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Video Game Review: ‘Mortal Kombat’ Comes Fully Loaded to PlayStation Vita

Mortal Kombat Vita

CHICAGO – Fans of HollywoodChicago.com’s video game coverage will know by now that I LOVE the new incarnation of “Mortal Kombat.” The team at NetherRealm brilliantly brought this legendary franchise back from the brink of irrelevance by focusing on what worked about it in the first place and giving players one of the deepest fight game experiences on the market. There are a lot of good fighting games out there right now including “Soul Calibur V” and “Street Fighter x Tekken” but “Mortal Kombat” wins with a brutal fatality, even on the PlayStation Vita.

Video Game Review: ‘Prototype 2’ is Big Improvement Over Predecessor

CHICAGO – Remember when sequels of any kind were viewed with disdain? No, you don’t, because you aren’t old enough. Of course, now we have a situation where sequels, reboots and even simple rehashes are often better than what spawned them.

Video Game Review: Say Hello to a Very Little ‘Scarface’ for iOS

CHICAGO – I wonder when Brian De Palma and Al Pacino were making “Scarface” if they had any idea how much of a phenomenon they were about to unleash on the world. “Scarface” is no mere movie. It has had more of a shelf life than most of the superhero, fantasy, and typically fan-centric films of its day.

Video Game Review: Amazing RPG Action of Impressive ‘The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings’

CHICAGO – I had heard the buzz about “The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings” when it was released for PC last May. It even made a few top ten lists for the best games of 2011, but I don’t have a PC rigged up enough to play it.

Video Game Review: ‘Armored Core V’ Comes Streamlined But Still Tough

Armored Core V

CHICAGO – For those unfamiliar with the “Armored Core” series, the story of the franchise comprises the usual Mech game elements — evil corporation, slightly misguided rebels, and apocalyptic landscapes. There’s even a genre-defining female voice guiding you through your mission. In other words, the story is there if you want to pay attention but it isn’t what has kept fans interested in the series for so long.

Video Game Review: ‘I Am Alive’ Finds Atmosphere in Genre Often Dominated by Action

CHICAGO – What would you do if you were one of the few survivors on Earth? You’re trying to get home. You’re low on supplies. Potential enemies who want to take the little that you have are probably around the next corner.

Video Game Review: Landmark Pair Included in ‘Silent Hill HD Collection’

CHICAGO – The trend of packaging already-available games in HD collections has finally reached the most terrifying location in the history of gaming — Silent Hill. Interestingly, Konami chose to just take the peaks of the franchise, the brilliant “Silent Hill 2” and “Silent Hill 3,” the two games that really made this mega-franchise what it is today.

Video Game Review: Addictive Vita Version of ‘The Pinball Arcade’

CHICAGO – Do kids still play pinball? Or is it a piece of nostalgia now? I must confess to hours spent in the arcade playing the addictive game, always my personal favorite when I had quarters burning a hole in my pocket. And so I’m kind of a soft target when it comes to Farsight Studios’ “The Pinball Arcade,” a clever new title available for the PS3 and PlayStation Vita.

Video Game Review: ‘Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13’ Offers More of the Stellar Same

CHICAGO – I adored “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters,” the best golf game for the PS3 generation yet produced. Where does a franchise go from there? How could “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13” differ much from its award-winning predecessor?

Video Game Review: Non-Stop Action Can’t Hide Flaws of ‘Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City’

CHICAGO – I adore the “Resident Evil” franchise to such extremes that I kept trying to find ways to overlook the notable flaws of the action spin-off “Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City” but they add up to the point that they can no longer be ignored.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Wonder Woman

    CHICAGO – There are few films in 2017 that are as historically important as they are cinematically well-crafted. Of those, there is only one I saw three times in theaters. That honor comes in the form of the revolutionary “Wonder Woman,” which not only shows huge promise for the future of DC Comics films but for comic book-based films as a whole.

  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

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