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Review recap: January 2010

3:00 PM on 02.12.2010 // Matthew Razak

Hi! Welcome to Destructoid. Did you know that we review games? We do it every month with all the major games. Sometimes people get angry at us for our opinions, and other times people agree. We see it as a way to let you know our honest opinion on what a game is like and if it's worth your hard-earned money.

Every month is so full of games, though, that you might miss one of our reviews. Maybe you've just been wishing for an easier way to compare all the games that came out in a given month and decide which one to get. Maybe you've just been looking for a place to easily compare one review score to another so you can tell us how dumb we are that we gave two games the same score when one is so blatantly better than the other.

Whatever your dream, your prayers have been answered with this new monthly post called Review... Recap. Yes, I left my creativity on a bus in Denver, so "Review Recap" it is.

Normally this space would be filled with a bit of info on the overall month, but I've wasted most of it on explaining, so we'll just jump right in. January was quite a month, with plenty of big releases landing thanks to the epic amount of delays last year. We had a major disappointment and even two rare perfect scores. Want to know what was good and what should be left behind? Hit the jump.

Army of Two: The 40th Day (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])

Army of Two: The 40th Day is a good, but entirely forgettable experience. It's worth a quick play if you've got nothing else to do, and a weekend rental would serve you very well. However, it's definitely not something you'll want to keep on your gaming shelf for very long.

Score: 7.0 -- Good (7s are solid games that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.)

Bayonetta (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])

Ultimately, Bayonetta is a great game that fans of hardcore Japanese action games should be incredibly satisfied with ... However, the pace-killing minigames and the frustrating nature of the chaotic combat hold it back from being a truly superb title. Definitely recommended playing for all fans of the genre, despite the few flaws keeping it down.

Score: 8.0 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)

Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth (WiiWare)

It’s a great game (superb, even) and is sure to satisfy any and all people who like this sort of thing. It also makes for a great $10 jump-off point for people who have never played a Castlevania game before.

Score: 8.5 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won’t astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)

Dark Void (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])

Dark Void is not a good game. Dreary and annoying in equal parts, this is a game best left avoided.

Score: 3.5 -- Poor (3s went wrong somewhere along the line. The original idea might have promise, but in practice the game has failed. Threatens to be interesting sometimes, but rarely.)

Darksiders (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])

Darksiders is one of the best action-adventure games of the current generation. Everything in it, you've played before, but never has such a collection of game mechanics been stitched together so well, not to mention feel like part of a coherent game world.

Score: 9.0 -- Superb (9s are a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.)

MAG (PS3)


Massive Action Game delivers on the promise of its name. It's certainly massive, and there is more than enough action to go around ... Most importantly, however, is the fact that MAG's concept works. It works very well, in fact. What more could you want?

Score: 8.0 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)

Mass Effect 2 (PC, Xbox 360 [reviewed])


The fluid systems -- the navigation, the combat, and the quick-fire missions -- combine to make Mass Effect 2 an RPG that challenges the genre conventions. The superb emphasis on character development, the gripping plot elements and big-budget presentation aren't too bad either.

Score: 10 -- Flawless Victory (10s are as close to perfect as you will get in a genre or on a platform. Pure, untarnished videogame ecstasy.)

Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond [PSN, XBLA (reviewed)]

The game brings nothing new to the table except more of the fourth-wall-breaking humor that Eat Lead managed so well. That it happens to be packaged in a fun, well-designed and challenging shooter is a nice touch that exceeded my expectations.

Score: 7 -- Good (7s are solid games that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.)

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (Wii)


It's extremely well crafted from beginning to end, and rarely (if ever) sacrifices fun for delivering a message. No More Heroes 2 still makes me laugh, scream, think, and violently wank, even more so after the first play-through. That's more than I can say for almost any game this generation.

Score: 9.5 -- Superb (9s are a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.)

Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter (XBLA, PC [reviewed])

Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter is a great purchase for both fans of the series and newcomers. Those who have grown up on modern shooters may find the primitive design and simplistic objectives a bit jarring, but the purity of the gameplay simply has to be respected.

Score: 8.0 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)

Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces (Wii)

The game pleasantly surprised me with a smart (but difficult to master) control scheme, combat that was fun, engaging and difficult, and some great visuals ... Even for someone who's not really into flight sims, this game is a fun play.

Score: 8 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars (Wii)

On the whole, though, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars is a better game than its Japanese counterpart, with more characters, improved balance, and online play ... It's the most interesting and exciting fighting game to hit the market in years.

Score: 9.0 -- Superb (9s are a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.)

VVVVVV (PC)

I can't say enough good things about VVVVVV. It's Terry Cavanagh's best game to date, and one of the best platformers I've ever played.

Score: 10 -- Flawless Victory (10s are as close to perfect as you will get in a genre or on a platform. Pure, untarnished videogame ecstasy.)

That's all they wrote, folks. Hope you enjoyed this walk down recent memory lane. Come back next month and we'll do it again.



Matthew Razak, Contributor
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Monday reviews aren't on Monday. It's old school, trust me. OK, so I've been and editor for a while now. I probably should fill this part in a bit more fully. I've been here a while. In most a... more   |   staff directory



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