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Quantum Conundrum

Summer is here, and you know what that means: the AAA machine calms down a bit, and the downloadable guys get a chance to really shine in the videogame space.

Indies come out all year round, for sure, and XBLA and the PlayStation Network see steady releases no matter the season, but summer is special. Promotions like XBLA’s Summer of Arcade practically define mainstream summer gaming, and the style suits the season – school’s out, people take vacations, and bite-sized games fit into that rhythm perfectly.

Here are a few of the downloadable games we’re most looking forward to as summer officially hits.

Right Here, Right Now

The summer party started already with Resonance and Quantum Conundrum hitting the virtual shelves. Resonance is a deliciously old-school-looking, point-and-click adventure game set in a near future world where a very nasty accident has occurred as you take on the role of four playable characters.

Quantum Conundrum is a supremely funky looking puzzler from Kim Swift (one of the designers of the original Portal) and her new outfit, Airtight Games. If you’ve ever wanted to journey to the “fluffy dimension” you definitely need to check this one out.

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Need For Speed Most Wanted Announced

It's not news that Criterion Games, the developer behind the Burnout series, is taking on development duties for October 30, 2012's Need for Speed: Most Wanted, but it seems that the studio will also be leading the charge on all future NFS titles as well. Criterion vice president Alex Ward revealed as much to Game Informer in a recent interview.

"Different studios have had a crack at it -- it's definitely a Criterion gig now," he said. The change doesn't mean that Burnout is out of the picture, however. Ward notes that Criterion will simply handle both franchises. Here's hoping the team gets back to its baby soon too; there's been no shortage of Need for Speed games in recent years, but the most recent Burnout, the critically and commercially acclaimed Burnout Paradise, was released all the way back in 2008.

To get a better sense of how Criterion's ongoing work is shaping up, take a peek at our Need for Speed: Most Wanted E3 2012 preview

Call of Duty: Declassified Announced for PS Vita

UPDATE 2:58 PM: It's official. According to VG247, Activision has confirmed that Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified will be released on December 31, 2012, as well as as the rest of the details in the story below.

The only things we learned at E3 2012 about Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified were the title and the plan for a 2012 "holiday" release, but a pair of newly discovered product listings from Amazon and Walmart (via IGN) fill in a few more blanks. Both list Activision's PS Vita shooter as a $49.99 item with a (presumably placeholder) release date of December 31, 2012, and both offer matching descriptions that include a few details about the game.

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LEGO Batman 2

CheapyD at CheapAssGamer.com scours both the online and offline world for the best deals on video games, and to help out your wallets, we're bringing his weekly recap to you!

Best Buy is holding a buy 2, get 1 free sale on used games. Additionally, spend $50 in movies, music, or video games (until 8/31), get a $10 credit. Buy Ghost Recon: Future Soldier $59.99, get Assassin's Creed Revelations free.

GameStop knocks down 3 vita games to $29.99; MLB: The Show, Dynasty Warriors Next, and Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus. Trade 3/5/7 games, get $10/$20/$35 in bonus credit.

Target throws in $10 gift card with the purchase Brave, and another $10 gift card with the purchase of LEGO Batman 2 and selected lego set. The Xbox 360 4GB console is $169.99.

Toys R Us includes a free LEGO Batman construction set (up to $19.99 value) with purchase of LEGO Batman 2.

Visit CAG for more details and the rest of this week's Sunday ad deals.

Best of the Rest

Sonic & Games on Demand Sales on Xbox Live
Xbox 360 Clearance Sale at Microsoft Store
Capcom Sale & More on Playstation Network
Mass Effect 1 & 2 PC Download Deals at Amazon

Follow Cheap Ass Gamer on Twitter at videogamedeals and ukgamedeals


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Soul Sacrifice

Check out our Soul Sacrifice preview from E3 2012. With all the excitement of the "big" games at E3, it would be easy to overlook some of the worthwhile PS Vita titles at the show. We didn't want that to happen, so Adam "The Riveter" Rosenberg checked out Soul Sacrifice.

Here's a taste of our Soul Sacrifice preview:

"Calling Soul Sacrifice, the upcoming PlayStation Vita title conceived by no less a superstar than Keiji Inafune, a riff on Monster Hunter is oversimplifying things a bit, but it's also not an entirely inaccurate comparison. The co-op-friendly third-person action game from Marvelous AQL and SCE Japan Studio is built around the concept of running through short missions where you fight a bunch of monsters and slowly, ever-so-slowly, fill up your arsenal with the hundreds of unlockable abilities."

Read the rest of our preview of Soul Sacrifice.

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In this LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes gameplay demo, we don't get to just see Batman in action, but some members of the Justice League as well. Below, Blair Herter is joined by TT Games Producer Phil Ring for a hands-on look at characters like Superman, The Green Lantern, and more.

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Game Mechanics Walkthrough From E3 2012 »


 





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The Amazing Spider-Man will offer gamers the high-flying open-world experience that they've been waiting for ever since Spider-Man 2. In the video below, Blair Heter and Kevin Pereira join Beenox Studio Head Dee Brown for a hands-on demo of the game.

The Amazing Spider-Man Game Mechanics Walkthrough From E3 2012 »


 

UPDATE: Here's D3 Publisher's official comment on the matter: 

The game is only announced for Japan.  The latest trailer is shown here and [the game] will include 4-player online co-op plus some additional Vita specific features.

So nothing's confirmed for North America. Bummer. Why don't you take to Twitter and voice your love for EDF in the hopes that your voices encourage a localized release. I mean, let's not forget that Tokyo Jungle is coming out in the States. If that can happen, there must be hope for Earth Defense Forces 3: Portable.

ORIGINAL POST: The PlayStation Vita is about to become a home for gaming's greatest alien giant insect-and-robot invasion shooter around, with D3 Publisher confirming plans to release Earth Defense Forces 3: Portable on Sony's handheld (via Andriasang). A new trailer and website confirm plans for a launch in Japan, though there's no word yet of a North American release. We're checking on this, don't you worry.

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When NBA 2K13 dribbles back its way in to your living room, it'll have new and improved gameplay mechanics, upgraded graphics, better physics, and more. In our E3 look at the game, Producer Erick Boenisch gives us an in-depth behind-the-scenes look that you won't want to miss. Check it out below.

Official E3 Preview of NBA 2K13 »


 

Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation - Official E3 2012 News

When we heard about Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation for the PS Vita at E3 2012, we wanted to try it as soon as possible. Luckily, we got to check it out at the show, and we've got your Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation preview below.

Here's a little taste:

What we can tell you is that Ubisoft Sofia has done some incredible things with Sony's still-new handheld. The city of New Orleans may lack of polish of the console AC titles, but it's not as far off as you might think after playing the initial crop of launch window Vita games. The view distance is shortened by a very visible haze, but the level of detail in the surrounding world is all in all rather breathtaking.

Read the rest of ourAssassin's Creed 3: Liberation preview.

Oddworld

Just Add Water's Oddworld plans have expanded to include what CEO Stewart Gilray calls a "from-the-ground-up remake" for the series' first game, Oddworld: Abe's Odysee, VG247 reports. We first heard that the developer was working with series creator Lorne Lanning on multiple Oddworld projects spanning multiple platforms in July 2010, a collaboration that has already resulted in a PS3 version of Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath and a PC release of the full Oddworld collection.

We already knew that a remastered version of the first game would be followed at some point by a proper new entry in the series, but Gilray's comments paint a fresh picture of the remake's scope. “We are re-making Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, however we didn’t want the impression to be that we were just doing a port of the PSone title with higher res art,” he said. “We are starting from scratch on this one, using the original as the blueprint for the game. So technically it’s not a new game, but a from-the-ground-up remake.”

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Our PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale gameplay video straight from the E3 2012 floor gives you everything you need to know about the co-op friendly brawl party guy. Okay, maybe not everything but enough to tease you before the game will be released in December, 2012. Game Director Omar Kendall goes into details about the new playable characters revealed at E3, like Nathan Drake. And who wouldn't want to fight as Nathan Drake?

Check it out in our PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale video.

Official E3 2012 Preview Of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale »



Check out our Kickbeat gameplay preview from E3 2012.

Kickbeat, as the name so eloquently implies, combines beats and kicking. The rhythm based fighting game from Zen Studios puts epic kung fu to music, and rewards you for timing your hits properly. Zen Studios Creative Director Neil Sorens discussed some of the inspirations for Kickbeat, which include old kung fu movies from the good ol' days. Note: Exact time of "good ol' days" may vary by age.

Kickbeat will be out for the PS Vita later this year.

Official E3 Preview of Kickbeat »










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Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Hands-On Preview From E3 2012 -- Roll Out Sonic

In our Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed hands-on preview from E3 2012, we got to check out what's coming to the sequel of 2010's kart racer Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. In the new game, your karts can transform in to air and sea-based vehicles on the fly, which worked seamlessly during our demo.

From our Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed preview:

Throughout each map, there are different types of surfaces. In Dragon Canyon there was land, water, and air. On the land surfaces we used our kart, but in the lava and air areas our kart transformed into a boat and then an airplane. The game's controls completely change up based on the vehicle you're in, which is jarring at first but feels natural after a lap or two. The hardest to control was probably the plane, but once you get the hang of it it's not that bad, and it's fun to go from one vehicle to the next automatically. You can even do tricks in every vehicle, which gives you a boost.

Put on your seat belt and read our full Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed preview from E3 2012.


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In this Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time gameplay demo from E3 2012, Sanzaru Games President, Glen Egan gives Morgan Webb an anthropomorphic raccoon history lesson. 

As pages from the Thievus Raccoonus disappear, Sly Cooper and the gang must travel back in time to restore the legacy of the Cooper Clan.  In the process, Sly will encounter his ancestors (where they will become playable characters) from England to Japan.  Longtime favorites, Murray, Bentley and Carmelita Fox will also be playable characters.

As an added bonus, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time has Sony's "Cross-Save" feature that allows a player to save a game to the cloud from the PlayStation 3 and continue playing it on the PlayStation Vita.

Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time E3 Gameplay Demo »


Become a thieving rodent in the Fall 2012 on PS3 and PS Vita.

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