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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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    XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on November 2nd, 2012

    When a company decides to adapt a made for pc game into something a console can play, it can either become a nightmare or something very rewarding. It simply is not a game of system requirements but rather adapting a keyboard layout and game play into something that allows for more bite sized morsels. But at the same time, one cannot produce a dumbed-down game and must pay homage to the classic. After years, I think we might have one of the very few games that has underwent this transformation and done it fantastically. Enter XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360)

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

    Rarely in my video game reviewing do I get the popular game. I seem to gravitate more towards the forgotten gem or the niche cult hit. I do not mind it of course, it has lead me to discover many awesome smaller games such as the Darkness or Mafia II. However, today the story is different. In my hands is a contender for the game of the year. A game that blends first person shooters with role playing and enough loot to make a Diablo player blush. The game happens to be the Gearbox Software smash, Borderlands 2.
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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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    NBA 2k12 (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on November 6th, 2011

    Despite some of the highest television ratings in recent history for the sport of basketball, the NBA announced a lockout on July 1st of this year. Even more disturbing was that just a few weeks ago on October 10th, they announced that the first two weeks of the season would be cancelled. For the time being, we are devoid of great shooting from Dirk Nowitzki or the spirited play of Derrick Rose. Heck, we can not even boo LeBron James. But 2k and Visual Concepts could have the cure, NBA 2k12 for the Xbox 360.

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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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    Duke Nukem Forever (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on June 29th, 2011

    “Hail to the King, baby.” That phrase through the years has escaped my lips on plenty of occasions. Most of the time, it has also ended by me being pushed onto the floor with a blanket and pillow and/or the eruption of laughter. Since Duke Nukem 3d debuted in 1996, I have always found new and not so appropriate situations to spew his catchphrases. Fifteen years later, nothing has changed, I still speak the Duke and I am still waiting for Duke Nukem Forever. Well today I shall wait no more.
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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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    NBA 2k11 (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on October 18th, 2010

    Back in the 1980’s and 90’s, there was no player that I despised more than Michael Jordan. I openly wished for the Bulls to lose every year in the playoffs but I usually never got my wish. Perhaps it was part envy, perhaps it was part of my underdog mentality. No matter what, Jordan always seemed to succeed. It is with much regret, that I do agree with the sentiment that he is the greatest of all time. Perhaps now, I can actually play a NBA game that has him as their cornerstone for the 2k11 edition.
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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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    Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on November 18th, 2009

    Some of you may remember that the last two Grand Theft Auto games I reviewed were the Playstation 2 ports of Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories. Most people probably thought that when GTA IV came out, I would have ran to my local game shop and picked up a copy. Truth is, I didn’t. The desire was there but I never really got around to it. So then Rockstar announced they would put their two DLC episodes on disc. Strangely, I was compelled to go buy it. First, I fully support retail releases of stand-alone content that was previously only downloadable and second I had missed Liberty City. I mostly missed the violence and wanton destruction.
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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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    Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on April 20th, 2009

    Puberty for me was an odd thing like many teenage boys. My dad threw a medical book into my lap when I turned thirteen and said if I had any questions to let him know. This was followed by more literature being thrown into my lap such as Playboy when I wasn’t any older than fifteen or sixteen years old. In addition to magazine publications, I was also allowed to buy some objectionable games and music. One of these games was the Leisure Suit Larry series.
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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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    Fallout 3 (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on November 24th, 2008

    The original Fallout 3 was held in the firm hands of Interplay Entertainment under the working title of Van Buren. Developed by Black Isle Studios, that title never saw the light of the day when Interplay Entertainment went bankrupt and laid off the entire PC development team in late 2003. In 2007, Interplay sold the rights to the Fallout franchise to Bethesda who had developed the popular Elder Scrolls series. Bethesda scrapped the original code and worked on the project from scratch. It paid homage to many Fallout concepts and Fallout 3 saw gold in 2008. It was a long five years between the layoff of the original creators and the company who ultimately got the right to release the game. Was it worth the wait?
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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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    Rocket Bowl (Xbox Live Arcade)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on September 30th, 2008

    The greatest game I ever bowled was probably around 180. A far cry from the perfect 300 but a decent game nevertheless. Most bowling video games are extremely simple in scope. Pick up a ball, roll it down the lane and see what pins drop. Sometimes you get to choose the curve of your ball and even the weight. But that is honestly about it. So when I saw that there was a new bowling game on Xbox Live Arcade, I didn’t think anything of it. However, once I tried the demo I realized this was something different. A game that blended bowling with miniature golf and created something kinda unique. I was so intrigued by the demo, I ended up coughing up the 800 points to make a review.

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