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7:00 PM on 03.31.2015

Review: Evolve: The Hunt Evolves Update

More than a month ago Evolve came out to tepid reactions and muted fanfare. Today's release of the game's first major content update, delivering on the Hunting Season Pass and the pre-order Monster Expansion Pack, might have ...

Nic Rowen



Review: Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious photo
Review: Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious
by Steven Hansen

Forza Horizon has long been considered the Fast & Furious of games, so this standalone release makes sense. Unfortunately. it's not much more than a thin, thin Fast & Furious skin over Forza Horizon 2, a bit of a disappointment to the Fast & Furious fan in me. It is a nicely concentrated dose of Forza Horizon 2, though. Enough to sate me, a casual racing fan. I'm not buying Horizon 2, but I gladly played this for a few hours until I'd exhausted it. However, I wouldn't buy this for the $10 price it hits starting April 10, either.

Rather than doing a traditional review for the equivalent of a Pepsi Man or Sneak King, I (Jeep) Wrangled Brett Makedonski to talk about the cross-over.

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Review: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: Ascendance photo
Review: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: Ascendance
by Chris Carter

I've come to really enjoy Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's multiplayer months down the line. It's withstood the test of time, and although I was skeptical of Sledgehammer Games' first Duty outing, it has done a decent job at differentiating itself from Treyarch and Infinity Ward, and in most ways, it has already surpassed the latter.

The latest pack is Ascendance, which brings in a few extras outside of the typical four-map, one-zombie level delivery system. It's a better effort than Havoc thanks to the injection of some grappling hooks, but for $15, not every piece of the puzzle carries its load.

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Review: Paperbound photo
Review: Paperbound
by Chris Carter

I don't think I'll ever get tired of arena battle games. I can see myself as a grandfather one day, playing my favorite character in a future iteration of Super Smash Bros., reminiscing with my progeny about how great the old games were, and how overpowered Meta Knight was decades ago. It's those kinds of people who will enjoy Paperbound, the newest arena kid on the block.

While it doesn't have the panache of many other recent arena games like Samurai Gunn or TowerFall, it's still a decent way to spend an afternoon with friends gathered around the couch.

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Review: Story of Seasons  photo
Review: Story of Seasons
by Brittany Vincent

As a fan of both casual and intermediate simulation and farming games, the Harvest Moon series has always been a mainstay for me. I grew up on several different iterations of the Natsume-published entries beginning with Harvest Moon GB, dabbled with PlayStation 2 releases, and graduated to portable DS titles that found me clearing derelict farms of trees and debris and dating the farmer of my dreams.

Story of Seasons, the latest “proper” entry in the Harvest Moon series, is the first modern farm sim to channel the glory days of my youth. 

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Review: Axiom Verge photo
Review: Axiom Verge
by Conrad Zimmerman

It seems like a foregone conclusion when looking at Axiom Verge that comparisons are going to be made to Metroid. It is, without doubt, similar in more ways than it differs from Nintendo's iconic franchise.

The differences matter, though, and Axiom Verge merges classic environment design with new mechanical twists, producing a game that feels both familiar and fresh at the same time.

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Review: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel: Claptastic Voyage photo
Review: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel: Claptastic Voyage
by Darren Nakamura

With Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, I like and dislike different parts of it in almost equal measure. The combat is exciting and the characters are likable. On the other hand, the environments are a little dull and it suffers from a host of obnoxious bugs.

Claptastic Voyage, the first and only "big" piece of downloadable content had the opportunity to fix a lot of what was broken with the base game. For the most part it succeeds in that endeavor, but it still seems like 2K Australia has a bit to learn about making the loot-shooter truly great.

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Review: Grey Goo photo
Review: Grey Goo
by Patrick Hancock

Like a ball of goo, I have watched the life of Grey Goo, a new real-time strategy game from developer Petroglyph, expand with enthusiasm, begin rolling, and slowly but surely lose mass as it turns into a tiny goo-ball that no one really notices anymore.

But the goo-ball is still a decent goo-ball! Sure it's missing a big part of what made it so appealing in the first place, but it's not like it disappeared completely. Anyway, all I'm trying to say here is watch where you step.

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Review: Pillars of Eternity photo
Review: Pillars of Eternity
by Conrad Zimmerman

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 to be fondly remembered as products of their era's limitations that we've since moved on from.

Yet, here we are. People can still make these games, and these games can still be great.

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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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