Video Game Review: Dead Island GOTY Edition

Details: The original game was released in 2011. This edition was released in 2012. Purchased for around six dollars from Steam for the PC. Played for about two hours. The official site is https://deadisland.deepsilver.com/us/dide_us.html

Score: 2/10

If only the actual game was as good as its debut trailer. Dead Island has the unique distinction of being one of the few games I’ve quit because it gives me motion sickness. I’ve played a lot of first person shooters, but the jankyness and unusual design of the movement made this game unplayable. Save your money. Don’t buy this game.

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Video Game Review: Bastion

Details: Released in 2011. Played on the PC and purchased through Steam distribution platform for one dollar. Beat the game in about eight hours.

Bastion was a slog for me to get through. I don’t like action role-playing games nor do I like top down action role playing games. I didn’t like Diablo and this game plays a lot like that, but simpler. The strongest parts of this game are the art direction, music and presentation. However, no matter how good the game looked, the paper thin story and gameplay made me want to quit the game multiple times. I had to force myself to finish the game.

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Video Game Review: Hearthstone

Details: Released on the PC and mobile devices. Originally released in 2014, but paid expansions are released periodically. Not really sure how many hours I’ve played since Blizzard doesn’t show that information in their client.

Hearthstone is a free to play online trading card game. Two players play against each other, summoning monsters and casting spells. When one player is out of life points, the other player wins. It’s very reminiscent of Magic: The Gathering, but so are pretty much all other card games in the genre.

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Video Game Review: Bully: Scholarship Edition

Details: Was originally released in 2006. I played it on PC with an Xbox 360 controller. I bought it off Steam for about $5. Played for about twenty hours. Made by Rockstar Games.

Most of the time, playing this game felt like a chore. This is a really old game.

Firstly, the visuals are actually not bad. This game originally came out for the PS2, which was a freaking long time ago. Luckily they up resolution-ed the game and gave it a 1080p resolution, so it looked fine on my screen. It is definitely dated though.

Gameplay was the most painful part of this game. It is essentially a combination of mini-games. In general, you run around like in a Grand Theft Auto game, more like Grand Theft Auto III and less like Grand Theft Auto V. Some of the mini games involve timed button presses, like in rhythm games. There’s also trivia and some other tracing varieties. There’s a lot of mini-games, but they aren’t very deep or substantial. The difficulty is also pretty easy, easier than a Grand Theft Auto game at least.

My biggest annoyances were that the game broke two cardinal rules of video games. The game operates on a timer that goes in real-time. At certain times you need to do certain things and there is generally a time limit on a lot of missions. The other violation is the inclusion of missions where you need protect someone controlled by shitty artificial intelligence. That means that the computer controlled character will run off and get killed regardless of what you do sometimes. There are a lot of other shitty things about this game. You should just keep in mind that this game is old and a lot of the gameplay used in this game has been removed from most modern games because developers realized how not fun they were.

The music for this game was fantastic. I was surprised how many good, original tracks there were.

The voice acting and performances were as good as any other Rockstar game, which is to say they were great. I was surprised to see that motion capture was used in this game despite how old it is. That motion capture really comes through and adds to the performances surprisingly, even though the character models are old looking.

There are some bugs. The game crashed on me lots of times throughout my play through.

The story was okay. The premise is this: Jimmy Hopkins is sent to one of the craziest boarding schools and must do his best to survive in this strange new environment. I did feel a sense of satisfaction after seeing the ending. However, there were lots of times where I wanted to quit the game. I mainly pushed on because I like finishing games. The story was not strong enough to compel me to keep playing.

While not a bad game, I would not recommend it to most people. The game is so old and outdated that I’d rather recommend something more recent. I can see how some people might enjoy it though. If it looks interesting to you, then you should probably go on YouTube and watch some gameplay videos before making the purchase.

Score: 4/10

Video Game Review: All Fallout 4 DLC (PC)

A while back I bought the season pass for Fallout 4. I enjoyed, but was largely disappointed by Fallout 4 because I was expecting more content and better graphics. In my opinion, the DLC (downloadable content) continues to follow this trend. To be more succinct, Fallout 4 and its DLC are good, not great.

To make things easier I’ll just do a quick review and score for each DLC in the chronological order they were released starting from the oldest one.

Automatron

The first DLC  for Fallout 4 was lackluster. It had some bare story moments and opted for crafting robots, which is fun for about ten minutes. When it comes to role playing games, I desire good story with a sense of discovery and adventure. This game barely offered any story in that regard. Unfortunately, many of the subsequent DLC has even less plot than this one.

Score: 3/10

Wasteland Workshop

More crafting tools and objects. You can catch monsters and have them fight each other. Also some more stuff for your settlements. No story unfortunately.

Score: 1.5/10

Far Harbor

Far Harbor is what I consider the first true story DLC for Fallout 4. A new case brought to Nick Valentine takes the player to an island known as Far Harbor. Here the player will meet new factions and solve mysteries. It was a really fun DLC with hours of content. I also enjoyed the tone of the narratives here and the art style of the island.

Score: 6.7/10

Contraptions Workshop

More tools and objects to build in your settlements. No story.

Score: 1.3/10

Vault-Tec Workshop

The idea of this DLC was a player controlled Vault similar to the Fallout Shelter app on IOS and Android. Some lousy quests and more crafting tools and objects for your settlements.

Score: 2/10

Nuka-World

The final DLC for Fallout 4 and, with Far Harbor, one of the only two DLC’s that I feel are worth their price. The player gets to investigate Nuka-World, a ruined theme park occupied by raiders. A big selling point for this DLC was that players could now play as raiders. After playing through this DLC, I can say that that draw was crap. Raiders play like any other faction. There are a number of notable missions that play out hilariously or morbidly. It was fun, but felt a little shorter than Far Harbor. My biggest complaint is the lack of playable quests. Felt like most of their budget went towards the art department rather than quest/story development. I also dislike how siding with factions is the only narrative trick in Bethesda’s bag. It’s getting boring.

Score: 6.9/10

In Conclusion

Fallout 4 and it’s DLC have been fun, if not disappointing. I expected so much more. instead I got a game that I felt like I’ve played before. A good sequel expands upon what was established before and adds something new. There was nothing new here when compared with past Fallout games. After playing this game, I really think this might be my last Fallout game, maybe even my last Bethesda game. At the very least, I will wait till future Bethesda games drop to a dirt cheap price before I purchase them.

Overal score of Fallout 4 and all its DLC: 7/10