Author Archives: Steve Murray
The challenge with putting out an annual franchise is that the development cycle is painfully short so big changes and improvements tend to lag a bit. You’re so busy working on getting a game out that factoring in feedback is a challenge unless you’ve already planned to integrate it in the next game. Look at the plethora of EA Sports games on an annual release cycle or the complaints of stagnating Call of Duty when they were on a two-year development cycle.
That brings us to Franchise Hockey Manager 3, the first FHM game released in its new annual release schedule. While Out of the Park Developments made big changes from 2013’s Franchise Hockey Manager to 2015’s FHM2, they didn’t have time to overhaul that game’s issues in time for 2016’s FHM3.
There are a long list of people who belong in Arkham Asylum. For example, Lady Arkham and the Penguin are good candidates to be locked up for being criminally insane. Perhaps the criminally insane are the folks over at Telltale who have been lacking in technical and creative drive when it comes to putting out a quality Batman game. Or maybe I’m the insane one for expecting The Walking Dead quality releases from Telltale every time.
While Batman: Episode 4 – Guardian of Gotham isn’t the worst episode that Telltale has released but it’s also not their best either. At the very least, it’s a promising setup for the concluding episode of the series.
It took me writing five paragraphs of this review to figure it out but I have come to the conclusion that Telltale’s Batman – Episode 3: New World Order is an alternate universe version of The Dark Knight Rises. Instead of Bane, Penguin is the face opposing Batman / Bruce Wayne and there is even a Talia Al Ghul-esque mastermind behind the whole operation. This revelation doesn’t detract from this episode so much as it explains what Telltale was attempting to do with this episode.
I’m used to reviewing racing games but most of them are on dry land. However, not all racing and racing games are on dry land. The Riptide series sees you race on futuristic jet-powered jet-skis. Typically, developer Vector Unit keeps its games on mobile platforms with the occasional console release. Riptide GP Renegade is the first in its flagship Riptide series to make its way to PC. So how does this mobile / console game fare on the PC? Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.
Just over twelve months ago, we had a story about unionized video game voice actors under the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) discussing strike action against video game publishers over what they claimed was inadequate compensation and unsafe working conditions. Now, SAG-AFTRA has announced that they are on strike against nearly a dozen game developers and publishers which might slow production on upcoming games.
Telltale is very hit and miss with its many, may different titles. When the company is focused on putting all of its resources behind a particular game, it gets in the conversation for year-end awards. When they half-ass it, people worry that Telltale was nothing more than a flash in the pan and that it’s poor efforts of the past are more indicative of the company’s quality than its critical highs.
The Batman series finds an odd middle ground for Telltale. The story is largely compelling, even if the characters aren’t, but the actual execution of the game is so poor that you wonder if Telltale was taking notes on PC ports from Rocksteady’s Arkham Knight.
As had been rumoured for months, the Switch is a hybrid portable and home console that will allow you to play the same games at home and on the go with a near seamless switch from the Switch dock to portable ready.
The longest active StarCraft competition has come to an end. KeSPA has announced that the StarCraft ProLeague, a Korean team-based league that started in 2003 with Brood War and ran for fourteen years, would discontinue operations effective immediately. This announcement was made simultaneous with the announcement that five top Korean SC2 teams would also disband effective immediately.
Just a few weeks after filing suit against 100 anonymous Steam users for ongoing harassment through the digital games store and client, the lawsuit has been terminated by Digital Homicide without prejudice. In an interview following the suit’s dismissal, one-half of Digital Homicide, James Romine, said that the company was “destroyed.”
We’ve previously covered the Formula One video game franchise along with the fall and rise of Codemasters on the blog. Their most recent effort, Dirt Rally, showed that some of the greatness of classic Codemasters games still remained in Birmingham which was a much-needed revelation after the underwhelming F1 2015. Now that they’ve had time to work on the current-gen Formula One games, can F1 2016 live up to the expectations of gamers and F1 fans alike?