Highlights From The Pinball Hall Of Fame

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Highlights From The Pinball Hall Of Fame

While I was in Las Vegas for the Classic Gaming Expo, I stopped by the Pinball Hall of Fame. The property is home to more than 100 playable tables, from the early days of pinball through the most recent releases. I snapped a ton of photos during the nearly three hours I spent there, like I did with the Videogame History Museum exhibit at CGE. Take a look at some of the weirdest, coolest, and most interesting things I spotted.

You'll immediately notice that I'm a shutterbug at the top of his game. I toted around a professional-grade setup, bringing you some of the most incredibly sharp, vivid, and in-focus images you may ever see in your lifetime. If something looks a little blurry, poorly lit, or badly framed, I must have done that on purpose. Or something like that.

This GoldenEye table is one of the first games that I played during my visit. The skillshot at the beginning gives you a chance to fire a bullet at Bond in his familiar opening sequence. I missed.

Video Preview - Our Hours Playing Dragon Age: Inquisition

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After gracing our cover last September, the wait for Dragon Age: Inquisition has been eating away at fans eager for their next-gen return to Thedas. Game Informer's Joe Juba and Kimberley Wallace traveled to Bioware Edmonton last year for the cover story and recently Joe returned to finally gets his hands on the game. After playing for hours and writing a large feature for the new issue of the magazine, Joe sat down with Kim to discuss how the game feels and his overall impressions of the experience.

Watch the video preview below to learn what Joe thinks of playing with the combat and exploring the world of Dragon Age: Inquisition and how it compares to previous entries.

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Vrvana Announces Oculus Competitor With Onboard Cameras, Hardware Acceleration

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Vrvana Announces Oculus Competitor With Onboard Cameras, Hardware Acceleration

At GDC this year, I spent a lot of my time checking out different virtual reality solutions to see if there were any real competitors for the Oculus Rift. Sony’s Project Morpheus was the most impressive contender, with the mobile-powered Gameface branching off in the direction of self-contained experiences without a PC.

Since then, we’ve seen other names and technologies pop up, though none have seemed to offer anything better than the Rift. Vrvana, which is heading to Kickstarter today, is solving some of the problems that many VR proponents have identified with its upcoming Totem head-mounted display (HMD).

If you speak with anyone whose pondered virtual reality in the home, you’ll hear the same concerns echoed. Most of us can’t safely close ourselves off from the outside world. There’s also the issue of set-up and configuration with an external camera in a space where things might get jostled during normal use.

November 18: Welcome To The New Release Battleground

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November 18: Welcome To The New Release Battleground

Back in April, I penned a story about the biggest day of the gaming year: October 7. At the time, that date featured a clash of titans, including Dragon Age: Inquisition, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, and Alien: Isolation. As you probably know, a few things have changed.

Since then, Dragon Age: Inquisition has been delayed and Shadow of Mordor has received a week promotion on new-gen and PC and a delay of its own on other platforms. October 7 is still a battleground day, with Alien: Isolation, NBA 2K15, Project Spark, and Driveclub (plus the slightly advanced release of Skylanders: Trap Team on October 5). Those titles offer enough diversity that there’s plenty of audience to go around. While October 7 isn’t quite the killing field it was a few months ago, another date has risen to take its place. Your wallet has reason to fear November 18. 

Up until last week, November 18 was an important date, with Dragon Age: Inquisition, Far Cry 4, LittleBigPlanet 3, Sonic Boom and Watch Dogs on Wii U. Then, two changes altered the landscape. 

Top 10 Horror Game Survivors

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Scary games give us a lot to talk about, from life-saving weapons to nerve-jangling scares. We, the players, are on the receiving end of these experiences, but so are these games' enduring protagonists. In the spirit of our October celebration of horror games (check out our cover story reveal), we're ranking the very best survivors in horror games. The list is varied, from an antihero who killed for a second chance at life to another who has seen the horrors of space travel. These are the Top 10 Horror Game Survivors.

10. Point Man – F.E.A.R.

The Point Man was destined at birth to become a bad-ass soldier, and thusly a very capable survivor. He's handy with a variety of weaponry and heavy artillery, giving him an edge when facing off against the opposition. His creepy origins also give him a unique perspective on the battlefield. His mother, the series' creepy Alma, left him with some unique psychic capabilities (though muted in comparison to his brother, series antagonist Paxton Fettel). Point Man can slow down time to better mow down his enemies, which he owes to his mom according to F.E.A.R. 3. When it comes to taking down waves of armed foes and enduring psychic disturbances from a ghostly little girl, Point Man is expert. 

Fantastic And Free-To-Play

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There are a ton of free-to-play games out there to pick from on PC, but you’re still paying one of the biggest prices to play – Your time. The price model has evolved significantly from the pay-for-power systems that were typically associated with the genre, and in many titles you’ll be sitting on relatively even ground with the whales dishing out hundreds or thousands of dollars for unique skins, mounts, and other cosmetic enhancements. Here are some of the best free-to-play titles that are worth checking out.

Dota 2Valve’s pricing model for Dota 2 can’t be beat – Anything you can buy has zero effect on gameplay. If you feel like decking out your Sven with some new digs or want to hear GLaDOS talk about how your towers are falling, you can pitch in for some of the extensive cosmetic options. All characters are free, and Dota 2 is one of the most popular MOBA/ARTS titles out there right now. While there is a burden of knowledge/barrier to entry due to the genre itself, Dota 2 is an incredibly rewarding experience, and should be enjoyed with friends if possible. It can take a significant time investment to get going, but the dynamic “no game is ever the same” gameplay and fun alternate game modes like Ability Draft ensure that you’ll be farming creeps and pushing bases for years to come.

From First To Last – Comparing More Developers’ Early Work To Later Work

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Recently, we took a look at a handful of highly successful developers and how their games have changed over the years by comparing their first title, to their most recent title. We’re looking at a few more developers to track their progress over their professional lifespan.

Sucker Punch – Rocket: Robot on Wheels / Infamous Second SonSucker Punch’s Infamous series is a serious, X-Men-like tale about the dangers or super-powers and the prejudices that result when some people are different. Before diving into the tales of Cole McGrath and Delsin Rowe, Sucker Punch explored a world of anthropomorphic animal thieves in the Sly Cooper series, but before even that, they told the tale of Rocket the robot on wheels in a game called Rocket: Robot on Wheels.

You can still find the game’s old website here, in all of its late ‘90s, “We don’t quite know what a good website looks like,” glory. The game, a Nintendo 64 platformer, was notable for its use of realistic physics, but otherwise was your standard collect this many things to go here platformer.

Test Chamber – Rollers Of The Realm

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Test Chamber – Rollers Of The Realm

Rollers of the Realm takes two disparate genres, RPGs and pinball, and combines them. You can find an early extended look at the game here.

Atlus' John Hardin, myself, and Jeff Marchiafava take a look at a pre-release version of the game below. You'll see some of the gameplay of a pinball RPG, as well as a collection of the assorted stages and party members.

For more on Rollers of the Realm, head here and here. The game is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, and Vita in November. The latter two versions will be cross-buy compatible, meaning when you buy one, you get both versions.

Are The Super Nintendo's 15 Most Valuable Games Available For The Virtual Console?

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Are The Super Nintendo's 15 Most Valuable Games Available For The Virtual Console?

Using the website videogames.pricecharting.com, we take a look at the Super Nintendo's 15 most valuable games and see how many of them are available on the Wii U's Virtual Console.

Referencing the list, many of the Super Nintendo's most valuable games are titles that will never come to the Virtual Console, and even if they did it wouldn't be much cause for celebration. Cartridges like Nintendo Powerfest 1994, Nintendo Campus Challenge 1992, Exertainment Mountain Bikerally Speed Racer, Donkey Kong Country Competition Edition, M.A.C.S. Multipurpose Arcade Combat Simulator, Starfox Super Weekend Competition, and the Burn-In/Test Cartridge were never widely produced or they were produced for use at a specific event or with a specific accessory, which is why they're nearly impossible to come by.

The titles on this list are games that were supposed to be big sellers that weren't able to find their audience when they released., but became popular later. The values below are for the complete versions of the game, as opposed to sealed/new copies of the game, which are worth significantly more.

Replay – Tomba!

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Some memories are better left in the past. On this episode of Replay, fond memories of yesteryear are trampled to death by a pink-haired jerk. Whoopee Camp's 1998 PlayStation action/platformer, Tomba!, looks charming, and sounds charming, but ends up beating me senseless and driving me nearly to insanity. The problems are revolve around a stupid little branch. It may be the worst branch to ever exist on planet Earth. Sure, you could direct blame at my gaming skills, but that would just be silly. The branch is clearly the problem here.

In our second segment, we take a look at another PlayStation platformer that proves to be...how should I put this...just as frustratingly difficult. Maybe I was just having a bad day at the sticks, or maybe games from years gone by don't hold up as well as we remember them. You be the judge.

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