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Okami HD Review

High definition visuals are exactly what Okami needed. The original PlayStation 2 release was and is still gorgeous; time hasn’t harmed it in the slightest. But the addition of HD breathes new life into Okami. Developer Hexa Drive took an already strong foundation and fortified it to the point of flawlessness. Okami HD is easily the definitive version of Okami and one of the best remasters yet. Not just on virtue of its visuals, but also because it holds up. Okami puts you in the role of the sun goddess Amaterasu (in the form of a wolf) as she travels around Nippon (which is basically the name ‘Japan’ in Japanese – ed.’s note) purging the evils that have overrun it. You move between the farthest corners of Nippon — from its sunny planes and seaside vistas to its tranquil forests and northern tundra — fighting demons and rejuvenating the land through the power of the Celestial Brush. A...
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The Fine Line of Trial and Error

A few months ago, I played Limbo, Playdead’s gloomy, award-winning platformer. It was going swell at first. Traversal was simple, the atmosphere was appropriately thick with tension and mystery, and the visuals were beautiful. Unfortunately, the game was riddled with nigh-unavoidable “gotcha!” deaths — seemingly scripted death sequences that can’t be dodged without prior knowledge of each one’s placement. Jump on a rope and a bear trap falls from the ceiling; run along a log and a boulder will suddenly come rolling. In both cases, I was never able to evade them on the first encounter. I started scanning the area for signs. Wasn’t about to let the game get the better of me. But it did, because there were no signs. Activation was the only way I’d know where the damn things were, and when they finally seemed like they’d give me chance, by...
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Cogntion Episode 1: The Hangman Review

It’s always refreshing to see a quality new adventure game pop up from places other than Telltale Games.Cognition is a new series put out by indie developer Phoenix Online Studios as a product of a Kickstarter campaign. The first episode in the four part series, titled ‘The Hangman’ introduces us to Boston FBI agent Erica Reed, and gets into the action right away, as we find her hot on the trail of a serial killer who kidnapped her brother. Unfortunately for her, things go south and she ends up losing her brother and the murderer’s trail. Fast forward three years later, a murder case brings back painful memories. Cognition sticks to the traditional formula of adventure games, mainly, the pointing and clicking, and inventory management. Thoroughly exploring environments, going from place to place and talking to people for clues is part of the meat and potatoes in...
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