Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove (Xbox One Review)

Toejam & Earl, while not a cult classic, has slowly garnered fandom since its initial 1991 release. For many this was their first introduction to the funky duo’s beat driven adventures. I however, was a little late to the show. Having only stepped into Toejam’s iconic hi-tops in the duo’s least critically acclaimed adventure, Toejam & Earl 3: Mission to Earth, my perspective was skewed by the modern mechanic’s and designs that the original lacked. 3D environments, hip beats and funny characters were all it took too reel me in. While disliked by many, my time with the game was wholesome and humorous – mainly because I was too young to understand the racial stereotypes. Now, with Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove, a glorified love letter to the original, I thought I’d see where the magic and funk came into form.
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Devil May Cry 5 (Xbox One Review)

Dante is an icon, a quick witted legend with a sword. A few years back he was many other things, including hated by those that once championed him as an all-time great. Well you can forget all of that because Dante is back and better than ever in Devil May Cry 5.
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Dead or Alive 6 (Playstation 4 Review)

There’s a stigma that comes with playing Dead or Alive, it’s undeniable and usually it’s just. From the adverts focussing on how high certain female characters kicked to the ability to increase the jiggle physics by setting your age to 99, there’s always something. There’s even that volleyball game that is probably best left in the past. It’s a very obvious barrier to entry and one that has never done the actual fighting game beneath the gloss any justice.
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Crackdown 3 (Xbox One Review)

Exploration is paramount in games. Basking in your surroundings, burrowing in every crevice, and climbing to the tallest point on the map are frequent goals for nearly every open world game you can think of. Some games opt to incentivise this journey with achievements, quests, or even collectibles. And then some do all of that and build a game around it, like Crackdown 3.
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Metro: Exodus (Xbox One Review)

It’s been almost 6 years since I’d last traversed the winding, underground railway of Metro: Last Light and in that time never have I wondered if I’d ever return to those dark tunnels. Metro was deeply atmospheric, but never really stood out amongst the crowd. When E3 2017 came around and it premiered Metro: Exodus, I immediately questioned whether or not players needed this third installment. This time though, 4A Games had loftier ambitions that would extend beyond the cramped confines of underground Moscow to reach new heights.
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The Wee Things: Give us a Wince – Resident Evil 2

With each passing year video games strive try to capture the essence of realism. Some try to perfect the emotional aspect of humanity by immersing players in intimate story lines of love and loss. Other games go for a more practical approach to reality and ask you your character stay hydrated and well fed. The majority,  however, continue to break the boundaries between man and machine, amplifying the discomfort found in the uncanny valley through almost realistic looking characters models and environments. It’s not just the way we look that defines us but how we express ourselves and Resident Evil 2 goes that extra mile to show us that.
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The Wee Things: Left Ajar – Resident Evil 2

As the idiom goes: When one door shuts, another opens. It means that with every lost opportunity comes a new. Yet with the release of Resident Evil 2’s remake, the door was metaphorically and literally closed on the literal doors I’ve based this ham-fisted intro upon.
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Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition (Playstation 4 Initial Impressions)

The Tales series is one that has often passed me by. As most JRPGs go, they need an inordinate amount of time to see through to the end. Tales of Vesperia was always right at the top of my list; it was available on Xbox 360, it was reasonably available, and it had a dog with a pipe. Yet, somehow, I didn’t really play it. The small group of friends that sang its praise would continue to do so, but I felt fairly far removed from the experience and decided it would be forever wistfully ogled as I made up excuses not to play it because it wasn’t a topic title.
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Resident Evil 2 (Xbox One Review)

Resident Evil 2 is a key title in the franchise of the same name and holds a great weight in the series; some even regard it as the crown jewel. It was heralded for its focused story, replay value, and the fresh new characters. However, I just couldn’t see it that way. The lack of isolation failed to instil a fear within me that the first entry did, but with the remake I decided to open my heart once more and give it another go.
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The Wee Things: Tekken 7’s Slow Motion

Games are such a multifaceted inventions. There’s so much to talk about and discuss. It’s nearly impossible to capture every in a review and sometimes a feature is a stretch too far to really talk about something. That’s why The Wee Things exists. The Wee Things is an ad hoc collection of bits and bobs that you can’t quite shake from memory, the first of which being Tekken 7’s slow motion system.
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Onimusha: Warlords HD (Playstation 4 Review)

Like a neglected middle child, the Onimusha series has always struggled to obtain the spotlight to the same degree that it’s sibling Capcom games have; despite it being quite comparable in terms of quality. While Resident Evil 2 is getting a remake with new graphics and re-designed gameplay, and Devil May Cry getting a true sequel later this year, Capcom is continuing to return to much of it’s PS2 glory days. For the first time since those days, Onimusha is finally getting some recognition as well, albeit to a smaller extent. Warlords HD is a remaster of the first game in the series, possibly made with the intention of gauging interest for more remasters of the old Onimusha titles, or maybe even a brand new entry in the series.
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Earth Defense Force 5 (Playstation 4 Review)

Earth Defense Force, to me, feels very much like a strange man’s Dynasty Warriors. Each iteration of the game has its own nuance, but, for the most part, remains the same; keeping the core gameplay intact. There’s nothing better than mashing button’s until your fingers bleed, knowing full well you need not put as much thought into playing the game as you do just heartily enjoying it. Although the appeal of this can vary gamer to gamer, some may find this style of gameplay pure unadulterated bliss while others get bored of its repetitive nature quite quickly. Earth Defense Force 5 tries to rectify that by tweaking its form ever so slightly but is it really enough to keep people coming back for more?

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Game of the Year Awards 2018

2018 has been pretty damn busy year. Games piled on top of piles of games as the days dropped off the calendar. It was another great year for games, to say the least.

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The Council: Episode 5 – Checkmate

It’s Curtain Call for The Council. A journey that began in March of this year has finally drawn its final conclusion. The whole cast might not have been able to make it to the stage, but they are undoubtedly with us. There have been ups and downs, especially when it comes to episode 3, but thankfully the peaks were higher than its troughs.

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Hitman 2 (Xbox One Review)

In recent years Hitman has started to develop a rather troubled backstory. It has bounced between developers, publishers, and nearly met an untimely end much like its in game targets. Thankfully, Hitman 2 still managed to survive its corporate assassination thanks to Warner Brothers and IO Interactive, but it didn’t escape unscathed.
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Spyro: Reignited Trilogy (Playstation 4 Review)

Spyro first released back in 1998, 2 years after the successful debut of Sony’s lovable marsupial mascot, Crash Bandicoot. With Crash’s prominenance on the Playstation, my younger self was far too enchanted by his misadventures to give Spyro a passing glance. So much so that it missed him altogether. 20 years later and I’m about to glide in for the first time to find out what escaped me decades ago.
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The Quiet Man (Playstation 4 Review)

Sensory deprivation can be a powerful tool. While it won’t turn you in to Daredevil, it can enhance other sense by removing focus. In art, it can force you to appreciate work from a different angle. Even for brief moments, the distinct lack of a stimulant can make a world of a difference. It’s responsible for the deafening silence in horrors that gives way to those moments you can hear every minute heartbeat. It’s also responsible in highlighting the seemingly innocuous body language during everyday conversation. And in The Quiet Man’s case, it shines a massive spotlight on why you probably shouldn’t just cut a key stimulant out without serious consideration.
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Resonance of Fate 4K/HD Edition (Playstation 4 Review)

For me, JRPG often conjured up imagery of clashing swords, shields, and magic. Then Resonance of Fate appeared and totally turned the genre on its head. Back in 2010 tri-Ace brought guns and glory to the genre, putting Dante and his trusted pistols to shame, while mixing it with visions of a Steampunk Victorian era. So, can Resonance of Fate still wow its audience nearly 8 years later?

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Call of Cthulhu (Xbox One Review)

H.P.Lovecraft’s works have been celebrated across every medium throughout the years, from board games to movies to other novels, and back. Yet, when it comes to games there are only a few memorable titles that stick out, like Bloodborne and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. As of late, it feels like the theme is overshadowed by the pursuit of Norse mythology and the never ending wave of zombie survival games. So it would seem like now would be the perfect time to break the mould and dip in to the well of madness that is Lovecraftian horror.
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Soulcalibur VI (Playstation 4 Review)

There’s a lot we can learn from history, where we went wrong, what worked, and more importantly how we got where we are now. That’s why it was important for Namco Bandai and the team working on Soulcalibur VI to really take a long hard look at themselves and drag Soulcalibur kicking and screaming in to the current generation.
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Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove (Xbox One Review)

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Toejam & Earl, while not a cult classic, has slowly garnered fandom since its initial 1991 release. For many this was their first introduction to the funky duo’s…

Devil May Cry 5 (Xbox One Review)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Pull My Devil Trigger.

Dead or Alive 6 (Playstation 4 Review)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

There’s a stigma that comes with playing Dead or Alive, it’s undeniable and usually it’s just. From the adverts focussing on how high certain female characters kicked to…

Crackdown 3 (Xbox One Review)

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Crackdown fails to crack one out.