Mario Kart 8: First Impressions

PokemonYouTube and Megamanmushroom666 are only some of the users who were able to nab an advanced copy of Mario Kart 8 at SEARS this week. From their initial feedback, Nintendo’s highly anticipated flagship racing game seems to be worth the wait, featuring smooth graphics, very refined controls, balanced items, stutter-free gaming, and rewarding, skill-based gameplay.

On graphics:

Remember that demo you played on Gamestop? Well the game looks even better than that. It looks so much better on my TV.

Item balance:

And I love the item balance, whenever I am in first, second, or third I feel very safe. On the other hand when I’m behind the pack it is very hard to catch up. Previous games have had this backwards.

Online play:

I played online and I am pretty much the only American playing and boy it runs so smooth. I have not experienced any lag whatsoever and I had plenty of 10-12 player matches, the game plays like a dream.

Gameplay and skill:

In other words, in this game everything counts, it finally feels like you need skills more than anything. Hitting all those jumps, boosts (starting boost), hitting all those drifts, it all matters. There’s times I’m in first, I’m doing everything perfect and I can’t see anyone behind me, but then I’m drifting and accidentally hit the wall for a second and I feel the person right behind me. It feels amazing to hit and do everything perfectly.

Track design:

I’ve beaten the first two cups so far and some of the tracks are downright fantastic. Thwomp Ruins, Toad Harbour, Twisted Mansion and Shy Guy Falls were great.

With such positive feedback from early users, Mario Kart 8 seems to be a title that delivers on its promise. Get ready and set for the coming weekends Mario Kart 8 marathon!

This Week in Gaming: Anticipated Releases from May 25 to May 31, 2014

Here are all the games being released this week, broken down according to the Platforms, Release Date and Genre for each game as well as a brief description for anticipated releases.

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Watch Dogs

  • Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Genre: Action, Adventure
  • Release Date: May 27, 2014

You play as Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker and former thug, whose criminal past led to a violent family tragedy. Now on the hunt for those who hurt your family, you’ll be able to monitor and hack all who surround you by manipulating everything connected to the city’s network. Access omnipresent security cameras, download personal information to locate a target, control traffic lights and public transportation to stop the enemy…and more.

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ibb and obb

  • Platform: PC
  • Genre: Indie, Action, Adventure
  • Release Date: May 27, 2014

ibb & obb is a two player cooperative game set in a puzzle filled world where gravity goes both up and down. You can only succeed by working closely together. Find a friend for some true local co-op couch fun or match up online.

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Monster Monpiece

  • Platform: PS Vita
  • Genre: Card game
  • Release Date: May 27, 2014

Monster Monpiece is a card battle game where users collect virtual cards and use them to battle foes. Battles are turn-based and take place on a 7×3 grid in which cards can be placed. During a player’s turn, he or she can drag and drop monster girl cards onto the grid field to activate them. The game contains over 100 different cards divided into four types, and not all of them are “monsters”. The four types are melee, ranged, healer, and booster. The game utilizes an “extreme rub” system to seal cards: “Poking, rubbing, and touching” the Vita’s screen will bring up the sealing mascot and remove the character’s clothing in stages, “from thick clothes to lightly dressed to skimpy bathing suit.”

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Insanity’s Blade

  • Platform: PC
  • Genre: Arcade, Action, RPG, Platformer
  • Release Date: May 27, 2014

Take a father’s journey to hell in order to save the souls of his wife and child. Insanity’s Blade: The Chronicles of Thurstan is the first in a series of games based around the journey of a sword possessed by a fathers powerful grief and hatred. This first game is the tale of the swords creation.

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Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations

  • Platform: PC
  • Genre: Real-time Strategy
  • Release Date: May 29, 2014

Prepare to be showered with gold and possible trade tariffs as Europa Universalis IV gets a ‘Wealth of Nations’ DLC expansion on 29 May. This is the second major expansion for EUIV after Conquest of Paradise and adds features to that most confusing of areas; trade.

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Mario Kart 8

  • Platform: WiiU
  • Genre: Racing
  • Release Date: May 30, 2014

The newest feature for the series is anti-gravitational segments that not only allow for more dynamic track design, but also for racers to drive across walls, ceilings, and other seemingly unusual places. When in anti-gravity, if a racer bumps into another racer, the kart spins rather than just bumping and both racers receive a speed boost. This technique is called “spin boosting”.

This Week in Gaming: Anticipated Releases from May 18 to May 24, 2014

Here are all the games being released this week, broken down according to the Platforms, Release Date and Genre for each game as well as a brief description for anticipated releases.

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Mugen Souls Z

  • Platform: PS3
  • Genre: Role-playing, Adventure
  • Release Date: May 20, 2014

Mugen Souls Z is a role-playing video game developed by Compile Heart and co-produced by GCREST as the second installment in the Mugen Souls series. It was released in Japan on April 25, 2013 for the and in Korea on October 16 2013 for Sony PlayStation 3. It is scheduled to release in the west on May 20, 2014 on the Playstation 3 as well the PlayStation Network. The game plays very similar to the previous title but with a lot of fixes and plays a lot faster. Though the original game was very hardcore and takes a long time to get the platinum trophy and is very difficult to learn, Mugen Souls Z adds in a lot more features for veterans of the previous game to take advantage of and shorten their time to power up and mechanics will not need to rely as much on luck.

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Transistor

  • Platform: PC, PS4
  • Genre: Action, Indie, RPG
  • Release Date: May 20, 2014

From the creators of Bastion, Transistor is a sci-fi themed action RPG that invites you to wield an extraordinary weapon of unknown origin as you fight through a stunning futuristic city. Transistor seamlessly integrates thoughtful strategic planning into a fast-paced action experience, melding responsive gameplay and rich atmospheric storytelling. During the course of the adventure, you will piece together the Transistor’s mysteries as you pursue its former owners.

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Wolfenstein: The New Order

  • Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Genre: Action
  • Release Date: May 20, 2014

Wolfenstein®: The New Order reignites the series that created the first-person shooter genre. Under development at Machine Games, a studio comprised of a seasoned group of developers recognized for their work creating story-driven games, Wolfenstein offers a deep game narrative packed with action, adventure and first-person combat.

Intense, cinematic and rendered in stunning detail with id® Software’s id Tech® 5 engine, Wolfenstein sends players across Europe on a personal mission to bring down the Nazi war machine. With the help of a small group of resistance fighters, infiltrate their most heavily guarded facilities, battle high-tech Nazi legions, and take control of super-weapons that have conquered the earth – and beyond.

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Drakengard 3

  • Platform: PS3
  • Genre:
  • Release Date: May 21, 2014

Drakengard 3 transports players to a medieval world where six goddess-like sisters known as “Intoners” have brought peace to the earth with their power to manipulate magic through song. Harmony is disrupted, however, when the eldest sister, Zero, attempts to murder her younger sisters with the help of her dragon companion, Mikhail. As the story progresses, players find themselves in a battle to unravel the mystery of Zero and learn her true intentions.

A prequel to the original Drakengard, Drakengard 3 features the series’ signature brand of action, pitting players against hordes of fiends and foes in remorseless hack-and-slash ground combat, and then sending them soaring for pitched aerial battles on the back of the dragon Mikhail.

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Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure

  • Platform: PC
  • Genre: Adventure, Indie
  • Release Date: May 22, 2014

Tex Murphy wakes up – disoriented and head pounding – on the fire escape outside his office atop the Ritz Hotel. Another typical morning for the last of the old-school detectives. Except it isn’t. What starts out as the worst hangover in history becomes a baffling nightmare: something – or someone – has erased Tex’s memory of the past seven years. Motivated by lost love, revenge and the world’s strongest coffee blend, Tex must retrace his own steps into a maze of unsolved murders, hidden agendas and lost technologies of Nikola Tesla. Only by solving the mysteries of his past can Tex hope to regain his memory in time to restore what’s been lost…and stop a terrifying future.

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Euro Truck Simulator 2 Special Edition

  • Platform: PC
  • Genre: Simulator
  • Release Date: May 23, 2014

The critically acclaimed Euro Truck Simulator 2 is back, featuring a vast amount of additional content including the ‘Go East’ expansion but also several exclusive paint jobs for your trucks.

Explore Europe, completing a variety of haulage contracts to increase your finances to begin your very own trucking company. You’ll invest in new trucks, hire truckers and even have the option to free drive around Europe.

Featuring several officially licensed truck manufactures including SCANIA and DAF, this special edition also includes the 1.9.22 patch which improves many textures and adjustments to AI behavior.

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Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

  • Platform: 3DS
  • Genre: Puzzles
  • Release Date: May 23, 2014

Oz is in Trouble again thanks to the evil Jester! A new villain named Jester showed up on the scene and started kidnapping a lot of the legends of Oz! Scarecrow, Lion and the Tin Man were all captured by his flying monkeys, and now they’re being held with others against their will! Dorothy needs to recruit some new companions to help her make it to the Emerald City. With exciting new lands of Oz to explore, you can help Dorothy and become a Legend of Oz!

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Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium Duels

  • Platform: Xbox 360
  • Genre: TCG
  • Release Date: May 23, 2014

Duel with characters from all four Yu-Gi-Oh! animated series in the newest Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network!

In Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium Duels, players enter a Virtual Dueling System, an advanced program in which they battle against simulated Duelists in the animated series, from classic Yu-Gi-Oh! to Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. Players can even unlock avatars from the animated series and take them online to battle other players in versus matches.

This Week in Gaming: Anticipated Releases from May 11 to May 17, 2014

Here are all the games being released this week, broken down according to the Platforms, Release Date and Genre for each game as well as a brief description for anticipated releases.

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The Last Tinker

  • Platform: PC
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
  • Release Date: May 12, 2014

The Last Tinker is a joyous platformer inspired by classics such as Jak and Daxter and Banjo Kazooie. Koru, a young boy from the slums of Colortown, must rise from his humble roots to tackle the Bleakness, a dark force intent on wiping out joy. Koru must use color and emotion to restore life to Colortown!

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Borderlands 2 (PS Vita)

  • Platform: PS Vita
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
  • Release Date: May 13, 2014

A new era of shoot and loot is about to begin. Play as one of four new vault hunters facing off against a massive new world of creatures, psychos and the evil mastermind, Handsome Jack. Make new friends, arm them with a bazillion weapons and fight alongside them in 4 player co-op on a relentless quest for revenge and redemption across the undiscovered and unpredictable living planet.

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Slender: The Arrival (Xbox 360 and PS3)

  • Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
  • Genre: Survival Horror
  • Release Date: May 14, 2014

Slender: The Arrival is the official re-imagining and expansion of the original game created by Mark Hadley, teamed up with the writers behind the Marble Hornets series and the development team at Blue Isle Studios. The Arrival features a brand new storyline, improved visuals, great replay value, and most importantly, survival horror at its best.

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BattleBlock Theater

  • Platform: PC
  • Genre: Casual, Action, Adventure, Indie
  • Release Date: May 15, 2014

Shipwrecked. Captured. Betrayed. Forced to perform for an audience of cats? Yes, all that and more when you unlock BattleBlock Theater! There’s no turning back once you’ve started on your quest to free over 300 of your imprisoned friends from evil technological cats. Immerse yourself in this mind bending tale of treachery as you use your arsenal of weapon-tools to battle your way through hundreds of levels in order to discover the puzzling truth behind BattleBlock Theater.

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Kirby: Triple Deluxe

  • Platform: 3DS
  • Genre: Casual, Action, Adventure
  • Release Date: May 16, 2014

Devour trees, obstacles, and huge chunks of stages with Kirby’s Hypernova ability and inhale enemies to copy epic new moves like Archer. It’s a grand new Kirby™ adventure PLUS a new multiplayer battle mode, Kirby Fighters!

This Week in Gaming: Anticipated Releases from April 28 to May 2, 2014

Here are all the games being released this week, broken down according to the Platforms, Release Date and Genre for each game as well as a brief description for anticipated releases.

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Battlepillars

  • Platform: iPhone, PC
  • Genre: Action, Casual, Indie, Strategy
  • Release Date: April 28, 2014

Battlepillars is a real-time tug-of-war strategy game in which you command caterpillars armed to the teeth with flamethrowers, sticky honey, mines, machine guns, and more!

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The Amazing Spider-man 2

  • Platform: 3DS, PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Genre: Action, Open World, Superhero, Marvel
  • Release Date: April 29, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 takes place outside the events of the 2nd film in a unique story where Spider-Man discovers a larger threat to NYC that has turned the underworld upside down. Villains from the film and classic Marvel characters come together in a twisted web of adrenaline-fueled, web-slinging action.

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JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle

  • Platform: PS3
  • Genre: Fighting
  • Release Date: April 29, 2014

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle is a 3D fighting game in which players can fight against each other using characters taken from all eight current story arcs from Hirohiko Araki’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga series (and one prior work by Araki), fighting in various locations taken from the manga.

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Daylight

  • Platform: PC, PS4
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Casual, Indie
  • Release Date: April 30, 2014

You awake, trapped in an abandoned hospital. Your only source of light is your phone. You hit a dead-end and must turn around, but behind you lurks an eerie presence and strange noises… Experience Daylight, a procedurally generated psychological thriller for your PC.

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BloodRayne Betrayal

  • Platform: PC
  • Genre: Action, 2D
  • Release Date: April 30, 2014

The original video game femme fatale, Rayne, has returned to battle and feed in a brand new hack ‘n slash adventure. Slay ghastly enemies as Rayne, the sexy dhampir with superhuman strength, speed, and agility, recruited by the vampire hunting Brimstone Society for one last mission.

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Child of Light

  • Platform: Wii U, Xbox 360, PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3
  • Genre: RPG
  • Release Date: April 30, 2014

The kingdom of Lemuria is in despair The Black Queen has stolen the Sun, the Moon and the Stars. You play as Aurora, a young princess with a pure heart whose soul is brought to the kingdom of Lemuria. Embark on a quest to recapture the three sources of light, defeat the Black Queen and restore the kingdom of Lemuria.