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App Review - DoDonPachi Maximum

Posted November 7th 2012 by Oliver Chen.

Time has not been kind to the shoot-em-up genre. The decline of arcades worldwide combined with a shrinking playerbase has forced companies who specialized in making these kinds of games to look for new outlets for their craft. One of these developers, CAVE Interactive, happened upon a new niche a few years back releasing ports of its famed arcade shooters on iOS and other smartphone platforms. It seemed all too certain that CAVE would eventually develop an original shmup game for mobile platforms. Enter DoDonPachi Maximum, a new bullet hell shooter in CAVE's venerated DoDonPachi series, which was released worldwide on Windows Phone 7 earlier this year and on iOS in late October.

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Tags: dodonpachi, shmup, ios, windows phone

Posted in: Reviews, Gaming

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XBLA Review - Deadlight

Posted August 16th 2012 by Anthony DiPalma.

With the slew of cookie-cutter zombie shooters out there, it's hard to tell which undead invasion is worth caring about. The survival-horror genre has seen better days, as modern day apocalyptic blitzkriegs tend to focus more on action, making it far too easy for players to blast their way through a horde of bloodthirsty freaks. Deadlight, however, is an entirely different animal. This Arcade title breaks the seemingly ongoing tradition of bumbling about in a methodical stroll through Drab-town by returning to the genre's roots, as well as introducing much needed new elements along the way.

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Tags: deadlight, zombies, xbla

Posted in: Gaming, Reviews

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MOVIE REVIEW - The Dark Knight Rises

Posted July 26th 2012 by Frankie Aguilar.

We've all known since the end of The Dark Knight that the Batman story, at least Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale's version, would be coming to an end. So the anticipation of resolution to four years worth of fan speculation is basically a stent put in place to protect against the hemorrhage that'll result from the ending. For many people, this version of Batman is the only Batman they know, and not just from an age standpoint, but in aversion to the Schumacher debacles or the inspired Burton flicks. This is their trilogy. This Batman feels real and rooted in a world close to ours and to think that not only is this the last time we'll experience him this way but that Warner Bros and DC are already planning a reboot feels like bringing your new fiance to your wife's funeral. Nostalgic nonsense aside, you must be wondering how this movie ended up, so here we go.

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Tags: the dark knight rises, Batman, Christopher Nolan, DC, Comics, movies

Posted in: Reviews, Entertainment

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REVIEW - Game of Thrones

Posted June 15th 2012 by Anthony DiPalma.

There are times when a fictional universe in another medium can open up a whole realm of possibilities for gaming. Unfortunately, many licensed titles are rarely up-to-par with their film/comic/written counterparts. Yet there are, in fact, quite a few exceptions to this unwritten rule. When Cyanide Studios announced that they were working on a videogame based on the smash HBO series Game of Thrones, I was about as giddy as a drunken high school teenager on prom night. I'm a massive fanboy of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice & Fire series, so the awesome burden of reviewing Cyanide's Game of Thrones fell on my shoulders and was nestled in my arms like a newborn kitten made out of cotton candy.

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Tags: review, george rr martin, GRRM, Mors, Alester, crappy, kitten, game of thrones

Posted in: Reviews, Entertainment, Gaming

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IMPRESSIONS — Phantasy Star Online 2 Beta

Posted May 16th 2012 by Oliver Chen.

Phantasy Star Online Beta Impressions

While I missed the boat on the original Phantasy Star Online for Dreamcast when it released over a decade ago, I played preposterous amounts of the later three Episodes on the GameCube and PC. The novelty of a "true" action MMORPG and an addicting rare loot system was fair incentive for me to spend hundreds of hours grinding across Ragol with friends both online and offline. Imagine my disappointment a few years later when I played Phantasy Star Universe, the next major Phantasy Star title, and discovered that most of that great PSO gameplay had been almost completely eviscerated. It could have totally passed as completely different series if not for a few trademark IPs present in the game.

Thankfully, Sonic Team realized they had blundered and began incorporating more and more of Phantasy Star Online's gameplay back into the subsequent spinoff titles on the DS and PSP. Some fans even joked that the next game might as well be "Phantasy Star Online 2" if the trend were to continue. Imagine their surprise when, at an event celebrating the tenth anniversary of the series, Sega announced a true sequel to PSO.

I recently had the opportunity to play in the Japanese closed beta for Phantasy Star Online 2 on the PC, and after about a week of playtime I can say that PSO2 more than lives up its predecessor's name. Not only does the game evoke ridiculous amounts of nostalgia for the original PSO, it also cherry-picks the best gameplay enhancements introduced in the Universe games while adding a plethora of features new to the franchise. Could this game end up being the best action MMORPG gaming has to offer when it releases later this year? More than likely, I would say.

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Tags: Sega, vita, PC, phantasy star, phantasy star online, phantasy star online 2

Posted in: Reviews, News, Gaming

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IMPRESSIONS — Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Multiplayer Beta

Posted April 27th 2012 by Frankie Aguilar.

Impressions - Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Multiplayer Beta

This past weekend the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier multiplayer beta went live. More than a few Ubisoft fans were treated to a chance to preview the latest installment of what can be seen as one of the godfathers of modern online multiplayer. The practice of releasing multiplayer betas has become increasingly in vogue due to the popularity and importance placed on a solid multiplayer presence in any game with a gun. Unfortunately, when you throw the word beta around, there's bound to be technical hiccups, but the hint of what could be was interesting enough.

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Tags: ghost recon, ghost recon: future soldier, multiplayer, Beta, xbox360, ps3, Windows, tom clancy

Posted in: Reviews, Features, Gaming

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BOOK REVIEW — The Pun Also Rises

Posted April 18th 2012 by J. Edison Thomas.

Book Review — The Pun Also Rises

Selling itself as How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More than Some Antics, author John Pollack's labor of love for English's least-favorite form of humor comes out swinging. Pollack makes the case that puns are appreciated by the well-adjusted, that they were largely revered throughout the greater part of human civilization, and that an incidental side-effect of changing fashions in philosophy could be the only reason they are currently in such a low state. But more than anything, his goal is to show readers that puns are necessary.

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Tags: books, the pun also rises, john pollack

Posted in: Reviews, Offline

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REVIEW — Journey

Posted April 16th 2012 by Jordan Mammo.

REVIEW — Journey

The last thing I expected to do in the Philippines was jump off a cliff. Yet there I was, peering over the wooden plank before me and gazing down 50 feet at the deeply blue ocean below. It took 15 minutes to push myself this close to the edge, and I could hear the gentle but unbearable words of a Canadian man and his Chinese girlfriend telling me it looks worse than it really is. That I should "just do it."

Who the hell are these people? More importantly, how on earth did they convince me to sail out to this distant island and do this?!

We barely knew each other, after all. Conversation was often awkward. The Canadian guy didn't miss an opportunity to mention how much sex he'd had. The Chinese lady would get annoyed at seemingly inoffensive comments and enter periods of stone cold silence. It didn't seem to matter, though. The day before, we met on the sandy white beaches of Boracay, and without even realizing it we had hooked on to one another. Helmet diving. Cliff jumping. Drinking. I spent the better part of three days with these two: always trying to figure them out, always falling a little short, always grateful to have someone to share time with on the island.

The third night was when the Canadian guy told me how refreshing it was to meet people who didn't want to fuck either him or his girlfriend. At this point I started really questioning what it was that drew me to these two. How narcissistic was this guy? Or was he really just that insecure? Little did I know, the time to ask such questions had already passed. We were at a party, and the two started arguing. They went outside to escape the blaring music.

I never saw them again.

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Tags: Playstation Network, Playstation 3, journey

Posted in: Reviews, Gaming

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REVIEW - Kid Icarus: Uprising

Posted April 11th 2012 by Adam Grayson.

Kid Icarus: Uprising

"Sorry to keep you waiting!"  It's been 21 years since the last Kid Icarus game came out on the Game Boy and 25 years since the original on the NES.  Kid Icarus: Uprising on the Nintendo 3DS is a triumphant return of the classic Nintendo franchise.  I suppose "rebirth" would be more appropriate than "return" in this case since the only two things Kid Icarus: Uprising has in common with its predecessors are the characters and the fact that you shoot enemies.  Masahiro Sakurai, most recently known for his work on Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and his team at Project Sora really created a fantastic game here, folks.  The graphics, the music, the gameplay, the sheer amount of content, and the overall quality of the game is truly worthy of admiration.

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Tags: Uprising, Pit, Palutena, Nintendo, 3ds, 3D, on-rails, shooter, Medusa, Sakurai, Kid Icarus

Posted in: Reviews, Entertainment, Gaming

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Review - Tough Sh*t by Kevin Smith (Enhanced Edition)

Posted March 27th 2012 by Frankie Aguilar.

Tough Sh*t, the latest book by nerd legend Kevin Smith has been on book shelves for about a week now. As you saw in my review of the aforementioned novel, I found the book hilarious in its vulgarity and very enjoyable. I was lucky enough to have had the privilege of reading this tome in print, a seemingly dying art form, but since we live in the digital age we now have the ability to read books in a digital format; a medium that Kevin Smith and crew sought to utilize with their enhanced digital reader edition of Tough Sh*t.

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Tags: movies, kevin smith, books, Comics, hit somebody

Posted in: Reviews, News, Entertainment

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PODCAST — Episode 41: April News Dump

Time for a big ol' news dump of any items from early April that caught the boys' attention. Games...

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App Review - DoDonPachi Maximum

Posted by Oliver

Time has not been kind to the shoot-em-up genre. The decline of arcades worldwide combined with a...

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XBLA Review - Deadlight

Posted by Anthony

With the slew of cookie-cutter zombie shooters out there, it's hard to tell which undead invasion...

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MOVIE REVIEW - The Dark Knight Rises

Posted by Frankie

We've all known since the end of The Dark Knight that the Batman story, at least Christopher Nolan...

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REVIEW - Game of Thrones

Posted by Anthony

There are times when a fictional universe in another medium can open up a whole realm of possibili...

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IMPRESSIONS — Phantasy Star Online 2 Beta

Posted by Oliver

While I missed the boat on the original Phantasy Star Online for Dreamcast when it released over a...

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IMPRESSIONS — Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Multiplayer Beta

Posted by Frankie

This past weekend the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier multiplayer beta went live. More th...

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