Monday, 31 March 2014

Review: SteamWorld Dig (PS4, PS Vita)

steamworld dig
The big push in indie gaming over the last few years has proven to me that I will always gravitate to functionality and game design over visual/auditory design. On the rare times that you get the entire bundle, it's a gem worth picking up. Steamworld Dig definitely fits well in both categories, being a well-designed and implemented game but still pretty to look at and appreciate.

You play the robot prospector Rusty who has been given his Uncle Joe's mine and trusty pick-axe (well, not so much given as picked up of his corpse… but that's neither here nor there).

Friday, 28 March 2014

Random Game Talk: Trouble Shooter (Genesis / Mega Drive)

We have a video Random Game Talk here taking a look at Vic Tokai shoot 'em up Trouble Shooter for the Sega Genesis.

Review: Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD Edition (PC)

resident evil 4 hd
The position held by Resident Evil 4 in the annals of video games is unassailable at this point. Originally launched way back in 2005, the game has been re-purposed, refined, and re-released across multiple platforms so in 2014 it feels somewhat unfair to be reviewing it now in light of the all the games of a similar play style that has been released in the intervening years, especially when a lot of those games have done it better.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Random Game Talk - The Last Remnant

Sometimes I like picking up a game that splits the room when it comes to public opinion of it. Just watching the back and forth among those who've played it, half saying it's great, the other half saying it's terrible, just winds up peaking my interest to the point where I simply have to try it for myself. The Last Remnant is one such game. I'd originally picked it up for next to nothing at a Steam sale a few years ago, but it was only recently that I finally got off my duff and made a concerted effort to play it from beginning to end.

On the whole, I liked the game quite a bit, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it was amazing. The Last Remnant certainly has its flaws. However, I didn't find them to be enough to ruin the experience. I can see why some people never warmed up to the game, though, because it's an RPG where you have to love the battle system in order to enjoy the game. If it's not your cup of tea despite playing the game for several hours, it's probably time to bail and look for something else.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Review: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (PC)

Though Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 suffers from some irritating moments of stealth and by the time the credits role the game feels a little long in the tooth, it does have the option to turn off quick time events, that too often sprung up and hit this player in the face in the first Lords of Shadow and for that alone it get's some credit.

I'll admit that my reflexes aren't what they used to be (as evidenced by my forthcoming review of Resident Evil 4, which showcases some real ball-busters) so being able to just switch quick time events off and watch some giant, epic moments unfold without the poke in the eye of, "Hey, mash on the X-button for a while!" is a welcome addition.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Review: Bravely Default (3DS)

There are few genres in the video game world that can create extreme polarization like role-playing games. Either you love them or you avoid them like the plague. I'll assume, for the sake of this review, you love them and that is what has brought you here.

First off, if you loved the early Final Fantasy games then you are going to feel right at home here. Often billed as the spiritual successor to Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, the game uses a job and battle system similar to what you would find in Final Fantasy V. Although the characters and towns are different, it's going to feel very similar to what you would have experienced in either of the former titles.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Review: Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)

Incredibly enough, being able to buy into Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy's main plot — Professor Layton and his chirpy sidekick Luke get involved with a million-year old civilization and a survivor of said civilization — isn't as difficult as buying into a universe where everyone from the youngest child to the oldest adult is constantly bombarding each other with logic puzzles.

"I surely would like a cup of tea."

"Straight away, sir. Right after you answer this quandary involving logarithmic scale forms and the price of wool of in Norway."

What makes Professor Layton so special as a character in this universe is that he answers more questions than he poses. That's what makes him so novel to the other characters and why he seems to be known the world over. Or it could just be the hat.

True or False?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: Episode 2 (PC)

the walking dead season 2 episode 2
The big reveal of this second episode of Season 2 of The Walking Dead, wasn't much of a reveal at all if one happened to stick around for the "Next Time..." preview that rolled at the conclusion of episode 1, All That Remains. Fortunately, the second episode doesn't hinge on the "big reveal."

No, no. Instead the episode pivots on, "Oh, damn, they're all dead!" turn at the episode's culmination. Or, you know, something like that because it's The Walking Dead.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Review: Strider (PS3)

The original Strider games in the Arcade and for the Nintendo Entertainment System hold a place in my young-gamer heart. The Arcade game was ridiculously cool (if not ridiculously hard to match) and was easily one of the set pieces of many an arcade in the late 80's whereas the Nintendo version shortly followed with one of the better action based games of that era. It feels rather odd to refer to the current game as a "Metroid-vania" as this game came out in the exact same time period in gaming… but when you've only made 3 games in your life span, you tend to get overlooked.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Review: BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger (PC)

 BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger

Released half a decade ago on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger arrives on PC with more of a whimper than a bang but the underlying fighting and the overlying balls-out craziness of the characters  seriously, has wasabi been replaced by peyote in Japan?  is present no matter what the reception was like. Honestly, the game arrived with such fanfare that there's a picture of rolling tumble weed on Metacritic where the list of critic reviews should be.