Opinion – I Like The Kinect Because It Enables Me To Be Lazy

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It’s a controversial opinion to share, but it's one I can’t pretend about anymore – I like Kinect.

I live in a house of interruptions thanks to my miniature human roommate, and as a result, the Kinect has become invaluable. It’s not its many advertised exercise functions and games that make me appreciate it so much. I couldn’t find the option to turn off gesture controls fast enough when I first hooked everything up. Rather, it’s a handful of limited voice commands I use constantly.

The words “Xbox on,” “Xbox play,” “Xbox pause,” “Xbox volume up,” and “Xbox volume down,” are all used daily in my household. It has far and away become the preferred method of control over the remote, or the controller, and made the Xbox One the foremost hub for all television entertainment over the other competing Netflix players hooked up to the TV. Using the Xbox One’s Kinect is faster than turning on the controller and less effort than tracking down the remote, making it perfect for when a child needs your help immediately to look at something important.

Test Chamber – Skylanders: SuperChargers

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We've enjoyed the Skylanders series since its inception, and it's become a reliable source of family entertainment. The latest entry, Skylanders: SuperChargers, adds vehicles to the familiar gameplay, but it seems as though they may have been better off parked in the garage. Take a look at some of the vehicular sections and more in our new Test Chamber.

Reiner and I take the Wii U version of the game out for a test drive, which allows us to check out the Nintendo-exclusive characters Bowser and Donkey Kong. They serve double duty as Amiibos, too. You'll see them as well as some of the new characters in action, along with land, sea, and air-based gameplay.

For more on the game, be sure to read Reiner's review.

See The Cool And Exciting Memorabilia Available At TGS 2015

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See The Cool And Exciting Memorabilia Available At TGS 2015

Every year, Tokyo Game Show has a hall full of shops devoted to selling memorabilia from a wide range of Japanese games. The hall is always one of my first stops because it's full of cool t-shirts and figures. These aren't exactly the easiest things to find in North America. This year, I decided to take you on the shopping journey with me and show you some of the goodies on display. From Final Fantasy to Danganronpa, this area is a dream come true for devoted fans of Japanese games.  

Sega's shop area if full of t-shirts, wall scrolls, and Persona merchandise. 

Here are some of my favorites. Are you a member of the Persona Stalker club?

Our TGS 2015 Localization Wish List

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Part of the fun at TGS is seeing all the Japanese games on the horizon that have yet to be announced for North America. It's always a guessing game whether or not we'll see some of these games, but it does give me some announcements to anticipate. Matt Miller and I walked around Tokyo Game Show this year to discover a lot of interesting in games in the works. These are the ones that look most promising to us.

Exist ArchiveSpike Chunsoft (Danganronpa, Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward) and Tri-Ace (Star Ocean, Valkyrie Profile) has teamed up to create this new RPG for the PS4 and Vita. This sounds like a great collaboration, so I immediately got my hands-on the game at the show and wasn't disappointed. You platform your way through various obstacles and engage in an interesting turn-based/action battle system hybrid. There's an action and guard phase. During your action phase, you can pile on a certain number of hits on enemies by pressing various action buttons. When your guard phase comes up, you don't just stand there either - you can block and counter oncoming attacks. The demo was in Japanese, so I didn't get to take away much about the story, but Tri-Ace has said it considers this game to be a spiritual successor to Valkyrie Profile, which is more than enough to generate my interest. This is by far my most wanted game for localization. 

Replay – Katamari Damacy

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The Game Informer crew takes a psychedelic trip into the work of Keita Takahashi in this mind-breaking episode of Replay.

Takahashi's junk-rolling simulator Katamari Damacy is the star of the show, and Andrew Reiner, Dan Tack, and I watch on in confused awe as Jeff Cork steamrolls all manner of office supplies, condiments, and nut-dragging rodents (don't worry, it will make sense...or not). Does Cork have what it takes to grow his garbage ball to child-smothering levels? You'll just have to watch to find out.

You may want to avert your eyes for our second segment, however. We take a look at another Takahashi offering that, despite its cutesy visuals, is disturbingly bizarre. Don't blame us if your dreams are haunted by stretchy worm-men tonight – you've been warned.

The Zany And Unique Sights From The TGS 2015 Show Floor

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The Zany And Unique Sights From The TGS 2015 Show Floor

We've been souring the show floor the last few days to bring you TGS 2015 coverage. Of course, none of this coverage would be complete without giving you some idea of what the show floor was like. Words can't always express the chaos and silly sights, so we're hoping these pictures do it justice. Welcome to Tokyo Game Show!

Hey, there's The Last Guardian in some capacity! You could actual throw a ball or go up to the little guy and he'd interact with you!

These slimes are like the convention hall's North Star; you can find your way to the entrance and Square's booth as long as you follow them.

Halo 5: Guardians 'Requisition System' Explained

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Earlier this week, I had the chance to spend some time with Halo 5's "requisition system." While it was a substantial piece of our preview, we aren't allowed to give our feedback on it yet. That embargo isn't going to be lifted until September 28.

Given that Microsoft has spilled all the beans on the system though, we've decided to post the nuts and bolts of this piece that was intended to run alongside the embargo. We'll update this after we can talk about it with our specific impressions of how the system works and what it might mean for players.

We don't know why Microsoft decided to put 11 days between revealing the system and allowing us to get specific with how it works in practice. Perhaps the publisher is concerned about the blowback Konami faced from in-game transactions in Metal Gear Solid V. We're looking forward to sharing our thoughts when we can.

My Baffling Japanese PlayStation VR Experience

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Sony graciously set aside some time for me to come by their large TGS booth earlier today to try out the newly renamed PlayStation VR, previously codenamed Morpheus. While I’ve had some brief demos of other VR hardware, this was the first time I’d tried on Sony’s headset. Unfortunately for me, I knew next to nothing about the games I was set to play, they were all in Japanese, and the kind Japanese women manning each station stubbornly refused to understand English, almost as stubbornly as I have failed to learn Japanese in the last 30-plus years. The result was a surreal adventure, and I came away both oddly fascinated with the potential of the device, and with more than a little bit of a headache.

The Unusual And Brilliant Indie Games Of TGS 2015

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The Unusual And Brilliant Indie Games Of TGS 2015

I can’t imagine the indie teams that made the trek to Tokyo for this year’s big Japan game show could have been especially pleased about their placement. Set aside in a hall far removed from the main convention space, and adjacent to the merchandise booths visited by only a small number of show attendees, the message came across loud and clear that indie titles haven’t quite breached the mainstream in the Japanese gaming scene. And that’s too bad, because when set against the glut of me-too mobile titles and other familiar fare in the main halls of this year’s show, many of the indie titles looked amazing.

While the hall placement wasn’t great, the dedicated setup area for the visiting indie teams was large and included dozens of options. We’ve chosen a few of our favorites to share. 

Black WitchcraftDeveloper: Quattro Gear