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reviews

RELEASED
July 7 2015

PLATFORMS
PS4
PC
MAC (TBA)

DEVELOPER
Psyonix

PUBLISHER
Psyonix

Rocket League hits home with punchy action, streamlined mechanics, and more polish than you’d expect from a game so humble

Nothing really prepared me for how much I would enjoy Rocket League. I remember watching the trailer for the game when it was announced as a free game for PS Plus subscribers back in July and thinking “that might be fun.” More than fifty hours in and I can now say that I definitely stand by that initial statement.

Rocket League does almost everything right when it comes to competitive online games: it has a system of suspiciously simple mechanics that can be pushed to the extreme to pull off stunts a beginner would have previously thought impossible. On top of that, the game is extremely polished and, despite providing a consistently even playing field, gives you character progression on top of that.
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RELEASED
June 11 2014

PLATFORMS
mobile
PS3, PSV

DEVELOPER
One Loop Games

PUBLISHER
Sony

Fat Princess Piece of Cake is a free-to-play game with a solid core and a slew of slimy paywalls.

Fat Princess: Piece of Cakemobile successor to the popular Playstation 3 game Fat Princess, has a decent premise but asks too much from the player in terms of progressing through the game. The match-three RPG elements, while interesting and well put-together, are undercut by the all-too-common paywalls seen in mobile games that ask for cash in order to either progress or excel.

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RELEASED
April 23 2013

PLATFORMS
PC, Mac, Linux
PS4, PSV

DEVELOPER
Klei Entertainment

PUBLISHER
Independent 

Don’t Starve has you explore an expansive world as you die again and again and still come back for more. 

Don’t Starve is a roguelike-like that has a lot to offer, including a steep learning curve. Unlike most games, you will almost never feel as though you can get strong enough to survive your environment. Instead, you’ll be constantly looking over your shoulder, hoping desperately to have enough time to make it back to camp before dark.

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turbo dismountI tackle a free-to-play destruction derby game with only five minutes of play under my belt and an open mind.

Turbo Dismount scratches that itch for varied gameplay and true-to-life physics. This game will have you sending a vehicle hurtling over what appear to be intentionally-designed ramps and apparently racking up points for how randomly your car falls and hurts your driver. The blocky models and suggestive positions you can put your drivers in will more than likely have you enjoying yourself slightly more often than scratching your head.

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asphalt overdriveI tackle the free-to-play driving game, Asphalt Overdrive, with only five minutes of play under my belt and an open mind.

Asphalt Overdrive does everything right, from its stand-out title to its fresh eighties soundtrack. You want pink neon writing? You want palm trees and sports cars? You want to be reminded of dozens of other games without actually playing them? You’ve come to the right place.

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RELEASED
Dec 21 2013

PLATFORMS
iOS
Android

DEVELOPER
Magma Fortress

PUBLISHER
Magma Fortress

Simple but surprisingly challenging, Hoplite delivers an incredibly replayable experience while managing to stay fresh every time. 

Hoplite is a great example of how unassuming packaging backed up by solid mechanics and rewarding gameplay can all combine to make a simple game into something I can’t stop myself from coming back to over and over again. The game does everything right, from balanced AI to achievements that actually reward you with something tangible.

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Patapon 2 Logo

RELEASED
NA: May 5 2009
EU: March 6 2009

PLATFORMS
PSP

PSV

DEVELOPER
Pyramid
Japan Studios

PUBLISHER
Sony

This strange little rhythm game has a lot to offer, refusing to limit itself to a simple “match the beat to win” sidescroller.

I won’t lie: when I first played Patapon 2, I really hated it. Not only did it throw me off with how precise your button presses needed to be, it seemed like you needed to bring just the right loadout to even make it halfway through the game. As I got more and more familiar with it though, things started to open up.

The game has a fairly simple premise and delivers on it well. You have to press buttons that correspond with songs you’ve learned to make your army of Patapons move, attack, defend, or summon the gods. You move on a flat plane from left to right so it is a sidescroller but it’s definitely not a platformer. Instead, it delivers a really engaging–if sometimes frustrating–strategic experience. continue reading…

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