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.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Review: Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype (PS Vita)

Nothing like a good ole fashioned horizontal shoot-'em-up to take the rough edges off of a lousy day! Unless, of course, you suffer from an advanced case of obsessive compulsive disorder… then perhaps this may not be the preferred method to decompress.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Review: Total War: Attila (PC)

It's an ancient concept, but names have power. When you mention a certain name, depending on reputation, certain feelings are evoked.  Even today, the name of Attila the Hun conjures up images of rampaging marauders and ravaged lands, of burning cities and blood-soaked battlefields where proud and foolish armies dared to challenge the nomadic king known to the dying Roman Empire as “The Scourge of God.”  Now, The Creative Assembly brings the last days of Rome and the rise of the barbarians to life with Total War: Attila.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Video: Mega Man X (SNES)

Mr. Nash takes a look at 1994's Mega Man X (SNES) in this Random Game Talk.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Preview: Mortal Kombat X (Multi-Platform)

mortal kombat x
Is it Mortal Kombat X or Mortal Kombat 10? It likely doesn't matter. After all, what's in a name, especially when it comes to Mortal Kombat. The series has proven that it's not afraid of trying new or unexpected things, like ravelling a story together that -- forgive me for saying this -- makes sense. So, what's new this time around? A non-linear storyline set 25 years beyond the events of the last game that features new characters, aged versions of familiar characters, and the progeny of some classic characters like Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage. 

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Preview: Batman: Arkham Knight (Multi-Platform)

batman arkham knight
If there's one thing that Batman is really good at, it's making twisted enemies everywhere he goes. Besides Arkham Knight, a lethal Batman doppelganger created for the game, there's the usual Rogues Gallery of villains including the Riddler (in a more active role this time around), Penguin, Two-Face, Harley Quinn, and Scarecrow, who appears to be the mastermind behind the terrible things that happen in Batman: Arkham Knight.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Review: Super Smash Bros. Wii U (Wii U)

The Smash Bros. franchise has always been one of the better party games to play when you've got a mixed group of people over. It's never too challenging for even the most novice of players to pick up and play. Every character move set is distilled into about four actions and can be done even on the Wii-motes 2 buttons without any challenge and you can figure out on the fly without any real handicap. With the online and multi-platform options it has become even more accessible than ever before.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Review: Hand of Fate (Xbox One)

The continued expansion of the independent gaming scene has certainly made for some more interesting games than the usual AAA fare that just seems to iterate their releases to the point of stagnation.

Hand of Fate starts off with a simple storytelling system that traps the player into the familiar downward spiral of "just one more game" with its nasty difficulty.

You play a hybrid card game/action role-playing game against a card dealer who represents the Dungeon Master for a typical paper RPG. The drawn action cards represent your random encounters as you progress through your campaign. Some are the typical enemy encounters; some are with strangers who may be helpful or harmful depending upon your approach; and yet others are you trying to traverse the terrain blocking your path to victory.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Hands-On Preview: Sorcerer King (PC)

sorcerer king

For a long time after falling under the thrall of Disciples II: Dark Prophecy (way back in 2002) then shaking it off (finally), I thought I would never fall victim to another turn-based fantasy game. Like chicken pox. You get it once and the resulting immunity means you'll never get it again, right? Sometimes the pox returns but they call it the less-than-appetizing "shingles." Well, that's what Sorcerer King is shaping up to be; shingles. In a good way, honest.