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Dan Ryckert

Stories by Dan

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God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP)

It's a good thing God of War: Chains of Olympus turned out as well as it did, because the last thing Sony would want to do is tarnish the name of their biggest new IP in years. Thankfully, this is a true God of War game, and does the series' name justice (although on a smaller scale).

Review Roundup 3-26

We take a look at the games of March

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Review: Lost: Via Domus (360)

It's definitely cool to experience these familiar locations in an interactive environment, but it's unfortunately not up-to-date. You're pretty much playing through the first two seasons of the show, so don't expect to run into Otherville or try to activate the underwater radio signal from the season 3 finale.

Review: Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

In the gaming world, "sure things" are extremely rare. Despite this, I don't think there was a doubt in anyone's mind that Super Smash Bros. Brawl was going to be an instant classic.

Review Roundup 3-5

This week's games - Twisted Metal Head-On: Extra Twisted Edition, Destroy All Humans: Big Willy Edition, and Dynasty Warriors 6.

Review Roundup 3-4

This week's reviews: Pet Pals Animal Doctor (DS), Turok (PS3), and FIFA Street 3 (360)

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Review: Devil May Cry 4 (360)

Despite its minor flaws, DMC4 is still a blast to play through, and should please longtime fans of the series.

Review Roundup 2-12

We take a look at the games of mid-February.

Review Roundup 1-30

We take a look at the games of late January

Double Review: Contra 4 (DS) and Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles (PSP)

We take a look at two remarkably similar portable titles from Konami.

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Review Roundup 1-9

We take a look at the games of late 2007/early 2008.

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Review: Rock Band (360)

As a single-player game, Rock Band is comprehensive and very enjoyable. As a party game, it's one of the most entertaining gaming experiences you can have.

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Review: Uncharted (PS3)

Uncharted doesn't introduce anything revolutionary or brilliant that hasn't been seen before in gaming, but what is there is solid. And most importantly, it's a blast from beginning to end.

Review Roundup 11/27

We take a look at the games of late November.

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Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

It doesn't matter if you're an 8 year-old who's new to games or a 30 year-old who used to play the Super Mario Bros. arcade cabinet at the local pizza place. This is how videogames are supposed to be.

Review Roundup 11/20

We take a look at the games of November.

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Call of Duty 4 (PS3, 360, PC)

It's very difficult to find fault in this masterpiece. It may be short, and it may not offer split-screen online support, but I consider this to be the most polished first-person shooter I've ever played.

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Guitar Hero III (360, Wii, PS3, PS2)

When it comes down to it, you'll love the majority of Guitar Hero III if you've been a fan of the last two installments. If they weren't your type of game before, there's nothing that will change your mind with this one.

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Zack & Wiki (Wii)

Considering the Wii's demographic, I'd have to imagine that a large amount of "casual" and younger gamers will pick up this game. They might not be prepared for the experience, however, as some of the puzzles are very difficult.

Review Roundup 11-2: War and Vision Enhancement

We take a look at the games of early November.

Review: Tomb Raider Anniversary (Xbox 360)

This series gained a great deal of fame thanks to the cover girl and the films, but I feel it never really had the gameplay to back up the popularity. Anniversary, if nothing else, is an effective reminder of this.

Review Roundup 10-29

We take a look at the games of late October.

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Review: Ratchet & Clank Future (PS3)

Don't let the somewhat "kiddy" look of the graphics deter you from experiencing one of the best games on the system Tools of Destruction is excellent.

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Review: Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS)

I can't overstate how impressed I was with Phantom Hourglass. While Twilight Princess was an undeniably fantastic game, this title does more in terms of bringing the series forward.

Review Roundup 10/12: Barrels, Bass, and Basketball

We take a look at some of the game offerings of the last month.

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Review: Halo 3 (360)

Halo 3 more than redeems the relative shortcomings of its two predecessors, and the sounds of the game will surely be pouring out of millions of living rooms for years to come.

Review: Skate (360)

I've talked to a couple of my friends that skateboard, and they consider this game to be far superior to Tony Hawk thanks to the more realistic approach. However, if you're more of a gamer than a skater, it's probably a safe bet to stick with the long-standing king of the genre.

Review: Heavenly Sword (PS3)

If there's one massive weakness Heavenly Sword has, it's certainly in the length department. I beat the game in two sittings, with each lasting barely over two hours. Obviously, many gamers will have a difficult time handing over $60 for a 4-6 hour experience.

Review Roundup 9/17: Robots, Guitars, and Ninjas

We take a look at some of the more low-profile games of the last month.

Review: Lair (PS3)

Sony seemed so set back by the reviews that they sent out a "Lair Reviewer's Guide" to the gaming media, presumably to teach us how to review their crappy game.

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Review: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii)

I believe that Metroid Prime 3: Corruption might just be the best game on the Wii, but I hesitate to recommend it to everyone. It's a very challenging title, and will certainly cause the Wii's target audience (casual gamers) quite a bit of trouble.

Review: DK Jungle Climber (DS)

It's not a must-have title for the DS, but Jungle Climber is a nice game to pick up and play for a few levels at a time. Extended play might cause you to tire a bit of the L and R movement, but it's a fun distraction in short bursts.

Review: Brain Age 2 (DS)

It's almost more of an expansion pack than a full fledged sequel, actually. Brain Age 2 doesn't re-invent the wheel, but it offers DS owners more of the training and sudoku puzzles that made the original title such a hit.

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Review: Warhawk (PS3)

PS3 owners, you (finally) have another great exclusive title that you can place next to Resistance on your shelf.

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Review: Bioshock (360)

At no point did my interest in the gameplay or narrative wane. It's a haunting, captivating, beautiful title that should convince the Roger Eberts of the world to rethink their "videogames can't be art" viewpoint.

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Review: Picross DS

It ranks up there with the system's elite in terms of "pick up and play" gameplay. With so much content and such a great price, you'd be a fool not to add this to your DS library.

Review: Tomb Raider Anniversary (PSP)

The camera was an issue with the PS2 version of the game, and it's even more of a problem on the PSP thanks to its lack of a right analog stick.

Review: All Pro Football 2K8 (360)

With no NFL license to work with, 2K looked to the past to dig up some of football's legends. It's nice to see 2K back on the gridiron, but All-Pro isn't the resurrection of football gaming that fans might be hoping for.

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Review: Madden 08 (360)

No review is going to change the money-printing machine that is the Madden franchise. Hardcore gamers will continue to despise it, casual fans will continue to eat it up, and EA will laugh their way to the bank. However, no matter what anyone says, it's still the best football game in town.

Review: Boogie (Wii)

Voice recognition is apparently a tricky thing for developers to get down. Most games that require singing via a microphone can be tricked by simply humming at the right timing and tune of the song. Boogie is a completely different beast.

Xbox Live Arcade bytes

The Xbox Live Arcade continues its hot streak with several solid titles this summer. Here's a look at some of the most recent additions.

XBLA Review Roundup

The Xbox Live Arcade continues its hot streak with several solid titles in the last couple of months. Here's a look at some of the most recent additions.

Review: NCAA Football 08 (PS3)

The same people that buy NCAA and Madden every year will buy them again this year. The people that stay away from these games because of their high cost and marginal "improvements" will once again steer clear.

Review: Super Mario Strikers Charged (Wii)

Despite the entertaining online gameplay, it gets old very fast if you're playing single-player. The A.I. isn't developed enough, and is either terrible or terribly cheap.

Review: The Bigs (360)

The Bigs is nothing revolutionary, but it proves to be an entertaining experience for a limited amount of time. After spending several hours with the Rookie Challenge mode, the slightly shallow gameplay starts to grow somewhat tiresome.

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Review: Transformers (PS3)

Remember that War of the Monsters game? Yeah, it was pretty fun, but wouldn't it be better if you slapped on a movie license and sapped it of any fun or originality? Well, that's pretty much what you'll get if you decide to play Transformers.

Review: Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree

Everyone from 4th graders to adults loved the DS brain games, and they sold by the truckload for Nintendo. Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree marks the series' first foray onto the TV screen, and it's a bit lacking.

Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (360, Wii, PS2)

If you play this game and focus on the exploration aspect, you'll probably have a decent time with it. If you play it looking for a solid main quest, you'll end up a bit disappointed.

Review: The Darkness (X360)

It reminds me of Prey in many ways. The gameplay is competent yet unremarkable, but the presentation makes the experience a highly entertaining one.

Review: Tomb Raider Anniversary (PS2)

This series gained a great deal of fame thanks to the cover girl and the films, but I feel it never really had the gameplay to back up the popularity. Anniversary, if nothing else, is an effective reminder of this.