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I finally collected some thoughts on Tears of the Kingdom's ending, and turned them into a blog.

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3.8 stars

Average score of 115 user reviews

Meat and potatoes 0

Given the amount of investment JRPGs generally require, and the fact that they can often rely extremely heavily on genre cliches, finding the right one to play can be a bit daunting. True to form, Radiant Historia isn’t going to light the genre afire with innovation, but it’s also executed much better than your average JRPG. If you find yourself in the mood for a great meat and potatoes JRPG, Radiant Historia just might fit the bill.Radiant Historia certainly isn’t immune to genre conventions, a...

4 out of 5 found this review helpful.

Latforming-pay oodness-gay 0

Platformers have always been one of my favorite genres when done well, which has become a relative rarity in recent times. All of that combines to make the occasional gem like Rayman Origins a real treat. If you have any appreciation for a good 2D platformer, Rayman Origins is the game for you.With platformers, it always begins with controls. Rayman Origins controls extremely well for the most part, which makes navigating the game’s dozens of levels fun at its core. There’s a snappiness to movin...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Master, there is a 85% chance you will enjoy this game 0

Like many of us, I’ve been a long standing fan of the Zelda franchise, and have eagerly awaited its newest entry. And while a few things don’t hold up as well as they could, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword proves to be another fantastic game, and is well worth investing in for both fans of the series and adventure lovers alike.The most immediately striking thing about Skyward Sword is its presentation, which is simply beautiful. The art style combines the whimsical charm of Wind Waker with th...

1 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Fus Ro Dah 0

You have to give Bethesda credit for their ambition. They clearly have a vision for what video games can be, and the kinds of transportive experiences they can offer. And while a number of technical issues try to keep that ambition in check, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim proves to be another phenomenal RPG that fans will absolutely love.The Elder Scrolls franchise has always been primarily about presenting expansive fantasy worlds for players to explore, and that is most certainly the case with Sk...

2 out of 7 found this review helpful.

Deja vu 0

At the risk of sabotaging my own review, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is a game that doesn’t really need to be reviewed; you should already know if you’re on board for another installment of the series. If you want more Call of Duty then Modern Warfare 3 fits the bill just fine, but if you’re otherwise getting a little tired of it all then you might be better off taking a break this year.Part of me just wants to provide links to my previous Call of Duty reviews and be done with it, especially ...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Spectacular mayhem 0

I’ve been in and out of the Battlefield franchise over the years, and I generally have a lot of fun with it when I actually sit down and play. The series has always offered a decidedly different take on what a shooter can be, and the latest entry doesn’t veer from that goal. Battlefield 3 is a bombastic, large scale shooter with a lot to offer, and as long as you’re down with its sometimes overwhelming level of mayhem this is a multiplayer experience that’s well worth diving into.I should note u...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

He's not REALLY a rug merchant 4

I thoroughly enjoyed the previous Uncharted games, and was excited to dive into more via Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. And for the most part, that’s exactly what Uncharted 3 is; more Uncharted. That means this is an explosive action game full of spectacular set pieces and lovable characters. It may not rewrite the book on action games, but Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is a good time nonetheless.Uncharted 3 is about as standard as sequels come, and offers exactly what you would expect from th...

1 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Shark repellent optional 0

Batman: Arkham Asylum still stands as one of my favorite games this generation, primarily for its sublime mix of combat, exploration and stealth. Batman: Arkham City is able to replicate most of those strengths in ways you’d expect, but it also dilutes the overall product by trying to cram a lot of other mediocre stuff into the package. Fans of the original looking for more will find it here, but a few rough patches make Batman: Arkham City shine less brightly than it once did.My favorite thing ...

3 out of 4 found this review helpful.

The gamer's game 0

I loved Demon’s Souls. The way it completely ignored many of gaming’s modern trends to create a gripping, demanding, yet rewarding adventure was refreshing, and I’m happy to report that Dark Souls follows firmly in its footsteps. This is an epic RPG that is in many ways bigger and more ambitious than its predecessor, making for an equally special experience. Any fan of a deep and challenging RPG should look no further than Dark Souls.If you've heard one thing about Dark Souls you’ve probably hea...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

The Cole Train runs on whole grain 0

Gears of War has become one of the defining franchises this generation, and Gears of War 3 closes the trilogy in style. It takes the “bigger and better” approach to sequel design to deliver one of the most robust, content-heavy games around. With its sheer quantity of quality content, Gears of War 3 is an absolute must buy for any fan of a good shooter.A lot of what makes Gears 3 so good is precisely what made its predecessors successful to begin with. The iconic Gears formula is still fun at it...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Doing a classic justice 0

I had very little experience with the Deus Ex franchise coming into Human Revolution, and yet I was more than a little skeptical about its effort to revive a nearly decade old franchise. Fortunately my fears were unfounded, as Deus Ex: Human Revolution stays true to what makes the franchise unique while also applying the proper updates to successfully drag it into the modern era. The result is pretty rad.Let’s get this out of the way first- Human Revolution has a laundry list of unfortunate blem...

6 out of 8 found this review helpful.

Pew pew pew 0

It’s no secret that I enjoy a good 2D exploration focused game as much as anyone, and it’s a particular sub-genre I feel we don’t see enough of. When one does roll around every now and then, however, it’s generally pretty good, and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is not one to buck the trend. This is an engaging, well designed exploration game that any fan of the genre should enjoy.Like most exploration focused games, solid world design is a big part of what makes Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet a...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

I saw a girl the other day 0

I was a big fan of the original ‘Splosion Man. Rarely have I seen that level of quantity and quality united under such a low price tag, and to a fair degree Ms. Splosion Man offers the same bang for your buck. But it also lacks the polished level design and originality of its predecessor, which makes for a game that doesn’t always give back as much as you put into it.For the most part Ms. Splosion Man is more ‘Splosion Man. This is a high octane 2D platformer with tight controls, one that’s at i...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Here's a kid whose whole world got twisted 0

Bastion immediately caught my eye when I first saw it. It has that old school swagger, that certain joie de vivre that makes it instantly appealing, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a solid game to be found here as well. Bastion takes some great combat, excellent customization options, and spectacular audio and visuals, and glues it all together with an infectious energy to create a fresh experience you’d be remiss to discount.It would be reductive to call Bastion an action RPG and leave it at ...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Hut, two, three... 0

I’ve always appreciated Double Fine’s sense of humor and quick wit, but haven’t always felt like their games are necessarily fun to play. Trenched seemed like the kind of game that could challenge that preconception, and I was pleasantly surprised at how fun the game really is. Trenched rolls a lot of neat ideas together in a slick way, and is indeed a blast to play.Trenched is easily described as mech combat meets tower defense. The mechs you pilot control well and are fun to drive, and can be ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Few things satisfy like a puzzle solved 0

I really enjoyed the previous Professor Layton titles- there’s something about the Layton formula that just works in a way that most games could only hope for. Professor Layton and the Unwound Future is an equally fantastic entry to the series, once again combining great characters and storytelling with clever puzzles to produce a charming adventure well worth taking.Perhaps the defining characteristic of the Professor Layton series thus far is that aforementioned charm, and The Unwound Future i...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

This doesn't pertain to the case 0

The marketing campaign that preempted L.A Noire’s release didn’t do a great job at explaining what kind of game it is, so let’s be clear- L.A. Noire is an adventure game. That means it’s a methodically paced, story driven affair that boasts some interesting ideas, while simultaneously feeling like a chore to play. Fans of noir in general should find it satisfying on the whole, but anyone else might want to tread carefully when considering L.A. Noire.Being an adventure game, you’ll spend the majo...

2 out of 4 found this review helpful.

The melting pot 2

Outland is a cool game. It takes a lot neat ideas from a wide variety of sources, and mashes them all together in clever, interesting ways. It may not push any individual idea farther than it’s been before, but such a unique combination of mechanics is a refreshing treat, making Outland a blast to play.Outland is perhaps best described as an agglomeration of ideas: 2D platforming, pattern based combat, semi-open world exploration, and dual color “bullet hell” gameplay (think Ikaruga) are its mai...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Stop and smell the science 0

The original Portal was a short but sweet surprise hit, and one could only wonder if a full blown retail sequel was a realistic option for a game that seemed to be a tech demo as much as anything else. Valve for one didn’t find it to be a problem, as Portal 2 is every bit as fantastic as the original, and well worth the price of admission for anyone but the stingiest gamer. Stripped down to its core, Portal 2, like the original, is a puzzle game through and through. You once again wield y...

15 out of 16 found this review helpful.

The great unifier 4

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Top Spin franchise since its inception, but also feel that it’s been a little too hardcore for its own good. That’s exactly where Top Spin 4 steps in. This is a tennis game that’s both accessible enough for newcomers and deep enough for veterans, making Top Spin 4 a well made video game I’d feel comfortable recommending to just about anyone.The thing that makes Top Spin 4 so impressive is precisely that balance between accessibility and depth. Clever tutorials do a gr...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A fitting swan song 0

Pokemon is one of the most successful franchises in gaming history, and Black/White is bigger and better than ever. Everything you know and love about Pokemon remains fully intact- this is still a fun, unique RPG that manages to strike a good balance between accessibility and depth. It may not drastically change or improve those very fundamentals we've known since 1998, but that doesn't stop Black/White from being a must buy for anyone who's ever liked anything about Pokemon.Pokemon games have a...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Seek a way out 0

I generally have a love/hate relationship with pure adventure games. My enjoyment of them is highly dependent on how well their narrative is able to carry limited gameplay mechanics, which is a hard row for video games to hoe. 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors answers the call marvelously, however, proving to be a mature, well thought out adventure game that will occupy your thoughts for days after completion, and is a must play for any fan of the genre. Being a story driven adv...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Make us whole again 0

The original Dead Space remains one of the biggest surprise hits of this generation, and its high quality left me eager to jump back in for more via Dead Space 2. And even though it may take a few unfortunate missteps, Dead Space 2 is still a great shooter that stands toe to toe with the best out there, making it a no-brainer for fans of the genre.First and foremost, the majority of the original’s defining features make a triumphant return in Dead Space 2. The shooting here is second to none, of...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Trial by error 0

I really liked Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney back in 2005, and was pretty excited to see what that same team could do with Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective. The result is a pair of games that are similar in more ways than they’re not, and you’ll probably enjoy one if you enjoy the other. That being said, Ghost Trick didn’t grab me quite as much as I had hoped. It’s a fun experience overall, but a few frustrating design choices left me wanting. Phoenix Wright’s biggest strengths were its sh...

1 out of 3 found this review helpful.

This ain't no Burnout 0

I’ve been a fan of Criterion's racing games for a while now, and give them a lot of credit for pulling me into genre. As such, I was a little wary of the decision to move them to the more high-profile Need for Speed license, and it seems that my fears were not unfounded. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit definitely shows off Criterion’s skill at making quality racing games, but it also feels like an underwhelming compromise on the style of racing that made their games so much fun in the first pla...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Om nom nom nom 0

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX continues the efforts of the first Championship Edition to reinvigorate and modernize the Pac-Man formula for today’s gaming landscape. And while this is easily the most exciting version of Pac-Man I’ve ever played, a serious lack of content still leaves me without any desire to play Championship Edition DX for any substantial length of time. First and foremost, Championship Edition DX is fun. Within moments of turning the game on for the first time you’re...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

You ain't outlaws! You're idiots! 0

I don’t typically care for open world action games, but given how Rockstar has continuously received universal acclaim as masters of the genre, I decided it was high time for me to try one of their “masterpieces”. Playing Red Dead Redemption was a telling experience that finally shed some light onto the Rockstar phenomenon- if you’re among the majority of players who prefer a great story over great gameplay, then Red Dead Redemption is likely the game for you. Red Dead Redemption’s stre...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

It's on like... 1

Nintendo's done well with their various "Wii-makes" over the past few years, and it was only a matter of time before Donkey Kong was given a chance to shine. I think Nintendo has finally found a good home for the big ape, as Retro Studios’ Donkey Kong Country Returns is a fantastic revival that does justice to Rare’s legacy, and should appeal to anyone who enjoys a great 2D platformer. DKC Returns may not be a remake in the literal sense, but it will certainly be immediately familiar to anyone...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

All must die 0

Call of Duty: Black Ops is the seventh core Call of Duty game to be released in the past eight years, making it one of modern gaming’s most consistent franchises. And while each entry is generally solid, that ridiculously frequent release pattern is starting to dilute the overall product. Black Ops is a perfectly fine shooter, and an equally fine entry into this blockbuster series. But it also does so little that hasn’t been done to death already, making it increasingly hard to jump on t...

7 out of 7 found this review helpful.

Any objections, lady? 0

I've played every core Metroid game in existence (meaning all but Metroid Prime Pinball), and also consider myself a fan of the series. Therefore, I was pretty curious how well Team Ninja’s effort would pan out. Put bluntly, there are some interesting ideas here, but the execution is less than perfect, and Metroid: Other M is somewhat middling as both a Metroid game and as an action game.When I think Metroid, I think exploration and item hunting. When I think Team Ninja, I think pure action. Oth...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Nothing is lost forever 0

Having never been a fan of the Tomb Raider (or subsequently the Lara Croft) series, I was more or less indifferent to the The Guardian of Light’s release. However, the positive reviews, easy $15 price point, and eventual inclusion of online cooperative play led me to give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised, as Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light is not only a highly competent action/puzzle game, but it’s also one of the best cooperative gems you can get for fifteen bucks. After stagna...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The fair challenge 0

I’ve always enjoyed a good platformer. It’s one of my favorite genres, and I seem to find myself wishing there were more good ones year after year. That’s why I love it when a game like Super Meat Boy rolls around. This is a brilliantly crafted, tough as nails platformer that has a lot to offer. It’s certainly not for everyone, but Super Meat Boy is a real treat for those who appreciate a fun, challenging 2D platformer. Perhaps it’s no surprise that some of the best 2D platformers in rec...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Wanna go learn stuff? 0

As someone who’s enjoyed Twisted Pixel’s work thus far, I was hopeful that Comic Jumper would continue their trend of fun arcade titles on the cheap. And while there’s plenty of their trademark humor and charm spread throughout, the core gameplay is pretty disappointing. Comic Jumper is a game that’s occasionally fun to witness, but rarely fun to actually play, and I don’t feel comfortable recommending it to anyone looking for anything more than a few lighthearted laughs. It doesn’t tak...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

History at your fingertips 0

As a long-time fan of the series, I’ve always felt that Civilization games are hard to review. There’s so much content in them, and so many aspects to talk about that it can be kind of overwhelming. But there’s something to be said for keeping it simple, and the simple truth is that Civilization V is a fantastic strategy game that's as addictive as ever, and well worth your time and money. Perhaps the most logical place to start is how Civilization V has modernized the Civilization formul...

5 out of 5 found this review helpful.

Just like mom used to make 0

Dead Rising 2 is a stupid, stupid game. But's it's also a game that lets you kill untold amounts of zombies with a sledgehammer, a chainsaw, or even a lawnmower. The original Dead Rising was a fun novelty act that let you smash zombies with anything you could get your hands on, and Dead Rising 2 ups the ante in all the right ways. Its quirky structure will still prove to be as divisive as ever, but killing zombies has never been this satisfying. As with the original, almost anything you find in ...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Squad 7, move out! 1

I've always loved a good strategy RPG. And make no mistake- Valkyria Chronicles deserves to be ranked among the best in its genre. It's a well designed game that has a ton of interesting mechanics and quality production values. It's unfortunate that it comes with some pacing and technical issues, but that doesn't stop Valkyria Chronicles from being a game that fans of strategy RPGs will fall in love with. I know I did. Valkyria Chronicles fits into the mold of games like Fire Emblem or Final Fan...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The greatest common denominator 0

I’ve had a strange, up and down relationship with the Halo franchise, so let me set the record straight. I’ve always felt that Halo is a well made, great playing game that manages to operate in a “lowest common denominator” type of way, and Bungie’s latest (and last) is no different. Halo: Reach is a solid shooter that checks all the boxes, though it doesn't aspire to do any more than that. Put bluntly, it's a Halo game.Given that, Halo: Reach is undoubtedly the most complete Halo game made to d...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Co-op can't save everything 1

The Castlevania franchise has been incredibly stubborn when it comes to trying new things, but I thought that with a new-found focus on cooperative play that all might change with Harmony of Despair. And it kind of does- but unfortunately the changes are all for the worst. Harmony of Despair can be an okay time waster when played with a few friends, but the low quality of the game itself makes it one that is very hard to recommend otherwise.  First and foremost, all of the traditional strengths ...

5 out of 5 found this review helpful.

It's about to get heavy! 0

It's no secret that I loved the first Starcraft- it's been my gold standard for balanced multiplayer action over the past decade, and I've been stoked to see what Starcraft II could bring to the table. In short, it doesn't disappoint. Starcraft II builds on the multiplayer legacy of its predecessor in smart, exciting ways, and manages to provide an impressive single player campaign to boot . In other words, Starcraft II is a stellar strategy game that has something for absolutely everyone.The o...

6 out of 6 found this review helpful.

I am the king of the castle! 2

The "puzzle-platformer" genre has gained a lot of traction over the past few years, with the bar now sitting pretty high. While Trine has some interesting ideas and a certain level of creative charm to its design, it also lacks the level of polish that defines the genre's juggernauts. Trine can be a bit of an uneven experience as a result, and your enjoyment of it will probably be directly proportional to your overall affection for the genre itself. First and foremost, Trine's basic gamep...

5 out of 5 found this review helpful.