Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons – Game Review

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Here’s an analogy for you: If Skyrim is your favorite Pixar film, then Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ($15, Xbox Live Arcade) is the animated short before that film. It’s the experience that, while short-lived, sticks with you long after credits of the main feature have rolled. I don’t think I’m too far off the mark by calling Brothers one of the most emotionally rich and meaningful games of 2013. The story is simple: you and your brother must find a live-saving cure for your father, who has fallen ill. Because he is your only living parent, saving his life is all the more important. This leads the two sons on an adventure through a danger-ridden fantasy world.

This review will be short. Not because I don’t have a lot to say about Brothers, but because the simple act of writing about the story would ruin it for you. Think of it like this: how angry would you be if I went to see a movie you’d been eagerly anticipating for the past year, and then rattled off some of the major plot points? You’d be kinda pissed, right? Every scenario in Brothers is something you must experience for yourself to truly appreciate. There are few games I can think of in which the minute-to-minute events are so special.

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Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine – Game Review

Monaco: Whats Yours is Mine

It’s a well-timed coincidence that a group of thieves made off with tens of thousands of dollars from a Justin Bieber concert in Johannesburg just days after the release of Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine on Xbox Live Arcade. Apparently, they rappelled and chiseled their way into a vault room at the stadium while the concert was happening. I’m not usually one to root for the bad guy, but these heist-type crimes are undeniably cool (especially when they happen in real-life), and Monaco lets you step into the shoes of shady players who pull off big scores.

Unlike the Johannesburg criminals, though, there’s nothing realistic about Monaco’s band of crooks. They play to the classic heist movie archetypes–such as the Locksmith, the Hacker, the beautifully distracting Redhead, and the wily Cleaner, who uses chloroform to knock out guards. Though the characters may be slightly cliched, the game design itself is anything but. Monaco is a top-down action game that mixes elements of stealth, twin-stick shooting, and well-timed strategy. Your goal on each level is simple: get to your goal (typically money, or a person or object of value), and then escape. Sounds easy, right? Well, there’s a bit more to it than that.

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Your Weekend Justice #196: Valar Portcullis

It’s Weekend Justice: the Internet’s #1 audio trainwreck–the podcast that didn’t go back in time just to see what giant tortoises actually taste like…until it did, and now it has. It’s one of those timey whimey yummy tummy sort of things. You know.

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Brad Pitt from 12 Monkeys

Agenda:

  • PNG and graphical hipsters
  • Sam Jackson, brewmeister and keeper of graphic info
  • Ed needs to see a doctor about his Lower Third
  • Everybody uses GIFs? If everybody jumped off a bridge, would you etc. etc.?
  • Widge’s mic is possessed by images. It made even less sense at the time.
  • ScottC, possessed by Barry White
  • The Magic Mike
  • The world’s most popular Irish podcaster returns!
  • Game of Thrones post-mortem!
  • Arya, major asskicker
  • How to rock on the Iron Throne and ideas for the Westeros Theme Park
  • (more…)

    Your Weekend Justice #143: So You Think You Can Prance

    It’s Weekend Justice: the Internet’s #1 audio trainwreck. It’s the podcast that wants to rub things on your unmentionables–but it’s okay, it’s all in the name of exercise. Just keep telling yourself that. This podcast was engineered–some might say over-engineered–by experts to escort you from the work week in the most chaotic manner possible. Please note: this podcast is profane, definitely oversexed and definitely overwrought. It is wrong and unsafe. You have been warned.

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    Thurston Howell

    Agenda:

  • Scott’s Lilith Fair adventure
  • Atlanta, peaches and beer
  • Widge vs. Skype
  • Dogs and food
  • Cats that will eat your face
  • Book recommendations for Aaron!
  • Xbox talk
  • Walking Dead game
  • Lunchables for Kidlet
  • Jon’s run
  • Running vs. body parts
  • Scott and “it.”
  • Deodorizing testicles
  • Crazy walkin’ bitch!
  • Jon’s pre-run routine
  • The secret of Gu
  • Women vs. toenails
  • Sherlock discussion (spoilers)
  • Leigh vs. Rob
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    Win Halo 3 Action Figures From McFarlane!

    Halo 3 Series 1 Master Chief action figure by McFarlane Toys

    Okay, so…Halo 3. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that my experience with the Halo franchise is Bailey inviting me over to his house so I could fumble around with those arcane Xbox controllers, which to me are just an evil, highly evolved version of the fourteen buttons it used to take to play the classic arcade game, Defender. But hey, toys–I can deal with toys.

    So we’ve got a complete set of the first series of Halo 3 action figures from McFarlane Toys. We’ve got some pics here to whet your appetite, but for the full deal, you’ll have to check out their website. But just so you know–they’re pretty damn sweet.

    Want to win? Well, after the pics, you’ll have your chance. One winner takes them all. So best get on it.

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