Here it is, the latest nostalgia ploy for the Tsum Tsum generation

One of my favorite things to see compared are Funko POP! figures (of the United States) with Good Smile’s Nendoroids (of Japan). The two are at once comparable—both being a popular series of uniformly designed figures—but also incomparable. POP!s are chibi (small), cheap, and most of all: ugly. While Nendoroids are also chibi, a bit more pricey, and most of all: actually really cute. When put side by side, the cuter figure is always clear. I’ve always taken it as a sign that my fellow Americans don’t know what cute means. But with World of Final Fantasy, the latest JRPG clout…


Karma. Incarnation 1 doesn’t hold back on the psychedelia

In AuraLab’s Karma. Incarnation 1, I’m controlling Pip. Or rather, I’m directing Pip along his journey. Pip is a worm-like creature, but he wasn’t always that way. Once upon a time, he was merely a lost soul. After his lover gets captured by an elusive Unknown Evil, Pip ventures off alone into a surreal world to get her back. But then he’s reincarnated accidentally as a worm, not a dragon as originally planned. And now here we are, Pip and I, bargaining with a dancing creature to trade a flower lei for the snowflake-encrusted light bulb I need that’s hanging on…

Mafia III

Mafia III is a big “f*ck you” to its predecessors

There’s an attractive quality to the crime stories of the first two Mafia games. Two protagonists down on their luck—Tommy Angelo in the first and Vito Scaletta in the second—find success through a life of crime, wanting nothing more than to rise through the ranks, to be wealthy, to be a “Made Man.” Mafia III doesn’t care for that. Were it a different Mafia game, you may look at Mafia III’s Sal Marcano as a father figure, assisting your transition to the Italian mafia. Sal’s son, Georgi Marcano, might be your best friend, your confidant. In a different Mafia game, you’d be…


Slayer Shock is the videogame equivalent of a vampire B-movie

Slayer Shock is an effort to make a tense, smart vampire survival game, but it ends up feeling more like a B-movie version of a classic genre. It’s not offensively bad or anything like that—it has a worse fate. It is bland. In the wake of a vampire epidemic, Slayer Shock tasks you with wandering a procedural Nebraskan town, completing tasks such as going on patrol or killing elders. As you walk around exorcising vampires, you can collect “vampire dust” that can be exchanged for weapons or abilities. You can sneak through tall grass, surprising enemies or come at them head-on and…

Honey Rose

Honey Rose is the most relatable schoolgirl luchador out there

I relate a lot to Honey Rose. Or, at least I did back when I was a scrappy university student. While Honey moonlights as a masked luchador fighter in addition to being a college student by day, I juggled school, a job to pay the bills, and a far more time-consuming job that paid zero bills (campus publication editor gigs will do that to you). Like Honey, not everything went right. Sometimes I did poorly on tests because a deadline was approaching for the magazine I was art director for. Other times I’d slack off in one of those two,…


Clustertruck is an absolutely truckin’ wild time

Even the best poker players are playing a game of chance. That’s exactly how it feels to play Landfall Games’ upcoming Clustertruck. No matter how good I thought I was getting at it, no matter how well I had done in the prior level, something unexpected would come along and put me in my place. Part Hotline Miami (2012), part The Floor is Lava, Clustertruck’s objective is deceptively simple: jump from moving semi truck to semi truck until you reach the goal. Fall on the ground, though, and you have to start over. Easy, right? No. The second you take…