The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III: A Review

van helsing 3

  It's been a week since The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III came out. As of this writing, there are mixed reviews when it comes to the final release of this ARPG. So is it worth checking out? The Bad Points The story picks up right where Van Helsing II ended. Although both Van Helsing and Katarina's maximum levels are reduced, the game isn't hard to finish in one long sitting. For some players, this isn't a bad thing. However, there's no reason to go back and play the game again since the … [Read more...]

Iron & Steel Pinball Review

Iron & Steel Pinball FX 2

It's decidedly refreshing to write this Iron & Steel Pinball review, but not for reasons you might think. On the surface it's tempting to think the positive glow is because the tables in the Iron & Steel Pinball DLC are Zen Studios' first two original tables in years. And to be fair, that's part of it. Licenses, even big ones, tend to get tired after a while. But the Iron & Steel Pinball FX2 tables are also two of Zen Studios' best pinball tables in years, which is the real reason for the warm fuzzies. As original … [Read more...]

FIFA 15 Review

FIFA 15 Review

Yearly sports games are often criticized for either over-compensating changes or not changing enough (besides rosters). FIFA 15 is guilty of neither. Major problems that have plagued the franchise for years finally see their end as the game makes a major move toward realism. Animations Animations have been a growing part of the FIFA series. They are the source of great looks and awful frustrations. FIFA 14 had the most animations of all the games when it came out. When you would press a command button, it resulted … [Read more...]

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition Review

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition

With all due respect to the decades-old Star Wars and Indiana Jones, the Lord of the Rings series represents the best franchise entertainment Hollywood can provide. Set to conclude its second trilogy in just over a month, the franchise's latest Blu-ray entry is The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition, a must-own set for fans of The Hobbit films. Not only is it a great product, as we'll spell out in this The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition review, but it's also a perfect primer for December's … [Read more...]

Sunset Overdrive Review

Sunset Overdrive screen

A quick Sunset Overdrive review shows several elements pointing in the Xbox One's political favor. For instance, Sunset Overdrive was developed by Insomniac Games, whose history of first-party exclusives falls in Sony's camp and makes this Xbox One-exclusive shooter a shot across the PS4 maker's bow. Insomniac's game is also hitting around the Xbox One's first anniversary, making it a high-profile release for a console that needs some positive attention right about now. But is that attention warranted? We're gamers, … [Read more...]

Contrast Game Review

Contrast Game

It's tempting for a Contrast game review to focus on shadows as a gameplay mechanic, but the references throughout the puzzle platformer go far deeper than that. From its plot and characters to its level design, Contrast uses the difference between light and shadow -- and between upstanding and shadowy people -- to immerse players in a story unlike any platformer to date. That its gameplay is so original would be mere gravy if it weren't such an asset to the finished product. Contrast was one of the first indie games … [Read more...]

Ryse: Son of Rome Review

Ryse: Son of Rome

I’ll be perfectly honest, I didn’t have high hopes for Ryse: Son of Rome. The Xbox One launch game got all sorts of negative press at E3 because it what seemed to be nothing but a series of quick-time event (QTE) interactive vignettes. When I experienced it in person at E3 I felt those comments were completely justified. I hate QTE, and to see an Xbox One launch game based entirely on them was a total letdown. But now that the game has launched and I’ve completed it, my Ryse: Son of Rome review has completely changed. … [Read more...]

Splinter Cell Blacklist Review

Splinter Cell Blacklist

Thank you, Ubisoft. Before getting into the pros and cons of Sam Fisher’s latest outing, it’s only fitting to open a Splinter Cell Blacklist review with gratitude. Sam Fisher is back, and I couldn’t be happier. Blacklist is likely the last Splinter Cell game to appear on a current-gen console, and it sends the franchise out on an undeniable high note. Conviction was a solid game in 2010, but it tried hard to appeal to action-oriented gamers, losing much of what makes Splinter Cell unique. With Blacklist, Ubisoft has … [Read more...]

Disney Infinity Review

Disney Infinity

Remember when a certain open-world game caused parents, Congress and several national governments to scream in disgust? Those days seem far behind us, with sex and violence now the virtual norm. In light of that, I wanted to go counter-culture and celebrate not the release of GTA 5, but the triumph of the best family game of 2013 so far: Disney Infinity. This Disney Infinity review may be late, but it’s intentionally so. I wanted to see whether this new franchise in particular continued its momentum well after launch. … [Read more...]

BioShock Infinite Review

BioShock Infinite screenshot: Fireman

There isn’t much to be said about the original BioShock that hasn’t been said already, including words like “defining” and “masterful.” It’s with those massive shoes to fill that BioShock Infinite entered the limelight, a new game at the tail end of this console generation trying to prove that the current hardware can still manage to wow. And with Irrational Games at the helm, “wow” it does. BioShock Infinite isn’t technically a sequel, but it’s close. The game takes place not in the underwater city of in Rapture, … [Read more...]