Developer: Irrational Games |
Publisher: 2K Games Players: 1 Player Game |
Release Date: 03/26/13 |
The word Art is defined as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. For many, Art and videogames don’t go together. Videogames are seen as a game that requires pressing buttons and little or no thought. This argument could have been made many years ago but not so much anymore. With titles like The Walking Dead, Journey, and now Bioshock Infinite showing that games can be art.
By Kaleb Rutherford - 04/02/13
ESRB Details: Rated for: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Mild Sexual Themes, and Use of Alcohol and Tobacco.
Rating Summary: This is a first-person shooter, set in a fictional city-in-the sky (Columbia), in which players assume the role of a private investigator searching for a mysterious woman. As players explore the city, they encounter a variety of armed guards, thugs, and mechanical creations that attack the central character. Players use pistols, shotguns, rifles, and machine guns to kill these enemies. A three-pronged hook can be used to dismember and decapitate several enemies. Players can also use an assortment of special powers to defeat enemies (e.g., setting characters on fire, electrocuting them). Large blood-splatter effects occur when characters are injured. Enemies are also depicted beating themselves with a bat or shooting themselves in the head when they are possessed; during one sequence, a character intentionally sets herself on fire. During the course of the game, characters sometimes engage in suggestive/sexual dialogue (e.g., “Obscenity and fornication everywhere!” “Could use a good roll in the hay after this,” “I think yeh gave me the clap, ya dirty boy…”). The game allows players' character to obtain 'health' by consuming beer and whiskey; the screen turns fuzzy and distorted if the player consumes too many drinks. The social/political backdrop of the fictional city (set in the year 1912) includes the use of derogatory ethnic/racial terms (e.g., the words 'gook,' 'chink,' 'negroes,' 'injuns,' 'crackers'); language such as 'sh*t' can also be heard in dialogue. Tags:
Developer: Ubisoft |
Publisher: Ubisoft Players: 1 Player Game |
Release Date: 03/07/12 |
Genre: Survival Horror
As a long-time fan of the Survival Horror genre, I began a quest to find a new title to play through and review. The opportunity to cover I Am Alive presented itself to me and I just couldn't pass it up. For a game that has seen numerous sales on Steam in the past several months, I walked away pleasantly surprised. I Am Alive possessed a storyline that grabbed my attention, presented a challenge, and even made me a bit emotional--something that rarely happens in videogames. And it is even presented completely in greyscale!
By Davis Wiitala - 03/30/13
ESRB Details: This is an action game in which players assume the role of a man who must find his family in a post-apocalyptic world. From a third-person perspective, players traverse through city ruins and use a machete to kill human enemies in melee-style combat. Battles are accompanied by realistic gunfire, slashing sounds, and cries of pain; characters emit brief splashes of blood when hit. Players have the ability to kill or knock unconscious wounded/vulnerable enemies via finishing moves (e.g., throat slashing, impaling, pistol-whipping); these scenes are highlighted by close-up camera angles and increased player control (e.g., on-screen prompts with button-press sequences). During the course of the game, players encounter women who can be saved from nearby enemies; sexual mistreatment is sometimes implied in the dialogue (e.g., “These guys kept me as their pet, or mascot, or something.”). One sequence depicts the background silhouette of a man fondling and threatening a captured female survivor; the exchange includes phrases such as “Do you hear me? Don't touch me!” and “Don't be like that. You know I can make your life a lot easier if you would just cooperate.” The words “p*ssy,” “f**k,” and “sh*t” can be heard in the dialogue. Tags:
Developer: City Interactive |
Publisher: City Interactive Players: 1+ Player Game |
Release Date: 03/12/13 |
The CryEngine 3, in my opinion, has been the source of many great games lately. So when I heard that Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 was going to be using it, I thought: “Awesome! An FPS with an emphasis on stealth tactics, and sniping! I've gotta try it!” I had seen, and heard, of the first game, and wanted to play it but sadly never got around to it. I was not going to let Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 slip by my “gaming radar.” I have always loved tactical stealth games like the Metal Gear Solid franchise.
By Davis Wiitala - 03/30/13
ESRB Details: This is a first-person shooter in which players assume the role of a professional sniper (Cole Anderson) engaged in covert military operations. Players primarily use a long-range sniper rifle to complete mission objectives, but nearby enemies can also be killed with explosives and stealth attacks (e.g., stabbing or slitting their throats from behind). Combat sequences are highlighted by realistic gunfire, screams of pain, explosions, and large splashes of blood; performing accurate headshots triggers slow-motion effects that follow the bullet to its intended target. Some sequences depict blood-splattered corpses and/or civilians getting shot; one scene depicts soldiers pushing lifeless bodies into a mass grave. The dialogue occasionally references drugs and/or sexual material (e.g., “How interesting is four kilos of coke,” “Gambling, drugs, hookers,” “He offered me an hour with his wife if I let him keep it,” “Sure, man, we're doing this for world peace. And some . . . .p**sy. Mostly the p**sy.”). The words “f**k,” “sh*t,” and “a*shole” can also be heard in dialogue. Tags:
Developer: RedLynx |
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios Players: 1 to 4 Player Game |
Release Date: 04/18/12 |
Trials Evolution is the sequel to one of Xbox Live's top selling Arcade games. To the uninitiated, what at first appears to be a motorcycle racing or driving game gives way to something else. At first, navigating the course takes little more than an open throttle. However, as your progress to the more difficult tracks, you'll start to learn that shifting the rider's weight back and forth, angling the bike, and judicious use of both the throttle and break are all vital to completing a course. No, Trialsis not driving game; it's a platformer.
Developer: Square Enix |
Publisher: Square Enix Players: 1 Player Game |
Release Date: 03/09/10 |
The Final Fantasy series is one of the most long-running franchises in the video game industry. Spanning fourteen installments, this series has left quite an impression on the youth of many gamers. Now that we have reached the thirteenth chapter in this mighty lineage, how does it stand up to past Final Fantasy games and other games of the genre?
By Adam Westenberger - 02/19/12
ESRB Details: Players assume the roles of heroes caught in a war between two opposing forces in this fantasy role-playing game. Players travel between the planet Pulse and a moon named Cocoon to engage in missions for magical beings called the 'fal'Cie.' Missions involve battling enemy soldiers and creatures by using melee attacks (swords, knives, staffs, etc.), firearms, and magic spells (lightning strikes, fire blasts, etc.). Combat is executed through a modified turn-based system in which players select various commands from a menu while freely moving one of three heroes through the battlefield. Players can also summon elemental creatures to battle an assortment of goblins, golems, zombies, wolves, frogs, bats, and robots. The game's cinematic cutscenes contain the most intense depictions of violence: machine gunfire from space ships strafe human characters below; humans and robotic soldiers exchange gunfire—aboard vessels, on the ground; a slow-motion gunfight depicts the cracked lens of a robot shot in the head by two semi-automatics. Cutscenes occasionally depict female characters dressed in revealing outfits: Holographic dancers—clad in bikini tops, skimpy leotards, and backless chaps—glide above the city during a festivity performance; flying-motorcycle models wear skin-tight tops that expose deep cleavage. And during one elaborate sequence, a female character transforms from a crystal statue back to her human form—sparkle effects, camera panning, and shimmering lights partially obscure the nude character, though side-portions of her breasts are visible (fleeting—one-to-two seconds). The game also contains the expletives 'a*s,' 'damn,' and 'hell'; however, it is the violent content, the suggestive themes that account for the Teen rating. Tags:
Developer: ACE Team |
Publisher: Atlus Players: 1+ Player Game |
Release Date: 05/05/10 |
The highest compliment one could give indie hit Zeno Clash would be that it’s unlike anything we see in big budget game development today. Chilean developer ACE Team has crafted a unique story, style and gameplay mechanic the marketing department would never approve of because the guys in research say we all want more steroidal space marines. The game, previously released on Valve’s Steam network, isn’t perfect by any means, but its effort to create something original almost makes up for any faults.
By Mark Melnychuk - 06/13/10
ESRB Details: In this action-fighting game, players assume the role of Ghat, a banished man on a journey through a forbidden desert, a stylized punk-fantasy universe. From a first-person perspective, players engage in hand-to-hand combat with the human, the partly-human, and creatures that roar. Players can use blunt weapons (e.g., a sledgehammer) or projectile weapons made from junk (e.g., make-shift stone rifles, reptilian-like pistols) to attack the hostile enemies. Punching sounds, loud thuds, and cries of pain accompany the melee-style combat; small wisps of blood sometimes emit from injured characters. Blood-like splotches are also present in one sizeable patch of forest—though the stains are not accompanied by corpses or context (i.e., they are somewhat disassociated). During a training portion of the game, a small bird (rooster-like) is used for target practice; the trainer grabs the bird and decapitates it (mostly obscured by players' weapon), then throws it to be shot at—spurts of blood can be seen. Some characters are depicted in a suggestive manner: a reptilian female with four breasts exposes deep cleavage; a humanoid with black squares running across her chest is strewn on the ground; and a hermaphrodite character nurses an eager baby by squeezing a breast-shaped pouch. Tags:
Developer: DICE |
Publisher: Electronic Arts Players: 1+ Player Game |
Release Date: 03/02/10 |
The Battlefield series certainly isn’t new to the consoles, going all the way back to Battlefield Modern Combat 2 on the original Xbox. Despite a presence on the past two generations of hardware, the franchise has never quite measured up to its PC sibling. This held true for Battlefield: Bad Company, an interesting but forgettable foray by DICE into single player design. Thankfully, Bad Company 2 smashes the console stigma. No longer does it feel like DICE is experimenting with how crack into the living room, they’ve simply given gamers what they always wanted: a genuine Battlefield experience.
Developer: Bioware |
Publisher: Electronic Arts Players: 1 Player Game |
Release Date: 01/26/10 |
Bioware's Mass Effect 2 has finally arrived at retail. It was a long wait for fans of the first, but how does this sequel stack up?
By Ryan Schaefer - 03/02/10
ESRB Details: In this action role-playing game, players' objective is to defeat an alien enemy that is silently abducting entire human colonies. Players must assemble a team of henchmen, command a space ship, and travel to distant planets across a futuristic galaxy. At its core, the game involves a combination of conversation/interaction with characters, and ground-based (i.e., 'run-and-gun') space battle: Players use assault rifles, submachine guns, shotguns, and pistols to kill humans, robots, and aliens in the frenetic third-person firefights. Some enemies emit large splashes of blood when shot (particularly with 'head shots'); several enemies lie stagnant in pools of blood—factors for the Mature rating. Henchmen are able to freeze and shatter enemies, engage in melee attacks, set robots on fire, and use telekinesis to disable aliens. A handful of cutscenes depict dramatic interrogations in which human characters are threatened, punched, kicked, and shot (in the leg) by alien creatures. The game contains themes of illicit drug use, addiction, and trafficking—often focal points to the branching storylines; for example, 'Morinth likes dancing while on a drug called Hallex,' 'Narcotics flooded my veins when I attacked,' and 'The asari injecting so many drugs into me was terrifying.' During the course of the game, players may enter a bar where alien pole dancing exists (choreography highlighted on big-screen monitors) or hear suggestive comments such as 'krogan sexual deviants enjoy salarian flexibility' and 'if this is just about sex, maybe you should just f**king say so.' [Italics added] Players can also choose to have 'romantic encounters' with the alien/human henchmen characters; this involves watching a guided cutscene in which two characters flirt, kiss, and/or embrace: clothed alien/human characters may prop a partner on top of a space console, clear away the clutter from a bed-slab, unzip a future-blouse, or just talk it out. Though an alien/human may gyrate her hips while on top (fleeting—one-to-two seconds), actual sex is never depicted—the camera cuts away to space furniture and ceilings. Tags:
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal |
Publisher: Ubisoft Players: 1 Player Game |
Release Date: 11/17/09 |
Ubisoft's second entry into the acclaimed Assassin's Creed franchise promised to fix a lot of the complaints gamers had with the first game. Did they succeed? After playing through the game in its entirety I can safely they have most definitely succeeded. I was not the biggest fan of the first game; I found it to be rather boring and very repetitive. However Assassin's Creed 2 offers an enjoyable gaming experience crafted around an interesting story.
By Ryan Schaefer - 01/25/10
ESRB Details: Blood, Intense Violence, Sexual Content, Strong Language Tags:
Developer: Nex Entertainment |
Publisher: Sega Players: 1 Player Game |
Release Date: 01/05/10 |
Bayonetta has been attracting the media's attention for months now, but is there any substance behind the sexuality? Find out in our review of the first big release of 2010! I would like to point out that this review is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game; not the PS3. I've added some notes on the PlayStation 3 port at the end so be sure to read those if you're looking at the game on Sony's system.