Episode #1111 - Rock Band 4's online mode is finally here ... and it kind of sucks. Don't get me wrong, I love having the option to play with my friends across the world, but I was completely taken aback by just how barebones the entire experience is. It works (most of the time), which is about the best thing I can say about a mode we've been wanting for more than a year. Here are some of the reasons why Rock Band's newest mode is a big disappointment.
Episode #1109 - Between the poor gameplay, missing camera options, confusing sound effects and all the repetition, I found it incredibly hard to keep the job going for the full 30 days. The difficulty may ramp up, but it's never in an interesting or compelling way. You're stuck playing through the same location over and over until you either serve your time or pop in a better game. The truth is, you're better off just working at a real diner, because at least there you'll earn tips.
Episode #1110 - Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic is the rare beast that is often too simple for its own good and complex in all the wrong ways. It's a turn-based adventure game that might work with a mouse or touchscreen, but not an Xbox One controller. I want to re-roll for a more playable role-playing game.
Episode #1108 - Although it looks and sounds the part, Gunmetal Arcadia is a retro-inspired action game that left me wanting more. I wish there was a deeper story, more interesting level designs and a way to block cheap hits. There's a solid concept here, but it doesn't go far enough. This is yet another side-scrolling adventure game that left me disappointed.
Episode #27 - This is Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King, it's an upcoming adventure game with more than a passing resemblance to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. As somebody who still thinks 16-bit Zelda is the best Zelda, you better believe I'm all over FDG Entertainment's newest game. I know you have a lot of questions, so let's crib this.
Episode #1107 - This is not a good game. But not because I'm morally outraged or offended, I'll be the first to say that this concept can be done well. The problem with Bloody Boobs is that there's nothing to it. The core mechanics are paper thin and you can beat the game in only a couple minutes. It hopes you'll be more interested in the women than the gameplay, which seems like a bad decision. In a world where finding porn is only a Google search away, I honestly don't know why anybody would buy Bloody Boobs.
Episode #1105 - As silly as it sounds, Zelda and WindJammers is a surprisingly winning combination. SpiritSphere doesn't have the depth of most sports games, but it's an absurd amount of fun when you play with friends. It has a great sense of style and a lot of ideas I wouldn't mind seeing in future sports games. What's next, Super Metroid Volleyball?
Episode #1106 - This is an example of a game that has all the pieces, but can't quite put them together. I like the hero and the colorful world, but hated how difficult it was to get around. Hunter's Legacy is a disappointingly shallow experience that never fully embraces its feline theme and constantly comes up short. You're betting off staying up late watching cute cat videos on YouTube.
Episode #1104 - Monumental Failure may be free of facts, but it's certainly not lacking in fun. Although a bit short as a single-player game, the party comes to life the moment you add other people to the mix. This is a goofy premise that is executed well, ultimately leaving me wanting more. I do wish it had online play and there were a few more locations, but Monumental Failure is what some might call a historical success.
Episode #1103 - Although it's not especially original, Toby: The Secret Mine gets enough of the fundamentals right to be a good time. Sadly, a lot of the fun is thwarted by cheap deaths and puzzles revolving around trial and error. It's a solid enough platformer, but it doesn't do anything new or unique to stand out from a long list of other similar games.
January 20, 2017
Episode #1 - It's January 20, and these are the games that are currently on my radar. This week Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick return with Thimbleweed Park, we sneak around in Semispheres, crash land on an alien planet in Phoning Home, attempt to wake up from Bad Dream Coma and explore Eden in Boor. Find out why these five games have piqued my interest in this new episode of On My Radar.
Episode #1102 - Sylvio is an occasionally effective horror game with a really cool conceit. I love the idea of recording and decoding conversations from the spirit world and the abandoned amusement park can be genuinely spooky. Unfortunately, all this becomes less compelling with each repetition, taking players on an overlong adventure that isn't especially original. Juliette Waters deserves a better horror game.
Episode #1101 - Even if it had Oscar-winning actors, mind-blowing graphics and great gameplay, Planet 2000 would still be a single-player action game trying to mimic online shooters. Without proper multiplayer, there's almost no point in playing the game. The computer opponent is weak, the story isn't especially riveting and every mission plays out exactly the same way. And that's on top of so many other issues. If this is what we have to look forward to in space, then I think I'm better off sticking to planet Earth.
Episode #26 - This is Lone Wolf: Horizon, a brand new open world third-person shooter that recently hit Steam Early Access. This indie action game is in the spirit of games like Halo and Destiny, giving us a large alien planet to explore and plenty of bad guys to kill. I know you have a lot of questions about Lone Wolf: Horizon, so let's crib this.
Episode #1100 - Despite having almost no snow or mountains, Power Hover is the best snowboarding game I've played in years. I wish it had a proper trick system and a little more variety beyond collecting batteries, but none of that gets in the way of the slick gameplay and action-packed level designs. Power Hover is an immensely satisfying extreme sports game masquerading as an action game.
Episode #1099 - There's a chance that this is part of a popular genre that I'm only just now hearing about, but I dig it. There's something about the bite-sized nature of the levels and the high-speed action that kept me glued to my monitor for way too many hours. And even now, I'm exciting that this review is almost over so I get back to playing PAKO: Car Chase Simulator. I hope we keep seeing more of this style of arcade action game, because I'm not sick of it yet.
Episode #119 - Are you able to answer simple video game trivia? Then you're just the person we're looking for. It's a brand new year, and Defunct Games is embarking on a new chapter filled with competitive trivia game shows. It's something I've been toying with over the years, and 2017 will be the year I finally commit. Going to jump in head-first and hope for the best. What could possibly go wrong?
Episode #1098 - Although it came with some anger and a lot of frustration, I ultimately had a good time with HoPiKo. This is a great play on games like N++ and Super Meat Boy, and fans of this type of challenging platformer will find a lot to like here. There are a lot of levels to master, new modes to unlock and even a harder difficult for the real experts. I'm not sure I'll ever become a "real expert" at HoPiKo, but I definitely had a good time jumping my way through this clever platformer.
Episode #1097 - Sceal is a fun and light experience that doesn't overstay its welcome. Unfortunately, that's part of the problem. The story is over and done too quickly, leaving me wanting to know more about the central cast. For what it delivers, this is a gorgeous fairytale with simplistic gameplay and a tragic story. I love the art design and need to download the soundtrack immediately. Sceal will probably bum you out, but in a good way.
Episode #1096 - Despite getting the basics right, I wish there was more of a hook to Operation Hardcore. The action is fast and the gameplay is solid, but this brand new action game covers a lot of familiar ground. The good news is that it's cheap, retailing for no more than $6. That's a good price for what you get, and I can't imagine fans of this style of run-and-gun experience will be disappointed. Operation Hardcore is far from essential, but certainly not a bad way to kill a couple hours.