Madden 18 Longshot Mode Impressions

by Matthew Thompson

Madden used to be an annual Day 1 purchase for me. Due to a number of factors, I started getting the game less often until it became a rental the past couple of years. Part of it was me branching out into a lot of different genres and preferring my sports time be spent watching the real thing. The other issue is one often levied at sports games: a lack of substantial upgrades for each new entry. The fact that I was buying a glorified roster update started to grate on me. That is one reason I was excited to see EA announce the new Longshot mode for Madden 18 at E3 this year. After playing through it last week, it is safe to say that this new story mode is different from anything that has been a part of Madden in the past and a welcome addition to the long-running series Continue reading

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Nier: Automata Review

by Matthew Thompson

In Nier: Automata, you’ll play as several different androids as they wage war against robotic foes. You fight on behalf of the humans. The robots, for alien invaders. This is the jumping off point for a moving narrative with a philosophical bent. While the story focuses on beings of artificial intelligence, it really utilizes them to explore various topics related to human nature. Love, the meaning of life, the concept of family and the fear of death are just some of the weighty subjects Automata tackles. The result is a journey that is often touching, occasionally uncomfortable and always thought-provoking Continue reading

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Review

by Matthew Thompson

There are few series in gaming that I love as much as The Legend of Zelda. I’m particularly fond of the 3D entries. The fact that we only get one of these every five or so years makes the already anticipated release of a new Zelda into a true gaming event. The latest in the storied franchise came out alongside Nintendo’s newest console the Switch to the ravest of reviews this past March. While I can’t say Breath of the Wild lived up to the overwhelming amounts of hype that surrounded its release, it is a fantastic game – one of my personal favorites in a series not exactly short on superlative outings – and a bold reinvention for the 30-plus year old franchise Continue reading

Horizon Zero Dawn Review

by Matthew Thompson

From the very first time we saw Horizon Zero Dawn, it was clear we were in for something different from Guerrilla Games. The oppressive tone, dreary environments and multiplayer focus of their flagship Killzone series are gone here in favor of a sprawling solo adventure into a vibrant new gaming world. One had to wonder how the developer would handle such a big step outside of their comfort zone, but Horizon delivers with a journey into an intriguing new sci-fi universe and some of the best third-person shooter combat around all brought to life via the Dutch dev’s sterling technical skills Continue reading

Nintendo Switch Hardware Review

by Matthew Thompson

The Nintendo Switch looks to offer new possibilities for the gaming public. Is it a true portable/home console hybrid offering gamers the best of both worlds? Or is it a jack of all two trades, master of none? After two weeks with Nintendo’s latest, I’m here with my initial impressions on what the hardware has to offer Continue reading

My Gaming Recap: January 2017

by Matthew Thompson

Hey everyone! While I finished my year-end posts and talked about some of the games coming in 2017 last month, I didn’t really get to discuss anything I have been playing recently. This post will cover the games I finished and started playing in January and I hope to do this after each month ends to discuss any games I haven’t had the chance to make a more substantial post for. Well, here it goes Continue reading

Returning to Croft Manor

by Matthew Thompson

One thing I have sorely missed in the rebooted Tomb Raider series is Croft Manor. Over the years, Lara’s family home has served many purposes from training ground to self-contained Metroidvania-esque experience to plot-driven setpiece location. In 2008’s Tomb Raider: Underworld, we even discovered a hidden tomb lying beneath the Croft estate in the game’s underrated DLC Beneath the Ashes. We did get brief glimpses of the Manor during cutscenes in last year’s Rise of the Tomb Raider, but it wasn’t until this Fall’s downloadable content titled Blood Ties that we would be able to fully explore the famous heroine’s home again for the first time in nearly a decade Continue reading

ReCore ReView

by Matthew Thompson

ReCore gets off to such a promising start that it is hard not to fall for the game early on. In many ways it feels like a throwback to games from a time gone by. Cinematic ambition and storytelling take a back seat to the nuts and bolts of gameplay here. Platforming is prominent and challenging in a way rarely seen in today’s releases. It often reminds me of Sony’s PS2-era platformers like Jak and Daxter and Ratchet & Clank. Once upon a time, I lived for games like that. I still would if those games weren’t so few and far between. In that way, ReCore was a very welcome release in 2016. Unfortunately, the deeper I got into protagonist Joule’s journey, the more things started to break apart at the seams. By the end, I found a promising title brought down by technical issues, a severe lack of polish and some head-scratching design decisions Continue reading

Tales from the Borderlands Impressions

by Matthew Thompson

In my quest to fall for one of Telltale’s newfangled, choice-based adventure games, the third time is apparently the charm. When I tried The Walking Dead a few years back, I didn’t quite get what all the fuss was about. When I played Game of Thrones, I was disappointed with how boring I found it to be given how much I love the world of the TV and book series. I still remember questioning the very idea of a Telltale game set in the Borderlands universe, but it was from this unlikely source that I would finally find something from the developer I could love Continue reading