Review: Seasons after Fall

A young girl’s voice tells you, a seed, to possess a fox and explore a forest to find the guardians of the seasons. Finding them will grant players the power to swap between seasons on the fly.

That is the basic premise of Seasons after Fall‘s story, which as you can imagine makes little sense, as the reasoning behind everything is never fully explained—at least as far as character motivations are concerned. At least there’s a clear conclusion.

The story isn’t why you’ll want to play this though, the wonderful art style, animations, and calming gameplay is.

Read my full review here.

Review: The Turing Test

Rarely, if ever, have I played a game that asked hard hitting existential and ethical questions like The Turing Test. What is human? What is free will and does free will actually exist? Is immortality good or bad? Can computers do wrong?

This game certainly gave me a lot to think about.

Read my full review here.

Review: Attack on Titan

Most of our readers have probably heard of Attack on Titan at least once by now, but in case you’ve been living under a rock it’s a popular manga-turned-anime that follows the last remnants of humanity living in a city surrounded by walls to protect them from an outside world has been overrun by giant nude (but lacking genitalia) giants. With this release, players get to experience that as a game. Dynasty Warriors developerOmega Force finally brings the franchise to the PC and consoles, and while it is easily the best gamified iteration yet, it suffers many of the same issues as the previously released 3DS game based on the series.

Attack on Titan is one of those franchises that sounds like it would be great as a video gamebut if you stop to think about it, that isn’t the case. A majority of the anime has only one of two things happening: characters talking or having long drawn out introspectives, or killing titans. The actual killing of titans almost always plays out the same way. Characters use their specialized gear to zip through the sky and then slice the back of titans’ necks to kill them—rinse, repeat. While this game captures all that, the fighting of titans is so simple and repetitive that it becomes a real bore after just a few missions.

Read my full review here.

Review: The King of Fighters XIV

Unlike other recently released fight games (looking at you Street Fighter), The King of Fighters XIV manages to release as a full-fledged product with all the bells and whistles one would expect when buying a fighting game. In this package, you’ll find 50 characters to choose from each with unique play styles and moves, a story mode with 3D animated cut scenes, various multiplayer modes, training, and some challenge modes. While it isn’t perfect, it makes other fighting games on the market look like rip-offs with their lack of content and gross amounts of DLC.

This is the first time that a core King of Fighters game has been fully rendered in 3D (matches still play out on a 2D playing field like the other games in the series), though the graphics aren’t anything to write home about. By comparison to Street Fighter, they practically look last generation. Characters movements, animations, and stage backgrounds just aren’t as interesting or eye-catching, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a solid fighter.

Read my full review here.

The King of Fighters XIV (PS4) Review 11

Review: Metroid Prime: Federation Force

What I’m about to say may shock you, but Metroid Prime: Federation Force is the best FPS for the Nintendo 3DS, and perhaps one of my favourite FPSs of all time. If you’re a fan of the Metroid series, there is plenty to see, including Samus, who shows up in various cutscenes. If you’re not, you’re still in for a treat, especially if you have friends to play with.

Anyone who has read anything about this game knows that many fans of the series weren’t happy with its announcement, as they had anticipated that Nintendo would reveal a new “proper” Metroid platformer of the sort that they had been dreaming of. After the announcement, there was mass down-voting of trailers, with people complaining that the game was ugly and that they hated the chibi art style.There was even a petition to get the game canceled. Were those people justified in their concerns and behaviors?

Read my full review here.

Impressions: The Elder Scrolls Legends beta

The first time I played The Elder Scrolls Legends was at PAX East this year, at which time I called it “a brown, clunky, cash-in” and while must admit that I do feel a bit warmer towards it now that I’ve been playing the beta, I stand by those words.

Elder Scrolls Legends suffers from what most Bethesda games suffer from: it lacks personality while having decent gameplay. When compared side-by-side to Blizzard’s Hearthstone, a game from which it takes many of its mechanics (perhaps those are from Magic: The Gathering, I don’t know), it just looks so lifeless. The one and only playing field is just a dull brown scroll, with most of the screen being similar shades of brown. The cards themselves have decent artwork, but the colours tend to be a bit muted. Worst of all this game features awful voice acting—which seems to be a Bethesda staple at this point.

Read my full impressions here.

Review: Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate

Have you ever heard of Shiren the Wanderer? I hadn’t until this game, but apparently, this is the fifth game in the series and a spinoff of the Mystery Dungeon games. I had never played any game in the Mystery Dungeon series, not even the cutePokemon ones, as I’d heard they were rather brutal JRGP dungeon crawlers that took lots of time to learn. I heard correctly.

First, the good, Shiren’s retro-like graphics practically pop off the screen, especially on the original vita’s OLED screen. If you like 16-bit or early PlayStation 1 JRPG pixel graphics, you’ll be quite pleased here, aside from the atrocious character portraits that display whenever characters talk – these look like a child drew them. The musical score is easy on the ears, and the characters are likable, such as your sidekick, who is a talking mongoose, or a girl wearing a panda onesie who offers to join you on your journey – for a price. Shiren is also on the Vita, which is a plus for anyone who owns the Vita, since it has so few games released for it these days.

Read my full review here.

Review: Overcooked

Have you ever wanted to be on Hell’s Kitchen? Well, look no further than the couch cooperation (or competitive) cooking game Overcooked, as it has everything but Chef Gordon Ramsay. Heck, it even includes a button to swear—though no foul language is actually uttered but instead comes out in symbols much like the classic Q-bert.

If you’ve got friends that actually come over to your house, then Overcookedwill be a blast. However, playing alone is both dull and difficult. You see, when playing with multiple people you can easily split up the tasks, as the entire game revolves around chopping, frying, and serving food and washing plates. When playing by yourself you’ve got to control two characters that you can swap between, or if you’re a talented multitasker you can play as both at the same time by splitting your controller in half, with the each side controlling a different character. I could not manage to do this, and eventually had to get my boyfriend to come help me complete the levels.

Read my full review here.

Preview: Have a Wild Cooking Adventure in Overcooked

If you haven’t yet heard of Overcooked, don’t worry —  you will more than likely get an earful from friends, family, and coworkers once it releases. I can confirm the game is a blast to play, having spent some time with an early build of the game this week.

Overcooked  is a zany cooking game for between one and four players that can be played either cooperatively or competitively. The story mode has players going back in time to learn to cook better under the supervision of an onion king and his pet dog, thus preventing the pending apocalypse caused by a giant spaghetti and meatballs monster. Yes, really.

Read my full preview here.

Preview: ABZU Combines Journey and Ecco

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming,” I happily sang to myself, making my way through seaweed and surrounded by 10,000 fish in the beautiful Abzu.

The graphical stylings of Abzu may seem familiar to anyone who played the critically acclaimed PlayStation exclusive Journey, as the art director of that game, Matt Nava, is the lead of this project. Both games also share a composer in Austin Wintory, and a genre, as both are linear story-driven exploration game. However, this is single-player only, underwater, and coming to PC as well as PS4.

While story details were scarce in the short demo I played, I was able to spy some paintings that alluded to the origins of the humanoid character I was playing as. At first glance, you might think she is human, but no humans I know can swim fast enough to jump out of the water like a dolphin or communicate with fish. Plus, my demo ended with me entering a giant alien looking underwater structure. I was certainly left intrigued and wanting more.

Read my full preview here.