Top Of The Table – Star Wars: Destiny

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Top Of The Table – Star Wars: Destiny

As a fictional universe, Star Wars has a lot of fertile ground for exploration by any game creator. With multiple eras, hundreds of characters, and a wealth of storylines to draw on, the challenge becomes finding an angle on the series that feels fresh but still authentic to the source material. Fantasy Flight’s new card and dice game embraces the totality of the Star Wars canon, but more importantly, innovates within the crowded CCG market, offering an accessible and rewarding twist on expectation. 

Fantasy Flight Games led the charge a few years ago away from collectible card games when the company began its popular “Living Card Games” concept, a system that eliminated the blind-purchase element of card games in favor of standardized expansions with designated, non-randomized card sets. Fantasy Flight’s own Star Wars: Destiny eschews that new dynamic, returning to blind boosters as a structure, complete with both the excitement and frustration inherent to the formula. 

In my own tabletop hobby, I’ve rarely been willing to embrace the collectible card game scene for this very reason; blind purchases, and inconsistent decks from player to player, often rub me the wrong way. It’s fair to say that I approached Star Wars: Destiny with a healthy skepticism. 

2016 Action Game Of The Year Awards

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2016 Action Game Of The Year Awards

Fans of the action genre had no shortage of great options to keep busy throughout 2016. The year transport us to distant fantasy worlds, pirate cities on forgotten islands, and strange post-apocalyptic futures. Explore our picks for the best action games of 2016, and share your picks in the comments below. 

Some narratives are made richer by the concluding chapter of the arc. That’s rarely been more true than with Uncharted 4’s thoughtfully constructed plot, which not only tells a great yarn in its own right, but builds on and enriches what’s come before in the franchise. Nathan Drake must face the challenging adventure of adult responsibilities and commitment, while simultaneously juggling the expectations of his oldest familial relationships. With deft storytelling, Naughty Dog wraps up the Uncharted series with a powerful and beautiful final scene that its players will remember for a long time.

How To Get The Butcher Pet In Diablo III

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How To Get The Butcher Pet In Diablo III

Blizzard recently released patch 2.4.3 for Diablo III. That number might not sound that exciting, but old-school fans of the series are bound to get a kick out of what it contains. In addition to fixing a few issues, it adds a limited-time dungeon based on the first game – complete with a retro visual filter, sounds, and more. You can also earn a Butcher pet for your character, and a new legendary gem. We show you how to get both in this quick video.

The dungeon has 16 main floors, as well as a few optional areas to explore. It took me a little over an hour to go through it with a fresh character, but I was taking my time. Before you're tempted to roll through it with your existing character, be warned: If you want the Butcher pet, you need to complete the area with a new hero. It's easy stuff on normal difficulty, so don't worry too much about it.

Take a look at the video below to see some of the highlights, including where you need to go, some familiar bosses, and the ending cinematic. It's a lot of fun, and it's a great excuse to fire up the game again if you've put it down. And if it's been a long time since you last played, take a look at my feature to see what's changed since launch (in short, a lot).

Never Played Shenmue II? Watch Us Play The First 11 Hours

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Never Played Shenmue II? Watch Us Play The First 11 Hours

Last year, over the course of four months, we played through Shenmue for the Dreamcast in its entirety. It was an experimental video series, with an undefined schedule that allowed us to take in all the feedback for each episode by reading and responding to comments in (almost) real time. The experiment was a success! So we immediately decided (after playing through Dark Souls III, Tex Murphy: Under A Killing Moon, Shadow of the Colossus, and Resident Evil 4) that there was no time like the present to return to Yu Suzuki's masterpiece. For the sequel, we're playing the Xbox version that was published by Microsoft in 2002.

The 2016 Shooter Of The Year Awards

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The 2016 Shooter Of The Year Awards

What year ranks as the best ever for shooters? Many convincingly argue this honor belongs to 2004 – featuring a deep catalog including Half-Life 2, Halo 2, Far Cry, Star Wars Battlefront, Battlefield: Vietnam, Doom 3, UT 2004, Counter-Strike: Source, Painkiller. Others cite 2007 as a major contender thanks to gems like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, BioShock, Team Fortress 2, Halo 3, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, Unreal Tournament III, and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. Thanks to an amazing lineup of its own, expect 2016 to be in this conversation moving forward as well. 

Shooter fans had something to look forward to in 2016 regardless of their preferred play style. Campaigns experienced a resurgence thanks to games like Titanfall 2, the Doom reboot, and even Battlefield 1. Cooperative players could dive into the juicy campaign of Gears of War 4 or the complex events of Destiny: Rise of Iron, which demanded constant communication to overcome. And multiplayer fans welcomed a new top-tier competitor in Blizzard's Overwatch. 

With no shortage of praise to dispense, our 2016 shooter of the year awards were tougher to come to a consensus on than any previous year. Check out the accolades below:

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (January 5, 2017)

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Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (January 5, 2017)

It's been a long, cold two weeks in Minnesota, but we're back, refreshed, and better than ever. It's a new year of Blog Herding, so get reading!

Community Blogs For December 22 – January 4:

Why You Should Play The Last Guardian Writer Zack Burrows calls sitting down to blog about this game a "surreal experience." But now that the game has finally come out, "there's nothing like" it. Granted, that's not true when the game is having its issues.

Game Informer Editors Share Their 2016 Top 10 Game Lists

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Game Informer Editors Share Their 2016 Top 10 Game Lists

There's no accounting for taste, which is why the Game Informer end-of-year award meetings are always so contentious. The deep variety of interests is one of the many things that makes the G.I. staff so interesting, and the year 2016 had no shortage of good games to argue over. However, that didn't stop Stockholm syndrome from penetrating some of the editor Top 10 lists. Did you really expect to see No Man's Sky appear so many times on these lists? Neither did I! Read on to find out which editors' tastes align most closely with your own, and which make you lose your faith in mankind. 

Andy McNamara (@GI_AndyMc)

1. World of Warcraft Legion2. Overwatch
3. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
4. Dark Souls III      
5. Dishonored 2
6. Doom
7. Destiny: Rise of Iron
8. Crash Royale
9. Darkest Dungeon
10. Inside

Game Informer Best of 2016 Awards

about X hours ago from
 Game Informer Best of 2016 Awards

From Nathan Drake's final adventure to the heated overtimes of Overwatch, 2016 was an amazing year for video games. Culling down our annual Top 50 list was harder than ever this year, but now it's time to share the results.

Our full Top 50 list is featured in the latest issue of Game Informer, but that won't stop us sharing our picks for 2016's best platform exclusives, genre standouts, multiplayer experiences, and more. Read on to see which games took home honors, including G.I.'s Game of the Year award.

Best Sony Exclusive: Uncharted 4: A Thief's EndBetween Uncharted and The Last Of Us, Naughty Dog is undoubtedly Sony's strongest first-party developer – and it doesn't appear the studio will be relinquishing that prestigious role anytime soon. Thanks to some stunning action sequences mixed with more serious and thoughtful story moments, Uncharted 4 continues to push the boundaries of what's possible, both for Sony's console and video games as a whole. The epilogue alone makes it a must-play for fans of the series, as well as Sony's most impactful exclusive of the year.

RPG Grind Time – Looking Back On 2016 And What’s Ahead

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RPG Grind Time – Looking Back On 2016 And What’s Ahead

At year-end, I like to look back and see how it stacked up for the RPG genre. I don’t do this just because it’s part of my job, but also because I enjoy examining trends (open-world RPGs are here to stay) and where things are headed. Trying to put a year into perspective can be difficult. Most of the time, I find myself ricocheting between the highest highs and lowest lows. I’ll never forget the disappointment that washed over me as I reviewed Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithfulness and realized it wouldn’t be the return to glory I desperately wanted. I also look back fondly on my road trip in Final Fantasy XV, and was incredibly relieved that the game showed progress for getting the series back on track. And who could forget the games that surprised you? I didn’t expect Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth or Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE to keep me hooked like they did, but they both had such fun gameplay and captured cultural parts of Japan that I love.