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    NBA 2K13 (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on December 16th, 2012

    Another year for the franchise NBA video game of the console, portable and pc world has come. NBA 2k13 is automatically the best NBA game you will play this season before you even flip on the game menu because no other outfit can get their act together long enough to produce a viable game. With that aside, I suppose NBA 2k13 could have rested on their laurels but instead we get a game that is introducing a lot of new concepts. Let us go forth and play this hardwood smash of putting the ball into the ole peach basket.
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    Spec Ops: The Line (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on July 14th, 2012

    Looking over my video game collection, there is certainly a feel of games that are either set in the past or set in the future with the exception of sports games and a couple of driving titles. In particular, I do not look at a shooter and think that I want to play something that takes place now. I am a sucker for fantasy and sci/fi shooters primarily. But today, I have just the opposite, a very realistic present day third-person shooter in the name of Spec Ops: The Line. Let us see how it plays.

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    Darkness, The II (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on February 29th, 2012

    The quickest way I know for me to like a game is to give it a strong story. Games like Bioshock, Mafia and Skyrim succeed based on the fact that they provide entertaining and engaging stories. The player wants to unravel the mystery, take down that crime family, and slay that dragon because the story compels them to do so. This time around, we look at the game of the Darkness II, which takes a look at the story of Jackie Estacado and his ever going battle with the demon simply known as the Darkness.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” A Scary Dose of Fiction: Condemned: Criminal Origins – Part Two (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on October 23rd, 2011

    When these 31 Nights of Terror started, I was pretty much set on spending time with both Condemned: Criminal Origins and the sequel Condemned 2: Bloodshot. As I got farther into researching the first adventure, I realized I rather keep on writing with the same material. There was certainly more story to tell and furthermore I liked what I was writing. Hopefully, you as the audience enjoyed it too. So here we go with the second part. Ethan’s story has only begun.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” A Scary Dose of Fiction – Condemned: Criminal Origins (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on October 17th, 2011

    Perhaps it is a cliché for a lot of review writers on here to aspire to be “published writers”. To go beyond the webpages that we put out two and three times a week (and in case of some hard working site owners and webmasters, two to three times daily) and produce a physical, published book. For many of us, it is a dream that we wish we could make a reality. Personally, I have had that dream for over twenty years and after hardships, setbacks and general depression, I find myself in a place where I finally feel I can write. Hopefully in these pages, we can consider this another step towards that fulfillment.
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    Top Spin 4 (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on April 18th, 2011

    Most people my age grew up watching tennis with the likes of John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors or those who went for female competition went with Anna Kournikova and the Williams sisters. Maybe with the later, competition isn’t the right word. Needless to say, tennis can be a very entertaining sport to watch. For the most part, the video game world really hasn’t made too many tennis games that are entertaining to play. Hopefully that changes with 2k’s latest game: Top Spin 4.
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    Major League Baseball 2k11 (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on April 14th, 2011

    Baseball has always been a passion for me. I played the game as a first baseman until my sophomore year in high school and have watched the sport as long as I was able to see it. I still have fond memories of my dad taking me to tons of games where the Charlotte O’s would play (an AA farm team for the Orioles). My favorite team? The Phillies (since the early 80’s). So naturally, I was pretty excited to see Roy Halladay grace the cover of MLB 2k11 for the Xbox 360. Here is hoping to another great year.
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    Fable III: Limited Edition (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on November 14th, 2010

    My relationship with Fable is a mostly satisfactory experience. When I first bought my Xbox 360, the first game I actually purchased on the backwards compatible list was Fable: The Lost Chapters. Delighted by the gameplay and fantastic story, I quickly pre-ordered a limited edition copy of Fable 2 which in turn became my favorite game ever on the Xbox 360. Now, with the third one released, I decided to follow the same itinerary by purchasing a LE copy. It’s time to lead a revolution.
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    Mafia II (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on September 3rd, 2010

    The sandbox style of games is a rather recent genre when compared to many of the old standbys. We could argue that the idea started as far back as Metroid or Legend of Zelda from the mid 1980’s. However, it was not popularized as a grand concept until the birth of Grand Theft Auto III. Since then, it seems that every time you turn around, you are presented with a new game in the open world. Enter Mafia II, a gritty game set in the 1940’s showing the ugly side of the mafia underworld. Can Vito and Joe set their sandbox apart?
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    Final Fight Double Impact (Xbox Live Arcade)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on May 12th, 2010

    Back in the day, I had a passion for side-scrolling beat em ups. Whether I was fighting with my bare knuckles, super powers or sword and sorcery, I liked them all. There were so many good ones: Double Dragon, X-Men Arcade, Knights of the Round and more. Apparently Capcom wants me to channel my gaming self from the early nineties and bring me two awesome games of the genre: Final Fight and Magic Sword, better known as Final Fight: Double Impact.
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    Data East Arcade Classics (Wii)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on March 5th, 2010

    Data East was a great video game company that lasted from 1976 to 2003 when it declared bankruptcy. It had an arcade & pinball heyday for most of the eighties with many fantastic titles. Luckily, most of the assets were bought up by a single company called G-Mode when Data East was forced to sell them off. Recently, Majesco worked with G-Mode and re-released fifteen of them in a very nice retro collection for the Nintendo Wii. With fingers crossed, we hope that this collection has aged well.

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    WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on November 9th, 2009

    The last time I had played a WWE wrestling game was way back in 2007. Triple H was on the cover looking more menacing than usual and I had played the game for a few solid months. But to be honest, I was burnt out and frustrated with the grappling system and spent the last few years messing with older wrestling titles and Fire Pro Wrestling Returns for the Playstation 2. Fast forward to late 2009 and I suddenly find myself excited for a WWE wrestling game once again. Hopefully clever marketing wasn’t the only reason.
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    Shadow Complex (Xbox Live Arcade)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on September 1st, 2009

    People rarely look for depth when it comes to games released on Xbox Live Arcade. This method of gaming mostly sees games that are puzzlers, recreations of once forgotten gems and the occasional sports diversion. A better word for these type of games: time wasters. However, most players wanted something more than a dumping ground for the newest falling block game, they wanted an awesome game in a small package at a thrifty price. Little do they know then that the people at Chair Entertainment have responded to that call and provided us with a game called Shadow Complex.
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    Rock Band Track Pack: Country (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on August 1st, 2009

    To say I’m not a country music fan is a bit of an overstatement. I’m not even sure what exactly possessed me to go to NewEgg.com and order a copy of Rock Band Country Track Pack. Oh yes, now I remember it was my fiancée and future wife, Sarah who thought I should be a little more diversified in my music. Apparently, 80’s hair rock was only popular in the late 80’s. I must have missed the memo. But surely, I have heard this thing called country before. I mean I attended more karaoke clubs in Texas during the mid to late 90’s than I care to think about. Once they were done throwing tomatoes at me after I finished my rendition of “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake, they usually threw on an old Garth Brooks or Clint Black tune.
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    Wolfenstein 3d (Xbox Live Arcade)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on June 15th, 2009

    It was the summer of 1993, this little review writer was on his way to college for the first time. Among the many things I took to college with me, one of them was a computer. The computer was top of the line at the time; a 486-33mhz processor chip and an 170 meg hard drive. I said meg. Windows 3.1/Dos 6.22 was the OS combination and it had one game on it besides Solitaire. A shareware copy of Wolfenstein 3d. The game had actually been already out for a year but it was a popular game and on my pc as included software.
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    Cellfactor: Psychokinetic Wars (Xbox Live Arcade)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on June 13th, 2009

    The original Cellfactor was actually a technical demo published back in 2006 by Immersion Games. It was made for the Ageia Physx series of cards which later became a part of NVidia. This demo showed off things we in the first person shooter community took for granted, barrels and boxes. Barrels and boxes have long been staples in games for doing absolutely nothing but existing (occasionally a barrel might explode but that’s it). Thru this demo, your character could use his psychic powers to throw the items and watch as they interact with the environment.
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    Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on March 6th, 2009

    There haven’t been many compilation discs out for the 360 yet. There were the Orange Box and a few Xbox Live Arcade compilation discs. There was also Namco Museum Virtual Arcade which despite the plethora of titles wasn’t much more than a bunch of Xbox Live Arcade games and some retro titles thrown in for the nostalgia factor. Most of us retro purists were waiting for a compilation title that put together not only classic games but blended it with the new technology into an invigorating harmony. Our time has come in the form of Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection.
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    World of Warcraft – Wrath of the Lich King (CE)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on December 12th, 2008

    The World of Warcraft is home to over eleven million people. Think about that figure for a moment. That’s the size of an Ohio or Michigan or even more astounding parallel to the number of people inside Tokyo, Japan. A bunch of people playing gnomes, trolls, orcs, night elves and more. For four years, players have battled through the original World of Warcraft and the adjoining expansion pack: The Burning Crusade which allowed characters to play in Outland and bring their character to 70 levels of pain, sacrifice and dedication. Now they have a new task. The Scourge has come to take over Azeroth and bring an end to all life. They are lead by the Lich King Arthas and nothing will stop them until their mission is completed. This opens up players to a whole new area called Northrend as well as bringing us a new class: the Death Knight. But is it enough to stop the forwarding advance of the Scourge Army and Arthas’ quest for blood?
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    Fable II LE (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on November 14th, 2008

    In 2004, the world received a top notch role playing game in the form of the original Fable for first Xbox console. It promised a lot of things, ideas and concepts that were sure to revolutionize the gaming world. The crew at Lionhead studios delivered on most of those promises and the game went well over double platinum. Among many things it promised, one of these was a true concept of good and evil. Every action has a reaction whether positive or negative. It was this concept and others that were expanded when it came to the making of Fable II. The game is dubbed by its designer Peter Molyneux as a game that even non-gamers should be able to enjoy. To be honest, he doesn’t even want traditional game reviewers to review the game. Lucky for him, tradition and me broke ties a long time ago.
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    Lego Batman (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on September 29th, 2008

    The Dark Knight movie did big business this year and most people were quite surprised there was no official video game for the movie. Anybody who was looking for a Batman fix after the movie either paid $8 to see the movie again or tried to re-enact scenes with their best friends in their basement. However, there was a little relief to be had. The wonderful teams behind Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones decided to go to market with a Lego Batman game. But instead of focusing on the recent movies such as Batman Begins & The Dark Knight they moved their focus to the past. Their inspiration seemed to come from the first 2 Batman films with Michael Keaton and a strong dash of the awesome animated series that ran during the same time period. Would Lego’s humor and strong gameplay succeed or would the jokes go as sour as any thought of Robin in a future Batman movie (especially one with Christian Bale)?

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    World Heroes Anthology (Playstation 2)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on June 12th, 2008

    World Heroes. When I was a teenager, one of my favorite games was World Heroes 2 for the Super Nintendo. I remember it distinctly because it was one of the last games I bought brand new for the SNES. I played the game for hours, then days and even into many assorted weeks trying to exploit all the characters from my favorites like Rasputin, Muscle Power, & Kim Dragon to even lesser characters like Johnny Maximum or Erick the Viking. With the exception of Mudman, (I never played Mudman and I’m still annoyed when fighting him to this very day) I beat the game with each and every character. This is one of my prouder achievements when it comes to fighting games, and with the exception of the Tekken series or compilations, the last fighting game I’ve really played for such a long stretch.
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    SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 (Playstation 2)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on May 28th, 2008

    The Neo-Geo console was one of my favorite consoles growing up. My parents never had the money for the home machine or the outrageously priced carts. However, that did not keep me from spending many quarters on the standups day in and day out. Most of my Neo Geo quarters were thrown into games such as Ninja Combat, Sengoku and Magician Lord. The rich graphics, the ahead of its time gameplay were all amazing beyond belief. Almost twenty years later, SNK decides to make a happy man. Sixteen classics on a single dvd for my Playstation 2 console. Furthermore, they went and released it in the $20 price range. Very very happy.

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    Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on March 26th, 2008

    A cold day in Vegas no more. Hopefully over the short vacation, you have had time to hit the slots, schmooze the local women and even rubbing your barrel a little more than you should. Why you ask? Because Rainbow Six, Vegas style is back. That’s right; more taking cover and sneaking around killing terrorists in the land that never sleeps. Apparently the rent on the automatic terrorist prevention machines was a little high and so they have asked for your MTar firing, Flashbang throwing behind to lead the charge once again. Rainbow Six Vegas 2 takes back your 360 and hopefully sends us more than new maps and some spit and polish.

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    The Spiderwick Chronicles (PC)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on March 7th, 2008

    Movie games are interesting, let’s put it that way. A game usually comes out for a movie if it is adventure oriented and at least some kid will be interested in it. However, it’s rarely ground breaking since it is usually left until the last minute and a rush project to meet demand. Once in a while, you get something that is a little different or at least interesting but more often than not it’s standard questing fare with dull objectives and a way to rehash most of the movie. Spiderwick Chronicles for the PC is unfortunately just that. There are a few spots where it performs above the norm but mostly it is your standard movie game aimed to draw in the kids. But at least this keeps them occupied for a few days.

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    All Pro Football 2k8 (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on January 2nd, 2008

    This coming weekend will be the start of the NFL Playoffs and the end of college football. Most people are drawn to play a football game of some sort at this time. Whether it would be an old classic or the newest Madden title, we feel the need to be close to the action. Some of us just really don’t care that the Patriots might end up 19-0 and win the SuperBowl and would rather simulate some other scenario. That’s why I chose to bring you a football review at this time of the year rather than the beginning of football year like most other columnists.
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