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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Review

It’s a curse to play such horrible garbage.

Imagine for a moment that you’re the world’s perfect predator, and you have an open and sprawling city that is now your playground after being at rest in the shadows for hundreds of years. You’re sneaking up on your prey, salivating at the heartbeat that is about to feed you when you suddenly step on a twig. The echo of this twig somehow alerts every known enemy of yours, and you’re suddenly flanked and flayed mercilessly without ever being given the chance to fight back. This is Lords of Shadow 2: everything sounds great in theory, yet nothing works the way it’s intended to do so.

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Monument Valley Review

“Sacred geometry.”

Every so often, I am lucky enough to play a game so delightful, so perfectly engineered for its platform, and so inspiring that I have to take a step back, stunned.  While other arts such as literature and painting seem long in the tooth these days, clutching to cynicism and nihilism like a terminal patient clinging to the sheets in his bed, great games seem imbued with a sort of impossible optimism and generosity towards the human condition.  Monument Valley, a game about redemption through sacred geometry, is one of those games. 

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Dark Souls II Review

The curse is real; now prepare to die over and over

Masochistic is a word often associated with the Souls games. Though they’re known to be incredibly difficult for anyone who may be new to the series, they’ve become only mildly challenging for veterans. However, Dark Souls II is no pushover, proving to be difficult as soon as the journey begins. Even in the most basic tutorial area, players will find death waiting for them. Whether you fall into a hole you overlooked or walk past an enemy who is able to catch up to you for an easy backstab, Dark Souls II isn’t afraid to kill you mercilessly. Although the game never feels cheap, it always finds a way to lure me into a well sprung trap in which I am ill-prepared for. Difficulty isn’t the only thing in which the Souls franchise is known for though, and Dark Souls II gives us another beautifully crafted world that’s perfectly ripe for exploration with rippling lore waiting to be uncovered and dissected.

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inFamous: Second Son Review

Power Fantasy

Entire consoles and companies have risen and fallen on the expectations of  exclusive, first party titles like Second Son. Often seen as the PS4’s first must buy game, there is a lot on the line with Sucker Punches first foray into the new console. While elements of the game may not live up to the grand expectations, once you make it past the hype still you get a sequel that not only stands on its own, but is also engaging, pretty, and a heck of a lot of fun.

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Yoshi's New Island Review

Babysitting with Yoshis – 2014 edition.

I’m the type of guy that doesn’t think its fair to compare one game to another, but in the case of Yoshi’s New Island, an exception has to be made. It’s the second follow-up to the SNES classic, Yoshi’s Island, and Yoshi’s Island is a very tough game to top. On the positive side, Yoshi's New Island does a lot of things better than the previous entry in the series, Yoshi’s Island DS, like getting rid of the annoying baby-switching mechanic and doling out some clever levels. On the other hand, it adds some new, underutilized mechanics, disappointing boss battles, and turns a definitive ability into a shallow gyroscope mini-game.

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Dungeons & Dreamers: A Story of How Computer Games Created a Global Community Review

We wouldn’t be here without all of you.

We throw around the word “community” in the video games arena without a second thought. Even small enthusiast sites have community managers and a myriad of other ways to strengthen and connect people who are passionate about games. If it weren’t for several key creatives that helped form the gaming landscape through the decades, though, we might not have the communities we all take for granted. Dungeons & Dreamers’ updated second edition guides us on a journey that shows how communities became so important to gaming. It’s an intriguing thesis that is hammered home with a continuous chain of examples that make it undeniable how integral community has always been to video games.

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Weapon Shop de Omasse Review

Crush my brain with an anvil.

It’s hard to believe that a quaint game concept where you play the part of an apprentice arms dealer in an RPG could lead me to a dark place, but it happened. Weapon Shop de Omasse, with its cute exterior, forces you to spend time between intended-to-be-comical character interactions pounding away at the most laborious, repetitive, and malformed rhythm game ever created.

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Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Review

It's so good, I can bear-ly stand it!

If there’s one thing that Spike Chunsoft has proven, it’s that they know how to make a damn good visual novel. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is their latest title to be localized to America and it stands up to the high standards set by their Zero Escape series. While similar in premise, Danganronpa eschews the puzzle-based design and offers up a unique gameplay style that blends Ace Attorney, Persona Social Links, and a touch of Rhythm Heaven. It all comes together to form a gripping and zany experience that doesn’t let up till the credits roll.

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Tappingo Review

DLC, please?

Tappingo is anything but your run-of-the mill, been-there-done-that, played it a dozen times with a different name and color palate puzzle game. Created by indie developer Goodbye Galaxy Games, Tappingo is a delightful puzzle experience that, while short and sweet, is full of enough depth and challenge to attract and entertain gamers of all skill levels.

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The Walking Dead: Season Two - Episode 2: A House Divided Review

Raising the stakes.

Telltale has chosen to make a statement with its second episode of Season Two. Through some great character moments and some really tough choices, I reached points of happiness and distress during “A House Divided”. Whereas Episode 1 was great on its own, Episode 2 reminded me why Telltale’s storytelling ability is to be reckoned with.

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