Canadian Sausage Fest.
An Origin that doesn't disappoint.
Batman: Arkham Origins is a great game. Over the eight to nine hours I spent with the game, I went on a roller coaster full of action, stealth and narrative high points. Arkham Origins provides some of the best character moments in the series, along with some interesting new twists to the gameplay. Unfortunately, game bugs and various gameplay oddities keep the game from reaching the heights of the previous entries.
Another year, another Skylanders game.
Three years later and the Skylanders craze is still in full swing. From kids to adults, it seems that everyone loves collecting and playing with these colorful characters. The latest iteration of the series brings a new wrinkle to the toys as well as to the game, but neither truly changes the tried-and-true formula. Platforming mechanics add a bit more depth to the traversal and combat mechanics, while the swap ability makes it a bit more fun to play with the physical toys by mixing and matching tops and bottoms. There’s no doubt that the whole kit is quite nifty, but as a game, Skylanders Swap Force still leaves something to be desired.
Step on the gas, it's the fuzz!
I haven’t been into racing games the last few years, but instead focusing on first person shooters with emergent, interacting systems and hard core dungeon crawlers. Strangely, Need for Speed Rivals falls right in line with my current preferences and ties them together with gorgeous races and thrilling police pursuits. Set in an open world filled with unexpected events, using a system that makes you weigh the risk of each additional mile you drive, and teasing you with a massive list of vehicles and modifications to play with, Need for Speed Rivals is an arcade racer that will satisfy almost any sort of gamer out there.
Releasing this game between the launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and right before Mario and Zelda was probably a mistake.
If you know the company, Shin’en, it’s likely that you associate them with their well-crafted shooters, and not the platforming genre. But back on the Wii, the team charted into these new grounds with Jett Rocket. The WiiWare title was a decent attempt at a 3D platformer that now has a follow-up on the 3DS eShop. Jett Rocket II: The Wrath of Taikai takes a slightly different approach, blending both 2D and 3D platforming, while working in an assortment of mini-games to break up the fifteen core levels. The brief experience is enjoyable at times, but more frequently blasé, being outclassed by other titles in both variants of the platforming genre.
Mr. Zurkon found a lady-friend and got busy!
As of late it seems that Ratchet & Clank has been something of a test bed for Insomniac Games. With All 4 One, the team shoehorned New Super Mario Bros Wii-style cooperative gameplay into the Ratchet & Clank formula, while Full Frontal Assault saw the duo attempting Tower Defense. Although these experiments were certainly interesting, they’re no substitute for the tried-and-true gameplay of the franchise. Thankfully, the newest entry in the series, Into the Nexus proves that Insomniac is still devoted to producing new entries in the series’ classic style. Though on the shorter side, this highly engaging romp is a great send-off for the now last gen PlayStation 3.