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High-Def Digest

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499 games reviewed
72.6 average score
80 median score
53.7% of games recommended
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Dec 24, 2016

Boasting some of the most compelling mechanics in a Grasshopper game to date and a terrific sense of style, 'Let it Die' is often a great time, and easily one of my favorite F2P games on consoles. The game is held back somewhat by occasionally wonky difficulty that feels particularly punishing given the game's death system, and it often feels padded with systems that drag things down in the name of length, but overall, I've been having a wonderful time with 'Let it Die', and I look forward to diving into it for weeks to come.

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Dec 22, 2016

While the game is light on extra content right now, the promise of free DLC that will expand the game dramatically could easily lead to this being the biggest 'Shantae' yet. It might not be the half-genie's best adventure to date, but it's an upbeat, extremely fun game that's well worth checking out for anyone who likes platformers.

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I don't know if Telltale has lost their magic or if their adherence to this formula has just worn thin on me, but it's becoming increasingly difficult for me to get excited at the prospect of playing another episode. The halcyon days of season one are long gone.

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I don't know if Telltale has lost their magic or if their adherence to this formula has just worn thin on me, but it's becoming increasingly difficult for me to get excited at the prospect of playing another episode. The halcyon days of season one are long gone.

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Dec 20, 2016

'Beholder' is a somber, harsh experience in terms of both its theme and its gameplay. The naggy and sometimes baffling routines of the residents can get in the way of a good story at times, and it's too short overall. Still, it's an interesting addition to the growing "authoritarian state" genre, and well worth its small asking price.

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I can't quite go so far as to say 'City of Light' is good enough on its own to make the entire series worth playing. For a devoted Batman or Telltale fan, you're probably way ahead of me. For others, there is a redemptive quality to this finale, enough to make me glad I played all the way through to the end.

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Dec 17, 2016

'I Expect You To Die' is a must-have puzzle game for PlayStation VR owners. It's one of the most polished titles available for the headset, and really shows how the medium can open up new ideas for developers. It takes the light-hearted interactions that made 'Job Simulator' a blast to play, but gives the player a greater purpose by having them solve brilliantly crafted puzzles. The only disappointment is that the experience ends a bit too quickly, but thankfully it looks like more is on the way (either in the form of a sequel or DLC) if the game's credits are to be believed.

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Dec 16, 2016

'Stardew Valley' takes its inspirations and runs away with them into not just an amazing game, but undoubtedly one of the best of the year. There is no shortage of engrossing gameplay, and it has an adorable personality. The Xbox One version has been ported over with very few issues and I see myself emerging only grudgingly from my farm work over the holiday season.

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Dec 14, 2016

'The Last Guardian' is filled with bouts of frustration, but it's also proof that gaming is the most powerful medium for creators. I got to experience a genuine bond with Trico over the course of the game, and that can't be replicated elsewhere as it's dependent on actual interaction. Ueda's third title as a director is filled with flaws and some straight-up bad design in spots, but it manages to overcome its shortcomings to be something truly special.

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Dec 13, 2016

Playing through 'The Little Acre' will make for an enjoyable afternoon, but not much past that. The impressive production values are the star here, as the gameplay can't match the amazing amount of polish that has been put into the visuals and audio. Narratively, several ideas are left unexplored, and it rarely touches upon both of the unique settings that the game takes place within. Ultimately, it's an average adventure game that has been put in a gorgeous package.

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- Abzu
Dec 12, 2016

In this violent, bloody holiday release schedule it is nice to have games like 'ABZÛ'. It is an artistic, aesthetic game, suited for watching and observing, not playing in a strict sense of the word. Its undersea beauty is unmatched, but leaves me wanting more.

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Dec 11, 2016

The successor to 'Hitman GO' manages to perfectly mesh what made that game a mobile hit and what players love about the 'Tomb Raider' series. It's due to this that 'Lara Croft GO' has its own unique identity.

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Dec 11, 2016

'Dead Rising 4' has deviated too much from its own traditions for me to give it a wholehearted recommendation. It now resembles a typical modern day third-person sandbox game, for what that's worth. To be fair, I have a lot of fun with games like that, and I've been having a lot of fun with this game. But 'Dead Rising' has come and gone, and has been replaced with something a little tamer and more accessible.

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Dec 9, 2016

While it occasionally buckles under its own ambition and the game falters somewhat as the plot ramps up, overall 'Final Fantasy XV' is a beautiful, exciting game that I dearly loved. It may not be the best game I've played this year, but it is almost certainly my favorite, and Square Enix has built an incredible, extremely unique open-world. While I'm not sure I want 'FFXVI' to follow suit and be an open-world like this one, I'd absolutely love to see them expand upon some of the ideas presented here in future. A remarkable return to form for a franchise that many felt had lost its way.

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Dec 7, 2016

'Dungeon Souls' isn't boring, but it's tough to justify spending time with it over many of the recent dungeon crawler greats. It is a typical roguelike - fun to play for a while, and easily forgotten afterwards.

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'Bethesda Pinball' is easily Zen Studios' most ambitious project yet. They really went all out making sure each table feels like the game it's based upon, but that leads to mixed results when it comes to digital pinball. 'DOOM' is the real standout addition, with the two role-playing game tables getting too overly complicated. While it may not pull off every idea it attempted, I'm glad that Zen Studios isn't afraid to take risks, and that's exactly why this is still a pinball pack that is worth checking out even if it's not the developer's best adaptation.

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'Survival' is the sort of DLC that is increasingly rare in the big budget section of gaming. It is more of a total overhaul mod than downloadable content, fundamentally changing how the game is played from the ground up. If you happen to be a fan of both the survival genre and 'Tom Clancy's The Division', you're probably going to enjoy it. If you only like one or the other, it won't get you as far.

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The writing team is doing a decent job with the direction and script of 'Batman: The Telltale Series', but the severely strained engine rears its ugly head at every opportunity. Telltale's formula and tech both are very familiar by now and have their flaws, which we've been able to overlook for the sake of an otherwise enjoyable story. The lag has nearly reached a critical mass, however.

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Nov 28, 2016

The title of 'Killing Floor 2' really says it all. Tripwire Interactive brings the FPS back to its most primal level, creating a ludicrous arcade-style bloodbath in an era of deeper, more thoughtful narrative-driven shooters. That approach ultimately proves to be refreshing; while more variety would have pushed the game over the top into "truly great" territory, what 'Killing Floor 2' does offer is undeniably visceral entertainment. And while the wave-based action is plenty of fun on its own, the perks system kept me coming back to upgrade my character and face even deadlier threats.

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Nov 24, 2016

In some ways it is very dramatic how far the roller coaster tycoon genre has come, and yet the core rulebook has changed little. Frontier has made an abundant and pretty simulation bound to captivate tycoon fans, although in essence it is much like 'RollerCoaster Tycoon 3'. I admit I would have liked just a little bit more hand-holding at the beginning of the game, but that didn't stop me from having a lot of fun with 'Planet Coaster'.

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