Reviews by Micepudding
The funniest game everMicepudding | April 16, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2: Mr Torgue's Campaign of Carnage
Okay, I know, it's not a game, it's a DLC. Deosn't matter. This is laugh-out-loud funny. Even if there was no gameplay at all I'd be recommending it on the strength of the dialog alone.
But there is gameplay, and while it's no radical change to the BL RPG-shooter model, it doesn't need to be. It's more of the same, done just as well, and with the addition of Torgue tokens, currency for special vending machines that sell high powered Torgue weapons.
BL2 fan? Buy this (or the Season Pass, for better value).
Arguiably the best of the franchiseMicepudding | Dec. 27, 2012 | Review of Streets of Rage 2
Streets of Rage 2 improves over the original in many ways, mostly by adding more variety to anything. The four characters (two new, two returning) all play significantly differently, with more moves available to each one. The enemies are also significantly improved. The game itself is much easier, which may be a strength or a weakness, depending on your familiarity with the genre. Personally I didn't find the music to be as strong as the first game, but that's a minor flaw.
Good in its dayMicepudding | Dec. 27, 2012 | Review of Streets of Rage
I have great memories of playing this game with a friend, when I was 10. Replaying it more recently, I felt the gameplay was clunky and awkward at times, and while I still love the music - especially during the iconic city sweep before the title screen - I can't recommend the game itself to someone unfamiliar with the series. That said, it's still a great brawler for fans of the genre, and there are very few modern games of this genre being released anymore.
The best retro Sonic game everMicepudding | Dec. 27, 2012 | Review of Sonic 3 and Knuckles [Playfire]
Whereas the first two games in the series perhaps feel a little dated now, Sonic 3 & Knuckles is still a fantastic game. This pushed the MegaDrive to it's limits, using two cartridges to jam as much content as possible into an epic adventure. I highly recommend this to anyone wanting a platformer to play, Sonic fan or not! Local co-op makes it even better.
More nostalgiaMicepudding | Dec. 27, 2012 | Review of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 [Playfire]
The addition of Tails allowed local co-op, something I loved in classic Sega games. It's more awkward on the PC, and online gaming has overtaken local gaming for many PC users. Still, this is a good game, not great, but enjoyable for reto gamers. You won't miss much by skipping it, either, though.
NostalgicMicepudding | Dec. 27, 2012 | Review of Sonic the Hedgehog [Playfire]
I played this as a little kid. It was awesome. Now? It's still pretty good, but compared to modern platformers, it doesn't hold its own so well. Sonic 3 & Knuckles far outshone this in the Nineties, and if you're looking for a retro platformer to pick up, that should be your first choice. On the other hand, Sonic fans will find a lot still to enjoy here.
Colorful and intriguingMicepudding | Dec. 27, 2012 | Review of Bastion [Playfire]
Bastion is incredibly polished, with a colorful world and a story that's improved 100x by the presence of the narrator. The gamer itself is a good action RPG by any standards, but it's the polish that makes it worth your time. Gameplay is fun but fairly linear, but the charm exuding from this game makes it stand out as something different. It may be an indie game, but make no mistake, it could easily pass itself off as an AAA title.
Game of the YearMicepudding | Dec. 27, 2012 | Review of Borderlands 2 DNS
Borderlands 2 is one of the best games of 2012, combining RPG mechanics with solid FPS gameplay and a storyline that's surprisingly engaging. Everything that made the original game great has been dialled up to eleven, and everything that the first game didn't do so well has been fixed. This is a must play game for anyone who even slightly enjoys shooters or co-op gaming.
Solid MMO, now free to play!Micepudding | Aug. 29, 2012 | Review of City of Heroes: Going Rogue Complete Collection
City of Heroes went free to play a little while ago, and the store listing of a requierd subscription fee no longer applies. And that's good because it allows City of Heroes to attract more players to it's world, which is immensely enjoyable to dip into but isn't quite as hardcore as something like high level raiding in WoW.
While it's fair to say that the MMO genre has progressed since City of Heroes was first released, the game is frequently updated with major content patches, for free. It may not be looking to topple the most popular MMOs,but it doesn't need to - City of Heroes carved out its own fanbase and kept it for longer than most MMOs have even existed. That says something about the underlying quality of the game.
Should be called VVVV-NOOOO!Micepudding | Aug. 29, 2012 | Review of VVVVVV
The game is titled after the typical button mashing - V is the default key to flip gravity, though others can be used, and your aim is to flip around avoiding spikes and enemies. There's no jumping, just left and right movement, and the gravity flipping. Sounds simple, until you play it, and it turns out to be quite difficult. The main quest is fairly straightforward, and can be beaten in around an hour, but collecting everything in the game will take longer. Some of the most difficult challenges are known by name to anyone who's played the game.
With catchy music, fast, fun gameplay, and cool retro style graphics, VVVVVV does pretty much everything right. The simplicity is also where it lost points with me - once you've finished it, there's not much reason to play again, and it really doesn't take long to complete.
A solid Worms game !Micepudding | Aug. 29, 2012 | Review of Worms Reloaded
As artillery games go, Worms is already ahead of the pack with its crisp, cartoony graphics and sharp presentation. The humor behind weapons, worms, and levels makes this a great multiplayer game, and in all but the tensest battles, you'll spend more time laughing at how badly your grenade missed or how the exploding sheep knocked 5 worms off a cliff, than on trash talking your opponent.
In single player, it's less entertaining. Battles against CPU players tend to be battles against teams that are either far too bad or far too good, and the campaign mode is fairly tedious, played mostly to unlock the better weapons.
Where Worms also loses points is with the design decisions that were clearly made for consoles. The UI is oversized,and the text chat was obviously added at the last moment as the game was ported to PC. But the game doesn't lose its charm through minor flaws like this, and they're easily overlooked once a game is in progress. Buy this game if you know at least one person who'll play it against you, either onlnie or in hotseat mode.
The best open world racerMicepudding | Aug. 29, 2012 | Review of Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box (EU)
Before I played Burnout Paradise I didn't like driving games. The open world, varied gameplay, and collectables and secrets changed my mind. You see, I still don't especially enjoy the racing but I do like the exploration, and in multiplayer, the co-op challenges. I found myself drawn into the game more and more, completing races simply to get the next car. The driving is responsive, arcadey without feeling unrealistic, and the island is well presented, with areas ranging from inner city streets to rolling hills and you're never short of something to do online or offline.
The DLC shop is no longer available, so some of the cars simply can't be unlocked anymore. But the majority of the game is still present and correct. Most of the expansions the Xbox version received never made it to the PC, but those that did.
Burnout Paradise collected high review scores at release and more recently, and I'm adding another to its collection. Highly recommended.
Mostly for nostalgiaMicepudding | Aug. 29, 2012 | Review of Columns
Back in the Nineties most Genesis gamers either owned this game or had played it. At the time, when you were Sega OR Nintendo, but not both, it was an addictive, colorful game - who needed Tetris anyway?
But the gameplay is less compelling than Tetris, partly because it was always easier to rack up huge combos simply by stacking up towers of random blocks and triggering a chain reaction, than by trying to set up big scoring runs yourself. Flash Mode is probably the best take on the formula, tasking you to clear the screen to reach one block, but a lack of randomness shortened replayability here too.
For a nostalgia kick, Columns is fine, but don't expect anything out of this if it's a game you haven't played before.
Cyberpunk done rightMicepudding | Aug. 25, 2012 | Review of Hard Reset
Set in a Bladerunner-esque near-future city, Hard Reset offers a cyberpunk theme rarely seen in modern shooters. The graphics and the attention to detail on the setting are phenomenal, and many of the levels are genuinely tense as you creep forward, hearing the clank of robotic guards, and knowing that any minute one will crash though a wall or charge up behind you.
That's when the immersion ends. You effectively progress from arena to arena, each new area opening up into a room where an arbitrary number of robots are waiting to ambush you. The shooting feels underpowered, with the exception of the shotgun, which shreds hordes of the smaller robots as they swarm towards you. Mostly, tactics involve sidestepping firing, and repeating until every enemy in the vicinity isreduced to scrap metal.
If you're a sucker for cyberpunk then you can't miss Hard Reset. It's atmospheric to the point that I felt like I'd rather just explore the game world than fight anything. If cyberpunk isn't your thing, give it a try anyway. There are better shooters, but Hard Reset's theme makes it stand out regardless.
Overpriced, but...Micepudding | Aug. 25, 2012 | Review of Saints Row: The Third - Season Pass
Bundling the DLC packs together at a discount sounds like a good deal - but the reality is that what you get isn't worth the asking price. The extra missions are short and limited in number, offering little gameplay and even less reward for completing them.
If you absolutely must have more SR3 content, this is the pack to buy, as it contains all 3 of the mission expansions, but unless you're obsessive about the game, you can skip it without missing a thing.
It's raining gunsMicepudding | Aug. 25, 2012 | Review of Borderlands
Celshading was always a favorite style of mine. Borderlands looks impressive, and runs well - but most of the game looks the same and more environmental diversity would have been nice. Plus a better ending.
That aside, Borderlands aims to bring RPG mechanics into shooters, with a skill tree, and more importantly, guns. Lots of guns. It's practically raining them.
As the game progresses, you notice two things about the guns. First, the shooting isn't great. Yes, they fire, but it doesn't have the oomph you might find in other shooters. And secondly, the legendary, unique weapons you're given as quest rewards tend to outshine anything else you can find or buy. The fire infused sniper you take near the start of the game will serve you well for most of the storyline, and on the off-chance you do find something better, it doesn't feel any more powerful than what you had.
A fun shooter if you can pick it up in a sale, Borderlands doesn't quite hold up to the promise it showed, but it came close. Here's hoping the sequel is flawless.
Best played in co-op!Micepudding | Aug. 25, 2012 | Review of Saints Row: The Third dns
Don't buy a copy of this game. Buy two and give one to a friend. Saints Row 3 is far more engaging in co-op than in single player.
So what's bad about this game? Well, it's too short, missions and side missions are repetitive, and the map feels tiny once you're allowed free roam of it.
But wait! Add a friend and suddenly you're doing crazy missions together, following an illogical, but hilarious, story, and competing for the best cars, biggest jumps, most achievements, and so on. The game is awesome when someone is laughing at it alongside you.
I highly recommend SR3, but if you'll be playing it singleplayer, take 10 points off the rating I gave it. PC players should be aware that the game will refuse to run on some setups, and it's a good idea to double check which ones are still affected before buying.
The best modern Sonic game there is.Micepudding | Aug. 25, 2012 | Review of Sonic Generations
I've always hated the 3D sonic games. Even Flicky's Island, on the Genesis, in isometric pseudo-3D didn't grab me in the same way the 2D outings did. Sonic Generations is different. It gets the 3D right.
Every stage has a 2D and a 3D version, and almost every stage pulls off both brilliantly. The focus is once again on speed and platforming, with a lock-on attack making it easier to aim jumps in the 3D levels. A mixture of stages from different games brings familiarity at the same time as freshness.
Sonic Generations far exceeds the quality level set by recent outings for the hedgehog, and fans of the original games should pick this up without a doubt. Some of the levels aren't quite up to par, but the majority of the game is fast paced, fun, and exactly how you'd want a Sonic game to play. Even the 3D levels. One caveat: this is a difficult game to play using a keyboard. A gamepad is recommended.
Every Movie Chase Scene EverMicepudding | Aug. 25, 2012 | Review of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (EU)
Car chases are the best things any vehicle has ever been used for. Whether you're behind the wheel of a purring supercar, watching the scenery whip by at 200mph, or hard on the heels of the street racers in one of the most powerful cop cars in the world, there's an excitement about a chase unlike any other sort of race. The game suffers slightly from not being open world: races and upgrade paths are fairly linear, and there's not much to discover for yourself. Cars are unlocked automatically as you progress, with the only customization being in what color you drive them, but they feel weighty and responsive, and gameplay is genuinely engaging. Superb visuals contribute to the atmosphere, although you'll rarely have time to stop and take them in. The flaws become less relevant the more you play. There are shortcuts aplenty, and numerous cars to unlock on both the racer and the police side, and the driving itself is done fantastically well, as you'd expect from Criterion. Hot Pursuit may not appeal to those wanting open world driving but it's one of the best racing games available at the moment.