Reviews by TCass29
3rd/3 in the Ezio seriesTCass29 | June 24, 2014 | Review of Assassin's Creed® Revelations
AC:R is a good Assassin's Creed game, but it absolutely does not live up to the expectations of Brotherhood or 2. Ezio is getting a bit older now so the game introduces some new mechanisms to help him get around. Whereas before he could jump to a higher ledge, he now extends a claw of sorts that reaches up and helps pull him to new heights.
Because this game takes place in other countries than Italy, the architecture changes (obviously) and it doesn't have the same feeling of renaissance-era grandeur.
The mechanics are similar to Brotherhood, but it just doesn't quite compete.
Amazing GameTCass29 | June 24, 2014 | Review of Assassin's Creed® 2 Deluxe Edition
AC2 is a wonderful game. The controls are great--vertical exploration and stealth were done well here--the environments incredibly detailed and fairly accurate to their real-world counterparts, the characters are lively and you care about them, and the story (Ezio) is fun and interesting.
That being said, I hate Desmond. I hate him with a fiery passion. For me, the Desmond sections ruin every AC game.
Best of the Ezio StorylineTCass29 | June 24, 2014 | Review of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (NA)
AC:Brotherhood might be my favorite Assassin's Creed game. It built on what 2 did and added some great gameplay and storylines that kept everything intense and interesting.
One of the bits in this game I really like is the ability to purchase shops around the different cities that will generate revenue for you. It's another collectible of sorts and supplements income so you can purchase every outfit and weapon.
Controls are tight the environments, of course, are dramatic and beautiful. If you liked AC2, you have to buy this.
Great Indie TitleTCass29 | June 24, 2014 | Review of Bastion
Bastion by Supergiant games is absolutely amazing. The narrator is incredible, it has lore and story that'll stick with you, and it gives you a lot of freedom as far as how you want to play the game. New Game + as well as "idols" you can invoke ramp up the difficulty for your second time through...and you'll want to play a second time through.
Great soundtrack Great gameplay Great narration Great game
Great Superhero GameTCass29 | June 24, 2014 | Review of Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year
Batman: Arkham Asylum is a pretty game and runs well on any machine (I ran it on bootcamp from a 2009 MacBook Pro). The setting and visuals are really detailed and speak to the tone of the game. The character models are fabulous and their personalities are even better.
Every character in this game feels wholly rounded and interesting with their own motives and insanities.
The story is fun--nothing out of the Batman-ordinary--and moves at a wonderful pace. I'm a big fan of games that focus on narrative driven by good characters that tell their story in 8-12 hours and this (for me) was just that. Got 66% completion (there are A LOT of collectibles) in just about 11 hours.
Very fun game. I'm excited to play City, the next in the series.
Possibly 2013 GOTYTCass29 | Dec. 20, 2013 | Review of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a great game with mind-wrenching controls (in the beginning, at least). It requires a controller to play, and the way it uses the controller is fantastic.
The story is great and really makes you feel for the characters. The environments are stunningly beautiful. There are a few Steam Achievements, not all of them that you'd think to do during your first playthrough. The puzzles range from 'easy-look-at-how-pretty-this-game-is' to pretty difficult-and not only because of the controls.
It's only about 3-4 hours long, but it's absolutely 3-4 hours well-spent.
Culture is now my Favorite VictoryTCass29 | Dec. 20, 2013 | Review of Sid Meier's Civilization V: Brave New World (NA)
Brave New World adds the Cultural Victory option to Civ V which has to do with influence over other countries, great works of art, wonders, and great people. It's very challenging to produce more culture than other civilizations while still preparing an army to defend yourself should another civ try for a domination victory.
The addition of 9 new civilizations adds hours and hours of content and replayability because they all have unique traits and buildings that will change the way you play the game.
There are many other ideas and gameplay choices that this DLC adds and they're all great. Amazing DLC for a great game.
Best Strategy Game OutTCass29 | Dec. 20, 2013 | Review of Sid Meier's Civilization® V
Civ V is not only the best civilization game, but the best strategy game out right now. The gameplay is intuitive and easily understandable. The AI (if you choose to play alone) can be very easy or impossibly difficult. There are TONS (hundreds) of Steam achievements and a Steam Workshop with so much user-generated content that this game will never get boring.
If you like strategy games, you have to get Civ V.
Creative but not Big EnoughTCass29 | Dec. 20, 2013 | Review of Scribblenauts Unlimited (NA)
The charm of Scribblenauts is that it's a very innocent game that allows you to solve puzzles and problems ANY WAY YOU'D LIKE. You can type in any item or adjective and the game will recognize it and add it instantly. You can hover around in a jetpack and turn zombies loose onto a town of people minding their own business.
I understand that profane and "inappropriate" items weren't added to the game as options because this is kid-friendly, but there are some items and adjectives that I thought were hilarious and perfect fits to some puzzles that the game didn't recognize. Damn shame, that.
Still a good game and a raucously good time alone or with friends or kids.
Great Fun for Co-Op or Single PlayerTCass29 | Dec. 20, 2013 | Review of Magicka
Magicka is a great beat-em-up style game that gives you 8 different elements that you combine in different ways to create different spells to annihilate your enemies. There are tons of Steam achievements that are a blast to get, there are many, MANY references to be gotten, and there is great fun to be had in this game.
If you like this, it has great DLC that is more of the same, but with different storylines and outfits (yes they actually make a difference).
More Levels and Digistruct PeakTCass29 | Dec. 20, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2: Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2
This DLC allows you to continue murdering...for XP! The 2nd Upgrade Pack not only allows your character to reach level 72 (effectively 80 with the OP levels), but unlocks Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode which is the third playthrough of the story and applies to the main game as well as all DLC (run through Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep THREE TIMES).
Digistruct Peak is a very challenging arena-style wave-enemy arena that allows you to obtain OverPowered guns when you beat the boss at the end of the run. These guns go from OP1 to OP8 and are ridiculously overpowered. It's challenging and fun.
BL2 at it's FinestTCass29 | Dec. 20, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep
This is far and away the best story-based DLC for Borderlands 2. Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep could be a game by itself. The story is deep and interesting, the environments are rich and detailed, the music fits PERFECTLY, the enemies are varied and interesting, and the DLC-specific guns are great. And above all else, CL4P-TP makes an appearance! This DLC is a must-have for Borderlands fans.
Hammerlock and MonstersTCass29 | Dec. 20, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2: Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt
Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt is the most disappointing DLC of the 4 story-based DLCs for Borderlands 2. The story is bland and not very memorable, the enemies are forgettable (except for the Witch Doctors, but that's because they're RIDICULOUSLY difficult for no good reason), and the guns specific to this DLC don't compare to the awesomeness of the guns from the other 3. There are too many 'kill X number of Y monsters' quests and that's really where this DLC falls flat for me. It's still good and worth picking up if you want more BL2 witty dialogue and fantastic environments (the best part of this DLC), but play the other 3 first.
BADASS F****** DLCTCass29 | Dec. 20, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2: Mr Torgue's Campaign of Carnage
Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage is second only to TTAoDK. Torgue is an amazing and hilarious character, and this DLC shows that off brilliantly. The entire story is based around fighting enemies and climbing the Pandora Leaderboard to become the #1 badass on Pandora. The writing is great, the story is okay, the guns are fantastic, and the areas are amazingly well designed. Fantastic DLC for a fantastic game.
Great ClassTCass29 | Dec. 20, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2: Mechromancer Pack
The Mechromancer is great fun. Gaige, as she is known, has a few specialized skills that help her murder her enemies with no remorse. Anarchy Stacks increase her damage but decrease her accuracy, as long as you never manually reload. Her robot, Deathtrap, is her ability and it kicks ass. It moves around the field annihilating anything that stands in its way.
Gaige was well-written and voice-acted. She's as close as you can get to a playable Tiny Tina. It's loads of fun and, depending on which skill tree you choose, can be very difficult or can be Borderlands 2: Easy Mode.
Witty Dialogue and New Guns...What more do you want?TCass29 | Dec. 20, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2: Captain Scarlett & her Pirate's Booty
Captain Scarlett is a great character. Sassy, sarcastic, and swashbuckling, she is the guiding force for the whole DLC and it works really well.
Of the 4 main 'story-based' DLCs, I'd say this is 3/4 behind TTAoDK and Torgue's, but it's still great. There are tons of new guns, enemies, easter eggs, environments, and quests to be shot, killed, found, explored, and conquered. It adds hours and content to an already superb game.
AdorableTCass29 | Dec. 20, 2013 | Review of Costume Quest
This is a fantastic Double Fine game with great writing, hilarious references to pop culture, and jrpg elements. The turn-based battle sequences are pretty cool but get repetitive after a while. There are upgrades for your characters that you can buy and use throughout the game that affect battles which are clever and useful.
It's a halloween-themed game in which goblins have taken your sibling and you go out on a quest to rescue them. It's a cute game that doesn't take terribly long (about 5 hours). There are Steam achievements, and you'll want to perfect this game.
Just...Don't...StarveTCass29 | Dec. 20, 2013 | Review of Don't Starve
This is a great game with a fantastic, hand-drawn art style (that I adore). The concept is simple: explore a randomly-generated world gathering supplies such as wood, rocks, flowers, and more and try not to starve. You can create campfires and set up a base of operations, trying to keep a steady stream of rabbit or beefalo meat to keep you alive, or you can set out and be a constant vagabond, never stopping in one place for too long. This game offers really high replayability, and the Steam Workshop adds loads of fun user-created content. It's a great game and totally worth picking up. Controller-compatible!
Deserves more praise than it receivesTCass29 | Sept. 8, 2013 | Review of BioShock® 2
Bioshock 2 gets a lot of flack because everybody says the story isn't as strong as the original Bioshock. I disagree. I think the twist in the original Bioshock is legendary and makes that game what it is but the story overall in Bioshock 2 is stronger. The gameplay is better in 2 but the atmosphere in the original is leagues superior. Being able to wield weapons and plasmids at the same time is great.
You'd be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't play all three Bioshock games.
Surprisingly AwesomeTCass29 | Aug. 21, 2013 | Review of Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall
The base game was incredible. Top 10 game of all time (for me). The Knife of Dunwall uses the same mechanics, adds powers and weapons and tells the story from another perspective. It's compelling, well-written, and engaging. It's also longer than I'd expected (a few hours) and just as replayable as the main campaign which is to say very.
Beautiful and ShortTCass29 | Aug. 18, 2013 | Review of To The Moon Cap
Video games are art, there's no doubt about it. Video games are the ultimate story-telling media because your investment in the protagonist runs much deeper than a felt connection...it's actually you. This game does an incredible job of telling the story it tells. The gameplay is simple which lets the story really shine.
It's a well-written lovely story in pretty settings.
Fantastic Story in a Great EnvironmentTCass29 | Aug. 18, 2013 | Review of Tomb Raider
This was the first Tomb Raider game I'd played, and it did not disappoint. The story was engaging and interesting and the gameplay was fantastic. The action sequences and platforming sequences were brilliantly spaced apart to make for a fun and varied experience.
When you get enough scrap to upgrade your weapons, you feel like you've accomplished something and when you use your upgraded weapons, you feel pretty badass. You can upgrade your own abilities as well and they add a lot to the gameplay.
This game is awesome. One of the best of 2013.
Brilliant gameTCass29 | July 7, 2013 | Review of Bastion Cap
Bastion by Supergiant games is absolutely amazing. The narrator is incredible, it has a surprisingly good story, and it gives you a lot of freedom as far as how you want to play the game. New Game + as well as "idols" you can invoke ramp up the difficulty for your second time through...and you'll want to play a second time through.
Character-driven BrillianceTCass29 | July 3, 2013 | Review of The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is an interesting game purely from a gameplay standpoint. It's a 3rd person adventure semi-point and click "puzzle" game...with zombies.
The focus of the game is to get to safety and foster relationships among your group of travelers. This is where the game shines. I have never felt such a connection to a video game character as I do to Clementine. A game that can evoke such raw emotion from you is a great game...and this does that.
Another Zombie game...done wellTCass29 | June 20, 2013 | Review of Dead Island
Dead Island takes place at a resort hotel on the island of Banoi. The zombie outbreak occurs and the typical happens...power goes down, people break off into small bands or tribes trying to stay alive. The once-flourishing hotel is now an abandoned house of blood.
The setting is well thought out and beautifully rendered and there are various places on the island that you must travel to (hotel, city, and jungle to name a few). The enemies are various enough to keep you interested and the combat/ gun system is well done. The story is for the most part captivating but the characters lack a flushed-out third dimension.
It's a fun game and shouldn't take terribly long to get through. If you like zombie FPS games...this is one you should check out.
Solid stealth gameTCass29 | June 8, 2013 | Review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution
This game definitely makes you feel like a badass whether you choose to sneak through vents, bypassing all of your enemies to foil their plans or you choose to go in guns blazing with augmented abilities, making everybody feel your wrath.
That being said, the voice acting, particularly for the main character, is pretty bad. It suffers from the same problem that InFamous did in that the cutscenes happen the same way no matter what choices you make, so the voice acting has to be such that it works in all scenarios.
In addition to that, for a game that totes its stealth horn, there are no non-lethal ways to take down bosses. This is partially because the boss battles were not done by the same development company that made the rest of the game. This is being fixed, however, with the WiiU release of this game.
It's still very fun. Pretty interesting story, awesome abilities, and well thought out and executed world design.
Beautiful and ...difficult doesn't stress it enoughTCass29 | June 8, 2013 | Review of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (NA)
This game has been heralded as one of the most difficult games of this generation of gaming. It's also beautiful, expansive, deep, and very, very complex in terms of leveling, items, and strategy.
But believe me when I tell you that this game does not hate you. Even worse, it doesn't care if you succeed or, more likely, fail. It is apathetic toward your petty mortal squabbles.
Astoundingly difficult. Very fun.TCass29 | June 8, 2013 | Review of Super Meat Boy
Super Meat Boy is a fairly standard 2D platformer with an average story and a very cool replay mechanic which is that at the end of the level, you see ALL of your attempts go at once, seeing where and how you died.
If you enjoy 2D side-scrollers and are looking for a serious challenge...this is a game you need to check out.
Amazing game, Indie or notTCass29 | June 8, 2013 | Review of Bastion Cap
This game is incredible for a number of reasons. The narration is impeccably well done and tells the story in a fantastic manner. The music is great and appropriate for the feel of the game. The story is interesting, deep, and heart-warming at times. The worlds all have a similar feel but vary greatly in design. In terms of story, I think it's one of the best games out there.
A GTA that requires you to wreak havocTCass29 | June 8, 2013 | Review of Just Cause 2
Just Cause 2 is a fun game with an UNBELIEVABLY expansive world with little-no wait caused by loading times. There are plenty of guns and vehicles to keep you occupied for quite some time.
In most games, you complete quests to unlock new quests. One of the main features in this game is that you must murder and cause general destruction AS WELL as complete quests to unlock new quests. It's very interesting and a good way for a game to encourage you to do what you were probably going to do anyway.
The quests do get a bit repetitive (go destroy this place, go murder all of our enemies here, escort this NPC to such-and-such), but it's a good action game.
Bioshock may be the greatest game of all timeTCass29 | June 7, 2013 | Review of BioShock (NA)
Ken Levine is a genius.
Bioshock features decent gameplay mechanics, a story unparalleled (perhaps met by Bioshock Infinite, another Ken Levine baby), a world that is so cohesively well put together, and just the perfect amount of creepiness to DEMAND AND MAKE SURE that you will never forget it.
The characters are all interesting, the enemies are so well designed in both how they look and how they act, and the backstory of the place is fantastic.
If you haven't played Bioshock by now I honestly don't know what you're waiting for. It's heralded by many as the finest piece of art created in the last many decades and they just may not be wrong.
It gets high scores...and is still underratedTCass29 | June 7, 2013 | Review of Psychonauts
The main gameplay mechanic in Psychonauts is very interesting and superbly executed. It's a game with clever writing, a good story, and even better level design.
The protagonist is a young boy with psychic powers who goes to a psychic summer camp to hone his abilities. When things at the camp start to go haywire, he has to enter the minds of his friends, acquaintances, and strangers to figure out what's going on.
When I first played this game, there were some major graphical issues and audio bugs (for Mac), but they've since updated the game to fix that. It works well with a controller (which I recommend...I prefer controllers for 3rd person games).
It's really fun. Every good thing you've heard about this game was probably not exaggerated. Buy this game and thank yourself later.
Immersive and amazingTCass29 | June 7, 2013 | Review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Nexway
This game is incredibly well crafted. Like Morrowind and Oblivion (TES: III and TES: IV, respectively), the worlds are expansive and beautiful with SO MANY books and people to read and talk to to learn about the history and lore of the area. In a single playthrough, this game has over 100 hours of gameplay, easily.
The quests are fun and interesting, the enemies are varied and cool-looking, and the gameplay is very well done. It's a great RPG so if you like that style of game, you'll love this.
If you're not sure if you're an RPG fan...this is a good place to start.
Very fun with high replayabilityTCass29 | June 7, 2013 | Review of Borderlands
With 4 playable characters that play VERY differently as well as New Game +, this game offers something not a lot of FPS games offer which is replayability.
This shoot-n-loot game features a fantastic art style, clever writing, hilariously imaginative guns, fun side quests, and well designed and varied areas.
It's really fun. It's more fun if you can play it with other people (which you can...the online community is surprisingly pretty active), but it's still definitely an enjoyable experience alone.
Amazing Sequel to a great gameTCass29 | June 7, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2 (NA)
Borderlands 2 is very fun. It's very fun because the writing is great, the gameplay is fantastic, the world and subareas are well designed and interesting, and there are SO MANY GUNS. With 6 playable characters, 3 DLC (so far), and 3 playthrough options (normal, True Vault Hunter mode, and Ultimate Vault Hunter mode), this game has absolutely RIDICULOUS replayability and hours/dollar value. I've pumped over 100 hours into this game and had a blast for all 100 of them.
The online co-op community is active so if you're not playing LAN or with somebody else, you can still likely drop into a game with strangers.
It's a fun FPS. Buy it and don't regret it later.
Great PlatformerTCass29 | June 7, 2013 | Review of Alice: Madness Returns (NA)
Alice: Madness Returns offered a much more in-depth experience than I was prepared for as far as the story goes. That being said, that story occurs mainly out of the chunks of "real" gameplay. There are sections that take place in real life and sections that take place in a fantasy world that some would say are Alice's imagination. The imagination sections are beautiful, well crafted, and themed brilliantly. The real life sections exist pretty much solely to move the game along.
It's a very fun game that should only take about 14-17 hours to beat. If you're considering buying and playing this game, I'd say go for it.
The best "Zombie" game there isTCass29 | June 7, 2013 | Review of The Walking Dead
This game is incredible. What I love about it is that it doesn't suffer from what a lot of zombie games suffer from which is massive throngs of zombies that you have to mow down to get to the next area. This game focuses MUCH more on character development and plot and uses the zombie epidemic as a means to progress through that story.
I bought this game when it came out, and I found myself anxiously awaiting each installment. I played each right when they came out and was not disappointed by any of them.
The character development in this game is almost unparalleled. I've never felt more of an emotional connection to a video game character than I did (and still do, I suppose) to one of the main characters of this game.
If you like story and character development, you have no reason not to buy this game.
The hype the game received is well-earnedTCass29 | June 7, 2013 | Review of BioShock Infinite (NA)
Ken Levine knows what he's doing when it comes to stories and how to tell them using the video game as a media. He proved that in Bioshock and he's backed it up in Bioshock Infinite.
This game is beautiful and thought-provoking. The story is staggeringly impressive and the mechanics are fantastic. The game is set in alternate-universe 1912 and it really comes through, ESPECIALLY in the first hour or so of the game. The staff absolutely nailed it when it came to architecture, dress, and decorum for setting the tone of the game.
Every good review you've read and every piece of praise you've heard is right on the money. This game is amazing and you should experience it.
As a side note; I enjoyed the hell out of this game so much that I bought the art book. I got it on Amazon.com for about $25, and it was well-spent. They explain ideas they didn't use and...well, it's just really cool.
Open world that ROCKSTCass29 | May 4, 2013 | Review of Fallout: New Vegas DNS
This game can take between 15-20 hours to go through the main story...but you'll want to do so much more than that.
Everything about this game ties back to the central theme of this desert post-apocalyptic world that you're trying to survive through. The soundtrack, the dialogue, the weapons, the world itself; it all creates a very whole and fleshed out feel that absorbs you into the world you're exploring.
The replay value of this game is very high because there are many different ways to play it. Without going into too much detail you can be a tank, you can be a robot's best friend, or you can basically swindle everybody into giving you what you want.
It's a great game and if you haven't given it a shot, you should...with a laser rifle.
Beautiful baby of Deus Ex: HR and BioshockTCass29 | May 4, 2013 | Review of Dishonored
This game uses a semi-realistic art style that fits this brilliant stealth or murder-everyone-who-breathes game. Dishonored has a really good story, amazing mechanics, mind-blowing level design, and great replayability value. There are tons of trophies that reward playing and killing nobody or playing and not being seen by anybody, but you'll also want to play through it a second time to see how the bits of story that change play out in the other direction. It's a great game that will hook you and never let go.