My, oh my, what a roller coaster Telltale's Game of Thrones series is turning out to be. The story of House Forrester is in itself incredibly tumultuous, but beyond that, the wild swings in tempo and quality from one episode to the next are equally jarring.
Pinball FX2 was developed by Zen Studios and published on the Xbox One and the Xbox 360 by Microsoft Game Studios. The Venom DLC released on December 12, 2014 for $2.99. A code was provided by Zen Studios for review purposes
The newest Marvel villain to have their own table in Pinball FX2 is Spider-man's arch-enemy, Venom. With previous Marvel-themed tables, Zen Studios has gone one of two ways: they either incorporate the theme of a recent Marvel movie or they follow a theme from the comics. Released on December 12, 2014 for both the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One, Marvel's Venom table for Pinball FX2 goes the latter route and incorporates a theme straight from the comic books.
State of Decay: Lifeline was developed by Undead Labs and published by Microsoft Studios. It was released May 30, 2014 on Xbox 360 for $6.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Over the past two or three years, the popularity of zombies in video games has grown to the point where it is now almost impossible for many gamers to differentiate what makes any given option stand out amongst the ever-growing pack of average also-rans. Thankfully, last year's State of Decay was certainly one of the better zombie titles and was especially impressive as (initially) a fairly modest XBLA exclusive. Undead Labs followed up its initial success with the Breakdown DLC, which, although still very good, left most fans of the series wanting more – in particular a new and expanded location. And that, in a protracted kind of way, is exactly what the Lifeline DLC is all about.
This time, the action takes place in the fictional city of Danforth and centers around a military squad known as Greyhound One, with players exploring a storyline dealing with the activities of the soldiers during the initial days of the outbreak. The structure is similar to the base game, but the fairly large home base is fixed, the missions generally feature a tighter timeline and players will need to contend with periodic zombie sieges that present a stiffer threat to NPCs (and overall success) than anything seen in previous outings. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the military setting adds a tremendous amount of firepower to the player's arsenal, including more weapons and ammo; plus a raft of new traps, supply drops and assistance resources. Lifeline also features a number of new tweaks — like the ability to place rucksacks in trucks, effectively enabling more comprehensive supply runs — that occasionally have a material impact on the game.
The Walking Dead Season 2 was developed and published by Telltale Games. It was released March 5, 2014 for $4.99.
So far, The Walking Dead Season 2 has been off to a slow start. The first episode spent a lot of time separating itself from the original series, while setting the stage for the current one. It was a lot of build-up that ultimately had little immediate payoff. Thankfully Episode 2: A House Divided picks up right where the last left off, allowing the story to kick itself into full gear. We finally see the direction the series is going, as Clementine's new group is forced to deal with a mysterious new villain, Carver. Telltale delivers the experience we've come to expect from The Walking Dead – one full of tough choices, rough consequences, and a good helping of zombie slaughter.
The State of Decay: Breakdown downloadable content for State of Decay was developed by Undead Labs and published by Microsoft Studios. It was released November 29, 2012, on the Xbox 360 for $6.99. A copy was provided for review purpose.
As Undead Labs’ first dose of downloadable content for the infectious zombie-apocalypse simulator State of Decay, State of Decay: Breakdown is more companion piece than linear expansion. It sidesteps the plot progression of the original, offering instead the chance to drop into the heart of Trumbull Valley to scavenge, fortify and eventually escape, with no strings attached. Breakdown is the missing piece of Labs’ initial equation: an endless nightmarish wasteland that ramps up the difficulty with every hard-earned departure, for as long as you can take it.
To facilitate this grim cycle of survival, you’re issued a random survivor and a broken down recreational vehicle that’s lurched to a halt at one of several random locations around the valley. Your immediate concern is a defensible shelter, where you’ll foster a community while you search for a new RV and the necessary materials to get it up and running. When you accomplish this goal and take flight from the toxic gash that’s become Trumbull Valley – that’s when Breakdown really begins.
The first Star Wars Pinball table pack for the Pinball FX 2 platform was developed by Zen Studios. It was released February 27, 2013 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Zen Studios, makers of Pinball FX 2, is releasing a trio of Star Wars pinball tables this Wednesday, in what will be the first group of many tables to come, much how the studio has released multiple packs of pinball tables from the Marvel comics universe. These Star Wars tables, which include a table for Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, a table designed around the Clone Wars cartoon show, and a table in honor of infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett, are all worthy additions to the ever-expanding body of content available for Pinball FX2. It’s worth pointing out that only one of the three tables is focused on a specific film — this strategy of utilizing both iconic characters (Fett) and Expanded Universe content (Clone Wars) leaves Zen Studios with a range of choices in developing future Star Wars pinball tables.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD is a bit of a mixed bag. For the casual player it provides nostalgia with enhanced visuals. The bugs seem minor. For the hardcore it leaves feelings of imprecision in control, and the in-game glitches become like a giant white headed pimple–no matter how much you try to look away it steals your focus. The community and media at large are torn on whether the game is amazing or abysmal. The Revert Pack DLC is more of the same. In the end it comes down to whether you enjoy the core game or hate it. That being said, let's keep this short and not beat around the bush.
Here's what we liked:
More to love – For fans of the game the Revert Pack is a must buy. The three greatest levels from Pro Skater 3 (Canada, L.A., and Airport) along with one new music track, Metallica's "All Nightmare Long". Also included are four new skaters: pros Steve Caballero and Geoff Rawley and Metallica members James Hetfield and Robert Trujillo. The four new skaters provide decent balance in the game's starting selection, and the levels are faithfully recreated. The Metallica track is, well, Metallica. You'll either love it or hate it.
The Civil War table for the Pinball FX 2 platform was developed by Zen Studios. It was released November 20, 2012 for 240 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
The Civil War table for Pinball FX2 is the latest in what is now a large string of Marvel-themed pinball tables. Zen Studios continues to innovate with each new release — the improvements they have made since earlier pinball tables are evident here. Civil War is oozing with nods to fans of the comic books — this might be the best-themed Marvel pinball table yet, and it shows through in the very polished presentation.
The Jewel of the Nile downloadable content for Serious Sam 3: BFE was developed by Croteam and published by Devolver Digital. It was released on October 17, 2012, for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purpose.
Jewel of the Nile is an interesting approach to how digital games could be published in the future. It’s really a companion piece to Serious Sam 3: BFE, a small portion of the game that was deemed valuable enough to sell on its own for the price of the original. The “downloadable content” adds a few additional campaign levels and the online competitive multiplayer suite.
The idea of selling digital games in a piecemeal fashion certainly has its merits. By allowing players the option to purchase a title in discounted portions, they could potentially tailor their experience and save money by avoiding elements that don’t apply to their interests. Unfortunately, the Jewel of the Nile downloadable content originated in the opposite school of thought. Where dicing up a complete game and selling it in chunks seems like a good opportunity to cash in at the expense of eager fans. You could argue that the content contained within Jewel of the Nile is enough to warrant the price, but compared to what’s offered in Serious Sam 3: BFE, you’d be wrong.
Serious Sam 3: BFE was developed by Croteam and published by Devolver Digital. It was released on October 17, 2012, for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purpose.
It’s been a long road for “Serious” Sam Stone. Over a decade ago, he dove into the past to prevent a present-day alien invasion by confronting the extraterrestrial menace throughout ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica. Serious Sam 3: BFE (Before First Encounter) picks up that story before it began, following Sam as he battles through modern Egypt on a mission to activate the time travel device and begin that inevitable journey.