Graham Russell

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Snackbar Games’ column carousel wraps up with Graham Russell taking a break from Multitap and Gaijin Guide to pen this edition of New Game+.

When faced with taking the baton from Andrew for a week and delving into the deeper sorts of topics in game design, I knew I had to write something about menus, because the topic is a very crucial one to everything I love. Set aside for a moment my graphic design day job, too: menu systems and general interface design can make or break local multiplayer experiences, as new players need to be able to dive in immediately, and they’re also crucial to playing import games, as if it’s done right, you know what each button and item does without having to understand any of the language. But even outside of those contexts, it’s a crucial thing, because the easiest way to keep people from enjoying a fundamentally good game is to frustrate them before they can learn the ropes. READ MORE

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Is a better digital replication of the physical Magic: the Gathering experience a better digital Magic: the Gathering experience? That’s the quandary facing the newest installment of Wizards of the Coast’s Duels of the Planeswalkers standalone game series, as it comes closer and closer to feeling like Magic Online under heavy competition and pressure from games like Hearthstone. READ MORE

On this episode, Andrew and Henry join Graham and friends to check out the wacky puzzle mash-up madness that is Puyo Puyo Tetris! Plus: game impressions and news chat.

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

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In From Pixels to Polygons, we examine classic game franchises that have survived the long transition from the 8- or 16-bit era to the current console generation. This time, Graham Russell and Andrew Passafiume look at Intelligent Systems’ strategy-RPG series, Fire Emblem.

The evolution of the Fire Emblem series has largely been from capability to intention. On the surface, the formula hasn’t changed much; you’re still moving units around top-down square grids and pitting them in menu-based combat. Once you dig below the surface, though, you’ll see that the series has become increasingly defined by how and when it chooses not to progress. READ MORE

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Whether or not you’re a fan of importing games, nothing can really beat playing something in your native language. It’s sometimes hard to know just what is going to make it to the West and what isn’t, though. In the second edition of the Guide’s Localization Radar, we’ll take a look at the likely candidates to get picked up in the near future.

The time since the last Radar has been absolutely full of localization announcements, from the likely (Monster Hunter 4) to the not-so-much (A-Train 3DS). So… what else is out there to make it out of Japan? Oh, don’t worry: plenty.

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The crew gathers for a little Mario Kart 8 action, as well as some game chat! Join Andrew, Henry, Graham, Lucas, Chris Ingersoll and Chris Dominowski for some racing, Shovel Knight discussion, musings on what it means to be American and more!

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

progressreportQ22014

While many releases are packed into the last three months of the year, there’s more than enough going on in the rest of the calendar that can be easily forgotten by the holidays. Progress Report is our way of remembering: a quarterly look at the laudable and notable in the games industry. This installment covers April, May and June. Check out the previous installment here. READ MORE

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The world of local multiplayer is one that can often be full of curiosity and uncertainty. In this installment of Multitap, I answer some questions I’ve heard often from friends and readers, like how to pick the right game for your group, how to find the needed equipment and what to avoid when settling down for a long play session! READ MORE

On this special episode of Snack Time, Graham, Andrew, Henry and Chris Ingersoll gather (on camera!) to talk about all the developments at E3 2014. What has us excited? Watch and find out!

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

finalfantasytype0

Not all the E3 news is shared at the big five briefings! Here’s a recap of all the scattered game announcements made at and just before this year’s show, including Final Fantasy Type-0, new Miyamoto projects and some thoroughly confusing Harvest Moon business that we try to clear up. READ MORE