Reviews

Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold

Like many genres steeped in nostalgia, there has been a first-person dungeon-crawler renaissance, specifically on handhelds. One of the key factors of this slow, undeniable resurgence of the genre is Atlus’ Etrian Odyssey series. Etrian Odyssey’s focus on providing a challenging and rewarding dungeon-crawling experience over an expansive narrative was admirable, but the potential for a story-focused adventure was there.

Two years after the release of the original Untold, Etrian Odyssey Untold 2 is here and takes the concept of a story-focused Etrian Odyssey title and expand on it. Unfortunately, like the original, it doesn’t quite hit the mark.

READ MORE

Lost Dimension

“Trust no one.”

It’s a phrase that’s often uttered, but no game has really delivered on the promise that lies within it. After all, you may find a traitor in your midst in a game, but it’s usually an isolated incident and always something you can know ahead of time with a little research. Lost Dimension‘s very premise takes on the challenge: anyone around you could turn on you at any moment. In fact, the game’s main adversary, a fellow appropriately named The End, comes across as the most trustworthy of them all: you can trust that he’s up to no good and messing with you at every turn.

Or can you? This is a game that revels in challenging your assumptions, and pays off just often enough to keep your suspicions high. READ MORE

batman-arkham-knight-screenshot-032714-01

After three games and a handful of titles borrowing its approach to combat and stealth, the “final” game in Rocksteady’s Arkham series is here. Batman: Arkham Knight follows the tradition of the previous games, seeking to expand the scope even more by giving you a handful of new abilities and way to traverse the gigantic city of Gotham.

READ MORE

Super Exploding Zoo

Super Exploding Zoo, at first glance is a simple puzzle game with cute graphics. It looks like something you might find on Kongregate: fast, easy to explain and teeming with short enough levels to play four or five while waiting for something else to happen. The first few levels do nothing to dispel that notion. You’ll guide an animal through a simple level, collect some companion animals, blow some stuff up along the way, kill the monsters and win. READ MORE

Massive Chalice

Massive Chalice isn’t perfect. I could spend 30 minutes complaining about poor enemy placements, stupid house mottos and enemies that just aren’t fun to fight. But after finishing a campaign and failing to save the kingdom, what I’m left with is an appreciation for the terrifying enemies, the intricacies of arranging marriages and the strategy that goes into deciding whether I should force one of my fighters into the Sagewright Guild to aid in research instead of leaving him on the roster in case I need his battle expertise in a few years. READ MORE

Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy

Dungeon-crawlers have had a resurgence in popularity in recent years, led by the PC indie game scene and the Etrian Odyssey series. As a result, more and more niche titles have been getting a chance here, particularly on systems like the Vita. Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy is the newest entry in the genre from Experience Inc. (the studio behind Demon Gaze), but it’s not necessarily a step forward for the company. READ MORE

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth2: Sisters Generation is the latest in the long line of JRPGs to land on Steam, a port of a Vita remake of what was originally Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2 on the PS3. As with the Vita release, it does little to sway anyone who wasn’t already a fan of the series, but it does make some pretty big improvements over the PS3 original. READ MORE

Chip's Challenge 2

If you grew up in the ’90s and you had a PC, then there’s a good chance that you played Chip’s Challenge at some point. If you enjoyed the dual challenges of figuring out the solution to each level and of avoiding all the enemies when executing it, then it was disappointing that Chip’s Challenge 2 was stuck in publishing purgatory. A purgatory that finally, after 25 years, has ended.  Now that it’s finally out, how does it hold up? READ MORE

WiiU_Splatoon_screen_PortMackerel_01

When you hear the phrase “online team-based shooter,” Nintendo is usually the last company you think is involved. The company best-known for colorful, cartoon-like platformers and family-friendly franchise party games has dabbled in competitive online play with recent Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. titles, but those modes were additional options to their respective games and never the main attractions. But at E3 last year, Nintendo unveiled Splatoon to the world, representing both a new IP and a new approach toward online play from the house that Mario built. READ MORE

ss_251d8a4113b2ea042e97364b2088a78d597ee5da.1920x1080

Magicka 2 is at its best in cooperative play. It plays better with two than with one, it plays better with three than with two, and it plays better with four than with three. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really shine with any number. It never becomes that game that I want it to be. All through the campaign, my prevailing thought was “I hope that the next enemies are more fun to fight,” and the only difference was that when I had friends in the room or over PSN, those thoughts were said out loud instead of internalized. READ MORE