Other than the fleeting moments of marveling at your finished renderings of numerous Ken Sugimori-designed creatures, the game offers little long-term rewards for your time invested in its whimsical workshops.
Some will try to excuse this nonsense by claiming the game is for kids, but this cynical explanation implies we live in an age where we should lie to everyone, including our children, about what "adventure" entails.
The campy hypersexuality feels joyful, rather than oppressive, because the character's overdetermined gender presentation is an expression of her power rather than a contrast to it.
That Sleeping Dogs only receives the slightest of graphical upticks—primarily in textures and fine details—is less a sign of laziness in porting the game to next gen so much as a testament to how well-crafted Sleeping Dogs was to begin with.
While the moon, Elpis, may be oxygen-light, the game itself is every inch as humor-heavy as previous installments, proving itself to be safely, if perhaps too reverently, in the hands of new developer 2K Australia.
GTA may be more graphic, but I'd rather have kids play in that fully realized world, with the wealth of side-missions, beautiful views, and more authentic vehicles, than in this dumbed-down cartoon catastrophe.
There are too many dings on the chassis, from the constant inability to activate promised features and occasionally glitchy effects of current and standard modes.
The refinements to returning characters, while not quite revelatory, are notable for their ability to subtly tip the scales in favor of the dedicated player in a pinch.
It feels like the work of developers who've have been thinking about the perfect Alien video game since they were daydreaming in homeroom.
Over the last decade, Frogwares has been steadily eliminating the impossibly bad elements from their games, and what remains is the closest anyone's ever come to an authentic Baker Street experience.
This isn't the one game to rule them all, but it's a powerful experience in its own right, one that every fantasy enthusiast should pick up.
Whether you're playing with friends at home, emulating the arcade experience online, getting intimate with the single player story, taking fighting lessons from the computer, or grinding experience, this is the entire package.
This is the kind of old-school experience one expects when you pick up a Dynasty Warriors title, but on the flipside of the coin, the game attempts to inject depth where none was ever needed when it comes to how to upgrade characters and weaponry.
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