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Video Game Review: The Walking Dead — A New Frontier, Episode 5

June 2, 2017 | By Mike Chen | Comments (0)
From the GallowsJavi and David’s relationship is front and center in From the Gallows.

Please note that since each episode of The Walking Dead — A New Frontier features the same graphics engine and control setup, those elements will not be repeated in our reviews for the final four episodes. To read our thoughts on that, refer to our review of Ties That Bind Part I.

The Walking Dead’s latest season ended its previous episode on a bit of a cliffhanger — one that concluded a very uneven episode. With the finale, From the Gallows, arriving, the story of Javi and his family — both blood-related and extended — draws to a close with mixed results.

What works? The setup of risky safety (Richmond) vs. absolute uncertainty (the open road), the growing bond between two alpha characters (Javi and Clementine), and the themes of family as evidenced by the series’ true love triangle: the parent/child bond battle between Javi, David and teenager Gabe.

What doesn’t work? The uneven character choices that jumped out in previous episodes, particularly Episode 4, continue to plague this season. Javi himself is the anchor, but the characters around him continue to swing wildly from measured to impulsive, as if they were writing to plot points rather than organic beats.

While this causes some “why did this character do that?” confusion, one area where the finale succeeds is that it removes the dreaded trope of “everyone you encounter ever is bad” from The Walking Dead mix, leaving you with harder choices and a race against time — and the end result is that someone, somewhere, isn’t going to make it.

The final segment of the game (no spoilers here) sets up for one mega-choice, though the path there isn’t always clean from a narrative perspective. So the issue here is kind of the inverse of what plagued the rest of the season; previously, the plot outline seemed jumpy and unsure but character moments stood out.

Here, the plot beats all work, but the character journey to get there feels forced, though it does manage to stick the landing, despite some unanswered questions depending on who lived and who died previously.

Telltale’s experiment to move The Walking Dead away from Clementine winds up a mixed bag. The finale is indicative of the season, where the pros outweigh the cons in making it a worthwhile experience, but there are clear flaws along the way.

OVERALL (3.5/5)

From the Gallows reaches a satisfying conclusion even though the path there hits bumps and ultimately sets up a potentially dynamic fourth season. Whether that means we stick with Javi and his remaining crew, though, is up in the air.

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2017 RotoRob Top 80 Fantasy Baseball Prospects

May 30, 2017 | By RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
Swanson dealt with some back woes this spring, but it’s not a major issue, and he’s expected to take a major step forward this year. He’ll be a big part of what should be a much better Atlanta squad in 2017. The one worry we have here is that Swanson’s strikeout rate rose from 14 per cent at High-A to 18.8 per cent at Double to 23.4 per cent in the majors. We can’t see him hitting over .300 with a contact rate that low, so keep an eye on that. Still, we have full confidence that Swanson will adjust, and after a very ugly April, he was much better in May. He will need to start using the whole field, instead of being such a pull hitter, to take the next step.
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The Wire Troll: Jed Lowrie on Fire in Oakland

May 28, 2017 | By RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
Even though it slipped last year, Anderson has always had solid command. And although he had really struggled in his previous five starts, he reminded us Saturday that he’s a pitcher that needs to be on your radar, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning en route to seven shutout innings of one-hit ball with 11 strikeouts against one of the top hitting teams in the bigs (Arizona). Anderson is durable, and in well on his way to shattering his career high in innings pitched, so give him a look if you need pitching help.
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Video Game Review: Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 Remix

May 26, 2017 | By Matthew Striplen | Comments Comments Off
Love it or hate it, the Kingdom Hearts franchise is here to stay. The Disney/Square-Enix crossover has become wildly successful with thousands of dedicated fans, though the series only has two full installments. Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMix is a compilation of compilations, comprising all the games from the PS3 1.5 and 2.5 games.
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Video Game Review: Seasons After Fall

May 22, 2017 | By Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
After a brief intro, you’ll possess and control a fox, tasked with visiting the four Guardians of the forest to collect the ability to control the seasons. You’re guided by an unseen entity that wants to perform a ritual. Not all is as it seems, however, and perhaps the entity doesn’t have your, or the forest’s, best interests at heart.
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