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In the past, the Mario Golf series has been defined by two separate, equally-viable tracks: the console one, focusing on party play and maintaining a low barrier to entry, and the handheld one, crafting a more personal experience with progression and customization. We live in a different world than we did when the series last appeared on the Game Boy Advance and GameCube, though, and now a handheld game has the potential to be both of these things at once.
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On this episode of Snack Time, Chris Ingersoll uses his Monster Hunter expertise to help Graham navigate the wild world of quest-based creature-slaying. They’re joined by Andrew and Henry to talk about 25 years of Game Boy, Trials Fusion, new Skylanders, Wii U recommendations and more!

To watch the show and chat with us live, check out this page every other Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern and follow us on Twitter for special streams.

Genre 101 looks at the past and present of a game genre to find lessons about what defines it. In this installment, Graham talks with Chris Dominowski about the Japanese-style action-RPG. READ MORE

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As the PC’s Big Picture era progresses, the viability of the computer as a local multiplayer machine increases at a steady clip. Looking to jump into your own Steam-powered setup? Here’s the best the PC has to offer for fans of local multiplayer titles. READ MORE

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The JRPG is going through an oddly fruitful point in its life right now. On one hand, it is undeniable that the genre lacks the cachet that it had during the 32-bit era, and it is doubtful it will ever reclaim that. However, publishers like Atlus, Nippon Ichi and XSEED  long regarded as some of the biggest risk-takers in publishing have taken it upon themselves to ensure that many of the more offbeat titles in the genre actually make it outside of Japan. That has never happened on this scale before, and it is the only way that a game like Conception II would have ever seen the light of day in English-speaking territories. READ MORE

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When I was young, one of the biggest appeals of games to me was fulfilling a fantasy, as it may have been for a lot of people. Many turned to RPGs or action games to meet this demand, allowing them to live in worlds beyond their wildest imaginations, but I found myself deeply involved in more niche affairs. I’ve discussed my love for games that involved sailing, especially pirate-themed titles, but it wasn’t the only thing I found myself passionate about at a young age. What if you could take to the skies? Flying a plane, whether modern or from a bygone era of air travel, became something I loved to see recreated.

Luckily for me, it didn’t take long for me to discover its potential in games and learn its true importance in the medium as a whole.

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I want to like Moebius: Empire Rising, because it has some interesting things going for it. Malachi Rector is an interesting mix of Indiana Jones, Nicolas Cage’s character in National Treasure and Sherlock Holmes. I want to see him on the big screen played by Robert Downey, Jr. or depicted in a comic book, in which low-quality models and animation won’t trample on the atmosphere. And most of all, I want to experience the story and hear Rector’s internal thoughts, without having to sit through an underwhelming set of mechanics to do it. READ MORE

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Mercenary Kings has a lot going for it. The list of features is exhaustive, the number of weapon combinations available is immense and the pixel art is nothing short of jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Mercenary Kings is channeling Metal Slug hard, and it works. The chunky aesthetic fits the military motif very well, but while there are more than enough missions to go on, I wish there was more variety in visited locales to show off the art even more. READ MORE

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RedLynx’ hit series, Trials, began as a web release way back in 2000. It was a simple, mindless distraction, but one many couldn’t stop playing. It wasn’t long before the formula begun taking new form, shifting from a basic (albeit addictive) little game into something much larger. Trials Fusion, the latest in this series, features a new, futuristic coat of paint, but maintains everything that made it noteworthy to begin with.

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When examining many recent indie releases, it can be easy to pinpoint their influences, especially since so many proudly focus on them. The same is true of Strike Suit Zero, the first title from Born Ready Games. Following in the footsteps of classics such as the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series, Strike Suit Zero is the studio’s attempt to revitalize (and redefine) the space combat genre. It’s a refreshing take on a well-worn formula, although it tends to ignore variety in favor of its particular brand of combat.

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