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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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Review: Halfway photo
Review: Halfway
by Darren Nakamura

One of the things that is so appealing about science fiction is that it deals with situations that seem fantastical, but are ultimately plausible. Technology today would look like magic to those from years past, and so the technology of the future might seem incredible to us now.

Good science fiction brings up not only these possibilities, but the questions that would show up alongside the possibilities. The nature of these questions can be ethical, social, psychological, philosophical, or just technical. Halfway asks: What happens if you spend too much time in the "in-between" when making a faster-than-light jump?

Halfway answers: "Aliens show up and you shoot them a lot."

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Review: Warframe photo
Review: Warframe
by Chris Carter

Warframe has just released on the Xbox One, and it's undergone some changes since it launched -- mostly good changes, meant to add more content to the game in the form of items and missions.

It still fails in all of the same areas however, mostly its inability to craft an interesting world, and the free-to-play scheme that encourages far too much grinding.

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Review: Hatoful Boyfriend photo
Review: Hatoful Boyfriend
by Alasdair Duncan

Moving to a new school always sucks. You need worry to about grades, pick classes, join a club, try to find new friends, and fit into an existing social hierarchy. 

Imagine that but with the added confusion of all your schoolmates being birds.

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Review: Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas photo
Review: Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas
by Chris Carter

This year, Blizzard embarked upon an interesting experiment. Instead of just charging people for card expansions, it bundled together an add-on called the Curse of Naxxramas, and released a different "wing" each week. To earn your cards you had to defeat the various denizens of the temple, which in turn unlocked more modes of play and new bosses to fight.

After completing the last wing, I can say that the experiment was definitely worthwhile, an hope Blizzard does it again -- just with a little more flair next time.

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Review: Starbucks' Donkey Kong Frappuccino photo
Review: Starbucks' Donkey Kong Frappuccino
by Brett Makedonski

PAX is full of weird pandering shit designed to appeal to the almost 100,000 gaming fans that come out for the convention. Any company would be remiss to pass up the opportunity to make some easy extra cash by selling products that show-goers buy based on reference rather than actual appeal. Imagine our delight when we found a sign at Starbucks imploring us to get a Donkey Kong Frappuccino.

Hamza, Jordan, and I all took the plunge on the DK monstrosity. Yep, we had to buy it just because of the name. Dammit, these shitty marketing tactics actually work. No regard for price or ingredients, one by one, we all did the DK Frap.

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Review: Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney photo
Review: Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
by Patrick Hancock

You got chocolate in my peanut butter! You got peanut butter in my chocolate! 

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are great. Personally, my favorite part is the edge, as long as you still get a little bit of peanut butter along with it. It is sort of annoying though when you peel off the wrapper and it takes a good chunk of chocolate with it, though. If you don't like peanut butter OR chocolate, I can't imagine that you'd want to indulge in a Reese's. If you don't dislike either one though, you easily understand why Reese's is some of the best candy ever.

So anyway, Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney...

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Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection photo
Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection
by Brittany Vincent

The Hyperdimension Neptunia series is a polarizing one. Some find Compile Heart’s thinly-veiled parodies of the game industry engaging and painfully adorable, and flock to it for an abundance of fanservice. Others run far, far away at the mere mention of the developer’s swath of content, especially given its less than lukewarm reception among critics and gaming publications.

Needless to say, it doesn’t need much help languishing in obscurity without having to resort to a spin-off that finds you grooming the all-female cast to be the best pop stars they can possibly be. That's why Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection is such a strange prospect. Compile Heart's attempt at a Project Diva-styled rhythm game is cutesy enough in its execution, but it ends up a little tone deaf.

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Review: Mighty Gunvolt photo
Review: Mighty Gunvolt
by Chris Carter

Inti Creates is just full of surprises. First, we had the announcement of a brand new Mega Man-like project that absolutely exploded on Kickstarter. Then we got word that Azure Striker Gunvolt was in production, and was an attempt to recreate the feel of the Mega Man X and ZX titles.

Now, we have a full-on 8-bit loveletter to the NES area in the form of Mighty Gunvolt, which is a free add-on for Striker. Provided that Mighty No. 9 delivers, this is going to be one hell of a retro trifecta.

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Review: Azure Striker Gunvolt photo
Review: Azure Striker Gunvolt
by Chris Carter

If Capcom ever decides that they're done with Mega Man, someone will carry the torch. Whether it's tireless fan creators or the father of the Blue Bomber himself, the Mega Man community is one of the most passionate collectives I've ever seen in the gaming industry.

Not content with rebooting his creation entirely with Mighty No. 9, Inti Creates has crafted a love-letter to Mega Man ZX, and the 8-bit era. If Azure Striker Gunvolt is anything to go by, I hope that passion lives on for quite a while.

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Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Old Iron King photo
Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Old Iron King
by Chris Carter

While Dark Souls II brought me back to that special place that I found with Demon's Souls in many ways, the first DLC pack, Crown of the Sunken King, didn't go far enough with its concepts.

It's really hard to give us a worthwhile add-on with Artorias of the Abyss looming over it, but the second pack, Crown of the Old Iron King, does a much better job of distilling the Souls experience.

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Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: No Going Back photo
Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: No Going Back
by Chris Carter

I really enjoyed watching Clementine's tale unfold over the course of The Walking Dead Season 2. It managed to establish a different tone than the first season, which makes them rather hard to compare bit by bit.

But in terms of delivering a suspenseful, emotional finale, I think Lee's final outing takes the cake. Season 2's No Going Back is the last time we'll see Clementine for a while, but for the most part the episode deals with many of the same themes we've seen in her adventures so far.

Not that it's a bad thing, mind you -- just don't go in expecting it to blow your mind.

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