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Armchair Analysis: January 2012 NPD hardware sales predictions

NeverDead Screenshot

January has flown by and it's time for the first NPD predictions column of the year.

Quarrel Review

Them's Fightin' Words!

Quarrel Screenshot

HIGH Getting the anagram in a game-winning skirmish.

LOW European spellings and foreign words not in common usage.

WTF So "JUNE" isn't acceptable, but "JUN" is?

Yakuza, Aliens: Infestation, Quarrel and Caspar Babypants

Yakuza 3 Screenshot

I'm still trying to complete Yakuza 3 before anything big comes in for review, and I'm almost done. If my guess is correct, there are only one or two chapters left, so I'm hoping to wrap it up tomorrow. I've got to say, out of the three Yakuza titles I've played so far, this one has definitely been the weakest.

Armchair Analysis: December 2011 NPD, Part 2—Software

Super Mario 3D Land Screenshot

Software sales were the highlight of November's NPD report. Strong Year Over Year (YOY) comparisons were the result of one of the strongest months of software releases in recent memory.

Five reasons you should write for free

Freelance Image

So for the last couple of months (and especially over the last few days) there's been a resurgence of "no one should ever write for free, ever, never never" among freelance games writers and paid career professionals. As someone who takes games writing very seriously and who's also worked as a mostly-unpaid-but-not-always reviewer for the last twelve years, I wanted to take a few minutes and share my thoughts on the subject.

Armchair Analysis: December 2011 NPD, Part 1—Hardware

Xbox 360 Kinect Image

December 2011 is a month that, upon review of the NPD report, continues the slide that the console video game industry has seen for much of the year. Hardware sales were down 32% from a December ago, with weaker Wii and PlayStation 3 sales leading the decline.

Saving Yello Review

Somewhere Between Sushi and Fish Sticks

Saving Yello Screenshot

HIGH Quality animations.

LOW Minor control issues.

WTF Children shouldn't have pets.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 67: New Year's Resolutions, Skyward Sword and Winter Break Games

Happy New Year! We reveal the success rate of our 2011 gaming resolutions, and set some new ones for 2012. Plus, Fallout (the first one!), Infinity Blade II, Sequence, Darksiders, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward BORED—am I right, people? With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim "My Wife Really Did Say That" Spaeth. Oh, and I almost forgot! This is the show that changes everything.

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Sea Stars Review

Jetpack Joyride Underwater

Sea Stars Screenshot

HIGH Zoning out while in the zone.

LOW An underwater, generic Jetpack Joyride.

WTF Sisyphus metaphor too obvious, depressing.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 66: 2011 Awards Spectacular

Fifteen awards, six podcasters, and countless surprises. You'll be stunned by our pick for Game of the Year, and by the vigorous debate that follows its reveal. Plus: we announce the two winners of our Holiday Contest! Thanks to everyone for entering! With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, Daniel Weissenberger, and Tim "Maybe Next Year" Spaeth. From all of us at GameCritics, have a fantastic holiday, and we'll see you in 2012!

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

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