The revival of Sonic the Hedgehog, at least back to his glory days, is always going to be a tricky subject. Sonic 4: Episode I certainly wasn’t the explosion of nostalgia anyone had been waiting for, and even paled in comparison eventually to that of Sonic Generations’ snappy speeds and engaging level designs. Finally, we’ve been graced with Episode II of a game that clearly should have been released as an entire package after some proper sprucing up. The verdict? It’s still not the Sonic we know and love from our childhood, but it’s entertaining for what it is.
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Virtua Fighter 5 first made the scene on the PlayStation 3 over five years ago, to varied critical reception. It’s forever lived in the shadow of the alternate Xbox 360 release with robust online features and accessibility for fans who want to take their fighting skills to the global stage, whereas the PlayStation 3 suffered, having no outlet for gamers to do so. Now, PSN and XBLA Virtua Fighter enthusiasts have a new and improved entry into the series to give them the challenge they crave in complete digital form: Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown. Final Showdown packs online and offline multiplayer as well as the classic fighting action of the fifth entry into the series. How does this new iteration stack up?
When I reviewed JU-ON, a lackluster horror outing for the Wii, I wanted to repeatedly bash my Wii remote against the wall until either my hand or the controller busted open. The survival horror genre is rather hit and miss, but I can put up with a lot in order to get to the good stuff, and have. The curious case of Amy is an interesting one. It’s nowhere near as disjointed and frustrating as the former, but its jarring brand of survival horror is a return to the early PlayStation brand of “turn-the-character-and-turn-the-camera,” which is no doubt a strange antiquity to gamers of today expecting a Resident Evil 5-styled shootout. With that said, it’s missing a certain level of polish and finesse that’s expected of any modern release, and the lack of said polish can hinder players when trying to progress through the game’s six chapters.
Downloadable titles are indeed a mixed bag. On one hand, you have some truly spectacular offerings that are a great value for the money and exemplary of what the console is capable of. Some, on the other hand, aren’t worth the time they take to download. No matter the case, it’s always impressive to see what improvements are constantly being made. Mobile dev Gameloft has taken advantage of console downloadable constraints to bring the latest installment of their popular smartphone nod to Modern Warfare and the Call of Duty series, Modern Combat: Domination. Complete with Move support, this is an interesting port that brings some intriguing ideas to the table, but ultimately strikes out as just another cookie-cutter “modern” shooter with little to offer.
When first introduced to the world of downloadable titles, I was happy simply for Pac-Man and ports of classic shooters. Digitally-delivered endeavors are quickly becoming more and more impressive. Not only can you download and begin playing some of the latest and greatest releases in the space of an hour, but their has increased astronomically. Take Faery: Legends of Avalon. It’s a large, imaginative role-playing game chock full of heart, color, and quests to complete for both the XBLA and PSN services. Unfortunately, it also suffers from quite a few issues, marring what could have been a gorgeous, engaging adventure with much in common by way of the genre’s heavy hitters.