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Clearing the Mist: Final Fantasy IX Turns 15

by Jon Ledford November 13, 2015 @ 3:01 PM
Fifteen years ago, Square released its ninth Final Fantasy game in North America. It's time we look back at this stellar and criminally overlooked classic of the franchise. Square may have developed Final Fantasy IX alongside Final Fantasy VIII, but the two were quite different. While the emo Squall, Quistis and the rest of the time-travelling SeeDs had more realistic designs, the characters and world of Final Fantasy IX stayed in line with the more traditional art style of Final Fantasy's disproportionate body types. Sure, Squall's crew was more realistic-looking than the blocky, deformed models in Zidane and Cloud's posses, but that doesn't mean that Final Fantasy VIII or even Final Fantasy XII were better games just because their characters were "normal"-looking.

10 Best Weapons in Destiny: The Taken King

by Danny Saya November 13, 2015 @ 7:01 AM
Even players that swore by mainstays like the MIDA Multi-Tool or the Icebreaker have found something to love with all of the new toys we've been given with the Taken King expansion. There are even a few surprises thrown in for players who loved their old legendary weapons. Here are the ten most powerful weapons in Destiny: The Taken King.

10 Best Real-Time Strategy Games

by Jon Ledford November 12, 2015 @ 11:01 AM
Westwood Studios
The term real-time strategy may have spawn from Dune II, but this genre of games has multiplied and evolved to become a big cornerstone of the video game industry, especially when it comes to PC gaming. RTS games take a lot of previous stategy game tropes and mechanics, focusing on unit, building and resource management, usually during times of warfare. For most games of the genre, you generally have to generate resources (usually by having a unit farm them somehow), use those resources to create buildings and have the buildings spawn additional units. Units usually consist of different builder/farmer and combat-oriented types. Proper time management and intuitive use of your forces and capabilities are a must as you continuously try upgrading and increasing your bases and forces while putting pressure on the enemies, who are trying to do the same thing.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Review (PlayStation 4)

by Jon Ledford November 11, 2015 @ 8:30 AM
Activision's three-year cycle of development for the Call of Duty series continues with Treyarch's latest entry, Black Ops III. The former Tony Hawk Pro Skater studio known for Call of Duty: World at War are taking things to the future with their third Black Ops title. Continuing in the footsteps of Sledgehammer Games' release of Advanced Warfare last year, Black Ops III fully moves things even later into the future. Some of the more acrobatic moves and skills we saw in both Titanfall and Advanced Warfare are making a return here, which might underwhelm some fans hoping for a different experience.

Rise of the Tomb Raider Review (Xbox One)

by Jason Fanelli November 9, 2015 @ 8:01 AM
-Square Enix
Lara Croft's return to form in the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot was very well done, but it lacked a few key features that made the franchise as legendary as it is today. Her followup adventure, Rise of the Tomb Raider, tries to bring those elements back and infuse them with the upgrades already in place. The result is a fun return to classic Tomb Raider form that takes a big leap but can't stick the landing.

Fallout 4 Review (Xbox One)

by Luke Brown November 9, 2015 @ 7:29 AM
War never changes, but the console and gaming landscape has dramatically over the last seven years. In the time since Fallout 3's release, open-world games have evolved quite a bit thanks to that game's success. New platforms have also emerged, giving developers the resources to make larger, more detailed worlds for players to explore, while adding in the additional graphical benefits new hardware provides. While the rest of the world was moving on at an incredible pace, Bethesda was taking its time with Fallout 4. A proper fourth entry in the series needed to be bigger and better than before, but the wait was excruciating for fans. Though the franchise hasn't come quite as far in the last seven years as we'd hoped, but Fallout 4 is still an impressive piece of work that's not to be missed.

Worst to First: Call of Duty

by Jon Ledford November 6, 2015 @ 3:30 PM
Infinity Ward
To celebrate the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops III, we're reloading and staying in cover as we review the 10 best hits of the franchise, going from worst to first. Ever since we first played as Private Joe Martin in the original 2003 Call of Duty and starting mowing down Nazis during Operation Overlord (the Battle of Normandy), players felt like their actions were important and greatly impacted both the battlefield and the lives of their fellow soldiers onscreen. There was something about the franchise that just made it standout from its contemporaries. While Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare would help the series become a household name and an online multiplayer phenomenon, lets not forget its origins.

A Demolition Derby Gun Show: Twisted Metal Turns 20

by Jon Ledford November 5, 2015 @ 2:01 PM
Twenty years ago, Sony and SingleTrac released their first entry in the gun-toting destruction derby and vehicular combat series, Twisted Metal. It's time we look back at the octane-fueled mayhem of Twisted Metal and the large influence the original game had in putting the first PlayStation console on the map.

Worst to First: James Bond Games

by Jon Ledford November 4, 2015 @ 2:01 PM
As the world is waiting for Daniel Craig to return to the suit and play our favorite martini-swigging, dame-slaying and bad guy-shooting special agent in Spectre, it's time we look back at 007's 10 best games in order to rank our favorite James Bond missions. As with most license-based franchises, the James Bond series has had its fair share of clunkers over the years, and the good 007 games out there are vastly outnumbered by the mediocre ones. Luckily, a few of them have beaten the curse of licensed games and established themselves as excellent titles in their own right.

Need for Speed Review (Xbox One)

by Jon Ledford November 3, 2015 @ 2:01 PM
Ghost Games
Simply titled Need for Speed, this racer marks the franchise's first current-gen exclusive, finally focusing on getting the most it can from modern consoles without having to worry about including last-gen tech. Fortunately, this helps NFS look absolutely gorgeous, which ultimately matters when you factor in the underwhelming graphics of Gran Turismo 6 compared to the fine polish of Forza Motorsport 6. Utilizing the full extent of the current-gen hardware, Need for Speed revs up into a promising experience that is all about underground and urban street racing, but that doesn't necessarily guarantee a smooth ride.