By constantly running at breakneck speed, Velocibox takes a solid idea and turns it into one of the most aggravating games ever made. The cool art style and clever concept isn't enough to make up for the frustrating gameplay, unfair obstacles and cheap deaths. Velocibox is not meant for humans.
Badland: Game of the Year Edition is a great looking game with simple gameplay and a lot of charm. Despite all the things going in its favor, this brand new PlayStation 4 and PS Vita game left me cold. It's often frustrating for reasons outside of your control and the fresh ideas are stretched out over hundreds of stages.
Although rough around the edges, Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess gives players a chance to kill people in some of the most brutal ways possible. Fans of wanton violence and Rube Goldberg contraptions will have a bloody good time setting off traps. And with two full games to choose from, this PlayStation 4 port will keep sadistic murderers busy for dozens of hours.
Even with good looking graphics and catchy retro-inspired tunes, Spectra is disappointingly shallow. There are only ten stages to contend with, each looking exactly like the last. Worse yet, the simplistic gameplay and overused obstacles make this indie outing feel repetitive. And with no way to import your own songs or create custom levels, Spectra is a game destined to be quickly forgotten.
Whispering Willows is an engaging horror-themed graphic adventure starring a likeable hero and a haunted mansion. Unfortunately, the great presentation is undone by a predictable story and simple puzzles. Elena's journey may be full of ghouls and ghosts, but it fails to scare up much excitement.
If you already love Devil May Cry 4, then this brand new special edition is everything you could hope for. It looks great, runs fast and is loaded with playable characters. On the other hand, new players may not be able to overlook some of the game's outdated designs, including fixed camera perspectives and tons of backtracking.
Whether you're new to Dark Souls II or played it on older consoles, Scholar of the First Sin is worth revisiting. This PlayStation 4 collection features the original game, along with the three expansion packs. The result is as rewarding as it is frustrating. And thanks to substantial tweaks made to the world and enemy AI, there's more than enough incentive to suck series veterans back into one of the best adventure games of all time.
Dakko Dakko takes a simple idea and stretches it as far as it will go. Scram Kitty DX may not be an essential purchase, but it's full of good ideas and fun challenges. Too bad the presentation is so bland and the gameplay repetitive. Imperfections aside, fans of unorthodox arcade shoot 'em ups will get a kick out of this action game.
Slender: The Arrival is more frustrating than scary. The atmospheric locations are wasted in this boring survival-horror game where players do little more than search around for numbered items. The game goes a long way to flesh out the story and mythology, but it never makes a convincing argument for why Slender deserves to be a franchise.
Final Form Games throws history out the window to create an action-packed shoot-em-up where 17th century colonists fight over Mars. This is a great looking game that will remind players of the genre's heyday in the 1990s. And with dozens of items to unlock and a wide variety of weapons to shoot, Jamestown+ will keep shoot-em-up fans happy for many hours to come.
Q*Bert Rebooted isn't without potential; it has a lot of content and some of the new ideas are solid. Unfortunately, any potential is squandered by an overlong campaign and a control scheme that often feels broken. Not being able to reliably move in diagonal directions makes certain levels near impossible. Q*Bert deserves better.
Hand of Fate is a devastatingly addictive adventure game that mixes card collecting with fast-paced third-person action and board games. Although full of disparate ideas, the game is never confusing. It has a few technical issues and I would have preferred a way to continue, but none of that should keep you from experiencing Hand of Fate.
This is not your typical Dynasty Warriors sequel. Empire plays out like a game of Risk, where fast-paced action sequences replace rolling the dice. Unfortunately, the developer doesn't take the novel concept far enough. Fans may enjoy the fast-paced action and emphasis on character building, but everybody else will be left scratching their heads at the outdated graphics and repetitive gameplay.
While not the next-generation Final Fantasy game fans are anxiously waiting for, Type-0 is a fun action/adventure with a lot of compelling ideas. There's enough variety in the gameplay to keep the combat fresh for dozens of hours, and the story is surprisingly emotional for a political thriller. Sadly, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is held back by its handheld roots, but don't let that keep you from discovering this oddity.
By combining elements from collectible card games and Plants vs. Zombies, Zachtronic Industries has created a game that feels weirdly familiar yet brand new. Ironclad Tactics mixes the American Civil War with robots, creating an addictive strategy game overflowing with charm.
After seventeen long years, Grim Fandango finally makes its console debut on the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. This is a remastered port of one of the best point & click adventures of all time, and the Tim Schafer classic hasn't missed a beat. It's overflowing with fascinating characters and a story full of twists and turns. No matter if you're new to the Land of the Dead or a returning visitor, Grim Fandango Remastered is a must-play.
Never Alone tells a deeply personal story of an Inupiaq girl on an adventure to survive the elements. This is a spellbinding experience that not only introduces players to the real stories and culture so important to the native Alaskan community, but goes one step further by creating two dozen informative videos featuring interviews with tribe elders, storytellers and artists. It's a dazzling adventure that is not to be missed.
While not as ambitious as recent Marvel or Star Wars tables, South Park: Super-Sweet Pinball is a solid collection with a great sense of humor. The two tables are radically different and the objectives are a lot of fun to complete. Fans of the long-running TV series will get a kick out of the cameos and inside jokes, but everybody else will be left scratching their heads.
After the success of MotoGP 14, MXGP: The Official Motocross Videogame left me cold. While the racing mechanics are fine, the boring progression is made worse by a number of questionable design decisions. Worse yet, none of the real world tracks stand out and the graphics aren't very good for a PlayStation 4 game. MXGP is a big disappointment.