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Observations from PAX East 2012: Are video game gimmicks finally maturing?

Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor Screenshot

Being a 3DS and Kinect owner as well as a fan of Japanese robots/mechs, two neighboring games on the main exhibition hall of PAX East immediately caught my attention: Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor for the Xbox 360 and Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir for the 3DS. Both games are updates to game franchises that were once considered innovative back when they were first released.

I Am Alive Review

Brutal, Unflinching and... Important

I Am Alive Screenshot

HIGH Finding a safehouse where colors still exist.

LOW Taking a beating and limping along for two areas on a sliver of life.

WTF Why aren't critics talking about this game? Oh, right. Mass Effect 3.

Crafting Nightmares: Why Amnesia's Dark Descent terrifies audiences

Amnesia: The Dark Descent Screenshot

There have been some genuinely scary horror games over the years - everything from Silent Hill and Fatal Frame to PC titles like Clive Barker's Undying and so on. Each has worked diligently to merge the idea of the horror narrative with compelling gameplay in order to craft experiences that keep gamers playing even while they cower in fear behind their controllers. As great as some of those have been, few have been as perfect as Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

Dead Island: Ryder White Review

It's the Opposite

Dead Island: Ryder White Screenshot

HIGH Clearing out the prison showers with impunity.

LOW Weapons unequipping in the middle of zombie gangbangs.

WTF Repeating ambush points until weapons degrade into useless scrap.

PSP Minis, Kingdoms of Amalur and Dead Island's Ryder White

Dead Island: Ryder White Screenshot

I haven't been up on my download titles and the way I should lately, so I've been trying to rectify that over last week or two. I decided to comb through the PSP Minis store alphabetically and see what caught my eye. There's a whole lot of junk in there, quite frankly, but there are some nice titles if you look hard enough.

Amy Review

If You Seek Amy

Amy Screenshot

HIGH A great premise.

LOW Feels like it was designed ten years ago.

WTF Marcello is the creepiest good guy, ever.

Gears 3, Amy and Cabela's Survival

Cabela's Survival: Shadows of Katmai Screenshot

After Amy, I took @KayinAmoh's advice and spent some time with Cabela's Survival: Shadows of Katmai on 360. You may not believe it, but the game is completely awesome.

Corpse Party Review

Students in Hell. Horror Game Fans in Heaven.

Corpse Party Screenshot

HIGH The final chapter.

LOW No ability to skip scenes.

WTF Butter up my pooper.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 62: Anniversaries, Horror Indies, A Return to Dead Island

We celebrate our podcast's third anniversary by ruminating on some historic game franchise anniversaries; which did we vote as most important? Plus, why Dead Island deserves a second look, and The Horror Geek addresses "6 out of 5" as only he can. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim "No Batman For You" Spaeth.

Download: Right click here and select "Save Target As..."
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Please send feedback and mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent Second Opinion

In Hindsight, I Should Have Named the Dog Toto

Amnesia: The Dark Descent Screenshot

HIGH Those first three hours of gameplay were the most terrified I have been of a game in my life.

LOW Non-stop fetch quests

WTF Why is Daniel mute? He's monologuing in flashbacks the entire time!

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