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Payday 2 photo
Payday 2

Overkill: Payday 2 microtransactions are 'not a success if people are angry'

In a long discussion with Steam mods
Nov 19
// Joe Parlock
Sit down and get comfortable, ladies and gentlemen, for the next gripping chapter of the ‘When Will Overkill Stop Being Shitty’ Chronicles begins now! You may remember a while ago that the Payday 2 Steam communit...

Review: Hard West

Nov 18 // Zack Furniss
Hard West (PC [reviewed], Mac, Linux)Developer: CreativeForge GamesPublisher: Gambitious Digital EntertainmentMSRP: $19.99Released: November 18, 2015 Hard West starts off so promising. Instead of one big campaign, it's divvied up into eight little chunks starring different characters. The first one stars a father and his son trying to make their own way in life through a combination of mining for gold and killing the men that would try to stop them. This chapter serves as a tutorial of sorts, teaching you the basics of combat. You have two action points, which you can use to move, shoot, or use special abilities. Shooting always ends your turn (some weapons alleviate this), so it's always best to keep moving.  In some circumstances, you can make your own cover by kicking over tables or lifting up barriers. One of the special abilities enables you to ricochet bullets off of metal surfaces in a zig-zag of death across the battlefield, but you're never taught how to do this. Halfway through the game I noticed the slight glow that some metallic objects emanate denoting that you can use this ability. Once you get the hang of these shots, they become an impressive and effective method of dealing death. Though the battles feel mechanically similar to XCOM, one of the main differences in Hard West doesn't stick the landing. Whereas in the former game it was perhaps to easy to rely on the Overwatch ability (wherein you automatically attack enemies who pass your field of vision), here there's no such thing...for the player. If you get too close to an enemy, they have a small range around them in which they can use an attack of opportunity, but you're never afforded this same benefit. This leads to repeated scenarios where you're trying to cautiously approach the enemy so that you don't get too close and get blasted, and then they walk right up to you and shoot you from behind for higher damage. Another new system that Hard West tries is the "setup stage." In some levels, you have the drop on your opponents and you can sneak around. You only have one action point, so you move much more cautiously. In order to successfully infiltrate an area, you have to use the Subdue ability, which prevents enemies from firing at you for a few turns. Enemies sometimes have cones showing their field of vision, but this is inconsistent. Whether that was because of a glitch or my character's stats, I was never sure, The whole system is poorly explained, but luckily you're never forced to use it. Even when I figured out how to successfully do this, going in guns blazing always seemed to be the better option. One of the best parts of the combat is the Luck meter. While you still have percentages telling you how likely you are to hit an enemy, they don't feel as random as most tactical RPGs. Your Aim stat and your position determine if you'll hit, and the enemy's cover simply lessens the damage they receive. Each character has a luck bar that serves as both a sort of armor and your ability resource pool. If you have enough luck, when you get shot at, it'll soar right past you. If you get hit, your luck replenishes so you'll have better odds next time. Once you get a feel for this, you'll learn to risk taking weak hits through cover so you can use your more powerful skills. This all adds up to incredibly entertaining combat when it's not doing its best to frustrate you. Getting bum-rushed time and again isn't fun. But earning increasingly fantastical weapons and cards (which give you active and passive skills) in each campaign remains compelling throughout. When you aren't in combat, each chapter has its own world map and goal. In the aforementioned starting story, part of your HUD shows your family's gold-mining tools. Another chapter sees you managing peons à la Oregon Trail, making sure you have enough food to keep them strong enough to do your bidding, One of my favorites stars a clairvoyant woman as your main character, using her abilities to cheat both poker and death. If we're being reductive, these world map moments are just variations of text adventures, but they're enjoyable and convey a lot of flavor through both these different goals and the story text you have to parse. Once in a while you'll solve a puzzle for better gear, or choose the wrong thing and gain a crippling injury. All of these have a direct effect on the many battles you'll fight, so there's not as much of a disconnect as you might expect. Some choices you make will lead to differences in missions as well, such as choosing to sneak in through the back or charging in through the front. Consumable items, clothing, and weapons don't carry over into the next campaign, so each time is small arms race to get back up to the top. I initially thought this would be frustrating, but since each story is two hours long at the maximum, it never becomes monotonous. Each character's chapter has three special items that they can unlock through a variety of methods that are sold at a vendor who appears throughout the game. This allows you to get to the punch more quickly if you like, and it encourages thorough examination of the map. The playing cards that I mentioned previously are randomly earned by finishing battles and exploring and give you passive and active abilities like being able to turn into a demon or heal whenever you're in the shadows. In keeping with the theme of the ol' west, arranging them into straights and royal flushes provide additional stat bonuses. Since characters don't level up, this provides just enough customization to be interesting instead of overwhelming. So again, this all sounds great! But then there are the bugs. The hot desert sun didn't cook Hard West enough. This is evident everywhere, from menus that take entirely too long to open, to a glitch where accidentally hitting the delete key sets the camera at a horizontal angle on the ground that renders the game nigh-unplayable. There are typos galore in the text and there are times when said text implies that there should be another dialogue option, but there's nothing to be found. I also dealt with a handful of hard crashes. This is frustrating because there's a legitimately great game to be found underneath all of the blood and sand. I'm going to fondly remember the small vignettes in this game. Running around as an inquisitor, manipulating people into killing others so that I can build an eldritch artifact. Seeking revenge as a half-man, half-demon. Playing as the villains I saw in previous chapters, understanding what motivated them to become such evil pricks.  This is a world worth exploring, and I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of it. Maybe that'll be in the form of a huge patch that puts this broken machine back together, or a sequel that brings the best of Hard West to the forefront. What I'd really like to see is a tabletop game in this setting, because it honestly feels like it might be better suited in that realm. Either way, I hope there'll be a reason to come back. 
Hard West photo
A fistful of sand, blood, and bugs
After twenty or so hours in the blistering sun (my cold, unkempt room) with my hands on the well-used revolver (bargain basement keyboard and mouse), I'm walking away from Hard West in turmoil. A tactical turn-based west...

Review: Knight Squad

Nov 17 // Jordan Devore
Knight Squad (PC, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Chainsawesome GamesPublisher: Chainsawesome GamesMSRP: $14.99Released: November 16, 2015 One of the things I appreciate about Knight Squad is its simplicity. You move and aim with the analog stick, and attack with a button press. That's about it! Whether you're wielding the default sword or you pick up a laser gun, a bow, or a boomerang, it's those same basic controls. The modes, while varied, aren't hard to grasp, either. Regardless of the objective at hand, you're going to kill or be killed. Death is swift. There's almost always a little ghost floating off a skeleton, because there's almost always someone dying. Knights have one health point (two if they nab a shield power-up). With seven other players running amok on a single-screen arena, it sure is easy to get taken out. Thankfully, you'll be back on the battlefield mere seconds later. There is very little downtime. [embed]321181:61130:0[/embed] As far as modes go, nine are included with the base game and several more are available as DLC. I suspect folks will quickly narrow the list down to two or three personal favorites and ignore the rest. Capture the Grail (free for all) Capture the Flag (four vs. four) Soccer (four vs. four) Gladiator (free for all) Last Man Standing (free for all) Team Deathmatch (four vs. four) Juggernaut (free for all) Domination (four vs. four) Crystal Rush (four vs. four) Knight Squad covers the usual bases. Excluding the standard deathmatch, all of the modes actively encourage players to congregate. You're either going after a flag, a grail, a soccer ball, a particular spot that grants bonus points, a particular player with an overpowered weapon, or an object that needs to be captured, attacked, or defended. The end result is chaos. Pure chaos. I like Capture the Flag best. It's classic, and it works well in this top-down, fast-paced arena format. I also dig Juggernaut. Matches begin with a minigun in the center of the map. If you reach it first, you'll not only have a ridiculously good weapon, you'll gain a shield, too. From this point on, the other players tend to team up. They'll charge at you from all directions. Most won't make it. But eventually, someone will manage to break your shield, and someone else will get close enough to strike the killing blow, grab the gun, and become the new juggernaut. That cycle repeats until the timer hits zero, and it's thrilling the whole way through. When you don't have a full lineup of human players, AI bots will fill out the roster -- but they aren't nearly as exciting to compete against. I'd go so far as to specifically not recommend getting Knight Squad unless you have people to play with, whether that's locally or online. The game also offers six standalone single-player challenges. They're challenging, all right, but I'd hesitate to call them enjoyable. You'll face skeletons, worms, trolls, dragons, knights, and a bullet-hell boss. These encounters could have been good, but there are too many needless frustrations holding them back. Your character is really dang slow relative to the enemies, for one. There aren't checkpoints. If you mess up once, you die, and when you die, there isn't an "instant restart" option. Finally, the levels are gated, so most players won't even see them all. At best, these challenges are a distraction from the real fun. It's important to note that now through December 15, 2015, Knight Squad is free to download with an Xbox Live Gold account. If you're thinking of playing, this is a good time to do so while the player base is at its largest and most active. I didn't have much trouble getting into matches, aside from technical issues (a couple of crashes) and hosts dropping out (there aren't dedicated servers). So far, I haven't encountered any noticeable lag. There's no shortage of cool party games these days, and Knight Squad stands among them. It's not something I see myself returning to time and time again like some of its peers, but I got a kick out its accessible, action-packed multiplayer. If you're coming along for the ride, be sure to bring friends. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Knight Squad review photo
Dibs on the blue one!
Gauntlet as an eight-person competitive arena game? Sure, I'm in. That more-or-less accurate summary is about all it took for me to give Knight Squad a look. Hearing a few co-workers sing the game's praises at conventions als...

Bubsy on Greenlight photo
Bubsy on Greenlight


I didn't even know he was sick
Nov 16
// Nic Rowen
Almost did a spit-take when I saw this slide into my inbox today. Apparently, Retroism is on the quest to save Bubsy (yes, the platforming feline with radical CATtitude) and wants your help to do it. They're re-releasing two ...
Disgaea on Steam photo
Disgaea on Steam

I hope Disgaea on Steam is a sign of things to come

The first game hits PC in February
Nov 16
// Jordan Devore
NIS is bringing the original Disgaea to Steam. Cool, right? The strategy role-playing game will be available on PC in February with enhancements including an updated user interface and textures, Steam achievements and cloud s...
Win one of 20 Steam copies!
Thanks to the amazingly generous folks at NeocoreGames we have 20 copies of the The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut to giveaway! What is Van Helsing: Final Cut? It's an ARPG that has all three previous episode...

Van Helsing Final Cut photo
Van Helsing Final Cut

Van Helsing's Final Cut is the most 'Incredible' yet

Unless you've already played
Nov 15
// Patrick Hancock
Recently, NeocoreGames released The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut on Steam, a compilation of the three games in the series. Past titles have varied in quality; the first game was good but buggy, the sec...
MWO moving to Steam photo
MWO moving to Steam

MechWarrior Online is coming to Steam in December

Stomping on up
Nov 13
// Nic Rowen
After what seems like years of rumors and speculation, the free-to-play shooter MechWarrior Online is finally making the move to Steam. According to a news post on the MWO website, the Steam launch will happen on December 10,...
Friday Night Fights photo
Friday Night Fights

Friday Night Fights - Ch-ch-ch-chaaaanges

Change with the Dtoid community
Nov 13
// Mike Martin
Well isn't this Hunky Dory? A nice little Friday. We have a new Call of Duty to play together. We have a new Fallout to play with ourselves (HA! HA!). We have herpes. Wait, that's just me. My bad. "So shut up and tell us what...
Steam Weekend photo
Steam Weekend

Klei's games are free to play on Steam this weekend

Discounts, too
Nov 12
// Jordan Devore
Between Don't Starve and Mark of the Ninja, there's a lot of love for Klei around these parts. The studio is now a decade old, and it's celebrating that milestone with a Steam promotion. You can play these titles for free on ...
Dragon Quest Heroes photo
Dragon Quest Heroes

Well well, it looks like Dragon Quest Heroes was just stealth confirmed for PC

Square Enix you bunch of rascals
Nov 12
// Chris Carter
Just moments ago I got a number of texts from friends telling me to boot up Steam to confirm a message they had obtained. Apparently, Dragon Quest Heroes is coming to PC, and Steam users are being asked to pre-purchase t...
Impossible Creatures photo
Impossible Creatures

Impossible Creatures finally releases on Steam, 13 years after being announced

It was used to unveil Steam in 2002
Nov 12
// Joe Parlock
In gaming, a few days ago is considered ancient history. So, if Fallout 4 being released two days ago is now considered old news, what the hell do we call news from 2002? That’s pretty much the time when fish with legs ...
Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

Steam analyst claims 1.2 million people owned Fallout 4 at launch

No info on actual launch sales
Nov 11
// Mike Cosimano
Sergey Galyonkin, the man behind Steam analytics site SteamSpy, recently published some initial thoughts on Fallout 4's PC launch via Twitter. Galyonkin acknowledged the unreliability inherent to the way the site pulls in dat...
Deals photo

Steam Machines are out, so there's a game sale

The Steam Link sounds intriguing
Nov 10
// Jordan Devore
Today is a big hardware day for Valve. The Steam Controller ($49.99), Steam Link ($49.99), and Steam Machines (starting at $449.99) have officially launched in North America and Europe. Impressions of those devices have been ...
Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

Fallout 4 already shattered one Steam record*

Mind the asterisk
Nov 10
// Brett Makedonski
Less than 24 hours after release, Fallout 4 holds one of Steam's most coveted records. Well, kind of. It holds that record if you don't count other games that constantly beat out Fallout 4 and every other game....
Warhammer contest photo
And possibly win one of 11 copies!
Hammerfall Publishing, the awesome folks behind Warhammer 40K: Regicide, want to play with you! No, not like that. PUT THAT AWAY! Sheesh. We have company. These nice folks want to play their game with you silly. What is Regic...

Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

Video Review: Fallout 4

Just in case you hate reading
Nov 09
// Myles Cox
Looks like it's about that time again, Chris the Miracle Worker has managed to review a relatively little known game called Fallout 4. That said, who the hell reads reviews nowadays? So much time and reading text and you hav...
Helldivers photo

Helldivers is coming to PC next month

Includes all three free expansions
Nov 09
// Joe Parlock
Arrowhead’s Helldivers was pretty popular when it released on PS3, PS Vita and PS4 earlier this year. The top-down co-op shooter was given a 9/10 by Destructoid’s Conrad Zimmerman, who said it was “unrelent...

Review: Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth

Nov 06 // Nic Rowen
Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth (PC)Developer: Nicalis, Edmund McMillenPublisher: NicalisMSRP: $9.99 (DLC),  $24.99 (Bundle with Rebirth)Released: November 4, 2015 Afterbirth's “back of the box” bullet points are impressive – 120 new items, new level variations for every floor, a pack of new bosses and enemies, a new character, and an entirely new game mode to round it off - but those numbers only tell half of the story (maybe only a quarter). Any game can just add a bunch of new stuff, a crate of duplicate items, a pack of palette-swap enemies, a few coats of paint on some old levels, whatever. What makes Afterbirth so special isn't just how many new little doodads have been dropped into the game, but how perfectly the new additions entwine themselves into the experience. How they fit right in, but at the same time dramatically warp and twist the classic Isaac experience into an entirely new entity. Afterbirth takes a lot of risks to introduce new wrinkles and mechanics. Almost every new item does something wild, or weird, or aggravating. The Glass Cannon lets you fire a powerful mega shot every few seconds, at the cost of depleting your health down to a perilous single half-heart. The Fruitcake randomly changes the type of tears you fire with every shot, constantly shuffling between spread shots, homing tears, holy bolts, and the occasional randomly exploding fire shot (always a treat when you’re not expecting it). Items like the Scalpel, an infinite use ability that lets you make portal style tunnels between two points (either in the same room or different ones) complete changes the way you approach room exploration and some boss fights. Things like the occasional “Item Recycler” in an item room that will let you pay coins to change the offered item to another random selection, lets you make smarter, more interesting choices about how you play. This isn’t just “more stuff;” it’s all different, surprising, and exciting stuff. As someone who spent an ungodly amount of time with the original game, one of the things I've enjoyed the most about Afterbirth is finding new combinations and synergies with old items. There is more of an emphasis on layering and blending items rather than just replacing them in this expansion. An old standby like Mom's Knife can now be combined with the laser beam spewing classic Brimstone to create a spray of butcher knives that will travel across the screen. Or a mix of old and new, like the freshly introduced Incubus pet, a little demon that will mirror Isaac's tear effects, combined with a traditionally poor item like Soy Milk to scrub a room clean with hundreds of tiny, but rapid, tears. Further encouraging fresh experimentation with old items are a slew of new transformation effects. Collecting certain items that belong in the same set will result in a character-changing new look and a bonus ability or two. Rebirth only had two transformations (including the much beloved Guppy transformation that would change Isaac into brokenly powerful manifestation of his dead cat). Afterbirth comes correct with nine entirely new transformations to mutate poor Isaac. The effects of these transformations are weaker on average than the Guppy buff, but are sourced from item pools that are far more common, including several junky items. It's a smart change, instead of being monomaniacally focused on becoming Guppy, there are now potential advantages to picking up so-called dud items, encouraging smart play with a long-term vision. Or they can just serve as a consolation prize for a few limp item rolls. The new boss enemies follow the same philosophy, not just “new,” but “new and different.” Some of them are entirely fresh Afterbirth originals, while others are revamps of classic monsters. All of them are humongous jerks (often to the point of feeling overly difficult and imbalanced compared to the original cast of bosses) and they're all pitching curve balls. Even lightweights like Little Horn, a mere first floor boss, introduce crazy new tricks. He's a diminutive imp who spontaneously creates cartoon black holes for you to fall in which he'll try to herd you towards with slow moving tracking shots like a devilish sheep dog. Bigger bosses (telling would be spoiling) get even crazier, assaulting Isaac with entirely new mechanics as well as blatantly unfair levels of firepower. One particularly crazy fight involves a boss that will buff himself and summon allies if you don't destroy the icons he is constantly spiting out, making it a frantic race to stay on top of them before things gets out of hand. The new fights are wacky, crazy, and occasionally frustrating, but most of all, they're all fresh. Greed Mode, introduced in Afterbirth, turns the traditional Isaac dungeon exploration experience into a much more tightly focused, wave-based horde mode. I like to think of it as Isaac for the person who only has 15 minutes. Get in, kill a few waves, get some money, try to cobble together a build, and get out (by death or by victory) before your lunch break is over. I don't know if it will have a ton of staying power, but it is a fun alternative to getting deep and dirty in the basement. New floor variants and room layouts keep things fresh. Themed floors like the Burning Basement or Dank Depths have their own flavor, unique obstacles, enemies, and (universally killer) soundtracks. There are plenty of new room types, varying in all manner of size, shape, and hazard, making the dungeon crawl feel more natural and less like moving through a grid. Many of these layouts introduce new trap and puzzle elements, confronting players with spike floors that rise and lower in alternating patterns and need to be shut down by pressing different buttons, or explosive TNT chambers that need to be set off in the right order to avoid damage. Again, smart and exciting. There are also innumerable smaller changes to go into, some of which are obvious niceties (like expanded HUD options to display collected items without pausing) while others you can't discuss without sounding like a crazy person to non-Isaac nuts. Little things like “Devil Deal rooms will convert to soul heart prices automatically if you sell your last red heart!” or “the co-op baby can place bombs again, hallelujah!” I know, it sounds like gibberish, but to the diehard Isaac fanbase, these are big deals and welcome changes. Like many roguelikes, Isaac has always had a slightly masochistic bent. I've always said that the unforgiving and random nature of the game is something you have to lean into, have to embrace to really enjoy Isaac. Sadly, Afterbirth takes that bent and presses on it until it breaks, reaching a peak of difficulty that has even an roguelike-apologist like me throwing up my hands in frustration on a regular basis. For every clever, interesting, and fresh idea Afterbirth has, it also has some dickish, spiteful, little aggravation to throw at you as well. Those handy item room recyclers I mentioned earlier? Sure, you could get one of those in an item room, or you could get an item surrounded by spikes, or a “bonus” room infested with monsters, what a cute joke! Those new rooms and traps? Neat, until you wind up in a boss room the size of a closet with TNT barrels or spike blocks in all four corners, have fun with that! The new bosses? Sure, they all have new and clever mechanics, but many of them also flood the screen with nearly unavoidable shots and a legion of minions in addition to whatever fresh hell they're also bringing. I imagine the idea was to challenge seasoned players with this expansion, to push the skills of hardcore Isaac players to their upper limits. But the difficulty in Afterbirth goes so far it loops back around on itself, ending up with a game that feels more luck based than ever. In Rebirth, I used to feel that any run, no matter how unlucky, could be saved by smart play and excellent dodging. In Afterbirth, I’ve had several rounds that felt so hopelessly stacked against me that instead of galvanizing me to play better, they just demoralized me into throwing in the towel, hoping for better items in the next run. That's not a great way to feel after 200 hours of experience in a game. The nastiness of the difficulty spike leaves me in an uncomfortable position with this review. I think that the vast majority of changes made in Afterbirth are superb. The astounding creativity of the new items, modes, and rooms is flat out inspiring, as is the sheer amount of new additions. Afterbirth has found ways to significantly add to and improved on a game that I already considered to be a nearly flawless. I don't want to diminish that accomplishment at all - in a perfect world, this is what all DLC would be like. I'm still having tons of fun with the game and I'll probably be playing it for another hundred hours or so, but I'd be lying if I said I was having as much fun with Afterbirth as I did with Rebirth. It found my limit. You should absolutely play Afterbirth. If you're already an Isaac diehard, or someone fresh to the genre, Afterbirth has hours upon hours of genuine joy in store for you. But you should know it will also have moments of soul-annihilating frustration. Maybe that's the price for flying so close to perfection. [This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]
Afterbirth review photo
Deal with the Devil
The Binding of Isaac has always been a game of contradictions to me. It's both a game that embraces the fickleness of chance and the purity of skill. That encourages you to play around, explore, and experiment, but also rewar...

Deals photo

Fallout 4 pre-load imminent as Green Man Gaming sends out keys

Better get to downloading
Nov 06
// Dealzon
This morning select PC gamers got an extra treat in their email inbox, and it's none other than next week's Fallout 4 Steam key. Digital retailer Green Man Gaming is now sending out Fallout 4 keys to its customers so the...
Steam Sales photo
Steam Sales

Valve misled customers during the Steam Summer Sale, says UK's Advertising Authority

The discount on GTA V was misleading
Nov 06
// Joe Parlock
Back during the Steam Summer Sale, there was a fairly large uproar about the pricing of Grand Theft Auto V. Between the game’s launch and the Summer Sale, GTA V cost £39.99. Suddenly once the sale began, the origi...
Make items, make money photo
Make items, make money

First Steam developer Item Store opened, not quite paid mods

Modder and developer profit split
Nov 05
// Steven Hansen
Valve caught mad flak early this year trying to introduce paid mods (modders could charge for their work on the Steam Workshop) to an existing Skyrim communities whose modders often shared content freely. Suddenly someone els...
Windows 10 photo
Windows 10

More than a quarter of Steam users are on Windows 10

Three percent growth in the past month
Nov 05
// Laura Kate Dale
While Windows 8 adoption was for a long time a joke within the core PC gaming community, it seems that Windows 10 has managed to shake a lot of its predecessor's poor press. As of this month, 27.64% of Steam users have made t...

Contest - Verdun

Nov 04 // Mike Martin
Win one of 10 copies!
Verdun is a realistic multiplayer FPS, set in WW1. You don't see those every day. The game is inspired by the Battle of Verdun France in 1916 and features authentic period weaponry (and realistic bullet physics). Squad based,...

Contest - Trigger Saint

Nov 03 // Mike Martin
Win one of 10 copies!
Hello my pretties! Today (courtesy of Undergroundies Inc. ) We have a contest for recently released Trigger Saint. Trigger Saint is an isometric, shooty, permadeath, beautiful, interesting game. I've enjoyed my time with it a...

Deals photo

Fallout 4 pre-order deals: Cheapest PC discounts & console bonuses

If you must get on the hype train
Nov 03
// Dealzon
We're exactly ONE WEEK away from Fallout 4's debut (can't believe I was just able to type that), and between the leaked content, screenshots from PS4 versions, and an overabundance of marketing stuff, the train appears to hav...

Here's a big list of 2016 video game release dates

Nov 03 // Chris Carter
January:   Darkest Dungeon - 1/19 Hyrule Warriors Legends - 1/21 Yakuza Kiwami - 1/21 Resident Evil Remaster + Resident Evil Zero Remaster - 1/22 Final Fantasy Explorers - 1/26 Lego Marvel's Avengers - 1/26 The Witness - 1/26 Dragon Quest Builders - 1/28 This War of Mine: The Little Ones - 1/29 Amplitude - TBA January Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen PC port - TBA January The King of Fighters XIV - TBA January February: Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth - 2/2 XCOM 2 - 2/5 Arslan: The Warriors of Legend - 2/9 Firewatch - 2/9 Gravity Rush Remastered 2/9 Mighty No. 9 - 2/9 Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 - 2/9 Project X Zone 2 - 2/16 Street Fighter V - 2/16 Fire Emblem Fates - 2/19 Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - 2/23 Far Cry Primal - 2/23 March: Tom Clancy's The Division - 3/8 The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD - 3/4 Hitman - 3/11 Uncharted 4: A Thief's End 3/18 Killer Instinct: Season 3 - 3/24 April: Quantum Break - 4/5 Total War: Warhammer - 4/28 Dark Souls III -- TBA April May: Battleborn - 5/3 Mirror's Edge Catalyst - 5/24 June: No Man's Sky - TBA June We Happy Few - TBA June October: Yooka-Laylee - TBA October TBA: Allison Road Attack on Titan Crackdown 3 Cuphead Day of the Tentacle Remastered DayZ Dishonored 2 Doom Enter the Gungeon Final Fantasy XV Gears of War 4 Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem Gravity Rush 2 Hellblade Homefront: The Revolution Horizon Zero Dawn Hyper Light Drifter Mafia III Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Nier: Automata Odin Sphere Leifthrasir One Piece: Burning Blood Persona 5 Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 Pokken Tournament Ratchet & Clank Resident Evil Zero HD Scalebound Shadow Warrior 2 Star Fox Zero Star Ocean: Integrity of Faithlessness The Legend of Zelda Wii U Zero Time Dilemma
Video games photo
Updated as needed
A lot of readers have asked us about compiling a list of games that are being released each year. It's a massive task, but I'm going to try to keep one updated for 2016. If you see something that isn't on the list, feel free to chime in, and we'll update it. Also, bookmark it and come back at some point!

Steam player record photo
Steam player record

No Halloween plans? Steam hits new user record over weekend

Almost 12.6 players on Halloween
Nov 02
// Steven Hansen
Steam is continuing its trend of increasing concurrent players and breaking past service records every few months. Just in June it was exciting to see Steam hit 10 million users using the service at the same time. This Hallow...

Review: Mushihimesama

Nov 02 // Chris Carter
Mushihimesama (Arcade, PC [reviewed], PS3, iOS, Xbox 360)Developer: CavePublisher: Degica (PC)MSRP: $19.99Released: October 12, 2004 (Arcade), December 15, 2011 (iOS), November 5, 2015 (PC) Mushihimesama is translated to "Bug Princess" in English, which is an apt name as an insectoid theme permeates the shooter. You may play the role of a human girl, but you'll ride on a bug, blast other bugs, and take on gigantic, intimidating bug bosses. This unconventional theme (shmups usually feature traditional spaceships) helps set Mushihimesama apart from the pack immediately. Don't expect anything in the way of a narrative, though -- the story is once again rather throwaway in favor of focusing on the action (a princess races to find a cure for her village). Bug Princess was crafted after cave had nearly 10 years of development experience under its belt, and the enemy and bullet designs really reflect that. You may have seen this infamous video from the game's Xbox 360 sequel (Mushihimesama Futari). While players won't be taking on that exact same encounter, the game's harder difficulties can get similarly insane. For those of you who opt for lower settings however, the game plays out more like a bullet purgatory, with deliberate patterns that are manageable and direct across all five stages. Because ultimately, great shmups aren't just action games, they have elements of puzzle titles peppered in as well. While blowing things up and earning a high score is paramount, the way that Cave and its competitors design enemy patterns indicates a huge attention to detail, as they're not just strewn about for good measure, and always have a counter to them with specific degrees of movement. This is especially true for Mushihimesama, and I enjoyed relearning some patterns as well as giving my twitch skills a test with the PC release. Thankfully, this edition also features full two-player co-op (with drop-in support) if you want to bring another friend into the mix. [embed]318273:60921:0[/embed] As a port, Mushihimesama far exceeds the amount of effort that went into Playism's localization of Touhou 14. It's fully translated, there's options for 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios, full screen mode, screen rotation (for vertical monitors), fully customizable controls (for keyboards and controllers), and allowances for UI additions like arcade joysticks and buttons. Players can also tweak the difficulty before each session (original, maniac, and ultra), including the total ship count and the points required to earn an extra life. It's a limitation of the first game, but I wish there were more characters, and not just three variations of the same princess. The difficulty curve is perfect, as original is manageable even by casual fans, maniac significantly steps things up a bit in a way veterans will appreciate, and maniac, for once, earns the moniker. Almost immediately with the latter difficulty, you'll see regular enemies fill up the entire screen with giant bullet-curtain mazes, forcing players to use everything they've picked up from the genre to survive. Although it wasn't factored into this assessment, there's a V1.5 "Matsuri" DLC available for $4.99 at launch that essentially adds in a new arranged mode with a remixed soundtrack. It's a bit redundant to say as nearly every Cave shooter is a "must play" title, but Mushihimesama is required reading for shmup fans. Whether you're going at it solo or with a friend, on the highest difficulty setting or the lowest, Mushihimesama is incredibly easy to spend an afternoon with for years to come. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Mushihimesama photo
Bug Princess finally hits PC
I was lucky to have been introduced to Cave shooters at a young age. I had a friend who lived in Japan and had family there, so he'd just bring games back over and we'd play them. Most were ported from the arcades to the PS2,...

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[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on YouTube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.] [Update: Thanks so much to...

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