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Starr Mazer adds Transformers composer Vince DiCola, high profile crossovers photo
Starr Mazer adds Transformers composer Vince DiCola, high profile crossovers
by Darren Nakamura

Starr Mazer came out of the gate with an impressive roster of artists working on its soundtrack. Despite having a huge list of talent to pull from, developer Imagos Softworks has added another composer sure to pull on some nostalgia strings. Vince DiCola, composer of the 1986 Transformers movie soundtrack, has joined the team of contributors.

Over the past couple weeks, Starr Mazer has also announced crossover projects with other high profile Kickstarter titles. The inclusion of Children of Morta, Hyper Light Drifter, and Shovel Knight has been known, but the video above collects the interactions together, along with the announced voice cast. Paradise Lost: First Contact has also announced a crossover, though it is not featured in the video.

Below, a new trailer has been cut together, and it features the scene that made people interested in the point-and-click/shmup mashup in the first place. Yes, I want to jump off a ledge and have my remote-controlled spaceship catch me on the way down.

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Review in Progress: Evolve photo
Review in Progress: Evolve
by Nic Rowen

If you didn't know Turtle Rock Studios was the brains behind 2008's Left 4 Dead, you could probably guess as much after a few hours with its latest game, Evolve. The zombies might be gone in favor of giant monsters and lethal flora, but the basic core of the game's asymmetrical multiplayer experience is instantly familiar. Everything about L4D, both the good and the bad, is concentrated and focused like a laser beam in Evolve.

As a huge fan of L4D and rampaging Kaiju-like monsters, the idea of Evolve sounded like a wish come true. But after spending some time with the game, I'm starting to worry the wish was made with a monkey's paw, and I suspect its bony digits are giving me the middle finger behind my back.

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Review: The Escapists photo
Review: The Escapists
by Chris Carter

Kenan: Kel, I'm going to need some chicken wire, some beeswax, a rooster, a few rolls of toilet paper, and a 5-Iron. We're busting out of prison today!

Kel: Aw here it goes!

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Why are so few of Evolve's characters female? photo
Why are so few of Evolve's characters female?
by Kyle MacGregor

Evolve will launch with twelve hunters: eight men, three women, and a robot, though it's referred to as a "he." Of the three female characters, two are medics (Val and Caira) and the other (Maggie) is a trapper. There are currently no female assault or support class characters.

That could certainly change in the future. The asymmetric shooter's season pass contains an additional four hunters. As it stands, though, three-fourths of the cast are men, a ratio sure to disappoint some. Others may be surprised to learn there are any female characters at all.

The topic came up in an interview I conducted with Evolve creative director Phil Robb late last year. Speaking at developer Turtle Rock Studios' office in Lake Forest, CA, Robb told me "there was no political agenda" behind the uneven gender distribution. "It wasn't a planned thing," he added.

Robb went on to describe a fluid design process, one driven by "what feels right."

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Mortal Kombat X introduces online factions and brings back the Challenge Tower photo
Mortal Kombat X introduces online factions and brings back the Challenge Tower
by Abel Girmay

Two more months. Just two more months.

That's what I have to keep telling myself while agonizing over the release of Mortal Kombat X. As someone who logged nearly 7,000 matches into the last Mortal Kombat, and still plays Injustice from time to time, any new info is good news, and NetherRealm has recently dropped a lot of details on the game's online modes.

Let's dig in.

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Mecha Trigger made me feel real dumb before it made me feel (kind of) smart photo
Mecha Trigger made me feel real dumb before it made me feel (kind of) smart
by Nic Rowen

When people say “educational game” I instinctively clench up. I was raised in the heyday of Canadian educational software, with all the impenetrable geography-teaching trucking simulators and embarrassingly stilted STD/drug awareness adventure games you could ever stand to play. But Mecha Trigger, developed by the game design and development specialization at Michigan State University is a different breed of learning-game.

It glides in stealth bomber style, undetected by the alarm systems and internal klaxons that normally weed out Mavis Beacon and her ilk by dressing up its lesson-work under the guise of giant robots blowing the shit out of each other.

As far as disguises go, it's hard to do better.

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Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is more than just a remaster photo
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is more than just a remaster
by Alessandro Fillari

I'll be the first to say it: it's going to be the year of Souls. With the release of Bloodborne only a month away, which looks to redefine the experience along with its wonderful change of setting, From Software has been busy as of late. But that's not stopping the studio from re-releasing its previous title Dark Souls II for new audiences on new hardware.

Recently, the developers released an update for existing versions of Dark Souls II for all players, adding in an invasion faction, characters, and even new encounters. Of course, this is to ease them into what Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin has to offer. Though there's been little information about what to expect from this revisit, the folks behind the title had a lot to say about it.

At a special Bandai Namco Games event last week, Destructoid got to go hands-on with the new and improved version of Dark Souls II and chat with Bandai Namco global producer Atsuo Yoshimura. Though many see it as simply a remaster, From Software thinks of it as much more.

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Review: Grow Home photo
Review: Grow Home
by Ben Davis

Grow Home is another entry in Ubisoft's recent string of passion projects, in the same vein as Child of Light and Valiant Hearts. It started out as a tool for a small group of Ubisoft developers to experiment with procedural animation, and sprouted into an idea for a full-fledged game as the team began to notice how much fun they were having just messing around. It's a charming origin story for a very delightful videogame.

The cute and simple visuals reeled me in, planting a seed of interest in my mind which grew into satisfied enjoyment when I finally began to play it. Everything in Grow Home hits that perfectly charming tone, from the adorable character to the quirky gameplay mechanics. What's more, all of this can be enjoyed without having to worry about Ubisoft's unpopular Uplay service.

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Review: Pix the Cat photo
Review: Pix the Cat
by Steven Hansen

Pix is a mix of the two most saccharine basic emoticons, :3 and ^_^, a face for the forgotten mascot age. Just too cute, and not in a way that ever betrays the fiendish score-chaser underneath. Sincere cuteness. A real testament to the species post-Flicky.

Now it's all about the cat collecting eggs through panel after panel of the Grid of Infinity and depositing a growing tail of ducklings into safe little holes lest they remain, stuck, as infinite guests. 

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Review: Apotheon photo
Review: Apotheon
by Patrick Hancock

Apotheon is the newest game from the developers at Alientrap, the team behind a small game called Capsized. Now personally, I loved Capsized and think it was overlooked by most. It had interesting mechanics and a plot that wasn't told through lines and lines of dialogue. It left a huge impression on me and I knew to look forward to whatever that team did in the future.

Well, the future is now, and Apotheon is out. It certainly lives up to the high standard set forth by Capsized, and pushes the bar even further. With an art style that is bound to get people's attention, this is a game can keep the attention with rock-solid gameplay.

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Review: Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series: The Lost Lords photo
Review: Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series: The Lost Lords
by Darren Nakamura

I would not last a day in Westeros. My best hope would be to spend some time in Oldtown to train as a maester, and even though it would help to protect me from personally going to war, I would probably be too close to the political intrigue underneath it all.

Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series: The Lost Lords is out, and now some of the seeds sown in Episode One are ready to harvest. As it turns out, I made all of the wrong decisions in Iron From Ice, and I continue to make all of the wrong decisions. With the path it is currently on, my version of House Forrester is doomed.

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Battlefield Hardline goes all in with final beta release photo
Battlefield Hardline goes all in with final beta release
by Alessandro Fillari

It's not too often we see a major publisher humbled. With the announcement of Battlefield Hardline last year, EA and Visceral Games were ready to release another entry in the epic and grandiose Battlefield series. But soon after, they decided to hold off, and push the rather ambitious title back to 2015. After taking in its criticisms and lumps from the original beta release, they figured this was one one title they didn't want to botch.

Moving the battlefield away from the military setting, Hardline brings the combat to the cities and streets across the U.S. as the police and criminals battle for control. As the first Battlefield game not set in a military conflict, the developers at Visceral Games wanted to make sure they knocked it out of the park. And in order to do so, they had to put players first and listen to what the community wanted.

In a special preview session with their second upcoming beta, playable on February 3-8, EA invited Destructoid out to get some early hands-on with it, where we had a chat with Battlefield Hardline's executive producer Steve Papoutsis. During our talk, we learned what they took in from its initial beta, and how important it was to give the best of what the series is all about.

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$8 Valkyria Chronicles, $20 Isolation, & More 2014 Game Deals photo
$8 Valkyria Chronicles, $20 Isolation, & More 2014 Game Deals
by Dealzon

Gallia, to arms!

Several 2014 releases dropped to all new lows this weekend in GMG's "2014 Revisited" PC game sale. Leading the pack today is the Valkyria Chronicles PC port, which finds itself 50% cheaper than usual with a stacking code dropping the price to $8 (now dead, 24 hours only!). Other notables in the sale include Alien: Isolation, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and The Evil Within - all at or near their previous lowest prices.

Even after returning the title to its $349.99 price on January 4th, most retailers are still trying to offload the Xbox One AC Unity bundles, with Dell tossing in a free controller charging station ($25 value) to move some systems.

Also available are $50 discounts on the PS4 and a $40 off price break for a Wii U 32GB Deluxe bundle. We're pulling this out of the rumor department, but we suspect some of these systems will see permanent MSRP cuts in the near future - probably Spring/Summer 2015.

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Review: Nihilumbra photo
Review: Nihilumbra
by Greg Tito

There's a nugget of a solid game here in Nihilumbra. Unlike many of the PlayStation Vita's offerings, it uses the touchscreen in a novel way that doesn't feel tacked on or forced. And the puzzle-platforming is supported well by an ethereal art style, score, and sound design.

You just have to wade through a jumble of pseudo-philosophy to get to it.

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Life is Strange: Episode One Achievement guide photo
Life is Strange: Episode One Achievement guide
by Brett Makedonski

It's always great when a game's Achievements exploit the mechanic or feature that the title does best. That's what Life is Strange's set does -- at least for the first episode. Almost everything in episode one can be unlocked through exploration. The sole exception is an Achievement for simply finishing.

The Achievements that might prove difficult are for taking ten optional photos. Life is Strange has a chapter select feature that tells you how many photos in each section remain to be collected. However, make sure to select the option to "play this chapter in collectible mode" which will allow you to hunt without changing any choices you've already made.

Everything from here on out may contain spoilers. Even the images for the Achievements are spoilers in that they give away what needs to be done. I've listed them in the order in which they appear, but I highly recommend playing through once at your own speed before using a guide to clean up.

With all the formalities out of the way, an easy 200 Gamerscore's right around the corner!

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Review: Life is Strange: Chrysalis photo
Review: Life is Strange: Chrysalis
by Brett Makedonski

"If I'm not looking through a viewfinder, I'm looking through a window. Always looking."

Max Caulfield, the introspective protagonist of Life is Strange, spends her life searching, observing. Actually, it might be more akin to wandering. She's 18, a newly minted "adult." Everyone keeps telling her how much life has in store for her, but she's more intent on the short-term -- just surviving one awkward social interaction after another.

It's a situation that's easy to empathize with. Everyone's felt the uncertain pangs of adolescence, even the most sure-footed of people. Life is Strange gives the player a chance to walk in those shoes with Max -- to try to avoid the gaze of every set of judgmental eyes, and to skirt confrontational conversation lest things just get even worse. It can be weird and cringe-worthy at times, but, hey, doesn't that nicely sum up those formative years?

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