6 Apr 2009 Posted by ADDISON


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Thankfully, crashes don't occur when missions are under way, so game progress isn't usually affected. An Elysian Tail partially makes up for its shallow combat by giving you side jobs to complete. You can travel to previously visited areas whenever you wish, and backtracking is a large aspect of completing these optional tasks, but that dirty word isn't a problem here. By progressing deeper into the story, you unlock moves that add to your locomotion, so revisiting old locations means you encounter places that used to be just out of your reach. Treasure chests bursting with items are ready to lavish their gifts on any traveler who uncovers their hiding spots, and scouring the map for these goodies requires smart movement and clever puzzle solving. As each hit of the combo lands on your opponent, you're treated to a slow-motion X-ray view of your opponent's bones and organs being crushed in an excessive display of blood and guts that even the most hardcore of sadists will appreciate. Skulls are smashed, spines are broken, and knives are thrust into eyeball sockets, all accompanied by flying shards of bones and chilling sound effects that crunch and splat just right. Aside from the visual payoff, X-ray moves take off massive amounts of your opponent's health--so much so that it's often worth ignoring the first two stages of the super meter altogether, nullifying its strategic merits somewhat. Telltale's Walking Dead series is off to a great start with A New Day. This is more story than game, so there's little challenge in the hours you spend fleeing and fighting and talking about the zombie hordes. But that approach works here, allowing the game to build upon the cruel, character-driven comic series and stand apart from more mayhem-oriented zombie games like Left 4 Dead and Dead Island. This also lets you get to know the cast in a more intimate manner than would be possible if the episode were all about splattering zombies and solving puzzles. Although given the source material, you still probably shouldn't get too attached to anybody. In fact, the whole interface of Virtue's Last Reward is an improvement. Notes you find containing hints to puzzle solutions are stored in a handy file, and a touch-screen memo function can be called upon at any time to write down and recall your own discoveries. Compared to the Vita version, navigation is a little bit tougher, mostly due to the smaller touch-screen size. The lower resolution also makes it harder to see tiny details, though playing on a 3DS

You either get loads of phantom stick fouls or virtually no penalties at all. Far too many pucks are wrapped around the net that should be cut off by your netminder. Still, if you know real hockey, you will experience many moments that will put a huge smile on your face. You can actually cycle the puck, for instance, and your AI teammates know what they're supposed to be doing. Only hockey geeks will get this, but it's incredibly satisfying to see it realized so effectively in a game. Combat is slightly altered from past games in the Tales series. Where once there were both standard attacks and artes at your disposal, the former has been removed entirely in favor of a system of A-artes and B-artes. B-artes will be most familiar to series veterans; you can customize which attack corresponds to the circle button in conjunction with the different directions of the analog stick. A-artes, on the other hand, are performed with the X button and provide a complex and progressive combo system. Which A-arte is performed depends not only on the direction pressed, but also on how deep you are in a combo. While this adds some welcome depth to the combat, it can become a hindrance later on because enemies can easily block or counter when the attack you might need to perform to target their weakness may only be available three hits into a combo. Halo is in new hands. After chronicling humanity's defeat in Halo: Reach, developer and series creator Bungie passed the reins to 343 Industries, who has charted a new course for the iconic Spartan and his AI companion, Cortana. In Halo 4, the duo confronts a fresh new threat to the human race and grapples with mortality in a way the series never has before. The result is the most compelling story a Halo game has ever told, conveyed through a campaign that combines the excellent combat, pacing, and environmental design that have long been hallmarks of the series. The intriguing new cooperative mode feels flimsy, but the competitive multiplayer reasserts itself as one of the most exciting offerings in the genre. Halo 4 doesn't just take the franchise baton in stride; it sprints out confidently to keep Master Chief and company at the head of the pack. The drama picks up where things left off at the conclusion of the previous episode, Long Road Ahead. The gang has arrived in Savannah, Georgia, with the goal of securing a boat and sailing off to sunnier shores. As in the previous three games, the lead character is Lee Everett, a convicted murderer who is finding his redemption in serving as a surrogate father for a little girl named Clementine. Other members of the group include resident jerk Kenny, awkward high-school kid Ben, an old guy named Chuck, and two other people you met at the end of episode three. In addition to this crew, you team up with some newcomers, including a couple of surviv