I’ve never been more invested in a rugby league video game than the best moments I had with Rugby League Live 4, but without fail it was stripped away from me every time, leaving me frustrated, angry. If you could forgive Rugby League Live 3 its flaws and enjoy it, then this sequel will leave you as happy as Fatty and King Wally after Origin 3. For those of us that found the previous Live games unsatisfying, we’ll always have the Blues.
If you harbour even the slightest desire to build then you have to experience Cities: Skylines. It provides most of the complexity of Maxis' 2013 Sim City but isn't bogged down with restrictive city size and a focus on co-operative building. The customisation and mods will keep this game alive for a long, long time and Colossal Order are due great praise for their embracing user created content.
At launch, Eagle Flight doesn’t offer enough for the near-full price it charges. Single player isn’t enough to justify a purchase and multiplayer isn’t populous enough to get regular matches. Eagle Flight gets the basics right, flight is great and combat can be full of excitement, the game just doesn’t build much on that strong foundation.
Beyond the minigames there isn’t a lot here. You have a playroom to store unlocked toys and throw them around a bit should you wish. It offers about three minutes of entertainment. The overworld carnival is populated by freakish bearded women and young children with supernatural reflexes, dodging every projectile you launch their way. The carnival barker attempts to be amusing, mostly without success, and will soon be repeating himself to the point you curse that he too has supernatural reflexes.
Who knows how long it will last, but Rivals had me clearing a permanent place to store the plastic drums and guitar once again, items that were long ago retired from the lounge room. It took Harmonix a year and an expansion pack with a hefty price tag, but Rock Band 4 is once again a headline act.
I don’t factor cost into my review scores but Superhypercube is such an egregious example of VR price inflation that it had to be mentioned. If money is no object (or this review has become outdated and the game is now available for $20), don’t hesitate to grab Superhypercube, it is one of the best games available for PS VR today and I anticipate for some time to come.
I had some fun with Pixel Gear but it is hard to recommend. There is about two hours worth of content here and before I’d even finished the first level on normal difficulty my mind was wandering. Higher difficulties are more engaging but this is a shallow, simple shooting gallery you would expect from a motion control minigame collection, adding a VR layer to expand it to 180 degree action isn’t enough and even if you are engaged there is no way to compete against yourself, let alone the world. Thoroughly mediocre.
If motion controls worked I could mildly recommend Ace Banana for those who want their archery fix or just enjoy a decent arcade game. It is moderately priced for a VR game and for the brief moments it works properly it is immersive. With no way to guarantee you won’t have motion control issues (looking online I am hardly alone in my complaints here) I can only recommend Ace Banana if you desperately need a fix of mediocre motion controlled VR.
100ft Robot Golf is a good laugh and a solid game. If an anime spoof is up your alley you owe it to yourself to check this one out, as does anybody looking for a good multiplayer bash for nights when mates are around having a few beers. The golf may be simple but there is fun to be had, just don’t expect much staying power for solo sessions.
XCOM 2 is not more XCOM, but better XCOM. It will make you feel like the original may not have been the great game you thought it was, and for me that is all I can ask of a sequel. XCOM fans will not be disappointed, nor will any gamer with an affinity for strategy and tactical games who somehow missed Enemy Unknown. A brilliant game.
The early pace of Hue was leading me to disappointment, but the stellar second act was more than enough reward for that labour. Hue delivers a polished package and a strong platform puzzle game, it isn't a Braid or Limbo but merely evoking those names can be taken as a sign of quality that Hue most certainly possesses.
Risk: Urban Assault is a decent game wrapped in a terrible package disrespectful of the player and their time. It throws pointless animations, cutscenes and bloat into a board game that is already well known for being a soul sucking grind. If this was just a board game I’d begrudgingly recommend it to people who really like Risk but as a video game I find it hard to recommend to anybody.
Prison Architect is an excellent sandbox, a throwback to the days of Bullfrog's Theme series that forces you to balance an eye for aesthetics with pure functionality. Those who don't need to be led by the hand to explore the deep systems at play will find an excellent simulation to lose themselves in, with online sharing options providing a huge selection of prisons to explore, tear down and rebuild. If you can stomach the morality of prisons for profit you will enjoy Prison Architect.
If you still enjoy the campaign aspects of Total War then you will find Warhammer simply brilliant, the Warhammer license makes this the most interesting Total War game in years. If the promise of the most exciting battles isn’t enough to stir your loins then this is just a game of more research trees, resource grinding and shoddy diplomacy, the same you have played for the last decade.
Rugby Challenge 3 brings menus, fonts, controls, modes and gameplay over wholesale from Rugby Challenge 2, adding only token extras and spicing up the graphics to fit a current generation release. Not that Rugby Challenge 3 looks great; to compare it to Madden or FIFA is embarrassing.