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Reviews

Batman: Arkham Knight Review

Swan Song

In 2011, I said that Batman: Arkham City was one of the best superhero games ever made. A few years before that, I said that Arkham Asylum was the new standard that licensed games should live up to. Since then, few series have done so. Yet somehow, every Arkham game rises above the rest. Arkham Knight is no exception. It takes some of the best of what was established in the past games and puts it all together to form one of the most gripping games I’ve played in quite a while. 

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review

Woo hoo Witcher woman! She got the moon in her eyes!

The Witcher games have always been very odd for me. Fantasy RPGs tend to stick with a particular tried-and-true formula, yet the series has made an effort to be distinctly different from everything that might make it similar to Dragon Age or The Elder Scrolls. Some of the decisions - like its distinct races and lore - are a welcome diversion. Yet there are some design choices which feel different for the sake of being different at best and baffling at worst.

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Kirby and the Rainbow Curse Review

This spiritual successor to Kirby: Canvas Curse will give you a better appreciation of Claymation.

Kirby’s morph ball versatility has allowed him to assume the role of a pinball, a golf ball, and a rolling ball controlled by a… rainbow brush. That last one came from 2005’s Kirby: Canvas Curse DS, which used the touch screen to draw lines for guiding Kirby through all sorts of obstacle filled levels. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, the pink puffball’s first Wii U title, follows the same style of gameplay but improves the experience in a number of ways and does it with a fantastic visual style.

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Gradius Review Rewind

Destroy the core!

The 1980s was a true renaissance period for the budding video game industry. Arcade games like Xevious, Donkey Kong, and OutRun gave us new levels of visual, audio and strategic detail that took us beyond the comparatively simple mechanics of Pong and Space Invaders. It was indeed the golden age of gaming.

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Elegy for a Dead World Review

Infinite possibilities; short-lived experience

It's not every day we get a game that encourages the use of imagination in the form of creative writing. There’s no fate for humanity to be won or quest for the ultimate armor to be had.  While the game does take place in some quadrant of outer space, there's not a single creature to kill or flying craft to destroy. In fact, there's nary a living soul to interact with at all. Instead, progress is made by using the power of prose.

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Resident Evil Revelations 2 Review

Barry’s back! Tell a friend!

I think that Capcom is on to something with the Revelations spin-off series for Resident Evil. I enjoyed the first game a lot because of how it blended the feel of the traditional, horror based Resident Evil games with the action packed nature of the more recent games. After being disappointed by Resident Evil 6, I was down on the series but I still couldn’t help but be excited when I heard that a sequel to Revelations was in the works. And to my delight, Revelations 2 delivers. 

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Zelda II: The Adventure of Link Review Rewind

The Weakest Link

The Legend of Zelda set the bar for the action-adventure genre with its perfect mix of action and the thrill of finding the next dungeon or quest-critical item. It was gaming as golden as the cartridge itself.  Then came the sequel.  Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was originally released for the Family Computer Disk System (FDS) in Japan on January 14, 1987.  The game was then converted into a standard cartridge for its release on the NES in North America on December 1, 1988.  Though it still had the familiar trappings of exploration, fantasy, and adventure, it also came with some drastic changes that weren't well-received by all--myself included.

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Super Mario Bros. Review Rewind

The Italian Stallion.....and Luigi.

It’s no secret that some of the best ideas started in Japan. This was certainly true of Nintendo back in the early 80’s.  One of their creations was a simple arcade game, Mario Bros., featuring sibling plumbers Mario and Luigi on a quest to rid the screen of pests in the sewer pipes. Due to its success, Nintendo decided to create a bigger adventure based on the two characters for their new cartridge-based home console. Thus, Super Mario Brothers was born on September 13, 1985 in Japan and 1986 in the US, making Mario a household name along with the company that created him.

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Dragonball Xenoverse Review

A promising new beginning.

If there is anything I’ve learned from being a DBZ game fan over the years, it’s that an anime fighter/simulation sequel is nearly always better than the original. They usually clean up the formula the second time, as in the case of 2002’s Dragonball Z Budokai, which was followed up by sequels with enhanced graphics and tightened gameplay. 2005’s Budokai Tenkaichi provided a blueprint for its sequels to later refine the gameplay and expand to one of the biggest and most diverse rosters in the series. If you ask me, it’s a safe bet Dragonball Xenoverse 2 will probably be an amazing game. Of course, that is not too helpful to us at the moment. Right now, we have Dragonball Xenoverse, which leaves me wishing they could’ve done it right the first time. 

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Donkey Kong Country Review

Donkey Kong's return to console glory in 1994 is definitely a gem!

Back in 1994, Rareware breathed new life into Nintendo’s arcade game antagonist Donkey Kong with revolutionary pre-rendered graphics and created Donkey Kong Country for the SNES. Despite the pretty looks, it is a solid side-scrolling platformer with great controls, organic level design and a superb soundtrack.

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