One of the highest-praised games of recent years, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has a great deal going for it. With an enormous seamless world to explore and a highly flexible character development system, Skyrim is exceptionally easy to get lost in, with some of the most engaging role playing RPG fans have seen in a long time. On the whole, Skyrim deserves a great deal of the praise that has been heaped at its feet, but there are a few hitches in its design that are worth stating. Skyrim has a bit of awkward fumbling in its menu layout and a bit of difficulty with overly compartmentalized storytelling, as well as a troubling lack of subtlety in its art direction and a fair number of bugs and glitches even this far out of release. Ultimately, however, Skyrim’s vast and detailed world gives it an uncommonly broad appeal. Continue reading ‘The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Staff Review #2’ »
Archive for the ‘X360 Reviews’ Category.
With the release of Fallout: New Vegas, it seems Bethseda is trying answer what fans wanted when Fallout 3 was released: a setting familiar to long-time fans featuring established factions and dozens of callbacks to Fallout 1 and 2. On a more fundamental level, Fallout: New Vegas builds on its predecessor in a number of ways, from basic improvements to game mechanics to a far more twisty, open-ended plotline, but it also has a number of unique issues. Even this far from release, New Vegas has bugs that range from the annoying (frequent freezing) to the catastrophic (quest failure), and has a few issues in setting and art direction left over from earlier Fallout games. Taken as a whole, New Vegas is an extremely enjoyable experience, but as so many have said so frequently of this series, it could really have used better bug testing. Continue reading ‘Fallout: New Vegas – Staff Review #3’ »
Read the back of the Fable II box and it’ll promise you adventure and the chance to “experience how [your] choices change you and the world forever.” While the game does provide players with a decent adventure, it fails utterly to show the effect of any choices you make in the world. Fable II offers a big, beautiful world to romp around in. Unfortunately, it’s coupled with weak story-telling, and choices that have only the most superficial effects on the world. It’s a fun game, but it suffers when compared to others offerings in the genre. Continue reading ‘Fable II – Staff Review #2’ »
Castlevania is one of today’s oldest and most iconic gaming series, with its roots tracing all the way back to the NES. Back in those days, it was a platformer famous for its tricky jumps fraught with traps that usually resulted in an untimely death. With the PlayStation came Symphony of the Night, a game that expanded upon the basic gameplay of Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest and incorporated the exploration of the Metroid series to create a very long running and well-liked RPG series. With the Nintendo 64 and the PlayStation 2, the series went 3D, and those games are largely considered disastrous by all but the most hardcore fans. With Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, the series tries to merge all three styles of gameplay into a cohesive game, and it largely succeeds, albeit not without copying a few other games along the way. Continue reading ‘Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Staff Review’ »
The controversial successor to a short yet venerable gaming dynasty, Fallout 3 generated a lot of backlash amongst older fans. Frankly, there’s a lot of wiggle room as to whether or not Fallout 3 constitutes a worthy sequel (whatever that means) to the Fallout series. The combat system has been changed from an almost tactical turn-based affair to a first person shooter with a sort-of-kind-of turn based option, and the mainline plot is very inflexible, both aspects previously considered hallmarks of the series. However, by not relying too heavily on established conventions, Fallout 3 pushes itself further towards being a stand-alone title, which allows it far more creative freedom. Continue reading ‘Fallout 3 – Staff Review #2’ »
Taking place in the ruins and area surrounding Las Vegas this time, the aptly named Fallout: New Vegas gives players a bit of a different experience from Fallout 3 while still keeping the same Fallout charm. Continue reading ‘Fallout: New Vegas – Staff Review’ »
DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue‘s Snowy Mountain Dungeon DLC adds, as one might expect, a dungeon with a snowy mountain theme. Continue reading ‘DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue – Snowy Mountain Dungeon DLC Review’ »
Having moved from a fantasy to a more modern era, DeathSpank will find a number of new challenges in DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue as he tracks down and battles with the other corrupt Thong bearers. Continue reading ‘DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue – Staff Review’ »
Far in the future, the world has decayed. Toxins have poisoned the air and water, and the Earth’s axis has warped. Unable to adapt to these changes, humans were slowly dying out as a species. Those lucky enough to survive created Basel, a giant machine beneath the earth designed to repair the environment, while also doubling as the only area able to sustain human life. It is here that Resonance of Fate takes place.
Dragon Slayers, Dragons, and Dragon Knights are all key players in the battle for the world, with Damian as the vengeful antagonist. Divinity II: Ego Draconis‘s storyline follows a newly trained Dragon Slayer, though the process isn’t entirely complete and interrupted with the appearance of a Dragon Knight. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that. There’s plenty of questing and exploration on the side as well, and the life of a Dragon Slayer is unlikely to be dull. Continue reading ‘Divinity II: Ego Draconis – Staff Review’ »
Since its announcement in 2006, fans of the series have eagerly anticipated Final Fantasy XIII. It was arguably one of the biggest stories to come out of E3 that year, and considering all of the announcements that year, that’s saying something. And then in 2008, Microsoft finally dropped the bombshell that people had been expecting for years; Final Fantasy XIII was coming to PS3 and 360. The net result has been four years of almost nonstop hype, which made the wait for the game all the longer. So now, the question remains; was it worth the wait? I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that it was. Continue reading ‘Final Fantasy XIII – Staff Review’ »
Borderlands presents an interesting mash up of First-Person Shooter and RPG elements, which eventually come together to produce a unique sort of combat system with a lot to offer. Unfortunately, a clunky interface, flatlined plot, and a certain monotony when it comes to environments drag the game down significantly, becoming glaring issues towards the end of the game. On the whole, Borderlands is a solidly built game, and it works well for gamers looking for something a little bit different, but it’s not a particularly compelling or amazing title. Continue reading ‘Borderlands – Staff Review’ »
As far as games go, a sequel is simply the second game in a series. A good sequel properly follows up the first game’s events. A great sequel takes the good in the previous game and builds on it while improving or eliminating the bad. By this measure, Mass Effect 2 is definitely a great sequel.
I’d like to start this review with a caveat. Normally, I don’t review sequels unless I have played the previous game. This time, however, I’m reviewing Fable II as someone who never played Fable. Though I won’t be able to tell what’s an improvement or a step down from the first game, I’ll be able to present the perspective of someone who is new to the series.
Sometimes you have to take a step back to keep going forward, or so Tri-Ace would have players believe with Star Ocean: The Last Hope. The latest entry in one of their signature series, Last Hope is a precursor to the first Star Ocean and deals with mankind’s first forays into uncharted space in search of a world capable of sustaining human life. While the overall gameplay has taken clear strides for the better, the package is underscored by a series of minor to major nuisances — not the least of which being a story prone to ridiculous plot twists — leaving it less a series reboot and more one missed opportunity after another. Continue reading ‘Star Ocean: The Last Hope – Staff Review’ »
A remnant is something that is left over, like scraps of food after dinner or relics from a civilization lost in history. The Last Remnant is about the latter, but it contains a little of the former — that is, warmed-over notions that we’ve seen before. There are some standard-issue RPG tropes along with concepts taken from SRPGs, Final Fantasy VIII and XII, and Dynasty Warriors, but there’s enough fresh material to make the game somewhat appealing. However, the quirks of the game’s highly complex battle system mire the game down until it just might become worthy of one word…
Continue reading ‘The Last Remnant – Staff Review’ »
For fans of mecha anime, there are few series that lend themselves better to an RPG than Zoids. With such a broad assortment of Zoid frames and equipment, it seems a natural choice for a TRPG. With Zoids Assault, the net result is a mixed bag that does some things extremely well, and some things not as well as a fan might hope. Continue reading ‘Zoids Assault – Staff Review’ »
It is a story for the ages, repeated in mead halls and around campfires for generations. It is the story of one who ascends to near-godhood on the driving forces of hype. His armor gleams like the luster of filtered screenshots. His voice resounds with the thunder of a thousand preview trailers. At the pinnacle of his glory, the world holds its breath and waits for his first majestic assault. Continue reading ‘Too Human – Staff Review’ »
Though the Xbox 360 has had more than its share of first-person shooters, the RPG genre has been largely overlooked. Fortunately, when Sakaguchi, the famed creator of the Final Fantasy series, left Square Enix to form Mistwalker Studios, he intended to change that. Lost Odyssey is the second offering from the new company, and it shows that RPG fans do, in fact, have a reason to own Microsoft’s white box.
Right from the beginning, Mass Effect presents itself as an epic RPG with a lush opening movie, some intriguing character development, and a sci-fi story that piques your interest. But then you’re dropped on a colony under attack, and suddenly there are genocidal robots with guns trying to blast you right off the miserable planet you’re desperately trying to save. That’s when you know that Mass Effect is also a no-nonsense shooter.
Continue reading ‘Mass Effect – Staff Review’ »