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By Garrett Green On 14 Jul, 2014 At 08:43 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, Portable/Mobile Gaming | With 0 Comments
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Over the weekend, Nintendo said that they would announce a new character coming to the new Super Smash Bros. Turns out instead of one, we got three reveals. That’s right, Nintendo decided to give us three characters in one trailer, one returning veteran, two completely brand new to the series. Take a look at the trailer.

Finally, the reintroduction of Captain Falcon. We all knew he would be back, he’s been a staple character since the first game, but sure took their sweet time in bringing him back. But the main focus of the trailer was the two new characters, both from the Fire emblem series. Introducing Robin and Lucina.

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Lucina, a character many fans have been clamoring for, and Robin join both Marth and Ike from the Fire emblem series. All four look to have very different playing styles considering they are all swordsmen from the same game. The variety is welcomed and they all look like fun fighters to use. Chrome, another Fire emblem character, was also shown in the trailer but it seems that he won’t be a playable fighter. Nintendo even made a slight jab at him not getting a chance until it showed him appearing to be either an assist trophy or part of someone’s final smash. Lastly, the trailer showed a female version of Robin would also be available as a costume option.

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With this new trailer, the roster climbs to 36 making it the largest roster of the series. This isn’t the end of character announcements as we can still expect a few more. Still waiting for Jigglypuff to return and hopefully a few more newbies but as even as of now this is a superb roster. Super Smash Bros on the 3DS releases October 3 and the Wii U version releases this holiday season.

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PAX South

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PAX South

At PAX East earlier this year, it was announced that there would be a PAX South in San Antonio, Texas. PAX South is to be held from January 23 to January 25.

Yesterday, Penny Arcade randomly announced at 1:11 pm via Twitter that PAX South tickets were on sale.  Within 2 hours, 3 day passes sold out.

Fortunately, single day passes are still available for purchase at http://south.paxsite.com/registration.

You can follow Penny Arcade on Twitter at @Official_PAX.

I will be at PAX South. Will you? What did you think of how they informed the public about the tickets being on sale? Let us know in the comments!

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PAX welcome

PAX East 2014 was my fourth PAX but my first time going as Media.  As always, PAX East was a great experience! Every year PAX East is held in Boston, so I enjoy being able to see another part of the East Coast while checking out all the video games.

This year I got to see many different video games, the most notable of which included This War of Mine from 11 Bit Studios, Sniper Elite 3 and Defense Grid 2 from 505 Games and Hidden Path Entertainment, and Framed from Loveshack Entertainment.  All of these games were very different from one another but brought a lot to the table to create an enjoyable experience. This War of Mine allows you to gain insight into the struggle of a war torn country from a very individual level of trying to survive day to day.  Sniper Elite 3 brought a new and fun entry into shooters with absolutely amazing and awe-worthy graphics.  Defense Grid 2 was an amazingly fun tower defense game that doesn’t fail to keep you on your toes.  Framed was a very unique entry with a puzzle style journey through a mystery.  I plan to get all of these games the minute they’re available and I highly recommend each and every one of them.

Of course, there was far more to see during PAX East as the expanse of the show floor and panels is ginormous! 2014 was definitely the year of the indie games for PAX East.  The presence of AAA games seemed to be a bit light and I was quite worried when I saw the schedule, but PAX East did not disappoint.

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An organization I would definitely like to highlight is Operation Supply Drop. As an Army brat (my parents served in the Army for a long time) and having a lot of friends in the military, it definitely makes me happy to see an organization that makes it their mission to help out the troops.  Operation Supply Drop does just that and more. I met with Captain Stephen Machuga of the US Army and Charity Founder. Captain Machuga, as well as everyone at OSD’s booth exhuded passion and enthusiasm about their mission to bring “video games to soldiers in combat zones and military hospitals.”  Being in a combat zone, in military hospitals, and other areas where soldiers serve can be extremely stressful so OSD does their best to make “fun where there is none!” There was never a dull moment at the booth while there or passing and I’ve seen so much enthusiasm from the gaming community to help their cause.  It’ll be very interesting to see how OSD expands and grows further to be such a great presence for our troops.  For more information about their cause and how to help out, check out their website at www.OperationSupplyDrop.org, their Twitter @OpSupplyDrop, and their Facebook page at Facebook.com/OperationSupplyDrop.

I also got to check out numerous booths on the show floor which is always exciting. GUNNAR Optiks never disappoints with their selection of gaming eyewear. I even snagged myself a pair from their Intercept line in Ink (purple). I always get a pair of GUNNARs every time I go to PAX East and absolutely love them. Whether I’m gaming or staring at a computer screen, GUNNARs help reduce the strain in my eyes. I’ve also found that their line of sunglasses are absolutely wonderful and are far better than all of the other sunglasses that I own.

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Me with Gunnars

As always, PAX East was a great experience and I highly recommend going if you ever get the chance.  It’s worth the fun and craziness and the video game culture galore!  Everyone is excited and happy to be there with so many things to do with such a short amount of time!

Although I may not attend next year, you may be able to catch me at PAX South and PAX Prime next year. I, also, plan to be at Otakon this summer and Baltimore Comic Con this fall.

Did you go? What did you think of PAX East? Is there anything from my experience at PAX East that you’d like to hear more about? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @LadyLoveMonster!

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June looks like it will be our first slow month of 2014, and I’m sure our wallets will thank us. Never fear though, each console has at least one awesome game releasing this month. So, if you’re not busy with Watch Dogs at the moment, check out this month’s new releases.

June 2
Ultra Street Fighter IV (PS3, 360)

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WildStar

June 3
1001 Spikes (PS4, Vita, PC)
Call of Duty: Ghosts – Invasion DLC (Xbox One, 360)
Hyper Dimension Neptunia PP (PS3)
Murdered: Soul Suspect (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC)
Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection (Vita)
PlayStation Vita Pets (Vita)
War Thunder (PS4)
WildStar (PC)
Worms Battlegrounds (PS4)

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Murdered: Soul Suspect

June 6
Tomodachi Life (3DS)

June 10
Enemy Front (PC)

June 17
EA Sports UFC (PS4, Xbox One)

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Pushmo World

June 19
Pushmo World (Wii U)

June 20
Divinity: Original Sin (PC)

June 24
Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3, Vita)
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma (Vita)
GRID Autosport – June 24 (PS3, 360, PC)
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (PC)
The Swapper (PS4, PS3, Vita)
Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, Wii U, 3DS)

June 25
Valiant Hearts (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, PC)

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Sniper Elite 3

June 27
Sniper Elite 3 (PC)

My picks for the month are WildStar, Sniper Elite 3, and Murdered: Soul Suspect. What will you be picking up this month?

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Inspired by Adventure Time, Minecraft, and Legend of Zelda, May’s Loot Crate has to be my favorite so far! Loot Crate is a monthly subscription box filled with nerdy goodies – toys, stickers, t-shirts, etc. It’s like getting nerd Christmas every month! This month featured a Legend of Zelda t-shirt. If you look closely, it’s Link made out of words. My very favorite item in this Loot Crate was the Adventure Time tin. Not only do you get an awesome character tin, but you get a blind bag figure inside. My tin was Fionna and I got BMO inside! This was my favorite because those are two of my favorite Adventure Time characters.

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A very close second for favorite item is the Legend of Zelda key chain. It doubles as a bottle opener and it has a picture of the famous scene, “It’s dangerous to go alone…” I always love when Loot Crates come with practical items. Another item worth mentioning was a Minecraft blind bag “hanger,” which I guess works as a key chain because the ring on it is sturdy enough for one. I got a skeleton.

Other items in this month’s Crate are tons and tons of stickers from Polaris and Maker studios, as well as a soundtrack for the talk show The Friend Zone.

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One strange thing about this month’s Loot Crate, however, is that it didn’t come with the usual monthly magazine that explains what came in it and the occasional article. Maybe it was just a mistake and they forgot to put it in my Crate?

Either way, I would consider May’s Loot Crate to be my all-time favorite so far. If you like what you see, Loot Crate is $20 per month, including shipping. Go to LootCrate.com to sign up and be sure to follow Loot Crate on Facebook for discounts and contests.

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May is yet another month to empty out your wallets – probably the biggest month for major titles. If you’re a Nintendo fan, be prepared to work some overtime. Not only is Mario Golf coming out in a couple days, but you’ve got Mario Kart 8 at the end of the month, too! There’s really something for everyone. You’ve got Bound By Flame next week for people who are into RPGs. There’s also major titles like Wolfenstein: New Order and Watch Dogs, finally getting released. You can also see that Sony is still churning out exclusives for the PlayStation 3.

My top picks for this month are Bound By Flame, Watch Dogs, and Mario Kart 8. What are you picking up this month?

May 2
Kirby Triple Deluxe (3DS)
Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS)

May 6
Borderlands 2 (Vita)
God of War Collection (Vita)
MLB 14 The Show (PS4)
Stick it to the Man (PS4, Wii U)

May 7
Peggle 2 (360)
Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure (PC)

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May 9
Bound By Flame (PS4, PS3, 360, PC)
Killer is Dead: Nightmare Edition (PC)

May 16
Minecraft (PS3 – Retail)

May 20
Drakengard 3 (PS3)
Mugen Souls Z (PS3)
Transistor (PS4)
Wolfenstein: The New Order (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, PC)

May 21
Always Sometimes Monsters (PC)

May 22
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II (PC)

May 23
Tropico 5 (PC)

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May 27
Mind Zero (Vita)
Watch Dogs (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, PC)
Sly Cooper Collection (Vita)

May 30
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)

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When I was first asked to play Conception II I haven’t played an RPG in quite sometime. Going into this game I didn’t expect an extremely fantastic title or anything remotely interesting…mainly because I didn’t know anything about the title or series for that matter. Then I realized that the more of it I play the more intrigued I became. Then the experience became a little more jaded. While the game wasn’t bad it became slightly repetitive and more so cumbersome than anything.

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The game takes place in the World of Aterra where they worship the Star God where they prosper through the power of Star Energy. You are known as God’s Gift who trains at an academy for disciples which is a special group of people who are summoned to fight against monsters who come from Dusk Circles. As God’s Gift you and a collective of females perform a ritual for the church known as Classmating to generate Star Children. Why is this important? The Star Children assist you in combat along with you and a female partner and they all have a particular class and several set of set of skills.

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I’ve never been so confused and befuddled with confusion quite like I have been while playing the game. I’m not so much confused into the depth of the world as I am with why some of these things are especially necessary. For a lack of better words, classmating is essentially having sex to produce children who can fight. It is blatantly obvious considering the underlying tone of everyone and the way each girl presents themselves before and after it occurs. Doing it just makes you feel slightly more dirty. Even more so when you are forced into doing classMANting which while really funny is in a way kind of perverse.

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Engaging enemies is where the game gets even more unique. Once you encounter an enemy inside one of the games many labyrinth’s you are forced to choose between normal JRPG actions such as attack, skill and defense. The most interesting aspect is the combat system in which you choose the side to attack your foe. Every enemy has a weak side and the choice of each side benefits you during combat. My only main concern with the battle system is that you are given the option to guard and yet it does nothing. It states that you will take less damage but you still take just as much as if you weren’t defending. I have also noticed that for a JRPG it’s pretty easy. I have played much easier games but I never really felt as if I there was too much going on and the difficulty made matters worse.

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Graphically the game is rather impressive as it features fully animated anime style cut scenes and moves at a silky smooth 60 FPS. The in game engine isn’t bad as it looks more like an above average PlayStation 2 title with a few more bells and whistles. The thing I was more impressed with was the music and the character design. These two things were probably my main drive for playing this game as I was more intrigued just to see what the next monster would look like. To be quite honest the designers seem to draw heavily from the Persona series as the music and monsters seem as if they came straight from that source.

Overall the game is like “Goldie Locks and the Three Bears” as it doesn’t do anything overall really impressive nor does it do anything really bad. Although it’s themes may not be quite suitable for everyone it’s still interesting enough with it cool soundtrack and character design. The game may not be for everyone but I do feel as if it worth a play through for anyone who is itching for a new RPG to play for their Vita. It hits the mark at being just right.

 

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With just a few days into April, it looks like we have another time consuming, wallet draining month of video games ahead of us.

April 1
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Deluxe Edition (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC)
Mercenary Kings (PS4)
MLB 14 The Show (PS3, Vita)
Ragnarok Odyssey ACE (PS3, Vita)

April 3
Call of Duty: Ghosts – Devastation DLC (Xbox One, 360)

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April 4
Awesomenauts Asssemble! (PS4)
The Elder Scrolls Online (PC, Mac)

April 8
Daylight (PS4, PC)
Kinect Sports Rivals (Xbox One)
Lego The Hobbit (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, Wii U, 3DS, Vita, PC)
Strike Suit Zero (Xbox One, PS4)

April 10
Trials Frontier (iOS)

April 14
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS4)

April 15
Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars (3DS, Vita)
Moebius: Empire Rising (PC)
War of the Vikings (PC)
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (PS3, 360)

April 16
Trials Fusion (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, PC)

April 22
Batman: Arkham Origins – Cold, Cold Heart DLC

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April 25
Dark Souls II (PC)
NES Remix 2 (Wii U)

April 29
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS, PC)

April 30
Child of Light (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PS3, 360, PC)

Personally, I’m most excited about Elder Scrolls Online. I’m a little on the fence about buying it on launch day, but I will probably buy it by the end of the month. I was involved in the last four beta weekends, and I liked what I saw. What are you most excited about this month? Let us know in the comments below!

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trades

Starting March 26, Walmart will be accepting trade-ins for used games in over 3,100 store locations. The new trade program works much like GameStop’s – a customer brings in their pre-owned games and accessories and the cashier checks them for damage. The customer is given a trade-in value that they can choose to accept. Trade-in credit will be given in store credit only that can be used at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores.

Later in the year, once Walmart’s stock of pre-owned games grows, they plan to roll out used games to sell in stores. Unlike GameStop, all pre-owned merchandise will be refurbished before hitting the shelves. Also, unlike GameStop, Walmart is providing a game value calculator online so you can have an estimate on what your games are worth before you go to the store.

Walmart customers can already trade in tablets and smart phones towards new products. Online, you can trade in a larger variety of electronics.

Could Walmart give GameStop a run for their money? The vast majority of GameStop’s profit comes from buying used games off customers at a low price and selling them for over twice their trade-in value. When you trade your games in at GameStop, you’re really limited on what you can spend your store credit on. At Walmart, you could trade games towards groceries or even a new TV.

Would you trade in your games at Walmart? What would you get with your store credit?

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The Legend of Zelda series has been heralded as one of the most influential and overall greatest game series of all time. After playing all the games it is understandable that an avid fan would drool at the prospect of the next Legend of Zelda title. Over the past few years we have come to “expect” certain notions of the future games due to the “Zelda Formula.” However, with the advent of of Skyward Sword and A Link Between Worlds the Zelda Fomula has been challenged in multiple ways such as traversing the world, dungeon entering and layout, item acquisition, and changing or even abolishing established linearity. These new additions and changes leaves room for the imagination on what the next title would be. However there are some questions that most Zelda fans want answered, with these being some of the most common…

-Will it be sequel title?
-What Timeline will it take place?
-What will it bring to the Zelda Franchise?

With these questions in mind the future of the Zelda series is both a scary and beautiful thing to think about. Where would you like to go in the next adventure with Link?

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What if this were to happen?

Sequels

Within the Zelda series there has been a number of direct and indirect sequels to established titles that ignore the rule that “each title is its own Legend.” Legend of Zelda had Zelda 2, A Link to the Past had Link’s Awakening, the Oracle games and A Link Between Worlds while Ocarina of Time had Majora’s Mask as a few examples. In recent months many rumors and fans have been debating that the next Zelda in line may be a Twilight Princess sequel or a Majora’s Mask sequel. A driving force behind this is the appeal and the desire for more darker installments within the franchise which is understandable as Majora’s Mask and Twilight Princess currently serve as the leaders of edgier adventures.

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Would you return to the Twilight?

Timeline

With the official Zelda timeline out of the bag, gamers and historians eagerly await where to drop a new title in the lineage. With the release of A Link Between Worlds, the downfall timeline now has 7 titles in its ranks and many fans believe that is enough for now. With this in mind, they have pointed either toward the unified timeline or to continue the path of the child timeline as the adult has little room to grow after the events of Spirit Tracks.

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Hmmm where to go?

Innovations

Most Zelda games bring innovation to the Zelda franchise and the gaming world in one way or another. Nintendo has kept a good trail with Skyward Sword and A Link Between Worlds to try and keep things fresh and bring new concepts to the table. I’ll put my money on that they can do it 3 times in a row. In recent talks during interviews and editorials, series producer and director Eiji Aonuma stated that he is ready to keep challenging the Zelda formula and to keep things fresh. His work on the series has shown that he is a worthy successor to series creator Shigeru Miyamoto and since he is returning to direct the mysterious Legend of Zelda for Wii U we can expect great things from Mr. Aonuma.

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The Zelda series is in good hands.

With E3 knocking at our doorstep and the promise of the new Zelda for Wii U confirmed, it will truly be a good event for gamers and Zelda fans everywhere. Until then the creative juices within the minds of legions of fans seem to only get more potent with each passing second. The future of the Legend of Zelda is looking bright.

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