Ghost Whisperer Review

By – Armaan Khan

I haven’t watched television since 2005. Anything I know about what’s on has been gleaned either from listening to the casual conversations of others and then researching it further on Wikipedia. This is why the only things I know about the Ghost Whisperer TV series is that it stars that cutie from Party of Five, and it’s about ghosts. It also aired for five seasons, which means it must have been better than Firefly, which is probably why Legacy Interactive chose to license the property and turn it into a video game.

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Orcs Must Die! 2 Review

By – Omar Khan

Finding the right balance of challenge and enjoyment is key when developing a game. Sure, when you’re a child you can spend hour after hour after hour on the same level of Earthworm Jim, but as soon as exams, a job, or heaven forbid, a social life start to get in the way, the few precious hours you get alone with a game have to be engaging and fun, but also progressive.  Orcs Must Die! 2 fits this bill perfectly.

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Nexuiz Review

By – Carlin Au

An old school shooter built on the amazing CryEngine 3.  Sounds like a magnificent idea, doesn’t it? Surely, a combination of the new and old is bound to produce something beautiful. I’m afraid it’s only a gimmick as the engine just creates a blur around everything the player sees. Not exactly viable for a fast-paced Quake-style game.  This coupled with a small amount of players, Nexuiz simply falls short.

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Cinders Review

By Armaan Khan

Chances are good you’ve never heard of the term “visual novel.” If you have, then you either associate it with Japanese sex games or are a fan of the genre who knows better. I’ll save those in the latter category some reading and say up front that you should buy Cinders because it’s one of the best Western visual novels I’ve read. Everyone else might want to read on to find out more about this game, and the genre it occupies.

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TPG Second Look: Hard Reset

By Stuart Young

Robots – they’re right up there with zombies and nazis when it comes to the most popular videogame cannon fodder. But what is it that makes them so ubiquitous? Is it the simple guilt-free pleasure that comes shooting a robot? The fact that they’re liable to expire in a magnificent explosion and a shower of sparks? There’s a bit of all of these factors being channelled into Hard Reset, a cyberpunk-styled retro FPS from Polish indie studio Flying Wild Hog, a game where you shoot nothing but robots – until, of course they explode. Yet it’s almost as satisfying the thousandth (not an exaggeration) time as it is the first.

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Max Payne 3 PC Review

By Mike Bezek

It has been ten long years since we have seen an installment in Remedy’s (now developed by Rockstar) neo noir opus: Max Payne. It is known for a violent, yet sophisticated storytelling which resonated with many PC gamers.  But for reasons unbeknownst to this writer, the story has shifted to a South American political wasteland where none of the comforts of the previous experiences seem to be present. While the smooth gameplay, superb audio presentation, and beautiful graphics are all accounted for, the soul of Max is all but gone.

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Gateways PC Review

By Omar Khan

Gateways, by Smudged Cat Games, is a puzzle/platformer that borrows heavily from the Valve series, Portal. You play as a scientist trapped in his own laboratory with no memory of how you ended up in such a situation. Starting with nothing, it’s your job, while making your escape, to gather your equipment and piece together what happened to you.  If you’re going to rehash a well-established mechanic from a beloved game series with a more than devoted fan base, you better do it well.  Gateways does it…. decently.

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Resonance Review

By – Armaan Khan

Resonance starts off with a bang, sort of. A faux news report shows live footage of twelve simultaneous attacks from around the world; mysterious explosions that have rocked major international population centers. The reporter draws the connection between these explosions and a similar one that happened “Sunday morning.” We then flash back to shortly before that time, to a half naked man being woken up by a telephone call, at which point you are handed the reins.

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Alan Wake’s American Nightmare Review

By – Omar Khan

Let me just get this out the way now: if you don’t have a lot invested in the first Alan Wake then you’re going to feel left out right off the bat.  A lot of the negative press surrounding the original Alan Wake game was that it wasn’t very scary for a horror title. This problem still manifests itself in American Nightmare.  With its tongue-in-cheek feel and narrative choice, the whole experience becomes a muddled affair.  Is it an action shooter, a thriller, or a puzzle game?

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Heroes & Generals Preview

By – Carlin Au

The Germans have pushed through Northern France and secured Saint-Malo, Cherbourg, Le Havre, Gare Maritime de Dieppe, Calais, and soon, Den Haag. A couple of platoons wait stranded at Den Haag as the Germans have already dropped Paratroopers at Harwich, effectively cutting them off from the mainland. We can already see their forces gearing up for a full-scale invasion of Britain. More than two dozen platoons consisting of tanks, infantry, paratroopers, and fighters stand ready to cross the English Channel. The Battle of Britain has begun; a battle we will soon lose because not enough people are online.

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Dark Scavenger Review

By: Armaan Khan

There’s a bit of confusion these days about what the term “indie” means. We had the latest Humble Indie Bundle feature the 13-million-dollar budgeted Psychonauts alongside the less-expensive but no more “indie” Bastion. Then, before that, billion-dollar Epic Games declared themselves to be “big indie.” Indie news channels are being clogged with news about professional game developers who’ve formed micro-studios and use the indie label as a marketing ploy to hype their work. It’s a bad trend because it’s taking the spotlight away from teams like Psydra, who embody the true meaning of the term “indie”, and have created a wonderful—and woefully neglected—little RPG called Dark Scavenger.

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Nancy Drew: Tomb of the Lost Queen Review

By: Armaan Khan

Before you read this review, you need to know that Tomb of the Lost Queen is the 26th installment in the Nancy Drew adventure game series since its inception in 1998. Let that sink in: twenty-six. You don’t get to 26 releases unless you’re doing something right, and judging from Tomb of the Lost Queen, developer Her Interactive has been doing a lot right.

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Evochron Mercenary Review

By: Nathaniel Velliquette

Hmm. Yes, that is all I can say for Starwraith 3D Games’s Evochron Mercenary. After my recent Freespace 2 experience, I find it hard to have a unique thought about this game. It almost makes me want to take back what I said about developers not utilizing the great game mechanics Freespace 2 established because Evochron Mercenary has all of it and more. Not only that, it possesses the same developer endeavor present in many indie games like Dwarf Fortress which appeals to me and gives me hope that not all is lost in the gaming industry.

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Megabyte Punch Preview

By – Kyle Johnson

If there’s anything that I’ve learned in my time playing video games, it’s that gamers like familiarity and repetition, but enough innovation to keep games interesting.  Megabyte Punch understands this, and takes the best ideas from games, fusing them together in a very curious platforming brawler.  In this adoption of familiar ideas however, spend enough time with the game and it too comes across as repetitive.  It is currently being developed by the team at Reptile Games, a Dutch studio comprised of three aspiring individuals.

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Wizorb Review

By: Leland Flynn III

I think that it’s pretty safe to assume that anyone who has ever played a video game has probably played some form of a Breakout clone whether they were aware of it or not. The concept is such a simple one that this type of game is passed over by most gamers as “casual”. While the term may be apt when describing a game where the object is to bounce a ball off of a player controlled platform to break bricks at the opposite end of the screen, I don’t think that “casual” is a valid way to describe Wizorb. This game is astoundingly deep when it comes to mechanics which makes it a blast to play. But there is a catch: this game is also frustratingly difficult.

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Voxeliens Review

By – Omar Khan

Retro games hold a special place in the hearts of everyone for different reasons. If you’re old enough, these games bring back fond memories of pumping change into arcade machines which allowed the flashing lights and 8-bit soundtracks to entice until you realize you’ve just spent all your pocket money.  For younger audiences, its all about being introduced to the classics by your elders. Like being taught how to shave or learning about the ‘birds and the bees’.  Voxeliens, developed by Volumes of Fun, is just this sort of game.

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Legend of Grimrock Review

By: Nathaniel Velliquette

Games have come a long way.  Regardless of games being a young medium, their 40 year journey is still obscure to many.  Modern games take for granted and sometimes outright disgrace their grandfathers that laid the foundations for them to be constructed. However, some remember their roots and show due respect to early genres that have almost faded into non-existence. Almost Human’s Legend of Grimrock not only honors but makes apparent the vast potential in one of these genres: the long-forgotten dungeon crawl.

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