Valiant Hearts: The Great War Review

Games using Ubisoft’s UbiArt Framework are almost immediately recognizable because they resemble a moving 2D painting or drawing. Child of Light, for example, had a watercolor kind of aesthetic that was really pleasing. Valiant Hearts, on the other hand, has more of a “hand-drawn” look to it, and this ultimately proves to be its downfall. This is a game where the aesthetic and the message are so completely at odds that the game doesn’t seem to have any idea of what it wants to accomplish, so all you’re left with are a few adventure game sequences that spiral into unenjoyable minigames. It’s a shame, too, because this is one of the few games willing to venture into the nitty-gritty of World War 1. Read more →

Valiant Hearts: The Great War Screenshots

“World War 2 game” is virtually a genre of its own because of the sheer number of games that have been made about the time period, but what about the first World War? For some reason, it’s been largely forgotten by game developers. Ubisoft’s Valiant Hearts seeks to rectify this, and that’s what makes it so difficult for me to not like it. Don’t get me wrong—this game does some things incredibly right, but it’s also suffering from an identity crisis all the way until its final minutes, at which point it finally decides what kind of game it wants to be. Read more →

Divinity: Original Sin Review

Divinity: Original Sin is a game that quickly becomes your everything, swallowing up every free moment you have and paying you back with one of the best mixtures of turn-based strategy and RPG ever seen in a game. That said, it’s not perfect; the early content had me thinking that this would be one of my top 5 games of all time, but some frustrating late-game content dampered my enthusiasm for it quite a bit. There are simply some astoundingly bad design decisions toward the end that are far removed from the polish of the early game, and while these aren’t worth avoiding the game over, they’re certainly the kind of thing you should be aware of going in. Read more →

Divinity: Original Sin Screenshots

I waited for Divinity: Original Sin so long. Every delay the game faced (of which there were many) only fueled my excitement even more, and when the game finally released, playing through it made me believe that it was worth the wait. While the late-game content proved a bit disappointing and diminished my enthusiasm for the title somewhat, this is nonetheless an amazing game that reminds me of a cross between Arcanum and Baldur’s Gate in the best of ways. Even better is the combat system, which takes the best of turn-based strategy games and effortlessly meshes it with a classless RPG system like Divine Divinity, even going so far as to include special traits reminiscent of Fallout’s perks. Original Sin is ultimately a great game that stumbles a bit toward the end, but that nevertheless carries the legacy of timeless older cRPGs into the present. Read more →

Alpha Protocol Screenshots (1440p)

Full disclosure: I’m only posting these screenshots as filler so that everyone knows that I’m still alive. The game I’m currently playing has turned out to be much larger than anticipated, so there’s no realistic way to meet my loosely self-imposed deadline of “one review per week.” It just isn’t happening this time, but hey, more screenshots! “Awesome,” said no one ever. Interesting fact that no one cares about: these are at 2560×1440, which means that their height is equal to my original Alpha Protocol screenshots’ width. That means that I’m not phoning this in entirely. Mostly, without a doubt, but not entirely. Read more →

E.V.O.: Search For Eden Review

Before they swallowed my beloved Squaresoft whole and reduced them to churning out a million and a half remakes of Final Fantasy 3, Enix had a knack for publishing games that had really interesting premises while being let down by sub-par gameplay. Actraiser 2 and Illusion of Gaia are perfect examples of this, being interesting, but not quite to the point where they’re enjoyable games. E.V.O.: Search For Eden falls into that pattern perfectly, being a game where you have the freedom to evolve your character in multiple ways, but that’s ultimately tarnished by repetitive grinding and painful gameplay. Read more →

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