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Hollow Knight understands the value of discovery

Of all the things Hollow Knight does well (a fascinating world, beautiful art, fantastic combat, etc.), discovery is by far its strongest quality. It follows the “metroidvania” style of map design and progression, and it’s one of the best executions of that formula I’ve seen in quite some time. The key lies in how Hollow Knight carefully decides which parts of its world to lock until you possess the right abilities or items and how it allows you to subvert those locks. Typically, games like this guide you along a linear path. The world may be large and open, but the road you’ll travel is predetermined. Your progress is gated by a lack of abilities, forcing you to follow a very particular route that introduces you to each new skill before allowing you access to the next area. They present large, labyrinthine worlds but only...
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Desync is stylish as hell, and just as frustrating

Just on its aesthetic alone, Desync had me hooked. It drops you into its neon-cyberspace with nary a clue as to where you are or what your purpose here is. Static and interlace effects dance across the screen as you make your way through the hub, grungy synth scoring the scene. It’s a very striking look that lends Desync its sense of style. If only the actual act of play were as good. Desync is a score-based first-person shooter that urges you to kill with style. By using the environment or combining certain attacks together, you perform “attack sequences.” Attack sequences are essentially unique kills that involve doing something more than simply unloading into foes until they vanish. Maybe that involves knocking an enemy into a pool of lava, or combing weapon shots in some fashion. Desync rewards you for pulling them off with increased...
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Resident Evil 7 Review – It’s been a long road home

The Resident Evil franchise has seen its share of ups and downs over the years, ever since its inception in 1997. What started out as one heck of a scary game — at least for the mind of a then twelve-year-old me — eventually turned into shooters, and the overall quality saw a big dip from which the franchise never quite recovered. Resident Evil 7 aims to bring back the series back to its roots, and in many ways, it succeeds, in some, not so much. In the years following the original Resident Evil, many other games tried to follow up on the premise of offering a “survival horror” experience, with mixed results. What many consider the ultimate competitor to Resident Evil, Silent Hill, started out incredibly solid, only to see a similar dive in success that Capcom saw with each new entry in their...
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