As a mostly independent games writer, I don’t play much in the way of bad games. I generally play what I want and leave it at that. Because of this, I usually do not award games with the title of worst game of the year.
With that said, I did play at least one terrible game. One that was critically panned. One that hurt my soul as I played through it to completion. I normally don’t do this, but this title is definitely deserving of In Third Person’s worst.
A wizard, knight, and thief walk into a bar. No, this isn’t the setup for a bad joke, but a bad setup for a Trine 2 review. In this 2D puzzle platformer, your objective is to use the three characters you have at your disposal to get past any obstacles in your way as you search for the a magical treasure. Though it was released last year on PC, Mac, XBOX Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, I didn’t really give it much thought. However, I always did hear great things about it, and I picked it up when it went on sale recently on XBLA.
As much as I love Trials Evolution, I haven’t played it since wrapping up my review. Once I unlocked the extreme tracks, which I will never have the skill to complete, I set the game down and moved onto other things. Sure, I could have kept myself busy all of this time with user-created tracks, but it just fell out of my rotation. The Origins of Pain DLC pack aims to bring players like me back to the fold with 36 new tracks, more skill games, and a hundred extra track creator objects to play with.
Released outside of the regular XBOX Live Arcade schedule, and with virtually no marketing, Mark of the Ninja was the talk of the town for a total of one day when the glowing launch-day reviews hit. If it weren’t for those, I wouldn’t have even know this game existed.
I’m so glad to have played it, because it is fantastic. As a guy who hates stealth games, that says a whole lot.
If you’d like to read my full review, head over to Splitkick to learn more!
SPLITKICK REVIEW: Mark of the Ninja
When it comes to video game franchises and their influence on my life, not too many rank higher than Rock Band. Besides the hundreds of additional songs I’ve purchased, and the countless hours I’ve spent rocking out with plastic instruments, the franchise inspired me to graduate to real instruments. I am by no means the next Keith Moon, or Geddy Lee, but I know just enough about playing the drums, and bass to actually play in a band. Even without ambitions of unleashing my real-life rock star, those games were the best the genre had to offer.
Years after the genre collapsed, Harmonix is back with a downloadable music game devoid of the peripherals that defined the Rock Band experience in the first place. Is Rock Band Blitz enough to breathe new life to the genre, or is it way too late to the party?
Trials HD took XBOX Live by storm when it first came out in 2009. Though it did not have the name recognition of the games it launched with as part of the Summer of Arcade promotion, Trials HD won gamers over in a big way thanks to its wildly addictive gameplay. To this day, Trials HD still stands as the best-selling XBOX Live Arcade game of all-time. Where was I during all of this? Not playing Trials HD. After reading the impressions and hearing people talk about it on podcasts, the game really didn’t sound like my thing. In particular, everyone focused on the game’s soul-crushing difficulty, which did not sound appealing to me at all. Instead of getting in on the action, I took in the horror stories from the community as assurance that I was doing the right thing by abstaining.
Not too long ago, Trials Evolution came out and I was originally set to ignore it just like I did its predecessor. However, after some thought, I figured that I should at least give the demo a shot, as the series has cemented itself within the current gaming zeitgeist. Instead of coming away from the demo with just a point of view, I found a new video game love.
It was the year 2000. Clutching my pre-order receipt that I’ve been in possession of for over a year, I went down to the local video game store to pick up my copy of Perfect Dark. Its spiritual predecessor, Goldeneye, blew my mind with a great single player campaign and at the time, God-like multiplayer. I must have put in hundreds of hours into that game, easily. Everything from trying to unlock all of the cheats in single player to all-out assaults on my friends and loved ones in multiplayer. Looking back, Goldeneye is one of those games that defined that whole generation of gaming.