The Game Guy

SSX - Review

Friday, 02 March 2012 06:18 PM Written by

Reboots have become all too prevalent in today’s entertainment world.  Video games aren’t excluded from the market saturation of sequels and rehashes.  Movies, television, and video games all share this same path.  The majority of reboots are viewed as lame cash-grabs that are released simply because people will patronize due to recognition rather than quality.  More often than not, I’d say that this view is confirmed.  Thankfully, there are a select few that buck this trend, and SSX deserves to be on the top of the short list of media that do.

I’ve been an SSX fan since its humble beginnings on the PS2, so emotions were mixed when SSX was first announced (at that time it was subtitled “Deadly Descents”).  I was highly anticipating the arcade-style snowboarding game, but expectations were also high.  I didn’t want to see a haphazardly thrown-together product that sullied the classic SSX brand.  When I finally fired it up for the first time on Tuesday, I knew that EA pulled off something special within the first 30 minutes.

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Street Fighter X Tekken is arguably the most anticipated fighting game of the last decade.  On March 6, two giant fan bases will come together to battle in a game that could potentially change the landscape of the genre.  Almost all the buzz surrounding it has been glowing, and launch day is nearly within reach to see if the game will deliver.

I caught up with producer of Street Fighter X Tekken Yoshinori Ono, who answered some last-minute questions on what we can expect about the gems, netcode, the new “Scramble Mode,” and more.


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Asura's Wrath - review

Tuesday, 28 February 2012 12:46 AM Written by

“Asura’s Wrath” conflicted my thoughts more than any review in recent memory.  There are parts of it I loved and, like most other games, parts that I despised.  The conflict came when deciding what aspects of the game were most important to the overall experience.  I had to decide if the parts that I disliked really took away from the overarching goal of the game.

I came to the conclusion that it all depends on the player, and that different gamers will like and dislike these factors in an assortment of variations.  But I can’t write this review from the perspective of anyone else but myself.  So I’m going to try to lay out all the pieces I took from “Asura’s Wrath,” and give you my take on them, but ultimately let you decide.  When I put it like that, it sounds like this will be what a video game review is supposed to be…but I digress.  Now, on with the review.

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Escape Plan for the PS Vita - review

Friday, 24 February 2012 12:53 AM Written by

“Escape Plan” is one Vita game that I fear could be criminally overlooked due to the other high-profile launch titles.  It’s a throwback to simple point-and-click puzzlers that utilizes all the nifty gagetry that the Vita has to offer, including the high-resolution OLED screen.  You’ve never seen a 2D, black and white game look this good, and what’s even more impressive is that it’s being played on a handheld.  Underneath the glossy exterior lies a plot and setting that are wonderfully imagined and darkly hilarious.

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PlayStation Vita: First Impression

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 02:07 AM Written by

Sony has a new toy for the masses, and its name is the Playstation Vita.  The Vita replaces the PSP as the gaming giant’s flagship handheld, but Sony touts it as being more than that.  They’re calling it the next generation of gaming, and treating it like the release of a new console rather than a handheld.  That’s a hefty order for a device that is jumping into a market flooded with Nintendo 3DSs and dozens of smartphones.  But Sony certainly has the Vita on the right track right out of the gate.

It looks like Sony was taking notes when Nintendo made practically every mistake they could with the 3DS launch.  Sony wants the Vita armed and ready on launch day.  Between downloadable games on the Playstation Network and full retail releases, the handheld will have a library of over 30 games at its release.  Internet apps will also be available for use like Twitter, Flikr, Skype, Foursquare, Facebook and Netflix.  I haven’t had a chance to use these yet since I’m writing this on the eve of launch day, but there will be a full device review in the near future.

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This week will be a busy one on the blog.  It will begin on Tuesday with quick impressions of the Playstation Vita.  That will be the first day I get my hands on it, but there will be a first impression post that evening.  Then later in the week begins the reviews of the biggest Vita launch games.  I'll also be tweeting along the way.  Follow along @GameGuyPGH.

Vita coverage won't be all.  I'll also be attempting to get through Capcom's "Asura's Wrath" for a full review.  Plus, the long awaited reboot of the "SSX" series drops on Tuesday.  I'll be playing that in between the rest of this week's gaming wave.  I'll try for a review of SSX this week too, but it may have to be pushed back to next week.  

There will be updates on the Vita, Vita games, "Asura's Wrath," and "SSX" via twitter for live impressions.  So check back here and on twitter for reviews and impressions.  

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Mass Effect 3 Demo - My Thoughts

Wednesday, 15 February 2012 04:56 PM Written by

Yesterday was February 14, and that meant one thing for gamers: the launch day for the Mass Effect 3 demo had arrived.  Yes, significant others everywhere were temporarily placed on the back burner on the day that was supposed to be all about them.  I know that mine wasn’t too thrilled that an hour would be taken out of her “special day,” but hey, a guy has to work.

I played through the demo and formed some thoughts along the way.  This isn’t going to be a recap of the demo and it will be geared towards people who have already played it.  There will be spoilers.  The reasoning behind this structure is that a demo should not be handled like a review.  The purpose of a review is to give you my opinion of a game that costs money.  Based on my opinion you can then make the decision of whether or not the game in question is worth your hard earned money.  The Mass Effect 3 demo is free.  You have nothing to lose by playing it.

So without further ado, here is my random assortment of thoughts on the Mass Effect 3 demo.

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Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - review

Saturday, 11 February 2012 01:14 PM Written by

I am a powerful mage whose abilities are peerless.  I’ve been dropped into the center of a tumultuous war, and this war’s outcome hinges on my decisions and action.  Power like mine comes at a price.  I have a list of antagonists who want nothing more than to destroy me.  You could build a mountain with the carcasses of the enemies they’ve sent to slay me.  I spend my days roaming the wards of Faeland, assisting the downtrodden, battling the native creatures, and forging new weapons and potions.  It’s all part of a quest of self-discovery while carrying the burden of being “the chosen one.”  Also, I’m a woman.

The above accounts are a small portion of what makes a great RPG, and more specifically, what makes Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning a great game.  This is 38 Studios' first crack at greatness, and it’s rare to see a home run in a studio’s first at-bat.  The baseball analogy is appropriate since 38 Studios was founded and is currently handled by retired baseball great Curt Schilling.  This may be 38 Studios’ first game, but the people behind it are veterans of their respective crafts.  Schilling formed a game-making dream team of sorts, bringing in talent like Todd MacFarland, R.A. Salvatore, and Ken Rolston of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion fame.

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