Joel Leizer

Joel Leizer

Playing Critic: Raising funds takes all the fun out of 'Vostok Inc.'

Remember the '80s?

I'm certain the creators of "Vostok Inc." do.

Graphically, it's like the game was thrown together on "MS Paint," and it uses the limited color palette characteristic of ancient EGA-capable computers, including a lot of pink.

Volition hoping you'll like a bit of 'Mayhem'

CHAMPAIGN — Do you have what it takes to thwart the forces of evil?

Champaign-based game developer Volition Inc. certainly hopes you'll at least give it a try.

Its latest game, "Agents of Mayhem," will be released today for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game consoles and personal computers. It retails for $59.99.

Playing Critic: Learning while trying to emulate Old McDonald

It might surprise you to know that, although I was born and raised in Iowa, my practical experience with farms and farming is close to non-existent.

Playing Critic: Latest 'Valkyria' sports new style, talks too much

As I am a fan of the original "Valkyria Chronicles," it feels difficult for me to fairly review the new "Valkyria Revolution."

The issue isn't that this new title stars new characters or that it's set in a different land in Europa, a fictional analogue for our Europe.

Rather, it's the extreme game-play makeover.

Playing Critic: 'River City: Knights of Justice' like a blast from the past

"River City: Knights of Justice," exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS at this point, is a brand-new old-style button-mashing brawler merged with a fantasy role-playing game.

And, yes, it's a spin-off from a series that grew out of the 1989 NES classic, "River City Ransom."

As to whether you would like it, that depends on if you're into nostalgia or not.

Gaming Bits: It doesn't get cheaper than free

Welcome to another edition of Gaming Bits, an infrequent feature by Playing Critic columnist Joel Leizer, where he shares a few of the latest gaming announcements to hit his inbox.

Gaming Bits: LawBreakers, retro releases and more

Welcome to another edition of Gaming Bits, an infrequent feature by Playing Critic columnist Joel Leizer, where he shares a few of the latest gaming announcements to hit his inbox.

Playing Critic: Flaws in 'Perception' easily perceived

If the blind protagonist of 'Perception' isn't generally scared by the goings-on in this survival-horror game, why should players be?

"Perception" takes what should be a solid, fantastically novel premise — blind woman trapped on a haunted estate — and mucks it up with unrealistic acting from the protagonist and the inclusion of far too many supernatural elements.

Playing Critic: Rock on with 'Victor Vran,' Motorhead

At first glance, it'd be easy to dismiss "Victor Vran: Overkill Edition" as just another "Diablo" clone. But solid craftsmanship — and a few more-than-entertaining extras — results in a game well worth playing for fans of isometric action RPGS.

Gaming Bits: Breaking down Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft at E3

Welcome to another edition of Gaming Bits, an infrequent feature by Playing Critic columnist Joel Leizer.

E3 is going on in Los Angeles right now, and I'm not there.

If you're reading this, you probably aren't either.

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