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Tuesday, Jan 13



Polls open in Neoseeker's Official Community Game of the Year 2014 Awards, vote now!

47 comments Rory Young - 5:22pm (PST) Like Share

The best awards... ever

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Nominations have come and gone for Neoseeker's official Community Game of the Year 2014 Awards. That means that while the games nominated in each category cannot be changed at this point (you should have put your nominations in), you can now instead help decide which game wins each very, very prestigious award. Today we're starting the official vote to decide Neoseeker's Community Game of the Year 2014 award winners.

In order to vote, you'll need to go through the following categories and edit them down to just the category and a single nominee. I'd recommend copying the entirety of this list into a comment/post and just cutting out the nominees you don't want to win, but if folk have a more efficient method than that then by all means. Also, don't feel like you have to vote in every single category. If all you want to vote for is Game of the Year, then feel free to do that. Only votes in this post/forum thread will count towards the final tally.

All I can say is that while it may seem like a pain in the butt, just imagine what will happen if you don't vote at all and Pokemon just wins everything. Can you live in that world?I know I couldn't. Please take the time and vote and make sure your voice is heard in the Official Neoseeker Community Game of the Year 2014 Awards. They only happen once a year.

Fine Text: Only Neoseeker accounts made prior to the date of this post's publication and with at least 10 post count may vote. Voting will end at midnight PST on Sunday, January 18.

GAME OF THE YEAR

  • Bayonetta 2
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
  • Dark Souls II
  • Destiny
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • Shovel Knight
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U
  • Transistor
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order

ACHIEVEMENT

Best Original Game of the Year

  • Bravely Default
  • Child of Light
  • Crossy Road
  • Destiny
  • Shovel Knight

Best Visuals of the Year

  • Assassin's Creed Unity
  • Child of Light
  • Destiny
  • Far Cry 4
  • Transistor

Best Story of the Year

  • Child of Light
  • Dark Souls II
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
  • Transistor
  • The Wolf Among Us

Best Music of the Year

  • Hyrule Warriors
  • Persona Q
  • Pokemon Omega Ruby/Pokemon Alpha Sapphire
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U
  • Transistor

Best Multiplayer of the Year

  • Dark Souls II
  • Destiny
  • Mario Kart 8
  • Sportsfriends
  • Titanfall

GENRE

Best Action Game of the Year

  • Bayonetta 2
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • Hyrule Warriors
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • Transistor

Best Adventure Game of the Year

  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
  • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
  • Dreamfall Chapters
  • The Walking Dead: Season 2
  • The Wolf Among Us

Best Platformer of the Year

  • Child of Light
  • LittleBigPlanet 3
  • Never Alone
  • Shovel Knight

Best RPG of the Year

  • Bravely Default
  • Dark Souls II
  • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
  • Pokemon Omega Ruby/Pokemon Alpha Sapphire
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth

Best Shooter of the Year

  • Destiny
  • Far Cry 4
  • Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
  • Titanfall
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order

Best Horror Game of the Year

  • Alien: Isolation
  • The Evil Within
  • Five Nights at Freddy's
  • P.T.

Best Fighting Game of the Year

  • BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma
  • Killer Instinct: Season 2
  • Persona 4
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U
  • WWE 2K15

Best Racing Game of the Year

  • Drive Club
  • F1 2014
  • Forza Horizon 2
  • Mario Kart 8

Best Sports Game of the Year

  • FIFA 15
  • Football Manager 2015
  • The Golf Club
  • NBA 2K15

Best Puzzle Game of the Year

  • BattleBlock Theater (PC)
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
  • Ether One
  • Hitman GO
  • Peggle 2

BONUS

Most Anticipated Game of 2015

  • Evolve
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  • StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void
  • Star Wars: Battlefront
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X

Favorite Character of the Year

  • Bayonetta (Bayonetta 2)
  • Butters (South Park: The Stick of Truth)
  • Iron Bull (Dragon Age: Inquisition)
  • Tekla (Wolfenstein: The New Order)
  • The Transistor, AKA "Subject Not Found" (Transistor)

Most Disappointing Game of the Year

  • Destiny
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • Thief
  • Watch Dogs
  • The Wolf Among Us
 
 

Evolve's DLC plans are... expensive, plans for 6 hunters and 2 monsters go beyond $25 season pass

5 comments Rory Young - 1:55pm (PST) Like Share

This is one game that wants a lot of commitment even before the first date

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Evolve has been one of the most anticipated releases of the year since E3 in 2014 and while delays have cooled down the excitement a bit there's no stopping the hype wagon at this point. 2K clearly realizes this, as should be apparent by the now revealed DLC plans for post-launch Evolve. The DLC planned out for Evolve is certainly... extensive. Also, expensive. Still, for folk who like to see a game's content virtually double post-release, then there's a lot to be excited about.

Let's start out by clarifying thtat Evolve will still be $60 upon its release on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 starting February 10. From there, well, players will have to do the math themselves depending on how much they're willing to spend:

Evolve Monster Expansion Pack ($14.99 or free with pre-order):

  • Behemoth Monster - Unlocks the fourth playable monster, the Behemoth, when it's made available in the spring.

Evolve Hunting Season Pass ($24.99):

  • Four Playable Hunters - Unlocks four playable hunters as they're released this spring. Includes one Hunter of each class: Assault, Trapper, Medic and Support. Each retails for $7.49 if not purchased through the Season Pass.
  • Three Monster Skins - Three skins will unlock for the player at launch, including the Magma Goliath, the Magma Kraken, and the Magma Wrath.

Evolve Digital Deluxe Edition ($79.99):

  • Base Evolve Game - Includes the full retail launch edition of Evolve ($59.99).
  • Evolve Hunting Season Pass - Includes the Evolve Season Pass, as detailed above ($24.99).

Evolve PC Monster Race Edition ($99.99):

  • Base Evolve Game - Includes the full retail  launch edittion of Evolve ($59.99).
  • Evolve Hunting Season Pass - Includes the Evolve Season Pass, as detailed above ($24.99).
  • Fifth Playable Monster - At a later date, when the fifth playable monster is released, it will be unlocked (likely $14.99).
  • Two Playable Hunters - At a later date, two additional playable Hunters will be unlocked (likely each $7.49).
  • Four Monster Skins - Four as yet undecided exclusive monster skins will be available for 30 days after the launch of Evolve.

As everyone can see, it'd be best to decide just how invested in Evolve one is before making a purchasing decision. Should one go the route of not preordering and only purchasing the initial retail box at $60, but later decide they want all of the DLC then they'll have to pay an arm and a leg for it. Otherwise, there's a lot of... "savings" to be found in purchasing DLC content prior to launch (and pre-ordering).

Don't even get me started on what I think of all these DLC plans. I'm sure the base game will be excellent on its own.

Evolve will be available on the PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 starting February 10. An Xbox One exclusive beta will begin on January 15 and all progress made during the beta will carry over into launch.

 
 

Final Fantasy XIV's 'Before the Fall' trailer teases the looming 2.5 update, Part I arrives Jan. 20

6 comments Rory Young - 12:40pm (PST) Like (1) Share

Odin and Gilgamesh and dragons and, wow, Eorea going to hell

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It's nigh impossible to keep up with everything happening in Final Fantasy XIV these days. I'm still trying to wrap my head around all of the features announced for the upcoming expansion, Heavensward, but that won't arrive until the spring. Before we can even start to think about Heavensward, however, we've got Patch 2.5 -- Before the Fall. This two-part patch will keep Final Fantasy XIV subscribers busy for months! To help introduce what's coming in 2.5, Square Enix released a handy trailer this morning.

In the trailer players can see for themselves just what content lays in store for them with Patch 2.5, also known as "Before the Fall." Technically, however, the upcoming pre-expansion content will be split into three different patches, so let's take a moment to note how that's going to work. There are actually three patches covered here, Before the Fall parts one and two and the 2.51 patch for the Golden Saucer:

  • Patch 2.5: Before the Fall (Part I) - January 20
    • Story - Main Scenario (Part I)
    • Raid - The World of Darkness
    • Dungeon - Keeper of the Lake
    • Dungeon - The Wanderer's Palace and Ampador Keep (Hard Mode)
    • Trial - Urth's Found (Odin)
    • Trial - Revenge of Gilgamesh
    • PvP - Frontlines
    • More...
  • Patch 2.51 - February
    • Zones - The Manderville Gold Saucer
    • Quests - Zodiac Saga 
  • Patch 2.5: Before the Fall (Part 2) - Late March
    • Story - Main Scenario (Part 2)
    • Story - Battle of Ishgard
    • Crafting - Free Company Crafts

At least, that's the content that's currently been announced as part of the overall 2.5 patch. Up until now Square Enix has been absolutely on top of releasing content when they've said they would, but with MMOs you never know what might get pushed back. Still, with Heavensward around the corner, Square Enix probably won't have the option of delaying anything.

By now, as a past Final Fantasy XIV subscriber who has let his account lapse, I'm at least considering going back and attempting to burn through this content as it's launched. A Realm Reborn captured that Final Fantasy magic in ways that the single player titles haven't done in a very long time. Now they're adding more story as a free update just to lead into their expansion which will inevitably add a huge amount of new story content? Be still my heart.

Check out Final Fantasy XIV's Patch 2.5 trailer below, which showcases a ton of the new content coming out in the next few months leading up to the Heavensward expansion. If you dig MMOs, it's hard not to love what Square Enix is doing here.

Thanks, as ever, to Rabla for his excellent record keeping of upcoming Final Fantasy patch and expansion content. Check out Neoseeker's Final Fantasy XIV forum for more information.

 
 

Guild Wars 2: Point of No Return finale arrives as 'Heart of Thorns' trademark hints at maybe-expansion

2 comments Lydia Sung - 12:34pm (PST) Like Share

Exciting times for Guild Wars fans?

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Today marks the arrival of Guild Wars 2: Point of No Return, the Season 2 Living Story finale. After much shady behavior on the part of sylvari, we can finally understand (maybe) exactly what Caithe's deal is, figure out what's going on with Glint's egg, and so forth. While all that is going on, talk of a Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns expansion has been circulating after the pantent was recently uncovered.

Aside from wrapping up the story, Point of No Return also brings in the final two pieces of that Carapace armor everyone's been eagerly farming. Completing the new Living Story chapter grants players the helmet, while the chestpiece -- as in the item everyone really wants -- has a chance of dropping after completing the new world Mordrem Vinewrath boss out in the Silverwastes. Good luck with that

As for this Heart of Thorns patent, this exciting little development comes in advance of some big announcement ArenaNet is expecting to make at PAX South. While we honestly can't guess with 100 percent certainty what the meaning behind the name is (Mordremoth?), hopes for an expansion are high. Reddit user grainn is credited with the discovery.

Categories: PC Games
 
 

Grand Theft Auto V on PC delayed to March 25, PC spec requirements shared with six screenshots

6 comments Rory Young - 11:09am (PST) Like Share

Well, the good news is it isn't as all-consuming as The Witcher III's specs

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By now it shouldn't come as a surprise, but Rockstar Games has once again delayed the PC release of Grand Theft Auto V. Those willing to wait for the upgraded port have proven their patience by now and almost certainly can stand waiting another couple of months. That doesn't mean they aren't now broken, emotionally exhausted and crying on their keyboards, though. Grand Theft Auto V on PC will now be released on March 25.

Sadly, along with with the PC port delay comes a delay for Grand Theft Auto Online's Heists. While players won't have to wait for the PC launch on March 25 for Heists to arrive, they will have to wait yet a while yet. A hard date still isn't available, but Rockstar says to expect the updated in the, "coming weeks ahead of the PC launch." The Heists update may be just as highly anticipated as the PC launch at this point.

Rockstar hates to give bad news without at least a little something sweet to ease the pain. That still holds true today. Along with the delay news Rockstar released six screenshots at 4K resolution, as well as the PC specifications required for both minimum and recommended settings for Grand Theft Auto V. The two things PC faithful drool for leading up to a game's release have been delivered. (For the full resolution shots: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

The shots themselves aren't particularly notable beyond their ridiculous resolution. No doubt, the shots are beautiful, but they don't require any exta investigation beyond, "Dang, look at those textures!" Let's move on to the specifications:

Minimum specifications:

  • OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit, Windows 8 64 Bit, Windows 7 64 Bit Service Pack 1, Windows Vista 64 Bit Service Pack 2* (*NVIDIA video card recommended if running Vista OS)
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs) / AMD Phenom 9850 Quad-Core Processor (4 CPUs) @ 2.5GHz
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Video Card: NVIDIA 9800 GT 1GB / AMD HD 4870 1GB (DX 10, 10.1, 11)
  • Sound Card: 100% DirectX 10 compatible
  • HDD Space: 65GB
  • DVD Drive

Recommended specifications:

  • OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit, Windows 8 64 Bit, Windows 7 64 Bit Service Pack 1
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 3470 @ 3.2GHZ (4 CPUs) / AMD X8 FX-8350 @ 4GHZ (8 CPUs)
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 660 2GB / AMD HD7870 2GB
  • Sound Card: 100% DirectX 10 compatible
  • HDD Space: 65GB
  • DVD Drive



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Categories: PC Games
 
 

Neoseeker's Official Nominees for Game of the Year 2014

14 comments Rory Young - 12:20am (PST) Like (1) Share

... and then there were ten

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Over the past week Neoseeker has been spotlighting its ten nominees for Game of the Year 2014. While the winner is just a short ways away from being revealed, it'd probably be nice to have one central location where all of our nominees are listed. That way everyone can see just what the competition looks like this year without having to struggle through searching the site. 

Without further ado, here are Neoseeker's official nominees for Game of the Year 2014:

Each of the above links will lead you to a "Nominee Spotlight" article which should shed some light on just why the game is being considered for Neoseeker's most prestigious of awards.

I'll not lie -- it was extremely difficult this year to cut our list down to just ten entries. There were so many games of equal quality towards the end of the list and each cut felt like it was a temporary decision until another game fell out of favor. Now that the list is complete and set in stone it really couldn't be any more perfect. We're absolutely ecstatic about 2014's nominees.

Over the coming week Neoseeker's editorial team will meet one final time to deliberate and put our ten nominees in a final ranked order. Only one of these ten games will receive our Game of the Year award, but the others will remain outstanding. In the mean time, we'll be publishing some individual Game of the Year lists from staff and community members which should be lots of fun. Oh, and don't forget about our Community Game of the Year poll, which should go up tomorrow!

Neoseeker's Game of the Year Awards are decided by our editorial team, which includes editors Lydia Sung (@RabidChinaGirl), Rory Young (@bluexy) and Leo Chan (@bulletbutler), with contributions from writers Matt Newbould (@newbouldm), Greg Gin, and Andy Lau (@linkinpork).

 
 

Monday, Jan 12



Nintendo Direct announced for January 14 with a Wii U and 3DS game focus, but is the New 3DS in store?

43 comments Rory Young - 11:11pm (PST) Like (1) Share

This silly handheld should have been out holiday of 2014

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Just as the rumor mill regarding a looking New 3DS announcement approaches critical mass, Nintendo has leaped out and redirected the hype. This has all clearly been planned. Nintendo announced today a special Nintendo Direct to air on Wednesday, January 14. Tune in starting at 6:00 a.m. PT, 9:00 a.m. ET to see just what surprises Nintendo has in store. Can I just say I'm getting real tired of these 6:00 a.m. start times?

The stream will supposedly focus on 2015 releases on the Wii U and 3DS. A new year provides the perfect opportunity for Nintendo to outline their big releases of the year, or perhaps just their plans for the spring months. Either way, beyond a few key releases, Nintendo hasn't brought any attention to their upcoming launches. I'd say this Nintendo Direct and another in February is the least they can do.

As much as I'd like to hope Nintendo's going to go out of their way to show off a huge range of games coming to both 3DS and Wii U with Wednesday's Nintendo Direct, I believe they have a different goal in mind. The New 3DS, Nintendo's next iteration on their handheld, is out in Japan and has yet to be officially announced for western regions. Don't be surprised if that steals the show in our Nintendo Direct and the news focuses on just one or two games exclusive to the handheld.

Of course, any news is good news when it's coming from Nintendo these days. Both the 3DS and Wii U seem to have had a good holiday, so going forward we can focus on great software and not just what will make or break Nintendo's back every other week, right?

Expect a Neoseeker live-blog and live-chat starting on January 14 starting before the 6:00 a.m. PT Nintendo Direct. We're going to have a great time, I know it.

 
 

Assassin's Creed Unity 'Dead Kings' DLC debuts tomorrow and it's free

13 comments Lydia Sung - 6:32pm (PST) Like Share

Remember to get your free apology DLC from Ubisoft

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Cheer up, Assassin's Creed fans. Tomorrow, January 13, marks the debut of Assassin's Creed Unity: Dead Kings, a post-campaign DLC that supposedly takes the story in a dark direction. More importantly, this is the freebie Ubisoft promised Unity players, as an apology for all the emotional hardships they might have endured at the hands of such a broken game.

The Dead Kings sends Arno to the remote town of Saint Denis, where French royalty are traditionally buried. With the dead come long-hidden secrets, along with the opportunity to grab new skills, gear, and oufits that can be used in the main Unity game. Supposedly, this is "the darkest story" Ubisoft has ever taken the Assassin's Creed franchise, so I'm admittedly a little bit curious.

Last year, toward the end of November, the publisher-developer made a public apology for all the unexpected issues that came with Assassin's Creed Unity. To make up for it, the Dead Kings DLC was made into a freebie, of sorts, though anyone with a Season Pass can feel a little better about prepaying for the add-on content with a free Ubisoft game.

 
 

Neoseeker's Game of the Year 2014 Nominee Spotlight: The Banner Saga

1 comments Lydia Sung - 11:57am (PST) Like (1) Share

The smallest decisions can lead to devastating consequences

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Neoseeker is celebrating 2014 by spotlighting its Game of the Year nominees one at a time. After each of the ten nominees has been revealed, the final award will be announced along with a podcast of the decision-making process. Join in the discussion, speculate on the nominees, and subtly persuade the editorial team which game deserves Neoseeker's highest award.

Tired of having your hand held in modern video games? Apparently, so were the developers at Stoic, the studio that brought us The Banner Saga. This indie tactical RPG won itself a strong following through Kickstarter back when it was little more than a concept -- a promise, if you will. After a successful crowdfunding campaign, The Banner Saga became a fully realized Nordic fantasy that took us back to the roots of classic strategy.

In this fictional, Viking-inspired universe, the sun has frozen in the sky and the gods are gone. You might say this is the end of the world. Yet the most dire situations in The Banner Saga are found within your own caravans, where the lives of every character comes down to your decisions. Big or small, your choices will have a lasting affect on the many warriors and refugees fleeing from a growing evil. In a way, Stoic made a game that never stops guilting the player.

Despite how unappealing that sounds, all the "oh crap" moments are really just part of the challenge. The Banner Saga isn't about going easy on you or the characters; it's about actions and consequences, and how these tie into both gameplay as well as narrative. Prepare to kick yourself over and over again, getting frustrated, then diving back in for more.

Why The Banner Saga?

  • The Little Things Matter: Many games rely on an artificial difficulty scale to create the illusion of a challenge. The Banner Saga, on the other hand, feels so much more substantial due to how it masterfully integrates decision-making into every part of the game. Making a seemingly innocuous decision could lead to heartbreaking moments after the loss of a well-liked fighter; this, in turn, could force the player to completely re-evaluate how they play the game after being down an asset. This makes the challenge feel real, essentially by properly tying together the cause and effects of player actions.
  • A Nordic Fantasy: You don't see too many games with this kind of setting. Fantasy games certainly aren't in short supply, but Stoic really wanted to avoid the stereotypical medieval tropes of elves, orcs, and dwarves. So instead, we get horned, Viking-esque giants alongside humans, and a race of malevolent Celtic golems. More specifically, I'm talking about the Varl and the antagonistic Dredge. Either way, The Banner Saga takes the medieval fantasy genre into a more refreshing direction, with the artists also borrowing from very classic sources of inspiration for the art style. You definitely don't see a game quite like this everyday.
  • Austin Wintory: Music is every bit as important to creating a solid game as the gameplay and graphics. For The Banner Saga, Stoic brought on board the talented Austin Wintory, who previously composed for Journey. His compositions lend to the believable atmosphere of the world within Banner Saga, and wind up being one of the most memorable aspects of the entire experience. As I mentioned before, this isn't your everyday RPG, and Wintory really stuck with the theme. His work is noticeable everywhere, given how much time is spent in some of the caravan traveling sequences and (potentially) the turn-based fights.

While not exactly a major AAA production, The Banner Saga is no less worthy of a contender when it comes to our Game of the Year considerations. Everything about it stood out, enough to leave a lasting impression. Consider me stoked for Banner Saga 2.

Neoseeker's Game of the Year Awards are decided by our editorial team, which includes editors Lydia Sung (@RabidChinaGirl), Rory Young (@bluexy) and Leo Chan (@bulletbutler), with contributions from writers Matt Newbould (@newbouldm), Greg Gin, and Andy Lau (@linkinpork).

Categories: PC Games
 
 

Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 brings in over $1.5 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation

5 comments Rory Young - 9:12am (PST) Like (1) Share

Just look what video games can do for you

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The numbers are in. The Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 speedrunning marathon has brought in $1,540,000 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation charity. One. Point. Five. Million. Dollars.

After a very long week which saw speedrunner after speedrunner take the stage and dissect their individual games of choice, the event wrapped up late Saturday night. The donation tally sat just above $900,000, a healthy sum and something to be extremely proud of by any means. A huge surprise was yet to occur, however. The donation tracking system had a flaw. Over $400,000 in additional donations had gone through, but never showed up in the tracker being broadcast to the live audience. 

With a final donation total of approximately $1.3 million, the Humble Bundle added in an another $200,000 raised as part of a special edition bundle just for the event. The final tally of $1,540,000 brought in more than $500,000 more than 2014's Awesome Games Done Quick marathon. More or less, what really matters is that gamers united the world over and did something amazing for charity -- just because they can. 

While Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 is a year away now, Summer Games Done Quick 2015 is still on the calendar for July 26. While Summer Games Done Quick tends to be a bit more low key, running less popular games and more interesting types of speedruns, it's now required viewing for all gamers. Last year's Summer Games Done Quick played through 156 games and raised $718,000, so bigger and better things are expected.

Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 played through 166 games and raised approximately $1,540,000 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. It ran from January 4 through the start of January 11, a full week, and featured highlights including: a blindfolded run of parts of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the world record run of Infamous: Festival of Blood, and the event's first broadcasted marriage proposal. What's in store next year?

 
 
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