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Reviews

Thunder Force III Review Rewind

Lightning strikes thrice.

A while back when I officially started collecting retro consoles and games, I swore that I’d never become one of those elitists in the gaming community who always makes a big deal about his vast, all-encompassing knowledge of video games; at least not in public. However, in my own mind, I was the master of all things retro.  Well, that all came to a screeching halt in recent years thanks to Wikipedia when I discovered that, aside from owning the fifth game in the series, I knew next to nothing about the Thunder Force saga .  As I learned of its existence on Sega's 16-bit console, it became painfully clear that I had barely gotten my toes wet with Technosoft’s  bread and butter.  How I missed it back in the day, I will never know.  But after playing Thunder Force III, I soon realized that there was a whole ocean I was missing out on: the Genesis was the system for shoot-‘em-ups.

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Duck Hunt Review Rewind

A game that involves some serious fowl play.

Duck Hunt is an interesting relic of times past and one that I have conflicting feelings about.  While it was my earliest NES memory and no doubt fun from what I can remember, it also hasn't aged quite as well as I would have hoped.  But sometimes, that's just how it goes with the games we played as children.  I suppose the biggest letdown is realizing that the game simply isn't as stimulating to me as it once was, mostly due to its limited nature.  At its core, you're just shooting the same objects round after round until you fail to reach the required quota.  Be that as it may, Duck Hunt's importance in Nintendo's history cannot be overlooked.

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Rollers of the Realm Review

Rolling Deep

A plucky thief with a heart of gold arrives outside a small village. Using her companion, a scraggly mutt, she distracts the guards at the gate and sneaks into the nearby sewer entrance. Upon her arrival, she picks a few pockets to gather what she needs, and prepares to leave when a drunken man in plate mail being harassed by the henchmen of the town butcher, a local crime boss of sorts, stumbles onto the scene. A few backstabs later, and our thief now has a new partner, but her canine companion has been kidnapped by the butcher’s men, and they’re off to liberate him.

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Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition Review

Loot lust: the 8th deadly sin.

When Diablo 3 came out for the PC in 2011, I don’t think I really understood what it was. Don’t get me wrong: I loved it. It was the first game I awarded five stars to at PixlBit and it went on to become my game of the year. With all of that said, I treated it like every other one of my games: I played it, enjoyed it, and moved on to the next thing. It wasn’t until I plunged back in with the PlayStation 4 “Ultimate Evil” edition that I finally let Diablo get its claws into me, and now I’m trapped.

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Mega Man Review Rewind

Rise of the machines.

The original Mega Man was the perfect NES action game: powerups, platforming, shooting, and controller-tossing difficulty merged with ‘80s story conventions: the convergence of man and machine, greed, and technology gone rogue. I can only imagine what people were thinking when they picked it up in 1987 and saw a silly middle-aged fellow stuck in an uncomfortable pose with his pistol on the box cover; I’ll bet they wouldn’t be thinking that in a few decades there would be people dressed up as Mega Man along the streets of Hollywood, making a quick buck posing with tourists. It all started with a great game that is still great today.

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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Review

He is the snake to my mongoose. Or the mongoose to my snake. Either way, it’s bad. I don’t know animals.

I could write a perfectly standard review of Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. I could go point by point and explain how this is a third person action game with heavy emphasis on stealth and melee combat in the vein of Batman: Arkham Asylum/City. I could talk about the great graphics and the satisfying fighting mechanics, and how some of the stiff animation and problems with context-sensitive button prompts are the reason why it doesn’t get five stars. I could do all of that and you would have a good idea of what Shadow of Mordor is, but you wouldn’t understand what makes it new and special. So I have a different idea.

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Azure Striker Gunvolt Review

Full disclosure, there are no electricity puns within this game review.

I would call Azure Striker Gunvolt two things; one would be the perfect replacement for a lack of a new Mega Man X/Zero title, and the other being a very meaty 3DS eShop release with high production values. With easy to understand gameplay, a fantastic graphical style and a slew of abilities and optional gear to collect, Azure Striker Gunvolt is a great call back to the 16-bit era of action games and an all around great game despite some design flaws. It even comes with the free game as well!

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Valiant Hearts: The Great War Review

Puzzles spiked with emotions.

Valiant Hearts is about one of the more horrendous moments in 20th century history, a moment seldom portrayed in movies, TV, games, or other media -- probably because it is not pleasant to relive.  While World War II can be fun, despite its carnage, in pretending to do battle against a true, villainous evil – the first World War lacks such black and white delineations, and for lack of a better word, was simply insane. 

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The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987 Review

Time to hook up the Starpath Supercharger

It should be obvious from the title that The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987 is a very specific book that will appeal to a very specific audience. Brett Weiss, who writes many books with a narrow, historical focus, branches out slightly and tries to give his readers a huge swallow of his opinion about the first full decade of console gaming. If you have an interest – or strong opinions – about this era of gaming, you’ll be pretty pleased reading through Weiss’s descriptions and critiques.

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Dark Souls II: Crown of the Old Iron King Review

Round 2 of DLC, let’s go die some more!

“Haunting” is a perfect word for the realms of the Souls games. No matter how you look at any given landscape, you can always scrape away the remaining rays of hope and damn near breathe in the tragedies that aerate from the world around you. From the initial moment you step in to the domain of the Old Iron King, you hear the ghosts of the past crying for help as you walk through the ashen covered landscapes that are filled with dusty remains of those who never made it to see another day. There is no light to be seen, and the despair can be enough to madden to most stoic of heroes.

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