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Nominees for the 2014 Game Awards have been announced

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Geoff Keighley’s VGX Awards replacement, The Game Awards, got a little more real as the show’s advisory board announced its inaugural list of nominees. Dozens of games were nominated in 16 categories, with six titles (Dark Souls II, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Destiny, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare) notching three nominations apiece. Dark Souls II, Hearthstone, and Shadow of Mordor are all competing in the Game of the Year category against Bayonetta 2 and Dragon Age: Inquisition.

A complete list of nominees can be found after the break. The 2014 Game Awards will take place on December 5 at the AXIS Theater in Las Vegas. (more…)

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Insert Quarter: Video Game Titles Have Gotten Ridiculous

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Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

Video game titles have gotten ridiculous. I think I really noticed it earlier this year when Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix decided use Rise of the Tomb Raider as the title of the next game in the series. I’d gotten my fill of the word “rise” (and its variants) after being subjected to The Dark Knight Rises, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Hannibal Rising, and many others at the movie theater. Especially because very few of the people or groups who are supposed to rise in those movies actually do!

Destructoid’s Steven Hansen shares my pain and has put together his own list of words that need to be stricken from game titles. Unsurprisingly, it all loops back to Call of Duty:

Lords of the Fallen and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare just came out and they should be laughed out the damn building for their horrible, generic videogames names.

I originally typed “Armored Warfare” and was confused when Google failed to bring up results for our “Call of Duty: Armored Warfare” review. Then I realized it was “Advanced Warfare” after remembering I kept getting it confused with Advance Wars originally.

DO YOU SEE THE PROBLEM?

You can read the rest of the article at Destructoid.

Posted in 3DS, DS, Insert Quarter, Mobile, News, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Vita, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One |

Get a lesson in “Puzzles 101″ in new Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris dev diary

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was one of 2010’s biggest surprises and I was shocked a second time when Square Enix announced that a sequel was being prepped for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One this Fall. With the December 9 launch of Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris just a few weeks away, developer Crystal Dynamics has released a new Developer Diary delving into the game’s intricate puzzle mechanics.

Executive Producer Scot Amos and Lead Level Designer Jeff Wajcs discuss all the environmental hazards like boulders, floor spikes, and falling platforms while also focusing on the new challenges present in creating a puzzle fit for four players.

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Geometry Wars 3 is out next week and here’s a new gameplay trailer

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is not a game I ever expected to play. After the dissolution of Bizarre Creations, the original developer behind the game, it looked like Activision would let the franchise rot for the foreseeable future. Instead, they recruited Lucid Games (which was founded by several ex-Bizarre employees) and set about making another sequel in the twin-stick shooter franchise. And the newly released gameplay trailer gives us our best look at the game in action yet.

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions will be available for the PC, PS3, and PS4 on November 25 and on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One on November 26. I can’t wait, can you?

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The Path Our Enemy Forges: Shadow of Mordor and Mimetic Desire

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WARNING: This article will contain spoilers for Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor.

Whatever we may think about the universe, it is clear that John Reginald Reuel Tolkien firmly believed in an objective good and evil. A Roman Catholic who took his faith seriously, he shaped his fictional world of Middle-Earth to broadly fit a Christian worldview. A good and all-powerful God created the world from nothing. The angelic powers, some of whom fall into evil, exist as part of the created order. The world’s future hangs on the moral choices of common people. Evil is characterized as a turning away from the objective good, not merely an action that is deemed destructive by the social norms of the dominating culture. In fact, evil must be identified and confronted even though the dominating culture approves it.

Tolkien’s understanding of objective moral good and evil is demonstrated in his meditations on temptation in The Lord of the Rings. Boromir, a valiant but weak man, contemplates the use of the One Ring against Sauron. Faramir and Tom Bombadil, bastions of moral goodness, are unaffected by its draw. The power of the One Ring to dominate and to change free beings into thralls is disdained by those who recognize its means as objectively evil.

However, in Monolith’s recent hit, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, the player finds himself or herself doing battle with Sauron, not by taking the moral high-road and trusting good to overcome evil, but by wielding powers similar to Sauron himself. By dominating orcs and turning them against each other and their masters, players wield creatures with will and self-knowledge as pawns in a larger game. More than once, the high elf Celebrimbor states that the only way to overcome Sauron is to match him in determination, and to use his own powers against him. When the ranger Talion asks the Elven Lord how he can control the orcs, Celebrimbor states that when Morgoth (Sauron’s predecessor) created the orcs as a mockery of the elves, he made them to be dominated. Celebrimbor is merely walking the same path that his enemy forged. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, PS3, PS4, Top Story, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

See some of Evolve’s design changes in latest behind-the-scenes video

Evolve has changed quite a bit over the years and Turtle Rock Studios wants to share part of this process with us in their latest behind-the-scenes video: “The Iterative Process of Turtle Rock Studios.” The video includes early looks at the Hunters as well as Goliath’s initial appearance as a crab monster. Adam Sessler is your host once again and he gets the Turtle Rock team (who are all sporting some hefty beards) to open about those topics and the rest of the design process.

Evolve will be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One on February 10.

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New Releases: Super Smash Bros Wii U, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto V PS4/Xbox One, More

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After years of revealing screenshots and teasing trailers (including one 35-minute “Extravganza“), Nintendo is finally ready to release Super Smash Bros. For Wii U this week. It’s a big week for Nintendo in general as the publisher will also release Pokemon: Alpha Sapphire and Pokemon: Omega Ruby for the 3DS along with their first wave of Amiibo figures.

What can the rest of the publishing world do to compete? A lot, actually. Rockstar will bring Grand Theft Auto V to the PS4 and Xbox One for the first time while Ubisoft will release the Himalayan-set Far Cry 4 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One) too. Those are both massive open-world games… though only one lets you ride an elephant. Also available this week is BioWare’s latest RPG, Dragon Age: Inquisition (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One); Sony’s latest LittleBigPlanet game, LittleBigPlanet 3 (PS3, PS4); and Deep Silver’s Dead Island spinoff, Escape Dead Island (PC, PS3, Xbox 360).

And if you’re looking to pick up some previously released major releases on new platforms, now’s your chance. WWE 2K15 makes the jump to the PS4 and Xbox One, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor downgrades to the PS3 and Xbox 360, and Watch Dogs finally makes its way to the Wii U.

And you can find even more new releases after the break. (more…)

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NBA 2K15 smashes to the top of Oct 2014 best-seller list (yes, even over Smash Bros 3DS)

nba2k15-boxEven though the month of October saw the release of a new Borderlands game and the first Smash Bros. title for a handheld, NBA 2K15 emerged victorious in The NPD Group’s recounting of the best-selling games of October 2014.

The basketball sim managed to hold off a pair of new releases as well as the continued sales success of Super Smash Bros. For 3DS (which landed at #2). A trio of new releases, The Evil Within (#3), Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (#4), Skylanders: Trap Team (#6), were close behind.

And believe it or not, but Minecraft continues to hold a spot in the top ten as the retail release of the PlayStation 4 Edition propelled it into #10 on the list. Sunset Overdrive, Microsoft’s big Xbox One exclusive for the Fall, did not make the top ten though Joystiq is reporting that it was the ninth best-selling game among individual titles.

This month’s top ten can be found in a handy list format after the break. (more…)

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