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2:30 PM on 01.30.2015

Review: Nihilumbra

There's a nugget of a solid game here in Nihilumbra. Unlike many of the PlayStation Vita's offerings, it uses the touchscreen in a novel way that doesn't feel tacked on or forced. And the puzzle-platforming is supported well by an ethereal art style, score, and sound design. You just have to wade through a jumble of pseudo-philosophy to get to it.

Greg Tito


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Review: Gunman Clive 2 photo
Review: Gunman Clive 2
by Chris Carter

I don't think anyone, including the game's creator, expected Gunman Clive to be such a massive hit. As an homage to retro platformers it was a joy to play, and the ridiculously cheap base price made it easy to take the plunge.

Gunman Clive 2 delivers pretty much everything you'd want out of a sequel, even if it doesn't push the envelope.

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Review: Life is Strange: Chrysalis photo
Review: Life is Strange: Chrysalis
by Brett Makedonski

"If I'm not looking through a viewfinder, I'm looking through a window. Always looking."

Max Caulfield, the introspective protagonist of Life is Strange, spends her life searching, observing. Actually, it might be more akin to wandering. She's 18, a newly minted "adult." Everyone keeps telling her how much life has in store for her, but she's more intent on the short-term -- just surviving one awkward social interaction after another.

It's a situation that's easy to empathize with. Everyone's felt the uncertain pangs of adolescence, even the most sure-footed of people. Life is Strange gives the player a chance to walk in those shoes with Max -- to try to avoid the gaze of every set of judgmental eyes, and to skirt confrontational conversation lest things just get even worse. It can be weird and cringe-worthy at times, but, hey, doesn't that nicely sum up those formative years?

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Review: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: Havoc photo
Review: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: Havoc
by Chris Carter

Call of Duty map packs are definitely a mixed bag. Fifteen dollars is pricey by any standards, and the prospect of one or two remade maps and a grand total of four arenas isn't anything to get excited about.

Advanced Warfare's new Havoc DLC has just arrived this week on Xbox platforms, and it's par for the course in terms of what you'd expect. As usual though, zombies save the day.

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Review: Dying Light photo
Review: Dying Light
by Chris Carter

As you may have heard, we got our Dying Light review code pretty late. As in, the day before launch. A late show doesn't necessarily instill confidence in a project, especially since a lot of fans had no idea what to expect from Techland's latest.

It's strange that this situation even happened considering Dying Light is one of Techland's best games outside of Call of Juarez: Gunslinger.

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Review: Grim Fandango photo
Review: Grim Fandango
by Steven Hansen

Grim Fandango didn't need a remaster as much as it needed a re-release. Many, myself included, have found it difficult to track down a copy to play. We've had an entire digital catalog--GOG.com--devoted to getting good, old games up for sale on a digital storefront, but no Grim Fandango?

The touch-ups are appreciated. You can switch between the original and remastered look at the touch of a button. The latter has some nice dynamic lighting and new character models, but I stuck mostly with the former for its more vibrant colors. The in-game commentary is a nice touch. The non-tank controls are welcomed (as is the cheeky trophy for playing with tank controls).

No bones about it, though, Grim Fandango holds up on its original merits as a stylish, humerus adventure.

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Review: Gravity Ghost photo
Review: Gravity Ghost
by Darren Nakamura

[Disclosure: Ashly Burch, one of the voice actors for Gravity Ghost, previously created video content for Destructoid. As always, no relationships, personal or professional, were factored into the review.]

Traditional ghost lore states that spirits remain in the physical realm when they have unfinished business. That trope applies to Gravity Ghost's protagonist Iona. Less common are ghost stories about soaring between tiny planetoids to collect stars. So that's new.

It has been described in Internet shorthand as "like a 2D Super Mario Galaxy," but past the physics of elliptical planetary motion there is not a lot of similarity. Where Mario keeps on his toes to avoid traps and enemies, Iona's journey is a more zen-like experience of exploration and self-discovery. Gravity Ghost touches on some more serious themes and is more than just a platformer with unusual physics.

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Review: New Nintendo 3DS XL photo
Review: New Nintendo 3DS XL
by Chris Carter

Nintendo has an interesting history in terms of portables. Outside of the rare add-on like the expansion pack for the Nintendo 64 or the Game Boy Player for the GameCube, they play it rather conservatively when it comes to consoles.

But for their portable line, yowza do they go all out. Colors, new styles, paint jobs -- heck, it'll take you half a day to sift through this massive list of 3DS iterations. So here we are with the "New" 3DS, a moniker Nintendo has used far too often.

In this case, it's somewhat justified.

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Review: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.5) photo
Review: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.5)
by Chris Carter

Final Fantasy XIV has come a long way. Although there wasn't any real endgame content to speak of when A Realm Reborn launched in its 2.0 incarnation, Square Enix worked hard to deliver in 2.1, and has continued to deliver in every major patch since.

With each update came new "Primal" (read: Summon) fights, all of which had an Extreme version to test the mettle of its playerbase. Now, the developer is gearing up for an expansion later this year, and the latest 2.5 patch has provided a ton of mid-level content, with no Extreme or proper hardcore raid in sight.

That makes this patch rather unique, and players of all skill levels will enjoy it.

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Review: Citizens of Earth photo
Review: Citizens of Earth
by Brittany Vincent

The Fifth Element came on TV the other day, and it really got me thinking about mise-en-scène versus characterization. It’s one of my absolute favorite movies, and is an exemplar of sci-fi in cinema without being too derivative of other works. The grittiness of futuristic New York, the contrast between earthtones and bright colors in the costume and set design, and the excellent choreography of the action scenes come together to make a great movie.

What’s a movie though without characters that entertain, blossom with personality, and can be empathized with? Would The Fifth Element be as entertaining without the bluster of Bruce Willis, the innocent sexuality of Milla Jovovich, or the ridiculous Chris Tucker as Ruby Rhod? Can well-crafted artwork, concept, and background come together to make a good production regardless of the characters within it? Those are the questions that Citizens of Earth brought to mind.

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Review: Resident Evil HD Remaster photo
Review: Resident Evil HD Remaster
by Chris Carter

Playing the original Resident Evil was an experience. The mansion, the campiness, the mystery of it all -- before walkthroughs were easily accessible from all corners of the internet, getting lost was practically a given, and it was a blast.

Secrets were traded between us gamers, telling of hidden rooms and items, and most of them was accurate. The Spencer Mansion was a veritable treasure, and that couldn't have been more true for the subsequent GameCube remake, and now, the recent HD edition.

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Review: Saints Row IV: Gat out of Hell photo
Review: Saints Row IV: Gat out of Hell
by Brittany Vincent

There’s something about a series that doesn’t feel the need to make a ton of social commentary, or really feel grounded in reality. The Saints Row series is like if the worlds of The Naked Gun and Grand Theft Auto merged, and the result is a unique blend of zany comedy, copious cursing, and ultraviolence. Saints Row: The Third is one of my favorite games of all time.

The series hit its peak there, with an almost perfect balance of the real, the absurd, and the fantastical. Saints Row IV was still a blast, but I felt it lacked the magic of its predecessor. So it’s understandable that I was therefore jaded by the time Saints Row: Gat out of Hell came down the pipe to review. But wherever you are and wherever you go, there’s always gonna be some light.

With that said, plenty of it shines through in this standalone expansion.

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Review: Funk of Titans photo
Review: Funk of Titans
by Chris Carter

Funk of Titans is not a very fun game.

But Brett Makedonski and I had a lot of fun talking about it.

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Review: Legend of Grimrock 2 photo
Review: Legend of Grimrock 2
by Patrick Hancock

The first Legend of Grimrock was damn near perfect. Coming seemingly out of nowhere, it put a fresh new face on the dungeon-crawling genre. It was a game that didn't forget its roots yet also didn't forget that we live in a different time.

It's no surprise, then, that the sequel is absolutely stunning.

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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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