Article by Nathan Miller
As the Xbox One and Playstation 4 continue on into their sophomore year, it is apparent that remakes and remastered versions of old games will continue to be shoved down our throats. New properties (Dying Light, Evolve, and etc) are being sprinkled throughout this year, but those are only a small portion of what is actually being released. I know personally I plan on picking up a few remastered titles (DmC, Final Fantasy Type-O), so the best way for me to sufficiently express my opinions about these titles is to quickly review them in a segment I call: The Quick and the Pew.
The Quick and the Pew 2
Quick List of Titles:
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition (PC, XBONE, PS4)
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected (XBONE, PS4)
Resident Evil HD (PC, XB360, XBONE, PS3, PS4)
Riptide GP2 (PC, XBONE, iOS, Android, WP)
Tales from the Borderlands (PC, MAC, XB360, XBONE, PS3, PS4, iOS, Android)
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition - Kung Fu Drama
Sleeping Dogs is an open-world third person shooter that takes ass whooping to a whole other level. It was originally supposed to be a new addition to the True Crimes series, but it ended up being its own IP that unfortunately did not do too well. It is a shame because Sleeping Dogs is one of the best open-world games I have ever played. The story follows an undercover cop named Wei as he infiltrates a triad gang in Hong Kong and let's just say Wei does not follow all the rules. The missions are varied and works well for the game as you get both police related tasks and questionable gang related missions. A big portion of how Wei develops in the game is how you decide to play. The more illegal things you do gives Wei better Triad perks while following the law or cracking cases gives you better police perks. Although following laws might seem like a bummer, it adds realism to the game and could even test your moral compass. The definitive edition is perfect for those who may have missed out on this sleeper hit. All 24 pieces of DLC have been included in the definitive edition, the graphics/framerates have been upgraded, and audio related issues have been resolved. When I decided to check out this version of the game, I could not help but get sucked back into this game's world. The hand-to-hand combat blows away all other open-world games with move upgrades, great counter attacks, and disturbing environmental kills. Even though I know the story, I did not skip the cinematics nor did I skip any side missions. My interest was peaked as if I was playing the game again for the first time.
Should I Buy, Rent, or Skip it? If you missed out on this game when it was initially released, you need to BUY this game and pray to the heavens that they make another one.
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected - Who Elected You The First Time?
When Saints Row IV was first released, I opted to not purchase or play the game. It could have been because Volition (Saints Row developer) was sold off by a closing THQ during development to a new publisher Deep Silver, and I read many bad articles about how the game rehashed a lot of old content -- but it could have been the fact that it shared the same release date as Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Regardless of why I did not play it, the game was new to me as I decided to give it a go this time around. I found the game to be funny (they usually are), but everything else seemed repetitive or uninspired. I do not like when side tasks are forced onto you through missions. If I do not want to do any of the sprinting challenges, why make a mission making me do them? It seems like a cheap way to fluff up a game instead of actually crafting note-worthy missions or interactions. The big niche for this game is that you have super powers. Many aspects of the game like the challenges or collectibles reminds me of Crackdown 2 (which is not a good thing). The main story is scattered as it tries to string you along with conquering areas of the map rather than more funny or rewarding missions. There are really cool features and ideas put into Saints Row IV like: insane amounts of customization, clip sharing moments of super powered finishers, co-op, and a ton of (bland yet decent) things to do. Unfortunately, the bad outweighs the good in my opinion. There are better open-world games out currently that are worth picking up over this game (I even mentioned one of them above), so I would put my money towards one of those games instead of this shallow game.
Should I Buy, Rent, or Skip it? I would recommend skipping the game, but you could get away with renting it if you feel obliged to try it out.
Resident Evil HD - The Survival Horror Masterpiece
Milla Jovovich has slow-motioned her way into and out of the hearts of movie goers with her husband's awful vision of Resident Evil, but the idea had to come from somewhere. The classic that started it all has made its way onto current and last-gen consoles. Capcom's recent disaster with Resident Evil 6 clears the way for a reboot of the franchise, so this remastering of the original classic is hopefully the reminder (for Capcom) of what made the series good. The updated version has been given a graphics boost, redone voice overs, and new options (modern character skins, aspect ratio choice, new control scheme) not in the original or Gamecube release. The game is as hard as you remembered, but it is what makes beating it feel rewarding. If you were not a fan of the crappy save system, you will be delighted to know that it stayed in the game just for you. The ribbons are back so make sure to not save at every possible moment. To be blunt, this release is a fan service (or a money grab depending on how you view it) from Capcom. New players could be frustrated by the game's difficulty rather than enjoy it, but fans of the original will have sparkles in their eyes as they roam around the mansion once again. It is worth noting that I had some issues with the game (on Xbox One) where I had to reinstall the game in order to get it working correctly, however; that could be an issue on my side and not theirs.
Should I Buy or Skip this? You do not get the luxury of renting downloadable titles as of now, but I can say Resident Evil HD is worth Buying. It is a nostalgia inducing classic that brings you back to a time where games did not sugarcoat everything. You could wait until it is put on sale, which could occur when RE: Revelations 2 is released, but that has the possibility of not happening anytime soon -- just saying.
Riptide GP2 - Mindless Casual Fun
Hydro jets, tricks, and classic racing modes are the full extent of what Riptide GP2 has to offer, and that alone is worth its asking price of $5 (Mobile version: $3). Riptide is very simple in terms of interface and gameplay, but I like it for those reasons. This is a straightforward arcade style racing game with more features than you would expect from one. Six player local play, an upgrade system, and a good amount of unlocks. Is this a game that will blow you out of the water? (Pun intended) No, not necessarily. It is, however, a fun way to kill time whenever you are waiting for something to install on your hard drive or are looking to unwind with something that won't piss you off. The difficulty is just right and the physics work the way they should. It is a game that you could play with your child or even young sibling which won't warp their brains and turn them into "killing machines." It is good old fashion fun that isn't overly complicated.
Should I Buy or Skip this? I bought this solely on its price and found it to be well worth its value. Even if you mildly enjoy racing games, this game is worth buying.
Tales from the Borderlands Ep 1 - Not Just A Quick Buck
Telltale games has taken a beloved first person shooter and developed what I consider to be one of their best games to date. I always enjoyed the humor and bizarro type characters that existed on Pandora (world story takes place in). Tales from the Borderlands is exactly like Telltales other series in terms of gameplay, however; this game is polished to perfection not like their recent release: Game of Thrones (which to me is an indication that the team working on Tales from the Borderlands is having fun making it). Troy Baker, Laura Bailey, Patrick Warburton, Chris Hardwick, and more fantastic voice actors bring this game to life. The first episode introduces the two protagonists of the game: Rhys and Fiona. Rhys is a Hyperion (a very bad company) employee who is screwed out of a higher position in the company by his rival Vasquez. Vasquez was on the cusp of a deal for a vault key (everyone wants these) on Pandora, but Rhys with his best friend Vaughn try to make the deal themselves in order to undermine Vasquez. Not everything goes as planned. Fiona is a con-artist who, along with her family, made a fake vault key to sell to some Hyperion jerk off for a lot of money. As you can probably see, the deal made by Vasquez was actually going to screw him over but instead unites our two protagonists in a broken relationship that falters at any given time. I really enjoyed the choices you were forced to make in this game. They really tested you and what you felt were the aspirations of each character. Although the game is filled with humor, there are intimate moments that build up the atmosphere and harshness that is Pandora. I would say these story driven moments in Tales from the Borderlands are better than any from the actual Borderlands games. I am impatiently waiting for the next episode to be released.