The Joys of Agony

In the seven months since Nier: Automata’s release, I’ve played through a number of heavy-hitters and memorable gems alike, yet none have had the same level of permanence. The wounds left by Yoko Taro’s depressing masterpiece never closed: “Vague Hope (Cold Rain)” still makes me tear up without fail, and few things give me greater …

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Snackline Media: Jolly Rancher Pop-Tarts

My last report for Snackline Media culminated with the most miserable breakfast item I’ve ever had the displeasure of tasting: a Pop-Tart filled with coffee-flavored goop, perfectly engineered to spread its chemical taste across your whole mouth in seconds. I yelped and threw the remainder in the trash, certain that I was done with these …

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An Assassin’s Folly

If you were an average nobody framed for a high-profile assassination, how would you clear your name? Would you let the police arrest you, then pray that your legal defense pulls through? Maybe you’d lay low and hire a hacker, certain that the true culprit left a trail of crumbs leading straight to your salvation! …

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The Silver Case Review: Kill the Past

Out of all the “auteur” game developers that have bounced around over the last few decades, Suda51 (Goichi Suda) felt like he stood out. Sure, his latest work is more focused on titillation than anything else (how else do you explain a repeating minigame dedicated to ogling your character’s companions?), but back when Killer7 and …

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The Turing Test: Reports from Europa

For a game ostensibly meant to challenge both the player and their avatar, The Turing Test sets itself up to be evaluated in a field with its own high standards. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a scientist, joined by an artificial intelligence with questionable motives, journey through a series of first-person puzzle …

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FATED: The Silent Oath – Shake It Off

What standard should a VR title be held against when critically examined? We’re mere months into the life of a brand new format, and while many of its projects don’t share the complexity of your average first person shooter, the novelty of actually aiming down sights or painting with your own hands is undeniably potent. …

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Hitman Episode 2: When in Rome

This is an article on the second episode of 2016’s episodic Hitman. Our piece on the introduction and first chapter can be found here. One way or another, the second level of Hitman 2016 was always going to be its breaking point. Traipsing around Paris as an impostor fashionista back in March was certainly a blast, but …

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Ori and the Blind Forest: A Review or Something

What if metroidvanias dropped the action-sidescroller roots of its genre and instead were almost entirely about traversal? Rather than the signature mix of blasters and and puzzle keys, what if we combined a Meat Boy-like laser focus on *making jumping feel good* with the kind of sprawling two-dimensional world progression these games have always been …

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