March 2012

To celebrate the release of Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii next week, we’re presenting you with this U.S. announcement trailer for it. Whether this only whets your appetite for this already celebrated RPG or is your first glimpse into some of the gameplay, anticipation is high for its April 6th release. (Oh, and check out our review on Monday.)

Disclaimer: No nuns were harmed during the writing of this column.

Perhaps this isn’t necessarily something that needs defending, but now’s as good of a time as any to discuss moral choices in games. They seem to be popping up everywhere these days, especially in games that don’t really need them. They allow for developers to give players multiple endings, but those endings (like the choices that precede them) are usually on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. What if you don’t want to be as good as Superman or the incarnation of evil? READ MORE

I am a more casual game player than I used to be.

That pains me to type. I know the stigma associated with it, and I know the horrible morass that is the “casual gaming” market. But I certainly don’t want any part of that. Keep your Angry Birds and your Facebook games over there. Much like someone craving a sweet snack doesn’t just start chugging bags of sugar, I still care that my game experiences are high-quality and worthwhile. READ MORE

Fighting games have never made an entirely successful transfer to handhelds in the past. Some have been designed to suit the strengths of that platform, but rarely has a direct port been successful in capturing the experience of a fighter on the go. Thanks to leaps ahead in technology and some innovative new ideas, we can now experience fighters like Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 properly on handhelds. READ MORE

For the last 14 years, The Mario Party series has followed a pretty standard formula that hasn’t seen much variety through the previous eight iterations: gather four of your friends, roll dice, play your minigame, yell at friends, lather, rinse, repeat. Winner is determined by how many stars and coins you have.

A lot of people would probably be thinking, “Huh, another Mario Party game. Same old boring stuff as it usually is.” For once, they’d actually be wrong.