TIME Video Games

Nintendo Just Turned Profitable and Wii U Sales Are Past 7 Million

Wii U sales more than doubled between April and September 2014, bolstered by sales of Mario Kart 8.

Surprise, Nintendo just made a pile of unexpected money: 14.3 billion yen in net income, or about $132 million, for the six month fiscal period that ended in September. For the same period last year, the company posted just 600 million yen in net income.

And in the last three months, July to September, the company’s had unexpected quarterly operating profits as well, reaching 9.3 billion yen, or about $86 million, reports Reuters, which adds that the weaker yen boosted overseas earnings. Analysts had predicted a significant loss for the quarter.

The unanticipated turnaround means Nintendo could see its first annual profit in four years. And the company’s sticking with its full-year prediction, made back in May, of 40 billion yen (versus a 46 billion yen loss last year).

Wii U sales look considerably better, too, with 1.1 million units sold between April and September — more than double the prior year’s sales. Software sales were 9.4 million units for the period, up from 6.3 million units the prior year, and Nintendo cites Mario Kart 8 and Hyrule Warriors as key drivers. The Wii U is now sitting at a relatively healthy 7.29 million units shipped worldwide, behind Sony’s more than 10 million PlayStation 4s sold (reported in August) and ahead of Microsoft’s 5 million Xbox Ones shipped (reported in April).

The only downer for Nintendo here is 3DS hardware sales, which dropped from 3.89 million units April-September 2013 to 2.09 million units for the same period this year. Nintendo says it sold about 23 million software units for the period, down from about 27 million units the prior year. (Note that Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS, the likely game-changer for 3DS hardware sales in 2014, only arrived a few weeks ago — late September in Japan, early October everywhere else.)

But the takeaway seems clear: Nintendo’s skating these systems from first-party release to first-party release, and seems to be making serious headway — so far, anyway. Long-term survival on that basis sounds improbable in theory, but then you look at the Mario Kart 8 phenomenon, and the breaking Super Smash Bros. for 3DS one, and all the glowing reviews for Bayonetta 2, then ahead to amiibo and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and — moving on to 2015 — a formidable-looking lineup that includes Splatoon, Mario Maker, Mario Party 10, Yoshi’s Wooly World, Xenoblade Chronicles X and the next Legend of Zelda.

TIME Video Games

This Is Why Nintendo Is Crushing It All of a Sudden

General Images Of Nintendo Ahead Of Earnings
A man walks in front of a Nintendo Co. logo outside the company's offices in Tokyo, Japan. Bloomberg via Getty Images

No one expected the game maker to turn a profit this quarter

Nintendo’s latest earnings report surprised everybody. On Oct. 28, the struggling Japanese games maker said its net profit was $224 million from July to September. Most analysts had expected the company to post earnings nearly four times less, according to the Wall Street Journal. The stunning earnings also helped the game maker recover from a nearly $75 million loss last year.

Here’s why Nintendo is beating everyone’s expectations:

Gamers worldwide still love Super Smash Bros.

Nintendo said Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, which was released in Japan and began overseas shipping in Sept., has already logged 3.22 million units in sales globally.

Nintendo’s life simulator game has become a hit overseas.

Sales of Tomodachi Life, a life simulation game, marked 1.27 million units in worldwide sales this fiscal year. The popularity of the 3DS-only game, along with that of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, also helped boost sales of the handheld console.

The Mario Kart franchise isn’t hitting the brakes.

Mario Kart 8, the latest racing game in the series supported by Wii U, has displayed steady sales even though it was released in May.

A spinoff of The Legend of Zelda is reigniting old flames.

Nintendo’s new video game Hyrule Warriors is gaining popularity with global audiences who are getting a second chance to play with legendary characters Zelda, Link and Lana from the Zelda series.

The Yen is depreciating, which is working in Nintendo’s favor.

Nintendo said it logged 15.5 billion yen ($143 million) in exchange gains due to the depreciation of the yen, which was greater in recent months than it was last year.

TIME Video Games

Judge Dismisses Manuel Noriega’s Call of Duty Lawsuit

(L) Panamanian strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega takes part in a news conference at the Atlapa center in Panama City on Oct. 11,1998.(R) The character Noriega claims was created in his likeness.
Panamanian strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega (left) sues Activision over a portrayal of him in Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 game (right) Alberto Lowe—Reuters; Activision/AP

The former dictator of Panama sought damages for a character based on him

A California judge Tuesday threw out a lawsuit filed by former dictator Manual Noriega against a video game he claimed depicted him in a bad light.

Manuel Noriega, who ruled Panama for most of the 1980s, sought charges in July against video game publisher Activision, for creating a character based on him without permission in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Wall Street Journal reported. Noriega said the 2012 shooter game unlawfully depicted him “as a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state,” according to court documents.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge William H. Fahey tossed the lawsuit on grounds that Noriega’s likeness was sufficiently “transformative”–meaning that its use was adopted for the sake of commentary or expression. Fahey also argued that the video game did not benefit from Noriega’s inclusion, as the former soldier and convicted drug trafficker had argued.

“The Court concludes that the marketability and economic value of the challenged work in this case comes not from Noriega, but from the creativity, skill and reputation of defendants,” Fahey wrote in court documents.

The dismissal was supported by former NYC major and Activision co-counsel Rudy Giuliani, who called Noriega’s claims “audacious,” as it touches on the issue of the many other video games and works of art that draw from and freely interpret historical or political figures.

“This ruling is an important victory and we thank the court for protecting free speech,” said Rudy Giuliani. “This was an absurd lawsuit from the very beginning and we’re gratified that in the end, a notorious criminal didn’t win. This is not just a win for the makers of Call of Duty, but is a victory for works of art across the entertainment and publishing industries throughout the world.”

TIME Video Games

Your Favorite 90s-Era Star Wars Games Are Finally Back

X-Wing GOG/LucasArts

X-Wing, TIE Fighter and more

A slew of classic Star Wars games which vanished along with the 90’s era computers they were designed to run on have been resurrected for modern-day computers.

Gaming site GOG has partnered with Disney Interactive to re-release 20 hit games from LucasArts, including X-Wing and TIE Fighter, as well as the popular adventure series Sam & Max. The titles were a popular request on GOG’s community forum, where fans can wax nostalgic about long-vanished titles and lobby for their return.

Want to try out your old favorites? Head over to GOG, hop in your X-Wing and may the force be with you.

TIME Video Games

The 5 Best Xbox One Games Right Now

Have a look at our essential video game checklist for new Xbox One owners

So you just picked up an Xbox One, and you’re wondering what to buy. That’s something we can say now—the “after you bought it” thing—because with consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, every game is available through the console’s e-tail store as a digital download. Or maybe you haven’t bought one yet, but you’re leaning in Microsoft’s general direction. Either way, we think these are hands-down the best games on the platform at the moment.

  • Child of Light

    Ubisoft’s Child of Light is like platforming through a fairy tale painting, a roleplaying adventure in which you guide an Austrian girl who’s died and been transported to another world through a dark fantasy landscape, battling folk creatures to restore the sun, moon and stars. The turn-based battle system and skill-based character progression are straightforward enough, but most unusual for a game: both the narration and dialogue unfurl in poetic verse.

    Buy this game if… You’re into modern poetry, like the earlier Final Fantasy roleplaying games, enjoy unusual settings and stories that veer from classic fantasy tropes, and love the idea of scrolling through beautifully hand-drawn landscapes.

    Steer clear if… You’re no fan of fairy tales, turn-based combat, side-scrolling roleplaying games or stories told as poems.

    What critics said: “… riffs on beloved roleplaying tropes while serving up an evocative, hand-drawn fantasy pastiche with traces of Yoshitaka Amano and Hayao Miyazaki” (TIME); “…a memorable experience that’s as fun to play as it is artistically pleasing” (Gamesradar); “… a wonderfully realized, somber adventure” (GameSpot).

    ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+

  • Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition

    Blizzard third dance with the devil turns out to be the series’ best, with the slickest boss fights, craftable gear, legendary item sets and an emporium’s worth of unlockable achievements. It’s even better on consoles, where using the gamepad to dodge enemies or just stroll around feels like the more natural fit. If you’re new to this installment, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions also come with the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion.

    Buy this game if… Wailing on hordes of attacking enemies sounds fun, you like games with endless leveling up possibilities, you like settings steeped in Judeo-Christian demonology.

    Steer clear if… You’re burned out on hack-and-slash games, or you’re looking for a fantasy game with a well-written story.

    What critics said: “…a mediocre action-RPG [starting out] that eventually turns into a good and sometimes even great one” (TIME); “the definitive version of Diablo III” (GameSpot).

    ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+

  • Forza Horizon 2

    In Forza Horizon 2, you can drive a gleaming 2015 Lamborghini Huracán (among other luxury vehicles you’ll probably never get to in real life) through the game’s open world–a world that’s three times bigger than the original Forza Horizon–while availing yourself of improved Drivatar technology (A.I. vehicles you can race against, based on the driving attributes of real players’ in your friends list) and admiring the startling visual effects, like the way light now refracts through drops of moisture, the render tech plausibly simulating something as intangible but essential as the earth’s atmosphere.

    Buy this game if… You love obnoxiously beautiful cars, you love the idea of racing luxury vehicles through gorgeously photorealistic scenery (southern France and northern Italy), or you’d like to race against friends online even when they’re not online.

    Steer clear if… You’re no fan of racing games, or the notion of playing them with a gamepad (in which case there are optional racing wheels available, but the high fidelity ones cost more than the Xbox One itself).

    What critics said: “A meticulously crafted, marvelous-looking and superbly designed racer that dishes up an absolute feast of automotive madness and mayhem” (USgamer); “…Horizon 2 earns its stripes with a breezy determination to simply show you a ruddy good time” (Telegraph); “…one of the best racing-game experiences I’ve ever had” (GamesBeat).

    ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+

  • Sunset Overdrive

    Sunset Overdrive is developer Insomniac’s first try at an open world game, tapping the same screwball vein as its Ratchet & Clank series, only with a grownup twist. Imagine a punk-informed quasi-parkour game by way of a zany skateboarding simulation by way of a metropolis-sized circus playground that knowingly winks at you as it periodically deconstructs itself.

    Buy this game if… Grinding, back-flipping and zip-lining on wires, cables, pipes, railings and pretty much the edge of anything while blasting lunatic mutants sounds appealing.

    Steer clear if… You hate goofball humor, you’re not into open-world games.

    What critics said: “…you’re some kind of grind-fu god, working a style meter that requires continuously deft finger work into an acrobatic lather” (TIME); “…probably the most enjoyable game I’ve played so far this generation” (EGM); “…piles the number of options you can choose from sky-high” (Joystiq).

    ESRB Rating: Mature

  • Titanfall

    Titanfall covers the Xbox One’s online-only angle reasonably well if you’re looking for a game about shooting guns or piloting giant mechs that shoot even bigger guns and the option to alternate between both modes in a single match. The idea’s simple enough: two teams of six players engage in all-out ballistic combat on multiplayer maps while attempting to complete team objectives and summoning giant, drivable mechs that periodically drop from the sky.

    Buy this game if… You love the idea of being able to alternate between playing as a nimble, wall-running soldier and a giant rock-em-sock-em mech in an futuristic online gunslinging extravaganza.

    Steer clear if… You find highly competitive, frenetically paced first-person shooters overwhelming.

    What critics said: “…for a certain kind of highly competitive someone with more of an e-sports mentality.” (TIME); “…a thunderously good time; an accessible yet skilful, hulking yet ferociously nimble shot in the arm for a well-populated genre” (Telegraph); “by reinventing the way you move, Titanfall reinvents what it feels like to play a competitive shooter” (GameSpot).

    ESRB Rating: Mature

TIME Video Games

The Xbox One’s Price Just Dropped $50 Until Next Year

Microsoft says you can knock $50 off any Xbox One, bundle or base, through January 3, 2015.

The once-$499 Xbox One, which plummeted to $399 in June, just dropped in price again: You can have one starting next week for $350.

It’s a limited-time thing, but Microsoft’s giving fence-sitters plenty of time to make up their minds, running the promotional pricing from November 2 (next Sunday) through January 3, 2015. You’ll have to find a participating retailer, but Microsoft’s list covers the majors.

It’s also an “any Xbox One” thing, so you can basically knock $50 off whatever you like, from the base model without a game to any of the bundles, including the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Unity ($349, or $449 with Kinect and Dance Central Spotlight), Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare ($449 with 1TB hard drive and custom housing) and Sunset Overdrive ($349 and a white finish) SKUs.

Phil Spencer’s wrong when he boasts, “Only on Xbox One can you play some of the most anticipated exclusives, newest blockbuster franchises and innovative independent games of the year.” The Xbox One checks those boxes, sure, but so does Sony’s PlayStation 4 (to say nothing of Windows PCs). I’d include Nintendo’s Wii U, which checks the “most anticipated exclusives” and “innovative independent games” boxes, but it fumbles the “newest blockbuster franchises” one because of the abject state of third-party support.

The Xbox One’s temporary price drop is both a sign of how much Microsoft’s trying to change the sales narrative around its flagship console — the perception that its basically getting clobbered by the PlayStation 4 worldwide — and an indication that the company’s willing to do more than it’s competition to make that happen. If you want an example of a system that’s arguably not doing enough, price-wise, to shore up the gulf between its price and perceived value, look no further than Nintendo’s Wii U.

TIME Games

Sunset Overdrive Review: Masterful Grindhouse

Insomniac Games/Microsoft

Still need a reason to own an Xbox One? Here it is.

At heart, Sunset Overdrive is a nerd-power fantasy that wants you to know it knows it’s a nerd-power fantasy. But it’s also about pulling the Xbox One out of the Bermuda Triangle. Sony’s PlayStation 4 has sold so well that even Sony’s baffled, whereas Microsoft clammed up about Xbox One sales back in April. Microsoft’s implied system sales have been solid, but the console needs a holiday dunk shot beyond recycled Halo. Now it definitely has one in Insomniac Games’ magnificent Sunset Overdrive.

Most probably know Insomniac for the Ratchet & Clank platform hoppers, where a bipedal cat and robot sidekick gallivant around the universe. You can see the lines back to those games here — the colorful environments, ridiculous weaponry and general daffiness — but Sunset Overdrive is a lot more than just Ratchet & Clank for grownups.

In the game you play a nerd who can grind — who cares how or why — on nearly anything, Cirque du Soleiling around a zany postapocalyptic metropolis, pulping exploding mutants and ruthless robots, egged on by gorgeous scenery and goofball factions and a punk backbeat. Imagine Tony Hawk meets Sam Raimi crossed with Sid Vicious multiplied by pinball.

The plot’s intentionally daft enough to slide almost beneath notice: a corporate soda maker’s new energy drink turns imbibers into mutants, because, to paraphrase one of the characters you interact with, “Y’know, science and somethin’-somethin’ bullsh–.” It’s just a permission slip to build a city that’s effectively a giant fun-park ride.

Insomniac Games/Microsoft

Nothing has to make sense, which is how the game then goes about making perfect sense. Sandbox games let you go anywhere, but eventually amount to doing this thing to get that thing to level up and do the next thing. But what you’re thinking during the cutscene exposition and wordy banter is “What’s my next upgrade?” or “How do I collect this many of that?” or “How’s my next opponent going to fight?” or “What’s that part of the map going to play like?”

It’s as if Sunset Overdrive reads minds, because it cannonballs you from thrill to thrill, burning all the exposition and busywork to the ground and using what little there is to slyly poke fun at genre conventions. “Bryllcream, what kind of a name is that?” says the protagonist at one point after hearing another character’s goofy handle. “One that’s easy to remember, I guess,” goes the response. It’s a moment that stands for everything else about the game: subtext schmubtext, just go with the flow.

And boy does this thing flow. Never in a game world this big and geometrically complex have I felt as firmly connected to the skyline and simultaneously able to power through it, chaining leaps, air dashes, swings, flips, attacks, wall runs, zip-line “undergrinds,” trampoline bounces and ground pounds while skating across anything with an edge. Sunset City — that’s its name, though most of the game transpires under blue skies — has been scrupulously overlaid with railways and cables and packed with elaborate angular structures so you can grind from one side of the city to any other without touching down. This, finally, is the aerial skating game Sucker Punch’s Infamous only teased five years ago.

Insomniac Games / Microsoft

Staying off the ground is essential. On the ground you’re slow and clumsy, but in the air you’re some kind of grind-fu god, working a style meter that requires continuously deft finger work into an acrobatic lather by mixing maneuvers and weapon attacks — a familiar idea that’s been scaled way up here. Basically, think of the ground in Sunset Overdrive as kryptonite.

Then think about how ridiculous you’d want your nonsense arsenal of destruction to be, and Sunset Overdrive manages to go one better. So, for instance, you can wield: a rifle that flings vinyl records that bounce from enemy to enemy, an explosive teddy-bear launcher, a crowd-control gun that deploys taunting holographic decoys, a pistol that spits projectiles that turn into floating turrets, and a weapon (dubbed “The Dude”) that lobs incendiary bowling balls.

Nonsensical, but not superficial. The pyrotechnics feel purposeful, and each weapon deploys unique damage against the game’s four basic enemy types — you’ll die, and die again, then die some more if you opt to fight robots with shotguns or human thugs with harpoon launchers, for instance (though dying itself is delightful and a clever in-joke here — a collage of cultural sendups playing with the idea that these kinds of games are basically immortality simulators).

All of that’s fed by a backend system of configurable power-ups you unlock by feats of derring-do as the game unfolds. You can finesse these in all kinds of cool ways, from monkeying with weapon damage to how fast the style meter climbs to the sort of ballistic damage you want to kick out (shockwaves, tesla bolts, tornadoes and more) as you jump style levels. It’s an elegant relational lattice that feels balanced and very you-centric, where the permutations from your choices amount to meaningfully different ways of squaring off with opponents or completing challenges.

Insomniac Games/Microsoft

My only complaints are a few niggling completeness problems Insomniac needs to fix: I encountered a few missions that wouldn’t advance without resets, a few spots where enemies weirdly stopped being able to damage me, half a dozen places where I got stuck in the world geometry and had to reset the game, and I don’t know if it was code shenanigans or the Xbox One, but the game crashed outright twice.

I suppose I should say something about the next-gen stuff, the crazy number of enemies the game can shoehorn into battles at once, the crazy-big bosses and ambitiously multilayered missions and combat scenarios, the magnificent architectural and kaleidoscopic sweep of Sunset City itself. But at this point I don’t really notice that stuff. And that’s the biggest compliment I can pay the game, really — that it’s great without bothering to highlight the chrome.

Insomniac calls Sunset Overdrive a “traversal shooter,” as if that explains anything. I’d just call it a damned good time.

5 out of 5

Xbox One

TIME Tech

A Video Game You Can Play As… A Slice of Bread

Haven't you always wanted to experience life through the perspective of bread? You can do it in this game

lost-at-e-minor_logo

This article originally appeared on Lost at E Minor.

Guys, remember when we showed you the video game where you could play as a wild goat? That was pretty awesome and weird. Well, now you can play a video game as a slice of bread. Simply called I Am Bread, this truly bizarre video game allows you to wander through different rooms of a house before reaching the table.

Take a dip in the toilet, check out the washing machine, even climb on top of the ceiling fan for a great view of the living room and dining area—whatever you’ve always wanted to do as a slice of bread, you can do it in this game.

The game was created by Bossa Studios in the UK, a pretty zany bunch of gamers who have already released games such as Surgeon Simulator, Deep Dungeons of Doom, and Monstermind.

(Via U Funk)

TIME Video Games

50 Things Nintendo Wants You to Know About Super Smash Bros. Wii U

Nintendo just rolled out a special Nintendo Direct that walks through 50 of the game's new features, including an eight-player offline Smash mode.

Some of us, myself included, were worried Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. for Wii U wouldn’t make 2014. But then Nintendo ska-kawed our disquiet at the not-quite eleventh hour, announcing a few weeks ago that, yes, the game would arrive this year: November 21, in case you missed it.

Now the company’s released a 35-minute primer on the game that’s basically a feature pitch video. It’s (almost) nothing Smash aficionados don’t already know, but everything that’s new gets nicely compiled into a single straight-through look.

It’s also a helpful thing to watch if (a) you haven’t yet bought the 3DS version and so have no idea what’s different from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, (b) you’re a fighting-game fan who’s never played a Super Smash Bros. game but you’re Smash-curious, or (c) you want to see what the corybantic madness of eight-player offline Smash – a series first — looks like.

And with that, I suppose I’d better finish watching it, since I’m going to be playing the Wii U game tonight at a Nintendo event in Detroit.

TIME Video Games

The 5 Best PlayStation 4 Games Right Now

The essential video game checklist for new PlayStation 4 owners

So you just picked up a PlayStation 4, and you’re wondering what to buy. Or maybe you haven’t bought one yet, but you’re leaning in Sony’s general direction. Either way, we think these are hands-down the best games on platform at the moment.

  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

    Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag‘s Caribbean setting is sun-dappled, tropical and thoroughly tattooed, a sultry archipelago of jungle-scapes, cerulean skies and grizzled buccaneers. You’re a pirate neophyte as the game begins, rising through the pirate echelons, rubbing elbows with everyone from Blackbeard to Anne Bonny, working to hammer out a kind of egalitarianism that’s often overlooked in Hollywood’s rush to mythologize pirates as unshowered, bloodthirsty, money-grubbing mercenaries preying on the weak like peg-legged sociopaths.

    Buy this game if… You like pirates, boats, sneaking around and scaling everything in sight, light naval and economic simulations, alternate history tales slathered with cabalistic conspiracies, ginormous open-worlds with gobs of collection-oriented side activities, a literal archipelago of elaborate locales to survey, and a central story you can engage at your own pace, whether chewing through missions one after another, or ignoring them entirely.

    Steer clear if… You don’t like open-ended games or having to travel vast distances to make things happen, have no interest in the particulars of naval combat, find scads of collection quests repetitive, don’t like pirates or early 18th century settings, expect hand-to-hand combat that evolves and challenges, and hate having to slink through the shadows.

    What critics said: “…great fun when you let your impulses guide you” (Game Informer); “…the most generous Assassin’s Creed game to date” (Edge); “…an incredible scope to what you can do” (GameSpot).

    ESRB Rating: Mature

  • Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn

    Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn arrived for PlayStation 3 and Windows last September, and after some early launch problems with glitchy servers, it settled into a kind of groove. It’s been humming along since: a lavish fantasy universe with scads of Final Fantasy-ish things to tangle with, craft and explore. The PlayStation 4 version includes the same content, but with vastly prettier versions of things to look at, and the subscription fee (after the 30-day trail period) remains the same: $12.99 a month, after the cost of the game itself.

    Buy this game if… You don’t mind (or actually like) the idea of playing one with a gamepad, you’re in the mood to pick through a mammoth fantasy sandbox, you enjoy the Final Fantasy games (or just different stylistic takes on Western fantasy tropes), or you want to play the best version of this game on a console (and for that matter, the best MMO on any console).

    Steer clear if… You don’t like MMOs, don’t like fantasy settings, or don’t want to pay a monthly subscription fee.

    What critics said: “My favorite MMO since World of Warcraft” (Destructoid); “…one of the biggest reversals in fortune we’ve seen for a game” (Gameplanet); “the best venue to experience the staggering world” (GameSpot).

    ESRB Rating: Teen

  • Flower

    What would you do if you were the wind? The dream of a potted plant on an urban windowsill? Don’t worry, Flower isn’t a tedious philosophical treatise on the nature of reality, but as you twist the PlayStation 4’s motion-sensing gamepad to maneuver dancing petals through oceans of grass, stone rings, steel girders, windmills, striated caverns and pallid cityscapes, you may find yourself contemplating whether you’re playing a game, or involved in a form of interactive meditation.

    Buy this game if… You want to try something genuinely different, you enjoy environmental puzzles, you love immersing yourself in beautiful and uniquely imagined virtual worlds.

    Steer clear if… You tend to rush through games (in which case Flower may seem brief).

    What critics said: “…has the power to change the way that you look at the outside world” (Push Square); “…like rediscovering an old friend” (USgamer); “…there’s no prettier way to inaugurate your new console” (Hardcore Gamer).

    ESRB Rating: Everyone

  • The Last of Us Remastered

    Developer Naughty Dog’s original PlayStation 3 tale of a horror-numbed survivor escorting a young girl through a broken zombie-filled near-future world won the 2013’s Writers Guild of America award (“Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing”), an Annie (“Best Animated Video Game”) and a Game Developer’s Choice Award (“Game of the Year”). The PlayStation 4 version is simply the original version remastered, but with all the additional content.

    Buy this game if… You appreciate finely crafted storytelling, you love tenterhooks survival horror games with light stealth elements and a dash of third-person shooting, or you just want to experience one of the finest explorations of the way a relationship can work in an interactive game.

    Steer clear if… You scare easily.

    What critics said: “..the version of Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic story of survival that the developer always intended us to play” (EGM); “…a fabulous story, riffing on Cormac McCarthy and other bleak post-apocalyptic fiction” (Telegraph); “…the definitive edition of an already outstanding affair” (Push Square).

    ESRB Rating: Mature

  • Resogun

    Imagine a side-scrolling shoot-em-up (shmup), only the levels fold around until the ends touch, turning the game into a cylinder you can vector across either left or right. The object of the game is to free and save tiny retro-stick-figure humans, powering up your ship and executing special attacks that include a kind of battle-ram maneuver that lets you arrow through waves of enemies, annihilating them without destroying yourself.

    Buy this game if… You love shmups (this is one of the best), you love uniquely convoluted shmups with gorgeous retro-particle animations and effects, you want the option to play a shmup on a difficulty setting that’ll be the challenge of your life.

    Steer clear if… Twitchy, punishing shooting games aren’t your thing.

    What critics said: “…an eye-searing blur of a loop” (Destructoid); “…brilliant stuff, always thrilling and constantly rewarding” (Telegraph); “stands as one of the best ways to be introduced to the recently launched PlayStation 4″ (EGM).

    ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+

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