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[Review] Crimson Alliance

Available on: Xbox 360; Publisher: Microsoft Studios; Developer: Certain Affinity; Players: 1 – 4; Released: September 7, 2011 (Steam); ESRB: Teen; Official Site

When looking back on the games that we remember, it’s always the most groundbreaking or well thought-out games that stand out the most. Games on the other end of the spectrum stand out as well, if only for the laughs that people get reminiscing about how low their standards were as children. Fortunately for Crimson Alliance, it does not fall into the latter category; unfortunately, it does not fall into the first either and merely rests in the realm of mediocrity.

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[Review] Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten (PS3)

Available on: PS3; Publisher: NIS America; Developer: NIS; Players: 1; Released: September 6, 2011; ESRB: Teen; Official Site

Having never played a Disgaea game through, the latest game, Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten was somewhat of a venture for me. The series has long gained a reputation for sucking players’ lives dry with its demand for level grinding and notorious replay value. After so many years dabbling with the likes of the Super Robot Wars and SD Gundam G Generation series, it was about time I stepped up to the challenge of training prinnies in Disgaea 4. Though difficult, the game didn’t have me running, but constantly kept me going with its cute characters and multitude of ways to combat the netherworld’s challenges.

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[Review] 4 Elements HD (PS3)

Available on: PS3; Publisher: Boolat Games; Developer: Boolat Games; Players: 1; Released: August 30, 2011; ESRB: Everyone; Official Site

No puzzle game is like the other. Each one tries to do more than the hit before it so it can be the next big thing. Whether it’s the simplicity of Tetris or the social drive of Bejeweled Blitz, each game strives to stand out. The latest game, 4 Elements HD, isn’t necessarily simple nor does it have a strong social component, so what is going to keep you coming back to it? Instead of either, 4 Elements HD is filled to the brim with different obstacles, which makes for a game that is quite complex and will easily appeal to those in search of new challenges.

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[Review] Boxhead: The Zombie Wars (iOS)

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In a world probably at the brink of destruction, the majority of the population has been transformed to evil zombies due to a virus, radiation, or something of the sort. You are a one-man wolf pack armed with your wits and a pistol. Your objective is to survive or repopulate the world – well, more like see how long you can live. If these vague and cliché instructions are enough for you, then you’re ready to step into the fray, and ready to take on Boxhead: The Zombie Wars.

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[Review] Fruit Blast (iOS)

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Contrary to popular belief, monkeys don’t always throw feces. Although I’ve never met a monkey that throws fruit, I’m sure they’re out there somewhere; MEDL mobile has not only captured his essence, they have armed you as well. If you’re ready to take down this primate bully then let’s go!

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[Review] Dead Block (PS3) – Trapped Without Quality

Also on: PC, Xbox 360; Publisher: Digital Reality; Developer: Candygun Games; Players: 1 – 4; Released: July 19, 2011; ESRB: Teen; Official Site

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Trends will inevitably hit gaming and certain genres or themes will be exploited to the point where they are present in virtually every other release. Like in games and movies, zombies are now swarming a multitude of games, from Call of Duty: Black Ops to Ryu ga Gotoku Of the End (Yakuza of the End). The latest to try its hand at zombie bashing action is Dead Block, which fails with its weak game mechanics and will have a hard time keeping players’ attention when there are so many better options available.

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[Review] Limbo (PS3) – Dead and Coming Back for More

Also on: PC, Xbox 360; Publisher: Playdead; Developer: Playdead; Players: 1; Released: July 19, 2011; ESRB: Teen; Official Site

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Often times, video games are credited as the great escape that people need from the monotony of life and powerless nature of humanity. Words are barely enough to describe the sheer joy that players can feel from taking control of a mobile suit and mowing down thousands of enemies in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 or embarking on an epic quest in Dungeon Siege III. Every once in a while, a game goes the other direction and limits players’ abilities to more realistic realms. Limbo does so in a drastic manner and yet keeps players compelled despite their roles as a boy who can only jump, push, and pull objects.

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[Review] Puzzle Agent II – Puzzling (Lack of) Difficulty

Available on: iOS, Mac, PC; Publisher: Telltale Games; Developer: Telltale Games; Players: 1; Released: June 30, 2011; ESRB: Everyone; Official Site

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The narrative follows a story left off in a previous Puzzle Agent game: hero Agent Tethers narrates his own story, in which he returns to solve puzzles left unsolved. This is largely the thesis of the narrative, with the gameplay concept being that the player will solve puzzles to uncover clues to an overarching mystery. The quirky narrative and animation style is interesting in a novel way, though the models and animation felt a bit unpolished. Granted, the game is based on Graham Annable’s personal work, which itself is imaginative in a sort of broodingmadness kind of way.

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[Review] Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition – More of the Same. Kinda.

Available on: PC, PS3, Xbox 360; Publisher: Capcom; Developer: Capcom/Dimps; Players: 1 – 2; Released: July 5, 2011; ESRB: Teen; Official Site

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With the release of Street Fighter IV, fighting games have received a boom in popularity equal to, if not one surpassing that of the days where we had arcade machines all queued up in 7-Elevens. For Street Fighter IV alone, Capcom has reached their third revision with Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition. Without a doubt, tournament players and diehard Street Fighter players will be picking it up, but the same question that haunted everyone’s minds in the ‘90s still plagues gamers today. Was this game necessary?

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[Review] Galaga Legions DX – Reborn Classic

Available on: Xbox 360; Publisher: Namco Bandai Games; Developer: Namco Bandai Games; Players: 1; Released: June 29, 2011; ESRB: Everyone

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Back in the day of the arcades, everybody had their go-to games. these reached from multiplayer gems like Street Fighter to recognizable gaming icons like Pac-Man. Arcade goers would be sure to have seen Galaga sitting at one corner of the arcade or another. Galaga Legions DX brings back those childhood memories along with some new designs that may satisfy both older and younger gamers alike.

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