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One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 Review - Riot Control, Japan Style

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Action Games, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3, PS4 games
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 Review - Riot Control, Japan Style

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is all about smashing through big crowds. No matter which character you're controlling, you're essentially a god, eternally smashing through thousands of weakling enemies per stage with an extraordinary set of physical skills. It's gaming in its purest form of empowerment. And it's enormously fun.

There's a problem though, and it's one familiar to anyone that's played a Dynasty Warriors game or one of the earlier One Piece titles - there's really not much else to it. But in the right sized doses, this could find a place in your heart.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 Review - Riot Control, Japan Style

One Piece is based on an anime series and the story seems to be a rough highlights reel, meaning it'll make zero sense to anyone that hasn't watched it (severe déjà vu if you played the first game on PS3 too). Levels and their plots don't seen connected, it's just an endless barrage of waffle stuffed with overlong cutscenes and comic book (well, manga) picture dialogue scenes. The writing is painfully clichéd and riddled with as many children's anime tropes as you can care to name.

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Immerse Virtual Reality Headset Review - Can VR work on phones?

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Immerse Virtual Reality Headset, Virtual Reality, VR, VR headsets

Immerse Virtual Reality Headset Review - Can VR work on phones?

It's taking the Oculus Rift so long to get to market, the knock off products are hitting the shelves before the number one contender for a Virtual Reality-led future even has a solid RRP. Given the buzz about VR though, we're eager to try kit we can.

To be fair, this isn't quite a competitor to the like of the Oculus Rift or Sony's Project Morpheus. Instead, the Immerse Virtual Reality headset is designed for your smart phone. So you won't need an expensive PC rig or console to use it. You may have heard of this tech before with Google Cardboard, which placed phone handsets into a box with some lenses to replicate 3D imagery via apps that show two images, much in the same way the Oculus works.

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Gauntlet: Slayer Edition Review | Too old school?

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Gauntlet: Slayer Edition, PC games, PS4 games

Gauntlet: Slayer Edition Review | Too old school?

The dungeon crawler video game genre really does owe it all to 1985's Gauntlet. The top down multiplayer title has been copied ever since with similar titles in the action/RPG genre, most notably the new genre king, Diablo III, which has built upon Gauntlet's sturdy foundations.

So yes, if you're a retro fan or recently found yourself absorbed by the world of Diablo III on PC or consoles, there's certainly fun to be had with this PS4 update of the recent PC remake. The graphics are slightly shinier than the PC version and there are new items to unlock, but realistically, there's no reason to double dip unless your mates never wanted to play on PC.

As ever, Gauntlet works best with friends, either online or with local co-op. Characters include the typical tropes. The muscled warrior, the charging Valkyrie, the arrow-slinging elf and the spell-casting wizard.  The warrior and Valkyrie are your close range bruisers while the other two are much more comfortable at range (terrible at close quarters).

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Tales From The Borderlands Episode 4: Escape Plan Bravo Review | An Emotional Roller Coaster

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Adventure Games, Game reviews, PC games, PS3 games, PS4 games, Tales From The Borderlands, Tales From The Borderlands: Episode 4 - Escape Plan Bravo, Telltale Games, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One Games

Tales From The Borderlands Episode 4: Escape Plan Bravo Review | An Emotional Roller Coaster

With Jon now well and truly off in the sunset, I’m afraid you’ll have to put up with me and my Handsome Jack fandom while we finish off the review process for Tales From The Borderlands. Chances are that if you’re reading this you’re already up to speed, but just in case you can check out our reviews for Episode 1: Zer0 Sum, Episode 2: Atlas Shrugged, and Episode 3: Catch A Ride.

Episode 3 provided a high point for the series for many reasons, so the pressure was on for Episode 4 to build upon what we called the best episode so far. In truth, Escape Plan Zero suffers from yet another slow start, but as soon as the introduction begins and To The Top blasts out the speakers you can tell what’s about to happen is going to be something special.

In fact, what we get is nothing short of an emotional roller coaster.

Tales From The Borderlands Episode 4: Escape Plan Bravo Review | An Emotional Roller Coaster

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Q.U.B.E. Director's Cut Review | Thinking outside the box

Author:
BuzzDuraband
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
PC games, PS4 games, Q.U.B.E. Director's Cut, Xbox One Games

Q.U.B.E. Director's Cut Review | Thinking outside the box

There is unquestionably no mistaking the intended direction of Toxic Games’ FPS puzzler release Q.U.B.E. From the moment you jump into the game it’s hard to hide from the fact its instant comparative similarities to the Portal series.

Last year’s release of the Director’s Cut addition to Q.U.B.E. introduced a whole new storyline with a different soundtrack and added puzzle depth to its original 2011 release. It’s an incredibly entertaining puzzle game, which will quite effectively satisfy most gamers and has now made its way to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Q.U.B.E. Director's Cut Review | Thinking outside the box

The game in itself is straightforward; you awake in a futuristic room, progressing through various rooms using the four different cube types available to manipulate each room’s environments helping you progress into to the next room. Red cubes act as a simple extendable platform, yellow cubes act in the same way that a three tiered stairway would, blue is utilised as a springboard mechanism, with purple cubes allowing you to rotate the position of structures such as walls.

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Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment Review | One Switch too far?

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Bandai Namco, Games reviews, PS4 games, RPGs, Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment

Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment Review | One Switch too far?

As someone who binged their way through Season 1 of the anime on Netflix recently, I’ve been craving more Sword Art Online. The tale of Kirito, fighting for survival in the online worlds whilst trying to save those closest to him, resonated with me far more than I was expecting (despite the second arc getting a little... weird… in parts.) It was enjoyable, emotional, and filled with great action sequences. Yet, the idea of a game made me nervous. Could the combat of the show – where players become their avatars in a VR simulation – truly translate to an input system of analog sticks and shoulder buttons? Perhaps more importantly, could a game successfully build upon the story and characters in the virtual world of Aincrad?

While newcomers are provided with a brief story catch-up to get up to speed, the truth is that Re: Hollow Fragment is a game for existing fans of SAO. However, fans should realise that this is a “what if” scenario instead of a continuation of the existing storyline, as the game diverges from the end of the first story arc in Aincrad. **Sword Art Online spoiler warning** Instead of finding freedom after defeating Heathcliff on floor 74, Kirito and the remaining players remain trapped in Sword Art Online. Their new goal is to clear the remaining 25 floors of Aincrad in hopes of truly escaping the game. Meanwhile, Kirito also discovers a mysterious new zone called the Hollow Area. Providing new challenges to best and weapons to earn, it acts as a new subplot for players to explore.

Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment Review | One Switch too far?

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Submerged Review - Floating through the final flood

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
PC games, PS4 games, Submerged, Uppercut Games, Xbox One Games

Submerged Review - Floating through the final flood

You would think that after Journey's success there would have been a wave of titles hoping to provide an experience away from the traditional game. But games with an emphasis on exploring over defeating enemies or high scores continue to be a rare occurrence on consoles. Enter Uppercut Games, who have crafted something they hope will stay in your thoughts long after those credits roll.

Submerged has two storylines for you to discover. The first one at the forefront of the game begins by showing a boat wash 'ashore' alongside a building in a flooded city that sees only the tallest buildings reach for a place above the water. A young girl carrying a smaller boy disembarks and makes her way towards a temple-like structure laying him down near a font that could be as much an alter as it could be a birdbath. There's no talking, no explanation of why you're there, or how long you've been at sea but as the game plays out, things become a little clearer as details are salvaged from the city whose sidewalks now pave the ocean floor. Much is left for the player to imagine, but Uppercut Games feed you just the right amount of information for you to come away with your own understanding of what has happened.

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3D Streets of Rage II Review | Added depth for a true classic

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
3D Streets of Rage II, 3DS Games, Games reviews, M2, Nintendo 3DS games, Nintendo eShop, Sega

3D Streets of Rage II Review | Added depth for a true classic

In my younger years my brawler of choice was Double Dragon II, but that was mainly because I didn’t get a Mega Drive until much later on. That's not to say I didn’t sample the delights of Streets of Rage, though. I remember playing it for the first time round a friend’s house, co-op’ing our way to victory by smashing thugs with our virtual fists of fury. However, as good as SoR I was, the defining entry was clearly Streets of Rage II thanks to its more varied enemies, brand new special moves, and differing boss fights.

With Sega having already given the first game a 3D makeover, along with other classics like Thunder Blade and Outrun, there have been many brawler fans waiting for 3D Streets of Rage II to make its glorious return. The good news is that the wait has been absolutely worth it, and the 3DS version not only adds depth in terms of its visuals, but in its accessibility and longevity too.

3D Streets of Rage II Review | Added depth for a true classic

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i-eX Bean Bag Gaming Chair Review

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
gaming chairs, i-eX Bean Bag Gaming Chair

i-eX Bean Bag Gaming Chair Review

Physical comfort is an important part of gaming. Let's face it, sometimes a game just pulls you in for hours. Chances are, many of you want to lose yourself for a day in the likes of The Witcher III or Batman: Arkham Knight. Is your sofa/bed the most comfortable place still for lengthy sessions? With Fallout 4 thundering towards us, you're going to want to find the right seat.

Let me present the i-eX Bean Bag Gaming Chair. This faux-leather beast is much more gamer-friendly than your usual bean-bags (that attempt to swallow you whole) thanks to the addition of back support. There isn't a rigid component, it's more of a change to the shape of the bag that provides something similar to a racing car's bucket seat (but with the comfort of a bean bag).

The bag itself is roughly three quarters full of polystyrene 'beans' and they're poured into a separate internal zipped layer with another zip hidden underneath the seat, so you're not accidentally going to spill the beans any time soon.

Click here to read the rest of my review.

Game of Thrones Episode 5: A Nest of Vipers Review | Family ties

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Adventure Games, Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series, Game reviews, PC games, PS3 games, PS4 games, Telltale Games, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One

Game of Thrones Episode 5: A Nest of Vipers Review | Family ties

My sincerest apologies for the lateness of this review, but as I was on holiday during its release I’ve only just gotten round to reviewing it. Anyway, here’s the usual housekeeping – if you’ve missed our other reviews, you can get up to speed by reading them here: Episode 1: Iron From Ice, Episode Two: The Lost Lords, Episode 3: The Sword In The Darkness, and Episode 4: Sons of Winter. As always with our episodic reviews, our score will be published once the season is finished, reflecting the game as a whole.

While the action begins in a rather tense fashion (which in understandable given the ending to episode 4) the linearity of proceedings early on take away any true feeling of choice. This is yet another example of how the established timeline of the show disrupts anything that could happen in the game, but thankfully once we get past the first chapter the narrative opens up by diverging into uncharted waters. If Episode 4 set up the board for the final charge, Episode 5 pushes them past the point of no return, as it is made very clear that it is now all or nothing for House Forester.

Game of Thrones Episode 5: A Nest of Vipers Review | Family ties

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Life is Strange Episode 4 - Darkroom Review

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
DONTNOD Entertainment, interactive drama, Life Is Strange, PC games, PS4 games, Xbox One Games

Life is Strange Episode 4 - Darkroom Review

Coming in late? Be sure to check out my spoiler-free reviews of Episode 1, Episode 2 and Episode 3.

Life is Strange is becoming known for killer WTF endings to each episodes, making that damn six week gap between episodes absolutely excruciating. Don't worry I'm keeping up the habit of not giving away any past plot events for those of you waiting for the season to wrap up before diving in, Netflix-style.

The opening section of Episode 4 is a radical departure for the story given the ending of the last entry. Max's whole reality is seen from a new point of view. There are new entries in her SMS log, a new group of friends and her relationship with Chloe has transformed.

Life is Strange Episode 4 - Darkroom Review

Expect to sit back and listen to a lot of dialogue for the first hour in a scene that goes on a bit too long without much meaningful player interaction. Don't worry though, the narrative sucker punches you without warning before you get too impatient.

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God of War III: Remastered Review - Excellent/Pointless

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Action Games, God of War III: Remastered, Kratos, PS4 games

God of War III: Remastered Review - Excellent/Pointless

God of War III is still an excellent title in the action genre pantheon. Having played through the HD makeovers of the original two games earlier this year, I was well placed to get stuck into God of War III again and it's aged wonderfully over the last five years.

If you enjoyed God of War 1 and 2 on PS2, but found yourself picking up an Xbox 360 over a PS3 last-gen (thus missing out on God of War III), you'll certainly want to take a look at this remastered edition if you now own a PS4. This is a grand finale to the main trilogy that any action fan deserves to experience and there are certainly cases to be made that GoWIII is the best entry to the series.

God of War III: Remastered Review - Excellent/Pointless

For anyone with a PS3 who didn't get around to playing the game, you too may want to consider this polished version at some point. Owners of the original will want to listen up now too. As you may have gathered by this review's title, there really isn't much here to encourage a second purchase.

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Godzilla Review | An unnatural disaster

Author:
BuzzDuraband
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Godzilla, PS3 games, PS4 games

Godzilla Review | An unnatural disaster

It has to be worrying for a game developer wanting to create a game based around the classic 1954 creation Godzilla. I mean where exactly can you go with it, surely there is only a limited amount of content you can include into a title of this nature? Whilst playing this year's entry to the Godzilla series I desperately wanted to find reminiscent similarities to the 1991 SNK release King of Monsters.

Did that happen? Let's find out.

Upon launching Godzilla, you make your way to the title screen where you immediately find yourself thrown into a tutorial with the simple instructions to make your way forward to a TV tower visible just ahead of you, with the simple objective to destroy any buildings in your path. The tutorial is short and simple but manages to cover all the basics such as movement and the various attacks Godzilla is capable of without becoming tedious. Questionably, the turn left and turn right movement have been assigned to the L1 and R1 controller buttons, immediately causing concerns due to the many years of experience with the left analogue acting as my movement tool.

Godzilla Review | An unnatural disaster

Completion of the tutorial then takes us back to the title screen where several different game modes are now presented to us, including: God of Destruction, King of Kaiju, VS mode. Evolution Mode and Diorama mode. Of course naturally, I headed straight into the God of Destruction mode, not only due to the obvious fact it was Godzilla's story mode, but it sounded quite bad ass and I wanted a piece of that action.

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Tembo the Badass Elephant Review | Dumbo Meets Rambo

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Game Freak, PC games, Platform games, PS4 games, Tembo The Badass Elephant, Xbox One Games

Tembo the Badass Elephant Review | Dumbo Meets Rambo

Game Freak (of Pokémon fame) have developed this stampeding platformer under Sega's gaze, and it would seem they've opted for an unlikely platform hero in the shape of an elephant in order to bring the classic platformer back. Seeing as Sonic's now the Reek to Mario's Ramsay Snow, I was certainly willing to give Tembo a shot.

A new controller may well be on your shopping list soon if you're planning on getting through Tembo the Badass Elephant though. This retro 2D platformer is one of those games I like to refer to as Bastard Hard. I've called it much worse over the last few days, but I'm probably not allowed to print such tirades.

Tembo the Badass Elephant Review | Dumbo Meets Rambo

There's a war going on and Tembo is a Rambo-esque elephant veteran coming out of retirement to take on the Phantom forces, a bunch of baddies who wear a lot of purple while firing grenades and fireballs or they buzz around in tanks, choppers and jetpacks.

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F1 2015 Review | Let's torque about this new direction

Author:
BuzzDuraband
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Codemasters, F1 2015, PC games, PS4 games, Xbox One Games

F1 2015 Review | Let's torque about this new direction

Players of the previous entries to the F1 games are clearly going to find themselves asking a few questions. Where is the career mode? In fact, where are the sprint seasons, challenge modes and classic cars? More importantly, why does F1 2015 feel so stripped down? Here's the million dollar question though - is F1 2015 the much needed reboot that Codemasters needed for their racing franchise?

The answer is that F1 2015 is quite clearly a foundation for Codemasters to build on, to bring us a more successful, immersive and graphically stunning Formula 1 racing title for many years to come.

F1 2015 Review | Let's torque about this new direction

It's quite overt from the start that Codemasters intended to create a balanced Formula 1 experience that gamers of all levels could enjoy, somehow managing to perfectly mix the feel of successful high speed circuit racing with a realism for both novice and hardcore F1 racers. The visuals are gorgeous with greatly improved lightening, weather effects and detailed tracks and cars over previous years. Running at an impressive 1080p and 60fps for the first time in the series, F1 2015 feels fast and it feels so real.

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The Secret World: Issue #11 - Reaping The Whirlwind Review | Endgame

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
DLC, EA, Expansion, funcom, MMORPG, PC games, Puzzle games, Survival Horror

The Secret World: Issue #11 - Reaping The Whirlwind Review | Endgame

I love The Secret World.

If you're a regular, chances are you already know that. I've written article after article, update after update, in an attempt to shine the spotlight on what I'd consider to be the best MMORPG on the market and an exceptional game that dared to do something revolutionary. After three years of waiting, the very last piece of the puzzle has released and the first major story arc has come to a close.

So it's fitting that my final review for Dealspwn.com is the final DLC pack for one of my favourite games. And immensely pleasing that Issue #11: Reaping The Whirlwind is one of the most extraordinary MMO expansions I've ever played.

The Secret World: Issue #11 - Reaping The Whirlwind Review | Endgame

Issue #9 introduced us to Tokyo and its sinister filthy inhabitants. Issue #10 let us meet the cult and the man behind the bomb that changed everything. Issue #11 finally lets us assault the Orochi Tower to put an end to... her... schemes and get some answers. Of course, seeing as this is The Secret World, there'll be a few questions too.

Just in case you're interested, Funcom gave us a guided tour of Issue 11 before launch, which contains sweet flowing wisdom and major spoilers.

My wisdom flows so sweet. Taste and see >>

The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited Review | A Revolutionary Compromise

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
MMORPG, PC games, PS4 games, RPG, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, Xbox One Games

The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited Review | A Revolutionary Compromise

The Elder Scrolls Online is a contradiction in terms. Even its title makes no sense. Massive multiplayer tacked on to the singleplayer RPG gold standard, a confused compromise between two radically different genres.

Last year it didn't work. Now, after a major rethink and a new pricing model, it does.

Tamriel Unlimited has no subscription and a massive amount of improved content, but just as importantly it's available on PS4 and Xbox One. Though it pales next to the biggest MMORPGs on PC, it feels revolutionary on consoles.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited Review | A Revolutionary Compromise

Set hundreds of years before Skyrim, Tamriel Unlimited takes place in the middle of a huge war. Three implausible factions vie to put their emperor on the throne of Cyrodiil, all while the sinister Daedric prince Molag Bal attempts to take over the entire plane of existence. As a victim of his sinister plot, you'll escape the chilling Coldharbour dimension and attempt to save the world while exploring Tamriel itself.

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Vector Thrust Review | Too Early For Missiles

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Flight Simulator, Games reviews, Iceberg Interactive, PC games, Vector Thrust

Vector Thrust!

Even its name is awesome.  As a cel-shaded combat flight sim that plays like a slightly more authentic Ace Combat, boasting 260 aircraft and a huge number of modes, this one-man effort fills a void that's been cruelly ignored over the last few years. Arcade dogfighting. Beyond a couple of Ace Combat spinoffs and a few Sci-Fi efforts, we've had little to celebrate until now.

So naturally I jumped at the opportunity to review Vector Thrust as soon as it graduated from Steam Early Access to full release, being a huge fan of the genre and small-team boutique development. Sadly, it turns out that the celebrations are a tad premature, because what could have been a great combat flight sim launched far too early.

Vector Thrust Review | Too Early For Missiles

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Mega Coin Squad Review | I was only one coin short

Author:
BuzzDuraband
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Adult Swim Games, Big Pixel Studios, Mega Coin Squad, Platformers, Xbox One Games

Mega Coin Squad Review | I was only one coin short

Retro is cool again. Mega Coin Squad defines that in a nutshell. It's a retro style platformer presented with old-school graphics combined with the faithful platforming genre.

On paper Mega Coin Squad is straightforward: jump around, collect coins, shoot enemies and don't die.

MCS offers us one of five available characters to choose from, each with different attributes awarding certain advantage gains over speed, acceleration, weight and power. It was instantly apparent from the character selection screen that Mega Coin Squad is heavily influenced by Super Mario Bros.

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Steins;Gate El Psy Kongroo Edition Review | Class Act

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
PS Vita games, PS3 games, Steins;Gate, Steins;Gate El Psy Kongroo Edition

Steins;Gate El Psy Kongroo Edition Review | Class Act

"The definitive version of a true modern classic. Steins;Gate presents a truly captivating and uncompromising storyline with exquisite characters, powerful themes and often heartbreaking choices to make."

"It's a beautiful, essential thing." - 10/10 review

What more can I say about Steins;Gate? It's a true modern classic, not just as a videogame or visual novel, but as a work of fiction and a story for the ages regardless of medium. The recent PlayStation Vita and PS3 release delivers the definitive version of this latter-day gem... except that, for true fans, it doesn't.

GAME briefly offered a special edition containing an art book, but Rice Digital are exclusively selling the El Psy Kongroo Edition, which contains a Metal Upa collectible and two pins in a presentation case as well as the aforementioned special edition in its entirety. They kindly sent us a copy to review, and I'm delighted to report that it's one of the most brilliantly-conceived and highly desirable special editions I've ever had the pleasure of covering.

Steins;Gate El Psy Kongroo Edition Review | Class Act

Like the game itself, it's a class act, containing gorgeous replicas that actually mean something rather than the overblown, gaudy and ultimately meaningless nonsense that we're used to from most collector's editions.

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