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Monthly Editorial (May 2014) – Watchdogs and the Future is Now

Tis the merry month of May, my friends, and the future of gaming is looking brighter in some spots. Well, brighter than it was not too long ago when gamers were divided over which console smelled better than the other or who ran what at 1080p. With Microsoft finally realizing that things would have gone a lot more smoothly had they listened to the consumer, the Xbox One has a chance now to bring gamers what we deserve … quality Xbox games unique to Microsoft whether its the recently announced Halo sequel or more Gears of War. Oh yeah, you will soon stream Netflix or Hulu without a Gold Xbox Live membership so there’s that as well.

Of course, there is also E3 2014 to look forward to in terms of the numerous titles we can come to expect from both Microsoft and Sony as well as our struggling friends at Nintendo. The surprises will be plentiful, of that I could assure you, my gaming brethren. Already we have heard from our friends at Ubisoft who have already announced such titles as Far Cry 4, Tom Clancy’s The Division, The Crew and Assassin’s Creed Unity just to name a few titles we can expect from them.

Speaking of Ubisoft, this month also finally brings us Watchdogs … a game that we here at Game Revolver have been dying to play for a long time and one that we will be reviewing as soon as it becomes available to us. An open-world game where we can turn Chicago into our own playground is so damn enticing that we will be celebrating this game’s release with a contest. We’ll be announcing this contest soon so keep your eyes peeled.

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We are excited about the prospects of this upcoming E3 show and will bring you more news in the coming month. In the meantime, I would like to welcome back our own Valentine del Toro who will be not only reviewing games again but will offer up her funny take on bad gaming with her column Valentina’s Adventures in Bad Gaming. Welcome back, Val, we missed you and your chimichangas.

Happy Gaming!

Eduardo Zacarias
Editor-in-Chief

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Categories: Monthly Editorial

Fist Full Of Micro Reviews – March 2014

We hate resorting to Micro Reviews but the ending of 2013 and the beginning of January had myself and my review crew very busy designing a few features that will make a debut really soon but – in the meantime – we have a fist full of Micro Reviews that celebrate the beginning of a new generation of gaming that is just barely showing us all of its full potential.

While we can go into how powerful Sony’s console is and why it outsold Microsoft’s Xbox One, we are of the opinion that what we are seeing so far is just the tip of a virtual iceberg that will not fail to surprise. Already there is the announcement that Sony will bring us 100 games this year as well as the introduction of its impressive PlayStation Now service. On top of that, the Xbox One has a number of features that go well beyond exclusive titles such as Titanfall.

Oh yeah, this is but the beginning and the year is young so let’s get right to the Micro Reviews, shall we?

Killzone: Shadow Fall (PlayStation 4)

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The Killzone franchise has certainly developed quite a following since its introduction on the PS3 so having Shadow Fall be among the PlayStation 4’s initial launch lineup is a pleasant surprise and even more so since the game was built specifically to show of the new console’s amazing graphics capabilities. What we get is a first-person shooter that delivers an immersive, action-packed and gorgeous-looking game that brings to mind the Half Life series in the best possible way. On top of that, the multiplayer component comes together nicely to keep you playing this one long after you finish the single-player campaign.

OVERALL GRADE: A

Dead Rising 3 (Xbox One)

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Capcom’s quirky zombie-slaying game hasn’t really changed all that much since we were first introduced to photographer Frank West on the Xbox 360. This third installment of the Dead Rising series is no different as you play new character, Nick Ramos, who finds himself in the infected zone of Los Perdidos. The Xbox One is able to produce some decent graphics that allow even more walking dead on the screen at once and it really is impressive but then again its all running at 720p and 30fps. However, you won’t find any features here that revolutionize the series enough to make it a refreshing new start on a new console. Still, with all zany missions, plenty of weapons and vehicles, Dead Rising 3 is still loads of fun to play.

OVERALL GRADE: B+

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (PlayStation 4)

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After the lackluster performance of Assassin’s Creed III, the fourth installment set its sights on the high seas as you assume the role of Edward Kenway, a young pirate who just so happens to get caught up in the world of the assassins and the Templars. Not only do you get to command the Jackdaw but also you can set sail to explore an open world filled with exotic islands ripe with booty and fight off Spanish galleons and English fleets with cannon fire. There are also the many missions and side missions to jump into that are true to the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Sure, the game was released on the PlayStation 3 as well but the game looks especially enticing on the PlayStation 4.

OVERALL GRADE: A+

Call of Duty: Ghosts (PlayStation 4)

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Nobody found it as a surprise when Activision announced a new Call of Duty game and it was even less of a surprise that a next-gen version of the game would coincide with the release date of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. While not adding anything new to this series even on two new consoles, Ghosts manages to be the same entertaining thrill ride we have come to know from past Call of Duty games and that’s alright for dedicated fans. Anyone else will find this more of the same but with better graphics and, of course, a fantastic multiplayer portion that is reason enough to keep playing and even more so with a few key additions.

OVERALL GRADE: B

KNACK (PlayStation 4)

Knack Box

Knack is a game that we had been looking forward to playing since it was announced and who wouldn’t have been excited over a PlayStation 4 launch title that looks that original. What we get instead is dull and repetitive combat combined with a frustrating difficulty setting and so-so level design with a world that offers very little to interact with throughout this disappointing title.

OVERALL GRADE: D

Forza Motorsport 5 (Xbox One)

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The Forza Motorsport series has always done a brilliant job of making us fall in love with the world of racing and it this fifth game in the series continues to celebrate all things vehicular. While there aren’t more new roads or even more cars than the fourth game, Forza Motorsport 5 is still an improvement that will have you happily jumping back behind the wheel and even more so on the Xbox One. Frankly speaking, this game is what will make you happy you bought Microsoft’s new console.

OVERALL GRADE: A

Battlefield 4 (PlayStation 4)

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The fourth installment of the Battlefield series doesn’t even attempt to do anything particularly new except provide fans with what it is best known for … a completely absorbing, challenging and addictive multiplayer option that makes this worth the purchase price. Thanks to a few updates, the online multiplayer has improved greatly but, sadly, the single-player campaign isn’t anything to write home about once again since there isn’t much of a story here.

OVERALL GRADE: B

Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition (Xbox One)

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When Tomb Raider was released a while back, it didn’t really need to be remade seeing as the game was not only brilliantly entertaining but also easy on the eyes just like its protagonist. Still, this Definitive Edition not only brings us all the DLC but the game was build from the ground up visually to make this an even more graphically-stunning game. If you haven’t bought it the first time, buying it now is highly recommended. We count this among one of the best Tomb Raider games available as well as one hell of a great survival title.

OVERALL GRADE: A+

Categories: Monthly Editorial

Monthly Editorial: Part One – November 2013

November 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Truth be told, we had no intention whatsoever of reviewing the PlayStation 4 because – let’s face it – reviewing a console at launch is not giving it a fair chance because there is always bound to be something wrong with the first batch of consoles whether it’s a number of problems due to manufacturer or shipping defects. We can’t always expect a console to ship glitch-free or without its share of problems, right?

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So we won’t bring you an official review but we will say a few words about the PS4 because not everyone can easily part with $400 and if our opinion will help our readers make a decision to purchase Sony’s next-generation console or decide to save their money then we did our jobs.

By now, you have all probably heard of all the issues that have made the PlayStation 4 launch something of a celebration and a disappointment. The issues we speak of is, of course, is the faulty HDMI ports, the overheating problem and – in some cases – the console turning into a $400 brick in a “blue light of death” defect reminiscent of the Xbox 360’s “red ring of death.”

As of this writing, Sony has issued a firmware update in the firm of Update 1.51 that will help improve the stability of the system hardware after complaints that PS4 owners have been experiencing hiccups during downloads and – in our fellow reviewer Nick Valentino’s case – navigating the console’s interface.

Our major gripe is with the fact that it makes as much noise as our “fat” PS3, although it – so far – it just makes an audible hum. At one point, it did make a sound like a fat kid breathing heavily after failing to hold his breath for two seconds. It also overheated once after 4 hours of playing Call of Duty: Ghosts but it didn’t cause any real problems.

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Still, there’s a bright light at the end of these dark corridors. While Sony continues to deal with its launch problems, there is no overlooking the fact that the PlayStation 4 is a powerful console capable of bringing gamers an experience that is a step above the PS3. The console even sports some amazing graphics capabilities that, in time when developers and publishers really push the console’s graphics, will not fail to amaze.

When the PlayStation 4 was fully unveiled to us during this year’s E3 and Sony’s press conference, the specs that were announced make up the console’s greatest assets whether it is the 500GB hard drive storage that – hallelujah! – can be easily upgraded on your own … but then again you can do the same for the Xbox One although you will be voiding the warranty. Then there’s the 8GB of GDDR5 that is a step bigger than what the Xbox One brings to the table.

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Is it worth the purchase price, you may be asking? We definitely recommend it as we also look forward to what Microsoft will bring us as well.

Categories: Monthly Editorial

Fist Full Of Micro Reviews – November 2013

November 19, 2013 Leave a comment

The next generation of gaming is finally here and as of the time of this writing, the PlayStation 4 has arrived in all its glitch-yet-awesome glory while the Xbox One will find itself in store shelves this very week. That said, there have been a number of current-generation games that we didn’t get a chance to get full-length reviews due to us preparing for something really big on our part.

So, here are a few Micro Reviews of games that we had a chance to play when we weren’t testing out games like Killzone: Shadow Fall and Dead Rising 3 to name a few PS4 and Xbox One games. Let’s just say that this is a very spectacular year for gaming.

DIABLO III (PlayStation 3)

Diablo III Box
The Diablo series has always been one of those franchises that does not cease to impress to the point that fans of the genre – be it veterans and newbies – will happily spend hours leveling up. There aren’t many dungeon-crawlers out there that can boast all the action-packed goodness that this excellent port provides and adding a solid co-op option and you get a new instant classic that needs to be in your growing library.

OVERALL GRADE: A+

SPLINTER CELL: BLACKLIST (Xbox 360)

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Sam Fisher is back, although his original voice has changed, but that doesn’t stop our favorite stealthy specialist from completing a campaign that has him facing a new threat that will lead him through a number of scenarios with multiple paths to take and plenty of the ultra cool gadgets Fisher has at his disposal. On top of a great single-player mode, there’s a fun multiplayer portion that harkens back to the days of Chaos Theory. Splinter Cell fans, you will kick yourself for missing this one.

OVERALL GRADE: A

Batman: Arkham Origins (PlayStation 3)

Batman ArkOrigins Box
The Dark Knight is back on the streets of Gotham City to dish out more hurt on a list of the city’s most dangerous villains and, yes, the battles against these colorful foes is one of the highlights of the Caped Crusader’s latest outing. However, the fact that you’ll encounter a recycled map that makes for a lifeless Gotham and some battles don’t offer much of a challenge you will discover that Arkham Origins is far from perfect. Still, there are plenty of highlights that make it worth playing.

OVERALL GRADE: C+

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE WIND WAKER HD (WiiU)

Zelda WindWaker HD Box
The Wind Waker stands as one of those Zelda games that hold a special place in the hearts of fans of our favorite adventurer, Link. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Nintendo has decided to give us an HD remake of The Wind Waker and it does not disappoint in the very least and even more so since it takes advantage of the WiiU’s controls and graphics capabilities. This is the perfect opportunity to experience a true classic and more so if this is the first time you’re playing this game.

OVERALL GRADE: A+


BEYOND: TWO SOULS (PlayStation 3)

Beyond TwoSouls Box
David Cage and Quantic Dream offers up another serving of its interactive storytelling gameplay goodness that made Heavy Rain such an original and impressive title. With the help of actors Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe (just to name a few), the story of Jodie Holmes and her supernatural companion, Aiden, comes to life in a remarkable manner worth experiencing from start to finish. If Heavy Rain or Indigo Prophecy isn’t your cup of tea, Beyond: Two Souls will not change your mind but if you found those two games to be engaging then, by all means, Beyond is the perfect way to dive into this interactive tale.

OVERALL GRADE: B+

Categories: Monthly Editorial

GameStop Expo 2013 – Greetings from Las Vegas

August 29, 2013 Leave a comment

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August 28, 2013 – Over the years, GameStop has managed to survive in a difficult economy that saw the end of other stores and why not since GameStop has always made it a policy to give “power to the players.” So it’s no surprise that the retail chain holds an expo for store managers as well as the general public that has made GameStop their destination for buying, selling and pre-ordering games.

Held at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, the expo opened its doors to exhibitors such as Capcom, Ubisoft, SquareEnix, Konami, NamcoBandai and well as Warner Bros. Games just to name a few game developers at hand to showcase current generation titles as well as next-gen games like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Call of Duty: Ghosts.

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While our band of reviewers had the honor of trying out PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games at this year’s E3, this was a wonderful opportunity for the general public to not only see both consoles up close but also get their hands on a PS4 of Xbox One controller to try their hand at Batman Arkham Origins and Wolfenstein: The New Order just to name a few titles displayed.

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With both Sony and Microsoft making their presence known, both booths provided opportunities to see both consoles in action. This event was actually the perfect opportunity for consumers to see the difference between the two very different consoles for themselves.

While we here at Game Revolver do not pick sides because, hey, we’re gamers who love games regardless of the platform, it was hard to ignore the tremendous support for Sony’s next-generation console.

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“Everything from the amazing graphics to the fact that the load times appear to be seamless just makes me very satisfied that I pre-ordered the PlayStation 4 over the Xbox One.” Said Andrew Fischer, 24, who was at the Sony booth.

Another gamer, Gregory Jeffries, 29, thought that the Xbox One looked good enough to give Sony a run for their money.

“I love how crisp the graphics look and the controller feels better than the 360’s controllers and that’s saying a lot right there.”

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Like E3, attendees were treated to plenty of giveaways and swag to take home but also small theaters to see demonstrations of games like Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, with the latter being a demo of an assassination mission that shows off how massive the playing map is and how seamless it is to go from land to sea and explore massive islands.

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GameStop has given their customers and gamers a chance to see new games and try them out as well in an event that managed to be informative as well as fun. Here’s to next year where we hope to see what surprises 2014 will bring.

– Clarke Kent

Categories: Monthly Editorial

The Return of Game Revolver … Yet Again – Monthly Editorial (March 2013)

Have you ever gone on a date with a person who totally sweeps you off your feet to the point that the only you can see is the possibility of a long and fruitful relationship that will last forever? We have too but not with a person but with a publishing company that gave not only us a home but also our sister sites called Comic Revolution and Animanga Nation.

We thought we were in love with this company but after a few years of dating we came to realize that when your significant other tries to stifle your creativity and try to change who you are then you know you’re not in a healthy relationship. So, after a lengthy battle our site has broken free of a relationship that was no longer a loving and encouraging one to start anew sans a controlling lover.

So Game Revolver is official back and with nothing holding us back we can return to being the fools who bring you gaming news and reviews in a slightly different manner. We have always seen ourselves as comedic journalists who bring you news and features in a slightly more tongue-in-cheek sort of way while taking our game reviews a lot more serious (mainly because games are expensive and serious business).

Thankfully, we were not alone in breaking off with the creativity-smothering publishing company because Comic Revolution (a site run by my younger sister, Eden Zacarias) has also broken free to make a triumphant return as well. Sadly, Animanga Nation – despite announcing they were back – will officially be back for good in 2014. Sorry about that anime and manga fans.

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Our return, however, comes at a good time. With the announcement of PlayStation 4 during Sony’s press conference in February we will be joining a new generation in gaming goodness. On top of that we have the Xbox 720 to look forward to as Microsoft will bring a new console to this new generation and believe me when I say that we are so looking forward to that as well.

In the meantime, the current generation will not simply fade into console obscurity since there are a number of upcoming titles that will surely continue making us happy gaming addicts. With games like BioShock Infinite, Grand Theft Auto V, God of War: Ascension and Gears of War: Judgment among a few others, we will have our hands full until the new consoles hit store shelves.

So I am happy to call the old staff back for more gaming news and reviews and we wish to thank all you fellow gamers and readers who have sent us so much love and e-mails asking for us to come back.

Also, Natalie Romano and Valentina del Toro would like to thank all the male readers for all those e-mails requesting dates after they seen pictures of them covering last year’s San Diego Comic-Con when they dressed as the Black Cat and Catwoman for a friendly review site that will remain unnamed for so many reasons.

Ah, thanks for making our nerd dreams come true, ladies.

Anyway, we’re back! Just in case you forgot how we looked like while we were away, here’s a picture of us now.

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Happy Gaming,
Eduardo Zacarias
Editor-in-Chief

Categories: Monthly Editorial

GAME REVOLVER IS BACK SO HIDE YOUR DAUGHTERS(‘S CONTROLLERS)

January 26, 2012 Leave a comment

After a long reflective pause and a hiatus that seemed way too long, Game Revolver is back … again.

It seemed like a number of things conspired against us, including a brief scuffle with our old partners and a media firm that thought we were a bit too condescending when it came to making fun of bad games. After all, these companies still put out games but – come on, suits – every big name company, movie studio or publisher produces a bright and shiny turd every now and then so why can’t we point it out and laugh at it.

Here’s another thing the suits didn’t like. We are a bunch of comedians who also happen to be hardcore gamers so the only thing we do take seriously are our game reviews and that is for an obvious reason … games cost money and reviews should be help our readers decide whether they should buy, rent or pass on a game. We feel the same about previews, which we also take seriously because we are just as excited as you – our dear readers – to learn more about upcoming games.

Other than that, we make with the funny when it comes to special features such as Valentina’s Adventures in Bad Gaming or when we do our own version of “Punch Buggy” only when we see crates in a game. Oh yeah, so you can imagine how many sore arms there are after playing a game like Skyrim.

Oh, and I would like to thank all our readers for all their wonderful words of encouragement and the other emails requesting we come back. To tell you the truth, Game Revolver would have dissolved completely without all of your support. I’m not kidding, three of our reviewers were seriously going to start their own gaming website in protest so I’m glad they’re still with us.

Well, we’ll get back to doing what we do as we bring you gaming news, reviews and everything else in-between.

Happy Gaming,
Eduardo Zacarias
Editor-in-Chief

Categories: Monthly Editorial