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Code of Princess EX Review

I probably liked this a little less than Angelo.

For those familiar with the 3DS release, originally published by Atlus, Code of Princess EX is a technically and visually upgraded version of the game. Outside of the nicer coat of paint and a crisp 60 frames per second, a variety of other changes were made that have a fairly significant impact on the progression of the main quest. Regardless of the evident love poured into this HD upgrade, Code of Princess EX can be a bit of a slog that will likely only appeal to the most dedicated of brawler fans.

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20XX Review

Just one more level...

20XX, despite being thoroughly inspired by Mega Man X, manages to distinguish itself by throwing away a good portion of that formula for something much more chaotic. The team at Batterystaple Games has managed to recreate the feel of Mega Man X, in both its control and enemy design, but mashes it into a roguelike design that includes randomly generated levels and temporal upgrades that are gained and constrained to your given run through the game. Each pass you’ll encounter different power ups, approach bosses in a different order and apply different approaches to make your way through. Level and boss design, as well as their relative challenge, will even vary based on how deep into a run you are. Progress can be slow, but somewhere along the way, 20XX will get its hooks into you and you’ll be unable to resist the pull of taking on another level or starting up a new run in an effort to make it to the end.

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Nerds Without Pants Episode 136: Ye Olde Englishe

Verily, thou musteth playeth Octopathen Travelereth.

Hey, we’re back right away, so I guess the hiatus is really over. Huzzah! On this episode of Nerds Without Pants, it’s another all Consumption Junction edition with Julian and Patrick. But tune in next time for the return of Stage Select, as well as a special guest!

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Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Review

N. Sanely beautiful.

Back when Crash Bandicoot hit the scene, I was a firmly entrenched Nintendo fanboy. Crash, to me, was a second rate 3D platformer that was put to utter shame by the fantastic platformer offerings of the N64. I’ll admit, the N. Sane Trilogy has done little to elevate the core material for me, but it does leave me wishing that other companies would show as much love and care to their older 3D games as Vicarious Visions has shown here.

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Salt and Sanctuary Announced for Switch

On August 2 Switch owners can finally jump into the critically-acclaimed Soulslike. The Drowned Tome Edition will release this holiday in retail form for those looking for a physical copy.

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Nerds Without Pants Episode 135: Kept You Waiting, Huh?

Initiating NWP v3.0 (beta version)

After a longer than intended hiatus, the Nerds Without Pants are BACK! A lot has happened since the last episode of the show two months ago. New jobs, new adventures, and the announcement of the beta phase for NWP version 3.0. Enough with the preamble; let’s get to it!

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Assault Gunners HD Edition Review

Maybe just wait for Daemon X Machina.

I wouldn’t classify myself as any sort of mech game aficionado, I’ve only played a handful of them over the years, but it’s a weird subgenre that I find myself drawn to. That odd pull, coupled with my infatuation with the Switch, made Assault Gunners HD Edition a prime candidate for play. The budget mech experience isn’t exactly what I was expecting, but it does have a surprisingly deep customization system that significantly outclasses the rudimentary gameplay. Though fun at times, Assault Gunners HD Edition is more often a frustrating slog, that doesn’t really scratch the mech game itch in a satisfying way.

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Runbow Review

Multiplayer mayhem.

Runbow originally made a splash when it was debuted as a Nindie alongside a small number of other indie games making an exclusive first appearance on the Wii U. Given the fairly thin Wii U library, it quickly became a darling of the Nintendo enthusiast community and its popularity propelled it to other platforms. Coming full circle, Runbow is now available on Switch and its frantic 9 player multiplayer is back in full force. While it’s short an exclusive mode featured there, it offers all the same content as before, just on-the-go, with no compromises like the New 3DS version of the game. As a multiplayer experience, Runbow is chaotic fun, not unlike Smash Bros, but as a single player it’s not quite as entertaining.

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Fox n Forests Review

It's like Groundhog Day, in video game form.

At first blush, it’s easy to pass judgment on Fox n Forests as just another retro-throwback pixel-based platformer, but unlike many other games that adopt that style, it’s actually faithful to the time period. The color palettes, music, gameplay, and even the menus will convince you that this is actually an SNES/Genesis game that’s been lost in time. While the audio/visual experience is fantastically retro, the controls and gameplay both are as well. This means character movement can feel sluggish and janky at times and level designs are such that they thoroughly punish player mistakes.

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Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana Review

By the end, the island of Seiren is one you won't want to escape.

At some point in everyone’s life, they’ve wondered what it would be like to find themselves on a deserted island, removed from the comforts that make civilized life so easy. I’d also wager that many have also dreamed of what it would be like to uncover ancient ruins and be the first to gain a glimpse into the past. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA capitalizes on both of these contemplations through the lens of Adol Christin. While serving as crew on the Lombardia, Adol is treated to tales of the mythical and uninhabited isle of Seiren, which is thought to be cursed. Upon passing, in classic fashion, a Kraken attacks the ship and despite Adol’s best efforts, destroys it, thrusting him and the ship’s passengers into an unexpected adventure on Seiren. These circumstances setup the experience, pitting the castaways against the harsh nature of the island, as they struggle to escape back to the life they’ve known. As the adventure kicks off, players are quickly treated to solid action RPG combat, an intriguing story, and an addicting gameplay loop that will keep them coming back for more.

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