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Getting drawn into Scribblenauts Unmasked  photo
Getting drawn into Scribblenauts Unmasked
by Dale North

I took a break from the crowded show floor of San Diego Comic-Con to relax for a bit with the latest build of 5th Cell's upcoming game, Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure. Scribblenauts has always been one of those games that's easy to pick up but hard to break away from, but the new superhero twist in this latest game gives us even more to get lost in.

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Sonic Lost World has a casino world called Frozen Factory photo
Sonic Lost World has a casino world called Frozen Factory
by Dale North

Sonic games have to have a casino world, right? We got an early look at a newly revealed world in Sonic Lost World on the Wii U called Frozen Factory here at San Diego Comic-Con. Despite the name, it's a full-blown casino zone.

Remember Casino Night from Sonic 2? What a great stage (with great music), right? This one looks to be just as fun.

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Preview: The Wonderful 101 from the beginning photo
Preview: The Wonderful 101 from the beginning
by Dale North

Nintendo has a Gaming Lounge here at San Diego where you can play all of their upcoming games, including upcoming Wii U game The Wonderful 101, but we had the chance to go behind closed doors to see something new. We were able to play The Wonderful 101 from the very beginning, giving us a good luck at the game's opening and first few missions.

It's bus-punchingly good.

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Wii U delay brought way more content to Rayman Legends photo
Wii U delay brought way more content to Rayman Legends
by Steven Hansen

Rayman Legends is finally almost here. The delay of the Wii U version after the announcement of PS3, 360, and Vita ports seems worlds away, but I'm finally about to embark on the evolution of the gorgeous, 2D platforming goodness I fell in love with in Rayman Origins. Better still, this past half year of extra development time has brought about a lot of additions to the game that we wouldn't otherwise have seen.

Series creator Michel Ancel called Legends "the biggest Rayman game ever," as well as the most polished. There was trepidation even at Ubisoft Montpellier when the game got pushed back because, Ancel noted, the team "didn't hear about how [they] would be able to use that time." Turns out, they were able to cram quite a few more things into Legends, along with churning out several excellent ports.

In addition to the addictive Kung Foot minigame I posted about earlier, Legends has gained "Invasion" levels, an antagonistic appearance by Dark Rayman, new 3D bosses, and complete remasters of the team's favorite levels from Rayman Origins.

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Cooperative mayhem in Splinter Cell: Blacklist photo
Cooperative mayhem in Splinter Cell: Blacklist
by Casey Baker

In a recent hands-on with Splinter Cell: Blacklist, I had a chance to see exactly what our other editors have been excited about regarding both the game's single- and multiplayer components. I spent a little time with a couple of single-player missions set primarily in the Middle East in broad daylight, and then jumped into a few Spies vs. Mercs rounds in a Hacker's Den before finishing out with a co-op mission with another journalist through Eastern Iraq.

Much of what I played was familiar territory in regards to gameplay conceits of both the series and of similar games in the genre, and the Spies vs. Mercs mode remains as strong as ever, but the mission I actually came away the most impressed with was the one spent with a complete stranger that had us both working together to complete a number of objectives.

Though the co-op missions don't demand the precise stealth of earlier titles, they are still incredibly fun and actually do require some tactical skills.

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Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures will make you sad photo
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures will make you sad
by Brett Makedonski

"I think we have a demographic for it," I was told by a Namco Bandai PR rep. Let me back up -- mere moments earlier, he asked what I thought of Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures; I returned his questioning with nothing more than a five-second blank stare. Fittingly, that blank stare was encapsulating of all that Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures appears to stand for -- an emotionless venture that's devoid of any soul or effort, and will simply be dismissed as an awkward misstep almost immediately.

But here we are, me telling you about a videogame that makes me twitch when I think about it, you sadly shaking your head at the shell of a character the once iconic Pac-Man has become.

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2:00 PM on 06.11.2013

The Watch Dogs mobile app is really cool

We've talked about the Watch Dogs companion app a couple of times before. Basically it's a way for mobile users to directly interact with folks that are playing Watch Dogs on the PC or consoles. Well I've finally seen a demo ...

Hamza CTZ Aziz



The Lone Ranger rides into Disney Infinity photo
The Lone Ranger rides into Disney Infinity
by Tony Ponce

Prior to the E3 festivities, Disney demonstrated the upcoming cash grab Disney Infinity to a room teeming with journalists. The focus of the event was on two of the in-game worlds plus the oft-touted Toy Box mode.

The first world, based on Pixar's Monsters University, has been discussed before. The second world, based on the Gore Verbinski revival of The Lone Ranger, was only announced a few days ago and was thus the bigger draw. I was ready to hop on Silver and ride like the wind.

Prior to today, my only knowledge of Disney Infinity was what was covered in our hands-off preview a few months ago. Now that I've been able to play through some of the game for myself, I'm having reservations about Disney's unbelievably high ambitions for the nascent franchise.

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Ruling the seas in Assassin's Creed IV photo
Ruling the seas in Assassin's Creed IV
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Assassin's Creed IV is going to feature a huge open world that you'll be able to explore seamlessly. There are only a few large locations that you'll have to load into, but everything else in the West-Indies Sea, spanning the biggest map in an Assassin's Creed game yet, will be explorable without having to load a thing.  

The entirety of the demo I saw consisted of a bunch of side stuff you can do in the game, so don't worry about any story spoilers here. The world of Assassin's Creed IV is full of life and is going to provide a lot of stuff to distract players while sailing the high seas. 

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8:00 AM on 06.06.2013

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is a ton of fun

I am so jealous of kids growing up this day and age. They have the coolest videogame consoles, the Internet, iPads, and now LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. Combining Marvel, one of the hottest movie proprieties right now (and not t...

Hamza CTZ Aziz



The odds are against you in Batman: Arkham Origins photo
The odds are against you in Batman: Arkham Origins
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Batman: Arkham Origins is a prequel in the Arkham franchise, following a Batman who's more myth than legend at this point in his crime fighting career. This is a younger Bruce Wayne, more agile in combat yet still equipped with plenty of gadgets to help clean up the streets of Gotham.

This Batman game is also being developed by Warner Bros. Montreal while former developer Rocksteady Games is busy doing who knows what. Normally, you'd have every right to be wary of a new developer taking hold of a beloved franchise, but I don't think you have to worry here based on my recent hands-on time.

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The next Scribblenauts is set in the DC Comics universe  photo
The next Scribblenauts is set in the DC Comics universe
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Maxwell and Lily's next Scribblenauts adventure sees the pair venturing into the DC Comics universe through the power of their magic notebook. The siblings love comics, and the whole reason they even want to enter DC's universe is to see who's better between Batman and Superman. The Scribblenauts heroes quickly learn that there's a far greater issue at hand and they'll need to help all the DC's heroes out in this new adventure. 

While this is all very heavily focused on the DC universe, the same Scribblenauts mechanics and gameplay systems are in place. DC Comics fans are especially going to like this one as it's not just The New 52 characters featured in Unmasked. This is a giant sandbox featuring over 2,000 DC characters, vehicles, locations, and more that ranges back to even obscure stuff from 1976. 

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10:00 AM on 05.10.2013

A little more on Watch Dogs' multiplayer offerings

First and foremost, Watch Dogs offers a full single-player experience that you can play offline. That said, I have no intentions of playing offline as the connected experience sounds very promising. Did you know we've actu...

Hamza CTZ Aziz



Exploring the connected city of Chicago in Watch Dogs photo
Exploring the connected city of Chicago in Watch Dogs
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Watch Dogs has been on everyone's radar ever since its surprise debut at E3 last year. It's an open world game, but what makes this one so unique is that you play as Aiden Pearce, an expert hacker who can control the connected city of Chicago right in the palm of his hands.

Anything that's electronic or connected online can be controlled with ease, and with this power Aiden will use whatever means necessary to get revenge on those that have wronged him. At the same time, Aiden becomes sort of a vigilante for the city of Chicago, and your actions will have an impact upon the game's world.

Those of you worried about story spoilers need not fear, as Ubisoft ran us through a live demo that merely consisted of exploring the open world environment to show us just how much future Chicago can offer players.

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Splinter Cell: Blacklist is full of multiplayer goodness photo
Splinter Cell: Blacklist is full of multiplayer goodness
by Abel Girmay

Confession time ladies and gents: I'm not a big Splinter Cell fan. I didn't much get into the first two, had an inexplicable obsession with Chaos Theory, largely passed on Double Agent, and only dabbled in Conviction.

A disgrace, I know, and a dry spell I'm increasingly tempted to break with Splinter Cell: Blacklist. It's shaping to be the biggest Splinter Cell game yet. We've seen the campaign at length, and not to be outdone, the multiplayer is bringing back Conviction's acclaimed cooperative mode, as well as the return of the fan favorite Spies vs. Mercs.

Suit up agents, we've got a lot to get through.

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Preview: Never the same levels in Cloudberry Kingdom photo
Preview: Never the same levels in Cloudberry Kingdom
by Abel Girmay

The challenge in creating a platformer is figuring out what you could do differently from everyone else. While the same could be said about any genre, you have to admit that it's especially challenging for plaformers, a genre that is so simple at its core. Cloudberry Kingdom's answer is in its AI level creator, which switches up the design of every level you play, every time you play it.

Originally a Kickstarter-funded project, Cloudberry Kingdom was  developed by a core team of four -- including around 12 contractors -- at Pwnee Studios. "When we did the Kickstarter thing, we had distribution deals on Wii U, PSN, and Steam, but Microsoft just really wasn't playing ball with us," said Pwnee Studios' Jordan Fisher.

In need of a major publishers backing to get on the restrictive XBLA, Pwnee started shopping around, eventually finding a partner in Ubisoft. "We actually met Ubisoft at E3, and they liked the game a lot, and they could get us onto XBLA." On the previously mentioned publishing deals, Fisher continues: "That was sort of the  trade-off. We would let them have a slice of wherever it was published in exchange for them getting us on XBLA. It's definitely been worth it though, since they've been getting us marketing and all sorts of support."

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