Blood of the Werewolf
With a style carved from some old greats, Blood of the Werewolf is an excellent game. Comfortable in its own skin and not afraid to play with the ideas that brought it to the party, Scientifically Proven's first venture into the platform genre is a joy, even when it's doing its damnedest to teach you lessons you don't want to learn.
Constant C are is a game that is too difficult for its own good. It has little to no room for error, especially near the end. Lacking a tutorial system forces the player to figure everything out on his or her own. It started off very fun with just the right level of challenge. As more is introduced it quickly became overwhelming. The story being tied to collectible items was faulty. It forced you to become a perfectionist just to learn what happens next. It turned from, what I thought was, an interesting take on the platformer genre into a forgettable game that had quickly become too hard.
How to Train Your Dragon 2
As far as licensed products go, you could do a lot worse then How to Train Your Dragon 2. There are good bones here, a nice foundation built on a satisfying flying mechanic, and some excellent work to capture the sights and sounds of the movie and its characters. It, like most other movie games, falls apart where that license meets the tight structure of a modern game under the strictures of a tight turn around. While you apparently can train a dragon, no amount of training can save this game from itself.
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
The Curse of Brotherhood is a unique and charming game. Although a few puzzles are solved more through trial-and-error than anything else, many more are clever and can be solved with careful planning and a healthy dose of creativity. Overall, the game is enjoyable; I rarely felt that puzzles were out-of-place or that they tested my patience to its limits. With its delightful graphics and impressive lighting, detailed environments, challenging puzzles, and simple gameplay that generally works, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is a gem that is definitely worth your time and money.
It took me month to write this review because I didn’t want to. I love the Fable series and I enjoyed my time with Anniversary, but time has not been good to the original Fable. Its world feels small, it’s not great to look at and the controls are antiquated, not to mention the bugs. But Fable remains slightly relevant due to its fantastic wit and charm. Despite its issues, Fable Anniversary is the best way for players to experience the original Fable. Just keep in mind that action RPGs have a come a very long way since then.
This is the essence of FIFA 14 – a great package but a hefty sidestep, rather than a leap, as some of its predecessors were. The menus are fantastically designed, accessible and simple, which isn’t a mean feat considering the sheer amount of different modes and ways to play, and make it seem a shinier, fresher product than it is. I suspect that this review is rather pointless, and you already know whether you want FIFA 14 or not, but I can only really recommend if you play a lot of multiplayer, as I do, or are truly desperate for updated rosters. Otherwise, you might as well wait a month or two and see if EA’s next-gen efforts carry the substantial gameplay upgrades this version lacks.
Any control issues aside, Rayman Legends never ceases to be enjoyable. The game is so fully featured that it makes Rayman Origins seem like a prototype. From the game’s delightful tone to it’s gorgeous graphics and top notch level design, Legends is better than Origins quantitatively and qualitatively. Not only that, it’s one of the best games of 2013 and one of the best platformers of all time. Maybe even better than Rayman 2.
NHL 14 is a great game of hockey, and technically speaking its one of the best playing sports games on the market today. Sadly its foray into the new career mode, Live the Life, was extremely disappointing, and left me wanting more out of this year’s game. So if you’re looking for some great hockey this is a good choice, but there is still work to be done to improve the modes within it.
While I certainly applaud the work done on Cloudberry Kingdom's engine, it has one big flaw: computers don't understand what fun is. You can have a computer make a level, but it'll just be following parameters. To really achieve something entertaining, there has to be more of the creator in it, or more interesting gameplay on top of a neat algorithm. By divorcing themselves so much from the experience, Pwnee Studios allows their game to suffer from not being able to judge whether a level is actually fun, making it come off pointless, shallow and uninteresting.
Dynasty Warriors 8
That’s Dynasty Warriors 8, a mish-mash of fun, brokenness and low production values that in many ways feels like the video game equivalent of a b-movie. It’s a cheap, tacky, mostly easy game that won’t tax your fingers or your mind. But that’s what I like about it. It’s something to play whilst one is hungover, or watching TED Talks on your laptop. The score in stars I afford it is meaningless, as everyone is bound to have their own, divisive opinions. The faults it possesses are large and, to some, will render it unassailable, but if you share my affinity for the cheap and cheerful, you’ll find a lot to love.
For a game built on such a solid mix of exploration and combat, to have both systems feel so broken is almost criminal, especially when a different, better version of the same game exists on another platform. Are any of the problems game breaking? That's kind of up to you to decide. I can tell you, having previously experienced the absolute magic that this game can be, this version is just not worth the time. Maybe for someone who hasn't played the PC version, if all they have is an Xbox, if that is their only choice to play it, maybe it's good enough. But if you have the choice, pick up the original on Steam.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
While Starbreeze has made their mark as a first-person developer, they have certainly proved their worth in the downloadable market with Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. If they decided to step away from triple-A game development and just focus on smaller titles for a while, then I would be totally fine as long as they keep putting out titles up to this kind of standard. Brothers is one of the more original games I have ever played and is only held back by some minor problems. This isn’t so much a game as it is an experience and it’s something that I recommend everyone should experience. While the controls can be troublesome and there are a few gimmicky moments, this is probably one of the most emotionally powerful stories of the year.
For a company so well known for it's console stretching pinball franchise, Castlestorm is as beautiful and precise as any one of their fantastic tables. It's easy to use mechanics serve to make every skirmish a mix of fun and stress, but it's the personality of the individual units, and the multitude of options for both offense and defense that really make this diamond shine. If all their games turn out like this, I give them my full permission to experiment with any genre they feel like. After they finish my requested Steampunk table, of course.
State of Decay
State of Decay is an impressive open world zombie game that can actually rival blockbuster zombie games like Dead Island. The game is fifteen dollars on Xbox Live and if you are a huge zombie or horror fan than the game won’t disappoint. There aren’t a lot of survival games with these kinds of mechanics, let alone ones that actually work properly, so for being a downloadable game you get a lot of bang for your buck and get to have a fun time supporting the work of a small team .I know I will continue to come back to this game even after this generation has moved on and, with us being this late in the console cycle, and having an almost unlimited number of zombies games to choose from, that really says something.