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3:30 PM on 05.02.2012

Preview: Pokemon Conquest

I made the harrowing decision to pass on Pokémon Black and White when they released, which I never expected to do, as an avid fan of Pokémon. It’s still a choice that doesn’t sit quite well with me (...

Steven Hansen



Preview: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed photo
Preview: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
by Ryan Perez

Few developers have a large enough catalog of praised franchises that they can make entire games featuring a variety of their own iconic characters. Nintendo is obviously the leading company that has made a habit of doing this regularly, and Sony has just recently announced trying their hands at a mascot-riddled fighting game.

Since too many people claim that Sega remains a distant memory -- still holding them to the standards of its former glory -- it's easy for us to forget that this company, born of the 80s, has established a long record of familiar names and faces. A lot of those faces, to my own nostalgic surprise, make their way onto the tracks of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.

The great difference with this game is that racers are no longer restricted to the asphalt of the road, but will also take to the skies in planes and to the seas in boats. And here I thought people would never take inspiration from old goodies like Diddy Kong Racing.

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Preview: Thundercats for the DS is a simple beat 'em up photo
Preview: Thundercats for the DS is a simple beat 'em up
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

As a big fan of the old school Thundercats, I was pleasantly surprised by how good the new Thundercats series is. Namco Bandai is working on a simple beat 'em up for the DS that ties in with the new series and it's not that bad.

When I say simple, I really do mean simple. It's not innovative in the least, instead hitting the bare bones needed to make a decent brawler in order to appease the younger fans of the cartoon, and DS owners alike.

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Fall in 'love' with Mario Tennis Open photo
Fall in 'love' with Mario Tennis Open
by Holly Green

Of the many games showcased at PAX East 2012, I had no intentions of falling for Mario Tennis Open. Typically I'm not a fan of tennis, sports games, or confusing Mario universe cameos. But having seen the crisp, vibrant graphics and the new multiplayer mode, consider me "won over". Mario Tennis Open doesn't just bring a beloved series to the third dimension, it serves up a fresh and enchanting experience for fans new and old.

Since I never actually picked up the original Mario Tennis, I knew I was going to need some help from my handy booth attendant in learning how to play. I was immediately directed to the Special Games, showcased in the trailer above. Designed to warm you up to the various shots you will use in matches, they impressively execute blend of tutorial and minigame, teaching the player to use trick shots and aim for specific court quadrants. Each is inspired by past Mario titles, and one will even let you play Super Mario Bros. Rallyball; users can actually play through the classic original game by aiming their shots for power ups, pipes, and coins. 

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PAX: Kingdom Hearts 3D, now with even more Jeff Bridges photo
PAX: Kingdom Hearts 3D, now with even more Jeff Bridges
by Tony Ponce

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance has Jeff Bridges. Boom. End of preview.

...

Fine, I'll tell you more about the rest of the game.

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Multiplayer and more with Kid Icarus: Uprising  photo
Multiplayer and more with Kid Icarus: Uprising
by Wesley Ruscher

It goes without saying that Nintendo has a lot riding on the revival of their winged warrior in Kid Icarus: Uprising. It’s the first major, first-party release of the year for the thriving 3DS and something even more important to the fans of this once forgotten franchise -- a shot at a mascot’s redemption.

Back in January, we had the pleasure of going hands-on with Pit’s single-player shenanigans, but at the time Nintendo was very hush on just how far the multiplayer had come since its brief showing last E3. That is, until now.

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Preview: Mixing it up with MLB 2K12 photo
Preview: Mixing it up with MLB 2K12
by Samit Sarkar

This is the third year in a row that 2K Sports is holding its Perfect Game Challenge for its MLB 2K series. They're changing the format this time, but previously, the first person to throw a verified perfect game would win $1 million for doing so. In 2010, the contest's inaugural winner was 24-year-old Wade McGilberry of Semmes, Alabama.

I discussed the specifics of his feat with him when 2K Sports flew him and his wife to New York to present him with his winnings. I specifically remember him telling me that he gamed the game somewhat: MLB 2K10 let him get away with throwing the same pitch to the same location -- down and away -- every time, to each of the 27 batters he faced.

If you try that in MLB 2K12, hitters will eventually make you pay.

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Preview: Devil Survivor 2 is great, has high-set boobs photo
Preview: Devil Survivor 2 is great, has high-set boobs
by Dale North

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor was like a dream come true for me. One of my most-loved game makers took my favorite genre (strategy role-playing) and fused it with the demon collecting fun and turn-based battles of other Shin Megami Tensei games to make what ended up being one of my favorite games of 2009. Now they're back with a sequel, Devil Survivor 2, and you'll run around Japan again trying to save the world (again) through the power of a demon summoning app on your cellphone. Yes, there's an app for that. 

My face has been in my DS for the past week digging into Atlus' latest SRPG. If you don't have time to read a full preview, know that after about 7 hours of play I'm already liking this one more than its predecessor. If you do have time, hit the jump to hear about heroic teenagers, cellphone apps, and impossible boobs.

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Preview: Two hours of flight with Kid Icarus: Uprising  photo
Preview: Two hours of flight with Kid Icarus: Uprising
by Wesley Ruscher

"I can't believe I'm actually flying!" These are some of the first words that Nintendo's, once forgotten hero, Pit utters in disbelief during the opening moments of Kid Icarus: Uprising -- his long awaited return to the forefront of videogames. Sadly, it would almost be more fitting if he had instead screamed, "I can't believe they finally made me a proper sequel and it's going to released in the next few months!"

Twenty years have passed since the little dude, in a toga, last landed a starring role in Nintendo's catalog (Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters on Game Boy in 1991) and fans have eagerly been awaiting his return. Super Smash Bros. Brawl whetted the appetite of some, while introducing the mythical warrior to a whole new generation when he was added to the fighting roster, but it wasn't till the announcement of the 3DS that the Nintendo advocate was finally appeased.

It has felt like an eternity since that historic day, and though Nintendo has been fairly quiet in recent months, finally they are shedding some light on their first major release of 2012.

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VVVVVV for the 3DS is... well, it's VVVVVV photo
VVVVVV for the 3DS is... well, it's VVVVVV
by Casey Baker

During the eShop preview event, Tyrone Rodriguez of Nicalis was on hand to demonstrate the 3DS iteration of the revered, renowned, and hard-as-balls VVVVVV. I can confirm here officially - the game is still as insanely difficult and as infuriatingly addictive as ever.

As for new additions to the VVVVVV gameplay structure, well...

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Colors! 3D lets you doodle in three dimensions photo
Colors! 3D lets you doodle in three dimensions
by Casey Baker

One of the most exciting eShop games I had a chance to preview last week wasn't actually a game. It was an application and a continuation of a fan favorite DS homebrew app that never carried over to DSiWare (though it did make it's way over to iOS devices).

Colors! 3D shares some of the same paint and edit tools that the DS homebrew app had, though it adds some wonderful new elements like the implementation of 3D and a really neat localized collaborative mode that allows you and a friend (or three) to paint together in real time.

For an app that allows both professionals and doodlers to easily express their creativity, as well as share and post both their work and the animation process itself online, look no further than Colors! 3D.

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Mighty Switch Force has an 'Ugly Checkpoint Dog' photo
Mighty Switch Force has an 'Ugly Checkpoint Dog'
by Casey Baker

During a session with some of Nintendo's first- and third-party 3DS eShop game developers yesterday, I got a chance to check out the (incredibly promising) future of the eShop. I first got some hands-on time with WayForward's Mighty Switch Force, a game about a cyborg warrior girl named Patricia Wagon who saves the world (or Planet Land, anyhow) from the wrath of the Hooligan Sisters with the aid of her trusty "Ugly Checkpoint Dog."

If the premise sounds a bit cheeky and maybe a little odd, you'll be happy to know that WayForward's signature style shines through again in all facets of the game, from the puzzle-solving elements, to the great soundtrack, wonderful art style, and even some nice 3D implementation as well.

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Preview: Fractured Soul: Deep Void photo
Preview: Fractured Soul: Deep Void
by Wesley Ruscher

The Nintendo 3DS is a system built around two simple concepts: portable 3D and dual-screen gaming. Unfortunately, the latter usually finds itself lent to making our experiences less intrusive by acting as a placeholder for maps, inventory, and other informative screens rather than evolving the creativity in design that is affordable with two screens.

Fractured Soul: Deep Void, by Endgame Studios, looks to change that by making each screen part of the action. In fact it throws the system's 3D capabilities right out the window in hopes of creating a unique action-platforming puzzle experience.

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Preview: Planet Crashers 3D photo
Preview: Planet Crashers 3D
by Wesley Ruscher

It goes without saying that Nintendo’s handheld needs games. As the system has been out for roughly eight months. one genre -- more than others -- that could use a little kick on the butt is the one that found such an impressive home on Nintendo’s previous handheld: the RPG.  

From the minds at Renegade Kid, makers of the visually impressive Dementium series on the original DS, Planet Crashers 3D tosses out the dark demonic look for a cutesy family friendly vibe. Twisted Santa Clauses, a Halloween planet, and an unknown evil set on snuffing out the sun: these are just some of the bewildering things to encounter when Planet Crashers 3D smashes its way onto the Nintendo 3DS next year. 

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Resident Evil: Revelations looks fantastic photo
Resident Evil: Revelations looks fantastic
by Steven Hansen

Much to the dismay of a certain contingent of fans, the Resident Evil series has slowly moved away from its survival-horror roots and towards a more action-oriented style as of late. Those pining for the days of claustrophobic corridors and terrifying tension may be looking towards an unlikely source for their fix soon.

Resident Evil: Revelations for the Nintendo 3DS is aiming to bring back the horror elements the series first gained notoriety from, without sacrificing the advances in mechanics that series has seen over the years. Throw in an incredibly noteworthy external scriptwriter and compatibility with the Circle Pad Pro, and Resident Evil: Revelations may have a few head turning tricks up its sleeve.

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Hands-on with the Nintendo 3DS Circle Pad Pro photo
Hands-on with the Nintendo 3DS Circle Pad Pro
by Steven Hansen

September 6, 2011. A day that will live in infamy. Nubageddon. The day Nintendo announced the “Slide Pad Expansion,” the second nub’s cradle attachment.

Now officially known as the Circle Pad Pro, presumably because…it’s for pros (?), I got to play a videogame using this incredibly divisive piece of plastic.

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