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Need for Speed: The Run Review

Can Plots Run on Fumes?

Need for Speed: The Run Screenshot

HIGH Race that avalanche!

LOW What, you again?

WTF Man, I'm killing way too many people in this racing game.

Bracken's Best Games of 2011

Shadows of the Damned Screenshot

Twenty-eleven was not a banner year for games. Sure, the fourth quarter was once again overfilled with AAA titles that brought in billions of dollars of revenue (and review scores centered squarely at the top end of the scoring chart), but many of those titles weren't exactly mindblowing in their awesomeness. The games weren't bad, mind you—it's just hard to shake the feeling that 2011's fourth quarter was more about treading water.

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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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.

New Vegas and Xenoblade pre-orders

Fallout: New Vegas Screenshot

Completed Fallout: New Vegas the other day, and although it got a little buggier than I would have preferred towards the end, I still pushed on and rolled credits in support of the New California Republic.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 65: Batman Arkham City, Zelda Skyward Sword, More Skyrim, Corpse Party, Fate/Extra

Brad's back with a vengeance, smacking down accusations that he's playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim incorrectly. Also: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Corpse Party, Fate/Extra, and, at last, our semi-epic fight over Batman: Arkham City. Plus: Details on how you can win BIG in our BIG holiday contest. With Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim "BIG" Spaeth.

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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.

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