The Wonderful 101

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As we get closer to the September 15 release date of the Platinum Games' first Wii U title, "The Wonderful 101" lots of tidbits about the game are being revealed. From its original proposal as a Nintendo crossover title, to its outspoken creator's feelings on review scores, and even quite a few profiles on the characters that are part of the Wonderful 100, but what of the inspiration for the game? You might have been able to guess that some of the biggest Japanese TV shows of the 1980s played a role, but an old Japanese story about a school of fish was what really got the ball rolling.

Speaking with the Director of "The Wonderful 101," Hideki Kamiya recently, he gave us some insight into where the ideas behind his latest creation came from, and how they were influenced by some of his favorite memories of his childhood.
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Spelunky

The PlayStation Network is quickly becoming the go-to home for beloved indie game ports - both for console and handhelds. From "Thomas Was Alone" to "Mutant Blobs Attack!!!," "Sound Shapes" to "Retro City Rampage," Sony's PSN has provided its gamers with some of the best indie games of the past few years. This week they add one more name to their ever-growing list as indie dev Mossmouth's "Spelunky" makes the move to the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita, with some help from BlitWorks. Originally released for PCs back in 2008, the title quickly became a hit, and eventually saw an enhanced release on the Xbox Live Arcade in 2012, and now the game is finally landing on Sony's platforms. This release also signifies "Spelunky"'s first handheld release, allowing gamers to get their exploration in on the go.
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Killer is Dead

Grasshopper Manufacture have a certain reputation to uphold. With games like "Killer 7," "No More Heroes," "Flower, Sun, and Rain," and "Shadows of the Damned" under their belt, they have established themselves as a studio that thinks well outside the box … so far outside the box that it seems like they've got their own box no where near the other box. It's also impossible to talk about Grasshopper without invoking the name of their fearless leader, Goichi Suda, better known as Suda 51, who has been pushing the limits of electronic entertainment for the past two decades. Grasshopper and Suda's latest release, "Killer is Dead," presents yet another twisted tale, told through beautiful graphics, and wild gameplay, falling right in line with many of the games that already bear their names.
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Divekick

The fighting game genre is one of the most beloved, competitive, and intense subdivisions of video games, and it's also the most complex. From the basic concept of kicking and punching your opponent until their life bar runs out, the genre has evolved into multi-hit, tag team, death matches with mysterious creatures that can conjure screen-filling projectiles by doing an eight button combo move. While it's not clear where exactly things got so complicate, it's a pretty safe bet that it was around the time of the release of "Street Fighter II" and "Mortal Kombat." Those two franchises birthed a genre that has spawned countless games, which have grown and evolved over the years. However, there is one game that is looking to rein things in, and take fighting games back to a much simpler time. "Divekick" pits opponents head-to-head, using only two buttons, and one move: the divekick.
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Payday 2

Movies and video games tend to cross over quite a bit. In a lot of cases, what makes a good movie usually makes a good game: a lot of action, a good story, and characters that you can connect with. This is the reason that a lot of games are derived from the same ideas as that their silver screen counterparts. Racing games play on the great chase movies like "The French Connection," war games owe a debt to classics like "Apocalypse Now" and "The Bridge on the River Kwai," and even sports games have movies like the "Rocky" franchise to credit for laying the groundwork for their popularity. However, there is one great genre of action films that is well underrepresented in the game world - heist movies. Cinema classics like "Ocean's Eleven" (both of them), "The Thomas Crown Affair," (both of them, too), "The Usual Suspects," and "Reservoir Dogs" all prove that thievery makes for a good story, but in terms of games, it's slim pickings. "Payday 2" hopes to change that, as it continues the genre homage that its predecessor, "Payday: The Heist," began back in 2011.
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ibb and obb

Some games are just plain better when you play them with a friend. Whether they're large-scale MMOs, or simple puzzle games, having some company along for your journey can not only make the experience more enjoyable, but also easier. The latest indie game to be featured as part of the PlayStation Network's PLAY promotion, Sparpweed's "ibb and obb" is a most excellent puzzle-platformer that proves why having two heads is better than one.
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Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

Anyone that has played a "Mario & Luigi" game can tell you that Mario and Luigi aren't the only familiar faces in the games. Over the course of the three games that have been released in the series ("Superstar Saga," "Partners In Time," and "Bowser's Inside Story"), and the one that will drop next week ("Dream Team") the Mario Brothers have run into countless friendly, and not so friendly, faces in their RPG journeys. However, throughout all of the games, there have always been new characters introduced that tend to be specific to the stories told in these franchises, and because they are so unique to these games, those characters will almost never venture outside of a "Mario & Luigi" game.New characters in the Mario Universe is actually a pretty big deal, and the ones that show up in “Mario & Luigi” usually tend to play very important roles within these games, and it turns out, that's by design.
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Cloudberry Kingdom

Bragging rights are an interesting aspect of the video game community. Saying that you've beaten a game, or a difficult level, or even a wily boss, comes with an inherent sense of self-satisfaction, but also the right to brag about your accomplishments. But, what if you were bragging about something in a game that someone else would never see, or play, or experience. In fact, what if the entire game was a unique experience because each of the levels were randomly generated? Enter Kickstarter success story, "Cloudberry Kingdom," the 2D platformer from developer Pwnee Studios, that prides itself on being completely randomly generated, meaning my experience will not be the same as yours, should you decide to play it.
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Pikmin 3

The "Pikmin" franchise is one of Nintendo's most oddball series, with gameplay that's unlike anything else that company, or any other company for that matter, creates. Playing "Pikmin" offers gamers the wholly unique experience of controlling large groups of tiny creatures that do your bidding for you. However, there hasn't been a fresh "Pikmin" game since the release of "Pikmin 2" on the GameCube back in 2004, so, when Nintendo announced a new entry into the series it's fair to say that gamers got excited. That reveal was at E3 in 2008, and the game was supposed to be on the Wii... then it was supposed to be a Wii U launch title. Five years after its initial announcement, "Pikmin 3" has finally been released, and even with development delays and a change of platform, it's fair to say that the wait was worth it.
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Mario & Luigi

Everyone already knows the tale of how Mario and Luigi got their mustaches, but since the days of "Donkey Kong," the Mario Bros. whiskers have taken a backseat. However, in the upcoming 3DS title, "Mario & Luigi: Dream Team," the development team behind the game decided to give Luigi's mouth brow a bit more screen time. This time around it's not just to highlight his Italian nose, or because Luigi's long and luxurious 'stache is a site to behold, it's actually integral to the game itself. Read More...

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