Recently in Review Category

Lollipop Chainsaw Originally posted on June 12, 2012.


Somewhere deep down, Lollipop Chainsaw comes from the same place as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But Buffy came from distilled camp sauced in kitsch, while Lollipop Chainsaw throws grindhouse-style violence with a barely-legal porn sensibility through a filter that's half cheery Japanese manga, half gory graphic novel.

In the opening cinematic, before I'd even gotten to the "Game Start" screen, Juliet had flashed panties, (almost) explicitly offered sex, mentioned her vagina, her love of cheerleading, and her now-18th birthday, and shoved a lollipop in her mouth. If someone catches me watching Buffy, I feel the shame of a middle-aged man watching teenage vampire hunters. But Lollipop Chainsaw is beyond embarrassment. I can't even get away with claiming "Uh... I'm reviewing this." Still, this is a game from Grasshopper Manufacture's Goichi Suda (the guy responsible for the unbelievably good, and mindbending, Killer 7), so I resolved to keep an open mind. I still doubted – Lollipop Chainsaw was developed in conjunction with James Gunn, the guy behind Slither, so I was worried it was exactly what it appeared to be.

Brutal Legend Publisher: Double Fine
Developer: Electronic Arts


Platforms: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Reviewed on PlayStation 3

Eddie Riggs is the ultimate roadie. On a night like any other, when Riggs was saving a show while remaining in the shadows and behind the scenes, an injury caused his blood to trickle into his belt buckle. But Riggs is no ordinary roadie. He's the best roadie who ever lived. His belt buckle, too, is no ordinary buckle. Fueled by blood, it transports Riggs to an ancient age when man is oppressed by demons, heavy metal is the source of all power and a revolution is about to begin...

Originally posted on October 26, 2009.

Dark Souls Review (Repost)

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Dark Souls Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Developer: From Software


Platforms: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Oh, yes. Dark Souls has a plot – something about the world filling with hollow men, undead who are imprisoned until the end of time, and a single hollow one who will fulfill a prophecy. Mostly it's about death. Your death. Over and over. Dark Souls prides itself on being the most difficult game in stores.

Originally posted on October 6, 2011.

BioShock Review (Repost)

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Publisher: Take-Two Interactive (2K Games)
Developer: 2K Boston (Irrational Games)

Platform: Xbox 360, PC
Reviewed on Xbox 360

BioShock paints the portrait of an underwater utopia – a city beneath the waves, constructed by a Russian industrialist in 1946 to serve as a haven for other brilliant industrialists, as well as artists and scientists. The city of Rapture, accessible only through bathyspheres anchored in a remote tower in the middle of the North Atlantic, was designed as a place where the free market could flourish and all its brilliant inhabitants could live in decadent harmony. Certainly, there were perils: leaks of cold seawater could be deadly, oxygen was a precious commodity and the entire community needed to be kept secret from the world above. But for a time, Rapture prospered.

Rapture prospered so well that its residents uncovered marvels of science unparalleled in the surface world. With a firm grasp of genetics, Rapture's fisheries were precious, not as much as a source of food, but because of the treasure trove of genotypes represented by the undersea web. With one fortuitous discovery, the people of Rapture uncovered mysteries of genetics that could allow people to be reformed. The crippled were healed. Race and gender became irrelevant because they could be changed. Unique powers were unlocked, coded genetically and inserted into the human genome.

But playing fast and loose with deoxyribonucleic acid isn't without risk. As the residents of Rapture learned, such changes can cause physical and mental instability. So when the player's plane crashes from the sky, it's perhaps calamitous that the wreck landed near the entrance to Rapture. The city is now something more dystopian than its original design. You're thrown into a genetic civil war that has devastated Rapture – and that will also test the mettle of your personality.

Originally posted on August 28, 2007.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Publisher: Bethesda Softworks (ZeniMax Media)
Developer: Bethesda Softworks


Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC
Reviewed on Xbox 360

"The Empire of Tamriel is on the edge. The High King of Skyrim has been murdered.

"Alliances form as claims to the throne are made. In the midst of this conflict, a far more dangerous, ancient evil is awakened. Dragons, long lost to the passages of the Elder Scrolls, have returned to Tamriel.

"The future of Skyrim, even the Empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons."

Originally posted on November 10, 2011.

Publisher: Cheapass Games
Developer: Digital Eel

Official Site: digital-eel.com/organism/

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC
System Requirements: Pentium II 350 MHz, 64 MB RAM, OpenGL 1.1 compatible video card

Dr. Blob is rumored to be indulging his odd affection for giant protozoans, and is brewing up giant, vicious variants of the normally tiny creatures in his mystery kitchen.

Originally posted on June 8, 2003.

Publisher: Atlus USA
Developer: Atlus

Platform: DS
Reviewed on DS

Surgeon Derek Stiles just completed his residency and started his new posting as a surgeon with Hope Hospital. Derek must face the challenges of saving patients from disastrous accidents and afflictions such as cancer, but his tremendous gift for healing soon puts Derek at the vanguard of a force battling bioterrorism.

Originally posted on January 27, 2006.

Whiplash Review (Repost)

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Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: Crystal Dynamics

Platform: Xbox, PlayStation 2
Reviewed on Xbox

"Spanx is a crazy weasel once used for electro-shock testing. Redmond is a know-it-all rabbit who failed his last mascara test in the makeup lab." So what if Spanx may have killed and eaten Redmond's mother? They both have a common cause – they need to escape from Genron, a conglomerate that can solve any problem with animal testing. They also have a common bond - a chain that shackles them together. Spanx and Redmond will have to cooperate to reach freedom and avenge animal kind.

Originally posted on December 16, 2003.

Silent Storm Review (Repost)

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Publisher: Encore Software/JoWooD Productions
Developer: Nival Interactive


Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: Pentium 600 MHz (2.2 GHz recommended), 128 MB RAM, 32 MB video card, 2.5 GB HD space, CD ROM drive, Windows 98 or more recent operating system

The year is 1943 and war has enveloped the globe. Vast forces are engaging each other in Europe and elsewhere, but both the Allied and Axis sides have a use for a talented, multi-national group of special operatives. Both sides may have larger concerns than just each other. There appears to be a covert, third side that offers allegiance to neither the Germans nor the British. Instead, that new force has access to frightening technology and is working to bring to fruition a frightening operation – Operation Silent Storm.

Originally posted on January 28, 2004.

Epic Quest Table for Pinball FX 2 Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Zen Studios


Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, iOS and Android
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Max the Knight is a typical adventurer. He collects absurdly powerful loot, wanders through dungeons and enchanted forests, and quests after a wealthy princess. When he acquires enchanted ability-enhancing items after defeating yet another vicious creature, he even wonders "Do these stats make me look fat?" How does Max pursue the ultimate adventuring kit while pursuing the wealth that only rescuing a princess can grant? With pinball, of course!

Originally posted on February 14, 2012.


Lollipop Chainsaw Review

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Lollipop Chainsaw Somewhere deep down, Lollipop Chainsaw comes from the same place as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But Buffy came from distilled camp sauced in kitsch, while Lollipop Chainsaw throws grindhouse-style violence with a barely-legal porn sensibility through a filter that's half cheery Japanese manga, half gory graphic novel.


In the opening cinematic, before I'd even gotten to the "Game Start" screen, Juliet had flashed panties, (almost) explicitly offered sex, mentioned her vagina, her love of cheerleading, and her now-18th birthday, and shoved a lollipop in her mouth. If someone catches me watching Buffy, I feel the shame of a middle-aged man watching teenage vampire hunters. But Lollipop Chainsaw is beyond embarrassment. I can't even get away with claiming "Uh... I'm reviewing this." Still, this is a game from Grasshopper Manufacture's Goichi Suda (the guy responsible for the unbelievably good, and mindbending, Killer 7), so I resolved to keep an open mind. I still doubted – Lollipop Chainsaw was developed in conjunction with James Gunn, the guy behind Slither, so I was worried it was exactly what it appeared to be.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings: Enhanced Edition Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: CD Projekt RED


Platforms: Xbox 360 and PC
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. That makes him both a monster hunter by trade and a monster himself, mutated to battle the horrors that infest the world. Caught with the corpse of a king, Geralt is accused of regicide, and flees to clear his name, becoming embroiled in the brutal chaos of the region. Based on the books by Andrzej Sapkowski and sequel to The Witcher, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was released nearly a year ago on the PC. Now, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings: Enhanced Edition brings the game to the Xbox 360, polishing the experience and adding all of the previously released downloadable content.

Warlock: Master of the Arcane Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Developer: Ino-Co Plus


Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Dual Core CPU, 2 GB RAM, DirectX 9.0c, GeForce GT240 512 MB video card (or comparable), 4 GB HD space, Windows Vista or more recent operating system

After the Great King sought the Crown of Ardania in Majesty 2: Monster Kingdom, Ardania fell upon hard times. The King disappeared, and nearly a century of civil war left only the Council of Great Mages in a position to maintain order. Eventually, the gods decided that the Council should determine the next worthy ruler. Sadly, the Great Mages could hardly cooperate, let alone agree amongst themselves on a course of action. Defying the will of even the gods, the Great Mages decided to determine Ardania's ruler through a test of might. Only by exploring and conquering Ardania can one mage rule and be dubbed Warlock, Master of the Arcane.

ZiGGURAT Review

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ZiGGURAT Publisher: Freshuu Inc.
Developer: Freshuu Inc.


Platform: iOS (v. 1.0.21)
Reviewed on iPad

"ZiGGURAT is the end of a much longer story – a story which ends with The Last Human On Earth standing atop a stratosphere-high stone pyramid, wielding a laser rifle against an endless wave of relentless alien freaks. Where did the alien freaks come from? How did our hero get to the top of this pyramid? We have no time to think about such things: there is only time to shoot."

Awesomenauts Review

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Awesomenauts Publisher: dtp Entertainment
Developer: Ronimo Games


Platforms: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Reviewed on PlayStation 3

More than 1,500 years into the future, two robot civilizations are warring over resources, locked in an eternal stalemate as they fight to destroy one another's mines. These robots (conveniently divided into red and blue factions) are willing to go to any length to secure even the slightest advantage. To that end, they've hired the best mercenaries the year 3587 has to offer: the Awesomenauts!

The Walking Dead Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games


Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Windows System Requirements: 2.0 GHz Pentium 4, 3 GB RAM, Video card with 512 MB RAM, 2 GB HD space, Windows XP (SP3) or more recent operating system

Based on the comic book series The Walking Dead (that also spawned a television show of the same name), Telltale Games' episodic adventure follows the story of a new protagonist, Lee Everett. Convicted of a heinous crime, Everett is on his way to prison when the police car transporting him crashes, leaving Everett wounded and stranded near Atlanta as the dead begin walking the earth... and devouring the living.

The Walking Dead Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games


Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Based on the comic book series The Walking Dead (that also spawned a television show of the same name), Telltale Games' episodic adventure follows the story of a new protagonist, Lee Everett. Convicted of a heinous crime, Everett is on his way to prison when the police car transporting him crashes, leaving Everett wounded and stranded near Atlanta as the dead begin walking the earth... and devouring the living.

Anomaly: Warzone Earth Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: 11 bit Studios


Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android
Reviewed on Xbox 360

That comet approaching the Earth? It wasn't a comet. It broke into two parts as it neared, crashing onto Baghdad and Tokyo, enveloping those cities in domes of energy we dubbed "anomalies." Impenetrable to traditional remote sensing, we sent ground forces to investigate, pushing them into combat against an alien threat that was both entrenched and well-armed.

Mass Effect 3 Review

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Mass Effect 3 Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: BioWare


Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC
Reviewed on Xbox 360

The Reaper invasion has begun. The galactic cycle is nearly at a close. An immensely powerful artificial life streams into the galaxy, prepared to execute every sentient species that has achieved more than a modicum of technological progress. With Earth and every other homeworld at risk of total annihilation, only Commander Shepard can unite the disparate races to save the galaxy from the Reaper threat.

Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition Publisher: Warner Bros. Games
Developer: NetherRealm Studios


Platforms: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Reviewed on Xbox 360

"This tournament, the 10th after nine Outworld victories, will determine Earthrealm's fate..." Created by the Elder Gods, the Mortal Kombat tournament gives the Earth Realm a chance to defend itself against encroachment by the other realms spawned by the Elder Gods. Once again, Outworld is battling to subsume Earthrealm, and it's up to fighting game fans to keep the realms separate. Yet even when Outworld fails, the combatants are moving outside the usual competition for a new tournament.

Binary Domain Review

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Binary Domain Publisher: Sega
Developer: Yakuza Studio


Platforms: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Binary Domain has trouble deciding if it wants to be Terminator or Blade Runner or some kind of perverse buddy-cop movie. There's a background story to this near-future dystopia that has global warming flooding much of the world's cities and arable land. Faced with a massive death toll, humanity has retreated to elevated cities supported by robot labor, while the poorest scrounge the abandoned cities for work and sustenance. Two robotics corporations appear to have more political clout than the world's governments, with one maintaining a near-monopoly over the world's labor force. Suddenly, Hollow Children are popping up – robots that have been masquerading as humans, often for decades, completely unaware of their artificial nature.

Set against this threat is an elite, multi-national Rust Crew. This group of combat specialists divides into small strike teams and sets out to infiltrate Japan and put a stop to Amada Corporation, a Japanese robotics company that appears to have violated the Geneva Code by creating these Hollow Children. The Rust Crew must eliminate the threat and capture Amada himself, facing hordes of military robots along the way.

Conquest of Elysium Review

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Conquest of Elysium's Dracolion Publisher: Illwinter Game Design
Developer: Illwinter Game Design


Platforms: PC, Mac and Linux
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: 256 MB RAM, 100 MB HD space, Windows XP or more recent operating system

Elysium may be filled with vicious creatures, powerful magic, and warring factions, but it's a pleasant and familiar land to anyone who's enjoyed the Dominions series. As in the Dominions games, warring civilizations ally with diabolic powers, ancient gods, and elemental beings to take control of Elysium and build an empire. But unlike the Dominions games, this turn-based strategy title has players battling each other and the AI over a tile-based world.

Epic Quest Table for Pinball FX 2 Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Zen Studios


Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, iOS and Android
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Max the Knight is a typical adventurer. He collects absurdly powerful loot, wanders through dungeons and enchanted forests, and quests after a wealthy princess. When he acquires enchanted ability-enhancing items after defeating yet another vicious creature, he even wonders "Do these stats make me look fat?" How does Max pursue the ultimate adventuring kit while pursuing the wealth that only rescuing a princess can grant? With pinball, of course!

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: 38 Studios


Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC
Reviewed on PlayStation 3

The mortal world is being overrun by corrupted, immortal creatures. Only a hero created from nearly nothing, cloned from the dead and resurrected at the Well of Souls, has a chance to unravel the weave of fate and change what seems to be certain doom for the mortal races of Amalur.

Resistance 3 Review

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Resistance 3 Publisher: Sony
Developer: Insomniac Games


Platform: PlayStation 3
Reviewed on PlayStation 3

Humanity has lost. Our efforts to combat the alien Chimeran invasion (chronicled in Resistance: Fall of Man and Resistance 2) has failed. Tiny pockets of humanity continue to try to scratch life out of the cold earth as the Chimera cool the planet to make life more comfortable for their high alien metabolisms. In a last ditch effort, Joseph Capelli must leave his family and their Oklahoma hideout to journey with Dr. Fyodor Malikov to the ruins of New York City to stop the Chimera for all time.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Publisher: Bethesda Softworks (ZeniMax Media)
Developer: Bethesda Softworks


Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC
Reviewed on Xbox 360

"The Empire of Tamriel is on the edge. The High King of Skyrim has been murdered.

"Alliances form as claims to the throne are made. In the midst of this conflict, a far more dangerous, ancient evil is awakened. Dragons, long lost to the passages of the Elder Scrolls, have returned to Tamriel.

"The future of Skyrim, even the Empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons."

Batman: Arkham City Review

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Batman: Arkham City Publisher: Warner Bros.
Developer: Rocksteady Studios


Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Gotham City's infamous facilities Arkham Asylum and Blackgate prison have closed. The newly elected mayor, Quincy Sharp, has closed off the older, crime-ridden portions of Gotham to create a massive prison dubbed Arkham City. Placed under the stewardship of the mysterious psychiatrist, Dr. Strange, Arkham City is now home to petty criminals and supervillains alike – all subject to Dr. Strange's mysterious machinations. Unfortunately for the inmates, political prisoners aren't the only innocents stuck in Arkham City – Batman's here too, and he's determined to take down Arkham City.

Logitech Wireless Headset Company: Logitech
Platforms: Bluetooth (including iPad, PC and PS3)


Logitech has released this gorgeous, affordable headset intended for the iPad and iPhone market, but this Bluetooth headset is capable of much more. It can comfortably link to any Bluetooth-enabled device and serve as both headphones and microphone. That makes it ideal not only for the iPad, but for certain PCs, most smartphones and even the PlayStation 3.

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Developer: Project Aces at Namco Bandai Games


Platforms: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Reviewed on Xbox 360

A rogue faction of the Russian military is armed with a powerful new weapon and mysterious goals. Only the combined might of international air forces have a chance at intercepting the creme of the defecting Russian Air Force and saving major cities from certain destruction.

Sorcerer's Lair Table for Pinball FX 2 Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Zen Studios


Platform: Xbox 360
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Jake and Amanda are two kids who find themselves facing off against an Evil Sorcerer in his ancient magical citadel. Their only route to escape (and a hot cup of cocoa at home) for this brother and sister pair is to survive all the creatures summoned by the Sorcerer and ultimately defeat him. How? With the help of a friendly ghost named Whisper, a bunch of obsidian and a lot of pinball.

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