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Press Start: Swan songs, box art and standing out in Super Mario Maker

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

To the surprise of almost no one, Mortal Kombat X called it quits on efforts to port the game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, another tremor as the console generations drift further apart. Yet major works still are publishing with the old guard — such as Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, whose pre-release review highlighted the week in video games.

Of course, PAX Prime is still going on, and you can catch up with everything written so far, knowing that we'll have more to say about what's being seen and shown in Seattle. In other developments, Polygon reviewed Disney Infinity 3.0 and Madden NFL 16; XCOM 2 was delayed three months; Street Fighter 5 announced the return of another character; cops arrested two guys they say planned to shoot up the Pokémon championships, and Cliff Bleszinski's new game got a name.

It's the five stories below, however, that recap the week in news, original reporting, criticism and opinion, getting you reset for the seven days ahead. Welcome back to Press Start.

Last Week in Five Stories

  1. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Review: Future Legend

    Series creator Hideo Kojima has been making Metal Gear games with publisher Konami for close to 30 years. The Phantom Pain closes the loop on the three decade-long Metal Gear saga and the result, warts and all, turns out to be one of the best entries in the series.

  2. How some of the game industry's best teams make box art

    A customer will face more than 100 different games when walking into a GameStop. And behind each is a team wanting its game to stand out. Often, that means spending tens, if not hundreds, of hours perfecting the first thing many players see: the game's box art.

  3. How to collect every Hearthstone card you need (While saving cash and gold)

    This week, Blizzard released Hearthstone's newest expansion, The Grand Tournament. You’ll probably need to open between 300 and 400 packs of Grand Tournament cards to collect the entire set. Here are some tips on how to do it as efficiently as possible.

  4. Super Mario Maker teaches you the anguish of being an indie developer

    "Making good levels is hard," they told me. "Getting them noticed is even harder." Super Mario Maker, at its heart, is a very effective way to feel the dread and desperation of being an indie developer.

  5. Finally, three great card games to play instead of Cards Against Humanity

    The Indie Megabooth at PAX Prime has a sizeable area devoted to tabletop games. Here are three great card games that Polygon had an early look at. Each is a great solution for a gaming group stuck in a rut, or for a party drifting out of control.

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