I've dabbled in Godzilla games since the NES game Godzilla: Monster of Monsters, a game that for some reason took place in space; Mothra and Godzilla fought monsters and literally kicked rocks in this fondly remembered title....
It doesn't take an otaku to see the appeal of J-Stars Victory Vs+. It features a host of famous anime characters, from Kenshin to Goku to Naruto. It's like the Marvel vs. Capcom of Shōnen Jump properties, a magazine that's been going strong since the 1960s.
After actually playing the game, I didn't come away particularly impressed with its fighting mechanics, but I can't resist the sheer fun factor of slicing and blasting away with some of my favorite characters.
Fighting game developers are in a really tough spot when it comes to sequels. If you don't iterate enough, newcomers will be tempted to call it a "rehash." If you iterate too much, hardcore fans may feel alienated by the vast seas of change.
Mortal Kombat X is more of the former situation, seeking to play it safe by incrementally improving upon the strong foundation set forth in 2011's reboot. Thankfully, that's not a bad thing.
There are more Naruto games than one sane person can possibly handle. Although Bandai Namco Entertainment owns the license, a number of different developers have worked with the gaming side, most notably CyberConnect2, who has been working on the Ultimate Ninja subseries from the very beginning.
I had some hands-on time with Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 at Namco Bandai's recent Global Gamers Day event, and although it still has a lot of the same repetition issues as its predecessors, it looks pretty damn slick so far.
I've always clamored for the all-boss-fights game. Shadow of the Colossus, an inescapable inspiration here, did it right and others have done it wrong, like Prince of Persia (2008), but I love the idea of removing fluff encounters. A JRPG that was all boss fights and no grinding could actually make for strategic battle. Strategy RPGs that don't allow for excessive grinding, like XCOM, are essentially "all boss fights."
And here, with Titan Souls, despite the Shadow of the Colossus influence and Souls-stolen title, I'm finding the closest analog to be Super Meat Boy. It'll grind you up.
They say you should never marry for love, but I always do. Every single damn time. I guess you could call me a romantic. If you felt like being less charitable (and possibly more accurate), you could call me a scrub. I couldn't say you'd be wrong. Sadly, that's never stopped me from picking my fighting game characters based on some whimsical, fuzzy, undefinable personal appeal rather than any practical consideration. I look at the character first and the frame data a distant second.
Coincidentally, I also end up always picking duds. Colorful jobbers who reside in the deep bottom third of tier lists, a gaggle of gold brickers who almost never show up in tournaments where people play for "real." I'm like a reverse talent scout with a keen eye for hamstringing liabilities and poor upper end viability. I've made a career out of consistently picking out which fighter will take the biggest, hardest dive and signing them up for a lifetime contract.
The Giants have won and lost back to back one-run ballgames to open the 2015 baseball season. They lost a starting pitcher and right fielder to the DL, scratched a first baseman and another starter with injury, called up a rookie to eventually take the series.
At nearly 42, Bartolo Colon, whose belly jiggles like flan in an earthquake and whose helmet routinely flies off while he is batting, was the opening day starter for the Mets. Half of the Arizona Diamondbacks look like Earthworm Jim. Mat Latos has a 94.50 ERA. Did you see Puig throw from foul right to third? Cubs fans have been pissing in beer cups (called "making Coors Light") at Wrigley Field because the bathroom lines are too long.
Baseball, sport, humanity. These things are interesting because they are our stories. The same stories we've always had, with different details, made newly interesting. The problem with MLB 15 The Show as a routinely well-made baseball simulation is that routine dulls. We want to see the dropped routine fly ball, the overthrown routine intentional walk. Not a fucking properly modeled Nike® Air Max MVP Elite 2 Speed +4 cleat buyable for 600 Stubs.
When I was a little boy, Mortal Kombat was a tough sell around my home. Like most pre-adolescents of the era, I was darkly attracted to the idea of ninjas and movie stars decapitating each other in bouts of gladiatorial combat. After years of family-friendly games, MK's edgy aggressiveness seemed like tantalizing forbidden fruit and I ate it up. I played it in the arcades every chance and I couldn't wait for a home version where I could practice fatalities in the privacy of our den.
Unfortunately for me and my desire to rip the beating heart from my opponent's rib cage, my mom watched the evening news. Night after night, MK was described by reporters and senators as a murder simulator; a malicious product designed by sick men for the express purpose of desensitizing and warping young minds. It all seems hilarious and idiotic in hindsight, but at the time the concern was real. These were respected authority figures after all, why wouldn't she believe them? Soon I was banned from playing MK at the arcade, and the notion of getting a home copy was dismissed out of hand. There was a dark period of time when it looked like I'd be doomed to never enjoy the simple pleasure of hurling another Kombatant to the spiked bottom of the the Pit ever again. Tragic.
Rainbow Six has had quite an interesting history. After playing it in 1998 on a friend's PC I fell in love, and so did mostly everyone else in the gaming community. For a full decade, Ubisoft pumped out game after game, most of which were serviceable at the very least.
But, in 2008, the future of Rainbow Six was put on hold, leading to the cancellation of Patriots in 2014. Fortunately, the franchise lives on in the form of Rainbow Six Siege, and I'm really enjoying it so far based on my playtime with the alpha.
Jamestown was a wonderful shoot-em-up back when it first released on PC. With bullets blazing across the surface of a colonial Mars, it paired beautiful sprite art with epic music and cooperative local multiplayer to make something really special.
With the release of Jamestown+ on PlayStation 4, it's larger than ever.
Yesterday, we talked about From Software Director Hidetaka Miyazaki's favorite boss fight from the Souls series. Interestingly enough it was the Old Monk from Demon's Souls, an encounter that blurred the line between a solo and multiplayer event. He had to fight to get it included in the game, and I'm glad he succeeded, as it's still one of the most unique boss fights to date.
Even having played Dark Souls II and Bloodborne after writing this particular Memory Card, I think I'm still going to have to go with Ornstein & Smough from the first Dark Souls. Take a look at the choices of some of our staff and sound off with your own!
[An earlier version of this piece had an inaccurate statistical description of one of the downloadable weapons. The offending paragraph has been updated for factual accuracy.]
I know, I'm late to the party. Despite being interested in 2013's The Last of Us on PlayStation 3, I kept putting off getting it. When the current-generation remaster showed up as a pack-in for the PlayStation 4 late last year, I finally took the plunge.
Even then, I played through the entire single player campaign before touching the multiplayer. I only recently got into the online Factions mode, but it has become my latest obsession. Taking the stealth/action/crafting/cover-based shooter gameplay and pitting players against one another is fantastic, and I anticipate it will keep me busy for months.
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 curious players wondering if it's worth a second look. I'm going to go right ahead and dash those hopes now.
While the four new playable hunters and the new monster to terrorize them with might represent some of the best ideas Turtle Rock Studios has had yet, they don't do anything to change the core problems of the game. Given how expensive this DLC feeding frenzy is, and how little you get for it, even hardcore fans will want to do some soul searching before handing over their wallets.
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 Havocthanks to the injection of some grappling hooks, but for $15, not every piece of the puzzle carries its load.
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.
It's not often we see a major player in the big leagues of yearly releases reinvent itself in a more modest and distinct way. With Assassin's Creed titles expected every year, it's been a bit of a challenge for Ubisoft to keep things interesting for players. And after last year's rough launch for its first true current-gen outing with Assassin's Creed Unity, the company now plans to try something a bit different with its popular brand.
Though there's still another major release coming this year, Ubisoft has hopes that the Assassin's Creed Chronicles trilogy will switch things up. At a recent press event, we got to learn more about this surprising smaller-scale reinvention of Assassin's Creed, and how it has echoes of classic titles such as Prince of Persia. Speaking with the developers from Climax Studios, they seek to reinvigorate the AC experience in the 2.5D perspective while retaining the tried-and-true action-stealth gameplay the series is known for.