Tales of Illyria: Beyond the Iron Wall Review

Several months ago, I stumbled onto Tales of Illyria while looking for something sRPG-ish on the Android platform. While it’s more of a choose-your-own-adventure/RPG/Oregon Trail hybrid, I was nevertheless hooked, so I couldn’t help but be extremely excited when the sequel was announced. Amazon’s app store evidently updates slower that Google Play’s store, however, and I checked for Beyond the Iron Wall’s release there every day for almost a month to no avail. Just when I was starting to feel ridiculous for holding out hope, it finally appeared, and I wound up snatching it up for even less than the 7-dollar price I was expecting. Despite being a bit rough around the edges (as newer releases tend to be; I played the original Illyria some time after its release, so a lot of the bugginess had been fixed by then), it proved to be every bit as enjoyable as I had hoped, and that’s saying a lot after a month of built-up expectations. Read more →

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines Review

As a game, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is stunningly imperfect, but undeniably one-of-a-kind and addictive. As Troika’s swan song, it’s a perfect example of the kind of unfettered creativity (and subsequent bugginess) that they had quickly become known for as developers. The story of Troika is ultimately a short, sad one, but it’s impossible to look at Arcanum and Bloodlines and not feel that they succeeded where most developers have failed; not only are Troika’s games some of the most interesting and unique games ever made, but they’re also among the elite few classics that remain consistently playable despite their age. Read more →

Baldur’s Gate 2 Review

In terms of sheer quality, Baldur’s Gate 2 is miles ahead of its predecessor, the annoying and generally sloppy Baldur’s Gate. Everything seems to be improved, and while there are still troublesome bugs in some versions (most notably, unpatched disc versions and the awful Enhanced Edition), it’s an experience that needs to be experienced to be believed. Read more →

Tales of Illyria Review

It’s not unfair to look at Android and iOS games as though they’re beneath “ordinary” gaming, especially with simplistic, cartoonish wastes of time designed to milk you out of your money through micro-transactions making up so much of the market. Every so often, however, a game comes along that forces you to think better of mobile gaming as a whole. For iOS, that game would definitely be Chaos Rings 2. For Android, I’d have to give that honor to the surprisingly incredible, micro-transaction-free Tales of Illyria. Read more →

The Operative: No One Lives Forever Review

The Operative: No One Lives Forever (or NOLF for short) is one of those games that made a huge splash when released, drawing favorable comparisons to Valve’s genre-defining Half Life, but then suddenly vanished without a trace. Nowadays, whenever you hear someone talking about the greatest shooters of all time, you’ll undoubtedly hear Half Life and Goldeneye immediately mentioned, but never No One Lives Forever. That’s a huge mistake, though, because NOLF is every bit as memorable and amazing as those two games. Read more →

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Review

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a pretty game. Really, really, unbelievably pretty, in fact, even if it’s not the most graphically advanced game out there. It’s also a linear game, and while that’s rare enough these days to be considered by some to be a flaw (which is ridiculous—not every game has to be an open-world kill-fest), it allows the writing to slowly build up the complicated-but-believable friendship of main characters Monkey and Trip. Read more →

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