Thursday, 15 May 2014


Mario Kart 8 is going to go down in history as the Mario Kart that everyone likes best. Not many people out there own a Wii U at this point, but anyone who gets the chance to play Mario Kart 8, whether it’s their first or their eighth Mario Kart, may find their new favorite.

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Mario Kart 8 is going to go down in history as the Mario Kart that everyone likes best. Not many people out there own a Wii U at this point, but anyone who gets the chance to play Mario Kart 8, whether it’s their first or their eighth Mario Kart, may find their new favorite.

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Mario Kart 8 is the best kart racing game Nintendo has made in a long time. It strikes a careful balance between refining old ideas while introducing fresh new ones. Admittedly, its gorgeous graphics and jazzy orchestrated soundtrack bolster its presentation, but you’re getting a lot more than just looks with this one – although I spent an awful lot of time gawking at the details in slow-motion, the fast and furious pace of racing with friends both locally and online is what really kept me coming back.

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Mario Kart 8 is the best kart racing game Nintendo has made in a long time. It strikes a careful balance between refining old ideas while introducing fresh new ones. Admittedly, its gorgeous graphics and jazzy orchestrated soundtrack bolster its presentation, but you’re getting a lot more than just looks with this one – although I spent an awful lot of time gawking at the details in slow-motion, the fast and furious pace of racing with friends both locally and online is what really kept me coming back.

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Mario Kart 8 doesn’t deviate from the formula set by previous games, and you might not even notice the anti-gravity mechanics until you’re driving up a wall or upside down, but that’s what’s so good about it. They’ve refined every single feature and mechanic – aside from a poor Battle mode – and brought it all together to create an objectively simple, but deceptively deep, racing game which will hold your attention for years to come.

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Mario Kart 8 doesn’t deviate from the formula set by previous games, and you might not even notice the anti-gravity mechanics until you’re driving up a wall or upside down, but that’s what’s so good about it. They’ve refined every single feature and mechanic – aside from a poor Battle mode – and brought it all together to create an objectively simple, but deceptively deep, racing game which will hold your attention for years to come.

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Nintendo needed another great game to make the Wii U look as enticing as possible and Mario Kart 8 fits the bill. The anti-gravity gameplay slots in alongside classic kart racing, hang-gliding, and underwater action. All the tracks look amazing and Nintendo has a lot of fun making each track twist, turn, and soar into the sky. Robust online multiplayer, downloadable player ghosts, and Mario Kart TV add a bit of extra muscle. Mario Kart 8 is not the best in the series, but it does stand near the top.

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Nintendo needed another great game to make the Wii U look as enticing as possible and Mario Kart 8 fits the bill. The anti-gravity gameplay slots in alongside classic kart racing, hang-gliding, and underwater action. All the tracks look amazing and Nintendo has a lot of fun making each track twist, turn, and soar into the sky. Robust online multiplayer, downloadable player ghosts, and Mario Kart TV add a bit of extra muscle. Mario Kart 8 is not the best in the series, but it does stand near the top.

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It doesn't bring massive innovations to the formula, but it's overflowing in that Nintendo magic that makes it so easy to forget about minor shortcomings. Its gorgeous looks and tightly developed sense of speed ensured that I was never left unhappy after a race, even when I blew it and came in near the end. What more could I ask for than a game that keeps me smiling even when I lose?

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It doesn't bring massive innovations to the formula, but it's overflowing in that Nintendo magic that makes it so easy to forget about minor shortcomings. Its gorgeous looks and tightly developed sense of speed ensured that I was never left unhappy after a race, even when I blew it and came in near the end. What more could I ask for than a game that keeps me smiling even when I lose?

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Although Mario Kart is on its eighth game across 22 years and eight consoles, this entry doesn't feel like it’s content to retread old ground. Instead, it shows how Nintendo can put its experience, even with some dips in quality, to use making a standout game. With the addition of new visual capabilities, stellar track design, and a continued slow march toward modern online functionality, this is the best the series has been since the GameCube era. If Mario Kart 8 is showing its age, it’s a spry octogenarian if I ever saw one.

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Although Mario Kart is on its eighth game across 22 years and eight consoles, this entry doesn't feel like it’s content to retread old ground. Instead, it shows how Nintendo can put its experience, even with some dips in quality, to use making a standout game. With the addition of new visual capabilities, stellar track design, and a continued slow march toward modern online functionality, this is the best the series has been since the GameCube era. If Mario Kart 8 is showing its age, it’s a spry octogenarian if I ever saw one.

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Bold, accessible, deep and rich, Mario Kart 8 is premium video game development. It feels expensive. But this isn't the vacuous lavishness of the Hollywood blockbuster; its excesses and indulgences work towards a common goal - or rather, finish line. The game may build upon some of the steady inventions of its predecessor (the diversity of handling options, the airborne sections) but in these staggering, monument-like arenas, those ideas have been given space to fully blossom.

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Bold, accessible, deep and rich, Mario Kart 8 is premium video game development. It feels expensive. But this isn't the vacuous lavishness of the Hollywood blockbuster; its excesses and indulgences work towards a common goal - or rather, finish line. The game may build upon some of the steady inventions of its predecessor (the diversity of handling options, the airborne sections) but in these staggering, monument-like arenas, those ideas have been given space to fully blossom.

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This is a multiplayer event showcasing Nintendo doing what it does best: bashing your expectations (which should already have been lofty) into dust and then rebuilding them anew into something bigger and better than you had imagined.

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This is a multiplayer event showcasing Nintendo doing what it does best: bashing your expectations (which should already have been lofty) into dust and then rebuilding them anew into something bigger and better than you had imagined.

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Despite an unfortunate change to its battle mode, MK8 is a solid extra lap on a series with a great foundation. The gravity-shifting sections spliced into existing and new tracks feel like a natural extension of the series rather than a gameplay-changing revelation, but it's a strong complement to an already enjoyable experience. The social features are surprisingly solid and may even outlive the total course selection, but it helps that the new tracks feel as worthy of a revisit as the series' standouts.

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Despite an unfortunate change to its battle mode, MK8 is a solid extra lap on a series with a great foundation. The gravity-shifting sections spliced into existing and new tracks feel like a natural extension of the series rather than a gameplay-changing revelation, but it's a strong complement to an already enjoyable experience. The social features are surprisingly solid and may even outlive the total course selection, but it helps that the new tracks feel as worthy of a revisit as the series' standouts.

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Mario Kart 8 should certainly be added to the list of top-tier entries, and none of the previous titles can boast the rock-solid total package that this one offers. Say what you will about Nintendo sticking with the tried and true, but I have no problem with that as long as it stays this fun.

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Mario Kart 8 should certainly be added to the list of top-tier entries, and none of the previous titles can boast the rock-solid total package that this one offers. Say what you will about Nintendo sticking with the tried and true, but I have no problem with that as long as it stays this fun.

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Thursday, 20 March 2014


Second Son focuses on pure enjoyment. It communicates that through the excellent combat that forces you to concoct crazy tactics to overthrow the invading forces. It draws you in further through its incredible visuals that not only hint at the PlayStation 4's impressive power, but employ a sensible artistic touch that makes Seattle a place you want to explore.

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Second Son focuses on pure enjoyment. It communicates that through the excellent combat that forces you to concoct crazy tactics to overthrow the invading forces. It draws you in further through its incredible visuals that not only hint at the PlayStation 4's impressive power, but employ a sensible artistic touch that makes Seattle a place you want to explore.

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Open-world superhero action games are about freedom and empowerment, and in these regards, Second Son is really impressive. Seattle is a big, beautiful playground for you to stomp around in with a set of devilishly fun and powerful toys at your disposal. It plays great, and it looks even better, but its advancements also beg it to be held to a higher standard, one that its overall story and morality systems struggle to reach.

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Open-world superhero action games are about freedom and empowerment, and in these regards, Second Son is really impressive. Seattle is a big, beautiful playground for you to stomp around in with a set of devilishly fun and powerful toys at your disposal. It plays great, and it looks even better, but its advancements also beg it to be held to a higher standard, one that its overall story and morality systems struggle to reach.

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Infamous: Second Son is the first real reason to jump completely into the next-generation of consoles. If you wanted to show someone what next-gen can do, this is the game to show them, with great image quality and amazing lighting/particle effects on display. A magnificently-realized Seattle is your playground and players have a host of abilities to run, fly, and fight across it. Delsin Rowe is a charismatic protagonist and the Sucker Punch has pulled out all the stops on PlayStation 4 to make his first adventure a fun one. It's not perfect, but hopefully we see him again.

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Infamous: Second Son is the first real reason to jump completely into the next-generation of consoles. If you wanted to show someone what next-gen can do, this is the game to show them, with great image quality and amazing lighting/particle effects on display. A magnificently-realized Seattle is your playground and players have a host of abilities to run, fly, and fight across it. Delsin Rowe is a charismatic protagonist and the Sucker Punch has pulled out all the stops on PlayStation 4 to make his first adventure a fun one. It's not perfect, but hopefully we see him again.

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As an open-world game, Second Son feels emaciated. There's little to do in the way of side missions, and what is here becomes repetitive, unlikely to sustain interest beyond a single playthrough. Approach it as an action game that just happens to be set in a nonlinear environment and it makes more sense, but its not-inconsiderable achievements take effort to uncover. By the time you've gained the full suite of powers, though, it's easy to forget its shaky first steps and impossible not to share Rowe's vocal enthusiasm each time he does something spectacular. And Sucker Punch provides plenty of opportunities to do so.

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As an open-world game, Second Son feels emaciated. There's little to do in the way of side missions, and what is here becomes repetitive, unlikely to sustain interest beyond a single playthrough. Approach it as an action game that just happens to be set in a nonlinear environment and it makes more sense, but its not-inconsiderable achievements take effort to uncover. By the time you've gained the full suite of powers, though, it's easy to forget its shaky first steps and impossible not to share Rowe's vocal enthusiasm each time he does something spectacular. And Sucker Punch provides plenty of opportunities to do so.

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I like the way that Infamous Second Son splinters off from the first two entries in the series. Delsin's conduit ability creates uncertainty in the gameplay mechanics, and the choices he makes apply similar levels of ambiguity to the narrative arc. I never really grasped what was coming next from this tale, outside of knowing that the open world activities and encounters would be repeated ad nauseam.

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I like the way that Infamous Second Son splinters off from the first two entries in the series. Delsin's conduit ability creates uncertainty in the gameplay mechanics, and the choices he makes apply similar levels of ambiguity to the narrative arc. I never really grasped what was coming next from this tale, outside of knowing that the open world activities and encounters would be repeated ad nauseam.

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Second Son is polished and refined enough to make previous series entries feel dated in comparison. It represents a great leap forward both in terms of gameplay and in graphical fidelity, and establishes a high standard for what players can expect from the PlayStation 4.

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Second Son is polished and refined enough to make previous series entries feel dated in comparison. It represents a great leap forward both in terms of gameplay and in graphical fidelity, and establishes a high standard for what players can expect from the PlayStation 4.

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Second Son is very much an inFamous game. It doesn't stray off the series' beaten path too much, but there are enhancements in terms of gameplay and some stunning effects put to good use to create the PS4′s most fun and best looking game yet. While the narrative might not have the same impact as previous games, it's somewhat more of a down-to-earth tale of an ordinary man with extraordinary powers, and that's an exciting new direction for the series to take

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Second Son is very much an inFamous game. It doesn't stray off the series' beaten path too much, but there are enhancements in terms of gameplay and some stunning effects put to good use to create the PS4′s most fun and best looking game yet. While the narrative might not have the same impact as previous games, it's somewhat more of a down-to-earth tale of an ordinary man with extraordinary powers, and that's an exciting new direction for the series to take

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As pretty and playable as it is, in no sense is inFamous: Second Son a post-Grand Theft Auto 5 open-world game. It's just a tidier, shorter and shinier one. It's easy to enjoy and has a winning personality, but it's reluctant to deviate from a stale streetmap of game city. It's no rebel, then. In fact, it's a conformist.

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As pretty and playable as it is, in no sense is inFamous: Second Son a post-Grand Theft Auto 5 open-world game. It's just a tidier, shorter and shinier one. It's easy to enjoy and has a winning personality, but it's reluctant to deviate from a stale streetmap of game city. It's no rebel, then. In fact, it's a conformist.

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I struggled with feeling let down that Second Son isn't a brilliant shift for action games. My small disappointments come mostly as a result of undeveloped potential. It had a chance to be a superhero game about more serious issues as well as a showcase for the power of the new generation of consoles. Instead, Second Son is more of the Infamous I already loved last generation, prettier, with more powers and better writing. But Second Son still kept me excited to discover each new power set and happy to shoot fireballs at fascist thugs long into the night. Maybe it's not so bad to just let go of responsibility and blow stuff up once in a while.

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I struggled with feeling let down that Second Son isn't a brilliant shift for action games. My small disappointments come mostly as a result of undeveloped potential. It had a chance to be a superhero game about more serious issues as well as a showcase for the power of the new generation of consoles. Instead, Second Son is more of the Infamous I already loved last generation, prettier, with more powers and better writing. But Second Son still kept me excited to discover each new power set and happy to shoot fireballs at fascist thugs long into the night. Maybe it's not so bad to just let go of responsibility and blow stuff up once in a while.

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A beautiful, but shallow, game with a handful of interesting ideas. It's a decent stop-gap until better PS4 exclusives appear.

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A beautiful, but shallow, game with a handful of interesting ideas. It's a decent stop-gap until better PS4 exclusives appear.

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InFamous Second Son inherits a lot from its predecessors but offers too little to the mix. Rowe himself holds the game together, while the satisfying traversal and combat mechanics show flashes of excellence. At times it feels too safe and at others it glimmers with neat ideas, which overall is just enough to recommend it.

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InFamous Second Son inherits a lot from its predecessors but offers too little to the mix. Rowe himself holds the game together, while the satisfying traversal and combat mechanics show flashes of excellence. At times it feels too safe and at others it glimmers with neat ideas, which overall is just enough to recommend it.

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Tuesday, 11 March 2014


A few of the first couple bosses could stand to be a bit more interesting, but these are ultimately just nitpicks. What could very well have felt like little more than a new New Game+ for Dark Souls manages craft another experience I'll happily sink hours and hours into.

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A few of the first couple bosses could stand to be a bit more interesting, but these are ultimately just nitpicks. What could very well have felt like little more than a new New Game+ for Dark Souls manages craft another experience I'll happily sink hours and hours into.

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A hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.

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A hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.

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