Reviews

Atari VCS Review (2021) | 'Hard to recommend as anything other than an oddity'

After covering the PS5 and Xbox Series X, I thought I had wrapped up hardware reviews for 2020. However, the year that keeps on giving snuck one more console in on me. I backed the Atari VCS campaign on Indie Go-Go way back in 2018 as a curiosity, and in the final week of 2020, the console (and its accessories) randomly showed up on my doorstep. Since there’s so much mystery around the project and what the console will offer, I felt that an Atari VCS review is a great way to kick off 2021. The

Destiny 2: Beyond Light Review | 'Beyond Light is the first note in a dirge for Destiny 2'

Destiny 2: Beyond Light review for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Stadia. Destiny 2: Beyond Light is here, and it’s the game’s “biggest update yet,” but for all the wrong reasons. The release of Beyond Light isn’t the only significant change to come to Destiny 2 recently. We also got the wombo combo of the Destiny Content Vault and gear sunsetting. Yes, you can now spend $40 for a few hours of a new campaign and a few new activities and get the disappointment of losing 20 hours of

Godfall Review | 'An excellent first impression that quickly fades to monotony'

Godfall review for PS5 and PC. Godfall is a game that’s stuck in time. The graphics and combat are top-notch, delivering what you’d expect of a modern hack-and-slash with some unique aspects thrown in the mix. However, when it comes to story and game design, Godfall feels more like it’s out of the early-2000s. Unfortunately, this produces a title that makes an excellent first impression that quickly fades to monotony. Like hundreds of games from the days of the NES, SNES, PS1, etc., Godfall‘s s

The Pathless Review | 'Does nothing to carve its niche amongst its peers'

The Pathless review for PS5, PS4, and PC. Giant Squid scored critical acclaim with its first game Abzu. The simplistic narrative and gameplay of that title, and the success that stemmed from it, influenced the studio’s latest title, The Pathless. This time around, players must go a bit more hands-on, as The Pathless takes more influence from Breath of the Wild than it does from Abzu’s spiritual predecessor Journey. Unfortunately, The Pathless overly relies on “artsy” conventions in its design a

Demon's Souls PS5 Review | 'Not as lauded as its successor, but no less timeless'

Demon’s Souls isn’t as lauded as its successor, but it’s no less timeless. The PS5 remake from Bluepoint Games is my first time playing through the game that started it all, and it’s now my favorite of the series. It’s a leaner experience and is split into five linear worlds that focus the player toward a goal. However, the fact that the player can change between these worlds, and the levels that make them up, freely makes Demon’s Souls infinitely more approachable than Dark Souls, Bloodborne, o

Sackboy: A Big Adventure Review | 'Competence doesn't equal a classic'

It seems like a rule that every console needs a platformer as a launch title, and the PS5 has Sackboy: A Big Adventure. For this game, Sackboy moves up to 3D, and the world is pre-created. It’s a cute, run-of-the-mill 3D platformer that makes for a family-friendly intro to the PS5, and there’s even a PS4 version for those who aren’t ready (or aren’t able due to supply issues) to move up to Sony’s latest console yet. Unlike the series Sackboy originated in, Little Big Planet, there’s no user-cre

Observer: System Redux Review | 'Incredibly relevant for 2020'

Observer is my favorite Bloober Team title to date, and it’s hard to believe it’s been three years since it was released. The Polish cyberpunk dystopia still haunts me with its oppressive, lonely atmosphere, and unrelenting body horror. Its simple setting, a rotting, dilapidated Krakow apartment building in 2084, unfurls into a spiderweb of narratives that players must navigate as KPD detective Daniel Lazarski. Despite being a striking game in its 2017 release, Observer wasn’t without issue. As

Astro's Playroom Review | 'An intensely fun introduction to the PS5 that rivals Wii Sports'

Nintendo has Mario, Sega has Sonic, Microsoft has Master Chief, but Sony never really latched onto a single character to represent its brand (no, Toro and Polygon Guy don’t count). This changed when Sony embraced Astro Bot as the pseudo-mascot of the PSVR, and he quickly became a fan favorite. Now, Astro is back in the PS5 pack-in game Astro’s Playroom, which serves as an introduction to the system, specifically its new controller, the DualSense. The fact that the PlayStation 5 comes with a pac

PlayStation 5 Review | 'Not perfect, but daring'

The PlayStation 5 is less than a week from release, and we’ve spent the last two weeks diving into Sony’s latest console. The bold design of the PS5 is matched by excellent performance and a beautiful new UI. However, there are some aspects of the console that are rough around the edges. We dive into each aspect of the hardware in our PS5 review below. The design of the PlayStation 5 is a significant departure from the utilitarian lines of the PS4 family of consoles. It’s a large console — it’s

Yakuza: Like a Dragon Review | 'A great new start for a fantastic series'

Yakuza: Like a Dragon review for Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC. Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a new beginning for the series in many ways. It introduces a new protagonist, a new turn-based combat system, and a relatively self-contained story. This is a gamble for Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, as up to this point, each entry in the series has primarily focused on one character, Kazuma Kiryu, and featured similar gameplay. The amount of effort that went into the game’s creation, along with the first Englis

Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S Review | 'A hefty amount of storage for such a small package'

The Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S revitalizes that classic gaming accessory, the memory card. However, unlike those relics, the oldest of which could only hold 16 or so saves, the Seagate Expansion Card can pack tens of the latest AAA titles and allow the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S to access them at the same super-fast speeds as it can with its internal storage. Xbox Series X|S optimized games require an SSD to be installed. Unfortunately, that means that USB HDDs are

Xbox Series X Review | 'The most powerful console ever lives up to its moniker'

Microsoft’s next-gen consoles are here, and we had the opportunity to spend around two weeks with the Xbox Series X before writing our review. The Xbox Series X is the premium model of the two new consoles, targeting enthusiasts and those with 4K displays. On paper, the Series X is the most powerful console ever made, and so far, it’s lived up to its moniker well. The Xbox is a box. Well, actually, it’s more of a rectangle, but it’s boxy all the same. It’s hard to not look at this console as a

Remothered: Broken Porcelain Review | 'The first game to break me'

Remothered: Broken Porcelain review for PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One. I’ve reviewed around 200 titles since I started writing about games professionally, and I finished each of them. It doesn’t matter whether I’m having fun or not; I play until the credits roll. At least that was the case until this review. Remothered: Broken Porcelain, ironically, is the first game to break me. It’s an absolute mess that borders on unplayable. I estimate I completed around half of it before the 50th or so gam

Port Royale 4 Review | 'Not bad, just unambitious'

Port Royale 4 review for PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. Some might be confused into thinking Port Royale 4 is a naval-centric game. It’s not, though players do have to manage a large fleet of ships. It’s a trading management/town builder set in the late 16th century with the Caribbean as the backdrop. Players expecting a swashbuckling adventure will be disappointed by the lack of cannon fire and the preponderance of menus. This game is more “yo-ho-ho trade a bottle of rum” than many fa

Star Wars Squadrons Review | 'A flawed homage to flight sims of decades past'

Star Wars: Squadrons review for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Star Wars: Squadrons is a return to what was once a staple of Star Wars gaming. In the 90s and early-2000s, there were two great Star Wars flight series produced, X-Wing and Rogue Squadron. The former leaned towards flight simulation, with players handling complex targeting, communications, power management, and weapons systems. The latter was more of an arcade shooter, a very point-and-shoot type of game. Squadrons lies somewhere in the mi

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim Review | Get in the robot

Vanillaware is one of those strange studios that manages to carve out its place in the gaming world at its own pace. Its games have taken 2D game art to its pinnacle, and no studio (save for maybe Arc System Works) can match Vanillaware’s mastery of sprites. After seven years without a release, the studio is back with 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. This game mixes Vanillaware’s iconic art style while breaking into new territory for the studio. Previous Vanillaware titles, including Odin Sphere and Dr

Super Mario 3D All-Stars Review | Shooting stars fail to break the mold

Oh Nintendo, for all your innovation and quality, you continuously miss the mark with your treatment of your back catalog. Out of all the video game companies to ever exist, Nintendo is likely the most wholly beloved. Despite a misstep here and there, the company’s first-party titles are largely hailed as masterpieces and frequently listed as some of the best games of all time. Despite this, Nintendo’s policy concerning its classics is haphazard at best, with the recent release of Super Mario 3D

EPOS|Sennheiser GSP 602 Headset Review | Great sound, fair price

Sennheiser is a leading name in enthusiast and professional-grade audio, and its gaming division has split off into a new company, EPOS. The EPOS GSP 602 (official site) is one of the company’s latest products, and it joins the legions of gaming-centric headsets on the market. If you’re a gaming enthusiast, you know there are tons of headphones out there that purport to be the first or the best. These RGB-laden, bright-colored devices do their best to garner attention, but how different are the

EPOS|Sennhesier GSX 300 Review | Small box, big sound

PC owners, I’m sorry, but there’s a big chance the DAC on your motherboard sucks. Sure, higher-end boards usually have a fancier sound card, but it’s probably the bare minimum unless you’re paying top dollar. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to solve the issue. External sound cards like the EPOS|Sennheiser GSX 300 (official site) bypass your onboard audio entirely and can make a huge difference in your aural experience. The GSX 300 is a very modest device. Open the box, and you’ll see the bare

Crusader Kings 3 Review | In the company of kings

Crusader Kings 3 review for PC. It’s easy to confuse Crusaders Kings for a series that’s only about stats and strategy. Those are two crucial aspects, but at its heart, Crusader Kings is about stories. Crusader Kings 3 brings that to the forefront, with more characterization options, events, and a new UI that makes the whole thing much more pleasant to handle. Despite the added user-friendliness, Crusader Kings 3 is still far from a choose your own adventure game. It remains true to its grand s
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