Friday, September 22, 2017

Maize Review (XONE)

I’m not one of those stick in the mud cynics who think that games that try to be funny usually fail at it - I honestly laugh at pretty much everything - so when even I say Maize is painfully un-funny, whoo boy. The first-person adventure game / puzzle solving built around the “humor” is solid, if a little too simple and straightforward, but it is severely hindered by the extreme overuse of a repeated joke that wasn’t funny the first time and definitely isn’t funny the 300th time three hours later. It’s a shame, too, because the setting is cool, but Maize just won’t shut up and let you enjoy it. See our full Xbox One Maize review for all of the details.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Morphite Review (XONE)

Indie sci-fi FPS Morphite’s core concept of mixing No Man’s Sky’s procedurally generated planets and creatures with some Metroid Prime-style FPS platforming and scanning sounds like a game design home run. How could it possibly go wrong? By being boring, that’s how. Having a potentially infinite number of planets to explore doesn’t mean much then they are all just barren deserts with one or two things to do, but that’s Morphite in a nutshell. Maybe the concept proved to be too ambitious for the devs, but Morphite is pretty disappointing. See our full Xbox One review for more.

Super Hydorah Review (XONE)

Judging only by the first wave of enemies in Super Hydorah you’d be forgiven for thinking it is just a Gradius clone. I mean it’s exactly the same. Play just a tiny bit further, though, and Super Hydorah quickly establishes its own identity with a much steeper difficulty curve, unique power up system, and branching paths through its campaign. With great feeling controls, deliciously oldschool presentation, and surprising amount of content, Super Hydorah is a throwback homage SHMUP fans will love. It is very, very difficult, though, even by notoriously difficult SHMUP standards, but that just means it’s all the more satisfying when you win. Continue reading our full Super Hydorah Xbox One review for all of the details.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

NASCAR Heat 2 Review (XONE)

Chalk it up to being a new game built from the ground up, but 2016’s NASCAR Heat Evolution felt more like a proof of concept than a real game. While the gameplay was okay, the presentation and feature set were as bare bones as could be and the overall package was pretty disappointing. Fast forward to 2017 and Monster Games and 704Games’ (formerly Dusenberry Martin Racing) second current-gen NASCAR game is upon us with some much needed improvements. There are definitely still some rough edges and some missing features, but NASCAR Heat 2 is easily the best NASCAR game we’ve had in quite a while. See our full review for all of the details.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Destiny 2 Review (XONE)

The first Destiny game back in 2014 launched in a pretty rough state. There wasn’t a ton of content, the leveling system was too complicated, and overall Bungie made a lot of weird decisions that contributed to the game not meeting many players’ expectations. Bungie learned a lot from that and really took player feedback to heart and after the Taken King expansion launched in 2015, Destiny was genuinely pretty darn great. Now, in 2017, a proper Destiny sequel has launched and I am pleased to say that the steady improvements to the core foundation continue over to this new game to create the best Destiny experience yet. Destiny 2 isn’t a wildly different experience than Destiny 1, mind you, but it is far more polished and complete feeling right from the start than the original game was at launch. The result is a fantastic full-featured package that Destiny die-hards as well as series skeptics and newcomers alike will have a great time with. See our full Destiny 2 review for all of the details.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Planet of the Eyes Review (PS4)

Of all of the indie games that have tried to copy the Playdead LIMBO / INSIDE formula for 2D puzzle platformers in the last couple of years, Planet of the Eyes comes the closest to getting it right. With a cute little dancing robot protagonist, a bright and colorful alien world to explore, and really nice feeling controls, Planet of the Eyes seems like the next indie 2D puzzle platforming darling. It’s over far too quickly, however, and because the puzzles are mostly easy and straightforward, it isn’t particularly memorable. Planet of the Eyes still enjoyable, but falls short of being anything special. See our full Planet of the Eyes PS4 review for all of the details.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Last Day of June Review (PS4)

If you ever thought, “Boy, I wish I could play through the sad opening sequence of Pixar’s “Up” over and over again” do I have the game for you! Last Day of June is the tragic tale of a man losing the love of his life in a car accident and then getting to experience that day over and over again to try and prevent it from happening. The premise is rock solid, but the execution fails to deliver on the concept. Long load times, repetition, pacing issues, and the fact the core gameplay isn’t particularly fun sour the experience. Continue reading for all of the details in our Last Day of June review.

Everybody's Golf Review (PS4)

Don’t let the unfamiliar title of Everybody’s Golf fool you, this is still the same good ol’ Hot Shots Golf U.S. players have enjoyed for two decades now. Except that it isn’t quite the same. Hot Shots Golf Fore launched in 2004 with 15 courses. Everybody’s Golf has just 5 with an added dose of excessive DLC and microtransaction foolishness. Even the gameplay didn’t make it out unscathed as one of the tenets of golf videogames – if you hit a shot with perfect impact it’ll actually go where you want it – doesn’t apply to Everybody’s Golf anymore and instead shots fire off seemingly totally at random. It is frustrating and disappointing because the core golf game underneath the nonsense is still actually really great, and the character creator is absolutely phenomenal, but there is so much tacked on jank that it’s hard not to be let down a bit. See our full Everybody’s Golf review for all of the details.