Author: AJ Amideo

I've been gaming pretty much since I was old enough to hold a controller. I've always been a console guy but I've recently kind of shifted over to Steam (though I'm still not giving up the controller). I'm also absolutely obsessed with arcades.

Notable New Gaming Releases: Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, and More…

Well, another month and incredibly, this year will already be half over. Insanity. But at least it's been filled with some pretty fantastic new games thus far. Why, even this past week saw the release of a sequel to Ninja Theory's award-winning 2017 title, Hellblade, as well as a Switch remake of the absolutely phenomenal 2004 GameCube classic, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. In fact, TTYD is widely regarded as one of the better Mario games ever made, Paper or otherwise, so if you've never had the privilege to play it, now is the time.

Also out in the last 15 weeks, a pair of fantastic Toaplan arcade shoot 'em ups; and a follow-up to Capcom's somewhat underrated 2012 action RPG, Dragon's Dogma. A comical adventure that pops off the pages! Jump past the break to see more new releases from the last 105 days.

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Soundtrack Included: 12 of the Best CD Console Games with Playable Audio Tracks

After a trial launch in Japan in October of 1982, the compact disc was first released in the West in March, the following year. It was a digital stranger in an analog world. Yet it was able to completely revolutionize the record industry in less than a decade. The compact disc would subsequently go on to do the same for computer software, and shortly thereafter, video game consoles.

The first company to utilize this technology for a game console would be NEC, with their 1989 CD-ROM add-on to the TurboGrafx-16, the TurboGrafx-CD/PC Engine CD-ROM2 (and later Super CD/TurboDuo). They would soon be followed by Sega, who would release a CD add-on for their own Genesis (Mega Drive) console in 1992, known as the Sega (Mega) CD. Several others would also appear in the years that followed, including Sega's Genesis/Sega CD follow-up, the Saturn, as well as Sony's incredibly successful PlayStation console. Eventually, the industry would begin to experiment with other, similar formats, starting in 1999 with what would sadly be Sega's final home console, the GD-ROM equipped Dreamcast.

While the formats would continue to evolve over the years, first to DVD, then Blu-ray, and finally Ultra HD Blu-ray, digital disc media use in the video game industry has continued on, right up to the present day. Yet, despite having inferior storage capacity and being more prone to piracy, CDs were always able to offer one thing that none of the disc formats that have followed since could, the ability to double as an audio disc. That being said, not every CD game released came with audio tracks on the disc, and the number of TurboGrafx-CD and PlayStation releases that boasted them was somewhat limited. A pretty significant number of Sega CD and Saturn games all did, however.

That specific feature makes all of those consoles a particular boon to both those nostalgic for that era of gaming, and general audiophiles alike. As one who considers himself to be in both of those camps, and as a service to like-minded individuals, I thought I might take it upon myself to compile a list of some of the best CD games to include playable audio tracks on the disc. Continue on after the break to see 12 of the best of these games to appear on these consoles. I'm also including the composer, year of release, and number of audio tracks (not counting blank and/or unplayable data tracks).

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Notable New Gaming Releases: Batsugun, Tekken 8, and More…

Welcome to the first notable new releases post of 2024. Since the last post wasn't since late October, I've made sure to round up some of the more prominent releases from the end of 2023, as well as the beginning of this year. This last week saw a very notable release with a GOG version of Toaplan's final shmup, the legendary arcade classic, Batsugun. Aside from arguably being their all-time best shooter, Batsugun is also famous for being the very first manic (aka bullet hell) shoot 'em up game. It may be great, but it's definitely not easy!

Also out in the last 16 weeks, the 8th installment to the long-running and incredibly popular Tekken series; the next entry in the also long-running and popular Yakuza/Like a Dragon series; and the first official sequel to the excellent 2012 Arcade fighter (and it's multiple updated ports), Under Night In-Birth. Take on the final chapter in Toaplan's Shmup saga, then jump past the break to see more new releases from the last 112 days.

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AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of 2010 – A Twinstiq Retrospective

Well, it's another new year and time, once again, for another retrospective. This time around, we'll be taking a look back at the best games of 2010. As the start of a new decade, it was certainly an important year; and it also happened to be a pretty exceptional year for gaming as well, with some of the biggest releases, well ever. Please read on for a selection of the 12 most notable titles that 2010 had to offer.

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AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of 2022 (In Just Under the Wire Edition)

Well, 2023 is drawing to a close and I haven't even released a best games of 2022 list yet. (And you thought last year's was late!) Well, consider that box now officially checked off. It took a long time to get it right. Way longer than it probably should have. It's pretty likely that many out there will still take issue with these choices but, whatever, I'm pretty proud of these picks. All I can do at this point is apologize for the extreme tardiness of this article and promise to do my best to at least release a 2023 list in the first half of next year. But in the meantime, please read on for my selections for the 12 best titles that 2022 had to offer:

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Notable New Gaming Releases: Spider-Man 2, Super Mario Bros Wonder, and More…

Well, the holidays are drawing near and that means it's about time for the final (and oftentimes, biggest) titles of the year to arrive. Case in point, this week saw the release of two, (Marvel) Spider-Man 2 and Super Mario Bros Wonder. The follow-up to 2018's amazing Spider-Man and 2020's spectacular Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Spider-Man 2 represents the next logical step in the franchise by allowing you to swap back and forth between the two main characters from both of those previous entries. It also appears to have upped the ante by bringing in popular comics villains Kraven the Hunter and Venom (undoubtedly among others).

Meanwhile, Super Mario Bros Wonder appears to be bringing the same style of charming family-friendly 4-person multiplayer fun that 2013's outstanding Super Mario 3D World offered, but in a uniquely new, yet tried and true 2D setting. No matter which console you own, a Switch or a PS5 (or both), it seems like you've got something new you're going to want to try out. And for those without either, read on for a list of new hotness for you to play too.

‚ÄčAlso out in the last 12 weeks, a new Sonic the Hedgehog title that seems to be not entirely unlike the new Super Mario Bros game; the first new Forza Motorsport title in 6 years, and a follow-up to the pretty groovy 2019 strategy title, Wargroove. Be greater. Together. Jump past the break to see more new releases from the last 84 days.

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The Sega Dreamcast: A 2×12-Year Retrospective

Due to the abysmal performance of Sega's disastrous Saturn console, and not long before its premature cancellation, Sega set about development of their next generation of video game hardware. In an effort to cut costs, and to make sure that the Saturn's successor would be easy to create games for, Sega opted to use preexisting, off-the-shelf PC components and a custom Windows operating system, in favor of more complicated proprietary options. The new console would also share architecture with Sega's own NAOMI arcade hardware, which was developed around the same time, thus all but ensuring it would be the recipient of a steady stream of home-playable arcade hits, pretty much from day one. Finally, Sega decided to give the system a built-in modem for online play and internet access, the first console to include such a feature.

After finalizing the hardware specifications, a public contest was held by Sega to name their new system and "Dreamcast" was selected out of more than 5,000 entries. In order to avoid the same anemic launch that the Saturn had suffered, Sega took steps to have plenty of Dreamcast games available to choose from when the console made its North American debut on 09/09/1999. Sega also acquired American sports game developer Visual Concepts to ensure that the system's library would be adequately stocked with a variety of great sports titles, both at launch, and over the months and potentially years to follow. In addition (and as they did for all of the company's previous consoles), Sega's other internal studios all worked diligently to provide the Dreamcast with a multitude of high-quality first-party fare over the console's life.

Despite making a number of savvy decisions with the design and launch of the Dreamcast, Sega was ultimately unable to sell enough systems to cover their past losses on the Saturn. Nor were they able to gain enough market share to turn the tables on Sony and Nintendo. Eventually, the Dreamcast also began to burden Sega with losses and so, just over a year and a half into its life, they reluctantly exited the console industry altogether. It is said that the candle that burns half as long burns twice as bright. That may have been true in the Dreamcast's case. It's difficult to name another console that was able to amass such an amazingly diverse library of incredible titles over such a short run. Please read on for a list of the very best of these games to ever have graced Sega's final console.

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Notable New Gaming Releases: Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons, Pikmin 4, and More…

Well, the year is more than halfway over and we're beginning to witness the release of some pretty interesting titles. This past week saw the return of the Lee brothers in a brand new entry in the legendary Double Dragon series. Double Dragon Gaiden looks to be largely inspired by last year's outstanding arcade-esque TMNT beat 'em up, Shredder's Revenge. Assuming the developer nailed more than just the art style, this too may be one that's well worth checking out.

Also out in the last 5 weeks, the 4th numeric installment to Nintendo's charming Pikmin series; a pretty fun-looking family-friendly 4-player platformer starring Mickey Mouse & friends; and GOG ports of Sega's Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Double Fine's The Cave. Double Dragon Returns with tag team action. Jump past the break to see more new releases from the last 35 days.

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Notable New Gaming Releases: Final Fantasy XVI, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and More…

It's a good thing that Square Enix doesn't seem to understand what the word "final" means. Otherwise, their legendary Final Fantasy series might have ended before the '80s did. Thankfully here we are, over 30 years and countless fantastic installments and spin-offs later, with their newest entry, Final Fantasy XVI; and by all indications, it's yet another worthy addition to their long-running franchise.

Also out in the last 8 weeks, the next fantastic installment to Nintendo's legendary Zelda series; a port of one of the greatest arcade horror titles of all time; and a brand new strategy game set in the Alien(s) universe. Fate is written in fire. Jump past the break to see more new releases from the last 56 days.

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Notable New Gaming Releases: Star Wars: Jedi – Survivor, Advance Wars 1+2 – Re-Boot Camp, and More…

Well, it's been longer than I meant it to be since my last new releases post, but better late than never, I suppose. At any rate, we're not even to May yet and already one of the heaviest hitters of 2023 has landed! Of course, I am talking about none other than the just-released, Star Wars: Jedi - Survivor, Respawn's hotly-anticipated follow-up to their incredible 2019 smash hit, Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order. Early reviews are looking good, but honestly, as long as it plays anything like the previous game, I'm pretty sure it will do nicely.

Also out in the last several weeks, Nintendo's long-awaited Advance wars compilation, Capcom's hotly-anticipated modern console remake of Resident Evil 4, and a PlatinumGames-developed prequel to their bewitching Bayonetta series. Stand against the darkness, then jump past the break to see more new releases from the last few months.

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