Sony

Review: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - New Sequel, Same Issues

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII revolves around time. With the end of the world approaching, Lightning – the Saviour and servant of God – must save as many souls as possible. In 13 days when the time expires and the old-world ends, a new-world is reborn for the souls. The game encourages time management, yet it often wastes yours. Lightning Returns surrounds a creative battle system with fetch quests and overwritten conversations, which slow an already time restrictive structure. 

Review: Until Dawn - A Sort of Butterfly Effect

until dawn, ps4

My mom loves watching stupid teenagers die. I'm not talking about real teenagers, just the ones in slasher films. She loves watching the deranged murderer observe the isolated forest cabin from afar. If a cell phone battery dies or car won't start, then she's watching the right film. She guided me through the first scene of Until Dawn, making the decisions as I controlled the characters. Instead of investigating the strange noise on the branching path, she directed me to the path of footprints. Until Dawn's deliberate use of horror tropes means it doesn't demand logic, it encourages idiocy.

Each character's fate depends on whether or not you want them to fulfill their horror film destiny. The meathead jock doesn't need to die in a bout of pointless heroics - unless you want him to. Each decision affects the characters, yet the decisions don't affect the story. Regardless of who lives or dies in Until Dawn, the murderer's identity and the storyline remains the same. Until Dawn's thrill in controlling the fate of endangered teenagers excites curiosity to see alternate outcomes. But it's the second playthrough that exposes the meager impact of the supposed pivotal story points.

Review: Bloodborne - Veteran Paradise and Novice Hell

Since Bloodborne won't teach, you must then discover. Before playing, you need to create a character and select an Origin - a template with preset statistics. Brief descriptions explain each Origin, but why create a character with higher Bloodtinge? What exactly is Bloodtinge?  After the character creation, I discover the help menu detailing the statistical effects. It's the only help menu available. I'm not asking for advice on efficient equipment or combat strategies; I at least want basic information. With or without a tutorial, Yharnam's mystery won't dissolve if message prompts told me I can level my character after encountering any boss. Ambiguity fills the plagued region of Yharnam, which makes Bloodborne both a compelling and unwelcoming game to explore.

The Souls franchise built a reputation of difficulty and fairness, not unjust punishment. Death - an unavoidable thing in both life and Bloodborne - happens from mistakes and overconfidence. I never died because of an unavoidable ambush or random pitfall; I died of my own fault. When you reach the boss after exploring a large area, it often means death. And with death comes a punishment in lost Blood Echoes (souls), progress and confidence. Just like Demon's Souls on the PlayStation 3, Bloodborne's punishment leaves an opportunity for a second chance to regain lost items.

Review: Super Mega Baseball - A Grand Salami

I stopped playing sports games when EA stopped making the MVP Baseball series. After MVP Baseball 2005, newer baseball franchises sprinted towards realism and complexity. Developers introduced start-stop throwing meters and fighting game analog stick pitching motions. Then MLB: The Show added pulsing pitch targets, which made throwing one pitch a multi-step process. Over the last decade, the separation from simplicity didn't make baseball games better.

I don't want to guess pitches or control fielders to catch pop-ups - I want to get batters out and drive in runs. Super Mega Baseball eliminates the boring parts of modern baseball games and returns to the simplicity of the MVP Baseball series. While complexity can add depth, the team at Metalhead Software Inc. achieves depth by removing unnecessary hitting or pitching systems. Super Mega Baseball lacks hyper-realistic graphics or MLB licenses, but gives players the simplest, most exciting baseball game in over a decade.

Review: The Walking Dead: Season 2 - Age is not Wisdom

A prompt pops up at the start of The Walking Dead: Season 2 asking the player to import a save file from the previous game. Plot points and player actions personalize each player's story, or so Telltale claims. Yet continuity only works if the story demands it - if a story still needs an end. Season 2 needs a new set of characters and a new main character to begin a brand new story. Instead Telltale brings back 11-year-old Clementine and places her in another dysfunctional group destined to not survive. The results of the second season returns the plot to where Clementine began, making the new season an unnecessary blip in Clementine's brief lifetime.

Clementine learns a lot over the past three years and owes much of her survival to Lee's guidance and support. Even around adults, Clementine must make her own decisions and often offers better alternatives than the group leaders. Regardless of her age, Clementine fights off the strength of adult sized zombies, shoots with pin-point accuracy and persuades anyone lacking just a shred of confidence - she can do anything.

Syndicate content