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Riptide, Soul Sacrifice and Mars War Logs

Dead Island: Riptide Screenshot

Readers will know that I am a huge fan of the first game, and even though it had some rough edges, it was a pretty brilliant experience. Unfortunately, Riptide isn't able to match up to that first title. The new character who uses hand-to-hand combat is lots of laughs, but the game itself feels like it was slapped together with very little care and isn't nearly as immersive or as atmospheric as the original.

Extra Credits: Intrinsic vs Extrinsic

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic rewards. In this episode, Extra Credits tries to explain what keeps you playing through the tedious parts of games.

Nintendo should not drop the E3 press conference this year

New Super Luigi U Screenshot

On April. 25th as part of its Financial Results Briefing, Nintendo dropped an innocuous bit of information that temporarily set the Internet on fire. In short, Nintendo would be ditching its the expected pre-E3 press conference in favor of two smaller show events. In addition, Nintendo will provide opportunities for gamers and press to play games at the show and Nintendo Directs to get information to consumers. I have to say that I have my doubts as to the wisdom of this move.

Consoleation: Nintendo's big gamble

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (Wii U) Screenshot

When Nintendo started rolling out its Direct events during E3 last year, I wondered then if this would be Nintendo's new direction. Then we got a Nintendo Direct event after E3 which announced many of the games that we would have seen at E3 in past years. It seemed to me that E3 was no longer as much of a priority for Nintendo as it once was, and I firmly believe that this latest move reinforces that line of thinking.

Extra Credits: Word Choice

Extra Credits adds to a previous discussion on exposition in games. GLaDOS fans will probably enjoy this episode... Professor Fitz Quadwrangle fans, not so much.

Extra Credits: More Than Exposition

Extra Credits talks about the "exposition dump." What is that, you ask? The "exposition dump" is one of the easiest ways with which a developer can tell a story, explain a game world or explain a game world's rules. Even lauded game designers like Hideo Kojima use this method to tell a story—and why not, if Metal Gear Solid's success is any indication, there are few repercussions for overusing it. Thankfully, there are examples of doing the opposite and being rewarded for it. The Half-Life series, Fallout 3 and Journey are examples of doing it right.

Consoleation: Learn from Adam Orth's mistake

Adam Orth Tweets Image

What a day Adam Orth had. What was thought to be a relatively benign conversation on Twitter has blown up to a worldwide fiasco leaving Orth's employer, Microsoft, with a damaged public image and leaving Orth under siege by press and message board posters. More than 50 websites have linked Orth's comments about "always being online" to the persistent rumor that Microsoft's next platform will indeed require a constant internet connection to work.

Sparky's Games of PAX East 2013

Guacamelee Screenshot

I typically go to a lot of panels at Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East, but this year relatively few of the offerings interested me (and some of the interesting ones were on simultaneously). So, I spent a lot of time on the show floor. The only major publisher I really visited was Ubisoft, where I learned that Might & Magic X will be coming this year and has a huge, wasteful UI. I spent most of the rest of my time in the Indie Megabooth and environs, both because this is a more efficient use of time and you're more likely to actually see the games and talk to somebody interesting there.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 88: A New Era, Monster Hunter, and Broken Games

Where one story ends—sorry Aliens: Colonial Marines Wii U—another begins anew. Welcome to the new, but pretty damn familiar GameCritics.com podcast with brand new co-host Sinan Kubba of Joystiq—yes, co-host—more details inside... Join Sinan and regular ruffians Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, Chi Kong Lui, and Brad "The Guy You Know" Gallaway as they summarize GDC and PAX East in two seconds, explore the depth of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, sink to the depths of Aliens: Colonial Marines, and fathom how the growing prevalence of broken-at-launch games is hurting the industry. All this and more in a GameCritics.com podcast episode that will rewrite history, woo-oo.

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Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate Review

Bigger, Better, Badder

Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate Screenshot

HIGH A new Monster Hunter is finally available! It's not a dream!

LOW The game’s first few hours are painfully slow.

WTF How many damned carpenterbugs am I going to need here?

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