“When you wind up on a well-rounded team that works together cohesively and uses each class’s abilities intelligently, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online’s brutal multiplayer firefights are among the most satisfying you’ll find in a free-to-play game. Matches don’t always click though, and since the fun in each encounter hinges on how well your team works together, getting stuck with a bunch of meathead bullet sponges can spoil your killing groove. However, a great cover system, balanced class perks, and some cool high-tech gadgets make the moments where it all comes together feel immensely satisfying.”
Check out my full written review, and the cool video review featuring the sultry voice of editor Kevin VanOrd, here at GameSpot.
“The original Orcs Must Die! certainly lived up to its delightfully murderous name. Stemming the tide of marauding orcish hordes by laying out a complex network of spring-loaded spikes, arrow traps, and other deadly hazards proved a titillating pursuit punctuated by flying limbs and snappy one-liners. The third-person perspective and hands-on approach to grinding up insane numbers of charging foes set Orcs Must Die! apart from most games in the tower defense genre, but a lack of multiplayer held it back from true greatness. It’s good to see that this flaw has been remedied in Orcs Must Die! 2. Tons of crafty traps primed for maximum orc slaughter and an all-new co-op mode featuring a saucy sorceress companion add some serious weight to this rowdy sequel.”
“The meticulously orchestrated chaos that erupts on the battlefield as squads of well-armed future soldiers duke it out in Fray’s asynchronous turn-based encounters certainly appeals on a strategic level. But this multiplayer-only affair rapidly bleeds out its potential with only the lightest prodding. A sparse player community and an abundance of technical glitches spoil the satisfaction that comes from a match well played against a balanced opponent.”
“It’s immediately apparent after digging into Minecraft on the Xbox 360 that the platform is well suited for Mojang’s first-person sandbox-style building adventure. From comfortable controls and the effortlessness of jumping into multiplayer co-op over Xbox Live, to detailed in-game tutorials and a more user-friendly crafting system, this updated yet scaled-down port of the indie hit is deliciously accessible. Total newcomers to the game will no doubt find themselves blissfully swept away by the many opportunities for open-ended creativity found throughout the Xbox 360 edition. While coming to this version after spending lots of time playing Minecraft on PC is a jarring and disappointing experience, the joy of free-form exploring, building, and adventuring in randomly generated blocky worlds is nicely reproduced here.”
“Darkness is a powerful force. Not knowing what lies beyond the safety of the light can be absolutely terrifying to those with an overactive imagination. But fearful fantasy turns deadly in the bucolic town of Bright Falls, Washington, where the whispering shadows hold untold horrors that reach out from the darkness. Alan Wake spins into an intensely atmospheric psychological thriller that bends the barrier between reality and fiction until it snaps, delivering a chilling story-driven experience without leaning too heavily on schlocky gore. With a beautifully updated graphics engine and free pack-in downloadable content that fills in some of the gaps left by the original’s cliff-hanger ending, the PC version is worth the long wait.”
“When Rhythm Heaven was first launched, it opened up a Pandora’s box of musical minigame mania that tipped the weirdness scale with its goofy rhythm challenges and cartoony antics. Tapping out complex rhythms while harvesting beets in the garden or juggling scientific beakers filled with dangerous substances offered some refreshingly oddball ways to get your groove on, and for the series’ console debut, Rhythm Heaven Fever brings even more creative craziness to the table. It’s easily as bizarre as its portable predecessors, and it’s just as challenging. But the ever-rotating array of charming activities keeps the sometimes frustrating difficulty curve at bay long enough for the addictive gameplay and infectious tunes to take hold.”
“When so many sword-swinging games seem to readily devolve into frantic button pounding where you slice and dice foes into itty bits, it’s refreshing to stumble across one that takes a more strategic, thoughtful approach to bladed combat. Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword doesn’t skimp on the ol’ stabby-stabby, but it favors precision and split-second timing over chaos and flying limbs. There’s a cool sense of honor that comes from dueling foes one-on-one, even when you’re fighting a large group. It’s also easy to get sucked into the campaign, thanks to the rhythmic nature of each battle and the rewarding progression system.”
“Considering the Nintendo eShop was restructured around the 3DS, it’s disappointing to see that it still has a pitiful selection of new 3D games available. As one of the few non-retro downloadable games designed to make specific use of the handheld’s 3D capabilities, Mighty Switch Force makes a lasting impression with its creative switch mechanic. The ability to swap blocks between the foreground and the background turns basic platforming action into brain-bending puzzle chaos, and that’s a good thing–while it lasts.”
“There’s something infinitely satisfying about causing a 15-car pileup at 80mph that produces fiery explosions, sends twisted scrap metal rocketing in all directions, and flings drivers through the air like rag dolls. The FlatOut series has never been much for realism and instead has favored physics-heavy vehicular carnage at high speeds. And that’s exactly what you find in FlatOut 3: Chaos & Destruction–only it’s amped up to the third degree. True to its name, this arcade-style demolition racer is over the top in every way. Slamming into rival cars and smashing through the scenery en route to the finish line is packed with adrenaline-pumping thrills, yet all the chaotic fun unravels when it starts to get in the way of achieving the staunch precision that’s needed to win races and progress. ”
“Minecraft is dangerous. You can sit down to a new randomly generated world for a quick session only to snap out of the creative haze many hours later to realize you’ve forgotten to eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom. There’s always just one more tunnel to carve, one more resource to harvest, one more tool to forge, or one more to-scale replica of the Star Trek Enterprise to re-create block by block. The ability to exercise limitless freedom and mold the game’s retro fantasy world to your liking is powerfully addictive, and this indie-developed sandbox phenomenon holds a staggering level of depth. Some of the game’s elements still feel rough and unfinished, but nevertheless, once Minecraft sinks its hooks into you, it won’t let go. ”
Check out the full review here at GameSpot, and also be sure to scope out the very cool video review too.