Archive for February, 2012

The Darkness 2 Review

February 18, 2012 Leave a comment

The Darkness 2 is an interesting game. The original game, developed by Starbreeze, has become a classic amongst fans. Now with the sequel by Digital Extremes, coming nearly five years after the first game, one might have expected a somewhat mediocre experience.  What you get though is anything but mediocrity. You get a well put together shooter with great pacing, an interesting story, and a wonderful over-the-top gore fest.

In the original Darkness, our main character Jackie Estacado is being hunted by the mob. He gets overtaken by the Darkness, which is a demonic-like force that has been in his family for generations. The love of his life, Jenny Romano, gets kidnapped by the mobsters and the Darkness restrains Jackie while they kill her right in front of him. From then on out you pretty much go on a revenge rampage, destroying everything and everyone with your new Darkness powers, consisting of two demonic arms that allow you to demolish your enemies.

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To Whom It May Concern

February 15, 2012 Leave a comment

I purchased Dear Esther on a whim today (having read Eurogamer’s thoughts on it earlier this morning), and I must say I’m really impressed with it. I’m not normally one to fawn over indie titles (in truth I think they frequently sacrifice substance for style), but this particular game (if it can indeed be call that, so thoroughly does it test the limits of the medium) deserves special recognition for its startling originality and its unflinching vision.

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Reminder: Download Four Swords Before It’s Too Late

February 13, 2012 Leave a comment

If you own a 3DS or DSi and have yet to download The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition, you’d better do it soon — in nine days, the game will no longer be free to download. Nintendo hasn’t announced how much it will charge for the title after February 23 (or if it will even be offering the software beyond that date), so pay a visit to your respective e-store and grab a copy while you still can.

Four Swords Anniversary Edition is an enhanced port of the Four Swords multiplayer game that was included in the GBA re-release of A Link to the Past. New to the adventure is a single-player campaign and a “Realm of Memories” mode, which takes you through a number of different stages from the series’ history (complete with their original visual presentation). Anniversary Edition was released as part of Nintendo’s year-long tribute to the Legend of Zelda series, which celebrated its silver anniversary in 2011.

Source: GoNintendo

Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword Review

February 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword came as something of a surprise to me. Between its quiet announcement on Nintendo’s website and its relative lack of publicity (at least compared to some other eShop releases), it seemed as though the game was destined for mediocrity. And yet (to prove the extent of my fanboyism), the simple fact that it was published by Nintendo was enough to pique my interest. It’s true that not every title the company stamps its name on turns out to be a classic, but more often than not the games that Nintendo chooses to publish have some unique characteristic to them that sets them apart from other releases on the market. Such, fortunately, is the case with Sakura Samurai. Beneath its stylized exterior lies an immensely satisfying experience quite unlike any other on 3DS, making it another excellent addition to the console’s growing library.

From the outset, it’s clear that Sakura Samurai is firmly rooted in the Punch-Out!! school of design. Like Nintendo’s cartoon boxer, Samurai’s gameplay can be broken down to pattern recognition, timing, and countering, and players will have to master all of these skills if they hope to rescue the abducted Princess Cherry Blossom and restore order to the land.

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Looking Skyward

February 2, 2012 Leave a comment

You’ll have to excuse my absence as of late. I’m currently in the process of avoiding writing my essay on Bastion, which is taking up considerably more time than I had expected. It seems it’ll be a while yet before I can begin my RPG marathon, so you’ll have to content yourself with the occasional post from my colleagues until then.

In the meantime, you can check out the second installment of Star Road over at Nintendojo. This article takes a look at why Skyward Sword ultimately failed to evolve the Zelda series despite Nintendo’s promise that it would redefine the franchise as we knew it. I still very much enjoyed the game, mind, but the entire experience was significantly marred by some questionable design choices (which I elaborate on in my article) and a slavish adherence to an aging formula. Here’s hoping the development team takes these criticisms to heart the next time they begin work on a new Zelda title!