Terraria (Console Version) Review (@IGN)


“Imagine what Minecraft might be like if it had been made with pixel art sprites and released in the Super Nintendo era. That sums up the overall vibe of Terraria pretty well. This devious little indie sandbox game borrows so many ideas that it essentially is Minecraft in 2D, but it also beefs up the familiar gameplay in exciting ways. There’s a lot more creepy-crawly stuff to kill, and the staggering number of deadly doodads you can MacGyver together to slay them with is mouth-watering. There’s some gnarly fun to be had in these uncharted depths.”

Check out my review of the console versions of Terraria, including a snazzy video review, here at IGN.

WWE ’13 Review (@GameSpot)


“Ditching the SmackDown vs. Raw title, last year’s WWE ’12 gave the wrestling series a major overhaul with a fresh look, a new engine, and streamlined controls. While the much-needed reboot may have revitalized faith in the franchise, it still had some lingering problems that held it back from true greatness. WWE ’13 isn’t quite as revolutionary as its predecessor, but thanks to a superior campaign mode and tighter gameplay, it’s drastically more enjoyable.”

Check out the full review here at GameSpot.

Shop Talk: By The Power of DEBUG!

Everyone has their artifacts of power. For a freelancer hoping to break into video game print magazines, there’s nothing more mystical and awe-inspiring than the ever-elusive debug console. These hard-to-attain devices mirror their retail counterparts, only they possess a dark and sinister magic that lets you run early review and preview code. A necessity for working with long-lead print outlets, debug units are harder to come by than they should be. As a freelancer, you will lust after these arcane artifacts. You might even be inspired to quest for them. You will most likely fail. Miserably. But do you REALLY need them to succeed? Let’s talk some shop, shall we?

Continue reading

Review: Dead Nation


I know what you’re thinking: “Zombies? BooooorrRRRRIIINNnnng.” Not so! I’ve played tons of zombies games, and believe me, like all of the rest of you, there was a time when I had a hard on for killing those god damn brain eating bastards. That excitement for undead re-deading has waned over time as zombie games have deluged the market, but I have to say I was genuinely thrilled once I booted up Dead Nation and starting killing away. This top-down zombie shooter has some real charm (and giant exploding zombies that spew filthy nasty everywhere). Sure, it seems like it riffs off Left 4 Dead a little too much in the zombie department, but it’s damn fun to cut the head off a dozen zombies in one fell swoop with the hot sexy bladezooka. Or whatever the hell it’s called. That what I call it. Hot and sexy. So yeah, here’s my full review over at GamesRadar if you feel like getting the full skinny.

PTOM Print Contributions August 2010 Issue

Hey gang, the August issue of PlayStation: The Official Magazine is out and about. Awww, isn’t it cute? Here’s a quick rundown of the stuff I have in it. On pages 90 and 91, the PSN Games section is loaded with (mostly) good stuff. This time around I tackled After Burner Climax, The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition, Patchwork Heroes, Hyperballoid HD, and NBA Unrivaled. I have some other good stuff coming up in the next few issues, including some larger PSN game coverage. Thanks!

Review: Trinity Universe


“I really appreciated the weirdness infused in Trinity Universe, because it’s a welcome change from the status quo. Over the years I’ve poured tons of hours into many stuffy RPGs that took themselves way too seriously; it seems like all of those epic quests to save the world from destruction are moody and overly dramatic. That’s why Trinity Universe stands out: Protecting a colony settled on a trans-dimensional hunk of space rock from wayward sushi, stuffed teddy bears, errant UFO’s, traffic cones, and other bizarre junk that floats in from other galaxies puts a little zany spice into the mix. Unfortunately, it’s not quite enough to mask the mediocrity that seeps into the game’s quirky flavor.”

Check out the full review here at GamePro.

Review: Record of Agarest War


“Fantasy RPGs are not often without moments of romance and heartbreak, but few such games released in North America are as sexually charged as Record of Agarest War. Even with a mighty war brewing between the forces of good and evil, there’s apparently still plenty of time to peep some supple skin, woo comely maidens, and even make a few babies along the way. But don’t expect to pick up this staggeringly lengthy title and find yourself constantly awash in a sea of sexiness. While that does indeed pop up at regular intervals, the real heart of this game is its deep turn-based combat system.”

Check out the full review here at GameSpot.

Top Downloadable Games May 2010


“The warmer season is ramping up into full swing, prompting many folks to venture outside for some fresh air, T-shirt temperatures, and pleasant sun. But when the inevitable rainy spells and cold snaps put a damper on the many delightful outdoor activities that summer brings with it, there’s still plenty of downloadable gaming fun to explore. This month we ride along with rocket-powered possums, shred carpet in tiny remote controlled race cars, go jogging with Commander Video, and bust out some silly kung-fu moves.”

Check out the full column here at What They Play.

Dead to Rights: Retribution – 6 Things Parents Should Know


“Once a grand metropolis full of thriving commerce and industry, Grant City has long since fallen under the thumb of numerous gang factions bent on causing havoc and mayhem throughout the darkened streets. Retribution re-imagines the original plot and gameplay of the original Dead to Rights on modern consoles. As Jack Slate, an ex-marine turned vice cop, you’ll get sucked into a personal quest to strike out at the numerous gangs and other scum responsible for dragging the city into the toilet. You’ll also pursue your goals with the help of Shadow, a large, powerful, and lethal dog who accompanies you throughout the game.”

Check out the full feature here at What They Play.

Preview: First Look at Crysis 2


“The fact EA chose to unveil the world premiere of Crysis 2 to a throng of journalists at a swanky shindig at the Tribeca Grand in the heart of New York City is no coincidence. Taking place several years after the original game, Crysis 2 brings the conflict against the alien invaders from the dense tropical jungles of the Philippines to the decimated urban jungle of the Big Apple. It’s a move that’s designed to change the pace and give players a stronger emotional connection to the catastrophic events that unfold in the game.”

Check out my full impressions and a rundown from the Crysis 2 first look world premiere event here at Ars Technica.