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E3 2017: Our 3 Favorite Things from the Microsoft Presser

The first of the big three took the state at E3 on Sunday afternoon, and Microsoft’s presser left us with a few things to get excited about this fall and beyond. Of course we new we would see the Scorpio (now dubbed the Xbox One X), and most of the other announcements were leaked ahead of time as well. But that doesn’t make them any less sweet. Here are our three favorite things from the Microsoft presser:

 

Crackdown 3–My all-time favorite series gets a new installment, and as icing on the cake, Terry Crews is in it. I have been waiting for this game for seven years now, and it looks like it has captured the core of what makes Crackdown great. Now if we can just get Crackdown and Crackdown 2 on the backwards compatibility list…

 

State of Decay 2–Despite rave reviews, I never got around to playing the first State of Decay. That won’t be the case this time around.

 

Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds–The Twitch sensation is coming to Xbox One, and it should be a mega-hit there as well.

 

Honorable Mention: Xbox One X

I’ll be honest, I could give a crap about the Xbox One X (or the PS4 Pro, for that matter). I don’t have a 4K TV, and I think the current gen of games look just fine. And $499 is way too much ($399 was the magic price point, and it will be there within a year of launch). BUT, if these half-measures by Microsoft and Sony will extend the life of this console generation, then I am all for it. And it wild rive the price of the original model down, so yay for that, too.

Those are the things we’re most excited about from Microsoft’s E3 presser. Stay tuned for our takeaways from the Bethesda, Sony, Ubi and Nintendo pressers over the next few days!

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Xbox One Backward Compatibility Super Sale Is On Through 5/22

If wanted to either catch up on some Xbox 360 classics or just grab some of your old favorites for your digital collection, now is the time. Microsoft is having a backward compatibility sale through May 22nd, and a ton of titles are discounted up to 75%.

Check Out The Xbox One Backward Compatibility Super Sale Here

If the list is a bit overwhelming, then allow us to recommend some titles for you:

Dead Space 1&2
Red Dead Redemption
Bioshock 1&2
Burnout Paradise
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Deux Ex: Human Revolution
Dragon Age: Origins
Fable II
Fallout 3
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Geometry Wars
Left 4 Dead 2
Limbo
Mass Effect 1-3
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Portal 1&2
Saints Row IV
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas
The Orange Box (Half-Life 2 + Eps 1&2)
Witcher 2

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Games We’re Excited About: April 2017

March was a huge month for games and games hardware, with the launch of the Switch and the arrival of tentpole releases like Zelda, Horizon and Mass Effect. And while April can’t possibly live up to last month, there are some great games in the queue, including some updated ports and one of the year’s biggest RPGs.

 

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Persona 5 (PS4)–April 4
While I (Brian) did not play Persona 4, I have very fond memories of the over 100 hours I spent with Persona 3. Persona’s blend of story, combat and relationship management make it stand out from the rest of the pack. And Persona 5 looks super slick. The story for this latest installment takes place in Tokyo and involves students using their persona powers to travel to an alternate dimension here they must remove corruption from the hearts of adults.

 

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Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition (PS4, Xbox One, PC)– April 7
When Bulletstorm came out in 2011, we had an absolute blast with its over the top action and low-brow humor. But it was the combat mechanics that made it great–a Scorpion-like energy leash that could pull enemies in for brutal kills, and a reward system that gave you points for creatively destroying enemies. It was like Gears of War on two pots of coffee. This remastered edition includes better visuals, new maps, DLC and gives players the ability to play as Duke Nukem. Bring it.

You can also hear Dan and Brian wax poetic about their love for Bulletstorm in an old episode of the Co-Op Critics podcast right here.

 

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Stardew Valley: Collector’s Edition (PS4, Xbox One)–April 11
We’ve been playing Stardew Valley for a year now on PC, so we know what a treat console gamers are in for this month. This Harvest Moon-inspired gem has you managing a farm you inherited from your grandfather. Farming, fishing, crafting, cooking, fighting monsters and managing relationships are all part of what makes Stardew Valley so great. The soundtrack is amazing, too.

 

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) – April 28
Mario Kart 8 was already amazing on the WiiU, and now it’s coming to Nintendo’s new console with a bevy of extra stuff. All the DLC from the WiiU version, new tracks, new tracks, new vehicles and more. Zelda may have carried the launch of the Switch, but Mario Kart 8 will keep people playing through the summer.

Those are the games we’re excited about for April. What’s on your “to buy” list? Let us know in the comments!

Overwatch: Practicing With Symmetra

I’m pretty methodical when it comes to learning a new Overwatch hero. I tend to focus on one for a while until I feel like I’m at least decent with that particular one before moving on. I’ve recently started learning Symmetra (even though she is changing soon), and this video features three matches with her.

If you enjoy this series, please leave a LIKE or comment on the video. Don’t forget to subscribe!

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Madden 17–First Impressions

CiSa-2LWsAA09q7I honestly cannot remember the last time I bought a Madden game. My peak Madden-playing time was during the SEGA Genesis era, and during that time I bought and played Madden every single year. But when I got a PlayStation, I moved over to NFL Gameday, and later the 2K series, before dropping out of most sports games altogether. Couch co-op is just not something I really have with my friends anymore (we are spread out across the country), and many of my gaming friends now are not into sports games at all.

And yet, I bought Madden 17.

I’m still not sure why, but I think it was a mix of two things–the fact that my fantasy football draft was this past weekend, and the fact that I actually had the money to buy the game (which is a rare occurrence these days). I’d also heard some good things about this year’s iteration, so I decided to grab it.

And you know what? Madden 17 makes a pretty great first impression.

You literally start the game late in the fourth quarter of a playoff game between Redskins and the Rams. You’re thrown right into the action, and while it’s a bit scripted, the success or failure of your comeback attempt is completely up to you. I stalled out on the one yardline as time expired, and I lost. But it was a great way to get introduced to this year’s Madden.

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After that, the game asks you what level you want to start playing at. The Rookie level is for those completely new to Madden, and the Pro level is for those who’ve played sports games, but aren’t Madden experts. All-Pro and All-Madden are for the folks who are very well-versed in Madden games.

I chose Pro, and dove into the very robust tutorial system, which is actually pretty fun. In addition to doing the usual offensive and defensive drills, you can test your skill in the Gauntlet, a survival-style mode where you have to complete challenges to keep going. If you fail a certain amount of times, you’re done. The game keeps track of what your personal best is, so it makes you want to keep coming back to best your score. This is a really smart way of incentivising practice, and I already spent more time in it than any previous tutorial mode in a sports game.

So, my first impression of Madden 17 is that it’s very welcoming to both new and old players, and offers a fun way to learn both the basics and more advanced systems of the game. I’ll be writing more about my experience with the game when I jump into season mode soon.

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Games We’re Excited About: September 2016

September is weird this year.

Usually we anticipate September as the beginning of the big games release season. But September 2016 will be known more for hardware news than game releases, as we expect concrete news on both the PlayStation Neo and the Nintendo NX. On the game release front, there are more remasters we’re looking forward to than new releases, but one collection in particular is more than enough to carry us through to October. Here’s what we’re excited about:

 

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BioShock: The Collection (Xbox One, PS4, PC)–September 13th

The Bioshock series is easily one of the greatest trilogies of all time, and I can’t wait to jump into this remastered collection. And it’s great to see Bioshock 2 included, because it’s a fantastic game, even if it wasn’t developed by Irrational. In some ways, I think it’s even better than its predecessor. Now I’m just waiting on Dead Space to get the same treatment and our desert island game collection will be complete.

 

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Dead Rising Triple Pack (Xbox one, PS4, PC)–September 13th/September 27th

As much as I tried to get into the Dead Rising games in the past, it was their clunky control schemes that put me off. But this bundle with Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2 and DR2: Off the Record has me wanting to give the series another go. As a huge Romero fan, the mall setting of the first one is a real draw for me.

 

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ReCore (Xbox one, PC)–September 13th

An adventure game made by the creators behind the Metroid Prime and Mega Man? Yes, please. ReCore centers around Joule, a girl who wakes up from cryosleep to find the Earth is a wasteland.

 

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Adr1ft (Xbox one)–September 16th

In this game you take on the role of an astronaut marooned in space after the destruction of a space station. You have to try and repair an escape ship while finding clues about what happened to the station, as you have no memory of what occurred. This game feels like it could have a SOMA vibe to it, and that alone makes it worth checking out for me.

 

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Destiny: Rise of Iron (Xbox one, PS4)–September 20th

To be honest, I fell out of love with Destiny a while ago. Once my friends had gotten many levels ahead of me, the game became a lot less fun, and the gameplay loop had long since lost its luster for me. But I had a lot of fun with Destiny originally, and anytime new content is released, it’s something I’m going to check out.

 

So, that’s our list of September releases we’re looking forward to. What’s on your list? Let us know in the comments.

 

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Co-Op Critics Podcast–Overwatch

In the latest episode of the Co-Op Critics podcast, Brian and Nick discuss our game of the month, Overwatch, look at some of August’s releases, and talk about what else they’re playing for the rest of the summer.

You can listen to the episode right here in the player above, or check us out on iTunes and Spreaker. You can also listen to back episodes on our podcast page. We’ll be catching up on a bunch of games over the remainder of the summer, so check out the YouTube page for all kids of videos and discussion.

Beta Impressions: Overwatch (Xbox One)

Blizzard’s upcoming team-based shooter Overwatch had an open beta this past weekend, and both Nick and I spent some time with it. In the video above, you’ll see Nick playing quite a bit with Hanzo, and having a good about of success. Hanzo is one of the Defense class characters, a bowman who is rated as one of the more difficult characters to play. He also spend a little time with Tracer, and Offense character who wields dual pistols.READ MORE