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June 19
2013

Review: The Art Of The Last Of Us

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Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us was a very high-profile release for the PlayStation 3, so it’s only natural that Dark Horse would produce a high-quality hardcover art book as a companion piece. But is The Art of The Last of Us really worth adding to your bookshelf? Make the jump for my verdict and some sample images!

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June 18
2013

E3 ’13: First Impressions: ‘Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare’

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While what we were able to see behind closed doors at Electronic Arts wasn’t much more than what was shown during the publisher’s press conference, we did get a few more details that make this surprise third-person parody shooter even more initially appealing. For those that missed it, Popcap has molded their insanely popular tower defense brand as delicious fodder for Call of Duty satire, while being more akin to Gears of War’s horde mode.

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June 18
2013

E3 ’13: Spin the Bottle Game gives Players a Reason to Touch

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There is so much happening at E3 while you’re there that it takes a couple of days to catch up on all the information we might have missed. And one game that I’m so sad to have missed playing is called Spin the Bottle, as previously covered here on Gaygamer, presented in the Indiecade section of the show floor set to launch in the Wii U Nintendo eShop in July.

As explained by Lau Karskaagrd, the theory behind this game is to get players to hug each other and touch each other as inspired by the original game of Spin the Bottle. This game challenges people selected randomly by a digital bottle on the Wii U screen to take part in physical challenges such as jumping, dancing together, and balancing a wii mote with their faces. And any game that encourages me to hug and dance with other people is ok in my book. Thanks to the adorable coverage of this game by Spencer Hayes of Destructoid, we get an look into more details about this game, all while enjoying two guys hug and almost kiss during an interview.

[Spin the Bottle is awkward fun - Destructoid]

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June 18
2013

Nintendo Tops The Charts!

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Say what you will about the Wii U, but Nintendo is actually at the top of the videogame system sales charts! Oh, no, not for the Wii U, obviously… nope, the 3DS was the top-selling platform in the month of May. It was up more than 60% than this time last year. Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon being the second and third best-selling software for the month clearly had a little something to do with it. So I would like to think that the 3DS would retain that lead through June because of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how many systems that sold for Nintendo.

There are even more great games coming for the 3DS, including Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (August 11), Pokémon X and Pokémon Y (October 12), the 3DS Mario Party game (November), and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (November). So the 3DS is pretty much set. It’s solid. But what about the struggling Wii U?

Nintendo is promising one major game release a month for their newest console. There’s Pikmin 3 (August 4), The Wonderful 101 (September 15), The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (October), Donkey King Country: Tropical Freeze (November) and Super Mario 3D World (December). But are any of those system-sellers? What will it take to get you to pick up a Wii U?

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June 18
2013

E3 ’13: First Impressions: ‘The Evil Within’

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While I will happily debate Shinji Mikami on whether his beloved masterpiece Resident Evil 4 is actually survival horror, there is some evidence from Bethesda’s demo of The Evil Within that the designer is taking a purer approach to the genre with his latest.

The tale of police detective Sebastian Castellanos is one of overcoming fears. And with severely limited ammunition and a supernatural, Silent Hill-esque bent, it’s not hard to trace the logic of that thesis. Shortly after being called to the Beacon Mental Hospital and walking up its police-car laden (but mysteriously weapon-devoid) entryway, Castellanos separates himself from his team just before he is captured by what appear to be beings of supernatural teleportation capabilities.

Waking up in a meat locker full of corpses, Castellanos must get his bearings and sneak around a large Butcher enemy who is making quick work of the fly-ridden cadavers in the room. Grabbing the keys to a door to the stairs from a hook precariously close to the butcher’s quarters, it becomes apparent that while stealth is crucial at Beacon, shadows are few. Bright fluorescent bulbs common to older hospitals hang without shades in most rooms, forcing a mixture of timing and enemy distraction to become key tools to progress.

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June 18
2013

XCOM Goes Mobile

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People are always saying how portable gaming systems are in trouble because of the rise of mobile gaming, but I keep insisting that the experiences are different enough that both can coexist peacefully. I mean, there’s a big difference between playing Ocarina of Time on your 3DS and Angry Birds on your phone. But more and more we’re seeing less casual and more hardcore games released to mobile platforms. The latest is 2K and Firaxis Games releasing XCOM: Enemy Unknown for iOS devices this Thursday, June 20 for $19.99.

Naturally, there will be touchscreen controls, but because Enemy Unknown is a strategy game and not a twitchy shooter, that should work just swimmingly. They’ve also added GameCenter support and iCloud functionality so you can save your game on your iPad and pick it back up on your iPhone later. The initial release will not contain multiplayer, but it will be added at a later date as a free update.

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June 17
2013

E3’13: Hands On: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

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When Donkey Kong Country Returns came out in 2010, I was so excited to see that there was going to be a resurgence of classic platformers. I absolutely devoured the game, and played it so much that I actually got 100% completion, something that I rarely do with games. During the Nintendo Direct, it was announced that the next entry into the Donkey Kong series is set to land on the Wii U, titled Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Boasting a brand new enemy in the style of vikings and the addition of Dixie Kong as a playable character (OMG YAY!), Nintendo hopes that fans of DK Returns will want to play the newest addition. I had the chance to play a hands-on level at the press event of an early level. Read on to find out my thoughts!

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