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6:00 PM on 04.23.2014

The next Skylanders borrows a little from the Pokemon series

The developers at Toys For Bob are back in the saddle with Skylanders Trap Team, the next entry in their hit toys-meet-videogame franchise. This time the hook involves you capturing villains and enslaving brainwashing reform...

Hamza CTZ Aziz


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Terra Battle, the highly anticipated RPG from Hironobu Sakaguchi, launches worldwide on October 9th. Find out more






Puyopuyo Tetris is exactly as it sounds, and I dig it photo
Puyopuyo Tetris is exactly as it sounds, and I dig it
by Dale North

Sega is showing off its new puzzle game Puyopuyo Tetris here at their already super busy TGS 2013 booth. As a fan of both games, I gave this cross-up a spin on the 3DS. Puyopuyo Tetris is also coming to the Vita and PS3 as well as the Wii U, with a motion control scheme set for the latter. 

After choosing a character, the game asks which of the famed puzzlers you'd like to play. I'm much better at Puyo than Tetris, so I went in confident. In a classic competitive match, the other game you did not choose ends up being your opponent's game. This had me setting up combos and matching colors to send obstacle lines (complete with cute/angry little Puyo faces) to the computer opponent's Tetris board. And in turn, his line clears sent random blocks to mess up my beautifully laid chain stacks. 

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Skylanders Swap Force is surprisingly more fun than evil photo
Skylanders Swap Force is surprisingly more fun than evil
by Steven Hansen

Activision’s Skylanders franchise has always smelled of a money grab to me. Copperish, like the smell of old pennies scrounged up by hard-working parents so little Linda Anne can have all the newest and coolest Skylanders characters while mom and dad work three jobs amidst recession. Jim Sterling is rather partial to the plastic lot, however, so they can’t be all bad, right?

In fact, they’re not. The new Skylanders: Swap Force is indeed rather cute and pretty fun. Vacuous, but quaint enough.

Skylanders is videogames as toys; or, Toys: The Videogame. I guess I forgot that videogames practically were, once upon a time. It’s no less inane and gimmicky and capitalistic than the stupid garbage we pestered parents for 20 years ago, but it’s a heck of a lot more polished and less likely to break like the slot cars I took around hairpin turns too quickly causing them to go flying off the track. Plus, what can be more embarrassing than having paid money for pogs?

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The Lone Ranger rides into Disney Infinity photo
The Lone Ranger rides into Disney Infinity
by Tony Ponce

Prior to the E3 festivities, Disney demonstrated the upcoming cash grab Disney Infinity to a room teeming with journalists. The focus of the event was on two of the in-game worlds plus the oft-touted Toy Box mode.

The first world, based on Pixar's Monsters University, has been discussed before. The second world, based on the Gore Verbinski revival of The Lone Ranger, was only announced a few days ago and was thus the bigger draw. I was ready to hop on Silver and ride like the wind.

Prior to today, my only knowledge of Disney Infinity was what was covered in our hands-off preview a few months ago. Now that I've been able to play through some of the game for myself, I'm having reservations about Disney's unbelievably high ambitions for the nascent franchise.

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Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto talks Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate photo
Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto talks Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
by Alessandro Fillari

Saying that Capcom’s Monster Hunter series has a passionate and loyal following would be a massive understatement. For nearly 10 years, Monster Hunter has captivated gamers and inspired many imitators. After months of keeping western fans in suspense, Capcom announced the release of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for North America. 

Now just a month away from its release, Destructoid got the chance to sit down and talk with Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto, while getting our hands on the Wii U and 3DS versions of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.

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Next Skylanders lets you swap parts to form new toys photo
Next Skylanders lets you swap parts to form new toys
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

The next Skylanders is the last thing fans were probably expecting as there's three major changes going on with Swap Force, the new entry in the series. For starters, it's not developer Toys for Bob making this one. Vicarious Visions, the team responsible for the 3DS version of Skylanders Adventure, and the Wii U version of Skylanders Giants, is in charge of making the core versions this time around (With N-Space doing the 3DS version and Beenox handling the Wii version).

I'm not even going to give you a second to doubt another studio handling things here -- Vicarious is really bringing it. The studio is using a new graphics engine that can very easily be mistaken for a Pixar movie. Seriously, it's that good looking.

The biggest changes, though, are with the new toys. Swap Force is adding 32 new Skylanders heroes, 16 of which you can pull in half and fuse different top and bottom parts together to create new Skylanders. Take that in for a second. That's a total of 256 unique combos.

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Preview: Unload your new toy chest with Disney Infinity photo
Preview: Unload your new toy chest with Disney Infinity
by Allistair Pinsof

There's not a lot I remember about the rampant imagination of childhood, but most of the good memories came from the depths of my toy chest. Pitting Aliens against Transformers. Imagining Cloud Strife's sword slicing through Foxhound's ranks. On occasion, a friend would come over and contribute to the chaos until it ended with crying, a fight, and a broken yet replaceable (but totally irreplaceable in my eight-year-old mind) figurine.

This basis of mashing properties together is probably why we have M.U.G.E.N, Girl Talk, and comic book crossovers. There is something forbidden and alluring about bringing together things that were conceived in different worlds. So when Disney Interactive brings together its movies, TV shows, and Pixar hits this summer for Infinity and provides an allotted virtual space for play, will it be like the messy, epic battles that once happened on my living room floor? Or will it feel like a cash grab riding on the coattails of Skylanders?

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gamescom: Swarm is my favorite new Skylanders photo
gamescom: Swarm is my favorite new Skylanders
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Developer Toys for Bob showed off a few new characters for Skylanders Giants during gamescom this week. Amongst them was Swarm, a bee-like monster that's also one of the new oversized Giant characters.

Look, bees and hornets are scary enough in real life. They fly around, stinging things, and are giant jerks. In the case of Swarm, he can hover slightly off the ground, uses melee attacks, and shoots beams of energy from his arms. His attacks aren't as scary as the real life bugs Swarm is based on, but he does look as intimidating. 

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gamescom: LEGO LotR has a nice Skyrim vibe going  photo
gamescom: LEGO LotR has a nice Skyrim vibe going
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

LEGO Lord of the Rings is doing a number of things to really differentiate itself from prior LEGO titles. The biggest change is that this one provides a more seamless, open world design to the exploration, akin to that of Skyrim. 

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SDCC: Taking on Kirby's Dream Collection challenge mode photo
SDCC: Taking on Kirby's Dream Collection challenge mode
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Kirby's Dream Collection is a bundle of some of the best Kirby games ever for the Wii in celebration of the 20th anniversary. Just the fact it contains Kirby's Super Star is enough for me, and the added bonus of the Kirby soundtrack CD is like icing on the cake.

If that's not enough, Nintendo is throwing in a new challenge mode to give something new to longtime fans of the series.

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E3: ZombiU multiplayer makes you lord of the dead photo
E3: ZombiU multiplayer makes you lord of the dead
by Jonathan Holmes

ZombiU's asymmetrical, competitive multiplayer is a nice little package. It will definitely be a dorm room favorite and a good time at parties. The general premise is that one player (in this case, my homeboy Pungi rocking the Wii U Pro Controller) plays as a human attempting to capture various flags around the map. The other player (me) gets the Wii U GamePad, and is tasked to lay zombies out around the map. Some zombies are aggressive, some are more prone to lurking, and others are only there to capture the flag before the human does. Not sure if it will allow for more than one-on-one competition, though I assume that it will.

It was a solid experience, easy to pick up and play, and definitely packed with potential. My only suggestion is that Ubisoft allow the zombie master to actually play as a zombie or two. After deploying all of their undead troops, there were times when the zombie master had nothing to do but sit back and wait until the other played had cleared some enemies. Only then could the zombie master spawn a few more ghouls. If I had the option to actually play as one of the zombies during that pre-spawning time, there wouldn't ever have to be a break in the action for either player. 

Constructive criticism aside, ZombiU should be fun, but I'm not ready to put in in the same league as Left 4 Dead or Dead Island as of yet. Lets hope the game offers a unique experience that doesn't need to rely on huge amounts of enemies on screen or big budget graphics to be enjoyable, as I highly doubt that either of those features will make their way into the final build of the game.

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E3: Game & Wario is neither Game & Watch nor WarioWare photo
E3: Game & Wario is neither Game & Watch nor WarioWare
by Jonathan Holmes

Along with Project P-100, one of the biggest surprises at the Nintendo booth at E3 was Game & Wario. I would have definitely been less disappointed with Nintendo's on-site press conference if they had made some mention of either game. 

That said, Game & Wario was far from a showstopper, and that's coming from a huge fan of the WarioWare series. The games here appear much longer than those found in WarioWare, and they generally lacked the humor and the punch normally associated with the Wario name. The game with the arrows and the stomping was pretty fun, but the others felt rather tame, especially compared with the surprisingly exciting times I had with Nintendo Land

If Game & Wario ends up having 50+ mini-games included, like a traditional WarioWare title or Rhythm Heaven Fever did, then it may end up being a must-have purchase. If it only includes 12 different games like Nintendo Land is planned to, then it may not have what it takes to win your attention.

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E3: Rayman Legends allows for asymmetrical dick moves photo
E3: Rayman Legends allows for asymmetrical dick moves
by Jonathan Holmes

Asymmetrical gameplay is nothing new to Nintendo. Pac-Man Vs. allowed players to experience the series as the bad guy for the first time, while Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 gave the second player to assist the "main" player from a distance as an off-screen, intangible, sparkle-shooting deity. Rayman Legends allows for a little bit of both of those concepts. Players utilizing the Wii U GamePad can both assist the main player, or screw with him/her if they're feeling mischievous. 

It's a lot like Boost mode in the upcoming New Super Mario Bros. U, but with more level-specific applications. Where Boost mode allows you to create blocks under-foot or stun enemies for a second, Rayman Legends' asymmetrical gamplay has the "main" player and the assistant working through puzzles and environmental hazards that would be impossible for a single player to tackle alone. That makes for a situation where the player with the Wii U GamePad feels more important than they might in New Super Mario Bros. U, while the "main" player is left feeling slightly more dependent on their off-screen companion. 

Regardless of which does asymmetrical gameplay better, I'm just excited that they both of these games exists. Seeing not one but two traditional, 2D platformers making their debut as flagship exclusives for the Wii U is almost spit-take worthy. There was a time when the genre was all but dead. Having it back in the spotlight is a wonderful thing.

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E3: Hands-on with Rayman Legends photo
E3: Hands-on with Rayman Legends
by Chad Concelmo

Rayman Legends is the direct Wii U-exclusive sequel to the beautiful, gorgeous, sublime 2D platformer Rayman Origins that was released last year.

The good news if you were a fan of Rayman Origins: Rayman Legends is even more beautiful, gorgeous, and sublime than its predecessor! So great, in fact, that I almost wanted to punch the fancy T.V. screen when I was playing it. I couldn't hold in all the emotions of how amazing the game looks!

Luckily, I did not punch the screen -- whew! -- as that would have ended poorly for all parties involved.

So why is Rayman Legends so spectacular? Keep reading to find out!

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E3: Hands-on with ZombiU photo
E3: Hands-on with ZombiU
by Chad Concelmo

Huh.

That was my first reaction after playing ZombiU for the Wii U at Nintendo's booth during E3. Huh.

Now, "huh" usually has a negative connotation, but that is not necessarily the case with this particular game. The "huh" is more a simplified version of the actual, widely varied reactions that occurred when playing this M-rated, Wii U-exclusive game. I had a few OMGs, some Woahs, some Mehs, some Cools, and some Ughs, all leading up to my final, summarized reaction.

A simple huh.

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E3: Hands-on with Project P-100 photo
E3: Hands-on with Project P-100
by Chad Concelmo

Project P-100 (working title) from Platinum Games (creators of Viewtiful Joe and MadWorld) was one of the strangest Wii U games I played on the show floor at E3.

And that is not necessarily a bad thing.

In a way, it reminded me of Elebits, another odd little title that launched with the original Wii more than five years ago. Like Elebits, Project P-100 shows off what its respective console can do in an interesting, if slightly painful, way.

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