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Review: Assassin's Creed Unity: Dead Kings photo
Review: Assassin's Creed Unity: Dead Kings
by Brett Makedonski

If our time spent wandering the Parisian streets in Assassin's Creed Unity has taught us anything, it's that Arno Dorian is a self-serving man. Almost all of his actions, whether aligned with the cause of the Brotherhood or not, weren't altruistic, but rather, efforts for personal gain. With his attention wholly divided between personal vendettas and the apple of his eye, Arno was the least sympathetic model for role-playing Assassins since, well, last year when Edward Kenway held that mantle.

Given his affinity for all things Arno, it should come as no surprise that the Dead Kings add-on extrapolates upon that theme heavily. While Ubisoft dialed up the protagonist's selfish pretense, it took pause with the gameplay and varied it up moreso than the base game.

That is, as much as can be expected with the tried-and-tested Assassin's Creed formula.

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Review: Super Mega Baseball photo
Review: Super Mega Baseball
by Chris Carter

Like many people out there, I learned how to play most sports through videogames. By the time I entered various real-life leagues for baseball, basketball, and football, I had a grasp of the basic concepts of each, mostly thanks to classics like Bad News Baseball and Super Baseball 2020, two of my personal favorites.

Super Mega Baseball seeks to remind us of that retro arcade-like era of sports, where the games were mechanically sound, but more exciting than a hardcore simulation.

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Review: Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition photo
Review: Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition
by Chris Carter

When I was younger, Duke Nukem 3D had a "parental lock" option with a passcode. Naturally, as any inquisitive child would do, I backed up my save files, uninstalled the game, re-installed it, and set up a new jibberish password that way my parents would assume they forgot the code or there was an error with the game.

With or without the adult content, Duke was one of my most cherished shooters. Although it is decidedly dated by today's standards, its massive 10-weapon loadout featured a ton of diversity, and the environments contained some of the best hidden areas in the genre, even today.

It's a bit of a relic, but Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition is an endeavor worth pursing if you have any interest in first-person shooters, and can deal without a handful of modern conveniences.

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Review: Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham photo
Review: Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
by Caitlin Cooke

Don’t let the name fool you -- this is by no means a Batman game. The Dark Knight may grace the box, but underneath its bat-enameled shell lies a Justice League game at heart. A menagerie of DC heroes and villains combined steal the show in this installment and take us far away from the streets of Gotham.

Despite this identity shift, the game still manages to provide a decent amount of content, features, and unlockables -- perhaps at the expense of more crucial mechanics.

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Review: Escape Dead Island photo
Review: Escape Dead Island
by Brittany Vincent

In my years as a freelancer and staffer at various videogame outlets, I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing a ton of great games. In fact, this year I had the privilege of reviewing pretty much every “AAA” game that hit stores. I also review a lot of garbage, or games that are fundamentally broken in one or more aspects. Games that only through providence made it out of QA.

I always try and remember though that every game, whether it’s an EA blockbuster or a one-man indie project, was someone’s baby. No matter what game you talk about, there is at least one guy or gal out there who put their all into it, even if the rest of the team couldn't be bothered to exert much effort. So I always try to approach criticizing a game from that angle. Escape Dead Island is a special case though. 

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Review: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy  photo
Review: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
by Brittany Vincent

The visual novel has been ubiquitous in Japan since the early ‘90s, but in the West they've never truly caught on. Whether it was the U.S.’s love for its own home-grown adventure games like Sierra’s King’s Quest, the SCUMM games by LucasArts, or the absolute pain it is to translate games from Japanese that can be over 450 English pages long, it's never been clear as to why that is. In fact, it wasn't really until the early 2000s that they finally started catching on. The Nintendo DS was the platform many English-speaking gamers experienced their first visual novel on, through none other than Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

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Review: Xeodrifter photo
Review: Xeodrifter
by Jonathan Holmes

A lot of the kids who grew up with Metroid, Super Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda are now older than than their creators were when those legendary Nintendo franchises were first released. Some of those kids are now videogame developers themselves. Jools Watsham of Renegade Kid is one example. He created Xeodrifter in five months, fueled by financial stress, time constraints, and a raw love of Super Metroid. You can read about his process here

Showing your Metroid DNA on your sleeve is a blessing and a curse. It instantly communicates to the relatively large Metroid fan base that your game was made for them. It also sets the bar incredibly high. Begging for a comparison to Super Metroid is a dangerous thing. As we saw with the reaction to Other M, a disappointed Metroid fan can be an intensely spiteful force. 

My guess is Xeodrifter won't inspire that kind of caustic reaction in the Metroid faithful. If it were an official Metroid game, it would rank near or above many of the other games in the franchise. As long as you go into it expecting something short and sweet, it's hard to imagine that Metroid fans will be disappointed. 

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Review: The Crew  photo
Review: The Crew
by Brittany Vincent

A great racer to me doesn’t focus on an abundance of customization options or entire garages of cars. It doesn’t even serve up solid multiplayer modes or an interesting soundtrack. It keeps me playing.

And let me tell you, unless it’s Mario Kart or a stupidly solid racer that entrances me from its opening credits, that doesn’t happen very often. I don’t care about winning a tournament and I have no interest in being a professional race car driver like Jerry. 

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Review: Kalimba photo
Review: Kalimba
by Chris Carter

Games built around co-op have always had a place in my life. When I was younger, I had a lot of friends who were gamers, which made it easy to pick up and play multiplayer titles. As I grew up, I attended college, met more gamers, and then met my wife, who also plays games.

As such, I almost always have someone who is down to co-op. Thankfully, Kalimba not only has one of the best cooperative experiences around, but it also has a strong single-player element.

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Review: Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- photo
Review: Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
by Chris Carter

I've spent many late nights with Guilty Gear. Week-long tournaments, money-matches between friends; it was the perfect series to play around with, and one of my most competitive. But as time went on, the franchise started to get a little stale. We saw the same exact character models, the same movesets, and not much in terms of innovation.

Guilty Gear Xrd changes that significantly with a complete overhaul of the visual style on top of everything that made Guilty Gear so great in the first place.

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Review: Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris photo
Review: Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris
by Darren Nakamura

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was a surprise hit for me. I had never been a huge Tomb Raider fan, but its focus on puzzles, asymmetric cooperative multiplayer, and replayability drew me in. It's hard to believe that was already four years ago.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (abbreviated as Lara Croft: TOO, which any word nerd will appreciate) picks up the torch from Guardian of Light, adding four-person multiplayer, new puzzle mechanics, and updated visuals. It has a great formula for success, but it slips a little in execution.

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Review: Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX photo
Review: Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX
by Brittany Vincent

The odd concept of melding a host of characters from Square Enix’s seminal Final Fantasy series, Disney’s perennial film favorites, and a cast of original personalities, seemed as though it was destined for failure. I mean, who would want to hear Donald Duck’s honking lisp while sharing the screen with the likes of Cloud Strife or Sephiroth?

Being a Square fan, I had to try it out though, and not only did I fall in love with the games, but I rediscovered my love for the Disney franchises of my youth. Although it took almost four years for a sequel to be released, Kingdom Hearts was and is a series that has stuck with me. Then, when Kingdom Hearts II was released in early 2006, I bought it immediately.

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Review: Destiny: The Dark Below photo
Review: Destiny: The Dark Below
by Chris Carter

Having basically played the new Destiny expansion The Dark Below nonstop since launch, I've experienced everything it has to offer. That in itself is an issue, because although I have played more than the average person, to exhaust the content this early isn't a good sign.

While Destiny feels just as great as ever, perhaps even more-so due to the design of a few mechanics herein, I can't help but feel underwhelmed just like I did back in September.

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Review in Progress: Destiny: The Dark Below photo
Review in Progress: Destiny: The Dark Below
by Chris Carter

Destiny was released earlier this year, and like many hyped games, it failed to deliver on its promises. The good news? It was still a well crafted shooter, and practically everything involving the actual gameplay was excellent. In fact, I find it hard to go back to other shooters now -- that's how good Destiny feels.

Unfortunately, the folks over at Bungie made a number of design choices that prevent players from consistently having fun. There was also backpedaling over the past few months -- some of which led to changes to the raid -- that brought even more glitches alongside of the update.

So far in my testing, The Dark Below plays out similarly. The core of the game is still intact, but there's a lot of weird choices that prevent it from reaching its potential.

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Review: Ultraworld photo
Review: Ultraworld
by Darren Nakamura

During the first fifteen minutes of Ultraworld, I was blown away by how bad it was. It was "you have got to be kidding me; this must be a joke; one out of ten" bad. The gameplay was trite, and it was matched with some of the most inane, pseudo-intellectual drivel in recent memory.

Fortunately, it gets better. After a fourth wall-breaking twist, the game opens up and becomes more enjoyable as a relaxed exploration game through its sharply colored world. However, better than terrible can still be pretty bad.

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Review: The Talos Principle photo
Review: The Talos Principle
by Darren Nakamura

While playing The Talos Principle, much of my time was spent sitting at my desk, chin in hand, deep in thought. I can only imagine the puzzled look on my face as I considered options, ran scenarios in my head, and generally did a lot more thinking than most games ask of players.

The Talos Principle consists of two largely separate interactions: physics-based puzzles and philosophical discussion. The real strength of the title is that while each could reasonably exist without the other, both elicit the above response in equal measure. The demand that the player really think is the thread that ties the whole game together.

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Review: Peggle Blast photo
Review: Peggle Blast
by Chris Carter

My criteria for enjoying a game with microtransactions is simple -- am I having fun, and can I consistently have fun without feeling like I need to pay out? Unlike some people who hate microtransactions on sheer principle, if I can play through an entire game without having to indulge or otherwise pay attention to them for one moment, they naturally don't detract from my enjoyment of said game. 

If a game entices me to want to pay, I'm generally okay with it, as long as I can play the core game unfettered. See Path of Exile for this model. It works.

Peggle Blast on the other hand is a travesty that attempts to subvert fun at every turn. Shame on you, EA.

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Review: Secret Ponchos photo
Review: Secret Ponchos
by Chris Carter

I'm loving how much easier it is to bring indie games to consoles this generation. With tons of nasty hold-ups like WiiWare sales thresholds, lengthy and expensive certification and patching processes, and a general negative attitude towards indies by big publishers, every console manufacturer has made strides in that department.

In the case of Secret Ponchos, Sony actively helped developer Switchblade Monkeys bring their game to the PS4, by offering up development kits and additional assistance. That partnership paid off as Ponchos has just launched by way of the PlayStation Plus program.

It turns out that it was an endeavor worth pursuing, but I'm hoping there's more meat on its bones down the line.

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Review: Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series: Iron From Ice photo
Review: Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series: Iron From Ice
by Darren Nakamura

The War of the Five Kings might be one of the bleakest collections of events in A Song of Ice and Fire, the series on which HBO's and Telltale's Game of Thrones is based. The entire continent of Westeros is at war, heroes are slain, villains rise to power, and it is around this point that many readers and viewers finally accept that everything will probably not be okay (to put it lightly).

Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series takes place toward the end of the conflict, but that does not mean everyone is safe. The kingdom is undergoing a restructuring of sorts, and those who were allied with the losing factions walk a thin line between loyalty and destruction. House Forrester of Ironrath in the North is one such clan, caught up in a conflict much greater than itself, struggling just to survive.

[Note: spoilers for the source material and events during the prologue of this episode are present in this review. Proceed with caution if you have not yet finished A Storm of Swords (Book Three) or Season Three of the HBO series.]

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Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker photo
Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
by Chris Carter

From the moment I played the Captain Toad minigame in Super Mario 3D World, I thought to myself "this would make a great downloadable title." It seems as if Nintendo can hear my thoughts, because it did just that.

Priced at a budget level, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a natural expansion from the levels found in World, with more complex concepts and that same beautiful art style. It may not be enough to warrant full price for some, but for those seeking more Toad, it delivers.

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Review: Tales from the Borderlands: Zer0 Sum photo
Review: Tales from the Borderlands: Zer0 Sum
by Darren Nakamura

[Disclosure: Anthony Burch, who consulted on the story for Tales from the Borderlands, was previously employed at Destructoid. As always, no relationships, personal or professional, were factored into the review.]

When Tales from the Borderlands was announced, it was met with cautious optimism. Telltale's basic game structure that focuses on dialogue and choice seemed like a good way to explore the harsh planet of Pandora through the eyes of people who are not mass murderers. There are a lot of colorful characters on the planet, and not everybody has a backpack full of weapons and a thirst for blood.

As it turns out, there are exciting stories to tell for those who would sooner talk their way out of trouble than fight. Telltale really knocked it out of the park with this one.

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Review: Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions photo
Review: Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions
by Brett Makedonski

Geometry Wars games have always been, in a sense, one-dimensional. They present the player with the seemingly simple task of "shoot everything in sight," and that's the sole objective apart from staying alive. The onslaught of flying colors and booming music molds the experience, but the core remains uncomplicated. For many, that's enough to be held in the highest regard when discussing twin-stick shooters.

In 2008, the heralded Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 vastly and competently iterated upon its predecessor. It added a handful of new modes, each one legitimately fun and addictive in its own right. But more importantly, it fueled sincere and passionate competition across online leaderboards -- a social dynamic that few games since have been able to recapture. In many ways, it was the perfect game.

All hyperbole aside, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions makes Retro Evolved 2's efforts look puny by comparison. It adds depth in so many more ways than just literally, but never strays from the formula that makes Geometry Wars incredibly lovable. It's certainly the most ambitious and fully realized title in the series to date, and it's difficult to imagine a different take that would improve it. In many ways, it is the perfect game.

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Review: Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth photo
Review: Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
by Kyle MacGregor

Some concoctions will leave you feeling sick to your stomach. You need look no further than Yukiko Amagi's culinary misadventures for proof of that. Other pairings seem to work far better than they probably should, like Atlus RPG fusion Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth.

The title blends two of the studio's prized franchises, Persona and Etrian Odyssey, unifying disparate types of role-playing games into a cohesive and complementary experience.

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Review: Sneaky Sneaky photo
Review: Sneaky Sneaky
by Darren Nakamura

Stealth is a tricky game mechanic to pull off well. If it is too slow it can be dull, but if it is too fast it is more action than stealth. If it is too predictable it becomes mundane, but if it is too random it requires more reaction than planning. If it is too strict it can be frustrating, but if it is too forgiving then it lacks tension.

Sneaky Sneaky is all of the above. At times, it hits all the right notes, providing smart, satisfying stealth puzzles. At others, it is an unfair slog through rooms built around ideas that add variety in theory but are not any fun in practice. In the end, Sneaky Sneaky has some redeeming qualities, but it is just as easily passed on.

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Review: Logitech G910 Orion Spark photo
Review: Logitech G910 Orion Spark
by Darren Nakamura

In high-level competition, every little advantage counts. It is why Olympic swimmers shave their bodies before a race, why pre-med students fight tooth-and-nail for every half point on every test, and why gaming keyboards exist.

I am not a professional eSports athlete. I play competitive games, but I would not win any serious competitions. That said, I think this keyboard is pretty great, and in addition to the benefits to top-level players, it has some cool features for people like me too.

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Review: Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal photo
Review: Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal
by Chris Carter

While Sonic Boom on the Wii U has its issues, there are also some redeeming qualities. Co-op is enjoyable, the platforming is pretty fun, and the 2D sections aren't bad. With a few more months in the oven and more polish, it could have ultimately been a decent Sonic title.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the 3DS version of Sonic Boom. There's almost nothing redeeming about it.

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Review: WWE 2K15 photo
Review: WWE 2K15
by Brittany Vincent

Professional wrestling was a cultural phenomenon when I was younger. In the third grade, conversations at school were a general 50/50 mix of Dragon Ball Z fact repetition and which was better: WCW or WWF. When Hulk Hogan started the nWo, school was chaos. I remember fistfights over nWo and WCW supremacy that lasted two years until the nWo split into nWo Hollywood and nWo Wolfpac. Then the saga between the poor kids who had white nWo shirts and whose parents couldn't afford the new red ones and the kids whose parents could afford them started to play out (because, duh, Wolfpac for life.)

As we all got older though, the wrestling fad gave way to Pokémon, then Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace (it's hard to believe, but we all loved it when it came out), and wrestling was soon forgotten by most and unfortunately relegated to the white-trash stereotype. However, wrestling continued, although these days it seems to lack the gaudy style of yesteryear. Its drama is a pale imitation of the antics of Randy Savage (bless his soul), Hulk Hogan, Sting, and others. WWE 2K15 is also is a pale imitation of 15-year-old-plus games like WWF: No Mercy and WCW/nWo Revenge.

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Review: Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric photo
Review: Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric
by Chris Carter

As a character, Sonic gets a bad rap these days. No matter what is announced, I can practically hear the collective groaning from my desk. Like any popular franchise with consecutive releases, some of them are going to be good, some of them are bad.

Recent games like Generations and even Colors or Lost World were decent, and despite the bad apples, I'm generally hopeful good Sonic games still exist. Sadly, Sonic Boom is not one of them.

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Review: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U photo
Review: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
by Chris Carter

Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS was everything I hoped it would be. It rekindled my love for the franchise after my group of friends and I lost interest due to Brawl, and I'm playing online more often than I would with most fighting games. In pretty much every aspect, the game is a success in my eyes, and it seems that sales agree.

But of course the main event is one that can be seen on a glorious television, with four (now eight) players all clamoring over some drinks and having a great time. In that regard, Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U might be the best iteration yet.

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Review: LittleBigPlanet 3 photo
Review: LittleBigPlanet 3
by Chris Carter

Back in 2008, LittleBigPlanet was a staple in the Carter household for a good year. It was tough to put down as we earned a full 100% completion rate, and creating levels for each other was a joy. Floaty physics hate be damned, not every level was a Super Mario Bros. clone.

When the sequel hit though, it didn't have a whole lot that was new about it to entice us further, and it fell by the wayside. Similarly, LittleBigPlanet 3 doesn't shake things up from the core formula, but the sheer commitment to keeping the level-building platform intact after all these years is something special.

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Review: Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire photo
Review: Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
by Brittany Vincent

For a franchise that’s continually berated for remaining the same over the years, Pokémon is wildly successful, having pushed forward on its own, full speed ahead. It hasn’t needed to change much to sweep the nation with each new release, though some of the series’ newest releases have received criticism due to lack of content. Pokémon X & Y hit the 3DS in 2013, enticing us with gorgeous new scenery, brand new monsters.

However, X & Y, although introducing the new Mega Evolution element, were otherwise lackluster when it came to post-Elite Four content and seemed a bit of a step back feature-wise. Game Freak is remedying the situation by releasing a Pokémon game that's been celebrated as having a plethora of features and is a perennial fan favorite. Oddly enough, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire feel like a much more complete experience than the original titles or X & Y.

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Review: Never Alone photo
Review: Never Alone
by Brett Makedonski

A cursory glance at Upper One Games' Never Alone, while sure to impress, won't do it justice. Its appeal is obvious, but its intention is buried shallow under a light dusting of snow. But, it's that intention that transcends Never Alone from another gorgeous 2D platformer to a game of great importance.

Never Alone is the rare example of a title that aims to bring culture to its audience without forcing it upon them. It skirts the oft-annoying "edutainment" category by being a game first and foremost, but is nevertheless adept at instilling a sense of curiosity about history and beliefs of the people on the screen. The execution is undeniably flawed at times, but not enough so as to undo what it strives for -- to teach, and to make that process enjoyable.

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Review: Five Nights at Freddy's 2 photo
Review: Five Nights at Freddy's 2
by Nic Rowen

It feels like only a few weeks since Five Nights at Freddy's managed to completely ruin my childhood memories of family restaurants and dancing animatronics. The creepy horror/resource management game put you in the shoes of a night security guard at the world's worst Chuck E. Cheese's knock-off and made sure you'd never look at those restaurants the same way again after viewing them through the distorted lens of static-ridden security cameras.

Now, just after I've managed to sweep up the jagged psychic debris of that disaster, they want me to spend another fun-filled week at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza.

Let the chorus of "nope, nope, nope" begin.

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Review: Tengami photo
Review: Tengami
by Patrick Hancock

Tengami has been out on iOS devices for quite some time but has now finally made its debut on Wii U. I think it's great that the Wii U has the perfect setup for iOS games to make a pretty seamless transition thanks to the GamePad. I already love the GamePad for the unique gameplay potential it brings, so this is an extra bonus!

Tengami is a particular game for a particular type of enjoyment. Sometimes you might just need to relax a bit after murdering hundreds or solving awful murder mysteries and just...slide some paper to one of the most relaxing soundtracks you'll come across!

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Review: Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 1 photo
Review: Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 1
by Jordan Devore

Mario Kart 8's first DLC pack has Link riding a horse-shaped bike called the Master Cycle. And, good lord, Mute City from the beloved but still dormant F-Zero series. Also, a track based on Excitebike with a killer remix. Are you even going to read this review?

Don't answer that. Let me have this moment.

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Review: Far Cry 4 photo
Review: Far Cry 4
by Chris Carter

Far Cry 3 was one of my favorite games of 2012. It didn't stray too far from the normal sandbox conventions set before it, but gallivanting around beautiful island vistas and flying about with wingsuits was pretty damn fun.

For some that wasn't enough, though, and for those folks, Far Cry 4 won't be enough either. But for me, it's still pretty damn fun.

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Review: Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd photo
Review: Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd
by Brittany Vincent

Hatsune Miku is an international sensation. Despite the fact that she's a simple digital creation, she's managed to rack up a massive amount of record sales and sold-out concerts, including a tour with Lady Gaga and even an appearance on Letterman.

It's impossible to ignore her cultural significance now as she only skyrockets in popularity, and with Sega publishing the sequel to last year's Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F, now's a better time than ever to get acquainted with the diminutive diva. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd is your ticket to J-Pop heaven, overflowing with content and a real challenge for anyone who decides to take the plunge.

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Review: Assassin's Creed Rogue photo
Review: Assassin's Creed Rogue
by Brett Makedonski

Ever since its 2007 debut, the Assassin's Creed franchise has been presented as a one-sided affair. Chronicling the persistent struggle between the Assassins and the Templars, Ubisoft has always framed the story casting the former in a positive light. Assassin's Creed Rogue has a new take on that formula, which, in some ways, makes it the most refreshing, thought-provoking, and introspective installment in the series to date.

Unfortunately, it's also the laziest.

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Review: Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit! photo
Review: Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit!
by Brittany Vincent

Some may call Senran Kagura inherently tasteless, but the series of action-packed brawlers has depth and satisfying combat. The games have swept the handheld community mainly because of their increasingly risqué content, but their best-kept secret is that they're just plain fun.

Yeah, there's a whole lot of indecent exposure in each of the Senran Kagura games. No one's disputing that. But so what? These are genuinely fun and engaging titles, and the latest spinoff under the Senran Kagura umbrella is no different. Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit! may be lighthearted and riddled with thinly veiled jokes about male anatomy, but it's also a challenging rhythm game skewed toward an adult audience that can be enjoyed by just about anyone -- especially if you like your sundaes with Senran Kagura girls on top. Just don't expect award-winning prose or Grammy-nominated tracks. 

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Review: Tales of Hearts R photo
Review: Tales of Hearts R
by Kyle MacGregor

The Tales series may not have the same cachet in the West as do other prominent role-playing game franchises, but its renown is definitely on the rise. Bandai Namco has expressed more confidence in the franchise in recent years, showing a willingness to push Tales as a global brand rather than just a curiosity for Japanese audiences.

It seems there's a market for this sort of thing -- a healthy niche that appreciates something more antique in a world so obsessed with pioneering and being cutting-edge. Time marches on and the Tales series digs its heels into the ground, refusing to yield to fads and ephemeral trends. It's old-fashioned to a fault. But would you have it any other way?

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