- No Man's Sky
- Horizon Zero Dawn
Finally, the fourth but certainly not last table is titled Masters of the Force. This is a tribute to the Force itself, or as Zen Studios puts it, "the highest powers in the universe." Each side of the table is themed for the dark and light sides of the Force on the left and right sides respectively. Perform missions for either Emperor Palpatine or Master Yoda, and the balance of the Force will begin tipping to either side. This table feels a little cramped at first glance, but that feeling quickly subsides as you explore and especially when you interact with the holocrons.
Ultimately, Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is just like the original, with a couple of added tweaks — this is a good thing! If you've purchased the original, it can be a hard decision to purchase this. If you are a big fan of the series and cannot wait to pummel enemies in Intenso mode, then by all means pick this up. If you never played the original and enjoy Castlevania-like beat-em-ups, then definitely pick this up. If you love lucha libre lore, then of course pick this up. Finally, if you are a fan of funny games, then don't hesitate to pick this game up and play!
Pure Pool is, more or less, everything a billiards fan could ask for. It is pure simulation at its best. The physics are spot-on accurate – any missed shot is entirely the shooter's fault. The ambiance is entirely convincing, with a soundtrack to match. Of course, the graphics are so incredibly life-like, you may actually be disappointed with how dull of a shine your average real-life pool balls usually have. While the game is a little lacking in explanations, it's not very hard to figure out by just poking around. At $9-$13 depending on if you have an active PlayStation Plus subscription, this is a no-brainer for billiards buffs. Those of you who are new or rusty to the game should definitely consider picking this up to hone your skills without the embarrassment that can accompany being absolutely walloped by the local pool shark.
This is the best version of Diablo III, possibly anywhere. Sure, it may look better on PCs with high-end graphics cards, but you can't beat the control scheme and accessibility of the console version. Touting improved graphics, little to no load times, and extra content, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition is a must-have for any RPG fan, whether you've played previous entries in the series or not.
Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate takes the game fans enjoyed on the PlayStation 3, adds the Duel mode and other characters from the Wii U Hyper port, and then throws in a bunch of new content in the form of the rewarding Gauntlet mode. Group all of that in a shinier, faster, more action-filled package, and you have yourself a winning port and expansion in one. It may still be more or less the same combat as any Warriors game preceding it, but new tweaks here and there do help to change things up in fun ways. If you're new to the series, this is as good a time as any to dive right into things (though you'll want to stay at the Normal difficulty level or lower!). If you previously bought the game on the PS3 or Wii U, this upgrade will likely tide you over until a proper "next-gen" release, which should be here before you know it. Once again, I have been pleasantly surprised by Omega Force.
So you get almost the same game as before, with a couple of bonus tracks. The gameplay remains the same, but the graphics have been upgraded to 1080p at 60 frames-per-second. But with the painful omission of custom soundtracks, there is little incentive to re-visit the game once you've completed it, and even less after you collect all the stars in the campaign (which will be quite a challenge nonetheless). If you've never played the game before and currently do most of your gaming on the PS4, then at $9.99 it's an easy buy for rhythm game fans. Here's hoping a PS4 firmware update coupled with a title update will enable custom soundtracks, or at least for some DLC tracks.
Essentially, this is the same game as before. If you've sold off your PS3 and want to play this game again, then it's a complete package for $14.99. If, however, you are content with playing this on your older console or Vita, then it is kind of hard to recommend for this price. If there were a discount for existing customers, this would be an easier sell. With that exception aside, though, if you never picked up the game and want to play the ultimate version, then by all means plop down the cash! The game runs more smoothly, looks better, and even incorporates the DualShock 4 controller's speaker to comical effect. CastleStorm remains loads of fun and as challenging as you let it become. Just don't forget to send some troops out there!
If you can look past the technical hiccups, this is a challenging and entertaining horror game, irrespective of any franchise tie-in. Alien: Isolation reminds us what it means to be playing a survival horror game, with a heavy emphasis on survival. With amazing ambiance, a slow, high-tension pace, and even a decent use of the DualShock 4 and PlayStation Camera, The Creative Assembly has delivered a gem of a movie-based game, a feat that is seldom seen in this industry. This is a welcome addition to the horror genre, and the Alien series.
While The Evil Within doesn't quite reach the iconic Resident Evil 4's level of brilliance or scariness, this is a satisfyingly gruesome adventure. Playing on Survival difficulty or higher is a true challenge, and you need to make quick decisions about which enemies to take out first, when to run and hide, and which crossbow bolts to make in semi-real time. The story is pretty convoluted, and you don't really become attached to most characters, but ultimately this is a very well-done survival horror game with stealth elements mixed in for good measure. The Evil Within is a great game for the Halloween crowd, and has some added replayability in the form of a New Game+. This is an easy buy for all horror fans, and is a game that should not be missed by those who want a challenge.
If you haven't been keeping up with the series, I am happy to report that a lot of the game's references are to the first handful of seasons. A couple are from the first episode, in fact! There are a couple of newer episodes thrown in, but for the most part the missions revolve around the staples of the franchise. For $5, you get two tables rich in the venerable animated show's hijinks. Everyone's favorite character is likely featured here, and there is a lot of challenge to be found. If you're a fan of the series and enjoy pinball, buy it!
MotoGP 14 is a competent MotoGP racing game. Milestone S.rl. knows their target demographic, and mostly knows what they want to see. There's not much fluff to this game; it's simply you, a bike, and the track. Crank up the physics, and the road becomes less forgiving. Turn off assists and crank the physics up, and you better know the track like the back of your hand, or else you will perform poorly, crash, or worse. However, racing games are held to a very high immersion standard these days, and MotoGP 14 fails to do so in several key areas. The graphics don't impress very much, despite higher-resolution textures being favored over a higher frame rate. The cockpit view still feels just like a floating camera, and all the bikes sound identical. The career mode is a fun way to progress from the weaker Moto3 bikes to the scary-powerful MotoGP ones, at least, but even that experience is a bit dulled as you don't earn money, only fans and parts. At a full asking price of $60, this is a tough sell to anyone who is not a hardcore MotoGP/AMA fan.
If you're a Batman fan of any age, you'll want to pick up this game. With couch co-op for two, LEGO Batman 3 is a picture-perfect game to play alongside children. It can be a bit slow going at the start, but power through the introductory missions, acquire some suits, and things really start rolling. With a mission count that numbers near 50, and over 150 characters to play as (gotta catch 'em all?), there is a ton of content to bask in. While a lot of the combat and puzzles might feel a bit repetitive, you'll hardly notice as you mete out justice as a tiny version of your favorite hero. LEGO Batman 3 comes highly recommended to kids young and old alike.
It's been almost four long years since the last home console LittleBigPlanet release. Like a fine wine, LBP3 has aged rather well, though it has picked up a few odd notes along the way. It performs exactly like its predecessor, only improved upon. The key word here is addition. You have additional layers to levels – now 16 plus the thin layer! The three additional characters have unique aspects that you cannot really replicate with merely Sackboy and a tool. Sackboy himself did receive new tools, though; an impressive seven, each introducing fresh new ideas that enhance existing levels. But with some zero-day bugs that painfully bring the experience down for some users, some caution must be given to anyone who isn't aware of them, and we hope that Sony can narrow down this issue within an acceptable timeframe. Still, this is a planet worth exploring!
If you've been clamoring for a new open-world racer the likes of which we haven't seen since Burnout Paradise, I am happy to report that The Crew fits the bill. A mixture of MMO and arcade-sim racing, you better ensure you have a steady Internet connection, or else face frustration. Hopefully a patch in the future will enable offline play, because to see all of the game's terrain will take a long time, perhaps even longer than Ubisoft will keep the game's servers online. All of the United States' major landmarks are here and wonderfully detailed. Vehicles' handling lay somewhere between arcade and simulation, though you can tweak this. Online play is very rewarding, but is over-emphasized at times. With such a massive world to explore, and an addictive leveling system, fans of this genre will be busy for months to come.
It's simple – if you enjoy Diablo-esque action mixed with a hefty dose of ruin spelunking, then this is the game for you. What's more, The Tower of Osiris provides for much more fun when you're in a group. While the puzzles aren't particularly challenging, the inclusion of adaptive levels based on the number of players is much appreciated.
If you want some good, classic scares, then pick up this great Resident Evil remaster as soon as you can. $20 might sound like a lot for what is really an old game with shiny new "packaging," but with multiple endings, the best visuals possible, and that iconic mansion setting, you're always going to want to come back for more. Whether you want to relive the nightmares of your youth or experience a classic for the first time, this version of Resident Evil is an easy recommendation to real survival horror fans.
There's a lot to like in Ironclad Tactics, but many of its positive aspects are weighed down by some design issues. You have to prepare a deck carefully, but unfortunately it's a blind preparation the first time through any campaign mission. There's a large variety of cards, but without memorizing what each card does you'll barely have enough time to play them properly before the computer attacks. I truly believe this game could have benefited immensely by including an option for real-time battles. Suddenly, a frantic button-mashing battle would become more akin to a chess game, each piece carefully selected and positioned as the player plans their next four moves before actually executing on them. Unfortunately, with the game as it exists right now, only those who can commit to learning the quirks of the turn system and limited deck size will find the game rewarding.
We're still in the early days of Evolve. There are still free characters, weapons and abilities to unlock for most of us. While the lack of a real story mode may upset some, most people who purchase this game are doing so for the multiplayer, plain and simple. On that front, Evolve impresses when things go as planned. Get a group together, work as a cohesive unit, and have fun blasting those ugly aliens to hell and back. Or play as a Monster, alone but oh so badass. Evolve has a hint of greatness, but a lack of content at launch and a jarring amount of premium launch and planned DLC hold it back. What we have here is an evolution of the Left 4 Dead formula, not a revolution.
If this first episode is a sign of things to come, I think most Resident Evil fans have a lot of good times to look forward to. While the graphics in Penal Colony are pretty disappointing, the atmosphere, pacing, and amount of content are easily worth the price of admission. You'll want to grab a friend to play with in order to enjoy this game to its fullest potential. It'll be interesting to see where Capcom is going to take the story, and those looking for a couple of scares should download a copy of Penal Colony today.