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Get A Sneak Peek Of Star Wars: The Force Awakens Figures

The original Star Wars figures were so popular that they were sold in empty boxes because the manufacturer wasn't ready to meet the Christmas demand. We have a feeling that Disney could also sell empty boxes of The Force Awakens figures, but they probably won't. Get an early look at the Star Wars: The Force Awakens' costuming in these early prototype shots of Episode VII's action-figure line.

In the shot above you can see the figures, which are left to right: Kylo Ren, John Boyega as Finn, Daisy Ridley as Rey, droid BB-8, and Peter Mayhew’s Chewbacca.

Star Wars: The Force Awaken will change your life next December.

[Source: Chinese-Starwars via AintItCool]

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Here’s The Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer Recreated In Grand Theft Auto V

During modern times in a galaxy based on a fictionalized version of the west coast…

YouTube channel Powerlight-13 took the endlessly parodied and recreated Star Wars teaser trailer and added a Grand Theft Auto twist. Overall, it's really well done, especially the flying sequences. You can check out the video below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For more on the Star Wars teaser trailer head here to see what video games you should play to experience the trailer's moments, and here for arguably the teaser's best parody.

[Source: Powerlight-13 on YouTube, via Kotaku]

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Learn The Star Wars: The Force Awakens Characters’ Names With Trading Card Mock-Ups

Star Wars fans have pored over the first Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens trailer for every bit of information possible. Thanks to some retro card mock-ups issued by director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, we now know the names of the characters featured in that trailer.

In an exclusive reveal to Entertainment Weekly, Abrams and Lucasfilm showed off the art, which unmasks just a little bit more of the Star Wars mystery. The cards reveal the names of Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), and Kylo Ren (unknown actor), and are made to emulate a series of Topps brand cards that ran in promotion of the 1977 original film. Oh, and the ball droid seen in the trailer is formally known as "BB-8." Told you it was adorable.


Image source: Entertainment Weekly

It's interesting to note that, despite speculation over the gender of Kylo Ren, the card (above) explicitly refers to the character by a masculine pronoun. We still don't know exactly who portrays Kylo Ren in the film.

For the whole host of cards, visit Entertainment Weekly's exclusive story. If you're looking for more ways to embed yourself in the Star Wars universe, take a peek at Kyle's piece about games that'll help you fully experience the new trailer.

[Source: Entertainment Weekly]

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Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida playable in Super Time Force Ultra

Shuhei Yoshida will be playable in the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita versions of Super Time Force Ultra, Sony announced this weekend as part of their PlayStation Experience event.

The President of Worldwide Studios for Sony Computer Entertainme…
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The Force is strong with Weekly Webcomic Wrapup

Forget Black Friday, the real showstopper for me this week was the teaser for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens. I love the Star Wars universe and routinely remind people that my favorite game of all time is, to this day, Star War…
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Five Games You Can Use To Experience The Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser has taken over the Internet – but why keep watching it when you could (sort of) relive it?

The teaser is basically made up of seven distinct scenes, many of which will be familiar to gamers if you really stretch your imagination. The obvious answer to recreating these scenes in video game form would be to play Star Wars video games, but that's too easy. Here are five games you can play to experience these scenes in non-Star Wars video games. Hopefully this will hold you over for the year leading up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens' release.

The first scene shown in the teaser features John Boyega in a desert by himself, presumably unsure why he's there. That sounds a lot like the plot of Journey.

Journey – Exploring a desert without any tangible clue why you're there? The only thing missing is a Storm Trooper outfit.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception – Alternatively, you could also play the last third or so of Uncharted 3 where Drake finds himself in the desert, alone, and probably sweating just as much as Boyega is in the image above.

Next up we meet Daisy Ridley riding some kind of land rocket with a seat through the dessert.

Jak 3 – If you want to ride some vehicles around the desert, the third entry in the Jak & Daxter series is your best bet. And if you really want to get fancy, there is a mission where the player, as Daxter, rides an actual rocket around at high speeds.

There isn't much to to be gathered form the scene above, other than there's a new lightsaber, and dark forests are much more intimidating when cloaked mystery magicians walk through them.

Baldur's Gate II – Baldur's Gate II has some great great dark and scary woods and are fully open to all magicians and sorcerers interested in taking a stroll.

You know that fancy somersault move the Millennium Falcon does at the end of the teaser right before the title appears?

Starfox 64 – That move looks remarkably similar to the Arwing maneuver when you go out of bounds while in all-range-mode in Starfox 64. Or it could be the somersault move used to get behind enemies who are on your tail. Something tells me Han Solo has been playing Starfox in order to train for his renewed battle with the Empire.

To see the Star Wars teaser, head here.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Brief But Exciting Teaser Trailer Is Online

You won't see any Luke, Leia, or Han, but there is plenty of other footage to see in the first glimpse at Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

New robots and landscapes, familiar spaceships, good guys, bad guys, the Millennium Falcon fighting TIE fighters, and one new lightsaber all appear in the brief, but exciting few seconds of footage below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is coming to theaters December of next year.

[Source: Apple Trailers]

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Top 50 Challenge 2014 – Earth Defense Force 2025

I’ve never played an Earth Defense Force game, but I’ve heard players sing their praises well before I met some of their fans here at Game Informer (check out Joe Juba’s review here). In many ways, it’s the Dynasty Warriors of third-person shooters. Lots of enemies on screen, lots of over-the-top action, but not a whole lot of input coming from the player.

Learn more about Game Informer's Fight for the Top 50 Challenge 2014

I totally understand the appeal of the game, and I was quickly charmed by its aesthetic without much expectation going in. The purposefully clichéd banter from the soldiers and civilians consistently cracked me up. I loved hearing the scientist come over the radio to remind me giant bugs are attacking, as if the giant bugs attacking weren’t enough to keep me up to date on the situation.

The enemies themselves, the gigantic bugs, are surprisingly scary. There’s something about seeing giant, realistic ants and spiders crawling over skyscrapers that is genuinely unsettling, and it’s made even better (or worse?) by how the rest of the game is basically comic relief.

The combat is simple and amounts to pointing your gun and shooting and trying to keep moving. Different types of enemies (I got far enough to see some flying alien ships) keeps things interesting, but I could feel it getting stale as I fired off my hundredth rocket at my millionth ant. The fun of the game seems to come from playing at higher difficulties for a higher score with friends recalling the abandoned arcade structure of video games past, but it just wasn’t doing it for me. And the slow trickle of new equipment unlocks didn’t encourage me to eagerly jump to the next level.

My Vote
I get why Earth Defense Force 2025 has a dedicated following and I enjoyed my time with it, but it’s hard for me to join the campaign for its inclusion in our top 50 of 2014. It’s shallow, empty-calorie fun, and while I love that this game exists and perfectly executes on it’s B-movie caliber intentions, I don’t think it’s enough to earn a spot on our list of the top 50 games of 2014. I will however, quickly jump into a local co-op game for a few hours the next time the opportunity pops up, even if I don’t plan on playing more by myself outside of work.

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Fight For The Top 50 2014 – Earth Defense Force 2025

I love the way that developers have been exploring more sophisticated themes in games in recent years, but not everything can be heavy and poignant all of the time. Yes, sometimes I want to play complex games with intense narratives. On the other hand, sometimes I just want to shoot a bunch of aliens. That’s when Earth Defense Force 2025 becomes the perfect game.

Learn more about the Game Informer Fight For The Top 50 Challenge 2014.

A hostile alien force called the Ravagers is invading Earth, after apparently being defeated in the previous entry, Earth Defense Force 2017. To combat the resurgent threat, you control members of a military squad who try to send the enemy army (consisting of giant ants, giant spiders, giant wasps, and giant robots) back home to space. In a series of quick missions (usually 10 minutes or less), you drop in and blast a swarm of bad guys with rockets, missiles, lasers, and other entertaining weapons. You hear the over-eager chants of your fellow EDF soldiers, then usually watch them die as they stumble over each other trying to fight the overwhelming alien forces.

Earth Defense Force 2025 harnesses an undiluted kind of arcade action that is increasingly rare (my review). The focus is 100 percent, B-movie, sci-fi carnage. It doesn’t care about world-building. It doesn’t care about character development. Here’s all you need to know, from beginning to end: Aliens are invading, and you need to kill them.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

The way you kill the aliens is at the core of what makes this game so fun and addictive. The third-person action is easy to grasp, and the controls are intuitive. You run around and fire your weapons at just about anything that moves. The explosions, acid, insect blood, and lasers constantly flooding the screen make every moment feel like barely controlled chaos. However, your winning strategy is somewhere between twitch precision and indiscriminate destruction.

You start with a meager arsenal of weapons, but the more you play, the more you pick up. You don’t have any sort of traditional progression system; new weapons and extra health drop randomly. That may seem frustrating, but the satisfaction of finally collecting that improved assault rifle or energy beam is immense – more so than just opening a predetermined chest or waiting for the odds to work in your favor on a boss drop.

You even have the choice of four classes (I recommend the Wing Diver, with a jetpack and penchant for energy weapons), and you can team up in co-op either online or locally. While I definitely love cutting down the Ravagers in single-player, the best moments in EDF 2025 are the ones where you and a friend survive a harrowing mission by the skin of your teeth, then try it again on a higher difficulty in hopes of reaping even better rewards.

When it comes to deciding Game Informer’s Top 50 Games for 2014, this gem is perilously easy to overlook. In a world where people want an excuse to play their new-gen consoles, EDF 2025 is a last-gen entry in an already niche franchise. The Earth Defense Force series is not known for its careful balancing or impactful story, so it might get overshadowed by more ambitious titles with bigger budgets. That would be a shame; when it comes to pure popcorn action, EDF 2025 can’t be beat.

The Top 50 Challenge

You need an open mind to fully enjoy Earth Defense Force 2025. That’s why I’m glad Kyle has taken up my challenge; he isn’t fiercely loyal to one particular genre over another, and is able to find things to appreciate in just about every game he plays. Yes, there are flaws in EDF 2025, and I wouldn’t ask anyone to ignore them or pretend they don’t exist – but if you can see past them, you’ve got one of the most shamelessly fun experiences of the year at your fingertips.

Kyle Hilliard was given one day to play EDF 2025. Come back tomorrow at 8:00 PM CT to read his impressions and see if he'll support the game's inclusion on our Top 50 Games of the Year list.

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Barely Related: Star Wars wakes up the Force

This week was full of little geeky goodies. Om nom nom.

Welcome to Barely Related, a conversational Friday column that presents the non-gaming news stories that we, the Joystiq staff, have been talking about over the past week. And no, we’re not…
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