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Minecraft Review

Minecraft's younger XBLA brother does the brand proud.

Minecraft

The announcement that Minecraft was coming to XBLA was guaranteed to cause a great divide of anger from the PC-gaming faithful and rejoice from console gamers. The question of why Minecraft should be ported to a console is a valid one, with many gamers claiming it could only be a lesser version. The lack of mod support for this version alone is enough for most to turn their nose at the thought, and though updates are planned for the game, it has been said by Mojang, the game's developer, that the Xbox 360 Edition would be a bit behind it's PC counterpart. Yet with all of these things considered, is it not possible that Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition could be up to par with, or even best its brother?

Minecraft

Perhaps the main draw of this version of Minecraft is how the player will experience the game: on a television, from the couch, controller in hand. The gameplay is the same addicting, tried-and-true formula that granted Mojang overnight success some three years ago. However, the 360 Edition boasts new additions like split-screen multiplayer and a crafting guide(!), the latter making Minecraft a heck of a lot easier for newcomers to pick up and play. This may dissuade fans of the original, as part of Minecraft's charm was essentially throwing the player in a sandbox with no directions. The basic concept of Minecraft remains untouched in the 360 Edition, but the need to remember each crafting recipe or keep a browser window open with a Minecraft wiki has been rendered unnecessary, and is better for it.

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Toy Soldiers: Cold War DLC - Evil Empire & Napalm Review

Take back the toy box once again, with Toy Soldiers: Cold War's two new DLC Packs.

Toy Soldiers: Cold War

With the release of two new downloadable packs for Toy Soldiers: Cold War anyone that's played this game should be excited. Both of these mini expansions  for this tower defencs game bring back all the great game play you loved in the first place and gives you new maps, new weapons and new vehicles to play in. Depending on what kind of experience you're looking for each of the packs have their own benefits and are sold separately for 400 Microsoft Points ($5) on XBLA.

Toy Soldiers: Cold War - Evil Empire

Evil Empire turns the tables as you take over the Soviets and lead your comrades against the American army. A few fun changes have been made to the commando barrage (who is now Ivan and yells things in what we can assume is Russian) and while the turrets are a slightly different design all the same familiar options and upgrades are there for you to use. The new barrage this pack adds is Orbital Laser. Thanks to the Soviet space station you are now equipped with, what is essentially, an instant kill ray that takes out everything it touches and sends your enemies flying through the air on fire. Another awesome addition to this game is a new survival mode level. Trauma takes defending the toy box beyond just your enemies; your weapons now work against you. Things get way more complicated with the friendly fire aspect thrown in. The mini-game, Pop-A-Pig, is whack-a-mole with a turret gun. It sounds cool and is for a few minutes but like most shooting games it's really just the same old speed and accuracy test. Sadly, the "new" Super Tank boss isn't really new at all. While the waves may be a little bit different it's really the same boss you faced in the main version of the game. It can take a while to kill but there wasn't anything too extraordinary about it.

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Warp Review

NEVER call Zero cute.

Warp

Take control of Zero, an alien captured by a government organization and taken deep below the sea to a government lab where testing is being done on a number of alien subjects. They've been stripped of their power source and condemned to a life of testing and behavioral analysis while the humans study their every move. With the need to escape, and maybe for a bit of revenge along the way, you have to make your way through the labyrinthine facilities collecting grub, destroying film canisters and finding other aliens while avoiding the armed soldiers and Commander who isn't going to let you escape without a fight.

Warp

Making your way out of this facility won't be easy. The halls are filled with security patrols that upgrade your equipment as they learn more about you and the rooms have scientists ready to press the panic button that will leave you trapped in the room while activating laser turrets and bring the armed soldiers right into the room with you. As you make your way through the areas you'll have to solve puzzles to get yourself through the areas safely and collect or destroy everything as you come across it. There will be back tracking, some areas can't be accessed until you earn morn powers through out the game. Collecting grubs and destroying canisters is technically more of a side quest (both of which can earn you achievements) but it's highly suggested that you collect as many grubs as you can get your hands on because they're used to upgrade your powers and will benefit you in the long run. Upgrades are done at checkpoints, but not every checkpoint is an upgrade station. Once you've found one though it will be added to your map so you can easily find it later on.

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Rayman: Origins Review

Rayman returns in this whimsical platformer.

Rayman: Origins

It's just another day for Rayman and the gang. The Bubble Dreamer, creator of this world, is lazily blowing away on his pipe, Rayman is sleep eating, while Globox and the Teensies snore away. While everyone seems to be having a good time hanging out in the Snoring Tree there is an old granny down below in the Land of the Livid Dead that isn't enjoying the symphony of sounds. Completely fed up she throws her husbands head up through the vacuum and along with it goes an army of evil creatures and Darktoons that take over their world. Working with up to four local players travel through five worlds saving the Electoons, the Nymphs and getting the Glade of Dreams back to it's original, peaceful, status.

Rayman: Origins

There's a surprisingly large amount to do in this ambitious 2D, side scrolling platformer. The main storyline is, using the character of your choice, saving the Electoons and bringing sanity back to the Bubble Dreamers world. Each of the levels has up to three Electoon cages to find, some hidden more obviously then others, but if you listen carefully you'll hear their cries for help. In order to free that cages you have to destroy all the evil creatures attached to it. Once they are all gone just smash up the cage and keep moving through the level. For every cage you release you'll get an Electoon that will help you unlock other levels and other character and outfits. Collecting high levels of Lums, starting at 150, will also grant you up to three additional Electoons. The easiest way to achieve this is to watch for the King Lums because once you catch him it will temporarily double the value of all the other Lums in the area. Each of the worlds also has a Nymph that watches over it and once you save them they will award you with a new power to help you on your way.

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Orcs Must Die! Review

Stop the orcs at all costs!

Orcs Must Die!

For as long as anyone can remember the rifts have always been there. They supply magic to our world but are also a gateway into a dead world filled with monsters. The Order, a group of humans, both magical and not, have vowed to keep these grotesque  creatures named orcs out of our world. Fortress were built around the rifts in their dead world and its your job to keep the Orcs from getting through. As a bull headed, cocky student your mentor doesn't have much hope for you but with the other War Mages being killed at the rifts daily you're our world's only hope.

Orcs Must Die!

Orcs Must Die! is a great spin on the usual tower defense style game; with a third-person viewpoint that brings you down into the action. Equipped with a crossbow, a sword, magic and a variety of traps you can earn and upgrade, the possibilities for this game are endless. It's very player oriented and you can customize your choices to suit your style of play. Each of the levels begin with only the crossbow equipped. From there the player can wander around the level, select the best course of action, and select the weapons and spells needed from your spell book. Watch out for the highlighted paths through the levels, as they show how the orcs will be getting to the rift and from within the spell book you can see what kind of orcs will be coming. There are a number of different kinds of Orcs. Everything from basic warriors and archers to smaller, flying creatures and giant elemental ogres. Looking at their profiles you'll discover that they all have different goals. Some just want to get to the rift, while others' main goal is to attack you and your minions. Keep in mind that once you unleash the first wave you can't access your spell book anymore so make sure you've got everything you'll need. As you complete levels you gain more weapons, traps and even minions (like Elven Archers and Paladins) to aid in the fight against the orcs. Additionally, the number of item slots available will progressively increase as well.

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