Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category
It’s that time again where Fred and Jam bring a whopping 40 games to the table to judge, debate, explain, and dissect until the elite top 10 get lined up and find out who takes home the coveted top spot. Be sure to submit your personal list for the Community Top 10!
Please Note: Many reviewers out there seem to think it is appropriate to discuss the events of previous episodes of Life is Strange as if everyone who would read it damn well should have already played the previous episodes. It has been my experience that if you have held out this long and haven’t already played this episode then you are most likely wondering how the game progresses throughout the season and will decide whether or not to buy when all episodes are out. This is why each episodic review is spoiler free for the entire season, not just this episode.
Episode 4: Dark Room
We have arrived at episode 4, nearing the end of the season and who knows, perhaps this episode contains the major climax for the arc. I say this without assurance because episode 3 had such an unexpected cliffhanger that I didn’t think it was possible to get me again. I was wrong. That being said I need to come right out and say I was a little unimpressed overall with episode 4, proving that the warning I gave in the first episode’s review may have actually come to fruition. Whereas episodes 2 and especially three can begin to fork based off of your choices and possibly even suggest that two playthroughs is more of a recommendation rather than an option, episode 4 is forcing you down a corridor. Granted, it’s a well calculated corridor that presents itself with the illusion of choice, but I’ve seen this trick before in The Walking Dead series from Telltale and without sounding catty, I thought Dontnod was above that. There’s a decent amount of substance here still, with the story having easily its highest moment yet as the episode closes and again there are some strong emotional scenes that make up a very heavy episode. One thing I do find a bit troubling is the fact that as certain plots unfold, others are left almost unmentioned, which nets a lot of catch up, wrap up, and resolution required for the fifth and final episode. I’m just hoping that it remains as interactive as the others have been and doesn’t become the 90 minute ending of Metal Gear Solid 4. Dontnod has yet to convince me they don’t know how to craft a story and without a doubt they know how to catch my interest, here’s hoping the ending stands as strongly as the jaw-dropping cliffhangers of previous episodes.
One of the most common questions I have been asked in regards to fighting games is, “why is Street Fighter II a sequel? Where is Street Fighter?” An understandable question, especially when you consider that the original Street Fighter was released in arcades a whopping four years later, plays completely different from its sequel, and was called Fighting Street in its only US console release (on the Turbografx-CD no less). If you’re a fan of Street Fighter II, the concept of getting to see where the series starts is tempting to say the least (and now completely possible without expensive hardware thanks to the virtual console and Capcom Collection), but you’ll soon find that Street Fighter is much more of a proof of concept rather than a fighting game that pre-dates the record setting sequel.
Writers Notes: In an attempt to make my comeback in game reviewing I wanted to get nostalgic again and revisit the first video game review I ever wrote. But since film and game developers seem to love to remaster everything, I thought I would jump on that bandwagon and re work my old review. Enjoy and hopefully you will see more content from me soon. Today I am going to revisit the 16-bit hit Shadows of the Beast II on the Sega Mega Drive developed by Reflections Interactive and published by the late Psygnosis. I decided to return once again to this brutally challenging game and see if I still remember how to play through what is a relatively short experience (if you know what you are doing).
Alpha Protocol is a game designed around choice, optimized for espionage, and works really hard at having you roleplay as the type of secret agent you want to be. During our game club podcast, we all would refer to our handling of Agent Michael Thorton as “being in character,” which goes a long way in telling you just how immersed in the game one can get. Before you go thinking this means you’ll feel like a true secret agent, there are many aspects of Alpha Protocol – the most notable probably being the game glitches and bugs – that will remind you time and time again that this is a game and tethered to the tropes of such. Still, as time has gone on and the fact that we have rarely seen games quite like it, Alpha Protocol has had a lasting impression and subsequent cult following that we not so warmly embraced when it released up against the likes of powerhouses like Mass Effect 2. It’s time to take a critical eye to this self-proclaimed “Espionage RPG” and figure out if it’s more James Bond or Maxwell Smart.
The life simulator genre is quite popular in Japan, but it seems that every time it makes its way to America or Europe, the titles are mostly seen with contempt. A handful of games have transcended the trip from the East to the West, but these titles have appeared more recently save for the one standout: Shenmue. Originally planned as an AM2 title for the Saturn led by Yu Suzuki, Shenmue ended up being a near-launch Dreamcast game that was seen as an influential powerhouse for gamers of the time. It now sits as one of those games that is only appreciated by the smaller avid fan community, but looking back at reviews almost every outlet that existed in 2000 loved it. Although it has now been 15 years since its release – and despite the fact that until recently I had never played it – Shenmue‘s draw, attributes, and puzzling attraction are just as present now as they were the day it released.
This week Retro Game Night features Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom for the NES. One of the many games that had a non-traditional arcade-to-console port, this licensed product was significant because it was an unlicensed Tengen game and then eventually became an officially licensed Mindscape game, so there are two identical versions in the wild. Fred goofs around with it a bit to give the general gist.
Fred has never played Operation Raccoon City and after it was mentioned on the most recent Silent Evil Episode, he finally decided to join veteran to the game and co-host Jam for a co-op session. This is the result.
Warning: This video contains adult language and graphic violence. The chat language is quite offensive as well.