"Nutjitsu" Finds a Way to Improve Upon "Pac-Man" Review

How do you improve upon the design brilliance of Pac-Man? Well, Pac-Man Battle Royale was probably the perfect evolution of the original maze masterpiece, however; a challenger has appeared. Nutjitsu, from the brilliant minds at NinjaBee, the developers of such personal favorites as Band of Bugs, Outpost Kaloki X and the Keflings series is a perfect balance of Bomberman and Pac-Man with a light sprinkling of Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine.

I’ll be honest, when I heard that NinjaBee was developing a maze title for the Xbox One as part of the ID@Xbox program, I was a little disappointed. Their games are typically larger and deeper than anything a simple maze title would call for. Upon release of the game, I was pleasantly surprised to find a fascinatingly deep title with plenty of strategy required to tackle the various levels and difficulties.

May
17
2014
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"Breakdown" Breaks It Down Review

State of Decay is an exciting open-world title that came out for the Xbox 360 a while back. When I wrote for another site, I reviewed the title and gave it some seriously high marks. I had been tracking the development of the title for a while, had interviewed the community manager and was getting amped for the game’s release. It remains an intense, difficult and beautiful zombie apocalypse survival simulator.

Breakdown is the most-recently released DLC, which, I’ll admit, I didn’t like at first. The proper game had a very minimal story, which, as slim as it was, was actually quite brilliant. The game never spoonfed you anything, narratively. For those who don’t know, State of Decay cast the player in the role of a survivor of the zombie apocalypse, trying to survive the onslaught of the undead while also managing weapons, food, supplies and personalities of other survivors. Don’t pay enough attention to issues going on at home and you might end up losing influence in your community. Sometimes this would be disastrous, other times the effects wouldn’t be that drastic. It felt real, natural. Resources were relatively finite. Once you picked an outpost clean, you couldn’t get anything from it any longer.

Dec
18
2013
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The "XCOM" Franchise is Now Declassified & Deglorified Review

It has been a long time since I’ve experienced a game as outright frustrating as The Bureau: XCOM Declassified - and I don’t just mean that absurdly long title looking to remind people of the pedigree it sprang from. The concepts should appeal to me; on paper there’s no reason why the gameplay, setting, and characters shouldn’t combine to make one thrilling experience. But it doesn't gel together. The game also proves that sometimes the worst thing a developer can do is to squeeze in the wrong combination of elements to appease the hardcore audience. That crowd has no interest in the game already.  All the while, the developer is attempting to find that sacred cow known as “mass appeal.”

Sep
11
2013
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"Colonial Marines" Further Tarnishes the "Alien" Legacy Review

My copy of Aliens: Colonial Marines came to me late and I mean really late.  I had to see all the outrage come pouring in without knowing what was going on. The backlash against the title was intense, enough to keep the gaming media occupied for weeks in dissecting just how such a train-wreck happened.  By the time my copy arrived, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Where did the hyperbole end?  Surely it couldn’t be that bad, right?

What did I think of the game?  That’s easy, it’s as awful now as it was when everyone had their field day with bashing it.  It deserves every bit of hate from the critics and fans alike that it received.  There’s nothing I can really add to the conversation that hasn’t already taken place.  There’s my review of Aliens: Colonial Marines; it’s just horrible.

Jun
24
2013
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Witness the Rebirth of a "Tomb Raider" Review

Lara has been pushed to her breaking point. Ahead are the men that have hunted her, that have threatened her, beaten her, and taken friends she cared for.  They are scouring the forest for any signs of her.  She's drained, but tired of being scared and running away.  Tired of being exhausted. Tired of the fear and the pain.  She's no longer willing to be the victim, the tables have been turned and the hunters are the now the prey.  Lara Croft is coming for revenge.  A survivor is being born.

Jun
20
2013
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An RPG Set Inside the World of Studio Ghibli's Imagination is as Incredible as it Sounds Review

The few times a year I shell out cash for a brand new title on the PS3 or Xbox typically coincide with the release of a new JRPG that has a promising team behind it. I devour JRPGs, the longer the better, and the more sidequests the happier I am. I play through to the very end. For 2013 so far, none held quite the amount of interest for me as Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, a beautifully rendered, and highly imaginative game within the world of Studio Ghibli animation as developed by Level-5. The artwork and world building in that regard alone make Ni No Kuni worth a look, and the entertaining story with plenty of things to do and places to see makes the game almost beyond reproach. Almost. Unfortunately, a few hiccups arise in the story pacing and the game's mechanics and AI that could greatly hinder the average gamer's appreciation for the mechanics of it all. However, if you can get past those drawbacks, there's a healthy 70-100 hours of gameplay to be had here for the JRPG enthusiast willing to put in the time.

Mar
16
2013
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"Dead Space 3" Starts & Ends with a Whimper & Not With a Bang Review

Dead Space has always understood the concept of a memorable opening.  The first with the helplessness of watching your crewmates die before fleeing for your own life.  The second with a psych ward descending into chaos while Isaac is bound in a strait-jacket.  Maybe that's why I should've been more worried when Dead Space 3 opens with such a whimper.

The opening displays the general problem with Dead Space 3.  The plot and writing is just horrid.  I'm lost in where to begin with how poorly told the narrative is.  I loathed when Isaac's helmet came off, because it meant I had to hear people speak.  Every character is forgettable.  Every decision they make is senseless.  Every word they utter is juvenile.  There is not a likable person in this game.

Feb
28
2013
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Fans Wrongfully Cry Foul on "DmC: Devil May Cry" Review

Take a gander over the Metacritic page for either version of DmC: Devil May Cry, and you'll see quite a discrepancy between the reviewers who get paid to print out their opinions and the ones from the users. Said critics are heaping generous compliments on the much maligned reboot. The fan base is swarming the forums of any website that would dare to rave about the travesty Capcom has unleashed on the community, having decided over a year ago to be against it. The reason why they are feeling so victimized and throwing out the clichéd and tired old excuse of, “These reviewers are paid shills!” in order to discredit the positive hype is nothing short of silly. I do feel sad for them, however. They are choosing to remain blind to what is a great game. Not only is it great on its own, but it's *gasp* worthy of being part of the Devil May Cry family.

Feb
04
2013
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There's More to "Persona 4 Golden" Than Its Good Looks Review

The JRPG genre is very close to my heart.  I have very fond memories of just sitting in my room curled up on my bed getting engrossed into the story and watching the characters interact, I always likened it to reading a visual novel, but my mother never understood.  My sister did on the other hand, and she always watched me play.  This is how she gained the same appreciation and love I have for JRPG’s and other such games.

So far I have two era’s with my JRPG experiences, tied to two very different companies.  Square Soft represents my high school teen era.  I wanted to snap up every Square Soft game that appealed to me.  I loved Final Fantasy VII, VIII and IX along with Chrono Cross (Trigger came when I got a DS) and Parasite Eve.  Another game that represents a lot of JRPG memories is The Legend of Dragoon.  I was astounded by the complex time based battle system and the transformations, plus the characters I felt were memorable with a nice twisty story.  These were good times and a part of me wished that these times would last forever (without the monotony and depression of high school of course).

Jan
23
2013
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"Resident Evil 6" Takes the Bad with the Good Review

 Resident Evil 6 is the next step in an evolution to keep the series fresh and keep those numbers increasing. Reviewers all over the web, both critics and fans alike, have been absolutely savage to the new title. No matter what you personally think of these changes, the only thing that is apparent about this new game is that it has massively divided the community.

I feel like I stand in the middle. I see a vision of what the developers were trying to accomplish, and when it all comes together, I am in huge support of it. I believe that Resident Evil 4 is one of the greatest games of all time and its sequel, Resident Evil 5, while harboring some problems, still manages to slide by and be a great game. Resident Evil 6 tries hard to add something new to the direction the series has been going, but it lacks polish and (most importantly) focus. It's the text book example of what happens when there are too many ideas and no one is there to properly manage them. It's bloated and desperately needs some fat trimmed.

Oct
16
2012
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