Knack II Review
When the PlayStation 4 launched in 2013, Knack was one of a small handful of exclusives to arrive with Sony's latest console. Unfortunately for Sony, it wasn't met with much acclaim, leaving the fate of the franchise up in the air. Now four years later, Sony's Japan Studio and director/creator Mark Cerny are back with a sequel that improves on the original in a lot of ways. Knack II calls back to the action platformers of Sony's early days, and though it doesn't do anything remarkable, it's a simple and enjoyable escape.
There are few absolute truths in this world, but one of them is death. We're all going to die. It's a grim, sad fact, but we all face mortality eventually. Unlike the character in Sundered, who lives a Groundhog Day experience in a world full of eldritch horrors, we only have to face the dark embrace once in our lives. You're going to die a lot in Sundered, but it's all part of the plan. It's a tormented way to let players experience the terrors of eldritch monsters, but it's just so dang pretty you won't mind much anyway.
Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy Review
Like Sonic the Hedgehog before him, Crash Bandicoot tried to be everything the family friendly Mario wasn't. Naughty Dog's wild, spinning beast was brash and had a "crazy" attitude. All that personality doesn't get you anywhere if the game itself is a bust though, and fortunately for Sony, the core Crash Bandicoot trilogy was well-received and incredibly popular. It's with nostalgia-tinted glasses that Vicarious Visions returned to Crash for a modern-day update, and this anniversary collection is just what fans deserve. Even if the Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy is more challenging that it was decades ago.
E3 2017: The Artful Escape Preview
No matter how fleeting the feeling, we've all dreamed of being a rock star at one time or another in our lives. Some video games have come close to giving us that feeling, with the likes of Rock Band and Guitar Hero putting the power directly in our hands. Few developers have looked beyond the rhythm to the central source of those desires, but with The Artful Escape, Beethoven & Dinosaur can count itself among them. Rather than turning us into the greatest cover band in the virtual world, The Artful Escape takes us on a psychedelic trip through the multiverse to find the artist within.
E3 2017: Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 Preview
I honestly didn't know how badly I wanted to see one of Jack Kirby's Celestials in Lego form until I played Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2. It was amazing to see such an iconic design rendered in the block form Lego is known for without losing any of that Kirby aesthetic. Just the opening moments of the demo at E3 left me in awe, and for that reason alone I'm excited to play more Lego Super Heroes 2. Good for this game, there are plenty more reasons to be excited too.
E3 2017: Super Mario Odyssey Preview
There are three things that define Mario as an icon. The first is his mustache, the second is his overalls, and the third is that bright red cap. Over the years, Mario's worn a number of different outfits, but the mustache and the hat have always been a central part of identifying Nintendo's star mascot. With Super Mario Odyssey, Nintendo is finally giving the hat a bit more of a purpose, and a personality. By making Mario's chapeau a living, breathing character with its own abilities, Super Mario Odyssey opens a range of possibilities that are a lot of fun to explore.
PAX East 2017: Checking Out International Indies Asura and Semblance
It's refreshing to make it to the smaller booths and see what developers outside of the US think of PAX East, and how their backgrounds affect the ways they approach game design.