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August Xbox Review Round-Up

The Xbox 360 had some big games drop this month, but also had a special promotion for indie titles as well that showed off some neglected games from smaller developers.  Not to mention the Summer of Arcade event which gave us several surprises in the form of downloadable arcade titles.  Let's look back at the games our Xbox Department reviewed over the past month.

Catherine: 8.0
Catherine's strong point is presenting mature themes that aren't often in found games. Themes of marriage and being single are rarely touched in video games and make this one of the most mature games on the market. But when you get into how the game plays and into the story, you'll realize that there's a lot more to it than just plot. Every time Vincent completes a stage during his nightmare, he is subjected to questioning about his decisions. This is one of the few games that makes gamers ask about their love life.  Read the full review.

Bastion: 9.0
On the surface, Bastion looks like a standard action RPG with anime-inspired art.  While that is an accurate description, Bastion sticks out from the crowd thanks to its story, voicework, and setting. You see, the world was destroyed in an event called The Calamity, and when the game starts, the world is nothing more than a bedroom floating in space.  The hero, called The Kid by the narrator, wakes up in the remains of his room and as he walks out his door, pieces of the world fall into place around him, forming a path just ahead of him as he travels.  Read the full review.

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet: 8.0
Some gameplay mechanics stick around generation after generation.  They work so well that the only trick is adapting them to new technology and finding new design aesthetics to go with them.  The “Metroidvania” style of game design is one of these, and the Xbox Live Arcade game Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet has found a clever new way to use this kind of gaming. Read the full review.

El Shaddai: 9.5
El Shaddai will also force you to use some intellect in order to find your way pass select areas throughout the game, which shouldn’t be hard for the average gamer. Overall, this game was an excellent one with an interesting storyline (one where I could not predict the outcome as I played). This action-packed eye stunner will keep you on your toes with the variation of the story and the obstacles that get thrown at you.  Read the full review.

Madden 12: 9.0
The Madden series has been stale the last couple of years and found myself losing interested over time. This years versions however, I found myself engaged from the get go. It's one of those rare times when I didn't skip the cutscenes and watched the team introductions. But even with great presentation values, the core gameplay must be great and that’s what fans got with this years version of Madden 12.  Read the full review.

Raventhorne: 9.0
The Xbox Live Marketplace is filled with great games from AAA publishers but far often neglects it indie counter part. There are some gems apart to be found if people took their time and search for what their looking apart from the plain awful games to offer, which bring us to Raventhorne, Xbox Indie Games Summer Uprising first game that show cases and celebrates the indie community. Read the full review.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution: 9.0
My Adam Jensen is cooler than your Adam Jensen.  My Adam is silent, fast and invisible.  He can run past you without you knowing he was there at all.  If he feels like killing you, his pistol is so silent that you’ll never hear it even as your friends start dropping all around you.  If you’re wearing a lot of armor, that’s not a problem for his revolver.  It isn’t silenced, but it’ll be the last thing you ever hear.  Read the full review.

T.E.C. 3001: 7.5

The futuristic, vector-based art design in T.E.C. 3001 is visually stunning. You can also choose to run through “RGB” gates, which transform the color of the entire world. This has no effect on the gameplay itself, and only seems to be there for aesthetic purposes.  The sense of speed is also extremely well represented, thanks to a blur effect, which provides many white-knuckle moments. However, due to the speed of the game, the draw distance suffers, as the constant draw-in of far-away walls is noticeable.  Read the full review.


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