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3.9 stars

Average score of 29 user reviews

On the Origin of Wheelies 0

Trials Evolution is a title that may sound aggrandized, but Red Lynx makes good on the implication. True, the newest entry to the moto-obstacle, punishment simulator does play the same as the last: drive on a 2D plane and use only gas, breaks, and leaning to pass through a gauntlet of obstacles and jumps for medals. Only those who truly squeezed HD for all its juice will feel the near imperceptible changes made to bike control and driver strength--the last unlockable bike is much more squirrelly...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Dr. Jones, Dr. Jones, Calling Dr. Jones 0

Mossmouth Studios has done what no other developer has done before with Spelunky: make a good Indiana Jones video game. This charming indie remake borrows heavily from Raiders of the Lost Ark’s pulpy aesthetic and mixes it with punishing design choices to fuel your desire for exploration. You’ll crack a whip, fight snakes and tarantulas, and take some golden idols from trap-laden pedestals just like Harrison Ford’s famous character, all while trying to avoid swift death. Spelunky doesn’t shy awa...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Parallel Dimensions 0

There was a time when, at best, I thought Fez wasn’t coming out. I assumed it had fallen apart, especially when comparing it to other similar developments. To wit, Super Meat Boy only took two years; Braid--a bit more complex than the average 2D jump fest--took three. But now I’ve played Phil Fish’s long struggle, and everything makes sense. The big showcase of the game is 2D to 3D perspective shifting, and while that is pretty interesting on the surface, so much more subtle, obscure, and crypto...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Aiming for the stars 0

It would be foolish to bring up character action games without praising Viewtiful Joe and Devil May Cry director Hideki Kamiya; without him, I’m not sure the genre would’ve flowered as much as it has for the past two cycles of consoles. The Japanese developer once again fills the director’s seat for Bayonetta, a sort of cross between his past two combo based fighters. Stylistic to a fault, Bayonetta fires off cheesy one-liners, absurd break dancing combos, and massive boss encounters with amusin...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Changing the Template 0

Vigil Games is probably a little ashamed at how blatantly similar most of Darksiders’s design is to The Legend of Zelda and God of War. And you know what? They should be. That isn’t to say the studio’s debut title is bad, because instead of adhering too closely to the formulas of its benefactors, they avoid problems that have been in Nintendo’s series for too long. Darksiders proves that it is worth your time by polishing and tweaking key components that it borrows from other games and then addi...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

If it Moves, Blow it Up 0

Avalanche Studios, the Swedish developers who brought players the Just Cause games, keep the explosions, uh, exploding with Renegade Ops, a dual-joystick vehicle shooter for the Xbox Live Arcade. Before you even get into a car, Renegade Ops wastes no time setting a tone that’s like an uncensored episode of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, and I mean that in the best way possible. Campy dialogue, responsive, yet appropriately loose controls, and a wanton nature make this a game for just about anyo...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Flashin' them Purps 0

Though it occupies the same open world, gang story genre as the Grand Theft Auto series, Saints Row: The Third almost shares more in common with an episode of WWE Raw than it does with Rockstar’s seminal franchise. Besides the actual wrestling moves available in combat, it is implausibly gaudy and brutally violent, but a key difference comes across quickly. It presents itself with a swagger, a smirk and a nod if you will; Saints Row knows how stupidly impossible all its missions are, especially ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A good port, not a great one 0

Cevat Yerli, CEO of Crytek, once gloated that running the PC slayer Crysis on consoles was impossible. This was before Crysis launched of course, and only added to the hype of what would become the most sought after graphical high-mark of all computer gaming. According to the developers, and many gamers, it was to be a new era of gaming; a game so beautiful that it would stun all who beheld it and lead the way into a bright future. Then Crysis sold less than 100,000 copies in its first two weeks...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Wait, No Powerbombs? 0

I hold the NFL Blitz series on a lofty pedestal because it is still the only football game franchise to hold my attention for more than a few plays. The old Midway titles made their name with speed, play calling, and more after-the-whistle power bombs than you could shake a stick at, and NFL Blitz 2012 only manages to partially fulfill the first two elements. As for the late hits, they are conspicuously absent, leaving a big hole for those who have been awaiting a perfect Blitz follow-up for yea...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Sticks and Stones 0

Not so long ago, if a development studio pitched a game that was a mix of Super Monkey Ball, 19 century history, a healthy dose of pop culture parody, and some fart jokes, it would probably be shut down. The fact that Ace Team, developer of Zeno Clash, got to make that vision a reality is stunning and encouraging. Rock of Ages is an artsy, sophomorically humored ride through 1800s Europe that clearly lacks some great design choices, but certainly manages to attain some chuckles and bewilderment ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Bethesda's Finest 0

Sense of place, the intangible feeling of everything belonging within a game world’s narrative context, is perhaps the most important aspect of sandbox design. Taking that feeling and turning it into curiosity and wonder about what is around the bend—or in this case around the dankest, darkest cave tunnel, or tallest snowy peaks—is even more impressive, and difficult for developers to accomplish.This is what makes the land of Skyrim such an interesting place to take in. With their latest effort,...

0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

For 8-24 players Only 0

It isn’t uncommon to find that your newly purchased video game has more than one disc in its box, but Battlefield 3 is the first that I know of to put multiplayer, not single player, on the first disc. At first, I was a little surprised due to the sheer amount of time DICE and EA spent showing off the Frostbite 2 engine and campaign. The PR emphasis was definitely on those two points, and the online beta earlier this year didn’t help the multiplayer stand out one bit.But here we are, with 24-pla...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Lost in Arkham City 0

It’s hard to follow up one of the most cohesive interactive experiences of the past generation. When Rocksteady Studios released Batman: Arkham Asylum, they found themselves showered with praise, game of the year nods, and copious sales numbers. The relatively new development houses managed to meld combat, stealth sequences, narrative pacing, and character into a tight, focused package that felt nearly perfect. Normally when a licensed video game comes out, the nature of it being based on previo...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Not a Rollercoaster, but a Theme Park 0

Despite Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s setting being in the future, the game itself doesn’t even feel like a modern shooter. It incentivizes exploration, which modern shooters were weaned from long ago, and features the kind of sci-fi story that languished after Neuromancer and Blade-Runner came out. At the same time, Eidos Montreal has taken several contemporary concepts and blended them with the old. It is a weird mix, and as a result Human Revolution has the look and feel of a mainstream shooter...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A Boy and His Hammer 0

Most video games struggle to create a consistent sense of pacing, the medium isn’t really known for having amazing stories across the board, and adding player agency creates big challenges. Throw a narrator into the mix, like Portal, The Bard’s Tale, and now SuperGiant Game’s Bastion, and making a well-written story is that much more difficult. Having to decide how much dialogue the narrator will have based on player control isn’t something many studios dare try to tackle.You'll get to know this...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

(I'm) Angry (at these) Birds 0

At this point, anyone even remotely knowledgeable about touch screen gaming knows that Angry Birds is one of the top paid iOS games on the App store (currently holding the number two spot). Nearly everyone and their mother has played it and bought its expansions to keep the franchise alive. It has been ported to at least 10 different platforms, and will probably be ported to many more. Hell, there are even t-shirts of Angry Birds. Several of my co-workers sang high praise to me about the app, so...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Playing With Dolls 0

Stacking embraces much of what makes the Live Arcade so good. It is a low cost, high creativity project that took less than a year to produce, and doesn’t mess around with superfluous concepts or multiplayer modes.It also happens to be made by Double Fine Productions, the amazing studio that shaped the hilarious psychic, summer camp adventure, Psychonauts. And they have created yet another clever, well-written adventure game with more heart and style than almost every other game on the market. T...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Eat your heart out, Dick Tracy 0

L.A. Noire’s teaser trailers would have you believe it is Grand Theft Auto: 1947, and for those who buy this game expecting an open world full of hookers, dick jokes, and gratuitous nudity, there will be disappointment. Despite being published by Rockstar and featuring many of the same sandbox trappings that made them famous, tonally, this is about as far from the GTA series as possible. Team Bondi has created a rich, intriguing adventure game that deals with vice, murder, and lust in a mature w...

0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

New Console, Old Problems 2

            It’s rare that I find the time to return to classic games, and even rarer that I finish them. I’ve tried many established “classics”, and while I can appreciate the influence they’ve had, it is hard for me to ignore problems that have been solved in later iterations and generations. Symphony of the Night is one of the lucky ones that I’ve finished—perhaps due to the fact that it is on the XBLA for ten dollars—but that doesn’t mean it is without fault. No, for every instance of good ...

0 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A "Klassic" Return to Form 0

It’s hard to think that a game like Mortal Kombat once carried such a strong prohibition force. It seems almost quaint that the cherry-red blood and impossible anatomic mutilation—such as five ribcages spurting from one combatant—once raised the ire of Senator Joe Lieberman, especially compared to NetherRealm Studio’s latest effort. Oh, Joe, if only you saw this one.             You wouldn’t know it from the title, but Mortal Kombat is the ninth in the series, and takes more than a few cues f...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

No Cake, No Problem 0

By Cody Newill             Portal was a surprising experience for a lot of gamers, myself included. Valve made an incredible acquisition when they hired the student team behind Narbacular Drop to make a game expanding upon the core concepts of their graduating project. The product was subtle narrative, solid puzzle design, and meme-producing humor all fit together in a perfect three-hour package. From the tone of the pre-release hype, it seemed that it would fly in under the radar, while its Or...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Sharp Dressed Combat 0

by Cody Newill In a world where linearity became the standard mechanic of shooters, and the original Crysis sold abysmally, it is strange to see Crysis 2 continue option oriented, or systemic, game design. It is virtually alone in this respect—the Call of Duty mode of design has pervaded most modern shooters—but this game doesn’t need allies. Indeed, Crysis 2 is all the more engaging due to its unique position as a model for how to make on-the-fly options work, and acts as the thinking mans sho...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A "Cut" Above the Rest 0

If there is one game that illustrates the influence Resident Evil 4 and Doom 3 had on sci-fi canon, it is Dead Space. The game’s play style was shamelessly ripped from the former, while the aesthetic and jump scares were strictly from the latter. Not to mention it took dozens of standard horror movie tropes and sprinkled them throughout. And it would be easy for Dead Space 2 to be a lazy follow up that simply builds on the past and nothing more. But thankfully, EA’s Visceral Games has taken the ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Bulletstorm Review 0

I’ve been called many things, but “dick-tits” was not a title designated to me before Bulletstorm came around. I’ll admit, I was a little shocked at the audacity of such a direct attack at the hardcore audience, but maybe that’s why I admire this game. It attempts to set itself apart from popular shooters, and succeeds in many ways. And for a game that spouts more obscenity than Deadwood, Bulletstorm actually manages to give an intriguing, yet brief glimpse into a surprisingly realized world and...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX: Review 0

            I have to confess something: I don’t like Pac-Man. Like most arcade machines, it steals more quarters than the urchins who used to panhandle at Chuckie Cheese. And trust me, I had a hard enough time fending off those fiends without help from the games. So when I heard about a new Pac-Man game coming out, I had little interest. But against all my inhibitions, I decided to give the series one last chance, and I was actually pleasantly surprised when I started playing Pac-Man Championsh...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood: Less Polish, More Desmond 0

If there is one thing Ubisoft can’t be described as, it’s slow. By using several different studios and hundreds of developers, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood was blasted out in 12 months. This short schedule surprised me considering the two-year gap between the first and second games and, to be honest, I didn’t really think a quick release would do the game any favors. I liked that Ubisoft Montreal took two years to polish and refine Assassin’s Creed II, and the change to flamboyant, colorful Ren...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Trials HD: Popping a Wheelie on the Live Arcade Freeway 0

Throughout my life, the little exposure I’ve had to motorcycles of any sort is the X-games and a bike that my dad owned for several months. I vaguely remember playing several mediocre PS2 era motocross games, but nothing has ever stuck in my mind as particularly noteworthy. It is to Red Lynx’s credit that they have developed a motorcycle game that has lit a competitive fire in myself. Trials HD is a simple, yet devious physics puzzle that just so happens to be conveyed through dirt bikes, but is...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Undead Nightmare: A strong premise with weak supports 0

This generation of consoles has been kind to Rockstar Games; GTA IV broke all previous sales records, both The Lost and the Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony were well received by critics, and Red Dead Redemption reinvigorated western video games. This was also the generation where Rockstar set aside the 69 jokes to pursue more dramatic story arcs. So it is sort of strange that Undead Nightmare exists. It essentially comes off as a zombie B-Movie version of Red Dead proper, full of corny dialogu...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Super Meat Boy: Full of Fuzzy Animals and Cotton Candy! 0

Super Meat Boy could be described as a platformer, but that wouldn’t be quite accurate; this game is more of a masochism simulator with an indie platformer’s skin. Whatever genre it falls under, SMB is a tightly designed game that rewards precision gameplay similar to Trials or Ninja Gaiden. And although it makes me more frustrated than any game of the past five years, there is a great sense of style and humor that softens the blow of dying 50 times in one level, and the tightly designed levels ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.