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Consoleation: Four observations from July 2011 NPD report

Call of Duty: Black Ops Screenshot

Sensationalist headlines could have casual observers running for hills when it comes to how this year's sales numbers compare with last year. Don't fall for this. Let's keep in mind that the newer Xbox 360 models—the Xbox 360 Slim—really flew off of store shelves last July. We're now a year removed from that and now YOY numbers will bump into that success.

Operation Cherry Blossom, Catherine, and Being Human (UK)

So, it's no secret that I am a big fan of Monster Hunter. Although the series does have issues (being inscrutable to newcomers or running the best version on the missing-a-second-analog-nub-and-no-true-online PSP to name just two) I am a true believer in the franchise and I think it has much to offer. Sadly, it's only been able to carve out a very small niche for itself here in the United States, but there's now an opportunity—maybe—to help change that.

Video: Is cosplay better in slow-motion?

This footage is courtesy of Angel James de Ocampo, cosplay cinematographer and conventioneer and was filmed at Japan Expo 2011 in Paris, France. Nice camera work. The biggest achievement has to be making people dressed as video game characters and walking around with plastic or paper weapons look cool while doing so. Well, maybe they can work on their fighting choreography though.

Netflix, Monster Hunter and Serious Sam Double D

Serious Sam Double D Screenshot

The good people over at Mommy's Best Games have sent me an alpha copy of the upcoming Serious Sam Double D and I've played through the first world. Despite being at a very early stage of development, the game is coming together very nicely.

Open letter to Sony about "PSN Pass"

Resistance 3 Screenshot

I implore you to reconsider your decision to initiate a widespread "PSN Pass" program this fall that would employ single-use licenses tied to a game's multiplayer component. Not only would such a program unnecessarily impede the resale options your customers currently enjoy with regard to successful titles like Uncharted 2, MAG, and Killzone 3; it would likely result in the exact opposite of your intent.

El Shaddai, a Monster Hunter podcast and Alice: Madness Returns

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron Screenshot

I just tried the El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron demo available on Xbox Live. Although I've been hearing about the game for quite some time and seen loads of screenshots, seeing the game in motion is something else entirely.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 56: E3 2011

GameCritics' own Trent Fingland regales us with war stories from the E3 front. Along the way we reconcile our E3 predictions, debate the future of Japanese gaming, have a serious talk about religion, and get uncomfortably inquisitive about the whereabouts of Ken Levine. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim "Death to Handhelds" Spaeth.

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E3 2011: Day the Third

Tomb Raider Screenshot

For the final leg of my E3 adventures, I made my way back to the Square-Enix booth to watch a guided demo of the new Tomb Raider. Some have brought up issues with this new presentation of Lara Croft, where she is shown as vulnerable and inexperienced, but I think this is quite a different thing than games like Metroid: Other M and The Third Birthday.

Consoleation: The E3 Experience: Day Three (Star Wars Kinect)

Star Wars Kinect Screenshot

After three consecutive nights with three hours of sleep apiece, walking into a closed meeting room at 10am and seeing Star Wars Kinect didn't seem to show much promise. After all, other sites had been less than kind to the game and the reaction during Microsoft's press conference wasn't exactly warm. When I volunteered to test the game for a group of my peers and the other members of the KmartGamer team, I didn't have high expectations… but when the demo was over and my pulse was racing, I wanted more.

Consoleation: The E3 Experience: Day Two (Wii U)

New Super Mario Bros. Mii (Wii U) Screenshot

If you're a console gaming fan, like I am, you probably remember where you were when the name and specifics of Nintendo's Wii follow-up were announced. I was in a Starbucks on the morning of June 7th, a few hundred feet from the Nokia Theater where Nintendo was holding its press conference. I also remember exclaiming out loud something to the effect of, "That's really what they're calling it? Wii U? No. NO!"

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