Reviews by Brumbek

90

A Deliciously Charming 5 Hour Ride!

Brumbek | Nov. 2, 2013 | Review of Costume Quest

Costume Quest is a charming, heart-warming, hilarious, and well-crafted game. It is a nice little semi-RPG romp that can be completed in about 5 hours. The graphical style is extremely pretty and atmospheric. The sounds and music conjure up whimsical spookiness. The writing and story is superb, always giving a laugh yet pushing you forward.

The gameplay consists of fun exploration around locales, attempting to trick-or-treat and also find all the secrets. There is also a fun but simple JRPG turn-based battle system implemented with wonderful "epic" battles on gorgeous set pieces.

The only downside to speak of is that much of the dialogue automatically forwards itself, resulting in many missed lines unless you are a speed reader. Also, none of the dialogue is voiced, but that is only an issue because of how easy it is to miss certain lines.

Overall, the game so perfectly captures the spirit of youthful exuberance and the pursuit of much candy! I highly recommend this game to anyone who wants a fun, charming, and memorable experience!

85

Brilliant Tactical Combat, Decent Strategic Game

Brumbek | June 14, 2013 | Review of XCOM: Enemy Unknown (NA) -

XCOM is a very playable tactical combat game that rises to greatness because of its attention to detail. It perfectly nails the 1950’s mysterious alien invasion vibe while still being taken seriously. Very strong voice acting for the several key NPCs along with stellar music and ambient sound effects create a nearly palpable mood, both during missions and back at base.

Graphical details also contribute to the believability of it all, with expertly crafted combat zones ranging from sunny forests to urban jungles. Then there’s the ant farm style headquarters that lets you build deep into the ground and zoom in to observe the fine details of your labs, workshops, and other facilities. You can even see your specific soldiers resting, training, or healing in the barracks.

Gameplay wise, there’s two separate parts: strategic global management and tactical combat. First, on the management side, you have to build your base, launch satellites, and prepare yourself for attacks. This is all done through menus although the game wisely spruces things up with cutscenes and the graphical ant farm base, which both greatly reduce that “spreadsheet game” feel other games suffer from.

The actual strategic game almost entirely revolves around knowing what to prioritize (satellites!), and unfortunately the early game can be quite brutal for new players because most strategic decisions lack context. Another problem is there is a clear ideal prioritization for the first half of the game (engineers!), which is a big strategic failing since it means nearly every game plays out roughly the same way.

The good news is the tactical combat is quite brilliant, providing simple commands but countless tactical approaches to every battle. Your squad has specific roles, which when used properly allow for some very incredible combat moments. Add in perma-death along with the great tense audio/visual mood, and you have a recipe for amazing things, both good and bad. They say combat is a drug, and XCOM is a lot like that, ensuring great highs and lows, and ensuring you come back for more.

Apart from the stellar combat mechanics themselves, the fantastic over-the-shoulder camera that occurs occasionally when units move makes you feel part of the actual fight. Add to that the tremendously brilliant kill-cam showing your soldier take aim and fire and the alien explode with a loud cry and spurt of alien goo. It never gets old. Did I mention the aliens also get kill-cams when they are about to horribly murder one of your units?

The story is mostly emergent, meaning you create your own stories as you play, but there is a central plot with a beginning, middle, and end. The game does a good job of slowly revealing more and more of the aliens’ plans, building mystery and tension. Sadly, the game ends abruptly with an anti-climatic last mission.

XCOM has other downsides as well. Firstly, much of the game is randomized: what missions are offered, their rewards, what countries get attacked and when, combat zones, enemies, and so on. This is great for variety and replayability, but there’s no denying you can get quite unlucky especially in the early game. Part of the problem stems from the unbalanced prioritization spoken about above. Being offered 4 engineers as opposed to 4 scientists can make a massive difference in the early game.

XCOM wants you to play it with minimal save scumming (constant saving and loading to ensure ideal outcomes). I do recommend you make a rule that you will only save at the start of each battle and only reload if things go terribly wrong as defined by you.

Speaking of difficulty, it does seem like much of it tends to stem from arbitrary constraints, which can lead to frustration. Why do soldiers begin as incompetent rookies when XCOM is supposed to be an elite fighting force? Why can’t my units go prone? Why do aliens have a chance to hit me when I’m fully covered behind a concrete wall? Why can I only carry one item? Where are the airstrikes?

The enemy discovery system is a bit illogical as well, forcing you to take turns even when no enemies have been spotted. This can lead to an unfortunate situation where your very last unit to move can stumble upon aliens, thereby giving the aliens an entire first turn to attack. This system results in much time spent on turn management rather than natural exploration. Even worse is the solution to the problem is obvious and easy to implement: make all movement free until enemies are discovered.

Then there’s the questionable logic of player and enemy phases. More sophisticated games opt for individual turns based on unit speed, a la Final Fantasy Tactics. It makes little sense that all combatants have agreed to take turns like respectable chaps, a la old-school armies who lined up and took turns shooting.

Lastly, it’s almost like XCOM wants the player to fail the first time they try to play. It is so rare that we see a game that even allows total failure requiring restarting the game or loading a very early save. Given XCOM’s unique status, an introductory video just taking 5 minutes to educate the player would have been wise. As it is, many gamers will try the game, fail miserably, and go away hating XCOM. Others will go online and read a new player’s guide, which is far from ideal.

In conclusion, XCOM is an atmospheric alien invasion simulator with decent strategic elements and very addictive combat. It truly is a great game partly because of the attention to detail and partly because of its uniqueness. It does get dragged down by its unexplained and unbalanced strategic side, arbitrary difficulty, and turn-based quirks. Still, if you are willing to put up with the frustration, XCOM may turn you into a mastermind of massive alien murder.

80

A Wild Ride, Shallow but Fun

Brumbek | June 14, 2013 | Review of Saints Row: The Third dns

SR3 drops the player in a stylized open city and rewards the player for doing crazy things. There’s much to do in the form of activities, assassinations, vehicle thefts, finding collectibles, and various challenges. You get respect and for doing nearly everything, which allows leveling up and unlocking skills. You also get cash, which lets you buy real estate, upgrade weapons, and buy countless customizations for you and your vehicles.

The story is told through diverse and creative missions, always featuring something crazy or bombastic. Very strong voice acting and mostly funny dialogue by memorable characters helps keep things interesting. Humorous vehicles, shops, outfits, billboards, and radio stations provide SR3 a real sense of style while traveling through the city. SR3 definitely knows how to keep you playing, with about 20 hours of city amusements outside of the actual story missions and about 10 hours of story content.

SR3 isn’t going for balance or difficulty but simply pure spectacle. The game is a slight challenge at first, but you become formidable after 5-10 hours and downright unstoppable at 15-20 hours. The Full Package edition also grants you very powerful weapons and vehicles for free. This imbalance would ruin other games, but it works well in SR3 because SR3 is about doing as much crazy stuff in the least amount of time.

Ultimately, SR3 is like chocolate decadence, pure indulgence. It is very easy to get caught up in the mayhem, even finding it hard to go back to “serious” games. However, like any rich dessert, at some point you have to go back to more substantial offerings. Still, SR3 is undeniably great fun.

80

Brutal Zombie Killing on a Beautiful Resort Island

Brumbek | May 4, 2013 | Review of Dead Island

Dead Island is a sort of tropical vacation simulator mixed with violent zombie slayer mixed with character progression and loot systems. It is something you just can’t find anywhere else. Think L4D meets Dead Rising meets Borderlands meets Far Cry.

Regarding the environment, it delivers a rich world to explore with details everywhere. A deserted towel on a beach with a lunch pail lets your imagination ponder what happened. A trail of blood leading to cans of food next to a corpse lets you wonder if the deceased was trying to help others or merely escape alone.

Greatly aiding Dead Islands immersion are crisp ambient sounds. Gusty winds, smooth waterfalls, lush jungle wildlife, and much more bring the locations to life. Combine that with great dynamic shadows from tree canopies and tense shadows in dark hallways. Graphically, Dead Island is a very nice looking game even in 2013. The enemy animations are smooth, the textures are detailed, and the visual effects are solid. The music is also very atmospheric, playing at key scenes and at safe locations, building up a great sense of haunting despair mixed with a tinge of hopefulness.

On the gameplay side, you basically do one thing: utterly decimate zombie hordes. What makes killing zombies so compelling is the absolutely incredible dynamic zombie damage system. You will rip flesh apart, watch zombies burn and melt before your eyes, hack off limbs that spurt and gurgle, and watch armless zombies fry like bacon. Stellar sound effects for zombies, slashing, hacking, and so on greatly add to the joy of it all.

Moreover, the game has a lot of quality of life features. The penalty for death is refreshingly forgiving. You lose some money but within seconds spawn quite close to where you were as if you never died. Convenient fast travel locations make it quick to hop around finishing quests. No destination is ever more than a few minutes away, which makes all the fetch quests more palatable.

The coop system also deserves special mention, offering a few ingenious ideas. Of note is the truly brilliant coop leveling system where each player sees enemies at his or her level. This works remarkably well, allowing for players of any level to play with each other. The easy drop-in and drop-out system works well. The four playable classes offer slightly different specializations and complement each other just enough to make partying up worthwhile.

The coop system also features an incredibly useful “warp to other players” option whenever one player wishes to start a cutscene or major quest event. This allows one player to go to the quest objective while the others fool about hacking zombies and then merely instantly warp to the quest location when needed. Every coop game needs this.

On the content side, the game offers a solid 25 hours of exploration if you want to see and do it all. The game has four acts, and you can go back and forth freely until the very last segment, which the game warns you about. The devil is in the details, and Dead Island offers a great amount of detailed content. The mini-sandbox locations allow for rewarding exploration with optional areas and quests to find. Hidden chests are also tucked away for the intrepid adventurer. Plus there’s an endless New Game Plus mode which is wonderful for exploring the game again and continuing to level up to the quite high cap of 60.

Dead Island has issues, of course. The movement controls and aiming can be wonky. There’s weird movement acceleration going on. Zombies grab you too frequently. Knocking down doors gets old. The PC version can be tweaked to fix all the aforementioned issues. Use of the Dead Island Helper community tool is essential to fix other issues. There can be dubious hit detection at times. Thug zombies will knock you down many a time despite you not being quite in range, but soon you’ll be destroying them so no worries. The infected fast zombies sometimes run right through your attacks, but most of the time things are fine. Friendly fire with explosives can be unfortunate if playing with careless (or griefing) players. NPC faces and eyes can stare oddly at times, but that’s a minor quibble.

On the coop side, viewing each other’s inventory or stats would have been nice. Proper partner health displays would have been nice too. When playing coop, your partners’ attack, stomp, and open door animations are laughably terrible (you don’t ever see these playing solo), which actually isn’t a big deal and is kind of funny. It is unfortunate item and money pickups usually don’t share in coop, which does create ninja-looting opportunities.

The biggest criticism seems to be that the game is mostly all about slaying zombies over and over and over. Some will find this and the many fetch quests tedious, perhaps. Then again, the game flows quite nicely if you only do the main quests and few optional quests directly on your path. I find the criticism of tedium unfounded for two reasons. First, slashing, chopping, smashing, burning, frying, blowing up, and otherwise horribly murdering zombies is just plain fun. If you don’t enjoy killing zombies, why are you even playing Dead Island? Second, all the fetch quests are entirely optional and really just an excuse to kill more zombies, get sweet loot, and level up.

Ultimately, Dead Island is a satisfying experience for those who love to explore lush environments, build up a character, find sweet loot, and creatively annihilate thousands of zombies. If you look past the flaws, you may find Dead Island to be a unique trip full of great sights, splendid slaughter, and coop camaraderie. For me personally, after exploring the game twice over, I feel like I’ve truly vacationed on Hanoi. I’ve partied hard with Sveti, helped out my good friend Sinamoi, and I’ve brought some sanity to a lot of survivors scattered on the island. Oh, and I’ve ruthlessly terrorized legions of zombies.

PS: the GOTY edition includes two DLCs. First is an Arena location, which is a convenient place to slaughter zombies, unlock challenges, and level up. It’s a nice edition if a bit unremarkable. Second is the 2 to 3 hours Ryder White mini-campaign that gives you more back-story and reveals quite important story details. It is sort of the modern military shooter of Dead Island since leveling up is disabled and the path forward is always quite linear. If you have any interest in the actual story of Dead Island, the White campaign is very much worth playing, although I was glad it only lasted a few hours.

80

Great Fun Even with Flaws

Brumbek | April 16, 2013 | Review of Resident Evil 5

RE5 is presented tremendously well. It features expert art design, well-built locations, fluid animations, detailed characters, precise motion capture, superb facial animations, good voice acting, and strong sound effects. On the PC it runs, looks, and sounds great. It also is very much a RE game in setting and lore.

However, RE5 is obviously a big shift away from survival-horror toward run-n-gun, but in its defense it does manage to retain most of its dignity while trying to appeal to the action crowd.

There’s the inevitable comparison of RE5 to RE4. RE4 was twice as long, and most agree Leon is a more interesting character than Chris. The moody eastern European cult setting was also more interesting than a fairly stereotypical African tribal setting. RE4 is less linear, allowing for more exploration and sense of place. RE5 also borrows quite heavily from RE4’s enemy roster and scenarios, which feels a bit like the easy way out. RE5 is much more like an arcade game, which makes it easy to play but hard to remember.

Then there’s your AI partner, Shiva. She’s quite bright in general, but there’s no doubt she’ll use items stupidly at times and sometimes get killed over and over. Still, she’s about as good as a semi-aware human once you learn to manage her quirks. Still, you will lose many times because your AI partner makes a bad move.

All in all, RE5 has only three major faults. First, pervasive quick-time events are just downright obnoxious, resulting in many cheap deaths. Second, several boss fights are nearly impossible until you learn the gimmick, also resulting in many cheap deaths. Third, residual clunky controls such as being locked in place while reloading and the lack or a proper quick dodge or jump ability also result in many cheap deaths.

Overall, RE5 is a guilty pleasure. I enjoyed it enough to complete it three times and unlock all the fun extra stuff. RE5 isn’t perfect, but it is worthy.

50

Worst Ending EVER but Good Gameplay

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Mass Effect 3 (NA) dns

What an annoying game to review...the gameplay is solid. The combat is fairly fun and some of the side quest stories are really great. Plus reuniting with old friends is VERY fun. You do feel like you are making a difference as you play to save the galaxy. This game easily packs 50 hours of content.

But then there's the ending. No spoilers here, but it is COMPLETELY MORONIC. It pulls a Deus Ex Machina and violates its own lore. If you hated the Matrix 2 & 3's lunatic (Architect) storytelling, you will utterly despise ME3's storytelling.

So yeah...the game is great until the end...and the ending is so bad, so utterly insulting to all intelligent beings that I cannot, CANNOT recommend ME3. Like Jar Jar Binks, we wish it never happened.

35

Bad Controls, Moronic Story, Aimless

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Homefront

What a low quality FPS. First, the shooting mechanics are stiff and unresponsive. Second, the scripted sequences force you down one path only, so you will die a LOT until you do things exactly as the game wants you to.

Third, the ridiculous premise. The game never explains how America could be taken over by the Koreans. Fourth, the environment: they do create a fairly oppressive mood but I found it too unbelievable and too serious given the low quality nature of the game-play. They want me to care about the characters, but I can't feel much for stupid, wooden, NPCs who get stuck on walls and constantly walk into me.

Overall, this is one of the worst FPS games I've played in recent memory.

80

Charming, Challenging Puzzle Game

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Hamilton's Great Adventure DNS

Wow, this is an amazingly polished and charming puzzle game! Not only does it have some fun (and hard) platforming puzzles, but it has a very endearing story to boot. The storybook cutscenes with great voice acting really kept my interest. And the puzzles reminded me of the old classic GameBoy Pyramids of Ra. Likewise, the art design is fabulous and the 3D graphics are crisp and detailed. I highly recommend this game to all the intellectual explorers out there! This game won’t win many awards but for a low price it delivers really, really memorable experiences. It is sort of like the cartoony puzzle version of Uncharted.

50

Pretty, but Unbalanced, Boring, Dumb, Cliched...

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Dungeon Siege III

Bland, forgettable, generic: this is DS3. Ironically, on paper DS3 sounds good: nice combat, nice graphics, lots of loot, and a story with choices. In reality, the combat is clunky and totally unbalanced. Also worst PC controls EVAR, no joke. The loot and inventory system is tedious. The story is hilarious in how seriously it takes itself...too bad nobody else takes it seriously since the story is SO CLICHED.

But at least the graphics are nice, hah. Truth is Diablo 2, Titan's Quest, and Torchlight all do everything better. DS3 is just a throw-away game. A real shame too...it could have been something special.

100

Tragically Underrated, Brilliantly Unique Game

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Alpha Protocol

I must buck the trend and say I adored this game. I finished it three times doing every conceivable option and character build. The faction system forged through real character choices is fantastic. The dialogue system keeps things interesting as well.

Likewise, I actually loved the combat system, although the game was too easy. Also, AP has perfect pacing; levels never drag on and the game keeps you interested until the end. I only experienced a few minor bugs, so I really can't relate to all these complaints.

To me AP will go down as one of the most under-appreciated games ever. To each his or her own, but if you can look past the hate and ignore the quirks, you too might just become obsessed with being Michael Thorton.

80

Incredibly Fun but Hardcore Platformer!

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Light

A tremendously well-made isometric platformer game. Excellent visuals, great audio, interesting level design, and fun extra challenges. The menus stink due to a bad port job, but the game is good enough that it doesn't matter. The controls are great, with very responsive shooting and fun unlockable guns.

Although this game is fairly hardcore, so if you aren't a skilled platformer player, you may get frustrated. Still, I totally recommend this game if you want a modern platformer with all the charm and precision of the classics. A wonderful game that takes only 10 hours for 100% completion, but it will stick with you for years to come.

70

Fantastic Production but Stripped Down and Dumb Story

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Mass Effect 2 (NA) dns

First, ME2 has brilliant production values. The art design is amazing and the presentation is stellar, like most BioWare games. But strip away all that, and you have a very lacking game, sadly. Missions are greatly stripped down compared to ME1, and even character interaction is "streamlined" for the sake of "accessibility". Actual driving was replaced with a load screen...physically finding minerals was replaced with the infamous mini-game...weapon customization was removed...how is this progress?

But the biggest crime is the story...it's totally contrived. Nobody can explain why the bad guys did what they did...the end boss made no sense and was never explained. Where's Saren when you need him... So sorry to say but ME2 has suffered the BioWare effect where they take a great game and make the sequel vastly inferior in order to misguidedly appeal to the "masses".

Well this "masses" effect is NOT making things better. ME2 is still a great game...just fatally flawed and is more of a tragicomedy than its developers realize. I score it a 3 compared to ME1, 8 or 9 compared to most games, and a 7 overall.

85

So Charming Even Hardcore Players Adore It!

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Plants vs Zombies Game of the Year Edition (NA) dns

I hate casual games because I'm hardcore to the bone. However, PvZ is so, SO GOOD that I've become obsessed with it. This is basically a perfect game: simple yet deep, fun yet challenging. What won me over was the charm. This game oozes charm: the graphics, animations, music, and brilliantly written almanac entries. It's all so well-done.

The game is a bit too easy, but the joy of it all makes up for that. It does get a little boring at times since it is so easy, but again, the charm overcomes all boredom. One of the greatest simple games ever created! A must-play for all gamers, even us hardcore types!

90

Most Atmospheric FPS Ever, Period

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Metro 2033 PRE

This is the most atmospheric game I've ever played. Every single room, character, and environment is amazingly detailed. This highly under-appreciated game deserves your full attention. The little kids playing, the man strumming the guitar, the creaking floors…it is all so immersive!

While the masses enjoy their superficial BioShock's the truly enlightened will adore Metro 2033's artistic and technical brilliance. With its two endings and multiple difficulty modes and myriad of achievements, I’m now on my fourth playthrough and still loving it.

Some games are meant to be played and tossed aside, but Metro 2033 is meant to go deep into your soul and evolve you into the next level of gamer. So yeah, I liked it.

100

Brilliant RPG, 250 Hours and Still Awesome

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of The Last Remnant Overflow

This gorgeous game is not only a massive triumph of artistic design but also the quintessential JRPG experience. It has an amazingly addictive battle system coupled with an entertaining story and unique characters.

Throw in the countless side-quests, treasure hunts, and rare monsters and you have one of the greatest JRPGs ever! Most of the PC reviews are actually for the XBox360 version, so don't listen to the foolish critics who panned it; listen to me, I do not lie.

Do you like Strategy RPGs like Warsong, Ogre Battle, FFT, and so on? Then The Last Remnant will blow your mind! After 250 hours, I still ADORE this game.

80

DR2 at its Best, Totally Fun, but too Costly

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Dead Rising 2: Off the Record

Off the Record is what DR2 should have been; that is to say a more feature-packed game. The new zone location is fun and the ability to take photos for XP is awesome. Plus the free-roam mode is VERY welcome. But this is all too little, too late sadly. This should be a $5-10 DLC, not a full game.

Still, the base game and this version are a guilty pleasure. They are just so over-the-top and hilarious. But more importantly, both have excellent production values meaning the graphics are great, the storytelling is stellar, and the flow is superb. This game is just pure fun, and that's a rarity in today's "serious" gaming environment.

Even with the DLC’s content, the game was too short and lacks content. I breezed through it very Overall, it's a very solid 8 "Great" score. I highly recommend it if you can pick it up for fairly cheap.

80

Guilty Pleasure, Just Fun Despite Lack of Depth

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Dead Rising 2

I never played the original, but Dead Rising 2 is a guilty pleasure. It's just so over-the-top and hilarious. But more importantly, it has excellent production values meaning the graphics are great, the presentation is stellar, and the flow is superb.

This game is just pure fun, and that's a rarity in today's "serious" gaming environment. Now granted, the game was too short and lacked content. I breezed through it very quickly. And the save system and lack of "New Game +" extras are disappointing.

Overall, it's a very solid 80/100 "Great" score. I highly recommend it if you can pick it up for fairly cheap.

20

Way Overrated, Bad Controls, Unbalanced

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Sanctum

A great concept that is totally ruined by horrible game design, terrible presentation, and infuriatingly ambiguous tower/enemy stats. This game is the worst sort of indie trash. It's clear it was made by some newbie developers who don't understand UI design or production values. The big boys like Defense Grid and Orcs Must Die! crush this pathetic attempt at a game. Sorry, this is a bad Unreal mod, not a game. Complete FAIL. I do not understand all the people praising this game. Go play Orcs Must Die! or Defense Grid because this game is just amateurish in every way. Too bad because the concept was solid.

95

Truly Outstanding, Timeless Classic!

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition DNS

This is a classic for a reason: it's a powerful game-play experience you won't soon forget. Granted, it's showing its age and it does take a commitment. It's not a guns blazing FPS.

But for those who want a thinking man's FPS, this is it. Great characters, great environment, and great plot. Be sure to also download a few select Deus Ex mods for the best experience, such as New Vision, Shifter, Project HDTP, Deus Ex Enhanced, & Kentie's Deus Exe.

Seriously, just play this game. If you don't like it, then you need to reevaluate your life. Seriously, EPIC GAME-MUST PLAY.

70

Great for Serious Fans, but Shouldn't be DLC

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution – The Missing Link

The Missing Link has the same fabulous Deus Ex feel as the base game, although this DLC is a bit short and is a bit awkward as a standalone product. This REALLY should have been included in the base game since it very obviously fits directly into the middle of the base game’s story. So Square deserves much derision for their dumb DLC policy. Still, if you get this on sale, it is a fun little 4 hour experience. And it is a must play for any serious DX fan since it contains some important story information missing from the main game.

95

Instant Classic, Must Replay Over and Over!

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: HR is truly worthy of the Deus Ex name and is a shining example of how to make video games. Regarding the graphics, it has immaculate attention to detail and a gorgeous artistic vision from start to finish.

The 3D modeling is superb with even minor objects amazingly crafted. The gameplay is smooth and extremely well thought out. Each area, quest, and item serves a distinct purpose and it all fits together to allow you the freedom to play the game your way, yet still provide a consistently quality experience.

Few developers have both the passion and the skills to forge a masterpiece like this, a game that you should thoroughly digest, playing through it at least three times. Moreover, like the original Deus Ex, it's worth revisiting every few years to remember why video games are such a powerful medium. A must-experience game!

70

Awesome Finale of DX1's Story, Mediocre Gameplay

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Deus Ex: Invisible War Capsule

Although clearly inferior in depth to Deus Ex 1, Deus Ex 2 is a must play simply because it is a direct continuation and resolution of the Deus Ex story. The story and characters are as good as DX1, but the gameplay is dumbed down, with incredibly small levels. Everything feels compacted, like you are in miniature versions of buildings and locations. Then again, the story is more tightly paced than DX1, which could meander at times. So yes, the gameplay isn’t great, but the story is worth it. Play it once and move on; you need to find out how the awesome DX1 story finally resolves itself.

80

Very Solid, Pretty, FPS, Killing at Its Most Fun

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Bulletstorm (NA) DNS

A very solid FPS with beautiful visuals. The whole skill system is very cool, and the weapons allow for some great action. It is a very enjoyable experience, although the game's short…however, it’s worth replaying a few times every now and then since it is just plain fun to kill enemies. It's totally worth playing if you pick it up cheap. The Coop mode is fun to but it only last about 2 hours since there’s only a handful of maps. Oh, and the game uses the HORRIBLE GFWL. Still, the game itself is an extremely good FPS. Never has pure killing been so much fun.

90

The Greatest Arcade FPS Ever

Brumbek | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

The most polished and slick FPS ever made. The animations, sounds, gun mechanics, and map designs are world class. The original Infinity Ward guys were truly the best of the best. This game is so addictive with its expertly paced unlock system for MP. Moreover, the Spec Ops Coop mode is totally awesome, providing some of the most intense fun you can have with a friend. The SP is also very, very solid, even if the story gets totally nuts at the end. This game deserves to be played simply because it is the best of the best. Haters gonna hate but MW2 gonna go down in history as a nearly perfect arcade FPS.

93

Total Classic, Even Years Later, Must Play

Brumbek | Dec. 23, 2012 | Review of Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition DNS

This is a classic for a reason: it's a powerful game-play experience you won't soon forget. Granted, it's showing its age and it does take a commitment. It's not a guns blazing FPS. But for those who want a thinking man's FPS, this is it. Great characters, great environment, and great plot. Be sure to also download a few select Deus Ex mods for the best experience, such as New Vision, Shifter, Project HDTP, Deus Ex Enhanced, & Kentie's Deus Exe. Seriously, just play this game. If you don't like it, then you need to reevaluate your life. DX3 may be way more accessible, but you must play this to appreciate gamings roots.

80

Quality Content, More BL2

Brumbek | Dec. 23, 2012 | Review of Borderlands 2 Season Pass [NA]

So far two packs have been released and both are simply more BL2 which is a great thing. Here's my review for the first DLC Captain Scarlett.

Scarlett delivers memorable locations and zany questing in the BL2 style. After finishing it, I can't imagine BL2 without it, which is just about the highest praise any DLC can receive. Not only are the environments extremely impressive, the Sandskiff vehicles are a total blast to pilot since they allow keyboard strafing for proper maneuverability.

The couple new NPCs are great personalities, even if they are basically there just to direct you to your next quest. And a few of the music tracks are truly epic, if underutilized. The DLC does get a bit fetch questy from time to time, but overall Scarlett is a very worthy DLC that fits perfectly into the BL2 universe. It will be enjoyable to come back to Oasis to visit between main quest playthroughs with many a character to come!