Ranking the E3 2017 Press Conferences [Pixelkin]

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It’s a pompous, yet time-honored tradition to grade each publisher’s E3 press conference. Companies go through an interesting cycle every year where some have exciting new game announcements or console reveals while others tow the line with some extended trailers. And some just go completely bonkers.

Here is our ranking of the E3 2017 press conferences.

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Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Review [Pixelkin]

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The Fire Emblem series has exploded in the last few years. The tactical role-playing series has been around since the 90s, but only in the U.S. since 2003. With Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia we’re already getting our third Fire Emblem game for the Nintendo 3DS – but it’s actually a remake of 1992’s Fire Emblem Gaiden.

Playing the remake of the second game in the storied franchise with updated sprites, 3D dungeon crawls, polished voice acting, and anime cutscenes is an incredible treat for any Fire Emblem fan.

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Interview with Ashes of Creation’s Steven Sharif [ZAM]

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Since the halcyon days of Double Fine Adventure just a few years ago, Kickstarter has faded as a legitimate source of revenue for video game companies. While some veteran developers and spiritual sequels can still find success on Kickstarter, it’s the last place one would expect to find a multi-million dollar MMORPG by a brand new studio.

Intrepid Studios has discovered an audience who is hungry for their upcoming title Ashes of Creation, an ambitious MMORPG that promises an impressive degree of player involvement within the politics, economy, and history of the world. The Kickstarter campaign surged to over $1 million after 36 hours. The campaign wrapped up last week with nearly 20,000 backers pledging over $3.2 million.

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We’re In a Golden Age of Space Strategy Games [Pixelkin]

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Not long ago the strategy genre was struggling when it came to the final frontier. Fans of endlessly replayable strategy games and galactic empires frequently cite 1996’s Master of Orion II as the pinnacle of the sub-genre. Nearly two decades have gone by without much competition.

Fast-forward to 2017 and suddenly we have a myriad of excellent space games all vying for your star-faring gaze.

Between 2015’s Galactic Civilizations III, last year’s Stellaris, and the recently released Endless Space 2, I’m officially declaring it the Golden Age of Space Strategy Games. But which one is right for you, O Conquistador of the Cosmos?

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Endless Space 2 Review [Pixelkin]

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The original Endless Space launched in 2012 as the debut title from indie developer Amplitude Studios. It posited the Civilization-in-Space concept that had been tackled several times before. Endless Space offered a simple yet effective interface and many interesting new gameplay mechanics to make it a very underrated turn-based strategy game.

Endless Space 2 is very much a direct sequel, building upon all the core gameplay features of the original. This time around, Amplitude has several more games under their belt – specifically the much more intriguing and innovative Endless Legend.

Endless Space 2 utilizes all the best elements of Endless Legend and stirs in a well-integrated political system to craft a fantastic follow-up that easily emerges from its Civilization shadow.

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Heroes of the Storm 2.0 Makes a Great Game Better [Zam]

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No one would accuse Activision-Blizzard of being the “little guy.” But when it comes to the MOBA space, Heroes of the Storm remains in a distant third (or maybe even fourth) position behind Valve’s Dota 2 and the reigning champion, Riot’s League of Legends.

For the last two years, Heroes of the Storm has benefited from a steady flow of balance patches and additional heroes and battlegrounds. The iterative updates have culminated in a massive overhaul known as Heroes of the Storm 2.0.

The Heroes 2.0 update launched in April, adding an entirely new loot chest system, revamped experience and leveling, UI improvements, and more Overwatch content. It has never been a better time to jump into the most intuitive and user-friendly MOBA.

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Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop Review [Pixelkin]

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The Cooking Mama series has been around since the days of Nintendo DS and Wii. Touchscreen mobile games were burgeoning into a dominant gaming genre for many kids and adults. These days playing a game on the Nintendo 3DS that could be almost entirely replicated on a phone feels quaint.

Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop doesn’t offer enough new gameplay or progression to warrant yet another installment in the franchise.

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