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Reviews

Tomba! 2 Review

The only reality worse than the inflated asking pricing for an old video game is the one where said game is digitally available for a fraction of the price, but devoid of the context that made it fun to play.  Such is the peculiar situation I found myself in upon downloading Tomba 2: The Evil Swine Return (The Wild Adventures in Japan) from the PlayStation Store. Originally released in 1999 by the now-defunct Whoopee Camp, it was re-released earlier this year by Monkey Paw Games.  Once the game booted up, it was both recognizable and unfamiliar at the same time. The game looks and plays the same as I remembered, but there was just one problem--it’s all in Japanese.

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Destiny Review

Destined for satisfactory

If there’s anything I will never call Destiny, it is modest. Bungie’s latest creation has been touting itself as the next evolution of shooters and the defining game of the eighth console generation. Some time with Destiny has proven these claims to be completely overblown. Not even close. Yet Destiny still delivers a solid, fun game with more than enough content to keep players busy.

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Wooden Sen'SeY Review

Let me axe you a question.

Wooden Sen’Sey is one of those unfortunate games that has charm and style and comes so close to greatness, but sadly falls short. The abundance of quality platforming games on the Wii U makes it hard to turn a blind eye to the faults of Wooden Sen’Sey. Simple shortcomings like awkward controls (particularly for grappling), levels that overstay their welcome, and a lack of new abilities really drag down an otherwise great experience.

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So Many Me! Review

So Many Me is like a child: Adorable, but spend too much time with it and you will go nuts.

I really wanted to like So Many Me more than I did. This is one of the most adorable games I have ever played, with some funny gags just as likely to make you laugh as you will say, “Awwww!” The central mechanics, meanwhile, are both interesting and fun in the context of a puzzle platformer. Unfortunately, the areas it stumbles in really hamper the core experience, if not quite ruining the game.

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Deception IV: Blood Ties Review

“Oh yes, please walk directly toward me, but look straight at me! I don’t want you to notice that bear trap lying at your feet or the guillotine swinging in from the right…”

I fondly remember the first time I played Tecmo’s Deception for the original PlayStation back in 1996. It was the one game I could play over and over thanks to its unique gameplay where you never truly attack an enemy or defend yourself from a blitzkrieg of varying attacks. Instead, Deception challenged the player to lure enemies into tactfully placed traps that will do your bidding. Deception IV follows the same formula as the previous installments; instead of fighting your way through hordes of enemies, you’re simply left trying to stay alive while luring them into your dastardly devices.

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Dark Souls II: Crown of the Sunken King Review

Take the best parts of Dark Souls II, add in some clarity, mix with a smidge of higher difficulty, and voila!

Dark Souls 2 was a great game despite the overlapping positive/negative feelings from its fans. When the three-piece DLC pack was initially announced, I pondered if it was truly a great idea since expanding on closed cases can sometimes fray loose ends. Sure, Dark Souls 2 wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t as bad as some insisted either. With the scent of the Sunken Crown lingering in the air, I was poised to see how it would tie in to the original DS2 storyline, even while I feared that over-expansion could ruin what made it so great. Thankfully I was happy with what I was given.

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NES Remix 2 Review

A considerable improvement from the first.

After NES Remix, I badly wanted a sequel. My main concerns with the first Remix were that developers EAD Tokyo and indieszero focused on Nintendo’s 1983-1986 Famicom line-up, which has not aged well. This second Remix, like all good sequels, takes what made the first game so great and improves upon the flaws. They also threw in backwards Super Mario Bros. with Luigi physics and a Nintendo World Championship mini-game if you own the first NES Remix -- how can you say no to that?

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Tangram Attack! Review

The best angle to solve a problem is the WATAAAA-angle.

Even if you can never remember what it’s called, you’ve messed with tangram before. Probably in elementary school when it improved your understanding of geometry so extensively that your mind zipped out of your body to an ethereal realm of triangles and squares where you were truly at peace. Or, you used it once, decided it was boring, and stared at the carpet instead. Well, now tangram is back! And attacking!? That’s right, the set of shapes that can be formed to sort-of look like anything you can imagine is the center of the fast-paced, mind-challenging Tangram Attack! that found a way to make those simple shapes into a pretty good game – for a while.

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The Last Tinker: City of Colors Review

Color me neutral

Once upon a time, your average big budget game was expected to be bright and colorful with more realistic looking games being the exception. Today, however, a realistic look is more prominent and colorful games stand out more than ever. The Last Tinker: City of Colors feels like an attack against the loss of color - personified into a game - where the objective is to literally stop an evil force from removing all of the color in the world using the power of the red, green, and blue gods.

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Metal Gear Review Rewind

Not Bad for a Rookie

Alright, let’s get the obvious out of the way: Yes, Metal Gear was originally released on the MSX in Japan.  Yes, it looked and played better than the NES version. And yes, the NES version is riddled with typos, inaccurate plot elements, and a counter-intuitive menu system.  But let’s be honest-- few, if any of us were aware of the MSX version before internet gaming sites came into full blossom. Be that as it may, the NES version was respected as one of the most innovative (albeit frustrating) games of its time, and rightfully so. Despite the many differences from the MSX version, Metal Gear still provided a unique experience you couldn’t get elsewhere.

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