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Trials HD and Dragon Age get DLC, and more Final Fantasy XII

Final Fantasy XII Screenshot

The other day, I joked with a friend that I was doing a "60-hour speed run" of Final Fantasy XII by following the story and ignoring all of the side quests. I'm not a fan of grinding at all, and RPGs which keep themselves playable when the person doing the playing is simply following the critical path are my favorite sorts. In total, I haven't done more than an hour or so of "grinding" enemies (and that done from my own free will) and I'm having no issues so far, so I'm kind of wondering where the complaints are coming from. Maybe it becomes more of an issue further into the game, but at the point I'm at, it just hasn't been a concern.

Wish I didn't sleep on Final Fantasy XII

Final Fantasy XII Art

After the madness of the fourth quarter, I have a lull in the review schedule right now. It's nice to not be reviewing something for a change, so I'm plowing ahead with Final Fantasy XII. I'm about fifteen-ish hours into the adventure and still loving it. Loving it a heck of a lot more than I expected, actually.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 28: Game of the Year and Best/Worst of 2009

Pour yourself a pitcher of egg nog, fire up a yule log, and join the GameCritics.com family as we reminice about the year that was. We'll reveal our game of the year, and discuss the best and worst 2009 had to offer. Featuring Chi, Brad, Mike, Dave, Dan, Richard, Tim, and a special appearance by one of our favorite listeners, Hargrada. Thanks to everyone for listening; we really do appreciate it. Have a happy and safe New Year's, and we'll see you back here in January.

Download: Right click here and select "Save Target As..."
Subscribe: iTunes | Zune | RSS
Read: Transcript

Award Categories:

  • Surprise (Good) of the Year Award
  • WTF of the Year Award
  • The "Brad Gallaway is Single-Handedly Keeping Indie Developers in Business" Award
  • Non-2009 Game of the Year
  • Most Disappointing Game of the Year
  • The Too Human Award for Inexplicable Excellence
  • Developer We'll Miss the Most
  • Best Argument for Abandoning Discs
  • Most Promising New Franchise
  • Nail in the Coffin Award
  • The Internet Has No Idea What They're Talking About Award
  • Best Argument for Games-as-Art
  • The Steaming Pile Award
  • 2009 Game of the Year

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

Why Demon's Souls isn't GOTY material and other strange tales

Demon's Souls Screenshot

Forgive this bit of Scroogery on Christmas (hey, it's not my holiday).  I'm mostly reacting to Gamespot picking Demon's Souls over Uncharted 2: Among Thieves as Game of the Year for 2009. It's a positive reaction to the action-RPG title that I've seen elsewhere, so I'm not entirely surprised. But I also feel it's the latest in a series of hyperbolic reactions calling the game "new" and "inventive," when what I really think people are reacting to—both positively and negatively—is the game's difficulty.

Seasons Greetings... and gaming

Halo 3: ODST Screenshot

It's that time of year again. A heartfelt Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to anyone and everyone who takes the time to read my ramblings. I'm looking forward to a new year that will be better than the last, and I hope the same is true for you as well—and again, thanks for coming by.

(…And by the way, is it just me or does it feel completely bizarre to even imagine writing "2010" in any context other than a futuristic science fiction story?)

I've been spending the last few days hopping back and forth between tons of different games, not settling on any one for long. Brace for impact.

Brad's Top 10 of 2009

Demon's Souls Screenshot

If you ask me, 2009 was a rather exceptional year for video games. Although there was no one, single game that dominated the entire industry, there were so many titles of such stellar quality that players of every persuasion had plenty of things to choose from. As a critic, I found that the end of the year was especially thick with games that required my attention; I usually have things well in hand by the time December starts, but this year I constantly had three, four, or five top-tier titles (besides all of the B-listers) that I needed to get to, and it was a race against time to make sure that everything that deserved a look got one.

The Horror Geek presents: New Aliens vs Predator trailer features lots of Lance Henriksen

A week or so back, I posted some good news about Sega's upcoming Aliens vs. Predator game: Lance Henriksen was not only doing voice work for the title, but he'd be appearing digitally in the game as well.

A few days ago, we got our first opportunity to hear how he'll be utilized in the title courtesy of this new story trailer for the title. Henriksen narrates as only he can—meaning with a cool, gravelly voice that makes even the most innocuous of statements sound incredibly menacing and intimidating. Henriksen's carved out a nice niche for himself in the game voice-over market, but seeing him return to a franchise like Alien is even more special to this fanboy.

Check out the trailer below. The title will debut on the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 sometime in the first quarter of 2010.

The Horror Geek presents: Electronic Arts sings you a Christmas Carol from Hell in this Dante's Inferno clip

Those crazy Electronic Arts marketing folks are at it again—because nothing says "holiday cheer" quite like a song about Hell and Lucifer sung to the tune of the "12 Days of Christmas".

The demo for Visceral Games' loose adaptation of Dante's classic story is already out for the PS3. The Xbox 360 demo hits tomorrow. Until then, mix this with the Nat King Cole at your holiday festivities and see how your guests react…

PixelJunk Shooter Review

Going with the Flows

PixelJunk Shooter Screenshot

HIGH Neutralizing a pool of lava with one well-placed shot

LOW The ship can take hardly any damage at all.

WTF Why is collecting diamonds so important on a rescue mission?

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