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.
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?
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.
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.
Resident Evil Revelations 2: Metamorphosis was developed and published on Xbox One and Xbox 360 by Capcom Entertainment Inc. It was released on March 17, 2015 for $5.99. XBLA Fans’ Michael Cheng purchased a copy out of pocket for review purposes.
Many elements that contributed to the excitement of the first three episodes are missing and players may be left with a strange sense of both satisfaction and disappointment.
Claire’s campaign starts off after the climactic boss fight of Episode 3: Judgment in the middle of the tower nearing the top. Little did I know, the boss fight was the coup de grâce to Claire’s adventures. Claire’s campaign is very short with the top time on Xbox One clocked in at 6 minutes 44 seconds as of time of writing. The one major scene is incredibly anti-climactic with no player interaction at all. It feels like the player went on a great big adventure with Claire for nothing. With brief puzzles thrown in, less than double digit enemy count and players playing most of the episode with a countdown timer, there isn’t much positive about this segment other than at least its short to replay. I can understand not putting in two major bosses in one episode or starting an episode with a major boss fight but one can wonder if the episodes could have been segmented better.
Game of Thrones Episode 3: The Sword in the Darkness was developed and published on Xbox One and Xbox 360 by Telltale Games. It was released March 25, 2015 for $4.99. A copy was provided by Telltale for review purposes.
Where Episode 1 and Episode 2 of Telltale Games’ Game of Thrones adaptation gave us a slow but intriguing insight into what the series might have in store for us, Episode 3: The Sword in the Darkness is somewhat lacking in the same kind of peril, intrigue and action that fans of the epic novels have come to expect.
Ziggurat was developed and published by Milkstone Studios on Xbox One. It will be released on March 20, 2015 for $14.99. A copy was provided by Milkstone Studios for review purposes.
Ziggurat is best described as a Heretic style rouge-like first person dungeon crawler. That is certainly a mouthful of genres all stacked together, but the experience is a unique mix. Like most Rogue-like games, you are going to die many times in a series of trial an error encounters, which is exactly as the game intends. In Ziggurat each time you die, you are generally given a few cards that will be able to be found in your following adventures. Ziggurat features a number of various unlockable characters and items, all of which are displayed on cards you gain as you play.
The game itself plays like a mix between Heretic, Doom, and Diablo. There are various rooms to traverse, and each room contains a chance to battle either monsters, overcome traps, or partake in jumping puzzles. The creatures drop mana, life, and experience, all which are needed to further progress your hero. Generally, loot is found at the end of a large encounter or set of traps, and often after boss fights. Each level has a similar formula of many rooms with encounters, a room with a key to the boss portal, and then of course a boss fight. The difficulty increases as you progress through each level, and eventually you can beat the game with one final boss fight.
Shiftlings was developed by Rock Pocket Games and published by Sierra. It was released on March 4, 2015 for $14.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.
The Xbox One is already home to an increasingly diverse range of game genres thanks to the ID@Xbox initiative, and it’s encouraging to see even crazier games like Shiftlings adding to the rich catalogue that already exists. Essentially, Shiftlings builds upon the existing range of puzzle-platformers by adding a unique twist on cooperative play along with stunning cartoon graphics and a slightly dark sense of humour.
Shiftlings is a game about two unfortunate aliens who happen to perform maintenance duties across a range of space installations whilst being watched by a reality TV audience. Why, you might ask, would anyone want to watch the Shiftlings at work? Well, apparently because the hazards involved in performing space installation maintenance are many, varied and often hilarious. The hilarity for the TV audience is presumably heightened by the fact that both Shiftlings are connected to each other via a pipe — a fact that plays a key role in the gameplay for us as players. The question is, can the beautiful visuals, strong humour and lure of cooperative play overcome the inherent challenges and frustrations that not arise in all puzzle-platformers, but also those that are specific to Shiftlings (such as the fact that both characters are literally connected throughout)?
Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 was developed and published by Halfbrick Studios. It was released on March 17, 2015 for $14.99. A copy was provided by Halfbrick Studios for review purposes.
Who knew fruit could be so fun? Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 is the follow-up to the popular Fruit Ninja Kinect on Xbox 360. As an avid Xbox 360 Kinect user experienced with games such as The Gunstringer and Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, I was used to the usage and limitations on the last-gen device. Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 was my first Xbox One Kinect-only game (Blue Estate being my first Xbox One Kinect-optional game), so I was eager to experience it.
The gameplay is very simple. Slice, dice, chop and cut up fruit to gain high scores. Along the way, different obstacles will attempt to impede your path to success. With the power of Kinect, players will feel like they are in the moment on screen and look good in the process. But can such a simple concept carry a second game in this franchise?
OlliOlli was developed by Roll7 and published by Curve Digital on Xbox One. It was released on March 6, 2015 for $8.49 for Xbox Live Gold members and will be $9.99 once the release sale ends. A copy was provided by Curve Digital for review purposes.
OlliOlli is an endless runner skateboarding game that prides itself on using buzz words like “rad” and “sick.” It’s not a mixed bag of tricks, though. With no story and no multiplayer except for limited leaderboard options, there is only one thing to do: perform gnarly stunts and survive levels.
As a forewarning, the graphics are very underwhelming and are border on what might be considered the bare minimum to get by. So much so that when OlliOlli was demonstrated in front of a live audience, multiple people were quick to judge it as a “bad game,” in PG terms, for its graphics alone. Graphics shouldn’t define a game in a negative fashion, though: it’s entirely possible to have a beautiful-looking game and still be unpleasant to play. The inverse is also true; a game can be very basic and still be incredibly fun. Besides, graphics often don’t age well. How will a person look at current modern graphics in 10-20 years from now? Likely not as favorably as they do today. With that out-of-the-way, let’s get started on the features.
Resident Evil Revelations 2: Judgment was developed and published on Xbox One and Xbox 360 by Capcom Entertainment Inc. It was released on March 10, 2015 for $5.99. XBLA Fans’ Michael Cheng purchased a copy out of pocket for review purposes.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 Episode 3: Judgment takes players on a ride that includes more action, more action puzzles, more explosions and more ways to die. Players may notice that one or more of this episode’s sections feel like a tribute to the older games in the series.
Claire’s campaign starts off with Claire finding a message left by a character from Episode 2 to go to a factory nearby. Through a series of wild events, players are taken through a few factories, the sewers and eventually into the interior of the island tower before climaxing at the game’s first major non-optional boss fight. Judgment contains more action puzzles than the first two episodes combined, and on the first playthrough, players can easily die if they don’t think on their feet. It’s nice to finally see a real boss fight this time around. A word of warning to streamers using the Twitch app on Xbox One, though: although you can stream the actual boss fight itself, the scene after that is blocked and will show the Twitch pause screen until you reach the result screen. Very disappointing.
Barry’s campaign continues on from the encounter at the end of Contemplation. After the cut-scene plays out, the player starts off in a drained version of the sewers in Claire’s campaign before heading to a deserted mining facility. This segment tries something different: sending the player on an extended fetch quest involving carrying a cube from one location; dropping it on a conveyor belt to be transferred; and repeating a few times before it eventually reaches its destination. Some players may not like the duration of this fetch quest, myself included. It was tolerable the first time and a major annoyance on every subsequent playthrough.
LA Cops was developed by Modern Dream and was published by Team17. It was released on March 13, 2015 on Xbox One for $14.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Back in the day, in larger cities, it is said that the only places open 24 hours a day were diners and small cafes. How people survived, I do not know. These eateries would offer coffee and a doughnut to the beat cops patrolling their neighborhood late at night – thus the connection, and the numerous jokes, between policeman and doughnuts was established. When LA Cops releases on Xbox One, every gamer will have 24/7 access to one of the more interesting and humorous games to be released in recent memory.
In LA Cops, you select and control two separate policemen – and/or policewomen – out of a group of six, and set out upon 13 highly tactical missions to take back control of the streets and lower the crime rate in Los Angeles. From hostage rescues to bank robberies to drug busts, you will be using one detective to cover the other, moving forward though the levels to complete the objectives. This will take some trial and error, as the bad guys make every effort to take you and your partner down.