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Check out your sweet Xbox One achievements online

Xbox has updated its site to include achievement listings for Xbox One games you’ve played. You’ll need to log in, but all of your wonderful Xbox One accomplishments should be on display right here….
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Free peas, sweet: Plants vs. Zombies is latest Origin freebie

You can return to your roots by grabbing Plants vs. Zombies: Complete Edition for free on Windows PC and Mac, now that it’s Origin’s new On the House game. The EA portal’s free-for-all program started back in March with Dead Space, and now the…
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Minecraft grows a sweet tooth, turns into Candy Lan-uhh, Candycraft

If you don’t celebrate Easter, you can still treat today like Candy Overload day! Once you start crashing from your sugar high, you can remain relatively immobile on the couch while crafting sweet desserts out of Minecraft’s Candy Texture Pack, now…
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Investors unfriend Facebook stock, Candy Crush dev IPO not so sweet

Facebook’s current status after the $ 2 billion acquisition of virtual reality outfit Oculus yesterday? It’s complicated. The social media company’s stock didn’t rally on the news today, dropping nearly seven percent to $ 60.38/share (-4.51). Reaction…
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Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy review: Such Sweet Sorrow

Professor Layton games have always been all-consuming, everything-else-on-hold affairs. I vividly remember playing The Curious Village, the first Layton, as I was drudging through a dank November London. It was essentially a collection of puzzles…
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Olympic Village Features Sweet Soviet Union-Era Arcade Machines

Everyone's eyes are appropriately transfixed on the Olympics, but they aren't the only games that are taking place in Sochi, Russia. At least one of the Olympic villages has an arcade in it, with a few fully functional games from the Soviet Union-era on display. Take a look at them in our gallery.

My brother is a coach for the U.S. Ski Team, and he says he thought of me when he walked past the machines (Awwww…). As you can see, they're hard to ignore. I bugged him to take a few more pictures for me, and got his impressions of the games, too. Matt wrote a story about arcade machines from the Soviet Union a few years back, and it's worth a look, in case you're interested in learning more.

Магистраль ("Highway"):
"This reminds me of the old Atari 2600 game 'Enduro,' or maybe 'Bump 'n' Jump' (without the jumping, and not the NES version)," he writes. "It also reminds me of one of the battery-operated, mechanical driving games I had when I was little, with the little steering wheel and the stationary car you moved around the rolling mat of obstacles." 

Here's a closer look at the unit's instruction card. "This is particularly 2600-esque, as there's only a gas pedal, and no brake," my brother says.

Cнайпер-2 ("Sniper-2")
"I don't know what 'Sniper-1' was like, but this appears to be a basic light-operated gun target-shooting game like you'd see in Northern Wisconsin bars circa 1978," writes my brother. "I didn't have any rubles to play this one, and I wasn't inspired to get any after looking at the set-up."

In addition to the old-school games, Nintendo has set up an array of Wii U kiosks at Sloboda Endurance Village. There is a mirror, my brother helpfully points out, so there aren't quite as many as you might think. 

There are also some other arcade machines…

…As well as the planet's loneliest disco. As it turns out, athletes either don't like disco dancing during daytime or they're too busy competing. Go figure.

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Twisted Pixel Wants You To Be Sweet On LocoCycle On Xbox 360, Steam

Twisted Pixel has announced that its Xbox One launch title, LocoCycle, will be arriving on Xbox 360 and Steam in February. The developer is also running a contest for a limited edition, glowing LocoCycle Xbox 360.

The title will be coming to both additional platforms on Valentine’s Day (February 14). In order to be entered for the Xbox 360 contest, you need only purchase the game between February 14 and February 28 on Xbox One or Xbox 360.

The LocoCycle Xbox 360 and matching controller were designed to look like sentient motorcycle I.R.I.S. Movie special effects house Legacy FX, which has been involved with The Avengers, Jurassic Park, and Terminator 2, are behind the design and implementation.

You can see the LocoCycle Xbox 360 on the official contest page. For more, check out our review of the mayhem-filled, man-meets-machine title.

 

Our Take
I played LocoCycle at PAX last year and enjoyed its humor and arcade sensibilities. When I got the hang of it and chained together long combos, it felt great, and the learning curve kept it from being too easy. It’s worth checking out the demo.

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PS3 Owners Can Grab A Cool Sweet Tooth Mask In Payday 2

505 Games' excellent multiplayer heist game just got a little…sweeter. *Puts on sunglasses like David Caruso from CSI: Miami* *Roger Daltry scream from "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who*

To give the game's PlayStation fans a cool little item that harks back to the earlier days of Sony, you'll be able to download a free mask of the likeness of Twisted Metal's iconic Sweet Tooth character in the PlayStation Store.

Our Take:
It's a great-looking mask and a nice bit of fan service. Kudos to 505 Games.

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Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus Review – Short But Sweet

Ratchet and Clank have been going through a bit of an identity crisis. After saving the universe time and time again, this oddly paired duo sought outside help in their most recent endeavors. They expanded their team to four members in Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, and called upon automated defenses to aid them in Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault. Such deviations from their traditional formula didn’t convince me that these well-known characters should be doing anything other than blowing away aliens with ridiculously overpowered weapons. Insomniac’s attempt to reinvent this franchise smacked of the problems Sonic the Hedgehog has exhibited for years.

It didn’t take long for Insomniac to recognize what needed to be done. Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus is a return to classic form. The Lombax and his metal companion are aging well, losing neither their ability to transform enemy legions into smoldering messes of nuts and bolts nor the allure that makes this action so much fun.

The controls and overall design fit like the same glove we’ve worn since 2002, but the new weapons and gadgets give this well-worn formula new life. Ratchet can whip up a lethal cocktail on the battlefield, blending the sheer might of Warmonger rockets with the diversionary Nightmare Box, which creates a ghoulish image that sends enemies reeling into an overly dramatic state of shock. Another weapon tears open the dimensional fabric to unleash flying serpents upon your foes. The weapon selection is diverse – allowing for numerous strategies to be deployed – and satisfying to wield. And yes, there’s a new RYNO to construct and use.

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Clank detaches from his compatriot’s back to save the cosmos in side-scrolling platforming sections heavily inspired by Terry Cavanagh’s indie game VVVVVV. In these sequences, Clank alters gravity to cling to the ceiling, floor, and walls to solve puzzle-like sequences and dodge deadly pits and spikes. These sections are a welcome challenge and a nice wrinkle that changes up the action at the right times.

Into the Nexus is a short game, consisting of just four planets to explore. Insomniac infuses new ideas into the traversal methods, touching slightly on Portal 2’s style of gameplay with the Grav Tether gadget that connects two points with a gravity beam. Most of these worlds are straightforward, but completionists will like the design of Planet Thram, which disperses items to collect and side missions across a large, deadly swamp. Arena mode is a part of the mix, but it doesn't deliver much of a challenge. Most of these arena battles are over in a flash.

I invested roughly 10 hours into this enjoyable little game. About five hours went to a thorough sweep of the critical path campaign, and another five to Challenge mode (a harder version of the game that unlocks powered-up Omega weapons). The story is predictable, but filled some smirk-worthy jokes, and a couple of large events that will have longstanding effects on Ratchet and company. The ending is a nice tease that should put a smile on the face of fans of the series, as it points to another big adventure that Insomniac will likely bring to PlayStation 4.

Into the Nexus’ gameplay holds true to what we’ve known and enjoyed for over a decade. Should we be demanding bigger and better things? Maybe, but there’s something about this formula that just works. I walked away from it hungry for more.

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GDC Next 10: Toejam & Earl creator on making a ‘sweet, simple, genuine’ game

“You don’t need great complexity to touch people.” GDC spoke with HumaNature Studios founder Greg Johnson about the inspiration behind Doki-Doki Universe for his upcoming GDC Next 10 talk. …


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