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Styx: Master of Shadows Review

Styx: Master of Shadows, from Cyanide Studio, feels at odds with itself. It’s a stealth game that tries to court two different schools of stealth design: the modern open-ended approach and the classic rigidness of trial and error. For a while, it strikes a fine balance between the two, giving you plenty of room to play around and experiment without fear of an instant game over. But as the game goes on, that balance shits in favor of strict level design, all but abandoning the freedom offered in Styx’s early hours. In doing so, Styx doesn’t attain mastery of stealth so much as mere competency. As the eponymous goblin, you slink around the tower of Akenash pulling off a number of small-scale thefts and occasionally getting your hands dirty in preparation for a major heist. Styx seeks the heart of the Tree of Life, the...
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The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Review

Like a good mystery novel, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter drops you in deep from the very beginning. You fill in the shoes of supernatural detective Paul Prospero, who’s apparently hot on the trail of a missing kid, the titular Ethan Carter. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter shares some of the same characteristics that highlighted Dear Esther a couple of years ago. It’s a gorgeously rendered first person exploration game, with lush nature and a bunch of ruined buildings. Differently from ‘Ester, which only had you want around and absorb the story as you basked in the atmosphere, ‘Ethan Carter also has you solving a few simple conundrums along the way. But really, the biggest draw to this game really is the opportunity to drink in the mesmerizing locales you make your way through during the five or so hours it takes to finish it. The...
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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call Review

With a wide array of memorable music, adorable characters, and easy to pick up and play gameplay, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call strikes the perfect chord between accessibility and challenge in a genre where complexity and uneven difficulty too often dictate the tempo. “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their entrances and exits and one person in his time plays many parts.” - Attributed to William Shakespeare, that quote may describe the characters that take the stage in Theatrhythm: Curtain Call, to a T. The many characters, spanning a plethora of different worlds that have been explored in Final Fantasy lore, some familiar, some less so, but all play multiple roles in this sequel, whether its a supporting or leading role. The original game, which released back in 2012, featured some of the most iconic music from the once venerable Final Fantasy series, and...
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