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Review: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game

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The Old-School Beat ‘Em Up You’ve Been Waiting For
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<p> From the cusp of the 8-bit revival revolution, Ubisoft has managed to up the stakes to a classy HD 16 or so-bits. If Turtles in Time, Double Dragon, River City Ransom, and Streets of Rage conceived some sort of old school super baby on Super Mario World&rsquo;s world map, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game would be born.</p>

From the cusp of the 8-bit revival revolution, Ubisoft has managed to up the stakes to a classy HD 16 or so-bits. If Turtles in Time, Double Dragon, River City Ransom, and Streets of Rage conceived some sort of old school super baby on Super Mario World’s world map, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game would be born.

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Review: Starcraft 2

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<p> Twelve years ago, a gaming phenomenon known as Starcraft was launched and created a storm of positive reviews and a competitive scene unheard of at the time for real time strategy games. As much as Blizzard Entertainment loves to update their franchises, Starcraft was pushed aside after the Brood War expansion. Their two other franchises, Diablo and Warcraft, both got new games, and a new phenomenon known as World of Warcraft was born. At last Blizzard has come back to (arguably) its most famed and prized series. I can resonate with what Tycus Finley, the gruff marine in the opening cinematic muttered: &ldquo;Hell&hellip;it&rsquo;s about time&rdquo;.</p>

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Review: Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies

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<p> Very early in Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies a catastrophic event causes the Celestrians, a breed of guardian angels, to fall from their invisible castle in the sky. In this classic tale of good, evil, and angels, our Celestrian hero wakes up in the small town he had previously been assigned to protect, though he has become startlingly human. He takes up the cause of helping as many people as he can in order to get the Almighty&rsquo;s attention and hopefully restore himself to his former glory by gathering benevolessence, a spiritual energy released when humans pray.</p>

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Preview: Valkyria Chronicles II

Subtitle: 
Inside The Gallian Front
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<p> With lengthy battles and no checkpoints, I&#39;ve always felt the PS3-exclusive Valkyria Chronicles would be better suited for a handheld system. The ability to put the game to sleep without having to stick a battle out or quit in the middle (the cause of many tensions when on a schedule) is a necessary feature for a game that puts the player in battles that often take a minimum of one hour to complete -- not including retries. To my elation, the sequel will be released for the PSP, set for August 31st, and the demo was just put up on the PSN store. The developers claim it has the same gameplay as the first in the series with improvements, despite being put on a less powerful system, and from what the demo exhibits they&#39;re right.</p>

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Review: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Subtitle: 
Snake gives us a reason to pick up our PSPs again.
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<p> It&rsquo;s been a while since I&rsquo;ve picked up my PSP. No, seriously. I think the last time I turned on my mini-Playstation system, Bush the Second was still in office. However, after hearing that a new Metal Gear game was being released specifically for my oft-neglected handheld, the PSP was no longer a system to be ignored. Returning at the helm of Peace Walker is original series creator Hideo Kojima, who had previously planned to retire from Metal Gear duties following Guns of the Patriots in 2008, only to renege on his initial plan and commission Kojima Productions to helm another Metal Gear game (not that we&rsquo;re complaining at all).</p>

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Review: Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge

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I'm old enough to remember a time when you had to read a video game like a book!
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<p> In 1994, the internet was still a mystery to most of us. My dad, forever the electronics tinkerer, was perpetually trying to hook our household up to the net via the local library&#39;s dial up access point (it never actually worked). Meanwhile my friends all had varying degrees of connectivity using the &quot;big three&quot; of AOL, CompuServe and Prodigy. So when I first loaded up Monkey Island 2 and after I thwarted the state of the art copy protection (involving a decoder-wheel!), it asked me if I wanted to play the regular (easier) version of the game, or &quot;Mega Monkey&quot;. Mega Monkey should have read: &quot;Bug your friend Jeff every day at school to go home and post yet another obscure gaming question on some backwater message boards on your behalf...mode&quot;. Though he probably hated the task, I have fond memories of those times, always eager the following day to hear the next step in an impossibly hard puzzle.</p>

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Dad’s Slick Tips for Cooler Gaming

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Explore the frostier levels of your favorite games this August.
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<p> Hey, champ! Can your old dad come in and chat with you for a minute? First, let me say that you&rsquo;ve been a real trouper this summer! I&rsquo;ve been just as sorry as you are that we&rsquo;ve been going without air conditioning. Maybe even more so! I&rsquo;m not bothering you, am I? No, that&rsquo;s alright, keep playing. I&rsquo;ll just slide in over here next to your PC / Xbox 360 / PS3 / Wii shelf. Wow, this all really does get pretty toasty, huh? Really, I don&rsquo;t mean to come barging into your basement, but, well, your mother wanted me to come down here and talk to you, so here I am!</p>

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Review: Clash of the Titans

Subtitle: 
Didn't Kratos kill all the Greek gods?
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<p> I really wanted to love Clash of the Titans. Looking at trailers beforehand, I saw a hack n&rsquo; slash title that clearly borrowed ideas from God of War, added more weapons and more enemies from Greek Mythology. However, it&rsquo;s generally not a good sign when a movie tie-in game misses the movie&rsquo;s release date. It&rsquo;s also not a good sign when the game releases late and there are still numerous rough edges that should have been addressed by the Game Republic team.</p>

I really wanted to love Clash of the Titans. Looking at trailers beforehand, I saw a hack n’ slash title that clearly borrowed ideas from God of War, added more weapons and more enemies from Greek Mythology. However, it’s generally not a good sign when a movie tie-in game misses the movie’s release date. It’s also not a good sign when the game releases late and there are still numerous rough edges that should have been addressed by the Game Republic team.

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Review: Alien Swarm

Subtitle: 
It would be called "James Cameron's Left 4 Aliens," but there were copyright issues.
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<p> When reviewing a game, it can be really tempting to describe it as Other Game 1 + Other Game 2. Fallout 3 is just Oblivion plus S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Mass Effect 2 is basically Gears of War with dialog trees, Starcraft is Command and Conquer plus Koreans&hellip;you get the picture. But even though it&rsquo;s easy and fun to do reviews this way, most people try to avoid it, as it&rsquo;s generally considered unprofessional. Generally.</p>

When reviewing a game, it can be really tempting to describe it as Other Game 1 + Other Game 2.  Fallout 3 is just Oblivion plus S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Mass Effect 2 is basically Gears of War with dialog trees, Starcraft is Command and Conquer plus Koreans…you get the picture.  But even though it’s easy and fun to do reviews this way, most people try to avoid it, as it’s generally considered unprofessional.  Generally.

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The Top 5 Games That Desperately Need Sequels

Subtitle: 
Who do I have to kill to get a sequel around here?
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Later this year we will see the release of Halo: Reach, the next and supposedly last Halo game. I’ll believe Bungie and Microsoft have ceased worshiping at the base of that cash cow when I see it, but it does make me wonder why we’re inundated with sequel after sequel of this prattle while games that are actually really well designed and brilliantly written fade away.

Later this year we will see the release of Halo: Reach, the next and supposedly last Halo game. I’ll believe Bungie and Microsoft have ceased worshiping at the base of that cash cow when I see it, but it does make me wonder why we’re inundated with sequel after sequel of this prattle while games that are actually really well designed and brilliantly written fade away.

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