Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Gaming Blend columns and lists

As 2014 draws to a close and a new year approaches, I found myself finally getting a break from reviews as the holiday shopping window slammed shut.

That translated into a couple of lists and a couple of columns throughout December, chatting about Hearthstone, the fear of becoming "too old" for gaming, as well as some favorite games of the past 12 months and a handful I'm looking forward to in 2014.

Thanks for hanging out this year and here's to another great one.

Hearthstone gives me hope for a broken mobile market

Is 2015 the year to quit gaming?

7 new game series we're most excited for in 2015

10 best games in 2014 you didn't play

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: Lara Croft and Destiny's first DLC

Another week, another pair of reviews. You'll have to pardon the lack of chatter, as I'm currently fighting off a cold and, therefore, feel like the world is ending.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris review: Cooperative delight

Destny: The Dark Below review: More of the same

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fantasy Life, Chariot, Senran Kagura and Digimon reviews

It's been a busy few weeks, with loads of reviews crammed into a pretty short period of time. This includes one of my favorite games of the year so far, Fantasy Life. Man, that game has stolen so much of my free time (and not-so-free time) away.

Okay, no more prattle. Here's a look at my most recent reviews. Dig in!

Fantasy Life  Impressions: A 3DS game that's stolen my real life

Chariot Review: Keep rollin' rollin' rollin'

Senran Kagura Bon Appetit Review: Lacking taste

Digimon All-Star Rumble Review: Second String

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Reviews: Smash Bros., South Park pinball, Senran Kagura

Fresh reviews! Get your reviews here!

Fall is a super busy time in the gaming world so, on top of my regular daily stories, I've had the opportunity to squeeze in quite a few reviews. Here's the latest back from the past month.

Super Smash Bros. 3DS review: Big fighting action crammed into a tiny package

Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus review: More than meets the eye

South Park Pinball review: Zen studios flipping nails it

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Gunvolt, Kickbeat, Persona 4 Arena and Theatrhythm reviews

This past September kept me pretty busy with reviews. I usually get in one or two a month if I'm lucky but, last month, I was able to dive into four games and share my opinion with Gaming Blend readers. I also managed to squeeze in an embarrassing amount of time with Destiny, but my opinion is still forming for that one. I actually had to turn down a handful of reviews last month due to a lack of time. In other words, the fall gaming flood is officially upon us.

What made September's reviews especially nice was the fact that I actually enjoyed everything I was playing. From a classic-style 2D action platformer, to a rhythm game, to a fighting game, to a game that mixed both rhythm and fighting. Click those links if anything catches your interest.

Review: Azure Striker: Gunvolt is shockingly good on 3DS

Review: Kickbeat: Special Edition spruces up its rhythm/combat formula

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax Review: Delivers a knockout in the second round

Review: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call hits a very high note

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Talking Warriors Orochi 3, Sword Art Online, Smash Bros. and New 3DS models

Into September and the review train keeps on rolling. My latest offerings are for the hack-and-slash wonderland, Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate and the Vita's questionably localized Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment.

I also took a bit of time to discuss why I'm more put off than excited for Nintendo's New 3DS models, as well as pondered which five characters I'd love to see added to the upcoming Smash Bros. game.

Review: Warriors Orochi 3 is a cut above the rest

Review: Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment misses the critical hit

Column: The New 3DS models don't make sense

List: Super Smash Bros: 5 most wanted new characters

Friday, August 22, 2014

Reviews: Akiba's Trip, The Last Tinker, Table Top Racing, Zen's Walking Dead Pinball

I've been reviewing games left and right lately, ranging from arcade racing and platforming adventures to a new pinball table and an RPG that has you punching the clothes off of people. Yeah...It's been a pretty wild run.

You can find links to all of my most recent reviews below, as well as a link to a column I wrote concerning a controversy that popped up following the launch of Akiba's Trip.

Review: Table Top Racing for Vita cruises mid-pack

Review: The Last Tinker: City of Colors strikes gold

Review: Zen's Walking Dead pinball table is killer

Review: Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed celebrates all things otaku

Column: Akiba's Trip 'trap' controversy unfounded

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Columns on P.T., Final Fantasy XIV and more Destiny talk

It's been a busy few weeks for me at Gaming Blend, complete with multiple reviews, a couple of columns and even a follow-up to the 2Player chat I had with Katy Goodman regarding the Destiny beta.

All of those reviews will be coming in a future post, once I get the most recent one out the door. As for the other stuff, you can find it below!

2Player: Will Destiny alter the FPS landscape for good?

P.T. is marketing and horror genius

Final Fantasy XIV pulled me back in

Monday, August 4, 2014

Reviews: The Swapper and Rogue Legacy

Here's another pair of reviews I did for Gaming Blend, and I count myself lucky considering just how good each of these challenging, unique and seriously entertaining games turned out to be.

If you've got a PlayStation console, both of these games are cross-buy for the PS3, PS4 and Vita, and should not be missed.

Review: The Swapper is one of a kind

Review: Rogue Legacy brings strong lineage to PlayStation

Monday, July 21, 2014

Transformers & Abyss Odyssey reviews, 2Player talks Destiny

It's been a pretty busy month for July, giving me the opportunity to review a couple of titles for Gaming Blend and have a chat with the always-wonderful Katy Goodman to discuss the upcoming uuber-shooter from Bungie, Destiny, in our inaugural edition of the 2Player column.

Review: Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark kinda fizzles

Review: Abyss Odyssey is worth exploring

2Player: Time to get hyped for Destiny

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Reviews: Shovel Knight, Grid Autosport, Atelier Rorona

I had the opportunity to review three games throughout June for Gaming Blend, all hailing from completely different genres, including a whimsical JRPG, a driving game and an action adventure game inspired by some of the greatest hits from the NES and SNES era.

Check out my thoughts below. Spoiler alert: Shovel Knight is an early leader for my game of the year pick. Yeah, it's that good.

Review: Shovel Knight strikes gold

Review: Grid Autosport hits a high gear

Review: Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland brews up some lighthearted fun

Sunday, June 22, 2014

E3 2014 coverage for Gaming Blend

E3 2014 has come and gone and, one week later, I still feel like I could use an extra nap or ten just to recover from all of that running around, chatting folks up and, of course, playing loads and loads of games.

I once again covered the show for Gaming Blend this year, pulling together wrap-ups for several of the press conferences and compiling hands-on/eyes-on impressions and even a few one-on-one interviews. Following is a rundown of all of that content. Dive in!

E3 2014: Get ready for the big show
Microsoft cuts the BS and delivers games
EA shooting for something different
PS4 matches Xbox One's barrage of new games
Dead Island 2 brings 8-player co-op to zombie-infested California
Homefront: The Revolution exlusive preview and game details
War Thunder soars with Oculus Rift
Mortal Kombat X fighting styles, character options detailed
Hands-on with Xbox One's Fable Legends
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor will be unique for every player
Monster Hunter 4, Monster Hunter iOS are great additions to the series
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain keeps its humorous edge
Producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto digs into Nintendo 3DS' Story of Seasons
Freedom Wars offers big action on a tiny PS Vita
Sunset Overdrive's Marcus Smith and Drew Murray grind through the awesomeocalypse
Hands on with The Order 1886 and Murasaki Baby
Hands on with Guns Up! and Helldivers
EVE: Valkyrie and Oculus are a match made in heaven

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Reviews: Monochroma [PC], Moon Chronicles [3DS]

Here are another couple of reviews I wrote for gaming blend, both suffering from the same setback of having less-than-ideal controls.

First up is Monochroma, a Kickstarter indie darling that looks great, sounds great and tells an intriguing story. If only controlling the character wasn't an absolute nightmare half of the time. The developers are working on a patch to address this issue, so here's hoping Monochroma will get a second chance to shine.

Monochroma review: Beautiful, but nearly broken

And then there's Moon Chronicles, a 3DS remake of one of the few first-person shooters to make it onto the original DS. I was digging the old-school approach to this one but, again, frustrating controls and some balance issues threw a rather large wrench into the cogs, hampering my experience with the game.

Moon Chronicles review: Way off target

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Review: Mario Golf: World Tour [3DS]

I've always been a fan of arcade golf games and, after about a decade of silence, one of the best (and only, really) series in the genre finally returned in the form of Mario Galf: World Tour for the Nintendo 3DS. But does this latest version of the cartoony sports game properly scratch a lighthearted golfing itch? Find out in my review for Gaming Blend.

Review: Mario Golf: World Tour Plays a Solid Round

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn [PS4]

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has finally arrived on the PlayStation 4 and, over the course of a week, I spent quite a few hours running about, fulfilling quests, battling monsters and gathering loot to pull together my first stab at a review-in-progress for the game.

Following is my review from Gaming Blend that covers the first 10 levels of progression. I plan to revisit the review after level 30, and then again if it continues to hold my interest at 50 and beyond.

Final Fantasy XIV PS4 Review: Solid start to a big adventure

Friday, April 18, 2014

Gaming in the face of tragedy [Column]

I recently took a step away from my usual writing duties at Gaming Blend to explore something quite a bit more personal than the daily news and reviews.

My Pop passed away in March following a brief battle with cancer. Gaming continued to play a part in my life during those confusing weeks and, in this piece, I explore that role. It's a bit rough, I admit, and probably doesn't dive deep enough in order to create a real "point," but writing about it helped me work through some tough emotional issues.

Anyway, here it is:

Gaming in the face of tragedy: Cancer and Control

Reviews aplenty

I did a ridiculous number of reviews these past couple of months, so here's the rundown. No need for an intro this time around. Just get to reading. Go on...I'll be here waiting. Take your time.

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is a cut bellow

Ragnarok Odyssey ACE is worth a second adventure

Deception IV: Blood Ties is a trap well sprung

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes review: Not Quite (Outer) Heaven

Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complte Edition brings epic war to the PS4

Dark Souls 2 impressions: An absolute blast

Dark Souls 2: Helpful tips for the recently cursed

Monday, February 17, 2014

Review: Toukiden: Age of Demons

Toukiden is finally out for the PlayStation Vita, adding yet another monster hunting game to the platform's growing list of genre titles.

With an accessible fighting engine, an interesting story and fantastic multiplayer, this demon slay-a-thon could mark the beginning of a great new franchise.

Toukiden review: Slaying with the best of 'em

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Don't Starve: A diary of my first death [From Gaming Blend]

Witness now my story of madness and suffering...

Don't Starve finally arrived on the PlayStation 4 and I finally got around to giving it a whirl. I had a lot of fun writing this piece from the perspective of the game's protagonist, a doomed scientist struggling to survive in a dark and twisted nightmare world.

Don't Starve: A diary of my first death

Monday, January 6, 2014

Four more games columns from Gaming Blend

The holidays are always a slower time for video game news, as most of the big launches were out in time for the big shopping rush and developers typically like to take a little time to, you know, spend some time with their families like the rest of us.

That being the case, I typically take advantage of the opportunity to write a couple extra columns here and there, four of which recently went live on Gaming Blend.