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Reviews

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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Shovel Knight Review

Yacht Club Games kickstarts an instant classic.

When you think of side-scrolling platformers, it’s hard not to recall old-school classics like Donkey Kong, Super Mario Brothers, and Mega Man. Shovel Knight, a modern day 8-bit 2D side-scrolling platformer, feels like a blast from the past. After an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign, Yacht Club Games’ first release is a grand slam.  

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Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition Review

Pretty sure they’re not going to do an Arcade or Ultra edition next.

Since they’ve hit the scene, I think I’ve built up something of a love affair with indie developer, Drinkbox Studios. They have an uncanny ability to create not only compelling gameplay, but memorable and humorous worlds and characters. Guacamelee is easily their greatest achievement yet, and the new Super Turbo Championship Edition only makes it better. Just the name alone should give you a perfect indication of the tongue-in-cheek humor Drinkbox imbues into their creations.

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Ittle Dew Review

It'll do.

It’s hard not to appreciate games like Ittle Dew. Rather than chart new territory, Ludosity has created a solid Zelda send-up that focuses on charm, humor, and inspired block puzzles. While Zelda games offer up plenty of block puzzles of their own, Ittle Dew puts together some more complex challenges that will flex your mental muscle until the very end. Though an enjoyable romp, Ittle Dew’s various technical issues and finicky controls put a damper on some of the fun.

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Pushmo World Review

Great new puzzle types and a hub to share creations makes Pushmo World one of the best games on the eShop.

If you’ve played Pushmo on the 3DS, you should have a pretty clear idea of what you’re in for with Pushmo World on the Wii U. Excellent and intricate block puzzles are the core of the experience, along with improved online features. Furthermore, a new section of Pushmo have been added which vary up the core rules to make for new and interesting challenges that augment the core experience. Just like Pushmo on the 3DS, Pushmo World is a must-have Wii U title that stands out as one of the best offerings on the eShop.

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