Gaming has never been better. Consoles, PCs, mobile devices and the Web all offer unique and innovative gaming experiences. Here, our geekiest gamers review the latest releases, talk trends and — once in a while — even go analog. We are the Button Mashers.
The always-angry Kratos returns today in God of War: Ascension. Is the game worth your time and your dollars?
He’s cleaved hundreds of creatures in half with his whirling chain-blades, plundered thousands glowing orbs from heavily guarded chests, bedded a dozen perky-breasted nymphs – often more than one at a time – and used his inhuman strength to literally move mountains.
Kratos, the big, bald badass we’ve come to know and love over eight years of God of War games, has every reason to be tired. And in God of War: Ascension, his weariness is finally beginning to show.
“Great to see you, Ted. You’ve really lost weight!”
Any new release in the Castlevania franchise is a pretty big deal, and fans have been especially eager for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate, which lands on the Nintendo 3DS today.
Our resident video editing/producing guru James Groome somehow overcame the technical barriers of capturing gameplay footage off a Nintendo 3DS screen, and put together an awesome standalone video review. Check it out here.
Hollywood’s appetite for reboots is so insatiable that you can almost count the minutes between a franchise running out of steam and the announcement that it’s being revived. Spider-Man 3 sucked? Reboot the series! That Superman reboot didn’t work out? Just reboot it a second time! Christopher Nolan’s all done with Batman? Maybe he is, but we aren’t! Reboot!
Video game reboots used to be a relative rarity, but with Halo 4 marking the return of Master Chief and DMC: Devil May Cry giving the demon-slayer Dante new moves and a new haircut, it makes sense that video gamedom’s most famous heroine is being reinvented for a new decade.
Raiden sure has come a long way since 2001’s Metal Gear Solid 2. Back then, our cyborg ninja protagonist was an amateur spy, loathed by the Metal Gear audience simply for being a far cry from series’ mainstay Solid Snake.
Fast-forward to 2008’s Metal Gear Solid 4 and it’s obvious that series mastermind Hideo Kojima and his team at Kojima Productions knew the character needed a serious influx of cool. So Raiden was reintroduced as a cyborg samurai, equipped with body armour and a deadly high-speed frequency blade capable of cutting through anything.
Knowing they had a game but unsure how to approach Raiden’s slice-and-dice nature while developing Metal Gear Rising, Kojima asked the Japanese action game experts at Platinum Games (of cult favourites Bayonetta and Vanquish) to step in and take the reins. After four years in development, we have the first MGS spinoff: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
Setting aside the weird, made-up subtitle, Kojima and Platinum have made a somewhat uneven game that settles for style over substance at every turn.
Okami HD is a beautifully rendered argument against the very idea of gaming as mindless violence.
Where other blockbuster games centre around carnage, destruction and personal achievement, Okami HD instead rewards creation and revitalization and selflessness. While the crux of the gameplay involves solving puzzles and fighting monsters, countless hours are also devoted to bringing dead trees back to life, feeding hungry animals and helping restore villagers’ self-esteem.
A vibrant, high-definition re-release of the acclaimed PlayStation 2 and Wii title, Okami HD is set in a fictional world resembling a watercolour painting of classical Japan. The adventure begins when a great evil descends upon Kakimi village and the surrounding land of Nippon. The powerful trees that once warded off bad spirits are left wilted and blackened. The once-lush landscapes are rendered barren and desolate. The people have lost their faith, both in themselves, and in a higher power.
The ancient sun goddess Amaterasu – Ammy for short – is awoken after 100 years of slumber. In the form of a white wolf, she sets about restoring the land. And in completing this quest, the pen – or, more accurately, brush – is mightier than the sword.
You’ll climb the backs of giant ogres, desperately hacking and slashing as they try to wriggle you off. You’ll triumph in the glory of slicing a chimera’s snake-tail from its body and watching it writhe in pain. You’ll gobble down health potions as bandits rain explosive arrows down upon you as wolves nip at legs. You’ll curse your luck as you hide in the shadows of a cave, waiting for the sun to come up and the monsters to go away.
But you won’t fall in love. You won’t make friends. And you won’t find yourself lost in a storybook tale within a rich fantasy universe.
Dragon’s Dogma is an action role-playing game that’s heavy on action, but sadly lacking in role-playing. Fortunately, its riveting combat and challenging gameplay mostly make up for a meatless plot and mindless characters that leave the world ringing hollow.
Sure, this game is closer to Jackson’s work than Tolkien’s but as developer Traveller’s Tales Lego video game series was built on the blocks of successful film and pop culture franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter, Jackson’s Academy-Award winning adaptation of Tolkien’s books is definitely deserving of the Lego treatment.
Thankfully, Lego LOTR isn’t a pile of broken blocks. This Balrog-sized adventure continues to honour the series’ clever-but-never-complicated platforming and puzzles with a new wealth of collectibles worth seeking out in every corner of Middle Earth.
Halo 4 isn’t hitting shelves until Nov. 6, but trigger-happy gamers need not wait that long to find out what’s happening in everyone’s favourite interstellar war.
Our own Professional Nerd Steve Tilley has a first look and review, complete with the above video, on all Sun Media sites, where he will be hosting a live chat at 12 p.m. ET to answer all your eager questions about this highly anticipated first-person shooter.
But I’m concerned no one will notice, both because gamers are still lukewarm about the Nintendo handheld, and because Super Mario 3D Land arrived during the launch window of several obvious Game of the Year candidates. Because for me, Mario’s inaugural 3DS adventure is among the more memorable game-related things to happen this year. Why?
Nathan Drake has never met a mode of transportation he couldn't spectacularly crash.
If there’s one thing most Star Wars fans can agree upon – other than George Lucas violated our memories of the original trilogy by way of an emo Anakin and jibbering Jar-Jar – it’s that The Empire Strikes Back was a better film than the original Star Wars itself.
Gaming has never been better. Consoles, PCs, mobile devices and the web all offer unique and innovative gaming experiences. Here, our geekiest gamers review the latest releases, talk trends and - once in a while - even go analog.