Xbox 360

The giant leap for Microsoft. Let’s be honest here, the Xbox 360 won the console was against the PlayStation 3 even as both had excellent games. You can look at some of their games under this section for Xbox 360 reviews.

Xbox 360

Dark Souls 2

One major tweak that might infuriate gamers is the new health bar reduction. When you die, a small portion of your health bar is permanently removed. The only way to restore it is with a very rare item called an effigy; these also essentially replace humanity from the first game. This new twist on the formula made me a lot more cautious at first, but eventually I just learned to function with half a health bar at all times.

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Xbox 360

Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)

These opening scenes set the tone for the game. The car arriving represents the onward thrust of modernity into a west that, in 1911, was still very wild. The land of Red Dead Redemption is one of liars, thieves and murderers. But it is not a soulless world, and that is something that lends the game a stark beauty. Amidst the gorgeous yet savage setting, there are people with good hearts who need saving but who also, frequently, offer help to Marston.

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Xbox 360

World of Tanks

If you love blowing up tanks with other tanks, you couldn’t ask for a better game. While the content is a little dumbed down from the PC version, you still can choose between multiple vehicles from American, German, and British stables. Upgrading said vehicles can become a chunky grind. Even if you are willing to throw down real cash for a new ride, you still have to play multiple matches with each vehicle to move to the next tier.

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Xbox 360

Reflections: Titanfall Beta

Ejecting out of your Titan while it turns into a nuclear bomb and torches your opponent is absolutely thrilling. You can actually sabotage Titans while in soldier mode which keeps the playing field a little more even. My favorite moment over the 25 matches I participated in was ejecting out of my Titan, launching my would-be Titan-jacker into the air, and then shooting him in the face before I hit the ground. I’ve never played a game where I could do that.

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Xbox 360

WET

WET tells an interesting, if a bit convoluted story. The game begins with Rubi watching a suitcase being handed between two men in an ornate room in Chinatown. The suitcase is her target – she needs to retrieve it – and she crashes through the glass ceiling and begins shooting up the place. This leads to a chase where she follows Simmons, the man carrying the suitcase. It turns out the suitcase holds a heart, which a man named Ackers has hired Rubi to retrieve so that he may have heart surgery. He rewards her well and comes back a year later asking if she can go to Hong Kong and find their heir to his crime fortune, Trevor. From there, Rubi travels around the globe through a twisted plot of backstabbing, lies, and falsehoods. She gets beat up a few times, engages herself in high-speed chases, and in the end, prevails.

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Xbox 360

Family Game Night 4

Mr. Potato-Head is the host of the game, and though he is not annoying like the bizarre host of the Family Feud Xbox game (the memory of whom has scarred me for life), he also doesn’t add anything to the gameplay. The animations of the avatars are a bit silly, and not dismissed immediately with a button-click, which makes them a little irritating. The play-by-play voice was a constant, “go get ‘em, tiger” kind of happy, which lost its charm over time. Note to developers: if you want to see how a host can be engaging, perhaps even annoying, and yet bring you back for more, check out theYou Don’t Know Jack series of games.

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Xbox 360

Half Life 2: Episode Two

The lighting and other graphical qualities are fantastic, and even though better graphics can be found across current-gen consoles, Valve enlisted such incredible art direction that the Source Engine’s age is barely showing. The environments look wonderful, the spaces feel appropriately vast, and the character models still look amazingly realistic. They display emotions on a level I’ve never seen before in a game, and I still don’t think any graphical engines model human characters so well.

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Xbox 360

Deadlight

In fairness to the developers, I’ve only managed to invest an hour in the game since launch day, which probably says more about the game than I’d like to admit. I found the voice over script contrived, the game atmospherics failing to impress and then there is that overly familiar nod to the walking dead, the “shadows” responding to loud noises…please!!.

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Xbox 360

Grand Theft Auto 5

The world of Los Santos is so gorgeously detailed I found myself following random pedestrians on the street just to hear their side of hilarious cell phone conversations. A couple of the radio commercials and conversations made me laugh so hard I paused mid-mission just to hear the end of them. Other games have shown similar levels in depth of world, but none of them have made me feel like the city existed without me playing the game.

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Xbox 360

Limbo

I guess the reason why I’m NOT ABSOLUTELY LOVING THIS GAME is because games like Another world and Braid were great simply because they were something different (and if you wanted a game shrouded in obscurity and dripping with existentialism, there’s always Passage and Yume Nikki) They were stand alone games. This whole “guessing game” within games buried in silent mystery and artsy-ness seems to be a new genre emerging. I’m not sure that I like that idea of that so much. It’s not that I don’t like these types of games, in fact I love these games and games that make the player think and feel a sense of immersion, but I feel that it would give new developers an excuse to make a poorer product.

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Xbox 360

Payday 2: The Heist

The most enjoyable way to play Payday 2 is with three of your friends who actually use microphones. When the missions are pulled off flawlessly you will feel extremely satiated as a player, but communication and precise planning are necessary, even on some of the easier and shorter selections. One stupid mistake can cost you an entire run, and this will happen 99.9 percent of the time you even attempt, making robberies that don’t end up turning into the last act of Dog Day Afternoon both extremely rare and immensely rewarding.

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Xbox 360

R-Type Dimensions

My past experiences with the R-Type games weren’t overly immense. A brief stint at a Timezone in Sydney back in the 80’s , the rental-to-almost-purchase on the Master System 2 in the early 90’s, and a sequel on the SNES (R-type 3). A frustratingly hard game? Some could say that, but I’ll go with exuberantly challenging. For those who don’t know what R-Type is, it is a side-scrolling shooter, think 1942 but with a side-on perspective. The storyline is that there’s the evil Bydo empire invading the universe, you are a pilot of a small ship sent to stop this evil.

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Xbox 360

Star Trek

Star Trek was always about helping your fellow man (or alien); the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, ect. Apparently, the many all need to be repeatedly shot point blank in the face because other then a few random tricorder readings that’s basically all you accomplish. Sure, you are encouraged to set phasers to stun and then knock out your enemies, but when you can just dispatch them safely from behind cover with zero penalty then what is exactly the point besides painfully shoehorning some of the familiar trappings of the series?

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Xbox 360

Runner 2: Legend of Rhythm Alien

Runner 2 might as well be a checklist of how to do everything correctly in a video game. The gameplay is extremely accessible and enjoyable, coupled with eye pleasing, unique graphics and an amazing soundtrack. Difficulty in the game gradually scales but is unbelievably fair; you start off with a simple selection of moves and then slowly learn all of the combinations required to be successful. There’s also some great humor (the hardest thing to pull off in gaming) and some phenomenal references mixed in to the package that I wouldn’t dare spoil here.

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Xbox 360

Dead Space 3

The major issue I had with the game is one I didn’t anticipate: the writing. The game starts off strong but during the midpoint I almost started cringing at some of the dialogue and directions the characters are taken in. Without entering into spoiler territory, essentially Ellie, the girl who you risked your ass (and sanity) to save in Dead Space 2 has moved on to another mate who is basically the equivalent of the douchey blonde villain in so many eighties movies.

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Xbox 360

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Fan service is also prevalent here; many more characters are featured this time around, including the Dinobots, the Combaticons, Metroplex, and the Insecticons. I actually felt like I had been sucked into an eighties toy commercial every time a new character appeared. Hardcore Transformer fans should really find a lot to enjoy here, before I played the game I couldn’t distinguish Swindle from Onslaught, so fans of the source material will really enjoy all of the love taken with the character choices.

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Xbox 360

Skylanders: Giants

Each Skylander represents one of eight different “elements” like fire, wind, technology, or undead. The levels are divided with multiple gates and hidden areas that can only be accessed by certain elements, meaning in order to fully unlock everything the game has to offer you must own at least one character from every element. If you are defeated, the only way to continue the level is by swapping out figures on the fly, making the game near impossible with only the starter set, but very manageable with a stable of Skylanders figures at your disposal.

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