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CounterSpy (PS4) Review

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CounterSpy is anemic Cold War satire. Bursts of solid color, pop art aesthetics, and colorful jingoism fail to enliven this (mostly) side scrolling, stealthy yarn about moon nukes. It’s pampered with buzzwords: “DEFCON,” “launch codes,” “Imperialist,” and “Socialist” – all deployed with lean commentary. Those words, scattered across menus and in-level signs, exist for their mainstream familiarity rather than to expose any misguided intentions born of political hardheadedness.”

Read my full review for CounterSpy at Pulp365.com

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Tearaway (Vita) Review

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“You can say many things about Iota, the adventurous envelope with a healthy strut and determined focus, but most importantly, Iota is open to change. He doesn’t care if he is given googly eyes to wear and never judges as you peer into his world from the torn sun. Iota’s story is shared across Valleyfold, a storybook in motion with a strict adherence to creating its elements from paper.

Tearaway is representative of old Hollywood, where ingenuity superseded the readiness of green screen. Monsters were created from imaginative rubber or snazzy fish bowls, and whether they were effective or not was irrelevant. Someone had the ingenuity to create them in the first place. Thus, Tearaway, where flowers are tattered, animals are misshapen, and water is a series of torn tubes. Homely, but perfect.”

Read my full Tearaway review at Blogcritics

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Killzone: Mercenary (Vita) Review

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Killzone, with its abrupt, direct title and manufactured fiction never elevated beyond its placement as a technical demonstration. Despite running haggard on PlayStation 2, Killzone embodied attributes which demanded performance from dwindling hardware resources. Dual PlayStation 3 editions existed as expanded E3 demos or stereoscopic 3D endeavors. Even here on Vita Mercenary astounds with ample visual acumen.

And yet, Mercenary carries a, “once more, with feeling,” attribute, wherein narrative coherence is thin but the war conclusively has merit. There are two sides to Killzone’s burly fighting. All it took was a face.”

Read my full review of Killzone: Mercenary at Classic Game Room

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Resogun (PS4) Review

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“This is a zippy pressure scenario built from destructively pleasing voxels — pixels in cube form. Sentient machines swivel around spherical, dimly Gothic cities. Marauding robots exist to kill and smash humanity, falling apart when shot in a glorious showcase of modern processing power. Resogun is a twitch shooter built on the genuine splendor of particle effects, Defender for a generation who may never know of Williams’ upright cabinet icon.”

Read my full Resogun review at Blogcritics

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Killzone Shadow Fall (PS4) Review

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“Frustrating is how Guerrilla Games refuses to shock. Helghan are an oppressed people, yet even in their crusade for planetary freedom, they exist as targets. Their eyes glow a heinous orange as if anyone would openly accept their company. Most struggle with tattoo culture, let alone luminous eyes draped in black. Levels guide Kellan into camps where soldiers beat and threaten even their own, depicting cultural barriers denying freedoms or livelihoods. An undercurrent of feeling should protrude from a mother’s desperate cries as she verbally assails Kellan from the door of her makeshift home. Instead, it becomes another level of violence. These are not an innocent people.”

Read my full Killzone Shadow Fall review at Classic Game Room

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Payday 2 (PlayStation 3) Review

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Payday 2  (in comparison) is full of thugs, identity-less avatars who have no purpose, no reason to commit these acts outside of uncomfortable greed. To draw juxtaposition, Grand Theft Auto is so brazen, colorful, and off-centered as to occupy satire, whether characters are resolved or not. Other shooters work in military angles, or science fiction to soften carnage. Payday 2′s players must react as gruesome thrill seekers, taking part in an unreality made real, where suddenly the ones taking pride in defending the general public are savages. Everything feels dirty, and it exists under an assumption that if one game has players kill, open door murder policies are in effect without repercussion.”

Read my full review of Payday 2 at Blogcritics

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NCAA Football 14 (PlayStation 3) Review

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“Infinity Engine’s sequel debuts in NCAA Football 14, the franchise abandoning its hand-me-down attire from Madden’s often glossier technology regime. Bundled up with sharper collision and fewer ungainly wrapped up legs primed for YouTube exploitation, NCAA proves a capably smoother on-field experience. Tackled players in the midst of a leap are punished with body spinning, physics-based toppling, selling the must-win attitude of college football.”

Read my full review at Classic Game Room

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The Last of Us (PS3) Review

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“You remember the people and visions they leave behind, not violence. For inherent shock value which graced E3 keynote stages, The Last of Us will thrive on humanistic embellishments. You remember splattering faces onto brick walls because it becomes ingrained, not because it’s incomparable. Anything performed with such gross duplication is bound to stick. Lasting impressions will be of Ellie, staring wide-eyed at a life she will never lead or Joel coming to realize there is more than survival to care for. That is the core of The Last of Us , so it is a shame Naughty Dog rarely takes the time to celebrate being human.”

Read the full review at Hardcore Shooter

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