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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The campaign mode provides an epic conclusion to the Modern Warfare 3, wrapping up the tangled storylines of Captain Price and McTavish in a crazy large-scale Hollywood-esque thrill ride. However, a large number of 'on rails' style gunner-style sequences and a rather uninspired take on the multiplayer leave a little something to be desired... At the end of the day, there's not much to complain about, considering everything was well established with the first two games, but it would have been nice to have a little further departure and a couple of more risks taken to truly advance the franchise.

The Pros: 

+Massive-scale story mode, and dramatic conclusion to the MW franchise.

+Addition of the Survival Mode is an intelligent one.

+Class-based system helps to shake up the game's competitve multiplayer a bit.

The Cons: 

-Everything feels like it leans a little too hard on the previous title.

-Campaign mode features a lot of 'on rails' moments that can detract from the challenge of the story-mode. Rating : 

To be completely honest, Modern Warfare 3 was a title I'd almost entirely wrote off. With the drama surrounding the majority of the Infinity Ward team walking away after Modern Warfare 2, I didn't think it was going to be a proper "Modern Warfare" title now with the bulk of the creative team having walked away from the franchise.

Dance Central 2 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The games mechanics and tech have all been given the upgrades that the fans requested. The new options for voice control on the menu system and the integrated co-op that allows you to dance with your friends at the same time are welcome additions to the game. The track-list however is a little south of 'impressive' and could have used a little more of that classic Harmonix awesomeness.

The Pros: 

+Voice controlled menus make navigation quick and easy.

+The integrated multiplayer allows you to dance together.

+The same gameplay that made DC1 the best launch title for the Kinect is back and refined.

The Cons: 

-The track list is pretty weak, which is kind of important for a game that's supposed to make you want to get up and dance. Rating : 

When Dance Central launched alongside Xbox's newest peripheral, the Kinect, one year ago (Happy Anniversary Kinect!) it was hands-down the best received game to take advantage of the hardware. To be fair, it wasn't a particularly stellar launch line-up to be fair... but even still a rhythm-based game from Harmonix is always a welcome addition to any new medium.

Spider-man: Edge of Time [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Fans of Spider-man as a series may appreciate the all-star voice-acting cast that bridges together the iconic Peter Parkers of the past and the numerous nods to the franchise's hertitage. It's just unfortunate the whole thing is wrapped around lacklustre combat and a game that forgot that it's swinging that brings the true visceral thrill of being Spider-man to life. 

The Pros: 

+The best voice-acting cast of a Spider-man game, ever.

+Tons of references to the TV series and comics, both braisen and obscure.

+Stellar writing that takes advantage of the classic Spider-man wit and intelligence.

The Cons: 

-Bland combat that forsakes the classic free-flow style of the previous series.

-Everything takes place inside in-doors which means there's not a lot of room to swing.

-Everything 'game' about the title feels uninspired, and worse like a back-track for the series as a whole. Rating : 

To provide this review with a little bit of a context, Spider-man has been the only comic book series I've followed with any regularity since the early 90s when I first got into comics. While my interest in other series waned, and I found myself focusing more on other pursuit, Spider-man has always had a knack for swinging me back around and keeping my interest over these many years. Oh, and you can add on to that the fact that a number of Spider-man games will forever be on the top of my lists: Spider-man 2, Maximum Carnage, Separation Anxiety, etc.

X-Men Destiny [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Everything you will experience in X-Men Destiny you have had before, and better.  The repetitive button mashing combat, the basic dialogue choices, the subpar levelling up system all fail to bring anything fresh to the table.  That's not to say that there is no fun to be had in (insert developer hear) title.  If you are indeed an X-Men fan you still might have to dig deep, but the enjoyable moments will happen.

The Pros: 

+X-men characters look great and they use a healthy variety of them.

+Certain moments in the game pay off and you're left feeling happy that you are a nerd.

+Voice acting for all the main characters feels proper.

The Cons: 

-None of the elements of gameplay feel polished.

-Way too much unused potential for this universe.

-Levels are very linear with a ton of invisible walls.

-None of your choices in the game really feel like they have an affect. Rating : 

Some of my fondest memories as a kid were waking up on Saturday mornings, getting a bowl of the cereal that had the most sugar in it, and sitting a foot away from the TV and watching the 1990's X-Men cartoons.  So you should understand the excitement I originally felt over a year ago when an X-Men action/RPG was announced for current Gen consoles.  You might also, upon further reading, understand my disappointments with how it simply falls short...on almost every occasion.

Battlefield 3 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Battlefield has always been a series focused on co-operative team play, massive battles encompassing land, sea, and air as well as a showcase of a variety of different military vehicles. The 'third' instalment of the series doesn't diverge from the tried and true formula, but does make some much-needed tweaks to the over-all gameplay to advance the series into the modern generation of FPS titles and beyond.

The Pros: 

+Team-focused combat sees a return, and gets some balance tweaks.

+Impressive graphical upgrades over the series predacessors. 

+A more compelling single-player campaign then previous ventures.

+Bigger better battles that let you take the fight on virtually every front.

The Cons: 

-The main story feels like it cribs a little to heavily from Call of Duty.

-A couple of bad-apples can ruin the experience real quick, as you are reliant on your teammates.

-The flashlight/laser sight system can be abused for annoyance VERY easily. Rating : 

Outside of the Bad Company sub-series, Battlefield has never been a series that's been held up by its deep or interesting story. What story was offered in the games previous was little more than an introduction to the mechanics of the game; an extended tutorial if you would. That's probably the reason why Battlefield 3's story-mode isn't getting a whole lot of focus from reviewers. Reviewers and gamers alike will be jumping into the game with one focus in mind, and everything else as a secondary.

Batman: Arkham City [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The fact of the matter is that if you haven’t played the original Arkham Asylum, you missed out. If you did, you probably already own this game, and might have even wrapped it before me. Either way, this is a stellar title that absolutely everyone should have to play to continue holding the title “gamer,” “geek,” “nerd,” or even “Batman Fan.” 

The Pros: 

+Improved free-flow combat system.

+Enhanced 'side-quest' system, featuring all of Gotham's fave villains.

+Bigger, badder world of Batman to explore.

+One of the single most impressive Batman stories of any medium, ever. 

+Awesome new gadgets that change-up the combat and stealth.

+Everything in the game has a purpose, time-line and consiquence, making even mundane collecting tasks become 'life or death' situations.

The Cons: 

-Review scales simply don't go high enough to represent this game accurately. Rating : 

It would probably be a little bit of an understatement to say that Rocksteady had a bit of a high bar to hurdle, expectations wise, when they decided to release a sequel to Arkham Asylum. It was a game that was heralded by many game critics as the best of the superhero (and for Batman I do use that term loosely) genre. Beyond that it was considered to be one of the best games of 2009, winning all kinds of awards on all kinds of gaming enthusiast sites, including a game of the year nod from Shogun Gamer.

SpeedRunner HD [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

SpeedRunner HD does a lot of the same things other indie platformers do.  However with its fantastic competitive multiplayer, this one stands out a touch further than the rest, and at 240 Microsoft Points, if you have a friend, it is well worth it.

The Pros: 

+Easy controls to get you right into the game

+Multiplayer is an absolute blast!

+Decent price point for amount of fun

The Cons: 

-You can beat the single player in less than one hour

-Never changes enough to feel like you are going anywhere

-If you don't have any friends, there is hardly any replay value. Rating : 

DoubleDutch Games bring us SpeedRunner HD: a fast-paced, superhero, 2D-platformer, which relies on elements of parkour to get you from start to finish.

As this SpeedRunner, you will find yourself zipping through levels against the clock to stop the evil Mad Bomber and foil his mad bombing plots.  To do this you will have quite a few tricks up your oh-so-fast sleeves, such as: grappling hooks, speed boosts, a handy slide move, and of course a good ol' fashion double jump.

TIC: Part 1 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Ultimately, I would hardly recommend this game. The message, while earnest, graced my TV with all the subtlety of a kick to the butt. However, if you're some sort of giant genius squirrel and have a thing about collecting different coloured acorns, then maybe this is right up your alley.

The Pros: 

+Kind of cute

+Music is good if a little repetitive

+Good groundwork for a concept

The Cons: 


-Preachy intro

-Graphics so-so

-Concept could use a lot of expansion

-Not very challenging

-VERY repetitive Rating : 

TIC Part 1, the winner of 2nd Place in Dream.Build.Play 2011, is a quick indie game that had a good foundation but found itself falling short. While I have no real problem with games with environmental messages (such as Flower), I felt like the introduction to the game sort of slapped it right on there by outright telling you the villains were "Capitalist robots" known as EvilCorp, whose vendetta against you involves drilling your world for its natural resources. 

Guardian Heroes [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Guardian Heroes was brought back from the grave to remind us that this is possibly one of the best beat-em-up games ever made.

The Pros: 

+Dynamic story choices and different endings gives much replayability to the game.

+The stunning remastered graphics give a new shine on an old classic.
The Cons: 

-Playing through story mode makes the beginning levels very boring. Rating : 

Guardian Heroes was developed by Treasure and released on Sega Saturn in 1996. The latter fact alone might've sealed its fate as one of those great-but-you-missed-it titles, be it not for the fact that Sega mercifully resurrected it for Xbox Live Arcade. The result is a great visual and mechanical update to an underground classic.

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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