I’m not going to lie to you: I don’t particularly like Kotaku. I’ll visit occasionally when a friend links me to an interesting story, but left to my own devices I don’t visit. Why? Because I find it difficult to find the interesting articles since their redesign, and most of what I end up seeing is game-related cakes. I have Reddit for that, and it works better because the cakes are easier to find, and I can completely bypass them if I want to read better articles. Recently I was sent a link to Kotaku’s take on the Humble THQ Bundle. READ MORE

One of the most influential titles of its time and a huge hit in the arcades when it was first released by Namco in 1982, Xevious is an increasingly divisive game among shooter fans. While still loved in Japan, it’s often found too boring and slow by Western audiences, who can’t find any compelling reasons to play it over the likes of Gradius and DoDonPachi.

I used to share that sentiment.

And I was wrong. READ MORE

Releases for Ascension come in two sizes: large four-player sets and small two-player sets meant to compliment the previous large set. Earlier this year the second large entry, Storm of Souls, arrived, and brought several new mechanics to those introduced in the first large-small pair. After a few unfortunate delays, Storm of Souls now finally has its companion set in Immortal Heroes. READ MORE

There’s something that has always irked me about Chess players, and that’s complaints about balance. While not greatly mismatched in any way, shape or form no matter who you ask, many do think that White has a small but undeniably significant advantage, which is proven by the win percentages of the best tournament players. READ MORE

This column’s usually dedicated to gathering with your game friends and playing together. Over the holiday season, though, you’ll be just as likely (if not more so) to find yourself with assorted relatives and family friends, many of which probably aren’t up to a Borderlands session or Awesomenauts match. You don’t have to give up on these people, or even relegate yourself to trivia and music games. (Though those can be very good.) Here are some suggestions for “gateway” party-friendly titles, that just may get people enjoying (or at least understanding) the hobby you love. READ MORE