Child of Light
Dreamlike. Wonderous. Beautiful. Great words to describe Child of Light, offspring of the UbiArt engine and a small team of creative types looking to wash the AAA serialization from their hair. Propelled around a coma-plane by a pair of dainty fairy wings, Aurora and her friends buzz around the world of Lemuria, solving its problems one sidequest at a time.
Ephemeral. Forgettable. Unimpactful. Also accurate (albeit, less chosen) words to describe a title that has plenty of personality, but very little staying power. For all of its focus on exploration, its watercolor worlds are filled with just too much empty space. It’s isolating, mostly because there are very little obstacles (also read: challenge) to my traversal. The same goes with the combat; a sound and interesting concept completely devalued by the fact that there’s very little reason to explore and exploit its nuance.
My review sheds more light on what was an ultimately disappointing experience.
Ubisoft teased us all with a game that promised to change the playing field of the open world genre. Then many stopped caring because the game just vanished off of the radar. Six months later, is Watch_Dogs even worth the time anymore? Well, it doesn’t really change any sort of playing field, and the hype surrounding it has all but vanished, but that doesn’t stop Watch_Dogs from standing out a solid, fun, and endearing open world game with it’s own flavor.
Though there is nothing extraordinarily “next-gen” about Watch_Dogs, its hacking gimmick is a fun twist on an otherwise par for the course open world. You can change the world to your liking, steal money leagues away from your victims, and horrify the unsuspecting enemies in your path.
Ubisoft has proven that they can create excellent worlds to play in, and though there is nothing notably exceptional about Watch_Dogs, it is still a fascinating world that is worth your time.
Mario Kart 8
Everyone’s first Mario Kart is their favorite. The SNES iteration is my absolute and I don’t think any entry will take that away from me. That being said, Mario Kart 8 is one of the best Mario Kart games to date. Gorgeous visuals, jazzy soundtrack, great controls, actual challenge, and flawless online play highlight some of the best things about this game and why all Wii U owners should jump on it. It’s not perfect due to the bastardized Battle Mode, but other then that oversight it seemed that Nintendo understood what makes Mario Kart so great, making it the 4th best one ever made. (1. Super Mario Kart, 2. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, 3. Mario Kart DS)
Mario Kart 8 is so much goddamn fun. Seriously. It’s just fun. Whether you’re closing in on rival princesses with your bike or decimated mustachioed babies in your cart, it’s just so much fun. I have never touched a video game about driving and had this much fun since Double Dash (which tells you more about me than it does Mario Kart 8).
I have spent hours online, hours with friends, and just hours racing around the beautiful new tracks. It’s worth your time if you love Mario Kart, and it delivers an excellently fun racing game in the series for the first time in a long time as far as I’m concerned.
Super Time Force
Super Time Force has a loop of gameplay that does kind of come off as repetitive and just frustrating at times. You can lose yourself to the tedium, but it’s all in the motif of the game. The theme of silly ridiculousness that Super Time Force is. Everything here is carefully wrapped up in just so much fun banter between absolutely absurd characters, like a general with two eye patches, that I can’t help but smile and laugh when the characters dance around on screen. Also, the amazing pixel art and fast-paced soundtrack do STF a great service.
The Wolf Among Us: Episode 4
I’ve been a pretty large mark for this series since its first episode late last year, and that won’t really change, I think. In Sheep’s Clothing was the first time I’ve had anything but good things to say about the series, and shouldn’t be taken as a wide scale abandonment of my affections. Instead, it’s more a lover’s quarrel; those down times Mama warned me about.
My gripes, as outlined in my review, stem from the game’s lack of meaningful gameplay. My choices for Bigby’s interactions with the world seemed sterile and insignificant, where in prior episodes, I felt like I was very actively in the murky thick of it all. All of the important plot points seemed to just breeze past me, without my input necessary. Adventure games have a unique struggle with player agency and engagement, and this particular chapter lost more than it won.
Stunning. Everything about Transistor is just that word over and over again. The visuals are just breath-taking as you soak in the atmosphere of barren city, the gameplay really comes down to how you want to play the game, and the soundtrack is probably one of the best video game scores out to date. Transistor never really holds your hand. In fact, they just throw you in and expect you to figure out the game yourself; reminiscent of playing old video games without tutorials. Transistor is a game that want you, the player, to figure out what’s going on just as much as the lead heroine Red is. I adore this game, head to toe.