BOXBOY! did not hit the 3DS with the fanfare it deserved this spring. It's a brand-new game, with brand-new characters and it's published by Nintendo. Which is precisely the sort of thing the company's greatest detractors claim it's missing. Then again, even though the funny, little puzzle game is ingenious and addictive, it's also as quiet and unassuming as the studio that made it: HAL Laboratory.

Much like BOXBOY!, HAL does not have the reputation it should. For 35 years, the first-party Nintendo studio's pumped out games that are deeply traditional while remaining deeply experimental. The Kirby franchise, HAL's signature work, has been both a major sales success with more than 30 million games sold and a hotbed for creativity (as in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse) and old-school style (a la Kirby: Triple Deluxe.) That little pink puff Kirby tends to dominate HAL's output, which is what makes an original like BOXBOY! so exciting. So to get some deeper insight into the creation of this new Nintendo IP, I interviewed Yasuhiro Mukae, the director of HAL's first original in five years, via a translator through email. We discussed HAL's creative process, the secret to making expressive characters and what it's like making games at one of gaming's most consistent, if underappreciated, studios.

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It seems like just yesterday Good Old Games was giving away copies of Aliens vs. Predator to get folks to try its (optional) PC gaming service, Galaxy. Times have changed and leading into The Witcher 3: WIld Hunt's release -- the first major title debuting on the storefront -- the platform is moving from closed alpha testing into an open beta. The constant that's carrying over from the alpha is that you aren't required to participate in anything within the software. Not into automatic updates that might fix some of your favorite glitches in a game? That's totally cool; you can opt out and still keep playing. Steam and Origin aren't quite as keen on that.

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Sid Meier's Super NES Emulator SE kit

Want a rare piece of video gaming history? We hope you're a quick-draw bidder. Legendary game developer Sid Meier is holding a charity auction for a Super NES developer kit (which is hard to find by itself) used during his MicroProse days. Yes, there's a real chance that you could be using a system that helped build an early console version of Civilization. Don't think that you can just take on some credit card debt to get that nostalgia kick, though. Meier is only selling the kit to trustworthy eBay users with verified PayPal accounts, and bidding starts at $5,999 -- it's worthwhile if you want to help St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, but you're paying for a lot more than someone's second-hand console.

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It was easy to scoff at Sony when the electronics giant said it had a 10 year plan for the PlayStation 3, but here we are almost a decade later and it's still supporting the console. Case in point: the firm's announced that it's bringing subscriptions for the PlayStation Now game-streaming service to Blu-ray's trojan horse. It all starts on May 12th, and beyond that a handful of new games are hitting the service too. They include F1 2014 , Farming Simulator and the ever-so-charming Fat Princess (that's an awful lot of "F" games now that I think about it), bringing total number of streaming titles to around 100.

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Jason Voorhees in 'Mortal Kombat X'

If you thought that the Friday the 13th movies' legendary Jason Voorhees would make for a great Mortal Kombat fighter... well, you're right. NetherRealm has released a trailer showing how Jason will play when he arrives in Mortal Kombat X on May 5th, and he's every bit as ruthless as you'd expect for a mass murderer who's been killed many times over. You may not be sure whether you should wince or laugh -- without spoiling things, it's safe to say that Jason is especially good at carving his foes into pieces. You'll have to wait until May 12th to buy Jason by himself, but he could be worth it if you got a kick out of playing Freddy Krueger the last time around.

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Patrick Creadon wants to tell you about what he thinks is competitive gaming's Miracle on Ice moment. And to do so, he's employing the tool he knows best: a movie camera. Whereas before, the film director has focused on the national debt with I.O.U.S.A. or the (sometimes famous) people who love crossword puzzles in Wordplay, his latest project, All Work All Play, tackles the world of eSports. Specifically, League of Legends and two American dark horse teams quite literally going up against the rest of the world in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans packed into, ironically enough, hockey arenas.

"eSports teams don't have the respect that they so badly crave," he says. "These North American teams are not unlike the 1980 United States hockey team going up against Russia [in the Olympics]. Our movie really captures a similar story."

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Grand Theft Auto V has a few mobile apps of its own, but one enterprising modder has taken the idea to its natural conclusion: an application that lets you control the in-game cellphone with an iPhone. With the application you can scroll through text messages on-screen, peep your current list of objectives and, among other things, even control the in-game phone's camera. The YouTube video's description (spotted by former Joystiq'r Dave Hinkle) does't offer much by way of details other than it's running on an Arduino Leonardo with an Ethernet shield connected to a PC, sadly.

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All that the team at Playtonic Games had to say was, "It's a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie," and their project probably would have reached its £175,000 funding goal on Kickstarter. But Playtonic -- a studio composed of former Rare developers -- instead revealed gameplay videos, pretty 3D screenshots, a colorful world and a few songs from their new game, and then they promised it was a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie. That said, Yooka-Laylee blasted past its Kickstarter goal in less than 40 minutes and the numbers just keep on climbing. Andy Robinson, Playtonic's writer and only non-Rare veteran, calls the quick success "incredible."

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Square Enix, the studio responsible for the famously pretty Final Fantasy series, routinely creates tech demos for the latest and greatest gaming systems, and this week it added one more to that repertoire. During Microsoft's BUILD dev conference, Square Enix showed off a real-time DirectX 12 tech demo called WITCH: Chapter 0 [cry]. True to its name, this demo includes a crying woman -- Agni from previous Square Enix tech demos -- and all of the wonky facial animations that come with such an activity. WITCH features 63 million polygons per scene, "six to 12 times more" than what was possible with DirectX 11, Microsoft says. Check out the real-time demo below and note that while the animations certainly are pretty, there isn't much going on in these scenes in terms of AI or NPC population.

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Do something enough and it becomes second nature: muscle memory and instinct kicks in. But does that hold for the high-twitch dynamics of pro gaming-level Street Fighter 4? Japanese gaming site 4Gamer rigged up a gaming PC with SteelSeries' Sentry Gaming Eye Tracker, watching the gaze of Street Fighter pro-gamer Sako as he indulged in a few rounds. Rather than focus on his own player, or the opponent, his view typically rests somewhere between the two; the pro-gamer likely be trying to gauge incoming attacks and connect distance for their own. As the Japanese site notes, it wasn't exactly a high stakes bout, but the video suggests, at least, that it's not where your character is, but where it's going that's important. Which is also this editor's life philosophy, coincidentally. See where the pros are looking, right after the break.

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