Review Supplement – Tropico 4

14 09 2011

Strange thing, this. When I was thinking about Tropico 4 for my review, the game I couldn’t help comparing it to was Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, because both of them go deep into to the heart of such important issues of liberty and freedom, exploring the deep questions with a scholarly eye. Or not. They’re actually both sequels that have been criticised for being too similar to their predecessors. In my view, however, ACB gets away with it, whereas Tropico 4 does not.

 

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Review Supplement – Pirates of Black Cove

12 08 2011

Some time soon my review of Pirates of Black Cove will be up on Gamedot (EDIT: lo and behold…), at which point you can marvel at how very mediocre the game is. Not bad, not hateful (I can think of one other nautical game that was…) but still undeveloped and not very satisfying. It would take a concerted development on behalf of any development team to make blasting an opponent with cannon fire dull and Pirates does avoid this, but only just. It’s a line the game skirts frequently, being just engaging enough not to repel you at first sight, but soon enough the boredom mounts and the rewards for completing tasks aren’t enough.

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Review Supplement – Virtua Tennis 4

1 08 2011

In my review of Virtua Tennis 4, I came very close to using the word ‘meh’. Thankfully, some sort of linguistic integrity struck me at that moment and I swerved clear, rescuing whatever iota of reputation I had in the process. I couldn’t possibly have such base language going onto the website where my writing is actually read by significant numbers of people. This, however, is my blog. So: Virtua Tennis 4 is more meh than anything meh that you have ever meh-ed at. Who cares if meh doesn’t work as a verb? I can say anything! Wheeeeeee!

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Review Supplement – Panzer Corps

20 07 2011

Well that wasn’t what I was expecting. After hearing that Panzer Corps was going to be my next review, I happened upon this brief article on Rock Paper Shotgun. It wasn’t promising. I find RPS a great read because its writers go into loving depth on any number of niche games, but in this case all that was merited was five lines, a press release and a video that presented a very backward-looking product with cheesy World War 2 music and grainy sound effects. It looked grim.

How wrong I was. Panzer Corps is a well put together title, providing tidy, expansive war-gaming with no frills but a good degree of depth. You’ll be able to read more about it in my review, which should pop up on Gamedot in the next few days (EDIT: here it is now), but for now I’d like to look at something else. I’m going mildly theoretical again, so brace yourselves for some rambling. Read the rest of this entry »





Review Supplement – Portal 2

7 05 2011

Warning: spoilers ahead…read this first, then play the game, then come back here again…Thank you!

I imagine that the Portal 2 team are feeling pretty smug right now. The game that they have created has a few niggles of the sort that reviewers (myself included) pick out when they want to avoid looking biased – but that’s it. I haven’t played a game that is this tightly packaged since Arkham Asylum, with both sharing in common an armour of gameplay, story and polish that made them nigh-on bulletproof, vulnerable only to the sort of subjective criticism that emerges once the critics have had their say and the inevitable forum backlashes begin.

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Review Supplement – Adventure Game Round-up

20 04 2011

One thing that I’ve come to learn as a reviewer for Gamedot is that 80% of games for review are not ones that I’d consider buying. In most cases there’s plenty of enjoyment to be had in them, with Alien Breed 3: Descent and Greed Corp springing to mind, but they’re titles that I would otherwise only have glanced at, perhaps if they managed to make it onto the Steam storefront.

Adventure games are probably the clearest example of these. Read the rest of this entry »





Review Supplement – Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime

8 04 2011

I have a feeling that my review of Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, which will be up on Gamedot sometime in the next week, puts me in an unflattering light. I think it reads like I’m an arrogant, snooty old sod whose had it in for this particular game right from the start. Maybe I’m a bad reviewer. Maybe I’m stuck up. Whatever the above-average levels of vitriol in the review (still not too much, hopefully) say about me, I think they’re an accurate reflection of my time spent with the game.

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Review Supplement – Men of War: Assault Squad

18 03 2011

When I’m not pretending to be a critic on this blog, I’m pretending to be a critic over at Gamedot.co.uk. This pretence has become so improbably successful that I’ve managed to fool the editor into sending me games, all in return for a mere 1,000 words of bile/praise-filled copy (delete as appropriate). On a more serious note, I am grateful for the opportunity, but from now on I hope to flesh out the reviews there with a little more subjective writing over in this little nook of the web.

This time round the subject is Men of War: Assault Squad, a second expansion in the World War II strategy series.

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