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This Week in Video Game Criticism: From Castle Doctrine to Saints Row

This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Eric Swain on topics including The Castle Doctrine and the “self-sabotage” of Saints Row the Third. …

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Test Chamber – Dragon’s Crown

Join us on a fantastical romp as we beat up anything that moves in Dragon's Crown.

Vanillaware's latest is more than just its looks. We break down Dragon's Crown's finer combat mechanics, recommend the best characters for the appropriate play styles, and learn that you can get arrested by beating up pedestrians while exploring the town.

Joe, Bryan, Kim, myself, and Jason as our resident Dragon's Crown expert, dive in to offer a look at what the four-player experience looks like. For more on Dragon's Crown head here to read our review.

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Watch every episode of Test Chamber in our hub by clicking here. – The Feed

Codemasters ditching online pass for F1 2013

Codemasters ditching online pass for F1 2013

Grid and Dirt series developer Codemasters will drop the “VIP Pass” online multiplayer activation system initially planned for its upcoming racer F1 2013, MCV reports.

Codemasters launched the VIP Pass program in 2011, requiring players to either input a code or pay a one-time fee to access the online multiplayer features in Grid 2, Dirt 3, and other games.

The publisher did not announce whether it plans to abandon the VIP Pass program for all of its upcoming releases. Electronic Arts eliminated the equivalent Online Pass system for its current and future games in March.

“We recently reviewed the VIP Pass activation system and took the decision not to include it in either F1 2013 and F1 2013: Classic Edition,” a Codemasters spokesperson told MCV. “Players will not be required to activate multiplayer functionality via a VIP Pass code and we have no plans to replace the pass with an alternative paid-for activation system in the game when it launches this October.”

JoystiqCodemasters ditching online pass for F1 2013 originally appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 31 Jul 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sega reports profits up 400 percent, digital delivers

After a rough patch, Sega Corporation parent Sega-Samy reports solid performance from Company of Heroes and Phantasy Star Online 2, bringing Sega’s games division into a new upward swing. …

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Guacamelee! Gold Edition Arrives On Steam Next Week

Drinkbox Studios wowed PlayStation 3 and Vita owners with their Mexican Metroidvania-style title, Guacamelee! Now, PC owners will get in on the masked mayhem when the title arrives on Steam next week.

We liked it when it first came out in April, and now even more people get to experience it. The title will retail for $ 14.99, but first-week purchases get a 10 percent discount and a free copy of the studios last title Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack

Fans of Steam's new trading cards will be happy to know that they are onboard. And if you're into fashion design, you can also try your hand at making costumes that can be uploaded to Steam Workshop.

Guacamelee! Gold Edition goes on sale on August 8.


Our Take
With Steam trading cards, workshop support, a free copy of Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack, and a 10 percent discount, there's no reason not to give Guacamelee! a try. I've played and enjoyed it, and if you haven't yet experienced it, now's a perfect time. – The Feed

Rise of the Triad review: Everything old is still old

Interceptor Entertainment’s bang-up job of recreating Rise of the Triad for the modern era unavoidably highlights some of the original’s flaws, and serves as a stark reminder that certain relics just can’t live up to our warm, fuzzy memories.

Rise of the Triad starts off fabulously well. A stylized comic book opening introduces us to the five members of H.U.N.T. – the High-risk United Nations Task force – after which we’re dropped into a top-down map of San Nicolas, an island that’s been taken over by a mysterious organization known only as the Triad. The name of the game: Infiltrate, investigate and blast the holy hell out of everything that moves.

Continue reading Rise of the Triad review: Everything old is still old

JoystiqRise of the Triad review: Everything old is still old originally appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 31 Jul 2013 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mark of the Ninja creators tackle the challenge of procedural design

Klei Entertainment’s James Lantz and Jason Dreger talk discovering the shape of Incognita, their intriguing procedurally-generated stealth tactics game. …

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Court Rules That EA Is Not Protected Under First Amendment In Likeness Suit

Yesterday we reported that EA had filed a request for dismissal from the suit brought against it and the NCAA over unauthorized use of athlete likenesses in licensed video games. Today brings another piece of that case coming to a close.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that EA's appeal of a US District Court ruling will not stand. EA had claimed that use of player likenesses was protected under the first amendment.

EA's NCAA games display height, age, and weight, among other details. User created rosters that fill in the names to accompany the likenesses can be shared over EA's internal system completing the picture.

The case has been remanded back to trial to proceed. The next phase begins on September 5, 2013. The NCAA recently decided not to renew its licensing agreement with EA and will be stepping away from video games.


Our Take
The first amendment defense is laughable. Actors, musicians, and other celebrities license their likenesses for use. There is no reason to believe that student athletes would be treated any differently. Put simply, you cannot use likenesses of people (regardless of their celebrity), especially in a commercial product, without their permission. – The Feed

Minecon 2013 tickets on sale tonight at 7PM Eastern

Minecon 2013 tickets on sale tonight

The first batch of 2,500 Minecon tickets go on sale tonight at 7PM Eastern (4PM Pacific, Midnight UK) at the block party’s official site.

A second and third batch of tickets are planned for August 2 at 10AM Eastern (7AM Pacific, 3PM UK) and August 3 at 3PM Eastern (Noon Pacific, 8PM UK).

Minecon 2013 is the third annual Minecraft convention, which will be held in Orlando, Florida, from November 2-3. As an aside of potential demographic overlap, it’s only about an hour from Orlando to Legoland.

JoystiqMinecon 2013 tickets on sale tonight at 7PM Eastern originally appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 31 Jul 2013 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Postmortem: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

In this reprint from Game Developer magazine, executive producer Mike Fridley explores what went right and what went wrong with the production of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, which was financed in part by a state loan. …

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