Xbox One


Reviews
#IDARB
What would you do with a red box?

By Jorge Figueiredo - February 2nd, 2015

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​If you have ever wondered what it would be like to play a game made from the distilled spirits of lacrosse, Jumpman, Smash Bros., and hyperactivity, then you really need to check out #IDARB. Co-developed by Other Ocean and people of the internet (yes, you read that correctly), this crazy-competitive retro 2D multi-player jetpack-jumping sports game plays very much like an arcade brawler: sure, you can button-mash and hope for the best, but the truly good players can actually make a method from the madness and kick major butt. It’s a game that everyone can get into (the more the merrier), it plays well at parties, and there are enough things to do outside of the main game that there is value even if you are on your own. Plus, the game is always growing thanks to Other Ocean’s crowd-sourced…er…sourcing.

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Reviews
The Crew

By Jorge Figueiredo - January 28th, 2015

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With the release of both Forza Horizon 2 and Driveclub at the end of last year, one would think that everyone’s racing needs were met – but this is not the case. While both of those proved themselves to be great videogames, one would be remiss if they did not try out Ubisoft’s The Crew. While perhaps not as pretty as Forza or as technical as Driveclub, The Crew brings new meaning to the term “open world”. Sure, it’s not perfect; the game occasionally suffers from repetition and a silly story – but if you love arcade driving games it is probably one of the most fun titles out there in the genre – and the social aspect makes for some really great experiences.

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Reviews
Kalimba

By Jorge Figueiredo - January 26th, 2015

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‎I am a sucker for a game with a great story, especially a tale with a folksy twist. Kalimba, developed by Press Play for the Xbox One, tells a decent tale and keeps players hooked with its clever, twitchy, dual-character colour-based puzzle-platforming mechanics. While there are moments of head-scratching frustration, Kalimba is enjoyable overall, and thanks to co-op game-play, has extended value for those who enjoy sharing their gaming experiences with a friend. This game is a no-frills thrill that reinforces that age-old adage: practice makes perfect.

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First Impressions
Halo 5 Beta

By Evan Bergstra - January 19th, 2015

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It won’t be news to you that 343 Industries ran a beta of Halo 5: Guardians featuring an online multi-player preview. It launched just after Christmas for gamers with a copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One, and was available until January 18th. While the game won’t be released until fall 2015, gamers are getting a chance to try out the next-gen Halo experience and, more importantly, give developers a chance to crowdsource some debugging and a bit of consumer feedback. Given the cultural moment we’re going through with regards to the launch integrity of AAA releases, this is a pretty good move on the part of the studio, but I’ll get to that later. First off: the game.

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Reviews
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions

By Jorge Figueiredo - January 8th, 2015

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‎To me, Geometry Wars has always been the embodiment of old-timey gaming values. Back in the olden days of gaming there were no checkpoints, nor were there difficulty levels – there was just…the game. Anyone who ever poured quarters into PAC-MAN ot Galaxian knows what I’m talking about – games in which the first few waves seem almost too simple, and are later replaced by insanity. Your reflexes have to be able to keep up – or its back to square one. Those were the halcyon days where timing and wits were your only resources – and Lucid Games returns once again to these values in Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions for next-gen (and last-gen) consoles. While there are a few more twists, the essence of the game is still the same – and it is still hella fun.

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New Year’s Resolutions
Shape Up
Review

By Jorge Figueiredo - January 7th, 2015

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‎Years ago, Ubisoft ushered in a videogame fitness revolution with their Your Shape series on the Nintendo Wii. It wasn’t a surprise when the Kinect came out for the Xbox 360 that Ubisoft was on top of the situation with a Your Shape game specific to that platform. Of course, other developers ended up populating the space with superior products. Ubisoft’s Your Shape series was decent on its own, but in comparison with other fitness games, it didn’t deliver enough benefits relative to its serious tone, and would become less engaging as time went on. Now, Ubisoft has changed gears, releasing Shape Up for the Xbox One. This Kinect-exclusive fitness title puts more of am emphasis on the “game” aspect in an attempt to get players to exercise more. Honestly, this game is a lot more fun than any other game in the Your Shape series, thanks to a great exercise list and hilarious presentation.

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Fashionably Late Reviews
Assassin’s Creed: Unity

By Jorge Figueiredo - December 17th, 2014

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As a fan of the Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series, I look forward to the annual release of the next chapter in the franchise every year. Some may say that this gives me a bias towards the series – and they would be right. However, I would argue that biases are formed for a reason, and while my love of the series makes me somewhat forgiving when something goes awry, it also makes me very sensitive when odd design choices are made and issues exist within the games that I play. Assassin’s Creed: Unity is an ambitious project; incredibly detailed and absolutely beautiful – the first true next-generation Assassin’s Creed. At times, though, it feels as if Ubisoft places more importance on the tech than the story, so the game spends a little time wandering aimlessly (in a sense), leaving the player to truly guide the experience. I have not finished the game yet, and while I do have some negatives to speak of in my review, I am enjoying the game a lot (thus, I wish to take my time). It is a title that demands some patience and understanding, and as a player, you will have to work for your fun; but the game will constantly reward you for your loyalty and persistence, slowly feeding you the story and bolstering the big picture.

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