Events
X14
Sunset Overdrive – Initial Impressions

By Evan Bergstra - September 24th, 2014

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You know how action movies and comedies tend to be pretty formulaic, but consumers keep going to see the same recycled content anyway? People like to stick with what they know, and studios like placing safe bets. Generally speaking, games are often designed with the same approach. The aesthetic and story will try to be sufficiently distinguishable to have a hook, but the overall experience will mirror many games that preceded it. It’s especially nice, then, when a studio takes more of a risk and builds something that taps into several genres rather than one, and here is where we get to my subject. At this year’s Xbox Media Showcase I was treated to the first 40 minutes of Sunset Overdrive and then chatted a bit with Marcus Smith from Insomniac Games. Both experiences were quite pleasant.

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Reviews
ZTE Grand X
Affordable Quality

By Seán O'Sullivan - September 23rd, 2014

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With the launch of the $150 off-contract ZTE Grand X in Canada, ZTE claims that they are delivering “all the features consumers want, at the price they need.” Does the Grand X deliver on the lofty promise of delivering a premium experience for a fraction of the cost of the top-end?

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Holy Editions, Batman!
Batman: Arkham Knight
Has Two Special Editions

By Jorge Figueiredo - September 23rd, 2014

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Love them or hate them, special editions of videogames definitely offer collectors a lot of goodies for the money. While the contents of these versions can add a fair bit to the price of a game that you might want, there are some compelling items within that can make it worth your while if you are a big fan of the franchises that offer them. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment recently announced that Batman: Arkham Knight is scheduled to release next year (worldwide) beginning on June 2, 2015. They also revealed some pretty cool collector’s editions that blew us away.

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Worth iTrying
Stronghold 3: The Campaigns

By Sharad Hirjee - September 22nd, 2014

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Stronghold 3 for the PC was released back in 2011. Now Firefly Studios, the developer has decided to reach out in a new direction, taking the franchise into the iOS world. I have always found the act of publishing a single game on different platforms an interesting challenge, as it can really impact the user experience. Battlefield 3, for instance, feels like an entirely different game on a PC when compared to a gaming console. I find that the conversion of games from PC to iOS to be especially interesting (the physical size and the lack of a mouse being the most obvious limitations); but I will go into a bit more depth later as I talk about my experience with Stronghold 3: The Campaigns for the iPad, developed by Digital Tribe.

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Events
X14
Interview With Jeff Rivait

By Jorge Figueiredo - September 22nd, 2014

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At X14 there was no shortage of people to talk to. Between the various developers, public relations folks and Microsoft reps, there were many great conversations to be had. I was lucky enough to hang out with Jeff Rivait from Microsoft Canada for a few minutes to chat a little bit about upcoming Microsoft goodness.

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Reviews
Metrico

By Jorge Figueiredo - September 21st, 2014

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Many of our favourite games are established franchises. These games each have their own basic premise and, because the market demands it, the developers create subsequent titles with improvements. Sometimes these modifications to the formula are minor and sometimes not – but innovation in the form of new features keeps things interesting. Every once in a while, a non-AAA game comes along that is so unique that it makes its mark in our minds with little effort. Metrico, by Digital Dreams, is an action-puzzle-platformer for the Playstation Vita that is very different from the norm, and is the very essence of “a little goes a long way”.

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Behind the Curtain
Reclaiming Reclaim
Inspiration From a Review

By Toronto Thumbs Staff - September 20th, 2014

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Toronto Thumbs has been around for a while now, and we have always tried to be a fun site to read. We strive for honestly, and our approach to reviews is to pretend that we are sitting down and talking to a friend about something that we played. If we liked it, we say why we liked it; if we don’t, we say what we feel is wrong and how we think it can be fixed. While, at times, our frustration may get the better of us, we do try to be as professional as humanly possible. Invariably, we often get feedback on reviews that we write, and we though it would be interesting (with permission from our contacts) to share what can be a positive experience.

This first entry in the Behind the Curtain column was inspired by an exchange between one of our writers (Dave McLean) and the person representing No-Pact’s iOS title, Reclaim. Dave wasn’t happy with the game, but I feel that the follow up discussion was constructive. The conversation has been converted to fit into a dialogue format.

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