Video game review

We want to hear your thoughts!

VIDEO GAME REVIEW: LOST REAVERS

VIDEO GAME REVIEW: LOST REAVERS

lost-reavers_004

By Nick Durham

Well, this is something. Lost Reavers is a free to play multiplayer game published by Bandai Namco and is exclusive to the Wii-U (at least for now). The game is currently in beta (or at least it really feels like it is) and you won’t find many other games like this on the Wii-U at all. Is that a good thing though? Well…let’s find out.

The gameplay of Lost Reavers revolves around you choosing one of four characters to play as. Each character is equipped with a melee weapon and a firearm, and the quick tutorial shows you pretty much everything you need to know. You’re tasked with clearing various rooms, wiping out zombies and other monsters, and recovering relics and bringing them back to your extraction point. Up to four people can play at once, but it really doesn’t make a difference if you have a partner or two or go solo: the game is a breeze, and a pretty boring one at that too.

The game’s environments are bland and its character models stock and stale. There’s a few puzzle-ish elements but they don’t amount to much in terms of challenge. It can become really easy to get swarmed with enemies yet there’s never really any sense of urgency. I know that sounds pretty nonsensical, but the enemy AI is literally all over the place. This is one of the reasons I say Lost Reavers still feels like it’s in beta: the twitchy AI and overall blandness just makes it feel incomplete. The control is pretty twitchy too, and more often than not pretty delayed.

The gameplay itself is just run around, shoot/hack shit, find the relic, run back to the exit. You may occasionally have to heal someone in your party, but probably not because there isn’t much here in terms of challenge. Then again, this is a free to play game, but most of those kind of games at least usually offer something in terms of addictive gameplay to keep their audience hooked and sinking money into them. That’s why fucking Candy Crush made billions of dollars after all. I don’t think we’ll have to worry about Lost Reavers getting to any levels like that though. Even if this game was on better selling consoles than the Wii-U or even on the PC, I doubt many would give it a shot.

So yeah, the fact that Lost Reavers is free to play is pretty much the only reason anyone should even consider checking it out. You’ll definitely play worse games in your life than this, but you’ll certainly play better ones too. Check it out for yourself if need be, but otherwise, don’t even bother wasting your time.




Rating: 2/5




Posted by Alan Smithee in GAME REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
GAME REVIEW: Molly Maggot

GAME REVIEW: Molly Maggot

maggot1

By Nick Durham

I have come to the conclusion that I am indeed a masochist…or at least I think I am. Why else would I keep subjecting myself to shitty games that I find on Nintendo’s E-shop on the Wii-U? My latest find is called Molly Maggot…and good fucking grief, I don’t even know where to begin.

First and foremost, Molly Maggot is a platform game…sort of. You play as our titular heroine (the fucking thing is named Moly, so I’m assuming it’s a she), an adorable little maggot trying to find your way throughout the rotting flesh of a duck…or a bird…I don’t know what the fuck it is because the animated intro is so shitty that all I can say for sure is that the animal has wings. Anyway, your mission is to munch on blocks of flesh and navigate your way to the end of each zone. The blocks of flesh themselves consist of regular blocks and super rotten blocks that can hurt you if you touch them. After you first start munching on the blocks, you realize that each zone is actually like a maze, and due to the ungodly stage designs, you will get stuck and fuck yourself a lot. Not literally fuck yourself of course though, maggots don’t have sexual organs. I think. Wait, do they? Comment below and let me know, I’m too lazy to go look it up right now.

Now in addition to royally fucking yourself by munching the wrong direction (not a euphemism), you also have the ability to jump. This should help you on your quest, but it doesn’t, because the jumping and platforming mechanics of Molly Maggot are so goddamned terrible that I literally can’t put them into words. I was a fucking English major in college, and I CANNOT FIND THE FUCKING WORDS to describe how bad the mechanics are. Add to that the seemingly randomly generated enemies that pop up, piss-poor hit direction, shoddy animation, and the lack of game music, and you have one of the most hilariously awful games you’ll ever play.




So yeah, can you tell I didn’t care for Molly Maggot? It’s bad…like The Letter bad. That game was two bucks too, and I demanded my money back for that…Molly Maggot is so bad that not only do I want my two bucks back, I want my dignity back. This game is an abortion…and that’s me being nice.

Rating: 0/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in GAME REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
GAME REVIEW: Zombeer

GAME REVIEW: Zombeer

zombeer01

By Nick Durham

Zombie games are all over the place these days, and have been for a while...and they aren't going anywhere any time soon either. We get the occasional good one coming our way now and then, and on the flip side of that, we get some really bad ones...

Really...really...bad ones.

Case in point is Zombeer: a zombie-themed first person shooter that tries to inject bits of humor into otherwise run of the mill shooter elements...and it does them terribly. Very...fucking...terribly. Seriously, this game is a fucking chore. Now I should mention right now that this review is based on the Playstation 3 version of the game. I know it's on Steam for PC, and I've seen a fair amount of positive reviews for that version, so maybe the PS3 has a shitty port? I can't really say for certain, so I'll just continue onward with what I experienced on the PS3.

Anyway, Zombeer tells the tale of a beer-swigging tool bag that you play as, who awakens from a night of binge-drinking to discover that the zombie apocalypse has happened. Eventually you discover that you've been bitten, and the only thing keeping you from turning is to keep on drinking...and slaughtering the undead in the process. In the middle of all this is unfunny toilet humor (which is saying something, considering I love that shit...no pun intended) and broken mechanics on top of that, making the whole thing a fucking chore.

On top of its shitty (again, no pun intended) humor and fractured mechanics, everything in Zombeer is just so damn dull. The graphics are muddy and look like a PS2 game from 2002, the enemy AI is almost non-existent, the level layouts are head-scratching, and the whole thing is just plain fucking boring. There really isn't much of anything here I can recommend...like at all.

So yeah, Zombeer is a big bucket of fuck this shit. I downloaded it on Playstation Network on a whim because it was dirt cheap. After putting an hour into it, I can safely say I want my money back...and I only gave it an hour because I'm a fucking masochist.

Rating: 1/5

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in GAME REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
GAME REVIEW: Final Exam

GAME REVIEW: Final Exam

finalexam

By Nick Durham

Want to beat up a monster with a baseball bat? Or shoot one down with a gun? Or say fuck it and chop one up with a chainsaw? Well now you can with Final Exam. A side-scrolling beat 'em up that can support up to four players at once (and trust me, it helps to have teammates for this game), Final Exam is a somewhat worthwhile dirge for action/horror enthusiasts. Also, apparently this game is somehow part of the Obscure survival horror video game franchise, but considering the Obscure games are 3D traditional survival horror games, and Final Exam totally isn't, you'd never know that upon first glance.

The gameplay of Final Exam is a pretty standard side-scrolling beat 'em up; kind of like the original Splatterhouse, but with backtracking and even more annoyances than it should justifiably have. Playing with others is recommended though, because the enemies are surprisingly tough and take a lot of punishment, and can dish it right back out. Luckily there is an assortment of weapons you can eventually get your hands on, and there's  a decent amount of upgrades for your abilities, etc. No matter what though, multiplayer is the way to go.

Now Final Exam can be some worthwhile fun while it lasts, but it can be severely annoying too. The backtracking isn't fun or rewarding (this ain't fucking Metroid), the enemy types aren't varied enough, and the controls are curiously delayed in their timing. The game does look and sound good though for what it is, which is a cheap, downloadable title for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. The game's stages are lengthy, but the game itself is short. I know reading that makes absolutely no sense, but it's true.

All in all, Final Exam is okay for what it is. If you can find it cheap and have some friends willing to give it a shot with you, I'd say check it out. Just don't expect anything too special out of it.

Rating: 3/5

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in GAME REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
GAME REVIEW: Escape Dead Island (PS3, XBOX 360)

GAME REVIEW: Escape Dead Island (PS3, XBOX 360)

By Nick Durham

Escape_Dead_Island

Fuck...this...fucking...game.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Dead Island franchise, like severely. I enjoy the idea of what the Dead Island games offer: survival horror on a zombie-infested island where you have to be resourceful and use whatever you can at your disposal to survive. What's always killed those games for me is that they all wind up being the same thing: go from point A to point B (and occasionally point C) to do some shitty fetch quests, stab a zombie now and then, rinse and repeat. Boom. That's Dead Island. Critics and gamers have always been split on the end result of the games, but the series has its fans, and that's all well and good.

And then we have this...fucking...game.

Escape Dead Island is a game that promises to be something different. It's a third person action game that starts out kind of interesting enough, as you play as a sword-wielding ninja taking down zombies in a lab. Plus the graphics are cell-shaded so it looks like you're playing a moving, breathing, comic book. Sounds pretty fucking cool right?

Yeah well, it's not. Like at all. Escape Dead Island is a tiring bore that makes me want to staple my balls to a ceiling fan and turn it on full fucking blast.

The ninja level I mentioned earlier only lasts for the game's prologue, as immediately after you are put in the shoes of the game's toolbag main character Cliff; who is investigating the zombie events taking place on the island from the original game...or an island close to that island...I don't fucking know, it doesn't matter, it's still a fucking island. There's no RPG-ish elements here like there are in the other games, and the action is pretty straight forward, and just plain fucking boring. Customization options are practically nonexistent for anything and everything here too, so yeah...boring.

Now believe it or not, I can get past a game being boring for the most part...if the thing's mechanics aren't broken that is. The mechanics of Escape Dead Island are so damn broken that it isn't even funny. Controlling your character is a chore as most of the time it feels like you're walking through fucking molasses, hit detection is all over the place, and the game's AI  is a joke. Not to mention the stage design doesn't help matters. So many times I lose track of where the fuck I'm supposed to go because everything either looks the same, or because there's no real clear distinction of where the fuck I'm supposed to go. Half of that is due to the blandness of the game's environments, while the other half is just due to shoddy game design. Oh well, at least the game has fluid graphics and the sound design isn't bad. Well, mostly that is.

So yeah, if you like the Dead Island franchise, Escape Dead Island may be worth your time just because it's a spinoff of the series. Other than that though, there's damn little here to recommend for anyone else. If you've ever wanted to play a shittier version of Ninja Gaiden with zombies, then I guess give this a look. For the rest of you, leave this game on the shelf. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go drown my sorrows away with bottom shelf liquor.

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in GAME REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
GAME REVIEW: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water (2015)

GAME REVIEW: Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water (2015)

By Nick Durham

fatalframe3

I've had a love/hate relationship with the Fatal Frame franchise since its inception. They aren't bad games, not one bit, for me personally, the promise that each game in the series offers gets overshadowed by sloppy mechanics and overall lack of execution. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is no different, although it does offer its fair share of positives along the way.

For those unfamiliar with the series, the Fatal Frame games usually put you in the shoes of a buxom Japanese babe that somehow winds up combatting ghosts and other supernatural elements, using a camera that attacks the spirits by snapping their pictures. The better picture you get, the more damage you dish out. Rinse, repeat. While never a household name of a franchise, the Fatal Frame games have their fan base, and while I kind of shit on it a little bit in that opening paragraph, the games themselves usually end up being fairly entertaining. This game, the fifth in the franchise, is no different.

You play as various characters at different points in the game's story, running around collecting items, solving very slight puzzles, and taking pictures of spooky ghosts. There's a mystery unfolding as the game goes on, taking place on a mountain range that is infamous for being a hot spot for suicides. Things get a tad confusing from that point forward, but I've never played these games for their stories in all honesty. Nevertheless, there is plenty of creepy atmosphere and haunting moments that take place throughout. Quick shots of ghastly apparitions swinging from nooses or leaping off cliffs really help give the game a sense of dread and spookiness. In the atmosphere department, Maiden of Black Water delivers the goods.

The game's biggest strength however also ends up being its biggest weakness. The game takes full advantage of the Wii-U's massive gamepad controller to use as the game's Camera Obscura (i.e., the name the franchise's spectral camera is called), and it uses it pretty well. Aiming and taking shots of the ghosts is simple and fun enough, and in fact this is the best use of the gamepad I've seen done in a long time. I've owned a Wii-U for a long while now, and not nearly enough games for it take advantage of the pad at all. Maiden of the Black Water happily does. That being said, when things get panicky (i.e. when there's a few ghosts teaming up on you), things get kind of cumbersome control wise. While in camera mode, your character can still move around, which is good, but if you back up against a wall, you wouldn't really know it until you realize you're not moving anymore. Then it's drop out of camera mode, and run a bit to give you a little distance between you and the ghosts to finish dispatching them. This wouldn't be that much of a bad thing, were it not for the fact that the character movement controls themselves are really, really fucking clunky. Trust me when I say: when things get hectic, you're going to get frustrated.

Graphically speaking the game looks good and there are some impressive lighting effects as well. The environments are nice and the character models and ghost effects are pretty good as well. From an aesthetic point of view, Maiden of Black Water kicks ass, especially for a Wii-U game. That, and the occasional gratuitous ass shots don't hurt either.

My biggest complaint about Maiden of Black Water however isn't so much the game itself, but how you have to play it. Now over in its native Japan, this game received a physical, disc release. Over here, it's digital only. Now that's really not that big a deal, but considering the game is close to being 10 gigabytes, and the Wii-U itself has a tiny ass hard drive (mine is 32 gigs for fuck's sake), this shit just doesn't fly. Now the one positive to this is that, at least for now, Nintendo is offering the first three chapters to play for free. Once you get through them, you can purchase the full game for 50 bucks if you feel so inclined. Considering that price tag, there isn't enough here to warrant that, at least for me. Plus Nintendo has apparently censored a number of revealing unlockable outfits for the female protagonists, replacing them with Princess Zelda and Zero-Suit Samus outfits instead. My penis weeps.

Anyway, Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water isn't a terrible game one bit. Give it a try for free while you can and see what you think. It's not worth the full 50 bucks, at least for me, but you may enjoy it much more than I did. So with all that in mind, give this a shot. There really isn't much in terms of survival horror to find on the Wii-U, and hey, I guess this winds up being better than that other Wii-U exclusive survival horror game The Letter right? That's not much of an accomplishment though, but that's besides the point; getting kicked in the dick by an ice skate is more enjoyable than that fucking game.

Rating: 3/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in GAME REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
GAME REVIEW: Five Nights at Freddy’s

GAME REVIEW: Five Nights at Freddy’s

By Margeaux DeMott

FNAF1
This game is a first for me. I have never played a game in which you are utterly defenseless when faced with the enemy. I'm used to my jump scares being followed by spastic gun fire. In Five Nights at Freddy's (FNAF) there is no, "Oh, but I can just shoot it". You're forced to look into the lifeless eyes of your mechanical murder. Or, in my case, the inside of my eyelids as I scream in helpless shock and fear.

Five Nights at Freddy's puts you into the role of an over-night security guard during his shifts in a Chuck 'E Cheese-like establishment. You have a simple midnight 6:00 a.m. shift, all by yourself, sitting in a security observation post. I mean, you could sit there and play solitaire all night if you wanted to, right? NOPE. As much as you want to play Minesweeper, the mechanical puppets want to shove you inside of them, literally. Which leads to your horrifying death. Seriously, imagine that.

The gameplay is very simple: You have a touchscreen tablet to visually check the various rooms in the building and two doors with a Light Switch button and a Door Close button each. Apparently, Freddy's is not doing so well financially. You have only a certain amount of power to draw upon, and that limited power supply drains while you are checking the building, closing one of the doors, or turning the hall light on. When you check the rooms, you can see where the puppets are at. Sometimes they are not where you last saw them - which leads to rapid checking of each of the rooms to try to find them.

The graphics are not the best ever, but they get the job done. Think Playstation One era. However, the sound is on point. For me, the best part of a good jump scare is the sound that accompanies it - this is commonly called the spike. Five Nights at Freddy's nails it on their spikes! The ambient sound really puts you in the mood of an empty building filled with blood-thirsty mechanical puppets.

That being said, this game scared the crap out of me. It's scared the crap out of a lot of people, and the fan base for Five Nights at Freddy's is incredible. This game series is only four years old, and already there are an insane number of game/conspiracy theories and various fan-fics! The creator of Five Nights at Freddy's, Scott Cawthon, has pumped out three sequels to this game in a year when most developers can't even get one game out in a year. Everything about this game is crazy - from the plot to the fans - and I think that's how everyone likes it.

9/10 peed pant

Posted by Alan Smithee in GAME REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
GAME REVIEW: Doom 3: BFG Edition (2012)

GAME REVIEW: Doom 3: BFG Edition (2012)

Doom 3: BFG Edition
(PS3, XBOX 360)

By Nick Durham

I usually don't play first person shooters. I've never been one to hop on board the Call of Duty or Halo bandwagons, and I more than likely never will either. For me, it takes a lot for me to dive into an FPS, an awful lot, which is strange because in my youth, I loved these fucking games. Granted the play mechanics of them were much simpler back then compared to how they are now. I played the hell out of Duke Nukem 3D, Quake, Wolfenstein 3D, etc...but there was always one game (and franchise) in particular that spoke to me more than all of them put together.

Mother. Fucking. Doom.

Like many others, I played Doom until my eyes bled, then I'd wipe away the tears, and play some more. This would continue for years, because somehow I'd never get tired of Doom, and I still don't to this very day. In 2004, after what seemed like eons, we finally got Doom 3, which upped the ante in terms of its technical aspects compared to its two predecessors, and is undoubtedly one of the scariest games of its era. In 2012, id Software released Doom 3: BFG Edition, which features a remastered take on the 2004 title, along with its Resurrection of Evil expansion, and throws in the classic Doom and Doom II along with their various expansions for good measure as well.

This remastered take on Doom 3 looks glorious and fucking terrifying. One thing that the game originally had going for it quite a bit was its lighting effects that were optimized to hide enemies, have them jump out at you, and scare the holy living shit out of you to boot. There's very few new elements crafted into the gameplay, such as using your flashlight while still holding a weapon, but that's pretty much it. The game's engine remains the same with no changes/updates, which is fine because there really don't need to be any. The game still ends up being as enjoyable now as it was back then.

There's also a shit load of content thrown in here for good measure. As I mentioned before, other than getting a remastered take on Doom 3, you get the Resurrection of Evil expansion, as well as a new single-player The Lost Mission pack. Combine that with the original Doom (technically the Ultimate Doom version, but whatever) and Doom II (with the No Rest for the Living pack), and you have one hell of an overall package that is more than worth its price tag. Speaking of price tags, since this came out in 2012, you can easily find this for less than 20 bucks, which is a total fucking steal.

All in all, having a remastered take on Doom 3 is one thing, but having it included in this package that features so much great content is a total fucking steal. It's good value for your money if you still have a last-gen console and want to scare yourself shitless, so you really have no excuse to do so. Seriously, stop reading this and go pick up Doom 3: BFG Edition. You won't regret it one bit.

Rating: 5/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in GAME REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments