Subscribe to the latest updates from the Reviews category

Reviews Archives

I admit, when I saw the trailer for Mario Kart 8, I was wholly unimpressed. Mario Kart Wii had perfected Nintendo's Kart racing formula, and Mario Kart 7's "additions" were nothing truly fresh. For a kart racer that was aging so quickly, Mario Kart 8 didn't seem to be anything special. Until I got my hands on the E3 demo, that is.

Mario Kart 8 is certainly a familiar idea: Mario and friends unite to have a friendly competition and plow through various race tracks based on Mario locales in a tournament for undying glory. Players glide along the tracks, drifting, boosting, and shelling their way to victory. This time, however, tracks have certain sections where racers defy gravity by turning upside down or racing on the walls. Mario Kart 8 also includes coins, a feature long absent from the Mario Kart series and reintroduced in Mario Kart 7. For those unaware, every coin collected speeds up the racers, but the limit unfortunately remains ten coins at a time, placing a sad cap on the game’s speed.

The one reason I truly see Mario Kart 8 as an impressive game, however, is that the track design is unique and inspired. Head past the jump to see why Mario Kart 8 could be exactly what the series needs.

DuckTales Remastered was announced at PAX East back in March, developed by the up-and-coming superstar development team at WayForward Technologies. Based on the classic NES hit DuckTales, which was inspired by the hit cartoon of the same name, DuckTales Remastered leaps to PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC later this year, and after playing the demo shown at E3, I can say with certainty that DuckTales Remastered is going to be spectacular.

Starting in "The Amazon," I saw the brilliance of DuckTales Remastered shining brightly within the first thirty seconds of my experience. Rather than simply placing Scrooge McDuck, the game's protagonist, at the beginning of levels, DuckTales Remastered shows Launchpad McQuack dropping Scrooge off in various levels and explaining how it relates to his quest, which does well to make the game a little more cohesive. Did I mention that several cast members of the show reprise their roles for the game's voices? Most notably, Alan Young returns as Scrooge McDuck, which really adds an authentic DuckTales flair to the reimagined title.

Head past the jump to keep reading more about this fantastic DuckTales remake!

One of the demos I tried at E3 today was none other than Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, a new game developed by Retro Studios which was announced by Nintendo earlier today. Following in the footsteps of Donkey Kong Country Returns, Tropical Freeze takes the Kongs on another sidescrolling adventure through DK Isle filled with barrel blasts and jungle baddies, this time with an arctic twist.

Head past the jump to read all about the E3 demo of Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze!

Proteus Review

June 09 2013 by Barry Herbers

The animal I followed thrust its body off the ground, hopping consistently as I stepped closer to it. Then there were two of the creatures, both springing off the ground to avoid me. With each jump came a beautiful sound, and as I followed them, the alternating bounds made a wonderful song. Plain-and-simple, that’s Proteus.

Proteus contains no cut-scenes, no dialogue, no heads-up-display, no lose state, no objective indicators and—for that matter—no determined objectives at all. As far as game play is concerned, all you do is walk around the game's island in first-person, with your only motivation being to discover.

Read on for the full review.

Final Fantasy. It was the last ditch effort by nearly bankrupt gaming studio Square in 1987. The name was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that it would be the studio's last game before closing its door permanently. However, Square, who would later merge with Enix Corporation to become the modern day Square Enix, had no idea what it had created.  With one simple game, Square had made a game that would save itself, and created a legacy and a phenomenon that would last over 25 years, continuing to this day. 

I stated in my "Symphony of the Goddesses" article that music holds incredible power. Just like The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy would be fantastic and engrossing tale even without the music. However, it is composer Nobuo Uematsu's incredible compositions that really put the button on things, so to speak. It adds that final touch that make you go from just having feels, to making you cry when Aerith dies in Final Fantasy VII. It makes you go from just being excited, to being stunned in awesome silence when seeing the final form of Seymour in Final Fantasy X

That is the power of music, and that is the power of Final Fantasy

Just last night, I had the privilege of being able to attend "Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy," a symphony, much like the "Symphony of the Goddesses," that showcased the incredible legacy of over 25 years of Final Fantasy music, in Atlanta, Georgia. For more on this story, read further inside!

Remember Me is a rather interesting beast to come out in the modern video game era where we at least see one new shooter every month. While it may be overlooked by many for next week’s new title The Last of Us, it’s at least worth checking out if you’re in the neighborhood, but that isn’t to say it doesn’t have its faults. Is Remember Me truly a game to remember for years to come, or is it just another game that you're better off forgetting? Read on to find out!

Making a video game is tough. Besides the tedious process of coming up with a game pitch and design document to make said game, there is also the financial side, scheduling how long it will take to make, testing plans, technical stuff, you get the idea. A great deal goes into a game, more than the normal person would think. Sometimes, the game might be in a beta form, and due to complicated reasons, get canceled. This can happen a lot in a game’s life span.

For example, today’s review is of the Hong Kong free-roaming crime game, Sleeping Dogs. It was in development, but then was canceled. However, it was later picked up by Square Enix to be finished, and of course released to the public. Usually when stuff like this happens, the product gets screwed in quality, but this one seemed to be in the good quality zone. Let’s take a look at this seedy Hong Kong crime game known again as Sleeping Dogs.

UPDATE: Banjo-Kazooie Symphony is now available on iTunes, plus we've added a few demos from our favorite songs on the album for you to check out after the jump!

Banjo-Kazooie Symphony is the latest endeavor by Blake Robinson, an accomplished musician well-known for his collection of orchestrated video game music on YouTube. Featuring 30 tracks and 72 minutes of music, Banjo-Kazooie Symphony aggrandizes nearly the entire soundtrack from the beloved Rareware title Banjo-Kazooie — which is already no easy feat — and yet Blake Robinson has succeeded with great aplomb. If the idea alone catches your interest, head on over to Loudr or iTunes to pick up your copy, but if you need further convincing, head past the jump to read all about the exciting tribute that is Banjo-Kazooie Symphony!

Dust 514 Review

May 27 2013 by Joshua Hitz

Spaceships, other worlds, adventure, and money all come to your ear and make you think one thing: “I want all of that.” Frankly, who wouldn’t? So when CCP Games, the makers of the popular intergalactic MMO EVE Online, promised console gamers their own space adventure with the first person shooter Dust 514, everyone was excited, myself included.

It’s unfortunate then that the promises of a console game interacting with PC are extremely lack luster. Dust 514 boils down to a generic, only slightly entertaining first person shooter, with few of its promises being kept.

Head past the jump to keep reading!

It goes without saying that the 80's were a "great" time for sci-fi films in the industry where you pretty much had every main character star as a cyborg or scientist/child caught up in alien events. Be it Mad Max, the Terminator, RoboCop, or E.T., we were obsessed with sci-fi genre as a whole, now it's all about people with supernatural/magical powers/beings like Superman or Harry Potter or basically enything that can showcase how far special effects have come, but like those films we'll look at them as we did the 80's and think to ourselves, "That was really stupid." And if there's anything Blood Dragon excels at, it's pure stupidity in the best possible way.

As the first truly free to play, no pay for content later experience on the Wii U (though, not technically true, as it’s only free until the full game’s release) I was naturally excited to try out the Rayman Legends: Challenge App. It’s a single player online experience where you are competing in two different tasks each day, with a new challenge every day and an additional one every week in “randomly generated” levels.

It’s been a few days so I figure now is as good of a time as any to tell you just how great this experience is. 

2001 introduced gamers to the wonderful world of Luigi's Mansion, a game which deviated from the traditional Mario scene and featured the younger, greener Luigi in the starring role. Twelve years later, Dark Moon has arrived, and introduces players to the Evershade Valley, where the wonderfully spry Professor E. Gadd has relocated in order to study ghosts in a closer environment. But when the Dark Moon is shattered and the playful ghosts start destroying the professor’s work, it's up to Luigi to get them back under control. Equipped with a handy new Poltergust and his signature brave face — or lack thereof — the other brother sets foot into five nearby mansions to restore the Dark Moon and tame the harum-scarum specters.

How does Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon hold up to its hype? Head past the jump to keep reading.

Toki Tori 2 has arrived on the Wii U e-shop this month, and man has it been a pleasant surprise. Having never played the original I wasn't exactly sure what I was walking into. When I played the alpha build on steam there was a slew of notable issues, mostly the lack of sound and lots of lag. In the Wii U final edition, both of these are corrected.

Toki Tori 2 is extremely simplistic from the moment you boot it up. So much so there are absolutely no tutorials or even a simple start screen. The GamePad will tell you the two basic moves (stomp and sing) and shortly into your first few minutes the only real text in the game appears... the game's title.

When Kersploosh! was first announced, most of us Nintendo fans jumped to a certain minigame from The Wind Waker remastered in an eShop title. Instead, we got a game where you drop a stone down a well. Kersploosh! follows dozens of other brilliant eShop titles ranging from Crashmo to Fluidity: Spin Cycle, but the title doesn't try to soar into those fantastic ranks. Kersploosh! is a humble game that will keep you entertained for a few bus rides. It is much more in the tier of smartphone games than the lengthy adventures of Dillon's Rolling Western and Crimson Shroud

It's a different kind of eShop game. With it's smaller price tag, Kersploosh! convinced me to make a purchase. Although I got my money's worth, the package left me overall a tad disappointed.

For my full opinions on the game, hop on in!

You've surely heard about a little game called Mighty Switch Force. Nate already did a review on its original 3DS version back in January. The HD upgraded Wii U version titled Mighty Switch Force: Hyper Drive Edition has been making some waves lately and just a little while ago we were treated to a sequel announcement as well having the game on sale in the Wii U eShop. 

I figured it was high time for me to check this game out so I gave it a try to see if the upgraded edition was really worth the money. I had my reservations, but the game did indeed deliver on its promises. Read on to hear why this game might just be the best deal in the eShop right now!