Outlands doesn’t change anything up in a meaningful way, doesn’t find a way to mix its two distinct styles of gameplay into something altogether more fun and doesn’t even fix the original game’s unfortunate frame rate issues. In every sense of it, Outlands is just “more TRON RUN/r.” That’s too bad, but it’s also not the worst thing to be.
It's such a shame that Street Fighter V launched in the state it did; it's impossible to wholeheartedly recommend to everyone as a result. If you're on the fence or a newcomer, you're better off waiting for another update or two for the game to get fully fleshed out. But even right now, beyond all its rough edges and missing modes, Street Fighter V is a tremendous fighting game at the top of its class.
If you're a fan of games like Spelunky and FTL: Faster Than Light — roguelikes with a penchant for precariousness and uncertainty — you owe it to yourself to give Amazing Discoveries in Outer Space a shot. It's an inventive game that skillfully captures the perils and intrigue of space exploration, wrapping it up in an endlessly replayable package.
There's not a lot about Attractio to pull you in from a distance. It doesn't look, sound or even feel that great. Its story is obvious and uninteresting. Everything about it screams "knockoff" like a "ROLAX" watch, but don't be fooled: if you're a fiend for devious puzzles, Attractio is the real deal.
Telltale's original story pales in comparison to the source material and it's not an especially satisfying adventure game, either. Your choices matter about as much as the points in Whose Line Is It Anyway? and the game's action scenes barely register whether or not you're even holding the controller. Even if you're a fan of the books or HBO show, there's not much incentive to play Telltale's Game of Thrones.
It's been a full four months since Episode Five ended on a massive decision that left players reeling. Given Telltale's past work on the series, it was hard to imagine that Episode Six would actually do right by that decision and manage to wrap the season up in a remotely satisfying way. Sure enough, huge chunks of Episode Six are just as middling as everything else in the season, and on a technical level, it's even worse. Still, there's bright spots throughout the episode, especially with Mira's storyline, that prove enjoyable enough that players who have made it this far should finish it out.
The best way to describe Runbow is that it feels like the kind of idea that would've made for a creative series of one or two levels in a Mario game, but here that's the entire game from start to finish with little variation. I can't stress enough that you probably just shouldn't bother with Runbow unless you have at least three or four friends with whom to play with on a regular basis.
It's a shame that Everybody's Gone to the Rapture falls for the trap of slowing players down to force engagement because it does the exact opposite. There's plenty to latch onto here, but the slow movement speed and technical problems distract from the otherwise moving story.
The technical problems of episodes past — the variable frame rate, incessant hitching, visual glitches, etc — persist here, but at this point, we're so used to them that it hardly feels worthy of a callout here. Mostly it's just a bummer that A Nest of Vipers doesn't continue the steady uptick in quality we saw over the previous two episodes, but Episode Five nonetheless proves itself a necessary step in the lead-up to the season's conclusion next episode.
With tons of references and entertaining gameplay, Portal Portal is a great new table. It's a little thin on content and will require the purchase of either Zen Pinball 2 or Pinball FX2 to play it, however, so it's an investment that those coming only for the Portal aspect might need to rationalize.
Telltale's Game of Thrones series, now over halfway through its first season, has been a huge disappointment so far, but it's been improving steadily, and Episode Four – Sons of Winter proves there's real potential in the concept, even if Telltale might not have been the right candidate for the job. There are the occasional flashes of brilliance here that make you wish the series as a whole could match the same level of quality, but they're appreciated anyway.
Bastion is an aesthetic dream, from the beautiful visuals that look like a painting come to life to the incredible soundtrack that breathes soul into that life. As a game, though, it could've been so much more. There's a great amount of replay value here, from the new game plus mode to the combat challenges, but that's only if the mechanics click with you enough to stick with it. Because of some frustrating controls and combat design decisions, Bastion is held back from being excellent, but remains great nonetheless.
It's still impossible to recommend this series to anyone but Telltale diehards; fans of the HBO show will find it supremely unsatisfying and dreadfully boring, and it's too steeped in lore for anyone else to jump in. The Sword in the Darkness does nothing to change that, but it does push the quality bar just a hair higher, elevating itself all the way into "I guess that wasn't terrible" territory.
It'd be easy to overlook the The Lost Lords' myriad issues — the awful presentation, the lack of true divergence, the general lack of polish — if it weren't for its biggest problem: it's boring. Even for diehard fans of the show or books, there's little to glean from these first two episodes so far.