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Review: Dead Island Riptide
By: | April 22nd, 2013

If you were itching for an open world zombie game in 2011, Dead Island was just what the doctor ordered. It offered up a bloody four player co-op experience in a market that wasn’t quite over-saturated with similar experiences, and it soared commercially for it.

But the zombie-fest also came with a price: it had a heap of technical issues, game breaking glitches, and to some, a general lack of polish and heart that caused many players (myself included) to come away somewhat disappointed.

With all that said, I hope you liked Dead Island, as you’re basically just getting more of it. Read more… »

If you experienced Dishonored, you no doubt caught the catalyst for the protagonist’s entire adventure at the start of the game: the death of the beloved Empress of the The Empire of Isles. But who actually killed her? Why, none other than Daud — assassin extraordinaire, and man of dubious moral standing.

Well, you get to play as him in Knife of Dunwall — and it’s a ton of fun. Read more… »

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Review: Guacamelee
By: | April 9th, 2013

Most people are sold on a game the moment the phrase “Metroidvania” graces their ears. A tried and true formula, 2D open world games are still fully in demand, as it’s incredibly easy to screw them up, and they’re just as difficult to create.

But to simply call Guacamelee a Metroidvania and be done with it would be a disservice.

It’s a whole lot more than that . Read more… »

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Review: Tomb Raider
By: | April 4th, 2013

I was extremely skeptical of the new Tomb Raider reboot. As a massive fan of the earlier entries in the series, it would be hard to top the magic of Tomb Raider II, especially since everything we had seen of Tomb Raider so far made it look like an Uncharted knock off.

Well, it’s far from a knockoff.

In fact, it’s one of the best third person shooters of this generation. Read more… »

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity

What is Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity? A simple enough question. One answer is it’s the latest in the Mystery Dungeon series and the first one for the Nintendo 3DS. Another answer is that it’s a that mixes Pokémon with roguelike, dungeon-crawling mechanics.

But the bigger question that needs to be asked is: who is Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity for? I honestly can’t say. And I have a feeling that Spike Chunsoft can’t answer that either. Not having a clear audience in mind leaves the game  full of boring, repetitive gameplay that wastes the player’s time.

Read more… »

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Review: Bioshock Infinite
By: | March 28th, 2013

I had a number of problems with the original Bioshock. Barring the fact that it completely fell apart near the end, I didn’t really feel like Irrational delivered a truly unique experience once you were past the cool looking setting. Beyond the initial reveal of the underwater city of Rapture, I wasn’t really enamored by its cold, rusty Altanis-like veneer. A lot of areas felt too similar, and combat was a bit too basic.

Bioshock Infinite, on the other hand, casts its own shadow on other games in the genre — aesthetically, and otherwise. It’s the real deal. Read more… »

LEGO City Undercover might be the most ambitious LEGO game yet. Not only does it promise an open world adventure, but it also wants to win over your heart and mind with its eccentric action movie references that appeal to an older crowd, and full Wii U GamePad support.

While it doesn’t totally deliver on any of these fronts, it builds a great compromise. Read more… »

At face value, God of War: Ascension is a wholly unnecessary game. To be blunt, it’s a prequel to a prequel, and doesn’t really offer up anything new for the franchise outside of the multiplayer component. In that regard, people who have grown tired of the God of War formula will find nothing to sway them here.

Everyone else however, will find a solid bit of entertainment ripping apart hundreds of virtual abominations.

Read more… »

MercurySteam has come a long way. After fumbling the much hyped Clive Barker’s Jericho, they were given a new lease on life by Konami, and headed up the reboot of the Castlevania franchise, titled Lords of Shadow.

While it may have more in common with God of War than Castlevania, I found Lords of Shadow to be a serviceable addition to the series, with a compelling story that will captivate most fans.

Mirror of Fate is MercurySteam’s second go, this time opting to go 2D and try their hand at recreating the magic of the portable Castlevania games.

With a rather tall order in front of them, I’m pleased to say that like Lords of Shadow before it, they somewhat succeeded. Read more… »

Bit.Trip Runner was one of the biggest surprises ever on WiiWare. Although the previous Bit.Trip games were excellent, the abstract presentation really turned off a lot of mainstream gamers from enjoying the franchise. But Runner was different.

Runner presented people with a very familiar veneer — a game that looked like one of those countless “runner” games on mobile devices. But in actuality, it was more than that — it was still very much a Bit.Trip title — and in my opinion, it’s easily the best of the franchise.

So, the people have spoken, and we’re getting another Runner game — this time, with a much bigger budget, and with a lot more features.

Let’s see how it turned out. Read more… »

When Metal Gear Rising came across Platinum’s desk, there were already plans for the game in motion. It was originally supposed to tell the story of Raiden’s journey from Metal Gear Solid 2 to 4, and it even was initially thought up as a side story involving Snake’s arch-nemesis, Gray Fox.

But none of that initial plan came to fruition. Instead, an all new story and concept was formed, taking place after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4, directly tying into the events that concluded the game. Naturally, people were worried.

But I have to say: Platinum really knocked it out the park on this one. Read more… »

If you’re a fan of JRPGs, you probably know what to expect from the genre — a sprawling open world map, a rich engrossing story, and colorful characters. Of course, the dark side of JRPGs tends to rear its ugly head as well — long hours of tedious level grinding, difficulty spikes, and superfluous, pointless content.

Roughly translated, “Ni No Kuni” means “The Another World.” But it had another meaning for me. Not only was I whisked away to the wondrous world inside of the game, but it actually brought me to a world of wonder within myself. It was enough wonder, in fact, to make me completely forget about the dark side, and embrace all of the light this game had to offer. Read more… »