In 2007, the shift over to next generation consoles was in full swing. Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 had been on the market for some time and developers were getting comfortable working with the new and more powerful machines. Rockstar North in particular had still been running on Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Liberty City Stories, and Vice City Stories in 2004, 2005 and 2006 respectively without a true foray into the then-next generation. Rockstar North wouldn’t stay quiet forever though and just a couple years later, it would come forth with one of the most substantial updates to the Grand Theft Auto formula since its transfer to 3D space with Grand Theft Auto 3. Today, we celebrate Grand Theft Auto IV’s arrival on shelves in North America and the standard it set for next-gen open world games going forward.
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.
The Xenomorph of Alien franchise fame has been around for several decades and in that time, it has become a practically unavoidable science-fiction horror icon. Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece set an amazingly high bar in terms of atmospheric set and sound design with the addition of gruesome set pieces and masterful monster appearances that would haunt viewers’ dreams for decades. It’s only natural with such an explosively popular franchise and widespread fanbase that video game developers would want to get their shot at portraying that license. Indeed, the Alien franchise has seen its share of video game adaptations across the many years since the release of the original.
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.
Imagine having to follow up a legendary piece of media with something better. Can you put yourself in a place where fans ask you to take the thing you made that revolutionized a genre and make a follow-up that’s not only on par, but continues to push the envelope? That’s where Portal 2 was as it entered the gaming community’s collective radar. The game had an enormously high bar to clear with the original Portal, which was renowned for its excellent design, ingenious mechanics, and bizarre and somber, yet cynically humorous themes. Fortunately for all of Valve and Portal’s many fans, Gabe Newell’s team was well up to the task and years later, we celebrate the amazing sequel that was Portal 2.
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.
Hack n’ Slash games are a relatively flexible genre in gaming. One could argue that any game where you’re swinging a sword can be a hack n’ slash. That’s not enough though. The fact is that when you’re playing one, you know it. It’s undeniable. Your blood gets pumping, your hands get tight, and every breath is a moment of anticipation for the next slayable challenge in the game. Hack n’ Slash games are renowned for their ability to bring high-octane fun to players everywhere, even if the actual gameplay can be a bit shallow sometimes. That said, these games are the apex of action-packed.
As realization crept in that money was spent on this product or that it would be the game you had to sit around with for a while, it dawned on you: these particular games featuring those names you love so much were garbage. These are the 10 Worst Spinoffs in Video Games.