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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.

Skylanders: Giants Review

Pokéwhat?

Skylanders: Giants Screenshot

HIGH Getting another chance to use all the figures I spent a fortune on!

LOW Any section with jumping. In fact, every section with jumping.

WTF Why do fire-element creatures take damage from fire?

Bracken's Best Games of 2012

Tera Screenshot

2012 is officially in the books, which means it can be time for only one thing: this year's installment of Bracken's Best Games of the Year. If you've already listened to our year-end awards extravaganza podcast, then you're well aware of what my top four games of 2012 were—but don't bail yet! There are six other games that made my top 10 of the past year, and you'll want to stick around to see what they are. Plus, if you haven't heard the podcast, the entire list is a mystery to you at this point!

Eric's Top 10 Games of 2012

Halo 4 Screenshot

2011 (not a typo) was an odd year. Its general theme seemed to be games that I considered good (such as Portal 2, L.A. Noire, and Batman: Arkham City) getting incredible amounts of praise, to the point that I would end up being the voice of dissent on games I actually liked. Hell, at one point somebody gave Batman: Arkham City a 6 stars out of 5. Now, people liking games more than I do is perfectly fine and not all that uncommon, but this happened constantly throughout 2011 for almost every AAA game, and it left me wondering what had happened to critical discussion.

2012: The Year of the Games

Journey (PSN) Screenshot

2012 has been an amazing year for games. I had meant to put together a post extolling the virtues of the top candidates for game of the year, but the list kept getting longer and longer, with more and more games that would have been obvious choices for a top-five list in any other year. The task was clearly beyond me. So, I enlisted the talents of Michael Abbott, Brandon Bales, Mattie Brice, Kate Cox, Denis Farr, Brad Gallaway, Brendan Keogh, Justin Keverne, Cameron Kunzelman, Kris Ligman, Eric Swain, and Dan Weissenberger. With my superteam thus assembled, let's look at some of the year's super games.

Video: Ninten-blow (Possibly NSFW)

Adult Swim takes the innocent act of a child trying to make his NES cart work and makes it dirty... and funny.

Caution: Crude content

Video: Paralyzed Pokemon returns (NSFW)

And you thought the worst that could happen to a Pokémon in a fight was that it might "faint." No sir, in fact there are repercussions that could come back to haunt you.

Caution: Crude language

The missing target

The Last Story Screenshot

Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for The Last Story.

The best-regarded cinematic games of today owe much of their structure to the currently-derided Japanese role-playing game. For all that players heaped scorn on the running-in-tubes gameplay of Final Fantasy XIII, it shared with the Uncharted games the feature that the player's task was to kill his way from one cutscene to the next.

The Last Story Review

The Man, or the Pauldron?

The Last Story Screenshot

HIGH Watching Zael finally tell off the Earl.

LOW Watching is all I got.

WTF Is there anybody in this game who didn't lose their parents during childhood?

Armchair Analysis: July NPD observations and Vita post-Gamescom

New Super Mario Bros. 2 Screenshot

Nintendo needs to consider what to do about the Wii. Despite the likelihood of 3DS hardware sales growth over the next few months, Wii sales hit their lowest point ever and are poised to continue sinking without a bit of help. I'm a little surprised that Nintendo hasn't yet proceeded with a price drop to $100 to stimulate sales ahead of the WiiU landing in November.

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