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I've been in a bit of an RTS mood lately, so when the preview event for Halo Wars 2 cropped up I was pleasantly surprised. It was exactly the kind of game I wanted to play, right when I wanted to play it.

And after a few hours with the game's campaign and various multiplayer modes, I walked away reasonably satisfied. But as a StarCraft tragic (and by tragic, I mean someone who had two active accounts in Grandmaster back in the vanilla days), not all is well.

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Six years ago, Awesome Games Done Quick started as a small outfit of speedrunners who played games to raise money for cancer prevention. Since then, AGDQ has ballooned into a big event: this year alone, viewers donated $US2.2 ($3) million dollars for a good cause. The added visibility has brought new challenges, as runners and organisers butt heads over rules that dictate what is banned from the event.

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The original NVIDIA Shield looked cool and had some neat ideas behind it, but its cost and use of the neglected Android TV operating system left the set-top box/console fusion feeling more like Frankenstein than legitimate answer to either Roku, PS4 or Xbox One. A major software update and some much needed changes to the system peripherals has changed the NVIDIA Shield into a legitimate set-top box choice — especially if you're looking to playback 4K HDR content.

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Have you ever thought "my wireless earphones are just too big?" Have you ever thought "man, I wish my headphones told me their battery life whenever I switched them on?" Have you ever thought "I wish I could listen to all my music through one earphone, so I don't need to wear both?" Apple's new AirPods solve a lot of these problems. Problems I'm not entirely sure needed to be solved, but problems nonetheless.

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Today was one of those occasions that comes once, maybe twice (but definitely not thrice) in a lifetime. Gabe Newell arose from his Scrooge McDuck-esque lake of knives and cash to conduct an AMA. Spoiler: He likes Portal 2 more than Half-Life, and despite appearances to the contrary, Valve still makes games.

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Thanks to its ability to attract non-gamers, nostalgic characters, simple mechanics, the novelty of augmented reality and its social nature, Pokemon GO reached a level of success in 2016 that eludes even some of the most successful traditional video games.

Record downloads, engagement and of course - revenue.

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There have been many great first-person shooters in the last couple of decades, but what really makes shooters work — multiplayer-centric ones especially — is the quality of the levels.