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Fans of the NFL and fans of Madden are going to find a lot of enjoyment with this version. There was some significant editions in the X-Factor players that truly can swing a game in almost any direction if done correctly. But the issues with Face of the Franchise, the lack of any new additions to the base Franchise mode, and some technical glitches here and there which Madden always has still holds this back from being better than anything we’ve ever seen from EA. But like I said, it’s still the best it has been on modern consoles, and I don’t expect to stop playing anytime soon.
Every so often, a game comes along that dares to do something different in terms of narrative design and the themes that get explored. The EA Originals lineup of games over the past year has been a blessing in disguise for the company, with the likes of Fe and A Way Out doing quite well both critically and with fan reception. Sea of Solitude is the latest entry into that lineup of games, and the message has been clearly communicated from the very beginning. This is a game about mental health issues and the ups and downs of everyday life as we struggle to get through this together.
Crash Bandicoot’s resurgence into modern culture is a welcome breath of fresh air. Now, let’s get both a new entry in the kart racing series that has never been seen, but more importantly.. a brand new platforming game. Crash is back!
I can’t think of any other single player game that has offered such a wide breadth and endless stream of content without having to pay for every new level. Whether you are a creative and inspiring designer, a swift fingered speedrunner, or a casual weekend Mario newbie, there will forever be another flagpole to grab, castle to conquer, and princess to save in the incomparable Super Mario Maker 2. The team at Level Down Games can not put it down, and if you decide to make the purchase, we’re certain you won’t be able to either.
Stranger Things 3: The Game does little to add to the mythos of the Stranger Things universe, but still serves as a worthy companion piece to champions of the Netflix series. Fan service is high in the game and though it rehashes the story of the third season with each step, I didn’t grow weary of controlling the not-so-young-anymore children through their high-stakes adventure. A lot of the charm from the show’s dialogue is lost in the translation to gaming, but much of what you love about Stranger Things is still very much intact. Side quests and collectibles not mentioned in the show fill in the gaps that otherwise would have made the game feel lacking. This game is not a revolution of television tie-in gaming experiences, but offers enough content for the price point to satisfy even a casual watcher of the series.
Everything in My Friend Pedro works just right with plenty of shock value and jaw dropping moments to keep you excited throughout. The challenge ramps up wonderfully and by the end of the game, you’ll be Googling to see if the developer has plans for a sequel. But don’t worry, something as novel and beautiful as this is only a few years away from becoming a Triple A title in franchises that you already love.
For all of us 1980’s and 90’s kids out there, 198X is a coming of age story that could honestly tell the tale of any one of us. Set in Suburbia just outside the City, it’s the youthful journey of Kid as he discovers the local Arcade and realizes that, through the power of video games, he can escape reality.. be anyone or anything.. and not worry about the obligations of adulthood that are knocking on his door. The latest Kickstarter success story to officially release, I want to give a fair warning now before we dive any further into the review. 198X is episodic, and unfortunately we didn’t find this out until the game was prepping for release on Steam.
Dauntless is a free-to-play action RPG developed by Phoenix Labs and debuted a full release across Windows, Xbox One, and Playstation 4 with fully functional cross-play. The game closely resembles the gameplay structure of the popular Capcom series, Monster Hunter. Though not without its problems, Dauntless might be one of the best free-to-play games currently available.
Don’t expect to come in to this and see an epic mascot-style story or any type of replayability. The story is about as lame as you’d expect, and only exists at the beginning of the experience and then again at the end with very short cutscenes. This is a one-and-done type of game, but during the 8 to 10 hours it’ll take to complete the journey, especially if you stick it out and go for all of the Arnold levels, you’ll easily find some levels of enjoyment out of Accolade’s latest bobcat adventure. Bubsy: Paws on Fire is definitely the best Bubsy experience released in quite some time, and while this isn’t saying a lot, it definitely doesn’t deserve to be completely skipped over.
I didn’t hate a single minute of my time with Shakedown: Hawaii; in fact, I rather enjoyed almost all of it. The game retails for $19.99, which is a fair price if you are a fan of the genre. Vblank took a pass on the creative storytelling to bring ultimately satisfying and responsive gameplay, and mowing over pedestrians in a hijacked vehicle while shooting an automatic rifle out the window and using a flamethrower to wreak havoc in a trailer park feels (in the most non-psychotic way possible) as fulfilling as you can imagine.
Heaven’s Vault is a flawed experience, with the flaws jumping out early and persisting until the end of the story. But there’s way too many other things bundled into this package to simply ignore them on that premise alone. I wasn’t expecting to like Heaven’s Vault as much as I did, but it’s honestly one of the more enjoyable games I’ve had the pleasure of going through so far this year.
BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! is a fun and interesting game concept that could have been a wonderful entrance for the characters onto Nintendo’s new platform, but falls short in game length and exploration of its mechanics. I enjoyed the time I spent with the game, but did not ultimately feel that the total experience justified the $9.99 price point. With Nintendo’s recent foray into mobile games, I can’t help but wonder whether these characters and this franchise wouldn’t be more appropriate to represent Nintendo in that market.
Fans of platforming games and Nintendo fans in general, if you haven’t played Yoshi’s Crafted World yet, you’re doing yourself a disservice. While this isn’t a perfect game and does have some drawbacks like the easy difficulty, what it manages to do with different platforming mechanics like having Yoshi control a freaking airplane by moving around it in one stage, made this title worth the journey for me. An incredibly cute and fun adventure, this title is sure to please even the most hardcore of fan when all is said and done.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are familiar with the nightmares and stories of horror from Cuphead veterans. The game is notoriously difficult and unforgiving, and some battles can be repeated ad nauseum for hours before you finally perfect the techniques. But if you’re able to set aside your rage, get a good grip on your Pro Controller, and power through try after try, you will be lucky enough to dive into one of the prettiest and most unique games of this generation, and maybe ever.
Katana ZERO is a modern masterpiece with a nearly perfect aesthetic. The graphics are beautifully rendered and animated, the music masterfully composed, and the gameplay tight and satisfying. Almost every moment of this game is used meaningfully and, despite its overall relatively short play time, leaves you with a full story with enough twists and turns that keep you playing to the end and ultimately leave you satisfied.
In a few hours of play, you will see almost everything this game has to offer you, but I doubt you’ll be done with it. It’s easy to boot the game and temper your stresses for anywhere between minutes and hours. ISLANDERS is a wonderful excursion into a simple world of city building, puzzle fitting, and high scores.
Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash is a welcome addition to the series that focuses more on the fun instead of the death we’re used to seeing.