If You're Disappointed With No Man's Sky, Try Xenoblade Chronicles X

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Aug 18, 2016 12:00:00 PM

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Trembling disappointment has engulfed the gaming landscape. The messianic No Man's Sky, a game that fans literally launched death threats over reports of its delay, has finally be released.

Some people liked it. Some found it wanting. Word is that it's boring, aimless, endless, and zen. That's pretty bold, releasing a game with so few objectives. Then again, Minecraft didn't make 1 billion dollars by accident.

To those of you who feel disappointed over No Man's Sky, don't sweat it. There's a zen-like alien-planet exploration game with vehicles and endless, freakish alien monsters.

Here's why you should give Xenoblade Chronicles X a shot:

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Topics: video games, Wii U Review

Unfinished Video Game Micro-Reviews: Monster Hunter 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Max Payne 3, and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: May 31, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Included here are four micro-reviews for major video game releases from a few years ago. You may remember them. You may not. Still, enough time has passed to give them a more thorough, unbiased perspective.

There is tremendous hype and mindshare that influences criticism on creative endeavors. I pointed this out in my study of Paradise Lost ages ago. As they are now, videogames are disposable candy snacks, like a rockabilly single from the 1950's, meant to spin on a radio turntable for a month, only to be replaced by the next single. Then very smart people started enjoying music, listening to music, and producing music of their own.

The same can be said of film. Formerly just little image reels, movies got, uh, big, to put it lightly, and EVERYONE wants to BE movies, be they athlete, rapper, or videogame. That artisitc perspective came with time.

I will not flex any muscle to say the micro-reviews included below are set to become celebrated triumphs five decades from now. None of them is the Citizen Kane of videogames (we won't know that for about 20 years after the assumed videogame is released). Nevertheless, these are THINKABLE games.

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Topics: Review, Wii U Review, Game Review, PS3 Review

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge | Nintendo Wii U review

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: May 1, 2014 12:00:00 PM

"The last of his people comes to a strange land."

part i | Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge is a suicide note

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As a reminder, only sociopaths take full, physical glee in videogame violence.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge positions the series' main character, Ryu Hayabusa, as an outdated, barbaric relic. All he does is slaughter. He's kept his face hidden. He hardly talks. His favorite weapon is a sword, one sharp enough to hack off limbs. You can't track him. His agility is inhuman. Other global forces from outside Japan whisper tall tales about the ninja and just how many people he has killed in his life. The actions of a videogame character are being dragged into a realer light—what, did you think nobody would notice when you just spent two full games leaping over rooftops, summoning demons to modern cities, killing the demons, beheading people, and then vanishing off into the secluded hills of Japan. It's like, man, Japan is full of psychos, isn't it?

In games and in real life, I mean. Right? There is a western videogame producer somewhere snorting over his early-morning Monster Energy Drink, wondering who makes a game where your avatar is a masked, remorseless bladestorm in this day and age? When will the Japanese learn that that isn't what videogames are about anymore?

Ryu the super-ninja is outdated.

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Topics: Review, Wii U Review, Game Review

New Super Luigi U | Nintendo Wii U game review

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Jun 26, 2013 12:00:00 PM

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"...it's more like Luigi's Adventures In International Waters: The Emerald Pants Mystery."

I had to be somewhere. We both had to be somewhere. There was precious little time.

I pointed at the screen and kept my eyes on my brother, and I bet him $20 that I could beat level D-4, the final level in Super Mario Lost Levels for SNES, on one try. I didn't have the money to pay if I lost. The bet was made anyway.

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Topics: Review, Wii U Review

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