Reviews by sweetcuppincake


Sandbox game with a grappling hook!

sweetcuppincake | May 14, 2013 | Review of Just Cause 2

Sandbox games are great for the freedom they give you. So why play JC2 instead of any other? It takes place on a dictator-controlled island in the Pacific, where you are tasked with overthrowing the government. There's lots to do in that regard. You get rewarded for destroying military infrastructure and causing chaos in general. One really great feature in this game is you get a grappling hook and a parachute. You can hook cars together to crash them, glide around the large island, and climb buildings with ease. It's pretty fun to just goof of and not even worry about the plot. Currently, there's a mod in development to play online with hundreds of people. I've played with over 1000 and the chaos and mayhem is outstanding. Worth getting the game just for that, but on it's own it is pretty fun too.


Fantastic look at war

sweetcuppincake | May 14, 2013 | Review of Spec Ops: The Line dns

I tend not to play military shooters because they're all the same at this point. The Line brings something new to the genre. On it's surface, it seems very much like every other shooter, but it's not. It offers compelling characters in your squad members, gives you meaningful choices, and most-importantly, a fantastic storyline. Fans of shooters should play to see how great the genre can be. Fans of solid storytelling should play because The Line does better than most games. It's pretty tough at times, and getting killed over and over in the same battle disrupts the flow of the game. Aside from that, I have no complaints. There's a reason why this unassuming game has been talked about so much.


Great atmosphere

sweetcuppincake | May 14, 2013 | Review of Metro 2033

Metro 2033 takes place in a world where humans have been driven underground and have a tough living. Everything about this game backs that up with gameplay. It's dark, you need a gas mask, there's deadly creatures everywhere. You really feel like you're fighting for survival. There's ample meat in the setting and characters. Graphically, it's not quite as good as other FPS games of the time, but that can be overlooked because of what the game does right.


Looks like a unique MOBA, has the same problems

sweetcuppincake | May 14, 2013 | Review of Awesomenauts

Since I don't have the time to get great at LoL or Dota, I thought this might be more my style. Unfortunately, I was wrong. In the time I played, I found that the matchmaking wasn't very robust. Teams were incredibly imbalanced. The game doesn't really encourage teamwork much, and the maps were overly complicated beyond the most basic ones. I tried again a few months later and had trouble finding a game. It's a shame, because the characters and style are interesting. I don't think smaller online games like these are a good investment long-term. Especially when there's more work being done on cosmetic DLC than improving the game.


Best in a while, but is that saying much?

sweetcuppincake | Dec. 2, 2012 | Review of Sonic Generations

So everyone says this is the best Sonic game since Adventure 2, which I agree with, but that doesn't mean it's as great as Sonic used to be. First off, this game is a labor of love. It takes levels from most of the old Sonic games and remakes them in both the traditional Sonic (Genesis era) and newer Sonic (Adventure). Fans of the older games will find something to trigger a sense of nostalgia.

I was having fun during the first half of the game, but once I got into the levels from games I never played, I started to lose interest. It seemed like the things that made more recent Sonic games less appealing were present here as well. I didn't understand why I was turning into a mini rocket on one level. There were deadly pits that didn't seem fair. I started the game doing all the challenges and trying to get all the unlockables, but in the later levels I was just trying to do the bare minimum to get through.

In spite of the shortcomings of the later part of the game, I really enjoyed the trip down memory lane this game provided. The music was great as always. It's still fast-paced with multiple paths to take. It still has that Sonic charm that I still have fond memories of all these years later. Definitely recommended for Sonic fans.


A nice, but unnecessary DLC

sweetcuppincake | Dec. 2, 2012 | Review of Sonic Adventureā„¢ 2: Battle Mode

This was part of the base game years ago on Gamecube, but with the rerelease on PC, it is DLC. Each of the character types has their own battle type. For instance, Tails and Eggman fight using their mechs and there are races for the fast characters. Without this DLC, you can't use your chao for fighting, but I really don't feel like this is worth the money. Unless you have a friend who will play this with you (local only) or you want the full Sonic Adventure 2 Battle experience, pass on this DLC.


Fun but not frightening

sweetcuppincake | Nov. 7, 2012 | Review of Alan Wake

I finally broke this game out for Halloween and finished it a few days after. While it tells a spooky story and puts you in the middle of paranormal happenings, I didn't find it scary. There were a few tense moments when you're up against a large number of Taken, but nothing suspenseful. That's not to say Alan Wake isn't a fun game. I enjoyed the mechanic of weakening enemies with your flashlight before you are able to injure them. The setting was good and they managed to keep it fresh throughout the game. The plot kept me interested and I appreciated that it had some depth to it. Overall a good game, just not scary like Amnesia or the Silent Hill series.


Startling immersion

sweetcuppincake | Oct. 18, 2012 | Review of Uplink DNS

Introversion excels and immersing the player in the world of the games they create. This was even evident in their first game, Uplink. With only a very basic visual representation of a computer, they are able to place you in the role of a hacker for hire. You do odd jobs for people who contact you, or you rob banks for your own benefit. And a deeper mystery begins to unfold. You really get the sense of stumbling into something greater than what you'd been dealing with before. And it's actually somewhat tense trying to cover your tracks and keep from getting caught. Uplink is one of those games that works if you let it. If you are turned off by the simplicity of the visuals, you'll probably not enjoy it. But if you are willing to hand over your imagination, Uplink will take you for a great ride.


Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!

sweetcuppincake | Oct. 18, 2012 | Review of Magicka: The Stars are Left

While most of the DLC for Magicka is new robes or PvP arenas, The Stars are Left is a series of new levels to play. This alone makes it the best of the DLC in my opinion, but I haven't even told you the best part. This expansion deals with the Cthulhu mythos. Everything else is standard Magicka, but with the added bonus of Lovecraft's signature mind-rending horror. It's still challenging and frustratingly so at times, but much shorter than the regular game, and therefore easier to handle. Definitely worth picking up if you like Magicka.


Ahead of its time, now surpassed, but still worth playing

sweetcuppincake | Oct. 18, 2012 | Review of Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition DNS

Deus Ex was like nothing else when it first came out. The setting and story were very complex compared to other FPS RPG hybrids. You had genuine freedom to complete missions however you wanted. You could blast your way through or you could nonviolently sneak. The greatest part was that both were viable options, and both had an effect on the story. Characters reacted differently to you depending on what kind of agent you chose to be. The game was designed to give you a rich, complete experience however you wanted to play it. The one negative thing I'll say is that it hasn't aged well visually. It looks pretty darn ugly now. But if you can look beyond that (and you're missing out if you can't) you will be rewarded with a great gaming experience.


Not much substance

sweetcuppincake | Oct. 18, 2012 | Review of Trine

Like many reviews have said, Trine is a visually impressive game. The whimsy of giant mushrooms and the foreboding of giant dragon skeletons make for some unique and stunning levels. The problem with Trine is that besides the backdrop, the levels are mostly the same. Swing over pits with the thief, make boxes with the wizard, fight skeletons with the warrior, repeat. There isn't much more to it than that. I found it to be more of a chore to keep playing. There wasn't anything particularly engaging about the story and I felt like the physics were rather weak for this being a game with physics-based puzzles. I can't count the number of times I slipped of the edge of a cliff I was jumping to or had to slightly readjust a box to get somewhere new. It became more of a monotonous ordeal than a fun adventure.


Not your usual Lara Croft

sweetcuppincake | Oct. 18, 2012 | Review of Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Light

I hadn't played a Tomb Raider game for a long time before I picked this one up. I had heard good things about it; mainly that it was fun. It didn't disappoint. It plays differently from the old Tomb Raider games, but it still maintains the spirit of what made Tomb Raider a great series in the first place. It's even better if you can play co-op with a friend. The meandering ancient ruins, puzzles, and bosses are all there for you in singleplayer, but I feel like this game was meant to be played with a friend. There's not a great deal of game, but there are challenges to keep you coming back. It's nothing outstanding, but the goal was to make a fun Tomb Raider game, and they succeeded.


A nice diversion

sweetcuppincake | Oct. 18, 2012 | Review of Sonic Generations - Casino Nights Pinball DLC

Sonic Generations returns Sonic to his former glory. And for a small fee, you can also have some pinball fun in this DLC. This adds nothing to the regular game, but is a nice experience if you're wanting to take a break and do something different. If you enjoy Sonic and/or pinball machines, you should consider this DLC. It is nothing amazing or groundbreaking, but it's a solid pinball game with a few Sonic twists thrown in to make it stand out from the crowd.


Probably my favorite music game

sweetcuppincake | Oct. 18, 2012 | Review of Beat Hazard

I have played several games of the rhythm/music genre where you get to import your own music files into the game. This is my favorite. There's always a risk with this type of game that the song you choose isn't really suited for the action of the game. That is true for Beat Hazard, but less so than with other games. In this game, the volume of the music dictates the power of your weapons, so a quiet moment in a song has an effect, but the action stays alive. It's just more about you needing to survive. The game overall is better-suited for louder or heavier songs as a result, but aside from that, I don't find any flaws. It's a great way to enjoy your music and a fun game at the same time. There is plenty of variety in play modes to keep things interesting.


Kid just reviews a game for a bit

sweetcuppincake | Sept. 28, 2012 | Review of Bastion Cap

Chances are you've heard of Bastion. It was pretty highly praised when it came out. I played it after the hype died down and while I could see why people liked it, I didn't fall in love like so many people seemed to. The narration is a great device and the music really sets the tone, but I felt like the gameplay itself was fairly standard stuff. I also had trouble with the keyboard controls and ended up using a controller. There is some replayability once you finish the story, but I wasn't really interested in a 2nd playthrough. It was a good experience, but I feel like what makes the game worth talking about is more gimmick than gameplay.


Interesting concept

sweetcuppincake | Sept. 28, 2012 | Review of The Ball

In this FPS, you have no guns. There's only one object to control and it is your weapon and your shield. You control a giant ball that you can push away and attract. You use this to solve puzzles and fight hoards of undead creatures. There's nothing like sending your only means of survival out to attack and then running away from the remaining enemies until you can get it back. The story of the ancient civilization you've discovered unfolds if you can find the secrets hidden in the game. By no means is The Ball a perfect title, but if you're looking for something different from the standard FPS, this is worth looking into.


A nice conversion

sweetcuppincake | Sept. 28, 2012 | Review of Carcassonne

This is based on the boardgame, and plays just like it. I appreciate playing boardgames converted to PC (as long as they are done right like this) because it streamlines the whole process. When you finish a game of Carcassonne, it takes some time to calculate the scores. Not so with the PC version. In general, the game goes faster, which means more time to play. You can adjust the difficulty of AI opponents for a challenge once you get the hang of things. The graphics aren't great, but you're really playing for the gameplay, so that doesn't matter too much.


Fun and different RTS

sweetcuppincake | Sept. 28, 2012 | Review of Darwinia DNS

I'm a big fan of everything Introversion does. Darwinia included. You are tasked with helping an AI survive its simulated world by leading them in battle. You give directions, set waypoints, etc., but the Darwinians have minds of their own, so things don't always go as planned. Your little friends are weak, but there is strength in numbers. The story and game design work well to make you want to do your best to help them succeed. Overall a very well-done game.


You can probably pass on this one

sweetcuppincake | Sept. 28, 2012 | Review of Decap Attack starring Chuck D. Head

I would expect if you're looking at this game, you probably played it on Genesis. If not, it's probably one you can skip unless you're really into old platformers. It is rather challenging and the combat mechanic is interesting, but I feel like that's something that can be said of most platformers. In this game, you attack through a face in your stomach (it would take too much time to explain, just go with it), but if you find your head, you can also throw it for another attack. It is themed nicely, the music isn't anything special, and all in all a very standard game. One playthrough is probably enough and I had mine.


A different take on arcade racing

sweetcuppincake | Sept. 28, 2012 | Review of Crazy Taxi DNS

If you've ever played an arcade racing game, you'll be familiar with the mechanic of the ticking clock. Pass through checkpoint to gain more time and try to finish the race. Crazy Taxi puts a new spin on that by taking you out of the race. The checkpoints are your fares and the faster you go and crazier you drive, the more time and money you get for dropping them off. The game still plays great. No complaints about the port except for one thing. Obviously, the soundtrack rights would have cost a lot to keep for this port, so people who remember the original may be disappointed by that, but the game still plays the same. Very fun and still nothing like it.


Last great Sonic game I played

sweetcuppincake | Sept. 28, 2012 | Review of Sonic Adventureā„¢ 2

The music, the speed, the tiny chao garden... This was a great game when I played it on Game Cube. Having lost contact with Sonic after selling my Genesis, this was my reunion with the series. It was fantastic. Very different from the 2d sidescrolling of the the earlier games, this game expanded greatly on the Sonic formula. There are 6 playable characters and 3 modes of play. For instance, Sonic and Shadow both do the fast thing: running, grinding rails, and performing combo attacks to cross large gaps. Bottom line: this game is fun. While the earlier Sonic games were pretty bare-bones when it came to story, Adventure 2 actually has a fairly decent storyline. With the great gameplay and awesome(ly silly) music, this game is unquestionably at the top of the list of Sonic games. And I didn't even tell you about raising your own chao.


The joke isn't funny anymore

sweetcuppincake | Sept. 28, 2012 | Review of Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Nukem 3d was actually somewhat groundbreaking when it came out. The cheesiness of Duke's one-liners would sometimes elicit a chuckle, but that's not why people played the game. In the time spent trying to develop DNF, that seems to have been forgotten. There's nothing innovative about this game. Maybe there was at first, but by the time it released, there was nothing fresh or exciting about DNF. It's not particularly fun either. The one-liners are pushed to the front and dialed up to a cringe-worthy level. Maybe it's because I've grown up some, but the humor of the game just falls flat. Combine that with the fact that the gameplay is rather bland and feels like it's for an outdated game and you have a fairly standard FPS. Every once in a while you might be in the mood for a brainless shooter, but even then, there are better options out there.


Charming puzzle game

sweetcuppincake | Sept. 28, 2012 | Review of World of Goo

What stands out most in this game is the design. The world and the goo balls are what make this game unique. The concept is to create structures out of the goo balls to help them past obstacles. It is all physics-based, so you have to make things sturdy. The goo balls are counting on you. As you progress, you get to see more of the minimal story and strange world these creatures inhabit. There is some replayability in trying to solve puzzles using fewer goo balls, but this isn't a game you will spend 10s of hours on. It's a nice little diversion though.


Prepare to Die is right!

sweetcuppincake | Sept. 28, 2012 | Review of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (NA)

One of the best games of the current console generation and one of my personal favorites. This game exists on PC because of the acclaim the game received and because From Software listened to fans. Everything that made it great in its original form is still here, and some new stuff as well. The new stuff isn't just an afterthought either. The designers took concepts that didn't make it to the final product and added entirely new areas, enemies, and bosses. And it fits nicely into the storyline. There are some issues with the port like locked frame rate and no controller support. However, fans of the series have developed workarounds for those issues. That doesn't count for this review, but just know that solutions are out there. While not perfect, this game provides some of the greatest multiplayer and singerplayer experiences ever.


Casino Zone over and over

sweetcuppincake | Sept. 28, 2012 | Review of Sonic Spinball CAP

One of the most popular aspects of the early Sonic games were the levels where you got bounced around by flippers and bumpers. It's pretty obvious that Spinball came from that same concept. It plays like pinball, but has Sonic elements and boss fights. There are only 4 levels and I would say unless you really enjoy Sonic and/or pinball games, this one probably isn't worth your time. Nothing is wrong with it, really, it's just not that exciting of a game.


Fun, but fun enough?

sweetcuppincake | Sept. 28, 2012 | Review of Sonic the Hedgehog CAP

This was a great game back in the day. Very different from anything else. The problem with playing it now is even when compared to the later Sonic games on Genesis, Sonic 1 feels old. It is very basic compared to what came after. I would only recommend it for completionists who want to own all the Sonic games. You will probably enjoy it, but not as much as the others, and you most likely won't come back to it.


Still great

sweetcuppincake | Sept. 28, 2012 | Review of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 CAP

This game showed that Sonic wasn't just a gimmick. It improved on Sonic 1 all around. The level design is great, the music is fantasic, and Tails will drive you nuts when he constantly screws things up for you. Still plays well after all this time.


2 great games

sweetcuppincake | Sept. 28, 2012 | Review of Sonic 3 and Knuckles CAP

This was originally 2 separate games on the Genesis and the Knuckles cart had a slot on top for the Sonic 3 cart to connect. This let you play as Knuckles in the previously released Sonic 3. Essentially you are getting 2 full games with 3 characters each. You can take different paths depending on who you play as so there is some extra variety. Overall these are very fun games and show why people still want Sonic games.


a standout in the sea of tower defense games

sweetcuppincake | June 13, 2012 | Review of Unstoppable Gorg

Tower defense games appeared suddenly and took the gaming world by storm. But then they kept storming and now there are just too many that do nothing to expand on the genre. Unstoppable Gorg does not suffer from that problem. It is an innovative tower defense game that does some great new things.

The big difference in Gorg is that there is no set path for the invading hordes to take and therefore no static lane for you to protect with your towers. Instead, the invaders' path changes throughout the level and you react by orbiting your defensive units around the planet they are protecting. While many tower defense games can be played using the same strategies, Gorg forces you to play differently. And that is why it is fun.

The reason why Gorg is great is the story and cutscenes, filmed to be just like the corny, low budget alien invasion films of the 50s. These are fun to watch and make a great reward for completing each level. The cutscenes alone are worth the purchase. The game is a bonus.


basic platformer, but visually impressive

sweetcuppincake | June 13, 2012 | Review of NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits

The gameplay of NyxQuest is fun, but nothing that hasn't been done countless times in platforming games. What drew me to this game was the mythological setting and the graphical style. Visually, this game is pretty impressive. The scenery is great to look at and there is enough variety to keep it engaging. They did a great job with the visual design of the game.

You play as Nyx, who is trying to rescue her friend Icarus. Using fancy moves and help from the gods, you make your way through various obstacles. There are hidden relics to collect and a few challenge levels that add to the life of the game.

While this is definitely not the most impressive platformer, the beautiful visuals compelled me to keep playing just so I could see more of them. That may not be enough for everyone, but it worked for me.


Dwarfs can stop digging and I can't stop playing!

sweetcuppincake | June 13, 2012 | Review of Dwarfs!?

I love this game! It may not look like much, but I lose hours playing this game, and I lose some more thinking about playing this game. The best way I can sum this game up is this: your dwarfs will do something stupid and get everyone killed, and your goal is to delay the inevitable.

If you ever played Sim Ant, this game will seem a little familiar. Your dwarfs will move about on their own; digging new passages and collecting whatever treasures they find. You can direct them a bit, but each order costs gold. The point is not to maintain full control though. Eventually you will have so many dwarfs that this would be impossible. As they expand ever outward, the rewards become greater, but so do the dangers. The dwarfs can enter sealed caverns, which may contain treasure, enemies, water, or lava. The enemies can be defeated with dedicated warrior dwarfs. Water and lava will flood your caves unless you stop it. When problems arise, it is basically a race against the clock to contain the damage.

There are a few options for play modes (and a few challenge maps) and in the end you are scored by the amount of treasure you unearthed and how large your cave became before your stupid dwarfs doomed everyone. Great, great fun!


I didn't know these games still existed

sweetcuppincake | June 13, 2012 | Review of Space Pirates And Zombies

I played a game many years ago called Escape Velocity. Apparently, so did the makers of SPAZ. And they must have enjoyed it as much as I did, because SPAZ seems like a shining homage to the top-down space exploration games of yesteryear. It also goes beyond what those older games were capable of doing. The galaxy you play in is randomly generated, as are all the star systems within it. You can build a fleet rather than pilot just one ship. There is a main story that you can follow or ignore, and you have the freedom to play however you want. The features are numerous and you will likely sink hours into this game without realizing it. Very fun to play in short bursts as well.


Endless tactical possibilities

sweetcuppincake | June 13, 2012 | Review of Frozen Synapse DNS

If you are the kind of tactician who wants to make the most out of your turns and would endlessly view possible outcomes in order to figure out your best move, this is the game for you. Even if that doesn't sound like you, Frozen Synapse is still a great game. Squad-based tactics are yours to control with as much or as little input as you want to provide. Each player (opponents can be AI or other players) chooses how each member of their squad will move and behave in order to reach the optimal combat outcome. Once the moves are set, the two opposing teams act simultaneously, and though you planned well, the results will never be exactly as you predicted.

This game features a single-player campaign set in a futuristic world (hence the graphics), and online multiplayer that works sort of like chess by mail. You make your turn and will be notified when your opponent has made theirs so you can see the outcome. You can customize just about every setting and choose from several types of games.

The major failing of this game is not necessarily the fault of the game, but for a concept that relies so strongly on multiplayer, there are very few people still actively playing. Even when it first came out, I had several matches that were never completed because the other person chose not to play any longer. That said, the story mode and AI matches are still lots of fun and the dedicated fans are always looking for new challengers.


Excellent retro game

sweetcuppincake | June 13, 2012 | Review of VVVVVV

Don't be deceived by the simple looking graphics. VVVVVV is an incredibly fun and challenging game. This is the most retro game I've played, graphically speaking. Solid colors and simple shapes that hearken back to the Apple II I played on as a child.

The story is fairly basic, but works well enough to keep you interested. What really stands out in this game are the mechanics and the music. Some of the best chiptune music I've heard comes from this game. It's fun and exciting and at times urgent. It really matches the tone of the game.

The gameplay seems simple, but becomes very challenging as the game goes on. Instead of jumping, you flip gravity so you are drawn to the ceiling. You use this to get around enemies and over spikes. It becomes very frantic at times. Beyond the basic plot, there are also optional collectibles to challenge you further. Overall, a difficult but fun retro game.


Performance issues ruin this game

sweetcuppincake | June 13, 2012 | Review of Bob Came in Pieces CAP

I had been pretty interested in this game from the moment I heard about it. Collecting ship pieces that allow you to solve physics-based puzzles seemed like a fun concept. The plot is a bit reminiscent of Pikmin (in that you're a tiny rocket pilot trying to fix your ship) in a charming way. However, an engaging plot and fun gameplay mean nothing when the game repeatedly crashes. I am unable to progress past a certain point rather early in the game because of these crashes. I have researched this problem and have found that I am not the only person by far to experience this game-crippling problem. There have been no updates, so it remains unplayable for me. I liked what I played, but I would strongly caution anyone interested to read up on the problems people have had with this game. If I purchase a product, I should be able to enjoy it.