Madden 23 Review

“Madden 23 pays homage to the man whose name turned into an annual video game franchise. After his passing in December, the development team pays tribute with the Madden all-star game. It’s a one-off, but a colorful celebration of the coach, involving two historical teams filled with Madden’s personal favorite players. During the game, Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis recount Madden’s career, and then at halftime, a short video tribute plays. It’s something, if seemingly small considering what Madden did for this franchise for over nearly 30 years.”

Read my full Madden 23 review at GamesRadar

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Frogun Impressions

“Renata is welcome to return in sequels or even other genres. She’s a positive force who is out to do the right thing, either totally ignorant of the danger or unwilling to accept it. Her fantasy world matches her personality, persistently saturated, cheery, and wholesome. If Frogun is truly retro in any sense, it’s in the smiling and wholly good heroine with a simple goal.”

Read my full piece on Frogun in PC Gamer

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Ex-Zodiac Impressions

“On that note, Ex-Zodiac isn’t “inspired by Star Fox because Nintendo won’t give us a new Star Fox,” so much as it’s a barely-skirting-copyright replica of every enemy type, every glimpse of fog-based draw-in, even the death sequences that see the hero’s ship going down as the camera dramatically spins around the crash.”

Read my full piece on Ex-Zodiac in PC Gamer

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MLB The Show 22 Review

“If there’s a singular presentation tweak worthy of discussion, it’s Matt Vasgersian’s retirement from the virtual commentary booth. He’s called The Show since 2006, and while undeniably routine and stale in recent years, Vasgersian became the series’ voice. Replacing him is Cubs/ESPN regular John Sciambi. Despite the repetition (Sciambi doesn’t have 15+ years of calls recorded) and occasional inaccuracy, he handles the material convincingly. It’s a worthy performance alongside color man Chris Singleton, and together, there’s a baseline to build on.”

Read my full MLB The Show 22 review on GamesRadar

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King of Fighters XV Review

“SNK has built a branded fighting game universe, for better or for worse. The boldness with which KOF XV descends into unintelligible anime nonsense is almost admirable. What was once about overthrowing corrupt organizers like Geese Howard has become an exercise in absurdist fantasy. Alternate dimensions rip open, and a sold-out crowd watching the finale still thinks they’re somehow safe being near this tournament location.”

Read my full KOF XV review on Inverse

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NHL 22 Review

“It’s also worth pointing out that there’s a repeated pop-up about community inclusiveness when you’re first browsing the menu, and while on the surface that feels like a corporation trying to please activists for brownie points, we also have to keep in mind that hockey in general suffers from a racial divide. For instance, HC Donbass player Jalen Smereck was hit with a racist taunt just last month, so NHL 22 propping up tolerance in the moment is timely.”

Read my full NHL 22 review on IGN

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The Lost Atari Laserdisc Game

Atari Playland was canceled before the game was fully designed, but Taylor said the gameplay would have involved floating superimposed ghosts for players to shoot. A player’s view would follow on-rails routes, filmed using a complex, pre-programmed series of camera movements and a rotating platform supporting elaborate sets that could stretch over 40 feet long, Taylor said.

Everything was planned to work in a system designed by Pacific Data Image (which would eventually become part of Dreamworks); every movement was mapped out in advance. “We made little vector models in their system and were able to preview those moves and then figure out exactly how we needed to build the models to make it all work,” said Taylor.

Read my full piece about Atari Playland on Ars

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MLB: The Show 21 Review

“Instead of celebrating legacy, The Show begs for regular cash infusions, none of which go to the foundation set up alongside this release – a mere dollar of each initial sale goes to lengthily named education fund, “Jackie Robinson Foundation MLB The Show Scholars supported by PlayStation Career Pathways”. Hilariously tasteless in generosity, considering the option to buy $100 worth of power-leveling Stubs on the PS Store – after paying upwards of $100 for the game itself.”

Read the full review on GamesRadar

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Inside EA Spouse & Battle for Middle Earth

‘“I’m sure I’ll be busy,” development director Chris Corry remembers thinking when he joined the project late in the development cycle, in July 2004, after leaving LucasArts. “There will probably be a little bit of crunch for a month or two. You can put up with anything for just a couple of months. Not realizing at the time, of course, that I would be there for probably six or eight weeks before I would be calling recruiters again and saying, ‘Oh, my God, what have I done?’”

Read my full feature in the Washington Post

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Nintendo at the Movies

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“Nintendo had little to no involvement once the crew was on the road. Without guidance, Chisholm was on his own. “This is how my research went: I would call a friend and go, ‘Can I talk to your 12-year-old son?’ And I get the kid on the phone. I go, ‘What’s a good score on this game?’ And he’d go, ‘Like, 50,000.’ I go, ‘Cool. Thank you,’” says Chisholm, explaining some of the gameplay inaccuracies in the film.”

Read my full feature on Nintendo’s transition to Hollywood at Polygon

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