Publisher: Warner Bros. (2017)
Rating: Teen (blood, language, suggestive themes, alcohol reference, violence)
Killzone: Shadow Fall
Publisher: Sony (2013)
Rating: Mature 17+ (blood, intense violence, strong language)
King of Fighters XIV
Publisher: Atlus (2016)
Rating: Teen (language, suggestive themes, use of alcohol and tobacco, violence)
Publisher: Sony (2013)
Rating: Everyone 10+ (fantasy violence)
Some critics have knocked Knack for being a conventional platformer - like that's such a bad thing!
I guess all the "me too" first-person shooters get a free pass. The truth is, every new system needs an accessible, family-friendly game like Knack. The main character is a bunch of artifacts magically held together to form a robot-like being. Unlike most platform heroes, Knack isn't particularly cute. In fact, he's kind of ugly! Still, it's fun to make him smack-down robots, causing them to short-circuit and explode. The basic gameplay boils down to platform jumping and combat. You'll also want to dodge traps and keep an eye out for hidden goodies. Whenever you confront a new set of foes, it's best to strike quickly, as you can usually take several out before they even have a chance to react. It's satisfying to knock armor off enemies as you wear them down. Collecting yellow crystals fills a meter that lets you execute special moves, and I love the "clink" sounds that play through your controller's speaker as you pick up the crystals. The special moves are a blast. One lets you shake the ground, another unleashes missiles, and a third transforms you into a little tornado. Knack packs a wallop, and his finishing punches are slowed down for dramatic effect. As he accumulates more artifacts, Knack grows in size, allowing you to inflict even more carnage. This style of game doesn't call for spectacular graphics, so don't expect any. The story and dialogue are nothing to write home about either. Even so, Knack was easily my favorite launch PS4 title of both myself and my friends. Not because it's innovative or technically advanced, but because it's consistently entertaining and just plain fun. That still matters to some people! © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Rising Star Games (2015)
Rating: Everyone 10+
The Kromaia packaging describes the game as "Bullet Hell blasting entered the next dimension!" Really?
This bears no resemblance to any "bullet hell" game I've ever played. There's only one category Kromaia falls into, and that would be "bad games". The game offers a behind-the-ship perspective as you navigate a disorienting universe of random geometric shapes. If the designers were going for a style similar to Rez
(Dreamcast, 2001) they missed the mark. Dual-stick controls let you maneuver and strafe, with the triggers unleashing rapid-fire shots. You begin by flying through a maze of black and white boxes. What the hell is going on? Apparently each level is some kind of space obstacle course with orbs to collect. The clean lines and vivid colors look sharp but the monochromatic graphics make enemies blend in. I didn't even realize I was taking damage until I was told my shield was gone. You can fire away to your heart's content but the visuals are so abstract you can't tell if you're hitting anything. Arrows surrounding your ship point you to your next "objective", but they're hard to discern when you're flying directly into the screen. Even when headed in the right direction it's never clear what the [expletive] you're supposed to do. This game makes no sense. Occasionally I'll see a "code accepted" message when all I'm doing is firing like a madman. Kromaia makes you feel like you're stuck in a never-ending tutorial, waiting for the real game that never comes. © Copyright 2017 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Wales Interactive (2017)
Rating: Mature 17+ (blood, strong language, violence)
Lego Jurassic World
Publisher: Warner Bros. (2015)
Rating: Everyone 10+ (cartoon violence, crude humor)
Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Publisher: Square Enix (2017)
Rating: Mature 17+ (blood, sexual themes, violence, drugs and alcohol)
Life is Strange: Complete Season
Publisher: Square Enix (2015)
Rating: Mature (blood, intense violence, sexual themes, strong language, use of drugs and alcohol)
Publisher: Bandai Namco (2017)
Rating: Teen (blood, violence)
Little Nightmares places you in the role of a helpless, scrawny kid trapped in a series of harrowing dungeons where you sneak around, solve puzzles, and navigate platforms. The dank scenery is strewn with chains, boilers, old furniture, scurrying rats, and... hanging bodies? Whoa
- this is not
a kid's game. You'll contend with tilting floors, trap doors, electrified bars, and scurrying gremlins. Shadowy images and jarring noises add to the unsettling atmosphere. The controls feel soft and smooth as you effortlessly climb chains and metal grates. You can also run, hop, duck, grab, and light matches to guide the way. Despite its artistic merit the game is not the most pleasant experience. The puzzles are thoughtfully designed but the dark scenery and limited camera angles are disconcerting. The controls for grabbing tend to let you down at the most inopportune times. Between deaths you're subjected to torturously long load screens. WTF? Is it reloading the entire game?!
And despite the box label "Complete Edition" I found myself hopelessly stuck (embedded in scenery) after less than five minutes!
The game has some frightening moments but the stealth and timed sequences are more stressful than fun. I didn't want to play this for more than a few minutes at a time. Little Nightmares tries to tap into something primal but revisiting your darkest childhood fears is pretty much as fun as it sounds. Not much! © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.
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Screen shots courtesy of IGN.com, Game Zone, YouTube, MobyGames.com, US Gamer, Operation Sports, Video Chums, FMV World, Playstation.Blog, EuroGamer.net, GameSpew.com, Playstation.com