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June 19
2014

E3 2014: Sonic Boom, Sega Reinvents Sonic…Again

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Sega has had a…rough time with Sonic. After Sonic Generations, which looked and played great, they gave us Sonic: Lost World, which didn’t. Now, they have decided to go big and try for a 4-prong attempt at making Sonic relevant again: Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for the 3DS and Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for the Wii U which both act as a prequel to a Sonic Boom CGI cartoon series, all capped off with a large toy line. Sonic Boom also introduces new character Sticks the Badger, but I only saw her as playable in the 3DS game.

I got to play both versions of Sonic Boom at E3 and I really enjoyed one of them.

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June 19
2014

E3 2014: Tales of Xillia 2 Expands Its Horizons

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Aside from Super Smash Bros, I’m a big fan of JRPGs and Tales of Xilla was definitely one of my favorite games of 2013. I had the chance to sit down with the folks over at Namco Bandai to get a good look at what to expect in the upcoming sequel.

SPOILER WARNING: Skip the following paragraph to avoid potential spoilers for those that have yet to play Tales of Xillia 1.

Tales of Xillia 2 takes place a year after the events of the first game. At the end of that title, the two culturally different worlds of Rieze Maxia and Elympios were connected by the destruction of a barrier that once separated them. The two worlds, now intertwined, are facing a number of issues due to their various cultural differences. Rieze Maxia is a world that relies on spirit, arts, and nature while Elympios is a technologically advanced world that relies on spirit-harming devices called spyrix. The original game’s cast of characters are all present and accounted for as they live their lives and fight for peace between the two worlds.

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June 18
2014

E3 2014: Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, Farming Made Modern

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I’ve been a long time Harvest Moon fan ever since I first got my hands on the original SNES title in ’97. Back then this was by far the most unique gaming experience around. Who would ever think that farming would make for an interesting gameplay mechanic, let alone a fun one? And yet there I was harvesting crops, raising livestock, and building a house for my family to live in….all now features of modern hit titles like Animal Crossing. I could even get married; just a neat bonus feature I thought at the time, but little did I know how important a topic virtual nuptials would be for all of gaming years later.

While the series may get flack in some circles it can’t be denied that the original Harvest Moon introduced a number of innovative new ideas to gaming that have since become modern mainstays. In its numerous iterations since, however, the innovation seemed to have halted; the old saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ couldn’t be more applicable. While still fun, the Moon-mechanics really haven’t changed all that much since the late 90s.

The newest entry in the series Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, the first to be fully developed and produced by Natsume (who previously have localized all entries), seeks to buck this trend and bring back some of the innovation that made the original game stand out, while holding on to all the things that fans love.

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June 18
2014

E3 2014: Shadow of Mordor pits you against an evolving Orc war machine

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Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is advertising a different kind of memory.

Not to be confused with the 1987 text-based adventure game Shadows of Mordor also set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings universe, this action-adventure from Monolith Productions isn’t as concerned with processing capabilities as it is remembering your and your enemies actions. The game’s touted Nemesis system pits the Wraith-possessed ranger Talion against many hierarchical orc forces across Mordor. Actions and approaches taken in combating or avoiding these forces will have incremental effects on each relevant orc’s standing in the armies of Lord Sauron. Even your death, if by the hands of an Orc, will promote all those involved to higher positions within their respective ranks.

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June 17
2014

E3 2014: Batman: Arkham Knight

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[editor's note: Arkham Knight is the fourth, not third, installment of the Batman Arkham series. Thanks commenter Gyro for the correction.]

The bat is back for his third installment in the Arkham series with Batman: Arkham Knight, and it looks to be more of all the glorious same that made Arkham Asylum and Arkham City a thrill to play. Let’s take a look at the return of Scarecrow and what wonderful toys Wayne Enterprises has for us this time.

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June 17
2014

E3 2014: Civilization: Beyond Earth Shoots for the Stars

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The last time Civilization was taken into space, we got the amazing game Alpha Centauri. Since then, players have been dreaming of taking their civilizations back among the stars. Well, the wait will soon be over. Civilization: Beyond Earth, created by Firaxis Games, will take the experience back off world. The game is definitely in good hands,  thanks to many of the original Alpha Centauri development team now working at Firaxis Games.

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June 16
2014

Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games: Women as Background Decoration Part 1

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E3 2014 was huge, and we here at GayGamer will be continuing our coverage all week long! But let’s take a quick break from the show’s big announcements to check out the latest entry in Anita Sarkeesian’s Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games series. In this episode she begins exploring the idea of women as background decoration, and in particular the non-playable female sex-objects that populate many ‘gritty’ ‘mature’ titles.

This episode in particular features some graphic violent, sexual, and violently sexual content, so please consider that before hitting play.

Check out the video below the cut, and let us know what you think in the comments!

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