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12:00 PM on 08.20.2014

Review: CounterSpy

CounterSpy's stylized Cold War re-imagining is on point. It looks good, with its spindly spy running, rolling, and leaping like a jumping spider. It sounds good, with its jazzy soundtrack that reminds of James Bond.  Unfortunately, the rest of it feels half-baked. 

Steven Hansen


Updated! Panel details revealed:

Hironobu Sakaguchi Reflection: Past, Present, Future of RPGs

The father of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi, has announced his PAX Prime 2014 panel where he will discuss his history developing role-playing games, along with revealing more about his new RPG, Terra Battle. Find out more info at PAX Prime website.






Review: Hohokum photo
Review: Hohokum
by Kyle MacGregor

Hohokum is amazing. It can also be awful. My time with it was often as captivating as it was arduous. Hohokum is everything right and wrong with videogames. It's equally worthy of condemnation and acclaim.

I adore this horrible thing.

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Here are Destructoid's top ten games from gamescom photo
Here are Destructoid's top ten games from gamescom
by Brett Makedonski

Gamescom is the largest videogame trade show in the world. Sound like a big deal? It absolutely is. Hundreds of thousands of people cram together in a convention center that's massive, but doesn't feel even close to huge enough. Need a frame of reference? This is the crowd in the main hall on Thursday -- what's supposedly the least busy of the three days it's open to the public.

Reciprocating the scale of the event is the size of the games that publishers have on display. That was the theme at gamescom 2014: Big. All the biggest titles are here, and given how close we are to the holiday launch season, they're looking the most polished that we've seen them yet.

In no particular order, these were Destructoid's top ten games of gamescom 2014, as explained by Dale North and myself.

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Both Metal Gear Solid V entries are coming to Steam photo
Both Metal Gear Solid V entries are coming to Steam
by Chris Carter

[Update: Konami has confirmed this news live at its gamescom conference. No release dates were given.]

For years, Metal Gear Solid fans have been asking director Hideo Kojima if and Konami would bring the games to PC. Traditionally the series has been a mostly console-only affair, but with Metal Gear Rising we saw that maybe the publisher was changing its mind in regards to the platform.

Well, if a listing on the official UK Konami site is to be believed, both Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain will be coming to Steam. When the former is arriving isn't quite known, but the latter will likely launch alongside of the console versions, if not slightly after.

This is great news for PC fans who have always wanted to give the series a go. Ground Zeroes is also perfect Steam sale material if you're on the fence.

Konami UK [Konami via NeoGAF]

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Life is Strange is a world you'll want to lose yourself in photo
Life is Strange is a world you'll want to lose yourself in
by Brett Makedonski

Gamescom is a noisy, crowded mess. Shoulder to shoulder with patrons that didn’t seem to care what they bump into, I trudged my way to my next appointment. As I stepped through the door to the meeting room, something unexpected happened. I was teleported from a loud convention center to a rebellious teenager’s room.

Seated at the foot of a twin-sized bed, I took in my surroundings. The top of a makeshift television stand housed a half-smoked joint, while a pair of dirty Converse rested underneath. Posters of influential punk rockers littered the wall, all askew. “Fuck” was scrawled on almost everything, but especially a tattered American flag.

I wasn’t in Germany anymore. I was in Arcadia Bay, Oregon. More specifically, I was in Chloe’s safe place -- the only spot in the world where a misunderstood teenage girl can be herself. I was inside the world of Dontnod’s newly announced Life is Strange, and it was a wonderful place to be.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition plays like a solid mix of Origins and Dragon Age II photo
Dragon Age: Inquisition plays like a solid mix of Origins and Dragon Age II
by Chris Carter

I wasn't very happy with Dragon Age II.

Whereas Origins was a glorious return to old-school RPG sensibilities, Dragon Age II played like an action game that took place in the same universe. I liked the sequel for different reasons, but it felt like a wasted opportunity as it attempted to juggle some of the RPG elements from Origins while having some faults of its own, like re-used environments and a lack of scale.

If you felt the same way, Inquisition may be for you.

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Here's everything that happened during Sony's 2014 gamescom conference photo
Here's everything that happened during Sony's 2014 gamescom conference
by Jordan Devore

Sony's gamescom showing went by quickly, with announcement after announcement and more than a few new intellectual properties put on display for the first time. Really, though, it's still From Software's Bloodborne that has me most wanting a PlayStation 4. As for the PS Vita, the handheld was practically non-existent at the press conference. Poor thing!

If you missed out on the stream or simply couldn't keep up, here's what went down.

News:

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Diablo III's Ultimate Evil Edition makes the core game a must-play for console owners photo
Diablo III's Ultimate Evil Edition makes the core game a must-play for console owners
by Chris Carter

Diablo III has had a tumultuous history to say the least. Always-online DRM, the Real-Money Auction House, and loot problems plagued the original release -- all issues that took months to address. It's a hot-button issue even now, with many gamers stating that the PC players were had, paying for a "demo" of the console version that would eventually drop with all the fixes in tow.

For those of you who did enjoy the game previously or haven't gotten caught up in the maelstrom of problems though, the Reaper of Souls expansion delivered in just about every way possible. Thankfully, the Ultimate Evil Edition brings that same great experience to consoles.

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Review: Call of Duty: Ghosts: Nemesis photo
Review: Call of Duty: Ghosts: Nemesis
by Chris Carter

Look, $50 is a lot of money for a Season Pass in a first-person shooter. If it was just comprised of 16 maps alone, no matter how good they were, it probably wouldn't be worth the money for all but the most diehard of FPS fans.

But thankfully, Infinity Ward has made amends for the rather bland core package of Call of Duty: Ghosts, and the Nemesis map pack is no exception. In addition to four solid maps, there's another chapter of Extinction, the developer's out-of-this-world take on Treyarch's zombies.

Because of these packs, I'm actually a bit more excited for Infinity Ward's follow-up in two year's time.

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Assassin's Creed Rogue officially announced, complete with details and first trailer photo
Assassin's Creed Rogue officially announced, complete with details and first trailer
by Brett Makedonski

Rumors have been floating around since March about Ubisoft's plans to release two Assassin's Creed titles this year -- one for current consoles and one for legacy consoles. Originally codenamed Comet, Ubisoft formally revealed and detailed Assassin's Creed Rogue today, and gave us our first trailer.

Assassin's Creed Rogue is in development by Ubisoft Sofia (with the usual collaboration across many other Ubisoft studios), and takes place during the Seven Years War in the mid-18th century. Rogue makes a return to the northeastern area of North America, particularly the North Atlantic, Appalachian River Valley, and New York.

The twist this time around is that the protagonist fights for the other side. Following the story of Shay Patrick Cormac, Rogue tells the tale of how he was betrayed by the Assassin brotherhood and turned against them. It appears as if Rogue will put significant emphasis on the naval aspect that defined Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, as Ubisoft detailed Cormac's ship -- the Morrigan -- which will be used for Assassin hunting.

While Assassin's Creed Unity is the installment for current consoles, Rogue is exclusive to legacy consoles -- specifically the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It's currently slated for a November 11 release in North America. That's when you get to find out how the other half lives.

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Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: Amid the Ruins photo
Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: Amid the Ruins
by Chris Carter

The last episode of The Walking Dead was probably my favorite one yet -- and that's including all of Lee's tale from the first season. Clem has made the switch from tough to full-on badass depending on your choices, and it's clear that she is fully a part of some of the horrific life-or-death choices in the world.

Clem can no longer hold onto her innocence and fall back on her young appearance -- at this point, many decisions have been made that cannot be taken back, and the rest of the group is starting to notice it. That hook right there is what makes Amid the Ruins such a great tale, even if it doesn't have the same wow factor as its predecessor.

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Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Sunken King photo
Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Sunken King
by Chris Carter

2014 has been very good to me, but Dark Souls II is one of my favorite games of the year. Many debates have raged on as to whether or not it's as exceptional as its predecessor (Demon's Souls is better than both), but having played it prior to launch without any hints or guides, I heartily enjoyed getting lost in its labyrinthine tunnels and deadly arenas.

The Crown of the Sunken King DLC expands that goodness by about five to ten hours depending on your skill level, and even if it's one of the less remarkable levels in the game, it's still worth playing.

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Review: Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty photo
Review: Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty
by Chris Carter

One of the first games I ever played on PlayStation was Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. I remember opening up the jewel case, adorned by a creepy looking creature with his mouth sewn shut, with no idea of what to expect. Over the course of the next few weeks I became acquainted with that creature called Abe, and slowly made my way through the difficult puzzle platformer at a slow, but steady pace.

2014's New N' Tasty is basically a recreation of that same experience from 1997, for better and for worse.

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Review: Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn  photo
Review: Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn
by Brittany Vincent

When I was a kid, I loved watching Gundam Wing and the original Mobile Suit Gundam on Cartoon Network. The mecha genre has always been a personal favorite of mine so I tried to capture the same feeling while playing a video game as I had watching Gundam anime and pretending that I was Heero Yuy or Amuro Ray.

With interest in Gundam on the rise in the US after the Cartoon Network runs, some of the games were finally localized for North America. I thought I’d finally be able to play through the stories I loved so much, picking up Mobile Suit Gundam: Journey to Jaburo as soon as it came out and the disappointment I had in that game resonates with me today. It sure didn’t feel like I was in command of the mobile suit that won the One Year War. I felt like I was in control of a robot-shaped RC car.

Luckily, I was finally able to find the game that would finally reproduce the warm and fuzzy feelings that viewing Gundam for the first time did so long ago, and who would have thought it would have come in the form of a Dynasty Warriors game?

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Review: The Wolf Among Us: Cry Wolf photo
Review: The Wolf Among Us: Cry Wolf
by Chris Carter

The Wolf Among Us has been one hell of a ride. Although Tellltale's The Walking Dead managed to craft a grimdark world worth seeing time and time again, Wolf has a more nuanced take, with larger-than-life fairy tale characters who have decidedly human problems.

All of it comes to an end here with Cry Wolf, the last episode of the series. While I'll refrain from spoiling anything in particular, I will say that is indeed a satisfying conclusion.

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Natural Doctrine is a brutal, sort of ugly turn-based strategy game photo
Natural Doctrine is a brutal, sort of ugly turn-based strategy game
by Steven Hansen

Sure, Natural Doctrine doesn't look great (well, the environments; it does look better in miniature on the Vita). It's a far cry from director Atsushi Ii's gorgeous minimalism in Patapon.

But Kadokawa Games' first internal venture can get a pass for looking a bit dated if the core gameplay can hold up, and it just might. Producer Kensuke Tanaka felt that JRPGs were "lacking in difficulty," that they didn't "make you think," NIS America representatives explained. Natural Doctrine is an answer to that.

However, NIS America was not able to answer why exactly the lead in a fantasy RPG of orcs, magic and lizard men is named Jeff. 

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