Axiom Verge - PC Review

This homage to Metroid does not just respect the formula - it improves it

Order of Battle: Pacific - PC Review

Surprise - but this is one of the best strategy games of 2015 so far

Gratuitous Space Battles II - PC Review

Get ready for lots of strategic space combat - your time will be well spent

MLB 15: The Show - PS4 Review

It is still the best game of baseball on the market, though the improvements from last year are minimal

Sayonara UmiharaKawase + - PS Vita Review

A challenging platforming title that gets an update for the Vita - but has it aged well?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Record of Agarest War Zero - PlayStation 3 Review

 Good morning.  I decided to update my color scheme to be much more summery green and yellow, as it has been a blistering week up here, at least by Michigan standards.  Halo as a backdrop seemed appropriate since my son and I spent most of the 4th playing the Anniversary Edition.  Here's a review to cap off the weekend.  TGIF and I hope you all have an excellent weekend!

One of the earliest games I reviewed on this site was the original Record of Agarest War. I then went back to reevaluate the title not too terribly long ago, after reading about the upcoming Record of Agarest War 2.  This is not a series for anyone.  In fact, truth be told, it really only seems to appeal to a fairly narrow group of gamers, but I just happen to fall into that group.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Crayon Physics Deluxe - PC Review

Another small review here, as this was a title I had never even heard of before getting it with one of my Humble Bundle purchases last year.  I never played any titles like Scribblenauts or Drawn to Life where you get so much control over your encounters, so the idea here is completely novel to me.  The premise is incredibly simple in that you try to move a ball to a target zone while trying to collect 'stars' based on the kind of solution you find.  There is so much flexibility built into this game, because you use your mouse to draw out slopes and objects that can scoop and spin to propel the ball where you want it.  Each level comes with a different layout that you must overcome, and while some are incredibly easy - others are devilishly difficult.

The graphics are not going to amaze anyone from a technical level, but the style is amazing.  You look like you are drawing on paper with crayons, and while that does not sound like much, it is a clever way to present the game's potentially deep mechanics in an appealing way that will appeal to kids.  Sound and music fail to impress as there really is very little in the way of sound to be had here, and the music while pleasant, is not remarkable in any way.  None of it ties into the game in a way that benefits you, so it is all largely forgetable.

The gameplay is hard to try and critique because so much of what happens is open to your imagination.  You can tackles levels in so many different ways.  One level had me pretty well stumped somewhere in the high 50's (there's 70 or so levels, so lots of variety there as well), so I looked it up on Youtube.  What I discovered first of all made me go 'duh' at my own inability to realize the solution - especially when I saw probably eight or nine variants to the solution.

Overall I beat the game in around four or five hours just going straight through it, but if you like the formula?  There's a ton of replay value to be had here given the above paragraph's realization.  It is not a terribly difficult game, but my kids definitely got stumped later on and needed my help more and more frequently as they progressed, but the charming visuals and openly creative puzzle solving really appealed to them and myself.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

I just wanted to take a moment to say a couple of very quick things.  The first?  Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction - Xbox 360 Review

So this was a game I picked up around a year or so ago very cheaply.  I recalled it getting an outstanding score on IGN and a few other sites, so when I saw it for around ten bucks used, I decided to pick it up.  Then it sat on my gaming shelf, untouched for a long time.  Then one of my buddies at work said he was looking for something new to play at the time, and I knew he was a huge fan of sports and Call of Duty games.  I pointed out that I had Splinter Cell, which I had heard was good, but had not gotten around to playing yet, so he agreed to try it.  He beat it over the weekend and told me it was short, but a lot of fun so I should try it.

So, that next Saturday I did just that, and he was right on both counts.  The game is very short, but it is a lot of fun as well.

Monday, July 2, 2012

So, how was the weekend and any plans this week?

So I have a pretty relaxing weekend with lots of gaming.  Finished off Naruto Ninja Storm 2, nearly done with Game of Thrones, almost have the campaign for Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers done and put a sizable dent into Elemental Monsters Online HD.  I also started White Knight Chronicles 2.  I have some new decks assembled for Magic: The Gathering tonight at work I'm looking forward to trying as well.