After finishing Wolfenstein: The New Order back in 2014 I put down the controller and thought to myself, “That was great, but when’s Doom’s turn?” The answer it turns out was “almost exactly two years later” as a new Doom has been unleashed from the team at id Software. Previous attempts to bring the classic shooter to the 3D space were not great, so I went into this new game with a slight sense of dread. Thankfully those previous games can’t hold a flashlight to this new Doom, as this is the return to glory that the franchise deserved.
I usually take very thorough notes when reviewing a game. I keep my notebook next to me at all times, pen ready, and will often take a break between rounds to jot down my thoughts. That didn’t happen with Valkyria Chronicles Remastered. Maybe it’s because I already played it back in 2008, when it originally launched on the PS3, but I found myself without words as I made my way through its early battles and story set-up. When I did finally pause to write something down, it was simply this: “This game is still so good.”
Few games are as stunningly beautiful as Drinkbox Studios' Severed. It's a game that's vibrant and full of life, with colors that pop off the screen. This liveliness is a direct contrast to the story and thematic content driving Severed, which is a somber tale of loss and righting the wrongs committed against our hero's family. It all serves as the foundation for a deep, action-intensive dungeon-crawler, that dishes all its gameplay out in perfectly sized segments. Though some developers have struggled to craft unique and memorable games for the Vita, Drinkbox has managed to do just that and then some with Severed.
There's a moment in the beginning chapters of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End where series hero Nathan Drake and his wife Elena sit at home on their couch and eat dinner while talking ,as two normal people living normal lives in a normal house. The dissonance of this scene compared to the expected run and gun Indiana Jones-style action of the franchise is deafening, and yet this brief moment of routine sets a perfect tone for the rest of the game.
Hitman’s first episode took place in Paris, but it really didn’t show much of the actual city as most of the action took place indoors. Not that it had to, since just hearing the name Paris inspires all types of mental imagery and the fashion show featured in the first Hitman episode really captured that modern high-fashion feeling. This episode takes place in Sapienza, Italy and unless you’re familiar with some of the lesser known towns in Italy this name doesn’t evoke the same icons that Paris does. Despite that, this episode’s mission features a beautiful and more fully realized environment than its predecessor.
The first two chapters of The Walking Dead: Michonne took some time getting to the core of what made this mini-series special. Both "In Too Deep" and "No Shelter" had some great introspective moments for Michonne, but the story points driving them along weren't nearly as compelling as what was unfolding in Michonne's head. With the final episode, all of the elements finally pull together to deliver a haunting, gut-wrenching conclusion that gives Michonne more depth, and will have you wondering if we get what we deserve or we deserve what we get.
When we talk about video games, there is and perhaps always will be a debate going on about the fun factor of a game and how that dictates the game’s worth. iNK Stories & N-Fusion Interactive’s 1979 Revolution: Black Friday is the kind of game that is likely to add fuel to that debate. In a world where racial, religious and political tensions are still unfortunately in the spotlight, 1979 chooses to observe the revolution that took place in Iran against the monarchy led by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The game has some slight technical flaws and pacing issues that work against its goal, but it is nonetheless a gripping snapshot of human hope, passion and cruelty from a personal perspective.
Square Enix fans often complain about seemingly contradictory things when it comes to their favorite RPG company. "Square Enix experiments too much," say some fans, "they redesign each Final Fantasy game so much that each one barely resembles the last." Other fans complain that Square Enix's other big RPG series, Dragon Warrior, doesn't experiment enough, and that its latest entries are still far too similar to the NES games of decades past. When Bravely Default arrived in 2012, it satisfied both camps thanks to its bold, yet familiar, RPG framework. Bravely Second continues in the footsteps of its predecessor, trying again to find that magic oasis of fun which balances out the old and the new.
"It's about time you showed up, Fox!" After eleven years, the ace fighter pilot and his team of mercenaries are returning to a home console in Star Fox Zero, and a long hiatus like that creates some major expectations. Surely if Nintendo thought it was time to bring back Star Fox now there'd be some big things in store, right? Well it seems those "big ideas" aren't quite as big as I had hoped.
The Ratchet and Clank series has been around long enough to earn a number entries for the franchise. While most of them have been the third-person action platformers the series is known for, there have been outliers throughout the years. Games like Ratchet and Clank: All 4 one and Full Frontal Assault added things like drop-in drop-out co-op and tower defense elements to deviate from the formula. This year's revisiting of Ratchet and Clank attempts to take the series back to its roots, while also tying into the upcoming movie that retells the events of the first game. Ratchet and Clank isn’t a remaster or a direct remake of the original because of it. More than anything the changes made in this reboot have improved on what made the first game so memorable.