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Review: Dungeons

Subtitle: 
Proof That Evil Exists, Or At Least Malign Stupidity
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Dungeons is a base building sim like Dungeon Keeper or Evil Genius with a few differences. Rather than playing as an incorporeal overseer, players control a towering evil overlord who looks almost exactly like the Sauronesque protagonist from the Overlord games. You even have an elderly goblin advisor telling you what to do. Whereas Dungeon Keeper and Evil Genius provided players with an empty area in which to build their lairs, Dungeons gives players an already complete series of tunnels and rooms to build off from. Players can then tunnel and design their own rooms in the remaining empty space. Where Dungeons differs, is that instead of designing your dungeon with defense in mind, you have to design it so that it will make adventurers happy.

While looking at Dungeons, the new game from Realmforge Studios, a zoological term comes to mind: Batesian mimicry. In nature, some species spend many thousands of generations of time and effort to develop a natural defense so effective that avoiding it becomes instinctual to predators because those that don’t catch on typically don’t live long enough to breed.

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Review: Dead Space 2

Subtitle: 
Attack of the Alien Space Zombies
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Three years after the first game, Dead Space 2 reacquaints you with engineer Isaac Clarke, who has apparently lost his damned mind. Waking up from a drug induced slumber, he finds himself being rescued from his cell in the asylum by a character whose name I never cared to learn as he dies faster than an action movie cop who’s one week from retirement. Players then control Isaac’s straitjacketed ass and flee the asylum as its residents turn into horrible monsters and take chase.

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Review: Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team

Subtitle: 
It Could Have Been Worse
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Now don’t get me wrong, Tenkaichi Tag Team isn’t actually bad. It’s actually rather decent, with enough content to burn away many an hour while stuck on the subway. Players can choose from a list of 70 playable characters from the series. While this is actually less than half the number of playable characters available in the last Budokai Tenkaichi game (162), it’s still more than enough to keep the game from getting too repetitive. The obligatory “Dragon Walker” story mode roughly follows the plot of the anime from the start through the Majin Buu Saga. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please cherish your ignorance.) The game also includes a battle mode which allows players to battle computer-controlled enemy teams of your choosing, a challenge mode where players can fight increasingly tougher enemies, and a multiplayer mode where you and up to 3 other players can fight one another.

It’s generally known that, as far as anime is concerned, we Americans are so far behind the Japanese in terms of release dates that all we can see of them are a bunch of red asses. (That’s an astrophysics joke for you to enjoy.) The anime series Dragon Ball Z ran in Japan from 1989 until early 1996, but we didn’t start seeing it over here in the States until near the end of 1996.

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Kingdom Hearts Re:coded

Subtitle: 
Digitally Enhanced With More Sora
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The Kingdom Hearts series has always tackled adult philosophies with themes of light, darkness, and friendship featured prominently within its canon. Its multi-platform-spanning half sequels continue with Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, the DS remake of what was originally an episodic Japanese flip phone game. While it includes everything you’ve come to expect from the Square/Disney mash-up it contains a greater focus on the adventure and gameplay than the philosophies themselves. It also marks the first time we’ve had a Sora-centric game since the Game Boy Advance’s Chain of Memories in 2004 (and later its PS2 remake).

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2K Sports Uses 2011 NHL All-Star Game to Announce NHL 2K11 for Apple iPad

Subtitle: 
2K Sports is Bringing HD Hockey to the Apple iPad
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2K Sports has had success with NHL 2K11 on Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch. Now the sports video game maker is bringing the franchise to Apple’s popular iPad. Mike Rhinehart, senior brand manager at 2K Sports, who was at the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend in Raleigh, said that NHL 2K11 is coming to iPad with all-new features to take advantage of the larger screen and touch pad.

RALEIGH, North Carolina -- 2K Sports has had success with NHL 2K11 on Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch. Now the sports video game maker is bringing the franchise to Apple’s popular iPad. Mike Rhinehart, senior brand manager at 2K Sports, who was at the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend in Raleigh, said that NHL 2K11 is coming to iPad with all-new features to take advantage of the larger screen and touch pad. 2K Sports cover athlete Ryan Kesler was at the 2K Sports booth at NHL Fan Fair to sign autographs and check out the NHL 2K11 bus.

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ESPN3.com to Live Stream EA Sports' Madden Bowl XVII Video Game Tournament

Subtitle: 
No Items, NFL Pros Only, Glass Cactus
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The 17th annual Madden Bowl tournament will be streamed live for the first time through ESPN3.com from the Glass Cactus in Grapevine, Texas on February 3. As part of the week of Super Bowl XLV festivities, the video game tournament will be available online and on Xbox 360 from 8:30pm to 10pm.

The 17th annual Madden Bowl tournament will be streamed live for the first time through ESPN3.com from the Glass Cactus in Grapevine, Texas on February 3. As part of the week of Super Bowl XLV festivities, the video game tournament will be available online and on Xbox 360 from 8:30pm to 10pm.

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Review: Dead Space for iPhone

Subtitle: 
Big Scares On A Tiny Screen
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As far as bringing the feeling and expectations of a console game to a smart phone and tablet, EA has done it a little too well and has consequently spoiled us in our expectations of what app games can do.

“For best experience use headphones.”

This experience includes having the breath scared out of you, watching bodies thrown across corridors with their splattering sound in comfortable balance between your ears and having every bullet fired echo across your mind.

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Why Do Games for Girls Suck?

Subtitle: 
The Video Game Industry's Double X Chromosome Dilemma
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There was a bit of buzz last week surrounding an interview that USA Today conducted with Microsoft head-honcho Steve Ballmer. The article was picked up by Kotaku and thereafter lambasted in the comments section with all the usual fury and derogation that comments sections are known for. In the original article Ballmer talked about the Kinect and more specifically about its role in Microsoft’s initiative at attracting a young female audience to console gaming.

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The Enemy Problem

Subtitle: 
Who Do We Choose to Fight?
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Psychologists call it "cognitive dissonance" - believing one thing and doing another. Instinctually, we all love to see and experience violence. But rationally, we've all agreed for centuries that human life is sacred. So how do we resolve this dissonance?

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Flashy Friday: Vol. 3

Subtitle: 
The First Flashy Friday of 2011
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This week, I’ll be taking a look at a recent indie hit, a game that launched a thousand YouTube videos, and a classic well-suited for the winter season. All three are great time-killers in their own right.

This week, I’ll be taking a look at a recent indie hit, a game that launched a thousand YouTube videos, and a classic well-suited for the winter season. All three are great time-killers in their own right.

Sarah’s Run: Escape from Capital Evil (December 2010)

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