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?
“Pac is back,” touts the back of the box, despite Pac-Man not actually having gone anywhere. It’s cool, though; I get the sentiment. Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is a new cartoon for a new generation of Pac-Man fans, and this is the logical video game tie-in. It’s pretty inoffensive as far as platformers aimed squarely at children go, and has a bit of charm that ensures the game a full-page ad in this year’s GameStop Holiday Guide. As cynical a cash grab this may be, it isn’t without merit. READ MORE
WWE 2K14 is exactly what you should expect from a yearly WWE title, but a lot better. The mechanics have been tweaked to great effect, the customization options are mind-boggling and the story mode adds a healthy dose of history to the mix that will make fans both old and new very happy. READ MORE
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, more than any other game I’ve ever played, is less of a game and more a collection of toys that happen to have a story connecting them. Regardless of where I’m sending Edward or why, my face erupts into a huge smile every time I hit traveling speed and the crew of the Jackdaw breaks out into song. Just like I did with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, I could sail the seas for hours, take in the sights and feel like my time was well-spent. It’s only improved by listening to excellent renditions of “Drunken Sailor” and “Spanish Ladies” while I marvel at the beautiful scenery created by Ubisoft. READ MORE
The Dark Knight has come a long way since the days of the first Batman games. It had gotten so bad that any fans of the character were thankful for even a mediocre game. Thankfully, 2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum changed everything for both Batman and comic-based games in general. Both it and its follow-up, Arkham City, are considered by many to be two of the best superhero games around.
Now, with Batman: Arkham Origins, a new developer is brought on to tell a prequel story all about Batman’s first encounters with some of his most famous villains. After two stellar titles, expectations are high; unfortunately, the game fails to meet those expectations in many ways.
Tt Games struck gold with Lego Star Wars in 2005, and the concept still works more than 10 games later. Lego Marvel Super Heroes, thankfully and unsurprisingly, takes its cues more from Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes than from Lego Lord of the Rings, which means that while the world is wide open, it feels a bit more contained. Normally in an open-world game you want more space instead of less, but packing the activities closer together for a dense experience works when the traversal is just a means to an end. As much as I love the Lord of the Rings universe, I was ready for a central hub and level select like the older games have, and I never felt that way while playing Lego Marvel Super Heroes. READ MORE
Skylanders, the franchise filled with both dungeon-crawling fun and rampant consumerism, is back for a third installment. The second, Giants, suffered from a series of half-steps, from a largely-recycled engine and hastily-put-together levels to mechanical innovation that’s largely limited to “what if you were really big?” It was also fairly short. Thankfully, Vicarious Visions steps in as lead developer for Swap Force, bringing in some fresh concepts as well as a desire to both prove itself and sustain a retail empire that could collapse without proper care. READ MORE
At first glance, Armored Core looks a lot like a mech-based action game. When you go deeper, you realize it’s more simulation than action, and certainly not comparable to anything else on the market. Grizzled mech fans will find that the Armored Core franchise offers a lot of familiar concepts to go with all of the exclusive mechanics. READ MORE