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Many arena games have come and went across a multitude of platforms. Although hardcore fans of the genre will find plenty of intricacies to soak up over the course of many months, the problem with a number of them is the fact that casual fans have nothing to do outside of multiplayer.

Although TowerFall: Ascension doesn’t have online capabilities, it still has plenty of legs even if you’re going at it alone. Oh, and it’s also a damn good arena game. Read more… »

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Review: Bravely Default
By: | January 28th, 2014

Somewhere along the line, Final Fantasy partially lost its way. It strayed too far from the conventions that really made the franchise special, and with every spinoff, the series was further diluted just a bit. At every turn Square Enix attempted to reinvent the wheel for Final Fantasy XIII, but sometimes, it’s best to just expand upon the fundamentals.

That’s what Bravely Default does. It has a few modern conveniences like the ability to eliminate random battles and adjust the difficulty setting on the fly, but it’s still very much an old school JRPG. And I love it for that. Read more… »

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Review: Nidhogg
By: | January 16th, 2014

Arena games seem to be a popular genre among indie studios these days. With titles like Samurai Gunn and Towerfall popping up and getting tons of buzz, the trippy looking Nidhogg has probably flown past more than a few radars.

But Nidhogg doesn’t only sport a unique visual style — it also has an interesting mechanic that centers around a deadly game of tug of war. It’s also one of the best competitive games on Steam right now.
Read more… »

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Review: Stick it to the Man
By: | December 15th, 2013

It’s not every day you see a game centered almost wholly around comedy. Although the Monkey Island games practically solidified a new sub-genre of adventure games, there aren’t a whole lot of laugh-centric titles that hit the market these days.

While Stick it to the Man may have one of the strangest titles I’ve ever seen and some questionable design choices, it still offers up a barrel of laughs, and then some.

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Review: Forza Motorsport 5
By: | December 10th, 2013

There are quite a few racing games out in the market, but hardly any of them cater towards new fans of the genre. For every short tutorial there’s an advanced mechanic that involves some slight tweak to each car that allows it to go faster then ever before.

It’s a lot for the general public to take in, which is why I’ve always commended the Forza series for taking strides to make things easier. Forza 5 is no exception, and barring a few missteps, it’s one of the most accessible racing games ever made.

Read more… »

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Review: Tearaway
By: | December 7th, 2013

I don’t know what it is about Media Molecule, and their ability to craft some of the most endearing worlds ever created. Despite my minor issues with LittleBigPlanet, I didn’t stop playing for months [years] on end, because I couldn’t get enough of Sackboy and his universe.

In that same vein, Molecule’s Tearaway is an absolutely lovely game. I just wish there was more of it. Read more… »

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Review: Super Motherload
By: | December 7th, 2013

Digging games are truly a unique genre. They provide a sense of wonder and despair that’s hardly found in other titles, and the addicting nature of wanting to find out “what’s at the bottom” is practically unparalleled. Although the PC platform is filled to the brim with them, they hardly ever travel over to the console side — and never at the launch of a new system. But here we are with Super Motherload on the PlayStation 4, with four player co-op nonetheless.

But while Super Motherload gets so much right, a host of design issues and a general lack of pacing bring it down a bit.
Read more… »

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Review: Battlefield 4
By: | November 4th, 2013

Battlefield 1942 is still my favorite entry in the Battlefield series. It pretty much blew away my expectations for an FPS game at the time, and even today, it still blows me away at how it was technically possible. Many Battlefield games have attempted to recreate the success of 1942, with some failures, and some success.

While I wasn’t that impressed with last year’s attempt in the form of Battlefield 3, I can safely say that I’m enjoying 4 quite a bit more. Read more… »

Assassin’s Creed is a rather polarizing series. With elements of historical context and modern day sci-fi wizardry, the juxtaposition can be a bit much for some. When you combine that with elements of freerunning and perhaps a bit too much intrigue for one person to handle, and you have one rather large pair of shoes to fill.

But for what they are, I heavily enjoy the Assassin’s Creed games, mostly because they offer up sprawling, interesting worlds to explore, with compelling characters to boot — the newest iteration, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is no exception. By the time I arrived at the finale I had encountered a few issues that hampered the experience, but overall I have to say, Black Flag is one of the best pirate simulators of all time.

It’s also a damn good Assassin’s Creed game. Read more… »

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Review: Batman: Arkham Origins
By: | October 28th, 2013

Arkham Asylum and City were among my favorite games during the respective years of their release. They were simple, fun, and provided a great look into the twisted world of Batman and the various facets of his psyche in the form of the each game’s villains. But when a developer change came to light, and the third game in the trilogy, Batman: Arkham Origins,  was ousted as a prequel, doubts started to fill the air of this once bullet-proof franchise.

It turns out some of those sneaking suspicious have come to fruition. In the end, Origins merely feels like an expansion pack for City, with a healthy dose of wasted potential. Read more… »

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Review: Pokemon X & Y
By: | October 21st, 2013

We’ve seen a lot of Pokemon games come and go in the last 16 years, but most of them haven’t been as drastically different as their predecessors. Alongside of the sprite based models and the 8-bit tunes, most Pokemon games tend to feel the same, for better or for worse. But Pokemon X and Y is the first to real attempt to move away from sprites in favor of fully 3D models, with an orchestral soundtrack and a few other major changes in tow.

Although it may have a few minor technical missteps along the way, Pokemon X & Y shakes up the franchise mostly for the better. Read more… »

Telltale is at its highest point yet creatively, having just come off of one of the most successful indie stories of all time — The Walking Dead. No I’m not talking about the bloated Activision shooter, or the over-produced television series that fell off after the first season. I’m talking about a humble game that came along, took the world by storm, and showed the videogame industry that you don’t need a million and one polygons to tell a realistic, emotionally gripping story.

With expectations at an all time high, Telltale is now unleashing their newest series into the wild, which serves as a prequel to the Fables comic series in the form of the five episode long series The Wolf Among Us. Read more… »