January 2013


Many retro game fans like to theorize and fantasize about what might have saved Sega. Many say that it was the Sega CD and 32X that undermined consumer confidence in Sega. Others say that it was the PlayStation 2’s unparalleled dominance of the console market that killed the Dreamcast, and by extension, Sega itself. Others even say that it was its lack of effort in the handheld space to keep up with Nintendo’s Game Boy to help stave off defeat during the lean years. One factor that most agree contributed is that Sega didn’t really carry the genres that were popular on the Genesis into the next generation on the Saturn, causing a huge backlash of disinterest outside of Japan. READ MORE


17-Bit’s Skulls of the Shogun has been a highlight of indie festivals and competitions for a few years now. The turn-based strategy game is, even before release, known for its pick-up-and-play nature and subtle tactics. Its transformation into a multi-platform, Windows-8-and-Windows-Phone-showpiece project has caused it to take a bit longer to get to our hands, and also raises inevitable concerns about development priorities. We’re happy to say that it had little effect on the game itself, and that the full release of Skulls delivers on a lot of the promise of that earlier work. READ MORE


Fire Emblem: Awakening, the latest from Intelligent Systems, strikes a tough balance. It’s at once a celebration of the series’ peculiar quirks and a friendly introduction to newcomers, a reinvention for the modern age and a reminder of days past. That it does it so gracefully is a testament to the developers’ attention to detail, and the resulting game is one that can be different things to different people. READ MORE


The aftermath of THQ’s dissolution and auction has left much uncertain in the industry. What is the fate of Darksiders? Will Patrice Desilets remain at his former employer? And will Volition’s buyer also pick up the Red Faction IP?


Defense Grid is special. It’s a tower defense game with an interesting story, likable characters and a great variety of tower, enemy and level types. There is no single best strategy, non-tutorial levels have multiple (and often wildly different) ways to succeed and the entire interface is designed to allow the player to experiment with new strategies and tower location without needing to restart the level every time something goes wrong. That’s what makes Defense Grid great – what does Containment add? READ MORE