Posts

Showing posts from June, 2016

Ratchet and Clank (PlayStation 4)

Image
Ratchet and Clank is the first game in a while that I expected a lot out of, and it's the first game in a long time that lived up to my expectations (and let me down in other ways). When you review games every week and are forced to look at them at an objective point of view it becomes a lot harder to be truly impressed. I'll spare you the "it looks like a Pixar movie!" opening line that every other reviewer starts with and say that the run-and-gun gameplay reigns supreme while the Clank segments are still tiresome and redundant.

If I was forced to choose one thing I didn't like the most about Ratchet and Clank, it's the fact that Insomniac changed so much of the narrative from the original game. The story now centers around the annoying Dr. Nefarious and downplays Chairman Drek entirely - who was always a better villain (maybe because Dr. Nefarious over-saturates the series). It's just a shame that they changed a fantastic story with welcome characters a…

Xbox 360 Wired Controller for Windows

Image
It's hard to review a product when it's the only things in the given category worth its salt. On one hand, Microsoft's Xbox 360 Wired Controller for Windows earned a good reputation by being a reliable and valuable controller from a big name in what was a sea of other PC controllers with bad drivers or no support for many games. On the other hand, I can't think of anything to compare it with unless I weight it against a keyboard and mouse configuration, which is a better way to play most of the time anyway. For those of us that have titles on Steam or Origin like action role-playing games or platformers - a dedicated controller is the way to go (try playing Dark Souls with a mouse and keyboard and tell me it's intuitive).

The selling point that it can be used on PC or on a Xbox 360 is kind of irrelevant to me at least because I don't own an Xbox 360 anymore, but the option for versatility is there. I have always said, the Xbox 360 Controller is the best gamepa…

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

Image
Dragon's Dogma is probably one of my top 10 favorite games of all time. It's huge, has a robust character creation system, and great exploration and combat. Imagine if you will a mix of the Monster Hunter series with Dragon Age: Inquisition - and that's one of the best ways I can think to describe this game. The overworld is gigantic and oddly intimidating when starting out, and what I perhaps like most about the game is its hardcore attitude that asks the same logic questions as the player. After about 20 hours, it's very likely you won't so much as scratch the surface which is fine - this is a game that is best played at your own pace.
Note: I reviewed the original Dragon's Dogma for the Xbox 360 in 2013. Much of what I said there still applies, but be aware that this is a significant expansion to the base game re-released on Steam in January of 2016. The game starts players off in a tutorial, in control of an "Arisen" and his party. After an inten…

Risk of Rain (PlayStation 4 / Vita)

Image
When I heard that Risk of Rain, my "indie darling" if you will, was coming to the PlayStation 3, 4, and Vita I straight up got excited. As a gamer and reviewer, I rarely get excited anymore. In fact April 12th was a big day for excitement as this, Ratchet and Clank, and Dark Souls 3 were released. Spread the love, Sony - I can't afford that many games back to back! Anyway, Risk of Rain is great on the Vita and the PlayStation 4, but it's also flawed as after about an hour the Vita simply can't keep up and the game slows down to a crawl during larger battles.

The story is kind of a tricky thing to extract from Risk of Rain. While the characters are intriguing, and what little narrative we get is cryptically interesting - I still had to look up exactly what and how the narrative was playing out. I like the variety of characters and their powers - but there's not much personality behind any of them aside from their physical appearance and abilities. Some are in…

Corsair STRAFE RGB Keyboard

Image
Gaming keyboards are a funny thing in the way that you're positive you don't need one until you get one and then couldn't imagine going back to a membrane board. The same could be said for mechanical keyboards in general if you frequently type for long stretches of time. Corsair made a great keyboard with a best of both worlds approach to design - making the STRAFE RGB great for both typing and big gaming sessions. This review is exclusively for the Cherry MX Brown switches, so keep that in mind as you read on. I went with the Cherry Browns because it's the middle-man switch, or an average between the louder Blues and the quieter Reds when bottoming out. The Browns have given me precision while typing with a modest audio feedback (like that of a type writer) and I would almost describe it as "haptic" feedback in the form of a definitive feeling on the fingers when bottoming a key out, almost as if half the press is done for you and your finger just goes alon…

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 - Awakening DLC

Image
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is one of the better entries in the franchise so far and the Awakening DLC, while overpriced and included in an overpriced season pass adds more to love online and offline (but mostly online) play. In the downloadable map pack, there are four multiplayer stages to run and gun through in competitive game modes, and one additional zombies mode map. The pack will run you 15 dollars or you can save some money on all the DLC if you shell out 50 dollars for the season pass, but like I said - that's expensive for what you're getting especially considering what other developers charge for roughly the same amount of content.

Skyjacked is a re-imagined version of another map in the franchise, Hijacked from Black Ops 2 taking place on a hovercraft ship (like Shields Helicarrier if you follow Marvel) instead of a cruise ship. Gauntlet features a three-lane map structure in a military training facility with three distinct environments (think along the lines of a M…

Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2

Image
NOTE: PlayStation Network names censored for privacy.
Garden Warfare 2 is so much larger in size and scope than its predecessor, I found it overwhelming at first. There's a lot to do all the time so even when you're not playing the game, you're playing the game. The simple menu navigation of yesteryear is gone and every option or game mode is now found in the hub world which is actually an expansive open-world to explore with an ever-raging battle taking place in the center of the zone. It's quite the approach, but it works exceptionally well for a game of this magnitude. Everything on-disc can be done alone or with up to three friends, even if it's just wandering around not doing anything in particular.

This game is more futuristic and abstract than the first one, so if you were expecting more down-to-earth gardens in neighborhoods or small towns this might be a bit of a downer to hear. Personally, I missed the "realistic" settings from Garden Warfare and…

Clash of Lords 2

Image
Clash of Lords 2 is not really a good game. It's very much the same as similar titles such as Clash of Clans, Boom Beach, Castle Clash, or other hurry-up-and-wait mobile screen tappers. That being said, it's unfortunate to think about how much I've played Clash of Lords 2, because for some reason I find myself turning it on almost every night since I downloaded it in June 2014 on my Kindle. I won't delve too far into psychology, but it has somehow become a "comfort food" for me. You don't need skill to be good, you just need to tap something and wait until you get positive feedback.

As far as I can tell there is no story. I could make something up but it really seems like every player is just trying to dominate the world with no narrative or purpose. The characters are all of the heroes that the player collects, and I can't think of another single one outside of those. Seeing as there's no plot, there's no way we learn about the inner workings…

EVGA GeForce GTX 960 SC

Image
Brand: EVGA Model: 04G-P4-1962-KR Design Style: Small
Sales Pitch: "The EVGA GeForce GTX 960 delivers incredible performance, power efficiency, and gaming technologies that only NVIDIA Maxwell technology can offer. This is the perfect upgrade, offering 60% faster performance and twice the power efficiency of previous-generation cards*. Plus, it features VXGI for realistic lighting, support for smooth, tear-free NVIDIA G-SYNC technology, and Dynamic Super Resolution for 4K-quality gaming on 1080P displays." I started seriously gaming on PC back in early 2014, and it has changed the very spectrum of how I play. Mind you, with a gun to my head I would prefer to play PlayStation 4 with my friends rather than my PC alone because not everyone I know has the funds to build a quality PC, therefor not everyone has a quality PC they want to play on more consistently than a console. That being said, I can say I've found a passion in putting together computers and have a bit of a…