Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom Review (Mini)

The main fault of Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom is that it released late in the year surrounded by a huge number of other titles and will probably be overlooked by many players until later in 2011. But for those who play the title before the slew of titles for 2011 release, they will find a hidden gem containing a great story of an unlikely pair, interesting player/A.I. combat, and some impressive visuals. The only main issue is that Majin sounds like he has an IQ of 15 which makes some sense, but it would have been nice to have the character have some better lines.

A title that most will unfortunately miss, but it’s something worth playing.



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Poker Night at the Inventory Review

I’m fond of Telltale Games titles. They have a specific flair for creating engaging titles that are fun and look back on older gameplay elements while still presenting a polished title.

Poker Night at the Inventory isn’t so much a full-blown title, but a Texas Hold-Em title skinned with some characters from older titles that Telltale has released along with the Heavy from Team Fortress 2 and Tycho of Penny Arcade. Featuring voice acting from all the characters and holding a pseudo-illegal backroom feel, the title has a soul.

The problem is that the actual poker mechanics are a hit and miss. Through the many hands that I played, it appeared that the title favored Tycho, gave the Heavy bad hands, and helped force Strong Bad and Max of Sam & Max out. The poker doesn’t feel balanced enough for long term playing.

Poker Night at the Inventory is an in-between title, between Telltale’s other titles or taking a break from something more intense.

A fun mini-game feel, but it does get frustrating.



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TRON: Evolution Review (Mini)

For all the hype of TRON: Legacy and the supported hype with TRON: Evolution; I found a great distance between the two products. I felt the movie was a bit too much style over substance in regards to the original 80s movie.

With TRON: Evolution, I felt the same thing: style over substance. The title looked pretty and moved well, but it felt like everything was too visually polished without creating a deep connection with the source material. Combat is more about jumping around, looking for energy to use against stronger enemies, and focusing on parkour rather than platforming.

It might be fun as a rental, but as a full title especially one connected to a large release, it shows again that related properties usually don’t succeed.

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The Sly Collection Review (Mini)

Sony has been smart on bringing some of their well known first party titles of the PlayStation 2 to the PlayStation 3 remastered in HD. Considering only the first generation of the PS3 is capable of playing PS2, and the up-convert of some of those titles were less than stellar, the proper remastering of these classic titles is a bonus for younger players who haven’t played some of the better PS2 titles and older players who want to experience older titles again.

Sony also was brilliant in bringing The Sly Cooper Collection to the PS3. The trilogy of titles still provides some of the best platforming of the PlayStation 2. The cell-shaded graphics have the same pop that they did when the titles originally released and overall, the titles remain the classics that they were back in the day.

But the smartest idea of Sony’s was including PlayStation Move support and 3D compatibility all for the same intro price of $39.99. It’s one of the best deals for a family: three full titles, PS Move support, and 3D gaming.

The Sly Collection is a great starter for a family with a PS3 and even greater with the PS Move



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Splatterhouse Review

I was scared that there would be a trend of bringing old titles and creating a huge amount of remakes, but thankfully, it appears that many developers and publishers are choosing a bit more carefully about what to bring back from yesteryear.

Splatterhouse was an old, bloody horror title before ratings became such a huge deal. Back when parents, at least mine, looked at every title before purchasing it. Needless to say, Splatterhouse wasn’t something I was able to play.

Namco Bandai brought the title back in 2010, refining the button-mashing action from a sprite-based experience to something that is missing: the somewhat un-refined button masher.

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Gran Turismo 5 Review

Gran Turismo has a pedigree with the PlayStation console. From the original release on PlayStation One, showcasing incredible physics to Gran Turismo 3 on PS2, finally the long awaited PlayStation 3 debut arrived.

Polyphony Digital has always been incredible with the amount of cars, tracks, and content that it includes in their titles. GT5 is no different, but at the same time it leads to the question, is there too much to include in an arcade/simulation title?

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