Kirby: Triple Deluxe is probably one of the most surprising games I've played in recent memory. I was never much of a Kirby fan as a kid and playing this game makes me feel like I missed out on something magical for years. Kirby: Triple Deluxe is a platform adventure game like the rest of the Kirby series, but it also offers Dedede's Drum Deluxe (the best rhythm game to play on a toilet), and Kirby Fighters (a toned down Smash Bros. clone) which are both totally fun. The main game is expansive and filled with branching level paths and secrets that you'll actually feel like seeking out because the game is just a joy to play. Of course, I may just feel this way because I haven't played many of the other games in the Kirby series, but every bit of this game feels magical and new while also feeling like it's something that was brought to the present from the golden days of Nintendo. That is to say, I've not played a game before that made me feel like I was 8 years old again, but Triple Deluxe does exactly that. It totally captures the quality and fun that Nintendo titles always seemed to have in spades in the 80's and 90's. If you want a nostalgia trip or even just to play a good quality Nintendo game, then you have to give this a play.
Let's just get it out of the way. Fallout 4 is another Fallout. It does everything you would expect a Bethesda adventure game to do, so if you liked any of the other games that they've released the odds are that you'll like this one. Now, the one huge thing that Fallout 4 does differently is that it takes what feels like forever to actually be fun. It takes from 10-15 hours to actually get to the part of the game that is interesting. I know that seems crazy because there's always something fun to do in these games, but the beginning is very bland and ends up feeling more like a cheap rehash of Fallout 3 than a new game. However, after you get to the first major settlement in the game (Diamond City), the world blooms and you're introduced to major story beat after major story beat. The story is surprisingly good while the side stories are especially great. Not a ton has changed where gameplay is concerned, but there has been a big change to the shooting and it is now much, much easier and actually fun to use outside of VATs. Outside of that and the gun and settlement customization (which you can totally ignore), not a lot is different between this and the last Fallout you've probably played. Nothing that this game does is spectacular, but it is reliably good and a great way to spend a few dozen hours.
Having grown up in the era of point and click adventure games (the wonderful 90's) I'm no stranger to the whole puzzle in first person thing, but I have to say, Pneuma: Breath of Life is probably the worst game to do it. Right off the bat you'll realize that the game is beautiful. It really is. After you're wowed by the visuals, reality quickly sets in and you realize that what you're doing is playing a glorified tech demo masquerading as a full game. There is some dialogue, but the player character (the only character?) just comes across as being self indulgent and like he's desperately trying to distract the player from the fact that this game maybe isn't really a game. I must admit, Pneuma does come across as funny and somewhat thought provoking at times, but it's in the same way that an idiot savant could be thought provoking in that it's like they're trying a last ditch effort to impress and barely pulling it off at the last second. There's a number of other point and click games you could play on the PC that are older and ten times the game that Pneuma: Breath of Life is. If you're feeling like playing something from the genre, please, please just play something else. This game is not good.
I remember when the Xbox One originally hit the scene that most of the lineup wasn't impressive, but that everyone I knew kept saying the same thing, "Wait until Titanfall comes out. That'll be when the Xbox One really catches fire." Well, I've finally experienced Titanfall and you know what? Holy crap, this game is amazing. Did you like the multiplayer in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2? If you did, you will love this game to death. MW2 is probably my most favorite FPS multiplayer game of all time, but the hackfest that it quickly became meant that I dropped off the scene pretty fast and that's what's so great about Titanfall. It has all of the flash and substance of MW2's online with none of the drawbacks. Another really fantastic thing about Titanfall is that because of its leveling system being so all-encompassing you'll always feel like you're making progress, even if you're not necessarily doing that great game to game. Also, everything feels like it has weight to it. This is really what makes the experience so memorable because the Titans just feel incredibly powerful and heavy. If you like multiplayer first person shooters at all, then this is the game for you.
Fair warning: Mushroom 11 is frustrating. While that would normally be an instant thumbs down for me, the game is so well-done that it's hard to stay mad at it for long. In Mushroom 11, you indirectly control a blob by erasing parts of it to make other parts grow. It's a really clever idea, and the game has no shortage of unique environmental puzzles for you to work through. It's just that this kind of method of control can be quite maddening. The blob will often fall or roll in the exact opposite way you intended, and you'll get pretty sick of watching it plummet into a lake of lava. That said, checkpoints are very generous, and you can quit a level halfway through and pick up where you left off. I was honestly about to pull my hair out until I realized you don't have to beat a level in one sitting, which is a huge relief. As annoyed as I get with the blob sometimes, I'm constantly drawn back into the game. The puzzles are actually rewarding to solve, and the bleak, apocalyptic background is fun to watch scroll by. Again, you will get frustrated, but if you're okay with a little frustration in your puzzle platformers, you'll still have fun.
The art style and music in The Rivers of Alice are both fantastic, but the point-and-click gameplay is not of the same caliber. While I like how there's no dialogue in the game—everything is told via pictures, if at all—the pace is extremely slow. Alice walks like she's "not in a hurry," a phrase the PR team actually used to suggest the state you should be in to enjoy it. Seriously, this game would be half as long if Alice walked faster or if there were shortcuts between locations. Trudging all the way back to the first area to talk to the "hint sloth" starts to feel like a genuine punishment for needing help. What's odd is that the hint sloth (and other characters in the game) will sometimes flat out tell you the solutions to certain problems. What they won't tell you, however, are which parts of the levels are interactive. I wasted a lot of time ignoring background details, because I didn't think they played a part in the puzzles. Similarly, the game likes to put important objects on the ground for you to pick up, though said objects are super tiny and easy to miss. With several more puzzles revolving around memorizing patterns or trial and error, The Rivers of Alice will probably only appeal to the most casual of point-and-click fans.
I know, I know. I've said it a hundred times on this site by now, but I love the Metal Gear Solid series. The Phantom Pain is something I've been anticipating for a long time as it's effectively the end of the series. Thankfully, it goes out with a bang. Action, Espionage, science that doesn't totally make sense, if it's in another MGS game and you like it, it's probably here. That is, unless you enjoyed long cutscenes. Those are gone now. Thankfully, the cassette tape system they've been replaced with actually isn't terrible. Being able to actually play The Phantom Pain while the story is unfolding is incredibly freeing. Not only is the story delivery top notch, but the gameplay is wonderful. This is definitely the most polished and expertly crafted third person action game that I've played to date. In fact, even if you don't like the MGS series, I'd say that this game is worth the play purely if you're just a fan of third person shooters. The only bad thing I can say about this game is that its ending leaves a little to be desired and that since it's the end of Kojima's work at Konami, we'll likely never get satisfactory answers. Outside of that, this game is as close to perfect as I think you can get. It's the end of an era. Eat it up.
I've played every entry into the Disney Infinity series so far and I've found most of them lacking after serious time with them. Thankfully, Disney Infinity 3.0 has staying power. Pretty much everything that you can think of that lacked polish in the previous games has been almost completely redone and the game feels so, so much better for it. The combat, especially, is a ton of fun now. Not only that, but this is the one that finally adds Star Wars to the mix! The Twilight of the Republic playset that comes with the starter set immediately sets itself apart from the playsets offered with the past games by giving you a wealth of things to do. Coolest among these things has to be the space dogfighting that feels like a slightly toned down Rogue Squadron. I could literally spend hours just doing the space battles and thanks to the ability to replay whatever missions I want, whenever I want, I can do just that! Outside of the actual game things, this game made me like Ahsoka Tano, a feat which I previously thought was impossible, so this game has all of the thumbs up that I could possibly give it. If you're a Star Wars fan you shouldn't deny yourself any longer. Buy this.
Buy the soundtrack. Seriously, go buy it. The music of Beatbuddy is phenomenal and can totally stand on its own. That's kind of a sad statement to make for the rest of the game, though. Despite how awesome it is to see the levels come alive in time to the beat, the gameplay is pretty disappointing. This can be attributed to the fact that you spend so little time in the submarine. It's the submarine sections where the rhythm gameplay truly shines, but these don't last long. You frequently have to scout ahead as Beatbuddy, something that brings the momentum to a screeching halt. Without the submarine, Beatbuddy's movement is too "underwatery," and the puzzles he must solve boil down to two variations: find a thing and carry it to another thing or re-position trampolines to bounce off of. It's maddening how slow and tedious this is compared to cruising along in the submarine. Maybe the submarine stuff alone wouldn't have been enough to carry the game, but if the goal was to make players look forward to those moments, it would have been nice if the downtime in between—the Beatbuddy sections—were just as fun in their own special way. But they're not, leaving Beatbuddy as an uneven experience whose soundtrack is the best thing about it.
Maybe I just have shoot 'em up fatigue, but I'm not really finding anything special to like about this Judgement Silversword compilation. I get that these are Wonderswan classics, and if you're one of the lucky few who actually knows the games from their original place, you'll probably be super delighted to have them available again. For newcomers like me, though, there are far too many other shoot 'em ups on Steam already (both modern and retro) that at least provide something new or refreshing. Judgement Silversword is about as old school as it gets with no additional power-ups and a black background that rarely changes. I do like that you can freely switch between a focused and spread shot, though, and that you have a limited shield that can slow down (but not necessarily stop) bullets. The Cardinal Sins game/mode also adds an interesting spin by giving you certain tasks to complete in each round, like collecting 1-ups before you accidentally destroy them. But the lack of an online scoreboard kind of kills any goodwill that may have brought.
We may not have a review for that game yet. Why not submit your own?
We may not have a review for that game yet. Why not submit your own?