"Who would win in a fight?" is the lighthearted crux of the Super Smash Bros. series, and it's impressive how extensive that conversation has become. Pitting beloved video game characters in unlikely rivalries seems as amusing as it did during the series' 1999 debut, especially when it involves a mix of iconic faces and left-field picks. With fresh contenders, several new competition types and a lite resemblance of Pokémon training in the form of Amiibos, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is a meaty talking point that proves the "Who's the best?" debate is still well worth having.

Smash's bouts remain layered –- newcomers can focus on throwing basic attacks by combining button presses with tilts of the joystick, learning deep-cut mastery of evasions and timing in-air knockouts as they add matches to their career. Whatever nuances your play style adopts, everyone's victory involves launching opponents from shared platforms, heaping damage on them to make banishing them to the oblivion beyond the screen's edges more feasible.

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EE has evolved rapidly since it became a household name two years ago after switching on the UK's first 4G mobile network. Today, it's more than just a carrier, with a home broadband business and a selection of own-brand mobile devices, among other things. And now, EE's decided to turn its hand to home entertainment, having recently launched the EE TV set-top box. Free and available only to customers of EE's mobile and broadband services, it's essentially a Freeview DVR with a few tricks up its sleeve. Tying into EE's primary focus on mobile, one of the fancier features is the box's ability to stream live and recorded video to multiple smartphones and tablets simultaneously. But is a free DVR with a couple of advanced capabilities enough of an incentive to get you signed up for the required services (which is sort of the point)? Not really, no.

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There's a moment in LittleBigPlanet 3 where Hugh Laurie's villainous Newton, an effete British lightbulb with an egg timer built into his bowler hat, faces down his conscience, berating him with his greatest fear: that nothing he creates will ever be good enough, has never been good enough. It's a fear that LittleBigPlanet players will be familiar with, given the creative possibilities presented by the series. The feeling is more pronounced this time around, and the overwhelming diabolical genius at work in LittleBigPlanet 3 is almost a cause for alarm.

The first and second games in the series felt like a toy box, with developer Media Molecule providing about 3 or 4 hours of examples of how it could be utilized. In contrast,LittleBigPlanet 3, now helmed by Sumo Digital, is the first to feel like the pre-formed game at its core is meant to be a showstopper, an abundant showcase of greatness, a dare to the player to push the envelope even further. Lucky for us, for those who decide to rise to the challenge, they have never made creation easier or more satisfying than it is now.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition is an immense fantasy epic, a sprawling adventure across the many landscapes of Thedas, unapologetically mature in its exploration of politics and brazen in its combat. Inquisition is also developer BioWare's redemption song. It's everything that a sequel to Dragon Age: Origins should have been, and time will slip by as players enjoy the hundred hours of escapades it delivers.

The end of Inquisition's spectacular first act gave me chills. The last time I can recall that feeling is when the Normandy was reintroduced in Mass Effect 2. It's the chill of being at the beginning of a grand story and anticipation for what's to come.

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Before Halo 2 launched in 2004, I must have watched the trailer a hundred times –- easily accessible from its permanent home on my college computer's desktop. Like many fans, my anticipation for the Xbox follow-up was ... let's say substantial. And, like many fans, I was a little disappointed by the campaign and its abrupt, cliffhanger ending. Thankfully, a genre-defining multiplayer suite did more than enough to salve any abrasions left behind by the rough campaign.

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It was the best of Assassin's Creed, it was the worst of Assassin's Creed. So it goes with Assassin's Creed Unity, the newest game in Ubisoft's alternate-history series, where sci-fi tech allows you to relive the secret war between Assassins and Templars. Unity succeeds where it needs to, but it falls short of the metaphorical, fall-breaking haybale almost everywhere else, landing with a sickening thud on hard pavement.

Unity is capable of inspiring loving adoration while simultaneously bringing you to boiling hatred. It aims high, fails more often than it triumphs, and is in dire need of a technical re-tweaking. At the same time, whenever the pieces align, it feels like coming home.

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Google Nexus Player review: a strong, but flawed, introduction to Android TV

Google has been trying to get into the living room for a long time, but it hasn't always worked out. The Google TV platform it launched four years ago never really took off and the curiously shaped Nexus Q was so beleaguered by its limited functions and high price that it didn't stand a chance. Last year, however, Google finally managed to get a taste of success with the Chromecast, an inexpensive video-streaming dongle that was so simple it eschewed the need for a remote control or dedicated UI. Almost too simple, some would say -- you still need another device lying around to cast content to it and the lack of a UI means it's not quite as user-friendly as a Roku or an Apple TV.

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You get just a novel snippet of peace in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. In this shooter's future, technology has trumped terrorism, rooted out the last evil masterminds and flexed its bionic muscles in total defiance of lead-footed politicians who'd rather talk than get things done. "The world is running out of bad guys," your partner says, hopeful but tragically unaware that he's basically describing a video game glitch. Call of Duty never runs out of bad guys.

This one gets points for honesty, though, in that there is no pretentious cover-up of why the good guys beat the bad guys (or why the plot finds them easily interchangeable). In Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, you win because you have better guns, stronger sights, super abilities and superior movement. Whether it's in the rich and varied multiplayer mode, or the frantic, thrill-a-minute single-player campaign, you're constantly relying on cool weapons and combat data to make taking lives easier. Advanced Warfare front-loads the benefits of power in a franchise that has always made technology the exalted, almost fetishized solution to every problem. And you know what? It's more fun when it admits as much.

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TiVo Roamio OTA review: TiVo made a DVR for cord-cutters, but is it worth it?

Cable TV and TiVo go together like peanut butter and jelly, or at least they did until now. The company that, for all intents and purposes, invented the DVR has, after 14 years, released one specifically designed for people who don't want to pay for a TV subscription. If you look past the marketing, the $50 TiVo Roamio OTA is actually the same as the standard-edition Roamio, but with a nonfunctional CableCARD slot and no option for Lifetime Service. So, is this the one box a cord-cutter needs? Just as important, is the price right?

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Slingbox M1 review: A pricey streamer, but worth it for frequent travelers

It's been 10 years since Sling Media was founded, and here we stand with the fifth-generation Slingbox, the M1. Like all Slingboxes before it, the M1 can stream live and DVRed programs to your mobile devices, but this time, it's $150, making it the least expensive model yet. In particular, it's $30 cheaper than its predecessor and boasts the same feature set, but with the addition of built-in WiFi, so you don't need to park the box next to an Ethernet jack. So do the price cut and built-in WiFi make it a more worthwhile purchase? Let's find out.

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Here's the thing about Amazon: We can't figure the company out half the time. Few things embody that quite as well as the Fire TV. The company is adamant that the set-top box is not a gaming console, but it's invested heavily in original game development for it and even produced a shockingly good gamepad accessory. Still, video games are just a "bonus." One of the pillars of the streaming-media box is supposed to be openness, but there's no denying that other services like Netflix are treated like second-class citizens here. They're invited to the party; they just better not outshine the host.

The Fire TV may be the next step for Amazon as it tries to build its own ecosystem, but it's also yet another entry in the crowded streaming-media market. And the big question is: Do we need another? We've got TV set-tops for cable, satellite and fiber (at one time joined by a disc player for movies and maybe a game system or two). The next-gen game consoles do double duty as entertainment hubs, and there's no shortage of cheap boxes designed specifically to stream Netflix, HBO Go and Pandora. Add in smart TVs and the rise of pint-sized dongles, and the question of what to watch becomes how to watch. The Fire TV is trying to muscle out competitors with its $99 price and a strong focus on performance, search and openness. Now that we've spent a few days living with one, we can judge whether it's just another option among many, or truly a standout that finally fixes problems the others have so far ignored.

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Titanfall is strictly coiled around the player. You couldn't excise even one piece without slackening it like a ruined kidnapper's rope. The serpentine level design, the liberating sense of movement, the flawless controls and yes, the enormous bipedal tanks dropping from the sky, are equally indispensable in this arresting shooter.

Given the studio's splintered status as a former Call of Duty custodian, Respawn Entertainment has made a multiplayer game fit for those who have spent years peering through the eyes of a speedy killing machine – a seasoned six against six in battles for land or a higher kill count. A history with rapid-fire aim and fleet-footed 3D movement is not essential here, but recommended.

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Fun fact: Engadget reviewed 176 products in 2013, and that's not even counting the umpteen times we got hands-on with stuff at tradeshows and press events.

In general, we try to review just the top-tier gadgets, but even then, some of it ends up being forgettable. (Can you name-check everything we tested from memory? We can't.) So, as the year draws to a close, we're taking a look back at the last 12 months of reviews, and this time, we're including only the products you'd have no trouble remembering. Across every category, we've noted the flagships everyone coveted -- along with the duds that could've been so much better. Oh, and you might notice that we included some numbered scores throughout. That's right; Engadget is bringing back numerical ratings, and they'll follow the same format as the critic score gdgt has already been using for years. Which is to say, each rating takes into account various criteria for a given product category -- things like battery life and portability. Wanna see how your favorite gadgets did? Meet us after the break for a walk down memory lane.

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Your new running shoes have WiFi, but there are still -- still! -- no flying cars. We've got mini-supercomputers in our pockets, but where's the kitchen machine that materializes beef bourguignon? It's not quite the future we predicted, at least as far as Back to the Future 2 and The Jetsons informed us, but it's the future we've got. Something as basic as, say, turning on electronics using your voice is still novel. Microsoft's Xbox One is representative of just such a novelty, pairing old tech like IR and HDMI passthrough with brand-new 1080p video capture and voice control -- all to impressive effect. When you turn on your Xbox One and TV in one fell "Xbox: On!" grandpa's gonna be wowed, as will little Suzie. Guaranteed. The deeply integrated fantasy sports and ESPN apps will no doubt get pigskin-obsessed Aunt Linda interested.

But it's not the expensive camera and sports partnerships that makes Microsoft's proposition impressive to the hardcore gaming faithful. The Xbox One is a beast of a games console, capable of running beautiful games. But can it serve two masters? It's not quite the game box we would've predicted, but it's the one we've got.

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Sony PlayStation 4 review I still need a subhead TKTK DNP

Every day, a new phone. A new tablet. A new laptop that doubles as a blender -- and it has Android! Video game consoles, thankfully, aren't quite so prolific. In 18 years of PlayStation's existence, we're only just this week reaching number four -- a massive difference from the likes of Apple's iPhone or Nokia's (ridiculously populous) Lumia line. This Friday, the PlayStation brand enters the "next generation" once more with the PlayStation 4, and the world is significantly different than the last time around: HD is now standard, online multiplayer an expectation and multitasking a given.

Beyond interesting, great-looking game experiences, gamers in 2013 expect a multitalented, speedy game console that's as fast and powerful as the ever-surging wave of bleeding edge electronics that are standard in modern life. Let's find out if the PlayStation 4 lives up to our lofty expectations.

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