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Fire Emblem: M/Str8 > F/LGBT

Fire Emblem: Awakening Art

Fire Emblem: Awakening is easily one of my favorite games of the year so far, from a design perspective. No question. However, after rolling credits I noticed a couple of things which made me raise an eyebrow, and those were already on top of a problem I had with the game even earlier on—essentially, Awakening has quite a bit to say about female characters and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) issues, while never overtly saying anything at all.

Mass Effect 3: Citadel Review

A Night to Remember

Mass Effect 3: Citadel Screenshot

HIGH Finally bringing the entire team on a mission.

LOW Dr. Chakwas was a no-show.

WTF Finding Kasumi going through Shep's panty drawer.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 87: An Important Announcement and Sell Richard a 3DS

In this episode we bid a fond farewell to one of our own, plus everyone tries to talk Richard into buying a 3DS with completely meaningless results. With Richard Naik, Chi Kong Lui, Brad "Sweet Can" Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Dylan Collins.

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Please send feedback and mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

Ascend: New Gods Preview

Ascend: New Gods Screenshot

Today I had the chance to visit Signal Studios located in Kirkland, Washington, and I spent about three hours talking with the good people hard at work on the upcoming free-to-play Ascend: New Gods coming to XBLA and other platforms to be announced.

Skylanders: Giants Review

Pokéwhat?

Skylanders: Giants Screenshot

HIGH Getting another chance to use all the figures I spent a fortune on!

LOW Any section with jumping. In fact, every section with jumping.

WTF Why do fire-element creatures take damage from fire?

Crimson Shroud Review

An Hour and a Half for $8

Crimson Shroud Screenshot

HIGH The tabletop-style game presentation.

LOW Quitting at Geyserm Waterway.

WTF Why would anyone award a required item randomly?

You can't always CYOA

Fallout 3 Screenshot

Something interesting I noticed this year was a trend of push-back against "choice" games in which the player did not get to control every outcome. The two biggest examples which spring to mind are, of course, The Walking Dead and Mass Effect 3.

TouchTalk, Volume Five

Nano Ninjas Screenshot

Welcome back to a semi-regular feature here at GameCritics.com: TouchTalk. While this series was inspired by one of my old features, the Bargain Basement, I've got an all-new focus for an all-new phase in gaming. Rather than highlighting discounted gems in the used section of a retail shop, I'll be reviewing downloadable mobile games and apps that you might want to check out… and maybe some that you'll want to avoid.

Torchlight II Review

Click-Click-Click-Click

Torchlight II Screenshot

HIGH Finding that final piece of gear that completes a set.

LOW Tossing out the 8 millionth piece of gear your character class can't use.

WTF Did a $20 Diablo II clone really wind up a better game than vaunted Diablo III?

Guardians of Middle-earth Review

Middle-earth Online Battle Arena

Guardians of Middle-earth Screenshot

HIGH Mastering Legolas' abilities to finally get that first player kill.

LOW Getting ambushed and destroyed before I knew what hit me.

WTF Gollum killed me? Gollum?!

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