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Sega Genesis Classics Review

It's a tubular collection, dude.

Sega has done a lot of great things with emulation as of late. On the 3DS, they released 3D remasters of a handful of games, which boasted a handful of improvements to the source material. Their Sega Ages line marks another batch of games that are seeing improvements to the original games as they release on the Switch. However, Sega Genesis Classics is more of a compilation of classic Genesis games with some additional features that make it a great collection to have on your Switch if you grew up with these old games.

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Valkyria Chronicles 4 Review

Squad E, retreat!

One of my favorite things about playing strategy/role playing games is the sense of satisfaction that comes from executing on a well-laid plan. The thrill of deftly maneuvering units into place for a swift and deadly strike after multiple turns of meticulous consideration is something that few games deliver. I love strategy/RPGs, and I was excited to tear into Valkyria Chronicles 4; a return to form of sorts for a series held in high regard by a rabid fanbase, and a franchise I have little experience with. Sadly, instead of tearing into this game because I couldn’t get enough, I will now need to tear into this bizarre title that not only doesn’t reward sound strategy but does everything in its power to undermine player agency.

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Classic Sega Brawler Franchise Resurrected with Announcement of Streets of Rage 4

Dotemu, Lizardcube, and Guard Crush Games are resurrecting the classic Sega franchise for another round. Release date and target platforms are unknown at this time, but check the video for the slick new art style and some of the starring characters!

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Yakuza Kiwami 2 Review

You haven't lived until you've tag teamed a mugger with a dominatrix.

I consider myself a plugged in gamer.  I take it as a matter of professional pride to keep tabs on all manner of games, even if I’m not personally interested in them.  So imagine my surprise to learn that I’ve spent the last twelve years thinking the Yakuza series was just a low budget version of Grand Theft Auto, only to find out it’s actually a super deep roleplaying game.  This was a pleasant surprise as I worked my way through Yakuza Kiwami 2, my first true foray into the franchise.

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Valkyria Revolution Review

You Say You Want a Revolution We All Want to Change Valkyria

I have very limited experience with the Valkyria series outside a bit with the second entry I mostly forgot about. I know past titles were turn based strategy that has to player take control of each soldier individually, where it controls more like a shooter. And I can say that Valkyria Revolution is nothing like that, instead going for an action RPG approach while still trying to hold onto its identity.

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What's With All the Sonic Hate?

I channel my inner '90s mascot attitude and explore a recent troubling trend.

At last year’s PAX East I attended a panel hosted by one of the marketing magicians for Sega of America in the '90s, Al Nilson. At that panel I got up to ask a question about the NEMO project he worked on in the late '80s, but before I did I told this quick story about the time I borrowed the first Sonic the Hedgehog game off my friend when it was first released:  While I was at home being blown away by the technical achievement of Sonic Team’s new baby, my friend called me and said his mother was mad he lent out his new game and was making him come by in a couple hours to pick it up. Since my time was now limited to how much of this amazing new game I was going to be able to play,  I decided to hunker down and try to beat the game before he came to get it. I focused and played as carefully as I could. I ended up beating the game without continuing and with all the Chaos Emeralds. I had the honor of telling Al Nilson it was one of the best "Gaming Zen" moments of my life. He appreciated my story and my love for Sonic.

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Silpheed Review Rewind

Feel the need for Silpheed.

When Game Arts released Silpheed on the Sega CD in 1993, the game was frequently compared to Star Fox; the latter usually winning over critics more than the former. Being released within 6 months of Star Fox and featuring a similar visual theme of polygon graphics, Silpheed was sometimes written off as a mere knock-off of Nintendo’s successful three-dimensional shooter. A somewhat misguided conclusion considering that Silpheed was originally released on the PC platform in 1986, pre-dating Star Fox by seven years.  It was also criticized for being too simplistic with its 2D shooter mechanics against the pseudo 3D background. But a deeper look into the gameplay of Silpheed (and some honest hindsight) reveals a game that stands on its own and delivers a fairly unique experience rarely had in home console gaming at that time.

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