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.
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.
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.
You will hard-pressed to extract any enjoyment from Fireburst. While it has some solid ideas in place, its potential is completely marred by its maddeningly frustrating technical issues that rear their head on a constant basis. But even if the game had been perfectly functional, the sloppy controls and unremarkable mechanics conspire to make for a tedious, frustrating, broken mess of a game that aren’t worthy of your $10 in any way, shape or form.
Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds
In the end, Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds does not feature the seminal, tightly-crafted fighting mechanics of Street Fighter or the spectacular boss fights from Castle Crashers, but it does provide a handful of hours of side-scrolling, 2D-beat-em-up glee. In spite of a few crippling issues and ham-fisted mechanics, Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds still outweighs its flaws with a competent throwback look and feel, gratifying gameplay flow and a strong selection of modes that, all things considered, justifies the asking price of merely $10.
Dollar Dash would have been far more suited to being released on mobile platforms. I can’t believe that I’m saying this, but it maybe should’ve been a free-to-play mobile release, where players can chip in optional payments for the coolest items. The one game Dollar Dash reminds me of most isn’t Bomberman, but Doritos Dash of Destruction. Not only was that free, it was released half a decade ago and did exactly what Dollar Dash tries to do but better.
I honestly can’t rave enough about the soundtrack in Rad Raygun so instead of listening to me go and play the game and listen to it. The gameplay feels like riding an old bike, the soundtrack is killer, the dialogue will make you laugh and the graphics will make you remember the good old days. Rad Raygun is short and sweet, and I really hope there is more to come in the future.
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus
Unfortunately, the actual product being sold is little more than a shell for this fighting engine. The lack of narrative explanation is very frustrating, even if you are familiar with fighting games. Because of this, I can only recommend Guilty Gear to those who just want a solid version of the game on modern consoles.
Skulls of the Shogun
The game is at its best when the witty dialogue is making you laugh before each match only to have you bearing down once the game starts in anticipation for the oncoming battle. Skulls of the Shogun can be a difficult game and many people will find it frustrating, a few specific levels come to mind, but that's part of the appeal. It's not that the game is unfair or "too hard" but it is instead giving you all of the knowledge you need to overcome your obstacles. It's up to you to adhere to that knowledge and use it wisely to take out your enemies.