Friday, May 17, 2019

Ascendance: First Horizon Impressions - Refunct Did It All Better

The short-but-sweet first-person platforming with great presentation genre seems like it's becoming a thing - if two games counts as a "thing" - and I'm totally into it. For games like this to be a success, however, they have to absolutely nail every aspect. They have to feel good to play. They have to look and sound exceptional. And they need to be priced appropriately. 2017's Refunct set those standards on Xbox One and is a great experience that I highly recommend. Ascendance: First Horizon, on the other hand, totally misses the mark. Continue reading our impressions on why we don't exactly love it.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Gems of War Deserves More Love

Free to play games have a bad reputation, and deservedly so, because they're stuffed full of microtransactions and hooks to get you to pay real money for in-game currency or items or other things because they're fun and addictive and you want to keep playing but you inevitably hit a bottleneck somewhere along the way that pretty much requires investment in MTX in order to proceed. That's gross and bad and wrong. They're badong, if you will. Sometimes, though, free to play games are actually super well balanced and fairly designed so you can have tons of fun with them without spending any money at all. Gems of War, available on Switch, PS4, and Xbox One, is one of those rare FTP gems and it absolutely deserves more love. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain is Disappointing, and Mildly Insulting

Just four months after the release of Earth Defense Force 5 - by far the best EDF yet and our 2018 Game of the Year - comes even more giant bug and alien blasting in Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain. EDF Iron Rain was developed by Yuke's, rather than series creators Sandlot, with the goal of being more appealing to Western audiences than the traditional numbered EDF entries have been. Unfortunately, they missed the mark. Badly. So badly, in fact, that it is kind of insulting that they think this is what Western gamers want. Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain is still largely the same third-person blasting giant bugs and robots the series is known for at its core, but pretty much everything just feels off, particularly compared to EDF5. I'm really not a fan. Continue reading for all of the details.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Tetris 99 Is A True Killer App

Tetris 99 is a killer app for Nintendo's Switch Online service as well as the Nintendo Switch itself. A killer app is a piece of software that is so good it can sell you on a new system / platform all on it's own. Well, Tetris 99 did that for me. The Zelda: Link's Awakening remake announcement certainly helped, but I bought a Switch for Tetris 99 and I couldn't be happier with that decision. Continue reading after the jump for a little more discussion about Tetris 99.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is Zelda: Breath of the Wild but Better

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is basically Zelda: Breath of the Wild but better. Those are bold words, I know, but before you snap your carrot sick in half and drop your sippy cup of OJ in a fit of rage, allow me to explain. This isn't just an edgy faux controversial take for attention as the games are remarkably similar in a surprising number of ways. Except, you know, one is much better than the other. Continue reading for a full explanation.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Attack on Titan 2 XONE - Things We Loved (And Some We Didn't)

"Attack on Titan" is one of the biggest wastes of a great premise that we've seen in anime and manga in a long, long time. The story is convoluted nonsense that is insultingly dumb and once the shock of the violence and gore wears off there isn't much left for anyone with half a brain to enjoy. Like I said, though, the premise of the last vestiges of mankind fighting off horrifying titans is amazing, which is why I find myself enjoying the live action movies (yes, really) and video games much more than the original source material itself. As such, I've been playing Attack on Titan 2 for Xbox One lately and have been having a mostly good time with it so here are the things I loved, and a few things I didn't, about the Attack on Titan 2 video game.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Assassin's Creed Odyssey - Things We Loved (And Some We Didn't)

Assassin's Creed Odyssey got robbed in 2018. It was probably the best "AAA" game of the year thanks to great production values, fantastic gameplay, a great setting, and a compelling story, but because it's Ubisoft everyone just shrugged at it when awards season came around. Red Dead Redemption 2 and God of War got all of the attention, but all I'm saying is that you don't instantly die when your horse runs into a tree in AC: Odyssey, which makes it automatically better than one of those two. Continue reading for our reasons why we loved, and a few things we didn't, about Assassin's Creed Odyssey.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Crackdown 3 is Fine. You Should Play It

After several years in development hell Microsoft finally released Crackdown 3 for Xbox One on February 15, 2019. Rather than marking the successful (more on that later) return of a fan favorite, however, it was met with near universal disdain from reviewers. Honestly, I don't really understand why. I genuinely don't understand most of the complaints. It's driving me crazy. Unfortunately, it is also driving home the feeling I've had for a while now that I have never been more distant and disconnected from the industry that I have spent my entire adult life covering as a games journalist than I am these days. If the industry really is moving in a direction where a game like Crackdown 3 is something that critics and gamers don't want anymore, yeesh, that worries me. Keep reading for more on why everyone else is dumb and wrong about Crackdown 3. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Access Denied Review (XONE)

Putting aside the dumb scenario - you're a "cracker" who has to solve puzzle boxes to steal personal data - Access Denied is pretty close to a perfect little bite-sized indie game. The puzzles are satisfying to solve, the presentation is solid enough, and the price is right at just $5 for 2-3 hours of playtime. It also has an easy 1000 Gamersscore on Xbox One and, yes, it does have a platinum trophy on PS4. If you enjoy puzzle games and can think outside of the box (heh), then Access Denied is well worth a look. Keep reading our full review below for all of the details.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 2 Review (XONE)

I loved 2018's Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame and said it was the best SX/MX game we'd had in years, so imagine my surprise when a "famous" gaming YouTuber put it on their list of the absolute worst games of the year. Who would you rather listen to, though - someone that has been to real supercross events and understands the sport, or someone who repeatedly crashed on purpose "for the lulz" and then said the game sucks? Sorry to rant, but that whole thing just really annoyed me. Now we're on to 2019 and Milestone's second crack at an official supercross game with the aptly titled Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 2. Monster Energy Supercross 2 doesn't change much from the first game but adds an extra year of polish to pretty easily stand as the new king of MX/SX games. Continue reading our full Xbox One Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 2 review for all of the details.