Replay – Too Human

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Too Human was a flagship title for the Xbox 360, billed as the first entry of a massive planned RPG trilogy and often spoken of in the same breath as Mass Effect. The final product left a lot to be desired and the other two entries never appeared. This week we're examining why.

The game was in development as early as 1999 for release on PlayStation. It moved over to GameCube after developer Silicon Knights struck a deal with Nintendo, but finally landed on the Xbox 360 in 2008. It debuted to mostly negative reviews, including Game Informer's, which garnered a surprising amount of heat towards our magazine from readers.

Andrew Reiner and Joe Juba, who talk about the strange circumstance of reviewing the game, join myself and Jeff Cork to chat about the ultimately failed attempt to launch a new gaming franchise. For our second segment, we go in blind on a game that came out way before Too Human.

Test Chamber – A Symphony Of Destruction In Dangerous Golf

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Dangerous Golf is out now, and it's a virtual playground of destruction that not only makes you cackle with glee as the levels are blown up around you, but one which also challenges your imagination. In this edition of Test Chamber, Matthew Kato and Andrew Reiner head to locations around the globe to sink some putts and cause plenty of mayhem along the way.

Of course, it's not as simple as simply gripping it and ripping it. Careful planning, different playstyles and level modifiers all make each hole unique.

The game is available digitally on Steam, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, and it features a single- and co-op (offline) tour, as well as a few multiplayer options. 

Our Bold E3 2016 Predictions

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Everyone gets to be an armchair quarterback at E3, tearing apart presentations, making fun of demos, and occasionally gushing over the times when everything goes right. Another big part of the show happens before the doors even open, as people do their best to guess what's ahead. Today, we're planting our flags into the ground and giving you our boldest predictions for E3 2016.

Mass Effect Andromeda Is Similar To Destiny (But With Storytelling)Commander Shepard’s tale ended with Mass Effect 3, and our hunch is that it also marked the end of it being a single-player focused experience. The original trilogy featured a robust multiplayer mode, and we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the future of the series incorporates multiplayer into the campaign, similar to how Bungie did with Destiny. But BioWare being BioWare, we’d also expect them to deliver narrative in a much more satisfying way.

Can Romance Be Portrayed Well In Games?

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Can Romance Be Portrayed Well In Games?

Ah, romance. We all know love and heartbreak to some degree, so we shouldn't be surprised when video games attempt to represent more complex relationships. Some video game love affairs stand out because they’re natural and believable, such as Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher. Others are memorable for giving us choice, such as Dragon Age, The Witcher, and Persona.

Romances can be difficult to pull off in a video game. Unlike a movie or book, video games have to allow players to directly participate in the experience, which takes some of the narrative control out of creators' hands. Jeff Cork and I have both been thinking about this topic a lot lately, and wanted to chat about whether or not games can tell compelling, realistic romantic tales.  

Funny To A Point – It's Time To Lighten Up

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Funny To A Point – It's Time To Lighten Up

Congratulations! If you're reading this, it means you've accidentally clicked on the inaugural edition of Funny To A Point, a new bi-weekly humor column about video games. I promise it's the best mistake you'll make all day. I'm the author of Funny To A Point, Jeff Marchiafava. You might know me as the guy who is super good at playing games the way they're supposed to be played, or as the jerk who makes fun of Pokémon, JRPGs, and all the other games you cherish so dearly (sorry about that!).

I've done more humor-oriented features over the years than I can (or care to) remember. To me, there's a natural intersection between comedy and video games. Not just because games are funny (intentionally or otherwise), but because they both play tricks on us for our own benefit and delight. As comedic genius Dane Cook once said, "Comedy is all a giant illusion; if I can get you to believe one thing, and then surprise you with the other, that surprise will get inside you and make you laugh until you don't even know anymore." That quote doesn't even make sense – but if you thought I was serious when I called Dane Cook a comedic genius, and you now realize that I was totally joking, you probably find that pretty funny. (Also, I made up the quote, so I tricked you again – see how much fun we're already having?)

Readers Show Off Their Best Uncharted 4 Screenshots

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Readers Show Off Their Best Uncharted 4 Screenshots

Last month, we asked our readers to use the game's built-in photo mode to capture the most breathtaking moments of their Uncharted 4 playthrough. We received hundreds, if not thousands, of screenshots. Nearly all of them were gorgeous and impressive, but we had to narrow it down. We wanted to share some of our favorites that we received.

Warning: Though we tried to avoid including major spoilers in this post, some minor spoilers are present.

All screenshots are the work of the credited reader. Header image by DJ Klose.

Why 1979 Revolution: Black Friday Is Worth Your Time

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Why 1979 Revolution: Black Friday Is Worth Your Time

I recently played through 1979 Revolution: Black Friday and found it to be an intriguing adventure that borrows heavily from the Telltale gameplay model, where players determine how a story plays out by participating in dialogue scenes and making difficult choices. Situated in the 1979 revolution in Iran, the game lets you live out this scenario to see how it affects the protagonist and the lives of others. 1979 Revolution takes place during the few days leading up to the infamous Black Friday, an event that saw nearly a hundred protesters killed by the Iranian army on the streets of Iran's capital, Tehran.

Creator Navid Khonsari lived through the revolution when he was young, and 1979 Revolution is based on several interviews, eye witness accounts, and real people, tapping into the lesser known genre of video game documentaries. In Iran, the game has since been branded as pro-Western propaganda by the media, and Khonsari fears he may not be able to return to his home country. You can read my review here, but fellow editor Elise Favis and I wanted to do a bit of a deeper dive and talk about what’s so interesting about this interactive adventure.

Javy Gwaltney (J): So Elise, you just finished 1979 Revolution: Black Friday, right? What did you think about it?

Test Chamber – The Many Improvements Of Odin Sphere Leifthrasir

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A beautiful gem of the PS2 era gets a second chance with Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, an action/RPG from developer Vanillaware. The studio's signature visual style looks even better than ever with this remaster, but don't just expect a prettier version of the original. With many new tweaks and additions, the changes are more substantial than you might expect.

Join me and Matt Miller as we take a quick look at the original mechanics in Leifthrasir's included "classic mode" before jumping into the "refined mode" where all of the improvements are on display.  From excited combat to streamlined inventory management, we hit on points big and small that help Odin Sphere Leifthrasir go above and beyond.

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