Category Reviews

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Batman: Arkham Knight- A rousing, though flawed, end to Rocksteady’s Batman saga

NOTE: The following review is based on my experiences with the game on the PS4. Xbox One players should have a similar experience, sans the Scarecrow Nightmare missions found in the AR Challenges section of the main menu. As of this date, it’s been widely documented about the issues plaguing the PC port, with many being unable to play the game at all. Others have been successful by turning off certain elements to help the game run. WB has currently suspended sales of the PC port until they can fix the issues.

Rocksteady made their mark on comic book games with 2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum. Using a solid story, some great voice casting, a wide selection from Batman’s rogue’s gallery, and terrific gameplay utilizing free-form combat they set the bar high for all superhero games to reach...

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ljwca

LEGO Jurassic World- Dinosaurs in all their blocky glory

It seems LEGO games appear on a regular basis, coinciding with blockbuster movies and just giving gamers their chance to collect studs and play with virtual blocks. So it’s no surprise that with Jurassic World stomping into theaters and all over box office records that we get a LEGO game tie in. And we get a full Jurassic experience, as the game contains all four movies- Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III, and of course the titular movie. Each game is composed of five levels and hits all the highlights of the films, faithfully recreating famous scenes and reciting famous lines. One note here: Because the game does recreate the movies so well, I’d recommend skipping the Jurassic World portion until after you’ve seen the film to avoid spoilers...

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jw

Jurassic World- Welcome again to the wonder and the terror

Twenty three years ago we believed that dinosaurs walked the Earth again after being extinct for millions of years. Steven Spielberg, no stranger to the summer blockbuster (he’s credited with starting that trend in 1975 with Jaws) thrilled audiences, young and old alike, by taking them to Jurassic Park (1992). The first shot of a brachiosaurus looming over the trees invoked a sense of wonder, and the sound of velociraptors tearing apart a steer sent chills up the spine. And then the T-Rex broke free, giving that notice on vehicle side-view mirrors “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear” a whole new meaning. The two sequels – The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001)- never quite captured the magic, though they were entertaining in their own right...

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tw3

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt- Epic in every way

Geralt of Rivia has had a long journey over the years, beginning in the novels written by Andrej Sapkowski and appearing first on PC in The Witcher in 2007. A sequel followed four years later in The Witcher: Assassins of Kings, first on PC in 2011 and then on the Xbox 360 in 2012. Now Geralt’s story comes to a close in 2015, with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt being released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. And what an end it is, as developer CD Projekt Red has created an astounding achievement in one of the biggest and best written RPGs in recent years. The game is epic from start to finish, with an engaging. thrilling, and at times emotional main story that’s all too easy to get distracted from by equally engaging side quests...

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mmfr

Mad Max: Fury Road- A lovely spectacle of carnage

It’s been 30 years since we last saw the character of Max Rockatansky on the big screen in 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Then Mel Gibson brought the character to life in director George Miller’s vision of post apocalyptic life, where tribes drove crazily designed vehicles across the Outback in search of supplies and gasoline. The 80s Max movies made Gibson an international film star and delivered some of the wildest vehicles stunts committed to celluloid, hitting their pinnacle with the second film in the trilogy The Road Warrior (1981). Gasoline tended to be the driving force in those films, as it was the source of power for both towns and vehicles. It gave us a glimpse of a savage society, one that would do whatever was necessary to survive...

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Wolfenstein: The Old Blood- Fun B-movie inspired shooter

2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order proved to be one of that year’s best shooters, as Bethesda and Machine Games gave us a terrific alternate history tale featuring the heroics of soldier B.J. Blazkowicz. Focusing on a single player campaign, The New Order allowed for multiple ways to play through a level, letting players go loud and shoot everything in sight or take a quieter approach and stealthily eliminate your Nazi foes. Solid voice acting bolstered the story, and brought the Wolfenstein franchise to a new generation of consoles while reinvigorating the series. Now in 2015 Bethesda and Machine Games visit Blazkowicz once again, this time in the prequel Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. And once again, we were provided with a fun, though slightly uneven, outing.

Wolfenstein is split into two r...

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maggie

Maggie- A quiet, introspective zombie film that’s both heartfelt and chilling

Zombie movies carry with them an certain level of expectation, and most check off the tropes one by one, starting with an unexpected breakout followed by plenty of gore. The best of them give us characters that we care about, and put us on edge to see if they’ll survive the undead hordes. The worst deliver simply mindless bloody mayhem, usually accompanied by very bad quips. Every once in a while, though, a filmmaker delivers something a bit different to the genre. George Romero altered our perceptions of the zombie film with Night of the Living Dead in 1968. Danny Boyle did it again in 2003 with 28 Days Later, giving the zombies deadly speed to match their ravenous hunger.

Robert Kirkman revitalized the genre yet again with his comic and later hit TV show The Walking Dead, giving us human...

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aoutitle

Marvel Avengers: Age of Ultron- Fun with plenty of action, but falls a little short of the first film

Marvel’s The Avengers was everything a comic book movie should be- exciting, have likeable characters, witty banter, and most of all it was fun. The film felt like a breath of fresh air after the darker comic book movies from rival DC. Now we’ve arrived at the main sequel after the follow-up solo pictures (Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier). Could Joss Whedon and his capable cast pull off another billion dollar winner at the box office? Or would the film collapse under its own weight, suffering the fate of so many sequels? Would it best its predecessor or fall short? The answer is a mixed bag. In many ways Age of Ultron takes what the first Avengers movie did and upped the ante...

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Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China- Fun and frustration in a tale of vengeance

With the Assassin’s Creed franchise turning out yearly titles it may be time for Ubisoft to shake up the formula a little bit. Going from a full 3D experience to a 2.5 one may not be the full answer, but it does give fans a different way to play an Assassin’s Creed title. In some ways the transition helps some elements, making them a bit more satisfying. Others, however, suffer a bit, mainly due to controls that are at times less than precise. But the overall package does provide some entertainment as well as some satisfaction. Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China will most likely please fans of the franchise, but it probably won’t convert any of its detractors. And in pleasing this fan it worked for the most part, so in that Ubisoft and developer Climax Studios succeeded...

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mkx

Mortal Kombat X- Blood, guts, and lots of fun

I’ll admit this right off the bat: I love fighting games. I’m just not very good at them. Because of this, it’s always nice to have games in the genre that come along that even someone of my skill level can truly enjoy. The Mortal Kombat franchise for the most part did this for me, really striking home with 2011’s Mortal Kombat, the ninth entry into the series. WB and NetherRealm did even better with Injustice: Gods Among Us (2013), featuring a great story mode with characters from the DC universe and smooth gameplay, with plenty to do for a solo player. Now WB and NetherRealm have upped their game once again with Mortal Kombat X. Once more, the solo player has plenty of game here, and then there’s the online modes to stretch things even farther...

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