Video Games

Reviews of both new release and older video games and computer games.

Crackdown 3 Is Fine, but That’s Just Not Enough

Just I did during the long wait for Kingdom Hearts III, I had all but given up on Crackdown 3 ever entering my disc tray. After years of rocky development, multiple delays, and outright radio silence from Microsoft, I thought I’d never get the sequel to one of my favorite Xbox 360 games of all time. But Crackdown 3 is finally here and feels almost identical to the original game that inspired the troubled series—for better or worse. This...

Apex Legends Gets Battle Royales Out of a Rut

Let’s get one thing straight: battle royales are a dime a dozen these days. You could throw a metaphorical dart out and chances are good you’ll hit at least one. It’s tough to be a battle royale game; for every one that’s made it big, there are two or three that didn’t. Last year alone was littered with the graves of more than a few. Enter Apex Legends, the new free-to-play battle royale first-person shooter from Respawn Entertainment set in...

With Resident Evil 2, Capcom Once Again Proves Its Mastery of Video-Game Remakes

Seventeen years ago, Capcom released the remake to the original Resident Evil on the Nintendo GameCube. At the time, it set the standard for how to perfectly execute a remake of a beloved video game: update the graphics, add new features, tweak the formula, and fix the problems that plagued the original. Fast-forward to 2019, and Capcom finally gives us a remake of the sequel, the aptly named Resident Evil 2. Applying the same method, Capcom has once again...

Megaquarium Makes a Splash on Tycoon Games

The late 1990s and early 2000s were a great time for business simulators (so-called tycoon games)—in my elementary school days one of my favorites was Zoo Tycoon, particularly the Marine Mania expansion pack. Unfortunately, whoever owns the rights seems unable or unwilling to re-release it on a digital platform, and while we’ve gotten our fair share of games attempting to recreate the magic of RollerCoaster Tycoon, clones of its animal counterpart are far and few between. Megaquarium, created by...

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Gives Fans Everything They Could Ask for and More

The original Super Smash Bros. was released back in 1999 on the Nintendo 64, and it taught us what happens when beloved Nintendo characters stop being polite and start getting real. The game featured 12 total characters from nine different Nintendo franchises, including Mario, Luigi, Pikachu, Link, and Samus. By contrast, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate features 74 different fighters in the base game, drawing from numerous franchises—not all of which are made by Nintendo. Smash Bros. Ultimate had lofty...

Return of the Obra Dinn Is Mystery at Its Finest

A ship of the East India Company washes up in a harbor, the crew missing or dead. It’s the Obra Dinn, which set sail four years prior and was never heard from again. You’ve been hired as an insurance investigator to determine what happened to the ship and its crew. Return of the Obra Dinn is the latest game by Lucas Pope, creator of 2013’s fantastic dystopian immigration checkpoint game Papers, Please. You’ve been given a tall order, so...

Pokémon: Let’s Go! Delivers a Wonderful Update That Effectively Combines Old and New

As an avid Pokémon fan from the very beginning, I was cautiously optimistic when Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! were announced in May 2018. On the one hand, the franchise was finally coming to the Switch, even though it wasn’t a mainline release or even the rumored eighth generation, was wonderful news even if it was yet another remaster of a game released back in 1998. On the other hand, how would the Pokémon Go–style catching...

Red Dead Redemption 2 Shows What Video-Game Storytelling Can Do

Regret is powerful. And while it affects everyone differently, it’s how we deal with our regrets that defines who we are today and who we will be tomorrow. In a medium known for virtual killing and dying without consequence, regret is a theme almost never explored in video games. It happens to also be what makes Red Dead Redemption 2 such a powerful and memorable experience. In storytelling and world-building, Rockstar Games truly pushes video games into uncharted territory. This...

The Room Is a Must-Play Series for Any Fan of Puzzle Games

As a general rule, I don’t like paying for mobile games. So many end up loaded with microtransactions or start feeling like a second job with the amount of grinding required. But recently, on a whim, I purchased a game called The Room (sorry, no connection to Tommy Wiseau) and was so impressed by it I ended up buying the rest of the series: The Room Two, The Room Three, and the slightly more imaginatively titled The Room: Old Sins....

Escape from Tarkov Is Stress Inducing in the Best Way Possible

I really didn’t like Escape from Tarkov when I first started. I’d load into a map and be dead in less than five minutes. Rinse and repeat. To put it bluntly, I was miserable. Then, I had my first big score. I had some middling loot—just some ammo and other junk, but I was alive. Nearing the extraction point in a sprawling building complex, I spotted another player skulking around outside. He turned the corner and—bang bang—it was over...
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