Android Game Review: MLB Manager 2015

MLB Manager 2015

MLB Manager 2015
System: Android (also on iOS)
Genre: Baseball Simulator
Publisher: Out of the Park Developments
Release Date: March 2015

MLB Manager 2015 is the pint-sized version of the acclaimed simulator, Out of the Park Baseball 16 (OOTP 16), and this year marks the portable game’s first foray into the Android market. While not as extensive as its PC sibling, MLB Manager does boast a surprising amount of depth for its brand of on-the-go baseball.

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PC Game Review: Out of the Park Baseball 16

Out of the Park Baseball 16

Out of the Park Baseball 16
System: PC (also on Mac/Linux)
Genre: Baseball Simulator
Publisher: Out of the Park Developments
Release Date: March 23, 2015

When it comes to baseball gaming, there are essentially two options: 1) MLB The Show, for those who want to play the games on the field, and 2) Out of the Park Baseball (OOTP), for those who want a pure text-based simulator and are more interested in the analytical side of the sport. While both have their merits, I end up spending a lot more time developing and obsessing over my own in-game worlds within OOTP. This year’s version, Out of the Park Baseball 16, is easily the best one yet.

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PS Vita Game Review: Flyhunter Origins [2014]

Flyhunter Origins [PS Vita]

Flyhunter Origins 
System: PS Vita [reviewed], Steam, Android, iOS
Genre: 2D Platformer
Developer: Steel Wool Games
Publisher: Ripstone
Price: $6.99
Release Date: December 9, 2014

Flyhunter Origins is a family-friendly platformer that has a bit of an interesting pedigree behind it. The game’s developer, Steel Wool Games, is led by a quintet of Pixar veterans, and their animation background is definitely an asset. Their talent is on display during the game’s aesthetically-pleasing cutscenes, and these moments send the game off to a promising start. It’s a shame that these positive impressions start crumbling down as soon as the gameplay kicks in.
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Month In Review [September 2014]

In order of viewing:
1) Master and Commander: Far Side of the World [2003] – 8/10
Master and Commander: Far Side of the World [2003]

2) Dead Silence [2007] – 3/10
Dead Silence [2007]

3) Waking Life [2001] – 8/10
Waking Life [2001]

4) Apollo 13 [1995] – 7/10
Apollo 13 [1995]

5) Philadelphia [1993] – 7/10
Philadelphia [1993]

6) Tape [2001] – 7/10
Tape [2001]

7) The Untouchables [1987] – 8/10
The Untouchables [1987]

8) The Aviator [2004] – 8/10
The Aviator [2004]

Video Games Completed:
1) Batman: Arkham Asylum [Xbox 360]* – 9/10
Batman: Arkham Asylum [Xbox 360]

2) South Park: The Stick of Truth [Xbox 360] – 8/10
South Park: The Stick of Truth [Xbox 360]

3) The Walking Dead: Season Two [Xbox 360] – 9/10
The Walking Dead: Season Two [Xbox 360]

* denotes replay

TV Shows Finished:
1) Veep [Season 2] – 8/10
Veep [Season 2]

2) Archer [Season 2] – 8/10
Archer [Season 2]

Best of the Month: Aside from one misfire which I will get to in the next section, I had a great (albeit slow) month of movie watching. Although I rated most of them similarly, I have to give the edge to Waking Life as my favorite of the group. Richard Linklater’s philosophical animated film raises a lot of intriguing thoughts and questions, though I can’t pretend to understand some of its more weightier segments. Definitely one I would like to revisit at some point. For video games, the second season of The Walking Dead was just as bleak and depressing as the first one, and I loved it pretty much all the way through. It doesn’t have a character on the level of Lee from season one, but it’s still an excellent followup, and I am very curious to see where the next season goes.

Worst of the Month: I have mostly enjoyed director James Wan’s past work (particularly Saw and The Conjuring), but Dead Silence is just an awful, awful film. It has a cliché-ridden plot, laughable performances (Ryan Kwanten and Donnie Wahlberg, ladies and gentlemen) and some seriously cringe-worthy dialogue. Worst of all, there is no sense of dread anywhere. Just very disappointing.

Video Game Review: Velocity 2X [PS Vita/PS4]

Velocity 2X [PS Vita/PS4]

Velocity 2X 
System: PS Vita [reviewed], PS4
Genre: Shoot ’em up, platformer
Developer: FuturLab
Publisher: FuturLab
Price: $19.99 (cross buy, free for PS+ members)
Release Date: September 2, 2014

Velocity Ultra was a bit of a sleeper indie hit on the Playstation Network last year, and today sees the release of its much-anticipated sequel Velocity 2X.

Whereas Ultra innovated with its unique hybrid of shoot ’em up gameplay and puzzles involving teleportation, 2X expands upon this template by bringing in a brand new dynamic: side-scrolling platforming. The transition between shmup action and platforming is seamless, and it tactfully brings together two genres that you normally wouldn’t think of combining.

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