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Tag: Videogames (1-10 of 503)

Someone built a portable Nintendo 64

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Possibly the single most ’90s piece of technology ever invented, the Nintendo 64 marked the last time anyone ever thought that game cartridges were cool in a non-retro way, and also marked the last time any videogame company designed a controller specifically for three-handed gameplay. It also gifted a generation of players with some of the best games ever made: Perfect Dark, Mario 64, StarFox 64, Shadows of the Empire, and freaking Wave Race. And now, someone has created a prototype for a portable Nintendo 64.

You can watch it come together in the video below. Note how designer Bungle announces the device’s artisanal sensibility by specifically playing The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask instead of Ocarina of Time. READ FULL STORY

Criminally underrated videogames from Respawn's Vince Zampella and Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann

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While EW’s gamer braintrust compiled our list of criminally underrated videogames, we also went out to some experts in the field. And we’re not kidding about experts: Vince Zampella (Call of Duty, Titanfall), CEO of Respawn Entertainment and Neil Druckmann (The Last of Us), creative director of Naughty Dog. Here’s their picks for some game titles you’re missing out on:

Vince Zampella:

Viva Piñata (2006, pictured above)
“I don’t think they sold very well and maybe it was because I played it with my kids, but these games were really good, just really fun and colorful.”

Descent (1995)
Everyone always talks about Quake 3 and Doom when they talk about first-person shooters from that era, for me it was Descent in there too. That was a great game I played a lot of.

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'Titanfall' review: Game takes shooter genre in new directions

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“Standby for Titanfall” is the most exciting thing you’ll hear in gaming right now. Roughly two minutes into each match in the futuristic first-person shooter Titanfall (Xbox One, PC), you’ll gain the ability to call in your very own megaton mech, which rockets in with explosive power and disruptive force. Titanfall is doing the same thing to the stagnant shooter genre.

Would we expect anything less from Jason West and Vince Zampella, creators of the mega-billion dollar Call of Duty franchise? They set the tone for how modern warfare looks, feels and plays. After their acrimonious split with publisher Activision in 2010, they formed new studio Respawn Entertainment, and their first game Titanfall is another genre-defining experience. It’s been majorly hyped since its reveal at E3 last year, and although it isn’t quite revolutionary, it’s a solid evolution that is pushing the shooter genre in exciting new directions.

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'South Park: The Stick of Truth' review: Funny, gross...and a legitimately great RPG

In 2002, Trey Parker and Matt Stone wrote “The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers,” an All-Time Hall of Fame South Park episode which effectively retells the whole J.R.R. Tolkien Rings trilogy in half an hour. What makes the episode great was that, somehow, Parker and Stone had it both ways with their Rings parody: It simultaneously lacerates the inherent silliness of the phenomenon while glorifying the high-nerd excess of that silliness. (All this, and they still found time for the immortal line: “Backdoor Sluts 9 makes Crotch Capers 3 look like Naughty Nurses 2!”)

The new videogame South Park: The Stick of Truth begins in the same backyard-fantasy milieu as that episode. You play as the fully-customizable-except-for-gender “new kid,” arriving in South Park under mysterious circumstances. You quickly meet show mascot Cartman, in his Gandalf-y guise of “Grand Wizard,” who is leading one group of kids (the Humans) against another group (the Elves). You can choose one of four classes, three of them familiar (Fighter, Mage, Thief) and one of them unique (Jew.) READ FULL STORY

'Batman: Arkham Knight': Next-gen Batman game coming this year -- VIDEO

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Back in 2011, Rocksteady Studios delivered Batman: Arkham City, a game that we liked quite a bit. Then Rocksteady disappeared behind the Veil of Videogame Secrecy, leaving Warner Bros. Montreal to deliver Arkham Origins, a decidedly meh placeholder prequel. But there were tantalizing rumors that Rocksteady was working on a next-generation Arkham game. And now, Game Informer has confirmed it. Arkham Knight will hit sometime in 2014 — probably October, since that’s when the last couple games arrived. READ FULL STORY

A 'Minecraft' movie? Five more unlikely videogame adaptations we'd like to see

A month ago, the news that Hollywood is actually working on a Minecraft movie would have been cause for chortling. “A movie adaptation of Minecraft?” we would’ve scoffed, sipping our highballs and dipping our breadrolls into a carafe filled with Beluga caviar. “Goodness, how silly! There’s no story to Minecraft! It’s just lots of blocks you use to build things!” This was before the release of The Lego Movie, which took the whole “blocks-used-to-build-things” concept and turned it into a pretty freaking good movie.

So, for the moment, it’s possible to be optimistic. As reported by Deadline, the Minecraft project is currently being developed by Roy Lee (who produced The Lego Movie) as some kind of live-action film, which sounds just mildly insane enough to work. But could this instigate a whole new rush in videogame cinema? Here are five more videogames that don’t particularly seem like they could be movies, which could ironically make them perfect as movies: READ FULL STORY

'Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze,' 'Strider,' and 'Thief' reviews: Rating the throwbacks

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Even more than Hollywood, the video game industry is dominated by sequels and reboots. Last year’s top 10 best-selling games list is peppered with 4′s, 5′s, and even a 25 (oh, Madden). The prevailing wisdom seems to be: If something works, do it again and again until you run it into the ground, then wait a few years and do it again. This week sees several reboots and sequels of reboots hitting the shelves, to decidedly mixed results.

Donkey Kong Country was a hugely popular platformer on the Super Nintendo that suffered from too many sequels that offered too few new ideas in too short a time span. Nintendo wisely retired the formula for more than a decade before going back to the jungle with 2010’s Donkey Kong Country Returns on Wii, which was re-released on 3DS last year. Unfortunately, history is repeating itself, as Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze doesn’t do enough to distinguish itself, despite running on new hardware. The Wii U is struggling mightily to make a case for itself, and Tropical Freeze does nothing to take advantage of the Wii U’s unique tablet controller.

At least the game looks good, proving that the console can pump out vibrant HD graphics. The environments are varied and beautifully rendered, and Donkey Kong’s fur has never looked more lush. But the Pixar-esque graphics are at complete odds with the absolutely punishing difficulty level. Tropical Freeze is maddeningly hard, its levels full of so many cheap shots and bottomless pits that it would likely drive its intended kiddie audience to tears — and leave adults wanting to chuck their Wii U controllers in frustration. Tropical Freeze is a solid game, and die-hard platformer fans may find its steep challenge fiendishly addictive, but it’s oddly uninspired, at a time when Nintendo could use a whole lot of inspiration. READ FULL STORY

Microsoft launching original Xbox shows (including the 'Halo' series?) early next year

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The Xbox One hit stores almost a month ago. Launch titles like Ryse and Dead Rising 3 didn’t inspire much confidence, but Microsoft always positioned the Xbox One as a new kind of device: An entertainment console that would unite the disparate media machines in your living room into one glorious voice-operated mega-machine. (It’s the Megazord, basically.) To that end, Microsoft already announced plans to populate Xbox Live with original TV series, including a Halo series executive produced by Steven Spielberg, director of Always and also several other films you may have heard of. READ FULL STORY

'Super Mario 3D World' review: The portly plumber's latest is totally pawesome

Super Mario 3D World is not extra-dimensional in the sense that it requires special specs to play it. Nor does it run on some glasses-free, 2D-defying tech like the Nintendo 3DS. No, its name actually comes from the title that spawned it, Super Mario 3D Land, which was, in fact, played on the aforementioned 3D device.

While not technically three-dimensional, though, Mario’s latest Goomba-stomping romp pops off the screen like no entry in the popular franchise before it. Forgoing the series’ oft-used side-scrolling formula in favor of layered level layouts that stretch to foregrounds, backgrounds, and any space in between, 3D World is a platforming fan’s paradise. Toss in stunning HD visuals, complemented by a rainbow-shaming color palette and plenty of clever camera perspectives, and 3D World’s Sprixieland is the most imaginative Mario universe I’ve experienced since planet-hopping in the Galaxy games.

More than just painting a pretty picture, the eye-popping presentation translates to the title’s creative level designs as well. Environments are constantly changing, tossing up new eye-candy-coated challenges at every turn; from piloting giant ice skates and exploring a pirate shipwreck to traversing river rapids atop a dinosaur and avoiding a Bullet Bill barrage while riding a Bowser-themed train, this is not your typical Super Mario run-and-jump collect-a-thon.
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Jane Austen RPG hits Kickstarter goal; what other classics deserve to be videogames?

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A single Jane Austen fan in possession of a computer must be in want of an MMORPG.

In today’s most entertaining bit of brilliant-or-bonkers, a new online role-playing game set in the virtual world of Jane Austen has reached its Kickstarter goal. Creator Judy L. Tyrer’s playable period piece Ever, Jane reached $109,563 of its $100,000 goal yesterday, with the help of 1,600 backers eager to increase their Bow and Curtsy skill or level up in Piano-Forte.
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