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Review: Zone of the Enders HD
By: | November 14th, 2012

When the original Zone of the Enders was released on PS2, many people referred to it as the “Metal Gear Solid 2 demo with the free game.” Fortunately, while that was the primary reason I picked it up, ZOE ended up being a surprisingly quality game.

Years later, Zone of the Enders 2 proved to trump the sequel in pretty much every way possible. The recently released Zone of the Enders HD contains both of these classics, and not much else — so as you can imagine, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Read more… »

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Review: Halo 4
By: | November 9th, 2012

Halo 4 has some big shoes to fill. Not only is it the first numbered iteration in some time, but it’s also 343 Industries’ first fully fledged title after Bungie left Microsoft.

As expected, many people worried whether or not this new team would do the series justice. But despite my initial reservations, I have to say, this is the most fun I’ve had in the Halo universe since Halo 2.

Read more… »

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Review: Assassin’s Creed III
By: | November 5th, 2012

The Assassin’s Creed series has been polarizing over the years. People have both criticized and lauded the automatic free running system, the counter-based combat mechanic, and the sci-fi/historical setting.

Now, we’re all set to visit Boston and New York, and relive one of the biggest moments in American history — understandably, it has some big shoes to fill.

While the third main iteration is more of the same quality we can expect from the franchise, it isn’t going to do much for anyone who wasn’t already enamored by it.

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Need for Speed has been through a lot in previous years. It went from pretty much the only off-the-walls racing experience, to non-relevant, to relevant again. Now in 2012, we’re contemplating whether or not the newest iteration will surprise everyone and take back racing games: thankfully Criterion is there to back up EA.

With the crew from Burnout Paradise in tow, the sky is the limit for Need for Speed Most Wanted, as it seeks to topple Paradise‘s open world crown. Read more… »

Dark Souls, how much do I love thee? Let me count the ways: the way you bash me into oblivion, swallow me whole, suck me into the endless abyss, and…wait.

Now that I think about it, this is a pretty one sided relationship. Still, I just can’t get enough, and now it’s time to dive right back in with Artorias of the Abyss, a new $15 DLC pack that’s sold piecemeal on consoles (but comes standard in the PC version of the game).

Despite all its transgressions, I’m pleased to say: it’s more Dark Souls. And that’s a great thing. Read more… »

The first Season Pass incorporated DLC has arrived for Borderlands 2, and it stars…pirates. You know — yo ho ho, swashbuckling, rum, Johnny Depp and all that?

The star of our show this time around is Scarlett. Captain Scarlett, to be precise, and she leaves hardly a dull moment during the add-on. She’s an enigmatic, back-stabbing pirate who constantly reminds you that she may or may not backstab you during the course of the DLC.

Right away you can probably tell that a lot of the trademark humor from Borderlands 2 — thankfully, most of the other stuff translates, too. Read more… »

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Review: FIFA Soccer 13
By: | October 19th, 2012

One of the key elements of the FIFA series has always been iterative improvements. Taking the core gameplay elements and making tweaks to them – but always with realism in mind.

FIFA Soccer 13 is no different this year: but the series may be in need of something new and fresh in the coming years to keep an upgrade relevant. Read more… »

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Review: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
By: | October 13th, 2012

Although I was never a diehard X-COM fan (yes, there was a hyphen at some point!), I heartily enjoyed most of the games in the franchise, particularly the few in the early-mid 90s. What made the games so special was the fact that they combined both action strategy and resource management into one beautiful, tough-as-nails marriage. Well, now the time has finally come for the franchise to grace the console generation — and I have to say, I like what I see.

There’s really no other way to put this – XCOM: Enemy Unknown is one of the best games I’ve played all year.

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Review: Code of Princess
By: | October 11th, 2012

When Guardian Heroes hit the market in 1996, the gaming world shook. Never before had the genre seen such a detailed mix of beat’ em up action and RPG elements. It drew in crowds that weren’t even fans of beat ‘em ups like Double Dragon that came years before it — that’s how much power it had.

Fast forward to 2012 — a number of developers who worked on Guardian Heroes are now poised to release Code of Princess, a press-dubbed “spiritual sucessor” to Guardian Heroes. As is the case with anything that has to live up to a ton of hype and legacy, this really could have gone either way for them. Fortunately for fans, I’m pleased to say that you won’t be disappointed.

Bottom line: if you like beat ‘em ups with a solid side of quirk, Code of Princess is a must have, despite some niggling issues.

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Retro City Rampage is beyond crazy.

In the first five minutes of the game, I re-created the opening scene from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, I did battle with all four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and I procured commando training from Solid Snake.

Again, that was the first five minutes. There’s much more craziness to be had for hours beyond that.

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Review: Fable: The Journey
By: | October 9th, 2012

At an infamous press event at E3, Peter Molyneux repeatedly told his audience that Fable: The Journey would not be a simple on-rails experience, and would present a unique viewpoint into the world of adventure gaming on the Kinect. Right.

I’m here to tell you, right now, before you drop your hard earned cash on it, that it is on rails. And that’s not the worst thing about it. Read more… »

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Review: Dishonored
By: | October 7th, 2012

Stealth games are often hit or miss. In my opinion, the best stealth experiences are the ones that give you more options than you could possibly want to dispose of your enemies, which leads to some particularly crafty and devious play — something right up a ninja or assassin junkie’s alley. It’s why Tenchu has always been one of my favorite franchises of all time — diversity is key.

Dishonored seeks to mix things up with something a bit different – psychic powers, swords, all draped over a kinda-sorta-steampunk veneer. Surprisingly, it mostly works. Mostly. Read more… »