Half Life 2: Episode Three We're calling this week's Reviews Spotlight the "Back to School Special." With Team Rocket running loose and talk of Half-Life 2: Episode 3, we won't blame you if you decide to cut out of geography class early.

This week, we get some one-on-one time with the G-Man, clash swords with Prince Valiant, and check out the new species of Pokémon.


On HL2: Episode 2, Linearity, the G-Man, and Episode Three
By Matthew Floratos
With the three year anniversary of Episode 2's release fast approaching, City 17 is quickly becoming a distant silhouette on the horizon. Despite the assurances of Gabe Newell and company, it seems as though Half-Life 2: Episode 3 has become vaporware — a fantasy which fans are slowly losing interest in. And what a shame, especially after the hours we've collectively spent bonding and socializing with the Vance family and their lovable pet robot, Dog.

Here to take a trip down memory lane is Matthew Floratos, with his impressions of the Half-Life franchise, its characters, and the waning possibility of another sequel. Masochistic enough to endure some painful, yet pleasurable nostalgia? Matt's got you covered.

 

Late Bird Review: Batman Arkham Asylum
By Ariel Feist
After conquering the imaginations of comic book fans, writer Paul Dini turned his gaze toward the ripe, unsown minds of gamers. The result was Batman: Arkham Asylum, a dark odyssey into the heart of Gotham City's most dangerous institution and an investigation of the inmates detained within.

One year after the fact, Ariel Feist has decided to reembark on that odyssey in the hope of appropriately describing the game's successes and failures. With his batarang and keyboard at the ready, Ariel proves that the late bird always catches his worm.


The Legend of Prince Valiant
By Daav Puke
Daav's memory must be sharper than most, considering his ability to recall The Legend of Prince Valiant, the most unappealing cartoon of the '90s. In a move emblematic of the era's marketing culture, someone made the decision to turn the unsuccessful TV show into an equally unsuccessful video game. And so, 1992 saw the release of a Game Boy title chronicling the misadventures of Prince Valiant.

Does the Arthurian prince live up to his namesake or does he fall flat on his face? Daav has the answer.


Crossfire – Indie Game Spotlight (Xbox 360)
By Joe Donato

Crossfire

Described as a reimagining of Space Invaders, Crossfire doesn't seem to offer much in the way of innovation. Without the ominous glow of an arcade cabinet or the archaic sounds of Atari, how appealing can 2D shooting be? According to Joe, Crossfire has a few tricks which may leave the trigger happy generation disoriented.

Think you can top Joe's high score? Only one way to find out.


I Am The Manta Review: Gravitee 2 (Flash)
By Ben Maxwell
When money isn't a factor, a gamer has to consider whether a title is worth his or her time. In short, Ben's mission is to investigate whether Gravitee 2, a free-to-play Flash game available at Kongregate, is worth your time.

So which would you rather spend an afternoon doing: playing Gravitee 2 or watching re-runs of the Simpsons? Ben fills us in.


For What It's Worth: Pokémon Diamond/Pearl & Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia
By Ryan Conway
Having exhausted the color spectrum, Nintendo's taken their pocket-monster franchise into the world of precious gems and shadows. But are the new shades and tones of Pokémon worth the barrier to entry?

Ryan is up to his knees in Pokémon and doesn't know what to do! Help soothe his stress by checking out his reviews. Just don't let Team Rocket catch you reading them.