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Found 9 results

  1. Marcus Estrada

    Review: Tiny Brains

    Developer: Spearhead Games Publisher: 505 Games Platform: PC (Steam), PS3, PS4 Release Date: December 3, 2013 ESRB: E10+ A PS4 downloadable code was provided by the publisher for this review What has been sorely lacking from the gaming world as of late? It seems that there are fewer and fewer co-op games available. Although there are zillions of online shooters cropping up, being able to play with a friend or two in your own living room has become a much rarer occasion. Spearhead Games must have been aware of this disparity when they created Tiny Brains. This multiplayer-focused puzzle platformer is getting some attention, especially for launching on PS4, but is it worth your time? It seems that if you are playing alone, you'd best skip Tiny Brains entirely. My first playthrough was a completely solo experience. Although it was beatable, it was also very tough with timing at points that would have otherwise been okay. On multiple occasions you realize that the developers really wanted this to be beaten with a few players and not just one person. Still, with enough determination a lone player can make it through. The problem is they probably won“t want to. Tiny Brains focuses on four different animal lab subjects. They've been tampered with by an evil scientist, and of course, wish to escape his control! Each is tiny but highly intelligent thanks to the experiments. Although each creature has a distinctive design, little was done to infuse them with any discernible personality. A different skill is assigned to each of the four and it“s your task to figure out when to use what skills to solve puzzles. Even though there are four abilities, most puzzles don“t end up being complex. Some circumstances will be head-scratching the first time, but simpler once the mechanic has been introduced. But even once you understand how to solve a puzzle, you still might take five or more tries to make it work. This is the case in either solo or co-op play. When one person is playing, the issue comes with timing. There are multiple timed segments in the game which are so tight that any misstep leads right to failure. With other players, the issue then becomes making sure everyone keeps up their task without screwing up. Playing with friends is a nice social experience but is definitely not conducive to careful game playing. When puzzles have to continually be repeated it leads to intense amounts of frustration. Thankfully, checkpoints are frequent and puzzle rooms are usually quite small. They tend to require one main solution rather than a complex set of maneuvers. So, in a way, Tiny Brains is actually very simple, mechanically-speaking. It“s just when you factor in the many failed attempts at certain puzzles that most positive emotions begin to wash off. Tiny Brains is certainly trying, but that doesn“t make it able to provide a very fun experience. A friend stated her opinion as “this game is suck” while listening to my gripes, and that awkwardly-worded jab is not something I usually hear. Frustration was the name of the game more often than not, but at least there were no huge glitches to run into. If anything, it just seems that the developers were playing it too safe with puzzle design. Things are mostly easy to figure out. Having to fight against a puzzle game to beat it is not the way you want a puzzle playing experience to go, and yet, this is exactly what ended up happening. So when it comes right down to it, there is a small audience for Tiny Brains. You have to be someone willing to deal with a game that has little in regards to an interesting story or cast. There is also a need to be accepting of silly mistakes because they“ll happen incredibly often. Finally, you need to be okay with often troublesome play over the course of its three hour campaign. If, for some reason, you“re still desperate for a co-op puzzle game then go forth. Tiny Brains fulfills a niche - in a way that is anything but ideal. Pros: + One of only a few co-op puzzle platformers + Each lab animal has their own unique mechanic + Great music Cons: - Most puzzles challenge patience and fortitude over logic - Characters have practically no personality despite their intriguing appearances - With single player being a more difficult experience, perhaps the game should have been made co-op only Overall Score: 3.0 (out of 10) Poor Playing Tiny Brains reveals there were solid concepts in mind during development. However, the end product feels more like a rough draft than a finished work.
  2. Marcus Estrada

    Tiny Brains Screenshot 3

    From the album: Review Images

  3. Marcus Estrada

    Tiny Brains Screenshot 2

    From the album: Review Images

  4. Marcus Estrada

    Tiny Brains Screenshot 1

    From the album: Review Images

  5. Harrison Lee

    Review: Payday 2

    Developer: Overkill Games Publisher: 505 Games Platforms: PS3, PC, XBOX 360 Release Date: 08/13/12 Rating: M for Mature This review is based on the PC version of the game Masks on. Guns drawn. Imposing in my olive drab bullet-proof armor, I shout a civilian to his knees and zip-tie him. Three others clad in similar gear do the same, quickly clearing out the lobby of the local bank. I help in securing some of the windows with wooden planks. One of us four Robin Hoods sets the thermal drill to work on the bank's vault. And then the alarm trips. Ten minutes later I'm running out of ammo and heaving a bag full of gold. Bullets are slamming me from all directions. I toss the bag into the getaway van and barely escape with two guys. The last dude goes down in the street but we have to leave him, cutting down our take. Oops. Welcome to the controlled criminal chaos that is Payday 2. As you might have guessed from the title, Payday 2 is all about doing dirty work to get paid big bucks. Jobs can range from small jewelry store heists to multi-day arms thefts and painting set-ups. There are numerous options for every mission, including increased difficulties and the Overkill missions, which can only be attempted once. Fail any single day of the Overkill set and you forfeit experience and the titular Payday. Mission variety is a little lacking at the moment. There are roughly 8 or 10 separate events, though they repeat frequently and rarely feature major randomized changes. A camera or guard might be in a different spot but this barely changes the experience. Thankfully, the developers at Overkill have promised free and paid expansions to get more mileage out of the experience. I really hope the new content arrives soon as the current rotation of maps and missions does get tiresome. That said, I've already invested about 40 hours or so until the main game. That might tell you something about how much fun I've had robbing banks and cooking meth. Very few jobs in Payday 2 can be done on your own. For that, you need a dependable crew that constantly communicates and moves as one entity. Short of a miracle, you'll never find a group that can pull off a heist without detection. Inevitably, a civilian outside of a heist site will see a body or someone will call the cops. Fortunately, the four robbers are armed to the teeth. Each player can spend his or her take on new weapons and gun parts, crafting the choice firearm. Unfortunately, ammo is a rarity during jobs so it's important to place shots carefully. Wasting a single bullet can leave you desperate when the Bulldozers and Taser cops flood in. Payday 2 also has a progression system with perks stretched across four major trees. Prefer stealth over combat? Go with the Ghost tree. Like swaying enemy cops to your cause? Level up with Mastermind. Ultimately, I found a combo of the Ghost and Technician trees to be most useful, but it's all about your crew set-up and your own personal play-style. Some trees will offer special equipment like turrets and door-busting C4. Having players with a special set of equipment can make life convenient when heavily-armored cops approach or a vault has a hidden inner door. Speaking of police, it's important to note that there are multiple cop types, each with their own abilities and nuances. Bulldozers are the nastiest of the bunch, dressed in bulletproof suits and face shields. SWAT officers are weak but pack a considerable punch in groups. Payday 2 will kill you in whatever way it can, throwing droves of heavily armored and accurate foes at you. It's important to balance your need for speed with the need for protection with body armor, lest a bullet cut you down. Enemies will take downed players into custody, though the aforementioned zip-tied hostages can be exchanged during breaks in cop waves. Trying to play Payday 2 without human players is futile. You only get two AI partners, neither of whom carry upgraded gear or can pick up mission-critical items. They serve as decent meatshields and that's it. Play online if you don't want to beat your head against a wall. Besides, it's far more enjoyable when you can communicate and alert team-mates to impending dangers and changes in the mission. As you might expect from a $30-MSRP title, Payday 2 isn't a technical stunner. The visuals, while improved over the original title, aren't terribly beautiful. The effects are also decent at best and inoffensive at worst. It's a clean-looking game, which is useful when you need to focus your attention on enemies. The audio is great and has a pulsing electronic soundtrack. The voice-overs are also better than the average phoned-in performance. Again, it's not going to win Oscars but Payday 2 gets the job done. Unfortunately, Payday 2 isn't the most bug-free of titles. The UI is also a bit of a mess, making it increasingly aggravating to find jobs you want. Missions only pop up on a timed refresh, meaning you have to wait until it disappears for a new job to pop in. Even then, there's no guarantee you'll get the precise mission you want in a timely fashion. If the UI were a tad cleaner and the frustrating bugs ironed out, Payday 2 would be a marvelous experience. That said, Overkill has already shown fantastic dedication to hot fixes and re-balancing patches. Community is at the heart of this game and community feedback helps to drive the patch fixes. Despite the UI, bugs and lack of technical achievement, Payday 2 is an absolute must-buy if you're an action junky. It's a game of manic chaos and adrenaline-pumping heists, channeling the inner criminal fantasy. While the mission selection is currently slim, the promised DLC and character customization/progression options more than justify the current price. Payday 2 offers a lot of bang for your buck and will command a lot of your time. Take a bite of the poisoned apple and do yourself a favor - buy Payday 2. Pros: + Great combat + Fun and diverse missions + Character progression + Lots of weapon customization options Cons: - Not enough missions - The UI is messy - A bit buggy from time to time Overall Score: 8 (out of 10) Great Payday 2 is that game, the one that will suck you dry if you get hooked. It's thrilling, addicting and a steal if you take the plunge on this heist.
  6. Marcus Estrada

    Pre-Purchase Payday 2 for Extra Loot

    If you enjoyed Payday: The Heist and are amped up for the sequel then there's little reason not to pre-order. Whether you get the Steam version or retail copies for PS3/360, you'll have a shot at free DLC. Pre-ordering the console release from participating retailers provides the kind of DLC we've come to expect from stores. That includes a couple masks, weapon sight, and some extra in-game cash. Payday 2 is set to cost $30 in stores when it launches in August. Steam users who pre-purchase also get the retailer DLC, but also have the choice of upgrading their edition. The Payday 2 Career Criminal Edition includes two beta keys, game soundtrack, in-game discounts, and a handful of other digital goodies. If you're interested, this download will set you back $50. Are you going to get Payday 2? Should we host a game night once it is out?
  7. Marcus Estrada

    Payday 2 to See Retail Release

    Payday 2 was announced back in March with the acknowledgement that it would come only to PC via Steam, XBLA, and PSN. Overkill Software has managed to shoot for a loftier launch though as today their publishing partner 505 Games announced the game is coming to retail. 505 Games may have an interesting set of games it has published over the years, but if Payday 2 is anything like the first then players shouldn't worry about it. The game will be available in retail form for both PS3 and 360 worldwide. PC players however are still relegated to an exclusively digital launch. Payday 2 is the sequel of Payday: The Heist which surprised many with its tough heist gameplay back in 2011. The sequel is currently poised for an August release.
  8. Marcus Estrada

    Way of the Dogg Brings Snoop to XBLA

    Early last month the word got out about a game called Way of the Dogg. As the name implies, the project is the idea of Snoop Dogg (or Lion). Regardless of its creation, the game has just launched today. The announcement stated the game was coming to a bevvy of digital storefronts, including PSN and XBLA. So far, the game is only out on XBLA, giving Xbox owners the perfect timed exclusive to brag about. Regardless, 505 Games is still set on bringing Way of the Dogg to PSN (and iOS/Android) "soon". It features rhythm-based fighting - looking a fair bit like Elite Beat Agents - which draws music from Snoop Dogg/Lion's own repertoire. A two-player multiplayer mode is also included, although it may be hard (or surprisingly easy) to get friends to play this title with you.
  9. Followers of Snoop's career know of the Lion usurper to the Snoop throne as Calvin "Snoop Dogg" Broadus, Jr. made his way into reggae, but 505 Games and Echo Peak are unleashing the hounds with a new title on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, Way of the Dogg. The Doggfather himself stars in Way of the Dogg, with the game being described as a rhythm-type brawler. What it looks like, however, is a rhythm game where the narrative has Snoop Dogg beating a bunch of dudes up, so there's that. Director of Echo Peak Ciaran Walsh describes it as being homage to Snoop's "music and love of '70s Kung Fu and Blaxploitation movies." The art style is somewhat reminiscent of the art used in Grand Theft Auto, with some cel-shading flavor. It's another recent endorsement of celebrities getting into games, though a bit more thoroughly than the Satan-faced Willem Dafoe in Beyond: Two Souls. This, of course, isn't the first time Snoop has gotten The Blue Carpet Treatment in the world of games. He has a stage in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, he's endorsed FIFA 13, voiced himself in True Crime: Streets of LA, played Crow in Def Jam: Fight for NY, and his music has been in a number of games. 505 Games released a Doggumentary as well, showing some behind-the-scenes work for the game. Beware, though, as there is some colorful language and other such scandal that follows Snoop (though, bear in mind, he married his high-school sweetheart...). You can see that below. There's no concrete release date yet for Way of the Dogg, but the game is to be sold, not to be told on PlayStation Network, XBox Live Arcade, iOS, and Android devices "soon," according to the site.
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