The Playstation 4 dominated this weeks review schedule and rightfully so. Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack, Resogun, and Contrast dominated our postings -- and as of last night my Facebook wall (please turn off your notifications friends) -- but they were not the only games worth talking about this week.
All in all it was a pretty exciting weeks for games. This year is quickly coming to an end, but we still have the Xbox One's looming release and one of the Destructoid's staff's most anticipated titles Super Mario 3D Worldright around the corner.
The holidays are quickly approaching and so are two brand spankin' new consoles. It's already one of the craziest times of the year to buy things, and both Sony and Microsoft are only adding to the chaos. How does one even prepare for the madness of the next gen of gaming?
Well, while they may have the two hottest items to hit the stores this season, there are still a myriad other choices out there clamoring for some of ours, and your, hard-earned cash. Nintendo is coming full force with the Wii U and Super Mario 3D World, the 3DS has a new Zelda, and Sony's Vita is finally finding its groove after a price drop. Let's not even forget that looming around the corner is the Steam Box, and some killer current-gen titles like Ultra Street Fighter IV and Castlevania: Lords of Shadows 2.
So what will you be buying this holiday season? PlayStation 4, Xbox One, perhaps a shiny new Wii U? Not one of those you say? Wait, all of them...
Yeah, you sound like most of the Destructioid team below:
In recent years, Zelda games have gotten a tad too flowery. What was once a true open world adventure involving a hero thrown into the great unknown with the ability to explore to his heart's content, has become something else entirely. With lengthy intros, gated content, and other trappings, there's more action than adventure in some Zelda games.
As a direct sequel to the SNES game A Link to the Past (my personal favorite Zelda), A Link Between Worlds seeks to rectify these issues by letting you get on with it as soon as possible. At the core of this concept is the "item renting" system, that lets you obtain every key item in less than an hour of playtime, opening up the world like never before.
But one great idea doesn't make a great game, and A Link Between Worlds is lacking one major ingredient -- heart.
A common theme I've seen around the 'net is that Pokemon X & Yhas a weak endgame. While it's not nearly as strong as a few prior generational iterations, I wouldn't necessarily call it "weak."
Despite the fact that the bank and transfer app is not with us yet (thus making it impossible to catch all 718 Pokemon), there's still hundreds of creatures to catch, and a few extra excursions to go on. Here's a list of things you can do after you've beaten the Elite Four.
Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman (later the entirety of DC), Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, and The Lord of the Rings -- arguably a majority of the world's largest entertainment properties -- have all been brought to life in videogames after being passed through the adorable LEGO filter by Traveller's Tales. And, well, they've handled each franchise masterfully and created some truly great games with each of them over the years. What could possibly be next?
I can't be the only one who's been dreaming since LEGO Star Wars that we would one day see LEGO Marvel make its videogame debut, but, seeing as Traveller's Tales is a subsidy of Warner Bros., it was seemingly never going to happen. However, by some remarkable turn of events (due to the magic of licensing), here we are with LEGO Marvel Super Heroes.
It's nothing short of a miracle this game was even made, but it's something we can only be happy about.
Regular Show is one of my favorite programs on TV right now. It took the simple Beavis and Butthead setup of two slackers getting through their day-to-day routine, and added a bit of '80s and retro sheen to it, alongside a cast of likeable characters.
Imagine my excitement when I found out that WayForward would be handling an old-school 3DS platformer called 8-Bit Land with the Regular Show IP, which is pretty much a perfect fit. After playing it however my excitement has been tempered considerably, but it still has a few tricks up its sleeve to offer the most hardcore of retro fans a good time.
A short while after Pokemon X and Y launched, players uncovered a pretty nasty bug -- if you save outside in Lumiose City, your game may freeze, and you might be unable to load up your save. In a title like Pokemon where hundreds of hours are easy to burn, this can be devastating.
Thankfully, Nintendo recognized the problem, and has applied a patch to rectify the issue. All you have to do is load up the 3DS eShop, go to the updates portion, and apply the patch. I've been steadily making my way through Pokemon Y over the past week and a half, and currently I have around 320 caught Pokemon in the Kalos region alone. How are you guys doing?
Previous entries in the Ace Attorney series never examined the legal system beyond surface commentary. Apollo Justice came close when it examined the idea and consequences of a jurist system (something Japan was about to re-implement at the time, and an idea disappointingly dropped completely from this installment), and Justice for All posed an ethical dilemma in its final case when Phoenix discovered his client was actually guilty (although the solution to that dilemma was a cop-out). However, these themes and ideas were introduced in the games' final cases, usually brought out as a surprise near the end, and touched upon only briefly.
Dual Destinies uses all five cases to discuss much broader themes that are directly relevant to the real-world legal system. Despite the inherent ridiculousness of the Phoenix Wright series' depictions of a courtroom, with over the top witnesses, constant objections, and streamers and confetti as a verdict is announced, Dual Destinies actually raises some valid questions about the legal process and how our courtrooms work. As someone who has been involved in numerous criminal trials and has been on both sides of the courtroom in murder cases, I've confronted these issues head-on through my own work, and I was pleasantly surprised to see them discussed in an over-the-top fictional courtroom game.
What happens when and if the public loses trust in the legal system entirely? How do you define justice? And, most importantly, what happens when "winning" becomes more important than finding the truth?
Over the past week, I've been slowly working my way up the Pokemon X and Y trading chain. I started off with a minimal amount of knowledge with the GTS, encountering error after error until I abandoned it, and now I'm almost 100% done with viewing the Kalos Pokedex (which, broken into three parts, totals 454 Pokemon).
It all culminated in a trade I made yesterday, in which I gave away a Kangaskhan for a Xerneas. Read on to learn how I did it, and what else I learned about trading in the past week.
Pokemon X and Y came out this week, and with it the world has been rejoicing. So much rejoicing. Except me. I haven't gotten it yet. So, to annoy me some more with this fact, I want to know what your favorite Pokemon from X and Y is.
For now, my favorite is Yveltal because I mean look at it. Its wings are giant clawed arms. Even its tail is a giant clawed arm. Who'd want a stupid reindeer when you can have giant claw arm bird?!
Lots of tidbits for you Zelda fans over the weekend. Longtime series producer and director Eiji Aonuma gave a long talk at New York Comic-Con, which you can catch above. Immediately after, he sat down to an interview with Polygon where he discussed changes made to the upcoming 3DS title A Link Between Worlds, which wasn't originally related to the classic A Link to the Past.
But we could've made this game, or a game, without having Link to the Past as a base. Because we have the ability to go into the walls, and then contrasting that with the top-down view, that was basically the kernel of the game — that mechanic, and then those two contrasting camera views.
I've been curious about where that mechanic came from; it's interesting to hear it was part of the game's origin. Still, why then develop the Link to the Past tie in the first place? According to Aonuma, it's all about familiarity.
We used a lot of the base material from Link to the Past, setting it in that same world to kind of deepen the entire experience. Because that would make it easier for people to get into, and easier for people to understand. But there's also a lot of stuff in it that's completely different. So it could've just been its own game — I mean, it is its own game.
Skylanders has had a bit of an odd history. Initially, it launched under the auspices of the Spyro name, and made a very small splash in the market -- so small, that barely anyone knew what it was. Fast forward to six months later, and it was the hottest toy on the shelves, so much so that many retailers couldn't even keep it stocked consistently.
A sequel was greenlit, and the rest was history, as Activision raked in over a billion dollars from the Skylanders franchise alone. It's a massive success, and now, the third iteration is attempting to claim the throne once again, fighting off the juggernaut that is Disney Infinity.
Let's just say it's going to be a very interesting holiday season for videogame toys.
Certain game series can get away without making significant changes to their formula -- in fact, there are some that would risk infuriating their fans if they did alter too much. Games like The Legend of Zelda, Street Fighter, or Dynasty Warriors carry a certain familiarity to them, and remain strong enough contenders in their genre that nothing is doing what they do better. Mario Kart, these games aren't.
Pokemon, arguably, is one such series. Even if there are complaints about its formula never changing, Pokemon is such a beloved and powerful franchise that it has never had to feel any real pressure to change. There were refinements and minor alterations along the lengthy road from Red and Blue to Black and White, but nothing revolutionary.
Revolutionary is exactly what X and Y looks like it will be. Boasting a whole new engine, with a brand new graphical style, fresh controls, and a host of unseen features, X and Y have all the trappings of a truly new era of Pokemon. These trappings, however, are a trap. Behind the shiny coat of paint, underneath the extra distractions, this is the same old Pokemon experience you've played so many times before.
And that's ... perfectly okay. Because nothing does what Pokemon does better.
It's here! It's finally here! Pokemon X and Y is out this week for the 3DS and it's pretty much going to be the only thing anyone talks about leading up to the next-gen consoles. Oh, Beyond: Two Souls is also out this week. It has emotions and stuff. You like emotions, right?
Other biggies this week are two repacked re-releases: Borderlands 2 and Dishonored Game of the Year Editions. Oh, videogame industry. No wonder gamers love Steam sales so much.
Sonic is returning to the Smash series and will be trading blows with Mario as well as the other blue boy, Mega Man. Sonic vs. Mega Man... first the Archie crossover, now this. With this news and Mighty No. 9's hitting just about every single stretch goal, I've never been a happier gamer.
The Smash site has new screens of ol' Needlemouse, who's looking a lot sharper than in his Brawl days. You'll notice that there is a level based on Sonic Lost World, so that's gonna be fun. Also, please enjoy the short clip above, provided by Games HQ Media.