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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 74: Dragon's Dogma, Max Payne 3 and Portable Gaming

On this episode we examine the state of Portable Games. Brad also brings Dragon's Dogma to the table, and Mike and Chi weigh in on Max Payne 3. This episode also features what is surely the greatest Thumbs up, thumbs down of all time! With Dylan Collins, Chi Kong Lui, Brad "Bromance" Gallaway, Mike Bracken and special guest Michael Cunningham.

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Video: Nintendo Direct Pre-E3 2012

Nintendo wanted to get the jump on everyone and release its "concept presentation" ahead of the big E3 press conferences. Perhaps it also wanted to get it out of the way so as to not cause any confusion—at last year's E3 Nintendo took some heat for not being clear that it was just announcing the system, its name and showing off conceptual game ideas. At any rate, you see the Wii U Gamepad, Mii Universe and some more conceptual game ideas. Hopefully, the games and more specific talk about the hardware will be at Tuesday's press conference.

A night on Valak Mountain

Xenoblade Chronicles Screenshot

The almost universally laudatory critical reaction to Xenoblade Chronicles has heaped ambitious praise on the project. Not content to appreciate Xenoblade's design on its own merits, many critics have asserted that it points the way towards "saving" the JRPG. There are good reasons to be dubious of this assertion. For the moment, though, I want to focus on something Xenoblade gets right, and the best way to do it is by focusing on something it gets very wrong: Valak Mountain.

Dogma, Skylanders, Buffy and Sherlock

Dragon's Dogma Screenshot

Haven't had much free time in front of the consoles lately, but what little time I have had has been going into Dragon's Dogma.

Xenoblade Chronicles Review

Is Xenoblade the Greatest JRPG of This Generation?

Xenoblade Chronicles Screenshot

HIGH Taking down a rare monster ten levels higher than your party with Melia in the lead.

LOW Traipsing through seemingly endless sidequests to build affinity.

WTF The ending is weirdly reminiscent of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Extra Credits: Kinect Disconnect

Uncanny valley? Kinesthetic projection? The guys at Extra Credits break down what's wrong with Microsoft's Kinect.

Extra Credits: Kinect Disconnect

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

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