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Scenes of Calm and Chaos: Artists on fighting game backgrounds without the fights

The hand-drawn fighting game background is a fading art, kept alive by the crew at SNK Playmore, keeping the lights on in the King of the Fighters series and the tireless hardcore savants at Arc System Works. Brawlers like Super Smash Bros. 3DS, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle, and Ultra...

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The Truth Inside Destiny's Loot Cave

The loot cave is dead, but its spirit will haunt other venues and hover over Destiny for a long time. Bungie will keep persecuting it, having barred item trading and proclaiming, "You should be able to tell a badass story for every sweet jewel in your arsenal." The Man Who Shot Into The Cave A...

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Stories we tell in quiet houses and alien invasions

Video game experiences aren't wholly relegated to what designers have deliberately laid out for you; through gameplay, a unique narrative emerges. We all have our own stories: a car chase in Grand Theft Auto V, a battle within a hidden cave in Skyrim, an ore-rich chasm in Minecraft. These...

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Opening the valve: Steam Curators rule the front page

Ask a hundred independent developers what impacts their sales most and you'll likely get a hundred different answers, but among the more popular ones will be the topic of discoverability, the ways in which prospective buyers are able to find lesser-known video games. Platforms like the App Store...

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Making games when you're dead broke: The story of Ragtag Studios

After a dozen or more years apiece kicking around the AAA side of the games industry, the three men behind Ragtag Studio embraced independence. They've spent the last two-plus years working on Ray's the Dead, a cartoonish zombie adventure that is about to conclude an already-funded Kickstarter...

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Heavenly Sword: How Not to Kill Your Heroine (in the movie)

Heavenly Sword begins with its heroine in agony, convulsing on the battleground, her tangled red hair swirled in the dirt. Nariko still clings to the cursed sword that had gotten her so far. As searing scripture snakes up her arms, branding her the doomed property of this mystical blade, she...

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How PlayStation Plus went from maybe to must-have

When PlayStation Plus was announced in 2010, it was difficult to understand why PlayStation 3 owners would feel motivated to pay for a premium tier to the service they had been enjoying for free. Four years later, the Instant Game Collection has provided plenty of incentive to pony up the annual...

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Happy 15th birthday, Sega Dreamcast

Fifteen years ago today, Sega launched its final video game console. Arriving in stores on September 9, 1999, the Dreamcast stole our hearts with a plethora of amazing games. There are plenty of essential classics from the Dreamcast era – Power Stone, SoulCalibur and Phantasy Star Online,...

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The Behemoth finally has enough clout to get away with Game 4

The Behemoth, better known as the house that made Castle Crashers, is continuing a pattern in which it approaches new genres with each project. Its newest venture, Game 4, is a turn-based strategy game for PC and Xbox One that retains the developer's quirky humor and trademark charms while...

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Hatoful Boyfriend review: The beak shall inherit the earth

Most pigeons reach sexual maturity in their first year of life. This is something I know now, and it's one of the many revelations I had while playing Hatoful Boyfriend, the pigeon dating simulator. I also discovered what a rock dove is, I settled on the type of plumage I'm most attracted to (in...

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