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Every time I launched CS:GO this week, I couldn't help but feel like it was a step backwards in my gaming evolution. It's new, but it's entirely familiar as well. The learning curve is shallow and I know I'm probably going to enjoy it before I even start.
But it's beyond clear that Final Fantasy XIV has, in fact, been reborn. This is everything players wanted the original game to be--it might avoid pushing the boundaries, but it provides hours upon hours of well-designed quest sequences, breathtaking graphics, and a gripping plot. At last, we have a modern MMO worthy of the Final Fantasy name.
It's always a thrill (especially for us gamers of the bit-war era) to see Mario and Sonic duke it out. Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games is as good a venue as any to support your preferred publisher as well as your country. The updated visuals and online functionality are welcome improvements, but if you've already spent hours nailing high scores and low times four years ago, the events haven't changed drastically enough to warrant two purchases.
Crashing and burning has always been part of the fun of SimCity, though, and while these sorts of incidents are annoying, they're not game-breaking. Cities of Tomorrow is both a good expansion to the core game and a perfect entry point for a newcomer. Just don't let the power go to your head.
Overall, BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 1 is solidly OK. In the end, it's much more of what we have come to expect from BioShock Infinite, awesome pieces of story broken up by uninteresting sections of combat. It's not a reimagining of the series. It's not a grand departure that examines BioShock's past. It's really not much more than some more BioShock Infinite with a Rapture coat of paint slapped over it. If that's what you are looking for, then the 15-dollar price of entry isn't bad. For everyone else, there is always BioShock 4.
A Link Between Worlds captures plenty of that old Zelda magic with its excellent dungeon design and gameplay-first formula. Series fans will not be disappointed, although it may not deviate from formula quite enough for some. In my estimation, the developers stuck to the right parts of series formula while innovating in important areas, such as non-linearity and user-friendly interface decisions. This is yet another entry in a string of great 3DS games this year, making that device one of the best gaming investments out there.
With all this said though, Knack is a game you need to have. I say "have" because you will want to keep playing Knack. Much like Jak & Daxter, which I have gone back and played numerous times since originally completing, Knack has that same allure. It is an accomplishment not many games can tout. If you picked up the PlayStation 4, you owe it to yourself to pick this game up: You owe it to the kid inside you and the friends you know who don't know how to have fun anymore. Knack may not be the most revolutionary game, but it is yet another promise from team Sony for what the company plans to achieve with the PS4. A promise I am glad I experienced. You will be too.
Killzone: Shadow Fall is a solid launch title for the PS4. It delivers the next-gen experience without cramming it down your throat too much, which is a great change of pace from previous console generations. While it obviously presents what the PS4 is capable of, the developer was careful after the beginning of the game to make sure that the Killzone experience was delivered, no matter what platform it was delivered on. This is definitely a good thing. All-in-all, Killzone: Shadow Fall brings more good things to the table than bad, and a robust multiplayer component gives it a lot of playability past the campaign. This exclusive next-gen shooter is one of the reasons to own a PS4 at launch, and even though it's not perfect, shooter fans will no doubt enjoy Killzone: Shadow Fall for what it is–a good game.
One of the biggest complaints about Madden is that the game basically does the same thing every year. This next-gen iteration doesn't carry enough innovation to counter that argument. However, this new Madden perfects the classic formula. With the best visuals for the series ever, and near-flawless gameplay aided by powerful hardware, Madden 25 for the PS4 will satisfy Madden aficionados and casual sports gamers alike.