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Dust 514 photo
Dust 514

CCP shutting down PS3-exclusive Dust 514, segueing into PC shooter


Project Legion comes to life, sort of
Feb 03
// Brett Makedonski
At EVE Fanfest 2014, CCP announced a prototype called Project Legion, a new PC shooter in the EVE Online universe. We were immediately left to wonder what this meant for Dust 514 which already fills that shooter rol...

Review: Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel

Feb 02 // Kyle MacGregor
Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel (PS3, PS4 [reviewed])Developer: ExamuPublisher: Marvelous, XSEED GamesReleased: December 10, 2015 (JP), February 2, 2016 (NA), Early 2016 (EU)MSRP: $29.99 (PS3), $39.99 (PS4) Following in the footsteps of the aforementioned Persona 4 Arena and Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, Nitroplus Blasterz markets itself as a game that is easy to pick up, but difficult to master. Targeting both fighting game enthusiasts and Nitroplus fans that might have never thrown a dragon punch, it attempts to walk a line between something players from both camps can get behind. I'd argue that line is drawn a little closer to the hardcore side of things. While the inputs for special attacks and super moves are relatively easy to execute in contrast with some one-on-one fighters, if you're the sort of person who struggles to pull off quarter circle motions, you're probably in for a bad time. That said, there are certain concessions for more casual players, like the "Variable Rush," a special lunge attack that launches characters into a short-lived combo. If the Variable Rush connects, players can essentially button mash to execute a customizable string of impressive-looking attacks that change depending on which face buttons are pressed. It's not necessarily the most effective use of meter (costing two of three power bars), but it's easy to execute and reasonably effective. Beyond the standard light, medium, and heavy attacks are launching "Heavy Action" moves and "Escape Actions," which, depending on directional inputs, can be used to perform everything from short hops, cancels, rolls, air dashes, and defensive maneuvers. One of the more interesting (and useful) Escape Actions is the "Vanishing Guard," which negates chip damage when blocking and, if pressed at the right moment, acts as a parry, giving the user a momentary advantage over the enemy to strike back or get away. Vanishing Guard has its limitations, though, as it can only block either high or low, leaving one angle open for enemies to exploit. [embed]337261:62032:0[/embed] Of course, each character has plenty of unique special and super moves, as well as a single "Lethal Blaze" attack, which, for the price of full meter, triggers a fighter-specific mini-cutscene that unleashes an assault powerful enough to turn the tide of a one-sided match or swiftly end a nail-biter. Lethal Blaze also can be wielded as a trump card by taking priority over other attacks. There are a couple other minor systems at play, but I want to talk about the characters. The main roster contains twelve main combatants, including the sword-wielding Saber (Fate/Zero), ranged fighters Saya and Anna, cat-throwing Nitroplus mascot Super Sonico, zone-controlling Ein, Spider-Man-esque Muramasa, grappling Ethica, and Ouka, a heavy-hitting robotic walking crucifix. While there isn't a male character in the bunch, the cast is very diverse in terms of mechanics, so players shouldn't have trouble finding at least one or two characters that suits their tastes and personal play-style. But the fun only begins with the core cast. In addition to main characters, players will also take into battle two (of twenty) additional partners that can significantly impact how a match unfolds. Each partner comes has a unique move -- and I mean unique. One rides a hang-glider in from off-screen, aiming to crash into your opponent, while others can summon overwhelming swarms of minions, like zombies or bugs. Another sends in a barrage of missiles from the sky, and a few don't attack at all, instead doing things like giving both sides a bar of meter or placing buffs in the middle of a stage, impelling players to play tug-o'-war over the bonuses. The partner blitz attacks recall the arcana system from developer Examu's Arcana Heart series, which allows players to accent their character with different abilities and gives the game an added level of strategy. In my time online with the online mode (which, by the way, is fine -- if a tad spartan), I noticed a pattern of opponents picking partners to counter one another, as the impacts their assist attacks provide can mean the difference between victory and defeat. I can imagine high-level competitors spending a lot of time working out which partners are best in particular spots and situations, offering an incredible amount of depth for those who seek it. In addition to that added level of complexity, Examu also left its mark on Nitroplus Blasterz by allowing Aino, one of the characters from its Arcana Heart series, to join the roster as a DLC character along with Senran Kagura's Homura. While I haven't spent as much time with them as the rest of the cast (they were not available pre-release), I've enjoyed the few matches I've been able to use them in and could easily see one becoming one of my mains, along with Anna and Saber. Since both Aino and Homura are free for the first week following the game's launch, that provides a little added incentive for interested parties to pick the game up early. While I'm certain some players will balk at the dearth of bonus features or collectibles, that sort of stuff (along with the visual novel-style "Another Story" mode) doesn't really interest me. I'm more than content with your standard arcade, score attack, network, and versus modes if the gameplay is solid -- and it is. That's where I derive my enjoyment from. And I appreciate added perks like cross-platform and cross-region play, so I can compete against players on PlayStation 3 and people from other countries. Even though I still have no idea who most of these characters are, that didn't end up mattering to me in the end. Nitroplus Blasterz is a fast, smooth, strategic, and generally entertaining fighting game that has found a happy medium between accessibility and depth. Provided a decent-sized community builds around the game, this is a fighter I could see myself enjoying for a long time to come. [This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.]
Nitroplus Blasterz Review photo
No nostalgia necessary
I recently attended a tribute night at a local brewery, where musicians were invited to serenade patrons with songs from the '70s. Early on that evening, I glanced around the darkened beer hall to discover I was a few decades...

Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops III: Awakening

Feb 02 // Chris Carter
Call of Duty: Black Ops III (PC, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox One)Developer: TreyarchPublisher: ActivisionReleased: February 2, 2016 (PS4) / TBA (PC, Xbox One)MSRP: $14.99 ($50 Season Pass for four packs) When it comes to map design, Treyarch is one of the best in the business. One of its go-to staples is the three-lane approach, which allows for all sorts of interesting firefights and strategies throughout every game type. It takes it to an extreme here with Gauntlet, as it hosts three unique themes in each lane -- tropical, arctic, and industrial. Each area evokes feelings of the past Black Ops maps, Jungle, Discovery, and Kowloon respectively, which is good company to be in. Gauntlet is instantly recognizable, and really feels like three maps in one. If anything it's a bit too tunnel-oriented as folks will no doubt have issues with a lack of elevation (especially in the arctic and jungle themes), but it gets the job done and I'm glad it's in the rotation. [embed]338194:62083:0[/embed] Splash (pictured up top) is typical Treyarch at its finest. It's an absurd water park map that wouldn't feel out of place at Disney World's Caribbean Beach Resort. It's bright, it's littered with shops and rides, and even has a Main Street area. Water slides dot the landscape, as do cute mascot signs that top the previous meta Burger Town franchise -- it would feel right at home in the wackier Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare games. It's crazy that you can consistently read the detail on individual signs now as well (a few of which made me laugh, like the "no selfie stick" one), instead of haphazardly trying to read blurry scrawls. It's one of my favorite maps in years, with a wide array of open areas and indoor close-quarters combat sections. Skyjacked, quite simply, is a remake of Hijacked from Black Ops II. This map was a bit divisive in the community due to its close-quarters focus and propensity to promote camping, so most of you have already made up your mind on it. Personally it was one of my favorites, so I'm glad to see Treyarch bringing it back here, and was happy to play it again. The new theme isn't a half-measure like some past remakes, as the entire affair now takes place in a floating fortress, set to the backdrop of an ongoing city battle. It's a remake of a good map that's made even better due to jumpjet and wallrunning capabilities. There's usually one map that I outright dislike in a pack, and this time it's Rise. It's far too gated and familiar for my tastes, and is nearly indistinguishable from a few industrial levels included in the base package (namely Exodus). There are times where you'd think a cool new area is just waiting around a corner, but then the game doesn't allow you to actually go there due to invisible walls. It's almost like they spent too much time building the other three to really put the proper amount of care in here. If it comes up in the rotation I usually cringe. Der Eisendrache (The Iron Dragon) caps off the DLC, which immediately adds more of an incentive to pick up Awakening. Peppering in one zombie (or alien) map is a strategy the other Call of Duty developers (Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer) have adopted for good reason -- the sheer amount of depth in these things keep people coming back for more. I really dig the whole castle theme, which basically goes full Wolfenstein from the start. I'm sad to see the Jeff Goldblum crew seemingly isn't returning for more, but the original cast is iconic enough to last, spearheaded by Steve Blum's Dempsey. The animated intro certainly helps give the level a different feel as well, and it's crazy that Treyarch is still building upon the lore it created so many years ago in World at War. Der Eisendrache surprised me as well with its open layout, with plenty of room to move, lots of teleporters, and tons of secrets that players will be tracking down weeks after launch. As Nikolai even remarks during Der Eisendrache, "will there ever be an end to this nightmare?" Not as long as Activision keeps selling DLC, there isn't! But one man's nightmare is another man's video game, and the good news is that each Call of Duty developer has been pushing itself harder in recent years to justify the price. If you still play Black Ops III, you can't really go wrong with Awakening -- especially since the new maps are now built into normal playlists from the get-go.
Call of Duty DLC review photo
Four maps and some zombies
It's still crazy to me that I'm loading up a Call of Duty DLC pack first on PlayStation 4. After years of Microsoft-dominated timed exclusivity Sony finally has its shot at heading it up, and it has perfect timing with Black Ops III. As one of the best Call of Duty games in years, it allows Awakening plenty of room to breathe, and lets Treyarch be its unconventional self.

LEGO Star Wars photo
LEGO Star Wars

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a thing that's happening


Because of course it is
Feb 02
// Kyle MacGregor
In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, the next entry in Warner Bros. and TT Games' popular LEGO video game series is based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While the companies presumably would have liked to a...
Odin Sphere trailer photo
Odin Sphere trailer

Storybook time! Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir's first English trailer


Die art, die
Feb 01
// Steven Hansen
Now that Odin Sphere's Leifthrasir remake is out in Japan, Vanillaware can focus on the areas that really matter: the Americas. We're getting the 2D action-RPG on PS3, PS4, and PS Vita in the Americas on June 7, 2016 and so ...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Here's what to expect from Destiny's Crimson Days event


New details on the 2v2 PvP mode
Jan 31
// Alissa McAloon
Well my Valentine's Day plans are set. Bungie has revealed more about Destiny's upcoming Crimson Days event, including a list of themed loot and more info about the limited run Crucible mode, Crimson Doubles. Crimson Doubles ...
Falcom photo
Falcom

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is out now across Europe


For PS3 and Vita
Jan 30
// Kyle MacGregor
A month after its North American release in December, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is now available across Europe, courtesy of NIS America. I haven't had a chance to crack open my copy just yet, but it's definit...
Metal Gear Online photo
Metal Gear Online

Metal Gear Solid V, a Hideo Kojima game, ships over six million


Props to Kojima
Jan 29
// Chris Carter
Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has shipped over six million copies, the company who formerly employed Kojima announced. This comes by way of their fiscal quarter report, which specifically boast...
Fallout photo
Fallout

Fallout: New Vegas is getting a multiplayer mod, baby


Someone call Benny
Jan 28
// Chris Carter
I'm glad that people are still supporting Fallout: New Vegas. After all, recently, you guys unofficially voted it your favorite Fallout game here at Destructoid. A team has been hard at work trying to get multiplayer in ...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Bungie president steps down, new CEO announced


'Destiny is a one-of-a-kind experience'
Jan 28
// Vikki Blake
Harold Ryan has stepped down as Bungie's president.  As yet a replacement president has not been announced, although former COO Pete Parsons will be taking up a new position as CEO. Though there’s no explanations a...
PlayStation Plus photo
PlayStation Plus

Helldivers and Nom Nom Galaxy free on PS Plus next month


On PS4
Jan 27
// Darren Nakamura
Another month, another set of free games. Honestly, I can't keep up. That's just going to get better/worse (depending on how you look at it) because both of the headliners for PlayStation Plus in February are games I've been ...
TMNT photo
TMNT

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan officially announced


That took forever
Jan 26
// Chris Carter
Well, Activision finally announced the Platinum-developed game we all knew existed -- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan. It's a third-person action game set in the Big Apple (though likely not at 3AM), and wi...
Ninja Turtles photo
Ninja Turtles

Someone leaked the trailer for Platinum's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles before the 'official' leak


No, it's not live-action
Jan 25
// Zack Furniss
Earlier today, a tweet from Platinum Games teased the "official reveal" of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan. We've been getting small glimpses of it up until now (including the art style, possible ...
Guilty Gear Xrd photo
Guilty Gear Xrd

Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator strikes North America this June


Heaven or Hell! Let's Rock!
Jan 21
// Kyle MacGregor
Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator is coming to North America on June 7, Aksys Games says. Arc System Works previously announced the enhanced fighting game for a May 26 launch across Japan, which means this is about as close to a sim...
Destiny Valentine's photo
Destiny Valentine's

Love is in the air for Destiny's Crimson Days


Valentine's Day-themed event
Jan 21
// Darren Nakamura
After a long holiday, Bungie is back to work this week. For the first update of the new year, Destiny will be adding an event not unlike the Festival of the Lost from Halloween. Except since this one is coming in February, it...
Street Fighter V photo
Street Fighter V

More alternate costumes emerge from the Street Fighter V beta


I'll take them
Jan 21
// Chris Carter
You want more Street Fighter V costumes? You got 'em! As a result of the new beta recently, players have uncovered a bunch of new outfits, most of which look pretty awesome or worth using. This video from rKappasvoice ba...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

There's plenty of gameplay in this new Attack on Titan trailer


Actually a gritty Borrowers reboot
Jan 21
// Joe Parlock
Koei Tecmo has released a new trailer for their upcoming Attack on Titan game, and finally, they’re managing to make it look like something special. The trailer shows quite a bit of gameplay from each of the playable c...
Life is Strange photo
Life is Strange

Life is Strange Limited Edition is out today


Plus an update for the digital versions
Jan 19
// Jordan Devore
Square Enix released the limited-edition boxed version of Life is Strange ($39.99) today in North America for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It's coming to Europe this Friday, January 22. What's included? The full five epis...

Review: Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster

Jan 18 // Chris Carter
Resident Evil Zero HD Remaster (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: CapcomPublisher: CapcomReleased: January 19, 2016MSRP: $19.99 Zero begins with a rather interesting setpiece: a moving train. Rebecca Chambers, a member of S.T.A.R.S., is sent to investigate crimes in the Arklay Mountains -- conveniently located (and thus, linked) near Raccoon City and the original game's mansion. Here she meets Billy Coen, an alleged murderer and ex-Marine, and starts an "unlikely" partnership. You can probably tell from the setup that the tale is a pastiche of cheesy horror not unlike past games, but it's done just as effectively as before. Sure, the story never really makes much sense, even after the final credits roll, but you'll have a good time while you're along for the ride. Rebecca and Billy have a fun dynamic that is extended throughout Zero. The former can combine herbs and story-related chemicals, and the latter can take more of a beating and move heavy objects. It's not an original concept even for the era it was released in, but it works. This is mostly because of the "zap" partner system that allows both characters to be on-screen at the same time. You can opt to have your AI partner attack or stay idle, which is great if you don't want them wasting ammo. Swapping is as easy as pressing a button to start a second-long heartbeat transition to the other character. You can also control the AI with the right analog stick, which comes in handy for moving them out of harm's way. This idea is used in many different ways that chop up the game's pacing for the better. In some zones, Rebecca and Billy are split, working separately to exchange key items with one another through special devices like service elevators. In other areas, they're working in tandem to solve those wonderful box puzzles, where Billy is moving cubes and Rebecca is operating a device of some sort. Given that so many of Resident Evil's puzzles feature solutions born out of just one avatar, I like that Capcom went with something different here. There's another huge difference when it comes to Zero and all of the games before it: item management. In the past, players would mostly store their items in a magical gamey storage box of sorts, where you could access your armory and inventory wherever a box was located. Now, you can place items on the ground and store them anywhere on the map, no questions asked (well, outside of the single room item limit, which is inexplicably still in this remake). For instance, if you want to split a few typewriter ribbons off a stack of 10 and place them in a save room, you can. The same goes for weapons and herbs, or any key items you may pick up. [embed]332496:61804:0[/embed] Items now show up on the map, so there's no guessing as to where you put them. It's a more challenging system, for sure -- you don't have the infinite box to rely on, and sometimes you'll have to run through gauntlets of enemies if you happen to stash a key item and are required to run back for it. Its use does start to grate mid-way through the game, as it can get rather tedious to juggle everything. The mechanic isn't really re-used, but it helps cement Zero's unique identity (for better and worse) along with zapping, and the level designs mostly accommodate it. This is an old-school Resident Evil game at heart, back when "survival" was still a key factor of the series. Zero features limited ammo, save ribbons, and a lot of decision making, mostly in regards to inventory management. This is especially true given the zapping, because at any moment one character may be forced to fight a boss without the help of another, so ensuring that both cast members are fully equipped is key to your success. In terms of the actual "Remaster" moniker, a lot of the technical details are the same as before. The visuals and framerate have been updated, there's a new non-tank modern control method available, and you can swap between 16:9 and 4:3 resolution (even on consoles) -- but the cheesy FMVs remain untouched. Capcom really could bring back every entry pre-Resident Evil 4 just like this and I'd be happy. Thankfully though, it's slightly more than just a straight touch-up due to the addition of Wesker mode. In this special gametype only found in the remake (that's acquired by beating the game once), Billy is shoved to the side in favor of Wesker, who operates as Rebecca's partner throughout the game. This mode is meant to be silly. Wesker can use his superhuman powers he's flaunted since Code Veronica, including the ability to quickly dash across the room, and use a special energy attack to pop zombie's heads off. He can also mix herbs and doesn't have many limitations. They didn't go the full mile -- Billy is still present in cutscenes, as is his voice -- but it's a meaty enough change.  All of the old unlocks are also present, including additional costumes, weapons, and the Mercenaries-like "Leech Hunter." The latter is a mini-game of sorts that tasks players with escaping a modified version of the Research Center, and gets tougher as you play it. It's not as memorable as some of the true Mercenary modes in other games, but it's worth clearing at least once and should adequately test the mettle of series veterans. As a whole, Resident Evil Zero isn't one of my favorite entries, but with the amount of care that went into this remake, like Resident Evil HD Remaster before it, I'm really coming around. In fact, just get both if you don't have them already. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Resident Evil 0 HD review photo
Welcome, Wesker
For whatever reason, I didn't end up completing Resident Evil Zero back when it was released in 2002 -- in fact, it took me 10 years to truly dive into it. I think it just flew under the radar, but thankfully Capcom has opted...

XSEED photo
XSEED

XSEED: Nitroplus Blasterz launches in February


Europe in 'Early 2016'
Jan 16
// Kyle MacGregor
Nitroplus Blasterz debuts in North America on February 2, XSEED Games has announced. I had an opportunity to try the fighting game at XSEED's fall press event in October and really enjoyed myself, despite having almost zero f...
Grand Kingdom photo
Grand Kingdom

Grand Kingdom is coming west by way of NIS


More localizations, ahoy
Jan 15
// Chris Carter
Whenever I see a localization announcement, it generally brightens my day. More games from Japan gaining a whole new audience is a great thing. Recently, NIS has noted that it's bringing over Grand Kingdom to the west, ...
Arslan on Steam photo
Arslan on Steam

Koei Tecmo's Arslan: The Warriors of Legend is coming to PC


Details on the 'early purchase' bonus
Jan 14
// Jordan Devore
Arslan: The Warriors of Legend is headed to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3 (digital only) on February 9, 2016. That was already known, my dear reader, but here's something new: the tactical action game will releas...
Avengers photo
Avengers

Lego Avengers has some free DLC for PS3 and PS4 players


20 characters and a level
Jan 13
// Jordan Devore
Lego Marvel's Avengers is coming to a bunch of a platforms on January 26, 2016, but folks who pick up either the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 version will have a head start in terms of characters. And if you're anything lik...
PSN sale photo
PSN sale

PlayStation Store 'Essentials' sale makes some bold claims


Cheap deals on PS3, PS4, and Vita
Jan 12
// Steven Hansen
Lest you miss out on "essential" pieces of gaming history like Call of Duty: Ghosts or Watch Dogs, the PlayStation Store has some major deals on "must owns" through Monday (January 18). Most things are at least half off and t...
Atlus CROSS photo
Atlus CROSS

Atlus confirms Persona 5 release, hints unannounced games will bring popular series together


FE x SMT x Persona x Etrian Odyssey x Du
Jan 12
// Steven Hansen
It's not that I have severe trust issues stemming from broken homes and unfeeling society, Atlus. It's just that I've been burned before. So when I hear Atlus CEO Naoto Hiraoka saying in Famitsu, according to Hachima Kikou wi...
Odin Sphere date photo
Odin Sphere date

Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir has a June release in North America


Scrumptious
Jan 12
// Jordan Devore
Atlus is launching Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir this week in Japan, but there will unsurprisingly be more waiting involved for the Western release. The 2D action-RPG is hitting PS3, PS4, and PS Vita in North America on June 7, 2016. Details on the European release are unknown at this time. For now, though, there's a new website full of oh-so-pretty Vanillaware artwork.
Guitar Hero photo
Guitar Hero

Guitar Hero Live players love them some Tenacious D


'Tribute' #1 in the UK, #3 globally
Jan 08
// Jordan Devore
FreeStyle Games has come out with a list of the most-played songs in Guitar Hero Live over the holidays and I can't be the only one who finds lists like this somewhat entertaining. Between December 24 and January 3, the most ...
Hardline Getaway DLC photo
Hardline Getaway DLC

Battlefield Hardline gets Getaway DLC, if anyone's playing


Don't ax me no questions
Jan 07
// Steven Hansen
Sure, everyone's busying themselves on Battlefield: Star Wars, who wants to mess with a year-old, Visceral-developed Battlefield Hardline? Some people, maybe, as EA's Night at the Roxbury is still getting support. The Getawa...
PlayStation Now photo
PlayStation Now

40 PS3 exclusive games have been added to PlayStation Now, I guess I'll type them out for you


One is Journey. The others aren't
Jan 05
// Zack Furniss
If you've yet to be convinced to try out Sony's streaming service PlayStation Now, it's just added forty more PS3 games to get you off of that fence. Just because I love all of you and I have a few minutes to spare, I'm going...

Review: Minecraft: Story Mode: A Block and a Hard Place

Jan 05 // Darren Nakamura
Minecraft: Story Mode: A Block and a Hard Place (iOS, Mac, PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Telltale GamesPublisher: Telltale GamesReleased: December 22, 2015 (Mac, PC)MSRP: $4.99, $24.99 (Season Pass)Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit Where the first two episodes in the season induced apathy, this one causes ambivalence. It's a fine distinction: I was struggling to care about Jesse and his friends at first; now I care enough but find myself disappointed with the final result. For every beat Minecraft: Story Mode hits well, it stumbles once or twice. On the one hand, the more deliberate progression of this episode can be a good thing. It opens up the gameplay to include actual (albeit easy) puzzles along with the standard dialogue trees and quick-time events. Also, without lulls in the action, it could be bombastic to the point of grating. If it's always high energy, then it's all the same. On the other hand, the plodding of the first half of this episode is as dull as can be. There's a horse travel montage near the beginning illustrating just how far it is to get to the Farlands, and protagonist Jesse has the option of the classic whine "Are we there yet?" Even with the cuts of the montage, I felt the same. I get it; it's far. Let's move on. [embed]327542:61558:0[/embed] Once the action finally does pick up at the end, it still treads a questionable path. The full story about The Order of the Stone is revealed, and it plays out as foreshadowed. It's always a little awkward when a story treats something like an earth-shattering reveal when most would see it coming from the hints in previous episodes. Perhaps if I had led the life Jesse did, it would have been more impactful. Then, almost as if checking off all the Telltale boxes, we get another character death. This loss feels more important than the one in the third episode, since it's a likable character. Death in children's entertainment is nothing new (see: Bambi, The Land Before Time, Transformers [1986]), but it generally comes with a purpose. While we'll have to wait for the fifth episode, my sneaking suspicion is the only reason this death was written in was a cynical attempt at eliciting emotion. The really strange part of the whole scene is that in the middle of the mourning (when I have a full pout on my face), Story Mode lets loose a visual gag referencing the source material. Admittedly, it's probably the funniest thing in the whole episode -- so few of the jokes are worth even a chuckle -- but it feels wrong to have it punctuate the rest of the sad scene so bluntly. With the Wither Storm properly defeated, Jesse and the gang are proclaimed to be the new Order of the Stone, and A Block and a Hard Place ends with the vague promise of new adventures coming in the next episode. Unless it's tightly written and self-contained, I'm not interested. More likely, the last episode will open up a can of worms that won't get resolved until Season Two. This episode could very well be considered the finale for the first season. It wraps up the Wither Storm saga, it answers the questions about the Order of the Stone, and it delivers a semi-happy, hopeful ending for the crew. If only it did that without an utterly boring first half and the clumsy insertion of mandatory Telltale story elements, it might have also been a good ending. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Minecraft review photo
Denouement-craft
What a weird episode. After the high energy of The Last Place You Look, this one slows down the action shortly into it, and it doesn't really pick back up until the very end, which feels like the end of a season. But then, th...


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