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

Ratchet & Clank (PS4) Impressions

by Matthew Thompson

The newest Ratchet & Clank, released on PlayStation 4 this past April, is many things. It is sort of a remake of the series’ first game (many of the level layouts are ripped straight out of the PS2 original from back in 2002). It is partially a new game (brand new levels, bosses and weapons are present that weren’t back in the duo’s first adventure). It is a movie tie-in (a number of cinematics are scenes pulled directly from the this year’s CG movie). It even feels like a greatest hits tour for the franchise (incorporating many innovations and mechanics that have been added over the 13-plus years of the series’ history). And it is without question a whole lot of fun, a title I would recommend to just about anyone. Still, I couldn’t help but feel there were some missed opportunities that could have made Ratchet & Clank’s PS4 debut that much more special Continue reading

Kirby: Planet Robobot Impressions

by Matthew Thompson

Kirby games generally come in two flavors. You have the traditional adventures that take after the 1995 NES classic and the more experimental outings and spinoffs. In the latter, you may find yourself controlling Kirby via the touch screen, racing or even playing golf. I find these to be a bit hit or miss, but it is easy to see why some would strike a chord with the right player. I don’t think a typical Kirby game has wowed me since I first played that aforementioned NES title – which remains one of my all-time favorite 2D platformers – but they are dependable. They are always good, solid fun. And there is comfort to be found in that Continue reading

Doom (2016) Campaign Impressions

by Matthew Thompson

While I was looking forward to Doom (it came in at number 19 on my most anticipated games list earlier this year), I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. Doom delivers an extremely well-crafted FPS campaign that harkens back to shooters of yesteryear with its run-and-gun style and labyrinthine map layouts. If you like to shoot things in video games, this is a must-play Continue reading

Five Thoughts on Uncharted 4

by Matthew Thompson

This is the game I have been waiting this whole gen for and I’m happy to say Uncharted  4 has lived up to the hype for me, delivering one of my very favorite gaming experiences of all-time. I struggle to be able to put into words my feelings about the game, but I’m going to try to (in a likely very unsuccinct manner) over the course of at least a couple of posts. I hope to talk in more detail about my favorite moments from Nathan Drake’s final adventure sometime in the future, but this first post will focus on five major thoughts that I came away from Uncharted 4 with and I will do so in a spoiler-free fashion. Here it goes Continue reading