The Gold Saucer is finally a part of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and it's glorious. That classic music returns, as do the iconic Triple Triad and Chocobo Racing activities. It's amazing how much content Square Enix has...
In a lot of ways, The Deer God is a love letter to nature. The idea was born from the developers' childhood memories of playing in the woods and seeing wild deer, and that admiration of the outdoors is quite apparent. The forests, fields, and other natural locations are simply gorgeous, and playing as a deer is as soothing as you might expect.
However, these tranquil moments eventually give way to some rather unfortunate gameplay decisions. I got a good sense of what the developers were going for, and in some respects they succeeded. But at times, it felt like they had too many ideas, or were trying to please too many people, resulting in a few areas of gameplay that fall flat or don't seem to fit in very well. It's still a very charming adventure, but it's hard to look past its flaws.
Pneuma: Breath of Life is, through and through, a creationist tale. There's no theory of evolution, carbon dating, or Darwinism to cause debate. It's one god and the world that he brought into existence mere seconds earlier.
As it turns out, being the only inhabitant of a world is a dull affair.
Aaru's Awakening is an unrelenting challenge of a game, which places players in the world of Lumenox, a mystical land in a precarious state of balance between four deities who rule it, Dawn, Day, Dusk, and Night. Now that balance is being disrupted, as Dawn sends a faithful warrior, Aaru, to travel the domains of the other gods on a quest to remake the world.
For its first game, developer No Goblin seemingly subscribed to the K.I.S.S. school of thought: "Keep it simple, stupid." But, perhaps the studio misunderstood the acronym to mean "keep it simple and stupid." That'd explain how Roundabout revels in its own absurdity while revolving around a rock-solid gimmick: rotation.
Yes, the notion of motion is at the center of Roundabout. There is literally not a moment in gameplay where action is at a standstill. Even the most innocent, non-meaningful proceedings in Roundabout squarely feature its constantly spinning limousine -- a trademark that it rightfully relies heavily upon.
I'm thoroughly impressed by Capcom's efforts with Resident Evil: Revelations 2's Raid Mode. It's much deeper compared to previous efforts, augmented by a sleeker interface and a seamlessly integrated mini-story.
Because of that it may take a little bit longer to acclimate, so here are some tips.
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth released to mixed reactions. I loved how it took the took the classic gameplay to alien worlds, and I especially appreciated its underlying narrative about the future of the human race. Other long-time fans of the series saw it as derivative of Civ V, with too little added and too much stripped out.
Like it or not, one thing that Beyond Earth has done is to lay the foundation for Sid Meier's Starships. It continues the story of the human settlements on an alien planet, far enough into the future that they are able to travel between stars in less time than the initial exodus from Earth took. The result: a series of skirmishes for control of a very tiny galaxy. Sure, why not?
Resident Evil is in a weird place. After the middling Resident Evil 6 and the public flogging of Operation Raccoon City, I'm sure Capcom got the message that it needed to go back to basics. It did just that with Revelations on the Nintendo 3DS, which was met with enough positivity to warrant a full-on set of console ports.
Then Capcom reached overwhelming amounts of success with Resident Evil HD, a game that's as basic as you get in terms of fundamental survivor horror. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 may be more action-oriented than some other entries, but it's a damn fine showing for the series.
Iridium Studios started out as a tiny developer with a humble Kickstarter for its rhythm role-playing game Sequence. It saw enough success that lead designer Jason Wishnov was able to fill out his team and spend more time taking on a much larger project.
Four years later, There Came an Echo is finally out. Though it plays nothing like the studio's previous project, the two do share some striking similarities. Both are built on a neat idea, both explore themes of morality in science fiction, and both are a little rough around the edges.
Like Chris, I had my first taste of Oddworld when it was new, back on the PlayStation in 1997. Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exoddus were two of my favorite titles from that era, so when Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty was announced, I was pretty stoked to revisit the adventure through RuptureFarms and the surrounding areas.
To my chagrin, the PC version would not launch for many months after the PlayStation 4 version. At the very least, the wait is justified; New 'n' Tasty runs beautifully on my aging computer, and it features some of the bells and whistles that come with a Steam release too.
Paradox is sticking with, "let’s talk about our product on its own merits" tact with its upcoming city-builder from developer Colossal Order, but I am under no such nice-marketing guide (nor do I know tact, as this post will confirm).
Cities: Skylines is looking to be what busted ol' SimCity should’ve been.
Moon Spider Studio has released its debut title, Harold, an endearing and challenging race game about the most incompetent runner ever to need protection from a guardian angel. With some quick thinking, quicker thumbs, and an opportunistic eye, players guide the titular Harold to victory against all odds.
A few weeks ago, I called Blackguards 2 "deep, unfriendly, and buggy." I had put several hours into the tactical role-playing game, but hadn't seen enough of the story to comfortably put out a review.
Fast forward to today, and my original assessment requires a bit of tweaking. Within the first two weeks of its release, Daedalic put out two huge patches, each aiming to fix the stability issues that plagued Blackguards 2 at launch. The patches did introduce their own issues, but for the most part I would describe it now as only deep and unfriendly. Two out of three ain't bad.
Trying to pin down my exact thoughts on Evolve has been trickier than pinning down any kind of prey the game has thrown at me. I was cautious with my initial impressions of the game earlier this week, noting an uneven play experience that often feels like a frustrating runaround. While I'd love to say another few days of dedicated hunting and skulking was enough to iron out the kinks and worries I had, in the end this is one hunt you might want to sit out.
It's a shame, because when Evolve is firing on all cylinders, it has been some of the best multiplayer fun I've had in years. But those precious few moments are far too rare -- and far too laborious to set up -- to give Evolve an unreserved recommendation.
All art, or indeed even all communication, is a process of connecting with others through shared experience. Whether we’re trying to express a specific experience, or conversely, reveling in the knowledge that there's at least one other person out there who Gets Us, art can be as therapeutic to consume as it is to create.
The more ambiguous and less concrete the subject of the art in question, the more difficult a process this becomes. This is why love songs comprise about 99.9% of all popular music - we’ve all, at some point, been in love or, at very least, infatuated with someone, so the otherwise mawkish lyrics and saccharine melodies turn into our jam, because it hits us where we live.
The most difficult part of the human experience to capture externally is also one of the most essential: what goes on in our minds. We take our minds, and everything they bring along with them -- emotion, thoughts, memories -- completely for granted. It’s 2015 and while we’ve managed to successfully land a satellite on a comet and multiple robots on a planet 140 million miles away, we still have yet to crack what makes us tick.
The horn sounds. Again and again. It's kind of annoying really, these vuvuzela m'fers blowing wind all through my dramatic victory on the fields north of Constantinopolis. Still, it does feel good. I am sacking the center of European civilization after all. I never liked those Romans anyway. Blow those horns, you barbarian bastards!