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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 57: The Games of Our Summer Vacation

The crew reunites and wastes no time getting back to doing what they do best: angering the Internet with a brutal dismantling of Bastion. Plus: Sexism in Ms. 'Splosion Man, the failures of L.A. Noire, the joys of Ghost Recon 3DS, and the magnificence of Lost Odyssey. We also debut our new movie segment, and if you like surprises, well, hold onto your wigs and keys, folks. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim "Fresh Beatz" Spaeth.

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L.A. Noire: The hollow man

L.A. Noire Screenshot

Who is Cole Phelps?

Video: Assassin's Creed: Revelations trailer in Lego

I'll admit that it isn't quite as impressive as he other video game memes with Lego, but as Lego videos go, this is still impressive for how close it gets to the original using blocky toy pieces and some clay.

Video: Assassin's Creed: Revelations trailer in Lego

L.A. Noire Second Opinion

The City of Angels... And Hairbrushes

L.A. Noire Screenshot

HIGH Accidentally stumbling upon a bloody knife in a trash can that was key to the case.

LOW Struggling to find a barely-visible cigarette in the neighbor's yard for a half hour.

WTF Why are there no dirty cars in L.A.?

Video: South Park's Stan hates on L.A. Noire (NSFW)

South Park's Stan hates on L.A. Noire (NSFW)

South Park explains why Daniel Weissenberger is so critical of Rockstar's L.A. Noire: he's a cynical  a**hole.

L.A. Noire's problems finally reach their end

L.A. Noire Screenshot

There are three missions on the game's Vice desk, and two of them are ruined, as mentioned before, by the newspaper-related cut-scenes that spoil all of their key plot details. The third mission, while more satisfying than the other two, is fundamentally undercut at the writing stage based on a problem at the scripting stage: The writer/director doesn't seem to understand how gambling works, at all.

L.A. Noire has more problems

L.A. Noire Screenshot

It's not unusual for game developers to take their inspiration from other, better established media. There are roughly fifty games about some version of Indiana Jones, after all. It is, however, a little on the strange side to see a game lift content so thoroughly that lawyers could very well get involved. Even Deadly Premonition, which was noted far and wide for its similarities to television series Twin Peaks, was smart enough to merely use that show as a jumping-off point.

L.A. Noire has problems

L.A. Noire has problems

Many, many, problems. So many, in fact, that I couldn't risk talking about them in my review of the game lest I completely spoil the story for anyone who hasn't played it yet (and still wants to). Over here in the blog section, however, I'm free to be as spoiler-y as I want, so I've put together an article detailing some of the ways in which the game doesn't measure up.

L.A. Noire Review

I Think it's Spelled "Noir"

L.A. Noire Screenshot

HIGH Sprinting after crooks through the uncannily-rendered alleys and culverts of L.A.

LOW Trying to figure out which piece of evidence the game wants me to present.

WTF The distracting yet funny Mad Men cameos.

Yakuza 4 Review

My Fist, Your Face

Yakuza 4 Screenshot

HIGH Hero vs. Hero & Hero.

LOW My continuing inability to find a save point in downtown Tokyo.

WTF Death Volley, the Volleyball-themed assassin!

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