Tag Archives: Xbox 360

Review: Runner2 (XBLA)

Stop signs are for kicking!

Bit.Trip Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is waaaaayyyy too long of a name. Adding to that is the fact that it’s both “Runner2” (no space) and “Runner 2” (with a space) even on the official website, and, well… good luck finding it on the PSN Store.

HOWEVER. None of that matters in the end. The game is incredible, and addictive, and the perfect mix of challenging and frustrating. It’s worth every penny of the $15 asking price, even if it does have a few flaws that don’t become apparent until after you’ve sunk a dozen hours into it over the course of two hopelessly fun and sleepless nights. Continue reading

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Spec Ops: The Line – A Complete Lack of (Dramatic) Irony

America the beautiful.

Dramatic Irony (noun): “irony that is inherent in speeches or a situation of a drama and is understood by the audience but not grasped by the characters in the play.”

Video games are not movies. Video games are not books. Video games are not plays.

One of the many concerns floating through the minds of parents at any given second is whether or not playing violent games will make their children more violent. Because you are the actor in the scene. You are the shooter. You are the one running over the pedestrians with no consequences. And it’s fun. And it’s addicting. And you can have all of the adrenaline – the thrill of the kill – with none of the regret, none of the fear, and none of the pain. Continue reading

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Review: The Cave

It goes downhill from here.

Dear The Cave,

You are NOT as funny as you think you are, with your little quips, your little references to old LucasArts games, and your fedora-adjusting attitude toward an entire world that you think you’re just plain better than. You are that guy working part-time at the comic book store, getting overly defensive when I joke about the large number of Archie digests lining your impulse buy section right next to the check-out counter. “Actually,” you begin, “there’s an entire issue about the relevance of gender roles and issues in today’s society. It’s very timely.”

Shut your face, comic nerd. I was just making small talk. You think it’s your personal mission from God to prove just how much cooler you are, like championing something not drawn by Rob Liefeld will make us believe that you’re this deep, sensitive Nice Guy of OKCupid®. Continue reading

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Review: DmC: Devil May Cry

Lucifer: "Waaaaahhhhhh!"

When the original Devil May Cry hit the PS2, it immediately drew me in. From the company that basically invented the Survival Horror genre with the PS1’s Resident Evil series, here was this new thing where you were no longer the hunted, but the hunter. You weren’t afraid of the creatures of the night while you struggled to find even a handful of bullets to fight off the approaching demon hordes – you had unlimited ammo and you killed them in some of the coolest ways anything up to that point had ever been killed in a video game. Slash a demon into the air then keep him up there with a barrage of bullets from your dual pistols before he explodes? Yes, please.

Flash forward a decade. The series hasn’t had a game that fans could be proud of in this current seven-year-old console generation. It was time to shake things up. So Capcom handed the reins over to Ninja Theory, creators of the under-appreciated cult classic Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. The first thing they did was give Dante black hair, instantly drawing enmity from that vocal minority scared of change (check the MetaCritic bombing of the user score if you want to see whether they’re still mad about it). But you know what? Screw the haters. The change-up of DmC: Devil May Cry is exactly the booster shot this lagging series needed. Continue reading

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Hasbro Family Game Night 4: A Microcosm of the Industry’s Laziness

BALLINNNNNNN

For $9.99, I picked up a copy of Hasbro Family Game Night 4: The Game Show on Black Friday. Something fun and light to play with the girlfriend, you know. After having a good experience with the original FGN a few years ago, I was curious to see how far they’d come. And Kinect stuff, too? Should be good. The games themselves are okay, if a lot more “video game-y” than past Game Nights. But when compared to the earlier entries in the series, it’s obvious just how little EA tried (or cared) this time around.

Then I got to thinking: this isn’t a problem limited to Hasbro and EA. But it is a perfect small-scale example of many of the problems with games today. Continue reading

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Review: Skyrim: Dawnguard – Is This Worth $20?

The biggest question that needs to be answered with Skyrim‘s first 360-exclusive-for-a-long-time-then-finally-hits-PC-but-we’re-still-waiting-on-the-PS3-version DLC expansion, Dawnguard, is, “Is this worth $20?” The intended audience has likely already invested dozens – if not hundreds – of hours into the world of Tamriel. And the game’s infinite procedurally generated quest system means that you’ve already been blessed with all the extra, non-essential game content you could ever need.

But then you remember The Shivering Isles, Oblivion‘s $30-and-worth-every penny DLC expansion. You recall Sheogorath, the Sean Connery-esque god of craziness. You remember the two distinct questlines, each offering a completely different experience for those forward thinkers with multiple save files for easy backtracking. Dawnguard has none of that. Dawnguard has vampires – creatures without souls. How fitting for an expansion lacking that same valuable asset. Continue reading

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