Nex Machina – Review

June 29, 2017

Nex Machina infuses the classic Robotron twin stick formula with breakneck speed, adds in the wild voxel-based visual style of Resogun and sharpens it to a razor edge.

The Surge – Review

May 26, 2017

Developer Deck13 — creators of 2014’s Lords of the Fallen — bring the Souls sensibility to a grim, mechanized future.

Snake Pass – Review

April 5, 2017

Charming, accomplished and fun, Snake Pass is a quietly ambitious puzzle platformer that nods to a bygone era but exhibits gamemaking acumen that is distinctly modern day.

Nier: Automata – Review

March 30, 2017

This time around the fascinating semi-open world structure of the original has been fleshed out and augmented with the combat know-how of developer Platinum Games, which means it looks and plays great.

Iron Reagan – Crossover Ministry – Review

March 15, 2017

Like a magic bullet blasting you right back to the heyday of D.R.I. and Sui-cyco-style crossover metal, the aptly titled Crossover Ministry from Iron Reagan has all you want from the forgotten genre.

c.Kostra – Now I Feel It – Review

January 31, 2017

Heavily distorted vocals push, pull and mold these ten tracks into beautiful miniature soundscapes that sound fresh and innovative while still managing to be accessible and distinct.

Pain – Coming Home – Review

November 11, 2016

Combining everything from industrial to country to metal to classic rock, Tägtgren is just endearingly weird — in the Les Claypool or Devin Townsend mold — when he’s in Pain mode.

Wovenwar – Honor Is Dead – Review

November 4, 2016

Wovenwar sounds unshackled here, free to create a melodic metalcore sound that feels natural rather than predictably soft/heavy, good cop/bad cop.

Gears of War 4 – Review

November 4, 2016

One would think, considering how many imitators came out of the woodwork, that something would have come along in the last decade that improved upon the Gears formula. But if Gears of War 4 proves anything, it’s that there’s no substitute for the real thing.

RIVE – Review

October 5, 2016

RIVE is a frantic, fast-paced shoot-em-up/platformer that draws from a ton of great source material from the history of white-knuckle action games.

Pixies – Head Carrier – Review

September 26, 2016

The Pixies 2.0’s second tilt, Head Carrier, picks up where the first one, Indie Cindy, left off; and like its predecessor, it’s a bit uneven.

Squarecrow – Rammi Jamms – Review

August 26, 2016

Squarecrow sounds focused and energized throughout Rammi Jamms, and they even throw in a snarled, skank-worthy take on The Smiths’ immortal “Bigmouth Strikes Again.”

Violent Femmes – We Can Do Anything – Review

May 13, 2016

Whatever Gordon Gano’s been doing to preserve that awful tenor of his should be patented, because, like on last year’s EP Happy New Year, he’s never sounded better. That idiosyncratic wail is as fresh as it was on the eponymous record of yore. It’s funny even critiquing a band like the Violent Femmes, it’s kinda like critiquing Orwell, Miró or Shakespeare: What can I say?

Hitman – Review

May 6, 2016

The 2016 incarnation of the Hitman franchise is one of the first big names to try out the episodic model for its new game, and it’s a great fit. Hitman is well suited for the episodic approach since the focus isn’t a narrative that you want to barrel through quickly to get to the ending, it’s a series of elaborate, self-contained locations where you practice your trade as a silent assassin.

Metal Massacre 14 – Review

April 29, 2016

Since its original 1982 cassette version has the distinction of being the jump-off point for Metallica’s worldwide fame. Now 34 years and 13 volumes later, Metal Massacre 14 compiles a new wave of artists all sharing a true metal mindset. There’s no post-metal, deathcore or any of the myriad metal subgenres represented here – it’s strictly old-school denim and leather stuff, which gives it a nice cohesion (and is probably a clue to the preferences of Primordial’s Alan Averill, who compiled this volume).

Enter the Gungeon – Review

April 8, 2016

Enter the Gungeon jumps into the fray with its own offbeat genre soup, and it’s particularly tasty: A bullet hell roguelike. You guide one of four characters through increasingly difficult, randomly generated floors of the titular Gungeon, clashing with enemies that spew all manner of bullet patterns at you.

Street Fighter – V – Review

March 25, 2016

On its release day last month, Street Fighter V was missing a ton of features, from a promised Story Mode to any meaningful training challenges to even Arcade mode. All of these features are planned to arrive in the next six months, as well as six new characters on a monthly basis. It’s not cool or acceptable that something so half-assed was pushed out onto store shelves, but dammit, when you play the game you’ve just gotta shake your head and give them a pass. It’s that good.

Can’t Swim – Death Deserves A Name – Review

March 11, 2016

This New Jersey band covers a lot of ground on a 15-minute, 5-song EP. I love the way they’re constantly playing around with song structures – going full force unexpectedly at times and other times letting things build and breathe – but never sounding less than confident and assured.

Abbath – Review

February 26, 2016

With decades of genre-defining black metal under his spiked belt as the frontman for Norwegian legends Immortal, one wouldn’t think Abbath had much left to prove when he struck out on his own. But that’s not at all what it sounds like on this eponymous debut record, which roars out of the gate like razor wind through a snow-covered forest.

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