Opinion — Pac-Man Has Always Been The Bad Guy

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Dear Video Game Fans,

As readers of this fine web site and magazine might know, I recently reviewed the 2016 video game Pac-Man Championship Edition 2. I loved the way it reworks concepts from the classic Pac-Man arcade game and modernizes them without compromising its core conceit: eating dots and killing ghosts. I wrote that review with confidence in my assertion that it was one of the exalted Good Games and stand by what I wrote.

However, as I continued playing more of it in my free time post-review, a seed of doubt began to grow within me. I had been wantonly chasing high scores for the better part of an hour, looking to score an S-rank on the Hexagon course. As I devoured my umpteenth ghost train, one of the little suckers’ eyes caught my attention. They may have just been several dots put together without a mouth or visible reaction, but they nonetheless evoked an empathy I’d never felt before.

Replay – Star Wars: Demolition

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Replay – Star Wars: Demolition

Between the release of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, Star Wars received one of its stranger video game spin-offs, and Andrew Reiner, Jeff Cork, Jeff Marchiafava, and I decided to see how it holds up.

Released in 2000, Star Wars: Demolition was developed by Luxoflux, the studio behind Vigilante 8 and later the True Crime series. It's a vehicle combat game comparable to Twisted Metal (or perhaps more appropriately, Vigilante 8) where players battle it out for Jabba The Hutt's entertainment. In the Star Wars storyline, it takes place right before Return of the Jedi, but does feature some Phantom Menace vehicles and robots. When Disney announced it would be getting rid of all the expanded universe Star Wars fiction ahead of the release of The Force Awakens, we mentioned Demolition as a game we did not mind being forgotten, and this episode of Replay does a good job explaining why.

For the second part of Replay, we take a look at a PlayStation 2 game that time has been much kinder to.

Game of Thrones' Kristian Nairn On His Favorite Games

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On this week's Game Informer Show, we had the surprise guest appearance of the actor Kristian Nairn, who is best known for his role as Hodor on HBO's Game of Thrones. Nairn worked with Blizzard in voicing a character for World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor expansion, and now he's lending his talents to the free-to-play mobile game King of Avalon: Dragon Warfare. We spoke with him about his experience playing games on the set of Game of Thrones, his whirlwind life as a touring DJ, and how he hopes his future contains more work designing video games.

Watch the interview below, or subscribe and listen to the audio of the podcast by clicking here.

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Test Chamber – The First 30 Minutes Of Killer Instinct's New Single-Player Mode

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Test Chamber – The First 30 Minutes Of Killer Instinct's New Single-Player Mode

Killer Instinct's new Shadow Lords Campaign mode is out this week, and it looks like the kind of fighting game single-player you can really sink your teeth into. It's more than a "cutscene, fight, cutscene" mode, and it looks like it eases you into all of its mechanics slowly.

It seemed like a pretty major thing, so Brian Shea and I went into the mode blind to see what it had to offer. I haven't played much Killer Instinct before this, but after seeing the game has to offer, I'm interested in playing more of it. You can watch us mess around and do terrible accents below.

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Funny To A Point – Ode To Blowing #%$& Up

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Funny To A Point – Ode To Blowing #%$& Up

In the past few months since I've launched this column, I've poked fun at some games, the haters of other games, the industry, and mostly myself. Today I want to do something a little different by waxing poetic about most one of gaming's most time-tested and artistic expressions: blowing sh-- up.

Perhaps it's because construction workers have spent this week playing with the biggest, coolest toys in the lot across from our office, but lately I've spent an I-swear-I'm-not-crazy amount of time thinking about all the destructive things we do in games. Sure, video games allow us to do a lot of good things: They task us with difficult philosophical choices, help us expand our horizons, and provide new perspectives on life. I appreciate these amazing and positive aspects of gaming, and they deserve all the heaping praise they get. But none of that makes blasting the crap out of things any less fun.

Test Chamber – 20 Minutes Of The Last Guardian Gameplay/Impressions

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Test Chamber – 20 Minutes Of The Last Guardian Gameplay/Impressions

At Tokyo Game Show, Kimberley Wallace got hands-on with The Last Guardian – and she brought some of that gameplay footage home.

Join Kimberley, Jeff Cork, and I as we watch her playthrough, hear her hands-on impressions, and briefly try to extrapolate what we can about The Last Guardian's lore based on what little we've seen. 

The Last Guardian recently suffered what is hopefully its final delay, and the game will release for PlayStation 4 on December 6.

Horizon Zero Dawn's Lead Writer On The Game's Biggest Mysteries

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Horizon Zero Dawn's Lead Writer On The Game's Biggest Mysteries

With our October cover story on Horizon Zero Dawn from Guerrilla Games, we're pulling back the curtain all month long on the creation of this bold new world for players. While visiting the studio, Game Informer's Kimberley Wallace sat down with the game's lead writer John Gonzalez to learn more about the process of developing Aloy's motivations and a coherent logic to this land infested with robotic dinosaurs. To learn more about Guerrilla's challenges developing this game and leaving Killzone's gameplay behind, you can check out our other video feature on the game's origins.

Watch the interview below to learn about Aloy's childhood, the different tribes you encounter, and why you might want to read Guns, Germs, and Steel.

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Watch Our Game Club Discussion Of BioShock

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This year on The Game Informer Show podcast, we kicked off GI Game Club that has us playing through games and discussing them in detail with our community. The new game that we're tackling, thanks to the remastered collection that's available now, is the original BioShock from Irrational Games. We've played through the first half of the game, and we'll be posting the final discussion on the October 6th episode of The Game Informer Show podcast that will cover everything through to the end of the game. We'd love for the community to play and experience the game alongside us, so send all your thoughts and feedback on the experience to podcast@gameinformer.com. Is Fort Frolic where the game peaks? How well do the player abilities ramp up throughout the game? What do you think of the twist? What do you think of the game's ending? Send it all in to podcast@gameinformer.com.

Watch the video below to hear our and the community's thoughts on the first half of BioShock, we look forward to reading your emails for the second half!

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Destiny - Xur's Gear And Upgrades For The Weekend Of September 23

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Destiny - Xur's Gear And Upgrades For The Weekend Of September 23

Guess who's back? That's right. Xur's setting up shop at the Reef this week, so you have a reason to step away from the new Iron Tower hub.

This week Xur is packing gear and upgrades for guardians jumping back into Destiny. He's selling gear at 350 light, which is a statistical improvement for many returning players. While most of the stock is older items, the warlock boots are one of the new exotics. Pro tip: Buying three coins from Xur and using them is currently the best way to farm for new exotics in the field. Here's a look at the toys on sale:

Monte Carlo (exotic auto rifle) - 23 strange coins

Test Chamber – Why NBA 2K17 Is Our Highest Scoring Sports Game Of The Year

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Test Chamber – Why NBA 2K17 Is Our Highest Scoring Sports Game Of The Year

2K Sports just unleashed the latest edition of its world beating basketball simulation, which reviewed very well. See what all the fuss is about in a tour of the popular MyCareer mode. 

Join Brian Shea and me as we jump on the court with a created player to talk new gameplay features, show off the Orange Juice system that lets you control two players at the same time, and a talk about how practice and virtual currency play major roles in upgrading your skills. 

We also check out the myriad shopping options available in the 2K store for your MyPlayer and MyCourt. Take a look!