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Playstation 3

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The Phantom Pain essentially takes all of the best features and mechanics from all of the previous games in the series and melds them into one incredibly impressive package while also introducing a slew of new features that also has the right amount of fan service for long time vets, and opens up the gameplay in new and exciting ways for newcomers to the franchise.

The Pros: 

+A Hideo Kojima Game
+Melds the best from previous MGS titles into one
+Mother Base expanding is excellent and worth the time

The Cons: 

-Kiefer Sutherland's voice sounds like Kiefer Sutherland
-Many story details are tucked away in cassettes
-Can only save via checkpoint system Rating : 

I have to admit, I wasn't one of the ones that appreciated last year's Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes fully. The paid 'demo' stigma that it had clouded my judgement, while I did play it and complete it I didn't respect what it was trying to show us. Metal Gear Solid V is an almost complete departure from what we know a Metal Gear Solid game to be.

Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain

Review: Battlefield Hardline

Overall Feeling: 

Battlefield is known for being a military shooter but Hardline is looking to change all of that by completely shifting the setting and tone of the game to the tried-and-true Cops versus Robbers instead. Even traditional Battlefield game modes for multiplayer have been tweaked to make for a new experience, and while longtime fans of the series might be thrown off initially, give it a chance and you'll most likely think Hardline is the good cop instead of the bad one. 

The Pros: 

+Hotwire Mode is very refreshing and a fun twist on Conquest.
+The Cops vs Robbers campaign is a great new angle instead of world factions against each other.
+New weapon unlocking progression is money-based instead of rank and time sinks.

The Cons: 

-The 'flash your badge' mechanic in campaign works seldom when needed and seems silly at times.
-No big memorable set pieces for the campaign.
-Campaign tries to force you to play it as a stealth game instead of a true Battlefield.
-Aside from a few campaign sections, Hardline doesn't look current-gen at all. Rating : 

Best known as a militaristic shooter, Battlefield Hardline changes the formula completely, which can be a little jarring at first but eventually welcomed once you learn its offerings and simply accept it. The multiplayer is once again present and easily the biggest piece of Hardline that will keep you playing, but the campaign also returns with a much smaller scale story instead of world factions fighting it out across the globe. Visceral Games has dramatically changed Battlefield's setting and tone, but the core multiplayer gameplay still feels like a Battlefield at its heart.

Far Cry 4 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Coming from Far Cry 3, the gameplay feels very much the same, but with a couple of new additions. However, the environment, the weapon selection, and the incredible feeling of lighting forests on fire and stomping on enemy soldiers while riding an elephant does a lot to detract from the negatives and deliver an overall bad-ass experience.

The Pros: 

+ You are a living murder machine
+ Beautifully rendered environment
+ Easy to grasp gameplay
+ You can ride an elephant, what more do you want

The Cons: 

- Gameplay can be very samey from Far Cry 3 to 4
- Hunting can be made almost too easy with the inclusion of Bait
- Outposts and Bell Towers are a little bit repetitive Rating : 

A lot of games are doing moral/amoral story-lines now. I totally get the appeal as well. Titles like the Fallout series really made you feel the full weight of a bad decision, be it through popping a cap in one dude and having a bunch of normally-friendly NPC's come gunning for you or by blowing up a small town and making your daddy express his disappointment in you. Today, I'm going to celebrate Far Cry 4 which allows you to be a total dick to the oppressed people of Kyrat, and totally get away with it.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

From incredibly fun combat and how rewardingly violent Talion deals with his Uruk enemies, to roaming around vast parts of Mordor in a variety of acrobatic ways, I had a surprisingly great time with this title. Shadow of Mordor's key feature, the newly introduced Nemesis System, was for sure the standout here and the source of most of my mischievous fun I had.  The side missions can get repetitive and the story isn't anything spectacular, but there was more than enough to have me coming back and decapitating Uruk after Uruk.

The Pros: 

+Nemesis System is excellent.
+Combat is an absolute blast.
+RPG elements aren’t deep, but very well used.

The Cons: 

-Side quests get repetitive.
-Story is nothing amazing. Rating : 

Destiny [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Destiny is a really good game that shys just short of true greatness by being a fairly standard feeling FPS game at its core. It has the potential to be a really great game franchise down the road, but the current iteration is held back by a lot of little things that annoy slightly, like taking a lovely family vacation but not being able to ignore the mosquitos. 

The Pros: 

+ Solid mechanics

+ Addictive 'bread-crumb' style gameplay

+ Large, expansive scenes to explore

+ Plenty of varity in game modes and play styles

The Cons: 

- Derivitive feeling story and characters

- Nagging UI/flow issues

- Character fatigue online (not enough customization) Rating : 

The amount of hype that Destiny has been able to generate, for a new IP, is simply unprecedented.

Some of that is natural; the fans saw something new and exciting, and they flocked to it.

Some of that is manufactured. The amount that was spent on marketing the game was a little beyond ridiculous as well… But it all in all it’s paid off.

Batman: Arkham Origins [REVIEW]

Overall Feeling: 

The prequel to Rocksteady's ace series, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, arrives to an overwhelming amount of expectations. So it's really no surprise that Arkham Origins doesn't quite live up to them all. WB Games has everything needed you think would add up to a great success for this franchise. All of Gotham is now open to explore, the enemy roster has never been deeper, and the animations and combat flow with such a graceful ease that it will be hard to go back to any other combat system ever again. However, something feels off. The exploration of the city doesn't feel as fluid, the story comes across as lacking compared to the previous games, and the worst of it, Arkham Origins is plagued with glitches. There is a lot of good to experience here, just know that you could always be replaying Arkham City, and probably having a better time in doing so.

The Pros: 

+ Combat feels better than ever.
+ The Animations are spot on.
+ Enemy roster is fantastic.
+ Voice acting (even though missing fan favorites) is solid.

The Cons: 

- Free roaming across the city feels clumsy.
- Story feels less important than it actually is.
- Sometimes suffers from game breaking glitches. Rating : 

Five years before Batman had his troubles with the inmates of Arkham Asylum, when he was only a couple years into donning the cowl and terrorizing the streets of Gotham, he had one very bad Christmas Eve. A night full of assassins trying to kill him, new enemies popping up all over Gotham, and one terrible nuisance that plagues him with riddles and challenges all over the damn city. This brings us to Batman: Arkham Origins.

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse HD [REVIEW]

Overall Feeling: 

Sega remakes one of their successful 2D side-scrollers with a complete overhaul of graphics and gameplay. The story is the same, and the goals are the same: Rescue Minnie from the evil witch by collecting all the different colored gems, each guarded by a big boss at the end of every level. The gameplay is a mix between classic side-scrolling elements, very similar to that of the original game for the Genesis, and a 3D mechanic that is very reminiscent of Mario 64. The typical, easy enemies and basic platforming is not something that is going to blow you away, nor is it anything that we haven't seen before, but there is charm to be had here, nonetheless. Castle of Illusion HD does enough things differently to distance itself from the swarms of platformers found throughout downloads, and if you were a big fan of the original, it just might be worth a look into this time around.

The Pros: 

+ Strong artwork and sound editing add to its charm.
+ Easy to pick up and play.
+ Unlockable outfits helps add to the replay value.

The Cons: 

- $14.99 seems a little steep for about a three hour game.
- Platforming can feel floaty and get frustrating fast.
- No real gameplay mechanics will challenge you throughout. Rating : 

I played a lot of Sega Genesis growing up. A lot. The wave of nostalgia that hit me when I saw that Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse was getting a remake was rather large. I'm a sucker for old platformers, and very much so for Sega ones. It wasn't long into the opening cinematic of the game that I realized this remake is going to be quite different than the original I remembered playing with my brother.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Blood Dragons is a love-letter to b-movie sci-fi films from the 1980s. It is genius in its satirical take on the iconic sub-culture of the material itself as well as video games in general. Fans of action movies, the 80s, satire, or just goofy action games in general will fall in love with this game before the tutorial is completed.

The Pros: 

+Great sense of humor. 

+Sense of loyality its inspiration (80s action films).

+Same great gameplay of its predecessor (Far Cry 3). 

+Stunning visuals (both the neon in-game, and the 16-bit cut-scenes).

The Cons: 

-Character customization has been almost completely removed to make way for a straight forward leveling system (earn a level, get a new game-choosen ability). Rating : 

Far Cry: Blood Dragon is a perfect, or rather the only, example of what fans of the 80s sci-fi/action b-movie genre have been hoping for out of video games for about the last 30 years. Of course that’s a pretty ridiculous standard for Ubisoft to try and live up to… but it was refreshing to see how serious, or rather not-serious, the team building the game took the project.

[Review] WWE 13 - One of the Worst Games in Recent Memory.

Overall Feeling: 

The fact this game was released is astounding. Any positive points from WWE Attitude Mode or player creation are fully eclipsed by an absurd number of bugs and poor game design.

The Pros: 

+ Attitude Era Nostalgia Bomb.

+ Deep and impressive player content creation tools. 

The Cons: 

- Frequent game crashes.

- Unpolished and riddled with glitches and bugs.

- Online servers keep erasing data.

- 3GB save file on PS3 makes PS+ Cloud storage useless.

- Broken Universe mode design.

- Pay-Per-View matches have no purpose.

- Terrible game audio issues.

- David Otunga's Music. Rating : 

THQ's latest installment of their long lived World Wrestling Entertainment licence hit the shelves on October 30th 2012. While many publications, blog and fans rushed to get their reviews of WWE 13 up on day one, I waited. Patiently.  Now that we’re over a month since its release, I'm rather glad I sat on this and really took the time to explore this game. 

Assassins Creed 3 [Review] - Loading Woes and Small Issues Steal the Show.

Overall Feeling: 

Assassins Creed 3 ends up feeling rushed and forced in a lot of areas. While the naval combat system is by far the shining star of this title, it feels like a lackluster ending to what I’ve felt is one of the most promising and interesting franchises in gaming.

The Pros: 

+Naval combat is so good it could be a stand alone game.

+Impressive graphics and cinematics make for solid presentation.

+A concise (theoretical) ending to the franchise.

+Beautiful and fun hand to hand combat.

The Cons: 

-Story is not friendly to casual franchise fans.

-Terrible loading design.

-Lackluster and shallow missions.

-User interface is needlessly cumbersome.

-New features meant to expand on past games are just tedious and meaningless. Rating : 

I’ve had a rather love/hate relationship with the Assassins Creed franchise. For me, it seems to be a never-ending cycle where Ubisoft announces a game that sounds amazing on paper (and looks incredible in trailers!), but when I sit down to play it, a huge amount of small-issues add up to ruin the experience of what should have been an incredible game. Assassins Creed 3 (AC3) managed to once again follow this trend. I guess they get points for consistency.

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