One Life: Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Think what you will of me, but I never play as the bad guy. This isn’t because I want to get the “canon” ending or because I don’t want to miss out on anything that comes from killing quest-giving NPCs but rather because I take no pleasure in being malicious, even to code. I believeContinue reading “One Life: Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War”

Missed Opportunities: The Aggressively Average “Ys IX: Monstrum Nox”

In a world of uncertainty, there is something perhaps comforting about the formulaic, which may explain why we get franchise series–even outside of sports games–that continue to produce fresh but all-too familiar entries. Much in the vein of those games that reskin enemy types–and there’s a lot of that in Ys–there’s the sense with theseContinue reading “Missed Opportunities: The Aggressively Average “Ys IX: Monstrum Nox””

No Refunds: “Tadpole Treble Encore”

Looking for a short, novel burst of gameplay? I’ll say that Tadpole Treble Encore “roes” to the occasion, with enjoyable compositions that prove the developer definitely doesn’t have a (sardine) tin ear. The one thing missing from many rhythm games is an original soundtrack: even games like Theatrhyhthm Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts: Melody ofContinue reading “No Refunds: “Tadpole Treble Encore””

Missed Opportunities: What FF16 Must Learn From FFXV

Final Fantasy XV is a game of extreme imbalance, the result of a tortuous ten-year development cycle. It is is a game filled with sparks of brilliance, but also the disappointing glare of what could have been. It is a game set apart by its brethren by its road-trip theme and fifth party member, yourContinue reading “Missed Opportunities: What FF16 Must Learn From FFXV”

Review: “Astro’s Playroom”

Astro’s Playroom is a game filled with so many Easter eggs that the few moments where players actually do anything mechanically interesting are themselves actually the Easter eggs. Or maybe it’s an exceedingly literary tech demo, one that gets so lost in its own details–the microscopic detail of the X/O walls in the CPU PlazaContinue reading “Review: “Astro’s Playroom””

Review: “Super Meat Boy Forever”

An evolution of the autorunner, this creative, colorful, challenging game expands upon Super Meat Boy as much as that incarnation did upon the original. If you want to, or at least until you smash all the controllers in your house, Super Meat Boy Forever can indeed be your forever game. Each time you start aContinue reading “Review: “Super Meat Boy Forever””

Missed Opportunities: “Immortals Fenyx Rising”

The games covered in “Missed Opportunities” are already good. What follows is why and how this one should’ve been better. Every game developer–especially the triple-A ones–should take a cue from Jurassic Park‘s Dr. Ian Malcolm. Ubisoft, in particular, already knows it can make these big, ambitious open-world games, so instead of being preoccupied with that,Continue reading “Missed Opportunities: “Immortals Fenyx Rising””

Review: “Shakes on a Plane”

The airline concept helps Shakes on a Plane get off the ground but can’t keep it aloft. At the start of the cooperative Shakes on a Plane, a quartet of aliens hoping to win the Galactic Cuisine Prize look to inspiration from Earth chefs. This plot gives Huu Games a lot of latitude (and longitude)Continue reading “Review: “Shakes on a Plane””

First Drafts: “Mobius”

Game jams and indie sites are filled with novel concepts that could sometimes use a bit more fleshing out. This off-and-on feature aims to highlight great concepts that we hope we haven’t seen the last of. I’m beyond delighted to learn that Adam Pype (@adampi) is working on Shovel Knight Dig, but I really hopeContinue reading “First Drafts: “Mobius””