New Game Poll Is Up!

What game do you want to see me play next on Restart? Go on to the Vote Page and cast your vote! This time you can select one of the following five games:

  • Age of Wonders
  • FEZ
  • Homefront
  • Painkiller
  • Tomb Raider

Be sure to vote because it has always been a really close call. It could be YOU who decides what game we’ll be playing!

WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness Review

warcraft ii tides of darknessI bought WarCraft II back in 1996 because I played its demo that I found on one of those CD-ROM discs full of game demos. I couldn’t believe there could be a game like this. I recently played the Battle.net edition through again and the game is just fantastic. I couldn’t believe how well it still held its head up but I just loved playing it again. Where do I start with this one. Both factions in the game are pretty much functionally mirror images of each other except for the spells (the reason everyone played with orcs on Kali) but Blizzard Entertainment managed to make them still feel very different due to the graphics and unit sounds. This game has tons of atmosphere and when I was a kid I was just so invested in every round that I can hardly get that excited about anything anymore. The missions are all well constructed and the game gets you gradually familiarized with all the different units. It’s not a breeze through because many of the missions can be really challenging. I always liked the boats in the game and it was a huge let down that they didn’t return in the sequel. I guess you can’t have everything.

XIII Review

xiiiXIII is a pretty damn decent effort in making a comic book type of game. This game is stylized to the brim. It also has a fun littly mystery action story that just keeps unraveling new twists after another. There are a lot of action sequences and a lot of sneaking sequences. The save system, however, makes the latter really frustrating because they are so easy to screw up. You can take a few hits but just getting seen can sometimes scratch a lot of progress off. I enjoyed the feel of the game and kept wanting to return to it. All that said there was still a sense of disconnect to the game. It didn’t really build its identity at any point. It was always just a guy shooting at other guys and that gets tiresome quickly.

Unreal Review

unrealUnreal is unreal. Even today it looks pretty decent and when it came out it was the prettiest game anyone had ever seen for years. The atmosphere is amazing. The graphics combined with the soundtrack by Alexander Brandon and Michiel van den Bos will enchant you and before you know it you’ve been playing for hours in another world. It has problems, though. The levels can be at times pretty empty in a good and in a bad way. Even though the textures and effects look wonderful the amount of geometry in the game is always on a pretty basic level. Still, the enemies, bosses, and the super fun weapons make this game worth playing no matter when you start it.

Torchlight Review

torchlightReviewing Torchlight is a tough one for me. It’s not a buggy game, everything works very efficiently, and the graphics and sounds have a clear unity to them. But I will never ever touch to this game again if possible. It doesn’t have any charm, the setting is dull beyond all belief, the identity it tries to build falls flat, the combat is exhaustingly boring, and the item hoarding reached its new pointless peak. Like I said there’s a unity to the graphics but they possess no appeal whatsoever. They’re just there. They don’t add anything to the game — certainly not atmosphere. Everything looks like a kiddy cartoon and strips the experience from any emotion there was left. You never find anything useful in the dungeons. I bought everything I used and only gathered stuff to sell it. The spells are useless. I wanted a mage but ended up using the special skill that by the way don’t get bonuses from your skills that you can level up. The levels are so repetitive that I barely noticed when their themes changed. The general jist of it was: switch the doodads around a bit and put up different color wallpapers. Then there are the end bosses which bring the word “boring” to a new level. It’s just running and grinding. For minutes. Or in the case of the final boss possibly HOURS (I can’t know for sure because I had to use cheat codes to get through it before I fell asleep). This game does so many things wrong that it doesn’t deserve any sort of recognition. It is just horrible.

Thief II: The Metal Age Review

thief ii the metal ageThief II really surprised me. At first I didn’t really give these sneaking games even a second thought but once when I was at a LAN party at my friend’s house one of the guys started playing the first Thief game and was super excited. Slowly I started to realize the appeal of this type of games and when I got my hands on Thief II, I was hooked. The atmosphere is super dense with all the non-player characters just trying to mind their own business and talking about the world events while you empty their pockets and houses. You have a sword. Not that it does much good. If the guards catch you it’s a battle you can’t win. Running and hiding are your best weapons in this game and getting past everyone unnoticed the goal. Once you realize the role you’re in the game just draws you in with a world that feels alive and paranoid. No reason not to. You’re out to get them.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game Flashback

teenage mutant ninja turtles ii the arcade gameTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II was another cool NES game that me and my cousin played like hell. We loved the Turtles and this game just had everything in it a Turtles fan could hope for. It had all the cool bosses from the cartoon, it had all the turtles as playable characters, it had a variety of different foot soldiers, it had Shredder, it had Krang! I can’t remember Krang being in any other Turtles game, though, I’m sure there are some. This was such a big deal to us. The levels were super awesome with cool minibosses and awesome racing sections, traps, enemies, etc. If you loved the Turtles this game gave you everything you could hope for.