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Kingdom Hearts 3D Review

Kingdom Hearts 3D

Square Enix has poured from their reservoir Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, the next entry in the hack-and-slash RPG series that has won fans the world over, it's number of Disney crossover references only rivaled by the number of newcomers confused by the series' plot.As a reader and potential first-time buyer, one might be skeptical that Kingdom Hearts 3D, the seventh installment in the franchise, might be a worthy purchase. Anyone who has even heard of Kingdom Hearts is sure to be aware of the confusion surrounding the series, and as such, may be dissuaded. The assumption that one's enjoyment of the game would be significantly diminished had they not played the previous entries is likely; one could guess that Square Enix had the jitters about this, as well! And yet, Kingdom Hearts 3D's rich offerings and plethora of flashbacks and mini-encyclopedias are the nigh-perfect package for any 3DS owner to feel comfortable picking up. Thus, this review will be grading Kingdom Hearts 3D as much as possible as it's own game, as fans of the series have undoubtedly picked this one up anyway.

Kingdom Hearts 3D

The main draw of the series has been it's unlikely coupling of Square Enix's characters with Disney's atmospheres, a combination so bizarre that it actually works- quite well, in fact. In each game, the player visits famous Disney locales, usually taking on the role of Sora, the Haley Joel Osment-voiced protagonist. The main series antagonists are a group of people known as Organization XIII, and each trip to these Disney worlds sort of revolves around stopping the Organization from being evil. The series features one heck of an engrossing story, top-notch hack-and-slash combat, with RPG leveling thrown in as the icing on this hodgepodge cake. In theory, nothing about the series should work, but the formula is great, and it feels right! So, in Dream Drop Distance, it's more of the same, with a few game-exclusive concepts introduced to shake things up a bit. Sora and Riku (another series regular) are at the brink of becoming Keyblade Masters, which will allow them to circumvent the return of Organization XIII's Master Xehanort. They must awaken sleeping Disney worlds, and rid each world of creatures known as Dream Eaters. This is an incredibly watered-down summary, and if the player is at all confused, natural progression through the game unlocks helpful flashback cut-scenes and encyclopedia-like entries to read through. These two additions exhibit wonderful foresight on behalf of Square Enix, and are truly helpful in bringing newcomers up to date as close as possible.

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The Walking Dead The Game: Episode 3 Review

The Walking Dead

With the heartbreaking and foreboding end of episode two behind us, we rejoin Lee and the other survivors, at most, a few days later. Tensions are high as supplies continue to dwindle and a traitor is suspected amongst the group. Having survived for just over three months and watched as downtown Macon has been destroyed by both the walkers and those that thought they could help the lack of hope and food is starting to take it's toll. Zombie's are walking the Earth, how could it really get any worse?

The Walking Dead Episode 3

There are no easy choices in this game. No matter what you do it will affect the people around you and how they treat you. Most importantly, choices you made back in the first two episodes could come back to hurt you now.  Depending on who you've sided with or tried to save, or not save, in the past you have the potential to be shunned out of future plans. At least that's what they want you to worry about. Up until this point it seemed like there were several different ways this story could go but if you choose to play through multiple times and make different choices you'll still end up in the same situations and still be guided a long the same path. In many cases a character you previously chose to save over another will find their demise no matter what you do. On one hand it makes sense, obviously there has to be a main goal for the characters but when so much emphasis has been placed on the players choices and figuring out so soon how it all leads to the same place anyway it's a bit disappointing. It shouldn't stop you from playing though, the story is still incredibly well written and as stated in our review of episode one, the dialogue is a key factor to the telling of this story. Telltale really managed to step it up and keep the important parts of the game moving quickly with the time limit on performing actions and deciding what to say. Somehow, through all the violence and terror they still find ways to stick in some brief moments of humor. Not all of the choices work out the way you'd think from the phrase at the bottom. Through tone of voice and additional dialogue you weren't expecting what you might of thought was something nice or comforting to say can quickly turn into an angry hurtful conversation.

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Steelseries 6GV2 Mechanical Keyboard Review

Steelseries 6GV2

The Steelseries 6GV2 is an excellent keyboard for both gaming and word processing. The first thing to know about the product is that it is a mechanical keyboard. Steelseries is a great company that innovates their products with PC gaming in mind. Although slightly more expensive than the average keyboard on the market, the 6GV2 is designed for gamers and it stands out above other keyboards. The 6GV2 is not very much to look at, but do not let that steer anyone away. Steelseries employs a very simple look for this model opting for an all black very boxy looking design when most other "gaming" keyboards use flashy colors and lights with character designs from other games to make the product look nice. In comparison this keyboard is very bland, which is too bad because the features of the keyboard are so much nicer than most other keyboards out there. Mechanical keyboards feel much different to use than other keyboards. It does take a little bit of time to get use to how the keys are laid out and how they feel, but after a week or so of use it begins to feel much more natural that other keyboards.

The 6GV2 is a mechanical keyboard, which means that it uses actual physical switches to determine when a key is pressed. The alternative, electrical current switches, is less expensive. That's why most people do not use mechanical keyboards, but gamers and people who use word processing regularly should consider making the switch. Since the switches are physical it improves the response time between key presses and actions on the computer. The keyboard will optimize the users actions per minute. This is very important for gamers especially those who play fast paced or online games.

Steelseries 6GV2

Most keyboards will only recognize a very limited number of key presses simultaneously; it's usually around 4-6. While plugged into the USB slot the 6GV2 will recognize 6 distinct key presses simultaneously, but if it is plugged in through the PS/2 slot the computer will recognize every single key pressed at the same time; although there may never come a time when that is necessary, many games require multiple keys to be pressed at the same time to perform more tricky maneuvers. In most games players are constantly pressing three or more keys at one time. The 6GV2 may have gone a little overboard on this feature, but it is nice to know that you could potentially press every key and the computer would know what you're doing.

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Lollipop Chainsaw Review

Suda 51's Latest is Tragically Repetitive.

Lollipop Chainsaw

Goichi Suda (better known by his pseudonym, Suda 51), creator of No More Heroes, Shadows of the Damned, and Killer 7 has teamed up with James Gunn, the writer of such eclectic fare as Super and Dawn of the Dead. From this collaboration comes Lollipop Chainsaw, a hack and slash action game about a zombie hunting teenager. The game follows Juliet Starling and her boyfriend Nick as they slay hordes of zombies in an attempt to save San Romero High School. Depending on the perspective, Juliet could be considered one of the luckiest people in the world, or very unlucky. She arrives at school on her 18th birthday to find it has been overtaken by zombies, who have surrounded Nick and are beginning to infect him. Fortunately, she happens to be a zombie hunter who carries a chainsaw with her at all times. Using her zombie hunting skills, as well as witchcraft, she manages to save Nick by removing his head before the zombie virus can spread to his brain.To stop the zombies from overtaking the school, Nick and Juliet must make their way through different areas around the school, killing any zombies standing in their way. Each level in the game takes place in one of these areas, and each level ends with a boss battle. The levels are designed to be very linear, and there are few opportunities to stray from the beaten path. When hidden areas are found, they will either contain lollipops, which can be eaten to restore Juliet’s health, or Zombie coins, the currency that can be spent to buy upgrades, attacks, and additional game content.

Lollipop Chainsaw

The controls are straightforward and easy to master. This makes combat simple, but after a while it may begin to feel bland and tedious. Dead zombies drop zombie coins, so killing as many as possible will be beneficial. The attacks and combos that can be purchased can prove to be useful, but much of combat will be spent button mashing, especially in tight corridors where the player loses control of the camera. When the camera gains a mind of its own,  it often  cycles through some of the worst angles possible. Planning encounters strategically can be rewarding, because killing three or more zombies with a single attack triggers the Sparkle Hunting event.

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June 26, 2012 Posted by Evan in Reviews, Wii

Pikmin 2 (Wii Edition) Review

Motion Controls Make an Already Great Game Better.

Pikmin 2

The long-awaited third entry in the Pikmin franchise is due before year's end, and Nintendo took the initiative to cut the wait with a re-release of Pikmin 2 on the Wii, part of it's New Play Control! line of titles. As a series, Pikmin has been met with critical acclaim from consumers, and still feels as fresh and unique as it once was more than ten years after the original game. With the introduction of motion controls to the game, Pikmin 2 just got a whole lot fresher.Thankfully, Pikmin 2 actually benefits from the addition of motion controls; there's no unnecessary waggle here! As either Louie or Olimar, the player directs Pikmin to fight the aliens of Earth, destroy obstacles, or pick up treasures with an on-screen reticule, now controlled by aiming a Wii remote. The accuracy that pointing the Wii remote provides is similar to the precision of a mouse in PC gaming, and is such an improvement over aiming with the GameCube's analog stick. Precision and speed are key in directing one's Pikmin, and as a real-time strategy game of sorts, Pikmin 2 has been improved tremendously. Though the game boasts the New Play Control monicker, that's really the only motion control in the entire game! Nothing requires the player to shake the Wii remote or the nunchuck. Even the menus are navigated with the nunchuck's analog stick. Thus, Pikmin 2's controls are updated, but refined to a relatively comfortable transition.

Pikmin 2

That said, how does Pikmin 2 hold up eight years after it's original release, and does it deserve to be bought again? A resounding quite well, and yes, respectively. As stated before, the game still feels as fresh as ever, and thanks to Nintendo's decision to add it to the Nintendo Selects line of games for $20, there's really no incentive to not buy it. The GameCube edition of Pikmin 2 can be quite scarce to come by, and at upwards of $40 on ebay and Amazon, Pikmin 2 is very affordable. As a follow up to the first Pikmin, the game improves the formula in just about every way imaginable. The 30 day time limit from the first game has been done away with, in favor of a money-making system that allows for maximum exploration of the planet. For those who haven't experienced Pikmin 2 yet, or the Pikmin series in general, 2 is a very forgiving game. It takes a decent amount of time to amass an army of Pikmin, and with the 30 day formula of the first game, things could get quite stressful. Now, the player has an unlimited amount of time to do anything and everything, and though 100%-ing the game is still quite a challenge, it's much more feasible this time around.

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