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Game Review: Anarchy Reigns

Clench your fist around a stick of dynamite, light the fuse, then punch yourself dead in the face within the millisecond of detonation – that’s Anarchy Reigns.

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Anarchy Reigns

Sega Of America, Inc.

Clench your fist around a stick of dynamite, light the fuse, then punch yourself dead in the face within the millisecond of detonation – that’s what it’s like to play a 16 player free-for-all match in Anarchy Reigns, a cerebral explosion of competitive pugilism developed by the same talented team, formerly known as Clover Studio, who brought us Vanquish and Bayonetta (games that were critically acclaimed yet sold criminally less than contaminated fruit bundles). With its Japanese eccentricity, vulgarity, linear and seemingly incoherent single-player narrative, and steep learning curve for multiplayer, Anarchy will somersault directly over the interests of the casual gamer; but for adventurous individuals who love a frantic and, most importantly, fun beat-em-up , this title is a generous bestowment from the most creative zones of our game developers’ imaginations. 

Unlike most blockbuster games (other than the Call of Duty franchise) of this console generation that are built around a single-player campaign that moderately excels at including a thigh-gripping storyline, muscular and/or seductively scanty protagonists (I love you, Bayonetta), and motivations for conflict that are clear and sympathetic to the audience, Anarchy was developed to consistently entertain with an unpredictable multiplayer component. The campaign is simply there to familiarize you with the basic and advanced fighting mechanics so that you may become more adept at accepting and defending your mortality online. Because of this, I will focus solely on the multiplayer, the reason why this game begs to be experienced (and falcon-punched.)

Anarchy is a third-person brawler, pure yet complex. Its gameplay is similar to Bayonetta’s in that you accost enemies with your fists and feet, except instead of concentrating on stringing hundred-hit combos together, it makes you master the art of tactical reservation – knowing how to perform short but powerful combinations that give your enemy the chance to counter and you the opportunity to evade. In a match against another player with skill, this exchange of attack and defense incorporates strategy into your fighting pattern (as does knowing when to flee for the hills). 

The online battles are the culmination of your inner ten-year-old’s wildest aspirations: Planes nose dive into the dilapidated city, destroying all players who are haphazardly throwing dukes within its crash radius; a ninja battles a cyborg in a one-on-one cage match for limited supremacy; and a creepily voiced evildoer with a leg that transforms into a heavy projectile launcher performs handstands as he blasts his victims into irrelevance. To summarize this pandemonium, Anarchy Reigns is an unadulterated, continuous climax where players with the quickest reflexes and greatest understanding of the fighting system will arrogantly flourish. And because the experience is a refreshing break from the provisions first-person-shooters offer, it’s at least worth a try. 

Subjective Recommendation: For $29.99, this gem is more fun than most games twice its price. If you’re down for brutal, fantastical online gameplay that’s accentuated by a paramount soundtrack, join the Anarchy (and let it REIGN!).

Objective Recommendation: The campaign is asymmetrically lacking to the multiplayer, the graphics aren’t as crisp as most gamers’ expectations, and many won’t have the patience to learn the subtleties of the fighting system in a competitive online atmosphere. Yet, the fun factor glimmers through these flaws. Do more research, if interested, or definitely rent.

Standout Element: The soundtrack. The rapid-fire hip hop, jazz, techno, and orchestral fits perfectly.

by Jedadiah Hoy

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Star Wars™ Pinball: Star Wars Rebels™

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Zen Studios has concocted a ruse of amusement, it’s a trap—of fun. Star Wars™ Pinball: Star Wars Rebels™, established by the critically acclaimed animated TV show on Disney XD, Star Wars Rebels™, releases endorphins chock full of nostalgia and bliss. With all of the Star Wars talk going on as of late, it’s nice to get in your daily need of pew pew! Stormtroopers assemble and try to take down the hero of Lothal, the whole mission thing is a bit nuts. This pinball table goes to a galaxy far far away by delving into an age that has yet to be traversed by the films. Zen studios gets the balance of the force just right, do not try to get this table, do it.

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Pinball FX-2 Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Zen Studios does it again with Pinball FX2 – Marvel Avenger’s: Age of Ultron. This table is available on PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4. Avengers Assemble! Age of Ultron quenches a thirst for adventure you didn’t know you had. Players assist Iron Man in finishing his most aspiring venture to date. The profound and climactic soundtrack will rip you out of the comfort of your chair and into the Age of Ultron. Enjoy this audacious addition to the Avenger’s universe, Thor’s might is on your side. The Incredible Hulk, Hawkeye, and Black Widow make a gargantuan attempt at arresting the nefarious Ultron. Pull yourself together and check out this game, you can’t afford more mistakes. The god of thunder favors you.

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Shaking the Habitual, The Knife | Album Review

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By The Knife

Shaking the Habitual is something every person needs more of in life. Stepping outside of boundaries and entering a new experience can have a confounding effect on the senses. Rhythm and movement resonate from the deepest depths of the soul and project outward in an array of vibrancy. 

What starts off like a indigenous ceremony quickly changes to a post apocalyptic nuclear wasteland by the third track, “A Cherry on Top.” Then, finding semblance in a 19 minute interlude, “Old Dreams Waiting to Be Realized,” the brother-and-sister duo reemerge in ritualistic fashion with the deep bass line of “Raging Lung”. Ending with an unsettling aptitude, Fracking Fluid Injection precedes the final track, Ready to Lose; providing insight to a larger contextual effect this album has in a world seeming “Full of Fire.” 

Although difficult to fully embody the composition of electronic and aboriginal noise heard in The Knife’s new album, Shaking the Habitual, any movement to the music is sure to conjure emotion. At times, the May release represents a more archetypal sound in the art of music. 

Tying together components of old and new, the Swedish duo creates a spellbinding effect with the first track, A Tooth For an Eye. Amalgamating dominant instrumentations, subtle synth lines and underlying vocals, A Tooth For and Eye entices the listener with something seldom projected over the airwaves. 

Coming off a seven year hiatus, the duo can predominate with an electronic influence, but, ultimately the seamless transition across a spectrum of sound grasps the ear. Delivered in its entirety, the lasting impression might leave one feeling like a participant of a seance.

— Rob Donovan

 

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