Reviews Archive

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We Are Doomed review (Xbox One)

We Are Doomed was developed and published by Vertex Pop on Xbox One. It was released on April 17, 2015 for $9.99. A copy was provided by Vertex Pop for review purposes.

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Do you love the Geometry Wars series but just wish there was less to do? Well, then you're in luck! We Are Doomed takes the same twin-stick shooter formula, the same polygonal graphics, the same wild visual effects, the same electronic style soundtrack, the same multiplier score system and adds…well, nothing really. But that doesn't mean it's not fun.

In We Are Doomed, you pilot a little polygon ship around a dark playing field with the left stick, while blasting away other geometric shapes with the right stick. This formula has become a genre unto itself ever since Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved released on Xbox Live Arcade in 2005 (although the genre really goes all the way back to the arcades of the '80s). It's very fun and pretty addictive. But with so many twin-stick entries in recent years, these games really need some original ideas to stick out from the crowd.

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Tower of Guns review (Xbox One)

Tower of Guns was developed by Grip Games and Terrible Posture Games and published by Grip Games on Xbox One. It was released on April 9, 2015 for $14.99. A copy was provided by Grip Games for review purposes.

Tower of Guns review for Xbox One

Tower of Guns is another in a series of recent roguelike games to reach the Xbox One via the ID@Xbox program. At first glance, it's is a throwback to old school first-person shooters in both design and gameplay. While unexciting to start with, Tower of Guns grows on the player with the strange charm of its story mode and the straightforwardness of its objective. After that, it will make you rage. Roguelike games tend to spawn enemy and room patterns that will eventually kill the player in brutal manners. In some games, defeat can be deflating and cause the player to not want to play again. Meanwhile, Tower of Guns is a fantastic game for players who refuse to lose and find motivation in trying until they win. Even if you lose, progress is made toward unlocking new guns and new perks to use for future attempts to finally beat the tower. It's a win/win for all (not a guarantee). So what do I like about the title? Take a look below.

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R.B.I. Baseball 15 review (Xbox One)

R.B.I. Baseball 15 was developed and published by MLB.com. It was released on the Xbox One on April 1, 2015 and is priced at $19.99. A review code was provided by Major League Baseball.

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When MLB.com decided to bring back the classic R.B.I. Baseball series, the developer had a decision to go one of two ways. They could have swung for the fences and attempted to hit a home run by building a game that would rival The Show and really showcased the product that MLB.com represents. With its first rendition in R.B.I. Baseball 14, Major League Baseball was caught looking at a called third strike. In other words, MLB.com just kept alive the horrors baseball fans on Xbox systems had come to expect thanks to the 2K series of games.

Last week, MLB.com released its second attempt at bringing baseball back to Xbox users with R.B.I. Baseball 15. With Opening Day upon us, and just like Cubs fans before the season starts, all Xbox gamers could do was hope that MLB.com would release a game at least decent enough to be called a "single."

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Resident Evil Revelations 2 review (Xbox One)

Resident Evil Revelations 2 was developed and published on Xbox One and Xbox 360 by Capcom Entertainment Inc. The last episode was released on March 17, 2015 and the complete season is available for $24.99 on Xbox One. XBLA Fans' Michael Cheng purchased a copy out of pocket for review purposes.

Resident Evil Revelations 2
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We've finally reached the end of the crossroads, and it's been a long journey. You can find reviews of individual episodes at the Resident Evil Revelations 2 hub, which gives finer details on each leg of the campaign. If I were to score to just the campaign, it would be "Try It." The campaign is somewhat short but fair at its current price tag, and it has a bunch of interesting concepts filled with exciting highs and lows — and a few other concepts that just didn't work very well. It is not, however, the only gameplay option available.

Resident Evil Revelations 2's Raid mode is an arcade-like experience featuring players hunting down hordes of enemies in an arena-like setting while trying to survive and ultimately reach a goal. Players level up from killing enemies, which allows drops of higher level weapons and weapon parts and gives skill points to upgrade perks that increase character durability. It's similar to a role-playing game in which you play to see your character grow stronger, tackle harder levels, progress forward and hopefully beat the toughest challenges. Raid mode is addicting to play through and features 15 playable characters (two are DLC characters and one is unlockable from an extra episode) and six different weapon types with multiple weapons in each category. I've put over 200+ hours into it, which is much more time than I spent on the campaign. Raid is not without its faults, however, as you'll find out below.

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Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones review (Xbox One)

Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones was developed by Carbon and published by Curve Digital. It was released on April 3, 2015 for $14.99. A copy was provided by Curve Digital for review purposes.

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One of the most unique things about XBLA Fans is our rating system, which encourages reviewers like me to rate games based on a simple "Buy, Try or Skip" scale. Although this can occasionally make our jobs more difficult, I believe that the system means that the written content of our reviews becomes ever more important in getting the message across about how a game plays.

With this in mind, there has perhaps never been a game more deserving of our "Try It" rating than Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones. This is a game that riffs heavily on other roguelike and metroidvania games (not to mention the extremely popular Portal) but also offers its own brand of gameplay and humour across a very expansive package. Stealth Inc. 2 is likely to attract a number of diehard stealth fans, but the steep learning curve and a few minor issues might make casual gamers think twice.

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Resident Evil Revelations 2 Extra Episode 2: Little Miss review (Xbox One)

Resident Evil Revelations 2: Little Miss was developed and published on Xbox One and Xbox 360 by Capcom Entertainment Inc. It was released on March 17, 2015 for $4.99. XBLA Fans’ Michael Cheng purchased a copy out of pocket for review purposes.

RER2: Little Miss

Little Miss is a Resident Evil: Revelations 2 side story that sees the character Natalia searching for her stuffed bear Lottie while being accompanied by a "dark" version of herself. At first glance, this story makes no sense and feels like it has nothing to do with anything in the game. In reality, the events of Little Miss are very important to understanding the Natalia character and uncovering why she is who she is, but the episode will not make sense until you play Claire's campaign in Episode 4. If you did, you may have wondered why Natalia can see monsters through walls in the main campaign. I won't spoil it, but you can infer the reasoning behind it after experiencing the Little Miss' final cutscene. It takes time for the events of Little Miss to sink in, but the results make the Resident Evil Revelations 2 storyline more in-depth and rewarding.

Playing through Little Miss, however, lingers on the tip of frustration and boredom. This extra episode's specialty is a pure stealth scenario in which the player cannot fight back and automatically loses if spotted by a monster without given a chance to run away. Tack on some obnoxious psychological attacks by Dark Natalia, monsters with too high of a field of view and very limited ways of distracting said monsters, and you'll have a very testing time. The gameplay is essentially trial and error, and some will question if the effort they put out was worth reaching the end of this episode.

I played through twice on Casual, so I can properly answer that question. The first time I was somewhat miserable, and the second time I blazed through most of it from remembering enemy locations. Is it worth replaying? Definitely not. Is it worth playing even once? Probably not. It's a shame, too, since the storyline enhancement is worthy of the name Revelations.

To find reviews of other episodes (as they become available), check out the Resident Evil Revelations 2 review hub.

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Newsbits: Super Time Force update, Sling TV and Ori meets Meat Boy

XBLA Fans Newsbits

Super Time Force received a free update this week. The new Ultra Update includes the Helladecks, made up of 50 new challenge levels that force players to use their time-rewinding skills in a different way, and a new Ultra Force mode which is unlocked after you complete the game and is said to be an alternate style of time-forcing with extra-powerful versions of the Time Force team. Achievement hunters will also be pleased to know that the update brings five new achievements worth a total of 375 Gamerscore.

Sling TV recently launched a new app exclusively for Xbox One. The new app, which allows viewers to watch live TV instantly without a cable company, offers the same great features gamers have come to expect, including the ability to Snap, Pin to Home and use voice or gesture controls with Kinect for Xbox One. Microsoft are also offering a limited time deal of three free months of Sling TV service with the purchase of an Xbox One console via the Microsoft Store (US only).

And finally, current Xbox One darling Ori and the Blind Forest secretly paid tribute to one of XBLA Fans all-time favourites Super Meat Boy. Meat Boy himself can be spotted behind a hidden wall in the Blind Forest, apparently fallen victim to a bed of spikes. Check out the video on how to spot this charming easter egg after the jump.

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Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast and Furious review (Xbox One)

Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast and Furious was developed by Playground Games and published by Microsoft Studios on Xbox One and Xbox 360. It was released March 22, 2015 for free and will remain free until April 10, 2015 when it will begin costing $10.

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When I first heard about Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast and Furious I was blown away by the fact that the power of advertising had reached this point. A limited-time free game to promote both an upcoming movie and a six-month-old game was completely mind boggling to me. But the sheer brute force of advertising that is apparent is actually quite irrelevant. All that really matters was if Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast and Furious was any good. And to be blunt, my mind was quickly put to ease about the game's quality and soon focused on the task on hand: finishing sets of races to unlock the next new and shiny car.

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Resident Evil Revelations 2 Extra Episode 1: The Struggle review (Xbox One)

Resident Evil Revelations 2: The Struggle was developed and published on Xbox One and Xbox 360 by Capcom Entertainment Inc. It was released on March 17, 2015 for $4.99. XBLA Fans’ Michael Cheng purchased a copy out of pocket for review purposes.

RER2: The Struggle

The Struggle is a side story that bridges the gap between the end of Claire's campaign and the end of Barry's campaign and features Moira Burton and a character who was introduced in Episode 3 . As such, for continuity purposes, this episode should not be played until after finishing the main game.

The goal of the extra episodes seems to be to provide an alternative gameplay experience to the original campaign, and The Struggle does not shy away from that. About two minutes into playing The Struggle, I was already dubbing it "Moira Gear Solid 3," as it contains small animal hunting for rations as well as stealth sections. After a hunting segment, multiple battles take place that function remarkably similar to Revelations 2's Raid mode only with the frailty of using a campaign character.

Is this extra episode worth playing?

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Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty review (Xbox One)

Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty was developed by Just Add Water and published by Oddworld Inhabitants. It was released on March 27, 2015 for $19.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.

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It's a funny thing, nostalgia. Only last week I was preparing to write my review of the excellent Shiftlings and likening it to the original PlayStation One Abe's Oddysee and now, here I am, reviewing the actual remake of that very same game. Unbelievably, the existence and imminent release of Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty had completely bypassed me up until last week, so it's been especially satisfying to experience it alongside a modern peer.

The good news is that because New 'n' Tasty is a ground-up remake of the 1997 PlayStation original, it looks absolutely fantastic running on next gen hardware. More importantly, it retains the clumsy, deliberate weight that epitomises the games titular character, Abe, and adds so much to the way that the game plays. People often say that you should be careful what you wish for, so let's find out if New 'n' Tasty lives up to both the expectation set by the original, and the demands of an increasingly picky modern audience.

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