Reject Review – Dead Island: Riptide

RRDeadIsland

Dead Island was a glitch-ridden shitload of fun and Riptide could have advanced that loveable formula. But it added the one thing that undid everything: Water. It added fucking water.

A trivial addition, it may first seem. A harmless new terrain packed with pockets of splash-happy fun with your friends. There’s boats, too, for zipping around the swamplands and flattening the undead. How we laughed as their bodies ground against the hull! How we cackled as their armless remains flailed in our wave trail! We felt unstoppable.

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Reject Review – Celtic Kings: Rage of War

RRCelticKings

Celtic Kings styles itself as ‘[a] great mixture of two genres – adventure and real-time strategy [with] beautifully stylized 2D graphics [and] an inspiring storyline set during the Gallic Wars’. Nowhere in that list does it say ‘the most prolonged escort mission since Callgirls 3: Banker’s Bonus’.

I’ve seen less blatant padding in a drag queen’s bra. The devs were all about two things: putting vital locations on opposite map corners, and druids. Druid is another word for speed trap.

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Reject Review – Might and Magic VI

RRM&MVIMight and Magic VI is a game composed entirely of fetch quests. You go on six fetch quests for the items required to unlock another four fetch quests which will, eventually, allow you access to a fetch quest. I’d love to see the planning room for this project:

“Okay, Steve, we need you to go and get an old lady’s groceries. Then, with the money she gives you, catch a bus to the home of a guy who delivers The Yellow Pages for a living. If you bring him a newspaper he will let you look through a spare copy for a freelance programmer. When you get to his house…”

And then, after procuring the wine, flowers, French Chef and Barry White CD needed to make the programmer’s girlfriend forgive him for forgetting to feed her goldfish, Steve sat down and wrote the game plot.

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Mass Effect 2 is Overrated

Written 07/03/2012. First posted here.

Mass Effect 2 isn’t a particularly bad game; but it certainly isn’t a perfect one, either. After the almighty critical success of the first, people expected a follow-up that was practically perfect in every way. That’s what they got… or so they like to believe.

When you ask someone if they like Mass Effect 2, you’ll get one of two responses: that they love it unconditionally, or that they liked it but it wasn’t amazing. Seldom do you find someone who outright hates it, which is rare for a popular series.

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Skyrim Review – Its Problems Are Legion, For They Are Many

Written 21/02/2012. First posted here.

Hesitantly, I pushed open the door. Before me lay a tunnel heading deep into the earth. To my right, about five feet down the passageway, was a door. I tried the handle.

Barred from the other side.

“Oh,” I said, “This’ll be my shortcut out at the end of the dungeon.”

It’s no way to play a game. Catacomb or cave, ancient temple or mystic pilgrim’s path: Bethesda have a formula and they’re sticking to it. It consists of a long crawl through twisty tunnels, the occasional large room to spice things up, and a whole lot of cannon fodder. There will be trippable traps. Even if it’s a sewer.

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Project Zomboid Review – Dying Is Fun

Written 21/11/2011. First posted here.

The word of the day, boys and girls, is ‘bleak’. Synonyms include: desolate, dismal, disheartening, and dear god let it end.

Today’s colour will be purple; as in prose. Not quite ‘limitless abysses of inexplicably coloured twilight and bafflingly disordered sound’ but with more than a touch of the ultraviolet nonetheless. This is purely because it fits the feel of the game, and isn’t the slightest bit really fun to write.

Project Zomboid is a post-apocalyptic survival game from Indie Stone. It’s in open development, so this review should be absolutely useless by Christmas, but as I type this we’re on version 0.1.5d, it’ll cost you £4.99, and the developers were robbed just over a month ago and could really use the cash.

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