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2:00 PM on 12.16.2014

Review: Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-

I've spent many late nights with Guilty Gear. Week-long tournaments, money-matches between friends; it was the perfect series to play around with, and one of my most competitive. But as time went on, the franchise started to ...

Chris Carter


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GTA Online heists look good and sound even better photo
GTA Online heists look good and sound even better
by Jordan Devore

Alright, heists in Grand Theft Auto Online look terrific. It's been a long wait, and we're not done waiting just yet -- Rockstar says the free update for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One will arrive in early 2015 -- but at least we've got something to look at, finally. Eases the tension.

Speaking to IGN, GTA Online producer Imran Sarwar admits designing four-player heists "turned out to be a lot more difficult than we originally thought [and] took several passes from scratch." One challenge, he says, "is that unlike a heist in Story Mode, every player needs to feel central to the action at all times, and that's much more challenging than it appears."

The final design sounds cool. The leading player will have to put money down to set up a heist and won't receive a payout until the finale is finished, but they have control over the crew, their outfits, and their cuts. "Switching between the roles of crew member and heist leader will give players a totally different experience," says Sarwar. "Some missions have all players working as one unit, some require players to take on specific tasks like hacking or crowd control, while others require players to split into smaller teams to complete separate high value objectives."

Each heist, of which there are "five unique strands involving over 20 total missions," will culminate in a set-piece mission. "I don't want to spoil a whole heist," says Sarwar, "but a favorite would be the finale of an epic prison break where players come from different points on the map to join together at just the right time. It requires a pilot, a demolitions expert, and some undercover work to pull it off, and it takes real teamwork, the ability to think fast and a lot of communication to put all the pieces in place to extract the target flawlessly."

GTA Online Heists: New Trailer and Info [Rockstar]
Grand Theft Auto 5 Online Heists (Finally) Revealed [IGN]

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Review: Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX photo
Review: Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX
by Brittany Vincent

The odd concept of melding a host of characters from Square Enix’s seminal Final Fantasy series, Disney’s perennial film favorites, and a cast of original personalities, seemed as though it was destined for failure. I mean, who would want to hear Donald Duck’s honking lisp while sharing the screen with the likes of Cloud Strife or Sephiroth?

Being a Square fan, I had to try it out though, and not only did I fall in love with the games, but I rediscovered my love for the Disney franchises of my youth. Although it took almost four years for a sequel to be released, Kingdom Hearts was and is a series that has stuck with me. Then, when Kingdom Hearts II was released in early 2006, I bought it immediately.

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Review: Destiny: The Dark Below photo
Review: Destiny: The Dark Below
by Chris Carter

Having basically played the new Destiny expansion The Dark Below nonstop since launch, I've experienced everything it has to offer. That in itself is an issue, because although I have played more than the average person, to exhaust the content this early isn't a good sign.

While Destiny feels just as great as ever, perhaps even more-so due to the design of a few mechanics herein, I can't help but feel underwhelmed just like I did back in September.

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Review in Progress: Destiny: The Dark Below photo
Review in Progress: Destiny: The Dark Below
by Chris Carter

Destiny was released earlier this year, and like many hyped games, it failed to deliver on its promises. The good news? It was still a well crafted shooter, and practically everything involving the actual gameplay was excellent. In fact, I find it hard to go back to other shooters now -- that's how good Destiny feels.

Unfortunately, the folks over at Bungie made a number of design choices that prevent players from consistently having fun. There was also backpedaling over the past few months -- some of which led to changes to the raid -- that brought even more glitches alongside of the update.

So far in my testing, The Dark Below plays out similarly. The core of the game is still intact, but there's a lot of weird choices that prevent it from reaching its potential.

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Shovel Knight is coming to the PS3, PS4, Vita, Kratos boss teased photo
Shovel Knight is coming to the PS3, PS4, Vita, Kratos boss teased
by Chris Carter

Coming off of Yacht Club Games' 300k sales of Shovel Knight on the Wii U, 3DS, and PC, they have just announced that the game is coming to PlayStation platforms. It'll arrive on the PS3, PS4, and Vita sometime in the near future.

Also, a Kratos boss fight was teased, which looks pretty damn amazing. It's really cool to see the team partner up with Sony like this to get the game on these three platforms and have a licensed tie-in.

Expect to see it in quite a few Game of the Year conversations. It's their first game, people! 

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New Resident Evil HD remake priced and dated, and it's cheap! photo
New Resident Evil HD remake priced and dated, and it's cheap!
by Chris Carter

Capcom has just sent word over that Resident Evil remake will be available on January 20, 2015, for $19.99. It'll hit the PS3, PS4, PC, Xbox 360, and the Xbox One "all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft" (bwahaha they still have to do this with their PR).

For those of you who don't remember, this is a digital-only release, and will sport 1080p for current-gen consoles and 720p for past-generation systems. You'll also be able to flip between the 4:3 ratio or 16:9 widescreen options.

Yep, I'm in.

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Destiny's latest patch notes are a disaster in terms of communication photo
Destiny's latest patch notes are a disaster in terms of communication
by Chris Carter

Man, Bungie.

Now instead of a collective of the community being angry at Destiny's glitches and issues, you have pissed pretty much everyone off right before the launch of the expansion. It's something that could have easily been avoided with better communication -- a lesson a lot of other people in the online/MMO space have learned with experience.

So what went wrong?

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Why I love The Last of Us multiplayer, in a nutshell photo
Why I love The Last of Us multiplayer, in a nutshell
by Kyle MacGregor

We're outnumbered, down to our last pair of lives. The clock is ticking, it's as much of a threat to my team's survival as the four armed men bearing down on our position. I don't like our chances, not one bit, but moments like this, they're the reason I play the game.

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Review: Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions photo
Review: Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions
by Brett Makedonski

Geometry Wars games have always been, in a sense, one-dimensional. They present the player with the seemingly simple task of "shoot everything in sight," and that's the sole objective apart from staying alive. The onslaught of flying colors and booming music molds the experience, but the core remains uncomplicated. For many, that's enough to be held in the highest regard when discussing twin-stick shooters.

In 2008, the heralded Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 vastly and competently iterated upon its predecessor. It added a handful of new modes, each one legitimately fun and addictive in its own right. But more importantly, it fueled sincere and passionate competition across online leaderboards -- a social dynamic that few games since have been able to recapture. In many ways, it was the perfect game.

All hyperbole aside, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions makes Retro Evolved 2's efforts look puny by comparison. It adds depth in so many more ways than just literally, but never strays from the formula that makes Geometry Wars incredibly lovable. It's certainly the most ambitious and fully realized title in the series to date, and it's difficult to imagine a different take that would improve it. In many ways, it is the perfect game.

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Review: LittleBigPlanet 3 photo
Review: LittleBigPlanet 3
by Chris Carter

Back in 2008, LittleBigPlanet was a staple in the Carter household for a good year. It was tough to put down as we earned a full 100% completion rate, and creating levels for each other was a joy. Floaty physics hate be damned, not every level was a Super Mario Bros. clone.

When the sequel hit though, it didn't have a whole lot that was new about it to entice us further, and it fell by the wayside. Similarly, LittleBigPlanet 3 doesn't shake things up from the core formula, but the sheer commitment to keeping the level-building platform intact after all these years is something special.

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Review: Far Cry 4 photo
Review: Far Cry 4
by Chris Carter

Far Cry 3 was one of my favorite games of 2012. It didn't stray too far from the normal sandbox conventions set before it, but gallivanting around beautiful island vistas and flying about with wingsuits was pretty damn fun.

For some that wasn't enough, though, and for those folks, Far Cry 4 won't be enough either. But for me, it's still pretty damn fun.

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Review: Assassin's Creed Rogue photo
Review: Assassin's Creed Rogue
by Brett Makedonski

Ever since its 2007 debut, the Assassin's Creed franchise has been presented as a one-sided affair. Chronicling the persistent struggle between the Assassins and the Templars, Ubisoft has always framed the story casting the former in a positive light. Assassin's Creed Rogue has a new take on that formula, which, in some ways, makes it the most refreshing, thought-provoking, and introspective installment in the series to date.

Unfortunately, it's also the laziest.

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Review: Dragon Age: Inquisition photo
Review: Dragon Age: Inquisition
by Chris Carter

Dragon Age II felt like a great action game that was outsourced to a lesser developer. It lacked the polish BioWare typically puts into its titles, and almost the entire affair felt like a gigantic step back from everything Origins had established. What was once a promising franchise that reminded me of the glory days of RPGs such as Baldur's Gate became a shadow of its former self, with lazily re-used assets and no sense of scale.

BioWare went back to the drawing board with Inquisition, the third Dragon Age outing, and the game is all the better for it. It feels like a culmination of its predecessors' strengths, with all of the bells and whistles that come with current-gen hardware.

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Resident Evil: Revelations 2 brings the mystery back to survival horror photo
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 brings the mystery back to survival horror
by Alessandro Fillari

There's certainly been intrigue surrounding Resident Evil: Revelations 2. Since its existence was leaked a few months back and several cryptic images of a derelict prison made the rounds, there has been speculation about what to expect from this installment. And, with the return of characters from other titles, there is evidently a larger focus on linking things back to the series' past.

Its predecessor, Resident Evil: Revelations, felt very much like a back-to-basics approach to the series, which earned a lot favor from fans. With the upcoming sequel, more characters from the past are brought back to the forefront and are drawn into a greater conspiracy. Obviously, this isn't entirely new for the franchise. However, with the greater focus on mystery in Revelations 2 and how Capcom plans to release the game in episodes, it could give the series a much needed change of pace. After Brett's hands-on time with the sequel back at Tokyo Game Show, he was left unsure of what to expect from the game. And, judging from my own time with it last month, that might be for the best.

This is one title you might want to go into blind.

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Review: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare photo
Review: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
by Chris Carter

After the disappointing Call of Duty: Ghosts, Activision needed fresh ideas, and Sledgehammer was just the developer for the job. Even before it delivered its first game, a weight has been lifted off of Infinity Ward and Treyarch's shoulders. No longer does it need to turnaround a Call of Duty every other year, and there is more time to figure out how to make the series fresh again.

As a result, Sledgehammer has a lot riding on Advanced Warfare, the newest game in the series. It has everything going for it -- a fresh futuristic theme, the same core multiplayer gameplay everyone knows and loves, and the talented Kevin Spacey running the show with the campaign.

The gambit paid off, even if it won't bring back in those who have sworn off the series.

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