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Most Recent: Reviews
Even though we’re in the middle of a second golden age of side-scrolling platformers, very few of them attempt to recreate what was so great about the graphical look of games in the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. Most of them (Mega Man 9 and 10, Contra ReBirth, Gradius ReBirth) just serve as distant sequels to some NES favorites. So it’s amazing that something like Shovel Knight, a wholly original game from Yacht Club Games, was able to perfectly capture the mood of late 80s game design. It feels more like a lost cartridge rediscovered in the modern day as opposed to a modern game created with modern gamers in mind. Yacht Club’s Sean Velasco told us last year that the company’s goal is to create “really awesome retro/modern fusion games.” I’m glad they got the chance and I’m not sure I’d want it any other way. (more…)
The original Anomaly: Warzone Earth took a fresh, new approach in the ubiquitous tower defense genre by flipping the traditional roles around, having you play as the creeps fighting against the towers. The fun, challenging gameplay led to a sequel (aptly named Anomaly 2), which introduced the very cool creeps vs. towers multiplayer. Well, those darn alien towers are back in a third installment, Anomaly Defenders, except this time, you are the darn aliens. (more…)
Playing through the first season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead game, it became quickly apparent that danger was everywhere. I always had to be on my guard, watching my back, and stepping on eggshells. Normally menial tasks such as searching through an abandoned pharmacy or walking across a parking lot had become frightening life-or-death battles for survival. Knock a bottle off a counter or make a wrong turn, and you’ll almost certainly meet a ghastly end. If you wanted to survive, you had to avoid walkers at all costs, as these were truly terrifying enemies.
But while still a constant threat, the zombies in The Walking Dead weren’t much more than obstacles – dangerous obstacles, mind you – but a hindrance nonetheless. You knew what you had to do to survive the mindless ghouls. All that changed in The Walking Dead Season 2, where we were introduced to Carver, one of the most fascinating characters in the series. You hated him, but at the same time you understood his plight. He was trying to bring his group together no matter what. While at first we don’t think he’s all that bad, he dispels those thoughts, and quickly becomes one of the greatest villains in the Walking Dead universe. It’s because of this character that In Harm’s Way is not only the best episode of this second season, but perhaps the best episode of the entire series. (more…)
A lot of first-person shooter games were released during this past generation. Hell, it’s more than just a lot. It was an outright epidemic. It seems like someone released a new FPS every week. But what’s odd about this phenomenon is that a good majority of these genre titles only came out for consoles. The handheld systems were all but forgotten. Sure, there were a few exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, first-person shooters avoided the handheld systems like a red barrel (because as you know, it’s never good to stand next to a red barrel). Aside from the Call of Duty games, there weren’t a whole lot of options for those of us who liked their FPSs on the go.
Enter Moon, a title for the original Nintendo DS. Throwing caution to the wind, the developers at Renegade Kid felt that the popular system would be a perfect fit for their mature, story-driven first-person shooter. And it paid off. Moon released to positive reviews, with many praising the game’s graphics, framerate, and moody atmosphere. And although many clamored for a sequel, the rights for the title were held by Mastiff Games, and the Moon IP was stuck, stranded in suspended animation. Until now. (more…)
Watch Dogs was unveiled in 2012 at Ubisoft’s E3 Press Conference to the adoration of the entire industry. Over the past year, the Internet hype machine went into full effect, fueled by Ubisoft themselves and the fervor of online commenting communities. After that initial reveal, conjecture naturally sprung up around the web. Would the game look that good? Would the open world really be that open? With Ubisoft sending out trailer after trailer, Watch Dogs was labelled as a coming-of-age party for the next generation in terms of graphics and gameplay.
But the hype train is a bad one to catch, and it has not helped Watch Dogs, making it feel far less than it should be after the initial reveal. After experiencing much of the game’s content, what you end up with is a title that is actually still quite fun to play, but oddly uncompelling. (more…)
It’s a safe bet that the gaming public has some idea what to expect from a game whose title ends in a numeral that many people subconsciously pair with the phrase “Is Enough.” Such is the case with Nintendo’s Mario Kart 8. At a time in the franchise’s lifecycle when most publishers would attempt to hide how long the series has been running with a clever subtitle, Nintendo comes right out and says, “Yeah, this is the eighth Mario Kart game, you wanna make something of it?” (more…)
Killzone: Shadow Fall, brought to us by Guerrilla Games, is the sixth installment in the ten-year-old Killzone franchise. While it’s still not the transcendent shooter that Guerrilla is clearly capable of producing, the team has taken a lot of feedback on the previous titles and incorporated it into Shadow Fall to create the best game in the series. (more…)
Baseball video games were forever changed in 1988. A trio of genre-defining titles for the NES would be released by the time Kirk Gibson connected with his famous home run in the World Series. While Gibson’s heroics are reexamined every October, most gamers have likely forgotten about Bases Loaded, Major League Baseball, and R.B.I. Baseball. But the developers at MLB Advanced Media didn’t forget. The league’s technology group drafted a partner, Behaviour Interactive, and recently released R.B.I. Baseball 14, a new take on the classic franchise. (more…)