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4.46 stars 4.46/5 Stars Average score of 167 user reviews spread across 0 releases and 0 DLC

Dead Space 2 0

Dead Space 2 is a fine example of a video game sequel that improves on what the original game offered without actually doing anything too revolutionary. It is again a polished, enjoyable, refined experience, one that takes few real risks but is solidly enough built that it is fun regardless of its lack of ambition. The biggest thing the game tries that the original didn't is turning protagonist Isaac Clarke into an actual character, giving him a voice and more obvious motives, and having his act...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword 0

The first regular Zelda game on a console in five years came out as the Wii's life cycle began to wind down to a close, perhaps too late for it to have a major impact on the gaming landscape. I think Skyward Sword is a really good game, and I certainly had more fun with it than I did with Twilight Princess. But Twilight Princess came out in 2006, and Skyward Sword doesn't do enough differently to be as notable as that game was at the time. People were hoping for Nintendo to really do something d...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Batman: Arkham City 0

Some people didn't seem to be into this game as much as they were into Batman: Arkham Asylum a couple years ago, but I think the only real difference is that this game wasn't a surprise. People were blown away to play a super hero game that actually captured the essence of being that hero and was a fun experience to boot, and despite doing it even better this time around, a lot of Arkham City is more of the same. The biggest change is obviously in the environment. Rather than exploring the groun...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 0

Skyrim came out exactly one month ago, so now seems like as good a time as any to write about it. I haven't been playing it constantly that entire time, but I have spent quite a few hours with it. I haven't finished it, of course. Not in the sense of seeing all the things there are to see, or even just completing the main story quest. I'm maybe about a third of the way through it. As far as the other quest lines, I've joined three of the five major factions, and I've only finished doing work for...

0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Assassin's Creed: Revelations 0

I honestly was less disappointed when I found out this game was going to star Ezio than I was when I learned the same about Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. After all, with that game they had already established a willingness to reuse the same protagonist, and it makes a certain amount of sense to have a trilogy within a larger trilogy, that being the one about the series' meta-protagonist Desmond. I don't know that the game released next year will actually be called Assassin's Creed III, and I wo...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 0

I'm really curious how close this game is to what it would have been had Jason West and Vince Zampella not been fired by Activision and taken a lot of the higher level talent at Infinity Ward with them. Was the plan for the game already in place, or did the people left behind have to come up with the whole thing? If there was a plan, how detailed was it? I'm curious because I had fun with the game, but it doesn't do much besides meet the standards of the previous ones without bringing much new t...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Battlefield 3 0

Since Battlefield 2 was released in 2005, the series has seen plenty of games get released, but it is only now that we're getting a new numbered one. Battlefield 3 seems to be both a return to the series' roots, and also a culmination of the changes it's gone through since 2 came out. It combines a lot of the strengths of the original games with some of the improvements by offshoots like Battlefield: Bad Comapny, resulting in a product that seems like the end result of years of tweaking and expe...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception 0

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune managed to successfully blend together third person shooting and traversal-based platforming into something that was coherent and mostly fun to play, but it was the kind of thing where most people saw it as untapped potential. That potential was pretty much fully exploited in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, which greatly improved the graphics, environmental sophistication, dynamism of the plot, and basically everything about the gameplay to be better, creating a unique and...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Resident Evil 5 0

It's not really a surprise that Resident Evil 5 is not as good as Resident Evil 4. It's not an insult to say that either, because the latter is one of the best games to come out in the last decade. 5 takes the core gameplay and design philosophy from 4, and expands on it in a new setting in some ways that are interesting, and in other ways that will leave you scratching your head. It's probably a more ambitious game, but on occasion its reach exceeds its grasp. When it's just following up on wha...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings 0

I really liked a lot of what The Witcher did, but some issues with its pacing and technical prowess prevented me from loving the game. This year's sequel isn't flawless, but it does address some of those problems, and really cements the series as one of the premiere action RPG franchises in gaming. Not every change was welcome, but I think overall Assassins of Kings is a better game than the original.The game begins not long after the first ends, with Geralt protecting the king of Temeria during...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D 0

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was a classic practically the instant it was released, and it still holds up as a fun adventure today. It's been repeatedly re-released over the years, but its port to the 3DS handheld brings some substantial new changes, including ones that don't involve a third dimension. It features the Master Quest from the Gamecube version, which changes up the dungeons and has to be unlocked by completing the original game, and has various tweaks and additions that eith...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Resistance: Fall of Man 0

Despite being a huge fan of Insomniac's Ratchet and Clank series, I had for whatever reason to this point avoided trying their new franchise for this generation, Resistance. Now I wish I had tried it sooner, but not because it was really good and I was missing out. The first Resistance game was a launch title, and while it's probably above average by that standard, it definitely feels every bit like the five year old game that it is. Not only is it not up to the level of subsequent, groundbreaki...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Just Cause 2 0

If the first Just Cause was a dry run for testing out ideas on what an open world game about causing a revolution in a small exotic country might be, its sequel is definitely the full realization of those concepts. It's also sort of the game Mercenaries 2: World in Flames should have been; it doesn't have some of that game's best assets, like its co-op, its arsenal of hugely explosive airstrikes, and its strong motivation for the lead character, but it does execute on its central premise a lot b...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin 0

FEAR 2 is an easier game than the original, and generally stuck out from the crowd less when it was released for the same reasons. FEAR was an early post-Half-Life 2 shooter that was notable for two reasons; its horror atmosphere, and the complex AI of the soldiers you fought, who seemed incredibly smart at the time, and worked together to flush you out and flank you. FEAR 2 maintains the creepy mood of its predecessor, but the combat seems much more straightforward, and designed to keep you con...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Mighty Flip Champs! 0

When I bought Shantae: Risky's Revenge from the DSi store, I put twenty bucks in my account, because the game cost twelve and the next smaller payable increment was ten. That left my balance at eight, money I didn't spend until recently, when I decided to get Mighty Flip Champs, the first DSi release by the same team that made Shantae. I didn't like it quite as much, but it still provided several hours of entertaining, mind-bending puzzles. The game doesn't really have a story, beyond the...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Bastion 0

In this age of development teams numbering in the hundreds and multi-million dollar budgets, it still amazes me sometimes what a handful of people can do. The group behind the actual making of Bastion consists of a couple programmers, a designer, an artist, a sound guy, and a former game critic doing the writing. Greg Kasavin was always very likable when he worked at Gamespot, and it's cool seeing one of the many journalists who have switched over to the development side actually have a t...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Tomb Raider: Underworld 0

I'm not sure how I would have reacted to this game when it came out a few years ago. The game would have still been extremely glitchy, but it's hard to say if it would have been as unacceptable then as it is now. Were the two Crystal Dynamics Tomb Raider games from the previous generation as buggy as this? They were still fresh in my mind back then. They probably couldn't be, because the fact that they were actually totally playable is what saved the series from getting completely buried....

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Portal 2 0

I played through this game's single player mode on PS3 around when it came out earlier this year, but because of the issues Sony had getting PSN back online, by the time I was able to get the game online (and activate my free PC copy), my friends who also bought the game had already played the co-op, and I wanted to experience it the first time with someone else who hadn't seen the solutions before either. I ended up waiting until this weekend, when another friend finally bought it and we...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Limbo 0

Why does it sometimes seem that despite all of the AAA blockbuster games with mammoth marketing campaigns that come out every year, it's often the small download-only games that have the best sense of identity and atmosphere? We saw it with Braid, we saw it with Flower, and now we see it with Limbo. Well, PS3 and PC players do. 360 owners got to play it last year. I'm not one of the people who have decried this gaming generation's lack of originality and innovation, but even the people wh...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Medal of Honor 0

I think I liked this game more than most people, but I guess I'm a sucker for even a little bit of emotional resonance in my first person shooters. After a few years of watching Activision's Call of Duty franchise move to the modern era and absolutely explode in popularity, EA finally put together a team to do the same with their venerable Medal of Honor series, and Danger Close put together a short but solid campaign that isn't the most original thing the genre's seen in a while, but was...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Okamiden 0

I think Capcom would have been better off making a straight sequel to Okami. The concept of Okamiden as a handheld companion to the original game, taking place in many of the same areas but putting twists on them and telling a sort of tangential story is fine. But it took me over twenty hours to beat and has sections that can for many minutes without save points, which is sort of ridiculous for a handheld game. The game's reach exceeds the intended scope of a portable experience and if an...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Bayonetta 0

It would be hard for a video game to be more ridiculous than Bayonetta without becoming intolerable. Plenty of games have gone in a similar direction with over-the-top action sequences and absurd stories and presentation, but I can't recall seeing one take it all as far as this game. It helps a lot that the game knows very well that it is ridiculous, and is sort of winking the entire time. Bayonetta is sort of the typical sexy bombshell protagonist that sometimes gets exploited, but her f...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind 0

I've been slowly working my way through this game's main quest for just shy of three years now (you can check out my pretty much abandoned attempt at chronicling that here), and only really got in gear to finish it recently when it dawned on me that we're only four months away from the next Elder Scrolls game coming out. I didn't want it hanging over me when I dove back into that world. The funny thing is, despite "beating" the game, I've barely scratched the surface of what's available, ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Bioshock 2 0

The most interesting thing to me about Irrational Games taking the Bioshock name and sticking it on a game that takes place in a city in the sky is what it means for this game. When Bioshock 2 was announced (or really just when someone at 2K said there would be sequels), a lot of people complained that the game didn't need it, that its concepts had been explored and its story resolved. I didn't dislike the concept of another game, because I loved the original and thought that more could b...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands 0

Although the platforming in Enslaved: Odyssey to the West was mostly decorative, it got me in the mood to play a PS2-style Prince of Persia game again, and luckily The Forgotten Sands was just sitting there ready for me to play it. And while the game definitely felt like Ubisoft cared more about getting it out quickly than polishing it to a shine besides the nice jump to HD visuals for the Sands of Time sub-series, it was still a very entertaining game, at least when you were running on wal...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Gears of War 2 0

Gears of War 2 didn't wow me as much in 2011 as Gears of War did in 2006. Part of that is just the time difference - I've played a lot of shooters in that period, and most games don't benefit from waiting until a couple years after release to check them out. I do think it's still a slightly less impressive game than the original though. It's a sequel that doesn't do a whole lot new - its cover mechanics are still among the best in the business, but they're not exactly fresh; its mantra of...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West 0

Enslaved is a pretty weird game. It's a retelling of the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West, a story which has inspired countless other adaptations such as Dragon Ball, set in a future where society has been wiped out and the few remaining humans fight to survive against slavers and homicidal robots. It has a lot of platforming components to its basic gameplay, but it's literally impossible to fall to your death. The main character is a freakishly athletic shirtless man with facial t...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days 0

I guess I should have known what I was getting into. Everyone who played this when it came out said it wasn't a very good game. I was still interested in playing it though, because of some of the things they were doing with the presentation, and how it seemed different from other games. So I got it for fairly cheap, and it turned out to not be a very good game. I didn't hate it, but I did enjoy it less than the first game, and while I still found those other things interesting, they weren...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Yakuza 3 0

The fourth game just came out in the States a week or two ago, but I'm just now finished with the third, which was released here last year. A year late seems like the right way to play this series - it's too quirky and occasionally clunky for me to justify paying $60 for the experience when it's brand new, but as a budget purchase a bit later, it's definitely worth it to experience the series' oddness and charms again. The jump to current generation hardware doesn't do much to change the ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood 0

I was a bit surprised by the two year gap between the original Assassin's Creed and the second game when so many franchises these days focus on the yearly schedule, but it didn't take too long for Ubisoft to decide to annualize it. While II jumped the series forward in time a few hundred years (for the bulk of the gameplay, anyway) and used a new main character, Brotherhood is a direct continuation of that character's story, with the added hook of a significant team-building element in th...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Rhythm Heaven 0

Rhythm Heaven is the sequel to a Game Boy Advance game that only came out in the DS, which makes some amount of sense because it is a pretty weird series, although putting it onto a touch-based platform is a perfect fit which definitely justifies bringing this one over. It plays out as a series of mini games where the player taps, rubs, and flicks the screen to achieve objectives based on various rhythm-based skills, periodically reaching a checkpoint where they have to put several of the...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Kirby Super Star Ultra 0

Kirby Super Star Ultra is an upgrade of a Super Nintendo game with improved graphics and more content. The original was already loaded with stuff to do, so the kart is fairly packed to the brim with activities. It's really a collection of games, including a few touchscreen-based competitive modes but mostly focused on an interesting mix of takes on the normal Kirby gameplay. Kirby runs, jumps, floats around, and can absorb 19 different powers from various enemies that occupy the levels. T...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 0

Black Ops is Treyarch's fourth Call of Duty game, and it seems like they've finally gotten the hang of the series. They've long been seen as a very secondary developer in comparison with Infinity Ward, the team that created the series in the first place, but with that studio obviously having issues following the departure of many key employees, Treyarch has the opportunity to establish themselves as top dogs. Black Ops has already surpassed Modern Warfare 2 in early sales, and I certainly ...

0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars 0

 If nothing else, Rockstar Leeds should be commended for bringing the Grand Theft Auto experience to handheld systems while keeping the spirit totally intact. The regular gameplay translates in a playable fashion, and the new elements they introduce with the touch screen are actually some of the best ideas the series has had in a while. Holding down a couple buttons to blast everyone in sight isn't as interesting as a real combat system, but there's actually more variety in the mission des...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Shantae: Risky's Revenge 0

I first heard of the Game Boy Color game Shantae from a video playthrough of it by a member of a message board I go to, and while I never played it personally, I wasn't alone in that respect (it's rare enough to go for over $150 used on Amazon), and I was still impressed by its charm and interesting game design. It was enough of a cult hit for the developer WayForward to work on a sequel, which they finally released for the DSi's download service last week. Risky's Revenge isn't quite as ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Dead Space 0

 I've been living off cheap, slightly older games on Steam for a while now. Dead Space is another one with a sequel coming out soon, and while the original didn't sell like gangbusters, it built up a lot of cachet with regular gamers because of the things it did right. As a horror third person shooter set in space, there isn't much about the game that's original. The setting is a hodgepodge of various science fiction horror films, and to say that the gameplay was merely inspired by Reside...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Sam and Max: The City that Dares not Sleep 0

 The final part of the third Sam and Max season was suitably large-scaled and dramatic (notice how I sidestepped using "epic" there?), and also more effectively emotional than I really expected. It was hard to be too broken up by the proceedings because the show must always go on with these two, but it still worked. Plus the ending, while perhaps a bit convenient, is perfectly fitting for the convoluted logic these characters operate on and also amusingly wraps up about three seasons' wor...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Mass Effect 0

 I've mentioned before that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is the game that got me into western RPGs. So I guess it's not a surprise that I quite enjoyed BioWare's return to the science fiction landscape. Mass Effect takes place within its own original universe, although the influences on both the design and the setting from that game and other classic science fiction are obvious. Without being a real expert on the history of the genre, I'd say the two most obvious influences on...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men 0

 Kane & Lynch is one of my more frustrating game experiences in recent memory, and a big part of that is I wanted to really like it. I know the game caused a fair amount of controversy around its release, but that didn't stop its premise from being interesting to me. Most modern, cover-based shooters either hinge on the same familiar military setting or put them inside varyingly likable open-world environments. To play through a Heat-style series of capers, with a couple of aging and...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Sam and Max: Beyond the Alley of the Dolls 0

 The introduction to Beyond the Alley of the Dolls is great, featuring an homage to zombie movies everywhere as Sam deals with the slight conundrum of his friends taking a strange amount of delight in dispatching cloned, half naked versions of himself. The rest of the episode doesn't quite live up to this beginning, mostly because the puzzles were the least interesting and unique of the season. You were mostly using psychic toys you'd already played with before, and there wasn't much new ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.