Most Recent: Reviews

Mutant Mudds Super Challenge Review: Dirty Deeds


When one hears the word “bully,” the archetypal image that usually comes to mind is that of a hulking brute. A dimwitted, slack-jawed, pit-stained-t-shirt-wearing oaf that couldn’t tell what a rhombus is, let alone be able to spell it. Not often do you hear of the nerdy kid with glasses being the jerk in the bunch. But I tell you this – I got my ass kicked by this bespectacled geek more times than I would by any bully. And these were brutal beatings, causing me great pain, uncompromising fury, and the occasional tear. Cruelly mocking me with every blow. Unrelenting. But you know what? I was totally cool with it. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, Reviews, Top Story, Wii U | Tagged

Enter the Gungeon Review: A Few Steps Forward, More Steps Back


Strange though it may seem, in 2016, video games are an old medium. The various genres and mechanics of the medium have, over time, formed a kind of complex language that makes sense to those who are video game literate but is impenetrable to those who aren’t. Good guys are blue, bad guys are red. This is simple if you’ve played a few shooters, but is not immediately obvious. This creates a problem for the critic when describing a game’s mechanics: to some people, Red Dead Redemption is a simulation of the Old West in which you meet with people who need tasks doing; to others, it’s GTA with horses.

Enter the Gungeon is a top-down, twin-stick shooter in which you explore procedurally generated dungeon floors armed with weapons, bombs, keys, and a special item. You fight your way through each floor looking for shops and item rooms to arm yourself for the boss fight that allows you to move down to the next floor of the dungeon. It’s usually best to avoid comparisons, but if this description reminds you of The Binding of Isaac, then you’re on the right track. (more…)

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Salt and Sanctuary Review: Derivative, But Who’s Complaining?


It is often said that imitation is the highest form of flattery. If this is true, the folks at From Software must be fanning themselves like a Victorian lady in search of a fainting couch, because Salt and Sanctuary is an unashamed imitation of Dark Souls. In fact, licensing aside, it essentially is a Souls game. Of course, Salt and Sanctuary is not the first game to copy the formula established by From Software, but where others have become mired in being too much like Dark Souls, Salt and Sanctuary strikes out in new, interesting directions and successfully transposes the Souls style onto a 2D action-platformer. (more…)

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Dreii Review: Puzzling, But Not In a Good Way


I first got word of Dreii a couple of months ago and I’ve been quite frankly jazzed about it ever since. A physics-based puzzle game! With Journey-style invisible matchmaking and limited communication! And that art style! Dreii almost seemed like it was designed just for me. It pains me to report then that, in spite of all of these things, Dreii is mired in an indecisiveness about what it wants its puzzles to be that makes it at best, boring, and at worst, infuriating. (more…)

Posted in PC, PS4, Reviews, Top Story, Vita | Tagged

Catlateral Damage Review: An A-Meow-Zing Experience!


It’s no secret that I adore cats. I’ve owned cats, loved cats, and am actively looking to adopt a new cat. I have cats on everything, from t-shirts to totebags to cat-butt magnets. Because I don’t own any actual cats right now, my friends refer to me as the “catless cat lady.” So it should be no surprise that, the first time I saw Catlateral Damage, I knew it was a game I was going to love. (more…)

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Hitman: Intro Pack Review: For Better or Worse, the Same Old Hitman


As long as I have been playing the Hitman games, I have always been struck by the strange dissonance between the way the series is marketed and the way it actually plays. In adverts, cutscenes, and promotional art, Hitman games are always presented as offering a power fantasy in which you play as a globetrotting, sharply-dressed, dual pistol-wielding assassin. This is strange because, as anyone who has played a Hitman game will tell you, the games are actually much more about dressing as an engineer and rigging an oven to explode, or disguising yourself as a waiter and spiking your target’s drink with a laxative so that you can murder them in the privacy of the bathroom. This pattern holds for IO Interactive’s new entry in the Hitman series, and, for fans at least, this is good news. Even if this game is something of a known quantity, it does still manage to deliver that same incredibly cool feeling that comes with watching a chandelier “accidentally” fall on your target and walking out without anyone suspecting foul play. (more…)

Posted in PC, PS4, Reviews, Top Story, Xbox One | Tagged

Broforce Review: A Geri-Action-Packed Shooter


At first glance, Broforce seems to be an incredibly simple game. In each level, you run from left to right until you reach the end, killing any enemies who get in your way, with the occasional necessary exception of killing a boss before you can leave the level. While this might sound like a rather stagnant formula, Broforce, with its large roster of characters, emergent chaos, and four-player co-op, is designed to constantly descend into the kind of explosive mayhem that was so much fun in the action movies that the game borrows so liberally from. (more…)

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Street Fighter V Review: Here Comes A (Mostly) New Challenger


In 1991, my friends and I habitually visited Fielder’s Choice, a sports card shop in the Chicagoland area. There, we bought and traded cards with fellow card aficionados. My poison of choice were the baseball cards from Topps. I even think I still have my Roberto Alomar Desert Shield card still laying around somewhere. Sorry, I’m getting off-base here. The reason I mention this shop is because one day, we strolled into Fielder’s Choice and saw that the owner had put up a Street Fighter II arcade machine. That day, we ended up spending all our card money on this new, amazing game.

For months after that, we ditched the card-collecting scene and joined in on the fun, fast-paced world of beating the crap out of each other. Later, my buddy Andy got the console version for his Super Nintendo. A few months after that, Fielders Choice went under. I’m not saying it’s a direct correlation, but yeah. Point being, I grew up with the Street Fighter franchise. But as the years went by, we grew in two different directions. The fighting system became way too sophisticated, and just I couldn’t keep up. When I finally got into Street Fighter IV, I wasn’t able to last thirty seconds in an online match. Expecting more of the same, I came into Street Fighter V with some trepidation. But now, I’m feeling a lot like I did 25 years ago. (more…)

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