Gaining Kali’s trust (and her useful items) is only part one of gathering what I consider Spelunky’s perfect set of items. Unfortunately, the others you need to cross your fingers and hope for. The shopkeepers might stock some of these useful tools, but sometimes I run into stores and find nothing but bundles of ropes and maybe a small bag of bombs. Thanks for nothing, shopkeepers! READ MORE
After a couple years of dormancy, Race for the Galaxy has re-emerged with a new expansion, Alien Artifacts. However, unlike most expansions, Alien Artifacts is the beginning of a new arc for Race, incompatible with the previous add-ons. Games played with Alien Artifacts will be played with just it and the original base set, providing a fresh new take on these now-classic cards — and a smaller deck to shuffle, which is always nice. READ MORE
It took me 76 hours, but I finally beat Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together for the PSP. To say it was an arduous journey would be putting it lightly. I’ve had the game in my possession since it was launched in February 2011. My romantic notions of the game were quickly realized: this was no half-hearted attempt at a remake. This was a quality product. The effort shown in updating the visuals and introducing a system that allows you to remake game-changing decisions is welcome. It’s a meaty adventure, with hundreds of characters and unlimited possibilities to customize them. Sounds pretty good, right? But by the time the end credits rolled, I experienced a sense of relief instead of glory.
I can finally put this baby to rest after nearly three years of on-and-off sessions, but it won’t go down as one of my favorites, and I wouldn’t recommend it to any but the most hardcore fans of tactical RPGs. I could talk about how battles take an eternity to get through, or how managing your inventory is frustratingly monotonous, but my main complaint with my Tactics Ogre experience doesn’t have anything to do with the game itself. My biggest problem: I regret not using a walkthrough. READ MORE
When I first heard about Kali, Spelunky’s resident goddess who loves human sacrifices, I wasn’t sure what to think. It was recommended to me that, after rescuing a damsel, I make sure to bring her to an altar to sacrifice immediately. “Why would I do that when I could get some extra health from rescuing her?” I asked foolishly, ignorant of Kali’s amazing power. I learned my lesson quickly. READ MORE
It’s weird to think of Advance Wars as some sort of import series these days. After all, we’ve seen the last four entries in the West, and in some cases several years before they’re released in their original Japanese form. The last title, Days of Ruin, was released in the U.S. and Europe in 2008, after a breakneck localization process that saw completely different English names and conversations in the two regions. Japanese players could buy it… in October 2013. As a digital-only Club Nintendo reward. This is just the latest in the Famicom Wars franchise’s rocky, questionable release history, one sometimes affected by real-life conflict. READ MORE
Last week saw the release of Left Behind, the first (and only) story-related add-on content for The Last of Us. It both filled in a gap during the game’s main story and also focused heavily on Ellie’s life prior to her meeting Joel. I don’t often invest in downloadable content; once I finish a game and put it down, I rarely have a reason to pick it up again for extra content. Sometimes, however, you just need a little more. Left Behind delivered exactly what I was looking for, and also made me think a lot about story DLC and its impact on a game — especially if it comes out months after its initial release.
Spelunky’s level modifiers can be both a gift and a curse. I do spend most of my time in the mines running away from bats in terror, but these modifiers give me a reason to take my time. Some tend to pay off in ways you might not expect, like the dark levels being full of golden bugs which net you a ton of gold, but they often lead to unexpected deaths. I still find myself panicking around bats, but the modifier that terrifies me almost as much as those winged devils happens to involve many, many spiders. READ MORE
After much delay, Sentinels of the Multiverse: Vengeance has arrived to Kickstarter backers. Originally planned as a standalone expansion, it has since been re-branded as a “mega expansion” but could still be played on its own if you don’t mind the lack of HP tokens and possibly needing to download the core rulebook. More importantly, what Vengeance brings to the table is an entirely new way of playing Sentinels. READ MORE
I’m not a hardware guy. If somebody asks me what my computer’s specs are, I’ll admit I have no clue. It runs Dota 2 perfectly, and that’s good enough for me. I couldn’t care less how much RAM the PS4 has versus the Xbox One, or how much anti-aliasing the Wii U can handle. I say this without trepidation, because I know the power of hardware is irrelevant if it doesn’t have the software to match it. READ MORE
When I first approached indie darling Spelunky, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. My patience is lacking when it comes to games like it, yet I found myself able to give it another shot thanks to various people and a PlayStation Store sale. After a few more hours of excitement and frustration, it all suddenly made sense, and the wide world of Spelunky opened before me. READ MORE