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Observations from PAX East 2012: Are video game gimmicks finally maturing?

Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor Screenshot

Being a 3DS and Kinect owner as well as a fan of Japanese robots/mechs, two neighboring games on the main exhibition hall of PAX East immediately caught my attention: Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor for the Xbox 360 and Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir for the 3DS. Both games are updates to game franchises that were once considered innovative back when they were first released.

Extra Credits: Western & Japanese RPGs, Part 3

And here it is, the final part of Extra Credits' take Western role-playing game vs Japanese role-playing games. Here they look at why the Japanese RPG has fallen behind its Western counterpart and maybe how to reverse its course.

Extra Credits: Western & Japanese RPGs, Part 3

Extra Credits: Western & Japanese RPGs, Part 2

Extra Credits returns with more on the Western role-playing game vs Japanese role-playing games debate. This time they challenge our genre classifications and dare to imply that they are a bit antiquated.

Extra Credits: Western & Japanese RPGs, Part 2

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, review links and more

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Screenshot

Although Raccoon City is getting hammered all over the Internet, I have to say that I did enjoy certain parts of it. The idea of playing as an Umbrella strike team member is pretty cool to me, and shifting the dynamic of power from being a solo hero to being part of a full assault squad struck me as quite interesting and full of promise. Unfortunately, the title's problems far outweigh the good bits.

Extra Credits: Western & Japanese RPGs, Part 1

With such seemingly opposite takes on the genre, the argument usually devolves down to proponents of each genre arguing that theirs is the best example of "role-playing." Extra Credits dares to jump into the fray to see is one group is right, or perhaps if one is more right than the other or maybe even if both are wrong. Clearly it's not an easy task or it wouldn't be broken up into three parts.

Extra Credits: Western & Japanese RPGs, Part 1

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 71: Mass Effect 3 & Sequels

It's all about sequels this episode on the podcast! From Super Mario Bros. 2 to Devil Survivor 2, we're all over them! Also, Mass Effect 3: has BioWare reclaimed Brad's seal of approval? What about the ending controversy? All that plus thumbs, AND a birthday! With Dylan Collins, Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Richard Naik and Mike "I live near a den of spiders" Bracken.

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

Extra Credits: So you want to be a developer, Part 2

The crew at Extra Credits return with the second part of their two-part series on how to become a developer.

Extra Credits: So you want to be a developer, Part 2

Extra Credits: So you want to be a developer, Part 1

Do you love spending hours in front of a computer writing code? Do you prefer spending many more hours debugging software than spending time with your loved ones? Do you want to spend time justifying your hard work to fickle gamers and an even more fickle gaming press? Then you want to be a video game developer and this video might be right for you.

Extra Credits: So you want to be a developer, Part 1

Armchair Analysis: February 2012 NPD—A tale of two portables

Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational Screenshot

Lots of you are probably wondering who "won" the portable showdown last month. Early estimates of 300,000 units for Vita seemed likely to nudge it past the 3DS, which would have made sense given that Vita is the newer platform and that early adopters would push it to a respectable launch number. That didn't happen, however.

Armchair Analysis: February 2012 NPD—Sea of red

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Screenshot

In a way, it's good to see that there hasn't been the reaction to February's NPD data that I anticipated. On the flip side, February was another month of deep Year-over-year (YOY) negatives and presents questions to me about just how long the current console cycle can remain viable.

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