Post-Launch Review Brütal Legend Developer: Double Fine Released: October 2009 (consoles) / February 2013 (PC)
Brütal Legend is a blend of action/adventure and RTS genres that follows Eddie Riggs, a roadie transported into a mystical land where metal is not just music, but a force of nature. Here, humanity is enslaved by demons, and only a handful of rebels fight back. Using his skills as a roadie, Eddie assembles an army, teaches them the ways of the metal gods, and kicks off a Tour of Destruction to vanquish the demonic emperor.
A mother is told by God that she must sacrifice her young son Isaac to prove her faith. Terrified, Isaac escapes through a trap door in his bedroom, leaving him trapped in a dungeon, crying and naked. Isaac fights his way through grotesque enemies in a top-down shooter where he attempts to find a way out of the dungeon.
You're walking through the grass. You're low on health and you need to heal. You can see the town. You're almost there! And suddenly a pack of monsters leaps out of the bush, right in your path.
I hate random encounters in RPGs. In most games, they serve only one purpose: padding out the game. Sure, random encounters show you that the wilds are dangerous, but there are other ways to do that than throwing random monsters at you. They also typically give you experience and/or loot, but the designer(s) could just as easily compress the levelling curve and remove those random encounters entirely.
But there are examples of games where they're done right.
Released: June 2012 (Japan) / October 2012 (international)
The first true sequel in the main Pokémon franchise, Black 2 (and White 2) is set two years after the events of Black and White. The Unova region is seeing huge changes in the distribution of Pokémon wildlife, new developments are springing up across the region, and Team Plasma is back to take over the world using a third legendary dragon, Kyurem.
I had planned this to be a full review. I even played Black 2 for over 50 hours (10 more than the main story), which is normally plenty of time for me to write a full review. The problem is that I've played so many hours of Pokémon across so many different versions that I'm finding it much harder than usual to step back and look at the game objectively in terms of high-level design elements and the perspective of a new player.
So I figure I'll just talk about a few things that stuck out to me.
A refresh of the N64 space shooter, Star Fox 64 3D follows the Star Fox mercenary team, led by Fox McCloud, as they fight back against the evil scientist Andross and his attempt to take over the Lylat system. Fox and his team blast their way through hundreds of enemy ships, blazing a trail to the planet where Andross was exiled years ago - Venom.
Note: this review is a comparison between the original and the 3DS version - I'm looking at the changes, not the game as a whole.
An update of the N64 classic, Ocarina of Time 3D refreshes one of the most iconic Zelda stories. A young boy named Link sets out to save Hyrule from Ganondorf, king of the Gerudo thieves. Ganondorf seeks the Triforce, a powerful relic that grants wishes. With the help of Princess Zelda and a magical instrument called the Ocarina of Time, Link travels around Hyrule, through dungeons, and across history to battle Ganondorf.
In an action-RPG running parallel to its predecessor, Darksiders 2 stars Death, horseman of the apocalypse, embarking on an unsanctioned mission to absolve his brother War of a crime he did not commit. In an attempt to revive humanity after its annihilation in a premature apocalypse, Death travels across many realms, encountering old souls, dead souls, angels, and demons. Along the way, he's haunted by his past, carrying the souls of a dead race, and fighting against the corruption it created.
A couple of weeks ago I obtained the Pikachu edition of the 3DS XL, because I was getting a 3DS and why not, it's cute and I like Pokémon (in fact, the reason I got a 3DS now is because of the Pokémon X/Y announcement). The guy in the store told me they only had one, and in fact they had only ever had one, because apparently it's quite rare and only one was sent to each store (at least in Canada, don't know about the US).
Anyway, my first impression was that the 3DS is basically the coolest thing ever, so I thought I'd give it a little more time before writing a post, because maybe it's not quite the coolest thing ever and I just hadn't noticed yet.
Turns out it's not the coolest thing ever, but it is pretty damn cool.
Released: January 2010 (consoles) / September 2010 (PC)
A third-person action-adventure game, Darksiders stars War, one of the horsemen of the apocalypse. The Endwar is triggered and War descends to Earth to wade into the battle between the forces of Heaven and Hell. But he and all the others were deceived - the seventh seal was not broken, and the apocalypse should not have happened. As the only horseman present during the battle, War is blamed for the destruction of humanity before its time. He returns to a dead and overrun Earth, seeking answers and revenge.
A first-person shooter and sequel to The Darkness, we pick up two years after the events of the first game. Jackie Estacado has quickly ascended to run the mob in the city, and has been suppressing the Darkness all the while for fear of losing control. Things are looking good until Jackie is suddenly and violently targeted by a mysterious organization called the Brotherhood, seeking to destroy Jackie and wrest away the Darkness. Jackie is forced to reawaken the demonic power within and take down the Brotherhood before they succeed or he loses control.