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Armchair Analysis: Five observations from April NPD data

Xbox 360 Star Wars Kinect Console Bundle

Mortal Kombat and Portal 2 combined last April to move well over 1.5  million units. Compare the significance of those two games with Kinect Star Wars, and Prototype 2. You really can't. Even adding The Witcher 2 to the mix, these games simply don't have the same kind of selling power as last April's slate of game releases. Without prominent and captivating game releases, consumers aren't going to spend money on software… or hardware, for that matter.

PAX East 2012: The Games

Mark of the Ninja Screenshot

The simple truth is that if you spend your time at PAX waiting around in line for a demo you'll play on Xbox Live in a few months anyway, you are a chump. There are so many awesome games from smaller publishers and indies on the floor that you might not get exposed to anywhere else. So, if you were being a linefool, here's some of what you missed.

PAX East 2012: The Panels

Hitman: Absolution Screenshot

The convention's stealthy aspect kicked off with a great panel on the subject featuring Nels Anderson, Andy Schatz, and Dan Silvers, chaired by Matthew Weise, also featuring the con's largest single-room concentration of guys in suits.

Video: Go right

I don't know about you but the side-scrolling platformer wasn't just a genre, it was the genre for most of my childhood. The games that got it right were the ones that kept ushering you forward—to the right—even when it only seemed to be getting tougher.

There is probably some life lesson or allegory in there somewhere. This video with its nice editing and great music does a good job of highlighting that.

Video: Go right

Extra Credits: TransGaming

The guys at Extra Credits take a quick look at an idea that has been on the minds of game developers and publishers for years now. It's dubbed "transgaming" and it lets fans of different genres all play and exist within the same game world. There is a lot of potential there, so have a listen.

Extra Credits: TransGaming

Cool stuff of PAX East 2012

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Screenshot

I knew very little about XCOM before the show, but now it's one of my most anticipated titles. A re-imagining of the classic PC strategy series, Enemy Unknown gave me a very distinct Frozen Synapse vibe, which makes sense since it was itself heavily influenced by the XCOM games. There was no playable demo at the show and the presentation consisted of a pre-beta build, but I liked what I saw and will likely be picking it up when it releases.

Gamecritics Podcast Episode 72: PAXapalooza

GameCritics Action Team!

In this episode, it's a PAXtacular! With two thirds of us freshly back from PAX East, we discuss panels, games and Pokemon...garbage bag...creatures. We've also got a fresh batch of games we've been playing and thumbs up and thumbs down. Join us! Right now! With special guests Mattie Brice and Kristen Taylor joining Brad Gallaway, Richard Naik, Chi Kong "Akuma" Lui and Dylan Collins.

Download: Right click here and select "Save Target As..."
Subscribe: iTunes | Zune | RSS

Please send feedback and mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

Video: Joel McHale goes viral for Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo doesn't get much credit for its advertising and deservedly so. At times, it's PR efforts have been known to leave you more scratching your head than reaching for your wallet. At other times, it seems that Nintendo is barely aware of the latest cultural trends.

This video that Nintendo secretly posted on its own YouTube channel (Yeah, Nintendo had a YouTube channel, who knew?) is a positive sign that the company is at least more aware than it used to be and has gotten better at selling its product overall.

Video: Joel McHale goes viral for Nintendo 3DS

Observations from PAX East 2012: Are video game gimmicks finally maturing?

Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor Screenshot

Being a 3DS and Kinect owner as well as a fan of Japanese robots/mechs, two neighboring games on the main exhibition hall of PAX East immediately caught my attention: Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor for the Xbox 360 and Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir for the 3DS. Both games are updates to game franchises that were once considered innovative back when they were first released.

Extra Credits: Western & Japanese RPGs, Part 3

And here it is, the final part of Extra Credits' take Western role-playing game vs Japanese role-playing games. Here they look at why the Japanese RPG has fallen behind its Western counterpart and maybe how to reverse its course.

Extra Credits: Western & Japanese RPGs, Part 3

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