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It’s Dark Souls 2 Week

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Thank God. I am reborn.

Hotline Miami (PSN) in Review

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This is how you’re supposed to be doing it.

It’s 3 A.M., I’ve got my headphones on and the 47” LED is searing my retinas in hot pink and turquoise neon, the title in scan-lined Russian letters like it’s bootleg contraband, hardcore violence porn from a world where only outlaws play outlawed violent video games. The music is turned up almost painfully loud, throbbing synth pulses from a 1989 that never existed except as a fantasy of unremembered nostalgia in the minds of musicians likely too young to have listened to music back then. I’m trying for either the 20th or the 100th time to complete a level of Hotline Miami, and I’m feeling totally wired, paranoid, cranked up really high and headed for a 19th nervous breakdown as I get gunned down again. Continue Reading…

Assassins Creed III: Liberation – The Quitting Point

While I do miss the money I was paid to review games, meager though it may have been, what I do not miss is that awful feeling I would get in my stomach when I knew that I flat out did not like the game I was playing, yet there was still a dozen hours left before I could put the thing to bed. Luckily, this is not a problem here at NHS. If I’m not feeling a game, I stop playing it and move on to other things. I figure that my reasons as to why I stopped playing will be just as useful to our readers as a full blown review, only in this case, I don’t have to waste my time playing something I think sucks.

Which brings me to Assassins Creed III: Liberation. Granted, I don’t think the game sucks, that’s a bit harsh, but I certainly don’t want to play it any more, so I’m not going to. Before we get to why I don’t want to play it again, I can’t stress enough that this is not a review of the game. I’ve put about six hours into the thing and I have no idea what percentage that is, but I do know that I didn’t finish it, hence this is not a review.

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The Great Pokemon Extinction Event

Pokemon Black/White 2 comes out on Sunday and while I will most likely pick it up, I fear that it will confirm something that I’ve known for quite some time now, namely that I don’t really give a crap about handheld gaming any more.

It’s a difficult realization to come to. Handheld gaming has been a big part of my life for years now, but over the past 18 months or so, things have shifted and I find myself less and less enthused about the hobby’s diminutive offerings. Pokemon Black/White 2 may end up being the last handheld game I ever buy.

Cue the hyperbole machine!

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Ciao, Vita

Yesterday I packed my PS Vita back into its original box and shipped it off to some guy in Texas that Bought it Now for $200 on eBay. Before that, I wiped the memory, flushing away Persona 3 and a couple of other games along with save data for others that I’ll never finish. I kind of grimaced, holding it for the last time because it’s such a damn good handheld, probably the best I’ve ever seen. Probably the last one I’ll ever own. Continue Reading…

Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time in Review

The main issue with Atlus’ new PSP/PS VITA reissue of Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time is the same as with many Japanese role-playing and strategy role-playing games. It takes longer to hit its stride than most Western AAA games last in their entirety. Ten hours, fifteen hours into the game and it’s still introducing party relationship mechanics,  processes and materials for developing your Familiar, and key story elements that weren’t in sight at the outset. I’m torn on this aspect of the game, because I like the slower pace and longer form but between the deet-deet-deet dialogue boxes and the long intervals between gameplay, this port of a PS2 game can really try your patience.

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Jumping the Shark Episode #133

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For Jumping the Shark #133, Brandon and Bill celebrate the coming of Summoner Wars on the iOS. (I’m sure I’ll join the jubilee soon. Took the time to figure it out over the weekend and am starting to feel its draw.) There’s also some Amazing Spider-Man discussion and a Bill tangent about not liking fun murderers. And really, who does? Leading off this week, though, Brandon and I wax poetic about the revised Mass Effect 3 ending and he gets me to say something that, in a righteous universe, ought to never ever happen – “Brandon, you’re right.”

And even now a chill goes down my spine.

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Jumping the Shark Episode #132

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The gang’s all back together for episode 132 of Jumping the Shark, though I’m a bit poorer than I was two weeks ago. This week we talk a bit more about my trip to the Pinball Museum and my dicey encounters with the revised AI in the Civilization 5 expansion Gods and Kings, while Bill tries out a little Trine 2-themed occupational therapy, and Brandon cleans up the streets of Gotham in Lego Batman 2 before taking a trip down the third part of Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness.

It’s like 1,000 degrees outside and storms ravage half the continent. Do yourself a favor – stay inside and listen to podcasts. It’s the right thing to do!

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Calendar Man – Week of 7/2

I was hoping that a new release would drop in time for me to bring it with me on my upcoming vacation but alas, it was not to be. Threatrhythm could have been a contender but I usually play handheld games with the volume down and I don’t know jack squat about Final Fantasy so most of the game’s charm would be lost on me. Oh well. Hopefully Summoner Wars will get approved between now and Friday.

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The High Cost of Evil

Look, I’m not one to tell Traveller’s Tales how to do their business, but after spending some time playing LEGO Batman 2, I have a bone to pick with them.

So, I’m flying around as Superman, doing my thing and I come across The Penguin. A few well placed Kryptonian punches later, he surrenders and for the low, low price of 125,000 studs, he was part of my stable. Later on, I’m flying around, I come across Sinestro, bust his big, purple jaw and BAM, 125,000 studs later and he’s mine.

Now hold on a minute. Sinestro costs as much as Penguin? Sinestro has a yellow power ring, arguably one of the most powerful weapons in the universe. Penguin has trick umbrellas and flightless waterfowl. Now, I know that not everyone knows who Sinestro is, and I know that Superman is more popular than Green Lantern, but come on! One dude can create anything he can think of, limited only by how much fear he instills in others. The other guy can fly, occasionally, but only with an umbrella.

That ain’t right.

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