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E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: DK's Crash Course photo
E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: DK's Crash Course
by Chad Concelmo

This is the last in the series to preview all five of the games within Nintendo Land for the Wii U. (You can check out the other previews here, here, here, and here! Whew!) Let's talk "Donkey Kong's Crash Course!"

I am going to say it right now: Donkey Kong's Crash Course is my favorite of all five Nintendo Land minigames on display in the Nintendo booth. True, there are still a large amount of games still yet to be revealed, but they will have a tough time beating Crash Course. The game is really fun.

I mean, check out the main header image above. It is out of control! How could something that looks like that not be fun?!

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E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: AC: Sweet Day photo
E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: AC: Sweet Day
by Chad Concelmo

Only two more left! This is the fourth in a series to preview all of the games within Nintendo Land for the Wii U. You can check out the other three here, here, and here!

I swear, I really had a great time with the Nintendo Land games. Now, I am not saying this because I love Nintendo so much. When I went to play Nintendo Land I had kind of low expectations. The games looked fun, but I was worried they wouldn't be different enough, and, even worse, just wouldn't keep me entertained.

Turns out I was wrong! Yay! The Nintendo Land games were pretty great, with Animal Crossing: Sweet Day the one that surprised me the most!

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E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: Takamuru's Ninja Castle photo
E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: Takamuru's Ninja Castle
by Chad Concelmo

This is the third in a series to preview all of the games within Nintendo Land for the Wii U. You can check out The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest here and Luigi's Ghost Mansion right here!

Ninjas star in some of my favorite games of all time: The Legend of the Mystical Ninja, Ninja Gaiden, Shinobi. Having a ninja in your game can easily make your game that much better.

But how does Takamuru's Ninja Castle fare? Does it keep the ninja love alive? Or does it shatter those ninja dreams with a throwing star to the neck? TO THE NECK!

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E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: Luigi's Ghost Mansion photo
E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: Luigi's Ghost Mansion
by Chad Concelmo

Next up in my series to preview all five of the games within Nintendo Land for the Wii U is Luigi's Ghost Mansion. (Check out The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest right here!)

With Luigi's Ghost Mansion, Nintendo Land is bringing a very Pac-Man Vs. vibe to the Wii U. To anyone that remembers Pac-Man Vs. for the GameCube, the game was odd, but fun -- a five-player multiplayer extravaganza that was actually quite entertaining in practice ... despite the ridiculous amount of cords involved in the process.

Is Luigi's Ghost Mansion just as fun? The first bit of good news: there are no cords to deal with!

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E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: Zelda: Battle Quest photo
E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: Zelda: Battle Quest
by Chad Concelmo

Nintendo Land: The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest is one of the twelve Nintendo character-themed minigames that will appear in Nintendo Land for the Wii U. Five of these minigames were playable on the show floor. The other seven (or more?) will be revealed over time, with the final game seeing a likely holiday 2012 release.

If I had to put money on it, I would bet Nintendo Land will be packed in with the Wii U. It makes sense, and Nintendo Land is to the Wii U as Wii Sports was to the Wii. Solid, fun, minigame collections that really show off the capabilities of the console.

Since these "minigames" in Nintendo Land feel much more elaborate than normal minigames -- seriously, they are robust enough to feel like small standalone games -- I am going to write previews for each of them separately. Check them all out throughout the day!

Let's start with The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest.

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E3: Hands-on with Pikmin 3 photo
E3: Hands-on with Pikmin 3
by Chad Concelmo

This is it. The moment I have been anticipating for years.

I am a giant fan of the Pikmin series. GIANT! And every year for the last few years, I have hoped and prayed Pikmin 3 would be official and announced at that year's E3. At first I thought it would be a Wii title ... and that never came true. Then I could have sworn it would launch with the 3DS ... and that never panned out as well.

Well, here we are, all these years later, and Pikmin 3 is finally official. And I have played it! I still can't believe it.

But what did I think about the game? Did I love this new iteration of the series? Or was I so disappointed that I dramatically knocked over the demo kiosk and ran out of the Nintendo booth with my arms flailing?

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E3: Hands-on with New Super Mario Bros. U photo
E3: Hands-on with New Super Mario Bros. U
by Chad Concelmo

Let's get this out of the way right now: Seeing a brand new, 2D Mario in HD is surreal. I have been waiting for so long to finally see a Nintendo franchise in high-definition, so seeing Mario run around the Mushroom Kingdom displayed in such gorgeous, colorful, eye-popping graphics kind of took my breath away.

As for the game? It played great. It truly feels exactly like New Super Mario Bros. Wii (one of the best 2D Mario games in a while), with some special Wii U additions.

Keep reading to get my hands-on impressions.

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Preview: Hands-on with Juliet Starling's decapitated head photo
Preview: Hands-on with Juliet Starling's decapitated head
by Tara Long

To clarify, it's not Juliet's decapitated head - it's her boyfriend Nick's, though it may as well be hers. If you can tie your lover's head to a chain and swing him around in circles repeatedly pummeling any and all zombies in your path, then it's probably safe to make that assumption.

In fact, I did just that during my first ever hands-on session with Lollipop Chainsaw this week, and I left feeling relieved (and mildly turned on, but that's another matter). The combat feels good without being overly repetitive, and the wide array of combo moves and colorful humor serve to add a decent amount of variety. Also, upskirts.

Oh god, the upskirts.

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DTOID Extra: Hands on with Borderlands 2 co-op photo
DTOID Extra: Hands on with Borderlands 2 co-op
by Tara Long

It's no secret that Borderlands 2 is one of my most anticipated games of this year, so understandably, I jumped at the chance to go hands on with its co-op mode last week. Our producer Zac was playing along with me, so we decided to run down both the good and bad of our experiences.

How does difficulty scale from single-player to co-op? Are boss fights more epic than those in the first game? Are there really a bazillion more guns? Is Maya as hot as Lilith? The answers to these questions and more, in the video above!

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9:30 PM on 12.08.2011

DTOID Show: Hands-on with Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Hey guys! Earlier this week, I got some hands-on time with Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning, the mutant brain-baby of fantasy author R.A. Salvatore, comic book artist Todd McFarlane, and Elder Scrolls series alumnus Ken Ro...

Max Scoville



Dead or Alive 5 is 'fighting entertainment' at its finest photo
Dead or Alive 5 is 'fighting entertainment' at its finest
by Wesley Ruscher

At this year's Tokyo Game Show, Team Ninja finally revealed that their fabled fighting franchise -- known for its fatal females and potent physics -- was returning, with Dead or Alive 5 (DOA5). Almost six years have passed since the previous game and, with that, former lead designer, ex-head of Team Ninja, Tomonobu Itagaki has long since left the prestigious game developer.

A lot of time has passed, bringing forth a lot of change, but it's within these obstacles that the series for the first time feels as if it is seeing a proper evolution in design, rather than just an aesthetics upgrade. The focus for DOA5 is creating "fighting entertainment" and after going hands-on with the game's first playable demo (a roughly 15 percent build) it's fairly easy to see that Team Ninja is achieving that goal.

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Preview: Fractured Soul: Deep Void photo
Preview: Fractured Soul: Deep Void
by Wesley Ruscher

The Nintendo 3DS is a system built around two simple concepts: portable 3D and dual-screen gaming. Unfortunately, the latter usually finds itself lent to making our experiences less intrusive by acting as a placeholder for maps, inventory, and other informative screens rather than evolving the creativity in design that is affordable with two screens.

Fractured Soul: Deep Void, by Endgame Studios, looks to change that by making each screen part of the action. In fact it throws the system's 3D capabilities right out the window in hopes of creating a unique action-platforming puzzle experience.

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Preview: Planet Crashers 3D photo
Preview: Planet Crashers 3D
by Wesley Ruscher

It goes without saying that Nintendo’s handheld needs games. As the system has been out for roughly eight months. one genre -- more than others -- that could use a little kick on the butt is the one that found such an impressive home on Nintendo’s previous handheld: the RPG.  

From the minds at Renegade Kid, makers of the visually impressive Dementium series on the original DS, Planet Crashers 3D tosses out the dark demonic look for a cutesy family friendly vibe. Twisted Santa Clauses, a Halloween planet, and an unknown evil set on snuffing out the sun: these are just some of the bewildering things to encounter when Planet Crashers 3D smashes its way onto the Nintendo 3DS next year. 

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Preview: Furmins photo
Preview: Furmins
by Wesley Ruscher

Housemarque has been in the business for over sixteen years, but it wasn't until Super Stardust HD (back in 2007) that the Finnish developers went on to make a name for themselves. Since then they've racked up quite an impressive number of critically acclaimed hits with the apocalyptic shooter Dead Nation and one of my favorite Metroidvania-style adventures, the visually stunning Outland

So with all this newfound pedigree, the team behind so many great downloadable titles has set out to self-publish its first title, Furmins, an action-puzzle game for iOS-enabled devices.

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BlizzCon 2011: Hands-on with the Pandaren Monk photo
BlizzCon 2011: Hands-on with the Pandaren Monk
by Chris Morris

After the announcement of the Mists of Pandaria expansion for World of Warcraft, I was able to jump right into the game and get hands-on with the class and race. Upon being dropped into the new starting area, I was instantly awed by the overwhelmingly cool visual aesthetic of an East Asian-themed kung fu panda village. Small changes made to the graphics engine have allowed Blizzard to make the game look and run even better than what we initially saw in Cataclysm. The highly-detailed landscape, sharper textures, and better lighting really help to immerse the player in the new setting.

While I don't want to spoil any of the starting-area content, I will say that the quest lines and story progression was rather fun and interesting. I found myself reading through much of the quest text, invested in what was happening beyond just the amount of XP I would receive at the end.

It starts off as a simple journey, with the player being tasked with helping various masters, picking up new techniques along the way. It soon turns into an important arc for the player, revealing more about the Pandaren and their role in the world of Azeroth.

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Hands-on: Battlefield 3 single-player campaign photo
Hands-on: Battlefield 3 single-player campaign
by Casey Baker

I am no stranger to the Battlefield series, at least not the console iterations. After sinking hours of my time into both Bad Company games and even convincing family and friends to buy the game so that we could spend countless evenings going online and 'squadding up' in both Rush and Conquest modes, I gradually weaned myself off. There were too many other awesome titles just sitting on my shelf forgotten amidst other less-spectacular games or collecting dust in some sad, neglected corner of my living room.

When I was given the chance to preview any slight bit of Battlefield 3, I jumped on it like flies on...well, scratch that analogy. Battlefield 3's single-player experience is shaping up to be as familiar and awesome as previous installments, but with a newer and arguably much prettier and more immersive Frostbite 2.0 engine powering the whole thing.

While my preview of the game was relatively short and offered the same bit of gameplay that has also been present at TGS, I definitely got the better view of this section from my center stage seat in a Dolby surround sound movie theater with only one other journo and three reps present. I even went ahead and stuck around a little longer just to watch the demo with a critical eye and to ask a few burning questions regarding multiplayer.

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