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Magic: DOTP 2015: Garruks Revenge expansion review (Xbox One)

Magic 2015: Garruk’s Revenge was developed by Stainless Games and Wizards of the Coast and published by Microsoft Studios. It retails for $4.99 and was released on November 5th, 2014. A copy was provided for review purposes.

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Magic 2015: Garruk’s Revenge is the first expansion for Magic: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015. The expansion adds 51 new cards and a short new campaign starring Garruk the Planeswalker. Some of our readers may remember my less-than-positive review of the base game from August. Since the initial review, the developers have made substantial changes to improve the quality of the game and have removed the pay wall. If a player purchased any packs or the complete pack when the game first released, this expansion was given to them free of charge as an apology of sorts. With these changes and an expansion comes a rare chance for a second look into a game initially deemed unplayable.

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Tales from the Borderlands release dates announced

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Telltale’s newest series Tales from the Borderlands is coming out soon, and we mean really soon. Last night Telltale tweeted the release dates for the premiere episode, Zer0 Sum, and anxious players don’t have to wait very long. Xbox One users will be able to pick up the game tomorrow, November 26, while Xbox 360 users have to wait an extra week for December 3. The episode will cost $4.99 on either console, and the remaining four episodes can be pre-purchased with the $14.99 season pass.

Tales from the Borderlands takes place after the events of Borderlands 2, and shows what life is like on Pandora for those who aren’t face-shooting vault hunters. The series features two playable characters, Hyperion employee Rhys and con artist Fiona, as they tell the story of their unwilling partnership. Together they must face the dangers of Pandora, from bandits to vault hunters, in order to score the ultimate prize: a vault key. Check out the launch trailer after the jump, we promise it contains no Claptrap.

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Kalimba preview: Totem fun

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Kalimba is one of those games that you will refuse to put down until you’ve finished the current level. “Come on…I have to be able to beat this!” you’ll say as you restart again and again. It’s also a lot of fun.

Eight levels and a boss battle were available in the pre-release beta, and already the challenge and fun on display has proven this is going to be a game to watch for. Originally known as Project Totem, this puzzle-platformer from Press Play features both single-player and co-op modes in which you guide two (or four in co-op) differently colored totem pieces through psychedelic worlds. The graphics are all made out of stark, thick lines and bright colors and are mostly made up of triangles. The “trixelated” art style almost made me wish I was still in school so I could draw these characters in the corners of my notebooks.

Beginning puzzles range from the challenge of having to move both characters simultaneously to avoid two sets of obstacles at once to making sure the right-colored character moves through the right-colored barriers. There are all kinds of other challenges that are introduced as you move through the colorful worlds, as well as mini-game rooms where you can try to improve your skills. In the eight levels available, more kinds of challenges and obstacles continued to build at a nice pace, with seemingly new gameplay additions coming in on almost every level.

The first boss battle was a real wild ride too. While still using the same gameplay mechanics, it throws everything on its head to make the platformer’s more laid-back puzzle vibe turn into almost a SHMUP-style action game.

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Xbox One early adopters recieving free copy of Limbo

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Last month, rumors started circling that the black-and-white indie gem Limbo may get an Xbox One release. The rumor has been unofficially confirmed, as users have been receiving free copies of the game. Early adopters of the console started receiving the above message, which promises a code for the game once it releases. According to Game Informer users didn’t even have to wait that long, as the free copies rolled out yesterday. The date of Limbo‘s true Xbox One launch is still unknown, but if some lucky users are already playing it can’t be too far away.

Source: Game Informer

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Ori and the Blind Forest delayed into 2015

Ori and the Blind Forest for Xbox One

Ori and the Blind the Forest has been delayed into early 2015 on Xbox One and late 2015 on Xbox Live Arcade, developer Moon Studios has announced. Moon was originally hoping to release the Xbox One version this year and the XBLA one in early 2015.

“While we’re extremely excited for all of you to get your hands on Ori and the Blind Forest as soon as possible, we made the decision together with our partners at Microsoft Studios that we’ll need just a little more time in order to add a final layer of polish to – what we hope – will be an unforgettable gaming experience,” the studio wrote on its website Friday.

The action-platformer was first announced during Microsoft’s E3 2014 press conference after having already spent four years in quiet development.

Source: Moon Studios

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Telltale reveals first Game of Thrones trailer and returning actors from the HBO show

Telltale's Game of Thrones Peter Dinklage

Four of the stars of HBO’s Game of Thrones will reprise their roles in the upcoming first episode of Telltale Games’ video game adaptation, Telltale has announced alongside the release of a new trailer.

Peter Dinklage, Lena Heady, Natalie Dormer and Ramsay Snow will voice Tyrion Lannister, Cersei Lannister, Margaery Tyrell and Iwan Rheon, respectively. Additional cast members will join them in subsequent episodes.

The first Game of Thrones episode, Iron From Ice, is still without a firm release date but is scheduled to arrive before the end of the year. Five more episodes following House Forrester behind the scenes of seasons three, four and five of the HBO program will follow.

Fans recently got their first look at the game thanks to some leaked screenshots, but now you can view it in action after the break.

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Pier Solar HD review (Xbox One)

Pier Solar HD was developed and published by Watermelon. It was released on November 21, 2014 for $14.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.

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Here in the UK there is a superstitious theory known as “Sod’s Law,” which basically suggests that if you want something to happen really badly, you’ll inevitably get the opposite outcome. In the US, this is known as Murphy’s Law — chances are, you’ll feel like you’ve been on the receiving end of this phenomenon at least once or twice in your life. My most recent “evidence” that such a law (whatever you call it) may exist begins with an email conversation I had with XBLA Fans Managing Editor Nick Santangelo. My past three assignments have all been Xbox One reviews of re-released Xbox 360 titles, and I mentioned that it would be great to get my hands on some new IP so that I could see what the Xbox One is really capable of.

It seems only natural, then, that I now find myself writing about a game which is not only another re-release, but a Kickstarted HD remix of a fan-made, homebrew Sega Genesis game from 2010. Hopefully I can be forgiven for wondering whose pint of craft ale I spilled in a past life to deserve such a punishment, but after spending the best part of five solid days with Pier Solar HD, I can happily report that Watermelon’s it’s a real old-school gem that demands your attention.

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Microsoft announces five ID@Xbox games to release this week *updated*

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Earlier today Microsoft posted a press release informing us that five ID@xbox games would be released this week. Two of which, Never Alone and The Jackbox Party Pack, launched Tuesday evening. Thomas Was Alone, Piers Solar and The Pinball Arcade will release tomorrow rounding out the week.

Never Alone was developed in part with the Alaskan Native community and features beautiful arctic landscapes and with Limbo-esque puzzle segments. Our Never Alone review went up earlier this week and Nick Santangelo wasn’t a huge fan, saying “Never Alone exposed me to [the Iñupiat] culture, and I’m thankful for that. Unfortunately, it didn’t do so as part of a satisfying game experience, which makes it impossible to recommend anyone else learn the Iñupiat ways through the same means I did.”

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Killer Instinct Season 2 continues with new character Kan-Ra

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Kan-Ra is the third character to join the Killer Instinct Season 2 roster alongside TJ Combo and Maya, developer Iron Galaxy announced on its official forum.

As you can tell from his appearance, Kan-Ra has had quite a few rough years. As a royal vizier in ancient Babylon, his relentless drive for knowledge and power got him in trouble with his king. The king cursed him with endless torment, so his body rots away without ever dying.

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Microsoft renews Battletoads trademark *updated*

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Update: A prior posting of this story incorrectly stated that the trademark was acquired. The trademark was already owned by Microsoft and was just being renewed which is standard practice. — Ed.

Microsoft recently renewed the trademark for the Battletoads franchise. The rights include both “game software” and “entertainment services” particularly pertaining to online video games. Microsoft is currently declining to comment on any project and responded by stating that they regularly acquire trademarks as part of their business model. Until we hear more about a Battletoads project, it’s safe to assume the game is not in production at this point.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office via Polygon

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