Hello Neighbor Review

Hello Neighbor Review. Imagine you’re a small child in a quiet suburb, playing in the street on an idyllic afternoon. Suddenly, there’s a terrible shrieking from your neighbor’s house across the road. You run over and peek in the neighbor’s window just in time to see him barricading the basement door. What is he hiding down there? A prisoner? A nightmarish genetic abomination? Hello Neighbor has answers to that question, but not only is getting to those answers an enormously frustrating experience, but the answers themselves aren’t worth the effort.

Hello Neighbor is based around a stellar idea: In the game’s first act, you are that aforementioned child, who has taken it upon himself to sneak into his neighbor’s house any way he can and get into the basement. The neighbor–a gruff gentleman with an all-time great mustache–doesn’t take kindly to intrusions, though, and each time the child gets caught trying to sneak in, the neighbor sets new traps, locks doors, and patrols that area more often. Conceptually, it’s a promising twist on the usual neck-snapping military shenanigans of the average stealth game. The aesthetics are also a bit unusual, with a sort of warped 1950s retro design to everything that truly stands out. Unfortunately, that’s where the coolness ends.

Hello Neighbor Review
Hello Neighbor Review

In practice, even with the game spending significant time in Early Access, it feels unfinished at launch. While it’s commendable that there’s so much leeway in how you can approach the neighbor’s house, Hello Neighbor tips the balance from player freedom to player neglect. The controls are bizarrely unintuitive, with an unusual and confusing button layout that can’t be remapped. But the further you progress in the house, the more convoluted the neighbor’s security system turns out to be.

Hello Neighbor hearkens back to the dark ages of point-and-click adventure games in terms of nonsensical solutions to simple problems. A complex magnet device, which you use to activate switches from afar in a couple of puzzles, is lying around in a place obvious enough to stumble on it by accident. Meanwhile, for some reason, something as useful as a simple wrench is lying in the neighbor’s fridge, where you would never think to look. All the while, the game itself offers zero insight into what a given item can or cannot be used for, with many items’ functions flying in the face of basic reason.

The game’s complete disregard for logic or consistency shows itself when the neighbor is factored in as well. Left to his own devices, he just wanders his home aimlessly, with no discernible pattern. However, no matter how softly you sneak around, no matter how carefully you evade, the neighbor’s ability to hear, see, and find you seems to be wholly unaffected by anything you do. In one of my earliest playthroughs, I had managed to sneak up behind the guy, trying to see if I could pick his pockets, and he never moved. Later, I was two rooms away from him, having snuck into an open window, and somehow, he went on high alert and found me. That level of unpredictability works when it’s a xenomorph in Alien Isolation, but not when it’s a guy dressed like Ned Flanders. The sole blessing here is that getting caught, despite being an experience entirely without tension since all the guy does is get up in your face, immediately drops you back at your house, typically with any items you’ve picked up along the way still in your inventory.

Steep: Road To The Olympics Review

Steep: Road To The Olympics Review. When Ubisoft Annecy’s extreme sports game Steep launched last year, it sold itself on the promise of big mountain exploration. In light of this, Steep’s newest expansion, Road to the Olympics, feels somewhat incongruous with the rest of the game. Something as regimented, restricted, and well-defined as the Olympics does not fit well with a game that challenges you to break all restrictions and find every nook and cranny hidden in the mountains. However, despite its name, Road to the Olympics includes much more than just the Olympics; it adds a huge swath of beautiful and brutal terrain, as well as new events that are surprisingly entertaining.

Those parts of the DLC are hidden behind the story mode, however, which is not much more than a classic longshot narrative: You are an aspiring freestyle Olympian, and you have to complete a series of events in order to make it onto the Olympic team. Your ultimate goal is to become the first freestyle athlete to win the gold medal in all three freestyle disciplines: Big Air, Slopestyle, and Halfpipe.

Steep: Road To The Olympics Review
Steep: Road To The Olympics Review

As you progress through training and the various pre-Olympic competitions, the story is interspersed with actual video interviews with famous winter athletes. These are probably the best moments in the mode, as it’s fascinating to hear Lindsey Vonn or Gus Kenworthy talk about their training regimen, what their anxieties are, or how it feels to win a competition. Generally, Olympic athletes only ever get visibility when they are actually participating in the Olympics, so it’s easy to only think of them in the context of their sports. To see highly successful athletes sitting down in street clothes and talking about their experiences with obvious passion instills a sense of humanity and relatability that we rarely otherwise get.

Unfortunately, the rest of the story doesn’t match the interviews in quality. Each event feels bizarrely disconnected from the interviews, and the mode’s narrator treats your character as a nameless, faceless competitor who is supposed to be taking snowboarding by storm. In addition, the actual competitions are frustratingly easy if you’ve played the base game. During my playthrough of the story, I never once came close to falling out of first place, and I’d routinely score two or three times higher than the other competitors. During some events, where the total score is the sum of the scores of three runs, my two-run score would be significantly higher than the competitors’ three-run scores. Although its in-depth tutorial make it a great mode for newcomers, veterans of the game won’t find anything particularly exciting or intriguing. Thankfully, it only takes three hours to complete, so you can quickly get through it and turn your attention to the much more rewarding parts of the expansion: the new open world and the various challenges contained within.

Most Read Game Reviews Of 2017

Most Read Game Reviews Of 2017. With 2017 quickly coming to a close and 2018 looming on the horizon, we’re taking a step back to reflect on the biggest gaming trends from the past year. 2017 was packed with incredible game releases across all platforms, from instant PS4 classics like Horizon Zero Dawn and Persona 5 to the debut of the Nintendo Switch and its exceptional new Mario and Legend of Zelda games. The past year was certainly not lacking for highly anticipated releases, regardless of which console you own.

But while many of the year’s most hotly awaited titles lived up to the lofty expectations surrounding them, not every game turned out the way fans may have hoped. Mass Effect: Andromeda was considered by many to be one of the year’s biggest disappointments, especially compared to its acclaimed predecessors, and at the beginning of the year, few could have predicted the backlash that would meet Star Wars Battlefront II thanks to its controversial microtransactions. Fan criticism was so severe that EA temporarily removed microtransactions from the game just prior to its launch.

Most Read Game Reviews Of 2017
Most Read Game Reviews Of 2017

With so many major titles out in 2017, we’ve compiled a list of our top 20 most-read game reviews from January through the end of November. Read on to see which reviews were our most popular in the past year. “Within Persona 5 is a complex set of interconnected gameplay mechanics, and in almost every aspect Atlus has executed on its vision exceptionally, barring the pacing issues towards the end. At every turn, it presents something to marvel at, whether it’s the fluid combat, vibrant world, or the many memorable characters.

It’s a game I could talk about for hours; I haven’t mentioned the ability to connect to the Thieves Guild, which lets you see how other players spent their day or ask them for help answering questions at school. Or the thumping acid-jazz-infused soundtrack that I’ve not been able to get out of my head. Or even just the joy of seeing how it stylishly transitions between menus. But that encapsulates why Persona 5 is a game that shouldn’t be missed. It’s stuffed to bursting point with gameplay ideas and presentation flourishes–there’s an overwhelming level of artistry in every part of Persona 5, making it a truly standout entry in the series.” — Lucy James [Read the full review]

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is every bit as fantastical as you’d hope, an RPG set in a massive world where man and animal live on the backs of tremendous beasts in a sea of clouds. The world of Alrest, simultaneously Earthly and alien, with a mysterious history that even its major players fail to truly understand, is a magical place to inhabit. It appropriately sets the stage for an epic adventure that gets more interesting as it develops, but this greatness comes after dozens of hours filled with eye rolls and bewilderment. For all the good things Xenoblade 2 eventually introduces, the 80-plus hours it takes to complete the story won’t feel like time wasted, but the bad taste of the its lesser qualities is never completely washed away.

The cliched hero Rex is a naive and upbeat salvager who gets wrapped up in contract work with the game’s soon-to-be villains at the start. They seek a legendary sword, which in this case is the weapon-manifestation of a human-like being known as a Blade. When a human resonates with a Blade, as Rex does with his objective, Pyra, a lifelong partnership forms. Though sentimental to a point, these bonds are also a bit lopsided as Blades are forever bound to serve their masters. Xenoblade 2 does address this as the story unravels, one of the few smart instances when the game puts itself to task. Rex doesn’t quite enjoy the same full-circle maturation, sadly, though his positivity at least grows more welcome as stakes rise and other characters’ outlooks sour.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review

Anyone familiar with Xenoblade Chronicles will rightfully recognize the way Xenoblade 2 sets you up to be surprised in the end, as characters gradually reveal secret thoughts, unveil unexpected backstories, and make moves that catch you off guard. These thought-provoking revelations reshape your understanding of the world and the point of your participation. But long before the story delivers these compelling beats, you are thrust into predictable scenarios and presented with poorly voiced characters from one scene to the next. Once again, the stout and furry Nopon creatures are an annoyance on par with Jar Jar Binks, harming would-be dramatic scenes the moment they open their mouths.

Rex and Pyra seek Elysium, a sort of paradise atop a towering tree running through the center of Alrest. They partner with a small selection of comrades from different walks of life who surprisingly have more in common than they initially realize. You can only ever travel as a party of three, but with a Blade standing behind each character, or Driver, battles are frenzied displays. Still, Xenoblade 2 gives you a chance to breathe and strategize during its real-time bouts. Every character will dish out basic attacks automatically, which in turn fuel more advanced skills. You only ever have complete control over one character, but your allies will chime in with requests to perform certain moves. How you manage this process, and the numerous other battle mechanics, can make or break your success against the game’s tougher enemies.