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GameSpot - Game Reviews The latest Game Reviews from GameSpot

  • Monster Hunter Rise Review - Standing Tall
    by Richard Wakeling on January 11, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    The locations you explore in Monster Hunter Rise have already felt the delicate touch of humanity's hand. Traditional Japanese torii can be found weaving through mountainside paths, leading to sacred shrines, while decaying temples have been reclaimed by nature as local plant life envelops the aging architecture. Signs of human life can even be found at the base of a raging volcano and in the midst of a flooded forest, where a Mesoamerican-style pyramid dominates the landscape. If 2018's Monster Hunter World was all about unearthing a new continent as an intrepid frontiersman, then Rise is a triumphant return to the Old World with valuable lessons learned. An enhanced port of the 3DS title Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate may have already graced the Nintendo Switch, but Rise is the first game in the series built from the ground up for Nintendo's latest console. As such, Rise closely follows in the footsteps of World while reneging on some of its changes and introducing plenty of new impactful ideas that excellently shift the focus towards the series' heart-pumping action. The core Monster Hunter gameplay loop has remained relatively unchanged as you hunt down gargantuan monsters, harvest their materials to craft new weapons and armor, and tackle increasingly tougher foes. World coalesced both the single and multiplayer parts of the experience into one cohesive whole, but Rise reverts back to the old ways by splitting them into disparate Village and Hub quests. Village quests can only be played alone, while Hub quests can still be tackled solo but are designed with multiple players in mind. This isn't the most welcome setup for newcomers since it isn't immediately clear which quests progress the story, nor is there any indication of whether or not you should be alternating between both paths. The impact this structure has on the game isn't as substantial as it initially seems, though. Hunting the same monster multiple times has always been a part of Monster Hunter's DNA, so repeating the same mission as both a Village and Hub quest is something you would typically seek out anyway. Continue Reading at GameSpot […]

  • Rocket League Sideswipe Review — Pocket Rocket
    by Phil Hornshaw on January 6, 2022 at 10:38 pm

    Rocket League is a perfect combination of calculated action and unexpected chaos. The idea of playing soccer with cars is itself a good one, but it's the way that Rocket League feels that makes it so much fun to play. Ludicrous speed, perfectly controlled cars, and goofy, floaty physics interactions turn every play into a melding of intelligent execution and unpredictable luck. Any version of Rocket League on a mobile device would have to capture that same feeling, and it's remarkable how much Rocket League Sideswipe--a scaled-down, super-quick mobile take on the Rocket League concept--captures exactly what makes its full-sized counterpart so enjoyable. Sideswipe succeeds in creating a conception of Rocket League that caters to mobile play. This is a platform where time is spent in short bursts and where the best games are those that find a sweet spot between solid control and decreased complexity. For developer Psyonix, that sweet spot is found by taking the fundamentals of Rocket League and flattening them into a 2D version of the 3D game. This is still soccer with cars (or basketball with cars, depending on the playlist you choose), but instead of covering a whole 3D soccer field, you instead only have to deal with all the action on a single plane. Gallery The side-on view of the field means that a few elements of Rocket League work differently in the mobile version. You can't crash into other cars, for instance--only the ball, the floors, and the wall affect your vehicle in motion. And since goals can't be horizontal, they instead extend vertically into the air with a lip at top and bottom, requiring you to give your shots a little lift in order to score. Continue Reading at GameSpot […]

  • The Gunk Review - All Gunked Up
    by Richard Wakeling on December 22, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    For some reason, the act of cleaning in video games is oddly satisfying. Tidying up might be a monotonous chore in everyday life, yet games like Viscera Cleanup Detail, PowerWash Simulator, and Unpacking turn cleaning into a surprisingly engaging activity. Maybe gamifying burdensome housework with rewards and goals is enough, or perhaps it boils down to the fact that these games can make you feel productive even when you're procrastinating. Either way, The Gunk takes this formula and applies it to an alien planet in the far reaches of space. There's more to developer Image and Form Games' first 3D title than simply cleaning, but for all of the other ideas it brings together, ridding the planet of its titular mess is its most enjoyable. Upon discovering that black malevolent goo is sapping the planet of its lifeforce, protagonist Rani goes about removing the Gunk to restore the world to its former beauty. This is achieved with an arm attachment she affectionately calls "Pumpkin" which acts like a heavy-duty vacuum, allowing you to inhale the Gunk's globular masses until there isn't so much as a speck left. Hoovering up the planet is The Gunk's central tenet, while simple third-person platforming and puzzle-solving encompass the rest of your adventure. There are rare moments of combat, too, but cleaning the Gunk takes precedence. Each time you clear an area of the debilitating sludge, the planet bursts back to life as the flora and fauna emerge from their goopy prison. Watching a cold, gray, lifeless area suddenly exude color and wildlife is reminiscent of similar mechanics in games such as Okami and provides The Gunk with an inherently satisfying loop. Maybe if the game were longer than a brief three hours, the rather workmanlike act of cleaning the planet would eventually grow stale. Instead, it's the rest of the game that suffers this fate. Freeing the planet from the Gunk's clutches isn't the objective when you first land on this peculiar alien world. As Rani--together with her partner Becks--you touch down on this uncharted world to scavenge a potential energy source that might be valuable enough to pay off your mountainous debt. Rani is the adventurous type, impulsive and eager to explore every nook and cranny of this unfamiliar land, even if it means being reckless at times. Becks, on the other hand, is more practical and goal-oriented. She's overprotective of Rani and averse to her risk-taking, reluctantly adopting a maternal role as she remains with the ship and stays in contact with Rani via radio. The relationship between the pair carries what is otherwise a fairly routine story about uncovering the planet's mysterious past. Rani and Becks' inevitable conflict is predictable, but the combination of believable dialogue and accomplished voice acting makes for an interesting relationship, albeit one that feels overly familiar. Continue Reading at GameSpot […]

  • Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker Review - That, I Can't Deny
    by Jenny Zheng on December 21, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    This review features spoilers for Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker. Read at your own peril! Endwalker had a tall order: It needed to satisfactorily end an eight-year running storyline and put the final touches on the narratives woven in A Realm Reborn, Heavensward, and Shadowbringers. It also needed to wrap up the Scions' stories, the organization as a whole and even more--nine individual members' character arcs. In other words, Endwalker needed to do a lot in one expansion--and this ambition both propels it to its best moments, but also strains the expansion's seams. When Endwalker soars, it leaps up into the heavens to deliver incredible, startling fights that feel truly exhilarating. In the last trial of the expansion, you--the Warrior of Light--get to battle against the cosmic embodiment of despair, Meteion--who is the vessel-like cause of the Final Days--while on the back of your archenemy, Zenos. It's surreal, fun, and an incredible final exclamation point. A hero's tale for the ages, especially for those who started so humbly with slaying defiant wharf rats. Continue Reading at GameSpot […]

  • Ruined King: A League Of Legends Story Review -- We Are The Champions
    by Jason Fanelli on December 14, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    With Ruined King: A League of Legends Story, developer Airship Syndicate finds itself in an unenviable position. The studio behind 2018's Battle Chasers: Nightwar has been tasked with taking its critically-acclaimed approach to the JRPG format from that game and adapting it for League of Legends (LoL), one of the most popular video game brands in the world. Battle Chasers proves the developer can make a solid JRPG out of a short-run comic book, but League is in a different, uh, league thanks to featuring more than 150 champions and having a decade's worth of lore and worldbuilding to reference. Conjuring a story worthy of the name sounds like a monumental task, but not only did Airship Syndicate do LoL justice with Ruined King, the JRPG mechanics bring the LoL experience to a whole new genre in an engaging and unique way. Ruined King: A League Of Legends Story takes us to the pirate city of Bilgewater, a sprawling behemoth of wood and salt occupied by swashbucklers and sea dogs. Sarah Fortune--Miss Fortune to the LoL savvy--has recently taken over from the villainous Gangplank when the town is besieged by a black mist containing horrible monsters. Her story is then intertwined with five other champions--Illaoi, Braum, Yasuo, Pyke, and Ahri--as they journey to find the source of the Black Mist and contain it once and for all. The first thing to appreciate about Ruined King is the bustling metropolis that is Bilgewater. Wooden paths curve and twist around each other as you journey through it, with branching paths leading to all sorts of discoveries. There are harbors, posh estates, rough and tumble watering holes, and more to find throughout this city of the sea. As you progress through the game, you'll find other locales that are also neat--a few late-game dungeon designs still stick out in my head--but nothing compares to the majesty of Bilgewater, which is a good thing, considering you'll spend nearly half the game there. Continue Reading at GameSpot […]