Category Reviews

gotham

Gotham- A new version of a familiar origin story

Gotham, the new series from Bruno Heller (Rome, the Mentalist), takes its DC Comics property quite seriously. Perhaps too seriously, as it tries to pay homage to the storied origin of Batman and create its own chapter in the Dark Knight’s mythos. While we do witness the murder of Martha and Thomas Wayne and see the effect on young Bruce (David Mazouz), Gotham is ostensibly the story of James Gordon (Ben McKenzie), an honest cop trying to remain that way in a city noted for corruption...

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destiny5

Destiny- Ambitious, flawed fun

NOTE: Before I get into the review, I just wanted to state a few things up front. You’re going to see a score at the bottom of this review. That score reflects the game at launch, and should not be taken as a final score for the game, since Bungie will be infusing Destiny with new content over an extended period of time. These new additions will receive a separate review as they are completed. This includes the recently opened raid Vault of Glass, which currently I cannot get into (you need to be level 26) and which you must be part of a clan in order to participate (no matchmaking for raids, which I’m hoping Bungie will change down the line)...

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destiny2

Destiny: Review in progress- On to Mars and the Cabal

The sands of Mars look quite impressive, with their reddish color offering a stark contrast between the jungles of Venus, the grasslands of Old Russia, and the grey rock on the Moon. This is the domain of the Cabal, a hefty sized warrior race that seems to take their ranks straight from Greco-Roman history, as their ranks are made up of such things as the Legionary (no armor, but mobile and packing a lot of firepower), the Phalanx ( a warrior carrying a large shield and an impressive handgun), and the Centurion (big brute with a big gun). They offer yet another challenge and once again force you to adapt your tactics in combat. Legionaries often leap about like frogs on a hot plate, and the Phalanx keep their large shield front and center...

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destiny7

Destiny: Review in progress- A visit to The Reef and those vexing Vex

I’m now about 12 hours into Destiny, and have finished up my last story mission on the Moon (Shrine of Oryx). The story is maintaining some interest, but it seems that there are some missed opportunities that Bungie could have taken. One thing that might have made things a little more interesting would be if there was a way to align yourself with one of the factions, even if them being an ally would be temporary. This occurred to me as I came across the Fallen and the Hive doing battle with each other. Could’ve been neat to align with one or the other, but instead Bungie opted for a me versus the world option, continuing to make everything in Destiny’s universe bullet fodder. It’s still fun shooting everything in sight, but I think of what could have been to add even more variety.

After th...

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destiny2

Destiny: Review in progress- Venus and a turn in the story

I’m now in Day 4 with Destiny, and I’m happy to report that some of the enthusiasm I had for the game from playing the beta in July is returning. That’s not to say all of the issues I’ve had thus far with Bungie’s online sci-fi shooter have up and vanished. No, they’re still there. But I’ve also hit a little variety in the missions, got an interesting reveal in the story line, and have opened up Venus and The Reef. Up to level 11 now, and getting some niftier guns and armor. These couple of story missions I played tonight (Sword of Crota, Chamber of Night on the Moon, A Stranger’s Call on Venus) have offered some differences not only in environments and enemies, but in gameplay as well...

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destiny

Destiny: Review in progress- To the Moon, Alice!

After mopping up the story missions in Old Russia on Earth, I moved on to the next world in line: the Moon. The first story mission was available in the beta. Called The Dark Beyond, the mission puts you on the trail of a Guardian who has gone missing. You find the Guardian’s body at the doors of the Temple of Crona. Needless to say, once these doors open, nothing good is likely to pour out.

The story is still unfolding at a slow pace. The little tidbits you get from Ghost (plus wondering about that Guardian shadowing you) is just enough to keep you interested in pressing forward. And while the gameplay is still fairly fun, especially when leveling up both yourself and your weapons, it still doesn’t vary much...

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destiny2

Destiny: Review in progress- Back to my beta level and other thoughts

Destiny has been out for a couple of days now and I’ve gotten some time with the full game (though, admittedly, perhaps not as much as I’d like to have had). Playing on the PS3, the game does look terrific visually, with little changed in terms of looks from the public beta that was held in July. Controls are still tight and responsive, and the musical score is a joy to listen to. A large Day One patch tweaked several things, and it still remains to be seen as to what the full effects on the game were until I’ve gotten a bit farther along...

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destiny5

Destiny Planet View a clever promotional tool for Bungie’s shooter

A lot of games try to engage potential players and get us to spend our hard earned dollars on them. Commercial campaigns on television has become commonplace for the very big AAA titles like Madden, Call of Duty, Halo, and Grand Theft Auto. Some use a mix of pre-rendered or in game footage. Others give us live action extravaganzas, like the star powered Call of Duty commercials or the recent Madden ads featuring Kevin Hart. But Bungie has done something a bit unique.

Destiny Planet View (www.destinyplanetview.com) uses Google Maps technology and allows us to explore the Moon, Mars, and Venus. There are 90 points of interest to be found across the three worlds, ranging from concept art, videos, and even little facts about the world you’re currently exploring...

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Danganronpa2characters

Confessions of the Monobeasts

Monokuma has returned. After seven months, NIS America has published yet another Spike Chunsoft game which involves mysteries and murder. Yes, there’s only one game that players can shoot clues to argue with the statements, arrange each letter to make a word, has a rhythm game, and of course players need to collect their thoughts on how each murder happened. It’s a sequel to what I is feel is among the good, if not the best, games of 2014, Danganronpa.

Danganronpa 2 : Goodbye Despair starts off just as the previous Danganronpa : Trigger Happy Havoc but instead of being trapped inside a school, the group of sixteen students are now trapped on an island, using a trip as a cover. Everything seems fine under Usami, the rabbit mascot that is opposed to Monokuma, the villain of previous game...

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gotgcast

Guardians of the Galaxy- A highly entertaining foray into the wider Marvel Universe

Guardians of the Galaxy may have seemed to have been an odd choice to blend in with the current Marvel cinematic universe. It had it’s share of fans to be sure from the comics, but how would movie audiences react to a group comprised of a half human abducted from Earth, a green skinned female assassin, a heavily tattooed warrior, a gun toting talking raccoon, and a walking tree that speaks only one phrase? Turns out, audiences have responded in droves, making it the top money maker at the US box office so far this year. The movie is an excellent mix of incredible action pieces and very funny comedic bits, with the characters brought to life from the comic book pages by a fantastic cast...

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