Jotun: Valhalla Edition — Review

I’ve always had an interest in Greek mythology, but I’ve recently taken more and more to Norse mythology.  Strong, preferably bearded vikings determined to win glory in battle just draw me in, especially compared to knights and samurai.  Jotun, a game about battling Norse gods, released a while ago but fell off my radar.  A tweet about the developer’s next game, Sundered, reminded me to go back and play Jotun.  If you enjoy hand-drawn games or fantastic boss battles, you should follow suit.  Better late than never!

Jotun, like its main character Thora, packs a lot of power into a small package.

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Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows — Review

Shovel Knight is one of the best, if not the best, retro games made in the 21st century.  Developer Yacht Club Games really hit the nail on the head with the original game in all aspects: pixelated graphics, chiptune soundtrack, humor, difficult platforming, etc.  Shovel Knight has it all.

It also has the fantastic Plague of Shadows expansion which is free to owners of the original game.  Truth be told, I forgot about this expansion until I heard about the second one, Specter of Torment, slated for spring 2017.  It’s a good thing I was paying attention because Plague of Shadows is an absolute joy.

This game is fantastic. Plain and simple.

This game is excellent, plain and simple.

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Firewatch — Review

January is typically a light time for new releases and this year is no different, so I’m trying to make a dent in my backlog.  First up is Firewatch, a game I was pretty interested in back in early 2016 but never got around to playing.  Seeing Firewatch on plenty of top 10 lists gave me the nudge I needed to pick it up.  Four hours later it’s clear to see why people love it: fantastic voice acting, great writing, and a beautiful area to explore.

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One of the many picturesque views you’ll be treated to in Firewatch.

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HoPiKo (PS4) — Review

I’ve been on a bit of a kick for intense, fast games, so I picked up HoPiKo on a whim last week.  I saw it on sale on the PSN store and was interested by the retro graphics, the chiptune soundtrack, and how it was billed as a hyper fast platformer.  After playing two thirds of the game, I can say that that’s true.  If platformers with bite sized levels that require perfect timing are your thing (Super Meat Boy, N++), HoPiKo is for you.

Speed and precision are the tools you'll need to play HoPiKo

Speed and precision are the tools you’ll need to play HoPiKo

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Thumper (PS4) — Review

I’ve enjoyed music/rhythm games for as long as I can remember: Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, Crypt of the Necrodancer, and so on.  When I saw a “rhythm violence” game by the name of Thumper teased a while back, I was immediately interested.  I was hooked from its release a few weeks ago until I finished it last night.  No matter how you look at it, Thumper isn’t a game to be missed.

One of the best games of 2016, hands down.

One of the best games of 2016, hands down.

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Rive (PS4) — Review

I’ve spent most of the last two and a half weeks playing the latest Destiny expansion, Rise of Iron.  While I’m far from done with that, I was looking for something to play that was a little simpler, something I could play through quickly.  Enter Rive, a platformer/shoot-em-up combination made by Two Tribes.  Bullet hell lovers might really enjoy what Rive has to offer, but overall I found it slightly above average.

Platforming and twin-stick shooting combine to form a decent game.

Platforming and twin-stick shooting combine to form a decent game.

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