9 Series That Have Found Their Footing Without Their Creators

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Swirling rumors would have you believe that Hideo Kojima, the man who is synonymous with the Metal Gear series, is set to leave Konami – and the franchise he built – behind following Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. To this point, no official confirmation has come from Konami or Kojima aside from the man (once again) stating that the upcoming release will be his final Metal Gear game. When combined with Konami saying that it already has plans in place for a new Metal Gear game amidst all of these rumors, some fans are worried.

Many have speculated that the Metal Gear series would never be the same without the legendary designer. While that may be true, if history is to be believed it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the franchise. Several well-known series have lived on without their beloved creators at the helm, while others, such as Mega Man, have seen new entries cease. 

While IPs like Uncharted and Fable have yet to show how they will fare without their respective visionaries, it’s not an untraveled road to be successful following such change. Check out some of our favorite series that have experienced some level of success following the departure of their creators – even if the transitions haven’t been completely bulletproof.

The Pulse – Game Informer's Weekly Top 10 (Mar 23, 2015)

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The Pulse – Game Informer's Weekly Top 10 (Mar 23, 2015)

The Pulse is Game Informer's weekly ranking of the hottest games according to our team. Each Monday we tally up the games with the biggest buzz based on number of editors playing and the time they put into them.

The big shock for this week is the removal of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. Support for this handheld title dried up, and doesn’t sound like it’s coming back any time soon. The only staffer still going strong in it is graphic designer Laleh Azarshin. She says she has logged over 200 hours into the game.Although multiplayer-focused games like Battlefield Hardline, Helldivers, and Destiny were played extensively, most of our staffers gravitated toward single-player experiences last week. Almost every staffer has gotten his or her hands on Ori and the Blind Forest now, and the episodic games like Life is Strange and Game of Thrones continue to be big draws for the staff.

Other games played this week included The Talos Principle, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Mario Party 10, NBA 2K15, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, The Order: 1886, and the Final Fantasy XV demo.

Click the banner below to check out the rankings from previous weeks.

First Time Virtual Reality Reactions From My 64-Year-Old Father

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When it comes to virtual reality, I’m broken-in. I remember the excitement I had when putting on an HD Oculus Rift for the first time, but I’ve had so many VR experiences that I can’t recapture that virgin amazement.

When Samsung offered to loan us a Samsung Gear VR unit, the first thing I thought of was seeing my family’s reactions. Having a Gear VR in the house, even for a short time, gives me a chance to see how different people interact with the technology.

It has been interesting over the past few days to listen to their reactions, hear enthusiasm, and field questions and concerns. The end result is that everyone who I’ve had try it has been impressed, but there have been reservations, too.

Meet Mad Max, Saint Of The Wasteland

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Meet Mad Max, Saint Of The Wasteland

Video games are home to a wide range of grizzled antiheroes, from the gun-toting noir cliché Max Payne to the nuanced, melancholic Joel from The Last of Us. Long before these troubled protagonists entered our games, another morally conflicted hero graced the big screen and inspired hundreds of characters that would follow. Now Avalanche Studios is introducing Mad Max (check out the cover story reveal), the original post-apocalyptic antihero, into a medium that is home to many of his ilk while retaining the qualities that define his character.

Max first appeared in George Miller's classic 1979 film, Mad Max. The movie introduces a very different Max than casual observers of the franchise might be familiar with. Max is a policeman who is trying to provide for his family in a world that has gone to hell. The desert plains of Australia aren't overtly post-apocalyptic at first glance, but the tragedy that Max and his family suffer sets the stage for how bleak the world has become. Without giving too much away, the film concludes with Max getting sadistic revenge in a scene that brings Saw to mind.

10 Music/Rhythm Games To Play While We Wait For Rock Band 4

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Rock Band 4 won’t be coming out until sometime this holiday season, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait that long to play some great music/rhythm games. Here are 10 of the best to play while you wait for Rock Band 4.

Hatsune Miku Project Diva F and Hatsune Miku Project Diva F 2nd (PS3, Vita)The Hatsune Miku Project Diva games are some of the best modern rhythm games regardless if you are a fan of vocaloid music. The rhythm game at the heart of Project Diva couldn’t be simpler in concept: you hit button prompts in time with the music to play each note. The secret is in the execution; these games feel remarkably good to play. Both Project Diva games are visually appealing, especially since there is lot of variety in the colorful and well-produced music videos. Its enthusiasm for Hatsune Miku is infectious such that it is almost inevitable to become a fan of Miku as you play through it. The second game is much harder than the first, so I recommend starting with the original if you are a newcomer to the series.

Live Stream - Bloodborne

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Live Stream - Bloodborne

Join Game Informer this evening under the pale moon for a lengthy stream of From Software's new action-RPG, Bloodborne.

When the review embargo drops at 7 PM PT, expect to see the review and a bunch of other blood-drenched features go live, as well as our evening livestream begin!

We'll be going from 7 PM PT to around 1 AM PT, so strap in for a full evening of gothic horror, beautiful environments, and bizarre, deadly beasts.

I have a Picross Problem

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Picross is a simple little puzzle game from Nintendo that isn’t particularly well-known. It’s not affiliated with a mascot – or at least it hasn’t been since Mario Picross released on Game Boy in 1995 – and it’s not all that much different from Sudoku. It involves numbers, but only uses basic arithmetic and little bit of logic. There’s a little reward for completing each puzzle in the form of a pixelated picture, but it’s not the main incentive for playing. I honestly can’t tell you exactly what the main incentive for playing is, but I can tell you that even though I can’t quite put my finger on it, it is there and I have afforded far too much time to each iteration.

In Picross, you are looking at a grid with a series of numbers along the top and left rows. Puzzles range from 5x5 grids up to 20x20 in the later levels. The numbers indicate how many blocks are on each row. If a row has the numbers 3 and 1 to the left of it, then you know that row will contain three consecutive blocks followed by a single block in that order. Using logic and filling in the assorted blocks you are certain are filled in, you will eventually craft a full picture. It’s usually something simple like an animal or an inanimate object.

The Essentials – Shadow Of The Colossus

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The Essentials – Shadow Of The Colossus

For over a month now, Game Informer has been taking a look back at the video game industry's most important titles. Dubbed the Essentials, these games aren't just a ton of fun: Their quality, innovation, and industry influence make them must-play experiences for anyone who wants a greater appreciation of our interactive medium.

This weekend we're taking a look back at the game that took the idea of scale, world building, and emotional character interaction to a new level: Shadow of the Colossus.

Release Year: 2005Publisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentDeveloper: Team Ico
Released For: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3

Playing Dreamcast With Comedian Jackie Kashian

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The Game Informer offices are connected to the nationally renowned Acme Comedy Club, and from time to time we try to convince touring comedians to come by and play video games with us. On this occasion, we asked Jackie Kashian to come by. We played the little-known Dreamcast game Floigan Bros., and the better known Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. We talked to Jackie about her history with video games, making jokes for a living, and how much of the Comedy Central show @Midnight is pre-written.

Jackie Kashian has made appearances on Comedy Central's @Midnight, Conan O'Brien, and she hosts a weekly podcast about all things nerd-culture with The Dork Forest. She also recently released a new special called This Will Make and Excellent Horcrux, which you can find here.

She is an outspoken dork and video game fan and as you will learn in the video below, her husband Andy Ashcraft is a developer. The game we played, The Floigan Bros., was directed by him. For more on Jackie, you can check out her website here.

Replay – Sneak King

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A year after the launch of Xbox 360, Microsoft partnered with publisher King Games to create three games that would be sold exclusively in Burger King restaurants for the low low price of $3.99. All three of these titles starred Burger King's mascot "The King," who is perhaps more commonly remembered as "Creep King." While all three titles were a far cry from being great, one of them was so absurd that it developed a cult following. That title is Sneak King, a stealth game that that pushes players to suit up as the king and remain undetected as he sneaks up behind citizens and gives them burgers and breakfast sandwiches.

We play the opening level of this odd game as long as we can tolerate it, and then check out the other two games in the series. We discuss our favorite fast food chains, lumber jacking, and per usual, veer off topic frequently.

Kyle Hilliard checks in for a few minutes to show off a funny cheat code from yesteryear, and we finish this episode with a battle in a classic game that could alter the editor placement in the upcoming Super Replay Showdown.