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Author Topic: TZH Game Reviews II: Sins of the Reviewer  (Read 30067 times)
Yutrzenika
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« Reply #105 on: July 05, 2012, 07:28:19 pm »

UGH. You just don't like, get it, man! /hipster

But yes, there are lots of art house games like that around. Usually pretentious drivel, it's no wonder most of them are indie games, nobody wants to publish some bullshit where you walk in a straight line doing nothing as you hear some pretentious "deep" story being narrated to you.
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« Reply #106 on: July 05, 2012, 07:37:25 pm »

how is it a game if you just hold W
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« Reply #107 on: July 05, 2012, 09:05:41 pm »

Worse than E.T. and a kick in the balls.  Wow. 
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« Reply #108 on: July 05, 2012, 09:11:02 pm »

I actually had more fun trying to play ET than I have doing most things lately.
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« Reply #109 on: July 05, 2012, 09:31:43 pm »

Worse than E.T. and a kick in the balls.  Wow. 
I think thats pushing it, I mean, Dear Esther didn't single handedly destroy video games for a decade and get buried in a desert.
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« Reply #110 on: July 05, 2012, 10:18:48 pm »

I think thats pushing it, I mean, Dear Esther didn't single handedly destroy video games for a decade and get buried in a desert.
Only because the evil geniuses made it digital. Tongue

how is it a game if you just hold W
It's not really, more of a tool to allow for the "player" to get visuals for the story as well, as well as use timed scenic events just to give a story more flare. Oh, and the waiting for more story and music playing as you go builds suspense. I actually really like the idea behind it; but as Yut said it was pretentious and "deep". If they'd have just written a story and used the gimmicks at their disposal rather than try to pretend to be super deep and philosophical, I think I would have loved it.
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« Reply #111 on: July 06, 2012, 04:31:53 am »

ET didn't wreck gaming and end up in a landfill just because the gameplay was poor.  The marketing decisions behind it were asinine.  Most significant being that they created so many cartridges for it that everyone who owned an Atari console would have had to buy three or four copies to sell them all.  Amadeus is right, a digital distribution game will always dodge that bullet.
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« Reply #112 on: October 10, 2012, 09:25:42 am »

Recently Completed: Sniper Elite V2 (including all DLC)
System: PC

Time Spent: 30ish

The Story: You are the an elite sniper, dropped into Berlin during chaos of the last days of WW2.  Facing both the Germans and Russians in a race to sieze the rocket technology of the Germans and then stumbling onto something sinister that only you have the chance to stop.l

The Good:
+ The graphics are serviceable, they arenít overly flashy and they get the job done, what really shines in the graphical department though is the x-ray shots of some of the more brutal kills and the fact that in every level there is SOMETHING drifting in the wind, be it cinders from a nearby fire, dust motes, leaves, whatever.  It may seem like nothing more than fluff but this is what youíll be relying on to judge your windspeed which is invaluable if you play on the elite difficulty setting (which IMO is really the only way to play the game becauseÖ

+ The physics.  The elite sniper series are the only game Iím aware off that have meticulously modeled bullet physics for sniping.  Bullet drop, wind effect, itís all there and must be compensated for accordingly if you want to kill your enemies. 

+ The kill cam.  I already mentioned it a bit in the graphics but really it deserves its own call out.  Want to watch the bullet travel through your opponentsí skull and see the bone splinter and the brain explode out the other side in slow motion x-ray close up?  Of course you do.  Or watch the bullet rupture your enemiesí testicles in slow mo x-ray view.  One of my favorites was eye shots; it would creep into super slow mo as the bullet drilled its way into the pupil.  You get the picture.  One of the side effects of the kill cam for me was reinforcing how bad ass my character really is.  No matter how much fire heís taking, no matter how dire the odds, he looks down the barrel of his rifle with steely, ice-cold focus.  During some of the more intense/frustrating battles the brief breather of the slow mo kill cam coupled with the almost serene focus of the character helped me get my head ready for the next shot, if he wasnít ruffled then neither was I.

+ Attention to detail.  One of the things I really liked once I figured out you could do it was it sniping grenades on your enemies.  It was a great way to take out small groups with one bullet.  And not every enemy had grenades on them, and they certainly donít all carry them in the same place.  My record was five kills with one bullet.  (I do doubt that you can blow up a tank by shooting the gas cap though.

+ The ability to mask your gunshots with ambient noises is awesome.  The stealth of the game was pretty well implemented but Iíll cover it more in the bad section.

+ The kill Hitler DLC is hard but itís beyond satisfying to nail that slimy fuck.  Though itís either a Hitler double or the game devs overlooked the fact that Hitler had only one testicle (yes I shot him in the balls once and the x-ray kill cam shows two.)  Still, good DLC.

The Bad:
-  Much more linear that the original Sniper Elite.  Only a couple of the levels had significant open areas for choosing your own path and one of those is the second DLC level.  This leads right into my next gripe.

- The claustrophobic level design really limited the range of most of the kill shots.  I had shots in Sniper Elite just over 1000 meters.  My longest kill in v2 was barely over 500 meters and the majority are less than 150.  Even the newest DLC which at first appeared to be monumentally wide open has no real long shot opportunities due to the design of the terrain.  There may be some sort of technical limitation that the devs are cleverly hiding with the draw distance but I want a sniping game to do ridiculous long shots, this one didnít fit the bill.

- While weíre on the subject of kills and map design Iíll segue into my next gripe which goes hand in hand with the first two.  The game railroads you with its linear design into drawn out fire fights that are intense but goofy when you acknowledge the fact that snipers are not meant to be killing machines, itís supposed to be a precision strike.  This railroading does two things.  1.  It makes stealth completely pointless.  In fact it is so pointless that you get no sort of score bonus for stealth kills.  The game expects you to blow your cover because many of the scripted events ruin your stealth play anyway.  2.  For me it broke the immersion, battlefield sniping is about taking a shot, moving, taking another.  Taking two shots from the same spot is a no-no unless you have a VERY good reason.  This game drives you to camp and fortify your position.  Granted you get nifty gadgets like trip mines to do so, and Iím not averse to doing this on occasion but the fact that the game is structured to ONLY play in this manner is maddening.

-  The mechanics for some of the guns are off.  In the case of the M1 Carbine WAY OFF.  The M1 Carbine (and I own one of these so I feel qualified to bitch) is an oversized pistol round in a rifle.  Itís great for close in combat, but I wouldnít use it for sniping (though at the ranges this game tends to limit you to it might do ok anyway.)  But what REALLY pissed me off was to ďbalanceĒ the large magazine of the carbine they gave it the most vicious recoil in the game.  The M1 Carbine, especially with the military solid wood stock, has virtually no recoil whatsoever.  Disappointing.

- The V2 rocket launch mission. 
(click to show/hide)

Better Than: Being the reimaging of the only other game that has realistically modeled bullet physics for sniping its sort of in a league of its own.

Worse Than: Sniper Elite (the original)

Overall: C+  It was a good game but the nitpicks I had with it were severe enough and numerous enough to knock significant points off.
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« Reply #113 on: October 10, 2012, 12:56:38 pm »


Recently Completed: Homefront
System: PC

Time Spent: About 6 hours

The Story: You are an ex pilot, seized by the occupying invaders of America (wait for it) KoreaÖ  yea I know itís unlikely but the publishers of the game didnít want to alienate all the game buyers in China.  The local resistance rescues you and hilarity ensues.  Ok, not really hilarity but you get the idea.

The Good:
+ I thought the graphics were quite good.  Some nice use of lens flare in direct sunlight added a touch of realism not often seen and the skins for the weapons were varied, all showing high levels of detail.  The character models were serviceable, everything had a nice level of grunge applied to it that made the game world reasonably believable (beyond the idea that Korea was an occupying aggressor.)

+ Weapon variety.  Iíll actually bitch about this a little bit later but as it pertained to a specific incident but the variety of weapons you can get your hands on are diverse enough to satisfy most gaming styles.  Thereís an obligatory sniper mission but beyond that your loadout is determined by what you feel like using (and can scrounge ammo for on the battlefield.)  My go to guns were the SCAR with 100 round mag and ACOG sight, the M249 SAW, (see a trend here?) the M4 w/ grenade launcher and sniper rifle.  I tend to a gauge a lot of shooters by how viscerally satisfying it is to blast someone off their feet with a shotgun and this game gets top marks in that arena so when it was available (which sadly wasnít often) I grabbed the shotty and laid waste to my foes. 

+ The story.  They really tried hard to build a good story, I appreciate the effort here more than the end result as Iíll explain further on in the bad section.  Whether or not you believe that John Millius (the guy who wrote the movie Red Dawn) was just there to ďoverseeĒ creative direction of Homefront or actually wrote anything, you can see the parallels to Red Dawn, the point being how much you liked one will probably impact how much you like the other.  I loved Red Dawn FYI.

+ The Goliath.  Kind of a goofy concept, an artificial intelligence that you have to lead along with targeting goggles?  I can nitpick it to death but it was fun to target stuff (like lone soldiers) and watch Goliath charge at it spewing missiles with wild abandon.

+ Controls were good, some shooters on PC, especially console ports, can feel ďoff.Ē  Homefront was crisp and responsive.


The Bad:
-  Way too short.  A single player campaign I can beat in less than 7 hours?  No thanks.  Havenít tried the multiplayer, probably wonít.  It looks like a half hearted Modern Warfare clone.

- I know I said this in my last review but, linear as fuck.  Sniper Elite v2 is a sandbox shooter compared to this game.  Whatís worse is there is rarely a moment where you are not tied to the hip with one or more of the other characters.  Their constant presence coupled with the constant updating of objectives and checkpoints makes it feel like the devs want to hold your hand to make sure you experience the game how they wanted.

- Speaking of the AI buddies they ALWAYS sounded like they were talking over a radio even when they were right next to you.  By the late game this had become much more annoying than it had any right to be.

-  Stupid plot holes.  Stupid stupid plot holes. 
(click to show/hide)

- Illusion of choice.  Early in the game there is a mission where you have to infiltrate a prison camp.  Youíre given an impressive array of weapons to pick from and thinking it was going to be a stealth type mission I snagged a silenced M4.  The mission quickly becomes a run and gun FUBAR but wanting to save my silenced gun for when it would be advantageous I stuck to my pistol.  When I arrived at the area I figured would FINALLY let me make use of my silenced gun?  I threw it away because infiltration meant not carrying long guns and ďblending inĒ with the prison camp populace.  Because being the only group of guys NOT wearing prison jumpsuits helps you blend right inÖ
 
Better Than: Itís a run of the mill shooter, itís not BAD in most respects but itís nothing special either.  Iíd say itís better than some of the bargain basement shooters Iíve picked up cheap (Necrovision for example) but then Necrovision wasnít meant to be a top tier title.  Homefront was marketed and sold as a top tier level shooter and it canít really compete in that arena.  But I can say I enjoyed it more than Halo 3 so Iíll leave that out there.

Worse Than: Bulletstorm.

Overall: C  It was a fun use of 6 hours, it doesnít really do anything new or amazing and it doesnít do anything horribly wrong either.  The ridiculously short length of the single player campaign and plot-hole issues earn it this mediocre ranking.
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« Reply #114 on: October 11, 2012, 06:53:43 pm »

Recently Completed: Journeys of Reemus 0: Lair of the Ant Queen

System: Blackberry Playbook (Sure it's available for PC and other touch screen devices)

Time Spent: 45 minutes

The Story: Reemus is tasked by an innkeeper to get rid of it's giant ant problems before the royals arrive.
That's it.

The Good:
+ It's free
+ Puzzles will poke at your brain
+ In a puzzle, one piece leads to another to create a chain reaction of sorts
+ It's amusing, and a good start to the series
+ Liked the art style, something about it just makes it appealing.
+ Killing giant royals is always fun.

The Bad:
- 5 screens of puzzles
- Some puzzles require a bit of timing, and I wasn't Mr. Precision
- No save/load, even if it is short.

Overall: 8/10, it's a pretty good way to spend an hour and the logic used isn't too abstract. The prologue made me want more and that's the point of prologues. Easily worth that non-existent dollar.
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« Reply #115 on: November 26, 2012, 01:18:45 am »

Haven't done a review in awhile, so I thought I'd go ahead and do that because boredom!

Recently Completed: Halo 4

System: Xbox 360 (Like you really have to ask)

Time Spent: 45+ hours so far

The Story: Set 4 years after the events of Halo 4, the Sangheili (Elites) and humans have a truce, the covenant has disbanded, and everybody is at peace. Meanwhile, Chief awakens from stasis in the aft of UNSC Cruiser Forward Unto Dawn to an alert from Cortana about their approach on a mysterious planet, along with a faction of ex-covenant soldiers known as "The Storm", who are still true to the beliefs of the Covenant, had been led to this mysterious planet, as well as to the Chief. The Storm boards what remains of Forward Unto Dawn, and Master Chief is forced down onto the mysterious planet, a Dyson Sphere he soon discovers to be of forerunner origin known as Requiem.
The Chief has also been noticing something not quite right about Cortana, and learns that she is going Rampant, in the Halo universe AIs deteriorate after about 7 years due to an overabundance of information, they enter a state of "Rampancy", comparable to human insanity. Cortana is past her 7 year expiration date and is kinda out of whack, and Chief fears the worst for the only companion he's had over the years.
After a bit of searching about on the planet, Cortana starts picking up a signal from a UNSC ship, but the signal is being jammed. Chief goes to disable what Cortana is lead to believe is a signal jammer, but is instead the key to a prison, a prison holding one of the last of the forerunners, a high ranking forerunner known as the Didact, who believes the Forerunners are the true rulers of the galaxy, that humanity is their greatest threat, and he sets off to ensure humanities annihilation. Can Master Chief stop the Didact, while dealing with his closest friend and most valuable asset going insane? Tune in to find out!

The Good:
+Gorgeous graphics, Halo 4s graphics push the Xbox to its absolute limits, and it looks fantastic.
+Classic Halo gameplay. Open ended levels with little secrets tucked away, awesome vehicular moments, and lots of action. Not much has changed from previous entries, but given how linear and bogged down with scripted events today's shooters are, I wouldn't call that a bad thing at all. Halo 4's campaign is easily the most enjoyable in the series, especially after how mindbogglingly boring Halo Reach's was.
+Fearsome new enemies. Aside from The Storm (Ex Covies), Chief also has to fight an onslaught of ancient forerunner robots, the Prometheans, they're not your typical foot soldiers, these ones can teleport, fly, walk on walls, and will generally put up quite a challenge you, much more so than the covenant ever have.
+Absolutely gorgeous art design. 343 Industries took in some ex art designers from Retro Studios, the guys known for the Metroid Prime Trilogy, and does their influence ever show, Halo 4s art is very reminiscent of the Metroid Prime series.
+Amazing Music. Halo has had the same composer for all the games, Marty O'Donnell, and this is the first time a Halo game hasn't had him work on the score, but I must say, 343 was able to produce a top notch soundtrack to go along with Halo 4.
+Great weapon variety. Lots of classic halo weapons return, but there's also lots of new weapons as well, specifically the Promethean arsenal, that disintegrates opponents, very satisfying weapons.
+Sprinting. You can finally sprint, you don't need some stupid power up to do it anymore like you did Halo Reach.
+Multiplayer is still as fun as ever. It's a great balance between Halo gameplay and Call of Duty progression. As you progress in ranks you earn spartan points to get new weapons and perks to equip to your loadouts. However, what Halo 4 does better than Call of Duty is balance, all the perks and abilities and weapons are very well balanced, you won't have to fear a high ranking individual like you would in Call of Duty.
+Lots of armor to unlock to pimp out your spartan. The new armor looks very cool, and there's lots of variety, so you can make your spartan stand out from the crowd.
+Spartan Ops. This mode has replaced firefight. Spartan Ops takes place after the events of Halo 4, and follows a squad of Spartans as they further investigate Requiem. Each week a new "Episode" is out. An episode contains 5 10-20 minute levels, and a fully animated cutscene to progress the story of Spartan Ops.
+Amazingly animated cutscenes, seriously, dem facial animations, some'a that shit looks life-like.
+A more engaging story than previous Halos. In previous games everything felt familiar, this time around you explore new territory, Chief is a much more human character, and we get a better look at his relationship with Cortana. The story of this game is, thematically, much different from the previous games.
+Forge mode is back and is better than ever, you have tons of options and tools with which to make maps.
+All the weapons feel useful. The weapon balance in all the previous games was, to be frank, shit. In each game you only ever needed one gun. In halo 1, you only needed the magnum, halo 2 you only needed the battle rifle, same in halo 3, in halo reach you only needed the DMR,  aside from power weapons, none of the other standard weapons were as good as the listed ones, and they were the only ones you ever needed to win. In Halo 4, all the weapons are very well balanced, you can use any weapon available to you and kick ass with it. Like the Carbine? Go right ahead. Prefer BR? You do that. You'll kill something with it like you would any other weapon.
+Terminals return to further add lore to the backstory of the game.
+Infection returns as "Flood", where in you actually get to play as the flood, very nice small detail.
+In "Ball" gametypes you can pass the ball, very handy, and makes the mode a lot more interesting than it was before.
+Fun new vehicles, like the Mantis Mech.

The Bad:
-Some elements of the plot aren't very well explained
-You can only access the contents of the terminals in the Halo Waypoint application, an application external from the game itself.
-While 343i did a most excellent job of implementing Call of Duty elements into the multiplayer (I would go as far as saying they did a better job of it than Infinity Ward or Treyarch have with their own games), I would have preferred that it stuck to the classic Halo stuff. I would have been fine if it was just a ton of armor to unlock.
+/-The game is fairly lacking in playlists, though on the bright side they are adding more each week.
-Only like 9 or 10 maps. C'mon guys. The same ones are getting kinda dull.
-While Spartan Ops is a lot of fun, I still wish firefight was in the game.

Overall: 9.5/10. Halo 4 improves a lot over previous games. It presents a much more engaging and human story for Master Chief, it also presents a more enjoyable campaign experience over Halo Reach. It improves the graphics drastically, it improves multiplayer by leaps and bounds thanks to better weapon balance. Everything about this game just screams "Better". 343i shows that they know what they're doing with the Halo franchise, and do it better than Bungie has, I look forward to future titles in the series.

EDIT: Forgot to mention...

Better than: Halo Reach
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 01:49:48 am by Yutrzenika » Logged


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« Reply #116 on: November 28, 2012, 03:38:24 am »

Recently Completed: Serious Sam 3: Before First Encounter

System: Xbox 360 (Xbox Live Arcade)

Time Spent: About 15 or 16 hours.

The Story: Earth uncovers artifacts and ruins from a highly advanced an ancient civilization under the great pyramids, aliens show up for some reason, you play as super badass Serious Sam and you're the only one who can stop da aleenz.

The Good:

+Frantic, fast paced gameplay
+Over the top and fun weapons
+Humorous dialogue and writing, this games writing is what Duke Nukem Forever's should have been
+Wide array of creative enemies
+A few great metal songs in the soundtrack
+Classic FPS gameplay, no scripted events, no iron sights (Okay well that last bit is a bit of a lie, two of the games weapons have iron sights, though they are literally useless, they don't improve accuracy, or range at all, they have no purpose)
+Apparently has very fun co op
+Tons of enemies on screen at a time, meaning big battles
+Secrets to find in levels
+A fun option in the options menu is being able to change the blood. There's your green blood, red blood, but then there's a couple others, like "Hippie", which makes the enemies bleed flowers and gib into veggies, and a kids one where they gib candy and bleed sparkles and such.

The bad:
-Those metal songs I mentioned? Few and far between, for the most part its just really dull, cut and paste sounding middle east style music, which does not fit the game at all.
-It's boring as fuck. It starts off fun at first, but a few levels in and I was already getting sick of fighting waves of predictable enemies
-This game has a fair bit of artificial length. A few levels I went on were shorter than they actually were. How they do this is in the ridiculous amount of enemies you fight, in a lot of levels I found myself in scenarios where I would fight off a horde of enemies, move forward, but then I'm forced to fall back as ANOTHER wave of enemies spawned, and some of these waves last much longer than they should, so I would be stuck fighting in a single area for longer than I should be.
-The game is longer than it should be. After awhile I found myself saying "When is this level going to end? When is this GAME going to end?"
-The predictable enemies stop being fun to kill and quickly become just a nuisance.
-Some crappy sound design. Why does the double-barrel shotgun sound like glass being stepped on when I reload it?
-Dull looking levels. You got your underground egyptian ruins, your egyptian towns, courtyards surrounding pyramids and such. Lots and lots of brown in this game.
-Why'd they replace the tommy gun and revolvers with generic fps M4 pattern rifle and generic fps deagle brand deagle?

Overall: 6.5/10.
Why are these games so popular? I've played demos of the other games and had the same experience. Is this really BETTER than the generic modern military FPSs that plague the market today? I'd much rather play one of those than this. In those I can move through a level and take on enemies with dynamic and unpredictable AI... This... I just strafe around for half an hour shooting them until the wave expires, commonly falling back for ammo, and then, maybe, just maybe, if the planets have aligned and luck is on my side, I can continue forward through the level without fighting another fucking wave of annoying-ass enemies for another 15 minutes.

Better than: Duke Nukem Forever.
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« Reply #117 on: January 30, 2013, 03:03:42 pm »

Recently Completed: The Binding of Isaac + Wrath of the Lamb DLC

System: PC (Available on Steam)

Time Spent: 8 hours but not done with it yet.

The Story: Isaac is a little boy, playing and stuff when God talks to his Mom, saying he is corrupted with sin and vice, or to say screw up his life. Taking away all his toys, material posessions and pants, Isaac is cold and naked. But then, God tells his Mom to kill him. Isaac heard this from his room and when his Mother bursts in with a butcher's knife, he jumps down into the basement through a trapdoor, into the cold, cold cruel underworld of his house...

The Good:
+ Depressing as fuck and equally disturbing, made strangely appealing due to the graphics and how everything is pure depression.
+ Damn awesome roguelike/shooter gameplay.
+ High replay value, proper for a roguelike.
+ Great random factor, loads of items and each round is different.
+ Creative, completely grotesque, disturbing and unsettling.
+ Great score, going from creepy and atmospheric to rocking riffs.
+ Excellent bosses that don't need a gimmicky feature to beat.
+ Sympathic character to the extreme.
+ Upgrades change the character's appearance and by the end, you wouldn't even know who or what he is anymore.
+ Great art style overall; levels to monsters to bosses.
+ Multiple characters and the others have levels post-game.
+ Devil Dealing, hearts for rad power-ups.
+ Challenging yet not totally unfair. Random Number God is in play as usual.
+ Excellent value and pretty darn cheap. Even went for pennies on the Steam Sale.
+ Low system requirements. If I can play it, so can you.

The Bad:
- Found items are unknown in the next playthrough, kind of a pain with the pills and cards.
- Don't remember but don't think there's an encyclopedia.
- Really depressing. Don't know if I have a game that can counter this.
- So many of you Forumites on Steam haven't played it yet. That's a crime in itself.
- Cutscenes inbetween levels repeat.
- No quicksave but a game with Isaac can take at most two hours if you take your time and explore everything.

Overall 9/10. One of the best damn games I've played as of late and one of the most disturbing. Excellent style, gameplay, roguelike features and seriously, go play it. Real cheap, lax system requirements and totally worth that few bucks.
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« Reply #118 on: January 30, 2013, 05:15:45 pm »

I've had this game ever since it went on sale to promote the DLC and still haven't played it.  If I can ever get past Dead Island I need to give it a chance.  (But who am I kidding?  By that time Tomb Raider will be out and I've had my preorder on it since the day pre orders for it on steam was a thing.)

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« Reply #119 on: January 30, 2013, 08:48:14 pm »

All the more reason to start up now, wouldn't take much time away from Dead Island.

Remember they had all those Tomb Raider games on sale a few days back, the entire collection for a few dollars. And that pre-order alone tells you to play The Binding of Isaac before it's too late.
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