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. 

Science-Fiction Weekly – Rogue One Changes, Darth Vader, Power Rangers: Mega Battle

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Science-Fiction Weekly – Rogue One Changes, Darth Vader, Power Rangers: Mega Battle

My holiday break consisted mostly of game playing and friends asking me if I wanted to go see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story again. I ended up seeing it a second time and was able to study it more, resulting in a greater appreciation of the little details that director Gareth Edwards put into the film. It's a hell of a ride, especially the final act where it all hits the fan. A few things still bugged me, like Lucasfilm shying away from including an opening crawl of text. I know it's a silly, little thing to get hung up on, but every Star Wars game has it, and it just seems like a Star Wars necessity. In an interview with Empire, Edwards also voiced frustration in not getting to tack one on the beginning of his film.

Super Replay – The Worst Sonic The Hedgehog Ever

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Super Replay – The Worst Sonic The Hedgehog Ever

When I decided to turn the 12.31 Super Replay into an annual event, I knew the focus needed to be on bad games. People enjoyed watching us suffer; that was the hook that stood out. We used Overblood as the foundation for the type of game we were looking for each year. Blue Stinger, Illbleed, And Martian Gothic were all games that delivered a similar stench. They were perfect selections for the annual Super Replay.

When Tim Turi left Game Informer to work at Capcom, I realized this Super Replay event wouldn't be the same without him. He played through all of these bad games, and, well, I don't think it would have been fair to continue on without him. Out of respect to Tim, we are moving away from the survival-horror angle, and are falling back on my original pitch: it needs to be a bad game period.

As it turns out, there are many different flavors of terrible video games, and I think we found another example in Sonic the Hedgehog that is every bit as enjoyable, campy, and unbearably bad as the original Overblood. The game is simply titled Sonic the Hedgehog, but it's often referred to as Sonic '06. It's developed by Sonic Team for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and is another failed attempt to give the blue speedster new life.

Top Digital Card Games of 2016

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Top Digital Card Games of 2016

The world of digital trading card games sees plenty of entries each year, so there are many options to pick from. 2016 had many options to pick from – whether they were released in prior years, or in some form of alpha or beta, you have plenty of great games to pick from. Here are some of the best.

HearthstoneBlizzard’s entry into the card game world still has it, and with the recent Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion you can get into the mix with new strategies without having to track down old cards. With weekly tavern brawls and daily quests, getting your collection going is much easier than when the game initially launched. We’ll probably continue to see hearthstone imitators for years and years to come. Check out the review for the original game here.

Shadowverse
This stylized anime-infused brawl shares some similarities with Hearthstone, but featyures aspects that make it interesting and different as well. With an evolution system that makes timing your plays a critical part of the strategy and a wealth of classes each with unique cards and mechanics, Shadowverse has lots to offer. You can watch us play a few games in this episode of Test Chamber.