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Metroid: Samus Returns Review

Samus Aran has been in retirement. It’s not only been seven years since her last major game (the controversial Metroid: Other M) but also nearly twice as long since her own 2D platforming title. After the general disaster that surrounded Metroid Prime: Federation Force, Nintendo’s long-winded reluctance to approach the legendary franchise makes a bit of sense, but E3 2017’s announcements of both Metroid Prime 4 and a Metroid II: Return of Samus remake demonstrated that the company is mustering up the confidence to do right by…

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Sparc Review

As I figuratively stepped into the world of Sparc, I could instantly tell it would own up to its inspiration. It unabashedly apes the concept surrounding TRON‘s iconic disc battles but does so with a sense of class and faithfulness that lets you live out movie scenes in the comfort of your own home. After tossing glowing balls back and forth in digitized neon hallways for a while, I can conclude that this is one of those rare virtual reality games that simply works…

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Absolver Review

When you go into a fighting game, you expect your character to have a predefined list of moves. It’s just a matter of taking time to memorize them and making out viable combos that prove to be the main learning curves. Once you’ve generally mastered these steps, you observe which characters are strong or weak against your own and deal with them accordingly. Absolver throws this expectation to the ground as a 3D fighting game in a class all its own. You’re…

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Smashbox Arena Review

I know what you’re thinking, so don’t deny it. It’s easy to judge Smashbox Arena right off the bat. It looks like an HD version of Roblox with an artistic direction guided by the philosophy “let’s throw everything generic at the wall and see what happens.” The visuals are a bear to get past that speak for the game’s general quality, but as the old adage goes, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover…well, not entirely. The title suffers from an overall lack of depth…

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Tacoma – Review

There’s an age-old question that game theorists have long thought futile to answer: What is a video game? No one agrees on the exact parameters or qualifications, but it’s still an important debate that challenges our preconceived assumptions about the medium and what can be classified under it. Back in 2013, Fullbright brought this conversation to the forefront of the industry like never before with Gone Home. While opinions widely differ, I think most would agree that the developer brought environmental storytelling…

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RiME – Review

There is nothing new under the sun, and video games are no exception to this proverbial truth. Titles boldly pioneer new mechanics or ideas yearly, but everyone is inspired in some fashion by video games and other media that have come beforehand. While most attempt to quietly imbue borrowed concepts, developer Tequila Works confidently wears its inspirations on its sleeves with RiME. Before and after playing it, it’s even more apt to bring up critic darlings like ICO, Journey, and The Legend of Zelda:…

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Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap – Review

Remakes of obscure titles prompt us to ask a single question: “Why?” They’ll come right out of left field, leaving us bewildered about how there could’ve been any perceivable demand to bring them back with a fresh coat of paint. Whether we’re referring to Flashback, Rez, Shadow of the Beast, or The Legend of Kay, they can fail to generate any new interest and tarnish the original game’s legacy if there is little to no effort put into them. Sometimes they fully realize a…

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