Casual-Gaming Pioneer Moves From Creative Treadmill To Hellevator

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Some game developers seem to thrive on the spotlight, while others seem to prefer the space outside the glare. Adrian Woods is one of the latter types, though he's been instrumental in the creation of an entire gaming genre. Millions of people have played his Mystery Case Files games, but Woods, a game designer, is laid back and approachable about his success. "I've always shied away from the public eye," he says. "It's definitely something I could have taken better advantage of for my career and stuff, but it was just sort of like, 'Whatever, I'm just going to do what I can behind the scenes.'" 

Woods left Big Fish Studios last year after finding himself in a creative rut. Now he and his new company, Fezziwig, are preparing to launch their first title, an escape-the-room game called Escape the Hellevator. The game may be grim, but Woods' personal story is an inspiring tale for anyone who's wanted to follow their passion.

Top 10 Shooters Of The Generation

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Love them or hate them, the last generation of console gaming was dominated by shooters. Although "shooter fatigue" became an increasingly popular ailment in the gaming community, it didn't stop millions from taking up arms with and against their fellow players, and developers were happy to continue providing virtual conflicts for us to fight in. Here are our picks for the top 10 shooters of last generation.

As with our lists of the top 25 Xbox 360 games and top 25 PS3 games, we have chosen a single (and in our opinion, best) entry when a series had multiple installments last generation – which, as it turns out, was most of them. Despite the industry's love of sequels, the list still presents a healthy variety of settings, themes, and experiences; whether you're a competitive multiplayer fan, a co-op-focused squad mate, or a lone gunman, we're guessing there are at least a few entries on the list that you'll agree with. If not, you can always complain in the comments!  

10. Bulletstorm (Xbox 360, PS3 – 2011)

[Update] Meet The Cast Of Hyrule Warriors

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[Update] Meet The Cast Of Hyrule Warriors

Update:  The sages of fire and water join Sheik on the battlefield, and the bearers of the Triforce of Courage and Wisdom equip new weapons.

Ever since traversing Hyrule in 3D for the first time in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, fans have been clamoring for more action-oriented Link. He made an appearance in Soul Calibur II, but now, in Wii U's  Hyrule Warriors, he’s bringing some friends (and enemies) with him onto the battlefield to take down hordes of Moblins, Lizalfos Knights and Dodongos.

We'll continue to update this as more characters are confirmed. For now, check out some of the fighters and their more powerful attacks.

To The Moon And Back: The Highs And Lows Of The Destiny Beta

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Now that the Destiny beta is in the history books, we can talk a little bit about the things we loved and the elements we’d love to see improved. With six weeks to go before we return to Bungie’s latest vision of our future, there’s time enough to refine, polish, and tweak based on beta feedback.

Playing with friends

What we lovedEach instance of The Tower (Destiny’s first social hub) gives us the chance to meet new people, dance with them, and see all the great armor and facial customization. It’s here that Destiny feels most like an MMO, and sitting around, looking at the vista, and chatting with friends is a great way to pass the time.

The Return of Leliana In Dragon Age: Inquisition

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The Return of Leliana In Dragon Age: Inquisition

The characters are part of what makes the Dragon Age experience, and seeing who will return for Dragon Age: Inquisition has been exciting. So far, we've looked at Varric and Cassandra. Today, we're going to focus on Leliana, the left hand of the Divine.

For the most part, Leliana has been peaceful and upbeat, devoting her life to religion and striving for redemption from her checkered past. However, she has had time to change and grow since we last saw her, and BioWare has been building her up as an agent of the Divine (the head of the Chantry). Here are some interesting issues and characteristics we think the red-headed bard will bring.

Seeing Chaos Erupt That She Tried To Prevent

A Guided Tour Of Battleborn's Art

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A Guided Tour Of Battleborn's Art

Thanks to Borderlands, Gearbox's original IP are known as much for their art styles as their gameplay. For Battleborn, the developer is once again aiming for a distinctive look, one that can accommodate the immense creative variety present in the game's universe-spanning cast of heroes. Join us as several Gearbox artists and animators walk us through some of Battleborn's concept art and explain why they're excited to be working on the new project.

Battleborn's art director, Scott Kester, was kind enough to provide his thoughts on several pieces of concept for the game, which you can see below. Kester served as a character concept designer for the first two Borderlands games before taking the reins for Battleborn, and his comments provide great insight into the creative process and goals that Gearbox's art team is striving for.

We've also included quotes from several other Gearbox designers and animators, who we spoke to while visiting the studio. Nick Wilson (who stymied me with a Borderlands Easter egg way back in the day) is Battleborn's lead visual FX artist, and he explains how his team's work helps make each character feel unique while unifying the art style as a whole.  Additionally, animation producer Trey Davenport and senior animator Dia Hadley explain their approach to bringing Battleborn's eclectic characters to life.

Remembering The Sega Vs. Nintendo Rivalry With The People Who Lived It

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Remembering The Sega Vs. Nintendo Rivalry With The People Who Lived It

A new book, Console Wars, recently released detailing the intense competition between Sega and Nintendo during the 16-bit era and a Comic Con panel of the same name discussed the rivalry and book.

On the panel was the author of Console Wars, Blake J. Harris, former Sega of America president Tom Kalinske, and former director of marketing Al Nilsen. Representing Nintendo of America was former director of marketing Bill White, and former vice president of marketing and corporate affairs Perrin Kaplan. The book tells the story of how Sega was able to push against Nintendo, which had a 95% share of the video game market during the 16-bit era, until Sega intervened.

Nilsen told a story about his first experience with Sonic. Sega was trying out a few mascots to represent its brand. One, Nilsen described, was an egg-shaped creature that looked like a pre-school toy. The other was a hedgehog with a rock band and a human girlfriend. Nilsen said he went with the lesser of two evils.

Super Replay – Resident Evil

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Super Replay – Resident Evil

Today marks the 16th anniversary of the infamous Spencer Mansion incident. On July 24, 1998, members of the Raccoon City Police Department's S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team entered a biohazardous, trap-filled mansion nestled in a dense forest of the Arklay Mountains. Many of the RPD's finest died battling the biological abominations roaming the huge estate's dusty halls. To commemorate this important chapter in the Resident Evil series and the horror genre, we're revisiting both the original 1996 PlayStation version of Resident Evil, as well as the excellent 2002 GameCube remake.

For this Super Replay, we'll be switching off between the two versions of the game beginning with the PlayStation original. Each subsequent episode will switch back and forth between the two versions. If you're new to the series, expect a lot of cautious crawling through the monster-infested mansion, careful conservation of ammo and health, and chunks of backtracking to unlock new areas. And as with every playthrough of a Resident Evil game, there are bound to be surprises and close calls that rattle even experienced zombie hunters like us.

Experience Assassin's Creed In First Person From Comic Con

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Experience Assassin's Creed In First Person From Comic Con

As part of Ubisoft's Comic Con presence, it set up a huge parkour training course outside of the convention for attendees to run and jump their way through. I decided to strap a camera to my face and give the entire thing a spin – including the 25 foot leap of faith finale at the end of the course.

For some background on the course, you can check out this video from Ubisoft’s new “Chief Parkour Officer” Michael “Frosti” Zernow and the Tempest Freerunning team.

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