I loved the Fox Kids Spider-Man cartoon from the ’90s, and I’ve been reading Amazing Spider-Man since 2001 (starting with the first Morlun story arc–still my favorite comic book story). I even own a page of original art from Amazing Spider-Man signed by the artist, John Romita Jr. Thus, it won’t shock anyone that Spider-Man is my favorite super hero, and I was really hyped when Sony first announced a new Spider-Man game from Insomniac Games. Particularly, I was excited by the presence of Mr. Negative and the cinematic nature of it all, which suggested it would be delving into the comics lore to deliver a really great narrative.
Aaand it turns out I was wrong. But at least the combat is excellent. Read more
Perhaps the similarities are just coincidental, but World of Final Fantasy gave me flashbacks to 1992’s Final Fantasy Mystic Quest on Super Nintendo. Both games are light on plot but have a strong sense of humor, and both games are clearly targeting a not-so-hardcore audience. Incidentally, that also means that both games are an acquired taste.
Fortunately, it’s a taste I happened to enjoy on the whole. World of Final Fantasy is basically Pokémon meets Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. And while it’s been over a decade since I played Pokémon–and I’m also getting a little tired of Square Enix’s efforts to exploit people’s nostalgia–the combination strangely works for me. I’m not saying the game is great, but I’d definitely say it’s worth a sequel.
(Yes, this review is pretty late coming, but that’s what happens when Final Fantasy XV, Zelda, and Persona 5 all release within a few months of each other! Oh, and also: *Minor Spoilers Ahead*) Read more
Guys, full disclosure–if I could live inside a Super Nintendo RPG, I would. My bias for Japanese RPGs in general is just ridiculous, but any RPG that draws influence from the 16-bit era piques my interest. With that in mind, I Am Setsuna is the most disappointingly flawed game I have played since Lunar: Dragon Song. Every aspect of its design suffers from problems that someone should have spotted during development. The game sells for a reduced retail price, but that can only excuse the game’s small scale. It does not excuse a bland and forgettable experience. Read more
Until Dawn is a horror movie that you get to play and control. It celebrates as many tropes of the horror genre as it can fit into the span of one story, for better and for worse, but without ever devolving into parody or soulless copycat. This is not a game catering exclusively to horror junkies though; I had been excited to get my hands on this game for a long time, in spite of not actually being a fan of horror myself. As it turns out, my excitement was warranted. Until Dawn ain’t perfect, but that didn’t stop me from loving it. Read more
Placed in historical context and judged by its own merits, I think Super Metroid might be the most perfect video game ever created. Through unusual art direction and an exceedingly good soundtrack, the game managed to create a deeply rich atmosphere and weave a story with almost no dialogue. The levels were also designed so well that the game never needed to hold your hand, nor did it ever offer to hold your hand. Super Metroid was an experience where gameplay was king 100 percent of the time, and success or failure could always be blamed squarely on you, the player.
Axiom Verge draws inspiration from several old classics, not just Super Metroid, but including Blaster Master, Bionic Commando, and even the original, seldom discussed Metroid. Yet it is still what many people now call a “Metroidvania” game, and it surely intends to deliver an experience where gameplay is king. And you know what? Axiom Verge delivers, above and beyond expectations. This game is just darn clever. The fact that it was made top to bottom by one guy is all the more impressive. Read more