Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Review

hotline miami 2 art-720

I was ready to love Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number.

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The Order: 1886 Review

the-order-1886

Games and movies have always had a weird relationship, one that has had both its upsides and its downsides. When games attempt to emulate movies, it comes out to mixed success, with the best ones incorporating cinematic qualities while maintaining an interactive nature. What video games have over a medium like film is that there is agency on the part of the player. So when games try to give agency as well as tell a story, it becomes difficult to satisfy both ends of the spectrum. This is the crux of why The Order: 1886 is such a failure in storytelling, and ultimately loses face because of its inability to justify the medium.

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Destiny Review

The Traveler in Destiny

This review was written before recent patches came into effect that fixed some issues I had with the game such as loot drops and some balancing issues. However, this is a review of my experience with the game in its first couple weeks. Things may have changed, but that did not affect my review of the game.

Destiny is a game that is at its best with friends. That’s a double-edged comment though, because anything is better with friends. The magic of Destiny is that when boiled down to its core mechanics, it is an efficient shooter which is a blast to control and leaves every encounter with some moment of satisfaction. From a headshot that leaves energy pulsating from enemies’ necks, to damage numbers flying off bullet-ridden foes, to the moment your super ability is ready to deploy and the words “Super Charged” flash in front of you. Destiny is all about the dopamine release. Unfortunately, it focuses more on hooking players to the temptation of reward than it does on creating a world in which to get lost, promising rewarding content when what is left in the game is monotonous and bare-bones.

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Entwined Review

Entwined Opening Credits

One of my favourite games of last year, and the one that I consider the most important, was Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. The idea of telling a story through the controller and relating those controls to a character is fascinating and the step towards understanding video games as an interactive storytelling medium. I would have been shocked if I didn’t see another game coming out afterwards attempting something similar, and lo and behold, Entwined showed up out of nowhere. Impressionistic in nature, with a clear focus on a simplistic experience, Entwined is a gorgeous experiment that doesn’t outstay its welcome, but is also lacking in the things which the controls represent: character development and story.

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Child of Light Review

Child of Light Cinematic

The best way to describe Ubisoft‘s newest title using the Ubiart Framework engine is like a book. Not a book that you have already read, or a tale of which you have no idea what to expect. It’s something you haven’t read yet, but can anticipate through the plot exactly what is going to happen. Child of Light is exactly that. It has enough charm for you to get lost in its world, but not enough depth to its story for it to become a classic tale you revisit over and over. With a highly engaging combat system, and an eclectic cast of characters, Child of Light moves beyond its pretty presentation to create an engrossing experience that will leave RPG fans more than satisfied.

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Trials Fusion Review

When a series like Trials releases a new title, the first question that always comes to mind is: why? Why is another game in this series being released when the gameplay is going to be exactly the same as the previous titles? Trials Fusion justifies its existence in several ways that elevate the series in a way that none of the previous games have ever been able to do. By simply adding a story, the Trials experience becomes something grander, and a weird meta-commentary on the way in which we enjoy the challenging physics-simulator that is at the game’s core.

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