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Showing posts from September, 2014

ZAGG Glass for HTC One M8

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Specs: Material: Tempered glass Hardness: 9H Thickness: 0.4mm Clarity: 100% clear
ZAGG is a company that reminds me of Osprey. The quality meets the price head-on, and a lifetime replacement guarantee finishes off the sale before you have the thought to say no. I generally try to stay away from things that look too good to be true (nano-fibers and 4-layer glass is invincible and protects my screen?) but in this case, everyone around me was banging the drum so I took the leap.

The first thing I noticed was the price. 40-dollars for a screen protector is a lot more than what I'm used to spending because even a four-pack of decent plastic ones will only run you about 10 dollars. The second thing I saw was ZAGG's promise of this being the only screen protector I'll ever need for the rest of my life. Honestly, even as a battle-hardened reviewer of tech, the confidence of the company really sold me on their product.

I need to now say that if you get this screen protector at specific…

The Novelist Review

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Released: December 10, 2013
Platforms: Mac, PC
Players: 1
Publisher: Orthogonal Games
Developer: Orthogonal Games

The Novelist is a unique experience in the realm of games. There's no major action sequences or quick time events, no ammo or waves of enemies. The main part of The Novelist deals with decisions that could impact anyone's life. The game makes you think about what kind of person you are and what is truly important to you.

You play as a spirit that inhabits the house the Kaplan family is staying. Dan, the father, is a novelist who hopes that the change of scenery will help his writer's block. His wife Linda is an aspiring painter who wants to fix their relationship. Their son Tommy is a typical child who wants to spend time with his father and do what he can to help him with his writing. As the spirit of the house your job is to look for clues to find what each family member wants and choose which actions they'll do. While the game focuses on the Kaplans at night…

Angry Birds Epic

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The Angry Birds brand got big because the developers were lucky. Think of how many games on the app store have you seen cute characters doing something unique to touchscreen devices. It was the right price at the right time and the first game was released when smart phones and tablets really started to take off. Angry Birds Epic is Rovio's attempt at staying relevant and, more importantly, making money.

Angry Birds Epic is a different way to experience the same story that we're used to. Pigs stole the birds' eggs and instead of suicide bombing the pigs' poorly designed structures, the birds now want to take the fight to the fantasy realm and battle them in turn-based combat. We're told the story through picture overlays and small animations on the world map.
Angry Birds Epic is a 2D, turn-based role-playing game set in a geographically diverse world. By Rovio's standards, the game captures the look and feel of the Angry Birds universe perfectly. You'll tra…

Costume Quest: Grubbins on Ice

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Double Fine's one and only DLC offering for Costume Quest is a good one that does the franchise justice. There's new costumes, situations, enemies, and puzzles to solve - this time in more of a Christmas setting. This time around, Lucy stumbles across a portal to another dimension and is the one in need of a good saving. It turns out, the portal leads to the monster world and there's a threat even bigger than they were last Halloween: the Repugiarchs. The dimensional portals also provide a nice hint on how Costume Quest 2 will play out.

Grubbins on Ice took me about 3 hours to complete 100-percent. There's plenty to do and a lot of extra little somethings to distract you from the main quest, not to mention it is about half as big as the game it added to - which is nice. Instead of explicitly traveling to three unique areas, there are three interconnected towns, which almost wipes loading times completely.

It's the same Costume Quest we loved before the DLC's re…

Costume Quest

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Games aren't generally traditions for me. I buy, I play, sometimes I review, then I move on. Costume Quest, however, is a game that I've made a point to play every year sometime around October. Costume Quest is what Halloween was in the imagination of creative kids back in the day, you weren't just dressed as a favorite cartoon character or a superhero, you were what you wore. It is a simple game, which does appear a little more shallow and aimed at a younger audience, but there's nothing stopping me from enjoying it every year.

In the opening minutes of the game, you choose either Reynold (brother) or Wren (sister) to play as. Whichever one you didn't choose is wearing quite the embarrassing costume compared to the other's work of art. Unfortunately, the sibling you didn't choose gets kidnapped, and it's up to you to save him or her, make some friends, and load up on candy in the process.

Every bit of story is told to us through cutscenes with speech …

Super Sanctum TD

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Super Sanctum TD is - as the name would imply - a Tower Defense game set in the Sanctum universe. There's not really a narrative in the game, as you go level to level and try to defeat increasingly hard waves of enemies. The whole concept of being in an arcade machine in the "Sanctum HQ" was pretty cool though. The game lasts as long as you want to play it, really. There's quite a few levels and options to make this cheaper title promising.

If you've played either Sanctum 1 or 2, you'll be familiar with the look and feel of Super Sanctum TD. All of the towers and enemies have been taken out of the flagship games of the series. The one complaint I have is the resolution. I understand that this was a side-project at best, but I couldn't pick an HD resolution that fills up my screen - so there's always the two black bars on both sides. Everything about the sound design is general Tower Defense. All the guns, weapons, aliens, etc. all make different soun…

Watchdogs

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I'm not sure if I maybe wasn't in the right mood when I played Watchdogs or what was going on, but for me - the bad and annoying drastically outdid the good and excitement. I have always had a knack for having glitches disrupt my play experiences when I have a mind to review a game, but there were a lot in this case. I played through and beat Watchdogs not because of the story or the fun (for the most part) gameplay, I played through it because I felt obligated to finish.

You play as 30-something hacker, Aiden Pearce. Swearing off the hacker lifestyle due to a traumatic incident, Aiden vows to put his family on the forefront. To write what this game is about feels like writing a high school freshman's English assignment prompt. It's not long at all before Aiden must embrace the life he left behind to save what little family he has left.

We're told the story through cutscenes and Aiden's yammering on to himself. Honestly as the story progressed, I stopped think…

The Wolf Among Us

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We all know the story of Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, Beauty and the Beast, and all the other classic fairy tales. What The Wolf Among Us shows us is the story of what happens after the stories. Acting as a prequel to Bill Willingham's Fables (published by DC Vertigo) Wolf Among Us shows us what happens when Bigby Wolf (Big Bad Wolf) comes across the first murder of a Fable.

Telltale Games has shown us, especially lately with The Walking Dead, that it can tell an amazing story that draws the player in and makes them care about the characters and consequences. The opening credits drew me in instantly with it's gorgeous presentation that manages to be both colorful and dark. The noir setting is apparent as soon as you start talking to Mr. Toad. The cockney toad is the one who called you, and the foul mouthed landlord is up for an argument about hiding his true appearance. In the background the crashes coming from upstairs remind me of why I'm there so I head…

Mercenary Kings

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Mercenary Kings is a futuristic 2D Monster Hunter of sorts, with an emphasis on freedom on how the player decides to develop their character. Done entirely with gorgeous pixel art and animations, Mercenary Kings ironically looks great on a system that's been created to get us closer to photorealism in video games. I was actually really excited for Mercenary Kings to come out, after many delays and no real set-in-stone answers, PlayStation Plus members finally got it (for free, I might add). I was actually not that impressed when I played it. I gave it more than a fair shake, but it was too slow for me to get into it the way I had always thought I would.
In the game, you are part of the "Mercenary Kings," a skilled team of hired-hands, but when your comrades have fallen and the forces of CLAW have seized an island-wide top secret Laboratory Base, you must do what you can to stop them. But you're not going in alone. Your back-up is made of a crew of geniuses and exper…

The Last of Us Remastered

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The Last of Us has had some of the best scores in the industry across the board. I actually missed it during its initial release, completely acknowledging that I wasn't ignorant to the critical praise it was getting. I guess you could say I felt it in my bones that it would get a PlayStation 4 re-release, and here we are. The Last of Us Remastered is a very good game. It's close to perfection, had a great story and pretty fantastic gameplay elements.

The world has gone to the dogs more or less. There's been an outbreak that's turning people into, what is essentially, zombies. You play primarily as Joel, who is somebody that has seen the world both before and after things went south. Joel is tasked with one goal - to escort young woman Ellie to safety within the ranks of a rebel group named the Fireflies.

We're told the story in about three ways. While walking around, you'll get a good bit of exposition from the conversation of characters in-game and away from …

Clash of Clans

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If you want to enjoy Clash of Clans, get yourself leveled up to a reasonable standing, join a clan and wage war against other players. The fun in Clash of Clans doesn't come from waiting weeks for one building to upgrade, constantly spending time and resources on troops, or the toxic player community - the fun comes from succeeding in combat against another human player, and setting up an impenetrable defense.

The story is paper-thin because there really doesn't need to be a story to a game like this. Goblins messed with your camp once, so you try to destroy all of their bases in the single-player campaign. Clash of Clans looks very ho-hum. From having a severely ugly app picture to the same building types we've seen a thousand times before with barely any visual flair. The sound design also sings a similar tune with grunts, projectile sounds, and other grating noises.
The meat of the game is battling and defending, and the annoying majority of the game is resource manage…