When it comes to polish in video games, Nintendo is the absolute king. The company will take one idea, such as the original Super Smash Bros., and continue to polish and tighten it with each iteration until it has the glisten of a diamond. While the original game was fun, each new iteration in the Smash Bros. franchise has continued to add new ideas, refine existing ones and strengthen the overall gameplay to a level where fans are left wondering “what else can Nintendo do?” Nintendo answers that question in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U with two words: “A lot.”
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Near the launch of the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo graced gamers with what is arguably the greatest Zelda game of all time: A Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. While the 3DS version game didn't feature much in the way of changes or additions to the Nintendo 64 original, gamers everywhere were just satisfied to finally play this classic on the go. After the release of Ocarina of Time, a release of Majora's Mask felt like a sure thing; after all, the games released on the same system, used the same engine, and if the 3DS could handle Ocarina of Time, then it could surely handle Majora's Mask. While those fans ended up having to wait a few years, their patience was rewarded when the spectacular Majora's Mask was finally released on the Nintendo 3DS.
Despite being a relatively new franchise in the grand scheme of gaming, Dragon Age has had a rough time. The first game, Dragon Age: Origins, was met with praise all around; it was a return to form for Bioware, incorporating all the lessons they've learned throughout the years into one magnum opus. After being assimilated into Electronic Arts, work began on a sequel, Dragon Age 2, which fell far short of its predecessor. While the combat was praised, the game was frequently panned for reusing environments and losing the sense of mystery and exploration that the first game reveled in. With Dragon Age: Inquisition, Bioware promised a return to form, a game that provided the combat from Dragon Age 2 with the large scale world of Dragon Age: Origins. Did they succeed?
It wasn't until 2012 that gamers stood up and took notice of Far Cry. PC gamers were fond of the original game in 2004, but that game never really caught on with the console crowd, while Far Cry 2 had some interesting ideas but was ultimately mired in poor gameplay decisions. Maybe it's because the bar was set low that Far Cry 3 blew us away with its story, characters, vast open-world gameplay, the seamless integration of wildlife with firefights, and the wealth of activities to undertake. Far Cry 4 had a huge task to undertake when it came to creating a game as memorable as it's predecessor, and Ubisoft's inspiration seems to be taken from the old adage “If it's not broke, don't fix it.” In other words, this game could easily have been Far Cry 3.5.
There are a few constants in life: death, taxes, and Madden. Every year, without fail, brings us another iteration in the classic (and only) football franchise available on the market. This year is no different, and so Madden NFL 15 releases on nearly every console currently available: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4. Sorry, Wii U fans, but you'll have to make due with last year's version, as the game isn't being released on your system. For this review, we're going to mostly concentrate on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions due to these versions being the definitive version of the game.
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition marks the third time in three years that Blizzard has released the core game. In 2012, we were treated to Diablo III on the PC, a game that featured a fair number of missteps (the auction house being the biggest one) that threatened to topple what was once of the greatest gaming franchises. In 2013, Diablo III saw release for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, adding a number of enhancements that showed us that underneath all the grime of the 2012 PC release was an amazing game. The PC version eventually received those enhancements plus an expansion pack, finally transforming the game into the greatness it was always meant to be. 2014 brings us Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, representing the final culmination of everything Blizzard has learned in the past three years.
One of the most oft-debated discussions in any comic shop or among friends when discussing the vast DC Comics universe is “Who would win in a fight?” It's a bone that DC throws its fans time and time again, with numerous Batman Vs. Superman match-ups for fans to enjoy; however, the results of these fights may not be what you expected as it's just that one writer's interpretation. Perhaps you truly believe that in a no-holds barred slugfest Superman really could defeat Batman, and what of the fights you may want to see that will most likely never get written? Bane Vs. Flash? Joker Vs. Aquaman? Lex Luthor Vs. Doomsday? If you've ever been the type to assemble DC Comics dream matches in your spare time, Injustice: Gods Among Us is the answer you've been waiting for.
It’s safe to say that fans are used to seeing Lara Croft by now; since her debut in 1996, she has starred in over nine games, including a remake of her first adventure and a spinoff, been played by Angelina Jolie in two films and had not only a comic book tie-in but also an animated series. She has done battle with enemies ranging from tigers and humans to dinosaurs and mythological creatures and travelled to every continent on the globe. It's safe to say Lara has seen and done it all, so what can Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix possibly do to make this iteration feel different?
AMC's The Walking Dead has undoubtedly taken the world by a storm, so what happens when adventure games master Telltale takes the license and develops an episodic series around it? You get one of the best games of the year. The Xbox 360 point and click series offers brand new insight in the series that has engaged millions of television viewers and comic readers.
In todays landscape of easily accessible movies and TV shows, it doesn’t hurt to have one more service to help bring your desired content straight into the home. Later this year Epix free to download apps will be heading towards the PS3 and Vita. Epix is a service avalable on cable TV services, satellite, online streaming and more. Owned by Studio 3 Partners (Paramount/Viacom, MGM and Lionsgate) the service promises to bring some of the latest and popular movies right into your living room.
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One of the newer announcements that came out of the Spike’s VGA Show that Aired recently, seems to be a new IP from a Swedish developer named Moby Dick Productions. Helmed by CEO Joakim Mogren , Moby Dick production aims to bring an ambitious product to the consoles by the name of ‘The Phantom Pain’.
Often the site of major controversy, Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series has always made a considerable mark in the world of video games. Grand Theft Auto V, releasing for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in addition to being the 15th release in the series, is designed to completely change the way veterans used to play.