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Max Payne 3.

Back to being ugly, Max's new incarnation is older and even more distressed.

It’s strange to think that it is now eleven years since I first played Max Payne. There was something special about the Remedy developed title, a noir story met an irreverent sense of humour that could only be achieved from an outsiders’ perspective (in this case Finnish).

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More Damned Shadows (Link)

A good game but how good depends on context, numerically at least.

This should be the last you see of my articles on Shadow’s of the Damned, the game I expected to worship but that I ended up just adoring. It was a hard score to decide on for Play Devil, as their scores are weighted slightly higher than I would naturally place them and I suspect that by comparison to some other reviews on the site I should probably have gone up to 8.5, rather than the flat 8.

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Shadows of the Damned (360, PS3)

Meet Garcia 'Fucking' Hotspur and his faithful friend Johnson, the talking transforming skull who provides guns, bikes and light..

For me Shadows of the Damned achieved a sublime mix of creative talent. If I were to compare it to the classics I would see it as a mix of Shakespeare, Mozart and Da Vinci coming together for a production. To my Japanese centric mind, with a propensity for horror and narrative, the pool of creative talent EA pulled together was breath taking. Suda 51 brought his spin to the story, with Shinji Mikami handling game play and Akira Yamaoka on drums… I mean writing the score. Honestly there is nothing in this mix that could possibly go wrong. Right? Well in theory yes but, as I proved one time when I made ramen with a beer and cheese, sometime the whole can be far less than the sum of its parts.

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Story Can Help (Call of Juarez: The Cartel)

The Cartel Opening

Before I begin to tell you why I enjoyed Call of Juarez: The Cartel, I feel it is important to point out that it is not a great shooter. It feels unfinished, characters pop in to and out of existence constantly, it has a colour palette that makes enemies impossible to see, there are visible cracks in the environment and the whole experience is so linear that there is literally a dot that guides you (often poorly) through the game.

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Cultural Diversity and Ethnocentricity

Child of Eden

Last month saw the release of a number of significant titles from Japanese designers and developers, most notably Child of Eden and Shadows of the Damned. For a long time gamer like myself they represented hugely significant titles marking (in Eden) a spiritual successor to a classic (Rez), and (in Shadows) a collaboration of some of Japans greatest talents. Yet while my excitement was nearly over flowing at their release, the gaming playing community at large responded with a near inaudible, ‘meh’.

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