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This Week in Games - Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters Daybreak

Dustin takes on Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters Daybreak: Special Gigs!, discusses Metal Gear Survive, Pokemon on the Nintendo NX and next week's biggest releases! ― The Tokyo Game Show took place over the past weekend, and like most recent years for the show, it didn't provide a ton of huge announcements. That's generally reflective of the past decade of AAA Japanese development, which has obviously go...
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This Week in Games - Death Stranding

This week's biggest news, including the Playstation 4 Pro, The Last Guardian's release date slip, a few more details on Death Stranding and much more! ― Ireland's a nice place. Good food. Great beer. Lot of sheep. But now it's time to put all that fresh air and beautiful country aside and talk about the things that really matter: video games! I had all these grand plans of playing through the Phoenix...
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This Week in Games - What's NeXt for Nintendo?

In the wake of yesterday's Super Mario Run news, Dustin considers Nintendo's next move. PLUS: next week's new releases, including Psycho-Pass and Valkyrie Drive! ― You might notice that the news section is more than a little lacking this week, and that's not just because the massive pile of new games took up all this column's space. I'm actually writing to you from the past. As you're reading this I'...
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This Week in Games: Nioh, Dead or Alive

A new Dark Souls-style game is in beta on Playstation 4, and Dustin's ready for it. PLUS: Dead or Alive VR controversy, Resident Evil 7, a new Phoenix Wright game for the 3DS and much more! ― It's been another week in games, and that means it's time for another column here to try and make sense of it all. The news brings us some long-awaited plot details on Resident Evil 7, a sneak preview of the lat...
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This Week in Games - On the Verge

Dustin sings the praises of the grimy Metroid-alike Axiom Verge, Super Mario cosplays at the Olympics, a new game from Pokemon developers Game Freak, PLUS Attack on Titan for the PS4 and the rest of next week's new releases! ― Welcome back once again to This Week in Games! News is a little slight this week because of a substantial stack of new releases, but we've still got a pair of surprises includi...
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This Week in Games - Pokemon Uranium

This week: a Pokemon fan game flies too close to the sun, a long-lost Game Boy Color game returns from beyond the grave, Konami stuns everyone with Metal Gear news and much more! ― Nobody's told me about any fires in the Anime News Network offices, so I'm going to go ahead and call the inaugural instalment of This Week in Games a success. That means it's time for another one! This week we've got a su...
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This Week in Games - Metroid's Saddest Birthday Ever

ANN's new weekly gaming feature launches with this week's big news - including a remake of Metroid II that Nintendo doesn't want anyone to play - and next week's biggest new releases! ― Greetings and welcome to This Week in Games, our new weekly gaming feature here on Anime News Network that probably reminds you a whole lot of our previous column, The X Button. But where the X Button was a roundup of...
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The X Button - Signing Off

It’s the final X Button, and Todd retires the column with a rundown of his lesser-known favorites! Plus Sonic Mania, Lady Layton, and Nintendo rumors! ― Here it is, readers: the last installment of The X Button. Next month will see another video-game column take its place, with the talented Dustin Bailey (that's Dustin, not Justin) at its helm. I thought hard about how best to close this little attr...
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The X Button - First Impressions: I Am Setsuna

This week: Todd looks at Square Enix’s throwback RPG! Plus Gravity Rush 2, Nintendo classics, and a major announcement! ― I'll start this column with some very important news: The X Button is retiring. If all goes as planned, the final installment will go up next Thursday, July 28. I must preemptively fend off rumors that the column's being shuttered because of my controversial stand on the Breath o...
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The X Button - Children of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus

This week, Todd checks in with some games inspired by Ico and Shadow of the Colossus! Plus Naruto Online, the latest Dead or Alive guest star, and the all-consuming Pokemon Go! ― I will make the broad assumption that everyone reading this has tried or at least heard about Pokemon Go. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I suspect that anyone curious about video games on an anime website cares enough about their c...
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The X Button - Import Roundup with Super Robot Wars

This week is an import-fest with Super Robot Wars, My Hero Academia, and dungeon-exploring drums! Plus Adventures of Mana, Metal Slug, and a deadly game of idol singers! ― Anime Expo saw Aksys Games announce Steam versions of several titles, including XBlaze Lost: Memories, Tokyo Xanadu, and Aegis of Earth. By itself that isn't major news. Plenty of games head to Steam these days. Yet this small dev...
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The X Button - Interview: Grand Kingdom

This week: we talk with the director of the beautiful strategy-RPG Grand Kingdom! Plus Berserk, Mighty No. 9, and the latest in game decorations! ― The X Button takes a short summer vacation next week, as I'm moving. And when you're moving, you go through all of your possessions and realize just how much crap you're keeping. For example, I discovered that I saved almost every Flying Warriors and Lit...
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The X Button - Interview: One Piece: Burning Blood

This week: An interview with the producers of One Piece: Burning Blood! Plus Kojima’s new game, the next Zelda, and more from E3! ― The Electronic Entertainment Expo unfolded this week. I wish I'd gone, but that's only because I'm certain Sony gave away Gravity Rush 2 trinkets on the show floor. What did I want from E3 besides that? I was content with news about my three most-desired games. And I wa...
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The X Button - First Impressions: Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator

This week: Todd looks at the latest Guilty Gear cavalcade of heavy metal and fisticuffs! Plus remastered Final Fantasies, robot wars, and pranks! ― Next week brings along E3, but this week is all about Guilty Gear. And it reminds me of one proud accomplishment: I'm quoted in the Wikipedia page for my favorite Guilty Gear character, Millia Rage. Granted, the quotes make me sound like a nutcase. I was...
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The X Button - First Impressions: Kirby: Planet Robobot

This week: the mechanized magic of Kirby: Planet Robobot! Plus The Last Guardian, Twinkle Star Sprites, and a long-lost piece of history! ― This week brought news about The Last Guardian, a notable game on two counts. It's the next game from one of the industry's most acclaimed creative minds, and it got delayed an awful lot. This is also another opportunity for me to feel old, because I remember a ...
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The X Button - Lost in Anime Licenses

This week: we look at promising developers now sunk deep in the anime-game swamp! Plus a Mighty No. 9 debacle, a returning Square RPG, and a Pac-Man celebration! ― Pac-Man turned 36 years old this May 22, and there are a few ways to celebrate. You can dress up as Pac-Man and run around alleys until the authorities intervene. You can listen to "Pac-Man Fever" and its varied remixes. You can ignore th...
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The X Button - Crowdfunding in Zombie Space

This week: exploring new Kickstarters with zombie girls, galactic knights, and self-indulgence! Plus Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius, Wild Guns Reloaded, and two potential game-industry icons! ― Last week brought important news for the world of game-company mascots. Hideo Kojima remains coy about his first game after his departure from Konami, but the creator of Metal Gear and Snatcher (and, yes, Police...
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The X Button - Bandai Namco's Anime Wave

This week: Bandai Namco’s staggering anime videogame lineup of Jojo’s, Sword Art Online, One Piece, and more! Plus Persona 3, Phoenix Wright, and the best new Pokemon! ― When the Pokemon craze enveloped children everywhere in the late 1990s, comedians and parents and cultural pundits opined that it would soon give way to some other fad. I wonder if any of them still predict that. Bolstered by Ninten...
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The X Button - Import Roundup With Gundam Breaker

This week: it’s an import recap with Gundam, Digimon, and a deadly, mist-filled castle! Plus The King of Fighters, Cave shooters, and Nintendo’s next move! ― I think I'll get my inevitable Valkyrie Profile update out of the way at the start of this column. I'm still playing Valkyrie Anatomia, the mobile-game series prequel that hit Japan last month, and I'm still enjoying it. I concluded long ago th...
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The X Button - Interview: Tekken 7

This week: Producer Katsuhiro Harada on Tekken 7 and the world of fighting games! Plus a Suda51 classic, Exist Archive, old computer novelties, and the return of Valkyrie Profile! ― It's hard to know where to start when discussing Prince. He leaves behind an immense body of work, even if you ignore the massive archive of material he never released in his lifetime. Well, this is a column about video ...
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The X Button - Interview: Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness

This week: Star Ocean producer Shuichi Kobayashi talks sequels, scandalous attire, and Valkyrie Profile! Plus Let it Die, Nier: Automata, and a dangerous new direction for games. ― Welcome to another edition of the X Button. I must interrupt your regularly scheduled Valkyrie Profile updates for some news about Sony's new PlayStation 4. Yes, some solid rumors point to Sony releasing an upgraded versi...
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The X Button - First Impressions: Bravely Second: End Layer

This week: a look at Square Enix’s brand new Bravely Second! Plus Valkyrie Profile’s long-awaited return, a newly lost RPG, and a rediscovered fighting game! ― I hope you like Valkyrie Profile, because it comes up in this week's column yet again. And I actually have an excuse for discussing it, too! But first we have a mystery on our hands. It's rare for an unreleased video game to turn up, and it's...
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The X Button - First Impressions: Star Fox Zero

This week: the sights, sounds, and gimmicky little robots of Star Fox Zero! Plus Assault Suits, Mega Man, and yet another game-industry departure. ― Last week, we heard a little bit about Valkyrie Profile 3. To be specific, we heard about Shuichi Kobayashi, producer of the new Star Ocean, keeping a Valkyrie Profile 3 proposal in his files. That's no real shock, of course. Game companies have plenty ...
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The X Button - First Impressions: Nights of Azure

This week: A look at the darker turns of Gust’s new action-RPG! Plus arcade comebacks, Fire Emblem fallout, and a long-lost relic of the 1990s! ― I came down with a stomach virus last week, and it made me think about the mixed blessing of staying home sick when I was a kid. I'd stretch out in bed, sip flat 7-Up, read books and magazines, and maybe get propped up in front of the TV if I was well into...
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The X Button - First Impressions: Senran Kagura: Estival Versus

This week: a rundown on the new Senran Kagura: Estival Versus cavalcade of ninja! Plus the PlayStation VR, Romancing SaGa, and a shocking piece of Fire Emblem’s past! ― I hope you're enjoying Anime News Network's expanded video-game coverage, including Gabriella's look at Fire Emblem's history. It's very thorough, but there's one minor piece of the series I'd like to examine in greater detail: its e...
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The X Button - Import Roundup with Shin Megami Tensei

This week brings imports for Raiden, Shin Megami Tensei, and bug superheroes! Plus Ace Attorney’s best news yet, Zero Escape victims, and Kirby in a robot! ― So what was your favorite part of last week's Nintendo Direct? Wait, scratch that. What was your least favorite part? The front-runner there appears to be Nintendo's announcement of Super NES games arriving on the 3DS Virtual Console...the New ...
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The X Button - Interview: Return to PopoloCrois

This week, we talk with XSEED’s Tom Lipschultz about the wonders of Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairy Tale! Plus Black Rose Valkyrie, Bravely Second, and a retro-gaming debacle. ― A new Nintendo Direct airs later today, well after this column regularly shows its face. So I'll do what any proper pundit does: I'll make predictions. And when the Nintendo Direct actually broadcasts and con...
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The X Button - First Impressions: Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth

We dive into Digimon’s big North American comeback this week! Plus Super Robot Wars, Ys, Guilty Gear, and more! ― I wasn't kidding when I mentioned that Fire Emblem Fates spawned the first real video-game controversy of 2016. Nintendo's localization of the game changes a few things: the translators rewrote a scene where the player's avatar drugs a female mercenary to shake her fixation with beautifu...
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The X Button - First Impressions: Fire Emblem Fates

Find out everything you need to know for this week's biggest release with hands-on impressions of the Fire Emblem Fates special edition! PLUS: Street Fighter controversy and much more! ― Controversy grips the game industry this week, and it all stems from a single shocking issue: the newly released Street Fighter V makes Chun-Li's chest preposterous. This matter goes back to earlier exhibitions of S...
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The X Button - Voyage to Neptunia

This week: a look at the referential turns of Neptunia and Sega Hard Girls! Plus Mother 3 rumors, Kickstarter woes, and the secrets of Mega Man! ― It seems as though everyone's playing Firewatch this week. That's fine with me, because it's a very interesting game. Firewatch casts the player as fire lookout Henry, who monitors a patch of Shoshone National Forest in the late 1980s. Communicating only ...
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The X Button - Hard-Boiled Detective Pikachu

This week: imports join the yakuza, the Asterisk War, and a Dragon Quest construction crew! Plus Detective Pikachu, 7th Dragon, a shooter with a great title and a DBZ game contest! ― I have the winners of my recent games-as-art contest, but I'll save them for this column's last stretch. That's because I have another contest to run! Bandai Namco's mobile game Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle starts up its...
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The X Button - Delay of Games

This week: what happens when games like Mighty No. 9 get delayed, and why it matters! Plus Super Mario discoveries, Fire Emblem problems, and a new Mistwalker RPG hint! ― The deadline for the latest X Button contest draws near, as you all have until midnight Friday to submit your entries! It's for the sake of art, after all! We've all heard arguments about how video games are Art With a Captial A, s...
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The X Button - See the Future

This week: Todd tells us what 2016 holds for Nintendo, Capcom, and the rest of the game industry! Plus Story of Seasons, Mario toys brought to video-game life, and a continuing contest! ― The X Button has next week off, so you'll get even more free time to enter the ongoing contest. It's all about explaining why video games are high-minded art…especially when they're not. I want your best pseudo-int...
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The X Button - Exist Tense

This week: imports with Exist Archive, Monster Strike, and classic mecha space wars! Plus Kaga Create’s fall, Nintendo’s lesser-known Zelda offspring, and a contest to kick off the new year! ― The X Button starts off 2016 this week, and I think it's time we had another contest. This one is all about art, or at least nonsensical attempts to rationalize it. How do you enter? I want you to humorously e...
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The X Button - The Top Ten Games of 2015

This week: ANN’s video-game crew rounds up the best of the year! Plus God Eater, Tales of Berseria, another excuse to mispronounce “Ys,” and Christmas card conflict! ― The X Button has next week off for Christmas vacation, and I'll be back in the new year, stirring up debate just as I did in 2015. For one thing, I tried to goad XSEED and Natsume into a full-scale war over who had the better Harvest ...
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The X Button - Roundup Sides

This week: the X Button’s strange and new awards for 2015! Plus new Smash characters, Kojima’s next move, the latest final PSP game, and some commercial signs! ― Gravity Rush Remastered is out in Japan. I've talked before about the game and its box set, which includes Kat and Dusty figures for an apparently exorbitant amount. But I haven't talked about its Japanese commercial. It's cute enough in it...
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The X Button - Expert Ease

This week: Todd unboxes the Xenoblade Chronicles X limited edition! Plus: King of Fighters returns, Final Fantasy, Ni No Kuni, Street Fighter, Sony’s PlayStation Experience, and much more! ― Xenoblade Chronicles X is the sort of game meant for special-edition packaging. It's a gobsmackingly huge journey across an alien world where the player finds towering creatures, massive robots, and a generous f...
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The X Button - Net Started

This week, it’s an import watch with Shining Force fighters, knightly warfare, and a game all about Twitter squabbles! Plus Super Robot Wars, Darius, and another developer’s exit! ― We had fun last week. Koei Tecmo's Facebook page alluded to Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 not coming to North America or Europe due to potential issues over the game's ribald depictions of women, and arguments exploded. Koei Te...
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The X Button - Vanishing Point

This week, Todd scrutinizes some missing pieces of Mario, Sonic, and other popular series! Plus Dead or Alive controversy, Disaster Report’s rebirth, and the quest for holiday games. ― This may be the first X Button to arrive on Thanksgiving, due to the new schedule. I'd like to use the opportunity to mention Thanksgiving-themed video games, but I've noticed a problem. There aren't any. It's rare to...
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The X Button - One Sleuth Prevails

This week: Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth’s producer talks about comebacks and more! Plus the latest version of Link, the return of Valkyria Chronicles, and some good Gravity Rush news! ― Oh, Xenoblade Chronicles X. You can't stay out of trouble. Mere weeks ago, the American and European versions of the game stirred controversy with entirely justified alternations of an underage character's outfits. No...
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The X Button - Eating Well

This week is an import array with God Eater, 7th Dragon, and a scary night out! Plus Street Fighter debates, Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey, and a Project X Zone bonus! ― This column deals with video games most of the time, but I figure I can squeeze in a tangentially related piece of news once a year. I normally use my allotment when Dark Horse releases a new volume of Eden: It's an Endless World!, but th...
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The X Button - Long Division

This week, we talk with the creators of the new RPG Indivisible! Plus Street Fighter, Guilty Gear, NieR: Automata, and yet another potential fashion disaster. ― I didn't expect another Nintendo controversy so soon. A few weeks after the company stirred debate by replacing bikinis with Zelda and Metroid outfits in Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, a similar fuss arose over Nintendo's upcoming Xenob...
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The X Button - Blasting Away

This week, Todd considers the history and fate of light-gun games! Plus Gravity Rush 2, more Trails in the Sky, and some strange Sonic sightings! ― With Halloween approaching, now's a good time to pull out your favorite scary games. I assume you'll be dressing up and going to parties or passing out candy when the actual holiday arrives, but a creepy game is invaluable during the buildup. And you hav...
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The X Button - Might Be Wrong

This week: a look at the good and bad of Mighty No. 9! Plus Konami’s latest problems, Final Fantasy’s newest nostalgia bait, and some Fatal Frame lingere controversy! ― I could talk about Hideo Kojima leaving Konami, about how the next Harvest Moon War will shake out, or about how neat Undertale is. However, there are more pressing concerns. Fatal Frame: Maiden of the Black Water is out in North Ame...
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The X Button - Artful Ways

This week, we talk with the producer of Sword Art Online: Lost Song! Plus Phoenix Wright, Yo-Kai Watch, and a Nintendo relic rarely seen in public! ― I was at the New York Comic Con for about five hours total last weekend. That gave me time to do little more than wander the floor and take part in the Anime News Network panel. My thanks go out to the audience members who picked Dog Soldier and the dr...
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The X Button - Cat Fantasy

This week: imports pop up with Monster Hunter spin-offs, new anime adaptations, and a modern take on an RPG classic! Plus the latest Street Fighters, Project X Zone 2 additions, and the closest we’ll come to another Valkyrie Profile! ― You'll notice that the X Button has a new time slot. It's airing Thursdays, right between Battery Park and The Weber Show! We're in Must See TV territory now, folks! ...
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The X Button - Saber Rattling

This week: crowdfunding cases for Saber Rider, mecha strategy, and a long-lost series! Plus Tokyo Game Show wrap-ups with Persona 5, Ni-Oh, and the newest face in Street Fighter V! ― There'll be no X Button next week, since I'm taking a vacation. But don't worry. I'll make sure that my next column covers all of the important video-game sights in my hometown of Dayton, Ohio! I might not be joking, ei...
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The X Button - On With the Show

This week: the first chunk of the Tokyo Game Show brings Todd’s favorite news all year! Plus new Street Fighter characters, more Kingdom Hearts, and a great bonus costume for Dead or Alive. ― This week brings the Tokyo Game Show, and with it some news I've wanted to hear for a long, long while. Before I get to that, however, Nintendo has a new leader up for discussion. The tragic loss of Nintendo Pr...
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The X Button - Capsule Corps

Todd takes on Capsule Force for a double dose of retro-stuff! Plus Monster Hunter Tales, Arslan: The Warriors of Legend, and the best Project X Zone addition yet! ― I talked a lot about Mega Man last week, and I'll continue for just a little while. It seems that a new Mega Man movie, first rumored months ago, now has slightly more solid grounding. The Tracking Board reports that the film has produce...
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The X Button - Lumine Nation

This week, we go importin’ with Super Robot Wars, Ray Gigant, and Luminous Arc! Plus the next Ace Attorney, a Cave shooter comeback, and new reasons to complain about Street Fighter! ― Nintendo has a depleted lineup for this holiday season, with a new Star Fox, Yoshi's Wooly World, and Xenoblade Chronicles X occupying space that normally would go to a new Mario or Zelda game. Of course, Nintendo has...
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The X Button - Cyber City

This week: Bandai Namco’s future with Dark Souls III, Project X Zone 2, and Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth! Plus your chance to vote on Konami games, Dead or Alive rosters, and the future of Guilty Gear! And comics! ― Nintendo recently put a little The Legend of Zelda comic on its Play channel. It's drawn by Seitaro Komatsu, it's based on The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, and it showcases a lazy, man...
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The X Button - Lost in Blues

This week, Todd reviews the under-the-radar Vita RPG Lost Dimension! Plus Exist Archive, a Resident Evil return, and some extreme Guilty Gear nerding out. ― Fighting games play us for suckers. To be fair, just about any game series with semi-annual upgrades plays us for suckers, but fighting games at least do it predictably. The initial version of a new fighter comes out shiny and freshly redesigned...
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The X Button - Dragon Forces

This week: the creators of Dragon Quest Heroes talk of whacking slimes and stewarding Japan’s biggest RPG series! Plus SNK’s future, Fire Emblem’s resurgence, and a new way through an old favorite. ― I talked about Final Fantasy XII last week, and since we just don't talk enough about Final Fantasy games, I'll talk about Final Fantasy VI. It's one of my favorite games, but it sure is glitchy. The ga...
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The X Button - Crime Scene, Part Fun

This week, imports appear with ace detectives, strategic moves, and hungry cities! Plus Red Ash’s fate, Konami’s saving grave, and second chances for several games! ― Hey, would you like a remastered version of Final Fantasy XII? I sure would! Maybe it's not your thing, but Final Fantasy XII is up there with Tactics and VI among my favorite parts of the whole Final Fantasy buffet. Sure, XII feels a ...
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The X Button - Heaven Sense

This week: a chat with Final Fantasy XIV producer Naoki Yoshida! Plus Exist Archive, Red Ash, Dragon Quest, and a classic wonder-world! ― Some loyal readers may be tired of hearing about Red Ash, Keiji Inafune's Kickstarter attempt to relaunch Mega Man Legends in just about everything but name and storyline. You must forgive me, as I really enjoy the Legends games and want to see more in their gener...
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The X Button - How Suda is Now

This week: further talk with Goichi “Suda51” Suda about Killer7, No More Heroes, and in-jokes! Plus new Street Fighters, Odin Sphere’s return, and the only election that matters! ― I was on the way home from Comic-Con when I heard the news: Satoru Iwata, the President and CEO of Nintendo since 2002, passed away at the age of 55. Iwata's time at Nintendo saw many momentous things: the DS replacing th...
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The X Button - Wii U Ready

This week: Is the Wii U a failure or just misunderstood and cranky? Plus the pseudo-return of Mega Man Legends, more Digimon, and an amazing video-game relic! ― There'll be no X Button next week, due to my covering the San Diego Comic Con in all its crowded, blistering splendor this weekend. If you're there, you can see me host a panel for Goichi “Suda51” Suda, creator of delightfully weird games fr...
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The X Button - Inner Stella

Have some imports this week with Tatsunoko tributes, Rhythm Heaven, and an RPG developer’s final days! And there’s Fire Emblem debate, Ace Attorney history, and Todd’s revelation of his favorite King of Fighters character! ― The Fire Emblem series has a few controversies, but you'll have to dig to find them. Those games with the more disturbing plot twists, such as Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy...
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The X Button - Chapter Plays

This week: Kickstarters bring tactical comedy, haunted echoes, and something called Shenmue. And we spy new Nier, celebrate Sonic’s birthday, and get all mushy about a giant puppy. ― You might've missed me during last week's E3 nonsense, when I came down with food poisoning. Fortunately, I wasn't at E3, so I just rode out the extravaganza by watching trailers and making feeble Twitter posts from my ...
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The X Button - Awful Great

This week: how bad games can be good! Plus new Tales titles, more Mega Man, localized Legends, and a comeback that you really can’t call a comeback. ― The Valkyrie Profile series isn't completely dormant, folks. Trust me. Square Enix hasn't made a new game since 2008, but people still remember it! I have it on good authority that the second Neptunia game's equipment screen alludes to three Valkyries...
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The X Button - Psycho Power

May’s imports are all about Cross Ange, Psycho-Pass, and an old NES classic! Also discussed: Fire Emblem, Guilty Gear, and a true test of Nintendo prowess! ― Well, the preliminary round of the Nintendo World Championships is over. As most people expected, it wasn't a gaudy spectacle like the 1990 Championships. How could it be? The original Nintendo World Championships came at the height of Nintendo...
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The X Button - Score Attacks

This week: arcades, high scores, and the cruel tides of fate! Plus yet more visual novels, even more Guilty Gear, and still more horrors from ancient times! ― On tap this week: old games and how their trends died off. This reminds me that I don't discuss the days of Atari and arcades that often. I was too young to really remember them now, so they're just a dim Nintendo-less prehistory where I might...
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The X Button - Core Conceptions

This month, crowdfunding tales of flashy brawls, undersea dangers, and helpful bats! Plus Nintendo’s new competition, more of The Last Story, and the best video-game gun ever. ― I mentioned Data East's arcade library a while ago. I tried to recall truly amazing Data East games, and I couldn't come up with any besides Boogie Wings. This past week I noticed one more great neglected Data East game. It'...
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The X Button - Harsh Harvest

This week, The Lost Valley meets Story of Seasons in a knock-down drag-out take-no-prisoners cow-milking egg-picking crop-tending Harvest Moon fight of the century! Plus good Sega news, bad Sega news, and the return of Castlevania. ― This week we'll face some sad news about Sega, so I think it best to start with some good news about Sega. That good news comes from the Sega 3D Classics, a series of 3...
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The X Button - Super-Connected

This week: we talk with CyberConnect2’s Hiroshi Matsuyama about Naruto, future projects, and the best place to put a game company! Plus Terra Battle, Tron Bonne, and something that’s totally not Castlevania. ― Most agree that Rare isn't what it used to be. The developer rode merrily through the 1990s thanks to a partnership with Nintendo, one that saw them make hits like Donkey Kong Country, Banjo-K...
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The X Button - Formative Fears

This week: imports appear with Style Savvy, Super Robot Wars, and Martian bug fights! Plus Konami’s condition, Code: Realize, and why old adventures mattered. ― Double Fine's Broken Age: Act Two is out this week. It concludes one of my favorite games from last year, and that's not all. It also ends a long and sometimes contentious story about game development and fundraising. The game grew from one ...
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The X Button - Zest for Life

This week: part two of Global Gamers Day with Godzilla, Tales, and manga stars! Plus Amnesia: Memories, Tokyo Xanadu, and your chance to pick your GameArts favorites! ― GameArts doesn't make much noise these days. GungHo Online Entertainment took over the company years ago, and they seldom bring up the Lunar games, the Grandia series, Thexder, GunGriffon, or any GameArts series other than Ragnarok O...
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The X Button - Storm Watching

This week: part one of a Bandai Namco bonanza with Naruto, Project X Zone, and Saint Seiya! Plus Star Ocean, Dungeon Travelers, and a voice from Nintendo’s past! ― I found Bandai Namco's Global Gamers Day modest. This wasn't because of the games shown there. It was because the whole thing occurred in the sedate meeting rooms of New York New York, one of those hotel-casino fiefdoms that takes up an e...
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The X Button - Zero Missions

This week, imports appear for Yakuza, Digimon, and that Assassination Classroom thing! Plus Final Fantasy XV, Gurumin, and the chance to make your own visual novels! ― This week's X Button falls on April Fool's Day, but I resolve not to spring any unpleasant lies upon you. In fact, I don't think any jokes this year will surpass one of the more compelling hoaxes in a long time: Super Turbo Atomic Meg...
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The X Button - Havoc Heart

This week: an interview with Danganronpa writer Kazutaka Kodaka! Plus Breath of Fire, valkyries, rumors, and the link between Metal Gear and penguins. ― When was the last time a major game creator departed a big company? Keiji Inafune leaving Capcom? Koji Igarashi leaving Konami? Ken Levine leaving Irrational Games? Whatever it was, we're probably due for another one. That's why people are in a flut...
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The X Button - Vita Signs

This week, Todd gives the Vita a checkup! Plus Nintendo on mobile devices, Kaio on nothing, and a dive into the depths of Data East! ― Nintendo recently announced a new partnership with mobile-game company DeNa, bringing us ever closer to a world where Nintendo titles show up on smartphones and tablets. It's a major development for this industry, so there's only one thing to do: talk about old Data ...
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The X Button - Break Beat

This week: crowdfunding with cosmic battles, doomed starships, and alien hip-hop! Plus Mevius Final Fantasy, Rodea the Sky Soldier, and a wedding-day mystery! ― I was disappointed with the recent news that tri-Ace, the source of Valkyrie Profile and other RPGs, is now effectively owned by the mobile-game outfit of Nepro Japan. I imagine many others felt the same. Well, there's some consolation this ...
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The X Button - Disposable Heroes

This week, it’s import time with Dragon Quest, Doraemon, and God Eater! Plus Azure Striker Gunvolt, a new contender for Harvest Moon’s turf, and another old cartoon about video games! ― I mentioned the Power Team last week. It's not a very good cartoon, and it's notable mostly because it gave animated exposure to some video-game characters destined for obscurity. So perhaps I should cover an older c...
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The X Button - Toukiden Talk

This week: a chat with the producer of Toukiden Kiwami! Plus tri-Ace, Disgaea, Rodea, Street Fighter, and something that could happen only in the early 1990s. ― I don't think I've talked about The Power Team here, even though it's the sort of odd video-game cultural relic I always enjoy discussing. Well, I'll fix that! I'm talking about The Power Team, a cartoon by-product of the rampant Nintendo ob...
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The X Button - Solitary Confines

Todd digs up some tragically lonesome games of the last generation! Plus Dissidia, Phantom Dust, and a very busy release schedule. ― Many talented creators go unappreciated in the game industry, particularly when their careers are short, seldom documented, or submerged in misunderstandings. So it's great to see a tribute to Shinya Nishigaki, the director of the bizarrely adorable action games Blue S...
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The X Button - Exclusive Exclusions

Todd gets off his porch and shakes his cane at the current crop of game consoles! Plus Persona 5, Spelunker Z, and a question of aesthetics. ― I complain about game systems this week. It's mostly to do with a paucity of those exclusive titles that make consoles stand out, but there's an even more superficial matter at hand. I think the modern era's game systems are dull in appearance. Game systems r...
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The X Button - Lasting Legacy

Imports arrive with punks, samurai, and The Legend of Legacy! Plus the return of Langrisser, the semi-return of Wonder Boy, and a few farewells. ― I've seen far too many game websites and magazines disappear over the years. It's never easy in either case, but I think the websites have it worse. Magazines at least leave some tangible, permanent volume for you to revisit. It's harder to go back to old...
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The X Button - Falcoming Home

Todd studies Falcom games and wonders why they aren’t more popular! Plus NightyCry, Dead or Alive, and…well, King of Fighters, in a sense. ― I glance through Falcom's catalog this week, which means I should open with some weird, insubstantial trivia about a Falcom game. If you'll pardon an awful segue, there's nothing in Falcom games less substantial than Dela's outfit in the Brandish series. Koei t...
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The X Button - Blazing Trials

It’s a Kickstarter roundup this week, with firebirds and moons and blood-drenched throwbacks! Plus Fire Emblem, Xenoblade, and a second look at a Sega celebration. ― I mentioned Hi-sCoool! SeHa Girls a few weeks ago, as it does its best to broadside game nerds, and Sega nerds in particular, with their favorite things. It follows the school days of three giant-headed girls, and each is based on a Seg...
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The X Button - The Underexplored

Imports deliver Final Fantasy offshoots, Gundam toyboxes, and Sega trinkets! Plus Brandish, Lufia, and at least two controversies that shouldn’t be. ― The previous X Button featured predictions for 2015. I thought about prophesying consumer frenzies over Nintendo's Amiibo toys, but I decided not to mention that. Because it's already happening. The third wave of interactive figures seems primed for s...
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The X Button - Stretching Ahead

Predictions for the coming year lead to Final Fantasy, the Wii U’s fate, and controversial carping! Plus Yumi’s Odd Odyssey, Tekken, and a few words about a vanishing scene. ― This week finds me figuratively lugging out a crystal ball and making predictions for the year ahead. As usual, I don't expect people to take me all that seriously in this regard, but I do feel certain of one thing: I'll be di...
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The X Button - Curses and Courses

Todd salutes some 2014 releases that deserved better! And one that perhaps didn’t! Plus Disaster Report’s resurrection, Harvest Moon’s lost elephant herds, and the inner workings of Guilty Gear! ― I hope that all of you had a good holiday season. You surely did if you judge the entire Christmas span in terms of how many new Guilty Gear games arrive. Guilty Gear Xrd came out in December, and the spec...
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The X Button - Due Recognition

Todd looks at the good, bad, and downright strange highlights of the year! Plus SaGa’s return, Afterburner’s goodbye, and a bunch of holiday stories! ― The X Button will take next week off. It's time for a Christmas break, or as close as I can get to one now that I'm no longer a kid. I'll return the week after for more end-of-year retrospection, Guilty Gear ravings, and facts about old MSX games. Th...
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The X Button - Terra Forms

This week, Todd takes on mobile games with Terra Battle, Chain Chronicle and Monster Strike. Plus Street Fighter V, a Suikoden surprise, and a big catgirl debate! ― There's still time to enter the X Button's latest contest! All you need to do is write up a treasured and humorous memory involving the holidays and video games. Then you send it in, and one lucky winner walks away with the prize pack! W...
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The X Button - Nouveau Nova

Phantasy Star returns for an import spotlight alongside novel fighters and dungeon knights! Plus the PlayStation’s popularity party, Amiibo matters, a Fist of the North Star relic, and a new contest! ― We're now in December and the thick of the holiday season. It's time for another contest, and this time it's about toys. That's what drives the holidays on some primal materialist level, so I put toge...
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The X Button - Toad to Victory

This week, we examine the enigma of Toad and his big comeback game! Plus Etrian Odyssey crossovers, Guilty Gear accents, and some old remixes. ― I probably should address Thanksgiving this week, but it doesn't look like anyone, from department stores to pop-cultural commentators, wants to bother with it. That's OK with me. We'll move on to Christmas and its surrounding video game releases. One of th...
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The X Button - Sega Visions

This week, we ask ourselves just why we like Sega! Plus Rodea, high-school comedy, Persona, and a small goodbye to a small developer. ― We're talking about Sega this week. To get down to it, we're talking about Sega's legacy: the triumphs, the failures, and the fan devotion that endures in ways precious and disconcerting. If you want a good example of that mixture of appreciation and nostalgia, look...
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The X Button - Real Drives

This week: a Kickstarter rodeo of realistic robots, roving reptiles, and something Irish! Plus Xenoblade, Rodea, and the possible return of dudes with attitude! ― The Battletoads occupy a strange land between grudging respect and unending shame. Their games aren't all that bad: the NES original has a lot of variety despite its piercing difficulty, and most of its spin-offs are above average. The Bat...
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The X Button - Uncovered Paths

This week, we talk about controversy and Bayonetta, perhaps not in that order! Plus Sega 3D remakes, the Amiibo horde, and rare discoveries! ― Nintendo's Amiibo toys could be the biggest game release of the holiday season, at least as far as buying frenzies go. That's because they're not actual games. They're little figures with built-in memory, and they interface with Wii U and newer 3DS games. The...
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The X Button - Ring of Terror

This week, we have tales of chaos and heroes and imports! Plus marauding bikers, mysterious gibberish, and a whole bunch of scary stories just in time for Halloween! ― This year's Halloween contest brought in a bunch of great entries. No one wrote about my scariest game-related experience, the sixth-stage boss in Super C, so I had a hard time picking a winner. After much deliberation and some confer...
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The X Button - Scare Supply

This week: Todd gets into the spirit of the season with a Halloween roundup! Plus Guilty Gear Xrd, Freedom Wars, and a letdown you might’ve seen coming. ― I seldom use this column to celebrate holidays, but this Halloween is different. This week I'll address the vital issue of appropriate games for this time of year, and next week should have the results of our Halloween contest. There's still time ...
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The X Button - All Day Long

This week: shocking rebels, humble thieves, and the adventures of Ranko Tsukigime! Plus PlayStation TV, Harvest Moon, and a Halloween contest! ― October means Halloween, and I think Halloween means contests. So here's your chance to win a pile of appropriately scary, bizarre, and otherwise unsettling games! This Halloween prize pack includes the classic PSP compilation of Castlevania: The Dracula X ...
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The X Button - Go Westone

This week brings a farewell to a talented game studio! Plus news about Terra Battle, Vib Ribbon, Captain Toad, and an NES nightmare. ― This week's column has a lot to do with those talented studios, designers, and characters who labor behind the scenes. For example, the upcoming Terra Battle may bring in Manabu Kusunoki, whose artwork you may have enjoyed in Panzer Dragoon and Sonic the Hedgehog. We...
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The X Button - Absolute Values

Import fashion brings us the latest in Danganronpa, Fatal Frame, and flashy trails! Plus Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day, The Last Guardian’s latest spawn, and a Samurai Shodown comeback! ― Still waiting for Fumito Ueda's The Last Guardian to come out? Worried that it wasn't shown at The Tokyo Game Show? Soon you may not care so much. Each major convention seems to bring a new game with a restrained p...
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The X Button - Now Showing

Let’s recap the surprises, the letdowns, and the horrible embarrassments of the Tokyo Game Show! Plus Natural Doctrine, Smash Bros., and Nintendo’s birthday! ― As a Nintendo-crazed kid, one of my favorite pieces of useless trivia involved the company's age. I liked telling people that Nintendo was over 100 years old and that it had started off as a playing card company in 1889. Most of my fellow Nin...
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The X Button - Legends Untold

This week, Todd looks at a big book that’s all about Japan’s game creators! Plus Super Smash Bros, Harvest Moon, and the games of summer! ― The end of summer approaches next week, and it already feels like the season is over in many parts of this hemisphere. That puts me in the mood for a summertime game, one full of sunny atmosphere and bright colors. It's good to have a favorite summertime game, p...

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