LEGO Worlds [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

LEGO Worlds
First Impressions

Concept
7/10

Admittedly, the mere concept of LEGO Worlds is what draws me in.  Melding the sensibilities of Minecraft and LEGO itself, its subtle step forward is very exciting.  Of course, much of its concept relies on established tropes and mechanics.  While it’s not building a brand new concept afresh, the ideas and potential it brings to the table seem to be what I wanted from Minecraft in the first place.  However, I can’t deny that the inclusion of greatly varied brick sizes is the main allure in that package.  It makes for much more detailed, enjoyable and artful landscapes, the creation of which is at your beck and call in a variety of interesting ways.  …   [continue reading]

The Last Guardian [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

The Last Guardian
First Impressions

Concept
7/10

From its opening notes, it’s tough to discern exactly what the designers’ intentions were.  However, the game is clearly about teamwork and forming bonds.  Its unique approach of interacting with a very independent beast is compelling in the extreme.  Beyond that, it seems a slow and contemplative puzzle-platformer.  Under that lens, The Last Guardian is far from unique – even from the creators who made it.  While the ideas at play here are interesting and engaging, it’s admittedly a little thin on the ground.  Its minimalism sometimes undermines it, while also being a credit to its approach.  …   [continue reading]

The Deadly Tower of Monsters [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

The Deadly Tower of Monsters
First Impressions

Concept
7/10

This is a game full of little innovative ideas in both its gameplay and approach to storytelling.  They mostly keep its more pedestrian elements afloat, which are generally well implemented anyway.  It lulls you into thinking it’s less original than it actually is, before smashing you with a surprising number of inventive twists.  Quite an old-school approach throughout is lent a nostalgic feel rather than a stale one.

Gameplay
7/10

Quickly building on elements we’ve seen numerous times before, the bare bones of this game are fundamentals we are all well aware of.  …   [continue reading]

Retro City Rampage DX [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

Retro City Rampage DX
First Impressions

Concept
6/10

While the concept is appealing, enough so to make me purchase the game, it is admittedly a little thin and riding on the wave of previous trailblazers.  A fun idea people will most definitely want to play, there’s no doubting that there aren’t all that many original ideas to be found.

Gameplay
8/10

Every single separate area of this game’s design is wonderfully realised and a joy to play.  Driving takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s pretty much as smooth as it needs to be and is perhaps hampered by overpopulated streets. …   [continue reading]

Lords of the Fallen [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

Apologies for video quality!

Lords of the Fallen
First Impressions

(all ratings are out of 10)

Concept
1

How dare any video game be this staggeringly derivative in every area of its design?  Dark Souls fans will never be satisfied with a watered down version and the uninitiated will never care.  I’ve already put more effort into these sentences than must have been in any of the brainstorming sessions for this title.

Gameplay
3

Clunky and utterly lacking in any fun, the combat system is an insult and waste of players’ lives.  To add to this, the menus and character development are left elusive with no allure to want to learn their intricacies.  …   [continue reading]

Journey [FIRST&FINAL IMPRESSIONS]

Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

Journey
First Impressions

(all ratings are out of 10)

Concept
8

Video games as art is nothing new, but thatgamecompany‘s concept of building games around the emotions they want the player to feel is fascinating and unique.  The idea behind Journey and what it brings to the table represents a genuine step forward that too many young designers seem frightened of.  There are many more steps to take, but without Journey the whole process would surely have been slower.

British fellow consumes media and regurgitates back what you should think about it.
…   [continue reading]