Donkey Kong Country Returns was one of my favorite platformers of the last generation. It had charm, challenge, and most importantly -- it was a ton of fun. But one of my only hang-ups with the Wii version was the lack o...
Beat-’em-ups are quite the strange genre to me. I grew playing many of them: Simpsons, X-Men, and Turtles in Time in the arcades were my jam. In fact, I’d say they are still my jam. That said, it’s easy to recognize their faults, which are really faults of the genre as a whole, even if those faults seem to melt away when playing with some buddies. Lining up attacks can be a chore and they’re generally painfully simplistic when it comes to actual gameplay.
Double Dragon: Neon is a carefully crafted love-letter to a genre and a time period. It is an '80s beat-'em-up through and through, but with one caveat: it has some of the best gameplay to ever grace the genre.
You don't have to ask me twice to get back into the world of Naughty Dog's The Last of Us, given that the game swept pretty much every award you could earn in 2013. I'm happy to accept the invitation into its super freaky post-apocalyptic world, especially when that return comes with a healthy dose of backstory. For me, it's the storytelling that makes Naughty Dog's games so enjoyable.
Some games come out of nowhere. Such is the case with AeternoBlade, a 2D action platformer from Corecell Technology -- a relatively unknown eastern developer. It was hit with a few delays in the west, but now, it has a solid release date, and it's finally ready to hit the 3DS eShop.
Even though it doesn't really reach for the stars and looks decidedly dated, it's a decent way for any Metroidvania fan to spend their time.
It's the early 21st century and humanity is embroiled in a bitter war with an alien race hellbent on stemming mankind's advance into outer space. You are a mech pilot. You pilot a war machine that's enormous and powerful. Aliens shoot at you, and you are probably going to need to dodge some bullets and shoot back.
It's an age-old story, one that's probably not going to win many accolades, and that's okay. Sometimes it's just fun to bomb around a distant planet and blow up everything in sight.
Although I had an amazing time with Dead Rising 3, the first DLC offering left a sour taste in my mouth. It was a generic add-on that encapsulated some of our worst fears when we saw the initial footage of the game, and playable soldier Adam Kane was one of the worst characters the franchise had to offer.
Thankfully, the second time around is a slight improvement on the broken formula, even if it's not quite there yet.
One Piece is a fantastic anime. It follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his charismatic Straw Hat Pirate crew as they search for the "One Piece" -- the most valued treasure in the entire land. They're over 600 episodes in and they still haven't found it, but it's an entertaining journey all the same.
Sadly, One Piece: Romance Dawn isn't a great reflection of the show, mostly due to a lazy presentation.
The basic idea here is largely the same: for a few dollars you get one new area, two new missions, an easter egg or two, and new cosmetic customization options for your preferred Vault Hunter. Among those constants throughout the Headhunter series, the most notable variables in play are the choice of which characters to focus on and the dialogue and interactions resulting from that choice. For Wedding Day Massacre, Gearbox chose wisely.
Finally! The story of Final Fantasy XIII is finally final with Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy. But this closing act turns the trilogy on its head with brand new play mechanics and a game structure that is unlike anything seen in the previous titles. Lightning herself may be (mostly) the same, but everything else is quite different.
Adventure games enable developers to guide their audience on an incredibly focused journey. Completely scripted -- with little variation or user input that impacts the outcome -- they rely on the quality of their storytelling first and foremost. Gameplay is often used only to aid the method in which their madness is presented.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is an adventure game where madness excels. It’s a world where fear lurks around every corner and despondence has crept in; its narrative is full of uncertainty, mystery, and sadistic intent. Yet, its gameplay creates more than just a fly on the wall feeling -- even if you are living someone else’s story -- and is a must play for any fan of the genre or those who love a good "whodunit."
My life's earnings are stashed away in my vault. Well, half of it. As an added security measure, I've given my wife half to hold on to and protect with her life. I've built my house in such a way that I feel pretty confident that my belongings are safe. At the very least, my wife and kids will be safe behind the protection of my pit bull, Tiny.
I come back later in the day to find that a few vagabonds tried, and failed, to steal my money. Their loss, my gain. They died, I thrived. I come back the next day and find that my walls have been sawed through, and my money stolen. I check on Tiny: drugged. My family? All dead, no, murdered. I have nothing left. I check the security tapes, though I'm not really sure why. I don't care for revenge, though I can't say the thought is absent in my mind. Standing in what's left of my house, I take it all in and kill myself.
Right click. Left click. Right click. Left click. The old one-two. Jab and then...jab again. Or are they hooks? I can't tell in first-person. Regardless, I was wandering around the spaceship, punching aimlessly, until I heard, "Buon pomeriggio, Bishop."
The voice was warm. It came from a handsome man with whom I engaged in conversation, learning a little bit more about the ship I was dumped in. I stopped punching.
Consortium has guns and it has first-person punching, but it's a talkie. Following in the vein of Deus Ex, System Shock, and the non-shooty bits of Mass Effect, you're tossed aboard a ship and things start to go awry. You have to find out why. Or not, I guess.
Describing Jazzpunk is pretty damn hard. It's billed as a "comedy adventure game," but it's so much more (and sometimes less) than that. It's packed full of references, oddball minigames, and voicework that will make you laugh more often than not.
For those reasons alone, it's not going to be for everyone. Unless you really like the idea of squirting a can of Cheez Whiz on Jim Sterling.
It's difficult to have a unique idea in a genre that's as over-saturated as 'first-person shooter' is. With Call of Duty, Halo, and Battlefield already out there year after year, making a multiplayer game enticing while offering something fresh and unseen is becoming harder and harder for developers to accomplish.
The makers of Rekoil: Liberator are proof of that.
Bigby the Wolf has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He's just stumbled upon two murders, everyone is judging him based on his past, and all of it is starting to take its toll. In the second episode of Wolf Among Us, Telltale does an amazing job of unloading some of that burden off to the player.
Whereas Faith showed us Bigby from afar, we've now become him in Smoke and Mirrors. This is going to be one wild ride that even Toad might not be able to handle.
Laika was a female Soviet dog, and the first mutt in space and to orbit the Earth. Laika was never intended to return. She died during her orbit, and her remains burnt up as the Sputnik 2 re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrated.