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Reviews

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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Dragon's Crown Review

One thing that makes remasters interesting is to see just how a particular game has changed over the years. Dragon’s Crown is fascinating because mechanically the game shows absolutely no signs of aging. In fact, Nick’s review from 2013 still describes the experience you will get now. The six classes remain diverse and varied, offering their own unique experience and encouraging to replay and try them all. The depth in the mechanics and level design remain just as deep now. The art style is still not for everyone, but gorgeous from a technical standpoint, especially now in 4K.

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Wolfenstein: The New Order Review Rewind

Nazi killing at its finest!

In December of 2017, a spokesperson for EA Games stated that gamers don’t like linear, story-based games as much as they used to. That was an odd comment to me, in a year full of well received single player games, including a sequel to 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order. Since I had missed the game back then, I thought this was a good time to finally check it out. Ten hours later, I am deeply pleased that I did.

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The Evil Within 2 Review

Smile for the camera!

I have been a fan of the survival horror genre since Capcom coined the term to describe their release of Resident Evil way back for the original PlayStation. It’s been a long time since the heyday of the horror game, and getting your scares on consoles has become a rarity. So I was pleasantly surprised that, not only did I enjoy The Evil Within 2 after finding the first game lacking, but it has become one of my favorite entries in the survival horror genre.

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Super Mario Odyssey Review

Bring on Super Mario Illiad!

I used to love playing baseball when I was a kid. But the one part I hated about Little League was the participation trophies at the end of the year. I was on some really bad teams and really good teams and on both we got more or less the same reward. Even as a kid I could tell that trophy was meaningless despite the fun I had playing during the season. Like Little League Baseball, Super Mario Odyssey provided me with a ride that is an absolute blast along the way, yet failed to provide a rewarding experience.

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The Mummy: Demastered Review

I expect better from you, WayForward.

I don’t know about you, but when I hear about an indie developed game sporting a pseudo-16-bit pixel aesthetic I find myself rolling my eyes. This goes double when said game is an action/exploration game (“Metroidvania” if you’re lazy). I just find these types of games to be played out. However, if you tell me that WayForward is working on the game you pique my interest enough to plunk down twenty bucks on The Mummy: Demastered, a game I hadn’t heard of. Was my curiosity rewarded? Ehhh…

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South Park: The Fractured but Whole Review

My god, New Kid, what a tragic backstory!

South Park: The Stick of Truth triumphed over adversity to become a critical and commercial success. It was a gamble on a franchise that had never had a great game, went through a protracted development cycle, and survived the closing of its original publisher. Three years later South Park: The Fractured but Whole may not have had as many roadblocks, but it is a sequel to a surprise hit being developed by a different team and attempting to be just as successful as its predecessor. While it may not reach the heights that The Stick of Truth hit, this is a worthy sequel.

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Middle Earth: Shadow of War Review

Three fourths epic.

When I reviewed Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, I elected to tell a personal story of my journey through the game in lieu of a traditional review, since it best represented the strengths of that title. As I was playing through its sequel, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, I wanted to do the same thing. Unfortunately, there are enough complexities with this release that story time will have to wait for another feature. Shadow of War is simultaneously the most fun I’ve had all year and one of my disappointments for 2017.

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Metroid II: Return of Samus Review Rewind

Back for the first time

Nintendo is no stranger to making risky decisions that could have resulted in utter failure. After all, they released the Famicom\NES during a time when the consumer market shunned video games. Then there was that time in 2004 when most of us thought they were crazy when they announced the dual screen handheld DS. And many were skeptical when motion controls were introduced on the Wii console. Nonetheless, their decisions proved to be a significant success. Such was the case with the early Metroid series.

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Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Review

Vishnu Tested, Ganesh Approved

If Uncharted 4's subtitle “A Thief’s End” didn’t clue you in, main character Nathan Drake ended his adventures with the last entry. However the series has continued with Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. This entry follows the adventures of Chloe Frasier, Drake's former partner and love interest as she teams up with Uncharted 4’s villain Nadine Ross to find an Ancient Indian treasure on some grand adventure full of climbing, explosions, and wonderfully corny jokes.

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