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Payola!

Need for Speed: Most Wanted Screenshot

I was listening to a podcast recently (and I've heard this same thing multiple times from other people over the last week or so) and I was shaking my head at the way the speakers were discussing recent Events Which Shall Not Be Named. Over and over, they were so insistent that reviewers are "getting paid off" for good scores.

Don't say a word

Mass Effect 3 Screenshot

In the wake of the success of Obsidian's Project Eternity Kickstarter, supporters are eagerly watching the stretch goals to see what promised goodies will be put into the game. Meanwhile, I am hoping to see one thing left out: voice acting. Done correctly, voice acting can significantly improve a Japanese RPG. However, recording voices for characters diminishes a Western RPG, regardless of the reading's quality. For this reason, I feel that Western RPGs should avoid having voiced dialogue.

Extra Credits: The Hero's Journey, Parts I & II

Extra Credits has an interesting two-part discussion about the hero's journey, a concept explored by Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Thatgamecompany's Journey is the game example featured here (along with The Legend of Zelda) but this seems to be a concept exploited in all entertainment genres.

Extra Credits: The Hero's Journey, Parts I & II

Dysfunction with Dishonored and diggin' Dokuro!

Dishonored Screenshot

Speaking of games which weren't quite home runs, I have to admit that I'm shocked to say that Dishonored isn't floating my boat. I loved the demo at PAX and it has all of the elements that should appeal to me, but now that I've been sitting down with the full version... it's just not clicking. It's just not coming together. It started well, but it's gone... cold.

Too many games, not enough time

The Walking Dead: Episode Four—Around Every Corner Screenshot

Although it's exciting to see so many great games start popping up in the fourth quarter... there are too many great games popping up in the fourth quarter.

Consoleation: A matter of perspective

Super Castlevania IV Screenshot

A funny thing happens to a person when he or she gets older. The person remembers how things used to be, or, at least, how they used to be for that person. There have been times over the past few years where I've become increasingly more frustrated with video games in the current time, and I feel that my reasons are fair… but I might be unfairly basing my dissatisfaction and disappointment on my own perspective and memories of how I remember video games as I grew up.

Extra Credits: Power Creep

The guys at Extra Credits take a look at "power creep." For those that don't know, power creep is when elements introduced in a game grow in power compared to when the game was originally launched. Or something like that. Given how prevalent persistent worlds have become and how common it is for games to be patched with new areas, features and items, power creep can become a huge issue for the loyal fanbase. This Extra Credits video takes a look at power creep and solutions that would fix it—or at least keep it at bay.

Extra Credits: Power Creep

Where'd all these games come from?!?

Risen 2: Dark Waters Screenshot

A few weeks ago, it seemed like there wasn't a single thing to play. Now, it seems like there's too much to handle!

Armchair Analysis: July NPD observations and Vita post-Gamescom

New Super Mario Bros. 2 Screenshot

Nintendo needs to consider what to do about the Wii. Despite the likelihood of 3DS hardware sales growth over the next few months, Wii sales hit their lowest point ever and are poised to continue sinking without a bit of help. I'm a little surprised that Nintendo hasn't yet proceeded with a price drop to $100 to stimulate sales ahead of the WiiU landing in November.

Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention Review

Where High School is Literally Hell

Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention Screenshot

HIGH Performing an attack that deals over 9 million in damage.

LOW Level grinding can get tedious.

WTF The post-game abandons any pretense of sanity and slathers itself in crazy sauce.

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