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About Ryan Thompson

Ryan is a ludomusicology graduate student at the University of Minnesota currently researching interactive audio and how it is changing modern gaming.
Latest Posts | By Ryan Thompson
XBLA Deal of the Week
8 years ago

XBLA Deal of the Week

There are lots of discounts on XBLA games both this week and next week worth some attention. If you are yet to play Dungeon Defenders, it’s one of the standout …
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Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams review (XBLA)
8 years ago

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams review (XBLA)

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Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is the rare platformer in today’s world that is simultaneously incredibly demanding and very satisfying. The game, ported to XBLA from the first batch of Steam Greenlight games, was originally part of a successful Kickstarter project. The game’s protagonist, Giana, derives her name from the original Great Giana Sisters of the 1980s which was most well known for being successfully sued by Nintendo for its close similarities to Super Mario Bros. The new game maintains the charm of an older era while demonstrating a keen awareness of how graphics and sound have improved in 25 years between the original and Twisted Dreams.

The game’s main mechanic involves Giana’s ability to shift between two different forms, which shifts the entire world’s graphics and music accordingly. Players will find themselves shifting back and forth between worlds extremely rapidly at times — it recalls the shifting of Ikaruga and Outcast, though with substantial changes to the environment also, not just the main character.

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Ducktales Remastered announced for Summer 2013

The original NES Ducktales game was one of the gems of the era, an incredible platformer designed by the creator of Megaman, Keiji Inafune. It contained one of the …
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Dungeon Defenders II announced…but not coming to XBLA
8 years ago

Dungeon Defenders II announced…but not coming to XBLA

The original Dungeon Defenders was an extremely popular XBLA title, and many players have been looking forward to the inevitable sequel for some time.  The sequel is looking very …
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A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda EX coming to XBLA
8 years ago

A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda EX coming to XBLA

By  •  News

A re-mastered port of A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda, currently available on Steam, was recently announced for XBLA to be published by Aksys. The original game is an action-platformer set in …
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Star Wars Pinball FX 2 review (XBLA DLC)
8 years ago

Star Wars Pinball FX 2 review (XBLA DLC)

The first Star Wars Pinball table pack for the Pinball FX 2 platform was developed by Zen Studios.  It was released February 27, 2013 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.

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Zen Studios, makers of Pinball FX 2, is releasing a trio of Star Wars pinball tables this Wednesday, in what will be the first group of many tables to come, much how the studio has released multiple packs of pinball tables from the Marvel comics universe. These Star Wars tables, which include a table for Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, a table designed around the Clone Wars cartoon show, and a table in honor of infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett, are all worthy additions to the ever-expanding body of content available for Pinball FX2. It’s worth pointing out that only one of the three tables is focused on a specific film — this strategy of utilizing both iconic characters (Fett) and Expanded Universe content (Clone Wars) leaves Zen Studios with a range of choices in developing future Star Wars pinball tables.

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Former Microsoft engineer disagrees with vision for the Xbox 360
8 years ago

Former Microsoft engineer disagrees with vision for the Xbox 360

By  •  News

The team at Polygon shared a fascinating summary of former Microsoft developer Nat Brown’s blog a few days ago. He expresses his disappointment with the direction Microsoft has taken …
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Charity donation drive to determine final EVO game for 2013
8 years ago

Charity donation drive to determine final EVO game for 2013

By  •  News

The  folks at Shoryuken who run the yearly Evolution fighting game series of tournaments (usually known as just EVO) are having a charity drive contest to determine which …
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Capcom-Unity holding a Darkstalkers character design contest
8 years ago

Capcom-Unity holding a Darkstalkers character design contest

By  •  News

The team at Shoryuken has noted that Capcom is gearing up for the upcoming release of Darkstalkers Resurrection, a high-definition port of both Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge and Darkstalkers …
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Pinball FX2 Marvel Civil War review
8 years ago

Pinball FX2 Marvel Civil War review

The Civil War table for the Pinball FX 2 platform was developed by Zen Studios.  It was released November 20, 2012 for 240 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.

The Civil War table for Pinball FX2 is the latest in what is now a large string of Marvel-themed pinball tables. Zen Studios continues to innovate with each new release — the improvements they have made since earlier pinball tables are evident here. Civil War is oozing with nods to fans of the comic books — this might be the best-themed Marvel pinball table yet, and it shows through in the very polished presentation. Read More