January 2013


When rebooting a franchise, you have to take into careful consideration what made that franchise so well-liked to begin with. When rebooting a franchise with a different developer at the helm, your chances of appealing to hardcore fans of the previous games has been reduced exponentially. Despite the outcries those fans, DmC: Devil May Cry manages to capture everything that was great about the original games, while carving out an identity that’s all its own. READ MORE


I’m not a big fan of PC gaming, at least not anymore. Yet, every now and again, a small title comes along that catches my attention and practically begs me to play it. These are usually indie darlings with a lot of interesting elements that lead to an uneven, but ultimately rewarding experience. Cart Life, a “retail simulator for Windows” that was released back in 2011, is one such game. It’s a title that demands so much, but in return gives you a look at the life of a character with a somewhat common and compelling story to tell.

Above all else, Cart Life demonstrates that you can ask the player to embark on the most tedious of journeys, if the end goal is ultimately something worth caring about. READ MORE


In previous columns I have discussed Fury of Dracula and Letters from Whitechapel (reprint from Fantasy Flight coming Q2 2013!), two games featuring one player making hidden movements while everybody else tries to track them down via various clues they discover along the way. This time, I’m digging all the way back to 1983 and one of the originators of the hidden-movement mechanic, Scotland Yard (most recently published in the US by Ravensburger). Yes, 1983. My version is the twentieth anniversary edition that was just re-released in time for its thirtieth anniversary, and the gameplay is still as solid now as I’m sure it was revolutionary thirty years ago. READ MORE


Japanese developer Irem, the team best known for the R-Type­ series, was one of those studios that was easy to love. While its track record wasn’t exactly spotless, it developed a number of quirky (if problematic) titles that demonstrated their talents in remarkable ways. My personal favorite from them was a unique action-RPG called Steambot Chronicles, a game that was as much about player agency as it was punching things with a giant mech-suit. READ MORE


I feel like I need to apologize. I wanted to enjoy Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt. I love the Borderlands 2 base game, I liked Captain Scarlett and the Badass Crater of Badassitude as narrated by Mr. Torgue might be my favorite piece of DLC released all of last year. Coming off of that high, Hammerlock had a lot to live up to, and he just couldn’t do it. READ MORE