August 2015

Zelda and Animal Crossing 3DS Designs Announced for Fall

Update: GameStop’s website has posted an image of the Zelda-themed New Nintendo 3DS XL.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer are each getting a special New Nintendo 3DS design.

The Hyrule Edition New Nintendo 3DS XL will arrive one week after The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes hits the 3DS on October 30, 2015. For the suggested retail price of $199.99 you get a gold-colored system with the Hylian crest design, but you’ll have to purchase a copy of Tri Force Heroes separately. The Zelda-themed Nintendo 3DS XL is a GameStop exclusive in North America.

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7 Things We Love About Hard West

Hard West is a simple sell: It’s cowboy XCOM. Most people I pitched it to at PAX were on board with just that reductive summary, but there’s a lot more to the turn-based Wild West tactics game that’s really worthwhile.

This is why Hard West is smart, deep, rewarding, tough as nails, and absolutely worth paying attention to.

As you begin each stage, Hard West doesn’t immediately enter a combat phase. XCOM doesn’t either, really — you’re allowed to set up and position yourself to initiate — but most of the time you’re on alert immediately or preparing to unleash hell. In Hard West, yes, you have time to scout out enemies, prepare your kill order, and get into cover, but the preparation phase is so much more than this. Levels have secrets to discover, alternate objectives, some of which have a sense of urgency that leads to careful, thoughtful exploration toward a given place. Violence is inevitable and explosive, but the lead-in to drawing your weapon has meaning, whether it has to do with the dark story or the deep gameplay systems.

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Mad Max Review

Avalanche Studios’ brutal riff on the wasteland saga nails the heavy, ugly tone of a world on fire, and demands you tear through it. …read more

PAX Prime 2015: ‘Minecraft Story Mode’ Seems Great, but Will Minecraft Fans Love It?

Sometimes, a game is exactly what it seems like it would be on the tin. Minecraft Story Mode sounded a lot like it would be a mixture of the familiar Telltale narrative and gameplay tropes with the world of Minecraft [$6.99]. How exactly that combination would come together would be a good question, but after playing a demo of the game at PAX Prime 2015, I have to say – this seems rather promising. It’s already rather thrilling, and Telltale is at least using the world to tell an original story centered around the experience.

You play as a new character named Jesse here – there’s 6 different character choices including both male and female options, though the PAX demo had just one Jesse, voiced by Patton Oswalt. There’s a convention named EnderCon that serves as the epicenter for the first episode’s event, and some things go horrifically wrong, and it’s up to Jesse to help save the day…and his pet pig, because he’s a cute little fella.

The Telltale influence on the experience is huge, and I mean that in the best way possible. The 15-minute demo did a great job at managing to make …read more

Stasis Review – 0 Days Without an Accident

You would think that the creations of a mad scientist, dangerously faulty machinery, or the void of space would be the biggest dangers in Stasis. They’re not. Plain old human stupidity is your worst enemy throughout the game, dogging you at every turn as you open doors to toxic gas-filled rooms, set fire to a lighter in a gas leak, or walk right into the path of machine guns. At least, if you’re as dumb as me, you do. It’s a dangerous point-and-click world on the Cayne Corporation ship, but to solve puzzles in this kind of game, sometimes you have to try something no matter how silly. At least dying is entertaining, though.

John awakens from a vat of mystery fluid with no idea how he got in it, but with an inkling that he ought to find his missing wife and kid. That’s more than enough reason to get to work exploring the dark, machine-filled halls of Stasis. You are a very tiny man in a ship filled with huge machines, though, something the game never lets you forget through its game’s isometric view. Scope is an important part of …read more