Jeff deSolla

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Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was a real surprise when it came out. That’s partly because it happened just as the series was being rebooted and used the old Lara and not the new one, but partly because it was a well-designed cooperative puzzle game that seemingly came out of nowhere. Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is a direct sequel to Guardian, expanding the potential player count to four from the original’s two. READ MORE

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Ten years of World of Warcraft. Ten years of expansions, of leveling and of raiding, only to repeat the cycle when a new expansion comes out. But it’s also ten years of friends, and of looking forward to whats next in the way only an MMO can manage. After playing this game for so long, I have really come to notice that it’s how a game balances the social aspect with the content, and not the content itself, that keeps you coming back for more. READ MORE

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When thinking about crossovers and spinoffs for an action title, cooking and rhythm games certainly aren’t the first things that come to mind. Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit mixes the two with the cast of Senran Kagura into a silly spinoff title and brings the same style that is a hallmark of the series. READ MORE

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When we got Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary three years ago, it was generally accepted that Halo 2 wouldn’t be far behind. As one of the most successful games of the previous generation, it was generally accepted that a similar remake was on the way. Microsoft delivered more than just that, though, in The Master Chief Collection, with all four Halo titles in one box. READ MORE

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As a successor to both Civilization V and Alpha Centauri, Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth lands a lot closer to the former.  From the start, the game tries to show a natural progression from Civ V‘s science victory, though the feeling I got from the intro was a bit more grim than the ending sequence in Civ. As with Alpha Centauri, you take command of one faction as you make landfall on an alien world. READ MORE

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It’s always been a bit crazy how Japan has managed to remain so different when it comes to video games. Senran Kagura is probably one of the biggest examples of this: a game based on Japanese myth, mixed with more modern themes, but not one that simply takes game mechanics from something already popular. While Shinovi Versus continues where Burst left off, the series really doesn’t feel like any game before it. Shinovi Versus builds on the earlier games, but adds quite a bit to it thanks in part to the increased power and control available on Vita. READ MORE

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When I first heard the concept behind Tears to Tiara II: Heir of the Overlord, I was skeptical. I was expecting yet another game in which a male main character goes through a reference-filled plot that only exists to tie battles together, with a bunch of women swooning over him the whole way. Given the series’ roots in mature visual novels, I figured that was only natural, but I am happy to have my assumptions proven wrong.

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As with the previous game, Forza Horizon 2 takes the driving from Forza Motorsport and brings it to a more open, laid-back setting. The sequel leaves the original’s Colorado-based setting in favor of the surroundings of southern France, but the Horizon Festival remains, bringing with it the race events and championships for which it’s known. New locale aside, Horizon 2 once again centers around its open-world driving, both separating it from the Motorsport series and appealing to fans of games like Burnout Paradise. READ MORE

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Vertical shooters these days are largely something we see as part of the past, or as super-difficult PC games from Japan. Velocity 2X is neither of those things. The original Velocity was a typical vertical shooter that started as a PlayStation Mini, designed for the PSP, though it eventually received a PS Vita and PSP port called Velocity Ultra. In addition to taking the series to the television, Velocity 2X adds varied level types and increased accessibility. READ MORE

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At this point, getting a handheld Disgaea remake is nothing new. The first game was ported to both PSP and DS, and the second made it to PSP. Then Disgaea 3 was released on Vita two years ago, and here we are with the fourth game receiving the same treatment (and uniting the core series on one device). So how does it compare to both its ported peers and the PS3 original? READ MORE