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5:00 PM on 03.26.2015

Review: Pillars of Eternity

Pillars of Eternity is a sort of game which appeared unlikely to exist again in any meaningful way. Isometric, party-based role-playing games certainly seemed like the sort of thing people made, "back in the day," something t...

Conrad Zimmerman



Review: Jump'N'Shoot Attack photo
Review: Jump'N'Shoot Attack
by Tony Ponce

Four Christmases ago, I joined the smartphone brigade when I found an iPhone 4S nestled under the tree. Oh boy! I thought. Now I can grab all those iOS games that people can't shut up about! And for a couple of years, I was an eager mobile beaver.

These days, I'm still rockin' that 4S because upgrading for the sake of upgrading is for chumps. But the magic of mobile gaming has faded. I've grown so jaded. It's the complete lack of honesty among the most prominent mobile publishers that really busts my bojangles.

Now here is FreakZone Games, the studio behind Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, hoping to deliver a similarly challenging retro experience to the mobile space. FreakZone empathizes with folks who despise the freemium model and lament the deficiencies of virtual buttons, and presents Jump'N'Shoot Attack as an answer to our woes.

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Review: Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series: The Sword in the Darkness photo
Review: Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series: The Sword in the Darkness
by Darren Nakamura

Telltale seems to be getting into the swing of things with Game of Thrones, in more ways than one. For starters, it only took seven weeks since the last episode for this one to come out. If Telltale can keep up that pace, the season should conclude this August.

More importantly, this is the first episode to really capture the essence of A Song of Ice and Fire. Where Iron From Ice was mostly setup and The Lost Lords felt a little like filler, The Sword in the Darkness finally starts to get the members of House Forrester moving toward something that feels like progress. The situation is still dismal, but faint flickers of light at the end are just now coming into focus.

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Review: Life is Strange: Out of Time photo
Review: Life is Strange: Out of Time
by Brett Makedonski

I just finished episode two of Life is Strange, and I've spiraled down a playlist of Ben Folds songs. Out of Time is Kate Marsh's story, but "Kate" is too cheerful; this tale isn't about daisies, dandelions, and butterflies. The weighty subject material is more in line with the hopelessness that defines "Carrying Cathy," but alas, that's a different name, although not far off.

That being said, Out of Time does what episode one couldn't: it makes the audience care about character arcs other than main protagonist Max's. After a Max-centric first chapter, it's the other citizens of Arcadia Bay who get a share of the spotlight. We're given some quiet moments with Chloe to begin to understand her struggle. We're introduced to Chloe's mother, who may be the most reasonable and believable character in Life is Strange. Andof course, we grieve with Kate as her entire world turns against her.

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Review: Fossil Fighters: Frontier photo
Review: Fossil Fighters: Frontier
by Jed Whitaker

I used to love dinosaurs. Growing up I watched The Land Before Time nearly daily, and I really wanted to be a paleontologist just like Alan Grant. If there was a video game with dinosaurs in it, I experienced it it, from Turok, to Dinosaurs for Hire to Dino Crisis, just for the sake of seeing dinosaurs in action.

Naturally, I played the original Fossil Fighters on the Nintendo DS. It wasn't remarkable, but it was at least an original take on the collect them all and battle formula. Digging up fossils to revive dinosaurs sounded great on paper but the digging mechanics wasn't the strongest, tedious even. So I skipped the sequel but decided to give the third game in the series another chance for review. Perhaps Fossil Fighters: Frontier would renew my love of the creatures.

I fucking hate dinosaurs now.

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Review: Bloodborne photo
Review: Bloodborne
by Chris Carter

Hidetaka Miyazaki created a legacy with Demon's Souls. With three Armored Core games under his belt at From Software, Miyazaki dared to capture the spirit of the King's Field series for a new era, and thus the Souls series was born. His philosophy of "less is more" served as a driving force for the franchise's allure, and his influences permeate throughout.

In just six years we've seen four total games using the formula, and despite taking a step back for Dark Souls II, Miyazaki returns to the driver's seat with Bloodborne.

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Review: Frozen Cortex photo
Review: Frozen Cortex
by Patrick Hancock

Though it may be easy to see Frozen Cortex and immediately dismiss it because it seems to be rooted in American football (the best football), I want to make it clear that no American football or sportz knowledge is needed to enjoy Frozen Cortex.

Frozen Cortex is, first and foremost, a strategy game. It shares a lot with the developers' previous title, Frozen Synapse, but is different enough to feel like a completely new game.

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Review: Bladestorm: Nightmare photo
Review: Bladestorm: Nightmare
by Josh Tolentino

Bladestorm: Nightmare is not a Dynasty Warriors game.

That bit of information might be good or bad news, depending which side of the fence one falls on with regard to Tecmo Koei's long-running brawler series.

At the same time, though, the game does manage to capture just enough of the essence of Dynasty Warriors to drive away those who dislike it, while disappointing those who come in hoping for a more conventional entry into the franchise. 

Which is a shame, as despite being an almost eight-year-old design, Bladestorm still has a few tricks its more popular cousins could stand to crib.

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Review: Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 4 photo
Review: Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 4
by Chris Carter

That's it, folks. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is finally done with its odd episodic format, delivering small chunks every week for the past month or so. The final package is out in all of its glory, including the disc version that should be hitting stores this week.

It's been quite an amazing ride, due in part to the best take on the Mercenaries and Raid Mode formula yet, and a nice callback to some of my favorite games in the series.

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Review: Tales from the Borderlands: Atlas Mugged photo
Review: Tales from the Borderlands: Atlas Mugged
by Darren Nakamura

[Disclosure: Anthony Burch, who consulted on the story for Tales from the Borderlands, was previously employed at Destructoid. As always, no relationships, personal or professional, were factored into the review.]

Tales from the Borderlands: Zer0 Sum released nearly four months ago, and it was fantastic. As an introduction to the intertwined stories of Rhys and Fiona, it did everything it needed to do. It laid out the groundwork for the main narrative arc, it kept me engaged and laughing throughout, and it ended on a note that left me anxious to continue the story as soon as possible.

And then the waiting happened. Months passed with little word on the second episode. Could it live up to the anticipation after all this time?

It turns out that it does. Though perhaps not quite as excellent as the first episode, this one turned out great in its own right, and now I'll be eagerly awaiting the next installment. I just hope it isn't another four months away.

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Review: Battlefield Hardline photo
Review: Battlefield Hardline
by Steven Hansen

Following a year characterized by increased public awareness of rampant police violence against citizens and the militarization of local law enforcement, a gun fetishist's game riding a "cops versus criminals" tagline feels slimy.

Not unexpectedly, Hardline doesn't want to interact with that discussion. Before you can even press a button, every time you load the game, you're met with loud, fast cuts of the EA and Visceral logos, then an explosion.

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Review: Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 photo
Review: Fruit Ninja Kinect 2
by Brett Makedonski

Any way you slice it, Fruit Ninja is one of the most popular mobile games of all time. It's built around such an unassuming foundation that it lends itself perfectly to those lulls in life when you don't really want to think about anything. Hell, as fast as the fruit flies, there isn't time for thinking, just reacting. It's certainly easy to understand and appreciate the appeal.

Shortly following the advent of the Kinect, Halfbrick released a version of Fruit Ninja that made use of the Xbox 360's motion control peripheral. While it was generally well-received, it was still a curious decision that seemingly flew in the face of everything the title stood for. After all, this was a game that lent itself to short bursts during downtime; now that you have to lug a coffee table across the living room to get started, well, it's just a different experience.

Unsurprisingly, Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 hasn't changed much from its 2011 Xbox 360 adaptation. Sure, there are new bells and whistles, and it's definitely an improvement. But, the core game is still the same, and again, just like nearly four years ago, it's the limitations of the hardware that hold everything back.

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Review: Mario Party 10 photo
Review: Mario Party 10
by Chris Carter

I haven't enjoyed the past few console editions of Mario Party. I felt like 8 was rushed to the Wii as an excuse to show off the technology, and it ended up being a generic waggle-fest that was a stark drop in quality compared to 7.

I never could have predicted that 9 would be even worse, introducing the new vehicular-based progression system (also known as "the car"), which tied every player to each other and forced them to ride along together on maps.

Mario Party 10 on the Wii U keeps that same format sadly, but improves upon a few other aspects of the experience. It's just not enough to return the franchise to its former glory.

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Review: Final Fantasy Type-0 HD photo
Review: Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
by Chris Carter

For years now, some people have been saying that Final Fantasy is dead. While XIII was considered a misstep by some, XIII-2 was a marked improvement and Lighting Returns was one of my favorite games of last year.

Oh, and there's the impressive showing for Final Fantasy XV, the constantly improving Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which is one of the best MMOs ever made, a fantastic rhythm-based sub-franchise, and a handful of interesting side projects. Now we have Type-0 HD

Final Fantasy is far from dead, folks.

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Review: Dragon Ball Xenoverse photo
Review: Dragon Ball Xenoverse
by Patrick Hancock

Dragon Ball Z games have been quite the rollercoaster over the past couple decades. The Budokai series often stands out among fans as some of the best entries into the crowded scene, thanks to its developer Dimps. Well, Dimps is back with Dragon Ball Xenoverse, so naturally fans are excited.

A Dragon Ball fighting game developed by Dimps, what could go wrong?

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Review: LA Cops photo
Review: LA Cops
by Conrad Zimmerman

At first glance, the potential for LA Cops to be an interesting title is great. A top-down shooter in the style of a retro cop squad drama, its main appeal lies in the combination of real-time action with teamwork management, one player using two characters to systematically take down a criminal enterprise.

It's just too bad that one of those cops always has to be Barney Fife.

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