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Orcs Must Die Review

November 30th, 2011 1 Comment

It’s hard to believe that just a few short years ago tower defense was mostly confined to cultish flash games. Indies have have since stretched the genre into multiplayer, dropped player perspective to the trenches, and even stripped out the walls. Orcs Must Die is best understood against that backdrop. It’s a payoff game that emerges from so much industry to refine innovation into polish.

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Bastion Review

July 26th, 2011 2 Comments

Content is overwhelmingly visible in games. Mechanics, art assets, narrative, and design spring to salience because those are the interactive parts. Really, what else matters? Bastion is a rare game that answers that question, and it’s a revelation. You owe it to yourself to play this game because it can change the way you look at others.

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Review: Super Meat Boy

January 10th, 2011 1 Comment

Super Meat Boy is platforming honed. It’s as if developer Team Meat took a great block of code and carved everything away that wasn’t a platformer. What’s left moves fast, never wastes your time, and really captures the joy of learning a difficult skill.

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E3 Roundup: Consoles/PC

June 25th, 2010 Comments Off

There was a bunch of fancy hardware on display at this year’s E3. Sony continued aping the Wii with the Playstation Move. Microsoft debuted the motion-capturing Kinect, and Nintendo hopped on the theatrical 3D bandwagon with the 3DS. However, none of this hardware means anything without good software to back it up. Having already hit up the portable and downloadable titles, we’ll close this E3 summary week with console and PC games. Keep in mind that this includes Kirby: Epic Yarn, but somebody already covered that elsewhere. Everything else is here.

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Review: Overlord II

February 8th, 2010 Comments Off

Overlord II is an improvement over the first game in every way. Gameplay is more varied, the writing is consistently funny, and decorating your dark Fortress has never been manlier. The improvements diminish the challenge somewhat, but who subjugates the strong, anyway?

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Splosion Man in Summer of Arcade

June 3rd, 2009 Comments Off

Microsoft has announced the return of Summer of Arcade, and one of the featured games will be Splosion Man. The multiplayer cooperative game from The Maw developer Twisted Pixel still has no specific release date, but the announcement was accompanied by the news that the game will be playable at E3. Twisted Pixel originally announced [...]

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More Gaming Revivals Inbound

May 22nd, 2009 Comments Off

Don’t look now, but your childhood is trying to pick your pocket again. The supposedly recession-proof games industry is mining its back catalog for free money, and Nintendo struck a pure vein of Metroid Prime. The rerelease of the surprisingly successful FPS trilogy will be retrofitted with gestural aiming and crammed on one $50 disc. [...]

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Review: The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai

May 4th, 2009 1 Comment

When 2D gaming was king, the streets ran red with brawlers. You couldn’t swing a sharp stick without hitting a musclebound high-schooler out to save his kidnapped girlfriend from local gangs of unreasonably skilled martial artists. Then 2D gaming went dormant, and notable brawlers all but ceased to be, with only God of War to mark their passing. Now that the rise of casual gamers has emphasized portable systems and downloadable content, tiny games are big again, and brawlers like The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai have returned to wreak their bloody vengeance on our thumbs. Despite the superficial similarities to erstwhile brawlers, The Dishwasher inherits more from God of War than Double Dragon, and is all the better for it.

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Review: Left 4 Dead

January 12th, 2009 Comments Off

Left 4 Dead is more exciting on paper than it is in practice, but the actual game is undiminished for it. It promises an endlessly replayable cooperative multiplayer experience with roguelike procedurally generated content and delivers a brief, intense, FPS game that stays intense even as you become familiar with it. Perhaps not exactly as advertised, but good stuff nonetheless.

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Holiday Cheer

December 24th, 2008 Comments Off

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Gee, I sure do like fire, but I wish I could get it without that pesky heat,” Microsoft has released a virtual fireplace for the 360. This incredible technological marvel burns so clean that its only emissions are produced at your local power plant. It’s also child safe and is unlikely to burn your house down. Screw peace on earth and goodwill toward men and make your christmas wish help prevent the heat death of the universe.

Oh wait, it costs 400 Microsoft points ($5)? Never mind.

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