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The best and worst games of the week - New year new games

6:00 PM on 01.12.2014 // Wesley Ruscher

Week ending 1/11

It's January and that means it's time to catch up on all the hot new video games we found tucked underneath our Christmas trees last year. For us at Destructioid that also means catching up on some reviews too.

So without further adieu here is the best and worst games of the week... well actually of the month so far. I had a little catching up to do myself.

Valdis Story: Abyssal City (PC)
Developer: Endless Fluff Games
Publisher: Endless Fluff Games
Released: August 30, 2013
MSRP: $14.99

I had no idea what to expect from Valdis Story: Abyssal City, but I was pleasantly surprised. It simultaneously succeeds as both an action platformer and a Metroidvania with RPG elements, and it's a must-play for fans of either genre. I'm already excited to play as the other two characters eventually, but I also can't wait to see what the future holds for this franchise long term -- because there's a lot to build on.

Read the full Valdis Story: Abyssal City review

Knytt Underground  (Wii U [reviewed], PS Vita, PS3, Windows)
Developer: Nifflas, Green Hill
Publisher: Ripstone
Released: December 18, 2012 (PS Vita, PS3, Windows) / December 19, 2013
MSRP: $14.99

There are plenty of irreverent characters to talk to, fetch quests to give a limited sense of purpose/achievement, and a nice split between breezy and tough areas, but all the same, you'll likely want to take more frequent breaks than in chapters one and two. Interest will dry out more quickly, especially if you focus on the story, which is either trying to be "so stupid that it becomes awesome," is designed to make you hate stories in games, or both. Either way, Knytt Underground is brilliantly-designed 2D platformer that offers a ton of content. Just don't think about the story too much. "blah blah blah blah blah" indeed. 

Read the full Knytt Underground review

Indoor Sports World (PS Vita)
Developer: Super Icon Ltd
Publisher: Super Icon Ltd
Released: December 17, 2014
MSRP: $4.99

What little is here is done better elsewhere, and while the game isn't going to break your wallet, it isn't going to capture your attention for very long either. I had to force myself to even play it for long enough to get anywhere in each mode, as I just found myself bored with everything mid-match. It's desolate, it's twitchy, and it's not really any fun. But at least it's better looking than most bars I've been to.

Read the full Indoor Sports World review

Castle Doombad (iPad, iPhone)
Developer: Grumpyface Studios

Publisher: Adult Swim Games
Released: January 9, 2013
MSRP: $2.99

Castle Doombad is one of the best games I've played on the mobile platform -- full stop. It's charming, the visuals are likable and sleek, and it suits a touch-based interface perfectly. For a mere few bucks Doombad simulates the experience of many full-on retail priced trap games, and that's a pretty rare accomplishment. So long as you're willing to take the time to learn the ins and outs of each individual trap and fine-tune your tactics (you will fail more than once), buying this one is a no-brainer.

Read the full Castle Doombad review

Joe Danger Infinity (iPad, iPhone)
Developer: Hello Games
Publisher: Hello Games
Released: January 9, 2013
MSRP: $2.99

Part of me feels like Joe Danger Infinity wasn't necessary. Joe Danger Touch was an excellent game and complemented the platform perfectly. Although the vehicles bring a different set of flair to the series, the new additions and maps didn't really blow me away. Having said that, anyJoe fan will probably eat up Infinity.

Read the full Joe Danger Infinity review

Zen Pinball 2 (PlayStation 3, PS Vita, PlayStation 4 [reviewed], Wii U)
Developer: Zen Studios
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment, Zen Studios
Released: September 4 2012 (PS3/Vita) / March 21 2013 (Wii U) / December 24, 2013 (PS4)
MSRP: Free (Sorcerer's Lair table included, other tables various additional prices)

Zen Studios were undoubtedly the digital pinball kings last-gen, and are already well on their way to claim the same title on current-gen. PS3/PS Vita players, other platform players, and complete newcomers alike all have no reason to miss Zen Pinball 2 on the PS4. There's no added benefit to this version; just the same game with the same tables we've come to adore, but that doesn't stop it from being a game absolutely everyone should play.

Zen Pinball is a must-have anywhere you can grab it, and Zen Pinball 2 specifically on PlayStation 4 is equally just as desirable -- if not more-so.

Read the full Zen Pinball 2 review

Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition (Mac, PC [reviewed])
Developer: Beamdog/BioWare
Publisher: Atari
MSRP: $24.99
Release Date: November 15, 2013 

All the convenient and nice additions in the world wouldn’t matter though if the core game wasn’t so damn brilliant, which it still is. Baldur’s Gate II lives up to its reputation as one of the all-time best RPGs, and if you’re looking for a no-fuss way to play it, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition is exactly that.

Read the full Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition review

Wesley Ruscher, Former Contributor
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