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Billy Mitchell photo
Billy Mitchell

Billy Mitchell gets court case against parody depiction tossed because 'he is a human being'

Regular Show, whoaaaaaaaa
Nov 24
// Chris Carter
Haha, this is such an amazing story. As a Regular Show fan, I couldn't forget their depiction of Billy Mitchell in the form of Garrett Bobby Ferguson -- a floating head that cheats at video games and holds the universe r...
Peanuts photo

There's a new Snoopy game and it kind of looks like Yoshi's Woolly World

It costs more than peanuts, though
Nov 03
// Brett Makedonski
Comic strips are three-panel bundles of joy. Well, sometimes. The likes of Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, and Dilbert fit the bill. Marmaduke does not. Marmaduke has only brought pain and suffering to those ...
Rick and Morty photo
Rick and Morty

What would you want in a Rick and Morty game?

If it happens, and it's gonna happen
Sep 13
// Jonathan Holmes
[Image by Ko Takeuchi, artist for the Rhythm Heaven series.] Co-created by Justin Roiland, probably best known for voicing Lemongrab on Adventure Time, the comic book and animated television series Rick and Morty fe...
Skulls of the Shogun photo
Skulls of the Shogun

Nerdist's new Skulls of the Shogun cartoon debuted today

'That's why they call this a cold open'
Aug 11
// Darren Nakamura
This is a little surprising. Skulls of the Shogun was a great little game that suffered from a rocky launch and never saw widespread success, even after breaking out of its Windows 8 exclusivity. So for Nerdist to pick up the...

Crash Bandicoot cartoon photo
Crash Bandicoot cartoon

Crash Bandicoot dies in this unreleased '90s cartoon

Apparently he is really stupid as well
Jul 19
// Jed Whitaker
[Update: Apparently this wasn't a cartoon planned for television but was planned to be used in the original game but was cut.] Check out the above video shows the intro (and first episode?) for what was to be a Crash Ba...
Metal Gear Solid photo
Metal Gear Solid

I would watch this Metal Gear Solid cartoon

From the mind of Matt Synowicz
Jul 13
// Chris Carter
While some people claim that the Metal Gear series is tied to realism, I always ask them -- hey do you remember the vampire guy who could run up walls, or the guy who spits out weaponized bees? The series always felt lik...
The Peanuts Movie game photo
The Peanuts Movie game

Activision publishing companion game to this year's Peanuts Movie

Snoopy and Woodstock cooperate
Jul 08
// Darren Nakamura
Those trailers for The Peanuts Movie are pretty dang cute. It's neat to see the computer models and animation done in the style of the old cartoons. The movie will show up in theaters on November 6. In a move hearkening back...
Toontown Rewritten photo
Toontown Rewritten

Toontown Rewritten brings back my first MMO

Somehow Disney lawyers haven't noticed
Jun 15
// Joe Parlock
Toontown Online was my very first MMO, back when I was a wee child. It was pretty rad at the time: teaming up with people all over the world was a novel idea at the time, and even though I never subscribed, I can still vivid...

Review: Attack the Light: Steven Universe

Apr 02 // Ben Davis
Attack the Light: Steven Universe (iOS, Android [reviewed])Developer: Grumpyface StudiosPublisher: Cartoon Network GamesReleased: April 2, 2015MSRP: $2.99 Attack the Light's story could easily have been its own episode in the television show. The game takes the Crystal Gems on an adventure to bring down an army of light creatures, which Steven accidentally created by touching a prismatic gem artifact. Pretty standard for a Steven Universe episode, and it works really well as a videogame with each color of light being represented by a different world. The game never strays from the established canon of the Steven Universe universe (heh). There's plenty of references which only the fans of the show will understand, but the story itself is simple enough that players new to the franchise won't be too confused. Many of the items, attacks, and locations are taken directly from the show, such as the Cookie Cat items for healing, Amethyst's Purple Puma attack, and the strawberry field where an ancient gem battle took place. I loved how they even managed to naturally work in references for some of the more "videogame-y" aspects, like the loading screens which take place inside the warp streams. [embed]289907:58032:0[/embed] Attack the Light is an RPG featuring turn-based combat and light puzzle-solving segments. It takes a lot of inspiration from games like Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario. Things like timed hits and badges should sound very familiar to people who have played the Mario RPGs, and these are the main mechanics which make the combat in Attack the Light so interesting. Timed hits, or action commands, are crucial to winning a battle. While attacking or defending, a star will briefly appear around the enemy or character, indicating when the player should tap the screen. Tapping at the right moment will allow the Crystal Gems to follow up with an additional attack, or take significantly less damage from an enemy's attack. There are also certain moves which require special actions to perform, like pulling back and aiming Pearl's spear or tapping as many times as possible to charge up Amethyst's rolling attack. Stuff like this should be all too familiar to Paper Mario fans, and it works particularly well for an RPG on mobile devices. The actions taken during the player's turn are determined by the amount of star points available. Each turn grants five star points, which can go towards Crystal Gem attacks or Steven actions. Players can distribute these points any way they want; for example, a turn can consist entirely of Garnet's attacks, or be spread evenly between each of the Crystal Gems so that every character takes an action that turn. Players can also end their turns whenever they choose, and unused star points will be carried over into their next turn. Additional star points can also be obtained by using items or defeating enemies. While Steven himself can't actually attack, he still holds a very important role on the team as a healer-type character. He can give the Crystal Gems some words of encouragement to heal them, use his shield bubbles to block attacks, play songs on his ukulele to provide stat bonuses, and he also has access to a plethora of items hidden inside his hamburger backpack. He is the backbone of the team, so it's wise to take advantage of his abilities often. Leveling up grants the Crystal Gems new abilities and stronger stats. Each of the Crystal Gems starts at level 9000, except for Steven who starts at level 1 (this doesn't actually mean anything in regards to gameplay, but I thought it was funny). The Gems can gain experience through fights and also through dialogue. At certain points, Steven will be given dialogue options, and each choice will give a certain Gem an experience boost, depending on who was the most pleased with Steven's words. In addition to leveling up, badges can also be equipped to increase the Crystal Gems' stats or give them other bonuses, like immunity to status effects or bonus defense against specific enemy types. Overall, I felt the combat in Attack the Light was very well implemented. It provides just the right amount of challenge and variety. Skill with the action commands is necessary for success, different tactics will need to be employed for different enemy types, and each character has their own unique qualities to add to the team. Garnet is the powerhouse who breaks defenses and dishes out damage, Amethyst is great at dealing damage to multiple targets, Pearl is best at focused attacks usually aimed at single enemies, and of course, Steven provides the backup. The combat offers complexity without being confusing, and I feel any type of gamer, whether casual or hardcore, will be comfortable with it. Outside of battle, the team will be navigating short maps. Players swipe left, right, up, or down to move to the next section of the map, where they might encounter enemies, find treasure chests, or run into a puzzle. The puzzles are all very simple; usually they involve finding a key to continue forward, or tapping a string of symbols in the correct order to open a door, with clues scattered around the map. Hidden rooms can also be discovered by swiping in the direction of special walls, which will shimmer slightly to alert players of a possible secret. Map exploration is straightforward, so levels can be completed relatively quickly. Being on mobile devices, I think this works in the game's favor. Players should be able to easily complete a level in a short period of time, making it perfect for quick play sessions while you're riding the bus or waiting in the lobby, and it's easy to pick back up again where you left off. The problems I encountered were very few, and most may have been due to my phone. Certain touch screen movements were a little difficult to get right at times. In particular, the swipe motion for Pearl's spear-throwing attack often took a while to register, and once it registered, it would sometimes be difficult to aim it correctly without moving my finger off of the phone itself. (I used this attack frequently, since I found it to be quite powerful, so this one stood out to me the most.) I also found it slightly annoying when all of the characters would clump together on the map, mostly because this made it difficult to select the right character to give healing items to without moving to a new section of the map, which could trigger an enemy attack. It would have been preferable if they automatically spread out. But aside from these few small issues, I didn't notice anything major. For the most part, controls were very accurate and responsive. Attack the Light's strongest quality is its personality. Part of this comes from the voice cast, featuring the same actors from the show, and part of it comes from the writing. The Crystal Gems behave in their usual ways, with Pearl being the voice of reason, Amethyst goofing off and getting pumped, and Garnet remaining mysterious yet reassuring. Steven, in particular, is great in this game. His unwavering optimism is truly infectious; hearing him encourage the Crystal Gems and express his excitement about their adventure brings a smile to my face. He's just so nice and happy all the time! There's no doubt in my mind that fans of Steven Universe will be pleased with Attack the Light. It stays true to the show and gives players a chance to explore and fight alongside these great characters, all while offering a fun, if at times simple, gameplay experience. Even for non-fans, it's still a solid mobile RPG. And if you're not a fan of Steven Universe yet, then I bet you will be after playing Attack the Light.   [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Attack the Light review photo
Neato burrito!
Videogames based on television shows can be pretty hit or miss, but usually they miss. The same can also be said for mobile games in general. This makes something like Attack the Light, a mobile game based on the popular cart...

Steven Universe RPG photo
Steven Universe RPG

Attack the Light: Steven Universe RPG launches this week

We are the Crystal Gems~
Mar 30
// Ben Davis
If you're like me and you've been obsessing over Steven Universe for the past month, this news should excite you! Cartoon Network Games is set to release a Steven Universe RPG for mobile devices on April 2. Developed by Grum...
Star Fox photo
Star Fox

Star Fox in the Hanna-Barbera style just looks right

Move over Muttley
Mar 30
// Chris Carter
A friend brought to my attention a pretty awesome piece of art from a Twitter user that goes by the username "@jonasdoesstuff," and it magically crosses over the classic Hanna-Barbera style with Star Fox. As someone who ...
Star Fox X Regular Show photo
Star Fox X Regular Show

Star Fox X Regular Show Tribute

Feb 16
// Jonathan Holmes
[StarfooooooOOOHHHH by ガしガし] The fact that a new Star Fox game is set for release this year still feels a little surreal. Fan expectations are bound to be high, as the wait for this...
EarthBound fan video photo
Four years in the making
Fans of EarthBound celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Japanese release a little over a month ago on August 27. Followers of the series are known for going above and beyond in celebrating it, so of course one would s...

Sonic Boom photo
On Cartoon Network
Before we get Sonic Boom for Wii U and Sonic Boom for 3DS, we'll be getting a Sonic Boom cartoon. Said cartoon will arrive on November 8th on Cartoon Network, with 11 minute shows on a weekly basis. You can ge...

Mega Man photo
Mega Man

The goofy Ruby Spears Mega Man cartoon just got its DVD re-release

With retro case art
Oct 06
// Chris Carter
Discotek Media has released a new boxed set of the Ruby Spears Mega Man cartoon, which comes in four discs, with a retro-inspired box and NES cartridge style discs. Previously, the series was available in two volumes. Th...

Adventure Time Game Wizard has a pretty cool level editor

Sep 11 // Abel Girmay
So the level editor sound cool, huh? Unfortunately, the rest of the game drops the ball. Adventure Time Game Wizard is a platformer with awful controls, and a platformer with awful controls cannot carry itself very far. Out of all the different ways we've seen platformers played on a touch display, Game Wizard opts for a virtual d-pad setup. Simple commands, like switching directions, felt needlessly janky. Didn't matter whether I slid my finger over the d-pad or tapped it -- there was a noticeable pause in the time between hitting a new directional button, making the experience frustrating when going through the story mode. You can just imagine how unforgiving it can feel when playing on amateur fan-made levels. I like Adventure Time and would really dig a good game based off the show, so it hurts that this handles the way it does. Despite the rather ingenious level editor, Game Wizard is just par for the course for licensed games.
Adventure Time photo
But terrible platforming
There's a new game coming out based on everybody's favorite television show, Adventure Time! You know what that means right? Go on and grab your friends, because we're going to some very distant la---actually, you might want ...

Batman: Assault on Arkham photo
Batman: Assault on Arkham

Here's the opening scene from Batman: Assault on Arkham

Another Harley Quinn romance
Jul 22
// Brittany Vincent
Batman: Assault on Arkham is an upcoming direct-to-video animated film that serves as the direct sequel to Batman: Arkham Origins. Expect more not-so-zany adventures with the Riddler and Joker and the debut of the Suicide Sq...
Metroid photo

Ex-Rare concept artist reimagines Metroid as a Hanna-Barbera cartoon

Love it!
Jul 14
// Chris Carter
As a kid, I was lucky to have parents who showed me things that came before my time. One such medium was Hanna-Barbera cartoons. I watched hours upon hours of Hong Kong Phooey, Snagglepuss, and Wacky Races alongside...
Platinum Games photo
Platinum Games

The Legend of Korra game announced, developed by Platinum Games
Jun 25
// Alessandro Fillari
I'm not really much a fan of the Avatar series, but I might become one after this. It was just announced that Platinum Games, the developers of Bayonetta, Vanquish, and Metal Gear Rising, are working on the official video gam...
Adventure Time photo
Adventure Time

Throw an Adventure Time Battle Party with this new MOBA

Hopefully, you can bash Lemongrab's skull in
May 19
// Brittany Vincent
I had no earthly idea there was an Adventure Time MOBA in the works, let alone a beta for one. Lo and behold, Adventure Time Battle Party's MOBA launches today with an open beta, so you can start your kids' MOBA addictions yo...
Mega Man cartoon photo
Mega Man cartoon

Discotek's Mega Man cartoon re-release will feature retro box art

And manufactured wear and tear!
Apr 10
// Chris Carter
The Ruby Spears Mega Man cartoon may be infamous, but it's also incredibly hard to collect these days. The old DVDs are out of print and hard to find, and each of the two sets will run you around $50 used. But publisher ...

Review: The Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville

Mar 23 // Darren Nakamura
The Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville (Linux, Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: RadiangamesPublisher: Cartoon Network GamesReleased: March 14, 2014MSRP: $7.99Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit In standard fashion for the genre, the Powerpuff Girls lose all of their powers at the onset of the adventure. Mojo Jojo builds a device that erases their procedural memories, causing them to forget how to use all of their powers. He also kidnaps Blossom, Bubbles, and the Mayor, leaving Buttercup to try to save the day. At the beginning, Buttercup can do nothing more than walk left or right; she cannot even punch or jump. With robots on her tail, she has to stay on the run. It is sort of interesting to be so completely disempowered, but thankfully the section does not last long. One of the first memories Buttercup regains is how to punch. Shortly after that, she remembers how to fly and things really start to feel right for the Powerpuff Girls property. One design decision that comes off as slightly strange at first is that there are two attack buttons, with one for leftward attacks and the other for rightward attacks. It takes some getting used to, but it quickly becomes clear why it is the way it is: a short time into the game, Buttercup gains a projectile attack, and the control scheme acts as a sort of simplified twin-stick shooter. With independent attack directions, players can fly left while shooting right, or vice versa. [embed]272334:53091:0[/embed] At that point, what appeared to be a brawler becomes more of a shmup. Some enemies put out an unhealthy amount of glowing purple bullets. Though it never reaches the point where it would be called bullet hell, the girls do a fair amount of dodging and shooting from afar, in addition to their more powerful melee attacks when the situation calls for it. Eventually, Buttercup rescues Blossom and subsequently Bubbles, and the player can switch between the three at will with a quick button press. All three have most of the same basic abilities, but each has her own unique projectile attack. Buttercup has a wave beam-esque pulse that can pass through walls, Blossom throws fireballs that deal splash damage and melt ice, and Bubbles has an ice attack that has the widest spread and can freeze open certain barriers. The girls' unique abilities provides one of the avenues for blocking progress and backtracking, though other universal abilities are used for this as well. As far as these types of games go, Defenders of Townsville is more open than most, with multiple paths available at any given time, and not much direction on which path makes the most sense. This highlights one of the weaknesses of the game: the map is less helpful than it should be. With such a nonlinear environment and the backtracking that entails, the map gives no information on what was previously blocking progress. It does show whether a room has a powerup to find and whether it has been cleared of enemies, but little else. It ends up not being a huge deal, because the area to explore is not too large, and the girls' ability to fly makes traversing it a relatively quick endeavor, but it does seem to be a step back for the genre, which has taken steps in recent years to minimize wasted time and effort. After completing the first quest, a second one opens up, but the progression is a bit different. In Mojo's Key Quest, the Powerpuff Girls keep all of their regained memories, and sections of the map are locked off by collectible keys rather than by abilities. To compensate for starting almost fully powered up, the robots to fight are more numerous and more formidable than before. It is in this second quest that the combat really starts to get demanding. With some practice, players are able to fully utilize some of the cool abilities that show up late in the first quest. The girls can punch projectiles out of the sky, use defeated enemies as explosive weapons, and perform devastating charge attacks to drop the robots. Some may find the combat in the first quest to be too easy, but it becomes much more satisfying in the second quest. Mojo's Key Quest has its own map issues, despite the change in progression. While it does clearly distinguish locked and open doors, it is a larger area with certain doors acting as two-way teleporters. The big thing missing from the in-game map is which teleporters lead to one another, requiring a rote memory component for something that could have easily been represented on the map screen. Graphically, Defenders of Townsville matches the recent visual reimagining for The Powerpuff Girls, and while I hated it at first, I got used to it by the end of the first two-hour quest. However, series purists and those who cannot get over it have the option to use the classic, thick-outlined art style, which changes not only the character sprites, but also the whole environment. Otherwise, I experienced a bit of noticeable screen tearing, but nothing too distracting from the experience. The soundtrack is a decent chiptune collection, but it does not especially fit the franchise. It has a bit of a grungy sound to it, rather than the expected sugary pop that many associate with The Powerpuff Girls. It is not bad by any means, but it just does not match. All in all, I came out of The Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville pleasantly surprised. Not only does it nail the look and feel of flying around and beating up robots as a Powerpuff Girl, but it also stands in its own right as a unique take on the metroidvania genre. Where most focus on platforming as a means for getting around, the girls' constant flight and projectile arsenal puts an emphasis on shmup gameplay instead. Though it suffers from a few design oversights, Defenders of Townsville is a good, solid game. It handles the franchise well enough, but it would be good even without the Powerpuff Girls property. At about four hours of total gameplay, it does not overstay its welcome, and it definitely does justice to the franchise.
Powerpuff Girls review photo
Sugar, spice, and almost everything nice
Fifteen years ago, The Powerpuff Girls was my jam. I used to watch it (along with Dexter's Laboratory) just about every day after coming home from school, but before firing up a videogame. A couple weeks ago, when The Po...

Powerpuff Girls photo
Powerpuff Girls

The Powerpuff Girls return in Defenders of Townsville

Coming soon to Steam
Mar 05
// Jordan Devore
Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville is heading to Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux on March 14, 2014. Huh? Where did this come from? Radiangames, a developer known for its line of Xbox Live indie games, was in need of ...
Home Sheep Home 2 photo
Home Sheep Home 2

Home Sheep Home 2 is on Steam, discounted until Feb 24

Like the Lost Vikings, but with sheep
Feb 18
// Darren Nakamura
Two years ago, Home Sheep Home 2 released on PC and iOS devices, where it received decent critical praise for its Lost Vikings-esque puzzle platformer gameplay and adorable art style. Players control Shaun the Sheep, along w...

Preview: South Park: The Stick of Truth is ambitious

Feb 14 // Alessandro Fillari
South Park: The Stick of Truth (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC [previewed])Developer: Obsidian EntertainmentPublisher: UbisoftRelease date: March 4, 2014 (US) / March 7, 2014 (EU)Opening with a parody of Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of The Rings, in full rotoscope style, South Park: The Stick of Truth tells the tale of the war between humans and elves; both vying to claim the power of...The Stick of Truth. Of course, this is all just an exaggeration, as the war is really just a game played by the kids of the neighborhood. When a new kid moves into the town of South Park, Cartman takes him under his wing and tasks him with protecting the Stick of Truth in their 'game' against the elves. But in South Park fashion, things quickly escalate out of control and a fairly harmless rivalry is turned into an epic quest with real consequences.Now, the South Park series hasn't had much luck in the gaming department, and understandably so. It's very difficult to translate the over-the-top and comedic sensibilities to a game without making it into something that it's not. Even though I was kind of fond of the N64 title, it wasn't really a game worthy of the series. Because of this, the minds behind the show, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, were very adamant to be hands-on with the development.Speaking with Jordan Thomas, creative director for BioShock 2, Thief: Deadly Shadows, and serving as a creative consultant on The Stick of Truth -- he spoke about the title's development and how the theme of play is something the creators wanted to focus on when writing the game's script."If you look at South Park, there's always been a love affair with games that's evident in their storytelling...that the characters have a fetishistic mysticism regarding gaming," said Jordan Thomas, recalling the television series' use of videogames. "The creators would not have allowed the game to be just a joke vehicle, they wanted a proper game."Instead of taking on the role of one of the established characters, players will create a unique character who is the new kid on the block. As this New Kid, players will forge alliances and come into conflict with others while making a name for themselves in South Park and its surrounding areas.Of course, comedy is the backbone of South Park -- and The Stick of Truth pulls absolutely no punches when it comes to its humor. As a videogame, Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and the developers at Obsidian were able to craft a story that parodies many tropes and cliches of the medium, while at the same time creating something that speaks to the themes of engagement, play, and obsession in ways that could only be done in a game.Much like the television series and film, The Stick of Truth covers the whole gamut of pop culture, politics, religion, and life in an unusual small town. And the transition to a game has not neutered its humor one bit. My hour with the game made me realize that this is likely the raunchiest South Park has ever been. Swearing is uncensored, and yes there is nudity, and so much more.Over the course of your adventure, players will come across places and situations referencing abortions, race relations, anal probes, drug addiction, sex, extreme violence, and poverty, just to name a small few. It has enough satirical bite that it'll likely leave a lasting impression on many. But of course, this is South Park, and feeling uncomfortable is nothing unexpected."The way we looked at [humor] was if this moment was a hot button for the audience, should we make it worse, because they [creators of South Park] love to push boundaries and their default response was definitely not to back down, but the really healthy counterbalance was, can we make it funnier -- and the answer was often yes," said Jordan Thomas. "It was definitely the right amount of pressure. In my eyes, [South Park] explores topics that makes people uncomfortable, and it does so above all out of love and truth."The Stick of Truth incorporates many elements of fantasy fiction and RPG gameplay, while re-appropriating it for its own humor and style. When players enter the realm of 'Kupa Keep,' which is just Cartman's backyard with crude signs and dressing, they're brought into the conflict between the factions. From here, players will be able to define their character and choose their class. Despite players being able to name their character, Cartman and the others will henceforth refer to the New Kid as 'Douchebag."Character growth and evolution is conducted through a standard leveling and class system. Battles yield experience points and loot, and leveling up allows players to spend skill points across the various class trees. Though don’t expect anything extremely intricate. While you do have options, don’t go in thinking you can make rich variations of each character class. In The Stick of Truth, the classes cover the standard fantasy archetypes, but with a twist. There's the Fighter, Mage, and Thief, and last but not least, the Jew.The Jew class, which is illustrated with an evil-looking sorcerer character card, allows players to focus on long-range and sniping abilities to weaken, debilitate, and otherwise undermine your enemy's strengths from afar. Moreover, the Jew utilizes special abilities in 'Jew-Jitsu' and another skill known as the Sling of David, which allows players to cast the first stone against their enemies and stun those out of distance.Obviously, I decided to roll the Jew class for my character, Sir Douchebag (and so did everyone else at this event, by the way). From here, we learn the ins and outs of combat. On the surface, it looks to be a standard turn-based RPG game in the vein of Final Fantasy, and while that is true, the core combat takes a far more action-oriented and dynamic approach to engaging your foes. Players will be able to partner with other characters, such as Cartman, Stan, Butters, Kyle, and many others from the series in during battles, and many of them possess their own unique skills and abilities.During battles, offense and defense require timed button presses to maximize effectiveness. For instance, weapon attacks come in both basic and power versions. When attacking, your characters will ready themselves and pressing the attack buttons at the moment when the weapon flashes will enable the specified move. Basic attacks allow for combos, each hit requiring timed presses, and power attacks allow for a one-hit strong attack against enemies. Each has its uses and is required for specific enemies. Heavy armored enemies can be weakened through combo attacks, and power attacks can break through enemies carrying shields.Though be warned, enemies use the same skills as you do, and that's where blocking comes in. When enemies attack, a small shield icon will appear below your party members. This prompts you to press the action button to diminish the effectiveness of their attacks. Success also allows players to restore PP (yes, there's a joke for this), which power your special skills in battle. Blocking is especially important when facing foes who use attacks with status effects attached. For instance, bleeding drains character health over time, and cannot be healed unless you have special potions.I found myself really enjoying the combat. It's definitely a much more dynamic, but still tactical approach to turn-based combat. The action-oriented approach reminded me of combat from the games like Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga or Paper Mario, which really stressed that battles are not a spectator sport. I felt very active during every battle, and as enemies populate the environments during exploration, you can expect to see a lot of action. Battles can be pretty challenging, even early ones. I was overwhelmed by a group of elves at one point and was wiped out after missing the timing on blocks from a group of archers.Though it may all seem like fun and games when battling kids with fake elf ears, things eventually get real when you start battling other foes in South Park; such as Meth Heads looking to protect their stash, overzealous rent-a-cops who aren't afraid to use pepper-spray on children, and creepy territorial hobos. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.One feature that the creators of South Park wanted was allowing fans to explore the town freely, while meeting many of the series characters, and getting into trouble along the way.  "You're going to visit the town, properly," said Thomas as he elaborated on the exploration design. "There are few limits placed, which use Metroidvania-style unlocking, but there's a lot to explore, and around a lot more places around the town as well."Scattered around the town are NPC characters going about their business, and also a variety of shops, where you can buy new equipment, items, and special buffs for your characters. In Metroidvania style, players can explore the area at their leisure, but some areas are blocked off by obstacles and and obstructions that require special abilities. Interaction with the environment is a key part of gameplay during traversal and puzzle solving. Players will be able to uncover hidden paths and chests while examining and attacking obstacles. Moreover, new abilities open that allow players to activate switches from a distance, destroy obstacles with your farts, and use your other party members and friends to uncover clues and take out groups of enemies without even entering battle. I was pretty pleased with how detailed the settings were, but at times I had difficulty finding  certain objects for quests, as they blended in too well with other decorations in the background. Exploring the town of South Park felt surreal, and extremely authentic. In many ways, it felt like I was watching an episode of South Park showing off a really demented and comical parody of EarthBound, except I was actually playing it. The comparisons to EarthBound and other JRPG titles were no coincidence, as they were a major influence for the writers of the series and folks at Obsidian. They really nailed the look and feel of the TV series, as there were moments during cutscenes I'd stop playing, and then I'd have to remind myself that I was playing a game after some time passed.There are many incentives for taking time out from the main quests to explore and get to know the exact layout of the town, which is a first for South Park. Many familiar places, such as the South Park Elementary, South Park Mall, Bijou Cinema, City Wok, Tweek Bros. Coffehouse, and many others are available for players to come across and explore.Another reward for the exploration is meeting other characters, who friend you on the social media site, Facebook. Yes, this is a full on parody of Facebook and they don't even shy away from the absurdity of social media. Character's can even comment on your 'page' making jokes and mocking your performance. Your Facebook page also serves as your main menu, possessing journals, inventory, and acquiring more friends will gradually unlock special points which can be used to buy special perks to strengthen your character's abilities.Many of the characters and creatures you encounter during your quest are referenced throughout the television series, and even the most political and controversial of characters will likely make an appearance. In one instance, I came into contact with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore who needed help with tracking the fabled ManBearPig, as it was stalking the citizens of South Park. This scene totally came out of nowhere, I felt the sudden urge to drop whatever I was doing and do what he asked. How can you say no to Al Gore? Everyone involved with the game seemed pretty much on the same page. One of the key takeaways from both the creators of the television series and the developers at Obsidian, and Jordan Thomas, was the desire to make South Park: The Stick of Truth the definitive South Park experience, across all media.And judging from my time with the title, they certainly have made something unique to the series, that will speak to fan's love for the franchise. While there are some rather obvious bugs that will hopefully be ironed out, such my character being permanently being stuck in the aiming stance during exploration, and some issues with items not being clear enough to identify in the field, I came away pretty pleased with what I played.It's looking like the game was definitely worth the wait. While the developers certainly didn't have to worry about raising the bar for South Park games, which was pretty low as it was, they've definitely made something that speaks to fans of the show, and might even earn the attention of some RPG fans in the process.
South Park photo
One does not simply walk into South Park
So, where were you when South Park: The Stick of Truth was announced? This was all the way back in 2011, around the time another certain RPG title was on the minds of players. It was certainly a surprising reveal, don't you t...

Sonic Boom photo
Sonic Boom

Sega announces Cartoon Network and TOMY parternship

Sonic Boom will be two games, a TV show, and a toy line
Feb 06
// Chris Carter
Following up on the huge reveal of the new Sonic Boom sub-franchise, Sega had two more announcements to make at their "Year of Sonic" event. The first deals with the previously revealed TV series, in that it will debut ...
Dtoid TV photo
Dtoid TV

Live show: A tribute to Don Bluth

Dragon's Lair, Dragon's Lair 2: Time Warp, and Space Ace
Nov 07
// Rick KingFoom Olson
[Mash Tactics airs Monday through Friday at 4p.m. Pacific on Dtoid.TV. Watch Rick 'King Foom' Olson play a variety of games, each day with its own theme. With a heavy focus on community and viewer interaction, you c...

Very Quick Tips: Regular Show: 8-Bit Land 3DS

Nov 02 // Chris Carter
General tips: Mordecai can use a delayed double jump to his advantage. What I mean by that is you can use your initial jump, then land on an enemy for a boost, then jump again. Or conversely, he can cancel out of a morph power with the L or R button, then jump right after. You'll need to use this to grab a few of the golden tapes hidden throughout the game. In addition to using the above trick, you can also run with Rigby, jump, then switch to Mordecai and double jump. You can also hold the run button mid-air to "fall" farther. Try it! It's amazing. Money earns you lives in increments of $100 just like coins do in Mario, so grab all the cash you can. Losing all your lives doesn't really matter that much as you can just restart the stage over again, but keeping your lives topped off works great for hugging checkpoints. Don't be afraid to spend money on the mini-game after each level. Your cash caps at $999, and after the first world, money flows like Dune's spice. You'll want to spend cash on all three chance slots after world one. In the chance game, holes tend to be right next to each other, so spread your coins out -- I usually put one on the far left, one on the far right, and one in the middle. Boss tips: You'll have to kill the first boss by jumping on his head. To do that, switch to Mordecai, stand in the middle of the screen, then jump away from him as his beam hits the ground. It'll create a raised platform -- use that to jump in the middle of his head. Then, immediately switch to Rigby and sneak under him to avoid most of the projectiles. Rinse and repeat. For the second boss, switch to the ship right away and blast up his torso. If you're fast enough, you can blow up the rockets as they launch. Once his torso is damaged, the hats will come off the bird heads -- now, you'll have to jump on them. Wait until a head shoots a beam attack, then strike. If the boss has his arms up, he's impervious to damage -- wait until he stops running, then strike immediately, as your window is only a few seconds. For the third boss, you can't damage him with the top-down morph, so don't even try. Use the morph to stick to the ceiling though, and wait until the trampolines are angled towards him -- then drop a piece of furniture on him to deal damage. Note that you can shoot all the beams he summons however, so always try to have your gun blazing and aim away from the boss to hit his projectiles. The final boss is a bit tricky. Wait until he shoots, then leap on his head and stay there to multi-jump him to death instantly. If you're really fast, you can run and jump on his head right awayIn phase two, you'll want to lead his floating head like a bull into a corner, then avoid him by flying above or below him, and go to the other side of the screen -- rinse and repeat.For phase three, switch to Mordecai right away, and jump on the boss -- then, slowly move from left to right in the air until you multi-jump him to death. Use your double-jump sparingly to get into an opposite corner and get your bearings. Phase four is easy, and is also a new checkpoint. Just don't corner yourself, and treat it just like phase two. Here's a trick for this part -- when he starts using the vacuum ability, switch back to Mordecai, then jump on his head. Switch back to the ship and blast him, then jump on his head again to start an infinite vacuum loop.In phase five, immediately start as the top-down morph and start blasting his head, but switch to his hands if you have enough room. If he launches his fists too close to your side of the screen it's hard to avoid them, so switch back to Mordecai, run to the other side, then repeat the process of blasting him. In area, it's easy to forget that you can switch back outside of the morph ability, but that's the key to victory.Phase six is also easy with another trick. At the start, simply jump on his head, then double-jump to escape to the far left or right side of the screen. Wait for him to fall, then repeat the process until he's dead. Congratulations on beating the game!
Very Quick Tips photo
Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land isn't the best platformer around, but it's a good way to scratch that retro itch many of you may be having. Like most old school titles, 8-Bit Land is one of those games where you'll have to work to figure everything out, but once you do, it all just clicks. This should help ease you into that process.

3DS photo

Zelda, Pikmin, and Frederator cartoons coming to 3DS

Nintendo Video snags Bravest Warriors, Bee and PuppyCat
Nov 01
// Jonathan Holmes
Nintendo's dabbled in 3DS-exclusive animation before with the short-run Kid Icarus: Uprising series, and it looks like that dabbling is about to reach new heights. They're rolling out five new Nintendo Video series, starting ...

There's a new Sonic cartoon in the works

It's called Sonic Boom
Oct 02
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Sonic is returning to television with Sonic Boom, the fifth Sonic TV series. This one is going to be CG animated, and is set to debut Fall 2014 on Cartoon Network. The target audience is ages 6 to 11, and is billed as an "act...

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