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Review: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - New Sequel, Same Issues

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII revolves around time. With the end of the world approaching, Lightning – the Saviour and servant of God – must save as many souls as possible. In 13 days when the time expires and the old-world ends, a new-world is reborn for the souls. The game encourages time management, yet it often wastes yours. Lightning Returns surrounds a creative battle system with fetch quests and overwritten conversations, which slow an already time restrictive structure. 

Review: Halo 5: Guardians - Playing to Strengths (campaign only)

You can't blame one game as the catalyst for turning the Halo story into a convoluted mess. Halo 4 introduces the Didact as the new antagonist, yet his inconsequential actions create a circular story. In Halo 3, the Flood army changes sides more times than the Italians during World War 2. Regardless of what happens, somewhere in the galaxy, Covenant and Prometheans forces await the Master Chief's arrival. They wait for you to shoot them.

Halo 5: Guardians re-threatens the entire galaxy because we need a reason to shoot aliens. Not much motivates a faceless, robot-like character to risk his life to save everyone, again. To push Master Chief aside, 343 Industries brought in new characters - Spartan Locke and the rest of Fireteam Osiris. But even four new major characters can't define urgency in Halo 5's story. It doesn't matter why Master Chief and Spartan Locke shoot the Prometheans and Covenant - it stopped mattering. Halo 5: Guardians adds long overdue adjustments to movement and weapons to renovate what matters most: gunplay. And the evolution of Halo's core gameplay will last longer than any convoluted space opera about saving the galaxy.

Review: Sunset Overdrive - Grind, Shoot, Bounce

Sunset Overdrive lets players enable a curse filter, and for good reason. If players expect fart jokes and the same banter between Captain Qwark and Dr. Nefarious from Ratchet & Clank, then the punk rock aesthetic and free flowing cursing might jolt long time Insomniac Games fans. Sunset Overdrive both looks and sounds different from the decades of Ratchet games, but Insomniac still retains their signature weaponry and silly characters. Sunset Overdrive's dozens of goofy weapons and extraordinary character mobility turns Sunset City into the Xbox One's deadliest playground.

The Fizco Corporation initiates an apocalypse when their Overcharge energy drink starts turning Sunset City's citizens into mutants. Fortunately for the player, the deadly orange drink eludes your lips, but now you must escape the quarantined Sunset City to survive.

Review: The Walking Dead: Season 2 - Age is not Wisdom

A prompt pops up at the start of The Walking Dead: Season 2 asking the player to import a save file from the previous game. Plot points and player actions personalize each player's story, or so Telltale claims. Yet continuity only works if the story demands it - if a story still needs an end. Season 2 needs a new set of characters and a new main character to begin a brand new story. Instead Telltale brings back 11-year-old Clementine and places her in another dysfunctional group destined to not survive. The results of the second season returns the plot to where Clementine began, making the new season an unnecessary blip in Clementine's brief lifetime.

Clementine learns a lot over the past three years and owes much of her survival to Lee's guidance and support. Even around adults, Clementine must make her own decisions and often offers better alternatives than the group leaders. Regardless of her age, Clementine fights off the strength of adult sized zombies, shoots with pin-point accuracy and persuades anyone lacking just a shred of confidence - she can do anything.

Review: BioShock Infinite - Clear Skies

A utopia, no matter how promising, will always fall. Unlike the first BioShock, in BioShock Infinite you will witness the floating city of Columbia as it descends from the perceived perfection and suffer the same fate as the underwater city of Rapture. The inevitable utopic fall represents one of the many themes throughout the game which all contribute to the believability of a society living in the sky. The gradual development of these themes builds upon the understanding of Columbia's history and current events. Irrational Games' attention to detail and their ability to imagine grand fictional worlds only compliments one of the best told stories in video games.  

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