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    1. Who do you go to to learn about the state of PC ports?

      I used to watch TotalBiscuit's videos to learn about PC ports of games, to see if they were any good. Obviously I can't do that anymore, and the best replacement I've found so far is looking at...

      I used to watch TotalBiscuit's videos to learn about PC ports of games, to see if they were any good. Obviously I can't do that anymore, and the best replacement I've found so far is looking at PCGamingWiki. If a game has a long page with a lot of issues and workarounds, it is probably a bad port.

      But that doesn't really help if I want to know if a game has improved a lot since launch. Does anyone do a good "state of game x a few years later" series?

      8 votes
    2. Spiderman PS4 Reviews are out - Currently 87 on MetaCritic

      Overall the reviews are looking really great for this. http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-4/marvels-spider-man Destructoid - Chris Carter - 9 / 10.0 Spider-Man isn't just a great superhero...

      Overall the reviews are looking really great for this.

      http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-4/marvels-spider-man


      Destructoid - Chris Carter - 9 / 10.0

      Spider-Man isn't just a great superhero game, it's a proof of concept for Insomniac as a company. This project shows that they can basically handle pretty much any universe, because if you can accurately recreate Peter Parker's nimbleness and gentle heart you can do anything: and with multiple teasers at the end, I think they'll get that chance.


      Eurogamer - Christian Donlan - Recommended

      A rare harmony of developer and licence makes Insomniac's open-worlder a total treat.

      The Spider-Man difference is glimpsed in everything. Combat, for example, still takes its lifeblood from the freeflow punch-ups of Arkham, but here it's coursing through the veins of a lither, less substantial hero who needs to dance in and out of confrontations taking as few blows as possible and darting up and away to safety when needed. Traversal, which, alongside fighting makes up the core of the game, is a hodgepodge of everything from the elasticated web-slinging of Spider-Man 2 to the up-the-side-of-a-building dash of Prototype, but it's enlivened with a youthful energy, a twist of the hips at the top of each arc, a distinctive and adolescent jumble of shoulders and elbows and legs when perched on top of a finial, that way kids have of being naturally graceful and a complete disaster at the exact same time. Elsewhere, towers unlock the map as in Far Cry, yet it's not a sprawling chunk of wilderness you're exploring but one of the most compact and characterful takes on Manhattan yet seen in a game. There are stealth sequences, QTEs, and boss fights that all take their cues from elsewhere, but the game retains its own personality throughout.


      GameInformer - Andrew Reiner - 9.5/10

      Like Batman: Arkham Asylum before it, Spider-Man raises the bar for one of the world’s most beloved heroes. You feel like you’re doing everything he’s capable of. Insomniac succeeds in making Peter and the supporting cast just as memorable and engaging as the wall crawler. Excitement is delivered consistently from the outside of play right up to the last story frame, which is a real shocker that contains a reveal that will make the wait for the sequel almost unbearable.


      IGN - Jonathan Bornbush - 8.7/10

      I wanted Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4 to make me feel like Spider-Man: To sail between the highrises of New York City, to nimbly web up hordes of enemies, and tussle with familiar, animal-themed villains. Insomniac Games’ first foray into the world of Marvel handily delivers on all of that. But what I didn’t expect from Spider-Man was to come away feeling just as fulfilled to have inhabited the life of Peter Parker. Aside from a few odd pacing issues, which momentarily took me out of the experience of being a superhero, and a world of optional missions that don’t always quite live up to the heft of the main story, Insomniac has delivered a Spider-Man story that both surprised and delighted me, coupled with gameplay that made me feel like Spider-Man nearly every step of the way. The Wall Crawler’s open world doesn’t consistently deliver the thrilling moments of its main campaign, but the foundation laid here is undoubtedly a spectacular one.


      Kotaku - Ethan Gach

      As a playground for one of the most idiosyncratic superheroes of all time, Marvel’s Spider-Man is sheer bliss. It’s a sandbox platformer first and foremost, and a damn good one. Throughout playing the game I was constantly hounded by the question of whether these—sublime superhero traversal in a gorgeous, idealized version of New York—were enough. After countless hours spent cleaning up every last icon on the map, I’m convinced they are.


      Polygon - Chelsea Stark - Recommended

      That small example may highlight my biggest criticism of Marvel’s Spider-Man. There aren’t many surprises to the game; despite being an open-world experience, it plays upon a linear story, and the twists that happen feel familiar. The action sequences are breathless and memorable, but after the game’s final act I was left wanting more. Just like a summer blockbuster, Spider-Man leaves too much waiting in the wings for its obviously upcoming sequel.

      9 votes
    3. Just for funsies: Just Let Me Play! | A review of Bloons TD 6 (Android/iOS)

      For those unaware, the Bloons TD series consists of tower defense games where you place monkeys along a track to pop balloons. It's called TD and not Tower Defense because a scumbag company...

      For those unaware, the Bloons TD series consists of tower defense games where you place monkeys along a track to pop balloons. It's called TD and not Tower Defense because a scumbag company decided to trademark the name of an entire genre, but that's beside the point.

      Since the series's debut as a flash game over a decade ago, the games have evolved to contain a wealth of strategic complexity. Aside from the towers having different attack rates and ranges, there are different types of damage (e.g. popping, fire, explosion) that make each tower unique. Additionally, the balloons occasionally have resistances to certain types of damage. This forces you to be creative with your tower placement, and opens each game up to an incredible depth and variation. This helps keep the game fresh and exciting, as you try out different strategies.

      ...Or at least, it would do that if it weren't for the arbitrary roadblocks the game puts in place. Presumably in order to ease new players into the mechanics, you're forced to unlock everything through gameplay. This doesn't just include new towers, tracks, and game modes -- you're forced to unlock every single upgrade for every single tower. You unlock these by using the towers to earn them XP.

      In theory this wouldn't be so bad. You could argue that it makes you learn the strengths and weaknesses of the towers before you can upgrade them. But why is that learning forced on me by the game? Why can't I learn at my own pace? I care so much because the game's pace is hellishly slow. You will certainly have to spend time grinding in order to unlock everything.

      If that sounds ridiculous, it's because it is. I should not have to grind in my mobile tower defense game. I've been playing for two days now, and I'm still incredibly far from being able to play without restrictions. I'm mentally preparing myself for the long haul on this, but I can easily see this alienating new players, or those who just want to experience all the game has to offer.

      It really is ridiculous when my own attempts to win the rounds are foiled because the game won't let me have the upgrade I need.

      The other major problem I have with the game are its in-app purchases. Ninja Kiwi, the developer, seems to adhere to the despicable model of charging $5 up-front and also charging for things in-game. The game tempts me every time I look at the menu of which upgrades I've unlocked. "Don't you want to use this tower now, instead of many hours from now? Why not pay $5 to unlock all of its upgrades instantly?"

      There are in-app purchases for different amounts of Monkey Money (which let you continue to play a failed game) that range from $2 to $55. Double Cash mode, which in previous games was unlocked through playing, now costs $19.

      There are good points to this game. The graphics are 3D, which is quite different than the older games, and they look good. They're not an outstanding visual pleasure, but they also aren't irritating or ugly. The word I'd use is serviceable. I preferred the cartoony graphics of Bloons TD 5, but I can see myself getting used to these.

      The music is also adequate. Different tracks may have different music, but the repetition may have you cringing as you grind, grind, grind away for hours at unlocking everything. At 20 tracks, there is certainly enough variety to help alleviate some of the drag, but you also have to remember that the more difficult tracks are likely impossible to beat if you still don't have access to every tower's upgrades.

      So there you have it. I give Bloons TD 6 three rubbery balloon-husks out of five while shedding a single disappointed tear, because all the fun is locked away behind hours of grinding.

      Or you could pay real money to skip all that and actually have fun. Ninja Kiwi, you've broken my heart.

      8 votes
    4. Just picked up HORIZON Zero Dawn and... Wow. Just wow.

      I know I am VERY late to the game on this one, but so far this game has eaten up 20+ hours in 3 days. For anyone who doesn't know, it's an open world action adventure (?) game set in the 31st...

      I know I am VERY late to the game on this one, but so far this game has eaten up 20+ hours in 3 days. For anyone who doesn't know, it's an open world action adventure (?) game set in the 31st century. Robotic animals roam the world, and you play an 18 year old girl that hunts them, utilizing bows, spears, slings, ans traps. It has a very primitive feel to it, so you can only assume this is either an alternate universe or a post apocalyptic earth.

      While I've already had most of the plot spoiled for me, I'm enjoying all the little bits of lore I'm finding. I csnt wait to see how the plot plays out (as I said, it was spoiled, but only broad strokes, like knowing Vader is Luke's dad.) It's HARD sci-fi in a VIDEO GAME, not something shallow that's been done to death or that's too predictable.

      I am severely overleveled, but combat is still fresh and challenging (playing on hard for my first play through.). There are so many different ways to approach situations, I can always change things around and try a different Tactic. I've had so much fun just going around farming and questing that I've ignored the main story for the most part.

      The way the game handles its lore is phenomenal. I can't go into details without spoilers (just go read the wiki if you want to I suppose) but I'll save everything happens for a reason,and beautifully so.

      Its not without its cons, however. As great as the combat is, a lot of the more difficult parts (so far) can be avoided by going out of bounds where enemies can't reach you (say a cliff or up a rock face, which if you can't climb, some careful jumping will take care of for you.)

      It feels like some other games. I'm a big fan of open world, so its in the same family of MGSV, Farcry, and Shadow of Mordor, down to the map markers, collectibles, and inventory wheel. But hey, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

      11 votes