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State of Decay and Animal Crossing: New Leaf

State of Decay Screenshot

Wow, it feels like forever since I've updated the blog, and now I've become one of those guys who starts off a blog with apologizing for not updating his blog.

The Xbox One reveal, a new podcast and Defiance!

Xbox One Image

So, like, the Xbox One happened. At this point, I'm sure that anyone who cares has already seen plenty of coverage on Microsoft's new machine, although there are many, many questions that will remain unanswered until E3.

Black Rock Shooter, Hellraid and No Mo' Comix

Black Rock Shooter: The Game Screenshot

I've heard absolutely no one talking about Black Rock Shooter: The Game, but it was just released by NIS America and it's currently available on the PSN store for $20. (Designed for PSP, but compatible with Vita.) I just completed it yesterday, and I have to say, I had an absolute blast with it. It's a very small, focused game that feels perfect for playing on the go, and there are a lot of very smart design decisions on display.

Riptide, Soul Sacrifice and Mars War Logs

Dead Island: Riptide Screenshot

Readers will know that I am a huge fan of the first game, and even though it had some rough edges, it was a pretty brilliant experience. Unfortunately, Riptide isn't able to match up to that first title. The new character who uses hand-to-hand combat is lots of laughs, but the game itself feels like it was slapped together with very little care and isn't nearly as immersive or as atmospheric as the original.

State of Decay Hands-on Preview

State of Decay Screenshot

Several sites including GameCritics.com were invited to a preview event for the upcoming Xbox Live Arcade title State of Decay. The gathering took place at Undead Labs, located in Seattle Washington. I attended, and was able to spend about four hours with a near-final build of the game. In addition, several of the developers were nearby throughout the day to answer questions.

Revisiting the Vita (and other tales)

Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness Screenshot

In other games news, I've been tooling around with a few things randomly. With the wife currently in command of my Nintendo 3DS (she's working on her own Monster Hunter character, of course) I've hopped back onto the PlayStation Vita and have been trying to catch up with what I've missed during my recent 3DS binge.

2012's Most Overlooked Games, Part 2

They Bleed Pixels Screenshot

Continuing our effort to spotlight worthwhile games that didn't manage to make it onto many 2012 Top 10 lists, here are the rest of the nominations for "most overlooked" as selected by friends and freelancers in the gaming sphere.

2012's Most Overlooked Games, Part 1

The Darkness II Screenshot

Now that 2012 is in our rear view mirror and the Game of the Year awards features are over and done with, I thought it might be nice to check in with some friends and freelancers in the gaming sphere to see which titles they felt didn't get their due.

Speaking in Forked Tongues draws nearer and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Screenshot

I'm currently working on my review of Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate. I wasn't able to put as much time into it as I expected because the bridging software which allows players to transfer data between the Wii U and 3DS has not been available, and apparently will not be until the day of release. Since I'm usually able to catch a few quests here and there on a portable when I'm not in front of my TV, that was an unexpected setback.

Fire Emblem: M/Str8 > F/LGBT

Fire Emblem: Awakening Art

Fire Emblem: Awakening is easily one of my favorite games of the year so far, from a design perspective. No question. However, after rolling credits I noticed a couple of things which made me raise an eyebrow, and those were already on top of a problem I had with the game even earlier on—essentially, Awakening has quite a bit to say about female characters and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) issues, while never overtly saying anything at all.

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