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Can 'Naughty Bear' Kill the Cult of Cute?

"Cute" is calculated and engineered to stir us to coo on sight and buy a product. As someone cynical about manufactured cuteness, I was looking forward to playing Naughty Bear.

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'Blur' Is Like a 'Mario Kart' for Grown Ups

It’s really the online multiplayer that kicks Blur into an extra gear.

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Bizarre Creations

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Microsoft

Games

Mass Effect 2

Blame Mass Effect 2 for the debate that gamers and journalists find themselves suddenly engaged in. The topic: what exactly is a role-playing game?

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New Super Mario Bros.

Mario hasn't changed or grown up after all these years. This somehow feels both relevant and refreshing.

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Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2

I couldn't help but notice that one puzzle in which you must fit four different shaped blocks in four identically shaped holes in order to open a door was eerily similar to a Fisher-Price puzzle that I once solved at age four.

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Shadow Complex

The best thing to happen to gaming in the last four years is not the Wii. It is XBox Live Arcade.

Ryan Smith
Reviews

Sacred 2: Fallen Angel

Perhaps there’s just something hardwired in our brains that the hack and slash action-RPG insidiously massages that makes them so damn addictive.

Reviews

Guitar Hero: Metallica

Unless you're the kind of person who carpools to Ozzfest, has a social circle that dresses all in black and has a fondness for Slayer's “Reign in Blood” -- chances are you're not going to have a big Guitar Hero: Metallica party. And let's face it, this is especially true if you want girls to come.

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The Mask of Normality

What do you do when you discover a colleague is a killer? Cultural depictions of serial killers help us avoid confronting what we can't abide: that murderers might be as ordinary as the rest of us

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Afro Samurai

Afro Samurai would be a little too self-serious if it wasn't for Ninja-Ninja, a white-haired, impish character that can best be described as Samuel L. Jackson playing Samuel L. Jackson.

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Midnight Club: Los Angeles

Even if you're not actually walking around on the streets or going into buildings, the Los Angeles here feels just as fully realized as New York City does in Grand Theft Auto 4.

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Gears of War 2

Gears of War 2 is a sequel with nearly perfect gameplay sullied by silly, derivative and downright ridiculous story and dialogue.

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Call of Duty: World at War

Call of Duty: World at War (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC) - Activision [$59.99]

Ryan Smith
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Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead (PC, Xbox 360) - $59.99

Ryan Smith
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Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2 - PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC [$59.99]

Ryan Smith
Games

What's Barack Doing In My Burnout?

Ryan Smith takes a look at the sudden onset of political ads in video games.

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NBA 2K9

If only a hoops game the caliber of NBA 2K9 could have been released in the heyday of pro basketball: the 1980s.

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Infinite Undiscovery

As much as Undiscovery's combat feels fresh, the plot feels like it was something taken from the Generic JRPG Plot discount rack.

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Mercenaries 2: World in Flames

Things like plot, moral compasses, characters and dialogue are all secondary concerns in Mercenaries 2.

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Guitar Hero: Aerosmith

Despite a few interesting new things, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith really isn't much more than a Guitar Hero III expansion pack with a thin coat of Aerosmith paint splashed on.

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Ninja Gaiden II

If you're worried that video games are becoming a little too "arthouse" or highbrow, there are always titles like Ninja Gaiden II.

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