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Strategy/Sim

Extra Credits: More Than Exposition

Extra Credits talks about the "exposition dump." What is that, you ask? The "exposition dump" is one of the easiest ways with which a developer can tell a story, explain a game world or explain a game world's rules. Even lauded game designers like Hideo Kojima use this method to tell a story—and why not, if Metal Gear Solid's success is any indication, there are few repercussions for overusing it. Thankfully, there are examples of doing the opposite and being rewarded for it. The Half-Life series, Fallout 3 and Journey are examples of doing it right.

Extra Credits: Funding XCOM, Part 1 and 2

Why have we become to concerned with a zombie apocalypse? What about the much more likely—or at least more interesting—prospect of an alien invasion? But before we even talk about a defense system to fight back that alien attack, Extra Credits asks if there are even any aliens to worry about.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 88: A New Era, Monster Hunter, and Broken Games

Where one story ends—sorry Aliens: Colonial Marines Wii U—another begins anew. Welcome to the new, but pretty damn familiar GameCritics.com podcast with brand new co-host Sinan Kubba of Joystiq—yes, co-host—more details inside... Join Sinan and regular ruffians Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, Chi Kong Lui, and Brad "The Guy You Know" Gallaway as they summarize GDC and PAX East in two seconds, explore the depth of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, sink to the depths of Aliens: Colonial Marines, and fathom how the growing prevalence of broken-at-launch games is hurting the industry. All this and more in a GameCritics.com podcast episode that will rewrite history, woo-oo.

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Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time Second Opinion

If I Could Turn Back Time

Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time Screenshot

HIGH The real-time combat and Spellstone system provide satisfying loops of tactical decisions.

LOW Major story battles often boil down to frustrating trial-and-error.

WTF The handling of female characters is frequently problematic.

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.

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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TouchTalk, Volume Six

Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion Screenshot

Welcome back to a semi-regular feature here at GameCritics.com: TouchTalk. In every installment we'll be reviewing a handful of mobile games and apps that you might want to check out… and maybe some that you'll want to avoid. This time we cover Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion, Hungry Giraffe, Blood Roofs, Sushi Mushi, Noble Nutlings and Paper Galaxy.

Backloggery 2013

Fire Emblem: Awakening Screenshot

It's not a backlog title, but I managed to get a copy of Fire Emblem: Awakening for Nintendo 3DS, and I've been putting some time into it… it's not title I was eagerly anticipating, but I needed a portable title and word of mouth from people that I trust was almost universally positive.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars Review

The Invisible Knife Cuts Deepest

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars Screenshot

HIGH Knifing four enemies in the same turn for a come-from-behind win.

LOW The graphics.

WTF Why isn’t there a sequel yet?

Uncharted: Fight for Fortune Review

Banking Relics like a Boss!

Uncharted: Fight for Fortune Screenshot

HIGH Finally figuring out all the rules after a few hours of play.

LOW Overlooking a combo bonus and going from a win to a loss in one turn.

WTF The final boss in the Golden Abyss campaign.

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