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7:00 PM on 06.14.2012

Preview: Hatsune Miku Project DIVA F has precision issues

Here's a quick lesson on Japanese pop culture: Yamaha sells a software called Vocaloid, which provides the digitized voice of a singer and allows users to incorporate it into their own music productions. Each singer is repres...

Bob Muir




Avengers Chronicles features the best pinball tables yet photo
Avengers Chronicles features the best pinball tables yet
by Brett Zeidler

There are two things in this world that consistently remain on my top-ten of all-time favorite things ever: Pinball and The Avengers. The fact that those two things are coming together in not only one, but four tables as part of the Avengers Chronicles has me giddy beyond imagination. I've been waiting what feels like forever for these tables to launch.

So, you know I was ready for the pinball portion of my appointment with Zen Studios last week at E3 alongside Destructoid's resident pinball aficionado Conrad Zimmerman. We only had time to check out two of the tables as Zen had been showing us quite a bit of their two newly announced titles, KickBeat and CastleStorm. Those two tables were all it took to sell me on the entire pack.

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Preview: Assassin's Creed III Liberation is the real deal photo
Preview: Assassin's Creed III Liberation is the real deal
by Bob Muir

As far as I'm concerned, there hasn't really been a portable Assassin's Creed worth playing. Despite the release of three story-based handheld games -- only one less than the console releases -- they have contributed nothing of value to the franchise's story or characters. So when news broke of a new installment for Vita, it was perfectly reasonable to have doubts. This is especially true since the promise of a console style had been made before with the PSP's Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines.

But the Vita is no PSP, and Assassin's Creed III: Liberation is a new chance to make a quality Assassin's Creed game for handhelds. Perhaps in an effort to distinguish itself from past spin-offs based on console characters, Liberation features a new female protagonist who lived in the same period as Assassin's Creed III's Conner. And just like ACIII, it's looking fantastic.

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E3: Unchained Blades is an RPG for the hardcore photo
E3: Unchained Blades is an RPG for the hardcore
by Jayson Napolitano

I doubt it surprises anyone, but my excitement for Unchained Blades stems from my love of the game’s soundtrack, which was released last year. While it features a main theme by Nobuo Uematsu that sounds a lot like Iron Chef, the true star is Tsutomu Narita. He has crafted an amazing soundtrack that combines modern instrumentation with fantastic melodies that will remind you of some of your favorite SNES-era RPG soundtracks.

After getting some hands-on time with the game, I can tell you this is an RPG for hardcore gamers. Prepare for a long and incredibly challenging adventure full of memorable characters and an interesting story. There’s a lot going on in this game, so let’s dig in.

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E3: Sly's Vita debut pickpocketed my heart  photo
E3: Sly's Vita debut pickpocketed my heart
by Allistair Pinsof

When I heard the long-awaited next-gen Sly Cooper sequel would be put in the hands of Sanzaru Games, I lost all interest. Considering Sly 1 & 2 are two of my favorite games, that's a lot of interest to lose.

But, what do you expect when the developer behind the mediocre Secret Agent Clank and, uh, Ninja Reflex take the reins of a loved franchise? I'm happy to report that Thieves in Time is looking pretty good, all things considered.

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E3: Orgarhythm is hard to explain, but fun to play photo
E3: Orgarhythm is hard to explain, but fun to play
by Jayson Napolitano

Orgarhythm is the most difficult game I’ve ever tried to explain. In fact, XSEED had a hard time explaining it to me. It wasn’t until I played it that I was fully able to understand what it was all about.

A hybrid between real-time strategy and a rhythm game, Orgarhythm is breaking new ground, and true to XSEED’s history of bringing over obscure and interesting titles, we have them to thank for it. They noted that people haven’t been covering a whole lot of this game solely because it’s so hard to explain, so I’m determined to give it a try!

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E3: Hands-on with Zone of the Enders HD photo
E3: Hands-on with Zone of the Enders HD
by Daniel Starkey

Thanks to my semi-adolescent brain, mech battles are easily some of the most awesome of which I can conceive. The notion of pitting giant robots with lasers, machine guns, and jets against one another is at the top of my list for videogame settings.

To my elation, the genre seems to be enjoying a resurgence in popularity as of late. With Steel Batallion, Mech Warrion, and now Zone of the Enders all seeing sequels, I'm a kid in a metaphorical anime-inspired world stocked with missiles and robots.

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Preview: When Vikings Attack photo
Preview: When Vikings Attack
by Dale North

Upcoming PS3 and Vita title When Vikings Attack is nothing like what you'd picture in your head from the name. While there's vikings in it, it really has little to do with the bearded Norse explorers or their funny little horned hats. In fact, this game is set in a cartoon-y, cell shaded England in the 1970's.

Stay with me here.

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Preview: LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes photo
Preview: LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
by Dale North

Batman's back (in LEGO form) and he brought his friends along for sequel in LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. Not just Robin, though. Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are among the blocky heroes, and The Joker and Lex Luthor have the villain thing on lock, as always. Last week we got our first hands-on preview with the title, so read on to see how it all ... stacks up.

Sorry about that.

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Preview: Quelling the forces of darkness with Orgarhythm photo
Preview: Quelling the forces of darkness with Orgarhythm
by Steven Hansen

Last week, Jonathan Holmes talked about a new advertisement for Orgarhythm, a combination rhythm and real-time strategy game he likened to a cross between Pikmin and Space Channel 5. I’m inclined to throw a Patapon comparison in there, too, but the former is fitting, given that Orgarhythm is being co-developed by Neilo. The newly founded Neilo is headed by Takashi Hirai, known for his work on Rez and Space Channel 5.

I got a chance to play Orgarhythm last week and quite enjoyed what I played. While not as delightfully trippy and out there as some of the aforementioned games, the mechanics were good and the beats engaging. Of course, that isn’t to say it’s not outlandish in its own right. After all, you play as the God of Light, trying to vanquish the God of Darkness through your musically-controlled minions.

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Preview: Ragnarok Odyssey photo
Preview: Ragnarok Odyssey
by Alessandro Fillari

Ragnarok Odyssey made quite a name for itself and since the February release in Japan, it has become one of the fastest selling games on the PlayStation Vita. Now, XSEED has taken it upon themselves to publish the game for North American release.

For the uninitiated, Ragnarok Odyssey is a spin-off game of the immensely popular Ragnarok Online series. Set in it‘s own unique world, players are tasked with defending the kingdom of Rune Midgard from the invasion of giants, goblins, and other monstrous creatures looking to take control of mankind by force. Players can venture out solo or cooperatively with three other players to complete quests and drive back the invading forces.

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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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Resistance: Burning Skies is ready to set the Vita ablaze photo
Resistance: Burning Skies is ready to set the Vita ablaze
by Abel Girmay

With a relatively thin PlayStation 3 launch line-up, Resistance: Fall of Man was a saving grace for early adopters. Almost six years later, the Resistance franchise has gone on to be a critical mainstay for Sony's systems. With Insomniac no longer at the helm, the Resistance franchise continues under Sony's stewardship. Resistance: Burning Skies is the first big test to see if the series can go on without its original auteur.

From what I've seen recently, yes, it most definitely can. Burning Skies maintains what makes Resistance, well, Resistance. Crazy guns and a heavy, desolate atmosphere are all as present in Burning Skies as in past entries. The multiplayer did leave something to be desired, but the total package is shaping up to be a real treat for fans.

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Preview: Street Fighter x Tekken (Vita) photo
Preview: Street Fighter x Tekken (Vita)
by Dale North

With Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the PlayStation Vita proved itself as an ideal portable platform for fighting game ports. Capcom is back again with another portable fighter, Street Fighter X Tekken, set to release later this year. At a press conference last week, Yoshinori Ono and game producer Tomoaki Ayano gave us a rundown of SFxT's new features

Capcom would like you to know that this isn't just a quick port, and that they're doing their best to add Vita-specific features. There's already support for the touchscreen and rear touch panel, letting you do things like set hot buttons for the front surface, or flick the back screen to switch characters. We saw a demonstration that lets players fully customize characters using the touch screen to scroll through colors, and shaking the Vita randomizes parameters.

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Impressions: PS Vita's free AR games  photo
Impressions: PS Vita's free AR games
by Jim Sterling

Just in time for the PlayStation Vita's North American launch, a trio of free games bounced onto the PlayStation Store, hoping to demonstrate the handheld's augmented reality gameplay. You might notice that your Vita came packaged with mystical tarot cards bearing eldritch runes. Do not burn them in green fire as a sacrifice to your Gods -- they have a purpose. 

You'll need those cards to play soccer, make people jump into cliffs and detonate fireworks. Surely that's a much better hobby than all those pagan rituals of yours.

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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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