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Review: Super Hexagon photo
Review: Super Hexagon
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Super Hexagon is a game that makes your eyeballs feel like they're being forcibly twisted against your will while still in their sockets. It is a game that makes your brain feel like it's being torn up and stitched back together by a drunken doctor in a back alley. It will even, at times, make you question whether you're enjoying the experience or it's simply the pulsating visuals sending you subliminal messages that trick you into revelry.

You will feel your mind bend as you replay levels over and over, experiencing both bliss that you've increased your record by a mere second, and anger that your reaction speed failed to save you from a crushing death. Best of all, you will come away from each play session feeling sharper, and more energized than you did before loading up Super Hexagon.

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Phosphor talks Horn, mobile gaming, and touch controls photo
Phosphor talks Horn, mobile gaming, and touch controls
by Jim Sterling

While many "hardcore" gamers continue to look down on mobile gaming, there are a number of studios who view it as a legitimate gaming platform, capable of the kind of "AAA" experiences we're used to. Phosphor Games is one of the front-runners, with the great Dark Meadow proving that it has the right stuff and can craft a memorable experience out of humble tools.  

Phosphor's next iOS title, Horn, is coming to an iDevice near you soon. Before the launch of the studio's ambitious mobile project, we got to chat with director Chip Sineni about his game, the current state of mobile gaming, and whether or not those confounded touch controls really are as bad as people say.

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E3: Microsoft introduces Xbox SmartGlass photo
E3: Microsoft introduces Xbox SmartGlass
by Jim Sterling

Microsoft has today announced Xbox Smart Glass, a new bit of tech that will "transform the devices you already own and love." Smart Glass is, essentially, a feature that allows all your entertainment systems to communicate and and work together to enhance the way you watch films, listen to music, and play games. 

Working with your Xbox 360, iOS, and Android devices, Smart Glass is designed to immerse the user in their entertainment. This can range from starting to watch a movie on a smartphone and then having the 360 resume it at home, to more interesting gimmicks such as watching Game of Thrones on the 360 while having your tablet sync up and portray a map of the series' world, giving you detailed information on the show you're watching as it happens. 

In games, you could spot an interesting object while having a round of Halo, and information about that object can beam straight to your handheld device. It was also revealed that you can use a portable gadget to select plays in Madden. Naturally, this can open up some interesting new ways to enjoy a game. 

Smart Glass sounds pretty interesting, and has certainly livened up an otherwise dreary conference. Very interested to see how it turns out.

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New Alien Confidential & Rocket Fox games, comics coming photo
New Alien Confidential & Rocket Fox games, comics coming
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

As we revealed last month, Namco Bandai is using its new ShiftyLook website to release comics based on "dormant" IPs. It was also hinted at, but some of these dormant IPs are being brought back as games as well! The next comics we can expect are going to be based on Alien Confidential and Rocket Fox, with accompanying mobile games too.

The Alien Confidential: Black & White comic series by Cryptozoic Entertainment will launch on March 9 while the social mobile game will be out sometime this Spring. The Rocket Fox comic by UDON Entertainment will be out later this month with the mobile platforming game out this April.

You'll be able to get your hands-on with Rocket Fox at WonderCon 2012 in Anaheim, California and again at the Namco Bandai Games Presents ShiftyLook x Destructoid Party at Pax East 2012. Until then, check out the exclusive screens and video below to see Rocket Fox in action.

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A starter's guide to Robot Entertainment's Hero Academy photo
A starter's guide to Robot Entertainment's Hero Academy
by Maurice Tan

Hero Academy is my new digital crack but it currently only has a tutorial consisting of screenshots and text, and no way to try out a game against an AI opponent. This might make some players a bit wary of trying it out for the first time against a random stranger, if you don't have a friend with whom you can ease into the game.

After suffering a number of defeats in a bunch of games that ranged from half a day to week-long bouts, I've learned some of the basics and general strategies the hard way. In order to help you get started and better prepared to jump into a match, here are some tips and tricks for Hero Academy.

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Review: Infinity Blade II photo
Review: Infinity Blade II
by Jim Sterling

When our future selves look back on the time mobile gaming truly earned its place in this industry, there is no doubt that Infinity Blade will be seen as the first major turning point. Its critical acclaim and commercial success, not to mention the quality of graphics and engaging gameplay, stood as the moment where more than just Angry Birds fans took notice of iOS as a legitimate gaming platform. 

Few games have really attempted to seize the momentum and continue what Infinity Blade started, so it seems only fitting that ChAIR returns a year later to remind us exactly how ambitious and downright enthralling a mobile title can be. This is Infinity Blade II -- bigger, deeper, and more ready than ever to prove that gaming on your phone isn't just for your mother. 

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Talking to Women about Videogames: Going mainstream photo
Talking to Women about Videogames: Going mainstream
by Jonathan Holmes

[Talking to Women about Videogames is a series where Jonathan Holmes talks to different people who are women about the biggest videogame news of the week for some reason.]

Steve Jobs spent countless hours working to advance the tech industry, but the thing that I've heard the most about him since he passed was how instrumental he was in bringing sophisticated technology to consumers outside of the enthusiast market.

Before the Apple II, personal computers were seen as something that only borderline-mathematical savants could enjoy. After the Apple II, home computers (and the games that people play on them) began to be seen as something everyone could use. From there, Jobs worked at Pixar to help bring CGI animation from the indie film festival world to the level of blockbuster film. Finally, he returned to Apple, where he was instrumental in transforming MP3 players (iPod), smart phones (iPhone), and tablet computers (iPad) from high-priced oddities to household gadgets. He was probably technology's most effective and evocative ambassador. 

Some (like Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson) think that Jobs' ability to sell tech to the everyman puts him in the same league as Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, while others hate Apple and Apple consumers, calling them "hipsters" and "sellouts." My question is why do we care either way? Why does it matter to us if the mainstream accepts or rejects technology and/or gaming? That's what I aimed to find out in this week's TtWaV.

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Apple announces the iPhone 4S photo
Apple announces the iPhone 4S
by Dale North

You've heard plenty of rumors over the past few months, I'm sure. That's all over for awhile, as Apple has just announced the iPhone 4S at their Let's Talk About iPhone press conference today.

Here's the skinny: The 4S has the same design as the iPhone 4, but inside it has new parts. The new A5 processor and dual-core gfx hardware gives the 4S the power to produce graphics 7 times faster than its predecessor.  It also sports an improved antenna, faster download speeds, a 8MP camera, and greatly improved image processing.

Pre-orders start October 7, with the actual release date falling on October 14. It will be available through AT&T, Verizon, and now Sprint. Pricing is as follows, with a two-year contract: 16GB for $199, 32Gb for $299 and 64GB for $399.

Mike Capps from Epic Games showed off this graphical power with a new game, Infinity Blade 2. "We're going to show you visuals that you've never seen on a mobile device," said Capps.

This was announced alongside many new features of Apple's newest mobile operating system, iOS5, set to drop on all iOS devices on October 12. Other new products, like the iPod Nano and iPod Touch, were also updated today with new lines.

Are you going to get a new iPhone? 

[via ThisIsMyNext liveblog]

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Play as Jim Sterling in The Blocks Cometh  photo
Play as Jim Sterling in The Blocks Cometh
by Jim Sterling

The Blocks Cometh, a really cool iOS game that features Mr. Destructoid, had its first full update today since launching, adding a wad of fresh content and four new playable characters. One of those characters, I am quite pleased to reveal, is ... me. 

Starting today, I will be an unlockable character in The Blocks Cometh. Unlocking me is quite simple and rather fitting -- just hit the "Write a review" button on the character select page, and my muscular, well-toned body is yours to master. I also throw microphones, like I do in The Jimquisition sometimes. That was my idea!

As well as an appearance by yours truly, the game has thirty new achievements, a Casual and Hardcore mode, a new "Landscape" view, in-App purchases and a bunch of fixes. The game costs $0.99 right now, so pick it up if you didn't already. It's good!

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WWDC 2011: Apple updates Game Center with iOS 5 photo
WWDC 2011: Apple updates Game Center with iOS 5
by Bob Muir

Apple was ballsy enough to hold their yearly Worldwide Developers Conference opposite E3. I mean, they're Apple -- they can do whatever they want and they're still going to rake in the money. And with the announcement of iOS 5, the next version of the OS for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, they're sure to get a bunch of people breaking down and buying an iDevice, since it fixes a lot of minor problems, like notifications.

But the reason you might care is the overhauled Game Center. Yes, it still looks horrible, but Apple is taking a page from Xbox Live and integrating a lot of features from Microsoft's system. The biggest gameplay change comes with the addition of achievement points, which I've come to expect on practically any game system these days.

There are a couple of social improvements as well, such as being able to access friends of friends, which will allow you to find more potential friends and rivals. Game discovery allows you to find new games to play based on who wants to play with you at that moment. You can also display photos in your profile, which, if the Internet has taught us anything, can only lead to bad things.

Finally, Apple made some improvements under the hood that allow game downloads from within Game Center and support for turn-based games like Words With Friends and Scrabble. The changes are nothing mind-blowing, but certainly they're all welcome. Are you ready to start comparing your achievement score against other Apple gamers, or does its inclusion make you roll your eyes?

iOS 5: The Top 10 New Features [Gizmodo]

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Call of Duty: Elite to enhance the multiplayer experience photo
Call of Duty: Elite to enhance the multiplayer experience
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

The rumors of Activision charging additional fees for Call of Duty online multiplayer have been pretty persistent for the better part of the past year. Even when Activision has stated multiple times that they won't be charging for online play, it still keeps coming up.

Well, we can clear the air on this whole matter with the announcement of "Call of Duty: Elite," a free and paid service that is built specifically to take full advantage of Modern Warfare 3 and all future Call of Duty titles. Elite will launch with Modern Warfare 3 but there will be a public beta test this summer for Elite using Call of Duty: Black Ops. The official site will have more details soon. 

Activision wasn't ready to talk about a price point, but a number of the features I'm going to detail for you will be part of the free service. As for the paid content, it will cost "less than any comparable online service for gaming or entertainment," according to Jamie Berger, VP of Digital at Activision. The service will also be an all-inclusive one, meaning that all digital content released for Modern Warfare 3 -- such as map packs -- will be delivered to you at no extra cost.

The team behind Elite, Beachhead, is a new standalone team at Activision that is dedicated to "evolving the [Call of Duty] service year-round." The service will provide worldwide, 24/7 programming and customer service for all the features that promise to enrich your experience. 

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Ten iPhone games you really should play photo
Ten iPhone games you really should play
by Jim Sterling

Since I've ramped up my coverage of iOS games on Destructoid, I've had a lot of iPhone/iPod users asking me for recommendations. There's a ton of great ones out there, some of which rival console games in terms of how engrossing they can be. It's difficult to list them all. 

For those who get lost in the sea of iTunes, I though I'd make things easier with ten iOS games that I believe really should be on every iDevice out there. Of course, this is only a selection of the games I regularly play and love, so you can expect more of these lists in future. Please bear in mind when you start insulting me for not including your favorite game.

Anyway, fire up iTunes and take a look at the games you need to start downloading. 

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App Attack: Infinity Blade, Game Dev Story, N.O.V.A 2 photo
App Attack: Infinity Blade, Game Dev Story, N.O.V.A 2
by Jim Sterling

Many of you will have learned by now that I've started to become quite a spokesman for mobile gaming this past year. I think it's important, and I've been frustrated that I haven't been able to cover it properly. Hence, App Attack!

This is the pilot episode of what I hope will be a new Destructoid series. The editing is rough because I did this whole show on my own and I don't have much in the way of video talent. If it's considered worthwhile, I'll hopefully get someone with skills to help me. 

Anyway, check it out and see if you like it. I'll really appreciate constructive feedback, so feel free to let me know what you liked and despised!

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Review: Infinity Blade photo
Review: Infinity Blade
by Nick Chester

Earlier this year, when Epic Games revealed Epic Citadel -- a tech demo for its Unreal Engine running on Apple’s mobile iOS -- heads turned. It was a technically impressive piece of software, demonstrating some truly incredible visuals on Apple’s mobile devices.

It’s certainly a hell of a hook, enough to get the folks at Cupertino flaunting the software every chance it got, but gorgeous visuals don’t make a great game. Fortunately, the first iOS title to utilize the Unreal Engine, Chair Entertainment’s action-RPG Infinity Blade, has the gameplay chops to match.

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Study: Mobile gaming growing, DS/PSP gaming stagnates photo
Study: Mobile gaming growing, DS/PSP gaming stagnates
by Jim Sterling

A new study claims that while iPhone and mobile gaming is on the rise, DS and PSP games are treading water, and the water's getting rather putrid. This is all according to Interpret, who states that market data is signalling dire times for Nintendo and Sony. 

"The proliferation of highly multifunctional smartphones and messaging phones is a very real threat to the dominance by the DS and PSP of the handheld gaming market," says Interpret's Courtney Johnson. "Devices which satisfy a variety of entertainment and utility are fast outstripping single-function devices as consumer favorites."

According to a survey of 9,000 people, there has been a 53.2% increase in consumers who use mobile phones for gaming. Meanwhile, DS and PSP use has fallen by 13%. 

I've been a proponent of mobile gaming for a while, and I think these figures make total sense. I play with iOS Apps significantly more than I do DS or PSP games these days. Having quick, simple, unquestionably cheap games in my pocket is better than $40 condensed console experiences. I love my PSP and DS, but it's hardly surprising they're getting shown up. 

The Phone Gaming Revolution: Do the DS and PSP Stand a Chance? [Interpret] [Image]

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Sonic 4 delayed to late 2010, confirmed for iPhone photo
Sonic 4 delayed to late 2010, confirmed for iPhone
by Jim Sterling

Sonic the Hedgehog 4, originally scheduled for release next month, has today been delayed by Sega. Hardly surprising, considering the release was creeping ever closer with only leaks and speculation to promote it. The game has now been slated for "late" release this year. 

"SEGA is incredibly happy at the overwhelmingly positive response to Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I  from both press and fans around the world, and wants to ensure that we’re delivering the best Sonic experience possible," states Sega. "With this dedication to quality and the Sonic experience in mind, SEGA has decided to extend the development of the game, and will now release Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I in the latter half of 2010."

iPhone users at least got a bit of good news to go with the bad. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 has now been officially confirmed for Apple's portable products. Further details on this release will be coming soon. 

Whether this delay is in response to some negative comments following the leaks (most notably the infamous "mine cart" section) probably won't ever be confirmed, but hopefully the delays will lead to some positive development time. What do you reckon? Is the delay a good sign of quality control, or an ill portent?

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Announced For ‘Late 2010,’ iPhone Confirmed [Sonic Stadium]

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