PC Game Reviews

Review: Guild Wars 2

Recommended: Guild Wars 2 is a massive game with an incredible amount of things to do. The graphics are gorgeous, and much of the score creates an epic quality to adventuring in the world. Tyria has a vast lore, and the writers incorporated it well into the game. It's fun to play in long stints, but also in short bits when time is limited. It's easily a game you could put down for awhile, and come back to without feeling like you have to keep up.

Review: Ladykiller in a Bind

Not Recommended: Ladykiller's story is long bouts of tedium broken up by decent, sometimes very good, encounters. The ending doesn't pay off the time spent slogging through the screens, and the illusion of choice doesn't hold up. While the set pieces have fantastic art design and execution, the character art is mediocre. The music is best replaced with something else in your headset. Finally, if all of that wasn't enough to deter you, the price is the kicker, Ladykiller is going for $29.99 for the short story. Characters are often lazy stereotypes, and the final plot reveal is ridiculous.

Review: Spell Casting - Meowgically Enhanced Edition

Recommended: I went back and forth with the final verdict on this one.  Honestly, Spellcasting is the most infuriating game I can remember playing.  It's really not my cup of tea and it's definitely something I wouldn't play again.  However, part of the point of our reviews is to consider the target audience.  If you enjoy mobile-style puzzle games and games of memory I think you'll like this.  I think you'll enjoy the art, the challenge, and the design of it.  I think this would be fun for kids and adults that like these types of games, and absolutely should be played on a device with a touchscreen and stylus in my opinion.  It's priced well for this type of game so the short play-time isn't out of line.  If you like these kinds of games, give this one a try, I think you'll enjoy it.

Review: Sunless Sea

Neutral: Sunless Sea finds itself caught between exploration and exposition without knowing which it wants to side with, and ends up somewheres in the middle - and in mediocrity.  The writing is definitely the appeal, but the game makes progressing through things so arduous and slow that by the time you've gotten to the next point I was bored stiff.  Pacing, ultimately, is what undoes Sunless Sea for me, as well as a lack of any real threat in most of the enemies.  The different scenarios and arcs you can discover are fairly interesting by the by, ranging from average to excellent in writing, but there isn't many of them and they're not good enough peaks to make up for the chasms that are the valleys.  The writing is what will make or break Sunless Sea for most, so if it appeals, go for it, if not, take a pass.

Review: Blood & Gold - Caribbean

Neutral: There's a lot to love in Blood & Gold: Caribbean, but there's a mite too many rough edges to be able to recommend it. Interesting new systems that are perhaps a bit too deep and not really well tutorialized could use some attention, and the production values are uneven and questionable, but at the heart of Caribbean, the roleplaying aspects and the sea combat, are done well. With some TLC this could be a great pirate sim.  The strong sea combat mechanics coupled with the roleplaying aspect will likely carry it for many people with a strong interest in the niche of pirate sims, but otherwise, the many rough edges will probably put off less enthusiastic fans.  With some TLC, this could be the pirate sim game, but as is, I'd only really be able to recommend it to someone really into the pirate theme or a huge Mount & Blade fan who wants more but in a different scene.

Review: The Division

Recommended: The Division is a hybrid title that suffers from some flaws for the fusion but is still enjoyable.  I was back and forth between recommended and neutral, but I have to give it a nod just by a hair. I'd be lying if I didn't say I had fun playing the game. I believe I got value out of my purchase, and despite the issues I enjoyed my time playing it. I almost pegged it as neutral for the repetitiveness and lackluster story, but then I remembered I had fun even when I didn't think there was going to be a story, and I got over the redundancy by just not participating in every single mission or intel collection. I also defeated the feeling of it being a grind by not playing it for several hours at a time, and spacing it out over several weeks. The graphics and sound put this game at the top of the heap for production quality, and that's a big factor for me because immersion is key when I'm picking games. Story matters too, so bear in mind that this recommendation is barely on the plus side. If you are a die hard MMO or FPS fan exclusively you probably won't like The Division because it borrows elements from both genres, but doesn't deliver on the key features of either. If, however, you like both genres you might like The Division.

Review: Elder Sign - Omens

Recommended: This is a game made true to the spirit of the series from which it derives its name - a delight stymied by the heavy RNG factor. Where looser interpretations might have dampened the random nature of the dice game that Elder Sign inherits from, this adaptation is warts and all, and as such some games are just going to go much better than others and it's as much down to fate and a roll of those proverbial dice as it is up to any player skill. Looking beyond the obvious failings of the dice game mechanics, however, you will find a moody, atmospheric game with a brilliant attention to thematic details. If there's any game that the feeling of a loss of control created by that random nature is at home in, its a Lovecraftian horror game, and as such, if you can see past that heavy RNG, you'll probably much enjoy this game.

Review: Knights of the Fallen Empire

Neutral: There's flashes of genuine brilliance and good writing in Knights of the Fallen Empire, that never really seem to get properly capitalized on and ended up cut short.  When one combines this with an over-reliance on gimmicks, an oppressive feeling of linearity, and a series of grand "choices" that end up being meaningless to the grand scheme of the expansion, KotFE fails to deliver on a promise of a single-player-centric expansion of meaningful choices and interactions.  While several of the companions are interesting, many others are simply annoying, and none of them really get a proper character arc. The single-player focus is ultimately what moved it from a weak recommendation to neutral to me, because I wasn't even offered the solace of being able to play through most of this with my wife.  Ultimately KotFE promises many things and half-delivers on all of them, leaving a blanketly mediocre experience all-around.  It's worth playing if you already have a subscription, but I wouldn't get one just to play it.

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Highland Arrow
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2013-09-15
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