Dragon's Crown

Vanillaware has long been praised for its lavish, ornate games and the aesthetic value of its creations rather than their practicality or realism. In an age where dismal sci-fi landscapes and unimaginative dirt-encrusted visions of war prevail, an injection of fantasy (with an extensive color palette) is a sight for sore eyes. Indeed, upon firing up the developer's latest opus, Dragon's Crown, one wonders how the only takeaway from this gorgeous product could possibly be the size of a particular character's breasts or derriere.

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Xbox 360
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Let's just get this out of the way: Sam Fisher is no longer being voiced by Michael Ironside, and that sucks. I'm comfortable calling Ironside's work one of the most iconic performances in the gaming industry (yes, more so than David Hayter as Solid Snake), and the actor's absence leaves a gaping hole in the series that, unfortunately, his replacement can't fill. Eric Johnson mutters, mumbles and murmurs his way through the entire script, reducing one of the most memorable protagonists of the last two generations to a guy who sounds like he needs his coffee. And let's face it – Splinter Cell has always been a bland mix of indecipherable government lingo and eye-rolling spy movies clichés. It was Fisher's gravelly menace and dark sense of humor that kept us engaged in what was going on, and

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Castle of Illusion's HD remake arrives early next month

If you have $14.99 that has been burning a hole in your pocket, now might be a good time to make plans for it. SEGA and Disney jointly announced today (edit: make that ten days ago) that Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse will officially be available for PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, and PC, starting September 3rd and 4th (depending on the platform).

Castle of Illusion is one of the other beloved Disney titles, one of the few from any era that wasn't developed by Capcom. It finds Mickey Mouse working through a magical castle and surrounding environs, all in his quest to rescue Minnie.

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My Game Shopping List: September and October edition

Every year around this time, I find it helpful to make a calendar for myself, outlining which games are arriving next and for which platform. The timing is right, because a lot of the holiday season's big games have at this point been announced and release dates are near final. There's also less in the way of distraction, because the big marketing blitz won't begin for probably another few weeks and that makes it easier for me to take note of titles that otherwise I might allow to become lost in the shuffle.

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NIS America shares The Guided Fate Paradox image assets

Yesterday, NIS America sent out an email to share some images with members of the press. Those images included a proper look at the title's cover art, along with screenshots of the localized version of the game.

I always get a little bit excited when I find out that NIS America is about to release another title developed by the Nippon Ichi Software team in Japan. That group of talented developers was responsible for one of my favorite SRPGs of all time, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, as well as plenty of other great titles within that general world.

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4X strategy title Endless Legend coming from Amplitude Studios...

Amplitude Studios, the team behind the PC/Mac indie success known as Endless Legend, is developing a new strategy game called Endless Legend. According to a press release issued earlier today by publisher Iceberg Interactive, the new title is another 4X strategy project.

It seems like no matter how many times I hear the term "4x strategy game," I have to head over to Google and look it up before I remember that "4x" stands for "explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate." In other words, it stands for "exactly the sort of strategy game that you like to play, you forgetful bum." I'm kind of glad that hasn't become the official definition, because then I'd just feel insulted every time I space out like that.

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Gone Home

After you finish Gone Home, the first thing you'll want to do is read what others had to say about it. You may try to do that before you play Gone Home, at which point you'll be urged to stop reading, avoid hearing anything about the game and buy it immediately. Now that I find myself in the same position of having to sell the game without spoiling it, I'm tempted to echo that. Between Brothers and now this, what's going on here? Is this some international competition to develop the world's most critic-proof game?

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Staff Writers

Name: Jason Venter
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Featured Content

PS3: Dragon's Crown

A fantasy painting set into motion with engaging RPG-lite mechanics.

Xbox 360: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist

The biggest Splinter Cell to date is also, unfortunately, the messiest.

PC: Gone Home

Gone Home has something important to say to you.

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