Category Archives: Game Reviews

Franchise Hockey Manager 3 Review: Delay of Game

franchise-hockey-manager-3-headerThe 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.

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Batman – Episode 4 Review: Maybe I Am Insane

batman-episode-four-headerThere 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.

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Batman – Episode 3 Review: The Dark Knight Swerves

batman-episode-three-headerIt 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.

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Riptide GP: Renegade Review: Wet but not Wild

riptide-gp-renegade-headerI’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.

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Batman – Episode 2 Review: My Parents Have Framerate Problems

batman-episode-two-headerTelltale 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.

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F1 2016 Review: Lights Out and Away We Go

f1-2016-headerWe’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?

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Forza Motorsport 6: Apex Review: Full-Course Caution

forza-motorsport-6-apex-bannerWith the nearly forced conversion of Windows 7 and 8 users to Windows 10 earlier this year, Microsoft also announced their Xbox Play Anywhere program that promises all Microsoft published Xbox One titles will be available on PC via Windows 10 and the Microsoft Store. Given some teething problems with games through the Microsoft Store and the Universal Windows App (UWP) format, no one would fault you for being concerned.

The first experience that I’ve had as a result of Microsoft’s push of Windows 10 as a gaming platform is Forza Motorsport 6: Apex. Unlike the upcoming Forza Horizon 3, this isn’t a full release of Forza 6 on PC but rather a jumped up tech demo. While Forza 6 is a decent experience and certainly worthy of the Forza franchises comparisons to PlayStation’s Gran Turismo series, I can’t help but think that Apex is a little lacking.

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Battlefield 1 Open Beta Impressions: Back to the Future

battlefield-1-bannerThe fifth entry in the main Battlefield franchise and the thirteenth full game with the Battlefield name is the World War I themed Battlefield 1. While the name is confusing, DICE is moving forward with the franchise by going back in time and using lessons from Battlefront and Battlefield 4 & Hardline to improve their latest effort.

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Doom Review: Back to Basics

doom-bannerReboots are a tricky thing in entertainment. I’ve talked about this previously with Tomb Raider’s reboot. You want to do something fresh while retaining the spirit of the original. Something familiar without feeling like a retread of what people have already seen or played and loved. Doom 4’s lengthy start-stop development cycle saw the game lose the number at the end and have work scraped and started from scratch.

The end result is a fantastic reintroduction of the classic FPS franchise to the modern generation. It finds the right balance between new and modern gameplay with the classic mechanics and spirit of the 1993 original.

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Overwatch Review: Heroes Never Die

overwatch-beta-headerIt’s been three months since Overwatch was released. Most reviews of the game dropped within a week of release which was before the game’s competitive mode was added to the game in June and even one balance change or patch was made. While I put in a lot of time into Overwatch in its early days, I felt that the game needed some time to breathe to see how enjoyable the game would be once the competitive mode was added, players had more experience, more weekly brawls were shown off and Blizzard added some additional content.

There was certainly a chance that the early buzz for Overwatch could have given way to numerous issues and complaints once the mass audience got a hold of it. Fortunately, Overwatch has largely lived up to the hype.

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