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Fall diversions

The choices you make determine the fate of a plague-torn world in “Dishonored.” Improvise and innovate to craft your own style.

October was another busy month for the joysticks of Stars and Stripes game reviewers. From the amount of wonder and amazment in reviewer Brian Bower's eyes, Betheseda's "Dishonored" has grabbed an early lead for Game of the Year contender.

Grant Okubo had high praise for the most recent Transformers, finding the fun parts were certainly no decepicon: “'Transformers: Fall of Cybertron' is hands down the best Transformers game I’ve had the pleasure of playing."

Resident Xbox 360 master Brian Bowers felt little fear - or enjoyment - while trying to wrap his hands around the most recent Resident Evil: "... the game has a few lingering quirks from its horror days that are likely to turn off hardcore shooter fans."

Bethesda's stealthy ways in "Dishonored" put on all the right moves, however: "A finely crafted game that’s incredibly fun and satisfying."

EA's latest modern military shooter, "Medal of Honor: Warfighter" got extra points for its more realistic plot -- although maybe it was too realistic.

Just Dance 4, with great Kinect support, won over Bowers once again with it's wiggling ways: "The choreography is also diverse, with hip-hop and pop styles well represented. There’s even a wrestling-inspired set of moves for “The Final Countdown,” by Europe." (It doesn't hurt he's a Gangnam fan)

The Kinect continued to move us in mixed ways, however. "While “Fable” is generally enjoyable, it ends up running into complications caused by the Kinect’s limitations."

Okubo found another reason to love his Vita duties in "LittleBigPlanet" on Sony's portable: "The fourth release in the LittleBigPlanet series takes full advantage of the PlayStation Vita’s motion controls and multitouch touchscreen, adding hours more fun and complexity to an already immersive series."

And lastly, "XCOM: Enemy Unknown" brought a suprrisingly fun revival to the turn-based-strategy genre, wrote Sam Laney: “'XCOM' is a fantastic example of how fun it can be to go back to taking turns."

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About the Authors


Brian Bowers is Stars and Stripes’ Assistant Managing Editor for Europe and Mideast and one of its video game reviewers. He joined the newspaper in 1992 in Germany, where he worked on the news desk and the city desk. He has a wife and three children, who are always eager to help him test games.


Sam Laney joined Stars and Stripes in 2007 as a copy/layout editor and slowly convinced upper management to support his video game habit. Since then, he’s added game reviews and previews to his list of duties and moved on to the iPad. When he’s not rocking newbies in “Left4Dead2,” he covers PC and Nintendo systems.


Michael S. Darnell joined Stars and Stripes in 2013 as a reporter and quickly annoyed his bosses into allowing him to write about video games in his spare time. He's a PC gamer at heart whose life goals include building the first gaming PC on Mars.