Entries in XBLA (25)

Friday
Nov152013

QCF: Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate HD

he Castlevania reboot from Mercury Steam and Kojima productions is a noteworthy one amongst it’s peers that have attempted to modernize with a new beginning. In some degree, no matter how drastic the change to the conventions or tropes with the source material that’s being reworked, there’s always some form of semblance to the roots of the property; Lords of Shadow barely identifies with remotely recognizable to the Castlevania label.

It wasn’t until players were greeted to a cliffhanger ending comprised of several spontaneous details tof a drastic change to story direction. Gabriel’s predicament and radically changed outlook displayed no inkling of clarification to what sort of events took place prior leading to the revelations portrayed within these last scenes—just a bait and switch for the upcoming sequels that would deliver the answers we were seeking. Before we would see the true sequel to Lords of Shadow however, Mercury Steam in true Japanese fashion, would give us the midquel that is Mirror of Fate to bridge the two main games on the 3DS—unfortunately, it didn’t do so hot.

The theme of Lords of Shadow has always been about second chances however, and with Mirror of Fate being rereleased on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network with an HD facelift and improvements directly responding to the criticisms of its portable cousin; the redemption pays off, but comes off a bit winded in the process.

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Wednesday
Oct092013

QCF: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

he first thing you will notice when Brothers : A tale of Two sons has loaded is how vast the environment is even though for the most part the game is fairly linear. From the rocks on the Mountain to the leaves on the Trees, to the made up language that you almost start to understand this game is hands-down gorgeous, engaging and will keep you playing until you've seen the end.

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Monday
Jul152013

QCF: Thunder Wolves

elicopters! Hell yes! Nothing beats a game that lets you lay down constant fire against your unsuspecting enemies, especially when you can do it hovering motionless in the air. Or so it would seem. I dig chopper-based games as much as the next guy: Desert Strike, Choplifter, and Under Defeat HD all come to mind as vastly different cousins with a central helo-based theme. So I was genuinely excited when Thunder Wolves was announced for PC, XBLA and PSN.

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Tuesday
Jul092013

QCF: CastleStorm

ith its stunning and unexpected popularity, Angry Birds has popularized a genre that was mostly confined to flash games before the iOS boom. Many titles since have tried to replicate its success by using its puzzle and slingshot elements to their advantage. But of course, nothing has topped the multimillion dollar franchise since its inception. Now while I seriously doubt that Zen Studios wanted to get a crack at the mountain of cash that Angry Birds generated, there's no denying that their latest XBLA title, CastleStorm, at least takes some cues from the popular series. However, these are where the comparisons stop, as CastleStorm aims to rejuvenate this style of gameplay by adding tower defense, action, and even RPG elements into the mix. All these vastly different mechanics add up to a great idea indeed, but one that unfortunately threatens to spoil the simplicity that made its inspiration fun to begin with.

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Friday
Jun142013

QCF: Zeno Clash 2

lmost four years after the release of the first person brawler Zeno Clash, we return to the eccentric world of Zenozoik and its bizarre inhabitants. In Zeno Clash 2, players will explore much more of the landscape, while completing quests and finding allies along the way. While combat has been improved along with new weapons, the overall game play still has the same issues as the original. ACE attempts to flesh out the experience within the nine or ten hour campaign, however punching and kicking will only carry this abnormal adventure so far.

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Saturday
May252013

QCF: BattleBlock Theater

he Behemoth always knows how to take a classic formula and make it something special, be it with aliens and Russians in Alien Hominid or the absurdly hilariously animated brawling antics in Castle Crashers, thier games just ooze style and humor. No small wonder with their vintage internet roots on Newgrounds.com. And, as it turns out, things have only still kept getting more awesomer, for real, with Battleblock Theater, a tale of shipwrecked friends, mysterious feline entities on a mysterious island, and Hatty Hattington, friend of all and forced to watch himself test the mettle of all those he loved in a jail-turned theater of sadistic horrors, aggressive cats, constant danger, and certain death.

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Thursday
Feb212013

QCF: Bit Trip Presents... Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

"
ove at first sight” is such a cliché. I've never been one to fall for such a ridiculous notion, nor have I ever admitted to its true existence. Sure, you can like how something looks, but usually there's something underneath what can only be seen that's actually quite ugly. However, I was proven wrong on this theory when, at Logan International Airport in Boston after PAX East 2012, I booted up a copy of Bit.Trip Saga and played Runner for the first time. The delightfully retro visuals, silky game play and unbelievable sound had me seriously hooked. It was love at first sight. At that very moment I had a very sudden lamentation; Runner 2 was at the show, and I totally missed out.

After travelling across the entire continent to Seattle for PAX Prime 2012, I finally got to play the follow up of Runner, and it was definitely worth the journey and the wait. Fast forward to today, and it's finally almost time for Runner 2 to drop across multiple platforms. And let me tell you, this is a game that everyone – absolutely everyone – should be playing.

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Monday
Jan282013

QCF: Sonic: The Fighters

hat pops into your head when you see these next three words?

"Sonic the Hedgehog."

Were you thinking about a fighting game? Probably, because you've more than likely seen the title of this article, and you're reading this review. But hold on there, did you think of a good fighting game? Probably not, right? Well, buckle up, because this could be an interesting ride.

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