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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
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
Donkey Kong (Arcade)

Donkey Kong review (ARC)

Reviewed on October 03, 2010

The simplicity cannot be understated or overstated. But for the first time, an underdog hero seemed to emerge, someone with realistic means of disposing of obstacles and limited skill in a world then dominated by spaceships and yellow gobbling monsters. He’s a modest man; there’s nothing super about Mario at this point. It is with wit and cunning that he perseveres, predicting when a barrel is coming, alert of their dangerous potential shortcuts down ladders, and in tune with all his hazardous surroundings. Enter randomness – events cannot be predicted in Donkey Kong, and the hero must find his way out of dire situations with deftness like an action movie’s lead. The great ape tries to put the hero’s back against the wall, hurling beams that clatter down randomly and barrels with increased ferocity each round. Jumpman’s mettle is put on trial during every ramp round, as he struggles uphill against a gargantuan competitor trying to keep him down.
Leroux's avatar
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (Xbox 360)

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock review (X360)

Reviewed on October 02, 2010

Yes, it feels a little bit stupid at first. However, the transformations are important because each character can utilize special abilities. These work almost like cheats. For example, one character can earn an additional two stars on any song if you play well enough that he otherwise would earn five. Another has the ability to ignore an error or two in short succession, meaning that if you miss a note it's not necessarily the end of a crazy streak you had going. There are eight characters in all, each with special abilities that have the potential to change how you play and to allow your fake artistry to reach new heights.
honestgamer's avatar
Pong (Arcade)

Pong review (ARC)

Reviewed on October 02, 2010

Russell's quote rings true in this instance too; if Pong never caught on, we’d simply be crediting a different title for introducing the product to the market, perhaps even a better title. Thank Asteroids, or Joust, or Defender. The entrepreneurs that tried to bring video games to the mainstream – your Bushnells and Baers – were determined men. Many of them dropped out of schools and mortgaged their futures on the hunch that this would become a viable medium of entertainment. And they suffered setbacks before, having seen their ideas rejected by countless manufacturers. They persevered through those. What makes anyone think Nolan Bushnell would have suddenly abandoned his dream if just his second attempt at an arcade game failed? What makes anyone think video games wouldn't exist without Pong?
Leroux's avatar
Winter Voices -- Chapter One: Avalanche (PC)

Winter Voices -- Chapter One: Avalanche review (PC)

Reviewed on October 01, 2010

Poor pacing, boring battles and mountains of pretentious prattling more suited to a art house coffee shop after hours. The game tries -- it really tries -- to take the gamer on an intellectual ride, to sell to them its world, its setting and its misery. But in doing so, often forgets that it’s meant to be a functioning game underneath all this.
EmP's avatar
R-Shark (Arcade)

R-Shark review (ARC)

Reviewed on October 01, 2010

In R-Shark the background scrolls to the right but the bullet remains on screen, keeping the same trajectory. The results are utterly bizarre. Weaving through waves and flurries of enemy fire, enemy ammunitions fly yet “flutter” like pitched knuckleballs, the swaying background tricking the eye into thinking their trajectory is shifting with your craft. But it’s not. Your craft shifts the background, but isn’t shifting with the background. And the bullets aren’t shifting at all.
Leroux's avatar
Final Fantasy XIV (PC)

Final Fantasy XIV review (PC)

Reviewed on September 30, 2010

Should you have the patience to overcome these initial hardships, you'll find that Final Fantasy XIV has the potential to be a very enjoyable game, despite how detractors simply say it's a Final Fantasy XI clone with shinier graphics. There are, of course, some similarities. The locales are different, but because they used the same races as FFXI and the same design team created both games, they have a very similar aesthetic. Seeing videos of the FFXIV make gameplay look like FFXI, but prettier. It's not until you learn about the intricasies of the mechanics fueling both games that it becomes easy to understand how vastly different they are.
espiga's avatar
The Punisher (Arcade)

The Punisher review (ARC)

Reviewed on September 30, 2010

Spawned from the calamity came The Punisher, forever replacing our blue-collar "everyday hero" with a hell-bent, vengeance-seeking vigilante. This antihero is not out fighting for the common good; he's fighting against the vile criminals that took away his family, utilizing any means necessary to do so. Should a few distressed damsels be rescued and precious ecosystems be saved in the process, then that's okay too. It's just not the primary concern here; igniting gun-toting gangsters with a flamethrower before hurling a steel harpoon through their abdomens is of greater importance to this man. Even the costume reeks of bad attitude: a dark blue spandex suit, skull design across the chest clinging to his ripped brawny frame, massive calf muscles bulging out of white leather boots. This man isn't a superhero at all -- he's just one hundred percent badass.
Leroux's avatar
Halo: Reach (Xbox 360)

Halo: Reach review (X360)

Reviewed on September 29, 2010

There’s success to be found in Reach but the conclusion is forever fated to be bitter-sweet. It’s your role to watch the planet you set out to defend burn, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. All you can do is try to make sure that before the cities are crushed and the surface turned to glass, that the invading army knows fear the way you do. And if that’s not enough, that they also know that a 5.52mm bullet to the head is universally fatal independent of race.
EmP's avatar
Edward Randy (Arcade)

Edward Randy review (ARC)

Reviewed on September 29, 2010

It is Jackson Pollock, wildly throwing colors against canvas and seeing what sticks. “He should fight a bulldozer.” “He should fight TWO tanks.” “These mutants need more body armor!” No outlandish idea was held back; creative expression trumped programming limitations and established good-gaming practices. “Let’s make him swing from the underside of ledges.” “Let’s make the plane he’s fighting atop do barrel rolls.” “Is there any way we can add more fire?" The flood of absurd ideas springing from Data East’s designers – yes, the folks behind Bad Dudes, of all people, are behind this inspired brainstorming – had nothing to do with what they technically could achieve, but simply what they wished they could do.
Leroux's avatar
Final Fight (Arcade)

Final Fight review (ARC)

Reviewed on September 28, 2010

Take from it whatever preposterous character, whatever outrageous scene, whatever moment of sheer stereotypical brilliance you want. Pick a stray hammer up off the street to boost your high score! Partake in the greatest mini game ever: BREAK CAR!, where you attempt to obliterate a gang member’s wheels with a steel pipe within a thirty second time limit. Fight a never-ending onslaught of unforgettable attackers for the most just and noble of causes: the life of a pretty young girl, the livelihood of a city overrun by criminal influence. Witness the title that directly spawned The Punisher, Cadillacs & Dinosaurs and the rest of the beat ‘em up revolution of the early nineties. Relish your gritty, unadulterated manhood.
Leroux's avatar
Altered Beast (Arcade)

Altered Beast review (ARC)

Reviewed on September 27, 2010

Not only that, it succeeded: whereas the “technically brilliant” titles of yesteryear now wallow in their “good for their time” dubiety, Altered Beast remains the same guilty pleasure it always has. Undoubtedly, I think it was its vision all along to become the cheesy cult-classic of the video game world, to be so exuberantly, intriguingly ridiculous it would never be forgotten. Keep laughing at the thought, the absurd notion its lambasted legacy has only helped it become what it is. It’s Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. It won.
Leroux's avatar
64th Street: A Detective Story (Arcade)

64th Street: A Detective Story review (ARC)

Reviewed on September 26, 2010

Meet private investigator Rick and his partner Allen, two rough-and-tumble sleuths who defiantly unsubscribe from the traditional detective stereotype. Look no further than their appearance: the mustachioed Rick rocks a violet dress shirt, dandelion tie and burnt orange trousers, while the much younger Allen prefers more discreet attire, accentuating his white tank top and blue denim jeans with a stylish maroon vest. This pairing doesn’t exactly conduct investigations by combing over crime scenes with a magnifying glass either. Instead they take it to the mean streets and start cracking skulls in hopes, sooner or later, someone will finger their man.
Leroux's avatar

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