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Breaking the immersion--Skyrim's racism lacks authenticity

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Screenshot

I really like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I want to state this now, since most of what I'm about to write will probably make it seem like I dislike it. However, just because I like something doesn't mean I can't criticize it as well. And believe me, there are things to criticize about Skyrim.

Cosplay: Akuriko as Legend of Zelda's Princess Zelda

Cosplay: Akuriko as Twilight Princess' Zelda

In honor of the launch of what is probably the last must-have Nintendo Wii title we'll ever see, and is surely the final Legend of Zelda game to launch on a Wii—The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword—here is a Zelda cosplayer that is hard to beat.

Consoleation: The numbers game

Gears of War 3 Screenshot

There has been a significant amount of griping over video game review scores recently. Reviewers seem to be on the defensive to readers, publishers, and developers as they attempt to further justify a number that 1,000+ words apparently could not. Games with review scores less than an 80 average on Metacritic are presumed to be bad (or worse).

Critical mass: Why it's okay to hate Call of Duty (and any other game franchise)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Screenshot

Kotaku's Luke Plunkett recently wrote an opinion piece entitled Why It's Stupid to Hate Call of Duty So Damn Much. Intrigued by the headline (and always a sucker for a well-considered opinion piece to counter the never-ending stream of gaming "list-icles" out there) I decided to see why people were stupid to hate on what is essentially the biggest game franchise in the world at this moment.

Disney Universe Review

Small World, Indeed

Disney Universe Screenshot

HIGH Seeing numerous callbacks to Disney films in each level.

LOW Not having my oldest son around to play co-op with me.

WTF The costumes really don't have any unique abilities?

System and story

ICO Screenshot

Quantitatively speaking, I prefer Plants vs. Zombies to every game, ever. Plants vs. Zombies is not my favorite game. I'd say it's not even in the top 20. That honor belongs ICO, a game that typically lasts less than six hours and that I have played exactly four times, to net less than a fifth of the hours I have spent playing Plants vs. Zombies. ICO is my favorite game because of how it makes me feel.

Go Vacation Review

Go Vacation

Go Vacation Screenshot

HIGH Playing the quick draw mini-game reawakened my love for another Namco arcade title, Quick N Crash.

LOW The balance board makes games harder to control without making them more fun.

WTF Why can't I swordfight without Motion Plus?

Video: Skyward Sword videos highlight new gameplay

It was either slow in the gaming news department the last couple of days or everyone really was blown away by the new Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword videos making the rounds. This coincides with recent first-hand impressions Nintendo afforded Western journalists that were kept out of Nintendo's September 13th press conference. And it seemed to have changed Skyward Sword's fortunes.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Consoleation: NPD sales analysis for August 2011

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Screenshot

Microsoft should be pleased with moving another 308,000 Xbox 360 units, especially during a pretty dry month for new game releases. As I mention in the analysis piece, Microsoft will likely interpret this as a signal that a price drop isn't needed for at least the rest of 2011. That doesn't mean that the company won't be offering some interesting deals.

Consoleation: A generation of disappointment

Resistance 3 Screenshot

There have been a lot of advancements and positives for console gaming over the course of this console generation. Many games sport high-definition graphics and top-notch sound. Online play gives players the option to be social with friends all over the globe, if they so choose. The rapid rise of social media has put the industry and its fans closer together than ever before. Gradually, though, this generation's negatives and general anti-consumer trends have wiped out a lot of of those positives for me.

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