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Published Review – Portal 2 (PC)

April 21, 2011 Leave a comment

http://www.purdueexponent.org/opinion/article_e7009a90-6bb3-11e0-8361-001a4bcf6878.html

“Portal 2” is a much larger game than the original, eschewing the latter’s densely packed rooms and corridors for sprawling, wide-open areas. Puzzle-solving is extremely satisfying, as the puzzles tend to be delightfully difficult and follow simple rules. Even when new mechanics, such as gels that coat walls and change how the player interacts with the environment, are introduced, the game ramps up the difficulty slowly by starting with simple tutorial puzzles and iterating on these concepts.

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Review – Beat Hazard (PC)

April 18, 2010 1 comment


Beat Hazard is a flashy dual-stick shooter that uses music tracks to generate levels, resembling a fusion of Geometry Wars and Audiosurf. The $10 price tag and promise of unlimited user-generated tracks is appealing, but this independently developed game suffers from problems that will limit players’ long-term interest in this quirky title. Read more…

Review – Borderlands (360)

December 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Borderlands

It’s hard not to enjoy Borderlands.

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Review: Braid (PC)

Does the world need another 2D platformer?  Yes.

2009 04 17 - Braid PC Review Screenshot 2

When Braid was released last year on Xbox Live Arcade, the game was met with both critical and commercial success and propelled developer Jonathan Blow into celebrity status in the enthusiast press.  The game certainly deserves the attention it has received; Blow manages to inject originality into a stale genre nearly as old as the medium itself.

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Blizzard’s MMOnopoly: Why is there no real competition?

January 20, 2009 1 comment

Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is an absolute juggernaut in the PC gaming world.  Official numbers released by the company pegged the number of currently active subscriptions at a staggering 11.5 million spurred by the release of the latest expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, which became the fastest selling PC game ever with four million copies in players’ hands within a month of release.  To give some perspective:

  • Everquest and Ultima Online, the two most successful pre-WoW MMORPGs, both peaked at around 400,000 and 250,000 subscribers, respectively.
  • Lifetime sales of The Sims (excluding expansion packs) is over 16 million.

With the kind of success that Blizzard has seen expanding the MMORPG genre, many companies have tried to enter the market and carve out a healthy subscriber base.  After all, if a company can get 15 dollars a month from a few million people, then that’s a healthy amount of profit even including server upkeep and content creation.

Yet few have ended up with anything resembling WoW‘s sustained growth despite a great deal of effort.  Why?

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RIP GFW

April 8, 2008 1 comment

Jeff Green, editor-in-chief at Games For Windows Magazine, announced today on his 1up blog that the magazine has shut down production.

From his blog post:

For me personally, the closing of Games for Windows: The Official Magazine is not just a business decision (though, obviously it?s exactly that in reality), but feels more akin, in fact, to the passing of a loved one. Drama much? Well, you can scoff if you want, but the fact of the matter is that I have poured my heart and soul into this magazine, month after month after month, for over 10 years now. Every four weeks for 10 years I have done my best to get a quality magazine out the door, and the fact that I don’t have that deadline now is not in any way, despite the temptation to go for gallows humor, a source of relief. It feels like a giant gaping hole in my life.

I have been reading GFW (well, Computer Gaming World) off and on for almost ten years.  Over Spring Break I had the opportunity to read the latest (and last) issue, and it was one of the best magazine issues I’ve ever read.  The articles were especially well written and insightful, which are things that are hard to find in the enthusiast press.  It’s rather sad to know I’ll never get another GFW magazine  But, on the bright side, GFW will exist as an online entity.  It seems most writers will stay at 1up, and the amazing podcast should continue.

It’s strange how bummed this news makes me, but I can’t imagine how bad the great writers who work on the magazine must feel right now.   You guys made a great product, and it’s a sign of your skill and dedication that many people are just as bummed as I am.

Good luck with the future, GFW crew!  I’ll be reading and listening.

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