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2:00 PM on 11.30.2012

Review: Borderlands 2 'Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage'

The best downloadable content, in my experience, serves as a low-risk workshop to spitball and prototype new ideas. Sometimes those ideas pop up later in, say, sequels: it’s impossible to get from Dragon Age: Origins to...

Joseph Leray

2:30 PM on 11.21.2012

Review: Pid

All mystery stories necessarily deal in misinformation, and Pid, the new puzzle-platformer from Swedish firm Might & Delight, is no different. It keeps its secrets well-hidden. There’s the climactic plot twist that ...

Joseph Leray

7:00 PM on 10.16.2012

Review: Borderlands 2 'Captain Scarlett' DLC

Borderlands has often been described, perhaps not unfairly, as "work." In the sense that it can be repetitive and monotonous, yes, but also in that it's largely driven by a kind of materialistic consumerism. There's not ...

Joseph Leray





4:00 PM on 04.19.2012

Nordic New Wave: Technology and the new social game

With support from our partner, Intel, we're exploring how technology is evolving and improving the gaming experience. The company's goal is to develop tools that, in the right hands, allow us to play new and exciting games. A...

Joseph Leray

5:00 PM on 04.13.2012

Review: FIFA Street

The somewhat mythologized sub-genre called street soccer -- as presented by FIFA Street -- is hedonistic and excessive, with a strong tilt toward showboating and theatrics. It’s puzzling, then, that EA Sports decided to...

Joseph Leray

7:30 PM on 12.14.2011

Review: Gears of War 3: RAAM's Shadow

"RAAM's Shadow"'s greatest strength is its premise. A prequel set in the hours following Emergence Day, the first piece of campaign DLC for Gears of War 3 hints at what Ilima City looked like before it was destroyed, both by ...

Joseph Leray

9:00 AM on 12.11.2011

Preview: Gears of War 3: RAAM's Shadow

There’s a scene in the second chapter of Gears of War 3 in which Cole Train has a flashback to his time as a professional thrashball player before becoming a COG soldier. When I saw it the first time, I noticed that it ...

Joseph Leray

11:30 PM on 11.17.2011

Capcom confirms: Darkstalkers coming to PSN this month

Another day, another game outed by the ESRB and later confirmed by publishers. This time, it's Capcom community manager Brett Elston confirming that Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors is headed to the PlayStation Network, with ...

Joseph Leray

10:00 PM on 11.17.2011

Capsized goes free for iPad in the new year

Over two years since it was announced -- and several months since it became available on Steam -- Alientrap's 2D shooter Capsized is coming soon to the AppStore, PlayStation Network, and Xbox Live Arcade. First things fi...

Joseph Leray



Review: FIFA 12 photo
Review: FIFA 12
by Joseph Leray

My first impression of FIFA 12 was not good.

Players moved like they were covered in molasses, my passes were inaccurate and under-hit, and apoplectic flailing had seemingly replaced tackling in my center-backs’ collective skillset. I left my first several matches feeling frustrated, impotent, and powerless.

So much for escapism.

FIFA 12 gets better, exponentially so -- though I’m not prepared to say if that’s through the realization of good design principles or some sort of digital Stockholm Syndrome. I’ve become pretty devoted to improving Paris Saint-German’s lot, but it may be that I’ve simply been beaten into submission.

Nevertheless, my initial problems getting in FIFA 12 illustrate that this game is not for dilettantes.

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Review: Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin photo
Review: Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin
by Joseph Leray

To play the first, oh, ten minutes of Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin is to gaze into the abyss, to confront everything weird about videogames and the culture that surrounds them.

The scene: protagonist Hawke is enlisted to help an exiled assassin, Tallis, break into the estate of an Orlesian nobleman to pilfer some jewels. Playing Hawke as an intrepid dagger-for-hire made sense when he/she was a hardscrabble immigrant; it's less convincing now that (my female) Hawke lives in a mansion and wields considerable social capital, having saved Kirkwall from imminent destruction and all.

Hawke is eventually convinced to follow a complete stranger to a foreign country to steal from a powerful oligarch when Tallis, voiced by Felicia Day, coos, "That's just what you do, isn't it?" The corollary goes unsaid, but here it is: "It is when you're the hero in a videogame."

That Day -- perhaps the most well-known ambassador of nerd culture -- is involved is equally distracting, serving as an umbilical link to real world and reinforcing how arbitrary and contrived the endeavor of videogaming can be.

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9:30 PM on 08.25.2011

Limbo dev: new game takes 3 years, our engine is FUBAR

In a recent interview with Edge, Playdead game director Arnt Jensen explained that the Danish dev's next game will take three-and-a-half years to make. "A good game takes time," says Playdead CEO Dino Patti. Game director Arn...

Joseph Leray

10:30 AM on 08.25.2011

Feast your eyes: indie platformer Vessel gets trailer

A few days ago, Strange Loop Games cut a sharp new trailer for their recently-announced puzzle-platformer, Vessel.  A few notes on the visuals: I love the lighting, the water effects, and the zoomed-out perspective, esp...

Joseph Leray

3:45 PM on 08.24.2011

Rad roguelike: Cardinal Quest is cheap and awesome

A few years ago, one of my best friends bought Baroque, an Atlus-published roguelike, after I turned him onto Persona 3. It didn't go well: lured by the Atlus name and the misconception that Baroque was another RPG, he w...

Joseph Leray





11:30 AM on 08.22.2011

Impressions: a promising Owlboy demo teases

The Owlboy demo makes a good first impression -- after D-Pad Studio's logo flashes, players are treated to a sweeping, pixelated vista as Otus looks on. Pastoral music plays and, though the demo begins in medias res, the menu...

Joseph Leray

8:00 PM on 08.21.2011

The Owlboy demo is both available and good

A demo for Owlboy, the much talked-about 2D platformer from Norwegian indies D-Pad Studio, is now available for PC -- a good sign for a game beset my development trouble, despite winning a visual design award at the 2010...

Joseph Leray