The Last of Us Remastered - PS4 Review

Absolutely worth going back to one more time

Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee - New 'n' Tasty - PS4 Review

Beautifully updated, this classic title holds up amazingly well still today

AR-K - PC Review

A surprisingly fun adventure title for the PC that is worth a look

Dark Souls II and Crown of the Suken King - Xbox 360 Review

An amazing game gets an outstanding first piece of DLC content

Sweet Lilly Dreams - PC Review

An echanting dream

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gaming thoughts - 11/24/11 - Thanksgiving....

First off, happy Thanksgiving everyone.

I know not everyone celebrates it, and those that do celebrate it differently, but this is probably my favorite holiday of the year. We stay home, I cook loads of food, I watch the Lions play (and usually lose, but they are certainly getting better) and I get a handful of days off of work, which is always a plus.

Likely I'll be doing lots of shopping tonight/tomorrow - my wife loves Black Friday. I hate shopping. H-A-T-E it. 99% of the time, I know what I am going to grab at a store before going in, and I'm done 5 minutes later. Or I just order it online. My wife? Not so much. She likes to browse. And then look over her browsings. And sometimes deliberate on those browsings she has looked over. When she first started going to Black Friday deals, she went with her aunt. Now? Now I go. But it's hard to argue with the value. There's some pretty good deals out there too, especially for gamers.

We're pretty... well, set on consoles. The only thing I'd consider is a 3DS at this point. And sure, I'd like another big shiny TV at a ridiculously low price, but I'll probably pass for now. I may investigate 3D tv's come spring though when I get my tax returns - anyone had any experiences (good or bad) with those yet?

Moving on - game deals. So, I have one kid who wants Bioshocks 1 & 2 - and I know that Walmart has part 2 for $10 on Black Friday. There's also Epic Mickey for $15. Walmart also has Battlefield 3, Infamous 2 and Batman Arkham City for $26. Mejier has NBA 2k12 for $30. So... I have some options. What about the rest of you?

Doing anything special for the holiday? Going to battle insane crowds for any shopping deals? Aware of any other great deals gamers in particular might be interested in? (If I go 3DS, I am totally looking at that Zelda packaged one for $200).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Game Deals for 11/23/11

Two sets of game deals right now are out there.

Amazon has downloaded games for 50% off or more here. For me, the new Might and Magic: Heroes title caught my eye.

And on the Steam front, they're kicking off their Autumn sale now and continuing to do new deals over the weekend. Some titles like Portal 2 are $10.

Both are probably worth a look if you're interested in downloadable titles for your PC.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bob Came in Pieces - PC Review

Bob Came in Pieces is a charming little title that I got for free when I signed up for Steam last winter. It was not a game I would have gone out and gotten, but awhile back I decided to start going through more of my Steam backlog - and I started alphabetically, which put Bob here pretty close to the top.

The best way to describe this game is that it is a physics-based puzzler. You modify your ship to change how you fly and interact with your environment as you try to navigate the handful of puzzle-like landscapes you are attempting to navigate. Still, the question is - while free makes just about any game worthwhile, is this a title I would recommend to someone who actually has to buy it?

Graphics - 6:

Cute. Charming. Simple. These three adjectives really sum up most of what there is to say. Bright colors and clean but simple details represent Bob's trip. There is not a whole lot going on in the environment, but the game is cute in its own right.

Sound & Music - 5:

The cute and charming thing works better visually than aurally. Here there is just not enough interesting going on in the music or audio and the game feels somewhat empty to me as a result, which leaves me wanting a bit more engagement from the game.

Gameplay - 5:

I have to beat this game up a bit. The menu interface is fairly effective once you learn your way around it, but I didn't really enjoy customizing my ship. Too often the process felt cumbersome later in the game when you have too many options. On top of that, the ship handles so poorly at times. Of course, that is a part of the challenge, but I prefer my games not be so frustrating. I like a good brain teaser, but sometimes the controls left me wondering if my approach was completely wrong, slightly wrong or if I was just assembled wrong in the first place. Credit to the tutorial though, that does a good job of explaining the game's mechanics most of the time.

Intangibles - 6:

The game's not very long, and the parts of the game where I got held up were more frustrating than properly challenging. Too often it felt like any sense of true progression had simply ground to a halt. There are some Steam achievements to be had though for people who do enjoy the game and put the time into it.

Overall - 5.5:

A quick story: My youngest really enjoyed the game's graphics and wanted to play, so I set her up with it. She was very excited and shot through the first level or so in no time. However, about forty minutes later, I walked by to see how she was progressing and she was playing a different game. I asked her what she thought of Bob Came in Pieces and she said she didn't like it anymore because it was too hard.

The visuals and sound just seem at odds with the gameplay itself, and makes it a game that my nine year old just didn't enjoy despite the fact that at first glance, she thought it looked like a lot of fun. My overall impressions were better early on than later too - but I just was not enjoying the game much after a few levels - and then you realize that there's not many levels to begin with, and it's a title I'd have to suggest trying the Steam demo of before putting down your $10 on it.