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Don’t bother him with details.

Ever since George Lucas decided to retcon the Star Wars continuity, prequels have been all the rage. Some attempts have been more successful than others: compare Star Trek: Enterprise and Hannibal Rising to, say, Smallville, and it quickly becomes apparent that prequels are a hit-or-miss affair. On the gaming side of things, The Legend of Zelda is the biggest culprit when it comes to endless retconning, but fans can hardly fault the series since they love it so much. With regressive storytelling being so risky, it’s no wonder companies like Valve opted to ditch prequels entirely and mainly resort to exploring backstory to flesh out their scenarios. It’s therefore been up to fans to take up the mantle of fully imagining a pre-GLaDOS Aperture Science facility in the aptly-named Portal: Prelude.

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Admit it: the name alone perked your interest. I mean, how can you ignore a game with “flatulent rebellion” in its title? It has the potential to be a money magnet that every kid will want to get just to offend their parents, whilst the older of us indulge our inner juveniles. It’d be great if there was a great game to go with the toilet humour, but as you’ll soon see, our expectations have been somewhat flushed.

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Oh hi! I kind of enjoy these little features despite them being sporadic by nature; they’re also really a means of getting the word out on some games that might have flown under the radar for whatever reason. In this particular entry we’re talking waaaaaaay under the radar. Perhaps only under my radar because you’re already up to your tits in excitement for this game after having seen it when it first appeared nearly TWO DAMN YEARS AGO.

The space simulator is making a bit of a comeback – which is something that RedTide and I are particularly excited about. Wings of Saint Nazaire is another to keep an eye on. Interestingly, the game has been around and in development since before Star Citizen even became a thing on Kickstarter. While Star Citizen sits with an ever-inflating budget and a large team behind it, Wings of Saint Nazaire is more demure: it’s being developed by three guys in their spare time. Don’t let that fool you though, because Wings is looking wonderful. Any game that describes itself as being “in the vein of Wing Commander and X-Wing” automatically gets my full attention.

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In the July issue of NAG, RedTide uses half a puppy, a wet rag and a bag of elastic bands to create a flying submarine which has no business being called a submarine in the first place because if you put it in water it dissolves almost instantly. We do extensive scientific research to discover the best shampoo for washing feet. Somebody accidentally leaves the bath tap on overnight and floods our office rainforest. And we rudely discover that skydiving with penguins isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Oh, and Evolve. Evolve happens.

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The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II takes place in Borgovia, a land where gothic meets geek and dark creatures are met with darker puns. It’s an action RPG in the tradition of Torchlight and Diablo, with a baroque style of its own. It’s my first real outing with the inimitable young monster hunter Van Helsing and his wise-cracking, ass-kicking ghost companion Lady Katarina, having played the first game only briefly. And, despite an incredibly slow start, balance issues and a couple of niggly bugs, Van Helsing II is a fun romp for the price.

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Early Access. Now there’s a concept I’ll never understand as it relates to video games. Okay, I get the logic: you buy the game before it’s finished so the indie developers can afford to make it in the first place – but personally, I only want to buy finished products.

I’ve heard that the other benefit is that it gives you a say in the game’s development – although from what I’ve seen, that translates into some developers collecting all your suggestions, bug reports and complaints and then diligently ignoring them. Still, I decided to dip a toe into these murky waters as a personal experiment a while back. The title in question: an interesting looking survival game called Sir, You Are Being Hunted.

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Destiny First Look Alpha_20140613213159

Perhaps you did as well? You did? Great! Let’s talk.

Last week, Bungie threw open the gates to an early access alpha preview of upcoming shared-world shooter Destiny. There has been, in case you missed it, a tremendous amount of hype about this game. It is, after all, the first game Bungie has released since 2010’s delightful Halo: Reach.

I don’t need to give you background on the subject; you can find more information about Destiny over on this link that will take you to two pages worth of Destiny articles we’ve written here on NAG Online. Alternatively, you can check out Pippa Tshabalala’s cover feature for this month’s edition of NAG Magazine.

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It almost feels like there needs to be an E3 controversy each year. This year Ubisoft has provided the vocal gaming public with something to critique. If you’ve been keeping up with the E3 news then I’m sure you’re aware of what I’m talking about: Ubisoft’s decision to cut female playable characters from the co-op portion of Assassin’s Creed Unity.

Now, however, in a perfect example of poor timing and developer stumbles, Far Cry 4 director Alex Hutchinson has revealed that his game almost allowed for a choice between male or female co-op partner avatars as well.

So that’s two of Ubisoft’s biggest franchises at this year’s E3 admitting that they had thought about but later cancelled the option to play as a female character in co-op. For both games the developers claimed that this was all down to limited resources and timing. Is that a good excuse or is it just another endemic phenomenon of the corporate status of AAA gaming titles?

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Nintendo (like last year) did something a little different at E3 with their “Digital Event”, as they’re billing it. The pre-recorded press conference — presented by CEO of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime — highlighted a number of new projects for the Wii U and the 3DS, along with several new games that are sure to be of interest to Nintendo fans.

Opening up with a Robot Chicken-inspired puppet sequence and then choreographed live-action fight between Reggie and Satoru Iwata (You know, just Nintendo’s president and CEO. In any other business, frowns all round, but not in video games. Because video games are awesome.), the video got right into the meat of Nintendo’s projects and reveals. I’ve listed these below with a basic summary of the points as they transpired during the course of the presentation; I’ve included each announcement’s handy HD trailer where available.

A lot of this is only appearing in 2015, which is unfortunate considering the beleaguered nature of the Wii U. Regardless, hit the jump for all the details.

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NOW you’re in trouble.

We’ve had our eyes on this baby for quite some time, pun intended. I mean, the premise alone is intriguing: viewing the world through the eyes of a toddler and reliving our instinctive fear of the dark! It’s a more novel approach to horror and an inspired break from the usual gore-drenched tropes that are common in the genre. Now that Among the Sleep has finally arrived, we can see if it lives up to our expectations or if it’s just another memory gone awry.

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