Paul Meekin

Video Game Review: ‘Lord of the Rings: Guardians of Middle-Earth’ is Subpar

Lord of the Rings: Guardians of Middle-Earth

CHICAGO – Orcs, wizards, and dwarves, oh my. Between “Lord of the Rings: Guardians of Middle-Earth”, “WoW”, “Kingdoms of Amalur”, and about sixty thousand other games, movies, and TV shows featuring medieval fantasy, it’s pretty obvious this setting appeals to millions of people across the world. To these fans, the “Lord of The Rings” franchise is like the Holy Bible. So it pains me to say that the acronym-o-riffic XBLA MOBALOTR:GOME” is practically sacrilege.

Video Game Review: Return to ‘Skyrim’ with ‘Dragonborn’

CHICAGO – During my younger and gainfully underemployed days, I would troll abandonware sites for free games, downloading obscure gems ad nauseum to the point where my under-powered Acer Aspire desktop PC’s four-gigabyte hard drive was brimming with some real classics (and a few stinkers).

Video Game Review: ‘Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage’ is More of the Same with Sprinkles on Top

CHICAGO – I sat on my porch in balmy 56 degree December weather. It was windy for New England, but having spent years in Chicago it felt mostly like a light breeze.

Video Game Review: ‘Need For Speed: Most Wanted’ Plays Like J.J. Abrams Film

CHICAGO – I am not (by any means) what you’d call a gear-head. I’m the guy who skips through the car reviews on “Top Gear” to get to the challenges, I’ve changed oil twice in my life, and my current sick ride is a 2001 Chevy Lumina with a bum tail light.

Video Game Review: ‘Assassin’s Creed III’ is a Cruel Mistress

CHICAGO – About a year ago, after a particularly fruitful perusing of my OkCupid quiver, I started up a conversation with a very sweet girl named Maria. She was in law school, liked cats, bad reality tv, drinking heavily, and wearing heels that made her appear about a foot taller than she actually was.

Video Game Review: ‘WWE 13’ is the Ultimate Playground

WWE 13

CHICAGO – Wrestling games have always been a curious genre. They’ve always treated matches as if they’re actual athletic competitions, where one guy is attempting to beat the other guy within an inch of his life and pin him or make him submit. This is problematic since we all know that a real pro-wrestling match is more akin to a heavily muscled dance number than an actual fight (though they both get colorful outfits) and the excitement of a match - innovative moves, heightened drama, near falls - are all but absent in the “wrestling is real” gameplay model because simply put, the better you are, the shorter and less fun your matches will be, especially against the historically brain-dead AI you find in wrestling games.

Video Game Review: ‘Pro Evolution Soccer 2013’ a Scrappy Sports Game

PES 2013

CHICAGO – 2012 marks the first time in three years I haven’t played the new “FIFA” game with my annoying wannabe-European roommate. Like clockwork, each year he’d bound into our apartment with the world’s premier soccer title, unwrap it, pack the hookah (making me guess the flavor even though I could never tell the difference - and told him this every time) and we’d proceed to play until I beat him, at which point he’d lose interest in playing me, and instead move to his bedroom to play on the easiest mode with the best team and I presume drink creme de menthe and listen to The Smiths.

Video Game Review: ‘Borderlands 2: Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty’

Borderlands 2: Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty.

“Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty,” in addition to being an excellent title for a late night “Cinemax” title, also happens to be a new piece of pirate-themed downloadable content for “Borderlands 2,” available for a modest tribute on XBLA. Once downloaded, all one needs to do is access a fast travel station and hightail it to newly appearing “Oasis” on the list of travel beacons.

Video Game Review: ‘NBA 2K13’ is a Slam Dunk

CHICAGO – Most of us thought it wouldn’t happen, others thought it couldn’t, and a select few thought it never should. Despite being the best in the world at what they do, dominating the competition, and improving themselves day in and day out, most of us were ultimately doubters. But we were proven wrong.

Video Game Review: ‘Dishonored’ is at War with Itself

CHICAGO – I’m more or less “over” the whole killing evil aristocrats thing. Between “Skyrim”, “Assassin’s Creed”, “Mount and Blade”, “Ultimate” and dozens of other games that take place in some sort of medieval setting, I think I’ve killed every Lord, Duke, and Earl in Europe.

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