Sonic Frontiers Review - Sonic, Is That You?

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From the moment it was first revealed, it was clear that Sonic Frontiers is quite unlike any of its predecessors. Sonic's 3D adventures have been more miss than hit throughout the blue hedgehog's 31-year existence. For every Sonic Generations, there's been a Sonic Boom or Sonic '06 leaving behind a bitter taste and further diluting the speedy mascot's appeal. Each new game has offered some variation on the Sonic formula, hoping to catch lightning in a bottle and finally give the series a consistent direction moving forward, but none have succeeded--at least until now. Sonic Frontiers is that game.

It certainly has its flaws and still maintains many of the familiar elements you'd expect to find in a game starring the eponymous hedgehog, but it's in the differences where Sonic Frontiers stands out and occasionally excels, making it the best 3D Sonic game in more than a decade.

The biggest and most notable change is the shift to a semi-open world. Sega calls Frontiers "open-zone," meaning the game is split into multiple islands that Sonic is free to explore. Each zone has its own aesthetic, from verdant rolling hills to arid desert plains and a simmering volcanic island floating above the clouds, meshing together natural beauty with ancient alien temples, grind rails, and bounce pads. It's a curious amalgamation but one that works well enough within the game's sci-fi conceit. The environments are also part of a striking tonal shift for the series. The vibrant primary colors of classic Sonic levels like Green Hill Zone have been replaced by a color palette that's low on saturation and high on pastel hues. The obvious inspiration here is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, not just in the way Frontiers looks, but in its use of music and the shift to open-ended world design. It doesn't play anything like Link's five-year-old adventure, but you can see how Sonic Team was influenced by it throughout.

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God of War Ragnarok - Before You Buy

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God of War Ragnarok - Before You BuyGod of War Ragnarok (PS4, PS5) is a worthy followup to 2018's God of War. Let's dive in spoiler free. Subscribe for more: http://youtube.com/gameranxtv ▼▼ Buy God of War: https://amzn.to/3T41HuE Watch more 'Before You Buy': https://bit.ly/2kfdxI6 Friends Per Second Podcast: https://linktr.ee/friendspersecond Jake's other channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/JakeBaldino #godofwar #godofwarragnarok

God Of War Ragnarok Review - Blood, Sweat, And Tyrs

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God of War Ragnarok is a lavish production with pristine visuals, jaw-dropping scale, crunchy combat that is as satisfying as it is brutal, and a world that begs to have its every corner and crevice explored. It's a spectacular blockbuster, but these are the least of its achievements.

In a game where a hulking god rips all manner of creatures limb from limb, the most shocking moments aren't bathed in blood, but carried by poignant words and heartfelt emotions. They are a former God of War--known for mercilessly killing his kin--finding the words to empathize with loss; a despondent child emploring a father to break a self-destructive cycle; a moment of tenderness in the life of a boy that has the weight of the world on his shoulders.

God of War Ragnarok's most impressive achievements are its exploration of loss and love; grief and growth; determinism and defiance. It's an astoundingly well-written game that deconstructs the mythology of Norse gods and rebuilds it as an odyssey about families. Its story isn't about the end of the world, but those that have a hand in it. They're revered as mythical gods but are characterized by deep flaws, twisted by skewed perspectives, and corrupted by questionable motivations in the same way the people they preside over are. And yet, some also have redemptive qualities. In that respect, Ragnarok's story is told from a grey area where nuances blur the line between heroes and villains; good and evil. By constantly challenging you to reconsider who they are and the factors that drive their actions, these characters remain compelling throughout.

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Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer Review - A Return Of Classic MP Tarnished By Poor Decisions

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Infinity Ward's rebooted Modern Warfare 2 brings back a more classic Call of Duty multiplayer experience than we've seen in recent years, with maps better tailored to traditional 6v6 play and dialed-back movement mechanics. Modern Warfare 2's gameplay really feels like a refreshing return to old times again for Call of Duty, but unfortunately, the package as a whole feels lacking and gun customization is overly complex.

As a whole, Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer is the fast-paced shooter you expect it to be. The standard maps are scaled down for 6v6 matches this year, so there are less quiet and campy moments, and you're almost always finding yourself in the thick of the action. Modern Warfare 2 does dial back the overly fast-paced movement of recent years too, but that doesn't mean you can't choose a run-and-gun playstyle. The gameplay is just a bit less twitchy too, as the movement feels more on par with the original Modern Warfare series than the 2019 version.

Sliding doesn't quite feel as fast and fluid as Modern Warfare 2019 and the bunny-hopping movement has been nerfed a little since the beta. You can still hop around a corner, but there's not a build-up of an overly-aggressive speed that lets you start hopping all over the map. This makes the multiplayer movement feel more grounded and slower-paced than the last few entries of the franchise, which is a great change. The last few years of Call of Duty has left the majority of the casual player base at a disadvantage in trying to counter the hopping and sliding frenzy.

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