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4.06 stars 4.06/5 Stars Average score of 33 user reviews spread across 0 releases and 0 DLC

About Face: The Fall (Mac) Review 0

The term “interface” says a lot about how humans view computers. Meaning literally “an exchange between faces,” the concept of interfacing anthropomorphizes computers so that one-on-one interactions with humans feel more natural. But interfacing isn’t just people talking to machines, computers also interface with other computers without the need for voice recognition or stupid biological organisms getting in the way. Yet this cold digital data exchange is still def...

2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Selfish Superhero 0

Cole has a decision to make. He just earned a stranger’s trust by defending him from some thugs. Cole can either accept a humble reward for his help or he can kill the stranger and steal everything he has. Cole checks his Karma meter, it’s glowing blue: the color of a hero. He decides it’s in his best interest to spare the stranger, accept his thanks, and earn “good” Karma points in the process. Finally, Cole has enough currency to upgrade his basic attack.In inFamous, you play as Cole MacGrath,...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Force Against Habit 0

In the time that I've been playing and thinking about indie game superstar, Braid, enigmatic Swedish electronic band, The Knife released their first album in 7 years. 2006's Silent Shout was a watershed moment for The Knife, garnering heaps of critical praise for culling ideas represented in previous albums into a monster of an artistic statement that sounded unlike anything else. The particular trademarks of Silent Shout's sound were ghoulish, pitched-down vocals, layered over clean electronic ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Half-Tucked 0

Nothing dates a game quicker than its alignment with a fashion trend. Enter the half-tuck, a clothing statement brought to the mainstream by action hero protagonist, Nathan Drake in 2007 for his debut in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (UDF). What exactly is the half-tuck? It's when you tuck in about half of your shirt, starting front and center, and continuing to tuck about 3/4 of the way back on one side. The rest of the shirt hangs loose. Nathan Drake wears a plain ol' grey long sleeve T-shirt in ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Ever-Present 0

Your eyes open.You're standing on water, but can't look at yourself to see how it's possible. Moving forward in a smooth, hovering fashion, an island appears in the distance. Music manifests out of the air and from the living plants and creatures on the island. You hear the sound of cascading flutes and sliding, almost theremin-like, synthesizer tones interjected with arrhythmic bells and chimes. You proceed further into the island. The trees are lush with pink flowers. Frogs, squirrels, rabbits...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Ride or Drive 0

Learning to drive a car can be a stressful experience. When I was in high school I took driving lessons from a certified instructor named Mr. Neeble, a stern old man with the relentless cadence of a film noir mobster. Imagine already being nervous about sitting behind the wheel, then as you're trying your damnedest to stay in your lane and stop at all of the proper signals, you have to listen to a constant deluge of mantras like "Hands at 10 and 2!," "Check you mirrors!," "Eyes on the road!," a...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

From There to Here 0

I've been living in New York City for almost 6 months and I still get lost all the time. Even with pre-trip research, I regularly go the wrong way or pass my destination. Typically, before venturing out of my apartment I'll Google Map my destination to look for nearby subway stations, and if there is one in close proximity I'll open a subway map pdf to plot my route. If there are no nearby subway stations I'll Google Map driving directions and look for parking options. Planning the expedition is...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

What's This Do?: McPixel (Mac) Review 0

Before you can navigate the top menu in the blocky point n' click adventure game, McPixel, you're faced with a brief gameplay scenario. Your character, the titular McPixel, stands in a field awaiting your orders. In the center of the screen is a big red button with a giant arrow pointing to it that reads "Press to start." There is no way to continue in the game without giving in to the temptation of the button, so you click it, like so many Wile E. Coyotes who have come before. Instantly, a boul...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: BIT.TRIP RUNNER (Mac) 0

Prerequisite: check out this video of an individual demonstrating their mastery of the game/toy Bop It. It's best if you watch the whole thing, but I understand if you become impatient and bail early. BIT.TRIP RUNNER is a video game version of Bop It. No, it's not an official tie-in, but the mechanics are transferred nearly verbatim. In RUNNER you control a character who must dodge obstacles as the environment force-scrolls past. Directional buttons trigger block, kick, slide, and vault actions ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: Rayman Origins (Wii) 0

Let's get the critical evaluation out of the way: Rayman Origins is a fun, smartly-designed 2-D platformer that strikes a balance between the charm and detail of Kirby's Epic Yarn with the trial and error, twitch challenge of Super Meat Boy. Sounds pretty good, right? For the most part, it is. Game reviewers have heaped near-universal praise upon the title using phrases like "wonderfully crafted," "gorgeous," and "controls perfectly." I agree with all of these, and yet, Rayman Origins still come...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii) 0

How long does it take to tell a good story? In person? Maybe 5 minutes. In film? About 2 hours. A book? Let’s say 5-10 hours. Video games? No less than 50 hours. This means you could watch every major Stanley Kubrick, Paul Thomas Anderson, and David Lynch film before finishing one game. Sure, the standards for game stories have changed over time as shorter action titles have steered toward a cinematic style and runtime, but the progenitors of story-driven gaming, the Japanese role-playing game (...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: Digital: A Love Story (Mac) 0

It's often taken for granted that people who play a lot of video games know a lot about technology. I'll attest that there is generally aptitude in these circles beyond that of the non-gamer crowd, but it's not something that comes entirely natural. Maybe I'm just being defensive because I was always late to the party on so many aspects of new and emerging technological trends in the past 3 decades. I didn't send an email or use AIM until I started college in 2002. Same goes for having a cell ph...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: Limbo (Mac) 0

The most common understanding of afterlife pit-stop, Limbo, is one that blends in with Purgatory, both associated with wavering, in-between states. In 2007 the Catholic Church released a document stating their thoughts on the eternal fates of infants who die without being baptized, concurrently addressing the validity of Limbo. Even though their proclamation did not directly disqualify the existence of Limbo, they didn't take credit for the idea either. Officially speaking, Limbo is only perpetu...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: Fotonica (Mac) 0

Running is not fun. I remember being forced to run cross-country as a requirement for the basketball team in middle school and hating every minute of it. I was able to get out of it one year, which was indeed glorious. Despite this, 12 years later I trained for and raced in the 2010 Chicago half-marathon. One could look at this act as masochistic (excuses aside, perhaps it was), but in reality I just wasn't very creative with my choice of exercise. Afterwards I concluded that 13 miles is as far ...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Review: Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) 0

We've been told that space is the final frontier, but in the US we're witnessing the retiring of our nation's fleet of space shuttles due to scaled back government funding for manned outer space exploration. Sure, private enterprises like SpaceX (with tremendous help from NASA) will continue the bold pursuit into the unknown, but the initiative's removal from the national docket leaves it to capture the attention of those who seek it out rather than the hearts of potentially any forward-thinking...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: Journey (PS3) 0

I used to persistently need the latest video games simply because I was driven to have the new thing. Now, I'm content to wait months, even years after a game's release to pick it up, knowing I'll pay significantly less for it. Despite this, I stay up to the minute on the ongoings of the game industry and see a renewed value in playing games upon release that have significant online integration or a collective sociocultural metagame. The third-person wandering/jumping simulator, Journey, is one ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii) 0

So, I was just about to head to the fabric store when I got a message from my friend Zeke; he said he wanted to come over to my place and hangout. I briefly popped in at the fabric shop and picked up some new patterns before taking the short walk to my apartment. When I got there, Zeke flew in, paid some compliments to my interior decoration and then pleasantly milled about the space. I decided this would be a great photo opportunity seeing as I just reupholstered my couch and carefully balanced...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (WiiVC/SNES) 0

Should we review old games as artifacts or in the same light as their contemporary brethren? Even if a new title is released with decidedly retro stylings, does its position upon release matter more than any time in the future? The relevancy of art often fluctuates based on where a society or individual is in their lifespan at a given point in time. I wonder how people 10 years from now will view retro-styled games produced in 2010, 2011, or 2012. Will they be seen as artifacts the same way as g...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii) 0

The appeal of the Metroid series has long been the isolated adventure through uncharted worlds. It's surprising then in the final chapter of the Metroid Prime trilogy that Samus Aran spends so much time listening to other people tell her what to do and where to go. This is the case in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption because Samus is basically a federal contractor; a one-woman cleaning crew assigned to rid the universe of the glowing, corrosive element, Phazon.The game opens strongly with an intense ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: Pokemon Puzzle League (WiiVC/N64) 0

Unlike most of the games I review, I actually spent time playing Pokemon Puzzle League (PPL) back in 2000, when it was current. However, that was only a singular rental that, for whatever reason, didn't prompt me to purchase the full $60 game. On the Wii's Virtual Console, that price has been significantly reduced, effectively eliminating my barrier to entry on a title that I vaguely remembered being pretty fun. Turns out that faint inkling was pointing in the correct direction as PPL is a decep...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: Cave Story (WiiWare) 0

For a long time I've been wanting to build an art piece that centers around "cave themes" from videogames. The eerie ambiance has been handled in many different ways over time, each composer setting the correct mood for the cave level from an individual game. This had me extra excited for Cave Story, as I imagined a boatload of variations on cave tunes I'd looked into previously. Going in with that expectation, I ended up a little disappointed to find that the cave-yness is often downplayed in t...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: Super Mario World (WiiVC/SNES) 0

Having only ever played Super Mario World in brief spats on friends' SNESes, I went into my full playthrough with skepticism. Sure, I had confidence that this would be a satisfying game, but many enthusiasts herald this as the best Mario title to date. From what I had touched previously, this hardly seemed the case. Now, with numerous castles, ghost houses, and another Bowser battle under my belt, I can see where that stunning appeal comes from, even if it doesn't strike my fancy...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Review: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GC) 0

Zelda games don't come around terribly often, and when they do it's with extremely high expectations. Looking at Twilight Princess now, it's easy to forget what this game's release was in response to, and why it was framed as the "mature" Zelda the way it was. Though the previous GameCube Zelda, Wind Waker, was highly regarded, series purists discounted its cell-shaded cartoonish style as childish. Thus Nintendo, in a move reminiscent, but thankfully not as extreme, of Ubisoft's Prin...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: TaleSpin (NES) 0

Having just reviewed Capcom's DuckTails game, their take on TaleSpin seemed like a fitting companion piece. The two have a lot in common, visually and structurally, despite fitting into totally separate genres. While they both seem to be marketed towards kids, the difficulty of TaleSpin doesn't dwindle as soon as you figure out how the core systems work. In fact, TaleSpin relies on pattern memorization and quick reflexes to a degree that will challenge most first time players. Ta...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: DuckTales (NES) 0

Thinking about the broader concept of DuckTails as a "thing" is a bit mind-boggling. Nonetheless, numerous strings of duck-related cartoons and merchandise poured out of Disney in the late 80s and early 90s. The culmination of this has to be the point where duck-branding seeped into the real world as a professional hockey team. Considering all of this, Capcom's DuckTales game for the NES seems pretty understated and an example of a game that rises above the cash-in tendencies of...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: Super C (NES) 0

The original Contra on the NES is a classic run n' gun game that sits in the greater game canon and is looked upon with a nostalgic fondness by those who grew up with it. People tell me that game is supposed to be difficult, but it's one of those few games that I've beaten so many times that there's no real challenge and I instead enjoy it as a form of catharsis. Strange then that I'm only recently playing its sequel Super C (short for Super Contra, one would assume). Full discl...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Review: Metroid (NES) 0

Some of these older videogame reviews will be for games I'm somewhat embarrassed to have never played. Metroid is one of those games. I feel I can't justify this omission without noting that my first full playthrough of a game in this series was Metroid Prime for Gamecube. Some would call that heresy, but I came away from Prime and its sequel having had some incredibly profound and affecting (in a good way) gaming experiences. As a result, I've been pining to go back and check o...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: Castlevania II - Simon's Quest (NES) 0

Another famous game franchise entry is up for review here in the form of the sequel to Konami's side-scrolling action/adventure game, Castlevania. Unlike so many follow-ups, Simon's Quest actually innovates and dramatically changes the gameplay structure of its forebearer. These deviations don't work in all cases though, making Castlevania II a game that strives for more ambitious inventiveness than it's ultimately capable of fulfilling.The alternative tone is apparent from the ou...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: StarTropics (NES) 0

It's about time I put a non-generation-spanning franchise game under the microscope here, so I present my critique of Nintendo's StarTropics. This Japan-developed but US-only release really presents itself as a game that Americans are supposed to like. You take on the role of Mike, a baseball-loving, yo-yo-swinging adventurer from the island of Americola. If the title wasn't a giveaway, the setting of StarTropics is a series of islands, each with a humorous "cola" ending on their...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: Sin and Punishment (WiiVC/N64) 0

10 years ago cult-favorite developer Treasure put out Sin & Punishment, an English voice acted on-rails shooter, for the Nintendo 64, but only made it available in Japan. It's the N64 game that I came closest to importing purely on the basis of how it looked and what I had read about how it played. There's a grandiose anime-inspired, more mature (for N64) storyline with StarFox-like action, but you control a person instead of a plane. It was a game that looked extremely desi...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: Final Fight (WiiVC/SNES) 0

Unlike the other older games I've reviewed on the site so far, I played Final Fight back when it was current. Though I'm sure I previously touched the SNES port I'm evaluating here (via Wii Virtual Console), my primary experience with it was in the arcades. Unfortunately the console port loses some key components of Capcom's original product. That said, this is still classic beat 'em up action with iconic characters and late-80s style at its most ridiculous.Structurally, Final Fi...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Review: Metal Gear (NES) 0

As I'm playing many of these acclaimed game franchise originators, I've noticed that some possess certain core elements that make the game a blast to play even on older hardware, and others seem overly ambitious or less-than-fully-realized until further iterations down the road. Metal Gear definitely qualifies for the latter category. For example, the first descriptor that springs to mind when I think of the Metal Gear series is "cinematic," owing a significant debt to the movements...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Review: Abadox (NES) 0

If the intro cinematic for Abadox doesn't get you excited to play it, I doubt anything I say will change your mind. The setup seems pretty simple. You play as a blaster-toting spaceman who must cut a path through the insides of a living planet-sized alien. The action alternates between side-scrolling and top-down perspectives in classic on-rails shooter fashion. Abadox isn't a perfectly balanced game, but it does have an impeccable visual flair that upholds and builds upon t...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.