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Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams review

Is “cute” really the opposite of “punk”? Like up and down, black and white, and my mind should automatically connect “cute” and “punk” as natural antonyms? I asked myself that question multiple times as I retried a section in one of Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams’s difficult levels for the umpteenth time.

I mean, those two words describe the game fairly well. Colorful, charming, and cute. Uneven, deeply frustrating, and I guess, punk. Too bad the two aren’t in greater harmony. The game’s ”punk” flaws completely overshadow almost of its cuteness.

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The idea of selling a MOBA on a console is a fairly uphill battle. MOBA community members have played DotA for about seven years now on a PC, and such a drastic change could have drastic challenges for a development team.

Enter Guardians of Middle-earth — a console MOBA that strives to incorporate all of the potential fans who always wanted to play the genre, but never really could get into all of the advanced mechanics, or face the community. Read more… »

Hey, remember that Suda51 title we reported a while back? No? Well, it was more than a year ago so we won’t hold it against you.

Grasshopper Manufacture and Digital Reality have teamed up to deliver what they consider their interpretation of the “dark fantasy fairy tale” adding in a bit of interactive ”kamishibai”, or paper drama. Due to hit the XBox Live Arcade December 12, Black Knight Sword will be a platformer … a bloody platformer … a bloody platformer with that Suda51 twist most likely earning that M17+ ESRB rating.

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The critically and commercially acclaimed The Walking Dead games, developed by adventure veteran Telltale Games, previously available on XBLA, PSN, and PC, is getting a disc based version on December 4th.

So far, we have absolutely no details on the fourth and fifth episode, but I personally think this release will coincide with the delivery of the fifth and final episode of the collection. There’s no word on the pricing yet, but you can pick up each episode for $5 currently.

If the disc is going to retail for more than $25, hopefully it’ll come with some extras!

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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: Deadlight
By: | July 30th, 2012

While zombie games are a decidedly flooded market these days, one can’t help but recognize that the majority of them are fairly quality in nature.

TellTale’s The Walking Dead, the Left 4 Dead series, and many more have pushed the boundaries of their respective genres, and transcended the typical “post-apocalyptic” tropes that we’ve seen many times before.

Deadlight will no doubt draw comparisons to Limbo, Oddworld, Out of This World, Blackthorne, and any number of bleak, dark, platformers. The only problem is, Deadlight isn’t as good as any of these games. Read more… »

Tony Hawk is back: and this time, he doesn’t have a hokey plastic peripheral to hock to us. Activision is going back to it’s roots with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD, a current-gen amalgamation of the first two Tony Hawk games.

To be clear, this isn’t just simply a remake of the original two games. For better or for worse, this is a complete HD re-imagining from the ground up by Robomodo, the developer of the failed Tony Hawk Ride franchise, using the Unreal Engine 3. The real question is, does it stack up to the originals given the $15 asking price?

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Review: Spelunky (XBLA)
By: | July 12th, 2012

Spelunky is a game where death is permanent. Let me say that again — once you die, you start back at the beginning of the game. Death can come in all shapes and sizes — instant spike pit deaths, arrow traps, bat bites, piranha chomps, and Indiana Jones boulder splats.

Back in 2008, PC gamers could experience all this joy for free, but in 2012, Xbox Live has landed an HD remake with full multiplayer support, among many other extras. But are these upgrades worth the pricey $15 asking fee? Read more… »

No one is afraid of a “Jeffry”. Except of course, the great Jeffry McWild. Imagine a bulky, towering man with no shirt and fury in his eyes stomping his way toward you Mike Haggar style.: to be blunt, there is no way that encounter will end well. Luckily, Mr. McWild is relegated to the fictitious world of Virtua Fighter.

The latest installment, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, is a reprise that boasts better tuned fighting mechanics, among other enhancements that SEGA has been rolling out since 2007. For diehard VF fan, the game hits on all the high points. It’s those who are on the fence who need some convincing.

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Capitalizing on all the E3 hype, Valve announced the release date for the upcoming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. CS: GO will launch simultaneously on XBLA, PSN, PC, and Mac on August 21, 2012.

The original Counter-Stike came out almost 13 years ago, and this new release will feature new maps, characters, and weapons. It will also have updated versions of classic maps like “de_dust.” CS: GO will cost around $15 or 1600 Microsoft Monoply Money Dollar Points.

Warner Brothers has just announced that Guardians of Middle Earth, a MOBA style game, is now in development from Monolith Productions. It’s set to release on the Xbox 360 and PS3 later this year, and will feature 5v5 battles with various marquee characters from the lore. If you’re not familiar with the term MOBA, think DotA. The term MOBA itself is short for “Multiplayer Online Battle Arena”.

As hardcore Tolkien fans are aware of, there were very little actual magic users alive in the Third Age, so packing the game full of them might create an issue, and devalue the enjoyment of the game for some (like Lord of the Rings Conquest). Also, the prospect of Gollum potentially fighting Morgoth (Sauron’s boss) would be pretty absurd (and yet so awesome at the same time).

[Gamesradar]