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Reviews

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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Virginia Review

You may need a master's degree in literature before you play this one.

Have you ever finished a book or a movie and been left trying to puzzle out the meaning of what you just experienced? Likely it was a frustrating feeling, as if you were on the cusp of understanding what the creator of the work was trying to tell you, but you were unable to make the connection in your head. Such was my experience with a little game called Virginia, which left me feeling mentally lacking at the best of times, and needlessly aggravated at the worst of times.

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Superhot Review

Take the red pill!

Remember the first time you saw The Matrix? Hopefully, you got to watch it before people overhyped it for you, and you knew as little about the movie as you could. If so, you likely were blown away at the film’s style, and the action scenes are still emulated almost twenty years later. Along comes this little game called Superhot, and I can finally live out my Neo fantasies in video game form. But what exactly is Superhot? Well, much like The Matrix you must see it for yourself, but I will do my best to explain.

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Snake's Revenge Review Rewind

Revenge never tasted so bland

Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear series enjoys the distinction of being an icon that still resonates with the majority of the gaming community. Even if you've never played any of them, chances are you've at least heard of it by now. With all of the positive attention that the relatively recent Metal Gear Solid 5 has received, it’s easy to forget about the game that that could have potentially killed the series. And no-- it’s not MGS 2 (although I’ll never forgive it for those protracted conversations between Raiden and his nagging girlfriend). Nope, I'm referring to something much, much worse-- Snake's Revenge.

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