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Mario Kart 8 Review, Balanced Chaos

 

Mario Kart 8 logo 1024x544 Mario Kart 8 Review, Balanced Chaos

Mario Kart 8 is the most beautiful and “balanced” edition yet, but if you love battle mode you will be very upset.

With every Nintendo console comes a new iteration of Mario Kart. Every major Nintendo console has seen an entry from this iconic franchise, and the Wii U is not an exception to that rule. The question is, can Mario Kart 8 evolve enough to stay relevant and fun in an era of gaming that seems to be all about progression and open worlds. With this being the 8th time Mario Kart has seen a release it is safe to assume you know the drill by now. There is a selection of courses for players to race on with their character of choice from the Mario universe.  Some of the newer features from more recent entries have returned as well, such as customizable karts and online play. There are 32 tracks this time around, 16 being brand new courses, and the other 16 being some older courses but remade in crispy HD goodness.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review: Again, Almost Amazing

The Amazing Spider Man 2game logo The Amazing Spider Man 2 Review: Again, Almost Amazing

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 adds new things that both enhance and hurt the experience and creates a game that feels rough around the edges.

It’s that time again. Another Spider-man move has hit the theaters, which means another video game based on the wall crawler has been released. There is a lot going on in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. After a decent game last time, fans were hopeful the next game would be more true to the Spider-Man universe, and add some new things for the Web Slinger to do in Ney York. In many ways this sequel adds positive changes to the franchise, but sadly also introduces some bad mechanics as well.

Last time around, The Amazing Spider-Man was a game that was based on events that occurred after the first movie. This created a problem for the story because the studio was limited to what characters they could and could not use. This created a story that was relatively boring and lacked a lot of excitement.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 luckily takes a different approach in a few ways, but the changes are key to making a better experience to replicate that feeling of being in the world of Spider-Man. Beenox has been given the go ahead to create a world that is different from the movie counterparts, but still is based on the characters from the movie. Think of it as an alternate series of events that brings together more villains for Spider-man to battle. This change allows for a lot of new faces and elements to be introduced into the Amazing Spider-man series.

Adding more villains into the mix enhances the story and world of The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The story has Spider-Man working to make the streets of New York a safer place for everyone.  After following a series of clues he finds himself up against some of the craziest and most powerful foes he has ever faced. This means that familiar faces such as The Shocker, and The Kingpin can now be introduced to the series, thus fleshing out the world to give it a ton of depth, something that was missing from the first title.

The introduction to a ton of new villains takes the story of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to a much better place than the first game. The characters are obviously important to the universe, but the villains of Spider-Man have always been a huge part of Spider-Man’s soul. Some of the characters, such as Venom and Carnage, have become just as popular as Spidey himself. By adding in characters like Electro, Green Goblin, and Shocker, the story is a lot more enjoyable, but also offers a way for the game to not feel repetitive.

The game play was the only thing that really “saved” the first Amazing Spider-Man, and luckily Beenox has kept a lot of the same elements and mechanics from that initial design, but have also tweaked it in a few ways to subtly evolve it. Everything from the first game is either here and been replicated, or has been tweaked in some way to make it feel more genuine.

2014 05 02 00012 1024x576 The Amazing Spider Man 2 Review: Again, Almost Amazing

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The Betrayer Review, A Beautiful but Confusing World

The Betrayer Logo The Betrayer Review, A Beautiful but Confusing World

The Betrayer is a game that nails the basics of game mechanics and drops you into a very stylized world that is unique and different, but lacks any real variety at its’ core.

Sometimes a game that is surrounded by mystery is a great thing. Not knowing what is going on can be a great way to emerge a payer into a world they don’t quite understand, and learning what secrets lay beneath the surface is a fun adventure. The Betrayer takes this philosophy and combines it with an open world that tries to engage the player in a quest that will unfold in front of them, but in the end fall short of a fill realized adventure.

The creative minds behind the original F.E.A.R. have since left the F.E.A.R. franchise, but that didn’t stop them from trying to create another adventure that is surrounded by mystery. The Betrayer literally drops the player in a world they know nothing about, and wants them to simply explore the world to uncover the mystery behind it. On paper it all sounds like a fantastic idea coming from the team that somehow combined shooting with a thrilling mystery that kept players engaged for hours, but The Betrayer feels incomplete in many different ways.

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Titanfall Review, Prepare for Enjoyment

Titanfall logo pilot running 1024x576 Titanfall Review, Prepare for Enjoyment

Titanfall is one of the most enjoyable shooters in a long time, but don’t expect it to redefine shooters.

Prepare for Titanfall. Those words have been uttered by many since Titanfall made its debut at E3 2013, and since then the hype train has been very high. A lot of people are calling and are expecting Respawn Entertainment to redefine the FPS genre.  By now you probably already know what Titanfall is. Some people call it Call of Duty with mechs, and other say it just another over hyped shooter, but I can with certainty that Titanfall is so much more than just another shooter for FPS fans to pick up and play.  Titanfall at its’ core is a FPS and shares a lot of mechanics that are similar to games like Call of Duty, but if you try playing Titanfall like other shooters you will not find success.

So what makes Titanfall different? Just looking at the game play might make someone think that it is the mechs that obviously make the big difference, but believe it or not the mechs are only half of the story. The secret to Titanfall is balance, and Respawn has made sure that everything feels balanced. From the weapons and pilot abilities to the mechs with their giant weapons and unique abilities, nothing ever feels overpowered and cumbersome. Every minute detail that involves actually playing Titanfall has been fine tuned to a point that is near flawless.

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Contrast Review, Overshadowing Issues

Contrast Logo 1024x587 Contrast Review, Overshadowing Issues

Contrast has some unique ideas, but the the bugs and confusing story keep it from being memorable.

Contrast is a very weird game. There is no getting around it. Contrast is a unique experiment that sadly doesn’t feel finished. In the end it feels like a different style of game that needed more time in development to realize its’ true potential.

Contrast on the surface is a puzzle game, but also has a story that is trying to tell the story of a young girls family issues. The player takes control of Dawn, a mysterious woman who has the ability to jump in and out of walls and use shadows to ascend. Dawn follows around a small girl named Didi, whose parents are having issues and Didi is caught in the middle. For some reason Didi is the only person who can see Dawn.

The story of Contrast is a weird one. It deals with elements that you would not think would be subject matter for a video game. The main story arc revolves around Didi sneaking out of her bedroom to see her Mother sing at the local night club, while also trying to help her Father get his new Circus off the ground. The story takes some twists and turns over the 2-3 hour adventure, and honestly it just starts getting really weird. The twists that occur feel as if the writer is doing their best to portray a sense of importance of family, but at the same time adds in extremely bizarre moments that deal with topics such as suicide. It jumps from idea to idea, and struggles to find a central idea to keep the story engaging.

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The Bridge Review: Beautifully Twisted

The Bridge Indie Game Logo 1024x576 The Bridge Review: Beautifully Twisted

The Bridge is a fantastic Indie Puzzle game that has a visual presentation that is truly breath taking.

The Bridge is a critically acclaimed indie game that has won numerous awards for its’ art style and world spinning puzzle solving. So after hearing all of the hype I had to see what all the talk as about.

The first thing you will notice is the art style. The Bridge is easily one of the most impressive games I have seen in awhile. Every single asset is hand drawn and looks like a black-and-white lithograph. It is something that screen shots just do not capture. Seeing it in action is just simply beautiful , and then mix in the musical set piece and you have one of the best presentations in recent memory.

So even though the game looks amazing, the real question is how are the puzzles? The puzzle design is what you would expect from a puzzle game. Get from one end of the room to the door located somewhere else on the map. The catch is the player has the ability to spin and twist the world a full 360 degrees with the triggers and bumpers on the controller. So instantly you have the recipe to make some truly mind bending puzzles.

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