Category Reviews

fbook

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze – Where “Going Bananas” is Encouraged

Tropical Freeze was my first Donkey Kong Country game  (I played Donkey Kong Land 3 on Game Boy Advance), though I’m quite familiar with the character through Smash Bros. and Mario Party, as well as the arcade original, which actually starred Cranky Kong as the villain, the original DK. Well, technically the villain was Jumpman, aka Mario, as the manual explains he abused DK, and DK took his girlfriend and smashed barrels around his house. Eventually his descendant became great friends with Mario and gang, and regularly races karts and plays soccer against them. This is the DK that stars in this game. I’m aware, however, that this is the first game to star Cranky Kong as a playable character, as he originally was just a shopkeep, though that role is filled by Funky Kong for this game...

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amid the ruins

The Walking Dead: Season Two- Episode 4 “Amid the Ruins”- Tough decisions during tough times

The penultimate episode of The Walking Dead: Season Two has arrived, and for the most part it’s a doozy. Picking up where the end of Episode 3, “In Harm’s Way”, left off, “Amid the Ruins” finds our heroine Clementine and her fellow survivors in dire straits, surrounded by a walker herd. A tough choice comes almost immediately, and they don’t get much easier as the episode goes on. There may even be times where you cringe at your decisions, making you wonder how you could decide such things. As it has for this season of Telltale Games The Walking Dead your choices always seem to be between bad and worse, and do you let morals dictate your pick or do you choose the more practical approach and base things on your continued survival...

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abysso

Abyss Odyssey- A fun and at times frustrating descent into the pit

abysso2Developer ACE team, the folks behind Rock of Ages and Zeno Clash, are back with a new game that’s part roguelike dungeon crawler and part fighter. Abyss Odyssey combines the two with procedurally generated dungeons and enemies with a full set of fighting moves that takes its visual design cues from Art Noveau and Chilean folklore. It’s spurred along by a decent story with some interesting revelations against nicely done visuals and with some great music to accompany you on your journey into the depths. I’ll say right off the bat this game will not be for everybody. While the game does save at certain points, it only saves your experience points, level of your character, and your gold that you’ve acquired...

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snowpiercer

Snowpiercer- Take a ride on the A(pocalypse) train

Director Bong Joon-ho scored wsnowpiercer2ith his take on the giant monster movie with 2006′s The Host, mixing family drama and comedy with thrilling monster action. He followed that up with doing one of the stories in Tokyo! (2008) and his terrific mystery picture Mother (2009). Now he takes on the apocalyptic sci-fi thriller with his brilliant movie, Snowpiercer. Released in 2013 in South Korea and now hitting the US in a limited theatrical run and on demand, the sci-fi movie, based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, takes place in the near future of 2031. The world has frozen over after the release of a compound called CW-7 is released into the atmosphere and causes Earth to freeze over, rendering all life extinct...

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Sniper Elite III- The perfect shot satisfies (single player campaign review)

Sniper Elite V-2 prose3-2ved to be a sometimes satisfying WW2 game, but was often hampered by linear design for the missions and an inconsistent enemy AI. Now Rebellion and 505 Games have released a sequel. Sniper Elite III addresses some of the problems of its predecessor, though it doesn’t quite fix them all. Enemy AI is still a mixed bag, as foes can go from oblivious to preternaturally able to track you down and home in on your location within an instant. Enemies homing in often results in large firefights, though if you can relocate swiftly and far enough from your discovered position they’ll soon give up searching, allowing you to return to your previous spot and snipe merrily away. Other times you can kill an enemy right next to another, without the other batting an eye...

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Another World – 20th Anniversary Edition: Wii U Review

I have fuzzy memories of this game based on recollections of watching a friend play it on his PC. Another World was an extraordinary game in a wonderful age of gaming. It arrived during the generational leap forward for graphics. Me? I was still stuck with gaming in 16-color EGA.

Another dimension

First released in 1991 (the year that would also see notable releases like Street Fighter II, Lemmings, Civilization), Another World was unlike any other game anyone had ever seen. It had a strong cinematic feel to it and was highly praised for it across large sections of the gaming media. It’s gameplay as an action-platformer advanced concepts previously seen in Pitfall and Prince of Persia where razor sharp timing was key for continued survival and in-game advancement.

Another World - falling cut scene

In-game cut scene: At fi...

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ep5twau

The Wolf Among Us: Episode 5- “Cry Wolf”- A superb ending to an overall brilliant first season

ep5twau2Telltale Games has struck gold again with another comic book based series. First it was The Walking Dead, now in its second season. And now, using Bill Willingham’s Fables as the source material, they’ve wrapped up the overall brilliant first season of The Wolf Among Us with Episode 5- “Cry Wolf”. After the misstep in the previous episode (not that it was bad by any means, but out of all the episodes it felt more like filler and just set-up for he conclusion) this was a finale which exceeded my expectations. It was loaded with plenty of character defining moments, tense action, and a few surprises that may stun a few players. This is noir at its finest, making you think things should be black and white but revealing the world to be shades of gray...

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300

300: Rise of an Empire- There will be blood

300-2Serving as a prequel, companion piece, and sequel all at the same time, 300: Rise of an Empire gives us a further stylized look at the war between the city-states of Greece and the Persian Empire, led at first by King Darius and then by his son Xerxes. Whereas its predecessor was focused on one particular battle, the Zack Snyder produced sequel (Snyder turned the directorial reins over to Smart People director Noam Murro) focuses across several battles, chronicling the rise of Xerxes as a god king by the hand of his naval commander, Artemisia. This time around the hero comes not from Sparta but from Athens in the form of Themistocles. The action also moves from land to sea, giving us some spectacular naval battles with ships ramming each other and in one scene battling on a sea of fire...

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Valiant Hearts: The Great War- The sorrows of war

Games featuring thvh2e First World War are few and far between. It was known also as the Great War, and rocked Europe from 1914 until 1918. Over nine million perished in that conflict, where the rise of technology saw new and horrible ways to inflict injury upon one’s fellow man. This is the setting that Ubisoft Montpelier has chosen for its new game, Valiant Hearts: The Great War. Like Child of Light, this title is powered by Ubi-Art, and is presented in a charming cartoony style. But unlike Child of Light, which was an engaging fairy tale, Valiant Hearts carries a much darker theme. Make no mistake, this game does not shy away from the horrors of war, and its scenes of violence can be a bit disconcerting. But this is no war game or first person shooter a la Call of Duty...

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south park

South Park: The Stick of Truth- A playable episode that fans will love

spOn the face of it, a game like South Park: The Stick of Truth seems like it couldn’t live up to its promise. One would have to wonder just how well a 2D RPG with some 3D backgrounds set in the confines of the popular adult animated series would fare. Helping it is the involvement of the show’s creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who approached developer Obsidian Entertainment (Fallout: New Vegas) with the idea, who then had the backing of now defunct publisher THQ. When THQ went bankrupt, the game seemed to be in jeopardy, but publisher Ubisoft stepped in, ensuring the game to see a release. The game ended up being delayed for a year (it was originally set for release in March 2013 and finally hit store shelves on March 4, 2014)...

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