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Five reasons you should write for free

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So for the last couple of months (and especially over the last few days) there's been a resurgence of "no one should ever write for free, ever, never never" among freelance games writers and paid career professionals. As someone who takes games writing very seriously and who's also worked as a mostly-unpaid-but-not-always reviewer for the last twelve years, I wanted to take a few minutes and share my thoughts on the subject.

Armchair Analysis: December 2011 NPD, Part 1—Hardware

Xbox 360 Kinect Image

December 2011 is a month that, upon review of the NPD report, continues the slide that the console video game industry has seen for much of the year. Hardware sales were down 32% from a December ago, with weaker Wii and PlayStation 3 sales leading the decline.

Saving Yello Review

Somewhere Between Sushi and Fish Sticks

Saving Yello Screenshot

HIGH Quality animations.

LOW Minor control issues.

WTF Children shouldn't have pets.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 67: New Year's Resolutions, Skyward Sword and Winter Break Games

Happy New Year! We reveal the success rate of our 2011 gaming resolutions, and set some new ones for 2012. Plus, Fallout (the first one!), Infinity Blade II, Sequence, Darksiders, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward BORED—am I right, people? With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim "My Wife Really Did Say That" Spaeth. Oh, and I almost forgot! This is the show that changes everything.

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Sea Stars Review

Jetpack Joyride Underwater

Sea Stars Screenshot

HIGH Zoning out while in the zone.

LOW An underwater, generic Jetpack Joyride.

WTF Sisyphus metaphor too obvious, depressing.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 66: 2011 Awards Spectacular

Fifteen awards, six podcasters, and countless surprises. You'll be stunned by our pick for Game of the Year, and by the vigorous debate that follows its reveal. Plus: we announce the two winners of our Holiday Contest! Thanks to everyone for entering! With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, Daniel Weissenberger, and Tim "Maybe Next Year" Spaeth. From all of us at GameCritics, have a fantastic holiday, and we'll see you in 2012!

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Happy Hills Review

Help Hills, Break Blocks

Happy Hills Screenshot

HIGH The accidental perfect shot.

LOW Obnoxious freemium advertising.

WTF The unnatural sense of joy embedded in the landscape.

Real Steel Review

Pay per Play

Real Steel Screenshot

HIGH Decapitating an enemy with a flurry of punches.

LOW Success in the game is hidden behind a paywall.

WTF I have to pay real money to change my robot's colour? Seriously?

Consoleation: The future is digital

Xbox Live Dashboard Update Image

We've been seeing a gradual shift in software sales in the last couple of years towards digital distribution. Full retail games have been available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 over that time and, although the digital library is but a fraction of the retail library, digital has been catching up.

Bag It! Review

Paper or Plastic?

Bag It! Screenshot  Bag It! Screenshot

HIGH Egg-cellent puzzle mode.

LOW Difficulty is a little uneven.

WTF Gamifying a minimum-wage job.

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