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Insert Quarter: Should Mega Man Make a Comeback? Maybe We Don’t Need Him…

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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 Shovel Knight, 20XX, and the upcoming Mighty No. 9 giving the gaming populace their fill of homages/spiritual successors to Mega Man, some people have started to wonder if a new game starring the original Blue Bomber is even necessary. GameRadar’s David Roberts is one of those people.

According to Roberts, Capcom is so handcuffed by the Mega Man formula that we might just be better off with the imitators. I’m not sure I agree, but he makes an interesting case:

It’s been nearly five years since Capcom released the last official Mega Man game. Mega Man 10 was just like all the other Mega Man games (Mega Mans?) that came before it; crunchy 8-bit graphics, a series of themed robot bosses, and soul-crushing difficulty. Since then, Capcom has released a fan-made Street Fighter/Mega Man crossover and let the Blue Bomber fight against a stable of Nintendo characters in Super Smash Bros. That’s all Mega Man has to show for the last five years; everything else has been cancelled. And you know what? Maybe that’s for the best.

The full article is available for your perusal at the GamesRadar.

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Dying Light parkours to the top of the best-sellers list for January 2015

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Question… if only one major new title made its way to stores in January, should we be surprised when that game takes the top spot in the monthly sales rankings from the NPD Group? We probably shouldn’t be, and yet, I was still mildly surprised that Techland’s Dying Light was the best-selling game during 2015’s first four-week frame. It was followed by the two biggest titles from 2014… Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare at #2 and Grand Theft Auto V at #3.

Minecraft, coming in at #4, continues to rise even without the holiday shopping season to bolster its sales rank.

Every other title in the top ten seemed to land in roughly the same position it held in December. NBA 2K15 held onto the #5 spot while Super Smash Bros. For Wii U / Super Smash Bros. For 3DS dropped two places to #6. Far Cry 4 was lucky number seven once more while the #8 spot was taken by Madden NFL 15 (which dropped five spots from #3). The final two spots were once again held by Destiny (#9) and FIFA 15 (#10).

While the best-selling software list was relatively stable (and saw a 5% year-over-year increase in sales), the PS4 reigned supreme on the console charts after a one-month hiatus. This turn of events was most likely due to Microsoft’s temporary suspension of the Xbox One’s $50 discount (it was reinstated on January 18).

If you’re looking for the full top ten from January 2015 in list form, you can find it after the break. (more…)

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CoD: Advanced Warfare goes 2-for-2 as the best-selling game of December 2014

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is on a roll. After being named the best-selling game for all of last year, the NPD Group also confirmed that it was the best-selling game of December as well. Activision’s latest military shooter also took the top spot in November, during its first month of release.

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, December’s sales chart was dominated by big-name franchises including Grand Theft Auto V (#2), Madden NFL 15 (#3), Super Smash Bros. For Wii U / Super Smash Bros. For 3DS, Minecraft (#6).. really, just the entire top ten.

On the hardware side of things, the Xbox One once again was the best-selling console, besting the PS4 for a second month in a row. The console’s $50 price cut is really working for Microsoft and the company has decided to reinstate the discount beginning today, possibly on a permanent basis.

The full top ten for December 2014 can be found after the break. (more…)

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Nintendo adds Super Mario Galaxy 2 to Wii U eShop with more Wii games to follow

goty-supermariogalaxy2The Wii U eShop is about to get a whole lot more interesting as Nintendo has announced that they have begun adding Wii games to their downloadable.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 will be the first Wii game added to the Wii U eShop and it is available to download right now. It will joined shortly by the excellent Punch-Out!! (January 22) and the ultra-rare Metroid Prime Trilogy (January 29). All three titles have been priced at $19.99 apiece, but Nintendo will offer them at a heavy discount ($9.99) during each game’s first week of availability.

All Wii games sold through the Wii U eShop will require a Wii Remote and Nunchuk combo, though games that originally included Wii Classic Controller support will be playable with the Wii U GamePad.

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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 |


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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 |

New Releases: Persona Q, Geometry Wars 3, Akiba’s Trip PS4, More

personaq-3dsxlBlack Friday (and the more-or-less unofficial end to the Fall game rush) is just a few days away, but there’s still a handful of new releases to talk about this week.

For example, Atlus will bring its popular Persona series of RPGs to the 3DS with Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth. The quirky Japanese publisher will also release Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed, a brawler where teenagers strip down to battle vampires in the heart of Tokyo, for the PS4 this week.

But this week’s biggest new release (in my opinion, anyway) is Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions. Activision and Lucid Games will release the twin-stick shooter for the PC, as well as the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Finally this week, the Penguins of Madagascar will waddle over to the 3DS, Wii, and Wii U and IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad, the latest game in the dogfighting sim series, will be released for the PC.

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