Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows Review

Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows is the first piece of downloadable content for Shovel Knight. This time, you take on the Enchantress and the Order of No Quarter as Plague Knight, one of the bosses from the original game. While it uses the same levels, the experience of playing as Plague Knight gives the game a different, more challenging, and arguably not as fun game.

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Kid Icarus: Uprising Review

(Originally posted on splitkick.com. Thanks to the Splitkick team for the edits!)

Kid Icarus on the NES has its fair share of fans, but I’m not one of them. I’ve given the game multiple honest tries, and have always felt that its particular blend of platforming and shooting don’t gel in a way to create a fun experience. Though fans clamored for a new entry in the franchise, I couldn’t have cared less to see Pit star in another game, if it meant a retread of his 2D platforming roots.

Then I played Kid Icarus: Uprising. It is not the retread I was expecting. Instead, it’s a game far more ambitious – and awesome – than I ever would have imagined.

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Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright Review

The Fire Emblem Fates series of games puts you at the heart of a conflict between two rival armies. On one side is the medieval-style Nohr army. On the other is the samurai-style Hoshido. If you buy Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright first, you’ll play most of the game from the side of the Hoshido clan.

With Fates essentially being three different Fire Emblem games launching at about the same time, this is easily the most ambitious effort. Based on my time with the Birthright edition, it’s also one of the best.

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Fire Emblem: Awakening Review

(Originally posted on splitkick.com. Thank you to the Splitkick crew for editing this!)

Ever since its 2003 international debut, I’ve been enamored with Fire Emblem’s personal approach to the strategy RPG genre. I love how every unit I manage is a fully-realized character with a unique look and story. I greatly enjoy helping these characters grow as warriors and as people by managing their combat movements and relationships. As things progress, I grow so attached that I feel compelled to protect everyone at all costs, which proves difficult in a series where perma-death can strike in a flash.

On one hand, the fear of death adds a critical layer of emotional weight. However, the stress that comes with losing comrades can be too much to bear for some. I’ve sacrificed dozens of hours of playtime across every entry in the series in order to complete a casualty-free run. Regardless of how you feel on the matter, Fire Emblem: Awakening is the first to implement features to appease both crowds.

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Out Now – Fire Emblem: Fates

Lost amidst all of my Street Fighter V hoopla is the fact that Fire Emblem: Fates is out today. This time, we’re getting two different games at once; one covering each side of the conflict. As part of Amazon Canada’s E3 sale last year, I’m getting 30% off the Birthright edition. However, you better believe I’ll eventually have Conquest and the 3rd DLC campaign as well. Between this and Street Fighter V, it’s been a wonderful week as a gamer!

Buy Fire Emblem: Fates Now From Amazon.com

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SteamWorld Dig Review

What lies in the depths of Tumbleton? Rusty is about to find out SteamWorld Dig. I played this game on the Nintendo 3DS, though it’s available on just about everything at this point. Having inherited a mine from his uncle, he decides to explore it for himself.

I’ve kind of been ducking this game for years, as it just didn’t sound like a game that I’d be interested in. After receiving it as a gift and with nothing to do on a train ride to Montreal, I decided to give it a go. Boy was I ever missing out on an awesome game.

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Gaming in Montreal

Not too long ago, Steff and I packed our bags and boarded a train to Montreal for a weekend getaway. Though I was sad that our trip was scheduled at the same time as the Street Fighter V beta, I was excited to experience a part of Canada that I haven’t been to since I was a toddler. While we certainly had a wonderful time exploring the city, there was a surprising amount of gaming to be had that weekend.

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Code Name S.T.E.A.M. Review

Aliens have invaded London! Who can we call to save the day?! The Agents of S.T.E.A.M. of course! Led by the Abraham Lincoln, it’s up to you to guide him and his ragtag group of steampunk soldiers through battle. Created by Intelligent Systems, Code Name S.T.E.A.M. is a turn-based strategy game with third-person shooting, a la Gears of War. Is this shake-up enough for it to move outside of the shadow cast by Intelligent Systems’ previous efforts, such as Advance Wars and Fire Emblem?

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Amiibo Story: Peach

Peach Amiibo“Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle!”

I have to admit, I never did save the princess in her NES debut. Not for a lack of effort, though, as my attempts at beating the original Super Mario Bros. have come up short. Even as recently as last year, I couldn’t get any farther than world 8-3. She may forever be trapped in that castle, though we’ve certainly shared some great gaming moments together.

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Amiibo Story: Mega Man

Mega Man AmiiboI vividly remember the first time I ever played a Mega Man game. It was the summer of 1990 and a family friend that was a year older than me had come over to my house with his new copy of Mega Man 2. Having never heard of the franchise up until then, I had no idea what to expect when I booted it up. Within seconds, the music in my ears was all I needed to hear to know that I was in for something special.

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