Perhaps the only game I've ever been embarrassed about when asked the question “What are you currently playing?”
If there was one game on the Xbox Live Arcade Marketplace that I would have, without a shadow of a doubt, proclaimed that I would never play - it would have been Faery: Legends of Avalon. The cover, the synopsis, the screenshots, even the trailer: it's the kind of game you'd feel embarrassed about playing, just for the title. Then, as if the gaming God himself had come down and demanded that I stop thinking such thoughts about a product that people had worked hard on, Gamers Nexus was contacted by one of our nice PR contacts and asked if we'd be interested in reviewing Faery: Legends of Avalon. Being the generous, kind-hearted, soul I am, I knew that our loyal readers wouldn't have been able to go a week without reading about the thoughts streaming from my brain, so I decided to give it a good honest go.
Costume Quest was one of those games that truly snuck up on me. I pride myself on keeping up-to-date on all the things entertainment, especially when it encompasses the industry that pays me! That in mind, imagine my shock when I found out about the development of a game from one of my favourite developers only three days before it was due to come out! Yeah, uhhh... Dropped the ball on that one. Double Fine is led by the now-legendary Tim Schafer, best known for imbuing greatness within such titles as The Secret of Monkey Island (with the help of Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman), Grim Fandango, Psychonauts, and most recently, Brütal Legend.
According to the previous titles of WWE games I'm supposed to “Know my role” and “Shut my mouth.” I don't take kindly to demands.
I've been a fan of wrestling ever since I can remember. I vividly recall thinking the 'unannounced visits' from Hulk Hogan or other superstars were truly unexpected. Unlike the Easter Bunny or Santa though, wrestling never got worse once I finally realised that it was all staged. I never doubted the skill required in wrestling, but I did know that when Hulk Hogan hoisted chairs over his head and initiated the pummel sequence, the target was fully prepared for his impending 'doom.' It was this synergy between wrestling and theatrics that compelled me to obtain the very first WWF: Smackdown! game in 2000. I played that game until the characters were burned into the memory banks of my brain; everything was there: the histrionics, the dramatic entrances, the signature slams, and most importantly, the finishers. There was nothing better than watching the little cutscene as The Undertaker grabbed The Rock and executed the Tombstone Piledriver. I cackled with glee when my brother's face reacted - he could do nothing to halt my imminent victory. Yuke's has consistently released wrestling games every year, and this year's iteration, WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011, promises to have the same crunchiness of the past coupled with the advancements of this generation's gameplay. The experience Yuke's gained from UFC: Undisputed 2010 added immeasurably to the development of Smackdown vs. Raw.
If absence makes the heart grow fonder, then dragging Sonic back through the time-stream is like sticking a steak through mine.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 – Episode 1 is the first true Sonic game in over a decade. The last one being Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (and Knuckles) for the Sega Mega Drive (or Genesis for you Americans). More recently, Sonic Adventures has been released on XBLA, although it is not necessarily related to this review. This new game shows a return to the standard 2D style of Sonic games that we all know and love. Sonic the Hedgehog started life in 1991 on the Master System and Game Gear and spiralled quickly into video game legend along with Mario, his Nintendo counterpart. It was this early game that got me hooked on video games for life. I spent many hours in front of that TV screen, perfecting speed runs, defeating Dr. Robotnik (as he was affectionately known as back then), and just getting as much as I could out of a game that I cherished so much.
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