Reviews by Arcadium
A Hell of a Good TimeArcadium | March 10, 2015 | Review of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
Hotline Miami is back and better than ever with its second instalment. Anyone hoping for something drastically different is going to be severely disappointed however since this game is basically more of the same frenetic action which will easily satisfy those who felt the first game was too short. The game spices things up with the inclusion of the fans though with each member having their own unique special skill like the twins being two characters, one with firearms and the other melee that you control simultaneously. The music is just as fantastic and the level editor is sure to prolong the life of the game. My only issue is the lack of being able to choose who you enter a level with but the game makes up for this with a bigger focus on an interesting cast of characters. If you’re looking for more Hotline Miami there really isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t pick up the sequel.
Another Phenomenal Telltale GameArcadium | Oct. 19, 2013 | Review of The Wolf Among Us
Telltale has always been a quality developer but they really struck gold when they released The Walking Dead last year and I’m sure I wasn't the only one who wasn't sure whether or not they could follow it up. The Wolf Among Us shows that they've still got some magic leftover and it’s different enough tonally to feel like a totally fresh experience from TWD. Visually I feel like it really takes to the comic book style better than The Walking Dead did and the bright colors really make everything pop more. Unfortunately there are still similar bugs such as slowdowns that plagued TWD but it’s either less so here or I just got lucky. Considering Telltale knew of the issue when developing TWD it’s slightly disappointing to see the same thing happening here but it isn’t major enough to ruin your experience. The Wolf Among Us should definitely be picked up if you’re a fan of the Fables comic or of TellTale adventure games.
A Solid Fighter, But Not Much ElseArcadium | Sept. 9, 2013 | Review of Skullgirls
I really don't know what else to say about Skullgirls besides the fact that it’s a competent fighter. It’s one of the most polished fighting games I’ve ever seen for its price and it’s incredibly balanced but that’s about it. There’s nothing here that really helps it stand out to a bigger, mainstream audience like how Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, or Tekken do. Only the hardcore fighting game fans are going to know this exists and are going to be the people who buy it and that’s fine because these are the people who will dump hours into this game. It’s damn good but that’s about it since the online servers are slowly getting smaller and there’s not really much of a reason to play by yourself. The training mode however is simply brilliant and I’d recommend purchasing the game just for it if you’re interested in getting into fighting games. Not only does it cover the basics, but it’ll ease you into advanced tactics and even show you how to properly play each character in the roster. Almost everything you’ll learn here can help you transition into other fighting games due to the main mechanics being the same in most fighters.
A Solid Taste While Waiting for Season 2Arcadium | July 7, 2013 | Review of The Walking Dead: 400 Days
After years of sort of being in the background, Telltale finally managed to hit mainstream success with their phenomenal game based on The Walking Dead. Not only was it visually pleasing (pulling the stylistic look of the comics instead of going for a more realistic approach) but it brought a cast of characters and story you don't see in many game lately. Now while season 2 is still a few months away we've got 400 Days (an add-on to season 1) to munch on while we wait.
400 Days has you taking on the role of not just one, but five new characters that all bring a new level of variety to the series. TT could have played it safe by making another Lee character but they didn't and each new character is interesting enough to make me wish the game was longer so I could see more of them. While each episode in the first season had one or two big hard decisions at the end of each episode, 400 Days is full of them. Despite each story only lasting 20-30 minutes the decisions you're going to have to make aren't small and the fact that the statistics at the end showed the community split 50/50 on almost all the decisions just shows that Telltale really managed to nail what they've been trying to achieve of not having one decision being the clear better one. Unfortunately the game does suffer from the same technical hiccups that plagued the first season, but it's not as bad here.
A Solid Shooter but a (wondefully) Campy ExperienceArcadium | July 7, 2013 | Review of Binary Domain
Binary Domain was one of my biggest surprises last year. Here we had a game with some decent shooting controls, some mediocre squad mechanics, and a tacked on multiplayer function. All of that doesn't matter though because this game was the equivalent of watching an entertaining B-movie with the amount of charm it oozes. Not only are your characters entertaining (Big Bo and the French robot specifically) but the story is just totally over the top in its encounters. You'll go from hopping on the back on a giant gatling gun toting robot to shoot the weak spot on its head to fighting gorilla robots and even ending up in a car chase where a massive robot that doubles as a motorcycle chases you. The game is thoroughly entertaining and shouldn't be missed by anyone.
A Welcome Fighter on PCArcadium | July 7, 2013 | Review of Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition
PC gamers haven't had much love from MK with the horrid port of the original three games all we've had to put up with, but times are changing and the Komplete Edition of MK9 is here.
Mortal Kombat does something most fighters don't by actually having a somewhat proper story that's actually quite long. It's sort of campy in a charming way the original movie is and will last you around 5 or so hours depending on your skill. Besides the lengthy story you've got multiple game modes like Test Your Luck where a roulette wheel will determine your opponent and any effects for the battle that vary from being just cosmetic like rainbow blood or actually changing the gameplay like armless combat. There's also a bevy of items to unlock in the Krypt like concept art or new fatalities. Besides all that the game also includes all of the DLC characters (Skarlet, Rain, Kenji, & Krueger), all the klassic skins, and the klassic fatalities. Since this is a PC game, I'd recommend buying a controller or fight stick because the keyboard is really awkward when it comes to fighting games.
For anyone who didn't already own this game on a console (or maybe you're a hardcore fan) there's no reason why you shouldn't check this game out.
A Breath of Fresh AirArcadium | July 7, 2013 | Review of Spec Ops: The Line
Recently, big AAA games have only given us either stories that ended on a happy note or that had a protagonist died for a noble cause; Spec Ops The Line shakes things up by doing neither. Here we have a game brings back memories of things like Apocalypse Now but is the first game to actually recreate its themes. I wouldn't really say this is a "fun" game to play through in the same way I'd say something like Apocalypse Now or No Country for Old Men aren't "fun" movies to watch.
Unfortunately the game does end up suffering in the gameplay department. It's not bad per say, but it just isn't good either. The solid level design makes up for it though with some incredible areas you'll fight in and the element of sandstorms showing up really spices things up. There's also a multiplayer component but it's the very definition of what you'd expect of a tacked on MP component.
The only significant downside to the game is how short it is, clocking in at 5-6 hours. Nonetheless, that shouldn't stop you from trying this game out.