VGBlogger Holiday Review Guide: PC

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These are the PC games we reviewed this year!

Torchlight: “Torchlight has gotten loads of attention and became something of a media darling in late 2009, yet as some have noted very few reviews have made reference to the vast similarities to 2005′s Fate. I have no idea why that is, but let me again be clear: if you played Fate you will see more than a passing resemblance in Torchlight. That is good and bad, as I said, because if you liked Fate, chances are you’ll enjoy Torchlight; but if you didn’t like Fate don’t even bother trying Torchlight. Torchlight is a pure action-RPG, and as such doesn’t pretend to be ‘story driven’ or character centric – not even to the limited extent of games like Sacred or Titan Quest. But as I said at the outset, it never tries to be those things, it just aims for pure action-RPG fun, and it absolutely succeeds at being an evolutionary step forward from Fate in that regard.” Read the full review for more.

Twin Sector: “As I said at the start, this game would have made a very nice proof of concept in 2003 or 2004, but is a failure in 2010. While I am willing to forgive many things in unique small-shop games, the combination of mediocre graphics, bland design, terrible voice acting and dialogue, listless production values, erratic puzzles, and inconsistent physics is just too much for me to tolerate. The game has dropped quickly in price, and will likely be available on Steam for $5 before long. At that point, if you have already tried the demo and are for some reason STILL itching to play, you might not be too disappointed in the money you spent. Otherwise just stay far away.” Read the full review for more.

KrissX: “But the good news is that, meager difficulty, recycled words and all, KrissX is good, clean word scrambling fun, delivering the instant accessibility and appealing presentation that’s expected of a casual game and that compulsive “just one more game” quality that is so important to a puzzler. However, for such a simplistic game the 800 MS Point asking price is perhaps 400 points too high – at $5 KrissX would be a must-have word puzzler, but at $10 the value proposition isn’t nearly as enticing.” Read the full review for more.

Divinity II: Ego Draconis: “For ardent fans of Divine Divinity, the return to the setting and characters along with the brilliant music might be enough to justify paying full price to play immediately; and for hardcore RPG fans thirsting for another fix I also think there is plenty to like; but for most folks I would recommend waiting for a good sale or a lull in the RPG onslaught to give this a shot. So I am giving the game a weak ‘BUY’ recommendation.” Read the full review for more.

Mass Effect 2: “I thought I was going to wind up much more critical of Mass Effect 2 based on the myriad minor criticisms I have noted and the various design and storyline shortcomings, yet I find that I thoroughly enjoyed the game. The main story is flawed, the mini-games tedious by the end, the RPG elements overly streamlined, and so on; but the characters are interesting and their quests compelling, combat is fun and intense, and the overall experience is just a blast. Easy recommendation for shooter and RPG fans alike!” Read the full review for more.

Mind’s Eye: Secrets of the Forgotten: “Other than that, the only thing I really have to complain about is a lack of value. Mind’s Eye is a reasonable $10, but it only takes an hour or two to complete and doesn’t have any type of scoring/reward system to invite you back to play multiple times. And with Alawar offering a 1-hour trial version, you can get as much enjoyment from the demo as the full version without having to pay a single cent.” Read the full review for more.

Settlement: Colossus: “Out of nowhere, Settlement: Colossus has become one of my favorite games of the year so far, regardless of platform. It is a very simple game, but at the same time it has a sense of depth and ambition behind it that truly surprised and impressed me. Settlement: Colossus takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary, and for that it has earned my undying respect. Hidden object games, and casual games in general, simply don’t get much better than this.” Read the full review for more.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat: “Now we have S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, and it is truly the ultimate realization of the concept: a huge open living world in which you are just one of many potential heroes. The game still centers around your actions, but more than ever the world truly feels alive. You will spend a couple of dozen hours getting through the game, and the open feel predictably narrows towards the end of the game, but I never felt that the game was rushed or unfinished. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat is a satisfying third entry in the franchise.” Read the full review for more.

Sins of a Solar Empire – Trinity: “Sins of a Solar Empire manages to combine elements of both the RTS and 4X genres without sacrificing too much from either. It is a game of huge scope that is easily managed due to a brilliantly handled user interface. Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity brings in the two expansions that build the game into an even better and deeper experience, and all for a very reasonable price ($40). There are sacrifices in depth and complexity compared to the best games of either the RTS or 4X genre, but Sins of a Solar Empire manages to find a very solid way to bring gamers the best of both worlds in a package that is accessible without ever feeling like a compromise. If you have missed out on the game for the last couple of year like I did, correct that mistake now and get in on some of the best space strategy gaming in years!” Read the full review for more.

Supreme Commander 2: “That said, Supreme Commander 2 remains a deep and difficult RTS that will undoubtedly be more complex than any other game in the genre this year. Yet the compromises made to make it more accessible have failed in two ways – the game is still too complicated for new players, but is also unsatisfying for fans of the original. It is a solid game, to be sure, but not one that anyone will remember six months from now.” Read the full review for more.

The Devil’s Playhouse – Episode 1: The Penal Zone: “And fun is the name of the game for a Sam & Max adventure, and it is here in mass quantities! Once again the episodes are short … and once again I can’t wait for the next one to arrive!” Read the full review for more.

Majesty 2: Kingmaker: “You will spend many hours working through the new mission content, and by then you’ll be ready for some multiplayer. Whether you create your own maps or use the in-game content, the multiplayer is much improved. Otherwise the game is every bit as polished, stable, lighthearted and just plain fun as the original. If you enjoyed the original, this is an easy recommendation – and if you missed out on it before, grab the Gold pack that includes both the original game and this expansion!” Read the full review for more.

The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom: “But taking a mediocre game, and killing performance with an unoptimized Cider wrapper and leaving the entire thing too buggy, then overlaying an abusive DRM system makes for an intolerable situation. The Settlers 7 fails as a game to live up to the expectations set by some of the earlier games in the series – but frankly, it has been a long time since the franchise posted a decent entry, and The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom doesn’t change that.” Read the full review for more.

Mount & Blade: Warband: “Since Mount & Blade: Warband launched, the price has dropped and there have been multiple sales. I have played it time and again – and the great thing is that Taleworlds is relentless in their improvements and tweaks, so the game they delivered six months ago has become much more refined. But it still feels like a big compromise – you get multiplayer, some tweaks and improvements to the gameplay … but largely it feels like a half-hearted effort, like a real standalone follow-up should have delivered more. Especially for those who bought but never spent too much time with the original – they have been largely left behind, needing to pay again and not seeing the benefit of the new content for quite a while. It is a really good game for what it does, but you really have to ask yourself “is this what I want in a game”? If so, buy without question. Otherwise … skip it without regret.” Read the full review for more.

Metro 2033: “Metro 2033 presents a compelling scenario, but too often fails to deliver on that promise. With too little variety of weapons, too many gimmicks, an unsatisfying stealth system and uneven difficulty, the game is too often more of a pain than a joy. The upside? It has been featured in a number of Steam sales already, and at some of the prices we’ve seen recently I would recommend Metro 2033 in a heartbeat … just not at full price.” Read the full review for more.

Might & Magic Heroes Kingdoms: “Ultimately Might & Magic Heroes Kingdoms is just another browser based online strategy game, albeit a very good one. I would advise anyone who finds the concept interesting to check it out – that is the beauty of these ‘free to play’ games! But beyond that, the slow pacing, generic world feel, and lackluster interface makes me question the value of buying a subscription. But as I said – give it a try, check how much you are playing, and see if it is worth your money to gain the advantage a Premium subscription brings.” Read the full review for more.

Plain Sight: “But that doesn’t detract from the great fun that Plain Sight offers. It is a simple and fun game that is a blast to play with others online for little bursts of explosive robo-ninja fun!” Read the full review for more.

Twisted Lands: Shadow Town: “Twisted Lands won’t scare you literally – and by literally I mean that it won’t make you jump out of your seat or give you nightmares or anything like that. But it does have a tense atmosphere and a creepy story, and in the end it’s nice to play a casual hidden object game skewed more toward the adult mind.” Read the full review for more.

ArcaniA – Gothic 4: “But at the same time, ArcaniA is not a ‘bad’ game: it offers decent performance, solid graphics, hours of action-based gameplay, and loads of quests. It isn’t terrible (unless you are a Gothic fan), but it isn’t very good either, since the action is simplistic, the quests are mind-numbingly all the same, and overall it is just a mediocre experience.” Read the full review for more.

Majesty 2: Battles of Ardania: “Battles of Ardania also adds new enemies such as the aforementioned werewolves, and also some new weapon sets. Again we are getting a huge campaign, loads of new content, great multiplayer additions – and all for barely more than the cost of most DLC! Majesty 2 is a great game that gets better with each new addition … and I can’t wait for next month’s final Monster Kingdom addition!” Read the full review for more.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!