Whispering Willows's success is limited due to inconsistent technical execution and a ho-hum finale.
Sunset's most tangible accomplishment is how it responds when your priorities clash and intermingle with those of the playable character.
Even with all the gadgets, all the training, all the exhilaration of success, Arkham Knight's greatest achievement is in making it feel like it just might not be enough.
Neither the artificial screen glare nor actress Viva Seifert's performance lend credibility to the game's lady-psychopath clichés.
The comedic lengths the game goes to make the series's trademark wanton cruelty palatable is impressive.
Unsurprisingly, Tamriel Ulimited runs as well on consoles as its predecessors, and its tried-and-true combat is a clean fit for the MMO format.
The result is two lackluster RPGs slapped together with a basic matching game, minus all the gotta-catch-'em-all glee of obtaining new, fancier things.
The virtue of shooters has always been how a simple set of parameters create an array of interesting decisions, and the game's greatness is how it expands that matrix.
Slightly Mad Studios alters the racing-car formula smartly in several areas, but the good ideas are often half-baked or hidden behind a load of cruft.
It lies somewhere between a fully formed game in which would-be wizards learn to chain elements into powerful spells and a low-rent improv show, in which everybody just makes things up as they go.
At least FFX tries to be humanist. Its direct sequel, FFX-2, is hollow in its calculated pandering to fandom.
Like Klei Entertainment's other games, it's aesthetically crisp and ninja-smooth, but the game all but vanishes from one's mind even while playing it.
Experience is earned largely through quests, not battle alone, which highlights CD Project RED's emphasis on thoughtful storytelling over mindless bloodshed.
Even the zombie material, which is still painfully boring and overdone conceptually, manages a few surprises.
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