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Facts and Embellishments: Ground Zeroes to Phantom Pain

META-GEAR?

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltH1eWxZutE Ground Zeroes, a standalone sort of pre-downloadable content, is the direct result of a multi-million dollar project that has spanned five years with nothing to show for it.  While fans may...

Warframe – Rapid Review

WHERE IS THE GUNBLADE?

Warframe applies the ethos of free-to-play MMO’s to an online third person shooter.  Players connect to servers that automatically pair them with similarly powered FIGHTER NAMES and blast through MMO instance clichés – capture X,...

Bad Cop – Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Review

A PIRATE’S PLIGHT

This is not the Assassin’s Creed for newcomers to start with.  There is no prologue that breaks down how the player is both a pirate ninja and some dude walking around an Abstergo lab, which is itself another mystery.  The...

Good Cop – Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Review

PIRATE-NINJAS: DEBATE OVER

Assassin’s Creed 4 has struck on a brilliant solution to the age old question of pirates versus ninjas.  Who comes out on top?  The answer: Pirate-ninjas.  Er, ninja-pirates?  Ninrates.  Pinjas.  Or something. The fourth...

Bad Cop – Batman Arkham Origins Review

AT LAST WE MEET FOR THE LAST TIME

Perhaps the most damning thing that could be said about Origins is that, at least on paper, it’s exactly what you want.  Fans of the previous two know what to expect and get it, beat for beat.  Whereas as other franchises embrace...

Bad Cop – Injustice: Gods Among Us Review

TOP DOWN THUD

For a game administered its own comic book series for run-up promotion and produced by NetherRealm, the story is a tad disappointing, even for a fighting game.  Injustice had a shot at making the case for the genre – even fighters...

Good Cop: Injustice: Gods Among Us Review

YOUR FANTASY REALIZED

Injustice walks a fine line between respectable hardcore fighting game and fanboy cream dream.  Gods Among Us is similar to the collective epiphany experienced by Star Wars nerds and Lego geeks when the two combined forces: there was a...

King of EVO 2012

The uncontested meta-winner of EVO 2012 was King of Fighters XIII.  Though the other grand finals matches displayed admirable skill and a furious intensity, no other matchup delivered so thoroughly or had as much on the line. For context,...

GOTY 2011 – 2011′s Best Game of 2010 – Super Street Fighter 4

By this we mean the best game from 2010 after a year of hindsight, what game held up the best that we found ourselves playing a year after its launch despite a wealth of distractions.  Really what else could hold this spot?  Mortal...

We’ll Always Have Parry: 3SO and the Future of Street Fighter

Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike is a controversial entry in Capcom’s flagship fighting franchise.   Despite its avid fanbase, and the special place it holds in SF producer Yoshinori Ono’s heart, 3rd Strike has more than a few...

Titanfall Sidesteps Monstrous Expectations

THE INEVITABLE #TITANFAIL

We’re only two days out from the Titanfall release date and it’s already clear that Respawn’s rookie effort is a failure.  No overnight revolution began – the central tenets of first person shooters still stand...

Killzone Shadow Fall Rapid Review

BUT NOT FOR LACK OF TRYING

Shadow Fall is a cliché of many dimensions, Sony’s way of hitting all the usual suspects with one stone.  Check the resume: This Killzone, like all of its predecessors, is again type-casted as the token “system moving”. Starting...

Good Cop – Call of Duty Ghosts Review

YOU CAN TEACH A NEW DOG OLD TRICKS

Ghost’s campaign dispenses with the formalities that previous iterations have sometimes entertained.  There is no real buildup to the ass-kicking – Hesh and Logan drop in as (former) brothers (now the dynamic duo) to save America...

Bad Cop – Call of Duty: Ghosts Review

THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST

20 years from now, when Call of Duty is a faint memory, their community will (try their best to) reflect.  They will say: “Remember CoD BO2?”  “Oh yeah, that was the one with those crazy flashbacks.”  “Remember World at...

Battlefield 4: Growing Up By Letting Go

IGNORING THE BILLION DOLLAR ELEPHANT

There was a time, not so long ago (ADD LINK TO BATTLEFIELD 1942 WIKI PAGE), when the Battlefield franchise ruled the competitive multiplayer scene.  A goofy sensibility governed the wide open battles, which were driven by the ludicrous...

Good Cop – Super Mario 3D World Review

LET THE CREME PLATFORM TO THE TOP

Boy did the Wii U need this Mario game.  Struggling with a negligible install base, Nintendo has been tacitly trying to prove the Wii U’s relevance even before the console launched. With the two new guys in town, that task seemed more...

Bad Cop – Super Mario World 3D Review

THE MARIO MERRY-GO-ROUND

Super Mario 3D World is a great example of a high quality Nintendo first party game, precisely what true believers point to when making their case for the Wii U.  But it also represents a reality of diminishing returns. 3D world leans...

Knack Rapid Review

ALL BRAINS NO BALLS

Knack is a spectacular tech demo.  The modular super hero of the same title does not appear as a conventionally rendered character model that follows animations sets.  Instead, he’s a collection of individually processed particles, a...

E3 2013 – Nintendo Game Roundup #1

JUST WHAT YOU EXPECT

  Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Back in the 16-bit era, a friend and I collaborated to create a single movement to vent our frustration while playing video games.  In one fluid motion, we would jab the release lever on the...

E3 2013 – Super Mario 3D World Impressions

THE WORKHORSE IS BACK

  I can see arguments that the new Kitty suit is a rip off Tanooki Mario – the tail above the logo begs for the comparison after all. The ways the new suit operates and moves through the world is far more jarring though.  Mario...

Dark Souls 2: Reading the Tea Leaves

FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFqxGggCXCo From Software’s newest achievement is fundamentally different than its predecessors: there’s now a firmly established ‘Souls ecosystem for its players to thrive in.  This egalitarian...

Thief and the Most Difficult Genre

NEITHER THE BEST NOR THE BRIGHTEST

Square Enix’s reboot of the roughly decade old series was, from its inception, locked into an awkward dance with nostalgia.  Originally released in 1998, The Dark Project never moved beyond cult classic into the wider embrace of the PC...

A Link Between Worlds – A Brilliant Execution of Nintendo’s Blueprint

FROM ANOTHER WORLD

Nintendo has, by its own doing, positioned itself between a rock and hard place.  The company’s success hinges almost entirely upon its coveted lineup of a half dozen decades-old franchises.  Like Disney, a key part of their strategy...

Dragon’s Crown and The Sexism Meme

WE HAVE NO CONTROL

  All are powerless under its sway.  One look and you’re thunderstruck – it’s impossible to take your eyes off the sheer virility.  Compelling to the point of obsession, it commands the hearts and minds of countless internet...

E3 2013 – Final Fantasy XIV Impressions

THE NEVERENDING STORY – WHOA WHOA, WHOA WHOA, WHOA WHOA

  Multiple times during my hands on experience with FFXIV I heard the producer on hand use the phrase, “If you’ve played an MMO, then you know that [fill in the trope]”.  Surveying the characters at my disposal, they were...

The False Dichotomy: Starcraft and Professional Sports

BIRDS OF A FEATHER

In a hat down eyes forward passing, both Starcraft 2 and the NFL “instituted” “rule changes” in the same week earlier in March.  The NFL held their owners meeting, where rich dudes from around the country vote on new regulations...

GUEST RANT – The One SimShitty

WHO EVER PLAYED A SINGLE PLAYER SIMCITY?

Let me start by saying that SimCity is a great game.  It’s challenging, engaging, and fun.  In fact, in gameplay it beautifully lives up to its predecessors.  However, as with any notable current EA game, it’s not what’s on the...

For the Swarm – Issue 1: An Introduction

The Flashy Review is proud to present a brand new feature on the site: For the Swarm, a lower league Zerg player’s attempt to understand the various strategies of the game and fight his way up the ladder. There are a lot of similar...

Resogun Rapid Review

AN AMAZING TECHNICOLOR WORLD

The best launch games come packed in.  The N64 had Super Mario 64, Xbox had Halo, and the Wii had…Wii Sports. So it’s no surprise that Resogun, the best PS4 launch title, comes with the PS4…in that you can download it day one. ...

Need For Speed Rivals – Rapid Review

THE DRIVING COLOSEUM

One of the best testaments for Rivals is that the endless metrics and challenges littered about the map quickly melt away when speeds surpass 180 MPH and there’s a sense of being locked into the chase.  It’s so easy to lose track of...

E3 2013 – Nintendo Game Roundup #1

JUST WHAT YOU EXPECT

  Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Back in the 16-bit era, a friend and I collaborated to create a single movement to vent our frustration while playing video games.  In one fluid motion, we would jab the release lever on the...

2012 – Year of the Last Downloadable Game

RIP NEEDLESS DICHOTOMIES

This category is so dubbed because 2012 is the last year that we will distinguish between ‘Retail Games’ and ‘Downloadable Games’.  Yes, tons of AAA titles were available day one for download – Far Cry 3, Resident Evil 6, and...

A Step Behind the Curtain – The Madden Series

In the final week leading up to the annual release of a Madden title, a few familiar story lines are predictably rising to the surface.  No, Madden will not shock anyone with its tried and true gameplay staples.  Yes, there will...

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