GamesBeat Reviews

Below are all the reviews from GamesBeat in 2011. They are listed in reverse-chronological order by the date the review was posted, NOT the release date for the game.

Minecraft

Review: A Minecraft review isn’t really possible, but we’ll try anyway

How the hell do you write a review for a game that’s been out since 2009? A game that you’ve played across many changes, with additions and subtractions, a game without a box, a user manual, or, really, any sort of guiding pedagogy. I’ve personally spent at least 100 hours, probably more, playing this procedurally generated oddity of a video game across the beta and official versions, on servers, my own server, and in single player modes. And yet, I still can’t seem to get a simple handle on it, and why it keeps me coming back for more.

sr3-dbat

Review: Saints Row: The Third is crazy, crass and a whole lot of fun

Saints Row: The Third, the latest third-person action game from developer Volition and publisher THQ, blasts its way into the hectic Winter gaming marketplace, with more spectacular set pieces than a blockbuster movie, a huge array of customization options, and absolutely no sense of shame whatsoever. Following the two previous Saints Row titles, this latest installment lets you play the leader of the 3rd Street Saints, who are embroiled in a turf war with The Syndicate, a rival criminal gang in the fictional city of Steelport. Playing out in an open-world environment that encourages exploration, experimentation and general goofing around, the game makes clear its intentions from the beginning, namely to provide gamers with an exciting, fun and downright crazy experience, albeit not one for the easily offended. No longer just a street gang, the Saints are now a full-fledged crime syndicate.

Review: Sonic Generations reminds us that Sonic used to be cool

Sonic the Hedgehog has seen better days. After instant icon status and four classic Sega Genesis games in the early 1990s, he’s been steadily running downhill. The Saturn console never gave him a worthwhile showing. The Dreamcast suddenly died out from under him. Since then…well, it’s only gotten worse. Sonic has become synonymous with terrible 3D camera control and the strange fascination he holds for certain breeds of Internet crazy people.

Review: Super Mario 3D Land may resurrect the 3DS

Mario has been the face of video games since his creation in 1985. The kind of popularity that Mario and Nintendo have received from him is unfathomable, and I have no doubt in my mind that his newest reiteration, Super Mario 3D Land, will continue to keep Mario’s popularity and legacy in tact.

Review: Rayman Origins deserves your attention in this crowded month

Rayman Origins is a contender for the title of the best 2D platforming game of this generation, and that’s no small feat. Everything leading up to its release suggested this, but it cannot be overstated just how pitch-perfect this revitalization of one of gaming’s most under-appreciated mascots manages to be. This is the same limbless, unidentifiable protagonist that was overrun by mutated rabbits in his own game a few years ago. This time, it’s Rayman’s turn to take center stage once again.

Review: Ezio’s not the only thing getting old in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is the fourth title in Ubisoft’s award-winning, multi-platinum franchise. Developed by multiple internal studios around the globe and spanning more than 400 individual team members, the Assassin’s Creed series needs to sell better than most in order to offset its undoubtedly massive production costs. But can Ubisoft sustain such an ambitious annual business model while still keeping the sequels fresh and compelling?

Kinect-Sports-Season-2-baseball

Review: Kinect Sports Season 2 feels like a fumble at the goal line

When it was released alongside the Kinect last November, Kinect Sports was one of those easy purchases for a good majority of the peripheral’s early adopters. It was easy to jump in, fun for the whole family and a good display of what the 3D camera motion-sensing system could do. It was also filled with flaws and glitches that affected the game’s visuals and gameplay. Now, one year later, Rare and Microsoft return with Kinect Sports: Season 2.

Review: Why you should get the Humble Voxatron Debut indie game bundle

The Humble Voxatron Debut, a bundle of indie games, isn’t really all that humble, when you get down to it. For two weeks, users are able to name their own price for a bundle of top-tier indie games that includes the first-ever alpha release of Voxtatron along with the full versions of The Binding of Isaac and Blocks That Matter. And now that we’re entering the final weekend that the bundle’s on sale, we thought it might be time to tell you whether it’s worth it.

Review: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer is a sweet addiction

Dear reader. I died many times to bring you this review. I endured endless humiliation as my fellow gamers shot me and trampled over my dead body to collect my dog tags. I have suffered the indignity of being the last player shot in a game, which means that everybody gets to see my character die in slow motion. I must be a zombie though, pulled back into the same mindless entertainment, because I keep rising from the dead to play again.

skyrim dragon main

Review: Skyrim is far greater than the sum of its parts

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the latest blockbuster hopeful from developer/publisher Bethesda Softworks. Following in the footsteps of the studio’s previous award-winning open-world role-playing games Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3, Skyrim avoids tacked-on multiplayer and overpriced rainbow-colored launch day weapon DLC in favor of delivering the most rich and compelling single-player experience in video gaming history, a rare goal in a market dominated by competitive online titles such as Halo and Modern Warfare. Was Bethesda up to the ask? The answer is both yes and no.

Enjoying the fire in Dark Souls.

Review: Dark Souls is the loneliest, most brutal game this year. And you’ll love it.

It is dark. I have spent the last two hours stumbling and falling down a seemingly endless series of wooden platforms, facing off against attack dogs and ghouls, and being shot with poison darts. Finally reaching the ground, I find myself in a poisonous swamp, surrounded by giant mosquitoes and spiders. Somehow, I manage to cut a swathe through my enemies, only to be invaded by a dual-cleaver wielding phantom. Standing knee deep in swamp water, and barely able to move, I just manage to defeat this new foe. I struggle on, now poisoned and losing health fast. In the darkness, I see a tunnel, and inside is a bonfire. A safe haven in the gloom. A chance to replenish my health, and most importantly, a checkpoint of sorts. I am yards from the fire when, in a cruel twist of fate, I am invaded again, in retaliation for a previous transgression. This time there is no surviving. The phantom is upon me, and cuts me down where I stand. I must start my descent again. Welcome to the cruel and beautiful world of Dark Souls, one of the year’s big budget fantasy role-playing games created by From Software and published by Namco Bandai Games. While other blockbuster games are getting a lot of attention, this one could well be worth your time.

Battlefield 3 - MP screens - 10.24 - Valley03

Review: Battlefield 3 is EA’s biggest fumble since Medal of Honor

Battlefield 3 is easily the most important holiday release for Electronic Arts. All year the publisher has aggressively hyped the DICE-developed sequel as a Call of Duty-killer, and with Modern Warfare 3 still two weeks from release, EA has the vital first-to-market advantage. Although EA seems to have bet the farm on this title, analysts still expect Modern Warfare 3 to outperform Battlefield 3 by a 2:1 margin. Last year’s Call of Duty game, Call of Duty: Black Ops, generated over $1 billion in revenuewithin its first six weeks on the market.