There’s a growing trend in game remakes that has proven to be somewhat of a double-edged sword. A lot of games are being remastered in high definition, and released with a sequel or two on the same disc. While some HD remaster collections add new features or even bits of content to give the player more incentive to pick up the pack, there are many that offer nothing more than a resolution bump. This is fruitful for the interests of game preservation and keeping classics relevant and available, but it also sets a worrisome precedent for remakes as a whole. Most of these games remain fine as they are, but the fact that it has become so easy for publishers to repackage one or two old titles without giving them the careful and lavish presentation upgrade they deserve is disappointing. READ MORE
South Park: The Stick of Truth is meant as an earnest effort by South Park Digital Studios and Obsidian Entertainment to make a game that truly embraces the license of the show. This has certainly been a problem in the past, as the South Park name has been slapped on all manner of horrible things since the series began its run. In this aspect, Stick of Truth is a resounding success: it doesn’t just feel like it’s faithful to the South Park name, it feels like an interactive, especially-long episode of South Park.
The long-dormant Thief franchise is considered by many to be a pioneer of the stealth genre. Eidos Montreal, the team behind the successful revival of the Deus Ex series, is back with their take on this classic. This new game, simply titled Thief, brings the genre back to its roots by attempting to focus on what made the original games so compelling, while also making it more approachable for newcomers.
Capcom’s Strider series began its life as an arcade action-platformer before slowly making its way to home consoles. Soon enough, however, Strider simply disappeared, relegating its lead character, Hiryu, to guest appearances in crossover titles such as the Marvel vs. Capcom series. Rumors of the return of this iconic franchise circled for years before a new game, developed by Double Helix, was announced. While this new Strider may not be a perfect recreation of the earlier titles, it differentiates itself by adding a new twist to a well-worn formula.
After four years and two initially-unplanned sequels, the tale of Final Fantasy XIII is at last complete. Set centuries after the events of XIII-2, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII gives Lightning thirteen days to save humanity from the end of the world. A harder task still may be saving the series from wearing thin after its less-than-universally-loved predecessors. READ MORE
In the first season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead, the characters felt real, the interactions felt genuine and and the adventure felt personal. You didn’t save the world, but you mattered immensely to Clementine and shaped the person she has become in the second season. Lee doesn’t make the return trip for season two, and instead of giving Clementine another caretaker, Telltale has taken the gutsy move of making a young girl the player character. READ MORE
To some extent, fighters fall into a specific niche that only certain players can get into. When you dig deeper, that number gets even smaller, especially with anime fighters since, in general, knowledge of the source material is needed. If there were ever an award for most obscure source material, Aquapazza would win it easily. How does it hold up as a fighter when not many Westerners are familiar with the licensed characters and setting?
Contrast is an interesting game. I wish it were a better game, because the setting is great, the characters are interesting and the soundtrack did something that few others do: it caused me to stop playing, so that I could better appreciate the music. It’s held down, though, by what all games need to be successful: gameplay. READ MORE
The team behind Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! certainly had all the pieces in place to make a compelling title. WayForward has a long history of making good-to-great experiences using licensed properties, and the show (especially creator Pendleton Ward) certainly enjoys and reveres the medium. The first collaboration was a riff on Zelda II, an inspired choice that was nostalgic without being overdone. This second title’s inspirations are less clear. READ MORE
It’s been a hearty ten years since the original release of Soul Calibur II back on the PS2, Xbox and GameCube. Often regarded as one of the best entries in the series by the fans, it’s a welcome return to see this game get the HD makeover many games of its generation have been receiving. But how well does this game hold up against the test of time?