Bastion is a solid action-RPG that is put over the edge by its unique and entrancing concept. It's a fun game, but it would've had trouble standing apart from the crowd, even with its unique features. When you add in the awesome use of narration, the game becomes much more than the sum of its parts. Bastion manages to be engrossing from beginning to end. It's well paced, well executed and fun to play, and it's hard not to get more curious about what comes next. The lack of replay value, even with a NewGame+ and multiple endings, may hurt it a little, but if you're a fan of atmospheric and unique action-RPGs, then Bastion is well worth the 1,200 Microsoft points ($15).
Given the amount of development time and the public nature of the game, Fez no longer seems like a revolutionary title. The puzzle mechanics has been used in several different ways in other games (that were released earlier), and the move away from realism and into a more whimsical, older look has also been done by other titles. The graphics and sound are still charming, even if it falters in a few places. More importantly, the game does a great job of throwing in a number of obtuse and brain-melting puzzles, and the sense of elation when you finally solve them is second to none. Those who love a good challenge will have some fun with this well-made puzzle platformer.
In short, why haven't you already purchased Okami HD? At $20, Okami HD is one of the greatest gaming values of 2012, representing the greatest and largest Zelda-like adventure to not come from Nintendo. It's been updated beautifully and features strong, complementary use of the Move technology. Even at six years of age, the game is better than many modern contemporaries. Hopefully, the HD update finally brings Capcom the success that the game has long deserved.
As a D&D and Neverwinter Nights fan, I wanted to see what an MMO version offered, and I came away feeling that it accomplished its goals, if only for a month or so. It's like a single-player sandbox dungeon; when I reached what felt to be the proverbial end, it was time to move on.
Dusty Revenge has lots of potential and looks very eye-catching. The combat system is satisfying enough despite some cheap enemy tactics, and the boss fights are quite good. However, the camera/HUD issues and the limited use of sound is disappointing, and collision issues and bugs pop up often. The varying quality on the controls can infuriate, especially during the platforming segments in the latter half of the game. For $10, the experience is still worth it but only if you've already played the better titles in the genre.
Unfortunately, it all adds up to be a less-than-stellar experience for Battlefield 4. There is little doubt that the game will see patches to address some or all of these issues, but as it stands, it has an underwhelming single-player campaign and an unstable multiplayer mode that severely hampers enjoyment. The launch of a game used to mean that something close to a polished product was made available. In that regard, the Battlefield 4 launch can only be seen as an embarrassment. Hopefully, the game will be better after some patches, but in its current state, it shouldn't have been released in the first place.
Knack is easily the low point of the PS4's launch. The game squanders its potential at every opportunity. What could have been an interesting mascot character for the PlayStation is instead the very definition of mediocrity. Boring combat, unimaginative platforming, and some flawed design decisions bring down Knack. Even with the extremely limited selection of launch titles, there's no reason to choose Knack over anything else. Those looking for a kid-friendly game would be much better off shelling out the extra money for Skylanders or Lego Marvel. There's nothing to recommend Knack, and it's destined to join the ever-growing pile of low-budget launch titles that nobody remembers.
Skylanders: Swap Force is the best kid-friendly game available on the PS4. It's incredibly accessible, easy to play, and full of content. It is a solid and well-crafted game from start to finish. The only potential downside is that it could become a serious drain on a parent's wallet as their kids run into roadblocks that require specific toys to continue. If you don't mind dishing out a few extra dollars, or if your kids already have a healthy collection of Skylander toys, there's no better choice for a new PS4 owner looking for something for the younger crowd.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is one of the most fun Zelda titles on the market, and it's easily the best handheld Zelda game since Link's Awakening. It's well crafted, fun to play, charming and interesting, and it mixes up the Zelda formula in some exciting ways while maintaining a healthy dose of nostalgia. It isn't the longest game, but it's fun from beginning to end. The highest praise I can give A Link Between Worlds is that it's a worthy sequel to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Zelda fans should absolutely add this game to their libraries, and newcomers to the franchise should find it to be a fun and accessible title.