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4:00 PM on 07.25.2014

Review in Progress: Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas

When many Warcraft fans hear the name Naxxramas, it conjures up memories of late nights and pizza, while taking on the tough-as-nails raid in World of Warcraft (or as I know it, Naxx). It was one of the mo...

Chris Carter




Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: Amid the Ruins photo
Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: Amid the Ruins
by Chris Carter

The last episode of The Walking Dead was probably my favorite one yet -- and that's including all of Lee's tale from the first season. Clem has made the switch from tough to full-on badass depending on your choices, and it's clear that she is fully a part of some of the horrific life-or-death choices in the world.

Clem can no longer hold onto her innocence and fall back on her young appearance -- at this point, many decisions have been made that cannot be taken back, and the rest of the group is starting to notice it. That hook right there is what makes Amid the Ruins such a great tale, even if it doesn't have the same wow factor as its predecessor.

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Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Sunken King photo
Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Sunken King
by Chris Carter

2014 has been very good to me, but Dark Souls II is one of my favorite games of the year. Many debates have raged on as to whether or not it's as exceptional as its predecessor (Demon's Souls is better than both), but having played it prior to launch without any hints or guides, I heartily enjoyed getting lost in its labyrinthine tunnels and deadly arenas.

The Crown of the Sunken King DLC expands that goodness by about five to ten hours depending on your skill level, and even if it's one of the less remarkable levels in the game, it's still worth playing.

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Review: Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty photo
Review: Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty
by Chris Carter

One of the first games I ever played on PlayStation was Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. I remember opening up the jewel case, adorned by a creepy looking creature with his mouth sewn shut, with no idea of what to expect. Over the course of the next few weeks I became acquainted with that creature called Abe, and slowly made my way through the difficult puzzle platformer at a slow, but steady pace.

2014's New N' Tasty is basically a recreation of that same experience from 1997, for better and for worse.

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Review: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.3) photo
Review: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.3)
by Chris Carter

The last time we left off in our assessment of Final Fantasy XIV's patch 2.3, I had experienced most of the tertiary level content, ready to face off against the big boss Ramuh himself in his true form, alongside of playing more Frontlines PVP and of course, more hunting.

Over the past week and a half I've tried just about everything there is to try, and I found that overall, it's getting people to do a diverse array of content -- as opposed to 2.2 which generally funneled people into a few venues. It's not the most balanced patch, but it adds a ton of stuff to do other than grind out end-game tokens, and I'm sure that makes a lot of former subscribers happy.

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To dye for: Invisible Inc. is my kind of strategy-stealth game photo
To dye for: Invisible Inc. is my kind of strategy-stealth game
by Steven Hansen

A chasm in stealth games tends to be player skill and the supposed skills of super sleuth avatars. You're often eased into the situation, your lack of skill assumed, or you just fumble your way through -- especially with the recent trend of stealth-optional games -- feeling like Mr. Magoo. Or you're good at stealth games. It's one of the reason's they can hold up to replays. Coming back with mechanical knowledge and slinking through areas like the pro you're meant to be is exhilarating. 

Invisible, Inc. is meant to be replayed, but that familiarity and advance knowledge is not where you get your sense of empowerment, as everything is procedurally generated and, thus, different each time. 

Klei's founder Jamie Cheng sat down with me and showed me how "active stealth, by moving and doing rather than waiting," is a great fit for a turn-based system. 

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A grand social experiment: Final Fantasy XIV's monster hunts photo
A grand social experiment: Final Fantasy XIV's monster hunts
by Chris Carter

For those of you who haven't played Final Fantasy XIV, a new patch just arrived that implemented a major mechanic into the game -- worldwide monster hunting. The concept is simple enough. Across the world in each zone, various rare monsters randomly spawn throughout, granting those who kill them extra bonuses and rewards.

These encounters are not instanced -- or -- they do not take place in separate locations for each party. They are on the same world as every other player, leading to conflicts, jolly cooperation, and everything in-between.

They're also one of the most fun things I've ever played in a game.

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Review in Progress: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.3) photo
Review in Progress: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.3)
by Chris Carter

MMOs are constantly evolving beasts. Particularly in the subscription realm, developers are always searching for ways to keep players hooked, usually in the form of major updates -- big content patches that help ease the wait between even bigger expansions. The latest MMO to get an overhaul is Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which is seeing its "Defenders of Eorzea" patch this week, bringing up the current version of the game to 2.3.

Since this update is even bigger than the vast majority of $60 retail releases, I'll be looking at everything it has to offer to supplement to our already existing review of A Realm Reborn, which covered up to patch 2.2.

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Review: The Wolf Among Us: Cry Wolf photo
Review: The Wolf Among Us: Cry Wolf
by Chris Carter

The Wolf Among Us has been one hell of a ride. Although Tellltale's The Walking Dead managed to craft a grimdark world worth seeing time and time again, Wolf has a more nuanced take, with larger-than-life fairy tale characters who have decidedly human problems.

All of it comes to an end here with Cry Wolf, the last episode of the series. While I'll refrain from spoiling anything in particular, I will say that is indeed a satisfying conclusion.

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Gearbox reveals Battleborn for PS4, Xbox One, PC photo
Gearbox reveals Battleborn for PS4, Xbox One, PC
by Kyle MacGregor

Battleborn is the next big game from Gearbox Software, and, much like the developer's Borderlands series, it's looking to put a unique spin on the first-person shooter.

Billed a "hero-shooter" by Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford, the title infuses MOBA elements into its narrative-driven co-op and competitive multiplayer in place of Borderlands' hallmark loot-heavy RPG flare. The story, penned by former Destructoid editor Aaron Linde, is set in the distant future in a "science fantasy" universe on the brink of destruction.

Battleborn is slated to release sometime during Take-Two Interactive’s upcoming fiscal year ending March 31, 2016 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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Review in Progress: WildStar (Mid-levels) photo
Review in Progress: WildStar (Mid-levels)
by Chris Carter

[We'll be reviewing WildStar over an extended period of time. For more details, check out our Reviews in Progress program.]

As we all know, MMOs can drastically change not only over the course of months of updates, but even from level to level. We have already given you an early look at the first 20 hours or so of the game, but as I climb the ladder of leveling more and more starts to open up.

Let's take a look at levels 14-30.

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Mighty Number 9 opens new crowd funding campaign, teases cartoon show photo
Mighty Number 9 opens new crowd funding campaign, teases cartoon show
by Jonathan Holmes

It seems like only yesterday that Keiji Inafune announced the Kickstarter campaign form Mighty Number 9 at PAX East. It was an exciting day for Mega Man fans. Just looking at the commemorative t-shirt from that event still puts a smile on my face. 

Since then, the game has raised nearly $4 million in funding. That's a lot of money to generate based off some promotional art, a little test footage and the goodwill of emotionally invested fans. That's why its both surprising and perfectly logical for Comcept to re-open the the game to crowdfunding support. It worked pretty well for them the first time, so why not try it again?

The new funding will strictly go towards additional content not promised in the original crowd funding campaign. The first goal is full English voice acting, which will cost... $100,000? That's either asking way too much or a sign that the game will have a whole lot of talking in it. Either way, that's not necessarily good news. Comcept also announced plans to partner with Digital Frontier on a Mighty Number 9 animated series (trailer below), which like the game, sports some nice 2D promotional and some less than impressive polygon-based animation.

This whole thing speaks to a strange mix of raw enthusiasm and overconfidence that is, at the very least, interesting to watch unfold. Comcept is acting like Mighty Number 9 is already a beloved time-tested franchise, when in reality, it just looks like one. Time will tell if the game ends up warranting all the faith and financing that's already been put into it.

Mighty Triple-Header: Exciting Announcements from Anime Expo 2014! [Kickstarter]

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Review: Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark photo
Review: Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark
by Chris Carter

High Moon Studios set a decent bar with its Activision-published Transformers games in terms of quasi film tie-ins (though the crown still goes to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, in my book). None of them were mind-blowingly good, but they succeeded in setting their own tone while staying inline with the film series, and delivered a mostly enjoyable action romp with a fun horde mode before it was featured in every game ever.

Here on the advent of the worst-reviewed Transformers film yet is by far the worst game so far in the franchise -- it's a shame High Moon couldn't have had a crack at it.

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Platinum is making a Legend of Korra game, and it's pretty awesome photo
Platinum is making a Legend of Korra game, and it's pretty awesome
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Yup, you read that headline correctly. Platinum Games, the maker of such fine titles as Mad World, Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising, The Wonderful 101, and more, is creating a game based on The Legend of Korra series. It's being published by Activision as a download-only title for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.

We all saw the reveal teaser yesterday, but now it's time I told you how the game plays. Platinum is aiming to ship this one out in the fall of this year, and based on what I got to play of the alpha build, the game is shaping up to be a pretty solid action brawler.

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Review: Shovel Knight photo
Review: Shovel Knight
by Chris Carter

Good things come to those who wait. And boy, have we been waiting for Shovel Knight.

Even though they only just completed their Kickstarter last April, it feels like we've been twiddling our thumbs for eons for Yacht Club Games' debut release. With delay after delay prohibiting us from getting our hands on this love-letter to retro platformers, at one point it felt like it was never going to see the light of day.

Well, it's here now -- and it's everything we hoped it would be.

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We've got 5,000 codes for the Swordsman closed beta! photo
We've got 5,000 codes for the Swordsman closed beta!
by Mr Andy Dixon

Our friends at Perfect World have hooked us up with 5,000 keys for the closed beta of their new martial arts MMO Swordsman! And in addition to the closed beta, these codes also unlock a Dtoid and E3-exclusive fluffy little lamb that you can hold in your hand and also speaks to you. You know, just what you always think about when you think about Destructoid.

The closed beta ends later this week, so get on it! Thankfully, the unlockables will still be there for you once the game goes into open beta, so you won't be without your fluffy little lamb for long.

To claim your code, click here! (Huge members can snag their reserved codes right here!) Then, just follow the instructions below to redeem. Have fun!

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