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Interview with Signal Studios' Max Wagner

Interview with Signal Studios' Max Wagner - Toy Soldiers Screenshot

Always one to support smaller development houses and those exploring the downloadable space, I was fortunate enough to get the chance to have a brief exchange with Max Wagner, one of the co-founders of brand-spanking (sort-of) new Signal Studios. The studio's first game, Toy Soldiers, was just revealed at the most recent Tokyo Game Show and will be leading the assault on Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade service in the very near future.

Valkyria Chronicles Second Opinion

Cry havoc, and let fly the pigs of war

 Valkyria Chronicles Screenshot

HIGH Capturing the enemy flag with a single scout running and gunning within the first turn.

LOW Leaving my own base totally unguarded allowing a lone enemy Lancer to lumber over and capture it unhindered, 10 turns into a battle.

WTF We definitely needed a cutesy flying piglet in our reimagining of WWII, right guys?

Knights in the Nightmare Review

A nightmare worth experiencing

Knights in the Nightmare Screenshot Knights in the Nightmare Screenshot
Knights in the Nightmare Screenshot Knights in the Nightmare Screenshot

HIGH The moment where you finally "get" the game is pretty magical. There's a lot of depth here, but only patient gamers will stick around long enough to find it.

LOW The game's tutorial isn't as helpful as it should be. Knights in the Nightmare is difficult mostly because it does such a terrible job of explaining how it was meant to be played.

WTF The entire game is one giant WTF moment for the first few hours.

Valkyria Chronicles Review

Maybe if I order you to aim better you'll stop missing

Valkyria Chronicles Screenshot

HIGH The supremely challenging boss missions.

LOW The horrendously out-of-place "stealth" missions.

WTF Some inexplicable actions by the main character that I can't reveal without spoiling everything.

Valkyria Chronicles: Enter the Edy Detachment! Review

Ragtag misfits firing guns in the woods

Valkyria Chronicles Screenshot

HIGH It's great to see more from characters who didn't get enough screen time.

LOW $5 seems a little high for one brief mission.

WTF Edy's the star of this DLC? Who liked her in the first place?

Some more Valkyria praise

Spent most of the weekend with Valkyria Chronicles.

Despite having a few misgivings at first, the gameplay quickly won me over and I'm now a complete convert. I've got to say, it's certainly one of the best reasons to own a PlayStation 3, and after having made it through a little less than half of the main campaign, I'm shocked that Sony didn't give it more of a push. It's far better than the majority of what's available for the PS3, it's a system exclusive, and it's got loads of both both style and substance.

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Preview

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Preview Screenshot Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Preview Screenshot

I try not to whore myself out too much, but I'm a sucker for a good Atlus game in general, and doubly so for Shin Megami Tensei games in particular. In lieu of my regularly-scheduled blog content, instead nibble on this preview for the upcoming Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor coming to the Nintendo DS.

The Force Unleashed and getting an early look at Halo Wars

I'm still catching up with games from 2008 that I never got a chance to get around to… this week, I'm trying Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on the 360. I'm definitely a Star Wars fan (although less so since the new trilogy ruined everything) but I've got to say that so far, this one fits into the canon pretty well and I really like the tone. Playing as Darth Vader's secret apprentice is a neat concept, and LucasArts nailed his character design—his costumes all exude a sort of low-level wraith-like quality, and although I'm sure that there are only a finite number of ways to carry a lightsaber, this new "behind the back" style is pretty hot.

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