they're essentially B-movie caricatures, but they're lovable caricatures. Despite the urgency and political turmoil constantly woven into each action Rico undertakes, his allies always seemed to put a big grin on my face. A lot of this comes down to two three things: the writing, voice acting, and animations. Again, the overarching narrative isn't going to blow any minds, but the moment-to-moment dialogue between the few important characters is consistently wonderful. Best of all, each voice actor delivers lines in a casual and believable way, something that is helped by realistic accompanying animations. No, there's no Bolo Santosi, but not every game is perfect. [embed]322878:61303:0[/embed] The bulk of the experience involves blowing the shit out of anything and everything. In order to take down Di Ravello, Rico must go from location to location, destroying everything owned by the evil dictator. It just so happens that about 95 percent of those items are highly explosive! When entering an area, whether it be a military base or a settlement, a list of destructible objects appear on the left side of the screen and it is the player's job to take them out. As less and less objects remain, they become more and more visible on the game's map, preventing the player from searching forever for that one last thing. The most useful tools at Rico's disposal are his grappling hooks. Not only is it possible to grapple onto a surface and travel straight to it, but Rico can use it to attach two separate items and pull them together. In Just Cause 3, it is possible to have up to six grappling hooks at a time. Six! This means twelve items can be linked to each other in a number of ways, and they can all converge on each other at once. Anyone who has played the previous game knows just how ridiculous that sounds. Okay, so there's explosives and grappling, but those aren't even the best mechanics, all things told. Movement in Just Cause 3 is easily the most fluid and beautiful system I've ever used. Seriously, I have never enjoyed moving around an open world as much as I have in Just Cause 3. There are three systems that mesh together: the grappling hook, the parachute, and, most importantly, the newly-acquired wing suit.  There's a lot of verticality to Medici, which makes flying around with the wing suit an absolute thrill. Plus, with the grappling hook available, it's possible to glide almost indefinitely at high speeds. I rarely used a vehicle to get around at all, since it was often slower and way less entertaining. The exception is when traveling over a large amount of water, since there is nothing to grapple onto and pull Rico along. Other than the campaign missions and settlements to liberate, Medici has random events, challenges, and collectibles. The random events might be to help tow someone's car to a gas station, or to prevent a group of friendly rebels from suffering the fate of a firing squad. There aren't too many varieties, but the distractions are quick and the rewards can easily be worth it. Some of the challenges are the standard "maneuvering a vehicle through rings," but others perfectly show off the game's mechanics and carefree attitude. Perhaps my favorite is a very Burnout-esque challenge that has players drive a car with a bomb strapped to it to a desired location only to jump out at the last moment to create chaos. The twist here is that, like Keanu Reeves in Speed, if the car goes below a certain speed, the bomb will explode. It's not as strict as the movie, but if a player goes too slow for too long, the challenge is failed. Others, like the wing suit courses, are also great and help hone specific skills. Players are awarded up to five "gears," depending on performance. Think of them like star ratings. Acquiring gears in certain challenge categories go towards unlocking new upgrades in those areas. For example, performing well in the Speed challenges gives Rico more upgrades for his explosives. Many of the upgrades make things simply better or more useful, like adding explosive charges, but some are more play-style driven. Players can turn these upgrades on and off at will once they are unlocked. For those looking to get more gears in challenges, keep this in mind; it is way easier to get a high score at the end of the game than it is at the beginning due to upgrades. Since this is an open world game in 2015, there's a smattering of collectibles strewn throughout Medici. I'm not one to care about them, but for those who do, Just Cause 3 has your back. If anything collectible is nearby, a small radar blip appears on the bottom of the screen that increases in signal strength as the item draws near. In addition, liberating a province (usually made of three to seven settlements) pinpoints the locations of these hidden items on the map. The biggest thing to realize while playing Just Cause 3 is it is mostly up to the player to keep things interesting. Liberating settlement after settlement does get stale, especially because they're essentially identical to one other, just with different layouts. Always using the same weapons to destroy the same objects gets old quickly. If players aren't inspired to get creative with their destruction, it's easy to get bored. The game gives the players all the tools needed to keep things fresh, but provides no tangible incentive to do so, therefore any such incentive must be intrinsically motivated. My recommendation is to keep doing challenges. By completing challenges and unlocking new upgrades, players will naturally want to play around with those upgrades. Well, what better way to test them out then when liberating a settlement? It would have been appreciated if various weapons had their own challenges, which would push players into switching it up more often. The story missions spice things up with some different objectives, but even those tend to repeat and feel "samey" after a while. Occasionally story missions will be locked, forcing the player to liberate more provinces or specific settlements before progressing. There's usually a canonical reason given for this, but it can easily lead to the player feeling burnt out. Liberating two or three provinces means going through about 15 settlements in a row. That's....a lot, especially considering how similar each one is to any other. Again, I'll offer some advice. Liberate settlements as you travel around. See a settlement? Blow the shit out of it and free those people! This will leave random settlements already completed, which means when you are forced to do so, it's much less tedious. Another way to help break the monotony is to call in Rebel Drops. These allow Rico to ask for some presents like vehicles, weapons, and explosives, to be dropped right in front of him. They are limited, but the system is much easier to understand and operate than the previous game's black market. If the feeling of staleness is creeping up, call in a rebel drop containing any assortment of items, and find the best way to use them in tandem! Visually, Just Cause 3 looks great, especially in motion on PC. The visuals are highly customizable with the standard graphical options expected on the platform. I ran everything at "Very High" and got a constant 60 frames-per-second... once I turned the motion blur off. I experimented with many different settings, and the lack of motion blur easily yielded the best performance. I did have some rare instances of artifacting, but was never able to actually reproduce them intentionally. I also ran in to a terrible glitch where Rico was performing the "dammit I got hit" animation every three-seconds, preventing me from doing, well, anything. A quick restart fixed the issue and I never saw it again, fortunately enough. Then, there's the issue with signing in to the Square Enix servers. The first thing the game does upon booting it up is to log in to the servers. The game is not always-online, but wants to connect to show players leaderboards for a variety of categories. These are things like longest time in a wing suit or most consecutive headshots. If a player loses connection, it pauses the game immediately and tries to reconnect. If it can't, the player can elect to go into offline mode. Great! Offline mode sounds wonderful. Except it tries to reconnect all the damn time. After a short while of being in offline mode, whenever the player checks the map, pauses the game, or initiates a challenge, the game will try to reconnect to the servers. The result is a constant view of the connection screen - either disconnecting or attempting to reconnect. This makes the game nigh unplayable with a spotty Internet connection. If that worries you, a solution on PC is to play the game through Steam's "offline mode." I can only hope there's an easier solution down the road. The enjoyment players get from Just Cause 3 will come from exactly how they approach the game. Those looking to fly around and blow up just about everything in sight will be elated with one of the most fluid movement systems in any game and the gorgeous explosion visuals that really pack a punch. As bizarre as it sounds though, blowing everything sky high can start to feel tedious after a while without proper motivation.  I'm sure you'll be seeing a ton of animated GIFs of Just Cause 3 for a while to come, due to all of the wacky things that can happen within the game. It truly is an insane, explosion-filled romp through a beautiful nation chock-full of cheeky humor. It provides some of the best open-world tools ever. This is definitely a case of "it is what you make of it," and for those with intrinsic motivation to make it the best will be greeted with just that. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Just Cause 3 Review! photo
The best Spider-Man game yet
While driving down the New Jersey parkway for Thanksgiving, I began to notice a lot of water and radio towers perched high above the trees. "Wow, I could easily blow them up or tether them to the ground and bring them down," ...

Deals photo

Cyber Monday deals for Wii U and New 3DS XL

Spartan but servicable
Nov 30
// Dealzon
We stretched our robot eyes as far as the nanolayer allowed, but there just weren't as many Nintendo Cyber Monday deals this year compared to years past. (Or maybe they've always been a slight letdown.) On the Wii U side, the...

Star Wars photo
Star Wars

Star Wars Battlefront's Jakku DLC looks like a good start

Casualties aplenty
Nov 30
// Jordan Devore
The first wave of free Star Wars Battlefront DLC debuts tomorrow for players who pre-ordered the game, while everyone else can get it a week later on December 8. As we've heard a few times now, the Battle of Jakku is made up ...
Splatoon photo

It's burgers vs. pizza in the newest Splatoon Splatfest

Like there's a choice
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
I love the forced extremes of the Splatoon Splatfests -- it's one or the other. In this case, it's a no-brainer choosing pizza over hamburgers. I mean, what culture doesn't love pizza? It utterly surprised me during my first ...

The Goon needs a video game, and so do these comics, too!

Nov 30 // Stephen Turner
The Goon What’s it about? The Goon runs a protection racket out of a Depression-era port town with his partner and only friend, Franky. It’s easy money until the zombies show up, and The Goon has to face the demons of his past in order to protect the sort-of-innocent. Did I mention the giant talking lizard, roller derby girls, and even a man made of wicker? Yeah, that happens along the way, too. How would it work as a game? You could easily set it up as a co-op brawler, where The Goon and Franky fight, shoot, shank, wrench, and quip their way through the zombie hordes, before tackling the more serious issue of werewolves, burlesque house killers, and Lovecraftian parodies. Think Hellboy: The Science of Evil, but more fun. Why isn’t there a game, then? It’s all about timing. Whereas the similar Hellboy broke the glass ceiling with a movie, during a time when obscure comics were worth a risk, The Goon hasn’t had the same chance. Years after its announcement, The Goon movie is still stuck in development hell and creator Eric Powell is currently slowing down his output, opting to do mini-series runs instead of monthly issues. So, in a way, the heat has died down on what is otherwise one of the best comics around. Fell What’s it about? Detective Richard Fell is maverick cop with plenty of book smarts and an ego to bolster it. But after he gets his partner seriously injured, Fell is transferred to Snowtown, a crime ridden burg where madness prevails and the good rely on magic to protect them. The more methodical and cynical Fell figures it's down to him alone to clean up the streets, even if it means being just as violent as the criminals he's chasing. How would it work as a game? I adore detective games, but unfortunately most punish you for not following the developers’ train of thought. Act too clever or arrive at the same solution from a different angle and you’re slapped on the wrist for not sticking to the script. Phoenix Wright and L.A. Noire were notorious for this, while Hotel Dusk and Heavy Rain were far more forgiving, allowing you get back on track with a roundabout line of questioning. The idea of Fell being too smart for his own good (and at times, to his own detriment) perfectly falls in line with the player's own inventiveness. So having a game where you're free in drawing your own conclusions, but having to know when to hold back information or lay it all down for the best sentencing would make for an intense balancing act; one that credits the player for being smart on their own accord. Why isn’t a game, then? Fell was short-lived at 9 issues long, released sporadically over 3 years (2005-2008). It’s probably too much of a risk for such a dead comic, and Warren Ellis is either too busy rocking out with Grinderman or writing another book to check his emails. Stumptown What’s it about? Dex Parios is the sole proprietor of Stumptown Investigations, a P.I. agency based in Portland, OR. She’s perpetually stubborn, witty in the face of danger, and not afraid to get into a fight. She’s also damn good at solving mysteries, which is pretty useful as she’s in deep with the casinos, has to look after a brother with Down syndrome, and owns a Dodge that needs repairing on regular basis. But as much as she needs the money, she never gives up on a client and her cases usually shine light on the darker side of Portland; the one all but forgotten in the midst of a hipster boom. How would it work as a game? I wasn't a fan of Life is Strange, but that’s really down to me wanting a straightforward neo-noir set in the Pacific Northwest than a Donnie Darko homage with bad dialogue. However, its point and click/choice-and-consequence gameplay perfectly suits Stumptown and Dex herself (brilliantly written by Greg Rucka, a man who understands solid female characters). In the comics, she’s constantly strong armed by client compromises and her own addictions, so it would be nice to see a game where a modern day white knight is bent out of shape as loyalties to one person has a knock-on effect to others. Plus, the episodic nature would be ideal for standalone cases. Why isn’t it a game, then? The straightforward detective game is a rare beast. It has to have a gimmick to work, to keep the player engaged and allow a broad audience to win. I’d love to see a no-frills experience to happen, though, and the Portland backdrop has currently been refreshing mysteries in the media from Backstrom to Cold Weather and even the police procedural elements of Grimm. Look, I'm just obsessed with going to Portland at the moment, okay? DMZ What’s it about? The near future: America has been torn apart by a second Civil War. Manhattan is now a demilitarised zone, with its poorest citizens trapped in a Westernised No Man’s Land. Reporter Matty Roth enters the zone to get the scoop of a lifetime, but ends up becoming the news as the DMZ heads towards revolution. How would it work as a game? The Walking Dead and This War of Mine have both shown there’s an audience for moral choices and tough decisions. You could go either direction for DMZ, either as a Telltale adventure or as a survivalist scavenger hunt. Much like The Goon, this one writes itself with a rich lore without you knowing every little detail to buy in. Why isn’t it a game, then? Eh, This War of Mine already exists and does an excellent job of highlighting war from a civilian perspective. Plus, The Division, which is basically all the action parts of DMZ in one condensed package, is on the way. Got to love Ubisoft for taking existing IPs and tweaking them enough to pretend it was their idea all along; see also: Watch_Dogs and Person of Interest. Girls What’s it about? Petty bitterness and primal urges threaten simple common sense when a town is invaded by identical naked alien women who just want to procreate. Trapped in a giant dome, a battle of the sexes erupts between its human cast. Their very survival depends on telling the men to keep it in their pants. Guess how that turns out. How would it work as a game? Girls would be controversial as a video game, but played right, it wouldn't be anything more shocking than what Catherine achieved with its sexual dilemmas. Video games shine when they’re allowed to be reflective of player interaction, even throwing back excuses for our Machiavellian nature. There’s a scene in The Walking Dead: Season One’s finale, where Clem’s kidnapper goes over the choices Lee has made, and at times, breaks the fourth wall. Think about it: Did you really save Carley over Doug because she had the gun, or because she was a potential love interest? Imagine a game like Girls having the same “don’t bullshit me” attitude as you doom a whole town with your virtual dick. Why isn’t it a game, then? It’s a comic about naked alien women and the men who take advantage of them. Stark naked lady bits and all! As much as I’d love a game like Girls, it’s probably not going to be on Steam any time soon. 100 Bullets What’s it about? Several wronged people across America are given an offer by a mysterious old man named Agent Graves: One untraceable gun, 100 spare bullets, and a carte blanche for revenge. Some buy into it easily, others chew over the morality of it all, but those who impress Graves end up being taken under his wing and into a conspiracy that's integral to the country's violent history. How would it work as a game? Despite the snappy title, 100 Bullets is more of a hardboiled thriller than an action series. It's a saga where every pull of the trigger has a far reaching consequence, where loyalties shift, and just about every character struggles to see the bigger picture. When the violence does happen, it's the end result of some messy choices and the gory outbursts are nasty periods at the end of every chapter. As a game, 100 Bullets would work best as a cocktail of third person shooting and tailored choices, much like Blues & Bullets. It would make for some nail-biting decisions and morality plays, where killing someone actually means something, good and bad. Why isn't it a game, then? Well, it's not like someone hasn't tried already. Personally, the cancelled game had it all wrong from the start. Yes, Cole Burns is probably the second famous character of the series, but that doesn't make him a good fit for a shootbang protagonist. He's actually the kind of shit stirrer you'd find on an episode of The Apprentice. Also, making 100 Bullets a generic third person shooter just takes the depth away from, in my mind, one of the best comic books ever made. Criminal Macabre What’s it about? Cal McDonald is a junkie private eye and monster slayer for a bunch of ghouls living in the L.A. sewers. He's a total badass, and this is before he gets wings. How would it make a good game? Despite the umbrella title, The Cal McDonald Mysteries are usually solved with a lot of guns and even more painkillers. I can almost see a Max Payne-meets-Constantine shooter with moments of crime scene investigation and crazy demon boss fights. But mostly crazy demon boss fights. Why isn’t it a game, then? Cal's creator, Steve Niles, worked on F.E.A.R. 3, and I'm guessing that terrible game has scarred him for life. That, and as much as I love the series, it would have to be a stellar third person shooter to be remotely successful; something that's gone the way of the B-tier developer. Crossed What’s it about? Post-apocalyptic, rape and murder nightmare fuel, one that makes The Walking Dead look like a camping trip. Forget making any decisions, you’ve already been buggered and God knows what else. How would it work as a game? I don't know, try asking uber-fan and Community Manager, Occams Electric Toothbrush, because he's a sick son of a bitch. Why isn’t it a game, then? Because as I've already said, our Community Manager, Occams Electric Toothbrush, is a sick son of a bitch. Right, enough about my choices, what comic would you like to see made into a game?
Comics as games photo
Eric Powell, call me, yeah?!
I’m not a fan of “The Capes” when it comes to comic books, but I understand why they’re such an easy fit for video games. Superheroes are proactive investigators and brawlers with adventures based sole...

Sony tease photo
Sony tease

This Sony Santa Monica game tease is a head-scratcher

Dancing in the moonlight
Nov 30
// Jordan Devore
SCE Santa Monica Studio has contributed to a varied bunch of games, including multiple God of War titles, Hohokum, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, and Journey. What's next? Whatever the ...
DC Comics photo
DC Comics

The Arkham Origins developer is working on two new DC Comics games

Oh, what could they be?
Nov 30
// Brett Makedonski
WB Montreal, the developer most well-known for 2013's Batman: Arkham Origins, looks like it's again focusing on comics for its second big project. And its third too, actually. A call for a fair number of new employees outed t...
Katamari photo

Bandai Namco is cooking up Tap My Katamari

Trademark and domain found
Nov 30
// Jordan Devore
Katamari Damacy has such a strong hook and delightfully offbeat vibe, it's hard to imagine I'll ever grow tired of the series. It's been a few years, now. We're due for another installment. If a recent trademark and domain ar...

Dtoid Designs: The five best Un-Mario levels

Nov 30 // CJ Andriessen
[embed]323057:61316:0[/embed] Thank you to everybody who entered this month. We will have a new contest starting on December 1. If you'd rather play these fine levels than watch, here are the level IDs you need: #5 Out of Another World (v 1.1) Disqus User: Algator C8B5-0000-00E0-E743 #4 DonkeyKong Country Jungle Hijinx Disqus User: Anikid 443B-0000-00B9-9B52 #3 Mario RAMPAGE *Post Your Score!! Disqus User: Alfonso Navarro B36A-0000-00E1-CFB3 #2 Pitfall II - The Lost Caverns (Atari) Disqus User: GameMakr24 A4B4-0000-00EC-8BCA #1 Super Sniper Bros: Aim & Fire Disqus User: CTMike 16E0-0000-00E0-4AF8   If you would like to try out the level I created for the Un-Mario Challenge, check out Arino Hawkins & the 1001 Flames here: 43AF-0000-00DD-02F8
Dtoid Designs photo
Check out the winners of round two
This month for the second Dtoid Designs contest, I challenged you to use Super Mario Maker to create the Un-Mario level. How exactly does one create a level that doesn't play like it comes from a Super Mario game using only S...

Cyber Monday photo
Cyber Monday

The Konami Code is the key to unlocking Amazon's Cyber Monday deals

Well eight-elevenths of it
Nov 30
// Brett Makedonski
The Konami Code has had a ton of in-game applications, but today it can save you some actual real-life money. Amazon has centered its Cyber Monday video game deals around the legendary cheat, making it instantly good for 15 p...
Deals photo

Cyber Monday Xbox One bundle deals and 50% off games

Going into a store is so 1999
Nov 30
// Dealzon
If you're curious what Microsoft Store is offering up for Cyber Monday, prepare to be un-surprised -- the deals are essentially the same as they were on Black Friday. If you were too busy or overwhelmed at the time, you might...
Eight Days photo
Eight Days

This concept art is making me wish Eight Days was never canceled

Canned in 2008
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
Eight Days was a pretty ambitious project. So ambitious that Sony canceled it in 2008 after debuting it in 2006. The gist was that it was going to be the biggest open world game of that era, set across eight different US...
Lost Reavers photo
Lost Reavers

Lost Reavers is being developed by a younger core staff

At the request of Harada
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
It's still unknown whether or not the Wii U's Lost Reavers will sport a fair free-to-play scheme, but for now, it's looking interesting enough for me to keep following it. Speaking to Famitsu, producer Katsuhiro Harada (...
Naruto photo

The 'last' Naruto game just got a demo in Japan

Also, a new trailer
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
It's hard to believe that Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 isn't out yet -- I could have sworn it was set to come out months ago. It's actually going to arrive in February worldwide following a delay, and for no...

Review: Superbeat: Xonic

Nov 30 // Jed Whitaker
Superbeat: Xonic (PS Vita [reviewed], PS TV)Developer: NurijoyPublisher: PM Studios, Atlus & ActtilMSRP: $39.99Released: November 10, 2015 This spiritual successor to the DJMax series has you tapping on the edges of the screen as visualized music from various genres fly at you, or optionally using the D-pad and buttons if that is you'd prefer. Personally I found that Superbeat was far more suited to touchscreen gameplay than traditional controls. By using touch you never have to think about what buttons to press, instead just matching the notes as they connect with the screen, which in turn makes things a tiny bit easier. The only downside to touch is getting used to the scratch notes, which are yellow notes that require tapping then quickly swiping either up or down based on the arrow inside of them. Scratch notes really gave me trouble till I'd spent days with the game and finally found the perfect technique to trigger them. Aside from that, the gameplay is spot on. Hitting notes just feel great on the smooth OLED of my launch edition Vita, even if I didn't recognize any of the music upon first playing it. By the time I was finished with the game I found myself humming along to songs and going back to play my favorites to level up.  [embed]323291:61307:0[/embed] Superbeat has an XP leveling system that is used to unlock songs and World Tour stages. XP is gained by completing songs, and bonus XP are awarded for difficulty and perks related to unlockable DJ Icons. DJ Icons can grant perks or protections such as double health, more recovery, more XP and even break shields. Shields are used to prevent damage being taken and combos being broken and are necessary for many of the World Tour stages unless you're a natural born finger dancer.  World Tour is really where you'll spend most of your time with the game, completing various challenges that require various goals such as massive combos that last across songs, perfectly played songs, and achieving high scores. My biggest gripe with the game is that the difficulty of World Tour stages doesn't really match up with their listed difficulty; I often found myself failing the easy stages while breezing through medium and hard difficulties.  The Tour stages that are brutally difficult require you to get 90%+ JUD, with JUD being related to score. While DJ Icons can help you pass many stages, they do little to help pass JUD stages, as the shields only grant you "good" rated presses instead of "superbeats" that give you a higher score. Some of the challenges are so hard that I found it damned near impossible to complete them in my time with the game, meaning I missed out on one last set of challenges and another "fart" sound effect that can be used in place of the default rimshot sound effect played when hitting notes.  After close to 40 hours with the game, I'm nowhere near acquiring all the unlockables, though I've managed to unlock every track -- all of which I really enjoy aside from one metal song that gives Crazytown's "Butterfly" a run for its title of 'shittiest song ever.' I rarely play my Vita, but now I'm going to have to pack it and Xonic along with me for any flights as my new go to "don't panic because you could die at any moment" game.  Superbeat: Xonic is an original enough take on the rhythm genre to make it feel fresh again and is easily the best touch screen based music game I've played with Cytus coming a close second. Filled to the brim with catchy tunes, I'll be revisiting Superbeat in the coming months anytime I travel. Apart from some brutally difficult challenges, the only other thing holding me back from giving this game a perfect score is that it is on the Vita, a system that I'd still regret buying even if this was the second best rhythm game I've ever played -- long live the king, PaRappa the Rapper. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.] Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon (3DS)Developer: Spike ChunsoftPublisher: NintendoMSRP: $39.99Released: November 20, 2015 [embed]323291:61307:0[/embed]
Superbeat review photo
Fingering has never been so fun
I've been playing rhythm games since they exploded onto the scene with PaRappa the Rapper in 1997, and having nearly played at least one title of every rhythm game series released I can easily say Superbeat: Xonic is top tier. But be forewarned, this is the Dark Souls...nay...the 127 Hours of music games, only you get to keep your arms attached. SUPERBEAT: XONiC

Hatsune Miku photo
Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X will arrive in March in Japan

On Vita
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
The Hatsune Miku machine isn't stopping anytime soon. Sega has just announced that Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X will arrive on March 24, 2016 in Japan, exclusively for the Vita. An Aime card (arcade transfer accesso...
Xenoblade photo

Video Review: Xenoblade Chronicles X

X gon' give it to ya
Nov 30
// Myles Cox
Xenoblade Chronicles X is certainly one of those games that you probably have to see to believe, rather than simply just taking some stranger's word for it. The written review just doesn't do it enough justice in my humble o...
Mighty No. 9 photo
Mighty No. 9

New Mighty No. 9 trailer showcases additional modes

Oh that Beck he's so wacky
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
Mighty No. 9 is going for that "kooky weird Saturday morning cartoon" vibe with this new trailer, meant to showcase some of the game's new modes, and that ever-popular brand™ building Minecraft pre-order bonus ski...
Hearthstone photo

This Hearthstone combo kills both players instantly

Compliments of Tavern Brawl
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
Hearthstone's Auchenai Soulpriest is up to his old tricks again. As most Priest players know, this card swaps healing powers for damage, setting up some devastating combos if used on the enemy. But in the case of this week's ...
Mario Kart 8 photo
Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 is getting a TV special on Disney XD this week

Haha what
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
Mario Kart 8 came in with a bang, and ended up lasting quite a while with its two amazing DLC packs. While I still play it on occasion, its fire has unfortunately died down a bit, partially due to the horrible battle mode tha...
South Park photo
South Park

Obsidian's team had full access to the South Park archives for The Stick of Truth

Did You Know Gaming
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
South Park: The Stick of Truth was a pretty ambitious project -- so much so that I didn't think it would ever actually come out. But when it did, it blew my expectations away, and Obsidian had another hit on its hands. ...

Review: Xenoblade Chronicles X

Nov 30 // Chris Carter
Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U)Developer: Monolith SoftPublisher: NintendoReleased: April 29, 2015 (Japan), December 4, 2015 (EU, US)MSRP: $59.99 X's timeline starts in 2054 AD, when a mysterious alien race assaults the Earth and decimates the human race as we know it. Arks deploy across the universe, and the only known survivor is the White Whale, which crash lands on the distant planet Mira. Cue a quest to kickstart mankind's new home, and you have your basic gist of what's going on. To be clear, the story is not related to the original Xenoblade in any way. You do not need to have played the other game to have an idea of what's going on, and by JRPG standards, X's story is rather clear and concise. The player goes through the experience as a silent protagonist, with a minor amount of dialogue choices (more like moods) in tow. There is no branching narrative here -- instead, you'll follow a linear storyline, with the ability to take control of any party member as your primary avatar, including the one you create. Where X really shines isn't by way of its serviceable, yet sometimes drawn-out story; it's the ability to create your own adventures. Through the use of a lone base (New LA) and a formidable, yet vulnerable organization called BLADE, you'll slowly learn more about Mira, the creatures that inhabit it, and the dangers involved beyond the alien race trying to wipe out your species. The giant, sprawling maps (of which there are five, all accessible at the start) are a dream come true for exploration enthusiasts, with secrets at every turn and points of interest every minute or so. While the visuals aren't anything to gawk at on a grand scale, the draw distance is absolutely incredible, to the point where I'm in awe Monolith was able to squeeze these textures into a Wii U title. Walking around in X is wondrous, and spotting giant screens-high enemies and world bosses (Indigens and Tyrants, respectively) is something you need to do yourself to truly grasp the game's scale. [embed]322015:61313:0[/embed] Players will start off with a male or female avatar of their choosing, and it's off to the races, with a rather quick tutorial session. From there, the game completely ceases to hold your hand, which is going to be a massive point of contention for some. Point blank, X is not a game you can casually pick up and play -- you need to immerse yourself in it. This not only goes for leveling up your character, but unlocking the requirements for story missions. Xenoblade Chronicles X is a tough and unforgiving game if you have no affinity toward the JRPG genre. Sure, there are a few modern conveniences peppered in, like fast travel, a detailed world map (accessible at all times on the GamePad screen), and the ability to save anywhere, but you will need to master nearly every facet of X to progress past the first few chapters. Hell, you'll need to actually read the manual to pick up on a few major things, old-school style, and I ended up taking paper notes just like I did in the NES days. It's going to be a polarizing thing for sure, but personally, I'm stoked to play something like this again. Learning all the game's ins and outs was a joy. It's particularly satisfying to take everything in and feel like you've accomplished something. The battle system is just as unforgiving as a lot of other aspects of X. It's based on an auto-attack system that presents you with a few skills at the start (such as power attacks or debuffs), but after a few hours the learning curve really ramps up. Players will have to juggle between ranged and melee attacks and abilities, both of which have their own styles, pros, and cons. By way of an MMO hotbar with icons and cooldowns, you'll have to micromanage all of the tools available to you, learn what abilities combo with others, and divine the right time to use them. Combat is also nuanced in practice, as enemies often have appendages that can be broken for strategic value. On paper it sounds like basic stuff, but once I earned the dodge and block abilities, timing became absolutely key to surviving a boss battle. Additionally, mastering other facets like the Soul Voice system (a harmless QTE that pops up occasionally, allowing you to heal your party), and knowledge of passive skill synergy will help. If all of that sounds scary, maybe Xenoblade Chronicles X isn't the game for you. Don't worry about the controls though. They work great, mostly thanks to the GamePad. As mentioned previously, it's constantly available as a map and fast travel datapad of sorts. If you're so inclined you can also use the Wii U Pro Controller, which works fine as well. In terms of length, X hits that sweet spot a lot of games in the genre tend to provide -- 50 hours or so for the story, and double that to do everything. What sets this JRPG apart from most of the competition however, is its ability to grab the player's attention throughout, and not just during specific juicy story sections. I would often spend hours at a time just aimlessly wandering around, finding mining locations to raise my income, and hunting down Tyrants. Every zone has a distinct feel to it, and in all, I've probably spent 10 hours in each individual area. Skells (mechs) have been a huge part of the game's marketing scheme, and it's important to know that you won't get them until roughly 20 to 30 hours into the core story (this is assuming you only do a light amount of exploring on top of that). After unlocking the opportunity to even obtain the license to pilot one, you'll have to complete a lengthy multi-tier optional questline. When I had first heard that figure based on player's experiences with the Japanese version I was turned off, but actually playing X, I quickly forgot about them, and when Skells did arrive, they felt like a cherry on top, opening up brand new exploration options via flight. Xenoblade does come with an online component, and just to be clear, I wasn't able to fully test it out. In addition to multiplayer squad support, there's also a system where you can recruit or interact with potential party members in an asynchronous manner, the latter of which I personally did have access to during my review period. It's a nice little bonus, as adding in a member from a vast online pool of players (even pre-launch) can help you fulfill a need in your party makeup that may be missing. Otherwise, this can be played completely offline, without any fear of missing out of an essential part of the game. This is one of the more interesting reviews I've done as of late because I know Xenoblade Chronicles X will be divisive. But it truly feels like an MMO world I've been living in for several weeks now. The more grimdark theme isn't quite as charming as the original Xenoblade, but everything else makes up for it. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Xenoblade review photo
I'm really feeling it
When Xenoblade Chronicles was announced for localization on the Wii, my heart skipped a beat. While there are plenty of JRPGs to go around, the more the merrier, and I wouldn't pass up the chance to experience another Monolith Soft game. I didn't quite have the same reaction to Xenoblade Chronicles X at first, but it really grew on me over time.

Rainbow Six Siege photo
Rainbow Six Siege

Where is our review for Rainbow Six: Siege?

Working on it
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
After a beta snafu, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is set to launch tomorrow on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One platforms. So where is our review? Well, we declined Ubisoft's review event as per our policy, so we'll be getting...
PlayStation 4 photo
PlayStation 4

Research group says millennials prefer PlayStation

Especially on Black Friday
Nov 30
// Mike Cosimano
Shopping research group InfoScout has published its post-Black Friday findings as they relate to video game consoles. As you can see in the chart below, 40% of participating millennials (defined as ages 18-35) buy PlayStation...
Star Wars Battlefront photo
Star Wars Battlefront

Breaking Benjamin frontman hates Star Wars Battlefront

He seems like a reasonable man
Nov 30
// Mike Cosimano
Within the first thirty seconds of the video linked below, Breaking Benjamin founder Benjamin Burnley admits to punching his Xbox One to the point where there is damage visible on the console. This comes on the heels of a muc...
Metal Gear Solid photo
Metal Gear Solid

Not everyone is giving peace a chance in Metal Gear Solid V's race to disarmament

Oh, Xboners
Nov 30
// Vikki Blake
Konami is keeping us updated following its call to disarm all nuclear weapons on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. As at November 29, Xbox 360 is leading the charge with just 35 nukes remaining, with big brother Xbox One ...
Rainbow Six Siege photo
Rainbow Six Siege

Like killing off your own team members in Rainbow Six Siege? Ubisoft has plans for you

'It will not be tolerated'
Nov 30
// Vikki Blake
Ubisoft will not tolerate players who kill off their own teammates in Rainbow Six Siege. Replying to a fan tweet that asked if there were plans to "to do anything about trolls that kill people on their [own] team," the develo...
Mirage: Arcane Warfare photo
Mirage: Arcane Warfare

Chivalry developer trademarks Mirage: Arcane Warfare

Dark Messiah of Might and Chivalry?
Nov 30
// Joe Parlock
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare was absolutely great. Take a load of shouty knights, make them chuck axes and swing swords at each other in a first person melee-fest, and you’ve got yourself a grand ole time. Plus it gets ex...

Auto-loading more stories ... un momento, corazón ...