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4:00 PM on 04.23.2014

Review: Disney Magical World

When I heard that developer h.a.n.d. (which is mostly known for ports or collaborative projects) was creating a game similar to Animal Crossing with the Disney license, I was skeptical. Although there was a time whe...

Chris Carter


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Review: Razer BlackWidow Ultimate photo
Review: Razer BlackWidow Ultimate
by Dale North

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Home key attack! It feels so good to type on super responsive keys, especially for someone that spends 6-8 hours a day typing on those chicklet-style laptop keyboards. Razer's new BlackWidow Ultimate has the key action that makes it hard to go back to my work keyboards. It feels like I'm typing faster. I feel connected to the machine. 

But how is this keyboard for gaming?

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Review: Batman: Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart photo
Review: Batman: Arkham Origins: Cold, Cold Heart
by Chris Carter

So far, the Batman Arkham Origins Season Pass has been a steaming pile of poop. Buyers have received some extremely underwhelming skin packs, and a piss-poor series of challenge maps for their cash, with the promise of another "story" addition down the line.

When I heard that said story DLC would feature Mr. Freeze however, I couldn't help but at least get marginally excited. As one of my favorite villains in all of Batman lore, it would be really hard to screw up a narrative involving the iconic frozen doctor.

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Review: NES Remix 2 photo
Review: NES Remix 2
by Chris Carter

NES Remix was able to scratch an itch for many retro enthusiasts out there, but it lacked a certain spark that made it a must-buy for the average gamer. It would be hard to really consider half of the selections "classic," and it lacked any real extras beyond a hit-or-miss array of remixed stages.

But the second time is a charm in this case, because with heavy-hitting newcomers like Kirby's Adventure, Punch Out!!, and Metroid on top of returning franchises like Mario and Zelda, NES Remix 2 really knocks it out of the park in terms of its selection.

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Review in Progress: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS4) photo
Review in Progress: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS4)
by Chris Carter

Last year close to its launch, we reviewed Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn -- so what's with the retread, you ask? Well, that was before we implemented our Reviews in Progress program, which was designed to cover games as a whole with a score down the line, including endgame content that MMO veterans may want to know about before dropping their cash.

The fact is, A Realm Reborn has had many updates since launch, including the massive 2.2 patch that was implemented recently and a PS4 port. In an effort to step up our MMO coverage, we'll be taking a look at the whole picture in regards to Final Fantasy XIV both at present and going forward.

It doesn't even feel like work, either -- I'm enjoying myself far too much.

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Review: Trials Fusion photo
Review: Trials Fusion
by Jordan Devore

There's nothing quite like Trials and, after several games in the popular racing/platforming series, fans know what to expect from developer RedLynx: more of the same.

Yes, there will be a stupid, amazing theme song you'll hate yourself for letting get stuck in your head. There will also be moments of immense frustration made bearable by the eventual satisfaction of clearing that one particularly devious obstacle. And there will be bitter leaderboard rivalries as you fight to shave milliseconds off your best times.

Trials Fusion represents all of these things, and more -- occasionally to its detriment.

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Review: Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars photo
Review: Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars
by Dale North

Serina is objectively the Best Girl.

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Review: Steins;Gate photo
Review: Steins;Gate
by Brittany Vincent

Time travel is infinitely more interesting once you leave the trappings of the TARDIS or any one of those familiar (some would say hackneyed) science fiction mainstays behind. Steins;Gate, the visual novel that inspired a 24-episode anime series, film, and several other spinoffs, has woven a masterful tale that explores the trope in a manner not unlike the popular deconstruction of magical girl series, Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

We're all familiar with the philosophy that altering even the smallest detail from a past event could alter the future drastically, but how much damage could a text message do? Could it destroy the hopes and dreams of everyone you love? How far could you go to make things right again?

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Review: Putty Squad photo
Review: Putty Squad
by Chris Carter

Of all of the games to get a PS4 remake, you'd probably never put Putty Squad, an SNES game from 1994, at the top of the list. But here we are in 2014 with a full-on re-imagining, with more or less the same platforming mechanics that still work nearly 20 years later.

The only problem is, System 3 Software has opted to charge $29.99 for a decidedly dated game -- which is a bit of a problem.

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Review: Half-Minute Hero: The Second Coming photo
Review: Half-Minute Hero: The Second Coming
by Kyle MacGregor

The original Half-Minute Hero was a very special and intriguing game. It boiled down an entire genre to its barest essentials, reducing the interminably long JRPG to just thirty seconds of gameplay.

Both a heartfelt tribute and pointed critique, the bite-sized adventure brimmed with self-referential humor. It trot out just about every trope in the book, firing on all cylinders with a lengthy series of inside jokes and clever witticisms. Smart, familiar, and charming; it appealed to both fans of the genre and detractors alike in a way that so few games do.

Humor often has diminishing returns though. Even the funniest quip can lose some of its luster the second time around. And in that regard, Half-Minute Hero: The Second Coming isn't quite as remarkable as its predecessor. Luckily, the deconstructionist RPG has upped its game in other arenas.

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Review: MLB 14 The Show photo
Review: MLB 14 The Show
by Steven Hansen

I was ready for last year’s The Show to be its PS3 swansong, I was feeling it. It’s not that it wasn’t good. It was as good as it ever was. But there were signs of age. The same old horrifying fan models in the stands with crooked limbs and dead faces. The same bone dry commentators. It felt like the right time for The Show to be transitioning to PS4.

But this is sports, or at least sports games. When is the last time someone went out while they were ahead in sports? But hey, if the Red Sox can give David Ortiz -- a designated hitter in 2014; an endangered species – a $16 million contract extension for what he’s meant to Boston over the last 12 years, I can give The Show on PS3 another ride for being the only good baseball series. Especially since the PS4 versions isn’t even out yet.

I mean, I owe the Giants’ first World Series to a platoon of antiquated weirdo journeymen and a weirder, sappier story than Space Cowboys. This isn’t just “another year, another Show,” either. This is a franchise in clear transition to the next generation, which has benefited the current generation.

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Review: Neo XYX photo
Review: Neo XYX
by Chris Carter

The shoot-'em-up genre will never perish, and neither will the Dreamcast. No matter how niche it can get at times, shooters old and new come out of the woodwork in the most unexpected of places, from Steam to legacy consoles.

One such release is Neo XYX, a new (yes, in 2014) game for the Sega's last console, making this the second Dreamcast release this year. It's also the best.

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Review: Constant C photo
Review: Constant C
by Darren Nakamura

Since Braid hit it big in 2008, puzzle platformers have been indie bread and butter. Manipulation of physics concepts like time and gravity has become relatively common in the genre. Constant C takes those ideas a half step further, by combining them.

In the end, it works. Though gravity control is nothing new, the combination of it with the frozen time mechanic allows for situations that have not been seen before. Some of these situations come up more often than they need to, but the journey stays interesting enough to see it through to the end in Constant C.

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Review: Escape Goat 2 photo
Review: Escape Goat 2
by Ben Pack

Escape Goat 2 is not a goat simulator. No, this is another goat game. I know it’s confusing. Sometimes two seemingly identical properties come out of nowhere. Armageddon came out two months after Deep Impact, moviegoers confused The Thin Red Line with Saving Private Ryan, and now, in the Spring of 2014, we have two games with goat protagonists.

But other than the main characters, these games have nothing in common.

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Review: The Wolf Among Us: A Crooked Mile photo
Review: The Wolf Among Us: A Crooked Mile
by Chris Carter

In some ways, Telltale's Wolf Among Us has topped its already stellar Walking Dead franchise. Although it doesn't feature a true post-apocalyptic setting, it still manages to feel bleak and hopeless in its own way. It also helps that almost every character is memorable, and the situations, harrowing.

The last time we saw Bigby Wolf he had just made a break in the case, and was hot on the trail of the murderer that had been plaguing Fabletown. While the follow-up isn't really as exciting as its predecessor, it still features the same likable and intriguing world -- and at this point, it's clear that the final episodes are going to be one hell of a ride.

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Review: Kinect Sports Rivals photo
Review: Kinect Sports Rivals
by Chris Carter

The original Kinect Sports for the Xbox 360 did exactly what it set out to to do. It didn't set the world on fire or reinvent gaming as we know it, but it showed that despite some gimmicky features, the Kinect actually works -- for the most part.

And here we are almost four years later with Kinect Sports Rivals -- a souped-up version that's no longer just a free pack-in, but a premium-priced game delayed months after the release of the Xbox One.

As you can imagine, the actual results are mixed.

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