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a crooked mile

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a crooked mile

Have you ever wanted to see your favorite childhood fairytale characters as scumbags, liars, criminals, and prostitutes? The Wolf Among Us is a five part point and click game by Telltale Games letting you do just that. Based on the Fables comic book series, you play as Bigby – the human version of the Big Bad Wolf. You’re the sheriff in Fabletown – an underground community of fairytale characters who have lost their home world. For the past two episodes, Bigby has been investigating the murders of two prostitutes, with the help of Snow White.

In this episode, everything you thought to be true about the villains is wrong. By the end of episode three, you find out that there are bigger powers at play – not just Ichabod Crane acting out his sick and twisted fantasies. We find out about a new villain – The Crooked Man. He might be the real mastermind behind the crimes, but with the way the plot twists, you never know.

I think episode three has been the best so far because the plot is paced better than the other two episodes. I never felt like I was in a cut scene too long, or clicking on clues too long. There were just enough quick time events and dialogue woven throughout the game to keep it interesting. There was never a dull moment and I didn’t feel like the episode was too short, like I did with episode two. I never felt like the creators put all their eggs in one basket in one scene. Because of this, I say The Wolf Among Us – A Crooked Mile is a must buy.

The Wolf Among Us is available on PC, Mac, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

By Gehennakat On 25 Mar, 2014 At 06:12 PM | Categorized As Best Game Ever, Featured, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments
Delsin

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Delsin

I hate inFAMOUS: Second Son. Not in a bad way, but in the way that I can’t seem to get anything done (that includes job, house, family, etc.). I’m not talking about bugs or glitches either. The problem is that publisher Sony Computer Entertainment and developer Sucker Punch Productions have created such a realistic sandbox that I spend most of my time running, leaping, and flying that I forget what mission I was on or what I was doing to begin with, but I digress.

Smoke1inFAMOUS: Second Son begins 7 years after the events of inFAMOUS 2 in New Marais after Cole MacGrath’s heroic sacrifice. The new protagonist is Delsin Rowe and he’s portrayed as an Akomish Native American. Now the tribe is actually fictional, but as a Native American I’m glad they’ve actually included someone with a heritage to base his personality and interactions off of. Delsin lives in Washington amongst his tribe and is also the resident trouble maker. Being a graffiti artist, Delsin has been in conflict with the local authorities on more than one occasion. Unfortunately for Delsin, the local constable is none other than his brother Reggie. I’m going to avoid story spoilers for the sake of those who haven’t been playing and just say after a confrontation Delsin learns he is what they call a conduit. All conduits have now been dubbed bio-terrorists by the Department of Unified Protection (DUP) and are being rounded up and stored away or tested on. After a few cut scenes and a short tutorial Delsin finds himself in Seattle on the hunt for those who have wronged his tribe.

Like inFAMOUS 2, there is a karmic scale that impacts what abilities and powers can be upgraded by the choices you make during the game. I focused on a “Good Boy” play through and maintained that, for the most part, through until the conclusion. Now karmic choices play out in certain levels, but even running through the street there are opportunities abound to be the daring do gooder or an all-around evil bastard. As an evil doer you can harass street musicians, break up activists who are against conduits, execute DUP soldiers, etc. As you come across other conduits you’re also given the opportunity to corrupt or redeem them to continue on whatever path you choose. As the good guy you can heal people caught in the cross fire, destroy drug stashes, and even take down DUP grunts with non-lethal means. Once you choose your focus, your powers will follow suit. Once I absorbed my neon powers and reached guardian level karma I was able to slow time and zoom in for accurate sniper shots. Target’s heads are highlighted red for an evil execution or blue on their feet and legs for an immobilization.

neon dashI think one of the more annoying problems with the original two inFAMOUS titles was the means of locomotion. Cole had some cool ways to get around, but it felt like it still took forever to get anywhere. This is why I hate the abilities in this new game (sarcasm). Delsin’s first two powers are a smoke ability and a neon charged ability, and both can get you around town in a matter of seconds. The smoke dash ability covers ground while leaving you unexposed to attacks until you form back together. This also plays into the myriad of vents now located on buildings that let you dash into the ducting only to materialize on the roof instead of manually scaling the side of 5 story building. The neon abilities answer to this a sprint that moves at light speed (think the Flash) and lets him run up the side of buildings to get to the top. So why do I hate this? Mainly because I’d start a level and begin making my way to the objective only to get sidetracked by the scenery, or a tall building I wanted to vault, DUP on the street, blast shards (yes, those are back), etc. The means of getting around Seattle vary and are a blast. I won’t spoil the last two abilities or how Delsin comes about acquiring them, but they also make for some fun ways to get around town. Not only that, but the ability to trade out your powers on the fly is fun too. Air dropping into a group of DUP from the rooftop, to disable them with smoke headshots, to then stealing some neon from a nearby sign to finish of the rest with a stasis grenade never gets old. You’re limited by your creativity… and your ability to finish an actual level without being distracted.

smoke chainThe devs at Sucker Punch deserve as much kudos as they can get because they’ve created a truly beautiful next gen console experience. I’ve heard people complaining that the characters are bland and uninteresting, but I disagree. I’d wager these are the people who played the game for 3 days straight without sleep or human interaction. Games like this are like a great meal and need to be savored. The cut scenes, facial expressions, and voice acting are all top notch and fit well within the story given to us. My only grievance (and it’s little) is the inclusion of a bad karmic side. Yes, I know it gives more options and a bit more depth, but it doesn’t flow with what we see of Delsin, those he cares about, or sense of community his tribe instills in him. The city of Seattle needs to be addressed as well because it seems like a living breathing organism. From the buildings, to the lighting, to the pedestrians on the streets Sucker Punch has crafted a very realistic city for us to play in. This is evident in the audio for the game as well. You can stop on the corner and just listen to everything that’s going around. The last big tip of the hat to Sucker Punch is the lighting, particles, and physics of the environments. Delsin’s smoke and neon abilities are absolutely gorgeous (so is one of his last ones) to behold, with lights dancing off the walls as you zip around, to the small particles of smoke and fire coming from Delsin as he teleports. Physics come into play even more since now you can actually destroy objects in the environments instead of trying to scale them all.

neon ground poundWith all the next gen titles coming out I’d be remiss not to encourage any PS4 owner to check out inFAMOUS: Second Son and experience everything it has to offer. In addition, there was a day one patch that added about 4-5 hours of extra gameplay and an online hunt dubbed “Paper Trails” (we will be doing a follow up on this DLC). This combined with fantastic acting, animation, gameplay, and story will make sure inFAMOUS: Second Son doesn’t disappear into a puff of smoke.

(9.0 out of 10)

_-Alpha-Protocol-PC-_

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Have you ever watched a Bond film and thought “that’s what I want to do”? Well, you might change your mind after you play Alpha Protocol. Not because the game is specifically bad, but because you’ll get a feel of what being a spy in the field is actually like.

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Alpha Protocol is an action role-playing stealth game. What a mouthful, but accurate. It was released in 2010, and for a four year old game it feels…older. That’s not a bad thing, mind you.  Most gamers would say their favorites are from a generation of consoles that are no longer distributed, but those games are chosen quite often out of nostalgia. On the one hand those games were the best of their time, but on the other hand they fall short compared to some modern innovations. The point here is that Alpha Protocol feels like one of those games. Something you loved for what it was back when you played it the first time, but over the years it has lost its edge.

To start, Alpha Protocol is truly a spy story. You are Michael Thorton, a new recruit in the Alpha Protocol program, and your job is to serve your country and stop the bad guys. Sounds simple enough given this is the idea behind more than few games. However, you are a spy. Your job is to get things done with minimal exposure. Whether you kill everyone in your way or just leave them with a tortuous headache, no one should know you’re there. Stealth is a great game mechanic, and Alpha Protocol does a great job of using it. Except for the bugs.

Let me talk about those for a moment because most of the issues I had with this game stem from bugged stealth mechanics. There were times when I would be crouched behind a wall, completely out of sight and fully buffed in sound dampening, and taking a few steps alerted a guard more than ten feet away. This would then alert every guard on the map. And if I should come out of cover and actually be seen, one guard would be enough to expose my location to every guard who would then proceed to start shooting. It’s easy enough to rid yourself of guards and turn off an alarm, but in a minute I’ll tell you why this was such a problem.

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This game is good. It’s hard to call it great, and at times it isn’t all that fun, but it’s good. Agent Thorton is betrayed on his first assignment for Alpha Protocol and is set on a path to make things right. Here is where my favorite aspect of the game comes in. Choice. As Thorton you get to choose what happens. How you interact with others can determine how they respond to you and your actions. Gaining friendship has advantages, but so does rivalry. Who you get on your side can change the outcome; deciding who to ally with and who to piss off, that’s the trick. This game requires you to pay attention. Between gathered intelligence, dossier information, and other tidbits you collect along the way there is an abundance of knowledge. Knowing where you’re going, why you’re going there, and who you’re facing will make things far easier. The game doesn’t do all the thinking for you. The missions you choose to do, and the order you choose to do them in, also has impact.

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That’s all great, but how do you actually play? It’s simple enough. There is combat, stealth, hacking, and collecting. In combat you can put points into different weapons: shotguns, SMGs, assault rifles, pistols, and hands. There are also gadgets; from grenades, to flash bangs, to health kits, you can carry a minimal set into missions and use them for different situations. Stealth, while not a requirement in mission, is a good way to get all that you want. Hacking is dealt with in three ways: computers, keypads, and safes. Hacking a computer requires finding a series of non-moving letters and numbers amongst a stream of flashing figures. A keypad is simply hacked by matching numbers is ascending order to their circuit. A safe is a lock picking screen where you move pins into position and click them in place. Collecting is just what it sounds like. Make sure you explore every room because information, money, and security systems may be hiding anywhere (which is useful when you are lacking cash to buy that armor you want). You will spend the majority of the game working on these skills, getting used to being in cover and sneaking into position, only to reach “boss” fights and the final mission.

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Remember when I said how bugged the stealth system was? Here is where that becomes important. Boss fights, including most of the final mission, are tough. Add in the fact that stealth becomes useless and they get tougher. Here, fight a helicopter that can shoot you through cover, never loses target lock, and you have to fire one RPG at a time at it and those RPGs are scattered across the map. On top of that, here are five men who are going to shoot you, chase you, and know where you are because the helicopter never loses target lock. And if one enemy knows where you are, they all do. It’s infuriating.

I will say that I had fun with this game. The story pulls you in, and you feel like a true spy when things go right. The stealth is fantastic, when it works. The characters are ranging, and often have unexpected stories. I plan to try it again, make some different choices and see what happens, but I do like where my initial instincts lead. And that’s good. This isn’t a game that says “here, make a choice” and then gives you a cookie cutter ending. Who you decide to be will change the path, and that’s nice to see.

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There are other things I could cover. How bad targeting is, how wonky movement can be, how bad pathing is for NPCs, how many boss fights I won because of glitches…

If I were to recommend this game it would be lightly. If you like stealth games and spy stories try it out. If you don’t, skip it. Alpha Protocol requires dedication. It asks you to sit down, pay attention, and accept that things will not always go the way you want. You may do a bit of reloading, but know that the only save option is auto saves.

With all that said, you can always use brute force, and then stealth doesn’t matter so much. It will take more time, you’ll face more enemies, and you may lose out on some of the finer points, but at least you’ll know why all the guards are after you.

brothers-1

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Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons is a beautiful game perfectly offset by a dark and bloody story. In Brothers you set off from a nice peaceful town, where the biggest obstacle is a random bully, in order to save your ailing father to dark and bloody areas filled with despair and death. As you travel across the world with their unique controller setup you’ll have to navigate countless simple puzzles and save the occasional NPC who will in turn help you along your journey; which is only becoming more and more perilous as you go.

In between these moments, however, is where you’ll experience the bulk of the game’s brilliant storytelling. Brothers is a nonverbal game where the characters speak in a fantasy language and your only context are the characters heavy use of hand gestures and actions that do a wonderful job of making everything clear while also showcasing each brother’s personalities. While the older brother’s actions are far more focused on helping his father the little brother’s interactions with others and the environment are more carefree.

Simply going down the alternate paths will reward you with experiences you would have otherwise never knew existed. For instance I’m moving on to the next area and I look down to see a man standing on a chair. What I didn’t notice until I went down his path to look was that there was also a noose tied around his neck. Now you can either watch a man commit suicide or have the older brother hold him up while the little climbs the tree and unties the knot. Brothers is full of moments like that in each and every area and the controls really enhance the experience.

In Brothers you simultaneously control them maneuvering a series of puzzles working together through beautiful landscapes. Each brother is assigned a half of the controller and it works flawlessly. While you use the analogs to control each brother’s direction the triggers control their actions. The only problems I experienced with the controls were user based which at times can cause a little frustration. I would routinely have the little brother running into some random wall because I was paying attention to the other or use the wrong side of the controller and falling.

Puzzles or I guess obstacles are obviously the main challenge of the game and all of them use the teamwork component. Whether it’s the big brother using his strength or the little brother using his size each obstacle is easy to navigate for the most part. The challenge comes when you have to “quickly” traverse the area. You’ll be so focused on doing it right and finding your rhythm and it may take you a little longer than expected. The best part about this, however, is that there isn’t a task that will take you forever to figure out or even do. The “harder” ones will take you a few tries tops and you’ll be on your way. Once you learn the controls you’ll be able to fluidly move through every challenge.

Brothers is an extremely short game, but appropriately so. You won’t have this incomplete of rushed feeling by the end of it. Brothers is a must play for anyone who can appreciated a good story and in my opinion should be enjoyed by all. Gamers and non-gamers alike. It’s truly a beautiful game. 9/10.

You can find Brothers: A tale of two sons on Xbox live arcade or currently for free with a PlayStation plus membership.

contrast

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Contrast is an ode to the storytelling of the early 1920’s.It has an artistic film noir feel to it, this is one of the main reasons why I downloaded this game on PlayStation Network (though this game is also available on Steam) Oh, plus this game is free of charge brought to me by my lovely PlayStation Plus subscription also available for $15

Contrast-PS4  First, I will touch on the gameplay because the crown jewel of this game is the actual story which in today’s gaming scene is hard to come by. This game first starts you off by briefly going through tutorials while pushing the story forward. The mechanics are simplistic in nature there are only four moves you learn Jump, Dash, Interact & Phase in/out (For transitioning into & out of the shadow world). It is slightly difficult in some parts due to timing or maneuvering of the game worlds objects you have to position to progress forward. Contrast is setup like a stage play the game is broken into acts. Within each act there are a set number of light orbs called “Luminaries” you will need these orbs to lighten certain paths needed to progress through the stage. Contrast is considered to me as a 3D puzzle platformer and plays as such but, the shadow play really adds complexity to this simple game. The design of the game has been used before but, is still fairly new to me and to the console platform as far as I know. Games like Super Mario 3D World has touched on this artistic shadow game mechanic along with a few others. Shifting from reality to the shadow realm is part of this games allure fun and frustration will ensue because of this new found mechanic. You will find yourself in precarious situations whereas you will find yourself stumped in several puzzles. Please do not fret because simplicity is the key and it is not as hard as you think it is. In many cases you will find that you were over thinking the whole situation.

When first playing Contrast you will see it doesn’t shine with all the next gen shiny graphics. Easily something that can be done with last gen tech. Though,  it does have some high res textures throughout the world you can still come to appreciate the beauty that this game portrays. The neon lights through the city scape to the brownish toned film noir feel the world has down to the shadow play game mechanics that are the main catalyst propelling the games storyline forward. You will be impressed how the developers and story writers let the story unfold. The crown jewel of this is definitely that, the story.contrastkep02This game drops you off into a story about a family torn apart by the complexities of love, trust and loyalty. The main characters of the game are Didi and Dawn the latter is the avatar you will play as. Dawn (The playable character) is the imaginary burlesque circus performer dressed friend of the adolescent girl Didi. The Mother of our character is a nightclub songstress Kat whom is fed up with her husband Johnny because he lives in the skies with lofty get rich schemes. While her parents try to hide the ever-present issue they face as a couple. Didi just wants her dad to live back with them because Mom kicked him out once again. Johnny failing at almost everything he does. He truly wants the best for his family. His dreams in the clouds are not helping paying the bills. While Kat is struggling to keep her home together and a roof over Didi’s and her head all alone is left to do things that drives added stress into their lives. Kat leaves her daughter to her own devices at home alone while she tries to make a living. Dawn is created to help her coupe the emotional stresses put upon this young lady as they escape to the city to have a little fun much is revealed to us through their night time adventures.

contrast1-545x306There are a few more caveats to add spice to this story but, I will leave it to you experience because I repeat the story is what you truly what you want to experience with Contrast. I tried to eliminate as much of the spoiler content within my review while exposing enough of the story to you so, that it will shine just enough light on this title in hopes that you will purchase/download Contrast .Please try to get into this sweet and touching story that displays the skills of the developers skills in storytelling.

 

 

By Garrett Green On 18 Dec, 2013 At 04:57 AM | Categorized As Featured, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, Reviews | With 0 Comments
Nexus

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Insomniac hasn’t released a Ratchet and Clank game proper since A Crack in Time back in 2009. Since then, we’ve gotten the spin off games All 4 One and Full Frontal Assault. While not bad games, they were definitely not the true experience we have come to known from our fuzzy Lombax and his robotic backpack. With Into the Nexus, we get back to the tried and true platforming insane gun bolt collecting action we’ve come to love from the series in this great, albeit short, send off for the “Future” series of the Ratchet and Clank games.

Rachet and Clank: Into the Nexus

Into the Nexus takes place after the events of A Crack in Time. Ratchet and Clank are transporting the criminal Vendra Prog when her twin brother Neftin Prog attacks and sets her free. It’s up to the heroes to capture her again and stop her plot to unleash the Nethers into their dimension. The emotional impact isn’t as large as the other “Future” games but the writing is as funny and witty as ever, it does, however, suffer a bit from pacing as this is a short game. There is a huge nostalgic factoring into the story as there are many callbacks to past events and characters. Long time fans will appreciate this but new comers may not. It’s truly a game for the fans, for the newcomers; check out the older PS3 Ratchet and Clank games before diving into this game. Yet if you can’t wait, you can still enjoy this game without prior knowledge of the lore.

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Each world looks beautiful in its own unique way; whether it be the jungle or a deserted city, this might be the best looking Insomniac game to date. The colors really pop and the character animation is spot on. Even with a ton of explosions and enemies on screen the game ran smoothly. And you have some very unique and fun ways to dispatch those enemies. The crazy assortment of guns makes a return in high-powered fashioned. With new twist on some old favorites (The Zurkon Family) and some new ones such as the Nightmare Box and the Winterizer provides fresh gunplay that doesn’t get old. The more you use your weapons, the stronger they become until you turn into a walking destructive force. But with a short game, the weapon selection is noticeably slim compared to previous games.

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There’s also a fare amount of side quest to keep you busy, a lots of collectibles, and a decent amount of replay value. Once you complete the game you can restart with all your weapons and power them up even further.  There is enough here for the game to actually feel longer than it really is. And that seems to be the only thing I can really point out, the one real negative for Into the Nexus is that it’s pretty short. Being short meant fewer worlds, fewer weapons, and less character development from the villains.

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However, that shouldn’t turn you off from this game. For those wanting a change from the doom and gloom gray colored games, Ratchet and Clank provide vibrantly fun filled worlds without being a kiddy game. There’s still a ton to be had and for long time fans, it felt like a great epilogue to the future series. For newcomers, check out the previous titles before checking out this one to get the best experience.

 

By Will On 12 Dec, 2013 At 08:37 PM | Categorized As Featured, Mobile Gaming, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 1 Comment
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Duels of the Planeswalkers, is the console version of the 20 year old Trading Card Game Magic: The Gathering. As a player of the game for the past 11 years, I’m super critical about the game in both the cardboard and digital forms. This is the fourth is the series going all the way back to 2009, and has come along way sense the beta I played at the World Championships in 2008, (In Memphis baby!) but how much has it improved?

The Good:

The modes are available right from the start, minus “Revenge Mode”, and includes “Sealed Play” for the very first time. “Sealed Play” gives you 6 packs of cards, and you build a deck much like the paper counterpart. If you feel lost in what to play, there’s a meter on the top of the screen that assists you in the process of making the best deck possible. Although the game can’t assist you on what you should play, as you place cards in the deck you will have the meter rise and fall depending on what you put in and take out capping out at “Awesome”.

The single player campaign follows the Planeswalker Chandra Nalar, as she retrieves artifacts to aid her in her battles. Even though this is as basic as a storyline gets, it’s a first in the history of the franchise. The other versions just pale in comparison as this subtle addition just adds to the flavor of the game.

Magic-The-Gathering-2014-4As of this review, I haven’t had the time to review the online multiplayer and when I do I’ll write another review on it. The Bad:

As you play through the campaign, you unlock cards to add into your deck. The cards are then automatically added to the deck, if you like it or not. This is the biggest issue I have with the game. Not only do they do it against your will, but it even makes your deck bigger when the AI adds lands to help with the lands to spells ratio. The first time I checked to see if this happened, I unlocked all 30 cards for the deck, and when I checked the card count it was at 97! This has plagued the game sense the beginning, and even though it’s small, it’s super aggravating.

“Revenge” mode is unlocked after you complete the campaign, and it’s brutal. Even though I was wanting to 100% the game, it was impossible. The difficulty is turned insanely high, and there wasn’t enough patient bones in my body to sit and try to complete it. Unless you have a high IQ, or have a friend sitting next to you for the assist, it will be a tough and challenging road ahead.

Now it’s time to turn on the megaphone and stand on my soapbox about the biggest issue I have.

pic5The Ugly:

Wizards of the Coast allows you to print out a code to redeem one of three packs, depending on the platform you bought it on. In order to redeem said packs you have to go to a participating store, and bring them the code. No harm, no foul right? That’s where your completely wrong. As I call around to the shops in the area, I was told that they had completely “sold out” of the packs I was trying to claim. The Steam version had a Scavaging Ooze which retails for $10, which gives you your money back. Upon talking to other Magic players at the shop during a “Standard Format” event, multiple players mentioned how they obtained multiple copies of the foil, alternate art, rare. One player mentioned how he preceded to buy his codes from EBay to get the last 8 copies of the cards from the store we were currently sitting in. Knowing that I was looking for the game he even had the balls to attempt to sell me a copy of the Ooze for $25, knowing I should have gotten it for free. Being behind the curve of the actual release of the game, I was pissed knowing that people were going through these lengths to obtain a card, while I’m stuck behind the 8-Ball knowing that I will never get the card unless I pay money out of my pocket. My plea to WotC, put the redemption service back to where it was back in 2009.

During the first release of “Duels” they had them ship you the cards by a in game redemption service and they would ship you the cards. No EBay, StarCity.com, nothing outside of you and the XBox you were on can hinder you receiving it. This is the way it was, and should have been from the start and I beg Wizards to return it to the way it was.

 

 

By Lethal Minx On 16 Oct, 2013 At 11:52 PM | Categorized As PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, Reviews, Reviews, Uncategorized | With 1 Comment
BTS

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Quantic Dream, creators of Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy, take a baseball bat to our hearts and grand slams it out of the park. Beyond: Two Souls is a PS3 exclusive starring Ellen Page, who plays Jodie that has a cursed gift of thanks to her supernatural friend Aiden, and Willem Dafoe, a scientist who specializes in the paranormal. With a game that is jam-packed with emotion, stories, ominous soundtrack, and the perfectly placed thrills, it’s easy to understand why
we’re all hooked on it.

Jodie (Ellen Page) and Nathan (William Dafoe) running through an experiment.

Jodie (Ellen Page) and Nathan (Willem Dafoe) running through an experiment.

Quantic Dream is well known for their incredibly accurate graphics, which makes this game all the more personal. Every pore, snowflake, and texture in fabric is discernible, and quite frankly, it’s really gorgeous to watch. Despite its greatness that myself and my peers rate it, others have their gripes. Although it has the classic Quantic Dream feel and controls, it’s nothing like you’ve ever played before.

A few facts need to be straightened out: Beyond is not a video game, and for those who have played it will understand what that means. This is more of an interactive movie. Here are a few key features to note:

You can’t decide your fate. Yes, QD has taken away the ability to have this game end alternate ways. However, the game leads you to believe that it does due to the amount of options you have with what and who you interact with. You can choose what to wear, what to cook, what to say, etc. There are certain scenes where bad things happen, and you have the choice to take revenge or walk away.

Linear… well… a lot of things. This one is a double-edged feature. This is an interactive movie, after all; the ending will end the way the creators designed it. The sequence of certain scenes will unravel in the same way. When you have control over Jodie or Aiden or any other character, it doesn’t matter what you choose or what you say. That’s also the game’s biggest issue. All that aside, the game makes up for it in many other ways.

Whiplash. Even though the game has so much charm (honestly, it does), it does leave you feeling a bit dazed because it’s not told in chronological order. Jodie tells you this in the beginning, so at least we had fair warning. However, once you finish the game, you can play it in chapter order which will then help you rearrange your thoughts and the story. Maybe you’ll decide a different choice, anywhere ranging from getting revenge to what to wear for your date.

Homeless, hungry, and cold Jodi during her homeless years.

Homeless, hungry, and cold Jodi during her homeless years.

Likable characters. The characters you interact with, I feel, are perfectly executed. Page and Dafoe aside (because honestly, they could never do any wrong), the other main characters each have their own personality, and you see many different sides of them, even if it’s a character you interact with for one chapter. Jodie has just the right amount of sarcasm, wit, charm, and bad-assery that makes her a great lead role. Dafoe woos you with his sincerity and a shocking lack of ulterior motives, which you would expect when dealing with a girl like Jodie.

A great story. While Beyond is practically like Insidious, except without the focus on horror, the game is original. You have a girl whose powers are almost limitless, and somehow Quantic Dream creates a game that is all-encompassing fun, thrills, somewhat comedic, tragic and emotional, and action-packed. The perfectly placed thrills are what makes the game, in my opinion. When you’re dealing with the supernatural, you typically end up with a horror movie, or a comedy like Ghostbusters. If it’s neither one of them, it’ll probably be a flop. Not this time; Quantic Dream really knows what they’re doing.

Overall… It’s a great game and a must play.

Every game has it’s good and bad qualities (except for The Last of Us, which was pure perfection, in this reviewer’s opinion), and gamers will definitely feel hooked and connected to each character on a deep level. You’ll choke, you’ll giggle, you’ll feel content, you’ll be bored sometimes, and you’ll even take a deep breath during the more scary moments; Quantic Dream will cater to all the feels.

saintsrow4

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Saints Row began as a Grand Theft Auto clone back in 2006. If you played that game and compare it now, there would be nothing recognizable to the current franchise aside from the name; which is a good thing. What started as clone soon grew into a crazy, insane world all of it’s own, and Saints Row 4 continues that lunacy into epic proportions, for better or for worse.

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At the end of Saints Row: The Third, your custom character, who’ll we will from this point on refer to as the Player, has taken over the city of Steelport and are the biggest celebrities in the world. So where do you go from there? President of the United States obviously. Yes, the Player is now President and running the country, however that is short lived as an alien invasion begins led by Zinyak. The Player is then abducted and thrown into a simulation of Steelport where, like the matrix on crack, hacking the system grants you super human abilities. It is not long before cars become obsolete as you run faster than anything and jump across buildings and obstacles.  From here the player must perform crazy antics to disrupt the system, find your friends, and bring down Zinyak.

 

And here is where the double edge sword appears; while the powers are “super fun” (no more puns I promise), the quickly diminish the challenge of the game. This might turn some people off, yet this game isn’t about challenge. It’s about being thrown in increasingly ridiculous situations and having fun blasting your way through them. The tongue and cheek humor makes this game a gem, whether it be the dialogue, the crazy weapons, or the game’s villain trolling the Player and another character by ruining a song they wanted to sing, this game will keep you laughing.

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Most of the game takes place in the simulation, with missions taking you either into the real world or in other characters version of hell. Loyalty missions will, once completed, give your friends superpowers and a new outfit. These outfits range from racy to parody; of course someone would look like Morpheus. This game is also ripe with parody from movies to other games. My personal favorite was the Metal Gear solid mission. Side missions and collectables abound, this game will give you hours of play.

 

While a fun game, it has its problems. The graphics aren’t bad but not great either, looking more like an early generation game. I found that the sound would cut out briefly from time to time and the game was prone to crashes every now and again. While annoying, it wasn’t game breaking. In my 20 hour playthrough my game my have crashed a total of 5 times. And while not a glitch, until you beat the game the whole city is in perpetual night. It’s dim and gloomy and gets old very quickly.

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Aside from a few bugs and glitches, Saints Row 4 is a very good game. It’ll keep you laughing all the way through and scratch that destructive and insanity itch you have. Great voice acting, funny story, good gameplay, yes Saints Row is insane and charming. If you are a fan of the series or just want some insanity in your life this is a must buy.

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After the incredible explosion of Bioshock Infinite DLC news, the last twenty-four hours has also seen the release of the first DLC pack, Clash in the Clouds, right to our consoles. This pack is the first of three packs included in the Season Pass for Infinite and is a nice re-acquaintance with the game before the major story DLC, Burial at Sea, arrives in the near future.

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Clash in the Clouds puts Booker and Elizabeth on the frontlines of arena based combat, operating out of ‘The Columbian Archaeology Society’. From this hub the player has access to the four arenas, ‘The Ops Zeal’, ‘Duke and Dimwit Theatre’, ‘Raven’s Dome’ and ‘Emporia Arcade’ – four unique environments from the main campaign. The player also has access to a museum section of the Archaeology Society where you can spend the money earnt in the arenas to buy character models, concept art, behind the scenes video and some great music tracks to listen to whilst exploring.

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The real focus of this DLC is the combat arenas. Upon selecting an arena the player faces fifteen unique waves of enemies ranging from soldiers to Handymen and Motorized Patriots. Each arena has fifteen ‘Blue Ribbon Challenges’ which give you specific parameters to complete the wave – these give the player cash bonuses and unlock a trophy/achievement for completing all sixty. The Archaeology Society also features leaderboards to see how the player’s score stacks up against friends and the world.

Overall this DLC features the same smooth gameplay executed just as well in this as in Bioshock Infinite. The pack serves more as a vehicle for people to get back into the combat and exhilaration the game provides in anticipation for the upcoming ‘Burial at Sea’ packs. What the player gets in this pack however is more than just a fun re-

entry to infinite, it’s also a new game mode that will have you playing through the waves over and over to get a better score and complete some of the more challenging Blue Ribbons. In short the DLC is quite good and really fun, well worth the $4.99 while we wait for the intriguing “Burial at Sea” packs!

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Clash in the Clouds is available now on all platforms for $4.99 or 400 Microsoft points, or free for Season Pass holders. Check out the trailer below!

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