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Here are the nominees for The Game Awards 2014

The Game Awards 2014 creator Geoff Keighley announced the nominees for the awards yesterday, and there's an eclectic mix of titles up for the top honor: Bayonetta 2, Dark Souls 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. No game was nominated more than three times, with four titles tied for that number of nods: Dark Souls 2, Hearthstone, Shadow of Mordor and South Park: The Stick of Truth. Nintendo was the most-nominated publisher, with 12 selections. Staff members from a group of 28 publications, including Polygon, voted on the games of 2014 to put together the list. Games had to have a release date of Nov. 25 or earlier in order to be eligible. While Keighley is producing The Game Awards himself, without the involvement of Spike...
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Oh, the Pokémon you'll meet in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

There's a new animated trailer for Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, and this one wants you to meet just a few of the many Pokémon you'll encounter on your journey. The trailer kicks off with this generation's starters — Mudkip, Torchic and Treecko — before moving on to the Mega-Evolutions introduced in the remake. Watch the trailer above to see them in action. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are available today on Nintendo 3DS. For more on the game, check out our review.
Cover Story
Issue 01

Oct. 27, 2014

The Plan to Reinvent Call of Duty

Go behind the scenes to see how Sledgehammer Games spent the past three years building Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

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Review
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9.0

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth review: High school reunion

If fan service were a genre, Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth could be considered its pinnacle. Not content to be just a spin-off — or even "just" Persona's first entry on the Nintendo 3DS — Persona Q is a mashup of Atlus' much-loved role-playing series and the teeth-gnashing complexity of the dungeon crawling Etrian Odyssey franchise. It doesn't end there: The game also alters time itself to throw together the characters of Persona 3 and Persona 4 in the middle of their respective stories. This is the stuff fan fiction is made of. Where Atlus could have very easily stumbled, it's instead broken into a full-bodied sprint. Persona Q successfully uses every part of its DNA — a layered combat system, intricate mapmaking and character relationships — to create a tailored experience...
Quality Control
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Is Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire too much of a good thing?

In each episode of Quality Control, Polygon managing editor Justin McElroy talks to a critic after they review a new game and allows them to add a little bit of extra context and insight. Why did they feel the way they did? What do they wish they had been able to discuss in more depth in their review? Also: Did they play it wrong? In this episode, we talk with Griffin McElroy about his review of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire which you can find right here. We'd love to know what you think in the comments below! Read the review Subscribe to the podcast (RSS) Subscribe on iTunes Email: qualitycontrol at polygon dot com Music: Goodwill by The Custodian of Records
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Three reasons Codename: Steam is the most interesting upcoming 3DS game

Codename: Steam is an upcoming turn-based strategy game for the 3DS.Developed by Intelligent Systems, the creators of the Advance Wars and Fire Emblem series, it's a unique project that combines the team's strategy know-how with an outrageous aesthetic. Strategy-centered action After getting some hands-on time with the game, I can confirm that Codename: Steam's biggest promise lies in its unique approach to turn-based strategy. There are action and even stealth elements blended within a more traditional strategy framework. At the beginning of each mission, you choose your party from a number of colorful characters, all with his/her own unique abilities, and pick a loadout for each. Once on the battlefield, you take your time with each character — presented in third person, like an...
65 Comments
8.0

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire review: fresh paint

Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire are a testament to just how important the changes introduced in last year's version, Pokémon X & Y, actually were. That's not a condemnation of Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire (ORAS), which smartly utilize the features that made X & Y such a long-overdue revitalization for the series. The interconnected world, vibrant aesthetic and unparalleled charm of last year's games have been layered onto Pokémon ORAS, giving it a look and feel that is unrecognizable when compared to the original 2003 Game Boy Advance titles Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire. But the issues this franchise has always suffered from are hard-wired into the DNA of Ruby & Sapphire, and no amount of visual polish or social functionality can buff them out. Pokemon's problems are hard-wired...
News
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Hacker finds Nintendo 3DS exploit, turning a forgotten game into a hot commodity

A 22 year old Parisian hacker named Jordan "Smealum" Rabet appears to have finally cracked the Nintendo 3DS in an attempt to enable homebrew software development on Nintendo's handheld gaming device. And the game that facilitates that exploit, a 2011 Ubisoft-published 3DS game called Cubic Ninja, is enjoying heretofore unknown popularity because of it. Earlier this week, news of Rabet's Nintendo 3DS exploit was posted to the GBAtemp forums. The exploit is described as being similar to one that helped bring homebrew software to the Wii, and requires an internet connection, an SD card and a copy of Cubic Ninja to run. The exploit is described as "versatile" and can be installed on "virtually any Nintendo 3DS console out there, regardless of firmware." More specifically, that means...
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Take a peek at Sonic Boom's rejected Sonic the Hedgehog redesigns

When Sega unveiled a new take on Sonic the Hedgehog and friends earlier this year, reaction to the redesigned cast of Sonic Boom was, at best, mixed. Seeing Sonic wearing a scarf, standing next to a burly Knuckles, while everyone was inexplicably wearing so much tape was something of a shock to longtime fans and followers. But things could have been very different. Concept artists who worked on pitches for Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric showed off some early Sonic redesigns on Facebook recently, as spotted by NeoGAF, and earlier takes were far more radical. In some, Sonic the Hedgehog is wearing clothing ... over a large portion of his body. "Needless to say Sega wasn't down with these... HAHA," concept artist Craig Harris said on his Facebook page. Other designs took a more flat, but...
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Majora's Mask 3D will 'differ' somehow on the New Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS remake of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is going to play a little differently on the New Nintendo 3DS, series producer Eiji Aonuma teased in a Famitsu interview this week. Visually, the game will look the same on both versions of the 3DS, Aonuma said, but added, "Please wait for the opportunity to discuss how playing on the New 3DS differs at a later date." That's according to comments translated by Nintendo Everything. The New Nintendo 3DS, which launched in Japan in October and is expected to hit stateside in 2015, adds a new analog control stick and two more shoulder buttons to the handheld's design. The revamped 3DS also boasts a more powerful processor and improved stereoscopic 3D. Despite being cagey about the New 3DS-exclusive aspects of Majora's Mask 3D,...
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Pokémon Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire add a space battle and a devastating asteroid

The latest trailer for Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire introduces a new "Delta Episode" in which players must save Hoenn from a giant asteroid, The Pokémon Company International announced today. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are the upcoming remakes of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire; in addition to updated visuals, the games include new Mega-Evolutions and features. In the Delta Episode, players will learn the history of the Hoenn region and get swept up in a battle to save the earth. While they protect a research facility called the Mossdeep Space Center from Team Magma and Team Aqua, Pokémon Rayquaza and Deoxys clash in space to "determine the future of Hoenn." The Delta Episode will also introduce "a mysterious girl rumored to possess the key to the fate of the world" named...
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You can actually see through the latest Nintendo 2DS

Nintendo will introduce two new clear Nintendo 2DS systems starting Nov. 21, launching alongside Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, the company announced today. The Crystal Red and Crystal Blue Nintendo 2DS systems feature semi-transparent plastic that shows off the device's circuitry. Both systems will be available in retail stores for $99.99, while the upcoming Pokemon releases will launch at a suggested retail price of $39.99 each. First announced last year, Nintendo's 2DS plays the entire library of 3DS and DS games only in 2D, while dropping the stereoscopic 3D of the currently available Nintendo 3DS. The new handheld features a "fixed, slate-type form factor" - instead of a clam shell-style design — but retains the hardware features of the standard 3DS, including its...
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Nintendo's next wave of Amiibo will feature Mega Man and Sonic

Nintendo revealed its next two waves of Amiibo NFC toys, set to launch in Japan during January and February of next year. The third wave of toys will feature eight additional characters from Super Smash Bros., including Bowser, Toon Link, Rosalina, Meta Knight, Lucario, Sheik, Ike and King Dedede. These will become available on Jan. 22. In the wave to follow sometime in February, three more characters will be added: Shulk, Sonic and Mega Man. These figurines are currently priced at 1,200 yen (roughly $12) on Nintendo of Japan's official website. These latest additions have yet to be confirmed outside of Japan. We've contacted Nintendo for full release details. The first wave of Amiibo, which includes Mario, Link and Pikachu, among others, launches in North America on Nov. 21 and in...
Culture
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Smash Bros.' announcer says 'Banned!' for NeoGAFfers

Out of the blue, the voice actor for the announcer in Super Smash Bros.' 3DS and Wii U reboot recorded nine custom recordings for the gaming forum NeoGAF, saying plenty of things GAFfers say in their comments. Head on over to NeoGAF hear Xander Mobus say things like "BANNED," and "Go lie down!" and "NeoGAF Official Thread!" and six other short voice clips, which should see heavy use on the popular video gaming forum. The clips were posted by a person working for Iridium Studios, an independent developer currently working on There Came an Echo, a strategy title coming next year to Xbox One that is — naturally — voice-controlled. The person said Mobus moved in as his new roommate last month. Iridium Studios' official Twitter account confirmed the NeoGAF postshortly after it went up. M...
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The future of Nintendo's amiibo includes card games, smaller toys, Animal Crossing

Nintendo's new amiibo toys, the NFC-powered figures for Wii U and 3DS, are going to change over time, designer and producer Shigeru Miyamoto says. In fact, amiibo aren't just toys, he said, they'll also be cards that will bring a unique gameplay experience to the Wii U. Miyamoto said that amiibo cards will be like a more modern realization of Nintendo's e-Reader cards for the Game Boy Advance, cards that could be used to unlock items, levels and mini-games in some software. "[W]hen amiibo become cards, we can create a game which can be played only by passing several cards over the NFC reader/writer, and the results will be stored in the amiibo card," Miyamoto said in a question and answer session at a Nintendo investor presentation. "I cannot discuss any of the details today, but...
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This Majora's Mask 3D poster is as stunning as it is enormous

To celebrate The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D's reveal, Nintendo commissioned a poster filled with characters and locations from the upcoming Nintendo 3DS remake. Check out the poster below to see the partially masked Hero of Time surrounded by Gorons and Zoras and so much more. You can also click on the image to see it in its high-resolution glory. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, a time-looping, darker installment in the series, was originally released in 2000 for the Nintendo 64. Nintendo announced its 3D incarnation, which is scheduled for a spring 2015 release, during a Nintendo Direct event yesterday. The remake also inspired a special edition for Nintendo 3DS, which is confirmed for the U.K. For more on Nintendo's recent announcements, including news about Mario...
News
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Nintendo president Iwata addresses concerns over recent health problems

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata took to Twitter today to address worries over his health following a major operation earlier this year. The Nintendo head first caused concerns when his surgery to remove a growth found in his bile duct was followed by a noticeably more frail appearance. Iwata would go on to skip June's E3 event on the advice of his physician. The Nintendo president now confirms his weight is stabilizing. "I saw many worried comments over how thin I've become," wrote Iwata in a statement to Twitter followers. "The truth is that after a major operation, I lost weight, but during these past two and a half months, thankfully my weight has stabilized, and I'm progressing well. I would truly like to thank my doctors, the hospital staff, and everyone who has assisted me." L...
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7 Comments

'Pikmin Short Movies' available on Nintendo eShop for $4.99, plus Pikmin 3 demo

Pikmin Short Movies, a collection of animated shorts produced by Shigeru Miyamoto that are set in the Pikmin universe, is now available for purchase on the Nintendo eShop, Nintendo announced today. The package contains three shorts: "The Night Juicer," "Treasures in a Bottle" and "Occupational Hazards." Pikmin Short Movies premiered last month at the 27th Tokyo International Film Festival. Nintendo is selling two separate versions for $4.99 each: Pikmin Short Movies 3D on Nintendo 3DS is viewable in stereoscopic 3D, while Pikmin Short Movies HD on Wii U is in high definition. The download includes production footage that Miyamoto made using the Flipnote Studio app for Nintendo DSi. You can watch a trailer for Pikmin Short Movies below. Nintendo also released a free demo for Pikmin 3...
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8 Comments

Code Name: STEAM brings Abe Lincoln to Nintendo 3DS in spring 2015

Code Name: STEAM will arrive on the Nintendo 3DS in spring 2015, Nintendo revealed during a Nintendo Direct event today. Nintendo revealed the turn-based strategy game/third-person shooter hybrid at E3 2014. The game, which is being developed by Intelligent Systems, the company behind the Fire Emblem series, tells the story of the Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace (STEAM), which Abraham Lincoln assembles to defend the earth from alien invaders. During the broadcast, Nintendo also announced another game headed to 3DS next spring: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D.
News
140 Comments

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is being remade for Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo 64 game The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is getting a Nintendo 3DS remake, Nintendo announced during a Nintendo Direct presentation today. Majora's Mask, a "dark departure from the Zelda formula" that was originally released in 2000, sends Link on a time-traveling adventure in an attempt to stop the moon of the land Termina from crashing into the planet. The game was a follow-up to seminal Zelda adventure The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which Nintendo remade for 3DS in 2011. "As we worked on the remake version, we set out to maintain the original level of challenge, while keeping the gameaccessible for anyone," Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said in an announcement. "So we also focused on making sure the gameplay experience was as smooth as possible." The Legend of...
Video
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Some wacky DC characters are in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

When TT Games started work on the third game in its Lego Batman series, the team understood they had to get busy reading comics, watching cartoons and generally soaking up DC lore. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, due out on Nov. 11 on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Wii U, 3DS and Windows PC, features 150 DC Comics characters, including some that are pretty obscure and wacky. In this trailer released today, developers talk about the research involved. "We thought let's go to town. Let's really go into these characters and bring these characters to life," said executive producer Phil Ringg. "We really wanted to dig into the wider world of everything DC, so we tried to get as much access to everything we could, so comic books, TV series, the films, cartoons,...
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