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11:00 AM on 04.23.2014

Seven things I loved about playing Watch Dogs

The delay of Ubisoft Montreal's new open world IP, Watch Dogs, surprised many. With only a month away from launch, and a rather bold marketing push for the holiday season, Ubisoft appeared ready, but then we found it wasn't. ...

Alessandro Fillari


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Tuesday Newsday: Dragon Age III, Star Citizen, Fatal Frame & Nuka Cola photo
Tuesday Newsday: Dragon Age III, Star Citizen, Fatal Frame & Nuka Cola
by Max Scoville

Here's your Tuesday Newsday for the last week or so! Today, we got a sexy new Dragon Age III: Inquisition trailer, some HD footage of Star Citizen out of PAX East, announcements of a new Fatal Frame on Wii-U as well as a bunch of Japanese games being localized. Sony, Microsoft, and ZeniMax have all been trademarking curious terms like "Eden Falls" "Screamride" "Killstrain" "Entwined" and "Nuka Cola."

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Review: Batman: Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart photo
Review: Batman: Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart
by Chris Carter

So far, the Batman Arkham Origins Season Pass has been a steaming pile of poop. Buyers have received some extremely underwhelming skin packs, and a piss-poor series of challenge maps for their cash, with the promise of another "story" addition down the line.

When I heard that said story DLC would feature Mr. Freeze however, I couldn't help but at least get marginally excited. As one of my favorite villains in all of Batman lore, it would be really hard to screw up a narrative involving the iconic frozen doctor.

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Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day: A confusing mess of things I like photo
Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day: A confusing mess of things I like
by Steven Hansen

I finally got to play Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day last week. The lovechild of Suda 51, Tokyo Jungle director Yohei Kataoka, Silent Hill sound director Akira Yamaoka, and a bunch of other Japanese development talent, I've followed Ranko Tsukigime closely. 

So I was excited to finally get to play it. But I couldn't talk about it until today. Despite the fact that it decided to up and release in Europe last week. Even though it doesn't have a firm North American release date.

Whatever. I'm going to go see Short Peace in theatres this Thursday at least.

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Namco takes Gundam Vs gameplay west with F2P Rise of Incarnates photo
Namco takes Gundam Vs gameplay west with F2P Rise of Incarnates
by Steven Hansen

The 2 on 2 Gundam vs. Gundam series is as big in Japan as that full-scale Gundam model in Tokyo. It's also big on the Destructoid Forum, in that one Gundam fan keeps explaining how it's the best fighting game and tries to get people to import it. I'm more of a Gundam Battle Assault 2 kind of guy.

Anyway, Namco is taking the format of Gundam Vs. and bringing it west with a new IP, the free-to-play Rise of Incarnates. Because the 2 on 2 format is a bit different for Western audiences, Namco went with a F2P model to build a player base.

And you know it's been developed specifically for the west for several reasons. First, the initial stage being shown off is New York, with the post-apocalyptic staple crumbling Statue of Liberty. Second, there is a blond character with big hair. He looks just like us, my fellow Americans, with his rock and roll nonchalance and red leather jacket.

Though he turns into a monster and there is a mad scientist who rides on a tidal wave of corpses.

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Preview: Grid Autosport's San Francisco needs steeper hills photo
Preview: Grid Autosport's San Francisco needs steeper hills
by Steven Hansen

Hot on the heels of last year's GRID 2, Codemasters is coming back with GRID Autosport, a "celebration of pure, unadulterated motorsport." This is going to be less of an arcade racer than GRID 2 ended up being, but without drifting too far into stodgy simulation either.

We'll see if the middle ground pleases anyone on June 24. It did please me, though, despite the insurmountable damage I did to all of the cars. I am a much better driver in real life.

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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call announced for North America photo
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call announced for North America
by Dale North

Square Enix's follow-up to Theathrythm Final Fantasy has finally been confirmed for release in North America. That's right: Theathrythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call is coming our way sometime this year, priced at $39.99.

We saw this bigger, better version of Theathythm at Tokyo Game Show last year, and have been hoping for its western release ever since. It's so good! Its 221 awesome songs and 60 playable characters cover all things Final Fantasy, from Final Fantasy Tactics to Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.

And as for new characters, Ramza, Zack, Yuna, Barret and others show their little tiny faces.

It's not just new songs and characters, though. A new Versus Battle mode lets you go up against friends, and a Quest Medley mode lets you pick your own routes through quests of different lengths. A new Collecta Crystarium system lets you collect cards by winning battles to boost character stats.

I'm so, so ready. Are you?

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Happy 25th Anniversary, Game Boy! photo
Happy 25th Anniversary, Game Boy!
by Brittany Vincent

With fond memories of SolarStriker and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, today I wish the original Game Boy a very happy 25th anniversary. The little handheld that could came into this world kicking and screaming, setting a precedent for on-the-go gaming and becoming the best Pokémon Red and Blue system it ever could be. I kid. I burned that thing up, Pokémon or not.

On April 21, 1989, the original Game Boy leapt onto store shelves bundled with a copy of Tetris, and to date it's gone on to sell 118 million units. Most of them were me purchasing additional copies of Pokémon Red and Blue to force people to trade with me since trading alone with a link cable ceased being so much fun. Or Monster Rancher Battle Card GB.

I didn't get my Game Boy from a retail store and instead my parents nabbed mine from a pawn shop in a sweet carrying case. We were inseparable, especially with my first game having been Kirby's Dream Land. I wouldn't even put that sucker down to let my parents take a decent photo.

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More games need a Photo Mode like inFamous: Second Son photo
More games need a Photo Mode like inFamous: Second Son
by Steven Hansen

inFamous: Second Son saw an almost benign update with Photo Mode last week (hashtag many filters). With it, you're photografree to turn off the HUD, adjust depth of field, change time of day, and, well, take pictures. Pictures of stunning digital vistas and creepy monster teens. It's like you're a member of the Ansel Adams Family.

It's in some ways an extension of inFamous 2's user-generated missions, which stemmed from Sony going hard on the "Play, Create, Share" campaign after the success of games like LittleBigPlanet. It's also a natural extension of a thing a lot of games already had -- level editors -- now even more useful with the ability to share levels with everyone.

And it's a great idea, equal parts a smart business decision and a fun, artistic tool for letting you make screenshots that second stun

[screenshot via NeoGAF's emalord]

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Review: NES Remix 2 photo
Review: NES Remix 2
by Chris Carter

NES Remix was able to scratch an itch for many retro enthusiasts out there, but it lacked a certain spark that made it a must-buy for the average gamer. It would be hard to really consider half of the selections "classic," and it lacked any real extras beyond a hit-or-miss array of remixed stages.

But the second time is a charm in this case, because with heavy-hitting newcomers like Kirby's Adventure, Punch Out!!, and Metroid on top of returning franchises like Mario and Zelda, NES Remix 2 really knocks it out of the park in terms of its selection.

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Firaxis designers speak on Civilization: Beyond Earth photo
Firaxis designers speak on Civilization: Beyond Earth
by Darren Nakamura

Last weekend during its panel at PAX East, Firaxis announced the next big project for the Civilization franchise: Civilization: Beyond Earth. After the announcement, Destructoid took some time to talk to some of the designers behind bringing the strategy series into space.

Lead Designers David McDonough and Will Miller were present for the interview along with Systems Gameplay Designer Anton Strenger. The designers discussed the inspiration behind Beyond Earth, some of the world building systems, and the possibility for crossover with other Firaxis science fiction properties. Read it below!

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What was your favorite Marty O'Donnell song? photo
What was your favorite Marty O'Donnell song?
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

As we learned this past week, Marty O'Donnell is no longer with Bungie after nearly two decades at the company. His music is iconic in this industry, and the Halo series owes a part of it's infamy thanks to what he did on that series without a doubt.

While I think Marty will find work again easily if he wants it (maybe go to 343 and make the Halo music good again?), I did want to take this moment to reflect on his career at Bungie. Specifically the Halo series as the music he created for it has been some of my favorite for any game franchise out there.

The one that left the biggest impact on me was the Halo 3: ODST soundtrack. From the haunting saxophones of "Overture," to the feelings of defying the odds with "Special Delivery," ODST's original score has been one of the handful gaming soundtracks to actually move me to tears. Proper credit to Michael Salvatori who worked on this album as well.

So what was your favorite song/album/piece that Marty O'Donnell worked on while at Bungie, or otherwise. Did you know he made the Flintstones vitamin song? That was a good one too. Man remember when the Flintstones were cool?

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Reviews in Review: Steins;Gate, Half Minute Hero 2, Trials Fusion photo
Reviews in Review: Steins;Gate, Half Minute Hero 2, Trials Fusion
by Ben Pack

"Reviews in Review" is a new show that releases every week where I will go over the reviews published this week on Destructoid, as well as give a score to the week in general. This week I talked about the reviews for Steins;Gate, Half Minute Hero 2, and Putty Squad. 

Otherwise, check out the recap of all the reviews that ran this past week on Destructoid below. Make sure to stay until the end of the video too for a DESTRUCTOID EXCLUSIVE interview.

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The best stuff on Destructoid this week [4/19] photo
The best stuff on Destructoid this week [4/19]
by Steven Hansen

[We post a lot of articles here at Destructoid. The endless, ouroboros news cycle has us burning the snake at both ends, which will ultimately push big news, thoughtful original pieces, and all sorts of other great content off of the front page. Check here every Saturday for my attempt to rectify that.]

Some kids want to be astronauts or doctors or lawyers or hedge fund managers. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a garbageman. Kid me is much brighter than real me. I'd probably be making three times more money annually, have health benefits, and a retirement plan. 

And I'd have garbageman arms. Strong arms. Weathered and leathery. Not vein laced or ripped. Just thick. The sort of arms that could squeeze the life out of another human being if they needed to, but not with malice. With an exasperated sigh. With a rote understanding of doing what needs doing (and only if it did need doing). Forlorn, but with a stupid persistence for a lack of alternatives.

Here's last week's post. Let's begin anew.

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We've got 5,000 keys for this weekend's WildStar beta! photo
We've got 5,000 keys for this weekend's WildStar beta!
by Mr Andy Dixon

[Update: The beta weekend has been extended until Monday!]

Our friends at NCSoft and Carbine Studios have hooked us up with 5,000 beta keys for their hot new MMO WildStar!

The beta weekend starts tomorrow at 7am and ends on Sunday Monday at 11:59pm Pacific. To snag your code, just head on over to your code redemption page and click the button! Once you've got your key, go sign up for an NCSoft account if you don't already have one, then click the "Apply A Code" button at the top of a page. If you like what you see, head on over to the WildStar pre-order page and secure yourself early access to the full game in late May.

Have fun! And don't forget, fans who play the beta can earn free items for launch! For each day players log into the game between now and launch (during pre-order weekends as well as Open Beta), accounts will receive 3 Boom Boxes at launch. These boxes can be used once per day to receive a random assortment of possible goodies, including XP buffs, unique runes, weapons, housing items, unique costumes, mounts, and more!

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Review in Progress: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS4) photo
Review in Progress: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS4)
by Chris Carter

Last year close to its launch, we reviewed Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn -- so what's with the retread, you ask? Well, that was before we implemented our Reviews in Progress program, which was designed to cover games as a whole with a score down the line, including endgame content that MMO veterans may want to know about before dropping their cash.

The fact is, A Realm Reborn has had many updates since launch, including the massive 2.2 patch that was implemented recently and a PS4 port. In an effort to step up our MMO coverage, we'll be taking a look at the whole picture in regards to Final Fantasy XIV both at present and going forward.

It doesn't even feel like work, either -- I'm enjoying myself far too much.

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