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Review: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor photo
Review: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
by Chris Carter

Developing a licensed game can be extremely difficult. Not only does Monolith Productions have the Lord of the Rings film series to honor with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, but the developer also has to work in many aspects of Tolkien's other works to weave together a story that calls from multiple sources.

In that regard Monolith has succeeded in creating something believable, but in the process, the game itself didn't receive as much attention.

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Review: Forza Horizon 2 photo
Review: Forza Horizon 2
by Brett Zeidler

The original Forza Horizon impressed us back in 2012 with its ability to incorporate what we already loved about Forza Motorsport into an absolutely massive open-world sandbox racing game, while not completely ditching its simulation roots and easing new players into an arcade-simulation racer hybrid. It also helped that the game was really nice to look at.

Playground Games and Turn 10 are back with Forza Horizon 2, and I am so glad they are.

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Review: NHL 15 photo
Review: NHL 15
by Brett Makedonski

With regard to sports games, the most important facet of any given title should always be the actual playing of the sport. That's how NHL 15 is. It mostly shines when you're on-ice, leading the charge through the neutral zone or lining up a bone-crushing hit on an unsuspecting forward. Damn EA for making me want to say this, but with NHL 15, when you're in the game, you're in the game.

But, if that's all that really matters, why's it impossible to overcome the feeling that its off-ice issues drag NHL 15 down like a player that just got viciously hooked from behind?

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Review: Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed photo
Review: Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed
by Brittany Vincent

When you're faced with imminent danger, what's the first thing you do? Do you gear up to fight back? Do you see if you can land the first punch? Or do you take all of your clothing off? I'm guessing that's a pretty uncommon reaction, though it's something you'll get used to seeing on a regular basis within Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed.

The otaku-come-Yakuza special is actually Akiba's Trip 2 in Japan, and it's the first time the series has reached Western audiences, who may or may not have been ready for its bizarre machinations. But for those who were willing and able to take the trip, what awaited them was a strange and colorful world full of plenty to do and discover.

Oh, and a whole lot of underwear. 

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Review: Wasteland 2 photo
Review: Wasteland 2
by Alasdair Duncan

[Disclosure: I backed the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter and as such received an Early Access copy of the game.]

Wasteland 2 is one of the projects that saw success in the wake of Double Fine's Broken Age. Just a month after Tim Schafer's adventure game project blew past its funding goal, Brian Fargo and inXile Entertainment also saw their Kickstarter pull in millions of dollars.

Despite the original Wasteland dating back to 1988, there were more than enough fans who wanted to see a sequel made. So Wasteland 2 exists in a strange position where the fans who remember the original played a very different game than the one that's been delivered in 2014.

While PC RPGs have changed a lot over the years, Wasteland 2 is still very old-school in a lot of ways -- some good, some bad -- and remains true to its intentions and origins.

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Review: D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die (Prologue, Episode 1, Episode 2) photo
Review: D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die (Prologue, Episode 1, Episode 2)
by Chris Carter

D4 starts off rather grounded. The game's opening narration describes the tale as a "story of a man with a very strange fate." A man whose wife was murdered, and is tirelessly searching for her killer.

Then a cat girl named Amanda runs into your apartment, spits a mouse into your mouth, and you puke.

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Review: Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes photo
Review: Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes
by Chris Carter

Disney Infinity was quite the ambitious project, but it fell flat in a few key areas. This was mostly due to a lack of even game worlds, with a few of the universes overshadowing others that felt more rushed. The other aspect of the game that didn't fully deliver was the Toy Box mode -- a take on LittleBigPlanet's "create your own" levels mechanic.

With Disney Infinity 2.0, Avalanche Software is poised to rectify both of those issues, combined with free reign of the Marvel license. While 2.0 is still primarily targeted towards the younger audience, the overall package is much more enticing the second time around.

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Review: Hyrule Warriors photo
Review: Hyrule Warriors
by Chris Carter

We never could have imagined this mash-up in our wildest dreams.

Nintendo, Team Ninja, and Omega Force together, co-developing a game based on the Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors series. Few stranger things have happened, and fans of both franchises have been eagerly awaiting this all-star combination for months on end.

While the typical Warriors trappings are still present in Hyrule Warriors, Nintendo has injected more than enough charm to make this collaboration something special.

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Review: Destiny photo
Review: Destiny
by Chris Carter

It's been a small journey reviewing Destiny, but now I've experienced every facet of the game and I'm ready to make my decision. As mentioned previously, the story and setting leave a lot to be desired, but the gunplay is very sound, and the PVP element reminds me of some of my favorite shooters, filled with tons of exciting moments.

But even after digging into the nitty-gritty, the endgame structure is rigid and has too many problems at the current moment to warrant a full recommendation.

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Review: Size DOES Matter photo
Review: Size DOES Matter
by Darren Nakamura

Simple graphics, twitch gameplay, and fresh music constitute a good formula for mobile gaming. Titles like this allow for a quick bit of play during minutes of downtime, and can paradoxically keep players going for long periods of time, chasing a high score or trying to one-up a friend on the leaderboards.

Size DOES Matter follows in that legacy, with a unique gameplay hook and a pretty killer soundtrack. However, a few things hold it back from pure arcade bliss.

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Review in Progress: Destiny (update) photo
Review in Progress: Destiny (update)
by Chris Carter

[Since a large part of Destiny is found within the raid system upon reaching max level, we'll be publishing a Review in Progress for the game over the course of a few weeks. Here are our thoughts about the live version.]

Destiny finally landed this week, and based off my initial impressions, my first foray into the world Bungie built was mixed. Having worked my way up to level 11 at that point, I was mostly experiencing the basic game modes and enjoying PVP quite a bit, but I was very disappointed in the story.

I have a better idea of what to expect now after reaching the max level of 20, and while I'm having fun, I'm still not blown away with what Bungie has given us so far.

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Review: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call photo
Review: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
by Chris Carter

Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy was a very nice surprise. After many people had become disenfranchised with the series due to a number of mishaps and weak core entries, Theatrhythm reminded us that Square still had reverence for all of its classic characters, and of course -- its timeless music.

As a sequel, Curtain Call doesn't really change a whole lot from its predecessor, shortcomings and all, but it does pack in a whopping 221 songs on top of the already winning formula.

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Review in Progress: Destiny photo
Review in Progress: Destiny
by Chris Carter

[Since a large part of Destiny is found within the raid system upon reaching max level, we'll be publishing a Review in Progress for the game over the course of a few weeks. Here are our initial thoughts about the live version.]

Bungie has a lot to prove coming off of Halo. It crafted a dynasty that really put console shooters on the map, and pretty much everyone reading this likely has at least one great memory with the franchise.

Here we are nearly seven years after the developer's split with Microsoft, and four years after its last game, Halo Reach. Destiny is quite an ambitious project, melding elements of MMOs alongside of the tried and true shooter-RPG formula -- so much so that it has created lingering doubts among the masses as to whether or not Bungie can pull it off.

While I am enjoying myself for the most part on my path to Destiny's elaborate endgame, I have to say the journey so far hasn't been quite as spectacular as I initially hoped.

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Review: WildStar photo
Review: WildStar
by Chris Carter

I undertook a Review in Progress of WildStar at release, and due to a number of distractions and surprise announcements, it's taken me a while to see almost everything there is. But here I am with my Dominion Mechari Warrior, having experienced the leveling process, the community, and a number of endgame activities.

I'm pleased to say that although WildStar didn't blow me away, it's a fine MMO if you're looking for another realm to call home.

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Review: Divinity: Original Sin photo
Review: Divinity: Original Sin
by Patrick Hancock

Remember the first "western RPG" that really made an impression on you? Maybe it was Baldur's Gate, maybe it was Planescape: Torment, or maybe it was Dragon Age: Origins. Regardless, you love that game. It might have flaws, it might not appeal to everyone, but you freaking love it.

Divinity: Original Sin will be that game for many people. This will be the RPG that sticks with them forever. 20 years down the road they'll turn to their friend and say "Remember Divinity? Man, they just don't make RPGs like that anymore!" The game fits in very well with what we consider to be the classics, and if you do have those fond memories, Original Sin is bound to imprint some more.

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Review: Madden 15 photo
Review: Madden 15
by Steven Hansen

Madden 15 on PS3 and 360 is bad garbage that EA shouldn't get away with releasing.

Alright then, onto current-gen.

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