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Video Review: Fortune Street

It's been months since I was able to get behind my desktop, record some voiceover, edit a heck of a lot of video, and make a new review, but here…

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Skylanders Trap Team is the Best Way to Play with Toys in Video Games

Skylanders Trap Team Bosses

By now the formula for a Skylanders game shouldn’t surprise anyone: you purchase/use toys in the real world to use the digital version in the game world. Gameplay is your standard action RPG blend of combat, level progression, light puzzles, and boss battles capping off each stage and world. I was pretty happy with the very first game, but thought after Giants came out the following year that the fad was done. Surprisingly, Swap Force released and it was somehow the best game in the series. Well surely after three games Activision and Toys For Bob have put all they could into the game and couldn’t possibly make it any better, right? Hmmm… (more…)

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Tao’s Adventure is a Portal to When Designers Didn’t Know How to Make DS Games

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You take some risk when playing games from nearly a decade ago. In that span of time many developers and game designers have time to hone their craft and really get a grip on what a system or console can do. The Nintendo DS is a perfect example of this, because not only was it a more powerful version of Nintendo’s handheld line, it also introduced a second touch screen to play around with. Early games on the DS used that second screen as an inventory management screen, a place to show the map, or a different way to control the game. Perhaps we’re all spoiled now in 2015 after 10 years of successful games on the system, because going back to Tao’s Adventure on the DS just reminds me how far we’ve come. (more…)

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Skylanders: Swap Force on 3DS is an enjoyable, albeit simple, platformer

Skylanders Swap Force Banner

The Skylanders series of RPG/Platformers is the grandfather of the NFC toys-to-life genre so rampant today. With the LEGO games jumping into the fray, kids/parents/gamers have a mountain of toys to buy for a variety of games. While the first Disney Infinity attempted to bring the game to the portable 3DS (and failed), only Activision’s Skylanders series has maintained an enjoyable presence on Nintendo’s handheld since the very first game. With each iteration of the Skylanders franchise something new is added to enhance the gameplay, sell more times, and convince you that $100 purchase last year is obsolete compared to this year’s bundle. On the 3DS though, the game’s offer a completely different story and gameplay experience, and Swap Force on 3DS is no exception. It’s nothing compared to the console versions, but it’s still a good play for someone who’s invested money in lots of plastic figures and portals! (more…)

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Fallout Shelter is a Fun Way to Waste Time

Fallout Shelter Title

One of the most pleasant things to come out of this year’s E3 show was Bethesda’s announcement of a brand new Fallout game, and I’m not talking about Fallout 4. A little iOS game (soon to be on Android) called Fallout Shelter was released directly after the Bethesda Press Conference, and I, like many gamers, downloaded it immediately. Having little to do with the actual world of Fallout and instead focusing on the Pipboy renditions of persons and the Vaults themselves, Fallout Shelter is a fun way to waste a lot of time. If you’re looking for something substantial to hold you over until Fallout 4 releases this Fall, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. (more…)

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Review: Mario Party 10

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Mario been partying for more than 17 years and each new romp feels a little less exciting than the last. New minigames and features attempt to make the gala more extraordinary than the last, but as gamers have been keen to notice, the atmosphere around Mario’s parties have been  more lackluster than standout.After the lukewarm reception of Mario Party 9 on the Wii a few years back, many thought the series to be dead, or at best stagnant until some major changes came along. A new system means a new Mario Party, and though the sweeping changes the fanbase has begged for are nowhere to be seen, Mario Party 10 is still a fun game if you’ve got a group of friends to play it. (more…)

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The Ink-Covered Awesomeness of the Splatoon Global Testfire

Splatoon Global Testfire Logo

Were you lucky enough to get into the ink soaked action this weekend and play the Splatoon Global Testfire demo? It wouldn’t surprise me if you weren’t, because Nintendo didn’t give a huge warning on when it would be available, and for that matter depending on your current living situation you’re timeframe to play was only an hour long at at specific intervals. Assuming you did get to play, then hopefully you had a wonderful time like I did! Admittedly, I’ve been pumped for Splatoon since it was announced at last year’s E3, so the game had a lot to live up to in the short hour I had with it. Thankfully, Nintendo delivered. (more…)

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The Inescapable Allure of Etrian Mystery Dungeon

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Dungeon crawlers have been one of the biggest surprises for me in all my years of gaming. The idea of rigorously treading through a seemingly endless dungeon full of ridiculously challenging enemies and assured failure around nay every corner just didn’t seem all that fun. When I had the opportunity to play Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan on Nintendo 3DS, all my perceptions shifted. Suddenly the idea of immense challenge and discovery was fun, fresh, and exciting. Exploring a dungeon for the first time was unlike any other RPG before, and I found myself bleeding countless hours into the game only to progress forward a small bit. Being able to map out the dungeon floor, marking the location of items and major enemies gave myself a grand sense of security, like I had an advantage over the once threatening world which spelled my doom numerous times before.

So then why is Etrian Mystery Dungeon, a game which strips away that safety blanket of knowing the coordinates of each dungeon and replaces it with randomly generated floors while still maintaining the degree of difficulty of past Etrian games, still incredibly fun, fresh, and exciting?

It comes down to Etrian Mystery Dungeon doing two things right: exploration and development. (more…)

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