Also available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Windows
Let's start by saying that, in my opinion, Platinum has never made a bad game (at least of the ones I've played). Some have been "okay," but from my experience, nothing they've ever made has been actually bad. This is true of this game, as well. This game also, however, falls largely into that "okay" category.
The art style of the game is great, combining cel shading with a comic design for the characters rather than the awkward almost clay-looking models that some recent iterations of the turtles have used. The characters are fairly well defined with the four distinct personalities portrayed well. Michelangelo is perhaps a bit *too* obnoxiously pizza-obsessed to the point where the joke feels like beating a dead horse, but that's fairly true to his character, so that's more of a personal gripe.
The game's biggest flaw is its length; it took me less than 5 hours to beat all 9 levels. Now the unlockable/upgradable abilities, four difficulty levels, and online play may add some replay value, but generally speaking, the game feels too short. Normally I'm not one to complain about a game's being too short; I'd rather a game be really good and short than drag on and overstay its welcome. The problem is that this game is okay. If you're a big TMNT fan like I am, it may bump up to "pretty good," but generally speaking, it's just "okay." It plays a bit like a slowed down, lower budget Bayonetta (and, given that Platinum developed it, that shouldn't be a big surprise).
I'm not saying you should avoid this game at all, but I don't think I'd recommend it until you see it in the bargain bin.
My Rating - 3 Neps
Jesus Christ, this game is pretty. Like, that's the first thing that stands out to me. DAMN, this game is visually arousing. The lighting effects, the facial features, the water effects, the damn particle effects - everything just looks incredible. Being the fifth game in the Uncharted series (including Golden Abyss), players familiar with the series know EXACTLY what to expect from Uncharted 4. It's the same formula we're used to; it's just prettier and further develops the characters we've come to know and love.
In terms of gameplay, there's really not a whole lot that stands out when compared to the other games in the series. Being on an 8th gen console, it obviously plays better than its predecessors, but it feels mostly the same. A little more polish, a little bit more depth with the platforming and combat, but all in all, it's like upgrading from a 2010 Honda Civic to a 2014 Honda Civic; it's the exact same thing, just better.
From everything I've read and heard, this is the final entry in Naughty Dog's Tomb-Raider-with-a-penis series, and I'm really sad to see it go. It's a fitting end - the game was great and didn't overstay its welcome - but it's one of the few series that, even after five entries, has yet to disappoint me at all. I know that it's best for it to end before it DOES disappoint, but it's still a bittersweet moment.
THE NEXT PARAGRAPH
I do hope that Naughty Dog will try a spin-off series with Cassie. It seems odd to me that they'd have you play as Nathan's daughter in the epilogue of the last game and never see anything with the series again, but it would be SO easy to fuck up a spin-off/sequel like that.
OKAY, SPOILERS ARE OVER
If you like the Uncharted series, you need to play this game. It's a great entry, and it really wraps up the story well. It's not groundbreaking necessarily, but it's damn good.
My Rating - 4 Neps
Also available for Xbox One and Windows
Holy fuck, this game is legitimately sexual. I've never been so turned on the image of a massive servant of Satan being bisected with a chainsaw. I'm sure this is common knowledge on those of you also on the Racketboy forums already given the amount of discussion this goregasm of a game has gotten over the past week, but just to reiterate - JESUS CHRIST ON A BICYCLE, THIS GAME IS INCREDIBLE.
It seems like, in the last couple generations, id hiccuped a little bit. Wolfenstein was okay. Doom 3 wasn't bad. Neither were great games, though. Then POW, Wolfenstein comes and punches you in the face a couple years back like YOU WANT MULTIPLAYER?? SCREW YOU, MAN. HERE'S A BITCHIN' SINGLE PLAYER. Last week, Doom exploded onto the scene like FAST PACED DEMON SLAYING. YOU WANT JESUS?? WE AIN'T GOT NO JESUS, BUT WE DO HAVE CHAINSAWS AND SHOTGUNS AND A BFG.
I'm a bit of a fanboy for this game, but I'll give you some legitimate information about the game now. It's a total reboot of the series, and it takes a very different direction than Doom 3. Whereas Doom 3 had a distinct horror atmosphere, Doom 4/2016/whatever put all of the focus on the action. That's not to say that there aren't parts that are downright creepy, but there's a totally different feel than its older step brother whose parents never really loved him and just kept him around to avoid CPS.
They really hit it out of the park with this one. The game is gorgeous, and it runs beautifully; even on consoles (Playstation 4, anyway; can't attest to Xbox One personally), it runs at a silky 60 fps. The single player is the main attraction here, but for those of us with an internet connection (which is everyone here, otherwise I'm going to need an explanation of how you're reading this), there's a treat. And it's not the traditional multiplayer mode (although that's not bad. It's not great, but it's not bad. Just kind of okay).
Welcome to Snapmap, your ticket to making the most fucked up Doom levels imaginable. Got some friends? Team up to take on an ever-increasing number of player made maps and scenarios. Don't have any friends? Go make some, and then team up to take on an ever-increasing number of player made maps and scenarios. I've only played around with Snapmap a little bit, but it's got a LOT of potential for some great cooperative multiplayer.
In short, there are two kinds of people in this world - people who play Doom, and people who are missing out on one of the best shooters in years. Don't be the latter. Go buy Doom on your platform of choice. Like, yesterday. It's great.
My Rating - 5 Neps
Going into this game, I was skeptical. Uncharted is a pretty great series, but can it really make the transition to the handheld? The Arkham series tried that, and that was....less than great. Same with Call of Duty. Having played the game, though, I am extremely surprised at just how good it is.
For being on a handheld, the visuals are extremely nice. Obviously the textures and character models aren't quite as impressive as those seen on the PS3 or PS4, but the lighting effects - especially the reflection effects on water and metallic surfaces - are really, really well done. The gameplay has some room for improvement, specifically in the area of hit detection, but again, given that it's taking a game every bit the equal of its console counterparts in scope, I'm giving it a pass on a few minor technical flaws.
I put this game off for a while because I really expected to be disappointed. With my mom visiting this weekend, though, I knew she'd be using the TV for Law and Order, so I figured that since I wouldn't be able to play Uncharted 4 just yet, I might as well play this and have 4 seem PHENOMENAL in comparison. While I'm sure Uncharted 4 will still feel incredible, I gotta admit, I was extremely impressed with the Vita's go at the franchise. This one definitely gets my recommendation for Vita-owning fans of the Uncharted series. Unfortunately, Golden Abyss does not work on the Playstation TV without some...unofficial...software updates given its use of the front touch screen, the rear touch pad, and the gyroscopic tilt controls (all of which feel a bit gimmicky but not to the point of feeling just plain stupid).
My Rating - 4 Neps
Sooo Bravely Second. I was a HUGE fan of the original Bravely Default, and while my feelings are mixed on Bravely Second, let me preface with this - this is a DAMN good JRPG. Bravely Default/Second is basically what Final Fantasy used to be back when it was good. You know, before it turned into Dude Bros Drive Cross-Country Simulator 2016. That, however, is neither here nor there.
Bravely Second takes just about everything that was good about Bravely Default and makes it better. Most of the job classes that you learned to love in the first game return as well as a few additional ones. Some, like the Yokai class, are super cool. Some, like the Patissier class, are....interesting. Personally, I think it's a fucking stupid job, but that's just this Saltine's opinion. It's like a damn fashion shoe (and I mean that in the best possible way).
My overall complaint about the game is extremely subjective and extremely general; it just overall wasn't as interesting to me as the original game. When I first played Bravely Default, I couldn't put the game down. With Bravely Second, however, while it really didn't do anything wrong, I had to put it down for a couple weeks because I just got....bored. Like, I don't know why. It just didn't hold my interest like the first game did. I don't know why. Maybe it didn't add enough to the formula. It's by no means a bad game. On the contrary, it's one of the best JRPGs that Square-Enix has put out in the past few years. I just got tired of it.
I'm not going to go into too much depth here since I went through the system itself when I reviewed the "Ballad of the Three Cavaliers" demo a month or so ago. If you want to read more about my views on that, go back a page or two or twenty or whatever and read that.
My Rating - 4 Neps
Also available on Neo Geo AES and Neo Geo CD
Aero Fighers 2 is, in most ways, a fairly run-of-the-mill vertical shump. You're a plane, you fly around a shoot hundreds if not thousands of enemies, and you explode really easily. Truthfully, there isn't an ENORMOUS amount to say about this game. It controls very well (as is expected of an SNK made game), and levels are diverse enough to keep you interested. Where it really shines from a gameplay perspective (even if not particularly setting it apart from the crowd) is the multiplayer. Like most arcade games, you can do two-player cooperative gameplay, and it works brilliantly. Not a lot of slowdown, and the your characters' dialogue changes somewhat to resemble conversation between levels.
Now the area in which the game DOES stand out is the character selection. Obviously, you're mostly just going to see your chose airplane, but the characters have a lot of personality. You have some really bizarre character choices like a baby, a sapient dolphin, and various other entertaining but not nearly as out-there characters. Even if you only see still images between levels, there's something awesome about knowing that you're a baby flying a fighter jet killing hundreds of bad guys.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.