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GameCritics After Dark Episode 1: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

We're bringing back GameCritics After Dark, and to kick things off it's a special Zelda extravaganza! We assemble a crack team of experts to give their take on The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, then we debate an even more enormous question: what is the future of the Zelda franchise? Featuring Richard Naik and Mike Bracken, plus special guests Jeffrey Matulef and Brainy Gamer's Michael Abbott.

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Video: Super Mario Bros. Crossover 2.0 trailer

Have you always wanted to take Ninja Gaiden's Ryu through the worlds of Super Mario Bros.? Wait, really? You have? Or how about playing as Link from The Legend of Zelda? You've wanted to do that too? Okay, well, now you can... online.

Super Mario Bros. Crossover 2.0 Trailer

Armchair Analysis: December 2011 NPD, Part 2—Software

Super Mario 3D Land Screenshot

Software sales were the highlight of November's NPD report. Strong Year Over Year (YOY) comparisons were the result of one of the strongest months of software releases in recent memory.

Five reasons you should write for free

Freelance Image

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: THQ watch

South Park: The Game Screenshot

After a weekend rife with rumors and denials, eyes should be on THQ this week to see whether any fallout results from the currently unsubstantiated turmoil.

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.

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

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Review

Stuck in the Clouds

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Screenshot

HIGH The boss in dungeon four.

LOW Inconsistent stabs AND falling off a ledge to be respawned next to a lantern ghost in the Silent Realm.

WTF To open the gate of time, you must attain the three sacred flames. To get the sacred flames, you must acquire the three sacred gifts. To get those, you must procure the fifteen tears of the goddess....

Need for Speed: The Run Review

Can Plots Run on Fumes?

Need for Speed: The Run Screenshot

HIGH Race that avalanche!

LOW What, you again?

WTF Man, I'm killing way too many people in this racing game.

Bracken's Best Games of 2011

Shadows of the Damned Screenshot

Twenty-eleven was not a banner year for games. Sure, the fourth quarter was once again overfilled with AAA titles that brought in billions of dollars of revenue (and review scores centered squarely at the top end of the scoring chart), but many of those titles weren't exactly mindblowing in their awesomeness. The games weren't bad, mind you—it's just hard to shake the feeling that 2011's fourth quarter was more about treading water.

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