Game reviews and scores aren’t the only way to determine if a game is right for you. You could find a trusted site or reviewer and get their insights, but most of us prefer our family and friends’ recommendations. That being said, I’m always interested in reading what the “critics” have to say about media. I regularly visit Rotten Tomatoes for summaries of movie & TV reviews. In some cases, it might influence my viewing decisions, but usually I’m just curious what people are saying about a movie or show I’ve already seen or am planning to see.
The same thing applies to games. While review scores shouldn’t be the only factor in a purchase decision, there are some positive things to garner from reading reviews. What are the major gaming outlets saying? What games have I ignored that might be worth looking into?
Metacritic takes a collection of scores from a wide variety of outlets and assigns each game a score average. Does that mean that a game with a Metacritic rating of 80 is a better game than one with a 70 rating? Maybe – but not necessarily. In my experience, however, I tend to agree (within 10-15 points or so) with most Metacritic scores.
See what I did there? The obvious comparison for Ubisoft’s side-scrolling stealth-action game is 2012’s Mark of the Ninja from Klei Entertainment. Unfortunately for Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China, this comparison sets the bar way too high – out of reach, actually. Check out some of the reviews for Mark of the Ninja on Metacritic to get an idea of how well-regarded it is.)
Each month, subscribers to Microsoft’s Xbox Live service are given access to a new set of games for the Xbox One and the Xbox 360. For several months last year, Games with Gold offered the same Xbox One game time after time: Pool Nation FX. No insult to that game or its development team, but it’s nice to see some variation to that lineup in recent months. You can read the full write up over on Major Nelson’s blog, but here are the games:
For Xbox One owners, the Games with Gold for February 2016 are:
Hand of Fate (normally $19.99) available for download February 1-29
Styx: Master of Shadows (normally $29.99) available Feb. 16 – Mar. 15
For Xbox 360 owners, the Games with Gold for February 2016 are:
Sacred Citadel (normally $9.99) available February 1-15
Gears of War 2 (normally $19.99) available February 16-29
So what are your thoughts on the games for this month? Let us know in the comments or with the Contact Us form!
When Mighty No. 9 was delayed the first time, most fans forgave the change and were content to wait until it was ready. When it was delayed a second time, the frustration began to build, but many people were willing to give the benefit of the doubt to a developer with a solid track record.
What about when a game’s release date is changed a 3rd time? Not only has Mighty No. 9 been delayed AGAIN, but now it’s February 9th release date has been changed to “Spring 2016.”
In a post on their kickstarter page, the game’s creator, Keiji Inafune, posted an explanation and apology to fans. He sites problems with matchmaking as the major reason for the delay. The issue is “rooted in bugs inside the network modes,” and “the solution for each platform is slightly different.” Additionally, Inafune states that “the engine we are using is no longer being updated,” which leaves his team the tedious task of making adjustments manually.
To his credit, Inafune takes complete responsibility for this additional delay:
My Xbox 360 is still sitting in its usual spot in my entertainment unit, and it’s getting awkward. I have SO many games downloaded on that system, but I have no idea if I’ll go back to them. It’s like the old veteran on the team who doesn’t get much playing time anymore, but nobody wants to tell him he should retire. “I’m still important! I’m the soul of this team! Right, guys? …Guys?”
So as I begin to contemplate “life after the 360,” it reminded me of the times I’ve said goodbye to old consoles over the years. You see, I’ve never seen myself as a collector, and while there are certainly some consoles & games I wish I would have held on to, there is something to be said about letting go of old stuff that holds no sentimental (or actual) value. Here are the consoles I’ve said “Game Over” in my lifetime.
Atari 2600 – Probably in a landfill
Christmas of 1987, my older brother got an Atari 2600 with a box full of game cartridges. While most kids had already moved on to the NES, we rocked that Atari until we got our SNES in 1993. I really wish I still had that console, but alas, the Atari was sold for a few measly bucks at a yard sale.
So when games are FREE??? Oh, I’m the first in line. I watch the Playstation blog like a hawk to see when they update the upcoming PS Plus deals. I keep my eyes on the headlines about Microsoft’s Games with Gold lineup, so I’m ready to start downloading. Could you say that I’m cheap? A tightwad? Frugal? Poor?
Yes, yes, yes, and kinda.
Well, Microsoft and Sony are offering some great deals for subscribers to their online services. While I’m not usually a participant in the “Console Wars” (I love everyone, you guys), it’s interesting to me to see how the perks compare.
Let’s get to it then: How do the services stack up for April, 2015?
In celebration of over 100 million Games with Gold downloads, Microsoft is offering twice the usual number of free games to Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners. “We want to celebrate our fantastic Xbox Live community this April, and that’s why we’re so pleased to announce that Games with Gold will offer double the free games.”
Xbox One owners can download the following games FREE all month: