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As I venture into the unknown of my early 30s, I am physically reminded that I’m no longer as indestructible as I was when I was 19. I can’t put the same stress on my knees as I used to, and stretching has switched from warming up before a sporting activity to an absolute necessity if I don’t want to be hobbling around the next day. It is a sobering experience. READ MORE

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Not content to keep the Dynasty Warriors-style action games focused on the warfare of the Three Kingdoms in China, Tecmo Koei created Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War early in the last console generation, a game that instead focused on the clash between France and England. With Bladestorm: Nightmare, Koei Tecmo revisits the conflict on current consoles, adding an alternate fantasy storyline for you to play through. Unfortunately, it fixed none of the systemic problems plaguing the original, and the new story mode fails to really deliver. Still, though, it may appeal to its fans, who know what to expect at this point.

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In this super-sized episode of Gaijin Guide, Graham and Jeremy join their friends Terry and Rikku for a dice-rolling real estate competition! Itadaki Street Special, the predecessor to localized Wii title Fortune Street, features Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest characters in a game that resembles Monopoly but fixes many of that game’s infamous ills. Who will win? Is it Rikku? (It’s not Rikku.)

New episodes of Gaijin Guide are posted every other Wednesday.

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If you are at all familiar with modern board games, you’ve likely been exposed to The Settlers of Catan. Klaus Teuber’s 1993 design helped to change the face of the hobby, kicking off the “eurogame” revolution. At the time, it was a massive paradigm shift for players who had been raised on Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley fare for generations. To this day, it is still a leading “gateway game” for introducing new players to the wider world of board games outside of the mass-market stalwarts. READ MORE

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Convoy Games originally pitched Convoy as FTL: Faster Than Light crossed with Mad Max, and it wasn’t messing around. You have a difficult mission to complete. You buy upgrades for your vehicles using bolts gained from combat and side quests. Every time I lost, I felt like it was my own fault. So there’s FTL covered; it’s hard but fair, and every time I lose I want to come back for more. On the Mad Max side of things is the game’s aesthetic and core conceit. Your space ship, the Mercury, has crash landed on a dangerous planet. Luckily for you, the MCV (a giant hauler and your core vehicle) and a couple of smaller vehicles are still operational. It’s up to you to navigate the map, collect vital components and escape. READ MORE

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Let’s begin by stating the obvious: Bloodborne is a hard game. It is punishing, it is frustrating and it will cause you to angrily lash out at thin air. It will make you stare into a mirror for long periods of time, contemplating at exactly what point in your life you took a wrong turn. But the true brilliance of Bloodborne is that you will want to keep playing. You will get better, you will master its intricacies and, when things truly begin to click, you will be filled with a sense of pride and self-satisfaction that very few other games can match. Bloodborne boils down the essence of what made the previous Souls games great into a refined nugget of pure perfection. It is an experience that requires true commitment and devotion, but for those that put in the time and effort it is an experience that leaves a very long lasting and indeed a very powerful impact. READ MORE

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Son of Nor is a phenomenal concept wrapped in a subpar engine and combat system. The setting is interesting, lizardmen are cool enemies, and more games could stand to let me ascend by way of wizardly sand elevator instead of plebeian jumping. READ MORE

On this tax-time Snack Time, Andrew, Graham and Henry decide to head back to our favorite money-hoarder, Wario, in one of his best outings: Wario Land 3 for the Game Boy Color. While Graham struggles to guide the bumbling antihero through platforming levels, the crew talks about what makes the series, as well as Game Boy Color games in general, so great.

New episodes of Snack Time post every two weeks. You can check out the Snack Time archive for some great shows you may have missed!

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There have been many differing takes on the mech combat genre throughout the history of games, and Damascus Gear: Operation Tokyo offers a competent (if relatively simplistic) action-oriented spin. There are plenty of customization options for enthusiasts who love gearing out their rigs in the best available equipment with customized colors and looks, but there just isn’t enough compelling gameplay underneath to keep the casual mech crowd interested. READ MORE

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It promised a revolution. It promised a common consumer’s upheaval to the traditional console market: taking down the last stronghold against democratizing the creation and sale of video games, the home console market. It promised that the future wars of gaming would be fought with ideas, not hardware specifications. Ouya promised a lot when it first showed itself to the world. READ MORE