Features

Berlin Trip 008

Something wasn’t quite right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. The controller was fine; over 50 games have fallen to the might of my trusty PS3 gold standard. The TV was massive; we just got a brand new 55-inch Samsung SmartTV, and after negotiating color schemes and brightness, we had come to a mutual understanding that it was a TV and I was the person who decided what it should look like. I was well-fed, not at work and didn’t have to be anywhere in particular anytime soon.

But as I was playing through Tales of Xillia 2, I wasn’t sure why but it felt off. Like some entrée at a restaurant that should taste fine… does taste fine… but… I don’t know, too much salt? Not enough? Are those artichokes? I’ll keep eating, but I prefer satisfaction to a mystery when I’m dining out. READ MORE

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Things have really changed in the games industry in recent years. Originally, you had to delve into the corners and crevices of the hobby to unearth experiences you could enjoy locally with friends. Lately, of course, that’s gotten a lot easier. Exploring the show floor at PAX South, though, it dawned on me that finding those experiences isn’t the problem anymore. They’re everywhere, and in this case that was literal. Now it’s about filtering through to find the best ones. So here are the eight coolest couch-play games I checked out at the show, what they’re like and how (and when) you can play them.

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Graham and Jeremy foster better relations between Japan and the Soviet Union through water in Gorby no Pipeline Daisakusen, a 1991 Famicom puzzle title from Compile. How does a game like this even happen? We don’t know, but we start to get the hang of building pipes across the screen.

New episodes of Gaijin Guide are posted every other Wednesday. Next time, we’ll be swinging for the fences!

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Sentinels of the Multiverse remains one of my favorite games of all-time, but I readily admit that the mechanics can be a bit much at times. Fortunately, my friends and I have decades of playing and judging Magic: the Gathering under our collective belts to help us manage dozens of card effects. If you’ve tried Sentinels and enjoyed the concept but found it too “mathy,” perhaps a more tangible system is for you: enter Sentinel Tactics. READ MORE

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Nintendo has begun to release Wii games on the Wii U eShop, starting with Super Mario Galaxy 2 and continuing with at least a few more. These games are identical to the originals, except for ease of access and GamePad emulation of the Classic Controller, if the game supports it. Here are six games we think deserve a second chance on the service, even though they haven’t been announced for any territory. READ MORE

Don’t like sports? Around big events like the Super Bowl, there’s no escaping them, so why not find a way to embrace them? In this update of a piece that originally ran in 2012, we tell you about some games you should check out even if they have sports in them, because you’re missing out on a lot of fun.

NBA Jam: On Fire Edition (360/PS3)

If you’ve ever played an NBA Jam game, be it the arcade/16-bit originals or the recent remakes, you know what I do: that it’s much less of a sports game, and much more of a sports-themed multiplayer brawler. The newest version smooths the rough edges, looks slick and has a bunch of fun teams to play. Want to go around as Santa Claus, shoving Isaac Clarke and a raptor while an announcer rattles off silly-but-somehow-still-satisfying one-liners? That’s in a game now. — Graham Russell READ MORE

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I recently finished Tales of Xillia 2. It received an average score on the “H-Skey rate-o-meter,” which throws out most conventions of game rankings and is almost purely based on emotional connection and how much and for how long it annoyed me. I thoroughly enjoyed the first Xillia game, but this one felt completely unnecessary. It didn’t bother me that Bandai Namco reused a ton of assets or used the same characters. On the contrary, the characters and group dynamic are easily the strongest parts of either title, and I found the camaraderie, frequent skits and professional voice acting added a level of charm rarely seen in other games. As I traversed through the worlds of Elympios and Rieze Maxia, I felt more like I was running errands rather than going on a grand adventure. READ MORE

Welcome to our new video version of Gaijin Guide! This show is designed to give you a look at accessible import games, letting you know what makes them special and showing you how to get started.

In this first video edition of Gaijin Guide, Graham and Jeremy hit the links! Mobile Golf, a late Game Boy Color game, was the direct sequel to cult favorite Mario Golf (GBC) and the flagship release for the stuck-in-Japan Mobile Adapter GB, a device that allowed for network play through phones.

New episodes are posted every other Wednesday. Check back next time for some diplomacy-building puzzle action!

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The ever-expanding multiverse of Greater Than Games’s “Sentinels Comics” takes an interstellar road trip with the latest supplement, Wrath of the Cosmos. As with previous expansions, Wrath contains two new heroes, two new environments, and four new villains for your cooperative comic-book enjoyment. Also like previous expansions, this one focuses on one particular aspect and related tropes of traditional comic superhero storytelling; in this case, that means extra-terrestrial threats to Earth and its surroundings! READ MORE

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There’s a lot to look forward to in the coming year! The Snackbar Games crew shares the titles we’re most eagerly awaiting in 2015.

Batman: Arkham Knight

Rocksteady’s Arkham games were amazing last generation. Batman manages to feel powerful and fragile at the same time, the marriage of action and stealth is a joy to play and I can’t wait to see what Rocksteady can do with the increased power afforded them by modern hardware. Narratively, I get to see the end of a trilogy, and after remotely running the Batmobile into Bane in Arkham Asylum, I’m anxious to play with the upgraded model in Arkham Knight. - Justin Last READ MORE