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I am astounded by how little I have to do in Cities: Skylines to produce a massive smile on my face.  Whether I’m swinging the camera around to get a better view of my newly-placed bridge, adding in a new residential corner or trying to improve gridlock in my downtown core, every aspect of the game feels rewarding and enjoyable. I can occupy myself with small tasks like ensuring my water budget is up to par, or start grand-scale plans to completely eradicate the industrial off-ramp as part of a new highway system. Every action furthers my suspicion that this game will end up in my top ten of the year. It also feels like something I’ve been wanting for a long, long time. Why is that, exactly? READ MORE

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Another week, another Metroid­­-inspired action-platformer. That’s not a complaint, mind you, but it does seem to be a more frequent occurrence as of late. Thankfully, many of these recent releases have been solid, with a few standing out among the rest as the best the genre has to offer. Enter Axiom Verge, a game which proudly flaunts its Super Metroid-inspiration for all to see. It won’t win over any new players, but those fans that have seen many of Samus’ adventures will find plenty to like about this fresh take on a well-worn formula.

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Jeremy tests his hand-eye coordination with some help from Graham in this week’s episode featuring GBA dexterity puzzler Kururin Paradise. The sequel to Kuru Kuru Kururin (which was released in English in Europe), it brings a lot of variety to the spinning-ship-with-an-arbitrarily-inconvenient-shape genre.

New episodes of Gaijin Guide are posted every other Wednesday.

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As a member of London’s famed Adventurer’s Club, you have heard countless tales of thrilling excitement. Professor Elemental’s tales are especially enthralling. There’s just one problem: they’re complete fabrications.

You’ve seen him sneaking around back streets, collecting worthless trinkets from curio shops and overhearing anecdotes in pubs that he then weaves into his bogus tales of adventure. You could call him out on it if you wanted to. But instead you’ve decided that two (to six) can play this game… READ MORE

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Sometimes, Etrian Mystery Dungeon likes you a lot. You’re its pal, and it wants you to have a nice time. You’re gonna be buddies for dozens of hours, after all. Other times, Etrian Mystery Dungeon misses out on its morning coffee or something, and takes its frustrations out on you with a targeted viciousness. In sum, surprise! It’s a Mystery Dungeon game! READ MORE

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Sports and management simulation games have enjoyed a bit of a resurgence, thanks to the massive amounts of memory and processing power available to games these days. This has allowed them to greatly increase the complexity without torturing players with horrific loading times. Out of the Park Baseball 16 takes the already-insane amount of detail and depth for which the series is known and ratchets it up to the max. READ MORE

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The schism of the farming game world — that of developer Marvelous and Western publisher Natsume —is finally starting to show its repercussions. Since Marvelous decided to hand its Bokujou Monogatari series to its own team at XSEED and Natsume forged ahead with its Harvest Moon IP, it’s easier to see what each brought to the table. In Natsume’s case, it turns out that’s not much more than enthusiasm and good intentions. With its first separated release in Story of Seasons, Marvelous shows this move to have been only a good thing. READ MORE

[Editor’s note: This episode posted on April Fools’ Day 2015. Enjoy the silliness!]

On this episode, Graham shows off a few imports that are accessible for Western audiences, Andrew begins a multi-part series on examining a classic genre and Henry talks about how growing up in Canada has shaped his tastes.

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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Brawlers seem to be in short supply as of late. Aside from Super Smash Bros., the lack of new entries has left me wondering when other consoles will provide something of the sort. While it’s not Smash, Paperbound, the new game from a small team at Dissident Logic, can fill that void for PS4 and PC players in the meantime. READ MORE

What were the most surprising, most disappointing and just plain best games of 2015 so far? The crew gathers to discuss those topics in this video edition of Progress Report. Topics include Monster Hunter, Toad Amiibo, Cities: Skylines, webinars, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., RAPs and more! Watch to see our picks.