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Review: Monster Monpiece photo
Review: Monster Monpiece
by Brittany Vincent

Too often, unique and engaging games are passed over due to their risqué content and gimmickry, and Monster Monpiece is inevitably one that will fall victim to this curse.

It's not difficult to see why some may be turned off by it, though -- despite the fact that it's a strategic card battler, it's also rife with many of the same tropes that will turn members of even its target audience off: like "rubbing" illustrations that happen to resemble young women and engaging in adult situations. But beneath the trappings of a fluffy "adult" game is a challenging and entertaining card game that's quite fun.

And believe it or not, that's actually the main attraction. 

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Review: Killzone: Shadow Fall: Intercept photo
Review: Killzone: Shadow Fall: Intercept
by Kyle MacGregor

Killzone: Shadow Fall was a respectable launch game. It showcased the power of the nascent PS4 with scintillating visuals, and paired its aesthetic beauty with a competent campaign and sound multiplayer component. 

The shooter wasn't exactly a revelation, but the glossy sheen, at the very least, provided a fine entrée to the new generation. It's been nearly a year since then, and Guerrilla Games has kept the lights on with a myriad of alternations and enhancements, the most recent of which has arrived in the co-operative expansion Intercept.

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Review: Sir, You Are Being Hunted photo
Review: Sir, You Are Being Hunted
by Alasdair Duncan

"Man is the most deadly of prey" -- whoever said that probably never thought they'd be chased around the desolate British countryside with robotic dogs snapping at their heels.

Sir, You Are Being Hunted is the debut game from Big Robot Ltd., which initially saw a release on Steam's Early Access program in August 2013 and after a steady stream of updates, has finally hit a full release as Version 1.0.

The team is headed up by Jim Rossignol, formerly a writer for both PC Gamer and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. While at both outlets, he wrote many articles proclaiming his admiration for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series and there are plenty of similarities to be found in Sir, You Are Being Hunted. Both games have you traversing bleak landscapes in search of scattered items, all the while avoiding powerful enemies. 

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Review: Armillo photo
Review: Armillo
by Chris Carter

After following a number of indie developers who decide to go with the Wii U or 3DS eShop, I'm noticing a lot of the same sentiments in regards to loyalty to Nintendo. Not only have some of these developers grown up with Nintendo systems in general, but they are pledging their support because of the enhanced focus this generation on the indie side.

One such game that will be a timed exclusive on the Wii U is Armillo -- a "rolling platformer" that is a perfect fit for the eShop.

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Review: Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark photo
Review: Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark
by Chris Carter

High Moon Studios set a decent bar with its Activision-published Transformers games in terms of quasi film tie-ins (though the crown still goes to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, in my book). None of them were mind-blowingly good, but they succeeded in setting their own tone while staying inline with the film series, and delivered a mostly enjoyable action romp with a fun horde mode before it was featured in every game ever.

Here on the advent of the worst-reviewed Transformers film yet is by far the worst game so far in the franchise -- it's a shame High Moon couldn't have had a crack at it.

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Review: The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II photo
Review: The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II
by Patrick Hancock

The first Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing wasn't a bad game, however it did have crippling technical issues that held it back. Those issues have since been fixed, and developer Neocore Games has learned a lot in the process, it seems.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II does what a sequel is known for and improves on the core idea of Van Helsing while adding enough content to justify a sequel. If you're a fan of "ARPGs," your ears should be perking up right about now.

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Review: The Rhythm of Fighters photo
Review: The Rhythm of Fighters
by Chris Carter

Over the past few decades, SNK has created a vast stable of memorable characters and franchises. I remember going into an arcade as a child for the first time and spending $10 on Fatal Fury, finding the fighters there more appealing in many ways than Capcom's Street Fighter cast.

SNK has melded these characters into just about every genre imaginable, from beat-'em-ups to shoot-'em-ups (King of Fighters Sky Stage rocks by the way), and now, they're pushing out a rhythm game. Despite the fact that it doesn't defy genre conventions in the slightest, that reliable stable of IPs works strongly in SNK's favor yet again.

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Review: PlayStation Vita Pets photo
Review: PlayStation Vita Pets
by Brittany Vincent

Of the many digital venues I'd expect to see a virtual pet simulator, the PlayStation Vita was certainly not one. PlayStation Vita Pets is an interesting diversion, not only because of the bizarre system it released on, but the fact that is breaks all the "pet simulator rules" I've become accustomed to. Forget Nintendogs -- these puppies don't need a leash and they surely aren't relegated to frou-frou accessories. They don't need you to make sure they go on walks, either, because they've got their own thing going on. Did I mention they talk?

Where most games are content to offer a selection of pooches for you to groom, walk, and train as you see fit, British studio Spiral House apparently sought to revolutionize the genre, and it's clear from the very beginning that this isn't your average Dogz or Catz clone. It's easy to dismiss as an uninspired piece of shovelware, but those who give it a look will undoubtedly end up pleasantly surprised by its refusal to adhere to traditional pet-raising convention -- even if it does have some accidents here and there.

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Review: Shovel Knight photo
Review: Shovel Knight
by Chris Carter

Good things come to those who wait. And boy, have we been waiting for Shovel Knight.

Even though they only just completed their Kickstarter last April, it feels like we've been twiddling our thumbs for eons for Yacht Club Games' debut release. With delay after delay prohibiting us from getting our hands on this love-letter to retro platformers, at one point it felt like it was never going to see the light of day.

Well, it's here now -- and it's everything we hoped it would be.

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Review: Valiant Hearts: The Great War photo
Review: Valiant Hearts: The Great War
by Chris Carter

You don't see a lot of games taking place in World War I outside of the strategy genre. Beyond that, you don't see a lot of representations of World War I in general in any form of media, because the "Second Great War" tends to take up that spotlight.

But Ubisoft Montpellier decided to take on the first worldwide conflict in the form of Valiant Hearts: The Great War, meshing a beautiful cartoon veneer with very serious (and historically accurate) source material.

As a result, you might learn a thing or two while you're solving a well designed pulley puzzle.

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Review: Ultra Street Fighter IV photo
Review: Ultra Street Fighter IV
by Brittany Vincent

The Street Fighter series is one that will always invariably undergo several revisions, all in the name of uncovering the perfect fighter. Ultra Street Fighter IV, the latest iteration of 2009's massively popular Street Fighter IV, is an exemplary specimen of what cherry-picking mechanics, features, brawlers, and balancing alterations can do for an already venerable fighting game.

Despite being the fifth "remix" of a solid title, Ultra Street Fighter IV is a comprehensive series of tweaks and upgrades that come together to showcase the most feature-rich version of Street Fighter IV yet.

On the surface, the alterations may not even be noticeable to players who breeze in and out of Street Fighter in a casual manner. Other than additional characters and cosmetic augments, it seems very much like the same game. Indeed, much of where Ultra Street Fighter IV's appeal will lie is within the fighting enthusiast crowd.

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Review: Magical Beat photo
Review: Magical Beat
by Chris Carter

No matter what the climate is in the industry, there seems to be an overwhelming demand for battle puzzle games. That's ok with me though, because ever since playing Yoshi, Dr. Mario, and Wario's Woods for the NES, I've been enjoying the fierce competitive element that these games can bring, and playing with a formidable rival can be quite the rush.

The newest kid on the block is Magical Beat -- a rhythm puzzle game for the Vita by Arc System Works. Naturally, they couldn't resist putting in Guilty Gear and BlazBlue tunes, which are easily the best part.

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Review: Entwined  photo
Review: Entwined
by Kyle MacGregor

Entwined mesmerized in its unexpected E3 debut, washing over viewers like a breath of fresh air, with its sweeping strings, pastel waves of color, and a romantic scene between two creatures from different worlds.

Unveiled by a team of unknowns under the industry's brightest lights, it came totally out of left field, interposed between two of PlayStation's hottest upcoming properties. We were made to presume this was the successor to Flower, or perhaps the next Unfinished Swan, given Sony's track record taking talent out of university programs under its nurturing wing.

Talent is the key word here. It's obviously something Pixelopus, the nascent studio behind Entwined, possesses in large quantities. But those gifts seem raw and unrefined. The developer's first effort desperately wants to be brilliant and profound, but too often settles for something decidedly more vapid.

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Review: EA Sports UFC photo
Review: EA Sports UFC
by Ben Pack

Usually when I'm watching two grown men beat each other up, their names are Ryu and Ken.

I am a fan of a good fight in games, but aside from the occasional boxing match I have never been very interested in MMA. After watching trailers for EA Sports UFC, I figured now might be the time to start to learn the sport through the game.

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Review: Pushmo World photo
Review: Pushmo World
by Chris Carter

People say Nintendo never does anything original outside of Mario and Zelda -- but as we all know, that's absolutely not true. Not only has the company taken chances on wacky IPs all throughout its storied history, but the advent of digital downloads has further satiated its desire to try out new characters and games.

Take the 3DS for example, which rolled out new properties like Dillon's Rolling Western, Sakura Samurai, and my personal favorite of the bunch -- Pushmo. It's hard to believe that in just three short years there have been three Pushmo games, but all of them are good, even the newest iteration that's hitting the Wii U for the first time.

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Review: Dead Rising 3: Super Ultra Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX + α photo
Review: Dead Rising 3: Super Ultra Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX + α
by Chris Carter

Although the DLC for Dead Rising 3 has been disappointing as a whole, Capcom surprised us all during E3 with the announcement of a new exciting prospect -- the Super Ultra Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX + α add-on.

Simply put, this pack is a massive piece of fanservice, complete with a giant zombie M. Bison boss, outfits ranging from Street Fighter to Darkstalkers, and even little extras like Power Stone billboards.

It also has a Rival Schools reference and a playable Sigma outfit, which is enough for me.

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