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Reviews

Track & Field Review Rewind

Let the games begin.

Well, it's that time again-- the time that comes around every 4 years when hundreds of athletes from around the world compete in some of the most physically demanding competitions ever. Each athlete is highly skilled in their discipline of sport; but only the best get the gold. Of course, I'm talking about the 2016 Summer Olympics taking place in Rio de Janeiro today. With this exciting occasion just hours away, now is as good a time as any to take a look at Track & Field from Konami.

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Doom (2016) Review

Rip and tear, until it is done!

It is only thirty-eight seconds from the time you begin a new game of Doom before you have a weapon in hand and are blasting demons away. In a world where multi hour tutorials and constant hand holding is the norm, the way that the modern iteration of the classic first person shooter begins is a breath of fresh air. It makes for a stellar first impression, which gives way to one of the most entertaining, fast-paced, and satisfying action game I have played in years.

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Silpheed Review Rewind

Feel the need for Silpheed.

When Game Arts released Silpheed on the Sega CD in 1993, the game was frequently compared to Star Fox; the latter usually winning over critics more than the former. Being released within 6 months of Star Fox and featuring a similar visual theme of polygon graphics, Silpheed was sometimes written off as a mere knock-off of Nintendo’s successful three-dimensional shooter. A somewhat misguided conclusion considering that Silpheed was originally released on the PC platform in 1986, pre-dating Star Fox by seven years.  It was also criticized for being too simplistic with its 2D shooter mechanics against the pseudo 3D background. But a deeper look into the gameplay of Silpheed (and some honest hindsight) reveals a game that stands on its own and delivers a fairly unique experience rarely had in home console gaming at that time.

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Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Review

Indiana Jones made by Steve the Pirate

Uncharted has always been all over the place in terms of quality. The first title is pretty mediocre despite fantastic production values. Meanwhile I consider Uncharted 2 to be one of the greatest video games ever made, a game which I replayed many times and love every second of. Then the PS3 trilogy ended with Drake’s Deception, which offered a fantastic first half and a very inconsistent second half. So it feels fitting that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End overall ends up as a perfectly satisfactory game. A game with its moments of brilliance, yet never quite manages to bring the product as a whole up in the end.

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Review Rewind

"I was hoping to come up with a question by slamming on my desk, Your Honor... I didn't."

I believe you can make a good game out of anything. Pulling off some concepts will be harder than others, but if the right approach is taken, then even the most boring or trite idea can be turned into something extraordinarily engaging and compelling. The reason I believe this is because of my strong love for the Ace Attorney franchise, video games where you play as a lawyer defending clients. Yet these are also games where just tapping “Present evidence” on a touch screen can have me shaking from anticipation and excitement.

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Ratchet & Clank (PS4) Review

Gameplay is king in this gorgeous re-imagining of the original Ratchet & Clank.

I have always had a strong love for the Ratchet and Clank series ever since I first picked up A Crack in Time for my then new PlayStation 3. I fell in love with its creative weapons, excellent sense of humor, and charming world and soon proceeded to blast through the series, replaying most of the titles over and over. When I eventually got around to trying the original game, however, I was quite underwhelmed. It felt like an experiment, a game with a good idea of giving a platforming mascot weapons, yet none of the ideas really came together. The franchise did not really find its footing until the sequel Going Commando with the third title Up Your Arsenal perfecting the foundation and future titles merely adding extra tweaks and polish. So when I heard the first game was getting remade with the modern design choices the sequels provided, I was naturally excited.

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Super Mario Maker Review

Mario Paint for the 21st Century, if it allowed your childhood dream to come true.

Most of us have played a 2-D Mario game at some point in our lives, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one that really wanted to make a Mario level and have others play it in years past. Granted, people have made attempts to make their own Mario levels with varying degrees of success, but Miyamoto and friends finally granted my wish for Mario’s 30th anniversary in the form of Super Mario Maker. As far as level creation tools go, Super Mario Maker is a great level creation tool that has seen over six million levels created since its launch last year. Needless to say, the game is a hit with Mario fans everywhere. However, there are still flaws it has to iron out.

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Metroid Review Rewind

Groundbreaking back then; still pretty good now.

To say the least, 1985 proved to be a very good year for Nintendo. They successfully launched the Nintendo Entertainment System in the U.S., introduced the Super Mario Brothers, and quickly won the love and devotion of many youngsters getting into console gaming for the first time. I wasn’t long before Nintendo became a name synonymous with high quality video game entertainment. And in 1986 (1987 in the U.S.), a game was created that would wow the crowd again and become a pillar of strength in the ever-growing catalogue of NES cartridges. That game, of course, is Metroid-- the first to introduce us to the bounty hunter Samus Aran. Breaking away from the simpler arcade elements found in most games of its day, Metroid went on to be a truly innovative title with a long-standing presence still felt throughout the gaming industry today.

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Mutant Mudds Super Challenge Review

If this was actually an old school game, Renegade Kid would’ve needed more than one byte for my death counter :(

257 - that’s the number of deaths I incurred on my voyage to 100% completion of Renegade Kid’s latest title and follow-up to 2012’s cult classic, Mutant Mudds. If you were wondering if it was indeed a “Super Challenge”, rest assured, it is. That being said, the original Mutant Mudds wasn’t exactly the easiest of games either. Certainly not the hardest, but a great old school challenge nonetheless. Mutant Mudds Super Challenge carries on the concepts of the original but brings 40 new, masterfully crafted levels that remove nearly all margin of error that the original game afforded.

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Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright Review

For Hoshido!

After three long years, Fire Emblem returns to the 3DS in the form of not one, not two, but three different versions. While the idea of “splitting” the game of Fire Emblem Fates into two retail releases (Birthright and Conquest) and a third downloadable title (Revelations) could be seen as a lazy cash grab from detractors, the execution is anything but. Each game packs in as much content as the 2013 Fire Emblem: Awakening, but gives players a choice in their playstyle preference. Birthright allows would-be tacticians to grind out levels in random battles, while the more challenging Conquest takes its cues from the older Fire Emblem games. This review is based on Birthright.

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