Asad Reviews: The Surge

Released May 16, 2017
Developer: Deck13 Interactive
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
MSRP: $59.99

The Surge is a game that wears its influences on its sleeve. In its gameplay, story presentation, and level design, it hearkens back to lessons learned from FROM Software’s Souls series. Like developer Deck13’s previous game, Lords Of The Fallen, it largely borrows from the Souls series. The Surge is well worth playing if you are craving more Souls-like gameplay, but it falls short in terms of overall polish, presentation, and stability. Continue reading “Asad Reviews: The Surge”

Adam Reviews Yooka-Laylee: The Review Audience Got It Wrong

Some review sites said Yooka-Laylee is too much like the platformers of old. Isn’t that the god damn point?

When Yooka-Laylee was announced some time ago, I was met with immediate excitement.  As a latch-key kid growing up, 3D platformers were my go-to for gaming in the 64-bit era.  Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie/Tooie, Donkey Kong 64, Gex, Crash etc were regulars in my gaming time.  The genre died off, but thanks to the indie movement as of late, we’re seeing them make a comeback.

I tend not to hold too much stock in reviews.  Everyone is different and has a perspective that is unique to what is brought from the table.  Sure it’s fine to read them and get a general consensus of how the game is trending before buying it.  Buying games recklessly without at least hearing some buzz about it beforehand can really burn you (hi No Man’s Sky), but it really comes down to your own opinions and preferences in gaming.  If you’re a fan of 3D platformers, odds are you’ll love Yooka-Laylee.

Well, that’s what I assumed, but recently a number of high profile review sites (Kotaku, Polygon and IGN) may have bucked that belief.  Now this isn’t going to be a shitfest against these publications, I’m a fan of all three and visit them frequently.  However, a common thread ties all three of these sites together: they kind of ragged on the game for being a complete throwback to a 90s 3D platformer.

From the camera, to the collectathons, to the quirky characters, these publications thought that this love letter to gameplay nostalgia should’ve had more conventional components to make the game better.  Um, HELLO?  The whole point of this game was to pay homage to the 3D platformers of the past.  How could these publications miss the point so badly?  How could they not see how well Playtonic executed their vision for a 3D platformer for today?  The camera isn’t awful at all (I haven’t died once because of camera errors), collectathons are a great mechanic to entice gamers to explore the areas more thoroughly, which in turn makes them appreciate it more when they find that elusive collectable, and quirky characters based on animals have been around since the beginning of gaming (Sonic would be very boring if he was just a human with red shoes).

Again, I’m not going to bash their opinions, but it seems like some people just don’t get the allure of 3D platformers, and maybe those same people shouldn’t review them.  On our next podcast episode I’ll be giving my review.  Is Yooka-Laylee perfect?  Of course not, but I like it plenty.  Which is why I wish people who had the same passion for the genre would’ve given more reviews on it.  You won’t see Asad reviewing Madden any time soon, and if he did he’d probably give it a poor score because he hates sports and has no idea who Jerry Rice is.  Just something to chew on…

  • Adam