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Consoleation: Xbox One, Gamers Zero?

Xbox One Image

If you listen to the social mediasphere, the Xbox One is dead already. If you listen to common sense, however, you'll realize that the battle is just beginning.

Interview with Insomniac's Ted Price on Fuse

Fuse Screenshot

At E3 2011, as part of the Electronic Arts press conference, Insomniac Games announced Overstrike—a campy, over-the-top cooperative shooter. Around a year later, the game had received a facelift and a new name: Fuse. I spoke to Insomniac Games' CEO Ted Price about rebranding, multi-platform development, and what it is like to launch a brand-new franchise at the end of a console cycle.

The Constant Monster

BioShock Infinite Screenshot

BioShock Infinite is a violent game, and it has to be. That's a contrast to BioShock, an equally violent game where combat conveyed nothing about its main character and had little to do with the game's themes other than spurring the player to engage in its various economies. Any stimulus—using plasmids to solve environmental puzzles, for instance—would have sufficed. That's not so in Columbia. Violence is essential to who Booker DeWitt is, and what Columbia is. Their story cannot be told without it.

Consoleation: April 2013 NPD reaction—Spring swoon

Injustice: Gods Among Us Screenshot

Speaking candidly, I don't believe that anyone was ready for the numbers that we saw from NPD for the month of April... regardless of whether you're an armchair analyst like myself or whether you're a top-line professional in this business. Hardware sales numbers, in particular, were just painful to digest. It wasn't a total collapse, but when you drop by more than 40% from the past year—and when that April's comp targets weren't crazy to begin with—it just looks awful.

Consoleation: Pre-NPD—April 2013 projection comparison (versus Michael Pachter)

Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Image

In advance of this afternoon's release of NPD retail video game sales data for April, I wanted to compare my range projections with those of Michael Pachter from Wedbush Securities.

Consoleation: April 2013 NPD data pre-release speculation

Injustice: Gods Among Us Screenshot

NPD sales data for April is set to arrive tomorrow (May 16th). I don't expect many surprises nor many changes to the status quo when it comes to hardware sales rankings for the month.

Crysis 3 Second Opinion

More Like Crysis 2.5

Crysis 3 Screenshot

HIGH Finely tuned predatory gameplay. Also, silenced shotguns.

LOW The abysmal final boss fight.

WTF The explanation for how Prophet's back in the saddle is ridiculous.

Extra Credits: Differences in Scale vs Differences in Kind

Extra Credits looks at employing scale (i.e. more enemies) and tone to break up gameplay and maintain a player's interest level. Extra Credits' example of a game that got this right was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare—who knew that Call of Duty could be the game to actually teach us something?

Black Rock Shooter, Hellraid and No Mo' Comix

Black Rock Shooter: The Game Screenshot

I've heard absolutely no one talking about Black Rock Shooter: The Game, but it was just released by NIS America and it's currently available on the PSN store for $20. (Designed for PSP, but compatible with Vita.) I just completed it yesterday, and I have to say, I had an absolute blast with it. It's a very small, focused game that feels perfect for playing on the go, and there are a lot of very smart design decisions on display.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 90: The Raiding of (non-existent) Tombs

It's a Tomb Raider extravaganza! We dish on the latest incarnation of Lara Croft, female protagonists in general, and the state of the "Cinematic Action" genre, a term which I claim full credit for coining. With Richard Naik, Brad Gallaway, Ashley King, Sara Rich, and (later on) Tim "Skype Connection Dropped" Spaeth.

Also, check out this article by our good friend Rhea Monique if you have time. Well worth a read.

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