August 2012

Like lots of other people, my love for top-down dungeon crawlers started with The Legend of Zelda on the NES. Zelda has moved on, though, and while I enjoy Link’s 3D adventures, the top-down perspective continues to hold a special place for me. Games like The Binding of Isaac and NIS America’s own ClaDun may not be exactly the same (which is good – who in their right mind wants to pay to play the same game over and over again), but they scratch the same itch, and games like Legasista improve on the formula by introducing RPG elements, randomly-generated dungeons and more loot than you’ll know what to do with. READ MORE

This week we cover some long-rumored games and possible reveals. Will we finally learn about Half-Life 3? Is Dragon Age 3 coming soon? And will Wii U see Black Ops 2 this year? READ MORE

Attempting to get away from the plastic peripherals that made the series famous to begin with, Harmonix’ Rock Band Blitz is a strange game. How do you create a Rock Band game without the instrument controllers? They went back to their roots. Clearly inspired by their previous titles Frequency and Amplitude, Rock Band Blitz is a music game that isn’t as complex as its predecessors, but it also doesn’t need to be. READ MORE

It’s a well-worn sentiment that the Madden series is just the same game, year after year. It’s a view that may seem accurate on the surface, but those who play the games more closely know that the franchise releases in phases, with a particular model being iterated and improved upon for a few years before being totally revamped. These years are interesting ones, as they bring huge gameplay changes, but often end up with a smaller (if fresher) feature set as a result of the extra work on the basics.

This is one of those years. READ MORE

Madden NFL 13‘s Vita iteration is the best portable football game ever made. Those familiar with previous releases know how low that bar has been; while other sports have had interesting twists to make up for the low power of a handheld, football has always been a painfully-shoehorned downgrade of the console formula. With the Vita, that approach finally works, as the system can handle it. Mostly. READ MORE