Category Reviews


Fallout 4- Wandering the Wasteland in your own way

The Wasteland is a massive, forbidding place- filled with pockets of radiation and horribly mutated beasts, all of which want to kill you. Survival by any means is what drives you, forcing you sometimes to make unsavory choices. And yet there is hope to be found among bands of survivors, people who are trying to rebuild some semblance of civilized life years after an atomic war ravaged the globe in 2077. Factions arise from the ashes and chaos, all who have their own notion as to how the world should be rebuilt. You were one of the lucky ones who made it into a Vault as the bombs began to fall. You wake up 200 years later, only to witness something precious being taken from you. You now have a driving goal: get back what is yours, at all costs...

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Star Wars Battlefront- The Force is somewhat strong with this one

Star Wars is one of those phenomenal cultural icons that hits people across the spectrum, and interest is spiking again this year as we all await Star Wars: The Force Awakens to hit theaters in a month from now. Naturally, this would be the time to resurrect the franchise on game consoles. On the current generation we only had Disney Infinity 3.0 to go to for our Star Wars fix outside of PC. Now EA and DICE, the people behind the Battlefield franchise, trade in the machine guns, jets, tanks, and RPGs for blasters, X-Wings, AT-ATs, and light sabers to deliver a first and (if you so choose) a third person shooting experience in a galaxy far, far away. But did they succeed? Or is this merely Battlefield wrapped in a stormtrooper’s armor?

To be fair, it’s not Battlefield, especially in terms o...

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Halo 5: Guardians- Solid, if unremarkable, campaign splits things between two teams

NOTE: This review will focus primarily on the campaign. I did play a bit of the multiplayer, just enough to include it in my score but not enough to accurately comment on it here. Suffice it to say if you’re  along time fan and player of Halo’s multiplayer, you’ll be happy. Newcomers (like myself, having never played the multiplayer in a Halo game before) may not feel the same way, and may feel more frustration than fun. It is fast paced, as you would expect. Just keep this in mind when you see my score.

Halo 5 divides its campaign between two teams, that of Blue Team, as led by Master Chief John 117, and Team Osiris, as led by Spartan Locke. The story picks up following the events in Halo 4. Cortana has gone missing, and Master Chief disobeys orders and heads off in search of her...

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Call of Duty: Black Ops III- The franchise returns with one of its biggest and best entries in years

NOTE: The following is a review of the game on the PS4, which is the same version found on PC and the Xbox One. It will not apply to the last gen console versions, as a majority of the game has been stripped from those versions.

The Call of Duty franchise is a dual edged sword in gaming. On one hand, it is one of the most successful and popular videogames in the industry, selling millions of copies each year...

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SPECTRE- Bond is back in a solid, entertaining adventure

James Bond returns to the big screen three years after Skyfall, the excellent last entry to the franchise, in SPECTRE, which is once again directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty) and starring Daniel Craig as Bond. In his fourth outing Craig has Bond down fairly well, giving him brutality when needed, able to toss off a quip without being too jokey, and even able to show a bit of emotion when called for. Skyfall did that last bit better when James returned to his old home in Scotland and in response to Judi Dench’s M being killed. But SPECTRE does bring out a brutal Bond in some of its sequences as well as a more playful Bond in having him toss off some rather amusing one liners. But where does SPECTRE, the 24th film based on Ian Fleming’s spy, fall within the franchise?

The answer to that...

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Assassin’s Creed Syndicate: A bloody good time in London Town

Last year Ubisoft hit us with a double punch of Assassin’s Creed, with one game for current gen consoles and PC and one for last gen. Unity proved to be a buggy mess at launch, being glitchy and at times unplayable. It didn’t help that it’s story centered in France during the French Revolution (which, in all fairness, was a good backdrop and Paris was well rendered) had one of the worst main characters in the franchise’s history. Arno was just bland from the beginning and never got redeemed in my eyes as the game went on. Rogue actually fared a bit better, even if it did feel more or less like an extension of Black Flag. Shay at least was a more compelling character, and playing as an Assassin turned Templar proved to be interesting...

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crimson peak

Crimson Peak- Gorgeous Gothic ghost story with great horror atmosphere

“Ghosts are real, that much I know.”

So speaks our heroine Edith Cushing, played wonderfully by Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), at the beginning of Guillermo del Toro’s gorgeous Gothic horror film Crimson Peak. The movie wastes no time in showing us said ghosts as a young Edith gets a visitor after her mother’s funeral early on. Things build from there, creating an atmosphere that generates suspense throughout the movie’s 119 minute run time. It may not be loaded with jump scares, dripping with gore, and there’s nary a shaky videocam in sight, but what Crimson Peak does have is terrific visuals with beautiful sets and costumes, great cinematography that makes excellent use of color, and a wonderful cast that delivers on all fronts.

In short, this is very much an old fashioned ghost s...

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Spy- Funny, action packed send-up of the genre

The spy genre has always been ripe for spoofing, going back to the Matt Helm movies in the 60s to Spy Hard with Leslie Nielsen, and now joining that list is 2015’s Spy starring Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly) and directed by Paul Feig (The Heat). The movie again teams McCarthy with director Feig, who worked together before on Bridesmaids and the Heat as well as the upcoming reboot of Ghostbusters, with the same, often funny and at times crude results. Feig seems to bring out the best in McCarthy, as her best work on the big screen has been in his films, and Spy is no different. It produces plenty of laughs along with a fair amount of good action scenes, only occasionally misstepping when it delves into overly raunchy material...

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Poltergeist (2015)- Missing some of the charm of the original, but still an entertaining haunted house movie

In 1982, Steven Spielberg, serving as producer and script writer, and director Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) joined forces to scare audiences with the story of the the Freeling family as they unwittingly lived in a house built upon an old cemetery, and the ghosts of the departed decided to intrude in a not so pleasant fashion. The movie spawned two sequels and added to Hollywood lore of untimely deaths of cast members (Dominique Dunn, who played the oldest daughter Dana in the 1982 film was strangled by her boyfriend, and young Heather O’Rourke, who played Carol Anne, the little girl kidnapped by the angry spirits, died of an unusual illness after completing filming Poltergeist III in 1988)...

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mgs zeroes5

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain- A worthy but flawed entry into the series

NOTE: This review and the score at the bottom is for the single player story only. The online game Metal Gear Online 3 is not yet live, and so that and the online FOB missions may be covered in a separate review. This is also due to the unstable servers from Konami, though things have improved since launch.

The Metal Gear Solid franchise is one of the most storied and acclaimed in all of gaming. Even though the series began life in 1987 as Metal Gear on the MSX and later a NES port, it wouldn’t truly hit its stride until 1998 when Metal Gear Solid released on the Playstation. Featuring a complex story and memorable villains, Metal Gear Solid caught the eye of both critics and gamers alike...

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