Most Recent: Previews

Cuphead Hands-On Preview: A Shoot-Shoot-A-Hoot

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There was no Cartoon Network when I was a little kid. Instead, a sugary haze of Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and G.I. Joe filtered into my home via regular broadcast channels on Saturday mornings. And after they turned the day over to programming for adults, I’d turn my attention to nearly six hours of non-stop Looney Tunes on TNT.

I loved the Looney Tunes, but occasionally, TNT programmers would slip in an older 20s or 30s short that didn’t have anything to do with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, or Foghorn Leghorn. I never knew what to make of those earlier attempts at animation, but I always felt like there was something unsettling about them. Brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer, of Studio MDHR, saw the same sinister edge in these cartoons, and they tapped directly into it for their upcoming side-scrolling shooter, Cuphead. (more…)

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Doom Beta Impressions: Hell Yes!

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The Doom franchise has spent the last decade going through Hell, but the recent Closed Beta for Doom has given me hope that a heavenly ascent is just around the corner. The game’s multiplayer battles are fast-paced and filled with wall-to-wall action. And being able to turn into a demon is just the kind of twist that all modern shooters need. (more…)

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Tom Clancy’s The Division Beta Impressions: Fear and Loathing in New York City

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After watching Ubisoft’s E3 2015 playthrough last year, I started up the weekend-long beta for Tom Clancy’s The Division with some vague memories of a very traditional looking third-person shooter with an online mode designed to encourage uneasy alliances. Now that I have played The Division, I can confirm that it does indeed play like most other third-person shooters, and yes, it looks about as uninspiring as most of them, too. Fortunately, The Division’s hook, “The Dark Zone,” does occasionally deliver great, tense moments in which you’ll be wondering which member of your hastily-assembled team is going to try to kill everyone and make off with the loot. And who knows? Sometimes, it might even be you. (more…)

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Splatoon Global Testfire Impressions: Painting the Town Red… or Green… or Purple

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I have to admit, I didn’t pay much attention to Splatoon when it was first announced. It’s not that the game looked bad, it’s just that the competitive gamer in me went into hibernation a while back. I understood the concept of the game, and I thought it looked great, but there was nothing that really drew me in. Not even the thought of adding more Amiibo figuress to my ever-growing collection was enough to warrant a second look. But after having an opportunity to play Splatoon during Nintendo’s open beta this past weekend, I must say it has my attention now. (more…)

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Interview: Crossing Swords in Knight Squad with Chainsawesome’s Jean Simon Otis

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We played a ton of Knight Squad at PAX East. Read our Hands-On Preview here.

Every year at PAX East, there’s always one game that attendees begin to whisper about as they’re chatting with strangers while waiting in one of the many lines. This year, that game was Knight Squad from Chainsawesome Games. All weekend long, crowds were pushed towards their little booth to play their eight-player game that very closely resembles the love child of Gauntlet and Bomberman. This left the developers, including Lead Programmer Jean Simon Otis, completely exhausted, but also excited.

Both feelings were very present when we sat down to talk with Otis at the show. (more…)

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Knight Squad Hands-On Preview: (Gauntlet + Bomberman) x Knights = Awesome

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Cramming eight people around the television set in my living room for a night of gaming seems like the worst idea of all time. For one, I’ve only got enough couch space for about four-and-a-half people, so an unlucky few would be regulated to the floor. I guess they could ask my beast of a dog to share her floor pillow, but she’s a drooler and a licker. That’s bad, though most of my sympathies would lie with the poor sucker who has to wedge himself in the fireplace. But you know what, having a full complement of players for Knight Squad might make it worth it. (more…)

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In the Year 20XX: An Interview With Chris King of Batterystaple Games

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Back in the day, Sega used to run an advertising campaign that claimed “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t.” Aside from angering my inner nerd (I was an excellent speller in grade school), I could never actually figure out what Sega did that Nintendo didn’t. The same benefit of the doubt does not apply to the people who currently run Capcom. We know exactly what they aren’t doing, and that’s treating Mega Man, one of gaming’s most beloved characters, with the respect he deserves. There hasn’t been a new Mega Man game in nearly five years, and aside from an appearance in last year’s Super Smash Bros. For 3DS/Wii U (a Nintendo production), the character has been completely forgotten.

Enter Chris King, the programmer for Batterystaple Games. He saw the Mega Man-shaped hole in the market and decided to give the people what they wanted. His new game, 20XX, is a loving homage to Mega Man (more specifically, to the Mega Man X series) that adds in a lot of things that Capcom couldn’t do back in the 90s.

What does Capcom think of 20XX? After playing a few rounds of 20XX, we asked the developer that question, and a few more, at this year’s PAX East expo. (more…)

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20XX Hands-On Preview: A Mega Man Game Minus Mega Man

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Let me paint you a picture of two different titles.

When I hear the title Echoes of Eridu, I’m reminded of the late 80s/early 90s and the, let’s say less enlightened, state of sci-fi/fantasy paperbacks. You know the ones. The women have hair teased out in every direction and, whether the setting of the story is outer space or the English countryside, they’re dressed in skintight spandex bodysuits. If we’re lucky, there might be a unicorn or a spaceship to spice up the scene.

Echoes of Eridu was never a sci-fi/fantasy story from my childhood years. It’s actually an in-progress video game that’s now known as 20XX.

20XX should also evoke feelings of the late 80s/early 90s, but for a slightly different reason. According to Capcom, every game in the Mega Man X franchise takes place in the year “20XX,” so any game that carries that title instantly makes me think of side-scrolling platformers, arm cannons, laser swords, robotic baddies, and spikes… so many spikes. Batterystaple Games’ 20XX delivers all of those things and much more. Changing the name of their in-progress platformer was just one of the many great decisions they’ve made so far. (more…)

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