Test Chamber – We Threw Away Our Joy Pills To Play We Happy Few

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Test Chamber – We Threw Away Our Joy Pills To Play We Happy Few

We Happy Few received an early access release today, so we decided to take the unfinished game for a spin and see if it makes us want to take joy pills.

Jeff Cork and I show off a little bit of the prologue that was shown off at E3, but then jump right into the action. For many, the game is likely not what they will expect. The game's opening implies a narrative-driven experience in a strange world recalling games like BioShock, but it's actually a survival game with roguelike and procedural level generation. For some of our early impressions, and a glance at the gameplay, check out the video below.

For our E3 impressions of the game, head here.

Where’s My Sequel? – Marvel Ultimate Alliance

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The original Marvel Ultimate Alliance games returned to modern-day gaming platforms today, and it got us thinking about the broader franchise and its significant potential. In Where’s My Sequel, we take a look at franchises that deserve to be ongoing, and Marvel’s engaging action and role-playing hybrid is primed for a reappearance.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance was itself an evolution from the successful X-Men Legends games, an action/RPG that starred the familiar team of mutant super heroes. Those earlier projects tapped the isometric action vibe of games like Diablo and Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, but looked to comics and superpowers instead of D&D and magic for inspiration. Comic fans, in particular, loved all the nods to the broader fiction, which saw interactions with popular characters and visits to iconic locations.

The 2006 release of Marvel Ultimate Alliance, from developer Raven Software, upped the ante on both presentation and the intensity of the action, with more sophisticated and detailed environments and power effects, and battles that felt fast and intense, thanks to some additional enemy variety.

Science-Fiction Weekly – Star Trek Beyond Review, Han Solo Trilogy

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Science-Fiction Weekly – Star Trek Beyond Review, Han Solo Trilogy

In one of Star Trek Beyond's rare, quieter moments, captain James T. Kirk turns to first officer Spock and says, "We make a good team." Spock pauses for a second, before calmly replying, "I believe we do." This brief exchange, which is meant to show genuine bonding between two crew members who have developed a friendship in near cataclysmic times, is awkward to the point that it doesn't feel right, a prevailing sentiment echoed throughout most of the film. Actors Chris Pine (Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (Spock) didn't butcher this scene; the unease is intentional, as we learn both characters are holding secrets from the other. Director Justin Lin and writer Simon Pegg, who also plays chief engineer Scotty, handles the character ensemble well, juggling classic personality traits Trek fans have come to expect with new wrinkles that make each character more interesting and worth following. However, the time allotted with each character is rarely satisfactory, truncated into short snippets that are often lost amid the loud and overly long action sequences – some are exciting and suspenseful, while others are goofy to the point of almost smacking of parody.

The Virtual Life: Why We Need Games Like Kentucky Route Zero

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Explaining Kentucky Route Zero (KRZ) to someone who hasn't played it is a surprisingly difficult task. At first glance, KRZ looks like a typical narrative-focused adventure game. There are pretty backgrounds. You click objects a lot. The characters are on a journey; sometimes they talk to each other. However, things get a bit odder and more wondrous the deeper you dig into this interactive tale.

Five Video Game Franchises That Lost Their Way

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When do you let go of a series and stop having faith? Nearly every franchise has its duds, but at some point bad entries aren't an anomaly anymore, they're a trend. When fans are frequently getting burned, it's reasonable they'd start questioning their loyalty, even if they long for the glory days of yore. Here are five long-running series that are no longer providing fans much reason to stick around except for blind faith that next time things will be different.

Tony HawkWhere it went wrong: Tony Hawk Ride (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii)

PlayStation gamers were introduced to Tony Hawk's Pro Skater way back in 1999, and the whole experience was magical. Not only were the movements and tricks silky-smooth for the time, but the punk-oriented soundtrack featuring bands like Primus and Dead Kennedys was top-of-the-line. Activision took the success of THPS and ran with it; developer Neversoft created one of the best games of the era in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. As time went on, the series' quality gradually declined, though Tony Hawk's Project 8 did introduce some interesting new mechanics. Soon afterward, developer Robomodo was handed the reins to the series. That's when it face-planted.

Super Replay – Shadow Of The Colossus Episode Two

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Super Replay – Shadow Of The Colossus Episode Two

Team Ico's latest, The Last Guardian, is finally (pending any additional surprise delays) arriving this October, which is a perfect excuse to play through Shadow of the Colossus in its entirety.

Of course, you don't really need an excuse to play Shadow of the Colossus because it is a fantastic game. Join myself and Andrew Reiner as we relive some of our Shenmue magic by keeping this a two-person show, making our way through the game's strange world and bringing down its imposing beasts. We don't have a strict schedule in mind for this series, because we want to be able to absorb everyone's feedback episode to episode, so we likely won't be recording multiple episodes in advance. We're all going on this journey together, so please sound off in the comments section below or on YouTube.

For more Super Replay, follow the links to find our full playthroughs of Shenmue and Tex Murphy: Under A Killing Moon. You can also see our full playthrough of Dark Souls III here, which technically isn't a Super Replay, but is pretty close. For our Replay of Shadow of the Colossus, head here.

The Sports Desk – Rating Madden 17's Offensive Stars, Gameplay Videos & NBA 2K17

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Madden NFL 17 developer EA Tiburon has started to publish the ratings for some of the game's players, and you know what that means – it's time to complain! Seriously, though, I've brought in an expert to dissect what we know so far about some of the title's top offensive players. Also be sure to check out a collection of Madden 17 videos I've recorded showing off specific gameplay aspects, including a blocked punt!

I've brought in fantasy sports hall of famer, leaguesafe.com owner, Madden player, and host of KFAN's Video Games Weekly radio show Paul Charchian to poke and prod the ratings on some of this year's offensive players from a Madden, fantasy, and real-life NFL perspective.

Here are the top-rated Madden 17 players that have been released so far. Click on the links to get the full ratings rundown (Once there, click the "Share" link to sort all the ratings).

Test Chamber – Hacking The System With Quadrilateral Cowboy

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Test Chamber – Hacking The System With Quadrilateral Cowboy

Quadrilateral Cowboy is one of the strangest, coolest games to be released in 2016, casting you as a savvy hacker capable of bypassing security systems to steal riches with your handy laptop and an arsenal of helpful gadgets. In this Test Chamber, me and fellow editors Kyle Hilliard, Jeff Cork, and Andrew Reiner take a look at three levels from the game.

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Quadrilateral Cowboy is out now. You can read my review of it here.

A Photo Gallery Of San Diego Comic-Con's Most Interesting Sights

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A Photo Gallery Of San Diego Comic-Con's Most Interesting Sights

Each year, the top names in comics, movies, TV, video games, and all things pop-culture converge on San Diego to deliver news to their fans and make as big of a spectacle as possible in the process. While San Diego Comic-Con International has grown exponentially since its first humble convention in 1970, chances are that you haven't had the chance to visit the show yourself. Because of that, we're doing our best to capture as many of the sights of the big show as possible.

From a photo-op filled recreation of the town of South Park to all the statues scattered throughout the showfloor, these are the things that caught my eye.

The first Comic-Con related thing I saw upon landing in San Diego was this Spider-Man display in the airport made out of Campbell's Soup cans.