Review: Fire Emblem Awakening - A lethal pairing

Do you know which game Marth and Ike belong to? I didn`t, yet I never questioned their existence in Super Smash Brothers. I accepted the fact that they came from a Nintendo franchise without ever stopping to think of which one exactly.

Fire Emblem Awakening made me realize that both Marth and Ike belonged to the Fire Emblem franchise - a franchise with a relatively small audience. Fire Emblem targeted people looking for a challenging grid based strategy game who also didn't fear the consequence of their character's permanent death.

With the inclusion of a Casual mode - which disables permanent death and enables manual saves any at time during battle - Fire Emblem Awakening's accessibility welcomes audiences beyond the punishment seeking community. With new modes introduced, Fire Emblem Awakening can produce a variety of difficulty settings for each player's specific desires, removing the barrier between a frustrating strategy game and an addictive one.

Unpacking the PlayStation 4 reveal

Prior to the unofficial yet predictable unveiling of the PlayStation 4, I expected disappointment. Sony's continued failures did little to convince for anything better. The PlayStation 3 launched for $600 with no software support for two years; the ridiculously expensive PSP Go didn't play PSP UMDs, and the PS Vita barely sees any new game releases. Even outside of the video games market, the last innovative piece of technology Sony produced was the Walkman.

But I was wrong; Sony finally learned something.

Dual Shock 4 - A tentative grasp

About a week before Sony's announcement of the PS4, Destructoid.com posted what looked like a prototype PS4 controller. In the photo, a blue light bar - similar to the Playstation Move - hinted at some type of motion control implementation. No one wants to waggle their controller or shake it furiously; we learned that immediately after the Nintendo Wii's novelty wore off. After hearing the confirmation of Move support, the idea didn't bother me.

PS4: Temper your expectations. Sony learned nothing

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At this point, I expect disappointment. Despite showing great potential with their excellent game development, Sony continues to produce expensive, unwanted or unnecessary gaming hardware. With Wednesday's event in New York, the reveal of the PlayStation 4 (or whatever Sony decides to call it) will determine whether or not Sony finally realizes the great position the company sits in. Microsoft's lack of software development and Nintendo's painfully slow sales of the Wii U, puts the Playstation 4 in a position to reclaim the dominance of a decade ago.

But unfortunately, I instil little faith in Sony to provide any innovation or perfection. Destructoid.com recently shared a photo of an alleged PlayStation 4 controller. The photo indicates a built in, lit, motion sensor bar, small touch screen or display and, improvements to the analog sticks and directional pad. 

When considering Sony's track record with leaks around items like the PSP Go, PS Vita and new PS3 models, one can safely assume the legitimacy of the alleged prototype controller.

Now Playing: Civilization 5: Gods and Kings

I played Civilization V many times before, yet I never understood why I did anything. I failed to understand why I researched certain technologies like Animal Husbandry, or why Science points proved important to the progression of these technologies. From friends who knew the answers to why, they often preached just learning from experience. But when you feel a lack of progression after playing a game for hours, without actually knowing the significance of your actions ultimately feels pointless.

During the Holiday break, GreenManGaming.com discounted the Civilization V: Gods and Kings Expansion from $20 to $3. Despite no intention of ever playing Civilization V again, I bought the expansion based on the recommendation, and promise, that with the addition of Religion, new units and new Leaders, the game drastically changed. With a long break from school and excessive amounts of free time, I committed to actually learning how to play and understanding the significance of certain units or buildings. I again encountered the endless learning process that plagued my initial Civilization V experience.

Review: Dishonored - Blink, stab

I don't know if I actually enjoy stealth games. I find that whenever guards spot me trying to sneak from behind, I fall into an awkward limbo where I will either restart from my latest save, or stab everyone in the neck until I hear complete silence. Unfortunately, Dishonored doesn't change my mostly cynical opinion about the stealth genre. Dishonored's industrial, Victorian era setting fails to even compete with the highly detailed and futuristic world of Deus Ex, but it stays close to the crouch walking, throat stabbing and trap setting tactics found in the best stealth games.

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