The sub-genre of tabletop games where you stack things until they fall over goes deeper than Jenga. I’m not throwing any shade at the classic, but it’s so ubiquitous that I feel like many don’t know anything else beyond it. For example, Animal Upon Animal is a fantastic alternative, where players stack animal-shaped blocks on top of each other. Another game that’s attempting to topple the Jenga empire is Verti-Go. Does it have what it takes to carve some time out of your schedule to give it a chance?
[NOTE: I’ve sampled a little bit of everything that the game has to offer, but I’m not gonna be able to spend enough time with some of the game’s more involved single-player content to provide a thorough judgment on the game. As such, I’m keeping the scope of this piece just to the parts I’ve played so far.]
Ever since the release of Mortal Kombat 9, NetherRealm Studios has set the gold standard for what a complete fighting game should be. Sharp visuals, tons of single player content, and combat – er, kombat – that’s appealing to casual and competitive players. They’ve never rested on their laurels either, as the Mortal Kombat and Injustice games have introduced a number of innovations to the genre, from a Variation system where different versions of the same character will have altered move set and costumes, to the ability to leverage background objects as weapons or jumping-off points in battle.
Based on NetherRealm’s glowing track record, Mortal Kombat 11 should have been as close to a guaranteed home run as one could get in the genre. Based on what I’ve played, it reaches or exceeds those lofty expectations.
During my childhood, the original Fireball Island board game made quite the impression on me. Unlike many games of its time, this one was played on a 3D board, complete with pathways, hills, rickety bridges, and an ominous fireball-shooting mountain at the top. You could steal treasure from other players by passing them on the board. Of course, there was also the fireballs. Strategically positioned on the map, you could send one crashing into your rivals, knocking them down while causing them to drop their treasure. This level of adventure and treachery was beyond cool at the time.
Though the original has been long out of print, the game returns as a modern remaster from Restoration Games. Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar certainly looks the part when you set it all up, but does it maintain the essence of the original while making the game play well for modern times?
Classic? Hardly. Panned by critics and gamers for falling well short of their expectations, the PlayStation Classic has failed to find an audience. Even after the price drops and promotions, these mini consoles continue to collect dust on store shelves.
But is the PlayStation Classic truly worth dodging at all costs? Once I saw the console on sale at 75% off its original retail price, I decided to buy one. Figured at that price, it’s at least a functional mini console with a few all-time greats, such as Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid. With greatly-reduced expectations and purchased at a price that won’t break the bank, I skim what it has to offer to see if the unit has any merit.
From the blocky pixels of Star Wars on the Atari 2600, to the large-scale combat of Star Wars: Battlefront 2, video games have continually evolved in order to bring players closer to the action. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire is a VR experience that raises the bar for immersion to an all-time high.
Tetris 99 has been one of 2019’s biggest surprises. Putting a battle royale spin on a timeless classic has grown to become Nintendo Switch Online’s killer app. Even with only one mode during the first few months of the game’s existence, I’ve poured dozens of hours into the game and had no plans of stopping.
But for players looking to shake things up, the Big Block DLC is available for purchase. For $9.99 USD, you get access to two new offline modes. Are these new additions enough to pry you away from the online multiplayer action?
I’m in the midst of writing my review for Mortal Kombat 11. Taking a moment to reflect on what I’d written thus far, it was over 1,000 words long, with the vast majority of it being focused on a handful of new gameplay adjustments that I find really cool. Whether I keep it all or not, being my own boss here at In Third Person gives me the wiggle room to approach my evaluation of the game in any way I so choose.
Having that freedom is really important to me with regards to the work I do here. While reviews are a staple of the video game content mix, I also find them to be a chore. Especially when you’re writing them with the goal of covering every aspect of what a game has to offer so that your readers can make an informed purchasing decision. It’s an unnatural way to consume and write about games that can really wear someone down over time. If it’s a game you don’t like, the strain to complete the game and review is amplified further.
Long after his passing, the legacy of Bob Ross continues to shine. Episodes of his show The Joy of Painting are still popular online decades after its television run ended in the 90s. Though I don’t think anyone imagined that his work would have an impact on the board game world, there are two in his name as of writing.
Bob Ross: The Art of Chill does not involve any actual drawing or painting. You’ll want to play Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents for that type of experience. Instead, it is a strategy game that loosely simulates the experience of painting alongside the legend himself. Can you keep up with Bob Ross and achieve maximum chill? Or at the very least, make the most of your happy little accidents?
During AKI’s legendary run of producing some of the best wrestling games ever made, they made two for the WWF: WWF Wrestlemania 2000 and WWF No Mercy. The latter is widely recognized by many – including me – as the single greatest wrestling video game of all-time. The former is…the precursor everyone forgot about in the shadow of the greatest wrestling video game of all time. Quite frankly, I have largely blocked out the existence of Wrestlemania 2000 from my mind until the opportunity arose to stream it on the eve of Wrestlemania 35. Playing the game again served as a great reminder for what makes it enjoyable to this day, but also why it faded into obscurity.
20XX by Batterystaple Games isn’t afraid to show where its inspiration came from. From the design of its main characters, to the feel of the game’s controls, right down to aping one of the most iconic intro screens in gaming, this is an unapologetic riff on the Mega Man franchise, particularly the X series of games. However, some fundamental changes to the core formula flip the standard bot-battling formula on its head.