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Homefront: The Revolution - Xbox One
Homefront: The Revolution - Xbox One
Price: $29.99
89 used & new from $19.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Homefront: The Revolution is not even close to being a bad game, May 21, 2016
Warning: This game is buggy.

So, Homefront: The Revolution is secretly a pretty great game. Why is it a secret? It's because this game has gotten treated like it's up there with the worst of the worst (games like Drake of the 99 Dragons, Lair, etc). Why has it received said treatment? Because as I warned at the top of my reviews, this game's buggy. It's especially weird because this is a huge, ambitious game that could and should be more polished than it is. It makes no sense to make a game this good looking, this ambitious, then not bother to put the finishing touches on it. Why spend all of the money to create something like this if you're not going to add that final layer of polish? For example, you will see weird things in this game. NPCs will behave erratically, slide up and down staircases instead of walking up and down them, the A.I. of enemies will sometimes be incredibly dumb or incredibly smart, the framerate is sometimes serviceable or good but often worse than that, etc.

So why is it good? Because the game nails guerrilla warfare - it's not just another run & gun shooter. You have to play this game more methodically and make sure that you're stocked on health packs. It nails the feeling that you're living in an occupied city and you are but a mere man up against an army. That said, you will have resistance fighters fighting alongside you, and you'll spend time in the game winning the hearts and minds of the civilians as you fight back the occupying force.

Another thing this game does exceptionally well is setting; Homefront: The Revolution feels like a lived-in place with interiors littered with detail that really put in you the setting and immerse you. The graphics are also really detailed and help to immerse you. That said, since it is a rather buggy game, you will experience moments that break the immersion because of the jankiness.

In terms of the narrative, I'm pretty satisfied with everything. You'll grow to hate the enemy and grow to appreciate your allies. One ally in particular has really made me enjoy the story.

But as with most open world games, there's a lot of filler side content that doesn't really add much to the game outside of stretching out its length (around 25 hours).

Overall, I think this game deserves more credit than it's getting since I think it's actually really good. However, it also deserves criticism for its lack of polish (framerate, bugs). Again, if they had just added that final coat of polish to this game it'd be something truly special. As is, though, it's an ambitious and interesting game hamstrung by its technical shortcomings.

Laid Low
Laid Low
Price: $6.99
38 used & new from $4.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Successful Outing for Everything In Slow Motion, May 15, 2016
This review is from: Laid Low (Audio CD)
Everything In Slow Motion continues to be the best band signed to Facedown. Excellent musicianship, meaningful lyrics, powerful and melodic vocals, etc. While this is only an EP and short in comparison to Phoenix, not a moment is wasted. From beginning to end (5 songs), Laid Low excels. I can't wait for the next full-length.

Alekhine's Gun - PlayStation 4
Alekhine's Gun - PlayStation 4
Price: $29.97
52 used & new from $19.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If Hitman was made on a $10 budget, May 9, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As far as stealth games go, Alekhine's Gun, or Death to Spies 3 in its former life, is one that's pretty enjoyable. Levels are large, you have lots of weapons and other items to choose from if you decide to go a lethal route, and using disguises like in Hitman games makes it a lot of fun to take on the appearance of the enemies and trick them without them knowing that there's a mole among them. Sadly, as fun as all of that is, this game's pretty rough when it comes to the amount of polish, or lack thereof, given to it.

Graphically, it's underwhelming. While it's certainly not a looker, some levels are serviceable and aren't hideously offensive or anything, whereas as other levels, particularly levels with water, look really lousy. For whatever reason, the water in Alekhine's gun looks hilariously terrible and unfinished. I just wish that they had gotten rid of water altogether since looking at it is an eyesore. When you turn the camera near water, the water gets all jagged and sharp near the outer edges, and it just looks bad. Some levels are also REALLY dark. For example, the level 'Points on the Radar' is so dark at some points that it's hard to see anything. To add to this game's lackluster presentation, there's also awful framerate problems. Sometimes it's mediocre but playable, whereas other times it's chugging along and trying to keep up with what's happening on screen.

As down as I am on this game's presentation and how it performs, I did really enjoy my time with it as a stealth game. If it wasn't so messy, this could be a lot better. I'd imagine the PC version is exponentially better and doesn't have the issues that the console versions have, as I'd probably chalk this up to it being a quick & dirty port. I'll probably grab the PC version down the road when it's dirt cheap on Steam just so that I can play this without all of the technical issues.

I'm giving it 3 stars since 2 stars means that "I didn't like it" according to Amazon, and I certainly liked it, but just wish that it wasn't such a miserable game in terms of graphics and framerate performance. As is, though, I'd recommend most wait until it's like $10 or less since I can imagine some people being far less forgiving than I am.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 24, 2016 7:41 AM PDT

Generic Vertical Stand for PS4 Console - Black
Generic Vertical Stand for PS4 Console - Black
Offered by blue handcart
Price: $4.04
28 used & new from $1.20

5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap as dirt and works as it should, April 24, 2016
Picked up this exact same stand off of Ebay for $1.86 total and it works perfectly. Some reviews said it did not, however I think that they had it the wrong way and didn't fully snap it into place. The stand has two pieces of rubber on the inside, one on each side, which holds the console in place, and these will be at the back of the PS4 when the stand is applied properly. The outside of the stand that has a small rectangle that's not matte but more glossy is the side that should be on the front of your PS4.

Once applied correctly, the PS4 sits in the stand safely without any wiggle room.

Star Fox Zero + Star Fox Guard - Nintendo Wii U
Star Fox Zero + Star Fox Guard - Nintendo Wii U
Price: $49.81
82 used & new from $34.89

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better Than You've Heard, April 23, 2016
I'm not really understanding some of the hate this game is getting. While I was skeptical of the motion controls and use of both the TV and the Gamepad, switching between the two to play, I must say that it's not really a hindrance to enjoying the game at all. Quite honestly, I'm actually digging the controls quite a bit. That said, there is some patience and learning required when controlling the different forms.

I'm seeing some people criticize the graphics, however I must disagree with the notion that the graphics are bad. Are they realistic? No. Are they amazing? No. Are they vibrant and detailed enough? Definitely. Personally, I think Star Fox Zero is a nice looking game. It's not striving for realism, nor should it. Could some textures and ground surfaces use some more detail? Sure. But that doesn't make this game bad looking, in my opinion. As I said, I think it's a nice looking game and think people just expect way too much nowadays.

Gameplay, as stated, does take some practice, especially since there's various forms to play as, but that doesn't make the motion controls bad. Could some fine tuning be made to further improve and simplify the controls? Definitely. But just like the graphics, I find the gameplay more than good enough. Again, people are way too quick to complain about things nowadays. I've really enjoyed the challenging gameplay and bosses.

So why did I dock a point? Because, as stated, some things could be slightly improved to offer a more welcoming experience to the naysayers. Overall, though, this is easily one of my favorite Wii U games. I haven't played Star Fox Guard yet, hence the reason I haven't mentioned it, but I hear it's a pretty good time.

Ether One - PlayStation 4
Ether One - PlayStation 4
Price: $18.99
35 used & new from $13.49

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Puzzler w/ Heart, April 22, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Ether One is a bit like Myst meets Bioshock. It has the storytelling chops and the environments from a game like Bioshock, however its gameplay largely revolves around puzzles. It is by no means perfect, it will frustrate you at times, but it's also something that's worth experiencing.

Ether One's story deals with dementia and does so in a mature and heartbreaking way. Whether you've known someone with dementia or not, this game's narrative will hit you like a ton of bricks. It deals with a serious subject in a mature and thought-provoking way that many games fail to do when handling difficult topics.

As I said about the gameplay, this is a game based around puzzles. If you go from point a to point b without doing the side content, it's likely that you'll breeze through the game with little to no challenge. However, if you choose to do the side content, it'll be a far more challenging and lengthy game. If you do decide to do everything - and I think you should since some of this game's best moments are in the optional content - you may have to seek help on the internet to complete some of the puzzles since some of them can be incredibly difficult and frustratingly obtuse.

Before I end this review I'd like to mention the problems this game has. Sadly, this game can be a bit too buggy and unpolished at times. Firstly, the framerate is not great. Secondly, you may very well run into bugs/glitches that could potentially halt your progress. Lastly, I did have some audio issues pop up at points in the game.

Even with the flaws mentioned above, Ether One is a very compelling and interesting game that's worth the frustration.

Zombie Vikings - PlayStation 4
Zombie Vikings - PlayStation 4
Price: $19.95
37 used & new from $15.49

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't go wrong for only $20, April 22, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Zombie Vikings is a beat 'em up from the minds that brought us The Kore Gang for the Wii and Stick it to the Man for multiple platforms. If you're a fan of Castle Crashers and other 2D beat 'em ups/brawlers, do not hesitate to pick this up.

While the gameplay is fun and simplistic, there's some depth in the amount of different moves you can execute when mastering the game, in addition to the depth added with unlockable weapons and runes. This game is fun with or without friends. If you're into co-op, up to 4 people can play.

Now what really makes this game special is the story, soundtrack, and just the overall look of the game. If you're a fan of '90's Nickelodeon cartoons, Double Fine Productions games, or you've played other games from Zoink such as Stick it to the Man or The Kore Gang, this game will cater to your interests. It's silly, fun, charming, and there's not much to say bad about the game. If you've played Psychonauts or Stick it to the Man, you get to play as Raz from Psychonauts or Ray from Stick it to the Man, both in zombie form. :)

Overall, this game gets a recommendation from me. In terms of flaws, there aren't really any that I can think of beyond some framerate hiccups.

Alone With The Alone
Alone With The Alone
Offered by Game Weiver
Price: $3.45
156 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars I've listened to this album so many times and I never get tired of it, March 24, 2016
This review is from: Alone With The Alone (Audio CD)
I seriously miss this band. With so many other bands reuniting like Underoath, Thrice, Saosin, Thursday, etc., I'd love to see a Time In Malta reunion; Ryan Downey had some seriously great vocals. If you haven't heard this album or their other stuff, do yourself a favor and grab it. This was their last album and it was released 12 years ago yet it just gets better with time.

The Last Tinker City of Colors - PlayStation 4
The Last Tinker City of Colors - PlayStation 4
Price: $19.99
12 used & new from $14.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but enjoyable, March 15, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Last Tinker has been available as a digital download on PS4 for a while now, however I was interested in grabbing it on disc since I like to collect games, especially more niche games like this. At the low price of $19.99, it was a no brainer buy. If you already own it digitally, nothing new is included here.

As for the game, it's a platformer game that's bright & colorful resembling the old Rare games released on the N64 accompanied by very creative art direction. That said, it's not quite a platformer like the old Rare games in terms of gameplay. My biggest criticism is that you merely hold down a button to platform more akin to Assassin's Creed's climbing than a Banjo-Kazooie or Conker. Since the gameplay is pretty automated, it is by no means a challenging game, but it's still a fun one that's enjoyable to play because it's a nice palette cleanser when you've been playing a lot of more "realistic" games.

If gameplay is incredibly important to you, you may be disappointed because its platforming is automated and its combat is simplistic. However, if you just want to play a game with nice environments, a decent story, and something a bit more whimsical, this is a good little game for $19.99.

Offered by Game Acropolis
Price: $67.98
69 used & new from $62.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're a fan of Raiden, you owe it to yourself to play Raiden V, March 15, 2016
This review is from: RAIDEN V (Video Game)
I was initially worried that Raiden V would go back to the slower pace of Raiden III when I saw some gameplay videos of it a while back. While I did really enjoy Raiden III, Raiden IV was a significant improvement, IMO. So once I got Raiden V in the mail from Ami Ami, I didn't know what to expect.

I took the wrap off of the game's case, removed the game disc (a soundtrack CD was also included), and installed it to the Xbox One (it also had a patch to download and install). After playing the game for 10 minutes, I was hooked. Raiden V is everything Raiden IV was and more. Whereas Raiden III was slower and Raiden IV was a little bit faster paced, Raiden V is incredibly fast paced. After 4 or 5 stages, my eyes were watering and my brain was melting. Compared to the previous games, this almost feels a bit more like a "bullet hell." Now, it's not quite a Cave game or anything like that, but it seemed a lot more busy than the other Raiden's. IMO, that isn't a bad thing at all, especially when it's done as well as it's done here.

One complaint is that I think that there could be a few more different enemies so that there was a tad bit more variety - but honestly, that's a pretty complaint since Raiden V really is one of the better STGs I've played in recent times.

Also, I must say that the soundtrack in this game flat out rocks. If you like guitar solos, you won't be disappointed.

So basically, IMO, I think that Raiden V is my favorite entry in the Raiden franchise, and that's no easy task given the legacy of the franchise.

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