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MYSTERY!

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Here's another Senran Kagura girl silhouette


May 15
// Jonathan Holmes
Last time I posted one of these mysterious silhouettes from the coming 3DS title Senran Kagura: Portait of Girls, the results were pretty amazing. In case you haven't been following along, I'll catch you up. The game's develo...
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Creative Assembly working on new Aliens game


May 12
// Jim Sterling
It's been revealed that Shogun 2: Total War developer Creative Assembly is working on a new Aliens game. Details are sparse, but it's been confirmed to RPS to be an action title, with the studio bumping up its employees consi...
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Tribeca L.A. Noire preview and swag to win


Apr 28
// Matthew Razak
Despite Jim's recent rantings the worlds of film and gaming are growing ever closer. We can argue over whether this is a boon or a detriment to gaming all we want, but when this fact means that Destructoid's sister manly brot...

Preview: Red Johnson's Chronicles

Apr 08 // Tara Long
You play as Red Johnson, a gritty private investigator who has been tasked to solve the murder of one of the most hated men in Metropolis City. Some of the suspects in consideration are Theresa, the widowed wife who seems strangely unconcerned by the murder of her husband, and Sonia, a young female escort whose exact role in the murder becomes clear as more clues are uncovered. Most of the gameplay involves interactive dialogue with suspects and witnesses. Quick thinking is critical; since the responses are timed, too much hesitation could cost you an important clue at best and kill you at worst. Getting the information you need will require finesse and sometimes even force, though physical violence is rarely necessary and not a central focus of the gameplay. According to Djamil Kemal, the Marketing & Business Development Director for Lexis Numérique, not until several hours into the game does using a weapon even become necessary. In place of action, the developers have scattered tons of puzzles throughout the game which provide a nice switch-up from the narrative. Each type of puzzle is unique as well, so players will never see the same one twice. Red Johnson's Chronicles (PSN)Developer: Lexis NumériquePublisher: Lexis NumériqueTo Be Released: Spring 2011 The game follows one main storyline and progresses through missions. Discovering evidence or gaining a key piece of information typically translates to a successfully completed mission. Each completed mission earns you money which can be used to purchase clues. Since the developers wanted clues to be readily available throughout the game, however, money is given out for just about any achievement, no matter how small. The clues come in the form of a tip from Red’s informant and can be especially helpful for puzzles, since the method of solving them can sometimes be unorthodox. At one point during my demo, I had my eye on a mobster who I suspected had some involvement with the murder. When he wouldn’t let me enter his apartment, I was forced to find another solution. I waited, called him on the phone, asked him to meet me somewhere, and then broke into his apartment while he was gone. These tactics, though not exactly kosher in the real world of police investigations, are sometimes your only option in the game. I was forced to solve a sliding puzzle to break into the mobster’s window, after which I found a safe hidden in his home. Purchasing a clue revealed that the numbers to the safe’s code were hidden somewhere in a painting above the safe. I cracked the code and opened the safe to reveal a single revolver sitting inside, which I opened to find several bullets. Bullets, among other items you happen to pick up during your investigation, are placed in your inventory and stay there for the remainder of the game. Any item in your inventory can be analyzed and compared to other items in your inventory at any point during the game. This is particularly useful if you gather bullets from multiple crime scenes and want to compare them to see if they match. One aspect worth noting is that the developers really tried to make this game accessible to both the casual and hardcore gaming markets. It has a scalable help system which is useful for people like me with low patience and a high likelihood of ragequitting when I get frustrated. Efforts were made to avoid that cycle in this game, though. Kemal proudly pointed out that every one of the hundred-or-so hired play testers was able to finish the game, which I am told is no small accomplishment in games of this genre. Oddly enough, the game can be won even if the mystery isn't solved. However, solving the mystery doesn't preclude you from losing the game, either. The game is only won when the police chief approves your submitted final report. The catch is that there is no rule that states your report must be completely true. If you lack enough evidence to assuredly solve the case but are certain enough of your theory, you can fabricate a report and submit it anyway. The outcome of the game then rests on the decision of the police chief and ultimately, your ability to present convincing evidence, regardless of whether or not it's actually true. Red Johnson’s Chronicles provides about 8-10 hours of gameplay and though I typically find point-and-click games to be a bit boring, I think the storyline here is compelling enough to compensate for any slowness. (Even if it isn't about a giant mutant penis.) Overall, I think it’s a steal for the price. It'll be available for $12 on PSN sometime near May and will be coming to Xbox and PC later this year. Also, check out Maurice's first look at AMY, another one of Lexis Numérique's titles which will be coming to PSN later this year.
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Several things came to mind when I first heard of Red Johnson's Chronicles. I thought it perhaps the heroic tale of one man's struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic planet overrun by one-legged banshees. Or maybe, I hypoth...

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SEGA registers Sonic Generations


Apr 05
// Jim Sterling
SEGA has recently registered a new domain name for Sonic Generations, with rumblings suggesting that this is the name of the "real" current generation Sonic game. What does that mean? From what I can gather, it means it'll be...
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NPD acts wankish, blocks media from seeing sales figures


Mar 28
// Jim Sterling
The videogame industry is utterly f*cking stupid when it comes to secrecy, and nowhere has that become more apparent than with the NPD. For those who don't know, the NPD collects sales data of videogames and consoles in North...
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Quantic Dream's next game may be called Fiv5


Mar 22
// Jim Sterling
David "I won some BAFTAs and now I know everything" Cage may be working on a game called Fiv5, if various domain registrations and online profiles are anything to be believed.  Two URLS -- playseries.net and fiv5.net -- ...
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Nintendo announces Pandora's Tower, doesn't tell us much


Jan 28
// Nick Chester
Nintendo's announced a new game for Wii in Japan, and it's called (roughly translated) Pandora's Tower: Until I'm By Your Side Again. Prepare yourselves for the flood of Pandora's Tower info I'm about to dump on you. Ready? I...
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Renegade Kid set to reveal next game; we have a secret!


Dec 05
// Nick Chester
Renegade Kid, developer of fine Nintendo DS titles like Dementium and Moon, will reveal its new game tomorrow. Studio co-founder Jools Watsham has even been dropping hints on the next title all over his Twitter account. Here'...
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'Murder Your Maker' VGA teaser rumored to be Prototype 2


Nov 29
// Jim Sterling
As we slowly trudge our way toward the Spike Video Game Awards, incessant speculation and rudderless gossip runs rampant. The latest biggie is the appearance of a "Murder Your Maker" teaser site featuring the back o...
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Platinum Games working on unannounced multiplayer game


Oct 06
// Jim Sterling
Platinum Games, the studio behind madcap violence fests MadWorld, Bayonetta and Vanquish, is making a rare venture into the realm of multiplayer on its next project.  "We haven’t officially announced it yet, but we...
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Shank music now online, alternate costumes revealed


Aug 19
// Conrad Zimmerman
A couple of weeks ago, Klei Entertainment offered up the complete soundtrack for their upcoming game Shank provided they could get 1,500 people to like their Facebook page. While the goal was almost instantly met, the re...
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Former Pandemic, Obsidian folks working on 'Necromancer'?


Jun 23
// Nick Chester
Earlier this year, Calabasas, California developer Killspace Entertainment opened its doors. Made up of former employees of high profile studios like Pandemic, Obsidian, Red 5, and Electronic Arts, its website is currently up...
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E3 10: Kojima teases, food chopped, secrets secreted


Jun 13
// Matthew Razak
The fine folks at Kojima Productions are at it again. They love to tease, and their most recent tease, which is counting down to E3, is possibly the strangest yet. If you head over here you'll see a bunch of images of food an...
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A mysterious ION-branded controller appears!


Jun 11
// Nick Chester
What's this? Some kind of videogame controller from ION Audio? Received from an anonymous source, we've been able to find no information on this ION "Total Control" (which appears to be a game controller/keyboard/mouse hybrid...
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Itagaki's next game revealed tonight on GameTrailers TV


Jun 11
// Conrad Zimmerman
There have been some murmurings regarding a game reveal coming at the tail end of tonight's GameTrailers TV Pre-E3 special on Spike. We'd heard that the announcement would be from a "legendary" figure within the games industr...
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Sherlock Holmes DS website opens


Jun 10
// Conrad Zimmerman
Focus Home Interactive has just launched a website for their upcoming DS title, Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Osborne House. I honestly only went and checked it out because the last time I played a Sherlock Holmes game o...
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Hideo Kojima and Square Enix are up to shenanigans


Jun 07
// Conrad Zimmerman
We heard a couple months back that Kojima and Square Enix were working on some things together relating to Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Specifically, the RPG mammoth is producing toys based on the characters and mechs in t...
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Action RPG from Square Enix hitting JP PSN 'soon'


Mar 29
// Jim Sterling
Square Enix are being dirty teases lately. Hot off the heels of hinting at a digital release for Final Fantasy IX, the venerable Japanese publisher has just revealed that the Japanese PSN is getting its hands on an action RPG...
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Ubi publishing Little Big Adventure creator's latest game


Mar 19
// Jim Sterling
Frédérick Raynal is a name that some old school gamers may know. He is, after all, the man who created survival horror catalyst Alone in the Dark and cult classic Little Big Adventure. The French developer is wo...

A good old English murder with Blue Toad Murder Files

Mar 04 // Ben Perlee
Blue Toad Murder Files (PSN)Developer: Relentless SoftwarePublisher: Relentless SoftwareTo be released: March 25, 2010 (Episodes 1-3); April 29, 2010 (Episodes 4-6) Blue Toad Murder Files is a series of episodes about a rash of murders in a little English town of Little Riddle. The narrator, who voice acts every character that makes an appearance, explains that after some major success solving some murders, your character is in need of some rest. Up pulls the train into Little Riddle, and the game starts. Introduced there is the train station attendant helping an old woman, and after some puzzles, your character heads off to the center of town to meet the mayor. Once there the old man is promptly murdered. Oops. This is a very brief summary of the plot, but the game is rather funny, and the humor is certainly unique, with the sort of gasps and looks of shock that only this genre brings. Now, there are four characters you can play as: a Harry Potter-esque boy genius, a bespectacled blond teen girl, a middle-aged man, and an old granny. The plot plays out the same with any character, and if you play multiplayer, the plot elements just alternate between the characters that is in control at that moment.  After every narrative interlude, players are shown some very simple Professor Layton-esque puzzles. Nothing too hard, but you want to finish these very fast and correctly to get a good score. Fail that and face a back-handed compliment from the condescending narrator. These puzzles range from placing letters into a coded notebook to recreating the face of a character you were shown earlier. After the initial minute or so of confusion the puzzles are easy to understand, and with a group of people helping each other out, it's actually quite fun. Occasionally, the game will pause to a Whodunnit? section where the plot is reiterated, and you'll have to reiterate certain details before moving on. Multiplayer is the way we played this chapter, and Blue Toad Murder Files only supports that offline. Players work against each to get the best scores on the puzzles, although the game is not very competitive. Everyone tends to want to help each other out on the main puzzles, and when you get to the Whodunnit? is when people become more malicious. In the end though, the multiplayer is really just like single player, as you hand off puzzles using one controller, and with less than 20 puzzles per episode, you get the same playthrough whether with friends or not. Graphically, all the characters are very charmingly designed, and the whole town of Little Riddle is an adorable and stereotypical village. The voice acting is sublime, with the voice actor going above and beyond the call of duty to make each character hilarious. The game is funny in a way a family can enjoy, with characters like the very mildly racist old woman, the bumbling constable, and the hotel concierge who offers traditional English customer service, it's something that is very self-aware. Many of the jokes are very British, so those across the pond might find this game even more enjoyable, or at least easier to understand. There are a couple of potentially major problems with Blue Toad Murder Files. Like all good mystery novels and films, the first time you experience them is really the only time you can experience them before the major plot twist is explained. Blue Toad Murder Files is no different, and while each episode ends in a plot twist leading to the next, the that chapter you just played has been entirely experienced. There is absolutely nothing more to see or experience. And you sure as hell wouldn't want to play through a chapter with friends after you played it; it's just cheating. And considering the game is not hard at all, that is no fun for anyone. What makes this worse is the price. Relentless Software and Sony have some interesting plans with pricing. Each of the six chapters cost $7.49 per chapter, and with those individually lasting between one and two hours, with no replayable content, $45 is almost a little hard to swallow for the full experience. Thankfully, the real buyer's option is the bundle, with the first three chapters coming at the end of March for $14.99, and the second half coming at the end of April for the same price. Thirty bucks for all that? Not so bad, if still a little on the high end. Honestly, however, I think you want to think of Blue Toad Murder Files like a TV show you watch with a specific group of friends. Getting together and playing this game with three other buddies, helping each other out in the puzzles and trying to do your best score on the Whodunnit? Segments is not a bad way to spend an hour and a half. It's actually a lot of fun, but the lack of replay value and the just slightly expensive price tag is a drag. However, what is here is actually very enjoyable in a laid-back way, especially those with a sense of English culture and stereotypes. This loving homage to the charming village murder mystery should win over a certain group of fans.  
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There is something to be said about a good old murder mystery. I'm not just talking about those dark and miserable murder stories that can be seen on television any day. Rather, I'm talking about those light stories your gran...

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Here comes the new Pokemon...


Feb 06
// Jonathan Holmes
We've known for a little while that an all new Pokemon game is in the works, but that could mean a million different things. It could be a puzzle game, a Wii spin-off with Nintendo 64 quality graphics, or any number of other ...
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Ninja Studio (Izuna guys) making secret DS game


Jan 27
// Jim Sterling
Did you ever play Izuna: The Legend of the Unemployed Ninja? Like it? Good, you're the perfect candidate to read this news. The guys behind Izuna, Ninja Studio, are hard at work on a brand new DS game. It's a secret though, s...
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Beyond Good & Evil 2, I Am Alive, still in development


Jan 14
// Jim Sterling
If you think Ubisoft had abandoned two of its more unique IPs so that it could dedicate an entire team to delaying Splinter Cell: Conviction, then think again. Ubisoft has confirmed that the long-awaited Beyond Good & Evi...
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The fun continues with the I.O.O.P.


Jan 11
// Matthew Razak
Last weekend we brought to your attention to the International Order of the Pawns, a group who has been getting in touch with some fans of BioShock 2 and sending them cryptic messages. Last week it was simply business cards, ...
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Project Needlemouse shrouded in total mystery


Jan 09
// Jim Sterling
Project Needlemouse is Sega's most top secret project. So top secret, in fact, that the people who created the game's first teaser trailer don't even know what it's about! Having been given only the thinnest shreds of informa...
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Command & Conquer coming to a 'new medium' in 2010


Dec 29
// Jim Sterling
The classic real-time-strategy series Command & Conquer is apparently coming to a "new medium" next year, according to the hypemongers at Electronic Arts. An image of what looks like London has been given a black-and-whit...
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Square Enix patents new bodysnatching battle system


Dec 29
// Jim Sterling
Square Enix has patented a new battle system created by portable RPG expert Tetsuya Nomura. In addition to Final Fantasy Agito XIII and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, the developer has been hard at work on secret projects, o...
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Namco Bandai trademarks 'DeadHeat'


Dec 26
// Matthew Razak
Trademarks, they're how we keep other people from taking the stuff we want. In the gaming industry they're practically how you announce a game these days thanks to those wonderful inventions called gaming blogs digging up eve...
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Artist reveals Mirror's Edge 2, iPhone game coming


Dec 02
// Jim Sterling
The original game may have received a mixed reaction, and all signs point to it not selling stupendously, but the word on the street is that Mirror's Edge is getting a sequel. The first-person parkour 'em up was revealed by D...






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