Friday, September 21, 2018

Marvel's Spider-Man Review (PS4)

Marvel's Spider-Man, developed by Insomniac Games exclusively for PlayStation 4, is a highly polished version of the same Spider-Man games we've been playing for the last 15-years or so which means it is very good and easily the best Spider-Man game yet, but also that it has all of the same problems that every other Spider-Man game has while also introducing a few annoyances of its own. I'll repeat - Marvel's Spider-Man is excellent, but great feeling swinging doesn't magically forgive atrociously bad stealth sections, repetitive open world quest design, QTE-filled set-pieces, and Sony first-party games' trademark maze of upgrade materials and collectible nonsense. Marvel's Spider-Man is outstanding for as long as you are entertained by swinging around New York, but Batman: Arkham Asylum still stands as the best superhero game ever. Continue reading our full Spider-Man review for all of the details.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Fishing Sim World Review (XONE)

Dovetail Games' follow-up to the carp-focused Euro Fishing initially looks a lot more promising for U.S.A. anglers thanks to the big juicy largemouth bass on the cover but it turns out that Fishing Sim World is just another Trojan carp in disguise. The U.S. lakes and fish species are more like an afterthought as the game is once again mostly dedicated towards European-style carp fishing. If the thought of Euro Fishing 2, which is basically what this new game is, truly excites you, then Fishing Sim World might be worth a look. If you were hoping for a more North American-focused fishing sim, however, this ain't it. See all of the details in our full Fishing Sim World review for Xbox One.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Construction Simulator 2 US: Console Edition Review (XONE)

Road construction and operating heavy machinery, just like farming, is kind of slow and tedious and boring in real life and it only gets more tedious and boring in video game form since you're not getting paid for it. To make these sorts of things fun in a video game certain compromises have to be made to keep them fun and playable. Construction Simulator 2 comes to consoles with some very smart Quality of Life features to let you skip most of the boring and tedious stuff if you want to while still providing an authentic and satisfying heavy machinery-focused construction simulation. Some (a lot of) folks will probably still think it's boring, but if you have learned to love Farming Simulator you'll love Construction Simulator 2 CE as well for all of the same reasons. Continue reading our full Xbox One Construction Simulator 2 US: Console Edition review for all of the details.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Op/Ed - Destiny 2 Was Good and Forsaken Makes it Even More Gooder

The Forsaken expansion came out and now Destiny 2 is saved! Hurrah! Did it need saving to begin with? No, in spite of what Internet loudmouths said for the last year it was fine, but Forsaken does add a lot of new content to keep everyone busy for another month before they get bored again. This article is sort of a review but mostly a rant about hardcore fans poisoning the well of discussion and the media focusing on negativity to chase easy page views, but there's some Destiny 2: Forsaken impressions in here too, I swear! Continue reading for a unique take on Destiny 2's first year problems and what Forsaken brings to the table.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

NASCAR Heat 3 Review (XONE)


Your enjoyment of NASCAR Heat 3 (and 2, for that matter) largely comes down to your acceptance of the fact that these are streamlined arcade-style racing games and not NASCAR simulators. If you want a challenging NASCAR sim, NASCAR Heat 3 will not in any way satisfy you. On the other hand, if you just want to tear around familiar tracks with your favorite driver in a game of 190MPH bumper cars, well then NASCAR Heat 3 can be a lot of fun. It still definitely has tons of problems that you'll wish were fixed even if you do accept it as an arcade racer, but the core thrill of driving door to door with 39 other cars is well done here and almost makes up for the laundry list of issues. As a simple and fun pick up and play NASCAR experience NASCAR Heat 3 is worth a look, but you'll be disappointed if you're expecting anything more. Continue reading our full NASCAR Heat 3 review for all of the details.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Shikhondo - Soul Eater Review (XONE)


One of my favorite things about shoot-em-ups "shmups" is that there are lots and lots of different types with varying degrees of difficulty and intensity. Gradius and Raiden and Akai Katana and Sky Force and Deathsmiles all play wildly differently from each other, for example, so it is easy for players to find a style that suits them. Personally, I like them all, but I do have a soft spot for the so-called "bullet hell" shooters that fill the screen with hundreds of bullets and enemies and you have to weave your way through the seemingly impossible bullet patterns. The latest bullet hell shmup to hit the scene is Shikhondo - Soul Eater and it is pretty darn spectacular. With challenging gameplay, gorgeous artwork, great music, and tons of modes, Shokhondo - Soul Eater is one of the best new shmups to come along in quite a while. See our full Xbox One review for more.

Monday, September 10, 2018

The VideoKid Review (XONE)

The actual gameplay of The VideoKid hardly matters - it's a modern-ish take on PaperBoy, by the way - because the real star of the show, and why you should play it, is that it is a loving homage to everything 1980's. Seriously, it's crammed full of enough nerdy pop culture references that even "Ready Player One" probably thinks The VideoKid maybe went too far. For 80's kids, though, it is a fun nostalgic trip down memory lane that is well worth the $5 investment. The game underneath is surprisingly solid, too. See our full review of The VideoKid for more.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Donut County Review (PS4)

Donut County is a game where you control a hole that is terrorizing a community and dropping everything and everyone 999-feet below the surface of the Earth. Simply put, the concept is amazing. The execution is spot-on as well as controlling the hole feels great and solving the various puzzles the game throws at you is very satisfying. Unfortunately, there just isn't enough to Donut County to really keep you hooked. It isn't funny enough, clever enough, or big enough in scale to ever really wow you the way you keep expecting it to, which is disappointing because the potential for it to really be something special is very easy to see. For all of the details continue reading our full PS4 Donut County review.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Death's Gambit Review (PS4)


Death's Gambit is the latest indie 2D platformer to take a swing at the Dark Souls formula and, I gotta say, it's my favorite one yet. With surprising enemy and environment variety, satisfying combat, a fresh storytelling style, and some interesting twists on the Souls formula, Death's Gambit is an all around fantastic 2D action plaformer that is right up there with the best of them both old and new. It does have some rough spots, and it is pretty brutal and frustrating at first, but once it gets its hooks in you Death's Gambit is very hard to put down. Continue reading our full PS4 Death's Gambit review for all of the details.

Friday, August 17, 2018

We Happy Few Review (XONE)


Early access games are like being in a slow motion car crash you can't escape from. You know the hit is coming, but nothing can prepare you for the impact when it finally happens. You see, the problem with early access, at least on consoles through the Xbox Game Preview program, is that the game you're presented with during early access is pretty much the same game you end up with when the devs consider it "done". Sure, they add content and "stuff" to it, but the core game is pretty much set in stone when it hits early access and if that core sucks it probably isn't ever going to get much better. You still naively hold out hope that they have lots of time to change things and fix things only to be disappointed years later when it releases as pretty much the same game. It turns out that being invested in a game for years and years and getting your hands on the final version just to be like "Yep, it still sucks" is far more devastatingly disappointing than when a normal bad game comes out of nowhere and surprises you.

Today's review is We Happy Few and it's a disappointing hot mess. Continue reading for all of the details.