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3D Sonic the Hedgehog Review

The most ‘90s gaming character out there, now in futuristic 3D.

It’s fascinating to go back to the original Sonic the Hedgehog after so many years and so many new entries in the series. These days, everyone wants to convince you that Sonic is a game all about speed. Without it, it’s simply not the same – not like the original titles on the Genesis. What the original game has reminded me of is that Sonic is a platformer first and foremost and a game about speed second. Very rarely does Sonic hit breakneck speeds in his debut; more often than not he’s taking calculated jumps in a sidescroller that’s merely more mobile than the one that features his Italian plumber counterpart.

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Sonic Boom Announced for 3DS and Wii U

Western studios Big Red Button and Sanzaru Games will tackle the Japanese mascot for Nintendo's consoles.

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3D Galaxy Force II Review

A Star Fox clone this is not.

Looks can be deceiving, particularly in the case of 3D Galaxy Force II. After watching a bit of footage of the game, I thought I was in for a fantastic Star Fox-like experience, piloting through space, taking down enemies and battling epic bosses at the conclusion of each level. While these are things you’ll do throughout the game, it never exhibits the finesse of the Star Fox series and the imprecise controls ensure that most players aren’t going to get much out of this particular 3D Classic.

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Thunder Force II Review Rewind

Thunder rumbles on the Genesis.

If there was one thing that Techno Soft did very well in the 16-bits days, it was shoot ‘em ups.  It all started when they created Thunder Force in 1984. It was released on the NEC PC-8801 and several other Japanese home computers at the time, but never saw the light of day in the US.  The game featured an overhead free-roaming viewpoint and the goal was to destroy the enemy’s shield generators, using your main shot for air targets and the bomb shot for ground targets in each stage. While it’s tough to gauge the game’s popularity from back then, it apparently did well enough to warrant a sequel.  So Thunder Force II was released four years later for the Sega Genesis in 1989, making it the very first shoot ‘em up on the system.

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R-Type Review Rewind

In space, no one can hear you flicker.

When R-Type showed up on the arcade scene in 1987, it was a force to be reckoned with. With its razor sharp graphics and techno-organic alien atmosphere, the game quickly became considered to be one of the best shoot ‘em ups of its time, rivaling the popularity of the Gradius series. With the success of this arcade gem, it was only logical that it should be ported to every major home console...right? In theory yes, but in reality it was released on only two video game systems in contrast to being ported to at least eight personal computer systems available at the time. Of the scarce home console releases, the Sega Master System saw a port of R-Type in 1988. Although faithful to the arcade version in terms of content, the game takes a nosedive when the action gets heavy.

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Sonic Lost World Hands On Preview

Sonic's latest is taking the series in a new direction.

Sonic has been going through a lot lately, as Sega has been desperately trying to revitalize the franchise to its former grace. The critical reception of those titles has been mixed, but in an effort to change up the formula Sega has come up with Sonic: Lost World. What I played was solid and manages to be charming and fun, yet some changes might have hindered what I enjoy about Sonic as a whole.

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Thinking Positively About E3

The power of hope.

E3 is on the horizon, and as usual, we are buzzing. This year in particular should be huge. With two brand new consoles on the way and the promise of rescue titles for the Wii U, there’s a lot to be excited about. That said, history proves that things could easily go awry. Despite this, part of what makes E3 so great is the hope that comes along with speculation leading up to the show. I for one am pretty optimistic for this E3. Here are some of my hopes for E3 2013:

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MIA - Streets of Rage

No, seriously-- where are you, Yuzo Koshiro?

People complain about the plethora of Modern Warfare first person shooters these days, but those same people forget that every few years there’s some genre that dominates the gaming landscape. We’ve gone through the survival horror phase, the RPG obsession, the fighting game craze, and of course the beat ‘em up era. During that time, one of the most popular and legendary brawlers was the Streets of Rage series. It’s been nearly 20 years since Sega’s personal head crackers had a new adventure, so it’s time to dust off this franchise and resurrect it.

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Nerds Without Pants Episode 17: The All-Japan Pro Podcast

Sayonara, Rob-san!

Welcome to another edition of Nerds Without Pants! No, this show isn't about an epic wrestling match between Antonio Inoki and Great Baba.This time, we revisit a topic that we talked about when we were still the Tri-Force crew on PixlTalk: Japanese games. Instead of rehashing material we take advantage of the fact that we’re nearing the end of the console cycle and grade major Japanese developers on their performance. Before that, we talk about what games we’ve been playing.

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Kenji Eno Passes Away at 42

The controversial Japanese game developer leaves a legacy of genre bending titles.

Last week was kind of a crazy week of news for video game fans of all walks of life. Naturally the PS4 announcement took up the lion’s share of the attention, and with good reason considering how long the current console generation has lasted. Obviously big and sad news hit a lot of people close to this website with the announcement that 1up would be closing, and some excellent writers getting laid off. With all of that commotion it’s easy to forgive if you didn’t realize that Kenji Eno died last week, as well. You can also be forgiven for asking who that is, because although Eno was a legendary game designer to a lot of people, he was also an enigma that hadn’t been in the gaming news for over a decade.

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