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Review Archives (Staff Reviews)

You are currently looking through staff reviews for games that are available on every platform the site currently covers. Below, you will find reviews written by all eligible authors and sorted according to date of submission, with the newest content displaying first. As many as 20 results will display per page. If you would like to try a search with different parameters, specify them below and submit a new search.

Available Reviews

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PlayStation)

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night review (PSX)

Reviewed on October 31, 2010

Whether as a loving tribute to the series' glorious past or a striking declaration of its subsequent revival, Symphony of the Night will make any 2D enthusiast shed bloody tears of joy. Thematically a sequel to the equally legendary Rondo of Blood, this nocturne in the moonlight takes its predecessor's newfound emphasis on nonlinearity to an entirely new level – a seemingly preordained marriage to Super Metroid, now laden with haunting gothic atmosphere and a ridiculous amount of character growth for protagonist Alucard, the outwardly delicate but incredibly potent dhampir prince first introduced in Akumajou Densetsu.
sho's avatar
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (PC)

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines review (PC)

Reviewed on October 30, 2010

It's seemingly impossible to so much as turn over a rock in Bloodlines without encountering more pasty-faced neck biters that you can shake a sharpened stake at, but there's otherwise very little about this game that sucks. These aren't the sorts of vampires who constantly whine about their lost humanity or take annoying teenage princesses to the prom, either; we're talking about hard-drinking and even harder-dying undead anarchists packing UZIs who'd just as soon rip your head off and use it to shoot hoops in the dirty, haunted streets of downtown Los Angeles, except that kind of thing always gets the elders' velvety cloaks in a bunch. Keeping up appearances in front of the cattle and all that; they have nuclear missiles instead of holy water and boomerangs these days.
sho's avatar
Shin Megami Tensei (SNES)

Shin Megami Tensei review (SNES)

Reviewed on October 29, 2010

For Kazuya, a perfectly ordinary Japanese youth, it had been a perfectly ordinary beginning to a perfectly ordinary day: having roused himself from slightly sticky dreams of men that are hung (from crucifixes) and sapphire-haired devil ladies proclaiming their eternal love, our hero spends his morning downloading the hottest apps off the local BBS (look it up) before heading out on an adventuresome quest for fresh milk. Then his mom gets eviscerated by a demon from the rather similarly torn bowels of the underworld, he accidentally transmogrifies the faithful family hound into Cerberus, and the world ends. It's at around that point that the day really starts to go downhill.
sho's avatar
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (PC)

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers review (PC)

Reviewed on October 28, 2010

Whether in the role of silver-tongued conman or paranormal investigator, Gabriel Knight is definitely someone you'll want to know; his career might have begun just as the entire adventure genre was taking those first, faltering steps on its slow descent into irrelevance, but Sins of the Fathers masterfully demonstrates why Sierra On-Line once drove the computer industry.
sho's avatar
Haunted Casino (Saturn)

Haunted Casino review (SAT)

Reviewed on October 27, 2010

A typical match with one of the seven available dealers is divided into three separate rounds wherein she starts out in corsets and colorful gowns before being reduced to filmy, silken underthings that leave nothing to the imagination until they too are cast aside to reveal naught but cold, creamy flesh for the final battle. These garments are handed over to the very approving imp in exchange for heaving stacks of chips nearly as abundant as those newly revealed pleasure globes until at last your bankrupt beauty goes down with a hilariously inept video of the poor lass being sucked into a black hole, presumably in search of some pants.
sho's avatar
Splatterhouse 2 (Genesis)

Splatterhouse 2 review (GEN)

Reviewed on October 26, 2010

The controls are stiffer than one of its endless supply of corpses, and the average level is a short, uninspired advance from left to right punching identical hordes of muck-encrusted undead while occasionally hopping over a hole in the floor. But since our hero can only withstand a few hits before collapsing in a lumpy heap, it's all but required that you perfectly memorize all the enemy patterns through painstaking repetition until reaching the boss with full health. There's only one reason this cartridge wasn't totally lost to the shadows of mediocrity – it has enough gore to fill a swimming pool.
sho's avatar
Vampire Killer (MSX)

Vampire Killer review (MSX)

Reviewed on October 25, 2010

Released only a month after the original Famicom Disk game and sharing the same Japanese title of Akumajou Dracula, this MSX2 cartridge features nearly identical (but noticeably sharper) graphics, monsters, and music as its iconic console sibling. At a cursory glance it might even resemble a simple port, but this impression couldn't be more incorrect – Vampire Killer immediately stands out as a dramatic departure from the rest of the franchise even as its influence can be felt in Simon's Quest, Dracula X, and Symphony of the Night.
sho's avatar
Blue Lacuna (Mac)

Blue Lacuna review (MAC)

Reviewed on October 24, 2010

Don’t think that Blue Lacuna works simply because it doesn’t have graphics or a bunch of explosions, though. Not all Interactive Fiction can claim to have achieved what Blue Lacuna does. This isn’t some throwback to sensibilities that have long gone out of style. This isn’t typing “east, west, and open chest” in a meaningless dungeon romp with some comedy thrown in. This is serious writing. This is next generation programming. This is gaming that is inspirational and lasting.
zippdementia's avatar
X-Men (Arcade)

X-Men review (ARC)

Reviewed on October 24, 2010

Witness earthen bridges over lava fields lined with flame throwing hazards and enormous wasps that spew out a skull carved into a jungle cliff. Shotgun-toting Bonebreaker miniatures rove the inside of Magneto’s lair while stone statues carrying massive scythes animate deep in a ruin. While the dialog detracts from the production value – Magneto’s famous “Welcome to Die!” as he blasts apart a waterfall-side ledge just one egregious example – it is just as likely you find it kitschy as a fault. From crackling lightning in the backdrops to memorable scenes battling a crazed Nimrod as Kitty cowers bound behind an electromagnetic force field, the details go a long way in establishing the comic’s atmosphere.
Leroux's avatar
Tasty Planet: Back for Seconds (PC)

Tasty Planet: Back for Seconds review (PC)

Reviewed on October 24, 2010

There’s a cleverness in the level design that helps extend the game’s brief lifespan, given a further boost by a few differing game modes and a medal system awarded to players who complete stages in a quick time. Without become too abstract and critical, if the simplest question possible was asked of me -- did I enjoy my time with Tasty Planet: Back for Seconds, the simple answer would be yes.
EmP's avatar
Samurai Shodown Sen (Xbox 360)

Samurai Shodown Sen review (X360)

Reviewed on October 23, 2010

Samurai Shodown Sen is not an awful game. The only way it could be considered "awful" would be to ignore the barely playable fighters that have come out over the last twenty years. The characters perform expected actions whenever I press the buttons, and -- aside from plastic doll faces -- the graphics are well beyond "PlayStation 2 quality". I can say this with confidence because I've actually played PS2 games.
zigfried's avatar
Vanquish (Xbox 360)

Vanquish review (X360)

Reviewed on October 19, 2010

Vanquish keeps the player too busy for him to stop and wonder if maybe he's seen this all before. The developers have invested fully in the concept of the cover shooter while somehow mixing it with run-and-gun action. There's no shortage of places to hide, which is a good thing because the constant explosions and the presence of the aforementioned battle cruisers mean that often you have to keep moving as a barrage of missiles renders multiple forms of shelter quite useless. The need to constantly move about prevents the game's pace from ever moving at a crawl.
honestgamer's avatar
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (Xbox 360)

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West review (X360)

Reviewed on October 16, 2010

Its often glaring technical mishaps are eclipsed by sheer artistic majesty. For as easy as the platforming is, the cinematic, almost Uncharted 2-esque set pieces nonetheless manage to create a sense of urgency. Despite the game’s relative simplicity – hell, I’ll settle for shallowness – I was frequently left in awe of the numerous instances in which the escort mechanic just clicks. And for all of those admittedly awful combat segments, the gripping narrative makes it worth the struggle.
Suskie's avatar
Puzzle Dimension (Mac)

Puzzle Dimension review (MAC)

Reviewed on October 16, 2010

Roll forward, carefully now... get that goodie... this is all according to the plan. Oh dear god, I think I just took a wrong turn there! Quickly, remember what happened the last time you tried this. Do I jump once and then twice to clear the gap or is it once, roll a step, jump again, and then I’m free? Wait, why am I still rolling? Is that ice I’m on? Oh, Christ, it’s a pit coming up. Jump jump aw please jump. Is that a spring or a switch? Spring or a switch? Spring or a... oh, phew, it’s a switch. Okay the goal is there, right in front of me, roll towards it... agh, I forgot about the fire tile!
zippdementia's avatar
101-in-1 Megamix (PSP)

101-in-1 Megamix review (PSP)

Reviewed on October 12, 2010

EmP's avatar
Double Dragon (Arcade)

Double Dragon review (ARC)

Reviewed on October 10, 2010

What ensues is a left to right adventure where Billy, and optionally Jimmy, will match fists with an alarming number of people that have no need for shirts with sleeves. During the first stage, a woman in purple spandex emerges from a doorway cracking a whip. A gargantuan mountain of a man crashes through a brick wall looking to kick your ass. A gang member whips out a knife to sling, which Billy can block, pick up, and fire right back at his throat. Every beat ‘em up for years after copied these identical ideas, and they didn’t copy them from Renegade. They copied them from mission one of Double Dragon.
Leroux's avatar
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (PlayStation 3)

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West review (PS3)

Reviewed on October 10, 2010

True's avatar
Comic Jumper (Xbox 360)

Comic Jumper review (X360)

Reviewed on October 07, 2010

Captain Smiley is a pretty lousy hero, as the first stage humorously illustrates. His sidekick (a star named "Star" that seems grafted to his chest) hates him, while idolizing arch-nemesis Brad, a "too cool for you" dude who's a good fist-pump away from being part of the Jersey Shore cast. Smiley, so named because his head freakishly resembles an emoticon, starts the game on an adventure that places him in opposition to Brad, his army of sexy female robots and a mad scientist who seems mentally handicapped. Not exactly a murderer's row of super-villains — a sentiment that Smiley seems to share, as the bad guys wind up getting away while "our hero" gets in a prolonged argument with Star over how horrible this particular adventure was.
overdrive's avatar
Utawarerumono (PlayStation 2)

Utawarerumono review (PS2)

Reviewed on October 03, 2010

Hentai games are big business over in Japan. They're such big business that companies will actually shoehorn sex scenes into otherwise innocent PC games just to meet market demand. Utawarerumono -- a competent combination of visual novel and turn-based strategy -- is one of those games, and a popular one at that, although the PS2 version has been tamed.
zigfried's avatar
Cocoron (NES)

Cocoron review (NES)

Reviewed on October 03, 2010

What shattered my illusion was that for a game set in the world of dreams, Cocoron comes off as simply another eight-bit platformer. A competent one that does possess a certain amount of inventiveness and charm, but nothing I'd deem as particularly special or noteworthy. It's fun to play, but easy to forget, as there's very little of the tripped-out unreality I associate with mystical worlds only existing in one's imagination. Inception, this isn't.
overdrive's avatar

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