Sssnakes Review (Cubed3)

Developer: EnjoyUpGames
Publisher: EnjoyUpGames
Played on: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: June 2, 2016
Paid: $0 (Key provided for review)

Snake has existed in one form or another for around 40 years, now, so it would be unsurprising if the classic “eat things to grow longer” formula had worn out its welcome by now. Evidently not, as Sssnakes seeks to add more to the game than just a few extra consonants in the title. Featuring a wealth of stages, new game mechanics, and colourful, updated visuals, the question remains: is it better to leave the classics untouched?

Read the full review here [Cubed3]

NEO AQUARIUM: The King of Crustaceans Review

355240_20170318213820_1.jpgDeveloper: Nussoft
Publisher: AGM PLAYISM
Played on: PC
Release Date: June 8, 2015
Time Played (Steam): 62 minutes
Played with: Xbox 360 Controller
Paid: N/A

NEO AQUARIUM: The King of Crustaceans is a game about cock-fighting with sea creatures.  Did I mention they’re armed with lasers?  Well, they are.

Now, chances are those sentences elicited one of two responses: an open-mouthed, “Um, WHAT?!?!”, or a smirk, followed by, “Now this, I’ve got to see”.  As you may have guessed, I fell into the latter camp.  However, I quickly discovered that NEO AQUARIUM’s scattershot, nonsensical ideas extend far beyond its basic premise.  Its gameplay, controls, and even performance are all over the place, making for an often chaotic, unpredictable experience.  For this reason, I find it all the more surprising that the whole thing is so painfully mundane. Continue reading

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Review

274170_20170301143000_1Developer: Dennaton Games
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Played on: PC
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Time Played (Steam): 9.6 hours
Played with: Mouse & Keyboard
Paid: $5.49 (Digital Special Edition)

Those of you who follow my work somewhat regularly know that life hasn’t really been the greatest as of late.  Without going into the unpleasant details, let’s just say that there have been many days where getting home from class has involved a dramatic flop onto my bed, an arm draped over my forehead, and a long, heavy sigh.  Surprisingly, though, I found something of a cure to this funk: horrifically graphic killing sprees.  Thankfully, not in real life (I’m writing this in a Starbucks, not a prison cell or a safe-house), but in the neon-soaked world of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number.  Despite the fact that it’s been awhile since I played the first Hotline Miami, diving back into its world of blood and carnage seemed to be second nature.  Unfortunately, part of the reason for this is that Wrong Number is just a little bit too familiar. Continue reading

I’m Not Dead

282140_20160916134549_1I mean, the title really says it all, right?  But seriously, I know that it’s been a while since I last posted.  If you follow me on Twitter (@Olivigarden, for those of you that don’t know…hooray, self-promotion!), you may have seen my tweets about how everything basically went to hell and back.  Well, at this point in my prolific (HA) games journalism career, I feel that it’s probably in my best interests to keep my personal and professional (HAHAHA) lives separate for the most part.  Unfortunately, certain events have a way of making it so that focusing on anything (including being a functional human being) is extremely difficult.  I’ll avoid going into the gory details, but since February 11, I’ve been dealing with some…ahem…distressing personal circumstances.  Don’t worry, nobody died.  But, well, something did. Continue reading

Alice: Madness Returns Review

splashDeveloper: Spicy Horse Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Played on: PC
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Time Played (Steam): 17.4 hours
Played With: Steam Controller
Paid: $6.50

Alice: Madness Returns is a game that attempts to convey the realities of a descent into madness to the player, and in that regard, it is an unequivocal success.  Unfortunately, that’s because it is one of the most maddening games that I’ve played recently.  It’s a game that feels like it had so much effort poured into certain aspects, while others were left to waste away in irrelevance.  And unfortunately, most of the latter were the elements that would make it a compelling and enjoyable game. Continue reading

The Architect Review

375420_20170110203638_1Developer: Spooky Star
Publisher: Spooky Star
Played on: PC
Release Date: June 4, 2015
Time Played (Steam): 2.4 hours
Played With: Mouse & Keyboard
Paid: $0 (Key provided by promoter)

Where does one start with a game like The Architect?  In all honesty, sitting down to write this review is just giving me traumatic flashbacks to the displeasure that was this game.  I wish I had something witty or insightful to say about it, but nothing’s really coming to mind.  The music’s okay…I guess?  At least, it would be, if there was more than a handful of compositions available.  What I’m trying to say is that this could get messy.  The unfortunate thing is that this is my first time doing an “official” review, where I was actually provided a key by someone promoting the game.  If this is a sign of things to come…oh boy. Continue reading

The Games I Wish I Had Played in 2016

Well, it’s officially 2017 around the world.  The start of a new year.  Which means that everyone’s looking back on the last year and going, “Well that was a bit toss, wasn’t it?”  That is, except for the people who are taking the opportunity to look back at their fond memories from the year past, namely when it comes to video games.  There were countless fantastic games that got released last year, so many of which I desperately wanted to try out.  Unfortunately, as a university student, there are two things that I severely lack in: money and time.  As a result, it is incredibly common that I have to watch as new releases are hyped, released, and enjoyed by the masses, while waiting patiently for the day that they inevitably go on sale and I actually have the time to sit down with them.  Some of these games have been sitting in my library for months, awaiting their eventual installation.  Others are on my wishlist, hoping to one day be added to my ever-growing backlog.  Whatever the case, these are (in no particular order) the games that I wish I had gotten to in 2016.  You can also consider this to be a “To play in 2017” list, if that’s your thing.  Either way, you’ve probably all already played all of these and think I’m a pleb for not looking at them yet.

Okay.  😦 Continue reading