Video Game Reviews

Share this:Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0

At first glance they are indeed adorable … but on closer inspection, you see no soul in their godless eyes.

Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appetit
Cooking Mama Limited / Majesco
Reviewed on: 3DS (Exclusive)
Street: 09.16
I take a lot from video games, even little games like Cooking Mama—I learned how to dice an onion from playing it back when it was first released. Cooking Mama games involve cooking dishes, which is essentially a string of mini-games with the end result being a plate of food that occasionally looks delicious. The mini-games range from dicing onions to mashing things in a bowl and every mini-game is graded by “Mama”. Sometimes you do it just like her and rock the game, and other times you set her eyes on fire from frustration with your inadequacies. The mini-games are more fun than they sound, but they are pretty easy since this is geared more towards the little ones. There’s more than the cooking mini-games in this entry too—there’s a “shop” where you fulfill orders in rapid succession, some “chores” like feeding fish, and all sorts of fun, quick games. There’s also some educational mini-games for the kids that aren’t terrible and combined with all of the other mini-games it should keep them entertained for a bit. – Ashley Lippert

Costume Quest 2
Double Fine Productions / Midnight City
Reviewed On: PC
Also On: PlayStation 4, Playstation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, WiiU
Street: 10.31
Halloween may very well be the only holiday that still gets me somewhat excited. Pretty much every year, when October rolls around, I’m adding scary movies to my Netflix queue, buying a ton of candy for the eight kids that still trick or treat, and paying ungodly amounts to walk through a dark warehouse and have teenagers in gory makeup scream at me. So, to be able to top it all off with an adorable RPG made by one of my favorite game developers is, well, it’s awesome. Costume Quest 2 again has you play as Wren and Reynold, this time chasing down an evil dentist, who wants to stop Halloween, through time. It’s an old school, turn-based action RPG in the vein of Earthbound and Final Fantasy. Though the combat can, at times, feel repetitive, the writing and art more than make up for it. Costume Quest 2 reminds me of kids shows, like Adventure Time and Phineas & Ferb, in that it’s obviously made with kids in mind, but there is more than enough subtle humour for adults to enjoy. Beyond that, it’s just a great game that helps put you in the mood for a great holiday.  –Blake Leszczynski

Destiny
Activision / Bungie
Reviewed on: Xbox One / Xbox 360
Also On: PS3, PS4
Street: 09.09
First and foremost – Destiny is an imperfect gaming experience. The story can come off as cliche; from time to time, the missions feel forced and repetitive; and the world exploration, and the world itself, at times, feels cold and lacking. All of these things, combined with the ridiculous amount of press and hype surrounding it, can, at first, make Destiny feel like a bit of a let down. That’s understandable. But give it some time, settle into it a bit, maybe put a few blinders on toward some of the more glaring shortcomings – and you may find that Bungie’s first title since leaving Master Chief behind is every bit as good as anything out there right now. Graphically it’s gorgeous. Seriously, this game’s art never stops impressing me. Also, combat feels on par with the early Halo games, which is a good thing. But what stands out the most is the co-op elements in this game. Joining a fire-team of friends and playing through missions in Destiny is great fun. When playing together, there is a degree of teamwork and strategy emphasized – which makes communication paramount. You just can’t say that about most co-op games. Overall, this is a very good game that excels when played with friends.  –Blake Leszczynski

As Destiny was my first experience with the world of next-gen consoles, I was fully expecting an aftermath of picking up the pieces of my blown mind after spending a few hours with it.  I didn’t feel as if these expectations were unwarranted. I saw some amazing gameplay footage at E3, Bungie had set the bar ridiculously high with Halo, and all of the gaming news outlets that I follow on Facebook wouldn’t shut up about it for weeks after its release.  At first, when I saw that my character would be given four different planets to explore, the loot-grabbing explorer in me got a bit giddy.  But, after spending a weekend grinding away, I soon realized that the game’s action consists of little more than going to an undersized map to find groups of predictably-placed enemies and killing them.  Over.  And over.  And over.  Typically, all of this alien-slaughter serves as a vehicle for some kind of story, but that’s not really the case here. I hesitate to use the word "story" to describe why the characters are zipping around the galaxy and pumping hostile aliens full of lead.  Instead, let’s call it what it is–a vague shell of an idea that could potentially be a story involving a giant orb and floating robots with celebrity voices.  It’s true that one can’t make an MMORPG without a few ingredient-harvesting missions, the fact that the whole game is based on that dynamic feels a bit lazy.  For a game with unmatched graphical technology and constant access to the Internet, Destiny comes across as surprisingly shallow. –Alex Springer