Review Roundup

It’s been nearly a month since I posted something! Time flies when you’re playing video games. And working, too, but mostly gaming. Not even Thanksgiving was enough to break me away from my console (it didn’t help that I took it with me on a family holiday). I’ve filled most of the time playing  a lot of Star Wars: Battlefront and Fallout 4, both of which are real time sinks.

Fallout 4 has been great. Maybe not as amazing as I had hoped, but it’s still a deep and interesting game. Even though it’s set in a brand new location, Fallout 4 is awfully familiar to the last two games. The sameness permeates through the entire game (it even reuses a lot of music from Fallout 3) to the point where it almost feels like an expansion. The game does offer some different and interesting things, but once you get past the kid’s menu of new mechanics, the rest is nothing you haven’t tasted before.

It’s biggest addition is something I refuse to touch until it gets overhauled. I’m talking about settlement building. I love the idea because it’d made for a nice break between exploration and combat. Unfortunately, trying to build housing from the first person view is an exercise in frustration. Pieces don’t snap together as best they should. Walls, doors, and other structural objects stick to each other but not the foundations they rest upon. What this settlement building desperately needs is a sort of Sims-like top down view. It’d make construction and interior decoration so much easier.

Any frustration and anger I feel towards Fallout 4 melts away when I go out to explore. The Commonwealth is an interesting place with a larger variety of territory. Cities, towns, neighborhoods, a boardwalk, a baseball field, lake towns, and highways create a much more interesting place to explore. Exploring is made even more fun when put up against the so-so main story. I solved the mystery that started at the beginning of the adventure, but now that it’s over I feel like I’m about to be pulled into a New Vegas ending that puts me at the epicenter of a dispute between the game’s major factions. That stuff isn’t interesting to me. I could care less about the factions and their goals (well, except The Brotherhood. They badmouthed Nick Valentine and they’re dead to me now). What I do care are the smaller stories of those who tried to survive since the Great War. It’s always cool to stumble onto small vignettes of people trying to survive and stumble upon the long dead victims of some tragedy.

Fallout 4 is great. Really great. But you’ve played this game twice already. There are new sights, things to do, and people to talk to but beyond that, it’s not particularly groundbreaking.

Looking for more reviews? Here are some of the more recent reviews I’ve done:

Calvino Noir

Calvino Noir struggles to overcome problems of its own making. The controls are clunky and make the game more difficult than it needs to be.

Teslapunk 

Teslapunk is a goofy, tongue-in-cheek shmup that puts the player inside a small, Victorian-era spaceship to do battle against a myriad of alien crafts. From snub fighters to massive battleships, Tesla must duck and weave through intricate bullet patterns in a quest to prevent the extinction of humanity.

Star Wars: Battlefront

The commercial Sony released for the game featuring two brothers and their shared love for the franchise, perfectly encapsulates the audience Battlefront primarily serves. For every adult who grew up playing with toys and setting up battles between the heroic Rebels and the evil Galactic Empire, Battlefront offers a chance to live out these flights of imagination. 

Inside My Radio

The disconnect between music and gameplay is noticeable because the two don’t play well together. The music itself isn’t particularly memorable and even though it offers different genres (though mostly those that allow for a loud, thumping beat), the soundtrack doesn’t go out of its way to be special. A fun idea on paper, Inside My Radio might benefit from a trip back to the drawing board.

Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5: Guardians obviously isn’t meant to be played for its by the numbers campaign. If your love for Halo falls strictly within the realm of multiplayer, then prepare yourself for a grand old time.

LEGO: Dimensions

LEGO Dimensions has a lot mote going for it than I initially expected. A friendly and accommodating attitude towards purchasing extra characters, fantastic integration of the game portal, and a really clever use of properties makes for a lot of creative and crazy mashups. The journey of LEGO Dimensions is a enjoyable but when all’s said and done, the portal and minifigs will just be toys; plastic pieces of joy that’ll sit on the shelf after the game ends. 

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