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Valkyria Chronicles PC Game Review and more

GameInfo: Valkyria Chronicles is a tactical role-playing game developed and published by Sega for the PlayStation 3 in 2008. A Microsoft Windows version was released in November 2014.


Review: Very well done port of one of the PS3's best games. Thank you, Sega. Fingers crossed that this game is well received by PC gamers and encourages more quality PC ports and inspires more confidence in western releases or traditionally Japanese franchises (hint hint, Yakuza 5 and Valkyria Chronicles 3).

Looks great running at higher resolution and framerate. The pre-rendered cutscenes are still at their original resolution, but they look mostly fine - thanks in large part to the excellent art style.

Great keyboard and controller support. Fully remappable with proper button prompts for keyboard/360 controller.

The gameplay, characters, and story are still just as great as they were when this game was released back in 2008, but they're not perfect and won't be everyone's cup of tea. The characters and plot are very anime. VERY anime. The fusion of turn-based strategy gameplay with real-time shooter elements is novel and pretty darn fun, but it can be a bit finicky in spots. The real-time controls at times don't feel precise enough and there can be a trial-and-error feel to some missions. The issues can lead to the game occasionally not feeling fair or balanced, but I don't find it severe or frequent enough to be detrimental to the overall experience.

Music and dialogue are great (English and Japanese audio tracks both included). There are some minor audio issues - odd mixing, some slight popping on cutscene dialogue. The first patch has mostly corrected this issue, but hopefully it will get a little more attention because it's still not quite perfect.
Verdict: 81/100

Screenshots:

Trailer:

Details:
Genre: Action, RPG, Strategy
Developer: SEGA
Publisher: SEGA
Release Date: 11 Nov, 2014

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WHY I LOVE... Super Metroid

Super Metroid is the game I will always go back to. I think of it as the quintessential primer for a games designer. Super Metroid is a game that got everything right, from weapon variety to level variety, and even story, it's one of the games that I will always go back to, and I'm willing to go back to, importantly, just because it feels like I'm rediscovering it every time I turn it on again.
I think of Super Metroid as the quintessential primer for a games designer.

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Konami Returns to Silent Hill

Konami has announced Silent Hills, a new entry in its famous survival-horror series, in a distinctly unusual manner. The publisher uploaded a demo for a PlayStation 4 survival-horror project simply titled PT to the PlayStation Network, with unsuspecting players being treated to a psychologically withering experience in a seemingly infinitely repeating corridor. Players soon learned the few details that are currently known about the game - that the title will be Silent Hills, the protagonist will be played by Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead and directorial duties are being handled by Hideo Kojima and Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro.

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The Legend of Korra PC Game Review and more

GameInfo: The Legend of Korra is a 2014 third-person beat 'em up video game developed by Platinum Games and published by Activision, based on the animated television series The Legend of Korra.


Review: Game is really short. 8 Chapters each beatable in about 20 minutes or so. Most of the game is about going back and earning the best medals through each chapter, which is hard because the medal is an average score overall medals earned in the chapter.

The story is really lackluster as well. It's basically Korra, and Ginora as Navi, then the Main Villain. It's really disappointing that they didn't feel the need to have more of the characters from the show in the game. Makko and Bolin make a short appearance at the beginning but that's about it. You don't see any other characters from the show besides Korra and Ginora through 99% of the game. Sadly, Ginora isn't played by the same actor from the show either, although she does a decent job at trying to imitate her.

The game is comprised of 2 modes. Standard beat'em up levels and Temple Runner races. There's also a "Pro-Bending" mode after you beat the game once but after beating the game twice I didn't really feel like playing it. There are segments in the main game mode that give you a gist of what it is and it's not really all that fun. I was really hoping for more than just a linear beat-em-up with short Naga races inbetween as filler content.

The Naga races are like something you would find in a Mobile App Runner game. You run straight, and hit left/right/jump. It's really feels like it's just there to fill space.

The combat is "Press X/Left-Click 'X' amount of times then Y/Right-Click 'X' amount of times." Charging X/Y builds your Spirit which allow for more powerful attacks. You also can time blocks for quick counter attacks that use QTE segments. Stronger enemies can also counter, which brings up another QTE for you to counter their counter. Overall the gameplay feels smooth and the animations are pretty sweet. If you're expecting something high grade you'll be sadly disappointed as the combat in this game is really bare bones button mashing with well timed blocks/dodges. While dodging all attacks go through you as well, so you don't even really need to move out of the way when you dodge.

Every boss in the game is a Mecha-Tank. They're more like minibosses actually. There's one segment where you fight a big spirit instead of a tank, but it's pretty much the same thing. The only real boss is the last boss and he is a giant HP pool with unblockable attacks and AoE's. You don't really learn anything about him other than that The Avatar destroyed his body in a past life and he wants revenge.

The animated cutscenes are nice, but they are a bit choppy. Sometimes it looks like a short slideshow. It's not bad but it doesn't compare to the Animated Series at all. Voice acting is good at least. They got actors from the show. The dialog is short. I think some sound clips are actually from the show itself, I could be wrong though.

You attack with Fire, Earth, Wind and Water. Fire is the worst out of the 4 and is poorly represented in this game. Mostly close ranged attacks, and nearly every attack somehow never wants to hit your target. Water is the first one you get, and is mostly long ranged quick attacks with medium range heavy attacks. Earth is slow burst damage and is easily the hardest hitting element at your disposal, but it's slowness makes it a double edged sword leaving you open to attacks during your combos. Air is the most powerful element as it has mostly AOE attacks with a crap ton of crowd control. Simply put, as soon as you get air everything dies.

At the very end of the game you unlock the Avatar state which slowly charges (very slowly) over time. Once you activate it you become unkillable and deal massive damage to everything. It lasts for about 20 seconds but that's more than enough time to destroy everything except for the final boss which seems to be resistant to everything you throw at it.

The graphics feel like they are a PS2 or GCN game from the 1st generation of games. The textures are really bland and the level design is linear as you can get. Some textures even look so poor it seems like they are from a PSX game. The levels are nearly all a straight line with some offshoots that lead to chests with nothing useful in them. They just give you more experience/cash.

There is a shop where you spend Spirit Tokens on equipables/consumables and moves for each style of bending. The shop is small, though. About 10 talismans total, with 2-3 moves per bending style and a handful of consumables. There's also Korra's Room, which is just a menu screen to change outfits. Most outfits are just reskins of the same outfit. 2 of the 5 outfits you have to unlock via a secret code.

Overall I was disappointed in the end but the ride was pretty fun. The whole game kind of felt like one big tutorial. Once you get the 4 elements to bend it's pretty much over about an hour later.

I'll probably get a few more hours out of it. If you're a fan of the show or you just want a quick beat-em-up game to kill a few hours then it's worth the fifteen clams. You'd probably be better off waiting for it to go on a sale, though. It's a budget title and the end result really shows that Activision/Nick didn't want to spend any real money to produce this game.
Verdict: 50/100

System Requirements:

Minimum:
OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
Processor: AMD Athlon64 X2 5600+ or Intel Core 2 Duo or better
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: Radeon HD 3850 or GeForce 8800 GT or better
DirectX: Version 9.0
Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Sound Card: 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible 16-bit sound card

Trailer:

Screenshots:

Details:
Title: The Legend of Korra
Genre: Action, Adventure
Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Activision
Release Date: 21 Oct, 2014

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PES 2015 FAQs

Q. IS IT AS GOOD AS PES 6?
While rose-tinted glasses can't be avoided, we'd say this is as dose to the classic feel of PES as we've seen in years.

Q. IS IT BETTER THAN FIFA?
To be completely blunt, no. But over time you may end up preferring the pace of PES this year.

Q. DOES THE FOX ENGINE WORK THIS YEAR?
Definitely. The higher-level players look amazing and move incredibly realistically. It will be good to see that filter down the leagues in the future.

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A Bird Story Mini Review and more

GameInfo: A Bird Story is an indie adventure short, about a simple narrative taking place between the mix of a boy’s memories, dream, and imagination.

Mini Review: To the moon was truly a masterpiece, with a very interesting plot. This one, on the other hand uses one of the most common story ever, involving the friendship between a bird and a lonely kid. I really hoped this would be as good as to the moon but unfortunately it's only a boring average story.
Verdict: 40/100
System Requirements:

Minimum:
OS: XP, Vista, 7, 8
Processor: > Intel Pentium III 800 MHz
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: 1024x768 High Color +
DirectX: Version 9.0
Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
Additional Notes: Usually runs on anything more than a baked potato.

Trailer:

Screenshots:

Details:
Genre: Adventure, Indie, RPG
Developer: Freebird Games
Publisher: Freebird Games
Release Date: 7 Nov, 2014

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Escape Dead Island - Synopsis

FLEDGLING FRANCHISE Dead Island doesn't seem old enough to warrant a spin-off, but that didn't stop Swedish developer Fatshark from working on an adventure game revolving around a newcomer to the series - Cliff Calo. He travels to the archipelago that the first game's setting of Banoi was a part of to investigate what really happened there. The game is story-driven, with a cel shaded art direction that makes great use of Dead Islands famous gore.

 
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