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5:30 PM on 03.05.2015

Volume is a more thoughtful approach to Metal Gear Solid VR Mission-like stealth

Volume is a fitting name for a polygonal, Metal Gear Solid VR Missions-looking stealth game with enough rectangles to feed a geometry class for the entire year. In the case of Mike Bithell's Thomas Was Alone follow-up, howeve...

Steven Hansen




Review: Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines photo
Review: Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines
by Josh Tolentino

Like many games of its type, Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines features a tiny graphic in its text boxes to remind players they can press a button to advance to the next line. Usually the graphic is of an X or O button pressing itself, but Oreshika's is of a little weasel pushing a button with its nose.

It's animated, and viewed from the side the little weasel can also look just like a person, sitting on their knees Japanese-style, bowing respectfully, over and over. That behavior's almost emblematic of the game's attitude, as it's so eager to let players do what they like (sometimes to their own detriment) that it almost comes off as desperate. 

But hey, they're gonna be dead soon anyway, so perhaps some deference is warranted.

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Review: Helldivers photo
Review: Helldivers
by Conrad Zimmerman

Mankind has expanded throughout the galaxy, having come together under one government, a "managed" democracy. From the Super Earth homeworld, humanity spreads its message of liberation and freedom to every planet they land upon; the liberation of their natural resources and freedom from human opposition, that is.

And if you don't like it, expect them to spread a whole lot of ordinance instead.

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Review: Blackhole photo
Review: Blackhole
by Conrad Zimmerman

There certainly have been a lot of creative 2D platform games releasing over the last couple of months, enough that there seems to be some genuine competition in the genre. If you're finding yourself in a position where it has become difficult to choose, allow me to make it easier. 

Get Blackhole. Problem solved.

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Review: Roundabout photo
Review: Roundabout
by Brett Makedonski

For its first game, developer No Goblin seemingly subscribed to the K.I.S.S. school of thought: "Keep it simple, stupid." But, perhaps the studio misunderstood the acronym to mean "keep it simple and stupid." That'd explain how Roundabout revels in its own absurdity while revolving around a rock-solid gimmick: rotation.

Yes, the notion of motion is at the center of Roundabout. There is literally not a moment in gameplay where action is at a standstill. Even the most innocent, non-meaningful proceedings in Roundabout squarely feature its constantly spinning limousine -- a trademark that it rightfully relies heavily upon.

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Review: htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary photo
Review: htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary
by Josh Tolentino

No, that isn't an encoding error up there in the headline: "htoL#NiQ" is indeed this PS Vita game's title, and is essentially a very stylish way to type "The Firefly Diary" in Japanese.

Whatever personal peculiarities led the team at Nippon Ichi to title their new game this way seem to extend to the game's design as well. htoL#NiQ marches to its own rhythm, and ends up being two things at once: a fascinating work of minimalism, and a needlessly difficult ordeal best enjoyed only by the most masochistic of flagellants.

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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: Brandish: The Dark Revenant photo
Review: Brandish: The Dark Revenant
by Kyle MacGregor

Antiques possess a magnetic quality, an appeal to our imaginations, a false nostalgia for a time most of us are too young to remember. There's a comforting allure to these relics. They offer a window into the past, a living history. It's a connection, however tenuous, to where we came from, a place to which we've never visited or cannot return. 

Brandish: The Dark Revenant is an antique, something of a refurbished one. Falcom's classic role-playing game began its life as a PC release in 1991. It would later come to SNES, and was then remade in 2009 for PlayStation Portable, albeit only for Japan. Now, more than a half-decade later, a localization has finally arrived on western shores. Better late than never.

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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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Resident Evil: Revelations 2 brings Barry Burton and Raid mode center stage photo
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 brings Barry Burton and Raid mode center stage
by Alessandro Fillari

Capcom has been on quite a roll lately. With the announcement of Street Fighter V, new releases in the Devil May Cry series coming, and the recent success of its HD Remaster for Resident Evil, it seems like the once troubled publisher has found its way back to the hearts of fans. And with the reveal of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 late last year, it has plenty more in store for fans of the survival horror series.

I got the opportunity to play a decent chunk of Revelations 2 last year, and I was pretty impressed with how the mystery was being brought back to the series. Dabbling into episodic gaming, this installment is set to be released through four episodes; one will release every week from February 24th to March 18th. It's a pretty experimental, and unique take on Resident Evil, and that might be just what the franchise needs.

But just before its debut next month, the folks at Capcom invited me out to get another crack at their experiment. And during my session, I got reacquainted with an old buddy from the series' past, and even got to take the new and improved Raid Mode for a test run.

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Review: Grim Fandango photo
Review: Grim Fandango
by Steven Hansen

Grim Fandango didn't need a remaster as much as it needed a re-release. Many, myself included, have found it difficult to track down a copy to play. We've had an entire digital catalog--GOG.com--devoted to getting good, old games up for sale on a digital storefront, but no Grim Fandango?

The touch-ups are appreciated. You can switch between the original and remastered look at the touch of a button. The latter has some nice dynamic lighting and new character models, but I stuck mostly with the former for its more vibrant colors. The in-game commentary is a nice touch. The non-tank controls are welcomed (as is the cheeky trophy for playing with tank controls).

No bones about it, though, Grim Fandango holds up on its original merits as a stylish, humerus adventure.

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Review: Citizens of Earth photo
Review: Citizens of Earth
by Brittany Vincent

The Fifth Element came on TV the other day, and it really got me thinking about mise-en-scène versus characterization. It’s one of my absolute favorite movies, and is an exemplar of sci-fi in cinema without being too derivative of other works. The grittiness of futuristic New York, the contrast between earthtones and bright colors in the costume and set design, and the excellent choreography of the action scenes come together to make a great movie.

What’s a movie though without characters that entertain, blossom with personality, and can be empathized with? Would The Fifth Element be as entertaining without the bluster of Bruce Willis, the innocent sexuality of Milla Jovovich, or the ridiculous Chris Tucker as Ruby Rhod? Can well-crafted artwork, concept, and background come together to make a good production regardless of the characters within it? Those are the questions that Citizens of Earth brought to mind.

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Project Scissors dev: 'Working with a renowned film director could easily become a nightmare'  photo
Project Scissors dev: 'Working with a renowned film director could easily become a nightmare'
by Jonathan Holmes

[Art by Mariel "Kinuko" Cartwright]

We're closing out our Project Scissors: NightCry pre-release interview series with director Hifume Kono by bringing the focus back on the historic pairing between developer Kono-san (Clock Tower) and his new partner in horror Takashi Shimizu (Ju-on, The Grudge). This was the second biggest paring of a horror film director and a game developer that I heard about in 2014. The first was Guillemo del Toro and Hideo Kojima, who are currently working to develop Silent Hills.

I asked Kono-san what he thought of the pairing between Kojima and del Toro, how his collaboration with Shimizu-san might work to combine the best aspects of Ju-on with Clock Tower, and for a final word on what makes Clock Tower/Project Scissors so special.

Thanks again to Kono-san for sharing his one-of-a-kind insights and inspirations with us. He has left and indelible mark on the evolution of the survival horror genre. It will be exciting to see what fascinating, nail-biting tour of doom he takes us on next.

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Xbox dethrones PlayStation as porn console king, Wii grows 69.9% (nice)  photo
Xbox dethrones PlayStation as porn console king, Wii grows 69.9% (nice)
by Steven Hansen

Pornhub, which I am told by other people familiar with the webpage is a site for viewing adult, pornographic films, has released its statistical year in review. It's not as detailed on the videogame console side of things like last year's data, which we covered here deeply, but the infographics are still interesting, particularly as porn terminology is hilarious in the abstract.

Teen, lesbian, and milf all retained top search billing, for example, but "step mom" pole vaulted into the top 5 worldwide search terms (number 2 in the US) and "step sister" into the top 15 worldwide (the biggest ranking change, going up 53 spots in 2014), top 10 in the US.

Back to the videogame side, there's been a shift. The 2013 numbers attributed 55% of console porn viewing to PS3 users (compared to 39% on Xbox). 2014's numbers have Xbox at 45.7%, PlayStation at 40%. The Wii (8.2%), Vita (5%) and 3DS (1.1%) finish things off.

That marks a 69.9% increase in the Wii's market share, which is funny 'cause that's a sex number. Because these numbers are a percentage of a shared whole, it doesn't mean fewer PlayStation users are using their consoles for porn (plus, this is just data from one porn streaming service, of which I am told by people familiar with them there are many), but it is likely that a lot more Xbox users are using the service, which would account for their turgid, swollen numbers. 

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Destructoid's most wanted games of 2015 photo
Destructoid's most wanted games of 2015
by Steven Hansen

Ugh. Mondays, am I right? They're a day that people don't like because you have to do stuff and things after (maybe) not having to do those things, you know? Lame. Let's turn our frowns upside down and instead talk about something positive: videogames we are real keen on playing this year. 

2015 can't be any worse than 2014, where most of our most anticipated games ended up not coming out at all. Plus, there's Metal Gear and Persona to look forward to. And all those games that got pushed into 2015 like Batman and The Witcher. And cool stuff like Hyper Light Drifter and the full release of Invisible Inc and that waifu bartending game.

Plus The Last Guardian, Half-Life 3, AgentFinal Fantasy XV, Prey 2, God Hand 2, MediEvil 3, Bushido Blade 3. Man, it's going to be a great year!!!

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How did Destructoid's most anticipated games of 2014 come out? photo
How did Destructoid's most anticipated games of 2014 come out?
by Steven Hansen

Want to feel old? January 2014 was just about one year ago. That's one whole season of a TV show or a complete Earth's orbit around the sun. Way back then--I can hardly remember it in the shadow of the god awful year--the Destructoid staff did a list of our most anticipated games of 2014

And what suckers we were! Most of the damned things didn't even come out. Chris was right to go with sure-thing Dark Souls II. It would've been hard to mess up (or not release). And a few folks who picked things way back in the first Year of Luigi (AL) didn't follow up for various reasons, but be assured that Patrick Hancock was definitely happy with Super Smash Bros

It was a weird year of games, though, rife with big-name delays, big-name flops, and lovely games that came out of nowhere to end up being the most fun (like Invisible Inc.) Maybe 2015 will do right by us (or us by it). For now, let's look back. 

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