Xbox 360

The giant leap for Microsoft. Let’s be honest here, the Xbox 360 won the console was against the PlayStation 3 even as both had excellent games. You can look at some of their games under this section for Xbox 360 reviews.

Dark Souls 2

One major tweak that might infuriate gamers is the new health bar reduction. When you die, a small portion of your health bar is permanently removed. The only way to restore it is with a very rare item called an effigy; these also essentially replace humanity from the first game. This new twist on the formula made me a lot more cautious at first, but eventually I just learned to function with half a health bar at all times. [...]

Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)

These opening scenes set the tone for the game. The car arriving represents the onward thrust of modernity into a west that, in 1911, was still very wild. The land of Red Dead Redemption is one of liars, thieves and murderers. But it is not a soulless world, and that is something that lends the game a stark beauty. Amidst the gorgeous yet savage setting, there are people with good hearts who need saving but who also, frequently, offer help to Marston. [...]

World of Tanks

If you love blowing up tanks with other tanks, you couldn’t ask for a better game. While the content is a little dumbed down from the PC version, you still can choose between multiple vehicles from American, German, and British stables. Upgrading said vehicles can become a chunky grind. Even if you are willing to throw down real cash for a new ride, you still have to play multiple matches with each vehicle to move to the next tier. [...]

Reflections: Titanfall Beta

Ejecting out of your Titan while it turns into a nuclear bomb and torches your opponent is absolutely thrilling. You can actually sabotage Titans while in soldier mode which keeps the playing field a little more even. My favorite moment over the 25 matches I participated in was ejecting out of my Titan, launching my would-be Titan-jacker into the air, and then shooting him in the face before I hit the ground. I’ve never played a game where I could do that. [...]

WET

WET tells an interesting, if a bit convoluted story. The game begins with Rubi watching a suitcase being handed between two men in an ornate room in Chinatown. The suitcase is her target – she needs to retrieve it – and she crashes through the glass ceiling and begins shooting up the place. This leads to a chase where she follows Simmons, the man carrying the suitcase. It turns out the suitcase holds a heart, which a man named Ackers has hired Rubi to retrieve so that he may have heart surgery. He rewards her well and comes back a year later asking if she can go to Hong Kong and find their heir to his crime fortune, Trevor. From there, Rubi travels around the globe through a twisted plot of backstabbing, lies, and falsehoods. She gets beat up a few times, engages herself in high-speed chases, and in the end, prevails. [...]

Family Game Night 4

Mr. Potato-Head is the host of the game, and though he is not annoying like the bizarre host of the Family Feud Xbox game (the memory of whom has scarred me for life), he also doesn’t add anything to the gameplay. The animations of the avatars are a bit silly, and not dismissed immediately with a button-click, which makes them a little irritating. The play-by-play voice was a constant, “go get ‘em, tiger” kind of happy, which lost its charm over time. Note to developers: if you want to see how a host can be engaging, perhaps even annoying, and yet bring you back for more, check out theYou Don’t Know Jack series of games. [...]

Half Life 2: Episode Two

The lighting and other graphical qualities are fantastic, and even though better graphics can be found across current-gen consoles, Valve enlisted such incredible art direction that the Source Engine’s age is barely showing. The environments look wonderful, the spaces feel appropriately vast, and the character models still look amazingly realistic. They display emotions on a level I’ve never seen before in a game, and I still don’t think any graphical engines model human characters so well. [...]

Deadlight

In fairness to the developers, I’ve only managed to invest an hour in the game since launch day, which probably says more about the game than I’d like to admit. I found the voice over script contrived, the game atmospherics failing to impress and then there is that overly familiar nod to the walking dead, the “shadows” responding to loud noises…please!!. [...]

Grand Theft Auto 5

The world of Los Santos is so gorgeously detailed I found myself following random pedestrians on the street just to hear their side of hilarious cell phone conversations. A couple of the radio commercials and conversations made me laugh so hard I paused mid-mission just to hear the end of them. Other games have shown similar levels in depth of world, but none of them have made me feel like the city existed without me playing the game. [...]

Limbo

I guess the reason why I’m NOT ABSOLUTELY LOVING THIS GAME is because games like Another world and Braid were great simply because they were something different (and if you wanted a game shrouded in obscurity and dripping with existentialism, there’s always Passage and Yume Nikki) They were stand alone games. This whole “guessing game” within games buried in silent mystery and artsy-ness seems to be a new genre emerging. I’m not sure that I like that idea of that so much. It’s not that I don’t like these types of games, in fact I love these games and games that make the player think and feel a sense of immersion, but I feel that it would give new developers an excuse to make a poorer product. [...]

Payday 2: The Heist

The most enjoyable way to play Payday 2 is with three of your friends who actually use microphones. When the missions are pulled off flawlessly you will feel extremely satiated as a player, but communication and precise planning are necessary, even on some of the easier and shorter selections. One stupid mistake can cost you an entire run, and this will happen 99.9 percent of the time you even attempt, making robberies that don’t end up turning into the last act of Dog Day Afternoon both extremely rare and immensely rewarding. [...]

R-Type Dimensions

My past experiences with the R-Type games weren’t overly immense. A brief stint at a Timezone in Sydney back in the 80’s , the rental-to-almost-purchase on the Master System 2 in the early 90’s, and a sequel on the SNES (R-type 3). A frustratingly hard game? Some could say that, but I’ll go with exuberantly challenging. For those who don’t know what R-Type is, it is a side-scrolling shooter, think 1942 but with a side-on perspective. The storyline is that there’s the evil Bydo empire invading the universe, you are a pilot of a small ship sent to stop this evil. [...]

Star Trek

Star Trek was always about helping your fellow man (or alien); the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, ect. Apparently, the many all need to be repeatedly shot point blank in the face because other then a few random tricorder readings that’s basically all you accomplish. Sure, you are encouraged to set phasers to stun and then knock out your enemies, but when you can just dispatch them safely from behind cover with zero penalty then what is exactly the point besides painfully shoehorning some of the familiar trappings of the series? [...]

Runner 2: Legend of Rhythm Alien

Runner 2 might as well be a checklist of how to do everything correctly in a video game. The gameplay is extremely accessible and enjoyable, coupled with eye pleasing, unique graphics and an amazing soundtrack. Difficulty in the game gradually scales but is unbelievably fair; you start off with a simple selection of moves and then slowly learn all of the combinations required to be successful. There’s also some great humor (the hardest thing to pull off in gaming) and some phenomenal references mixed in to the package that I wouldn’t dare spoil here. [...]

Dead Space 3

The major issue I had with the game is one I didn’t anticipate: the writing. The game starts off strong but during the midpoint I almost started cringing at some of the dialogue and directions the characters are taken in. Without entering into spoiler territory, essentially Ellie, the girl who you risked your ass (and sanity) to save in Dead Space 2 has moved on to another mate who is basically the equivalent of the douchey blonde villain in so many eighties movies. [...]

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Fan service is also prevalent here; many more characters are featured this time around, including the Dinobots, the Combaticons, Metroplex, and the Insecticons. I actually felt like I had been sucked into an eighties toy commercial every time a new character appeared. Hardcore Transformer fans should really find a lot to enjoy here, before I played the game I couldn’t distinguish Swindle from Onslaught, so fans of the source material will really enjoy all of the love taken with the character choices. [...]

Skylanders: Giants

Each Skylander represents one of eight different “elements” like fire, wind, technology, or undead. The levels are divided with multiple gates and hidden areas that can only be accessed by certain elements, meaning in order to fully unlock everything the game has to offer you must own at least one character from every element. If you are defeated, the only way to continue the level is by swapping out figures on the fly, making the game near impossible with only the starter set, but very manageable with a stable of Skylanders figures at your disposal. [...]

Hitman: Absolution

Multiplayer (a first for the series) also feels very adaptable. Campaign levels are opened up sandbox style; any NPC on the map can be chosen as a target and then sent to your respective friends list. Gamers can place restrictions on the assassinations; you can compete with your friends to see who can complete the hits most efficiently based on the parameters dictated by another player. This adds an even greater level of replay to the game, and it also welcomes the creative contributions of gamers. Hundreds of thousands of player-made challenges have already been uploaded, giving play time a durability that previous entries in the series failed to achieve. [...]

Weird Games: Naughty Bear

In Naughty Bear you have an entire island to explore and cause mayhem on. The island itself is divided into four parts with some sections and areas needing to be unlocked. There are a total of 28 levels on the island and tons of different objects to use and obstacles to overcome. Your job is not only to get revenge on the bears who tormented you, but also to avoid the law abiding bears who will try and stop your mischievous ways. [...]

Weird Games: Sneak King

Sneak King was one of three different games that Burger King offered back in 2006. I think you could purchase then for $2.99 with a value meal or something like that. In this game, the objective is to sneak up on people and deliver Burger King Burgers to them. Personally, I rather sneak up and deliver sausages but that is just me. [...]

Trials Evolution

The multiplayer mode provides the only real issue thus far. At the time of this review, online matchmaking was taking several minutes at a time and would fail altogether on many attempts. Once in a game, however, it ran flawlessly and could easily become a serious competition for many XBox Live fans. Be aware if you lag behind the rest of the pack the camera will turn toward you once the race has finished, putting all eyes on your efforts to complete the track. Hopefully the matchmaking issues can be remedied quickly. [...]

Catherine Demo

What I was expecting was a kind of dating simulator that Japan is known all too well for releasing, but if that aspect is imbued in it, I didn’t notice. The demo takes you through what seems to be the introduction of the game, and the first two stages of the puzzles. Yes, there are puzzles. Even on the easy difficulty the demo plays by default, the puzzles are quite challenging and require the player to think on the fly. Also, there is a way you can text the “first” “K”atherine, literally, through Vincent’s phone. The main menu is active and has actual character models. [...]

Alan Wake

In a nutshell that is how I view the watching of the Night Springs television show that you can watch in game. Night Springs is a Twilight Zone rip-off show that you can watch on many of the televisions in game. The problem is twofold. One, for the most part you don’t need to watch the Night Sprints shows for anything other than an achievement. Two, when you are being chased down and are in the middle of intense action it makes no sense to spend up to ten minutes watching a badly made in game show that does nothing for you. The same applies for the radio. Sure, the radio show gives you some current information and town info, but again, it is long and doesn’t really help you in the game and takes you out of the moment. [...]

Assassins Creed 2

Assassins Creed 2 has made an incredible improvement from the first game in terms of game play. No longer do you walk around cities quickly doing three of the exact same missions. Ezio has specific people to go to that provide him with a large variety of missions that never once become repetitive. The original idea for Assassins Creed was to be a mixture of Prince of Persia and Grand Theft Auto, however the first game never delivered on that. Assassins Creed 2 definitely delivers. Combat has been improved in a big way making it so much more fun. You have about 30 weapons to choose from now rather then just three (including using enemies weapons), and each have different styles of killing enemies. [...]