Review: Halo Wars 2

The title “Best Console RTS” is a strange one, as it seems to be universally understood that strategy games are best played using a mouse and keyboard. However, as there haven’t been very many of them in the past, and because the ones that do exist weren’t very fun to play, the genre is stagnating. The reason for all this usually boils down to a single factor: control. Fortunately, Halo Wars 2 nails that department, and adds polish and an arcade-y gloss to the strategy formula to create a great RTS-lite game that is not only a great addition to the Halo lore that improves upon its predecessor, but the best strategy game created for a console. Continue reading “Review: Halo Wars 2”

Advertisements

I was proven wrong: The Switch and Play Preview Tour

Earlier this week, I had the fortune of being able to attend the Switch and Play Preview Tour in Chicago. What I experienced there reassured me that my initial hesitations about the Nintendo Switch were mostly unfounded, but also made me more aware about some of the design flaws that I will have to keep my eye on come March.

img_3308

In this post, I’m going to address every individual issue that I had with the Switch hardware and software, one topic at a time. Continue reading “I was proven wrong: The Switch and Play Preview Tour”

Mixed Feelings: Some Thoughts on The Switch Presentation

Aside from the NES (because I wasn’t born yet) I’ve owned almost every Nintendo console to date, and the ones that I didn’t own at the time, I’ve scavenged from garage sales and eBay. It’s not that I’m sitting around playing them all the time or am some sort of mint-condition collector, it’s that I know Nintendo is an icon in the games industry, and in the minds of a lot of 80s and 90s kids, a symbol of the good ol’ days of childhood. Nintendo’s latest ventures have left a lot to be desired, and were flawed in a lot of ways, but even its last console, the Wii U, with its terrible controller battery life, its lack of account integration, abysmal marketing, and lack of third-party game support, was one of my most memorable gaming investments.

The countless hours playing Smash, Mario Kart, and the indie games like Runbow and Sportsball far exceeded the amount of money I spent on the console. It’s the perfect supplement to a solid gaming PC: I’ve spent far more time playing the Wii U than I have on my Xbox One or my PlayStation 4. The online (even though I played very little of it) was free, every other game had a tremendous amount of social and couch multiplayer content (while other consoles went ahead and ditched split-screen entirely), and the weird controller led to some really interesting play styles down the line.

It wasn’t a bad console, not by any margin. And even after the presentation today, I’ll be playing it, no doubt. But it was bad for business. That balance needs to be struck at some level, and that’s precisely what Nintendo is having the most trouble with.

Continue reading “Mixed Feelings: Some Thoughts on The Switch Presentation”

Movie Review: Assassin’s Creed

This leap of faith falls flat on its face.

It’s that time again, where a beloved game IP gets cashed in as a film. Usually, it signals the end of the line for the series (at least until a reboot), like Hitman before it, and the  Tomb Raider movies before that. At least Assassin’s Creed, carried by strong performances and great fight choreography and stunts, goes the way of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and lands squarely in the realm of mediocrity, unlike the other highly-anticipated failure of 2016, Suicide Squad. Continue reading “Movie Review: Assassin’s Creed”