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Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation HD

Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation HD

“Why upgrade the graphics without fixing the bad, glitchy gameplay?” Good: Some interesting new ideas; a fantastic twist on the frame story; the series’ best music. Bad: Glitchy; disjointed gameplay and plot; incoherent story; frustrating game world; lazy sidequests.

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inFamous: Second Son

inFamous: Second Son

“Meet the new gen, same as the old gen.” Good: Beautiful; fair use of motion and touch controls; natural strategies; interesting sandbox tasks. Bad: Awful morality system; awful interfaces; awful characters; challenge by frustration; overly constrained ability system; checklist-reliant gameplay; nothing new to offer at all.

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

“Same strengths, same weaknesses, same Legend of Zelda.” Good: Open, player-driven structure; interesting ‘between worlds’ mechanic; decent minigames and sidequests. Bad: Little to no true innovation; underutilized 2D mechanic; poor presentation and use of weapons; reliance on “Eureka”-style puzzles; generic bosses; lazy dungeons; poor incentive for experimentation.

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Top 10 Young Franchises

Top 10 Young Franchises

In this Top 10 list, I’ll look at ten of the best franchises to emerge in the best ten years of gaming, before the GameFAQs Top 100 points the spotlight more directly on Final Fantasy, Mario, and The Legend of Zelda.

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

“A fresh coat of paint to hide the faults in the foundation.” Good: Impressive genre-bending twist on the genre; the first technologically contemporary turn-based strategy game in a while; excellent long-game strategy. Bad: Unbalanced and mismanaged strategy; often tedious; excessive influence of random chance; no plot; clunky interface; glitchy graphics.

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Resogun

Resogun

“An average shmup, but a below-average game.” Good: Simple, intuitive, accessible controls; beautiful graphics; a few interesting gimmicks. Bad: Too little content; too much repetition without any customization or strategy; poor information visualization; flawed co-op mode; no clear objective.

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Contrast

Contrast

“A charming concept game that successfully strives to be more.” Good: An interesting core mechanic used in varied, interesting, and thoughtful ways; an impressive attention to explaining that mechanic in the plot; charming storytelling and visual appeal. Bad: Little replay value, a predictable plot, and other missed opportunities that I wouldn’t expect a $15 game to fulfill anyway.

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