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Best of 2016

In no particular order – or they’re actually alphabetical. Either way. Doom Excessive and brutish, few excel in their violence like Doom. Underneath the swell of sound caused by shotguns, rocket launchers, and exploding demons is a crafty lampooning of religious devotion and the corporate goons who keep their employees invested in the cult rather… Continue reading Best of 2016


River City: Tokyo Rumble (3DS)

In some 20 years between River City Ransom and this rousing 3DS sequel, bullying turned into a Japanese epidemic. Tokyo Rumble begins with a kid, Hiroshi, bullied and beaten in front of his school. Series protagonist Kunio then selflessly snaps to Hiroshi’s defense. Kunio’s aesthetic rises from the American ’50s, that cool kid who smokes,… Continue reading River City: Tokyo Rumble (3DS)


Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice (3DS)

At times, Fire & Ice finds the necessary tenants of classic Sonic. Stage designs whip the hedgehog around with the needed pace (with some wonderful racing stages) and layouts keep up a consistent flow. However, those designs come cobbled together from obvious pieces, lending Fire & Ice an unavoidable repetition. Thankfully, the inexcusable forced item-hunting… Continue reading Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice (3DS)


Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U)

Surviving on pure wit and wry dialog, Paper Mario’s ample color – figurative and literal – abates some obvious concerns. For Nintendo, it’s arguably time to reevaluate this series. Pacing stutters to crawl, infected by typically useless (albeit playful) turn-based combat. It’s length padding at its worst. Always willing to branch off into their own… Continue reading Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U)


Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS)

Cycling between old Hollywood and old game design, the homages to bygone eras in Federation Force fill this appealing, different take on Metroid. Cramped levels and their unsophisticated visual scope recall the simple one room sets of classic cinema. Crumbling planetary ruins mimic 1959’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. Grabbing an idol only… Continue reading Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS)