Archive for the 'Gaming' Category

‘Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong’ Has Bite (Video Game Review)

The first big interactive narrative adventure of 2022 has arrived, and the title: Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong, is indeed a mouthful. The height of choice-driven video games is, arguably, Quantic Dream’s 2018 masterwork Detroit: Become Human, which is also an ungainly thing to say aloud. Regardless, that was four long years ago. We’re waiting for the latest from that developer, which will be set in a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars: Eclipse. I look forward to receiving a trophy for cleaning my lightsaber via a sequence of triangles, squares, and circles. Until then, we have french developer Big Bad Wolf’s resurrection of a vampire series based on a ’90s tabletop game (No, I hadn’t heard of it, either). I took a chance on this tale of rival vampire sects set in modern-day Boston. Filled with deadly serious, seriously silly writing where the undead use words like Embrace (turn a human into a vamp), Vessels (humans used for blood) and Final Death. Terms that take on bigger meaning in genre fiction. Does this narrative adventure have bite, or does it suck?

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Peter’s Tremendous Top Ten Video Games of 2021

2021, amirite? We’re now over a year into the current generation of consoles, yet being able to actually purchase a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X/S is still nigh impossible. Proving what we already knew: scalper bots are truly the worst. The shortage of chips and other factors have made the supply fall far short of demand. Fortunately, many of the year’s best were playable on the older PS4s and Xbox Ones too. Meanwhile, Nintendo released an OLED version of their Switch alongside the first Metroid in years. The year in games saw plenty of highs, although nothing hit the masterpiece level of 2020’s The Last of Us Part 2. Instead, 2021 spread the love with different kinds of experiences: an incredible shooter that heralded the return of Master Chief, a colorful Pixar-level tale featuring not one but two Lombaxes, and plenty of abominations courtesy of the Umbrella Corporation.

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‘Resident Evil: Village’ Is Worth Visiting (Video Game Review)

After two amazing remakes, developer Capcom has delivered a new installment to the biggest horror series in games. Resident Evil: Village is the 8th official entry with “VIll” continuing the tradition of franchise titles having fun with number/letter swapping (My personal fav being Step Up 2 the Streets). The longest entry in years, Village is a direct follow-up to 2017’s VII. That means we’re killing fools found footage style like it’s the late 00s. Still, what the remakes of 2 and 3 had that I adored was heavily leaning into the campy dialogue of the PS1 originals. Yes, the OG games voice-acting was probably an unintentional result of weird North American translations, but Jill Sandwich is eternal. Would Village stick with VII’s more 70s Southern gothic approach? And what about all the heavy combat shown in the trailers, making VIII look like a spiritual successor to RE4, arguably the most beloved entry of them all?

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‘Outriders’ Delivers Fun in a Familiar Shooter Setting (Video Game Review)

Polish developer People Can Fly toss their assault rifle on the looter-shooter pile with Outriders. A new franchise (fingers crossed) is always welcome in an industry with far too many sequels and spin-offs. Plenty of videogame series often get better with multiple installments. Still, it’s refreshing to watch an opening cutscene and create a character that holds my attention with the promise of the new. Although with Outriders, the word ‘new’ is purely a matter of semantics as the story is yet another post-apocalyptic tale featuring gameplay that’s a weird hybrid of Mass Effect’s RPG mechanics, Gears of War’s third-person cover, and Doom’s close-up carnage. So no, this will not be like the first time you booted up those three titles many years ago but darn it all, there is definitely, something here that has kept sinking countless hours into this past week. Like the space magic… yeah. Continue reading ‘‘Outriders’ Delivers Fun in a Familiar Shooter Setting (Video Game Review)’


‘The Medium’ Delivers Above Average Thrills (Video Game Review)

The survival horror genre receives a welcome new potential franchise with Blooper Team’s old school fixed camera third-person tale, The Medium. Fans of Resident Evil would be as silly as not using ink ribbons on Hardcore mode to not take this journey to a new place, with a new character, and best of all, a new way to play while they wait for the release of Resident Evil: Village in May. Why? Well, beyond being a solid scare-fest, it’s also free if you own GamePass for your Xbox Series X/S or PC. The only downside is that it is only for Series X/S and PC (Meaning no Playstation or last-gen Xbox versions). Could this have been ported to lower-powered consoles? Maybe, but that’s a question the Polish developer seemed wise not to answer considering CD Project Red’s not-so-great launch of that cyberpunky game starring Keanu Reeves last month. Unease and a good mystery await, so hit X to enter The Further, The Upside Down, or wherever our hero Marianne (voiced by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn) goes that has serious creepy rusted Silent Hill vibes.

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Peter’s Top 10 Video Games of 2020

Sooooo (again), 2020, amirite? If there ever a year to lose myself with a controller and 4K TV, this was it. I spent the better part of the year obsessing about playing many great games. Then September arrived, and like many nerds, I became more obsessed over securing an online order for a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. True, I was initially bummed I wouldn’t be going to my local Gamestop at midnight on Nov 10th and 12th, but in the interest of being safe, I was fortunate enough snag a preorder. Then I just needed to wait eight weeks to greet my neighborhood FedEx peep with social distancing in place. The actual games to play on these big consoles (looking at you, PS5) were the best kind of pricy distractions. More web-slinging! Thrills involving a nemesis! An island full of wisecracking animals! And an ever relatable tale about a pandemic that turned everyone into polarizing monsters. That last one was just the reaction to the game on social media.

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ManEater (PS5 Review)

While many Sony fans are still in hot pursuit of the brand spankin’ new PS5 console, some have been fortunate enough to get their hands on one despite Sony’s poor planning at launch. For those that do have the newest Playstation, there is no mistaking the shortage of titles currently available for it, yet this was not necessarily unexpected. Games like Godfall have bedazzled players with next gen graphics while familiar faces like Mortal Kombat continue to wow with its consistently solid play and upgrade of sights and sounds. One release that many gamers may not be familiar with, however, is the new ManEater from developer Tripwire Interactive.

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‘Watch Dogs’ Third Time’s The Hack (Video Game Review)

We’re about to pass the twilight of this console generation, but while Watch Dogs: Legion is the third entry in Ubisoft’s AAA series, it’s the first to feel like a full-fledged exploration of the hacker code. 2014’s Watch Dogs, like most firsts in the Ubisoft IP, was more proof-of-concept than a robust experience. Six years, later Legion succeeds by allowing players to hack the planet, er, London (there’s even a trophy named after the 1995 film). And not just by any means necessary but by any person we choose. Let the unf&%#ing of London begin….

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Streets of Rage 4 (Video Game Review)

It has been a week, and I’ve received immense satisfaction from playing Streets of Rage 4. Growing up, my initial video gaming console was the Sega Genesis. Sonic the Hedgehog (specifically Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles) received their share of devoted playtime, but Streets of Rage 2 was where it was at for me. I know TMNT: Turtles in Time and River City Ransom have their share of fans, and who can forget the hundreds of quarters spent on The Simpsons and X-Men arcade console games, but SOR2 was the defining beat ‘em up game for me, as it perfected a formula. Now, over 25 years later, Dotemu, Lizardcube, and Guard Crush Games have done what they needed to develop a game that keeps what worked intact while modernizing Streets of Rage for today.

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PS4 Review)

“It will be a day-long remembered.” While Darth Vader can be quoted as saying that, I want to borrow it for the recent release of the latest Star Wars game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order from EA. When attending Star Wars Celebration this past April in Chicago, I had the privilege of attending the live panel discussing the game. It is, after all, Star Wars, so it’s going to have that massive attention right there. On top of that, fans of the franchise have wanted a solo player game for ages. The last Star Wars title I can remember that fit the bill was Force Unleashed II and that was nearly a decade ago. Games like the recent Battlefront and Battlefront II had single-player scenarios, but those titles are online multi-players more than anything. Ask, and you shall receive, though, as we now have the solo Star Wars game we have been after. Now that it has been out slightly over a week, here’s a look at Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

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Super Blood Hockey (PS4 Game Review)

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love football, but I’m nuts about hockey. I’ll watch the sport at nearly any level, high school to pros, and enjoy every minute of it. When it comes to hockey in video games, Blades of Steel for the NES was an absolutely awesome game. Even today, that game still holds a special place for me. Sure, EA’s NHL series is the most accurate hockey simulation you’re going to play, but there’s something special about those arcade style games where you can throw every bit of reality out the window. Welcome to Super Blood Hockey.

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Gregg’s 2018 Game of the Year

As the years have passed, I have drifted significantly from video games and focused that time more on boardgaming. I just find the ability to use my imagination and the skill of critical thinking far more engaging in something like Terraforming Mars or Memoir ’44 as opposed to the button mashing of Mortal Kombat or the run ‘n gun of Call of Duty. Nevertheless, there is that occasional title of pixel fun that just captures my attention and won’t let go. Whereas last year that honor went to the DC Comics street fighting game Injustice 2, this year just happens to be another comic book-influenced title.  No, that is not a requirement.  It’s just that this game was done so incredibly well, I almost want to use the word ‘perfect’ in describing it.

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Gregg’s 2017 Game of the Year

With sales for PS4, Xbox One and PC titles running strong, the video game industry continues to do financial cartwheels year after year. And as technology progresses with such grand rapidity, fans of gaming demand more out of these titles with each passing year. The Madden football franchise continues to be a dollar bill powerhouse with its gargantuan following. Call of Duty revisited a pivotal point in our history with their WWII release that showed off some impressive cinematic sequences and gameplay footage in their TV spots. Let’s not forget Nintendo’s latest tool of the trade, the Switch, and their growing library of games that’s entered the fray as well.  Nevertheless, only one can be king. Which game gets the crown for 2017?

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Star Wars Battlefront II (PS4 Game Review)

It is finally here! It feels only like yesterday when I was at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando back in April of this year. Sitting in on the Battlefront II discussion panel with thousands of others, I was in awe of the stills and trailer we were given. The original Battlefront (original Xbox, PC, PS2) from 2004 is in my top three video games of all time. Its major flaw was controlling airborne vehicles, which was such a poor experience, but one that could be easily overlooked since the ground-based combat was such a thrill. Then there was Battlefront II. No, not the one just released last week, but the one from some years back which first introduced the opportunity to play as heroes and villains. Like the second Avengers film, it very much lacked the personality and feel of its predecessor. After a changing of the guard at Lucasarts via the Disney purchase, the long-awaited Battlefront follow-up arrived in 2015 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC. It was arguably the best one in the series (speaking of all titles in the series, let’s not forget the Playstation Portable version called Battlefront Renegade which never got much coverage). While individual classes were gone in Battlefront (sniper, heavy gunner, etc.), the fully customizable concept of building your character was a big hit and allowed for a wide array of soldiers on the battlefield. All of that recap brings us to the much anticipated Battlefront II of 2017. How is it, you ask? Let’s take a look

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Friday the 13th – (PS4 Game Review)

In 1989, video game publisher LJN released the one and only Friday the 13th game for the NES. Based on the hit horror film franchise, you played as one of the Camp Crystal Lake counselors and made your way around the dreaded summer vacation spot to rescue children, kill zombies and ultimately face the man behind the mask himself, Jason Vorhees. Honestly, the game was done fairly well for its time and it was one of the earliest video games I beat.  Still, time marched on with gaming technology, but that late 80’s product was the only thing gaming fans of the demonic serial killer had.  Fast forward to May 26, 2017 and that appetite has been satiated.

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‘Assassin’s Creed’ Takes A Leap Of Faith Into Video Game Movie Despair (Movie Review)

assassins creed posterA colleague of mind constantly claims how studios should have at least been able to accidentally make a great video game movie at this point. Assassin’s Creed is unfortunately not the accident we’ve been waiting for. In those terms, sure there have been films of this ilk that have found success (the Resident Evil films), but it is strange that not one of the many films in this sub-genre has been able to find success on both financial and artistic terms for the majority of audiences. Given the game in question, I wouldn’t have pegged Assassin’s Creed as the one to solve this problem, but there surely could have been better choices made for this adaptation.

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Paranautical Activity, a Love/Hate Relationship (PS4 Game Review)

Paranautical ActivityI have to say, this game (Paranautical Activity) looked like it wouldn’t be anything more than a sloppy attempt at mashing up Minecraft and Doom, but it proved to be a fun, frustratingly addictive shooter. While it does have a Doom feel to it, the only thing linking it to Minecraft is the square environment, and mobs (video game slang for enemies; multiple definitions online). The controls in the game are easy to use, even with the lack of any formal instructions, and after only a few tours through the first and second levels I was getting into the swing of things. There are three different difficulty levels; each difficulty unlocking after the previous difficulty is beaten. All throughout the game there are ways to unlock special items and characters that can change the playfield either for the better or to make things more challenging. It’s almost like the unlockables mechanic in Crossy Road. Continue reading ‘Paranautical Activity, a Love/Hate Relationship (PS4 Game Review)’


Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: Michonne (Video Game Review)

The Walking Dead Michonne TelltaleIf the game’s title doesn’t entice you, you’re probably not a fan of the Image Comics graphic novel, or the AMC hit series, The Walking Dead. Even if you haven’t experienced tearing through book after book of TWD, or waiting all week for Sunday night, chances are you’ve at least heard of TWD from friends or family. There’s always been something about this story that’s gripped fans across the globe and the same holds true for this digital installment in the series. We’re going to cover a lot in this review, beginning with a prep course on The Walking Dead Universe (for all the newbies), then we’ll cover what we know of the samurai badass Michonne. After that, I’ll touch on what The Walking Dead: Michonne video game brings to TWD fandom as a whole. Get ready, and be warned: Continue reading ‘Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: Michonne (Video Game Review)’