Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

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The state of iPad gaming, or: Joshua plays FarmVille
The state of iPad gaming, or: Joshua plays FarmVille

This past week I began looking through the iTunes sales charts and review websites to check in on what iPad games were popular and how well they ran on my device. The same staples of the iPhone are still in place on the iPad: tower defence games and turn-based strategy titles really excel on the iPad where pin-point precision and accuracy aren't needed for a great experience. What I found most surprising, however, was the level of depth on the iPad versions of titles. It has nothing to do with screen real estate, either: iPhone games give you a sense that you're really playing a short, mobile experience, while iPad games are generally much longer, more polished and have a far more epic "feel" to them.

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19 July 2010
Review: Plain Sight
Review: Plain Sight

When it comes to multiplayer death-match games, the typical goal is to avoid getting killed for as long as possible, taking out hostile players along the way. You run around closed maps collecting power ups and avoiding your enemies, sneaking up on them to kill them before they can kill you. Plain Sight, a new indie release by Beatnik Games (available now on Steam and other digital-distribution retailers), takes this traditional concept and twists it around to create an innovative experience– instead of avoiding death, the objective is to suicide yourself on your own terms in your own time.

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9 April 2010
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Review: Global Agenda
Review: Global Agenda

Global Agenda is one of a few new science fiction-themed MMOGs that have been announced recently. Developed by Hi-Rez Studios, the title blurs the line between FPS, MMOG and strategy game, delivering something that is a fun amalgam of the three even if it lacks a lot of the depth found in any one facet. As such, Hi-Rez has named their game a "spy-fi" MMOG.

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5 February 2010
Review: Bayonetta
Review: Bayonetta

Bayonetta has rode at the front of a steady wave of hype for months; getting a prestigious 40/40 (at least for the Xbox 360 version) from Famitsu, it was intriguing to see if the game itself would really live up to the buzz perpetuated by its oversexed and over-the-top advertising budget. There's no denying that Bayonetta is a visual feast for any heterosexuals who have a fetish for Amazonian women with mismatched bodily proportions, but I was a little incredulous as to whether or not there would be any substance in the game itself for those of us who aren't playing it just to see Bayonetta take off her hair suit.

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13 January 2010
Review: The Void
Review: The Void

The Void is an atmospheric action/adventure game by Russian developer Ice-Pick Lodge. In the game you play the role of a lost soul that has arrived in the Void after death; the Void is a purgatory-like existence between living and absolute death, and as a soul you roam through surrealistic zones on a quest to eventually regain your living existence and return to the real world.

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23 December 2009
Review: James Cameron's Avatar: The Game
Review: James Cameron's Avatar: The Game

Video games based on movies are often a disappointing affair, on par with movies based on video games or movies based on almost every book. The mediums themselves are so disparate with such stark divisions between them that finding a common method of telling the same story often leads to failure– movies are presentations where we're a spectator, watching as things flow past; games are inherently interactive to a necessary degree, and a game that divorced itself from this interactivity would be as absurd as a movie that expected the audience to control where the film goes. The problem is that so often, attempts to bridge the gap between these constructs fall flat, less an emulation and more like a sad copy.

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3 December 2009
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Review: Dragon Age: Origins
Review: Dragon Age: Origins

BioWare is a developer with an extensive history in roleplaying games. One of their earliest titles, Baldur's Gate, is often lauded as revitalizing the computer RPG genre entirely as well as introducing the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons ruleset to an audience that had never been exposed to it. When their 2007 sci-fi RPG Mass Effect was released on the Xbox 360, it had amassed a million in worldwide sales in its first three weeks. Dragon Age: Origins is BioWare's latest release, returning to their roots as fantasy aficionados after their forays into science fiction.

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13 November 2009
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