Friday, 17 October 2014

Review: Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (PS3)

Besides offering hours of enjoyment for the kids, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes did something for me. It reminded me how much I enjoyed the likes of The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (2005), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), and the Marvel Ultimate Alliance games (2006, 2009) and then plunged me into a hole of nostalgia eight miles deep reminiscing about Stunt Island (1992) but before I can really explain that it's worth quickly describing Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes.

Besides the actual game, the "starter pack" comes packed with three figures -- Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow -- two Toy Box Game Discs, and the Infinity base, which plugs into your PlayStation 3. To actually play the game, one need only put one of the plastic characters on the base; their digital reflections appear in the game and it's off to the races.

At least, for the kids.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Review: NHL 15 (Xbox One)

It's the start of hockey season once again; a time for players to wash their equipment before they stuff it back into their rank smelling hockey bags. All teams start fresh, and for those that insist on not winning every game by 20 goals… there's NHL 15 to get the results that you really want.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Review: The Walking Dead Pinball (XBLA)

Anybody that reads The Walking Dead comics or watches the TV show knows that when it comes to defeating zombies – or walkers in the world of The Walking Dead – in the undead apocalypse, anything can be useful as a walker-head-crushing weapon. Frying pans, pool cues, 2x4s, baseball bats … practically anything within reach while under walker attack duress. What wouldn't be particularly useful to slaughter walkers is a single small silver pinball from a pinball machine. Not seeing that as much of a brain-buster. That is unless while playing The Walking Dead Pinball table on Xbox Live Arcade via Pinball FX2 from Zen Studios.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Review: The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II (PC)

What happens when the world's most famous monster hunter turns freedom fighter and overthrows the mad scientist despot running the creepiest little country in Europe? Well, he sure doesn't get to enjoy his victory overly long.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II picks up right where the first game ended and throws players right back into the battle for Borgovia, this time challenging the would-be warlord General Harker for control of Borgova's streets and Borgovia's future. Much like any real revolution, there's a lot of slogging around in the streets.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Impressions: Alien: Isolation (PC)

After a little time with Alien: Isolation, it's almost impossible to believe the game comes from Creative Assembly, better known for the Total War strategy series, but it does. The kind of attention to detail they poured into those game is the same kind of love they poured into Alien: Isolation. The difference is that a strategy game never got me so wound up that I had to walk away to let my heart rate return to normal. A full review of Alien: Isolation is coming but here are some quick impressions and observations from the first 60 - 90 minutes.

This screen was grabbed about three minutes into the game. This was the point that absolutely convinced me the developers had done their homework and put in 2,000-psi worth of effort to crush the details (in a very good way). The setting, the sense of place is incredible; it feels (at times) like you're wandering an extremely detailed movie set circa 1979.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Book Review: The Eye of the World (Vol. 5)

If there's a series of fantasy novels that could supply an almost never-ending series of graphic novels, it's the Wheel of Time series.

A sprawling series, it was started in 1990 by Robert Jordan and was only recently concluded by Brandon Sanderson in 2013. Eye of the World Vol. 5 is barely into the first book of the series and there were 13 chunky novels so the current output of the graphic novel means the last book won't arrive until 2035... if the world exists in a form that makes socio-economic sense to still be dealing with, ahem, comic books.

A lot of that has to do with the fact that the graphic novel sticks very close to the original source material -- there appears to be no artistic license taken when it comes to the dialogue and pacing of the overall story. That's another way of saying, "It's a real page-turner!"

Monday, 29 September 2014

An Early Look at Lords of Xulima

Retro-styled RPGs are certainly becoming a thing of late. There have been no lack of crowd funded projects going that route and several small teams have been throwing their hat in the ring as well. I'm certainly all for it being a fan of these sort of games. Today, we'll be taking a look at Lords of Xulima, which is also trying to tap into many of the things folks find appealing about RPGs of old.

Xulima is an overhead isometrically viewed RPG with first person combat sequences. There is a very obvious level of influence from classic role-playing games like Ultima and Wizardry as well as more modern offerings such as Divinity and Legend of Grimrock.