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[Guest Review] Earth Defence Force: Insect Armageddon July 10, 2011

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Earth Defense Force: 2017 is one of my favorite games. As such, a review for the sequel, Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon was not only inevitable, but an absolute necessity. Unable to write it myself, our fantastic guest contributor, Ivory Harris, has stepped up to the plate to bring you a review for the next chapter in the EDF saga.

Float like a jet-powered butterfly, kill giant bees.

Alongside a number of cult followers, I was worried when I initially discovered that Earth Defense Force 2017, an under the radar budget shooter with an emphasis on wanton destruction, was getting a sequel. Based on a series of titles by Japanese developers D3 Publisher and Sandlot studios, this new title would be handled by American studio Vicious Cycle Software. How did they manage one of the most entertaining pick-up-and-play titles in years?

Well, in a word: Awesome. The series revival runs with the original concept that made EDF such an appealing adventure, scaling back on some aspects while raising the bar on others. There are bugs to blast and giant robots to bring down in satisfying city rocking explosions as Earth Defense Force returns to its ambiguous bargain-bin glory.

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[Review] Shadows of the Damned June 23, 2011

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It’s impossible to look at Shadows of the Damned and ignore its pedigree, and when you have a game made by a dream-team of Japanese developers like Suda51 (No More Heroes, Killer7), Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil, Vanquish), and music by Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill), why would you?

You play as a demon hunter, Garcia Hotspur. When Fleming, the lord of the dead, becomes fed up with you killing his minions, he personally whisks your girlfriend Paula away to Hell. Accompanied by a shapeshifting magical skull named Johnson, you head into the underworld to save your damsel and put a bullet between each of Fleming’s six eyes.

More after the jump.

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[Review] [Analysis] “One Chance”: Breaking the Game December 8, 2010

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A while ago I argued that choice in games lacks impact, that decisions more often than not boil down to the superficial. I came to the conclusion that most of these choices lack emotional weight because games, by their very nature, allow you to replay and reset, thus removing consequence and, most importantly, regret.

One Chance is a Flash game made by AwkwardSilenceGames. You play as John, a scientist who discovers the cure for cancer, a gas that only kills cancer cells. It’s not until this gas is released across the entire planet that we find that it kills all cells. Humanity is now facing annihilation in six days and it’s up to you to decide how you will spend your time.

The catch is, as the name implies, that you only have one chance. You can only play the game once and you have to live with whatever choices you’ve made. It’s an art game whose execution is questionable and pathos heavy-handed, but regardless it’s an interesting thought experiment and there are much worse ways to spend 15 minutes.

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[Review] Vanquish October 27, 2010

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Whether you love or are indifferent to Vanquish depends on one thing. If you view the word “ridiculous” as a compliment or an insult. If you’re the former, my friend, you are in for a real treat. The latter may need some cajoling, but if like a challenge, speed, or are looking for something unlike anything you’ve ever played, you can’t go wrong with Vanquish. Now if only the level of nirvana the game transcends you to wasn’t so brief.

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[Review] Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game August 15, 2010

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If I remember correctly, and my memories aren’t candy-coated with nostalgia, back in the 90’s, tie-in games were either very terrible platformers or pretty good arcade beat-em-ups. I remember going to the local bowling alley and pumping quarter after quarter into The Simpsons or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade games whenever I could. Now about 15 years later we have another game to add to the list of good 90’s arcade brawlers, Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game.
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[Review] Makoto DLC August 11, 2010

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Last round. It all comes down to this. Who will win the BlazBlue Bonanza? Ready? REBEL 3! FIGHT!

Today we take a look at the first batch of DLC for BlazBlue Continuum Shift, Makoto Nanaya, a bouncy squirrel-girl who inexplicably yells “SPOOOON!” when she attacks. She’ll set you back a hefty 560 MS points or $7.99 on the Playstation Network (which is $1 more than on the Xbox, despite it being the same content). In the pack you get the character, 12 extra costume colors, her powered up unlimited mode, and her stage music. Find out more about BlazBlue Continuum Shift‘s second-most scantily clad fighter after the jump and keep reading for something that will probably spawn into a debate on DLC!

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[Review] BlayzBloo Super Melee Brawlers Battle Royale August 9, 2010

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Welcome to part 2 of The Pixelation Room’s BlazBlue Bonanza. Today we’re reviewing the humorously titled BlayzBloo Super Melee Brawlers Battle Royale. So without further ado, REBEL 2! FIGHT!

BlayzBloo Super Melee Brawlers Battle Royale (or simply BBSMBBR so I don’t get carpal tunnel) is a downloadable game for the Nintendo DSi and DSi XL. This little game features cute, chibi members of the BlazBlue cast battling it out in 3D arenas similar to Power Stone or Super Smash Bros. Is it enough of a diversion to to be worth 500 Nintendo Points, or should you just save that $5 for it’s big brother Continuum Shift?

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[Review] BlazBlue Continuum Shift August 8, 2010

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Welcome, challengers to part one (or should I say Rebel 1) of The Pixelation Room’s BlazBlue Bonanza. In this installment, we’re bringing out the big guns, a review of BlazBlue Continuum Shift.

BlazBlue (pronounced Blaze, not Blaaz) is a 2D fighting game series from Arc System Works, the creators of Guilty Gear. The first game, 2009′s BlazBlue Calamity Trigger became popular for it’s huge HD sprites and deep mechanics, and in true fighting game tradition, we are receiving annual incremental updates. Does BlazBlue Continuum Shift have enough new content to justify it’s $40 price tag? Find out after the jump.

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Machinarium’s Pirate Amnesty Pack August 6, 2010

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Machinarium is an absolutely phenomenal game. You may not have heard of it, but this indie gem by Amanita Designs was one of the best games of 2009. You know, that year that had Uncharted 2 in it, so that’s saying something.

Well, according to Amanita, it seems that only 5 – 15% of players have actually paid for it. Ouch. Now they’re giving pirates a chance to make up for their transgressions by charging a paltry $5 for the game and the entire soundtrack until August 12th (after which the game goes back to $20).

You have absolutely no reason not to buy this game.

It’s a classic point-and-click adventure game starring a robot that can extend/shrink his body and limbs as he explores a robotic city in search of his lady love.

It has a gorgeous, meticulously crafted hand-drawn art style. If you’ve seen Howl’s Moving Castle, and remember how the titular castle looked and moved, it’s pretty much that, but an entire game. With adorable robots. Just look at the picture above and imagine it in motion.

The included soundtrack by Tomas Dvorak is without hyperbole, one of the best and most unique soundtracks I’ve ever heard in a game (especially the track “Mr. Handagote”), Dvorak even wrote a special “Pirate Amnesty Tune” for the occasion.

You can play a demo in your browser of the first couple of levels at Machinarium.net, and buy the game here. It works on PC, Mac, and Linux. I’m going to buy it a second time.

Interactive 8-Bit Twilight Game is Amazing July 1, 2010

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It took something truly special to bring me out of hiding, and here it is: The 8-Bit Twilight Eclipse Interactive Game.

Made by The Station and Doc Octoroc (the guy who made the wonderful 8-Bit Dr. Horrible), this take on the newest Twilight movie is hilarious. Thanks to a clever use of YouTube annotations, you too can choose to play baseball during a thunderstorm, pick Jacob, or just go “F*** it” and leave Forks forever.

Enjoy.