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11:59 PM on 03.25.2015

Review: Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series: The Sword in the Darkness

Telltale seems to be getting into the swing of things with Game of Thrones, in more ways than one. For starters, it only took seven weeks since the last episode for this one to come out. If Telltale can keep up that pace, the...

Darren Nakamura



Review: Life is Strange: Out of Time photo
Review: Life is Strange: Out of Time
by Brett Makedonski

I just finished episode two of Life is Strange, and I've spiraled down a playlist of Ben Folds songs. Out of Time is Kate Marsh's story, but "Kate" is too cheerful; this tale isn't about daisies, dandelions, and butterflies. The weighty subject material is more in line with the hopelessness that defines "Carrying Cathy," but alas, that's a different name, although not far off.

That being said, Out of Time does what episode one couldn't: it makes the audience care about character arcs other than main protagonist Max's. After a Max-centric first chapter, it's the other citizens of Arcadia Bay who get a share of the spotlight. We're given some quiet moments with Chloe to begin to understand her struggle. We're introduced to Chloe's mother, who may be the most reasonable and believable character in Life is Strange. Andof course, we grieve with Kate as her entire world turns against her.

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Final Fantasy XV is a Goddamn Sexual Tyrannosaurus photo
Final Fantasy XV is a Goddamn Sexual Tyrannosaurus
by Chris Carter

Hidden away in the intro to my Final Fantasy Type-0 HD review, I recently talked about how Final Fantasy was never dead despite some rough patches, and based on recent efforts, it actually has a bright future ahead of it. Ok so maybe that bit wasn't really hidden, and maybe it was more of a rant and less of a talk, but my point still stands: I'm happy with the direction the franchise has been going lately.

After spending a week with the Final Fantasy XV demo, I'm even happier.

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Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima expected to split with Konami after The Phantom Pain photo
Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima expected to split with Konami after The Phantom Pain
by Jordan Devore

"After we finish [Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain], Mr. Kojima and upper management will leave Konami," a source within Kojima Productions told GameSpot today amidst speculation that some real crazy shit is happening at the publisher. "They said their contract ends in December."

There have reportedly been a "fallout" and "power struggles" between Kojima Productions and Konami, which have led to some senior Metal Gear staff, including series creator Hideo Kojima, to be designated "essentially [as] contractors, not permanent employees," according to the source.

Staggering. Just staggering. And there's more: Kojima is no longer listed as an executive of Konami. Kojima Productions Los Angeles is now named "Konami Los Angeles Studios," and its @Kojima_Pro_Live Twitter account has "moved" to @metalgear_en. Lastly, online marketing materials for The Phantom Pain have excised the standard "A Hideo Kojima game" descriptor.

In a statement to press, Konami said it is "shifting [its] production structure to a headquarters-controlled system..." and added that "Konami Digital Entertainment (including Mr. Kojima) will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products."

Welp, I'm worried about Silent Hills.

Kojima Expected to Leave Konami After MGS5, Inside Source Confirms [GameSpot]

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Review: Bladestorm: Nightmare photo
Review: Bladestorm: Nightmare
by Josh Tolentino

Bladestorm: Nightmare is not a Dynasty Warriors game.

That bit of information might be good or bad news, depending which side of the fence one falls on with regard to Tecmo Koei's long-running brawler series.

At the same time, though, the game does manage to capture just enough of the essence of Dynasty Warriors to drive away those who dislike it, while disappointing those who come in hoping for a more conventional entry into the franchise. 

Which is a shame, as despite being an almost eight-year-old design, Bladestorm still has a few tricks its more popular cousins could stand to crib.

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Jackbox Games talks You Donít Know Jack, Twitch, and the future photo
Jackbox Games talks You Donít Know Jack, Twitch, and the future
by Chris Carter

Jackbox Games has been busy. In addition to reviving the You Don't Know Jack franchise for modern consoles, it's also built an intriguing online infrastructure from the ground up. As an innovative way to solve the "controller problem" for fairly new platforms, Xbox One and PS4 owners can use their mobile devices (or anything that has internet access) to tap in and play with seven other people.

It's a really cool concept, and now Jackbox is poised to integrate it with Twitch for a full-on virtual party. Since the company is launching a Kickstarter for a brand new game that uses the same tech, I decided to reach out and pick CEO Mike Bilder's brain a bit.

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Resident Evil Revelations 2's extra episodes are fun, but non-essential photo
Resident Evil Revelations 2's extra episodes are fun, but non-essential
by Chris Carter

As you might be aware, Capcom is taking a really weird approach to Resident Evil: Revelations 2. In addition to bringing in an episodic format, they've also hitched two secretive "extra episodes" to the package, exclusive to either the Season Pass or the disc-based version. For a full rundown that makes sense of everything, click here.

Now that the final episode is out, I can talk about what the extra episodes actually are. While they probably aren't worth going crazy over, I have to say they're both a nice little extra that sweeten the deal.

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Review: Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 4 photo
Review: Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 4
by Chris Carter

That's it, folks. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is finally done with its odd episodic format, delivering small chunks every week for the past month or so. The final package is out in all of its glory, including the disc version that should be hitting stores this week.

It's been quite an amazing ride, due in part to the best take on the Mercenaries and Raid Mode formula yet, and a nice callback to some of my favorite games in the series.

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Review: Tales from the Borderlands: Atlas Mugged photo
Review: Tales from the Borderlands: Atlas Mugged
by Darren Nakamura

[Disclosure: Anthony Burch, who consulted on the story for Tales from the Borderlands, was previously employed at Destructoid. As always, no relationships, personal or professional, were factored into the review.]

Tales from the Borderlands: Zer0 Sum released nearly four months ago, and it was fantastic. As an introduction to the intertwined stories of Rhys and Fiona, it did everything it needed to do. It laid out the groundwork for the main narrative arc, it kept me engaged and laughing throughout, and it ended on a note that left me anxious to continue the story as soon as possible.

And then the waiting happened. Months passed with little word on the second episode. Could it live up to the anticipation after all this time?

It turns out that it does. Though perhaps not quite as excellent as the first episode, this one turned out great in its own right, and now I'll be eagerly awaiting the next installment. I just hope it isn't another four months away.

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Review: Battlefield Hardline photo
Review: Battlefield Hardline
by Steven Hansen

Following a year characterized by increased public awareness of rampant police violence against citizens and the militarization of local law enforcement, a gun fetishist's game riding a "cops versus criminals" tagline feels slimy.

Not unexpectedly, Hardline doesn't want to interact with that discussion. Before you can even press a button, every time you load the game, you're met with loud, fast cuts of the EA and Visceral logos, then an explosion.

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Review: Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 photo
Review: Fruit Ninja Kinect 2
by Brett Makedonski

Any way you slice it, Fruit Ninja is one of the most popular mobile games of all time. It's built around such an unassuming foundation that it lends itself perfectly to those lulls in life when you don't really want to think about anything. Hell, as fast as the fruit flies, there isn't time for thinking, just reacting. It's certainly easy to understand and appreciate the appeal.

Shortly following the advent of the Kinect, Halfbrick released a version of Fruit Ninja that made use of the Xbox 360's motion control peripheral. While it was generally well-received, it was still a curious decision that seemingly flew in the face of everything the title stood for. After all, this was a game that lent itself to short bursts during downtime; now that you have to lug a coffee table across the living room to get started, well, it's just a different experience.

Unsurprisingly, Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 hasn't changed much from its 2011 Xbox 360 adaptation. Sure, there are new bells and whistles, and it's definitely an improvement. But, the core game is still the same, and again, just like nearly four years ago, it's the limitations of the hardware that hold everything back.

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Review: Final Fantasy Type-0 HD photo
Review: Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
by Chris Carter

For years now, some people have been saying that Final Fantasy is dead. While XIII was considered a misstep by some, XIII-2 was a marked improvement and Lighting Returns was one of my favorite games of last year.

Oh, and there's the impressive showing for Final Fantasy XV, the constantly improving Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which is one of the best MMOs ever made, a fantastic rhythm-based sub-franchise, and a handful of interesting side projects. Now we have Type-0 HD

Final Fantasy is far from dead, folks.

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What can save Titanfall 2? photo
What can save Titanfall 2?
by Nic Rowen

I absolutely adored Titanfall, but going by the comments and blogs I've read over the past year, it seems like I'm the only person on Earth who did. Every article, news post, or blog written about the game invariably becomes a celebratory dance on its grave in the comments. While a lot of the ire is chalked up to hype backlash, a schadenfreude-rich reaction against all the positive preview coverage the game received pre-launch, I think it's safe to say the problems go deeper. Snarky comments are one thing, but it's hard to explain the empty servers, tepid response to updates, and lack of longevity without acknowledging that something about the game just didn't work.

Clearly Respawn messed up. Despite seeming like they had all the right elements to be the next big thing, Titanfall's mix of stompy robots and parkour commandos failed to light the world on fire. With the recent official announcement of the sequel, I've been wondering what they can do to win players back. Certainly going multi-platform is already a step in the right direction, but they'll have to make some big changes if they want to earn a real audience.

As a fan of the original, I have my own wishlist of features I would love to see in the sequel that just might help them put some more players in the cockpit of a Titan.

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Jason Voorhees konfirmed for Mortal Kombat X photo
Jason Voorhees konfirmed for Mortal Kombat X
by Chris Carter

Warner Bros. Interactive has just confirmed that Jason Voorhees, classic Friday the 13th horror icon, is in Mortal Kombat X as DLC. You'll be able to buy the Kombat Pack at launch for $30, which allows access to four characters, including Jason.

The publisher hints that the rest of the pack will include two "classic" characters, as well as one other "guest" character.  The Predator, perhaps? Hey, that "Komplete Edition" down the line is sounding pretty sweet right about now.

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SMITE's Xbox One alpha is off to a great start photo
SMITE's Xbox One alpha is off to a great start
by Chris Carter

There aren't a whole lot of fully featured MOBA games on consoles. While a handful of them exist, some faring better than others, there's going to be a bigger push this year with games like SMITE and Gigantic heading to the Xbox One.

Although I heartily enjoyed my time with SMITE on PC, I didn't stick around for an extended period of time, instead opting to head back to League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm.

That may change when SMITE hits Xbox One later this year, based on what I've played of the alpha build.

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Xbox to indie devs: There's a place for your game on Windows 10, no matter the size photo
Xbox to indie devs: There's a place for your game on Windows 10, no matter the size
by Brett Makedonski

Microsoft announced last week at GDC in San Francisco that it was introducing cross-play between Xbox One and Windows 10 devices. That opens a world of possibility in ways for developers to deliver games to their audience. Some will likely take full advantage; others will be more reserved. But, the option's there, nevertheless.

Following Xbox boss Phil Spencer's talk, I sat down with ID@Xbox program director Chris Charla to discuss what this new ecosystem meant for independent developers. There was a lot of ebb and flow to the conversation, but the main takeaway was "There's a place for [indie devs] -- no matter what size or scale the game is -- on Windows 10."

Charla was the man that was brought aboard by Microsoft almost two years ago to try to keep Xbox in the never-ending arms race to court independent developers. The Xbox 360 generation saw Microsoft use up a lot of goodwill in that department, and it needed to re-establish its name. That's what ID@Xbox was built for: to recruit developers that bring a different flair to the Xbox stable of games.

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