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Review: Mercenary Kings photo
Review: Mercenary Kings
by Patrick Hancock

Mercenary Kings is a Kickstarter success story that has finally made its way into the consumer’s hands. Combining elements from games like Monster Hunter and Metal SlugKings attempts to capture player’s hearts with its retro look and lighthearted feel.

Also you can make a gun that is a cat and goes "mew!" when you fire it.

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Review: BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma photo
Review: BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma
by Ben Pack

If the pacing of Street Fighter was baseball, and Marvel vs Capcom 3 was basketball, BlazBlue would be a free-for-all cage match match between two over-caffeinated nine-year-olds.

And I mean this in the most endearing way possible.

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Review in Progress: The Elder Scrolls Online (Early-Access) photo
Review in Progress: The Elder Scrolls Online (Early-Access)
by Chris Carter

[We'll be reviewing The Elder Scrolls Online over an extended period of time. For more details, check out our new Reviews in Progress program.]

In many ways ZeniMax is fighting an uphill battle with Elder Scrolls Online. In an era increasingly filled with free-to-play MMOs, subscription-based games are a tougher sell. Then you have the fact that Bethesda isn't involved in any capacity, and that this is ZeniMax's first ever MMO.

Yes, there are many things going against The Elder Scrolls Online, but based on my time with the live environment, it's still a serviceable game -- provided you're highly accustomed to the genre.

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Review: Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition photo
Review: Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition
by Chris Carter

I still remember the first time I ever laid eyes on a Dynasty Warriors game. It was a cold winter afternoon in 2000, and for whatever reason, one lone copy of Dynasty Warriors 2 was calling my name at a local Blockbuster. I picked it up and subsequently played for days on end -- I was hooked.

Now here we are fourteen years later with Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends (also branded the Complete Edition on the PS4 and Vita), with a brand new Lu Bu storyline, among other features. Like DW8 proper, fans will definitely want to pursue this one.

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Review: Yumi's Odd Odyssey photo
Review: Yumi's Odd Odyssey
by Chris Carter

We truly live in a magnificent era when it comes to portables. Games we would have never imagined seeing the light of day are localized, and indies are thriving with the combination of the eShop and low development costs of the 3DS.

The latest developer to take a bite of the apple is Agatsuma Entertainment, who is finally bringing over a piece of the Umihara Kawase series -- which has been going strong since its debut on the Super Nintendo in 1994.

While the price point may be undeniably steep, I'm really glad that this game was localized.

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Review: Toukiden: The Age of Demons photo
Review: Toukiden: The Age of Demons
by Kyle MacGregor

Originality is a pretty hard thing to come by, and ideas don't just materialize out of thin air. They're a patchwork of experiences lifted from our surroundings, filtered, and diffused back out into the world.

Many of us hide the stitching of our subliminal thievery, as we pull together material and create pastiches that are uniquely our own. Some openly celebrate their influences. And others are brazen enough to poach thoughts wholesale, copying intricate formulas to churn out imitation products.

Toukiden: The Age of Demons falls in that last category. Just about the furthest thing in the world from an original game, it pilfers liberally from the Monster Hunter series, and does little to obscure that fact. And that's okay. Despite the game's derivative nature, it manages to provide a reasonably decent, if somewhat drab, facsimile of its paragon.

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Review: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls photo
Review: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
by Chris Carter

After the classic that was Diablo II, expectations for a follow-up were at an all-time high. Although it could never really meet those expectations, Diablo III was a fine hack and slash, and I ended up replaying it time and time again with every possible class.

But it wasn't perfect of course, since loot was designed around the ill-fated and ill-designed Auction House, putting a damper on long-term gear goals. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls may not reinvent the wheel, but it eliminates many of the problems from DIII proper.

And most importantly, the Auction House is gone all around!

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Review: BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode Two photo
Review: BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode Two
by Chris Carter

BioShock Infinite had an interesting run, with player reception all over the board. Some loved it, some hated it, others reveled in its celebration of violence, some disapproved. It's probably going to be a long time before we get to debate the merits of another BioShock game again though, considering the fact that Irrational Games has dissolved, and is handing over the franchise to 2K.

So that leaves Burial at Sea Episode Two as Irrational's last hurrah, and I'm pleased to say it's a vast improvement upon the foundation that was built in Episode One.

[Be warned: there are minor spoilers involving Episode One below.]

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Review: Deception IV: Blood Ties photo
Review: Deception IV: Blood Ties
by Chris Carter

The Deception franchise is a series I wish more people were aware of. Although the concept of a character that can't physically defend themselves isn't typically a popular go-to mechanic, this survival horror-like idea is turned on its head with the existence of deadly traps.

There's something soothing about setting up a ridiculously elaborate Goldbergian machine and unleashing it upon your foes that's insanely satisfying, and Deception IV is no exception. In fact, it may be the best and bloodiest entry yet.

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Review: The Witch and the Hundred Knight photo
Review: The Witch and the Hundred Knight
by Chris Carter

Nippon Ichi Software is one hell of a developer. One day they could be lighting the world on fire with one of the most celebrated games in a genre (Disgaea), and the next, they could be milking a franchise into oblivion (Disgaea Infinite). Strategy RPGs are their forte, but they've made 2D platformers, action-RPGs, and a whole lot more.

The Witch and the Hundred Knight is their latest, and it's basically an amalgamation of everything they've learned so far -- which is both good and bad.

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Review: Blackguards photo
Review: Blackguards
by Patrick Hancock

In many ways, I'm very glad that Final Fantasy: Tactics had such a big influence on my tastes. It's an incredibly well made game and put me on a path towards playing more games of its ilk like Phantom Brave or the more recent Expeditions: Conquistador. Now, it's brought me to Blackguards.

Blackguards is fantasy, its tactics, and it's difficult without being unfair. Boy am I glad I played FF:T.

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Review: The Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville photo
Review: The Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville
by Darren Nakamura

Fifteen years ago, The Powerpuff Girls was my jam. I used to watch it (along with Dexter's Laboratory) just about every day after coming home from school, but before firing up a videogame. A couple weeks ago, when The Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville was announced, I approached it with a level of caution appropriate for a beloved childhood franchise resurrected with a new look. That is to say, I was prepared for the worst.

Previously, developer Radiangames was mostly known for a handful of decent, but perhaps uninspired Xbox Live Indie Games. Licensed titles are often sub-par, and especially those that are timed to release in the same window as the source material. Despite all of that, Defenders of Townsville ends up as a unique, genuinely entertaining metroidvania.

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Review: Pokemon Battle Trozei photo
Review: Pokemon Battle Trozei
by Chris Carter

There once was a time when "match three" puzzle games were a rare commodity, but after the rip-roaring success of Bejeweled and Puzzle Quest, it feels like there's a new match title released every month. The craze kind of came to a head with Candy Crush, which is probably the most popular (and hated) of its kind on the market.

But quietly back in 2005, Pokemon Trozei made its own mark on the DS and created quite the fanbase. Now just shy of a decade later Trozei is back on the 3DS, attempting to break through this crowded space.

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Review: The LEGO Movie Videogame photo
Review: The LEGO Movie Videogame
by Ian Bonds

First things first: if you haven't seen The LEGO Movie, you should probably go do that right now. It's awesome, and your face will love it.

Back yet? OK, good.

For those of you who have seen it, this is your predictable licensed tie-in. Well, predictable in that it exists, not that it behaves predictably as a tie-in. Though, if you've played any of Traveler's Tales LEGO games, there is a certain amount of predictability here anyway.

Not that most of that is a bad thing in this case...

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Review: inFamous: Second Son photo
Review: inFamous: Second Son
by Chris Carter

I never liked the first inFamous.

I can't quite put my finger on what I disliked most -- perhaps it was the droll art style, the cookie-cutter city sandbox, or the sentient wooden plank that Sucker Punch named "Cole Macgrath." Thankfully, the New Orleans-like setting of the sequel spiced things up a bit, and the decision to go with an even sillier vampiric setup made Festival of Blood more enjoyable.

inFamous: Second Son takes everything that the series has done right, puts it in a blender, and delivers what is easily the strongest entry yet.

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Review: Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z photo
Review: Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z
by Wesley Ruscher

On paper, the thought of participating in an eight-player Dragon Ball Z battle sounds like the stuff of fanboy dreams. Blasting Kamehamehas across the chasms of Namek while fighting alongside your favorite Saiyans could be as exhilarating virtually as it was to watch years ago on TV.

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z attempts to recreate this in all its chaotic glory. More than a simple one-versus-one fighter, the game is jam packed with characters -- from practically the entirety of the franchise -- that can be pitted in teams of four against each other in any dream combination possible.

Unfortunately in reality, having four Krillins trying to dismantle the likes of Androids 16 through 19 together is not even half as entertaining as the thought is ridiculous.

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