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3DS

Layton's lame, Darksiders isn't, JC Brooks and a Japanese invasion!

Professor Layton and the Last Specter Screenshot

Wrapped up Professor Layton and the Last Specter (DS) a couple days ago. I'm just finishing my formal review as we speak, but the bottom line is that it was a pretty big disappointment.

Culling the backlog...

Note: Not my actual stack of games - just a dramatic re-enactment.

I'm not playing anything substantial at the moment; just a little of this, and a little of that. However, instead of starting up something big, it's usually around this time of year that I get the urge to go through my backlog and weed through the accumulated pile. I've got quite a bit of stuff stacked up, so I need to start deciding what I'm actually going to try to play, and what I'm never going to get around to.

Brad's Top 10 of 2011

Catherine Screenshot

Some people may disagree, but for my taste, a lot of the games walking away with top honors right now just weren't cutting it. Of course, your mileage may vary (and probably does) but for me, the ten titles I've selected were the ones that left the best impression and were most deserving.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 66: 2011 Awards Spectacular

Fifteen awards, six podcasters, and countless surprises. You'll be stunned by our pick for Game of the Year, and by the vigorous debate that follows its reveal. Plus: we announce the two winners of our Holiday Contest! Thanks to everyone for entering! With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, Daniel Weissenberger, and Tim "Maybe Next Year" Spaeth. From all of us at GameCritics, have a fantastic holiday, and we'll see you in 2012!

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Please send feedback and mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

The crying game

Shadow of the Colossus HD Screenshot

There is a certain muddiness here between "narrative" components and "systems". Would I have loved Agro as much if he were a lizard? A featherless chicken? A square with four squares sticking out of it? Perhaps I would not have. At the same time the graphical (i.e. narrative) depiction of Agro as a horse serves to contextualize the system he presents and make the game's rules intelligible.

Happy reviews and unhappy people—a rant

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Screenshot

If you ask me what a review should be, it should absolutely include feelings, thoughts, and emotions that are stirred in the player. However, it needs to also include other factors, such as various aspects of design, how bug-free the technical side is, and how it functions overall. On top of that, a good critic will take into account a game's content in terms of how it relates to others that have come before it.

Consoleation: The future is digital

Xbox Live Dashboard Update Image

We've been seeing a gradual shift in software sales in the last couple of years towards digital distribution. Full retail games have been available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 over that time and, although the digital library is but a fraction of the retail library, digital has been catching up.

Engagement and storymaking

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Screenshot

The idea of a game world typically appears in the context of immersive games like Far Cry 2 or Grand Theft Auto IV. Games of this type use attractive graphics to imitate reality, making the idea of a virtual world a natural one.

Sonic Generations Review

The Drowning Music Still Haunts My Soul

Sonic Generations Screenshot

HIGH Chemical Plant Zone is still awesome.

LOW "That looks like a homing shot! Careful, Sonic! That looks like a homing shot! Careful, Sonic! That looks like a homing shot! Careful, Sonic!"

WTF Who's the genius that thought leaving out Launch Base Zone was a good idea?

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked Review

The Devil (Survivor) is in the Details

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked Screenshot Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked Screenshot
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked Screenshot Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked Screenshot

HIGH Fusing a kick-ass demon after 30 minutes of planning and multiple steps.

LOW The voice actress for Midori has as much appeal as listening to chalkboard scratching.

WTF So God imposed different languages on humanity as punishment for not living virtuously? Mind blown.

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