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No one did arcade games like SNK with the Neo Geo. Everything with them was on a completely different level than the rest of the industry, with games that were both intense and fun. Sports games on the Neo Geo often took sports that didn’t seem like they would action packed and made it work, like with Neo Turf Masters. So imagine what they could do with Soccer/Football, a game known for its passionate fans.

Soccer Brawl was like an early predecessor to later games like Sega’s Soccer Slam and Super Mario Strikers/Mario Smash Football. It was less of a sports game, rather than an action game that used sports as basis for the action. The game is set in the future with soccer that is played with bionic people or cyborgs as the players. And with that description, how can this not be awesome?

Soccer Brawl is is a two-player game where your team is representing one of eight countries,. These countries are Germany, Japan, Brazil, The United States, Italy, Spain, England and South Korea. After selecting a team, you will then select one of two stadiums which will be a dome or an open field. Then you begin with a 5-on-5 match and the action gets intense. Forget all the rules for the game, because in this, there are no fouls and anything goes. This makes the game much closer to an intense brawler than you would expect.

Many cite Midway’s arcade sports games as being the games that defined what an arcade style sports game should be. Those people should look instead to SNK and games like this, because Soccer Brawl makes NBA Jam look tame in comparison. SNK threw out any pretense of realism and made it all about fun and action. This is a game that sadly hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Neo Turf Masters is well known ( deservedly so) and I cannot understand why Soccer Brawl doesn’t also get as much attention. Every modern sports game that uses arcade style action to differentiate itself ends up owing something to this game. I urge you all to check it out as it has just been released via Arcade Archives on modern systems. This is a damn good game, and one that I would love to see SNK revisit in the future.  It is too good to just be left in the past.

 

 

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A couple of years ago, Bethesda and Machine Games released Wolfenstein The New Order. It was a bold new take on the series and helped give it new life in the modern era. Now Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus has been released, but does it up the intensity or fall flat?

 

The first thing I noticed when playing The New Colossus is how gorgeous the game looks. This is one of the best looking games this year and makes full use of the resources it has available to itself. I cannot stress this enough, but Machine Games upped the ante in terms of presentation, and I applaud them for it. Along with that, there is an amazing soundtrack that works so well with the action that occurs. It just fits perfectly even as the scenarios change and this just adds to Wolfenstein’s enjoyablity factor

But now it is time to talk about the gameplay and wow is it amazing.  I did notice a few framerate stutters here and there but nothing too major. Playing this on the PS4 was an enjoyable time, and before I knew it, hours had passed.Wolfenstein II gives us multiple ways to take down Nazis and crush them in the name of the resistance, and therein lies the bizarre controversy of the game. For some reason people are offended that Nazis are the villains of the game and that is just strange to hear in this day and age. If anyone would be uncomfortable about anything in the game, it should be the sheer horror of a world where the Nazis won. Admittedly this did in fact bother me a little bit as the grandchild of holocaust survivors, and alternate history fiction like this does give me pause, but I am able to look past it and see the game for what it is.

Wolfenstein II is packed with content, both immediately visible and also hidden for you to find. I do not want to give spoilers, but I enjoyed finding all the secrets the game had to offer. I must admit, if it were not for the framerate issues I mentioned above, I would find this game perfect. I understand that some have issue with the game not having multiplayer modes, but I actually like that the focus was on single player gameplay. DOOM’s multiplayer felt like an ill fit for the game, so I am glad the focus and polish went solely into making a great campaign.

If there is anything I would change though, it is the pacing as the game feels like it slows down too much at times in terms of progression nd advancing in the plot. Again, this is not a deal-breaker and I still love the game. I was wary of this reboot from the beginning due to my family’s experience in World War 2, but these games are so well done, that I have been won over. I highly recommend this game.

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I will admit right away that survival games are not a genre I have played very much of. There is no real reason, I simply have not been interested in it, until now. The Flame in the Flood is a game that provides both a good entry point and a good challenge at the same time.

The game is set in a world where rising water ha flooded the world. Into this world, we have Scout and her dog Daisy who must survive while trying to find a radio tower. Their journey will take them to different areas in this procedurally generated world, and find what they need to survive. It seems daunting at first but the game doesn’t make things too hard and instead eases you into things, while giving glimpses into what happened in the world. This helps create a better atmosphere, while also advancing the story and giving more direction. I have no faults with that and appreciate the way it kept things interesting.

I do have some issues, with how the pacing did feel strange at times, and the major issue is inventory space. It does create problems, especially a the start and that could make the game seem worse than it really is. That is a shame, because the game does have a lot going for it, even if you spend so much time going through the various menus. If you can get through this rough start, however, you will see a game with a realized world, interesting environments, as well as beautiful visuals.

The game also must be noted for its amazing soundtrack, and I had to stop every so often just to take in more of the music and appreciate it far more. It isn’t often that happens to me to anymore, so I always get a little excited when it does. Good music is something that needs to be appreciated in gaming.

Overall, I am still not very interested in survival games, but I must say that The Flame in the Flood did a lot to make me appreciate the genre more. If you like survival games, or are curious about them, this is one you should keep an eye on.

 

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Disclaimer: A review key was provided by the developer

 

By Stark Wyvern On 25 Oct, 2017 At 05:11 PM | Categorized As News, PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Survival horror has gone through many changes over the years, but with the Evil Within 2, we have a true return to form for the genre. This is a game that will not only test your mettle, but will in fact scare you, or at least make a you a jump a few countless times. Created by the great Shinji Makami, this game is certainly one that you will enjoy if you the genre, and playing this game in the month of October will certainly help in making your Halloween time that much more horrifying.

In this game you play as a man named Sebastian Castellanos who is out looking for his daughter Lily who was abducted years before. He tracks her down to this crazy place called the Union, where things are definitely not what they seem. Sebastian has a lot of baggage concerning his daughter as clearly he wasn’t always the best dad, and he just wants to find her now, but really has no idea where she could actually be. With this idea in his head, he must also face villainous monsters who want nothing more than to kill him. There is also the threat of Lily not being all that happy to see him when he does find her.

This game, is great because it allows you to play as you want. You can of course go in guns blazing and kill all the enemies on sight. Which isn’t always the best way to go about it, because some of your foes will be quite sneaky. You can also of course, if possible sneak around. Being careful always has its advantages as you don’t want to go in to hot and waste ammo. You can also craft in this game, which is an interesting and modern addition. In the game you can craft anywhere, and make things to assist you on your journey. Or you can use a workbench, which while harder to come by, will lessen your use of crafting items. It is a good balancer for crafting as you will have to use your own judgement. While it might be easier to craft anywhere, if you know it will use too much you’ll be forced to strategize and wait for the work bench.

There are also side quests in which you can gain other items which are scarce. This is another solid mechanic as you can always use more items to take on the foes you may come across. Plus, who doesn’t like taking on quests to hold off completing the main story. There is even customization for your character through the use of Green gel. There is a skill tree which is broken into five sections or health, stealth, combat, recovery, and athleticism. Putting your points to the right skills will make your game your own, and customization always is a good thing. You can even upgrade weapons with parts you may find, adding to further increase your firepower.

Sebastian is an excellent character to play as, and you really feel for him. Having to lose your daughter at any age is difficult and knowing that she is actually still alive makes it all the worse. He knows that deep down he wasn’t there for her as much as he could have been and that he lost her mother too. Losing both wife and daughter in one fell swoop would make any man go the distance to find his lost but living daughter. Playing through this game, I really felt that if he could turn back time, he would change his ways and be there for his family.

This game is a great one, and is packed with at least three playthroughs of content. Casual mode, which is what the creator of the game suggests, is actually the best one to start with as it will ease you in. Though I’m sure there will be many who will jump right in with Survival or Nightmare. This game really has something for all who dare attempt it, anyone who loves this type of game should find a difficulty setting perfect for them.

This game certainly is horrifying in a way that I have not experienced since I played Resident Evil 4. Now, I don’t play many Survival Horror Games as often as I’d like. This game has me feeling exactly like I did when I first played Resident Evil 4. Feeling totally lost and all alone, not knowing what was coming. My blood pumping as  I walk through derelict places and have to hold my own, not knowing if I’d find bullets soon. This game is something that puts me back to the time, where I was trying out my first survival horror game, and the true fear that I experienced back then. While I may have improved in my gaming, there is something apparently integral to this genre that will always scare me shitless and for that I am so thankful.

Though this game is infinitely also much more improved than Resident Evil 4, as there is true stealth. Now, not only do I feel like I can be a ghost and dodge enemies if need be, I also fear that I will be detected and immediately killed on sight. The enemies are fantastically frightening in their own rights as are the bosses. This game is one that keeps me on the edge of my seat as I roam its land, and that is a great part of this genre.

Evil Within 2, is an awesome game and one that will really test you wits. Heading around the Union, completing side quests, killing monsters, and maybe getting a little freaked out are all par for the course. Will you help Sebastian find his daughter, or will this all turn out for naught? Find out when you play Evil Within 2 for Playstation, Steam, and Xbox One!

 

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Reviewed on PS4

Disclaimer: Bethesda provided a review code

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Games made as licensed tie-ins to movies have a certain reputation of not being particularly good. And then there are instances where a movie that was not particularly good gets a gam adaptation, which can be cause for worry. However, every so often we come across a licensed game that is actually good, such as the classic Goldeneye 007 on N64. This year saw the release of the reboot of “The Mummy” franchise, and while that movie is sadly best left forgotten, I am happy to report that the same is not true of the tie in game.

The Mummy: Demastered  is a throwback to classic gaming, particularly Super Metroid and Contra, with elements of Casltevania as well as WayForward’s DS game Aliens: Infestation. Like in the latter game, if your marine is killed, you start over with a new marine from your last save point. However, here the difference is twofold in that there is no limit to the amount of lives and also that you can kill your zombified former character to recover your gear.

It is strange, but this feels less like a movie tie in game, than a game that just happens to take inspiration from the ideas in the movie. This is a very good thing, as it means the game is not held down by anything and can just go all in on being a great game. As noted above, the game takes a lot of inspiration from the classics, and I daresay this is one of the best metroidvanias made in recent years. The atmosphere is tense, like in Super Metroid, and the enemies and powerups are used well as tools to expand the game, rather than just being powerups. The openness of the game, is combined with a claustrophobic feeling that truly helps create an amazing atmosphere for the game.

On Nintendo Switch, the game makes excellent use of the HD rumble and this comes in handy more than might be expected. I have to say that WayForward did things that one wouldn’t expect, and I do not want to give away spoilers about that. I will note that many complain about the game being too difficult, and say that it is hard, but it is also very fair at the same time. It doesn’t put cheap challenges in your way, and gives you multiple ways to make it through. This is just a well done masterpiece and a brilliant example of a licensed game done right. I fully recommend this!

 

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Reviewed on Nintendo Switch

Disclaimer: WayForward provided a review code.

 

By Stark Wyvern On 6 Oct, 2017 At 12:59 AM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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A Hat in Time is an amazing and cute game that fans have been waiting a long time for. I am certainly part of that club, and boy howdy did I like this game. A Hat in Time is an ode to classic Gamecube Era games and is a fun collect em all staring a fantastic little girl. Hat Kid is an embodiment in my opinion anyway, of the pure happiness that comes from these types of games. A go-getter type, Hat Kid does what she needs to complete missions and show the world she can do anything.

The game begins on her ship as she heads home. Soon her ships energy source, or hourglasses, are loosed upon an unsuspecting world. Hat Kid is forced to travel down and find them, taking on weirdos, and traveling to new lands. Each land is its own place and the characters are all wacky and zanier than in the last one.

You fight insane bosses who will take all of your cunnings to defeat. Help out weird locals with strange needs like filming a movie or fulfilling a soul-stealing contract. These quests are the only way to get hourglasses so do them all!

The worlds themselves have great music and are filled to the brim with strange things to discover. You never know what you’ll find and that is part of the fun. You’ll traverse each place and will feel full of joy as you uncover things and complete weird tasks. Nothing is too hard for our amazing hero.

You’ll meet so many weird characters, but the most interesting character is Mustache girl. A strange girl who is the same age as Hat Kid but sports a blonde mustache. Certainly a weird choice but one that seems to work. Is this girlfriend or foe, you’ll learn soon enough.

A Hat in Time is one of those amazing games that fans helped create through Kickstarter. I really do love that fans are now helping to make games in that way, as we really do choose what games to be made. This game certainly is filled with love, and if you are a fan of Gamecube era games, is one you should pick up. While not available on Nintendo Switch, this game is available on Steam, PS4, and XBox One. So go on a quest for hourglasses and help Hat Kid out, she might not need your help, but she will be glad for the company!

*Code was given graciously by the developers of the game*

By Zoe Howard On 23 Sep, 2017 At 03:53 AM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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I must say I was a little surprised that these games weren’t released as DLC for the first game. With only four games to release instead of six like with the first collection, it seemed to make sense. I was wrong on this one and the more I think about was a very good thing. Three generations of games in one collection is already a great thing.

I feel like I shouldn’t need to discuss the story of a Mega Man game at this point. Doctor Wily attacks using new robots in an attempt to take over the world. Doctor Light sends out Mega Man and his friends to stop the evil Dr. Wily. It’s a tried and true story that has served Mega Man well throughout his adventures. What makes this collection specifically different than the previous is that it is the games that took place in the 16 and 32-bit eras. Yes, nine and ten are from the 7th generation xbox360/PS3 era but they are made in the style of the NES games.

What is important in this instance is the quality of the HD appearance of the blue bomber’s adventures. It is safe to say that the four games included are given the respect they deserve. The first game (Mega Man 7) first appeared on the Super Nintendo and as far as I know has never been released in any other form outside of the Mega Man Collections that appeared on the 6th generation consoles (PS2, GC, Xbox).

Let’s start with the most basic of things. The controls are perfect. In the case of Mega Man 8, they feel way more responsive than the original PlayStation controller. You do have the option to use the analog stick if that is your preference, but with platforming games, I highly recommend using the traditional directional pad.

Mega Man 8 saw Mega Man’s first and only appearance (Not including the X series) on the 32-bit consoles.  There is only one real difference between this version and the previous ones and it is immediately apparent. The 32-bit generation suffered from CD load times. Mega Man 8 was no exception. It is so disorienting to see that there is no load time in this version of the game. Very welcome, but disorienting.

Mega Man 9 and 10 are the first games in the series to include outside developer help to create. It was fortunate that Capcom went to the reliable company Inti Creates who is probably best known for their recent work on Mighty Gunvolt and Blaster Master Zero for 3DS. Both Mega Man 9 and 10 took the franchise back to its 8-bit roots both graphically and audio wise. Both come with a bunch of options plus they include the DLC that you had to purchase separately when they were first released.

Mega Man nine and ten are the jewels of this collection for me for one reason. Both 7 and 8 have been released physically. While they will cost you to find out in the wild they are obtainable. Nine and ten up to this point were only released digitally. I prefer having physical copies of games myself so this collection is a no-brainer. You can buy Mega Man nine and ten as a bundle right now on the PlayStation store for 15 dollars, though the digital editions are only playable on the ps3. Mega Man 8 is also available on ps3 digitally for $5.99. So you can see the value already in purchasing the Legacy Collection. You get the four games for 20 dollars. Even if you get the digital editions they are a great price.

The bonus features to the collection, however, are pretty slim. As with the previous collections, you get the music player to listen to the songs from each game. There are also art galleries for each game. You also get the usual fanfare for these types of HD games. Backgrounds to fill the black bars on the sides of the screen from the old 4:3 aspect ratio and screen filters to give you the pixel effect of old TVs. You can also make the games full widescreen if you wish.

At first glance, those who played the last gen versions of Mega Man 9 and 10 will notice that there is some DLC missing from the games. It turns out Capcom decided to have a little fun with us. You have to unlock the content via a button combination much like in the NES and SNES era.

Enter this sequence at the title screen of both games to unlock the hidden content.

Mega Man 9 and 10 code- Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Down, Up, Up, Down

There are two new features that have not been seen before in any of the previous compilations that are very helpful. One is a checkpoint autosave function. This is a great way to stop the game and pick back up where you left off rather than the old method of beating the area and getting a code to write down. Considering these games can take some time to beat, this is a great feature. This also replaces the save states that the first Legacy collection used. It brings the difficulty back up.

The second feature is also welcome for those who are not the best at the Mega Man franchise. The Mega Man games (particularly the later ones) got quite hard to play through. Mega Man 9 is probably known as one of the hardest. This collection offers an option that doubles your resistance to damage taken within the games. This opens up the game’s playability for not only new players but for those who are more casual and want to play the games. While this does reduce the damage, it does not make the stages themselves any easier. There are still plenty of pits and one-hit kills that will keep you on your toes.

I am not sure if I should complain that there are only four games in this collection rather than the six that came in the first one. Mega Man games are always fun and welcome to play but this felt like a great opportunity to throw on some of the more bizarre Mega Man titles. Mega Man soccer would have been a fun addition to the collection. Even the Game Boy editions of Mega Man. At the very least they could have added Mega Man V from the Game Boy series since it was the only original Mega Man game on the console. I understand the games that are in the collection are the last for the classic series but neither of the games mentioned here will probably ever get an actual re-release so why not have included them. They do use the classic Mega Man after all.

Another small gripe with the collection is when you stretch the image to widescreen. The background stays pretty crisp, but animated characters tend to blur out when in widescreen.

I must admit the bonus material in the game is slim and honestly lacking, especially when you look into the production of each game, but I have to also say that the collection is only twenty dollars. That with the fact that games 9 and 10 have not had a physical release makes this a must-own, at least for me. Even if you look at the prices for the digital games the collection is still worth it. Chances are you aren’t looking at the second collection as your entry point in the series and even if you are it is a great set of games.

My mind races with ideas of what will come next. Maybe we will see a start of the Mega Man X collection. Maybe we will finally see some HD remakes of the long-desired Legends series. Please Capcom, May we have more? Mega Man Legends HD collection perhaps?

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The Dishonored series has been one of the more interesting things to have come out of gaming in recent years.  The games offer more choices that do affect how the game progresses, which give the games a lot of replayability. That said, there are some who feel the games have been becoming formulaic. For those who feel that way though, Dishonored: Death of The Outsider offers some changes to what you might expect.

Death of the Outsider follows Billie Lurk as she aids Doud in his revenge against the Outsider. From there however, things get strange. Billie gains abilities like one would expect in a Dishonored game, but not in the usual way. In fact, Death of the Outsider does a lot different, such as removing the chaos system altogether. This does affect the replayability of the game, but the tradeoff is a more innovative experience. Billie’s powers are fun to use, and offer multiple ways to go about things. Without giving spoilers, there are certain parts of the game that you just want to replay over and over, because there are so many different ways to complete an objective, and each way is extremely satisfying.

The gameplay in general is handled well, but I do feel that with the removal of the chaos system, the game is lacking something. Even with the chaos system removed, something equal could have been there, but what is in place just does not feel up to par with the previous games. That being said, I do appreciate the game moving away and trying something new.

Another thing to address is the fact that this is essentially DLC being sold separately. I have seen many complain about that, but I don’t know why. This is not a new concept, such as seen with Infamous: First Light, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and even Bethesda themselves with Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. I actually like the idea of DLC being sold as standalone games, especially in this case, since as mentioned,  Death of the Outsider does a lot of new things.

The game is rather short ( although considering it is an expansion, that is fine), but satisfying. You still feel awesome using the abilities, and there is the right mix of stealth and action along with a detailed story. The game works to resolve many of the overarching questions of the series, but manages to leave many things open for a possible sequel.

After playing Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, I felt Arkane Studios and Bethesda truly managed to take the series in a new direction. While some may not like this, I felt it may have been needed as it keeps things fresh. Playing this was an awesome experience, and I feel this is one that more people should play. Obviously this is not a good place to start with the series, especially as it spoils the events of Dishonored 2, and gives it a canonical series of events. But for fans of the series, this is a great game. I fully recommend it.

 

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Disclaimer: Bethesda provided a review key

 

Reviewed on PS4

By Cataclysmic Knight On 14 Sep, 2017 At 07:44 PM | Categorized As PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarHave you ever wondered what would happen if you combined Monty Python art and humor with Marble Madness and tower defense games? Then why the heck didn’t you play the original Rock of Ages? If you’ve never heard of Rock of Ages, welcome to the club. When I first heard of Rock of Ages II I was so hyped to try it out – I LOVE Monty Python and I love wacky games!

Title: Rock of Ages II: Bigger & Boulder
Developed By: ACE Team
Available For: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Steam (Windows)

Rock of Ages II: Bigger & Boulder, from all the reviews I’ve read, lives up to its name – it’s both bigger than the original and it still involves giant boulders and hilarity. The main game plays out like this – you and your opponent have your own identical paths to throw your boulder of doom down, crushing your enemy’s obstacles and trying to retain as much boulder integrity as possible so that when you inevitably slam into your foe’s castle door you’ll do as much damage as you can.

After your boulder smashes into the enemy’s door (or if your boulder gets entirely destroyed) you’ll have to wait until another boulder is chiseled out of stone. While you wait for your next boulder you can use your currency to lay down various traps and obstacles for your enemy. Spring boards, tower walls, ballista, balloons that dangle lions that cling to enemy boulders and make them wonky, sticky cows… There are loads of options! Each one has a different value, and most of them increase in value with each one you lay down. My personal favorite is the spring board – these pop out of the ground and fling the enemy boulder in the direction the spring board is aimed, typically sending them backwards or throwing them to their doom! This not only damages the boulder, it also greatly slows them down, and in a game where 3 boulders almost always means victory that bit of extra time can really be beneficial.

The game balances the importance of laying down objectives wisely and being able to control your boulders. However, if you’re terrible at controlling the boulder (like me) you’re doomed to fail on the harder levels that involve crazy jumps (yes, of course your boulder can jump!) and tight turns. By the 6th or 7th map I was hitting the enemy’s door less than half of the time while they had no problem demolishing me.

 

The game has two main modes of play – the standard “war” and an “obstacle course” that’s essentially a race. The obstacle course is basically war without laying obstacles, and both you and your opponent(s) race the same course together. The first to three points wins, and each time the course is played in a match the obstacles get more and more crazy.

These game modes are available both online and offline. Offline you’re presented with a hilarious campaign mode, obstacle course and a time trial mode that allows you to run any course without obstacles in the hopes of getting on the online leaderboards. You can also set up your profile – you can set up your banner, change your leader and paint your ball. While the obstacle course is the same as I already explained, the campaign is where I spent most of my time.

In campaign mode, you go up against various figures – like Adam and Eve or William Wallace – and artwork – like the Scream. Each battle begins with a ridiculously funny clip that looks like something right out of Monty Python, sometimes blatantly showing off their inspiration with things like pokeballs that look like Holy Hand Grenades of Antioch (if you don’t get that reference go buy Monty Python and the Holy Grail right now and watch it immediately!). Each battle takes place on the enemy’s turf and beating them on any difficulty gives you a star, their boulder, their leader as someone you can use and a banner customization option. Stars are then used to take down gates for the game’s crazy boss battles, and whether you win the battle or not you’ll knock the tower down so you can progress (thank goodness!). As you roll around the map, you’ll also find new traps, obstacles and weapons to use against your opponent, but you’ll only have 4 slots to equip with the dozens of options until you take down the bosses and collect more slots. All of campaign mode is also playable in split-screen couch co-op, something fantastic for people like my gal and I to play together. Each side’s castle door still seems to have the same amount of health though so slowing enemies down is even more important!

Like any multiplayer game, the real fun comes when you play with other people you actually know. This includes co-op and against one another on a couch of course, but the trash talk flows even more beautifully with up to four-player online play, battling it out 2v2 in war or free-for-all with the obstacle course. For the best odds of winning you’ll want to play through the campaign first though so you can practice and unlock all the different obstacles and balls. The courses, however, are all unlocked from the second you get the game! Like most everything else in the game, you can choose which ball you use as well, and you get the vast majority of them from beating campaign levels. Some roll faster, some are more agile and some have special abilities like the paint ball that doesn’t allow your opponent to lay down new obstacles where you roll for a limited time.

While I found the game incredibly frustrating after a handful of levels, it was still a pretty hilarious time and it’s something my gal and I will have plenty of laughs with. If you enjoyed the original Rock of Ages or Monty Python, those reasons are enough to dive into Rock of Ages II.

Note: I received a code for the game from the developer in exchange for an honest review.

By Cataclysmic Knight On 1 Sep, 2017 At 10:46 AM | Categorized As PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarBioshock: Infinite. Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season One. Life is Strange. Final Fantasy VII. These are some of the games with moments so powerful I’ll never forget them. It’s a list with some incredible games, and What Remains of Edith Finch definitely belongs on it as well.

Title: What Remains of Edith Finch
Developed By: Giant Sparrow
Available For: Xbox One (reviewed), PS4, Windows (Steam)

When I first started playing the game, my fiancee actually mentioned that the game reminded her of Bioshock: Infinite. It’s gorgeous, and even though I went into the game entirely blind there was always this nagging feeling that there was something dark going on. That balance of emotions – gorgeous, peaceful, curious exploration combined with dread and a twinge of sadness.


In Giant Sparrow’s second game (their first being the unique The Unfinished Swan) you play as Edith Finch, a 17-year-old girl returning to her old home after being left a mysterious key in her mother’s will. Edith is the last living Finch and she’s decided to return and explore. The house is perhaps the most accidentally creepy home ever with the rooms of dead family members sealed off and peepholes added to let people see inside like a museum. These rooms each have memorials to those who lived, and perusing their memorials brings Edith into the final moments of each family member.

These final moments are the true meat of the game, with wildly varying scenarios and themes. A child star famous for her scream ends up having her death told through a horror zine with classic horror music playing and a Tales from the Crypt-like host. A baby plays with a bouncing frog in the bathtub, collecting other toys that bounced around with it. The most unique of all was Edith’s brother, a gamer and stoner who worked a boring job at a cannery. Here you’re tasked with the monotonous task of cutting the heads off of fish with the right stick and controlling a dude in a maze with the left stick with a psychiatrist narrating his story. As he devolves further and further into his imagination the screen is taken over more and more by the old-school game that gradually evolves from something reminiscent of Atari titles into a present-day 3D adventure.

What makes these minigames so particularly wild is that it’s such a juxtaposition of emotions. These scenes are full of joy, of adventure and of wonder and yet, deep down, you can’t help but remember you’re essentially causing this baby to drown to death. Despite always feeling a nagging “what am I going to do to get this person killed?” I always happily continued on. It’s also worth noting that this is a game that will not only hit you in the feels, it’ll continue to do so repeatedly throughout your 2-5 hours with it.

This is a narrative game with even less “gameplay” than typical narrative games where you make meaningful choices that change the outcome of events. It’s incredibly linear, and you never once make any important decision. However, the narrative is extremely powerful, and the controls of the game really made me feel connected to what was going on. You grip things with the right trigger and then use the stick to move your hand to do things like pull a door open or turn a music box handle. I also enjoyed having a plain white orb as a symbol that items can be interacted with as the home is SO full of stuff! I read somewhere that it truly felt like the home was lived in and I couldn’t agree more. Despite how linear the game is and how short it is, it’s a masterpiece. I absolutely can’t recommend it enough, it’s just amazing.

Note: I received a code for the game from the developer in exchange for an honest review.