Street Fighter 6 Review - Battle Hardened

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In one play session, I'm honing my skills with my main man Zangief. In another, I'm walking a fully customized avatar through a bustling city, its streets lined with AI-controlled strangers I can challenge to battle at my leisure. In a third, that same avatar is dropped into a massive room filled with arcade cabinets and other players looking for a fight. Street Fighter 6 learns an immediate lesson from the content-bare release of its predecessor, as it offers a variety of significant features and modes right out of the gate. It is a robust, fighting game that is of a premiere quality. Street Fighter 6 is incredible; a return to form for the franchise that welcomes both new fighters and seasoned pros.

SF6 splits its content into three hubs: Fighting Ground, which most closely emulates the classic SF experience; Battle Hub, where players can congregate to challenge each other and compete in tournaments; and World Tour, which is a sprawling, globe-trotting story mode with an open world and RPG hooks. Each format centers around the classic Street Fighter style of 2D fighting gameplay, and that excellent core experience is what drives everything.

Mechanically, Street Fighter 6 doesn't fall far from previous games in the series: You have multiple normal attacks, special attacks, Super Arts, and movement techniques specially designed for each of the roster's 18 characters. Some have an in-your-face style with heavy strikes and damaging throws, while others are better suited to keeping their distance and picking moments to strike. What distinguishes SF6 from previous iterations are the core universal mechanics shared by all characters. While the effects and execution are the same for each fighter, these mechanics have their own distinct flair and flourish of personality depending on the character you choose. These universal mechanics are also where much of Street Fighter 6's gameplay depth is.

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LOTR: Gollum - Before You Buy

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LOTR: Gollum - Before You BuyThe Lord of the Rings: Gollum (PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S/One) is an adventure game set in Middle Earth starring everyone's favorite little weirdo. How is it? Let's talk. Subscribe for more: http://youtube.com/gameranxtv ▼ Buy Gollum? https://amzn.to/42fAslO Watch more 'Before You Buy': https://bit.ly/2kfdxI6 #gollum

The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum Review - We Don't Wants It, We Don't Needs It

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When it comes to art, I'm something of a masochist. I listen to music that the average listener might describe as "unlistenable." I relish in the skin-crawling cringiness of the major motion picture musical Cats. I gravitate toward games that make me beat my head against the wall, for better or for worse. However, every pain junkie has their limit, and The Lord of the Rings: Gollum pushed me to mine--and then some.

The long-delayed stealth adventure from Daedalic Entertainment, centered around one of Middle-earth's most iconic (if not exactly likable) characters, does not simply miss the mark here or there: It's an unbridled disaster of truly epic--like, Tolkien-level epic--proportions. Beyond its overly simple level design, jarringly dated graphics, and deeply uninteresting gameplay, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is broken to the point where it's nearly unplayable, making it one of the worst uses of a licensed property in recent memory.

The game begins in Cirith Ungol, the Orc-infested outskirts of Mordor, some 60 years after Bilbo Baggins stole the One Ring from our slimy, frail protagonist, Sméagol--or Gollum, as he's come to be known. Taking place not long before the events laid out in The Fellowship of the Ring, the crux of the story is instantly recognizable to anyone even peripherally familiar with the series: Gollum must find Bilbo and take back his "precious" at any cost, while avoiding the wrath of Sauron along the way.

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Humanity Review - What Is A Man?

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Some days you wake up, put on your clothes, and head to work or school. Some days you sleep in and enjoy a hard-earned day off. And some days your consciousness emerges from slumber in the form of a tiny ethereal Shiba Inu, and mysterious glowing orbs instruct you to guide a seemingly unending stream of human souls through winding geometric constructs to a radiant square of light. You know, normal things.

This is the premise of Humanity, a new spatial puzzle game from developer Tha and publisher Enhance Games. Players familiar with the Enhance Games library of titles like Rez and Tetris Effect likely have some idea of what to expect: an artsy experience with chill vibes, minimalistic yet striking visuals, intuitive gameplay, experimental music, and an undercurrent of positivity and warmth. Humanity ticks all of those boxes off easily, while also establishing itself as a unique and charming puzzle game that both calls back to old favorites and adds interesting new innovations.

As the nameless meme-dog, you are tasked with guiding the stream of humans that emerges from a mysterious portal "into the light"--a specially marked square on the field. To accomplish this, you place directional commands on spaces where the flow of humans are walking. If they need to turn left to avoid careening into a pit, you bark and leave a marker to tell them to turn left. Simple! It's a little bit of Lemmings, but perhaps more akin to Dreamcast sleeper classic Chu Chu Rocket.

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Planet Of Lana Review - Mutual Dependency

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Planet of Lana begins in the quaint fishing village its titular protagonist calls home. As you chase after your older sister, stumbling at times--which elicits laughter from big sis--you're afforded time to get to grips with the game's 2D platforming, jumping and climbing over the wooden docks, platforms, and rooftops that make up this small but dense town. After passing through a bustling market where people are selling strawberries and freshly-caught fish, you sneak past a chef chopping up vegetables amid plumes of steam before passing by empty boats moored in the crystal-clear waters the town is built upon. It's a moment of serenity that could be mistaken for a rural location on Earth, were it not for the all-encompassing moon dominating the sky. As you gradually make your way out of town and into the verdant hilltops nearby, this fleeting tranquility is shattered by the ominous sight of dozens of drop pods tumbling into the planet's atmosphere.

Darting back through the village in the opposite direction is a harrowing experience, as an apocalyptic army of tinted-black robots begins rounding up any signs of life. The peaceful sound of waves crashing against the shore is violently replaced by people screaming and the unnatural bleeps of faceless colonizers, establishing a sharp contrast between tranquility and chaos. With her entire world turned upside down, Lana sets out on a seemingly impossible quest to rescue her captured sister and village, taking you on an enchanting four-hour adventure that's inspired by cinematic puzzle-adventure games like Another World, Inside, and the Oddworld series. You can see bits and pieces of each of these games reflected in Planet of Lana's gameplay, from its deliberate platforming to its logic and physics-based puzzle-solving. Yet it's the animated movies of Studio Ghibli that serve as the primary influence for Swedish developer Wishfully--something that's apparent right from the game's first few seconds.

Opening up on a shot of the daytime sky, the vivid hand-painted art style immediately pulls you in and evokes movies such as Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro without trying to replicate their exact style. Objects closer to the screen are coated in finer detail, for instance, while the vibrant backgrounds use broader, thicker brush strokes, creating a layered image that makes it feel like you're inside an interactive painting. Just glancing at screenshots sells the game's gorgeous aesthetic, but it looks equally stunning in motion, with trees swaying in the breeze, critters scurrying out of sight as you traverse through woodland, and ancient structures whirring to life after being dormant for decades--the world feels alive. The sense of scale is noteworthy, too, not just from a visual standpoint, but because of the way it gives perspective to the scope of Lana's task. The giant robot mothership that initially looms in the distance gradually consumes more and more of the horizon as you inch closer to its foreboding structure, providing a visible landmark for your journey's progress.

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