Most Recent: Reviews

Salt and Sanctuary Review: Derivative, But Who’s Complaining?


It is often said that imitation is the highest form of flattery. If this is true, the folks at From Software must be fanning themselves like a Victorian lady in search of a fainting couch, because Salt and Sanctuary is an unashamed imitation of Dark Souls. In fact, licensing aside, it essentially is a Souls game. Of course, Salt and Sanctuary is not the first game to copy the formula established by From Software, but where others have become mired in being too much like Dark Souls, Salt and Sanctuary strikes out in new, interesting directions and successfully transposes the Souls style onto a 2D action-platformer. (more…)

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Dreii Review: Puzzling, But Not In a Good Way


I first got word of Dreii a couple of months ago and I’ve been quite frankly jazzed about it ever since. A physics-based puzzle game! With Journey-style invisible matchmaking and limited communication! And that art style! Dreii almost seemed like it was designed just for me. It pains me to report then that, in spite of all of these things, Dreii is mired in an indecisiveness about what it wants its puzzles to be that makes it at best, boring, and at worst, infuriating. (more…)

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Catlateral Damage Review: An A-Meow-Zing Experience!


It’s no secret that I adore cats. I’ve owned cats, loved cats, and am actively looking to adopt a new cat. I have cats on everything, from t-shirts to totebags to cat-butt magnets. Because I don’t own any actual cats right now, my friends refer to me as the “catless cat lady.” So it should be no surprise that, the first time I saw Catlateral Damage, I knew it was a game I was going to love. (more…)

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Hitman: Intro Pack Review: For Better or Worse, the Same Old Hitman


As long as I have been playing the Hitman games, I have always been struck by the strange dissonance between the way the series is marketed and the way it actually plays. In adverts, cutscenes, and promotional art, Hitman games are always presented as offering a power fantasy in which you play as a globetrotting, sharply-dressed, dual pistol-wielding assassin. This is strange because, as anyone who has played a Hitman game will tell you, the games are actually much more about dressing as an engineer and rigging an oven to explode, or disguising yourself as a waiter and spiking your target’s drink with a laxative so that you can murder them in the privacy of the bathroom. This pattern holds for IO Interactive’s new entry in the Hitman series, and, for fans at least, this is good news. Even if this game is something of a known quantity, it does still manage to deliver that same incredibly cool feeling that comes with watching a chandelier “accidentally” fall on your target and walking out without anyone suspecting foul play. (more…)

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Broforce Review: A Geri-Action-Packed Shooter


At first glance, Broforce seems to be an incredibly simple game. In each level, you run from left to right until you reach the end, killing any enemies who get in your way, with the occasional necessary exception of killing a boss before you can leave the level. While this might sound like a rather stagnant formula, Broforce, with its large roster of characters, emergent chaos, and four-player co-op, is designed to constantly descend into the kind of explosive mayhem that was so much fun in the action movies that the game borrows so liberally from. (more…)

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Street Fighter V Review: Here Comes A (Mostly) New Challenger


In 1991, my friends and I habitually visited Fielder’s Choice, a sports card shop in the Chicagoland area. There, we bought and traded cards with fellow card aficionados. My poison of choice were the baseball cards from Topps. I even think I still have my Roberto Alomar Desert Shield card still laying around somewhere. Sorry, I’m getting off-base here. The reason I mention this shop is because one day, we strolled into Fielder’s Choice and saw that the owner had put up a Street Fighter II arcade machine. That day, we ended up spending all our card money on this new, amazing game.

For months after that, we ditched the card-collecting scene and joined in on the fun, fast-paced world of beating the crap out of each other. Later, my buddy Andy got the console version for his Super Nintendo. A few months after that, Fielders Choice went under. I’m not saying it’s a direct correlation, but yeah. Point being, I grew up with the Street Fighter franchise. But as the years went by, we grew in two different directions. The fighting system became way too sophisticated, and just I couldn’t keep up. When I finally got into Street Fighter IV, I wasn’t able to last thirty seconds in an online match. Expecting more of the same, I came into Street Fighter V with some trepidation. But now, I’m feeling a lot like I did 25 years ago. (more…)

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Yoshi’s Woolly World Review: Nintendo and Good-Feel Sew Up A Colourful Treat


Despite those open-world sandbox games that eat up half the hours in a day being all the rage, Nintendo has continued to enjoy immense success with its traditional 2D platformers. They still excel at this genre, even more than 30 years after Super Mario Bros was released on the NES. Yoshi’s Woolly World is a semi-sequel to 1997’s SNES hit Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island and the N64’s Yoshi’s Story, but does it capture the magic of these past games, or does it simply unravel? (more…)

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Tharsis Review: Survival is a Dicey Affair


Five weeks ago, my ship was struck by a micrometeoroid storm that killed two of the six crew and irreparably damaged the ship. Since then, two more crew members have died and been cannibalised (we ran out of food), and many of the ship’s systems have gone offline. The two remaining crew members are hungry, tired, very badly injured, and still five weeks from Mars. Relatively speaking, things are going pretty well.

Tharsis is a board game with teeth. Every decision you make will feel the best of a bad bunch, and even then you might roll snake eyes and be locked out of making that decision. Tharsis is really, really hard, and the fact that your ability to act is based on dice rolls means that even if you are a strategic genius, you can still end up with a dead crew seven weeks away from Mars. (more…)

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