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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    NeoGeo Battle Coliseum (Playstation 2)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on January 9th, 2008

    Some of my favorite fighting games include the likes of Marvel vs Capcom 2, X-Men vs Street Fighter, Marvel vs Street Fighter, etc. The appeal of these games was simple, fun fast arcade gameplay with cool easily-known characters (I did always have a fondness for Gambit). Along those lines, SNK was introduced into the series as a logical step around 1999 in the game series SNK vs Capcom. After SNK filed for bankruptcy in 2000, the company re-formed and was called SNK Playmore. In 2005, SNK Playmore decided to bring out a game that played very much to the old versus games in NeoGeo Battle Coliseum. In the last breath of 2007, NeoGeo Battle Coliseum makes it to the states for the Playstation 2 system. Now in my greedy little hands, I explore the game and see if it stands up as a true fighter.

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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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    Guitar Hero 3 (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on November 4th, 2007

    Some games take time to gain acceptance. This game started out a fledging curiosity, now the obsession has hit and everybody wants to play air guitar except with the a controller shaped like one. The game is Guitar Hero 3. This is the first installment that has hit every major console at the same time. This also marks the first time where they really pushed the concept of actual guitarists and musicians coming out to help such as Bret Michaels, Slash and the Sex Pistols. Some would describe it as a sell out especially since the team that made the original Guitar Hero was busy making Rock Band and the reins were left to Neversoft. How would they fare; could they possibly mess up what made the first two Guitar Heros so great?

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    Puzzle Quest (Xbox Live Arcade)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on October 28th, 2007

    Some things just go together. Like Peanut Butter & Jelly, Sonny & Cher, Siskel & Ebert (okay, not so much). Puzzle Quest brings something together in complete harmony like no other game before it. Puzzles and Role Playing Games. Sure the Zelda or Breath of Fire series have puzzles in the game, but we are talking full integration where every battle is decided in a Bejeweled-like interface. Complete with mounts, spells, and other rpg-like elements; this could be the best idea of putting things together since I tried fritos and cream cheese. (Come on, you know you are curious)

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    Spyglass Board Games (Xbox Live Arcade)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on August 7th, 2007

    Simplicity takes time. That’s the only logical explanation as to why a chess game has not appeared on XBOX Live Arcade until the team @ Freeverse & Strange Flavour decided to release some popular board games for us to enjoy. The give us Checkers, Mancala, Reversi as well as Chess for a very tidy 400 Microsoft Points ($5). While the release is far from perfect, it is one of those cases where we take what we can get.

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    Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s (Playstation 2)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on July 29th, 2007

    Guitar Hero 1 made big business. Guitar Hero 2 made bigger business and became a phenomenon. Due to the success of the first two, Activision decided to release a stand-alone themed Guitar Hero. After some deliberation, it was decided they would release Rocks the 80′s including tunes from my favorite decade. Included in that decade is my favorite type of music which is well represented: hair rock. Long hair, lipstick, blistering guitar solos and high pitched screams. Quite possibly the decade that most had in mind when they first or saw or heard about Guitar Hero. The Red Octane team was taking a chance on a smaller setlist but possibly paving the way for future themed releases. I am happy to say that the effort is a great step in the right direction but not one without bumps in the road.


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    Mortal Kombat Armageddon (Xbox)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on May 24th, 2007

    Opening

    ROUND ONE, FIGHT. I’m something of a Mortal Kombat junkie especially in my younger days. I started playing the original arcade game when I was very young and played 2 (still the best to date), 3, dealt with 4 and even dabbled in Deception. I adored the movies, though for obvious reasons I was poed at some parts of the second movie but still liked it. I even bought one of those silly MK controllers for the Playstation 2 (Scorpion naturally). So when I heard that the…
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    Guitar Hero 2 (Xbox 360)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on April 8th, 2007

    Opening

    When I got my XBOX 360 in late November, the only game I was regularly playing on my Playstation 2 was Guitar Hero II. It was still captivating, it held my interest because it was an amazing game. Needless to say when they announced that it would be coming to the 360, I was both excited and a bit perplexed as what to do. I mean it is the same game right? It has updated graphics and sound, and exclusive songs. But it’s going to require me to buy another guitar. It has achiev…
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    Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (Playstation 2)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on March 22nd, 2007

    Opening

    A single console rarely gets five different releases in its library. The Playstation 2 has been fortunate (or not so fortunate according to Jack Thompson) to get five Grand Theft Autos. III, Vice City, San Andreas, Liberty City Stories and now Vice City Stories have provided essentially the same game engine with new features and missions along the way. The Stories line was games that started on the PSP and then ported over. Liberty City Stories was a good port and a fun game to play. However,…
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    Guitar Hero 2 (Playstation 2)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on November 25th, 2006

    Opening

    I knew that when they announced Guitar Hero 2 many moons ago, I would be running not walking to my local EB Games and procuring the game ahead of time. I mean what was there to not love about the first one, hard rocking music, every air guitarist’s dream and addictive gameplay. I am happy to report that the second is more of the same; there are new songs, new levels of difficulty, and the same great gameplay albeit with a few new quirks. However, don’t let that little flaw deter…
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    MLB Slugfest 2006 (Playstation 2)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on August 20th, 2006

    Opening

    Baseball, a sport that is near and dear to my heart. I played it from age 7 to age 16. I never was quite that good; I had a lot of natural talent and I did hustle; however I never worked at the gifts I was given enough to take myself to the next level. So, me like many have resorted to the crass style of playing games that emulate something we wish we were. To be honest, I sat on this review a long time, not the game itself; I’ve been playing it quite frequently. But the review, …
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    Teen Titans (Playstation 2)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on July 7th, 2006

    Opening

    Newer super hero cartoons usually leave me feeling bland to be honest. They generally pass them off as too kid friendly and not enough to satisfy me as an adult. Not to mention that they often use anime style drawn characters almost too much that the cartoons become borderline ugly and generic to look at. Thankfully in recent years there have been a few exceptions, one being Teen Titans. Its familiar cast of Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven & Cyborg are fun to watch as they appeal to both kid…
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    Rampage – Total Destruction (Playstation 2)

    Posted in Game Reviews by Michael Durr on May 13th, 2006

    Scene in EB Games/Gamestop: wow, Rampage: Total Destruction for $20; didn’t I play that game when I was a kid at the arcade or on my NES? Yes, yes you did. And for the record it hasn’t changed much. Rampage has made its PS2 return and hundreds (or at least dozens) are anxious for George, Lizzie & Ralph to start punching buildings again. To this game’s credit, they get something pretty decent to fill the bill. In addition, even if the main game doesn’t provide enough umph, the bonus material will certainly take …
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