So I have played and completed several games in the past few months but I just haven’t been able to sit down and finish a decent lengthy review for each game. As such some titles that I feel are pretty excellent have been unsung by myself or anyone else in the CA! circle, but that will partially end today. For games that I just haven’t been able to write about now have their own little section of the site to call their own with a new piece titled Quick Reviews!
Following similar formats from other articles such as Quick Bits! and Quick Tunes!, Quick Reviews will feature a small selection of games that I have conquered along with my thoughts and review scale. For this first piece, there are some great games that deserve to be played.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
This latest entry in the long running series from Nintendo is also one of its best. A Link Between Worlds isn’t just a terrific homage to the amazing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (although it does feature great remixes of the music, the landscape and the enemies.) it is just a terrific game, period. Link Between Worlds is classic Zelda at its best. It features a fun top down perspective, great responsiveness and clever dungeons that utilize the games new chalk shift ability perfectly. Now Link can jump into walls, becoming a painting and allowing him to reach areas he couldn’t have otherwise. This new ability looks great and opens up the world in exciting ways. There are only two downsides to this latest adventure and those are the way in which you collect tools and the games difficulty. While players unlock a harder difficulty option after completion, its a shame the choice isn’t available upfront as I didn’t die once throughout the entire adventure. Also the ability to unlock every piece of gear upfront constricts the creativity of the dungeons a bit and makes collecting Rupees pointless. Other than those minor quibbles however, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is one of the best entries in the series and a must play for fans.
Final Score: 9.0 / 10
Gunpoint was a game created by one developer who was on a goal to see if a games journalist could turn around and make a top notch product. He succeeded. This is a game that takes a relatively simple concept, breaking and entering, and gives it a unique flair all its own. Players take control of a freelance spy as he is slowly embroiled within a murder mystery. It is not long before you are having to make choices that influence the story such as withholding secrets or laying them all bare. Gameplay allows you to choose the stealth approach or opt for a violent affair with tools that allow you to control the environment in unique ways. Do you wish to turn off the lights and sneak past guards or would you rather reconfigure an outlets wiring and overload it just as a patrolman walks past – shocking him in the process. Gunpoint features a distinct art style and moody soundtrack that, when combined with its fun action, helps to deliver one of the best stealth games of last year. The only downsides to this one are the fact you can mistakenly allow yourself to get stuck in certain rooms with no way out if your not careful and that the game is rather short. In the end Gunpoint left me craving more.
Final Score: 8.5 / 10
Dead Rising 3
Capcom’s zombie survival threequel is the best launch game of the new generation of consoles. Featuring a staggering amount of characters and debris on screen at any given moment players are provided free roam over a large California city as it quickly spirals into madness after an outbreak. Taking control of Nick Ramos, you are then given a very lenient time restraint and a goal of escaping the city before it is bombed. Dead Rising 3, while being more gritty visually, is everything that fans loved about previous games and then some. Featuring thousands of items to pick up and use, dozens of quests both primary and secondary, and a terrific crafting system; Dead Rising 3 is easily the best in the series. Main protagonist Nick shows believable reactions to the events surrounding him while also being a kind and sympathetic figure who only wishes to help as many citizens as he can. The story takes as many twists and turns as one would expect from this series while also having neat connections to past games. While the graphics aren’t on par with titles such as Ryse, its because the developers wished to do more with world creation and creating a sense of being overwhelmed. While the frame rate can stutter, primarily when running over hundreds in a vehicle, it never becomes a true bother. Couple this with being able to play the entire experience online with a friend and Dead Rising 3 delivers a terrific experience that will last you a long time.
Final Score: 8.5 / 10
Headed by David Brevik, the lead behind Diablo and its sequel, Marvel Heroes is a free to play title that combines the action RPG genre with that of MMO’s. And it pulls it off quite well. Featuring dozens of characters from the Marvel universe (with more being added regularly) gamers are allowed to experience a lengthy story that continues to be expanded upon with major content updates. New players can choose from nine heroes to begin their journey with including: Luke Cage, Punisher, Captain America, Black Panther, Human Torch, Black Widow, Colossus, Storm and Hawkeye. Once they are placed in the world, the Diablo vibe will come through clearly. The game is seen from an isometric view but can be zoomed in and out freely, unlike Diablo 3, allowing gamers to zoom within inches of their hero and experience the mayhem up close. The MMO aspect comes in the form of seeing other gamers and their heroes freely roaming the overworlds kicking enemy behinds and being able to freely partner up at any time. The game features numerous quests and loot, but unlike traditional action rpgs, the loot does not change your character physically. This makes sense, as you are a Marvel Superhero, but it can take some time to get over. If you wish to change up your appearance you will have to get lucky with a rare Costume drop or purchase a costume from the games in game store. Again, this is a F2P game and unlike at the games launch (where it was a disaster) it has changed dramatically and the ingame systems have improved greatly. During play gamers will come upon a currency known as Splinters, which they can save up and spend to acquire new heroes such as Deadpool or Loki. This system makes it so that you don’t ever have to spend real cash unless you really desire a select hero or costume, and while additional costumes can be costly, at least it is not essential in any way. There are no roadblocks to the actual content, and that is impressive. Marvel Heroes biggest pitfall is the games difficulty, it is just too simple. Players will barrel through the main quest no problem, easily taking down supervillains such as Doc Ock and Magneto. Even so, Marvel Heroes is one of the best F2P games currently available on PC and offers up a nice amount of content with more being added regularly free of charge. I have put in 26 hours on just one character, and while I have purchased several more, it was never asked of me. Excelsior!
Final Score: 8.0 / 10
Skulls of the Shogun
Skulls offers gamers a funny and enjoyable turn based strategy game that isn’t too deep that beginners would lose themselves. Veterans of the genre won’t find anything exactly new here, but should still enjoy themselves due to the quirky nature of it all. The story allows gamers to take control of an undead Samurai general as he begins a quest in the afterlife to find the respect he so rightfully deserves, oh and revenge! The game is available on both XBLA and Steam with the PC version featuring a few exclusive levels, a new character and some added multiplayer features. If you are looking for a laid back strategic affair that offers plenty of goofy laughs along the way, then Skulls of the Shogun should be up your alley. If however, you want a deep difficult strategy game, then you are probably better off elsewhere.