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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… »

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Review: Resident Evil 6
By: | October 4th, 2012

Resident Evil has had a number of ups and downs ever since its debut in 1996. Considering the amount of side-stories, spin-offs, and lackluster (in the eyes of the public at least) titles introduced over the years, it’s safe to assume that a lot of gamers are skeptical of Capcom’s movement farther into action territory.

Capcom attempts to quell these fears with a mix of both action and horror, but the mixture is fairly volatile. Read more… »

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Review: Borderlands 2
By: | September 18th, 2012

I was not a fan of the first Borderlands. That fact will be highly evident in the following review, as I attempt to explain how Gearbox has one-upped themselves in just about every imaginable way.

For starters, Borderlands 2 is able to present a world that you actually care about. It’s not just a playground or a tech-demo for a role playing shooter — it’s a world worth visiting, re-visiting, and re-re-visiting until your head explodes. Read more… »

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Review: NHL 13
By: | September 12th, 2012

With the NHL in lockout one can’t help but wonder what this will mean for the EA Sports NHL franchise. During the last lockout, NHL 05 saw a drastic drop in sales numbers year over year. However, NHL 05 wasn’t really that great of a step above NHL 04.

Thankfully, NHL 13 is not only a solid title, but will surely keep you transfixed throughout the season – or lack thereof. It isn’t without its issues though so you may want to stick around before running out and hitting the ice. Read more… »

Games based on movies, comic books, television series, etc. are hit and miss. It doesn’t help their ratings much that they suffer more scrutiny from fans quick to denounce anything that may stray from the spirit of the original. Yet despite this uphill battle, the Ghostbusters franchise found itself in the hit category in 2009, with a 3rd person shooter from Atari (Wii version not withstanding). We gave it a 9.

Three years later, XMG Studio has tried to recapture some of that success with a new title for the iOS – Ghostbusters Paranormal Blast. However, it struggles more than Ray trying to wrangle Slimer into a ghost trap.

Read more… »

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Review: Rock Band Blitz
By: | September 4th, 2012

Harmonix once again is attempting to win your heart over through a rhythm based game, fully set on magical roads of music, power-ups, and high scores.

No, this is not a rip-off of Audiosurf — this is from the developers of Amplitude and Frequency: games that pre-date Audiosurf by about five years.

This is Rock Band Blitz: a brand new game that cleverly trumps just about every controlled based rhythm game in the best decade.  Read more… »

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Review: Retro/Grade
By: | August 27th, 2012

A great deal has changed for the rhythm genre over the past decade. After experiencing a period of outrageous boom, things have been moving rather decidedly in the opposite direction for the past few years. A precipitous drop-off occurred in 2009, when the market reached the point of saturation, things have plodded along since but few releases have managed to capture community’s imagination, much less steal Guitar Hero‘s crown.

From that seemingly exhausted soil, however, emerges a PlayStation Network exclusive that is certain to provide a breath of fresh air for a genre that has become a tad stagnant. So, dust off those plastic guitars and read on to find out more Retro/Grade, a game that blurs the lines between music games and shmups to provide one of the standout PSN releases of the summer.

Read more… »

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Review: Madden NFL 13
By: | August 24th, 2012

Fans are some of the most intense, passionate, and critical members in sports society. The amount of hatred and distaste that can result from a bad season is enough for any fan to want to give up. But despite all of that, all seems to be forgiven as hopes are at their highest come the next season. That simple glimpse of what could be always makes fans come back. Sports games fans are no different.

Each year for the past 24 years a new Madden game has been released. As a die-hard Eagles fan and someone who has played nearly every one of those Madden games, I can tell you that I do not fall outside of these aforementioned fans. Hope is highest right at this moment – each and every year. For some, all hope is lost following that moment. But for others, hope remains stagnant. This is simply due to a difference in one’s expectations of what is to come. And it is my sincere pleasure to tell you that regardless of how high your expectations of Madden NFL 13 might be at this very moment, hope will not be lost this year.

But, there are of course those few outliers who just live to hate. Those of you can click that big X button in the upper right corner of your screen – or upper left you silly Mac users you. The rest, enjoy what follows after the break.

Read more… »

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Review: Darksiders II
By: | August 20th, 2012

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Darksiders. There was no real sense of progression, no New Game+, no real reason to come back, and most of all, I felt like it borrowed a bit too much from its source material.

Although people are quick to compare the franchise to Zelda, I think Soul Reaver is a better fit: especially given the more ethereal nature of both stories. Still, despite borrowing from a few of my favorite franchises, it was a bit too similar to really make a mark on me.

Thankfully, Darksiders II improves upon the first game, all while forging its own identity.

Read more… »

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Review: Wreckateer
By: | August 14th, 2012

Kinect games are always a sticky wicket from the time of announcement until review time. At first glance, it’s easy to relegate them into the arena of gimmickry, and assume that like many other games of its kind, the controls “just won’t work.”

Although there have been examples of horrid motion control design on the 360 (Steel Batallion immediately comes to mind), there are a number of developers who do it right (Gunstringer). Wreckateer is included in the pantheon of positive motion design, but as for the game itself, what you see is basically what you get. Read more… »

Dust has been flying under the radar quite considerably for the past few years. Intiially slated to be an Xbox Live Indie title, it was eventually slated to be an Xbox Live release in 2011, only to be delayed into the Summer of Arcade in 2012.

Considering I had relegated it to “that one game with animals in it”, I was utterly shocked at how great Dust really was. Essentially created by a one man studio, Dust outshines nearly every other major studio action platformer on the Xbox Live Arcade: and then some. Read more… »

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Review: NCAA Football 13
By: | August 9th, 2012

The NCAA Football franchise has always been a shining example of how yearly iterations of sports games works and works well. One of the top reasons why this was the case was its consistency in innovation. But, as you will notice, the past tense was used here.

NCAA Football 13 fails to do what it always did best. Instead, EA Sports has played it safe this year and brought very little to the table to make veteran players even slightly interested. If you are a newcomer or have not checked out NCAA Football in years though, I’d keep reading. Read more… »