Reviews

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The JRPG is going through an oddly fruitful point in its life right now. On one hand, it is undeniable that the genre lacks the cachet that it had during the 32-bit era, and it is doubtful it will ever reclaim that. However, publishers like Atlus, Nippon Ichi and XSEED  long regarded as some of the biggest risk-takers in publishing have taken it upon themselves to ensure that many of the more offbeat titles in the genre actually make it outside of Japan. That has never happened on this scale before, and it is the only way that a game like Conception II would have ever seen the light of day in English-speaking territories. READ MORE

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I want to like Moebius: Empire Rising, because it has some interesting things going for it. Malachi Rector is an interesting mix of Indiana Jones, Nicolas Cage’s character in National Treasure and Sherlock Holmes. I want to see him on the big screen played by Robert Downey, Jr. or depicted in a comic book, in which low-quality models and animation won’t trample on the atmosphere. And most of all, I want to experience the story and hear Rector’s internal thoughts, without having to sit through an underwhelming set of mechanics to do it. READ MORE

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Mercenary Kings has a lot going for it. The list of features is exhaustive, the number of weapon combinations available is immense and the pixel art is nothing short of jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Mercenary Kings is channeling Metal Slug hard, and it works. The chunky aesthetic fits the military motif very well, but while there are more than enough missions to go on, I wish there was more variety in visited locales to show off the art even more. READ MORE

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RedLynx’ hit series, Trials, began as a web release way back in 2000. It was a simple, mindless distraction, but one many couldn’t stop playing. It wasn’t long before the formula begun taking new form, shifting from a basic (albeit addictive) little game into something much larger. Trials Fusion, the latest in this series, features a new, futuristic coat of paint, but maintains everything that made it noteworthy to begin with.

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When examining many recent indie releases, it can be easy to pinpoint their influences, especially since so many proudly focus on them. The same is true of Strike Suit Zero, the first title from Born Ready Games. Following in the footsteps of classics such as the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series, Strike Suit Zero is the studio’s attempt to revitalize (and redefine) the space combat genre. It’s a refreshing take on a well-worn formula, although it tends to ignore variety in favor of its particular brand of combat.

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Throughout Dynasty Warriors history, one constant has been in place: do not, under any circumstances, pursue Lu Bu. He’ll kill you, probably. But, after so many years of not pursuing him, one must wonder what Lu Bu’s side is. As he lays waste to the battlefield, is his ferocity a reflection of his inner demons? Maybe he’s just misunderstood; he wants to be pursued by that special someone, but doesn’t know how to express his feelings. Luckily for us, Tecmo Koei and Omega Force finally address these burning questions and more in the spiffy PS4 (and other platforms) update, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition. READ MORE

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Blizzard has always been able to create great expansion packs, going all the way back to the days when added content for a game was released on discs in stores. Reaper of Souls is no different. Blizzard has done a lot to turn around the flaws of the original, bringing back a lot of the gameplay that made Diablo II and its expansion so well-loved. READ MORE

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The original Ragnarok Odyssey proved to be a great early hit for the Vita, finding success both in and outside Japan with its loot-driven hunting formula. With what is both an expansion pack and a revamped base game, Ragnarok Odyssey ACE refines its gameplay and adds content, along with making the move to the big screen with a PS3 release. READ MORE

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BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma is the third core game in the series. Considering not much changed between Calamity Trigger and Continuum Shift, does this game drive the series to progress or cause it to stagnate? Luckily for Arc System Works, working out the kinks in two remakes of Continuum Shift has allowed this series to move forward. READ MORE

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Aren’t superpowers the best? Being able to travel at insane speeds, jump higher than even the tallest buildings and take down your foes with a flurry of different abilities is something that will never get old. The inFamous series is one of the best examples of imbuing you with powers and letting you run wild with them, providing a thrill ride that few games can rival. The newest title in the series, inFamous: Second Son, presents you with a new setting, protagonist and plenty of new powers to play with, yet it all feels oddly familiar.

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