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Reviews

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice Review

You should play this.

When Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was unveiled at E3 in 2015, I had certain expectations. As the next game from developer Ninja Theory, I naturally assumed that it would be a stylish character action game replete with skill trees, flashy combos, Quick Time Events, and mind-boggling performance capture work. What Senua’s Sacrifice actually is took me completely by surprise and, while it is nowhere near the game I was expecting, it is something truly special.

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Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Review

More Fire Emblem isn't a bad thing.

As much as I loved Fire Emblem: Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, I was skeptical when another game, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadow of Valentia, was announced to be released this year. While I’m happy to see this franchise finally gain some much-needed popularity outside of Japan, I’m not sure if I want to see the series become annualized. I have yet to play through the other two campaigns for last year’s game, and after spending over 40 hours with Echoes I might be good for a while. Or then again, I might be just as addicted as I was last year.

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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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Super Mario Bros. 2 Review Rewind

Ninception

If you told me when I was a kid that Super Mario Bros. 2 was merely a localized version of a pre-existing game from Japan, I wouldn’t have believed you. But in fact, that’s precisely what Nintendo did for the US release of the next chapter in the Mario series. This was mostly due to the fact the original Japanese sequel was nearly identical to Super Mario Bros., only with slightly improved graphics. There was also concern that the game’s high difficulty would be off-putting for American audiences. The solution? Take Doki Doki Panic, swap out the main characters, slap a “Super Mario Bros. 2” label on that bad boy, and you’ve got yourself Nintendo’s best-selling game of 1988.

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Airwolf Review Rewind

Get to da choppa!

Airwolf is one my favorite ‘80s TV shows. Originally airing in 1984 to 1987, the premise centered around a high-tech military helicopter capable of reaching supersonic speeds. In addition to the entertaining action sequences and interesting plot, Airwolf is perhaps best known for having one the most distinctive theme songs of the ‘80s (intro clip included below). Naturally, it was only a matter of time before we would see a video game conversion. There was an arcade version by a company called Kyugo in 1987, but the home console release was only for the Famicom. The NES finally saw its own version of Airwolf when Beam Software developed it with  Acclaim as the publisher in 1989- 2 years after the show’s final season. Needless to say, this version had a lot to live up to.

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Persona 5 Review

Now It's Persona!

“Style over substance.” A term often applied to a work with strong aesthetics, yet an overall hollow experience. Yet Persona 5 could have offered a story written by George Orwell alongside gameplay deeper than Dark Souls and it still would have been a case of style over substance. The only possible way it could have added any more style points would be if Michael Jackson moonwalked his way to lend a hand in a fight. 

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Review

I'm 99% sure Nintendo used the Triforce to make it this good

I remember the first time I played Super Mario 64 and was amazed at seeing Mario move in 3D. I remember thinking how vast and expansive the fields of Hyrule looked in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. And I remember carjacking a truck, driving as fast as I could until flying off a cliff in Grand Theft Auto III. At the time, these games all had an unrivaled sense of freedom. They formulated a magical feeling, as new doors seemed to open and an experience I could only imagine was now real. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild now joins these titles in creating the same sense of wonder.

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Batman: A Telltale Games Series Review

Press X to Batman.

By now, we’re all aware of the joke: if you own an intellectual property of any import, Telltale will make a game based on it. Telltale adventure games are quickly becoming the Funko Pops of the video game world, but just like those big-headed collectibles, there is no denying their popularity. Enter Batman: The Telltale Series. Is this “just” another Telltale game? Well, yes, of course it is. That shouldn’t suggest that it isn’t worth your time, though.

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Firewatch Review

Finally, a game starring a middle-aged schlub that I can identify with!

We’re in a unique situation with video games right now. While there is a perceived waning interest in big “triple-A” releases (for a variety of reasons), the industry has reached a place where smaller and more personal tales can be told. These games take a multitude of forms, and as I mentioned in my review for Virginia, a new “day in the life” genre has popped up recently. Firewatch is certainly one of those games, and it is one that came along at just the right time for me.

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Hitman Review

You haven't lived until you've killed someone as a yoga instructor while your target is in Tree Pose.

When I reviewed 2013’s Hitman: Absolution for PixlBit, I talked about how I had to put aside my expectations of what I thought a Hitman game should be and instead look at what IO Interactive had actually made. Ultimately I enjoyed Absolution, but I was left hungry for a game that gave me the same stealthy thrills as Hitman: Blood Money. When it was announced that there would be a new Hitman game released episodically over the course of 2016 I didn’t know what to expect. Would it be a follow up to Absolution, or would it be a return to form for the series? Well friends, tighten your red ties and grab your fiber wire, because Agent 47 is back in a big, big way.

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