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PS Store Flash Sale features dozens of games under $1 including Pac-Man CE DX+, Katamari Damacy, MK Arcade Kollection, more

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Are you looking to stock up on games this fine March morning? Then I suggest you amble over to the PlayStation Store, because Sony is currently running hosting a massive Flash Sale and dozens of games are available for under a dollar.

As with any sale of this kind, there’s a lot of forgotten titles to sift through, but there are also a few good games and a few outright classics. Games like Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+, Katamari Damacy, Twisted Metal: Black, Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection, Dead Nation (both the PS3 original and the PS4-only Apocalypse Edition), Payday: The Heist, Mega Man X4, Mega Man X5, and many others.

The Flash Sale began Friday, but it doesn’t end until Monday at 2:00 PM (Eastern Time), so there’s still time to go bargain hunting. You can find the full list of deals after the break. (more…)

Posted in News, PS3, PS4, PSP, Vita |

Insert Quarter: The PlayStation’s Face Buttons Explained At Last

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

Have you ever wondered why PlayStation controllers use X-Circle-Square-Triangle for the face buttons instead of the more traditional B-A-Y-X that Nintendo has employed since the Super NES days or the mirrored A-B-X-Y that Microsoft overlaid on the Xbox controllers? It’s OK, it’s kept me up at night too. Why? Why? Why?

Thankfully, Kill Screen’s David Shimomura went looking for an answer and he found one by talking to Teiyu Goto, the developer who originally designed the PlayStation controller for Sony back in the mid 90s. Goto revealed that he named the face buttons what he did in a nod to symbolism and semiotics. However, American and European players didn’t have the same connection to Goto’s symbols as a Japanese player would and it caused all sorts of friction within Sony:

Goto wanted to be memorable but he also wanted to make sense, at least in his own mind. “I gave each symbol a meaning and a color,” he states in the same interview. “The triangle refers to viewpoint; I had it represent one’s head or direction and made it green. Square refers to a piece of paper; I had it represent menus or documents and made it pink.” So far so good, sort of. The triangle is reminiscent of an arrow or a direction. It has directionality to it and, even though it’s equilateral, it must point somewhere. The square is a little looser but the connection between a page and the square are strong, at least for Goto. One can construe it as a box and use it for inventory or some other kind of menus. But then things got weird.

The full article is available for your perusal at Kill Screen.

Posted in Insert Quarter, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Vita |

Atelier Ayesha Plus, Monopoly Plus, a PSP game, more added to PS Store

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This week’s PlayStation Store update is either incredibly skimpy or incredibly generous, depending on your point of view. If you’re interested in Sony’s PlayStation Now game streaming service on the PS4, you’ll be pleased to know that a subscription option is now available. Currently boasting more than 100 PS3 games, PlayStation Now is definitely a window into the PS3’s more obscure corners.

If you’re looking for new releases, a few new games were added to the PlayStation Store this week, including a PSP game. Monopoly Plus (and its two add-ons, Monopoly Deal and My Monopoly) is the only new PS3 game.

The handheld realm is where its at this week as five new games are now available. Two of the games, Bandai Namco’s Atelier Ayesha Plus: The Alchemist of Dusk and Hello Games’ Joe Danger 2: The Movie, are shrunk down (but expanded) Vita versions of previously-released PS3 games. And Fat Princess: Piece of Cake is a match-3 puzzler set within the Fat Princess world.

Finally, that PSP game is Brandish: The Dark Revenant, an action RPG from XSEED that is actually a remake of a Super NES game that was first released in 1995.

More information about all of games can be found after the break and a full rundown of this week’s new game add-ons and discounts can be found at the PlayStation Blog. (more…)

Posted in News, PS3, PS4, PSP, Vita | Tagged


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Insert Quarter: The Rise and Fall of THQ’s Empire

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

Gamers often didn’t know what to make of THQ. The publisher built its empire on the backs of tie-in games based on Nickelodeon and Pixar properties such as SpongeBob SquarePants and The Incredibles. But they also produced intriguing original games such as Saints Row: The Third and Darksiders. They were even the initial driving force behind Evolve, one of 2015’s most anticipated games. But that all changed when the company went bankrupt early last year.

So what happened? Tracey Lien, writing for Polygon, set out to discover the answer by talking to as many former THQ employees as she could including the charismatic (but possibly crazy) Danny Bilson. Her portrait of a publisher in free fall makes you wonder, could anything have been done?

Many blame the company’s fall on the licensed games well drying up. Some pin it on the commercial failure of the company’s uDraw tablet for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Others point to poor management and too many risky bets.

“There isn’t any one, isolated event that killed the company,” says a former THQ executive who asked to not be named. “This was one of the most successful video game businesses in America. We were a billion dollar company. It was complicated.”

THQ suffered a “death by a million spider bites,” the executive says.

The full article is available for your perusal at Polygon.

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Insert Quarter: Unreleased Games and the People Who Trade Them

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

Unreleased games will always be of interest to gamers. Who among us wouldn’t be interested in Nintendo’s 64DD version of Mother 3 or Free Radical’s late, lamented Star Wars: Battlefront 3. But these games have managed to live on thanks to a shadowy network of collectors and archivists who trade and preserve the neglected pieces of gaming history. Kotaku UK’s Leon Hurley sought out some of these amateur historians to get the complete story on the trading of unreleased games:

You’ve probably seen videos of unannounced or cancelled games. Not necessarily the older retro stuff, but more recent things like Star Wars Battlefront 3 or Stranglehold 2. Did you know there’s a keen, and occasionally zealous, culture of collectors and traders passing these things around?

[…]

There are many levels to all this. Some simply collect and play the games, others code and and hack, extracting fresh info from old files or reinstating missing features. There’s even a community quite happily extracting and modding Halo maps. For others it’s about preserving the often transient world of video game history.

The full article is available at Kotaku UK.

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

Insert Quarter: Remembering the Best Instruction Booklets Ever

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

Creating a beautiful and engaging instruction booklet has become a lost art in today’s go-go world of downloadable games and extensive in-game tutorials. Some, like Yacht Club Games and their awesome booklet for Shovel Knight, are attempting to keep the practice alive. But it seems like a foregone conclusion that the instruction booklet will have breathed its last in the not-too-distant future.

Thankfully, Jason Dafnis of Game Informer took some time out of his day to honor ten of his favorite instruction booklets, manuals, and strategy guides:

Let me spin you a yarn. Times were, you’d open that brand-new cardboard (or plastic) box and there, nestled right next to your cartridge (or disc), would be a booklet. Yes, a booklet – paper pages stapled together that told you how to play the game (and sometimes more). Remember those?

Now the left (or right) side of your game case sits bare or thinly veiled with tie-in ads or DLC codes. Those clippies that once held your booklet are all but obsolete. Booklets might not be completely extinct, but they are on the way out. Here are ten of our favorites in no particular order.

The full article is available at Game Informer.

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


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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.

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Insert Quarter: A Profile of the Video Game Archivists at the Library of Congress

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

With more than 6,000 titles, the Library of Congress is home to one of the largest video game archives in the world. But the curation and management of the collection is in the hands of just four part-time employees. BuzzFeed’s Joseph Bernstein reached out to these four men to learn how the Library of Congress is attempting to preserve America’s gaming heritage and how much more still needs to be done:

No, the work of game copyrighting and archiving at our country’s signal institution for cultural preservation is not done by a dedicated full-time staff. Instead, it’s the passion project of a handful of archivists who want to be the new standard-bearers in the preservation of video games. Indeed, the state of video game collection at the Library is something of an expression of the liminal state of video games in American popular culture writ large. The Library recognizes the cultural importance of video games, but only devotes four people part-time to their archiving; Game companies insist that their products are the medium of the future, but don’t trust archives with their source code; Collectors sell their troves on Craigslist and eBay rather than considering donation.

Even to get to this point, though, has been a journey in and of itself.

You can read the rest of the article at BuzzFeed.

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