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4:00 PM on 10.08.2013

A quick look at the new Mario Party for 3DS

While some games in the Mario Party series are easily better than the others (*cough* Mario Party 2 *cough*), I think we can all agree that each one has been fun to play. Mario Party: Island Tour for the 3DS is no different, ...

Hamza CTZ Aziz



Tap happy with Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call  photo
Tap happy with Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
by Dale North

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call is more of the same, but I doubt any Theatrhythm fan will be complaining about that. More music from more Final Fantasy games and more tapping action. More just-misses. More cramped hands. I can't wait.

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Preview: Falling right into Pokemon X & Y photo
Preview: Falling right into Pokemon X & Y
by Steven Hansen

Are you a boy or a girl?

My preview of Pokemon X and Y last month left me plenty excited. There was a lot to take in: Mega Evolutions, a lunatic scientist, an extra dimension. However, the demo also left something to be desired in its strange, cobbled together nature. It was the same demo meant to be played at the Pokemon Game Show in Japan, with a 10 minute time limit. Enough to whet your appetite and enjoy just how darn good the game looks despite the jump to 3D that left many (unduly) nervous.

Earlier this week, I got to take a Pokemon cart from "New Game" to as far as I could sojourn in an hour. After skipping Black/White and Black 2/White 2 (it's been over five years since I've played a Pokemon game!), it felt a bit like returning home.

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Puyopuyo Tetris is exactly as it sounds, and I dig it photo
Puyopuyo Tetris is exactly as it sounds, and I dig it
by Dale North

Sega is showing off its new puzzle game Puyopuyo Tetris here at their already super busy TGS 2013 booth. As a fan of both games, I gave this cross-up a spin on the 3DS. Puyopuyo Tetris is also coming to the Vita and PS3 as well as the Wii U, with a motion control scheme set for the latter. 

After choosing a character, the game asks which of the famed puzzlers you'd like to play. I'm much better at Puyo than Tetris, so I went in confident. In a classic competitive match, the other game you did not choose ends up being your opponent's game. This had me setting up combos and matching colors to send obstacle lines (complete with cute/angry little Puyo faces) to the computer opponent's Tetris board. And in turn, his line clears sent random blocks to mess up my beautifully laid chain stacks. 

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Shantae and the Pirate's Curse puts the rest to shame photo
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse puts the rest to shame
by Jonathan Holmes

Tucked away in a corner below The Wind Waker HD and behind Pokemon X/Y at PAX is a small kiosk featuring Retro City Rampage and Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, both on the 3DS. Stop by if you have the chance. The games are both fantastic, and on top of that, their developers should be standing by to chat you up. Make time for them if you can.

Pirate's Curse may be one of the most attractive games at the show. WayForward has really gone all out this time, using the sprites from Shantae: Risky's Revenge as a base, while adding additional colors and frames of animation. The 3DS screen makes for a larger playfield, lending to more intricate environmental puzzles, more enemies on screen, and more action in general. It's easily their prettiest handheld title yet. 

As those of you who've been following the series so far already know, Shantae has lost her former half-genie powers, and has been forced to team up with criminal pirate troublemaker Risky Boots in order to try to get them back. Risky ends up rubbing off on Shantae in more ways than one. Not only will Shantae learn pirate-styled attacks and abilities, but she'll gradually begin to behave more like a pirate as well.

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Preview: Licking everyone in Pokemon X and Y photo
Preview: Licking everyone in Pokemon X and Y
by Steven Hansen

Pokemon X and Pokemon Y are currently playable in Japan at the Pokemon Game Show. We got a look at the same hands-on demo, minus the 10 minute time limit and the assuredly hours-long line.

The demo opens with you as a random trainer -- there are six core options that can be customized -- with one of the three starter Pokemon. I began as the delightful, pink hat clad Yvonne, with a Fennekin. It's been a long while since I've had a fire starter and I have to admit that the cute little guy warmed my icy heart.

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Impressions: Urban Trial Freestyle (3DS) photo
Impressions: Urban Trial Freestyle (3DS)
by Ian Bonds

Back in February, PlayStation 3 and Vita owners finally got their taste of the motorcycle madness found in the Trials HD series that Xbox owners have been enjoying for years. Sadly, Urban Trial Freestyle just didn't seem to hold up to the standards set by RedLynx, even if it was still an enjoyable ride. Then, with nary any fanfare, the same title that hit PS3 and Vita snuck its way onto 3DS -- and with an exclusive mode, no less.

Is its new track-editor feature enough to make Urban Trial Freestyle on 3DS the definitive version? Not exactly.

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Skylanders Swap Force is surprisingly more fun than evil photo
Skylanders Swap Force is surprisingly more fun than evil
by Steven Hansen

Activision’s Skylanders franchise has always smelled of a money grab to me. Copperish, like the smell of old pennies scrounged up by hard-working parents so little Linda Anne can have all the newest and coolest Skylanders characters while mom and dad work three jobs amidst recession. Jim Sterling is rather partial to the plastic lot, however, so they can’t be all bad, right?

In fact, they’re not. The new Skylanders: Swap Force is indeed rather cute and pretty fun. Vacuous, but quaint enough.

Skylanders is videogames as toys; or, Toys: The Videogame. I guess I forgot that videogames practically were, once upon a time. It’s no less inane and gimmicky and capitalistic than the stupid garbage we pestered parents for 20 years ago, but it’s a heck of a lot more polished and less likely to break like the slot cars I took around hairpin turns too quickly causing them to go flying off the track. Plus, what can be more embarrassing than having paid money for pogs?

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Regular Show game is an amalgam of old-school genres photo
Regular Show game is an amalgam of old-school genres
by Steven Hansen

Not to be outdone by its contemporary, Adventure Time, and the upcoming Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW!, Cartoon Network toon Regular Show is getting a long-titled game of its own, Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby In 8-Bit Land.

In Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby In 8-Bit Land, Mordecai and Rigby get transported into some of their favorite video games. The duo will have to use their best skills and unique abilities to traverse the various challenges to escape and return home in this ‘eggscellent’ journey.

I'm less familiar with Regular Show than I am Adventure Time, having only caught a few episodes of the former, but Destructoid's own Tony Ponce raves about the show ad nauseam. In the linked piece, in fact, Tony notes the show's predilection towards retro games, which is quite appropriate for 8-Bit Land. I may not be all that familiar with the show, but I'm more than familiar with the genres it's employing.

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Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies is lookin' fine in 3D photo
Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies is lookin' fine in 3D
by Caitlin Cooke

I'm a big fan of the Ace Attorney series but fell off the wagon somewhere between the Apollo Justice and Miles Edgeworth games, so it's exciting to see that Phoenix is making a comeback in Dual Destinies. The game takes place a few years after he last practiced and this time he's accompanied by his sidekick, Athena Cykes, who has the special ability to sense emotions on her mood matrix machine. Apollo Justice also makes an appearance, having just survived a bombing incident, and I also heard through the grapevine that Edgeworth will be back in some capacity.

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The Lone Ranger rides into Disney Infinity photo
The Lone Ranger rides into Disney Infinity
by Tony Ponce

Prior to the E3 festivities, Disney demonstrated the upcoming cash grab Disney Infinity to a room teeming with journalists. The focus of the event was on two of the in-game worlds plus the oft-touted Toy Box mode.

The first world, based on Pixar's Monsters University, has been discussed before. The second world, based on the Gore Verbinski revival of The Lone Ranger, was only announced a few days ago and was thus the bigger draw. I was ready to hop on Silver and ride like the wind.

Prior to today, my only knowledge of Disney Infinity was what was covered in our hands-off preview a few months ago. Now that I've been able to play through some of the game for myself, I'm having reservations about Disney's unbelievably high ambitions for the nascent franchise.

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8:00 AM on 06.06.2013

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is a ton of fun

I am so jealous of kids growing up this day and age. They have the coolest videogame consoles, the Internet, iPads, and now LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. Combining Marvel, one of the hottest movie proprieties right now (and not t...

Hamza CTZ Aziz



Devilish delight: Shin Megami Tensei IV hands-on photo
Devilish delight: Shin Megami Tensei IV hands-on
by Dale North

In a room full of peers I embarrassed myself. A few weeks back, I found myself in a meeting room along with folks that head up a lot of the other gaming websites and magazines in America. After a brief presentation, Atlus started to ask the group for a few volunteers to be the first to play Shin Megami Tensei IV. Before their sentence finished I found my peers laughing at me. They were laughing at a grunt that came forth from my mouth, almost involuntarily. I found myself frantically waving my hands in the air, insisting to be among the first to play.

Needless to say, I'm pretty excited about Shin Megami Tensei IV

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The next Scribblenauts is set in the DC Comics universe  photo
The next Scribblenauts is set in the DC Comics universe
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Maxwell and Lily's next Scribblenauts adventure sees the pair venturing into the DC Comics universe through the power of their magic notebook. The siblings love comics, and the whole reason they even want to enter DC's universe is to see who's better between Batman and Superman. The Scribblenauts heroes quickly learn that there's a far greater issue at hand and they'll need to help all the DC's heroes out in this new adventure. 

While this is all very heavily focused on the DC universe, the same Scribblenauts mechanics and gameplay systems are in place. DC Comics fans are especially going to like this one as it's not just The New 52 characters featured in Unmasked. This is a giant sandbox featuring over 2,000 DC characters, vehicles, locations, and more that ranges back to even obscure stuff from 1976. 

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Mario & DK: Minis on the Move will twist your brain photo
Mario & DK: Minis on the Move will twist your brain
by Abel Girmay

If Nintendo has made one thing clear in the last few days, it's that they're dead serious about making eShop a real contender as the consumers preferred purchase outlet. To help them along the way, Nintendo is enlisting the help of their greatest mascot, with the eShop exclusive title Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move.

It's a risky business move to be cutting the retail chains out of this one, and by extension, a portion of their own sales. At the very least the puzzle platformer is looking good, and just may be what some need to get people on board with 3DS digital distribution.

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Donkey Kong Country Returns is more accessible on 3DS photo
Donkey Kong Country Returns is more accessible on 3DS
by Abel Girmay

By the time Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is released, it will have been two and half years from the original's debut on the Wii. So what has changed in that time? Well, not a whole lot, and that's not a bad thing. Donkey Kong Country Returns on Wii was a great title, and the 3DS release just irons out the last few kinks.

Anyone that played the Wii iteration of Donkey Kong Country Returns can attest to the often rage inducing difficulty. Low health, deviously placed traps, among other things, made for a platformer that was still fun, if not the most inclusive experience as say, Super Mario Galaxy.

While you'll still be able to experience the original game with no changes, the most obvious alterations here with the 3DS update is the addition of an easy mode. You now have three hearts instead of two that you can take advantage of, making for a total of six when you're running with Diddy Kong. There's also some new items to assist, such as balloons to help you when you get stuck from a bad jump, and a portable DK barrel to summon Diddy, handy for when you're low on health and need a makeshift pick me up.

Still, these changes doesn't make the game a walk down easy street. They'll just help ensure nobody's 3DS goes flying through a wall.

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