This review recap is brought to you by Daft Punk's Alive 2007, which fueled the incessant copying and pasting efforts needed to put one of these together. I don't feel like I've blinked since I started working on this, but it's worth it!
April was notable in that most of what we covered was smaller-scale and released through digital channels rather than at retail. We had Dead Island Riptide, sure, but there was also the likes of Don't Starveand Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Speaking of which, did you notice that video reviews are back? There's going to be plenty more of those on the way.
Which games released in April, if any, decimated your free time?
Not content with taking the Doodle Jump formula and simply placing Sonic in it with Sonic Jump, Sega has tapped a new mobile avenue, the 3D endless runner. Surprisingly, this sub-genre is the one that actually suits Sonic the most -- perhaps more than any IP ever could.
But as you can imagine, with the problematic and pushy nature of in-app-purchasing, Sega's handling of the franchise in general, and some developer's inability to translate quality into the mobile arena, a whole heap of things could go wrong.
What a month! Now that March is well behind us (and we remembered to take a look back to ponder), I feel confident in saying that between BioShock Infiniteand Tomb Raider, and yet another Gears of War, we are well into this year of big-budget gaming.
Take a look at everything we reviewed in March -- there's a lot! What was your jam? What did you miss out on? I still need to grab copies of HarmoKnightand Luigi's Mansion for my 3DS. The poor guy has gotten dusty and now only I'm to blame for it.
What is it that makes fishing such a compelling mechanic to developers? Ridiculous Fishing helps to answer that question. It's takes all of the moment-to-moment experiences associated with fishing (calm, anticipation, surprise, disappointment, pride, shame, epiphany) and turns them all up to appropriately ridiculous levels of intensity. That's why it's the best fishing game.
Our monthly reviews recap continues on from the series return last month. January was packed full of great games, to the point of sensory overload. Thankfully February didn't have as many new titles, giving us a chance to catch up.
When the makers of Alien vs. Predator: Evolution saw the negative press and subsequent fallout regarding Aliens: Colonial Marines, they must have laughed. I imagine them bellowing obnoxiously, roaring their gleeful approval that no matter what their game will be like, there's no way it could be considered anywhere near as bad.
Sadly, these hypothetical developers are wholly mistaken. Evolution is ironically titled, as backward and inefficient as it is. It manages to do the seemingly impossible and rival Colonial Marines in its awfulness. Just when Aliens fans thought things could only get better, along comes Angry Mob Games to demonstrate that, no, the franchise isn't done being pissed on yet.
It's been a couple years since Zen Studios first took on the Marvel license and subsequently released expertly crafted tables centered around the biggest characters and story arcs in the comic book giant's vast library. Each table outdid the last, and it seemed like there was no way they could do any better with the next tables. Then they did.
After fifteen tables and no signs of slowing down, the studiohas done a brilliant job with the Marvel license, so what would the next logical step be for the masterminds at Zen? Well, Star Wars Pinball, of course.
I'm not sure what it's like from the outside looking in, but as someone who's directly involved with covering games and has to be thinking about them on a daily basis, January was one hell of an action-packed month.
We kicked the year off proper with more than 30 reviews, including assessments of some long-awaited releases like DmC and the localized Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Did they live up to expectations? An untold number of comments have been written on the subject, and many more have yet to be written.
If you weren't keeping track, this is the post for you. We've broken down our January reviews into an easily-digestible format with highlight quotes and scores for each individual game. Looking for something new to play? Prepare your scroll wheel.
Final Fantasy is close to being the Star Wars of the videogame industry, and not in a positive way. Square Enix, the George Lucas of this particularly scenario, has done a fine job exploiting its brand to almost damaging proportions, attaching the Final Fantasy name to anything it can, regardless of quality.
Final Fantasy All the Bravest could be seen as the culmination of that. It is to Final Fantasy what a Toys R Us shelf stocked with Jar Jar Binks dolls was to Star Wars. Only, slightly worse.
After all, the Jar Jar Binks dolls never asked you to keep giving it money after you'd bought it.
All this Grand Theft Auto anniversary talk makes me feel old. It feels like just yesterday I was listening to Michael Jackson, swerving around as Tommy Vercetti, and taking in the sights of Rockstar's faux-Miami setting.
I think a lot of people missed out on Vice City because it came out so soon after Grand Theft Auto III, and that's a shame. Just like Grand Theft Auto III on mobile devices before it, this new anniversary edition honors the franchise's legacy: so long as you're willing to put up with touch controls.
No one on this planet was surprised when Apple announced the iPhone 5 today at their press conference in San Francisco. Still, the world has been waiting on details, and now we have them for you.
Apple calls it "the most beautiful product we have ever made, bar none." It's made entirely out of glass and aluminum, the thinnest and lightest phone they've ever made. It's 20 percent lighter and 18 percent thinner than the iPhone 4S. It will come in two colors: white with a raw aluminum back. and black with a black anodized backing.
As expected, Apple's new phone sports an elongated screen. It's a 326ppi Retina display, four-inches. The resolution is a massive 1136 x 640, making for a phone that is the same width, but taller. This adds the ability to display one additional row of apps.
On the inside, the new A6 processor doubles the speed and graphics of the A5 chip. Rob Murray from EA took the stage to show off Real Racing 3 running on the iPhone 5. He called the visuals in his demo "full console quality."
Apple is calling the wireless tech inside this new phone Ultrafast Wireless, which encompasses GPRS, EDGE, EV-DO, HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSDPA and LTE standards. On the WiFi side, it's 802.11n, for speeds up to 150 Mbps.
The pricing falls right in line with the iPhone 4S: $199 for 16GB. $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB. Pre-orders start on Friday the 14th, with shipping following on September 21st in the US and several other countries.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.