November 30, 2014

Review – Legend of Korra

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Brad Johnson @ 8:40 pm

Legend of Korra Review
Although I could hardly describe any game from Platinum Games as perfect, I afford the studio a significant level of pedigree.

With titles like Vanquish, Bayonetta, and even the underrated Revengeance, they have routinely provided unique, well-crafted experiences, carried on the shoulders of robust and complex gameplay systems.

In theory, a technical brawler in the Avatar franchise developed by Platinum should have been an easy home run. Instead, perhaps the most frustrating aspect of Legend of Korra is that there’s no good reason why it should be so frustrating.


November 13, 2012

Review – Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 9:39 pm

Review Call of Duty Black Ops II 2
It’s fair to say that gaming has taught us some rather strange lessons. Eating mushrooms allows us to grow, powerful critters can be caught and stored in balls, rubbing two differently colored plants together creates medicine on the fly – the list goes on and on to spiral around a few city blocks.

And considering all the ridiculous activities videogames enable, I have to find something better to say about Black Ops II, rather than simply stating that it has a ridiculous plot at the heart of its campaign – that would just be a silly and wasteful thing to say.

It would probably be fairer to say that the story of Black Ops II simply builds on the well-worn foundation of the franchise, which may feel plenty worn depending on how many of the numerous releases in the series you’ve soldiered through.

And yet to simply suggest this would be selling the game short.


August 30, 2012

Review – Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Review Transformers Fall of Cybertron
Picking up directly where 2010’s War for Cybertron concluded, Fall of Cybertron follows the desperate attempt of Optimus Prime to lead the remaining Autobots off their homeworld of Cybertron – which has been ravaged by civil war with the Decepticons and seen the planet’s core shutdown as a result.

Much like Rocksteady Studios’ recent Batman titles, High Moon seeks to fill the void of Transformers titles worthy of the franchise, which like Batman, has been largely non-existent save for 2004’s Transformers: Armada. If I could throw out one more comparison to the Arkham series, it would be the way in which High Moon embraces the depth of the source material while still delivering a story unique to the videogame in the flavouring.

The primary narrative of the Transformers is a familiar battle between two foes, Optimus Prime and Megatron, which has been explored and remixed repeatedly over the years – boiling down to the battle for power versus the fight to unite. And High Moon captures the essence of that story, pulling countless familiar pieces into play, but still finds space to play with the origins of characters and set pieces such as the Dinobots, the space bridge, the Nemesis, and many more shout-outs that likely mean more to me as a long time fan of the series.

Fall of Cyberton certainly is a fan-splendid title, wherein I can get giddy over the attention to detail along with small moments such as petting Laserbeak while playing as Soundwave. The characters of my childhood are waiting around every corner of this game, but these fan moments shouldn’t scare off anyone not as familiar with the subject matter – at the end of the day, Fall of Cybertron is about giant heavily armed robots engaged in battle, and who can say no to that on the few occasions the essence of such a conflict seems to be captured as well as it is here?


June 17, 2012

Lazy Sunday – E3 Leftovers

E3 2012
Posting about all the games I spent time with at E3 has been an incredibe experience, which I remain entirely thankful for while winding down the task this weekend.

I hope you’ve dug our attempt at E3 coverage this year by the way, which owes a thankful shout-out to Shaun Hatton for providing some essential help during the typically crazy ride.

While it’s time to put E3 2012 to bed and get back to the business of more immediate releases, there were a few titles that warranted some words, and unfortunately many more that I haven’t caught up with as of yet.

In the spirit of lazy Sunday, I’ve rounded up a few more games I spent some time with at E3, which you can catch up with below.


June 11, 2012

E3 2012 – Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Transformers Fall of Cybertron E3 2012
Every E3 brings at least one guilty pleasure title for me. One title I enthusiastically mention while others skeptically raise an eyebrow in my direction. This year that title was definitely High Moon Studios’ Fall of Cybertron.

Having grown up with the original Transformers series, and extended my affection later with the Beast Wars franchise, I’m incapable of resisting a title that litters its stages with characters from my childhood.

As with 2010’s War for Cybertron, there are still less than ideal design elements – I have no reason to suspect that I won’t once again find myself at odds between loving large-scale battlefields and loathing tedious grind sessions. But I’m already convinced I’ll accept less than ideal mechanics in exchange for the content. I don’t know if this makes me a bad person, just that it certainly labels me a Transformers fan – one that appreciates High Moon’s efforts to portray these characters the way they continue to within the Cybertron series.


November 20, 2011

When Duty Redials…

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , — Brad Johnson @ 1:30 am

Review Modern Warfare 3
MW3 is out and about, scorings its eights and nines and commanding the lives of adherents the world over—though, interestingly, the game has received something of a flogging on Metacritic, with the user score ranking a paltry 3.2 (Xbox 360 version) as of this writing.

Meanwhile, the game sold seven decazillion copies in the first ninety seconds after its release. True fact.

So, you understand: never mind that Metacritic score. The verdict is in, and everybody loves Call of Duty. As a registered and licensed Digi-Herald and Internet Chronicler, it pains me to inform you, dear reader, that your internet voice, and my internet voice, and the score of 3.2 on Metacritic do not matter. The score could be zero, and it would not matter. The gaming community voted with their wallets November 8—and if you don’t like Call of Duty, well, you lost.

Call of Duty is the President of Vidyagaems. Sorry.


September 5, 2011

Operation Kingfish Debuts at XP

Call of Duty Operation Kingfish
One of the more interesting bits to come out of Call of Duty XP this weekend was Operation Kingfish, the successor to the fan film Find Makarov from earlier this year.

Operation Kingfish is something of a success story; after many mistook Find Makarov for a part of Activision’s MW3 marketing campaign, the publisher hunted down the men and women behind it—but not to shut them down. Instead, they wanted to put the team to work crafting a sequel.


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