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Review: Sam and Max 302: The Tomb of Sammun-Mak

Subtitle: 
Tomb Raiding Sans the Gigantic Boobs
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My respect for Tell Tale Games continues to grow. Not satisfied with the standard point and click, inventory-dependent nature of the adventure game formula, they've used the third season of Sam and Max to experiment with new ways of leading the player through puzzles and even new ways of telling stories. So far, this season looks to redefine how adventure games are made.

My respect for Tell Tale Games continues to grow. Not satisfied with the standard point and click, inventory-dependent nature of the adventure game formula, they've used the third season of Sam and Max to experiment with new ways of leading the player through puzzles and even new ways of telling stories. So far, this season looks to redefine how adventure games are made.

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Review: Alan Wake

Subtitle: 
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
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Finnish developer Remedy Entertainment, best known for developing the Max Payne series in the early 90's, first announced Alan Wake at E3 in 2005. After reaching a distribution deal with Microsoft, Remedy agreed to launch the game exclusively for the new Xbox 360 system. What was supposed to serve as one of the defining titles for the Xbox 360 languished in development hell for half a decade. Now, nearly 5 years later, countless magazine spreads and web preview exclusives, Alan Wake finally released. The question, as with most frequently delayed games, is whether the wait was worth it. As a fan of horror games, a genre I feel often not explored enough in video games, I can honestly say that my interest in Alan Wake has not abated since that first announcement way back when. Yet, as I finally put the disc in and powered up my Xbox, would I be faced with a genre-defining staple destined for classic status in the Xbox library, or a problematic and buggy mess as a result of its problematic and troubled development history?

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Review: Lost Planet 2

Subtitle: 
Sweet Monsters Outweighed by Sour Gameplay
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Ten years after the events of the original game, Lost Planet 2 tells the story of the brutal conflict to collect life sustaining Thermal Energy on E.D.N. III. Numerous factions fight to control the precious material, and are willing to do whatever it takes in order to survive. While the war is tiring on its own, the denizens of E.D.N. III must also contend with the Akrid, a ferocious insect-like life form that ravages the land in search of prey.

Ten years after the events of the original game, Lost Planet 2 tells the story of the brutal conflict to collect life sustaining Thermal Energy on E.D.N III. Numerous factions fight to control the precious material, and are willing to do whatever it takes in order to survive. While the war is tiring on its own, the denizens of E.D.N. III must also contend with the Akrid, a ferocious insect-like life form that ravages the land in search of prey.

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Game Not Over

Subtitle: 
Remember when you could finish a game in an afternoon?
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<p> In my last article, Putting Down Video Games (And Picking Them Back Up Again) I described my habit of juggling many video games at once. My attention captured by a new conquest, a game of mine might lay abandoned for weeks, months, or years before it returned to favor. A few games I may never return to, their dusty PC DVD-ROMs forced to sit waiting forever, their saved games carefully preserved and their anxious menus silently anticipating a selection which would never be made. Yet, while these small tragedies do occasionally occur, I generally consider myself something of a gaming completionist, approaching each game with the genuine intent to install it and play it, from the day of it&#39;s purchase forward, in power leveling and in grinds, for more gold, for less gold, in beta and after being patched, until a head crash do us part.</p>

 

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Review: Split/Second (PS3)

Subtitle: 
Epic explosions can only mask a shallow game for so long
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<p> Black Rock Studios definitely set out to create the most unique of our three arcade racers this month (the other two being Blur and ModNation Racers). While the other two games focus on more traditional elements in the &quot;kart&quot; racer sub-genre, like power-ups in the form of weapons and speed boosts, Split/Second utilizes a unique concept, that of allowing the player to destroy the environment to thwart opponents. There&#39;s definitely credit to be given for trying something completely new, but the question still stands: can Split/Second hold up to the competition?&#39;</p>

 

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Enduring Oblivion

Subtitle: 
A Creepy Man Wants to Hold My Hand
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When I was a little kid, every trip to the mall was a potential trip to the arcade. A five-dollar bill clutched tightly in hand, my brother and I would rush into that flashing cavern of earthly delights, fidgeting in anticipation while twenty quarters clattered into the coin-machine dish. My favorite games were Tekken, Time Crisis, and The Simpsons, but I rarely chose to play those games. Instead I would thumb my quarters into ski-ball machines and sport simulators, not because I liked these games, but because these games gave me tickets. The tickets were key. You could exchange them for prizes. Maybe my brother had more fun when we were there, blowing all of his quarters on Time Crisis, but I was the one with the brand new Chinese Finger Trap, and wasn&#39;t that the important thing?</p>

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Putting Down Video Games (And Picking Them Back Up Again)

Subtitle: 
A story of unfinished games, books, and movies.
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<p> When I install a new game, I&rsquo;d like to be able to say that I sit down, grab hold of the mouse, and play non-stop from the code-key entry prompt, all the way through to the final boss&rsquo;s ghastly death rattle. But that&rsquo;s not what happens. I start off playing with high hopes for long, regular play sessions, with visions of charging quickly, triumphantly through quest after quest, slaying monsters and demons, and saving the princess/world/universe/fate of my character&rsquo;s soul. This new world is at my service, a virtual oyster, ripe for the taking. I&rsquo;m a champion, and I won&rsquo;t waver until I see the wrongs righted and every last enemy cut down!</p>

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Grow Up Already

Subtitle: 
Coming of Age in Video Games.

What a choice for the young. One so inextricably inter-coiled with the unfurling vector of another’s life, that there was never an alternative culmination of providence but that the parallax of both ends would crash in a calamity of fate. A choice that wrinkles brows and grays hair: would you choose a combustible lizard, an anthropomorphic turtle, or a… a green… thing. I know picking one of the three freaked me out at the beginning of Pokemon: Red Version, but still, it was exciting.

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Morality Play

Subtitle: 
Game developers should quit preaching and focus on the play.
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<p> I recently read the short story &quot;The Lady Or the Tiger&quot; by Frank R. Stockton. The tale recounts a king who discovers that his daughter has chosen to court a man of a lower social order. As is his custom and that of his kingdom, the young man is placed in a stadium where he must choose his fate by opening one of two doors. The first door contains a tiger which spells instant death for the young lad. The second door leads to a young lady with whom the man must marry, instead of the princess. The princess knows which door contains which fate, and so the young man looks to his love for guidance. Does the princess lead him to a quick disemboweling, thus selfishly preserving their love? Or does she guide him to his future wife, and a life lived happily with someone else?</p>

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Flashy Friday: Vol. 2

Subtitle: 
We Have More Flash Games for You to Enjoy this Weekend
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This week on Flashy Friday we highlight two unique puzzle games and cover a classic racing game, all available in Flash on Kongregate.com. If you are looking for a time cruncher this weekend, please feel free click on the header links for each mini review.

This week on Flashy Friday we highlight two unique puzzle games and cover a classic racing game, all available in Flash on Kongregate.com. If you are looking for a time cruncher this weekend, please feel free click on the header links for each mini review.

Screw the Nut (Released 04/19/10)

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