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Dungeon Hearts Review

Frayed at the Edges

Dungeon Hearts Screenshot

HIGH Pulling off a screen-clearing, game-changing combo is especially awesome when lives are on the line.

LOW Matching three chargers into an attack gem…right before it hits the edge of the screen and disappears. (This happens a lot.)

WTF I have enough power to use the Fighter's super move on this dinosaur twice! WHY WON'T IT DIE?!

Extra Credits: Intrinsic vs Extrinsic

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic rewards. In this episode, Extra Credits tries to explain what keeps you playing through the tedious parts of games.

Dead Island: Riptide Review

Lifeless

Dead Island: Riptide Screenshot

HIGH The new character's hand-to-hand fighting style is a hoot.

LOW Watching zombies infinitely spawn, clown-car style out of a tiny wooden shack.

WTF It's got the jankiest menu system ever created. How was this approved?

Only one of Infinite Endings

BioShock Infinite Screenshot

One of the problems with stories that use the concept of multiple universes is that the word "multiple" doesn't even begin to describe the scale of existence. Consider, for instance, the universes in which I just reached through the internet and handed you a cookie (hope you like pistachio sandies!). Now, in the context of known physical laws, this is an extremely unlikely event, so much so that if you were to try to write out the probability by putting down a 1 and writing zeroes in front of it, you could go the whole lifetime of our universe without ever reaching the decimal point.

BioShock Infinite Review

Schrödinger's Dunk

BioShock Infinite Screenshot

HIGH The classic revisionism of the Hall of Heroes.

LOW The lazy, pointless, and offensive "equivalence" narrative that opens the second half of the game.

WTF I've been finding machine-gun rounds in pickle barrels the whole game, but there's no ammo in this armament crate?

The Book of Unwritten Tales Review

Like a Tall Glass of Lukewarm Water

The Book of Unwritten Tales Screenshot

HIGH Expansive, detailed environments.

LOW Getting a fetch quest from magical, talking, invisible termites.

WTF How can zombies, ghosts, and ghouls exist in a world where death is explicitly stated to never occur?

Extra Credits: Word Choice

Extra Credits adds to a previous discussion on exposition in games. GLaDOS fans will probably enjoy this episode... Professor Fitz Quadwrangle fans, not so much.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 89: A Fallout Sojourn

Our first off-week adventure takes us into the land of Fallout. A lively debate on Fallout 3 versus Fallout: New Vegas gets top billing, and then we compare the Fallout of today to the Fallout of the past, and try to find out if the old spirit still lives, Featuring Richard Nak, Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Tim "The Gambler" Spaeth, and Darren Forman.

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Dark Preview #2

Dark Screenshot

Kalypso Media recently invited GameCritics to take a second look at the upcoming vampire-themed stealth game Dark, from Realmforge Studios. It was originally covered by Brandon Bales, but it's been a while and we were interested in seeing how it's progressed.

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.

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