Game Review: Brothers

Game, BrothersReviewed on Playstation 3, Official Website

Rated “T” for Teen

Many successful indie games feature a novel game play mechanic (or several). The world-revealing ink splatter of “The Unfinished Swan” [Our Review] is immediately understandable and visually stunning. The “light equals existence” rule of “Closure” and the shadow-play of “Contrast” [Our Review] need a few moments of experimentation, but quickly become second nature. Indy games excel at exploring gimmicks.

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Game Review: Bioshock: Infinite

Bioshock Infinite, Cover ArtReviewed on Playstation 3, Official Website

Rated “M” for Mature

A spiritual follow-up to 2007’s critical darling Bioshock, this first person shooter replaces the story of the original while maintaining many of its gameplay mechanics and flair for drama.  As usual, I will keep story spoilers to an absolute minimum.

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Game Review: Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider, 2013Reviewed on Playstation 3, Official Website

Rated “M” for Mature

Like many older gamers I was first introduced to Lara Croft in 1996 on the original PlayStation. By today’s standards it controlled terribly and featured a murderous camera. The environments were blocky and the movement digital and unnatural. Lara may have been cool, smart and strong, but she also looked like a blind arthritic carved her from driftwood with a trowel.

I devoured the game. When I finished it, I immediately started it over and devoured it again.

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“The Last of Us” and Narrative Decisions

The Last of Us Cover“The Last of Us” [My Review] is, rightfully, being lauded as one of the best games of 2013. It provides mature gamers a tight, immersive gameplay experience framed in a smart and engaging story. It also handily demonstrates the high quality that can be wrung from seven year-old hardware. I enjoyed the game deeply but, as is often the case with something so close to perfection, small issues take on significantly more weight.

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Game Review: The Last of Us

The Last of Us CoverReviewed on Playstation 3, Offical Website

Rated “M” for Mature.

20 years after a pandemic fungal infection has wiped out civilization and created a feral hunter-class of infected, humanity lives on the edge. Rigidly controlled but exquisitely vulnerable quarantine zones represent the last of organized government. People get along as best they can under constant threat from sickness, starvation and their fellow survivors.

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PS4 First Impressions

SONY DSCI preordered the PS4, in an adrenaline rush, moments after Sony’s insanely effective E3 press conference.  Like most people, apparently, I immediately unboxed it and posed it with a bunch of other systems.

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Game Review: Dishonored (PS3)

DishonoredRated M for Mature, Reviewed on PS3, Dishonored at amazon.com

Big budget gaming is a glut of sequels and mimics.  The reason for this is lamentable but obvious.  Namely that big budget gaming needs big budgets.  Selling lots and lots of games gets you those so you make games that you know will sell.  In an arena filled to bursting with Battlefighterwarduty thirty-eight, it’s especially refreshing to find a game both so originally minded and perfectly crafted.

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Game Review: God of War: Ascension (PS3)

Amazon, God of War Ascension_Rated M for Mature, Reviewed on PS3, God of War: Ascension at amazon.com

Kratos and I go back a long way.  The first game, on my beloved PS2, was a revelation.  The sheer power and brutality hit you like a brick, but it was the strength of the emotional narrative that kept me interested and brought me back.  The second game sent the PS2 out in style and the third dragged the still fledgling PS3 to new heights.  The two PSP entries may not have had quite the same impact but they still stand as some of the most impressive gameplay on Sony’s black slab.

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Game Review: The Last of Us Demo

The Last of Us CoverReviewed on Playstation 3, Rated “M” for Mature, The Last of Us

This is a short review of the playable demo of “The Last of Us” released on June first.  Here I’ll be focusing on the environments and characters.  Visit our sister site, MoreBrains.com, for our thoughts on the game’s enemies.  I had previously discussed thoughts on the first trailer for the game in E3 Comments: “The Last of Us”.

As you may already know the game takes place 20 years after a world-wide plague has all but destroyed society.  Uninfected humanity survives in rigidly controlled militaristic quarantine zones while nature reclaims vast expanses of human achievement.  Our anti-hero Joel has promised to smuggle a fourteen-year old girl, Ellie, across country to a group working to break the military control.

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Game Review: The Ratchet & Clank Collection (PS3)

Amazon, Ratchet and Clank CollectionRated E10+ for Everyone 10 years and older, Reviewed on PS3, The Ratchet & Clank Collection at amazon.com

The “Ratchet and Clank” series, along with the equally excellent “Jak and Daxter” and “Sly Cooper“, made the PS2 the undisputed king of action platform games.  While the “Jak” series soon took on an epic gravitas and Sly Cooper expanded on its trademark cartoon heists Ratchet and Clank were always about having a good time with a massive arsenal of insanely fun weapons.

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