Narrative-heavy games always have a particular set of challenges to overcome to bridge a gap that makes them worth a player’s time. The story has to be good enough to carry a lack of actual gameplay elements without overdoing it and collapsing upon itself. Furthermore, the gameplay elements that are present have to be meaningful and interesting enough to maintain engagement without weighing down the story in something too meddlesome or extraneous. For Zero Escape, a series that has previously seemed to delight in the convoluted, balancing story and gameplay has been hit or miss. Thankfully, the third game in the series, Zero Time Dilemma, is adventure full of disturbing and compelling twists and turns with gameplay make it interesting and inviting, even if you haven’t followed the series from the very beginning.
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Most of the time, the very idea and implied existence is the most unsettling aspect of the eldritch creatures in these stories. These 10 blasphemous creatures embody H.P. Lovecraft’s cosmic horror better than any other.
Umbrella Corps is a mess from concept to execution. The fan service in the game is surface level to the point where you’d really have to try to care about anything going on. The shooting mechanics are a dizzying array of ideas competing against each other and falling head over heels in a frustrating mess in the process. This game seems like one last ditch attempt to cash in on the story lines and styles that have been established so far, but none of it is worked or smoothed out to make something cohesive. The only thing it really succeeds in is convincing us Umbrella is the worst and most incompetent company anyone could ever have the misfortune of working for.
Kirby: Planet Robobot was a blast from start to finish. The platforming, combat and level design are better than they’ve ever been in a Kirby game. The new Robobot Armor is fun to use, especially with all of the enemy abilities, though it does have some disappointing limitations. Coupled with the great use of the 3D environments on a 2D plane, Kirby: Planet Robobot has become my favorite Kirby game.
The anchor of Ubisoft’s E3 2015 press conference was a wild four-player co-op experience, with a team of special agents infiltrating a cartel base. That game was Ghost Recon: Wildlands, and since then we’ve not heard a lot about the game. That all changed at this year’s E3, where the game not only have major stage time during the 2106 Ubi conference, but a playable demo was available at the Ubi booth. A trio of media and I suited up and joined a member of the dev team on a secret Ghost Recon mission, and I’m very intrigued by what I played.
After several years, delays, and missteps, the Kickstarter-funded Mighty No. 9 is here, and believe me when I say that the supposed spiritual successor to Mega Man is a Mega Bust.
Believe it or not, I'm on my third copy of Sonic Shuffle. It’s a game I've played so much that the discs show their wear, back when review scores didn't influence purchases as persuasively as rentals and when game reception wasn't trapped in bubbles enforced by online commentary. When I later discovered that this game I loved got hammered with criticism, I was puzzled by negativity I felt was unwarranted. Some insist Sonic Shuffle is a Mario Party rip-off, unoriginal and dominated by fault-ridden gameplay. I see things differently.
Sure Sonic has had some rough times, but there’s no denying the genuine charm of the character and the franchise when it is in proper form. That’s is, after all, why we still care if a new Sonic game is good or bad isn’t it? Today is the day it all started back in 1991. It was today that the original Sonic the Hedgehog hit shelves.
Absolver is not your average fighting game. The term “fighting game” normally elicits two immediate thoughts: 2D fighters like Street Fighter or 3D brawlers like Tekken. While Absolver looks like it should fit the 3D fighter mold, this is a game that acts more like Journey than it does a typical fighter. That sounds like a strange combination but it absolutely works, and my time with the game at Devolver’s E3 parking lot jamboree has planted Absolver firmly on my most anticipated list.
At E3 2015 Ubisoft debuted For Honor, a brand new action game focusing on the brutal art of swordfighting. The knights, vikings, and samurai of this war-torn world dazzled me during that show, giving me high hopes that this year’s E3 would give me even more epic sword battles to feast upon. Ubisoft happily obliged, introducing a brand new chapter in the game’s campaign mode and letting me once again take up my sword against the enemy hordes, and I left E3 2016 just as high on For Honor as I had the year before.