Video Game Reviews

Here's where I keep track of video games I have played. I rate the games on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being "highly recommended" and 1 being "forget this game and go read a book or something."

Surgeon Simulator 2013 on PC (7/10)

A Tricky Ambulance Brain Transplant

I had hoped that when they adapted the Web version of Surgeon Simulator into a full game they would have added a funny story line à la Trauma Center. Instead they have just expanded the original game by adding two more procedures and a couple more environments. It's still much the same game: purposely horrible game controls, inappropriate tools for the job, painfully hilarious physics interactions and general surgical mayhem.

Broken Age Act I on PC (9/10)

Broken Age Act I - The Girl at the Beach

Like a gazillion other people, Doublefine Adventure was the first Kickstarter that I bought into. It was scheduled to come out two years ago. During the delay I started playing many other more modern adventure games to get me in the groove again (see here, here, here, here, here, here and here). It's finally out (at least the first half of the game is out), but how does it stack up against other adventures?

Bioshock Infinite on PC (10/10)

Bioshock Infinite

Infinite is a worthy successor to the original BioShock. It's not so much a sequel as it is a re-theming of the game with a new story, new environment but much of the same game play. The cloud city of Columbia is simply beautiful and filled with visual and sonic detail. There's something to look at around every corner.

Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventures on PC (7/10)

Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventure

More episodic point-and-click adventure from Telltale Games. This series is definitely geared more towards younger gamers but there is much charm and witty story telling to keep older players entertained. If you enjoyed the movies and shorts, this is just like another cartoon in the Wallace and Gromit series. I thought the first episode, Fright of the Bumblebees, was the best and there is a nice bit of characterization and story that carries over from episode to episode. It's not quite on par with Sam and Max but it's still a worthy modern adventure game.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag on PC (8/10)

Assassin's Creed IV Screenshot

I played the first Assassin's Creed several years ago and, while I thought it was an okay game, I was never compelled to continue on with the series. It was just too repetitive and item collection driven. The only reason I have AC4 is that it was bundled with my new video card. Black Flag is an absolutely beautiful game and it's no wonder EVGA bundled it with my GTX660 as a way to showcase that mid-range card's capabilities. Ever since the original FarCry I have been a sucker for games that are set on tropical islands.

At its core it is mostly the same game as AC1 but the narrative is much more focused. The missions, although similar from one to the next, aren't the exact same quest over and over. There is actually a story-based point to most of the challenges you face. The mindless item collection is still part of the game, but looking for pirate booty sorta makes thematic sense here. The combat has also been streamlined but is ultimately kind of disappointing after experiencing the pure elegance of Batman: Arkham City's excellent fighting system. Thankfully, avoiding combat and stealth are a big part of the game.

FarCry Blood Dragon on PC (8/10)

Farcry Blood Dragon

When I heard that this game featured Michael Biehn as the main voice actor I was intrigued. When I saw that it was an over-the-top homage to eighties science fiction and action movies I had to have it. The game doesn't disappoint in the nostalgia department. In addition to the neon Tron-style art direction, there is tons of cheesy dialogue, 8-bit cut scenes (including a power rock training montage), and an incredibly cool synthesizer-based soundtrack.

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