Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Monday, 13 April 2015

Review: Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PC)

Quarter-munching video games used to be relegated to arcades. At least in North America, arcades, as a location, are basically extinct but somehow the DNA of those games were injected into games outside the confines of arcades. The so-called “Free to Play” games are always more than happy to take small bits of cash from you to shorten timers, provide boosts and buffs, or slap a new skin on your on-screen avatar. Traditionally though, arcade games were all about trying to squeeze every last quarter out of your pocket by making the games difficult, sometimes really difficult, and making the “Continue?” countdown seem like the most urgent thing in the world. That same DNA was infused into Hotline Miami 2, where reaction time and somehow dodging incoming fire from off-screen is the only way to prevent a level restart.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Hardware Review: Acer B326HK 4K Monitor

Acer B326HK 4K Monitor
It was only when I plunked the Acer B326HK 4K monitor -- a less catchier name than just about anything -- on my desk did I realize just how big a 32" monitor actually is. Suddenly, it felt like I should be an additional 4 or 5 feet away and initially that's what I thought would be necessary when I had to turn my head to look at different parts of the screen.

After some fine tuning and fiddling -- the stand is quite versatile, too; vertical movement and tilt is easy -- I'm a little further away from the screen; just far enough that I don't necessarily have to move my neck to view everything.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Review: Trapped Dead: Lockdown (PC)

Who doesn't enjoy Zombie games?

*random guy sheepishly raises hand*

It's cool, you're excused.

Trapped Dead Lockdown is a neat little isometric-view hack-slash-and-shoot zombie annihilation game. You choose one of five characters (each their own class) and live out their own personal missions inside a city gripped by a zombie apocalypse. The world is about as cheerful as you'd expect, with all the typical tropes of characters being the worst possible people you could imagine when things start to get hairy.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Review: Battlefield Hardline (PC)

Video games are an escape from reality. Where else can one explore strange new worlds and so on? Not only is it an escape from reality, it's an escape from consequence. Mow down a dozen (or more) mercenaries and it's no biggie -- you'll never be brought up on charges. It's fantasy, which makes it all the more confusing that Battlefield Hardline's main conceit feels so ridiculous. And most video games are ridiculous.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Review: Aaru's Awakening (PC)

Aaru's Awakening is an electronic version of patting your head and rubbing your belly. Some players will be able to “get it” right away because of some quirk of neuro-synapses or extra fibers in the corpus colosum, that important bridge between the left and right hemispheres of your brain.

For this writer, the game felt more like I was patting my head, rubbing my belly, hoping on one foot while trying to learn a dirty Russian limerick and deking between high-heat laser beams. That's my way of saying, the game isn't easy. In fact, most of my advancement felt more like an accident than anything connected to competence or “gam3r skillz.”

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Review: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (PC)

If there’s one thing that is an unequivocal downside to the increasing fidelity and realism of computer graphics, it’s the over-saturation of detail. Horror games are perhaps the worst offenders. What used to be creepy tableaux are now all too often gore drenched packages of jump scares.