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Animals

Paws photo
Paws

The next Shelter game is a spin-off called Paws


I'm the baby, gotta love me
Jan 20
// Jordan Devore
Might and Delight is continuing its animal adventure series with Paws, a new standalone game set in the "world of Shelter 2." Instead of tending to lynx cubs as their mother, this time around, you are one. And it looks like y...
Tokyo Jungle photo
Tokyo Jungle

Sony might be considering a new Tokyo Jungle


It's the circle of life
Jan 17
// Ben Davis
Based on some recent tweets by Sony producer Masaaki Yamagiwa, there may be some interest in making a new Tokyo Jungle. Yamagiwa had a meeting with Crispy's president Yohei Kataoka, developer of the original game.Roughly tran...
Oh hai doggy! photo
Oh hai doggy!

Look out for this pooping dog in The Division


Times are ruff
Jan 15
// Jordan Devore
I didn't realize The Division had dogs in it, let alone that they would poop (let alone that said poop would look like that). I'm now imagining the conversations that presumably took place at Ubisoft leading up to this idea being formed, pitched, conceptualized, implemented, and refined.
Bird law photo
Bird law

Lawyer adventure Aviary Attorney hits Steam soon


Exhibit A: This trailer
Dec 09
// Jordan Devore
Can a game like Aviary Attorney carve out a niche for itself? I'm hopeful! This 19th century adventure starring a man who is a lawyer and also a bird intrigued enough people to earn funding through Kickstarter at the beginnin...

Wild PS4 photo
Wild PS4

PS4 exclusive Wild looks like symbiotic Animorphs


Eagle vision activate
Oct 27
// Laura Kate Dale
We finally got to see some gameplay from PS4 exclusive Wild today at Paris Games Week and my goodness, it has some awesome Animorphs vibes. The idea behind Wild seems to be that as a shaman, you can enter a trance and contro...
Cowmiya photo
The Joy of Localization
The original title of this article was "XSEED named a cow Swag Lady," which is also true. There are several cows in Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale, a cute and leisurely little RPG, if my brief time with t...

Purrrrr-fect photo
Purrrrr-fect

This Fallout cosplay proves cats are better than dogs


That tiny Pip-Boy is so cute
Jul 02
// Jed Whitaker
The argument about whether cats are better than dogs has finally come to a close. Cats win. I mean, just take a look at these cats cosplaying as a character from Fallout -- how could you ever consider dogs better after seeing...

Top Tentacles: Gaming's greatest cephalopods

May 29 // Ben Davis
Blooper - Super Mario Bros. series Bloopers are the classic squids of gaming. They've been a part of the Super Mario Bros. series ever since the first entry, and have appeared in many different forms, including the Gooper Blooper from Super Mario Sunshine, the Big Blooper from Super Paper Mario, King Calamari from Super Mario RPG, and many more. Blooper was even a playable character once in Mario Party 8. He was the only character I ever played as in that game, of course, but it made me wish Blooper was playable more often. I hope we see him in Mario Kart as a racer sometime, or participating in one of the Mario sports games, or even just appearing as a party member in a Paper Mario game. We need more friendly Bloopers! Ultros - Final Fantasy VI Oh, Ultros. This musclehead-hating, fire-fearing octopus acts as a comic relief boss fight, whom players must battle several times throughout Final Fantasy VI. He'll fight you in the water, on land, in the air, and even on stage during a live opera performance! It's hard to pick a favorite character in Final Fantasy VI, because the cast is so rich and diverse, but Ultros is pretty high up there. The game just wouldn't be the same without him, popping up in the most unexpected places with a big, goofy grin on his face. How can you not love adorable old Uncle Ulty? Octorok - Legend of Zelda series Another classic video game cephalopod, like the Bloopers. Octoroks are octopus-like enemies from the Zelda series, although unlike real octopuses, they often only have four tentacles and they like to spit rocks instead of ink. Octoroks have undergone some major design changes over the years. They started out as little round red and blue land-dwelling dudes who barely resembled octopuses, then moved into the water, turned purple, and began to look more like their namesake in Ocarina of Time, and then became more of a giant squid-like enemy in Wind Waker in the form of the Big Octos. The Big Octos are my favorite incarnation; it was always quite a thrill to encounter one in the big open ocean. No matter what they look like, though, you can almost always expect to run into an Octorok at some point during Link's adventures. Ikachan - Ikachan Splatoon isn't the first game where you could play as a squid! Way back in 2000, Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya released a freeware game called Ikachan, the predecessor to his wildly popular indie game, Cave Story. Ikachan follows the story of the titular hero, a cute little squid on a mission to aid his fellow sea creatures who have been trapped in a cave after a series of earthquakes and are running out of food. It's a rather short game, but it's free and unique enough to be enjoyable. Plus, Ikachan has a little starfish buddy named Ben, so of course I'm gonna like the game! Ikachan actually makes a cameo appearance in Cave Story as well. If players manage to beat Ironhead (another character from Ikachan) in the Waterway without getting hit, a swarm of squid that look just like Ikachan will flood the screen! Octavian, Marina, and Zucker - Animal Crossing series Ever since the first Animal Crossing game, all I've ever wanted was to have an octopus neighbor move into my town. At first, the only available octopus villager was Octavian, the grumpy red dude. I saw him in a list of possible villagers, and dreamed that one day he'd move in next to me, walking around on land like it's no big deal. But alas, it never happened. I never even saw him visiting in a tent or igloo. The newer iterations of Animal Crossing have introduced two more octopus neighbors into the mix: Marina, the cute, pink one; and Zucker, the one that looks like a walking takoyaki. While I was playing New Leaf last year, I somehow had one spectacular week where both Octavian AND Marina moved into my town! They're both still there today, and I'm never letting them leave. Now all I need is Zucker, and I'll have the holy trinity of Animal Crossing neighbors! Launch Octopus - Mega Man X Launch Octopus is the robo-octopus boss from Mega Man X who resides in an underwater military base. He's able to fire homing torpedoes and create huge whirlpools, which can be very dangerous when X is trapped underwater. I also love his opening animation, where he points at X with a tentacle and then points to the ground. "You're goin' down!" There was another cephalopod boss later on in the series in Mega Man X5, who goes by the name of Squid Adler. Unfortunately, I have yet to play X5, but I heard Squid Adler is named after Steven Adler from Guns N' Roses, so that's pretty cool. It reminds me of the Squid Vicious character from the newest Chibi-Robo game. I'm liking this trend of rock star squids. Who's next, Ringo Squid? Inkay and Malamar - Pokémon series Inkay and Malamar are a pair of squid Pokémon from the newest generation. They're pretty interesting because, while based on aquatic animals, they're actually not water-types and cannot learn any water-type moves (aside from one TM move). Instead, they are Dark/Psychic-types. With special techniques like Topsy-Turvy and Contrary, these squids like to pull the old switcheroo, reversing stat changes on themselves or the enemy. Inkay also has a really weird method of evolving. Players actually have to hold the 3DS upside down while it levels up in order for it to evolve into Malamar. Of course, Inkay and Malamar aren't the only cephalopod Pokémon. There's also Octillery, a pretty cool octopus Pokémon, although I've never understood why it evolves from Remoraid. I mean, remoras and octopuses don't really have anything to do with each other. It would have made more sense for Remoraid to evolve into Mantine or Sharpedo, or just not evolve at all. But I guess Pokémon doesn't really have to make sense biologically, so whatever. They can have a fish evolve into a cephalopod; why not? Octodad - Octodad series Hmm... I must have made a mistake. I figured a game called Octodad would be about an octopus, but all I'm seeing here is a normal human dad in a fancy suit standing alongside his beautiful family. How strange. Sorry for the mix-up, folks! Moving along... Giant Squid - Endless Ocean series This one's a bit more on the realistic side. What makes the giant squid in Endless Ocean so exciting for me is the fact that real life giant squids are so incredibly rare that only a few people have ever actually seen one alive. Even though they live on our planet, the chances of actually seeing one are slim to none. So encountering one in Endless Ocean is really as close as I'm ever going to get to meeting my favorite animal. In Endless Ocean: Blue World, players can find the giant squid in a deep ocean crevasse. It blocks the entrance to a cave, threatening to attack, so it has to be lured out by leading a sperm whale (its natural enemy) over to the cave. The squid and the whale then begin an epic fight for survival, right in front of you! Swimming alongside the giant squid in Endless Ocean was such a magical experience for me. I usually went out of my way to visit it, just to watch it float gracefully through the water, propelling itself with its tentacles, staring at me with its huge eyes. It's honestly one of my most cherished video game memories. Inklings - Splatoon I've only played about an hour of Splatoon so far, during the Global Testfire, but I can already tell that these squid kids are amazing. I mean, they're humans with squid-like features and the ability to turn into cephalopods at will. How great is that? If I had the ability to transform into any animal in real life, there's a very good chance I would choose to be a squid, just like the Inklings. This game really speaks to me. I'm a kid now! I'm a squid now!
Top Tentacles photo
Octopus, I love you
Happy Splatoon Day, everyone! With the release of Nintendo's new squid-based cooperative shooter, it only seems appropriate to celebrate by taking a look at some of the great cephalopod video game characters out there. For th...

One with nature: Playing as animals in videogames

May 10 // Ben Davis
Playing as a shark in Depth is my new favorite thing. Controlling the sharks feels incredible; they move and behave exactly the way I feel a real-life shark might, darting swiftly through the water, stalking their prey, and thrashing about in the heat of battle. The sharks' controls are simple: move through the water with the mouse and WASD, right click for a short lunge, left click for a long lunge, and once it's got something in its mouth, thrash the mouse around like crazy to kill it faster. That's pretty much it, aside from holding shift to swim faster and pressing E to activate a special passive ability, but that's really all a shark would need to be able to do. Players get to choose between four types of sharks: the tiger, the great white, the mako, and the hammerhead. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. The great white is sort of like the tank shark -- lots of health but little stamina, with a special ability to increase defenses. The mako (my personal favorite) is the opposite; it has lots of stamina but little health, with the ability to mark targets for extra points. Tigers and hammerheads are somewhat balanced stats-wise, but the tiger has the ability to blend into the environment while the hammerhead is able to quickly kill divers by ramming them into walls. There's also an all-powerful and truly terrifying megalodon, but he's only available in a special mode. You'd think a shark would clearly have the upper hand in a fight against divers in the water, but it's not so simple in Depth. The divers come armed with a vast array of equipment to fend off the sharks, including sea mines, sonar buoys, nets, shields to disrupt the sharks' senses, and weapons like bang sticks, harpoons, and rifles which can easily take down the large predators with careful aim. This means sharks have to be very careful about when and how they choose to attack. After a while, I start trying to think like a shark. What would a hungry shark do in this situation? Wait for the opportune moment to strike, or go all in and hope for the best? Those seals swimming around are starting to look mighty tasty and much easier to kill than these humans, but they're just a side dish. It takes a bit of work to get to the main course. The challenge of playing as a shark comes from planning an attack strategy. Swimming recklessly into a room full of divers with no escape plan will most likely lead to a quick death. It's better to examine the area for all possible entrances and exits, then swim in, grab a diver, and quickly swim out while killing them before the other divers have time to react. Another good plan is to circle the area and wait patiently for any divers to venture away from their group, picking them off as they swim out into open waters, greedily searching for treasure. These strategies of circling and waiting, examining the surroundings, and attacking at swift speeds all seem to mirror behaviors that real sharks often employ. Of course, it's good to keep in mind that actual sharks are not normally as aggressive towards humans as the sharks in Depth need to be in order to win. More often than not, real sharks are circling out of curiosity rather than hunger. But that's where the videogame aspect of Depth comes in. It wouldn't be nearly as fun to swim passively around the divers as they leave the sharks alone to collect gold. There needs to be action, and hungry sharks need to eat something, so why not humans? Sorry divers, but we can't be friends in this game! Getting into the mind of a shark for a few hours, even in a fictional world, just feels awesome. Sharks are not something I see everyday. I've seen some at the aquarium, although plenty of other people have encountered them personally out in the ocean. They're scary, but they're also beautiful, intelligent creatures. We may never know what a real shark is thinking, but taking the role of one in a videogame might bring us a bit closer to understanding them. And this is true for other videogame characters as well. Aside from Depth, several other games have managed to capture realistic animal gameplay in the past too. While the main character in Mister Mosquito may appear very stylized and cartoonish, he flies around and bites people in a way that feels like I could be controlling a real-life mosquito (barring his inexplicable ability to push buttons on electronics by throwing his weight around). The Shelter series also lets players take control of animals in their natural habitats, with games centered around families of badgers and lynxes. Another one of my favorite games in this regard is Tokyo Jungle. The animals in Tokyo Jungle feel really great to control, as they go around hunting for food, mating, and generally trying to survive like any animal would. I particularly enjoy the variety of animals available to choose from in Tokyo Jungle. There's everything from cats and dogs, to chickens, lions, bears, porcupines, ostriches, elephants, and even dinosaurs. I can inhabit the minds of all sorts of animals! I hope to see more games adopt realistic animals as main characters in the future. With so many different kinds of animals in the world, there are surely an endless amount of possible ideas for fun and exciting games centered around them. Now if we could just create a game where I could play as a majestic whale...
Playing as animals photo
I'm a shark!
One of the greatest aspects of the videogame medium is its ability to allow players to inhabit the mind of someone, or something, other than themselves. You can be people from all different walks of life, with all kinds of sk...

Sonic photo
Sonic

Forget Sonic Boom, this is what the next Sonic should really be


Just look at him, so cute
Apr 23
// Robert Summa
For those that have lost faith that a proper Sonic game will ever come out again, please feel comforted in the fact that with videos like these, there is always hope. Honestly, wouldn't you rather play a game that looks like this than the horrors of Sonic Boom? [Image]
Final Fantasy XV photo
Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV nature video showcases vibrant wildlife, Behemoths


It's like Square Enix's version of the Discovery Channel
Mar 02
// Ben Davis
"And here we see the majestic Behemoth on the hunt for food in its natural habitat. Watch as it establishes dominance over the other Behemoths within its territory." We've already seen trailers and gameplay footage of Final ...
Things fish do photo
Things fish do

Watching fish play Street Fighter II live is actually entertaining


What a world we live in
Aug 20
// Jordan Devore
First there was a fish playing Pokémon over a Twitch stream like it was a human or something, and now we've got two fish fighting each other in Super Street Fighter II Turbo. If you're new to this phenomenon, the tank...

The 5 best parts from the E3 demo of MGS V: The Phantom Pain

Jun 20 // Max Scoville
[embed]276926:54544:0[/embed]
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...in under 2 minutes!
Sure, you could go watch the whole half-hour demo of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain we saw at E3, but then you don't get to look at my pretty face. Also, an animal shows up at the end of this video! Can you guess what it is? 

PS VITA PETS IS SO FETCH photo
PS VITA PETS IS SO FETCH

PlayStation Vita Pets is pure nightmare fuel, buy it now


...if you dare
Jun 04
// Kyle MacGregor
"Ah, dear tree, I honor you with my wee." This is the type of thing dogs say in the dystopian alternate reality depicted in PlayStation Vita Pets. I never really wanted to know what my dog thinks when he's ruminating ov...
PS VITA PETS: GET HYPE! photo
PS VITA PETS: GET HYPE!

PSA: PlayStation Vita Pets comes out this Tuesday!


GET HYPE!
Jun 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Awww! Look at the doggies! So cute! Or at least until they were until they started talking. Stop that, guys. Seriously. It's giving me the creeps. I'm out of here. The Drop: New PlayStation Games for 6/3/2014 [PlayStation Blog]
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Yuji Naka makes a whale photographing game


Whale, whale, whale
Jan 03
// Dale North
Prope, the studio founded by Sonic the Hedgehog main programmer Yuji Naka, has just released a whale photographing game called Real Whales. Yep. This iOS and Android release lets you visit locations all over the world in you...

Review: Zoo Tycoon

Nov 22 // Chris Carter
Zoo Tycoon (Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Frontier DevelopmentsPublisher: Microsoft StudiosRelease Date: November 22, 2013MSRP: $59.99 Far and away the best part of Zoo Tycoon is interacting with the animal kingdom. There are tons of creatures to choose from, all the way from the noble lion to the smallest lizard, and pretty much everything in between. Going a step above expectations, animals have individual names, personalities, and can be adopted and released. You'll have some idea of what to expect when bringing them in and you'll get updates when they're shipped out, so there's a connection there that's not usually found in simulation games. It's expected that you'll take care of these animals mind you, with a number of different requirements for each exhibit. Throughout the course of the game you'll monitor your animal pens, and check to make sure they're enjoying their environment, that they're clean, and that they're fed. It's nothing major, really, and it can all be monitored very easily with the press of a button, with meters for each necessity and a few clicks to solve each problem. But that's all you're going to be doing in terms of the simulation aspect, as there's very little you can influence beyond your animal's welfare. While it may seem like you can control the macro elements of the zoo at first, most of the changes are extremely bare-bones -- in other words there's no "exact percentage" sliders to speak of. For example, instead of upping your park tickets by "55%" to find that sweet spot, you're limited to "free, low, normal, and high" -- a concept that carries over to every other facet of the actual park. [embed]265874:51513:0[/embed] Most of your fun is going to come out of wandering around your creation -- not navigating the game's (lack of) menus. While you can take a traditional overhead real-time strategy viewpoint to manage your whole park, you can just as easily take control of a customizable avatar to walk around your zoo in third person, as well as call upon a golf car to zip around. There actually is a point to the game as well, with various story missions with unique objectives. Goals usually center around earning more patrons or more cash, with the occasional twist. For instance, some missions might task you with taking a specific picture using the first-person camera function -- putting further emphasis on the exploration aspects of the game. Kinect functionality is completely optional here, and it's mostly for feeding and interacting with animals. Family members will love this feature in particular, especially when they're holding out their hand to feed their favorite creature. There are a few other mini-games you can play with your furry residents (like making faces at them or hosing them down for a bath), and the result almost always ends in a smile. You can enjoy all these features by way of three major modes -- campaign, challenge mode, and free play. Some of the challenges are puzzle-like in nature, like the ones that force you to build on certain pieces of land with limited resources. Since you can't just expand everywhere to brute force the mission, you'll have to figure out how to make the best of your real estate. There are also a number of social features, like the ability to take care of other player's animals -- but there's no full-on Minecraft-esque multiplayer mode. Free play is just how it sounds, as the game provides you with unlimited funds to build the zoo of your dreams. It literally is an interactive zen garden, as there's no fear of reprisal for building one too many incorrect environments, and you can fill your park with as many cute animals as you like. I spent more than a few hours in this, and my wife would occasionally look in with an "awww" every now and then during a cute moment. In other words, this mode is perfect for handing off to your kids or non-gamers without a need to coach them at every turn. Zoo Tycoon has a distinct lack of depth, but if you're capable of sitting down with this simplistic simulator, you'll smile more times than you can count. The simulator fan in me was a bit disappointed by the ease of it all, but the child in me couldn't help but enjoy myself.
Zoo Tycoon review photo
Perfect for kids and animal lovers alike
Not all simulators are created equal. While some let you dabble into the tiniest microcosmic detail like individual wages of specific levels of society, others are content to let you roam free in a zen garden-like state. The ...

Vita Pets photo
Vita Pets

PlayStation Vita finally gets its killer app -- Pets


OH MY GOD HIPPO DOG
Aug 15
// Chris Carter
For all of you out there who have been waiting for something other than ports to hit the PlayStation Vita, your wait is finally over. The killer app from Sony has arrived, and it goes by the name of -- PlayStation Vita Pets....
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Mad Max gameplay, GTA's dogs & Dishonored's witch hunt


The Destructoid Show puts its pants on one leg at a time
Jul 16
// Max Scoville
Today's Destructoid Show is brought to you by vacation! Which I am going on, tomorrow. Because I feel like it. The News: Avalanche Studios' Mad Max will probably be cool, but I'm unimpressed, Dishonored's final DLC...
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Sega and BBC Earth team up for Orbi attraction


Coming to Yokohama this year
May 29
// Dale North
When Sega trademarked the name Orbi the internet went nuts. New console? New game? Nope. It's a new interactive experience coming to Yokohama, Japan this August.  Sega partnered with BBC Earth to create Orbi, an innovat...
pretty badass photo
pretty badass

Become the crazy nastyass badger in Shelter


By Pid developer, Might and Delight
Apr 15
// Allistair Pinsof
Pid was one of the most charming games I played in 2012, so it's no surprise that developer Might and Delight's next project, Shelter, focuses on the most mighty and delightful creature in the animal kingdom: the crazy nasty...
Chainsaw Pogo Gorilla photo
Chainsaw Pogo Gorilla

I-Mockery's next game is Bionic Chainsaw Pogo Gorilla


Man's greatest question answered
Apr 11
// Tony Ponce
Last year, fans of I-Mockery's irreverent brand of pop culture humor were treated to Abobo's Big Adventure, a mashup of all things NES starring the muscle-bound Double Dragon boss Abobo. As hilarious as Abobo's Big Adventure ...
Animales de la Muerte photo
Animales de la Muerte

Animales de la Muerte lives on as a mobile game


High Voltage Software's zoo animal slaughterhouse coming to iOS and Android
Apr 05
// Tony Ponce
Remember High Voltage Software's Animales de la Muerte? Originally one of the most promising-sounding titles for the then-new WiiWare service, it stewed in limbo for a few years before dropping WiiWare and becoming an XBLA /...
Tamagotchi  photo
Tamagotchi

Tamagotchi mounting a comeback on iOS and Android


What 90s fad will they resuscitate next?
Feb 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Bandai has announced plans to resurrect Tamagotchi on iOS and Android devices. While the handheld digital pet never truly went away, its star certainly has faded since the late nineties. Perhaps the popular egg-shap...
Sly Cooper launch trailer photo
Sly Cooper launch trailer

Sly Cooper sneaks into his fourth adventure today


Watch the new launch trailer
Feb 05
// Chris Carter
Sly Cooper is in for his biggest adventure yet as he travels through the ages in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. The new launch trailer gives you a decent look at what to expect from the franchise's decidedly Saturday morning c...
That's our Gaben photo
That's our Gaben

Gabe Newell will sign your horse mask, and then put it on


See the footage, complete with a Half-Life 3 'reference' and everything
Jan 31
// Jordan Devore
Don't let anyone say that Gabe Newell isn't a man of the people. After speaking to students at The University of Texas at Austin, which is where his quote about Apple being competition for the PC industry in the living room ...
Japan World Cup photo
Japan World Cup

Japonies 2013


A reminder that Japan World Cup is real
Jan 13
// Tony Ponce
So, like, this is nothing new. We briefly brought up Japan World Cup, a weird-ass horse race-betting DVD game, a couple years back. You might not have heard of it. Or, if you are like me, you completely forgot that this is a thing that exists. Consider this a refresher course in "Japan is f*ckin' nuts" 101. [Vinesauce] Studyguy - Japonies 2013 [YouTube]
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TEAM MEOW
Edmund McMillen of Team Meat has just announced that he and Tommy Refenes are hard at work on their follow-up to Super Meat Boy. It's about cats. Mew-Genics was conceived during a game jam session, but the duo felt it had pot...

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Flightless looks quacktastic, shooting for Steam release


You can't go wrong with ducks (and drop-in, drop-out co-op)
Oct 15
// Tony Ponce
Indie developer Nitrome, known for its disgustingly massive selection of free web games, is prepping its first major commercial release, Flightless. It's a fairly basic puzzle-platformer starring a thieving duck who has had ...
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Tokyo Jungle gets four new DLC animals today


Oct 09
// Jordan Devore
As announced on the PlayStation Blog, Tokyo Jungle will be getting four additional playable animals today, and I think there's something here for everyone. Available for download at $0.99 each or bundled together for $2.49 ar...

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