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Microsoft Studios

Obsidian Entertainment's Fate May Have Been Sealed By Microsoft

The first major casualty of the next-gen wave of consoles may have just fallen on the battlefield but surprisingly its identity may forever be unknown.  Right now there are likely a dozen or so studios working on next-gen games for both Sony and Microsoft which will remain nameless until it’s time to start the hype machines and get people excited about spending $400 on a gaming console again.

Alan Wake: American Nightmare [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Using the tools established in Alan Wake, specifically the ability to re-write reality, Remedy has taken Alan Wake in a whole new direction. The game is now themed more like pulp '80s action films, moving away from its Stephen King/Twin Peaks roots, and offers a whole new (unique) story with the flavor of the mini-series Night Springs that ran within the original game.

The Pros: 

+Well written story-line that manages to feel fan-fiction and cannon at the same time.

+Improved gameplay mechanics that make the core even more fun to play.

+Remedy's love for genre films really shows through.

+Small touches like the constant narration (via a Twilight Zone knock-off host) provide that same strong feeling of the original, with a whole new tone.

The Cons: 

-The game does only use three locales, which loop three times. Rating : 

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Remedy’s 2010 thriller title Alan Wake. I went on record saying that it was the best game of the year, and was passionate enough in my appeal of the other writers of the site that eventually we pushed it through to win. The reason was that the game brought something new to the table, it was atmospheric, creepy, smart, and offered just a touch of humor (via the TV series Night Springs, which could be watched through monitors placed through-out the world).

Forza Motorsport 4 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Forza 4 is less of a game, and more of an experience. It encompasses every racing fantasy that you've ever had, and presents it to you with both gorgeous graphics, visceral sound bites and the raw 'feel' that all proper racing games need to have. Forza does a bit better than pull it all off, it nails it, making it the best of all worlds in the racing genre, and my personal new favourite sim.

The Pros: 

+Ultra-realist graphics that help pull you into the world.

+One of the best feelings to a racing game. 

+Autovista feature allows you to get up-close and personal with a wide-birth of vehicles.

+Insane amounts of customization.

+Expansive car list.

+Race viritually every major circuit world-wide.

+The addition of the Top Gear track and Jeremy Clarkson make it huge win for fanboys.

The Cons: 

-The uncanny valley on the cars' dashboards can get a bit annoying.

-Navigation of the games massive list of features can be a little wonky.

-The Kinect features feel a little tacked on/useless for the most part. Rating : 

I'm going to be completely honest. I've never played a Forza title. Well, at least not for any significant amount of time. As someone that grew up with a family of automotive enthusiasts, I love cars and the idea of getting to tool around with vehicles that will never be within my price-range has always been an intriguing one, but I honestly didn't think anyone could do it better than Gran Turismo. As far as realism goes, that has always been the game that defined racing simulation for me.

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