Reviews

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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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Fantasy Hero: Unsigned Legacy achieves the gameplay goals that it sets out to hit quite well. It functions as a straight dungeon crawl, with individual quest runs broken up into bite-sized five-to-15-minute chunks. It isn’t the most interesting game, and it doesn’t really push the envelope in any new ways, but it is fun and it is designed well for portable play. If you enjoy short dungeon runs, beating up bad guys and collecting loot, then you should seriously consider Fantasy Hero. READ MORE

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Life as an outlaw in the Wild West must have been rough. Secret Ponchos focuses on the romantic notion of the Western shootout, and allows up to eight players to simultaneously enter an arena and duel to the death in a variety of score-based modes. Occasionally I would feel completely untouchable, a dead-eyed outlaw taking no prisoners and gunning down my opponents while ducking in and out of cover and evading the bullets that could end it all.

Much more often, however, I felt like a clunky joke that was constantly out of bullets and missing point-blank shots. When everything clicks just right, Secret Ponchos is a lot of fun, but things never seem to do that often enough. READ MORE

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When you think of Western RPGs, the name BioWare is bound to pop up. It has created some of the finest and most well-regarded titles in that genre, turning a once-modest studio into one of the foremost RPG experts. Despite BioWare’s rich history, many fans have been disappointed in its recent efforts, especially 2011’s Dragon Age II. The expectations for the third game in its large-scale fantasy series, Dragon Age: Inquisition, were cautiously optimistic.

No matter how you feel about BioWare’s modern titles, it’s safe to say Inquisition is a return to form for the team and a shining example of what it does best.

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Last year’s Super Mario 3D World was stellar as a whole, but a series of levels designed as a change of pace proved to be more than many expected. It’s great, then, that these stages get a second chance to shine in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, this time as the star. Don’t worry: any worries you have about the formula not working for a whole title can be quieted, as the Captain’s adventure finds way to keep things fresh. READ MORE

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Borderlands is a quick-moving game. You’re always running around, shooting spider ants in the butt and then hopping into a car and taking it off a ramp. Contrast that to something like The Wolf Among Us, where you are, for the most part, traveling to a location and having a conversation. Telltale is best known, at least lately, for slower-paced games, and Borderlands really doesn’t fit that mold. If you liked Telltale’s Jurassic Park, however, then Tales from the Borderlands will be right up your alley. READ MORE

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LittleBigPlanet 3 includes over 150 tutorial videos to lead a new user through the crazy amount of creation tools available in its creative mode. This fact alone should give you a glimpse of the potential that it provides to someone dedicated enough to dive deep and learn the intricacies of its system. Unfortunately, the experience from the perspective of someone that purely wants to play through the story mode of the game falls far short of this potential. READ MORE

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The premise of the original Super Smash Bros. on the N64 centered around the idea that Nintendo figures were drawn from a toy box, brought to life by Master Hand to duke it out on various battlefields. While the franchise hasn’t really been known for its lore, the concept itself has clearly defined the path the series has taken. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, brought to life by Masahiro Sakurai and a team at Bandai Namco, feels even more like a collection of cool toys in a box than previous installments, eschewing any attempts at narrative and cohesion in favor of a menu full of disparate-but-entertaining options. READ MORE

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The last release from Jackbox Games, Fibbage, was definitely a fun game, but it was also an experiment in using tablets and phones to control games on your TV. The Jackbox Party Pack represents the next logical step in that exploration, though the release itself was definitely a surprise. The compilation includes five games, including a new You Don’t Know Jack and a version of Fibbage with more questions, and it’s angling for a spot at your next game night. 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