Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Review - Sunrise Over The Kingdom

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Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak sees your intrepid hunter leave Kamura Village behind to venture across the sea to the outpost of Elgado. It functions almost like a brand new game, introducing a new HUB and cast of characters, locales to explore, monsters to fight, and weapons and armor to craft from their parts. Yet there's very little about Sunbreak that feels truly new or surprising. More Monster Hunter is never a bad thing, and Sunbreak is an excellent expansion with some smart additions that reinforce just how good Rise already is, but it's difficult not to feel a little disappointed by its formulaic nature.

For starters, the story is typically boilerplate, revolving around a brand-new threat that's making all of the monsters overly aggressive. It's as predictable and easy to ignore as any previous Monster Hunter tale, although the new cast of characters are at least more defined and interesting than those found in Rise, partly because you spend a lot more time with them.

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Escape Academy Review - I'm An A+ Student

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I love escape rooms, so the idea of a video game designed by escape room creators is right up my alley. To its credit, Escape Academy does a damn good job of capturing the feeling of completing an escape room, with the added spice of dangerous consequences that a fictional story set in a virtual space allows. Escape Academy is, however, oftentimes too accurate to the experience of an escape room for its own good. Still, there's a delightful puzzle game here that makes for a rewarding afternoon with a friend nonetheless.

Escape Academy sees you step into the shoes of the newest student to attend a school that trains would-be spies, hackers, and thieves. To prove you're the best in your class you must earn 10 badges throughout the year, which are awarded for proving your worth in a series of planned tests, pop quizzes, unforeseen traps, and faculty assignments--all of which are constructed as escape rooms.

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OlliOlli World: Void Riders Review - Extra Dimensions

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OlliOlli World is a delightful skateboarding game, an excellent culmination of what developer Roll7 established across two previous games of its super-fast, trick-infused side-scrolling platforming series. With its first DLC expansion, Void Riders, Roll7 provides what is mostly more of the same--more cleverly built tracks, more high-level challenges, and more goofy characters. Void Riders offers a few new elements to the overall formula, but it doesn't break the OlliOlli World mold. While it would have been exciting to see how Roll7 could push its own envelope, Void Riders provides more OlliOlli World to play through and master, and that's great, too.

The base OlliOlli World has players traveling the world of Radlandia, skating through cities, forests, industrial sites, and theme parks, hoping to reach a state of skateboard zen that will allow them to become a "skate wizard." Void Riders is something of a side story to that endeavor, dropped into the middle of the game and having little to do with the main characters. It builds on the desert portion of the game, Burntrock, where aliens seem to be hanging out in the background, abducting cows and teasing conspiracy theorists. In Void Riders, you meet the aliens and help them abduct the cows, along with a couple of other cryptids hiding out in Radlandia's biomes.

As with the full game, Void Riders' story isn't too dense a tale, but it does provide a cute bookend to your skating levels as you talk to an alien trio working for a spooky purple boss blob named Nebulord. You follow those aliens around the world, listening to them give their interpretations about humanity--all of which are gleaned from listening to podcasts from conspiracy theorist Mike, one of OlliOlli World's main characters--and impressing them as you skate different courses. The DLC takes you through new areas of three of OlliOlli World's biomes as the aliens try to capture native Earth life to take back to space with them, and you eventually accompany them to "the Void" to show off your skills to Nebulord as you skate some extraterrestrial locations.

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Arcadegeddon Review - A Dubstep In The Wrong Direction

Web Admin 0 135 Article rating: 3.0

Arcadegeddon is a fusion of several different genres. Rather than play quite like any other game you may be familiar with, it's more like an amalgamation of some of the trendiest mechanics, meta-games, and genres currently dominating the video game world. It's part co-op loot-shooter, part roguelite, and part fashion show treadmill, borrowing from games such as Destiny, Fortnite, and even Hades in different but individually self-evident ways.

Like a Netflix algorithm that spits out actor and genre pairings based on market research, Arcadegeddon is a bland mish-mash of several games you'd enjoy better separately. It's not that they don't work as a whole; it's that Arcadegeddon feels so focus-tested on what worked before it that it forgets to add its own unique hook.

Immediately, the game's grating sci-fi world gives off strong Steve-Buscemi-with-a-skateboard vibes. Characters named Plug, Label, Juicy, and others exist in a world nearly vibrating from the perpetual dubstep soundtrack leaking out of speakers, and though the color palette is appealing, nothing these characters have to say is.

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F1 22 Review - Hammer Time

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With one of the biggest changes to Formula 1 racing in over a decade taking place this season, it's unsurprising that its recreation in Codemaster's F1 22 refocuses on the fundamentals. It's easy to look at this year's entry in the F1 series and see only incremental improvements, with a clear focus on how the rapid cars handle around tight corners and translating the authenticity of the new regulations to players in a tangible way. The focus on small but important adjustments means that, as a whole package, F1 22 feels slightly trimmer than last year's version, but it's still a worthwhile successor because of how well it makes each corner feel in this new era of F1 racing.

If you're unfamiliar with just how broad the changes in real-life Formula 1 racing this season have been, there are just a few points that cover the broad picture. The cars are heavier this year, with the minimum allowable weight being raised to accommodate a slew of aerodynamic changes and rules, many of which put emphasis on empowering closer racing that is affected less by a loss in downforce (that is, the amount of grip you have on a track) experienced when following other cars. Many of these changes are represented on the underside of each car, with a ground effect now sucking cars closer to the track when they're hitting extremely high speeds. This makes fast, swooping turns feel easier to nimbly navigate but also means that more acutely angled corners taken at slower speeds are monumentally more challenging.

In the same way that the changes have made this Formula 1 season enticing to watch as drivers figure out the new limits of these cars around familiar circuits, F1 22 is a reset on your own understanding of racing in the game. Tracks with tight chicanes, such as the street circuit in Baku or the classic in Monte Carlo, are even more treacherous to navigate, with each slow corner feeling like it's demanding far too much steering from the new chassis. Conversely, tracks with long, fast turns, such as the sweeping Maggotts and Becketts corners at Silverstone or the long straights of Monza, feel much easier to manage. The changes are so stark that I often found myself adjusting the difficulty of the opponent AI in-between each of these events to compensate for my wildly varied performances, where I could be whole seconds ahead on one track and then struggle to get out of the first session of qualifying on another.

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