Thursday, 29 May 2014

Review: Soul Sacrifice Delta (PS Vita)

Soul Sacrifice Delta isn't quite a sequel, yet it still feels like a fresh game. It improves upon many aspects that people disliked about the previous game, and adds a bevy of new content on top of it to encourage us to take another look through Librom's pages.

A major gripe with the first soul sacrifice was that of the difficulty curve. Delta mixes this up by rebalancing a lot of the offerings, as well as the damage and HP of earlier monsters. Going back to early quests makes you feel sufficiently powerful, while the late game pacts are incredibly challenging in some instances. Your most powerful offerings can also be upgraded into Black offerings, giving increased potency at the cost of fewer casts. This may not always be worth the trade-off, but some spells become more powerful than they ever were before.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Review: Dark Souls II (360)

Dark Souls came along and the gaming universe declared it, "Good."

As a gamer that has too many games on the go at any moment, I couldn't find time in my schedule to tackle a game that would politely be described as bloody hard. While I am familiar with the original from hearsay, I didn't play any of it. From the time that I've put into Dark Souls II, I can wholeheartedly agree with the assessment of the previous game: Dark Souls II is infuriatingly hard.

Most games will have their difficulty established by asking the gamer to accomplish a nearly flawless series of commands, or use a weak control structure to unfairly limit the gamer against an unencumbered opponent. Dark Souls II does neither, it gives you the tools to succeed right from the beginning, but does so little hand-holding that you are thrown into the deep end and expected to swim. With such a brutal difficulty curve, I found the praise to be a little surprising.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Review: Earth Defense Force 2025 (360)

earth defense force 2025 Playing Earth Defense Force 2025 made me think of watching Mystery Science Theater 3000. The movies on that show were bad in so many ways – script, acting, visuals and special effects. But somehow that one element – the silly, uproarious commentary made by the smartass fellas – made it enjoyable to sit on your couch and watch a movie with extremely low production values. Earth Defense Force 2025 has spectacularly bad graphics, a script full of mindless dialogue and totally dreadful voice acting. But that one quality component it does have, good third-person shooting gameplay, can let you overlook the lesser attributes everywhere else and have an unexpectedly entertaining time.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Review: Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse - Part II (PC)

broken sword 5 serpent's curse part ii
Be sure to read our review of Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse - Part I prior to perusing this review of Part II because this writer assuredly is not going to repeat himself. Probably.

Part II of Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse picks up the thread from Part I immediately and pushes George Stobbard and Nico Collard to parts unknown as they race after a Gnostic mystery that may or may not plunge the world into chaos.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Review: Strider (360)

Strider Hiryu was one of the original 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System-via-Capcom’s badass characters, the super-agent ninja with the cat-like agility and razor-sharp sword – the Cypher – starring in Strider. From that origin in 1989, he remained a popular figure in the Capcom franchise collection, finally making a return in 2000 to the PlayStation in Strider 2 that was a well-received update.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Review: Kirby: Triple Deluxe (3DS)

Ring them bells, Kirby!
If ever there was a character that stands for unbridled and dangerous consumerism, it's Kirby. The pink, cheery little puff-ball, consumes anything and everything (preferably living things). The unrepentant bastard inhales bug creatures no more threatening than a houseplant then has the temerity to absorb their power to fit to his own dark whims. So, no matter how cute, pink or cartoony the action is, the game continually reminds the player that given enough time, Kirby could consume the universe...

...and never once think about going to the bathroom.

Consumerism will undoubtedly destroy us all!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

RGT: Street Fighter II - The World Warrior Retro Review

In this Random Game Talk, Jeff takes a look at the classic Street Fighter II: The World Warrior:

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Review: Dragon Ball Z - Battle of the Z (360)

Dragon Ball Z (DBZ) games are the anime equivalent to the seasonal release of Madden and 2K sports franchises. At this point, there are more DBZ games than seasons of the television show. That's not necessarily a negative as the Dragon Ball franchise is fertile ground for fighting games, plus who doesn't get a kick out of Goku screaming Kai-o-ken or for the Kame-hame-ha wave.

Just like Jell-O, there's always room for another good fighting game.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Editorial: There Be No Headstone - A Note About Review Scores

Imagine you're standing in front of an open grave.

Now imagine that grave full of numbers from 1 to 10. Mixed in that tangle are decimals and a lot of extra fives. No need for a coffin.

Do you hear the eerie strains of "Amazing Grace" played on the bagpipes? You should.

Look around and you'll see me with a shovel, a mound of dirt nearby. I begin heaving the dirt into the hole.

When I'm finished, I pause for moment to wipe my brow, probably with a red handkerchief, then stare down at the fresh dirt and listen to a soft breeze blow through nearby cedars. A hummingbird thrums through the air.

I turn and leave the unmarked grave behind. I will drink Tequila and La Fin du Monde to obliterate the location of the grave from my mind.

In short, The Armchair Empire will no longer include review scores. Readers will still be able rely on "The Good" and "The Bad" summaries, but no longer will a numerical score accompany the review text for reasons mostly outlined in a recent editorial I wrote: "And The Score is..."

If you want to chime in on the decision, I invite you to add your comments below. Were the numbers buried for the right reasons?

- Aaron Simmer