Review Round-up: Week ending 12/7
Oh December! You are by far my favorite month of the year, and not just because it’s Christmas and my birthday. Your winter slumber in the games department allows me the leisure of checking my backlog list twice and knocking off some of those naughty titles I’ve been neglecting.
I’m not sure how the rest of the month is going to pan out for you, but you did deliver us another phenomenal racing title with Sony’s Gran Turismo 6. And I’m really not sure how any one human can handle this, Need for Speed: Rivals, F1 2013, and Forza 5… but we all know Destructoid’s racing guru, Mr. Dale “don’t call me Peter” North has been gunning it full throttle the last few months. I think it’s time for cruise control.
Now on to the week in reviews!
Senran Kagura Burst (3DS eShop)
Developer: Marvelous AQL
Publisher: XSEED Games
Release Date: November 14, 2013
Senran Kagura Burst has a lot going for it. It’s often times quite charming, the 2D illustrations are very well done, the almost-all girl world they exist in offers a nice fantasy for those that are sick of the male-dominated game industry, combos are fun to pull off despite their simplicity, and the character designs are pretty expressive (sexually and otherwise). All that is held back by the fact that the low-budget graphics, distracting breast-obsession, and overall lack of actual game design. There’s potential for this series to be more than sex and combos, but so far, that’s all it has going for it. It’s cheap, sweet candy with little nutritional value that might make you sick after a while.
Read the full Senran Kagura Burst review
Desktop Dungeons (Mac, PC [reviewed])
Developer: QCF Design
Publisher: QCF Design
Released: November 7, 2013
All in all, the full release of Desktop Dungeons is great. QCF Design had a fantastic core game built years ago, and it holds up today, especially with the added bells and whistles. Despite its generic title, there really is nothing else like the dungeon-puzzling found here. Rather than being satisfied with the simple, unique game that it was, the developers went above and beyond adding polish, resulting in a game that is truly remarkable.
Read the full Desktop Dungeons review
Rainblood Chronicles: Mirage (PC)
Publisher: OR1GO Games
Release Date: November 11, 2013
Rain Blood Chronicles: Mirage probably isn’t going to stick with you as a cherished experience, but it’s a competently designed combo slasher with a fair bit going for it. Players who like their 2D hack n’ slash combat fast and accurate should be satisfied.
Read the full Rain Blood Chronicles: Mirage review
Tiny Brains (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox 360)
Developer: Spearhead Games
Publisher: 505 Games
Release Date: December 3, 2013 (PS4) / TBA (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Although its core campaign is far too short, the game is a blast with other players, and the wide variety of challenges should keep you playing for hours. Despite the fact that my time with these tiny adora-creepy critters was rather brief, I’d love to see them again in a sequel someday.
Read the full Tiny Brains review
FORCED (PC [reviewed], Mac, Linux)
Release Date: October 24, 2013
FORCED isn’t the biggest game on the PC, but it’s not trying to be. Rather, it tries to be a fun co-op experience — a goal that it accomplishes quite well. Grab the four-pack off Steam, grab three friends, and play FORCED for the weekend. It’s a one-trick pony, but it’s a good trick indeed.
Read the full FORCED review
Saint Seiya: Brave Soldiers (PS3, available through PSN only)
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Release Date: November 26, 2013
Saint Seiya: Brave Soldiers is a decent tribute to anime series that never caught much attention this side of the Pacific. The fighting is pretty looking, but very barebones; the music is catchy, but repetitive; and all the extra modes while solid, don’t do much to make this title truly stand out. Fans of the Naruto: Shippuden and the Dragon Ball Z fighters will feel unfulfilled, but for loyalists of Saint Seiya, Brave Soldiers offers just enough fanfare to make this worth the time.
Read the full Saint Seiya: Brave Soldiers review
Gran Turismo 6 (PS3)
Developer: Polyphony Digital
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: December 6, 2013
Gran Turismo 6 isn’t perfect, but it’s still the best videogame out there for driving enthusiasts. It’s what Gran Turismo 5 should have been. It needs work in the AI and damage modeling departments, and that next-gen visual upgrade can’t come soon enough. Still, GT6 is a game that I expect I’ll happily play for years to come, or at least until Polyphony Digital brings the next one out. Its charms run so deep that I’m just as happy chugging around the track at 86 MPH in a family van as I would be in the most expensive exotic racer.
Read the full Gran Turismo 6 review