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Skylanders: Swap Force Review

Onwards and Upwards

Skylanders: Swap Force Screenshot

HIGH Health items and money are finally shared between both players!

LOW The spin-motion pinball Swap challenges. Blech.

WTF The crab is… powershnitzel?

Arkham Origins, Swap Force, Phoenix Wright and Gravity

Batman: Arkham Origins Screenshot

For review, I've been playing two games at once… Not my favorite thing to do, but it is that time of the year and they aren't at all alike, so playing one is kind of like taking a break from the other. The first is Batman: Arkham Origins, as mentioned in the last post. I'm finding this is a very interesting title on many levels, but not necessarily for the reasons that you might expect.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 92: Sports Games

In the absence of one Brad Gallaway, the GC crew is finally free to delve into our sports fandom and how it relates to gaming. Join us as we discuss traditional sports and video games, our past memories of the genre, and how it suffers from the same "AAA diesease" as the rest of the industry. Featuring Richard Naik, Chi Kong Lui, Mike Bracken, and Michael Cunningham.

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Consoleation: The War on Used Games—Choose wisely

Consoleation: The War on Used Games—Choose wisely

When I was growing up, my family didn't have a lot of money. We didn't own a family console until my mom bought a Colecovision from a tag sale in 1987. Before that, my maternal grandmother's Atari VCS was sometimes available in 1979 onward when we visited or even lived there due to money troubles. I did get a VIC-20 for my birthday in 1984 and then a Commodore 64 for my middle school graduation in 1986 from my paternal grandmother, but those weren't so much game consoles as they were hybrid devices. I did own a few games for both systems, but not a significant amount.

Consoleation: April 2013 NPD reaction—Spring swoon

Injustice: Gods Among Us Screenshot

Speaking candidly, I don't believe that anyone was ready for the numbers that we saw from NPD for the month of April... regardless of whether you're an armchair analyst like myself or whether you're a top-line professional in this business. Hardware sales numbers, in particular, were just painful to digest. It wasn't a total collapse, but when you drop by more than 40% from the past year—and when that April's comp targets weren't crazy to begin with—it just looks awful.

Consoleation: Pre-NPD—April 2013 projection comparison (versus Michael Pachter)

Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Image

In advance of this afternoon's release of NPD retail video game sales data for April, I wanted to compare my range projections with those of Michael Pachter from Wedbush Securities.

Consoleation: April 2013 NPD data pre-release speculation

Injustice: Gods Among Us Screenshot

NPD sales data for April is set to arrive tomorrow (May 16th). I don't expect many surprises nor many changes to the status quo when it comes to hardware sales rankings for the month.

Extra Credits: Global Games—Brazil

Extra Credits is trying a new feature where it introduces viewers to burgeoning video game markets. The first one tackled is Brazil and while I see the country's potential, this particular presentation doesn't do the best job of selling Brazil as a great new game market. Sure you can still buy a Sega Genesis/Mega Drive—brand new—and who doesn't want that? But video game piracy seems to still be pretty rampant there. It also looks like one of those territories that isn't the least bit interested in fixing things from a consumer, governmental and industry standpoint.

Consoleation: Irreconcilable differences

Beyond: Two Souls Screenshot

I've learned a few things after reading about what's happened during the DICE Summit and Awards event that's taken place this past week. The industry seems to be crying out desperately for maturity. David Cage (Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls) says that games need to grow up. Warren Spector (Epic Mickey) says that games like Lollipop Chainsaw shouldn't be made. The industry wants more Journey and The Walking Dead experiences, as evidenced by these games winning 99.5% of the awards given out. The definition of "fun" is changing.

Consoleation: My Top Five Consoles of All Time

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Screenshot

With this console generation coming to a close, and with the strong likelihood that this will mark the end of buying modern consoles for me, I thought I'd look back and rank my top five consoles of all time. These are my rankings, my criteria, and my words. Your mileage can and will certainly vary.

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