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Showing posts from October, 2015

Review - "Assassin's Creed Syndicate"

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If there's one thing I'm almost always up for, it's taking the piss out of Assassin's Creed. That sounds a bit bitter and vindictive, sure, but we're talking about a series built on broken promises and unfulfilled potential, yet one that is perennially defended as "innovative" and "educational," both of which it only is occasionally. Sure, there are some fantastic games in the series. I count Black Flag among the best open-world titles ever released, and Liberation has one of gaming's most interesting female protagonists. The first one, practically a retro game at this point, even holds a special place in my heart.

That said, the series almost ran itself into the ground last year with the release of Unity. To date, it is one of the most embarrassing, laughable pittances of a AAA game ever dropped onto the market, and it seemed that even some of the most diehard fans were put off by the abhorrent lack of quality displayed there. It would have…

Review - "Life Is Strange"

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Earlier this year, I wrote a review of the first episode of Life Is Strange. I basically said that the game was started in a shaky place, and that there were some kinks in what personal fave developer Dontnod was trying to do, but that the whole thing had the potential to be so much more. I was confident, maybe a little too confident, based on my adoration for their stellar debut title, Remember Me.

Now, sitting in my quiet room, my hairs standing up on end, my eyes still stinging from profuse, ugly crying, I'm glad to say that I was right. After an unsure beginning, Life Is Strange has become so much more than a teen-friendly riff on a Telltale game. Now at its completion, it stands as a testament to everything that is right with video games.

Review - "The Legend of Legacy"

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It's been a while since we had something that felt like a classic, quality JRPG, with no pandering to a demographic hungry for skimpy costumes, no attempts to make the genre seem "accessible" and "modern," and no glorified teen angst wrapped in a billion convoluted nonsense words. Just a vast fantasy world to explore and grind levels through, full of challenges and mysteries. The market's hurting for more titles like that.

Now, after several bosses and dozens of deaths, and with only a fraction of the sprawling map uncovered, I can say in full certainty that The Legend of Legacy is everything I want in a classic Japanese role-playing experience... and then some.

Review - "Chibi Robo!: Zip Lash"

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Chibi Robo's had a bit of a hard time fitting into the gaming world, despite being as cute as a button. His first game was printed in small quantities and sold pretty badly, thus making it a bit of a collector's item these days. There was a Wal-Mart-exclusive DS follow-up about parks, and a 3DS AR game on top of that, but neither really struck the right chord with the general populace. The open-world housecleaning simulators have fared better in Japan, but not by much.

And now we're here. A 3DS side-scrolling action platformer, which is very telling of Nintendo's desperation to make the little guy relevant in some way, shape, or form. Thing is, despite seeming to be a very bog-standard platforming game on the surface, skip ltd. managed to throw in a heaping helping of its signature quirkiness... for better or worse.

Do You Want To Play A Game?: Underrated Gems of Horror Gaming

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This Halloween, you're inevitably going to watch a horror movie or two, and wear a costume, and eat some candy... unless you're one of those weirdos who thinks Halloween is about worshiping Satan or summoning Cthulhu or some other silly reason that makes me question your intelligence. Anyway. You'll probably do one or two or all or more of those things. If you're like me, though, you like to hit the lights and cuddle up to a controller for some quality time with a spooky video game. And for good reason: some horror games are goddamned terrifying.

But see, I feel like there are so many overexposed horror games now, thanks to annoying internet personalities like PewdiePie and, to a lesser extent, Markplier. Yeah, Five Nights At Freddy's and Amnesia and Outlast are scary and all, but I feel like they get too much attention. There are a lot of great horror games out there that deserve attention. I've already talked about this a bit with my Survival Horror 101 seri…

"Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5" Is Pretty Fucking Depressing

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I'm not entirely sure what compelled me to actually try playing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5. It's been covered by every major outlet. We all know it's a bad game. But I've never been content just knowing a game is bad. I need to experience it for myself, especially when it comes to a franchise I care about. That's why I've suffered through Sonic The Hedgehog (the one everyone calls "Sonic '06") to the end: I love that series, and I'll follow it into the rankest bottoms of the video trash pile out of misguided obligation.

But the thing about Sonic The Hedgehog, another infamously bad game, is that... well, at least it was going places. At least it tried something. That's more than I can say for this game. Because honestly, the only place this was ever going was face-first into the pavement.

Impressions - "The Legend of Legacy"

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Hey, look, I give a shit about JRPGs again!

Review - "Persona 4: Dancing All Night"

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Has it really been seven years since Persona 4 came out? I guess so, in Japan anyways. To me, it feels like it's never stopped coming out, if that makes any sense. What was originally a beautiful swan song for the PS2 became a multi-media franchise, branching off from the main Shin Megami Tensei series and becoming its own beast altogether.

In the wake of that, we've gotten six separate games, three manga series, two anime series (plus a film,) and a whole slew of merchandise. Not only that, but other entries in the MegaTen brand have become more and more tailored to fans of P4, to the point where the entire DNA of the franchise has become fundamentally altered. At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised if I open Persona 5 and there's just a disc that says "Persona 4 Golden HD Edition."

Anyway. This is where it allegedly all ends: a rhythm game. How a brutally unforgiving role-playing game with a nuanced and emotionally riveting narrative got turned into a Vita…