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3.9 stars

Average score of 40 user reviews

Wasted potential 0

Ninja Gaiden Z opens up with a thrilling cutscene depicting the nefarious demon ninja Yaiba Kamikaze taking on series favorite Ryu Hayabusa in a picturesque duel amidst a bamboo field. The encounter doesn't end well for Yaiba, losing not only the fight but half his body in the process in a perfect "you don't know you're already dead" freeze frame moment. This initial high octane encounter with irreverent humor and flashy visuals sets the tone for how the rest of Z plays out - colorful, over the...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Not the hell you were expecting 4

A journey that takes you to hell and back Sequels can impose a precarious situation for both developers and fans alike. There is a delicate balance between changing too much and not changing enough that can so often be difficult to nail down. Doom 2016 was for all intents and purposes a blank slate for Id to work with and after several preview events expectations were quite low. Gore kills? Who put melee combat into a Doom game? Why do they keep talking about these Snap-Maps? Despite publisher ...

5 out of 7 found this review helpful.

Reinventing the cog 0

Gears 5 2019, XBOX ONE XGears of War is by now an iconic series in the pantheon of gaming. From the very first trailers over a decade ago revealing machine guns with chainsaws hefted by towers of muscle clad in bulky armor, Gears had instantly established a style uniquely of it’s own. As the franchise changed hands at the conclusion of it’s trilogy from Epic to Microsoft, the daunting task of restarting the series fell squarely on Canadian developer the Coalition. 2016 saw the rele...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

A brave new world for an existing genre 2

THE SURGE 2017, XBOX ONE XThe Surge is a strange amalgamation that works surprisingly well considering it’s core ingredients. Developed by Deck13 who you might recognize as the people behind Lords of the Fallen, it is clear that they learned a lot from their previous excursion into the “Souls” genre and applied those lessons well to an entirely new and exciting setting. Taking place in the not so distant future where Earth is unsurprisingly struggling, the Creo corporation is...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Hurry up and wait 0

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” OUTER WILDS 2019, XBOX ONEMany games present us with the conceit of freeform exploration and discovery, but few manage to make good on this promise. Typically exploration is confined by invisible walls or bright red turn-back signals that steer us away from the less interesting parts of the canvas. The stories found within tend to start and stop with the NPC’s we encounter along the way and their menial err...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Stunning, evocative but rarely fun 2

"Changes and progress very rarely are gifts from above. They come out of struggles from below." –Noam ChomskyBELOW 2018, XBOX ONE Announced all the way back in 2013, Below by Capybara games spent nearly 6 years in development before finally releasing out of nowhere at the tail end of 2018. Throughout this time period the game underwent several dramatic design changes. Somewhere along the way the team decided to shift from their traditional 2D art style to a 3D model which brought f...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

A great new IP with an old name 2

An inconvenient pastWhen talking about Prey the first thing to get out of the way is how it’s only relation to the original Prey franchise is through a convoluted business justification that could only result from business folk making highly illogical business decisions that probably looked pretty smart in an excel spreadsheet. In short Bethesda acquired the rights to Prey and decided to blow the proverbial dust from this withering license by handing off development to Arkane with appar...

8 out of 8 found this review helpful.

A Brave New World 1

New IPGuerrilla is a studio most notably known for Killzone, a heavily first person focused shooter franchise entrenched in a gritty and dark future civil war, which makes their debut into the open world third person genre such a surprise. New IP is always exciting all by itself, and more so when it takes on such a fantastical setting as Horizon: Zero Dawn. A post apocalypse not of rusted browns and arid wastelands, but one of reclaimed nature: of green forests, sprawling jungles and ice cappe...

5 out of 6 found this review helpful.

A hard left for a series that should have moved forward 5

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Ninja Turtles Watch Dogs was a game announced to much fanfare and burdened with lofty expectations, some of which were attainable and others not so much. Regardless of what many thought of the finished product Watch Dogs had a clear and comprehensive idea behind it, that while it may have stumbled here and there in executing, was an everpresent foundation that everything else traced back to. Watch Dogs 2 a...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

An engaging and thought provoking horror game that could use a little less horror. 0

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity-Albert Einstein Confused, scared, alone and hopelessly lost - these are the feelings that permeate the dark hallways through which you’ll likely tip toe your way in SOMA, the newest title from Frictional Games. Makers of the much lauded Amnesia Dark Descent as well as the Penumbra series, their newest endeavor continues the psychological horror motif albeit in a completely new and surprising setting. It’...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Surprisingly heartfelt summer blockbuster 0

A round man cannot be expected to fit in a square hole right away. He must have time to modify his shape.Mark Twain Uncharted according to many reached it’s peak with the second entry, making a name for itself by way of bombastic action sequences, gorgeous level design and a likeable cast helmed by Nolan North as the smart aleck adventurer Nathan Drake. After Drake’s Deception rather lukewarm reception many wondered if the world needed another Uncharted game? The answer is well, not ...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Still surviving, still great fun 2

"We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself, the means of inspiration and survival." -Winston Churchill With the release of the excellent 2013 Tomb Raider reboot we witnessed Lara Croft go through growing pains both inside and outside the game world. Even Nathan Drake would be surprised at how the same media so intent on fighting for gender equality would take the game to task over the most miniscule of details. Clouded in arbitrary controversy that questioned everything from how pretty t...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

The Straight and Narrow 0

“He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.” William Gibson once spoke of writing his first novel Neuromancer (which would become the progenitor of the cyberpunk genre) that by not explaining what certain slang meant or how certain machines operated, his key goal was for the reader to experience complete culture shock. In a similar fashion the Souls games provide the exact same feeling of entering a foreign world that isn’t conveniently waiting to exp...

13 out of 13 found this review helpful.

Shoot and slice your way to victory in a cool suit 2

Editors note: This is a review I found I had written in 2008, for purposes unknown. I paste it here with the original score given at the time, with minimal editing for punctuation. If you are still on the fence about buying 2008's Dark Sector, hopefully this time authentic review will finally help you decide in 2015!Dark Sector is a fun game in the likes of Gears of War. The control scheme is almost exactly the same, so if you had played Gears beforehand then you'll have no problems at all swit...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A feast for fans of the genre 3

As my party stands above a slumbering dragon that has found it’s home in a decrepit pantheon just below us, Iron Bull suddenly questions Cassandra about her feelings towards another party member. Cassandra doesn’t have anything flattering to say and Bull turns to me for an opinion. With a click of the stick I engage this optional conversation and let them know they shouldn’t discuss someone when they aren’t even here to defend themselves. As I buff us all with barriers a...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

A stylish test of endurance 1

Gods Will Be Watching Who lives and who dies? Do you feed your team or push them through the night to repair the radio you so desperately need in order to call for help. On the surface Gods Will Be Watching appears to be a stylized adventure game centered around making critical decisions in difficult situations. In reality Gods is actually a painstakingly methodical resource management simulator, dressed up with some wonderful pixel art and an intriguing plot. Following the story of sergeant Bu...

7 out of 9 found this review helpful.

Not a great sequel, but still a really good game 2

How far would you go to save someone you love? This was the defining question players explored when they immersed themselves in the sprawling epic of the first Lords of Shadow as the warrior priest Gabriel Belmont. As the end of that story drew near, a new question started to creep up out of the proverbial shadows of the night: after all is finished, after all the lines you’ve crossed, are you ready to face the person you’ve become along the way? Four years later, Lords of Shadow 2 ...

7 out of 7 found this review helpful.

Metal Gear Rising is flawed but fun 0

Rising’s development had been as tumultuous as Raiden himself. Initially presented and perceived as something completely different - through bumpy fail-starts and awkward beginnings, the final product managed to ascertain itself in the Metal Gear fiction and come into it’s own. Yet Revengeance continues to straddle two worlds that are quite at odds with one another.There are no Snakes in this storyThe story loosely follows Metal Gear Solid 4, although you needn’t have played any of the previo...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Still A Great Open World Experience 0

Rockstar is a company known for their creativity and independence. They’re not only independant in the sense that their publisher for the most part walks by the office only to slip a cash envelope under the door without interrupting the creative process, but they work independently from the industry as a whole. For the longest time this set Grand Theft Auto apart from the rest of the market. Fiercely original and uncompromising in it’s vision. While the Housers were once again able to achieve a...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Classic Suda 0

Killer is Dead, developed by Suda 51 and Grasshopper studios, is a simple but interesting action game with some adult side content and a whole lot of crazy driving it forward. You take on the role of Mondo Zappa, professional assassin, gentleman, amnesiac and lady killer. Employed by a government funded hitman bureau, in classic Suda fashion a large chunk of detail is left up to the players imagination. The game is wrapped in a shroud of mystery from the opening cinematic and quite honestly do...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A stunning game with some minor setbacks. 0

This day and age it’s really difficult to make a unique zombie game. Whether we call them zombies, shadows or walkers, the established fiction leaves little to the imagination. While Deadlight doesn’t break any new boundaries from a narrative perspective, it does shed new light on the genre by changing the perspective itself.The game has some truly beautiful backgroundsIn Deadlight you take on the role of Canadian mountaineer Randall Wayne. Father, husband and survivor of the oh so familiar zom...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Amazing story with average gameplay. 0

You might have heard that The Last of Us is the Citizen Kane of video games. You might have laughed at that poor analogy that was surely dreamt up as a result of some fever dream induced by the crushing weight of meeting a deadline with a 20 hour single player campaign on your hands. The fact of the matter is that Last of Us IS a really great game. The difference we have to observe is that while it does leaps and bounds for narrative and storytelling, the gameplay.. not so much.Considering that ...

3 out of 5 found this review helpful.

The Knife of Dunwall DLC: Great Value for your Dollar 0

The Knife of Dunwall is a piece of DLC that many developers should aspire to make for their own games. Running parallel to the story of the main game you get to play as Daud, the legendary master assassin and true killer of the Empress. Knife of Dunwall presents the player with three lengthy missions: two of which are brand new environments while the third is an area revisited from Dishonored. As one of only eight people touched by the mysterious Outsider, you will also get to try a few new powe...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Amidst a PR flurry a survivor is born 0

Reboots have it rough these days. Trying to appease both fans of old and series newcomers is a balancing act I don't envy. Crystal Dynamics set out to redefine how people perceive Lara Croft in their latest Tomb Raider reboot and distance themselves from the buxom, sex laden image of the past. Gone are the long camera pans creeping up Lara's backside or superfluous shower scenes, and in comes a gritty story of a young girl becoming a hardened adventurer through a trial by fire. While there migh...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Series fatigue slows Isaac down more than the snow 1

Amidst micro transaction controversy and a strong emphasis on co-op in the games marketing campaign, Dead Space 3 got quite a rough start before it even hit store shelves. While it certainly won’t win back any of the fans that jumped ship after the second title introduced more action into the mix, will the new changes alienate the remaining audience? In short the answer is no. Dead Space 3 may have it’s share of issues but the core gameplay is definitely still there. While action may have been p...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Perfect Execution but Misses the Mark 0

How often do we see games that have great ideas yet poor execution. Marred by technical flaws, even the greatest ideas are simply wasted potential. Hitman Absolution is not one of those games. With great graphics, smooth gameplay and terrific atmosphere there is no doubt about the quality of this product. How is it then, that Io Interactive with all this technical prowess managed to take such a huge step back where the actual gameplay was concerned?Just making sure the coast is clear..Hitman Abs...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A proper reboot into a new generation 0

If you told me they were remaking Dungeon Keeper as a third person hack and slash with a linear story and a remixed intro by Nicki Minaj I might slap you - but it’s this sort of gut reaction that so often tends to steer us away from good old fashioned fun. Syndicate is a game developed by Starbreeze known for their fine work on the Riddick franchise and their knack for presenting an immersive first person experience. Modeled, loosely, after the early 90’s isometric game bearing the same name - w...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Stealth Redefined 0

Stealth games are a hard pill to swallow for some. The slow, methodical gamestyle of stalking guards and taking them out one by one in order to fill up a single broom closet with as many bodies as possible does not appeal to all. Dishonored is an interesting entry in the stealth genre as it plays like a stealth game but at the same time will not require an instant reload should you run into some action along the way. Offering a rich universe and plenty of open levels with branching pathways, thi...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Didn't like the original - Loved the sequel. 2

F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote “there are no second acts in American lives.” While Borderlands 2 doesn’t have much in common with the Great Gatsby they do share the singular link of offering second chances. If you weren’t swayed by the original and are unsure what to make of this bombastic sequel then I urge you to take a chance. Fitzgerald went on to become one of America's greatest writers of the 20th century, and who knows, Borderlands 2 just might become one of your favorite games of 2012.Pa...

6 out of 6 found this review helpful.

Excellent from start to finish 0

You may be getting slightly tired of arcade titles that come and go offering a limited amount of fun that you simply abandon after a while. In the age of triple A titles one can get accustomed to the big show and end up missing out on smaller venues along the way. Mark of the Ninja is a game that demonstrates how an arcade title can pack as much depth and enjoyment as it's full price, shelf contemporaries.Sound plays a key roleFrom the makers of Shank, Mark of the Ninja is despite the inherent s...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Simply Fun 0

In the future there will be robots. This is a fact, we have tons of movies to prove it! We also know that inevitably some of those robots will mimic their creators so closely that they'll become indistinguishable from human beings. What happens though when the robots themselves don't realize what they really are?In Binary Domain we get a glimpse of a not so far away future where the polar ice caps have melted and a large percentage of the planet has been engulfed by sea water. The poor get by in...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The devil is in the details. 3

You don’t get a lot of games set in the 1950’s these days. Not that you ever really had a lot of them, the post WW2 era of gangsters and jazz has been left mostly unexplored by developers. LA Noire takes the player on an in-depth journey back into the blooming post war time period where cops didn’t need search warrants and corruption was just a part of the system. You soon come to realize that being an honest cop in a dirty town isn’t as easy as one might think.In LA Noire you live the life of C...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A Modern Day Max Payne for Better and Worse 1

When Rockstar set out to make the next Max Payne game they planned something different. From the very first press images we got of a bald, bearded Max running around a sunny, tropical paradise it was apparent this wasn’t going to be your typical third entry in the series. In an age where repetition reigns king and sequels are scarcely more than expanded DLC packs that throw in a few new gameplay elements it was interesting to see if this bold (heh) new direction would pay off in the long run.You...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The Same Old Formula But Still Extremely Addicting 1

Back in the day the Diablo series had started a revolution. While you had plenty of in depth role playing games such as Baldurs Gate, Fallout or Planescape Torment - the genre of action RPG’s had not been explored. Ever since that first run into the shadowy cathedrals under Tristram we’ve been clicking away for colored loot drops. Now, years later Diablo 3 is finally out to introduce a whole new generation to the wonders of loot lust. If you have played Diablo 2 and enjoyed it greatly, then you ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Fun Yet Ultimately Flawed Sniping Experience 0

Sniping has always been highly romanticized thanks to the magic of movies. The lone markskman setting up his shot and getting that perfect kill across vast distances is something you always watch with awe. Many games have tried to capture that cinematic experience and a fair amount of them have succeeded - the biggest problem is what do you do with the rest of the game?Sniper Elite V2 places you in the shoes of allied sniper, American to be exact, Karl Fairburne. Deployed in Germany, in the latt...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Dark Fantasy At It's Best on the XBOX360 0

What games often fail to do these days is challenge our expectations and views of things we have by now began to take for granted. To experience that which we already know, in a completely new way we've never seen before is truly a gift of its own. The Witcher 2 does exactly that through weaving an intricate tale of Geralt of Rivia, a famed witcher caught up in a series of royal assassinations, out to find the murderer and perhaps even piece together parts of his broken past.The world we see in ...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

A whole New Dimension of Indie Platforming 0

At first glance Fez looks like your typical indie platformer. The 8bit graphics and cutesy characters are all par for the course we've visited so many times before. The interesting perspective shifting dynamics add a twist to the title, literally, that sets it apart from the rest of the crowd. Creator Phil Fish didn't stop there though - and when you really start to dig deeper into the game you realize it's in a whole another dimension of 'puzzle platformer.'Fez is structured around a loose stor...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A fresh take on a classic formula 0

Street Fighter and Tekken have both enjoyed a rivalry dating back many years. Offering the best of their individual worlds, they've accumulated fans that stuck by them through thick and thin. Street Fighter X Tekken tries to blur those lines and bring everyone together in a grand meshing of 2D and 3D fighting. While favoring the Street Fighter model of play (the upcoming sibling title Tekken X Street Fighter doing the exact reverse) it is hard to imagine the very specific Tekken playstyle workin...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Good but not Great 1

Some of you might have played the Mass Effect games in the past and were eagerly awaiting the release of the final installment to this exciting trilogy. The wait is over and millions of fans were able to enjoy the stunning conclusion to Commander Shepards grand plan to stop the Reapers once and for all. If you don’t know what Reapers are, or who Commander Shepard is, then you might really enjoy what this latest title from Bioware has to offer. For everyone else it’s a slippery slope of lowered e...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Largely overlooked yet very unique puzzle platformer 0

With an increasing number of puzzle games making their way to the forefront of gaming it's easy for fatigue to set in. After having experienced titles like Portal or Braid you might think that nothing will awe you in terms of puzzles anymore. Warp manages to be just unique and approachable enough to show you theres plenty more room left for surprises.Coming out as part of the Block Party lineup, Warp is priced modestly at 800 microsoft points. Sharing the stage with the more well known Alan Wake...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.