Review – Max: The Curse of Brotherhood

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Max: The Curse of Brotherhood hit the Xbox One store on Friday. For some reason I thought I had read somewhere that it wouldn’t be out until early 2014 so I was pleasantly surprised to see the launch announcement Friday morning. After work was done, I was anxious to get home and sink my teeth into this quirky little title.

Max has a little brother named Felix and as far as little brothers go, he’s rather annoying. One this particular day, Max sought out a way to get rid of Felix on the internet by way of a spell. Felix is promptly whisked away to another world and Max jumps to his rescue armed with nothing more than a Magic Marker….No really, it’s just a plain old Magic Marker. When he meets an old woman who says she can help him, she imbues his Magic Marker with actual magical abilities.

The game itself is a 2.5D puzzle platformer with some unique gameplay elements. As Max runs through the various levels, he runs into a variety of obstacles which require the user to engage the Magic Marker to raise platforms, create vines or branches to climb or swing across, fire to blow up walls or water spouts to catapult Max to new areas. The puzzles are fun and rather clever. A few times I found myself pondering and trying solutions with no love. As it turns out, sometimes the most simple of solutions is in fact the right one and other times, it’s all about how precise you draw with that magic marker. A few times, it became apparent to me that my solution was correct, but my ability to draw the path with the thumbstick was the issue. The use of a stylus or maybe even a tablet would have made this exercise much less frustrating. Still, it wasn’t often I had these issues. I also had some extreme moments of frustration towards the end of the game when the drawing required both speed and precision to complete the task resulting in 10 or sometimes more deaths and re-attempts.

Graphically, Max:TCB is gorgeous. It feels like an interactive cartoon as you take Max on his adventure and it immediately drew me into the world. The colors are vibrant and worked perfectly with the feel and art direction. 

All in all, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is a fantastic title despite the frustrations I had at moments they certainly don’t handicap the game to any real degree. If you’re wondering what to get with some of your XboxOne points that Santa leaves in your stocking, this is a game that’s more than deserving of your time and money.

Feed Your Console gives Max: The Curse of Brotherhood an enthusiastic 8.5 out of 10.

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood Out Now

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Well, apparently I was either completely asleep at the switch or I forgot but anyway, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood has hit Xbox One today. This is actually one of those titles that I instantly knew I needed to play when I saw the first trailer for it and luckily for me, I will be playing it tonight. I can’t wait it looks absolutely beautiful.

Thanks Microsoft

Anyway, check out some new screenshots of Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and check back with us for a full review in the coming days (I hope).



My Christmas Wishlist 2013

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Dear Santa,

I know that I’m cutting it pretty damn close to the big day but as always, here’s my Christmas Wishlist.

I’m writing this a little later than usual because as you know, life can be crazy with a wife, my daughter, work and everything in between. This year has had it’s share of ups and downs for me but it looks like I’m going to make it out of 2013 after all. I’ve been very well behaved and have managed to not break a single controller all year long (HUGE WIN!). My gamerscore continues to climb to levels unlike those of most friends(About 17000GS added this calendar year). I also got myself an Xbox One with a few games which I’ve really enjoyed playing and teaching the family how to use the voice controls. At any rate, here’s my Christmas Wishlist:

1 – An adapter for my Turtlebeach headset to work with my Xbox One and PS4 for chat and audio. This is near the top of my list because I don’t want to go out and spend $300 on a new headset. I just got this one a little over a year ago.

2 – A trip to E3. Every year I say I’m going to make the trip and yet, every year something gets in the way. This year I had my money all set aside, I had a plan to go see some friends in California and go with them and then I was laid off. Please help me make it possible this year.

3 – I love my Xbox One and I know I’ll get myself a PS4 in 2014 but please Santa, I need to see more mind blowing games and I need to see that they’re going to be out in 2014. I’m pretty sure TitanFall is going to knock it out of the park but that’s one title. I need more more more.

4 – New Leadership for Nintendo…I’m sorry but Nintendo is a shadow of it’s former self. Whenever Nintendo has something to announce, I roll my eyes because it’s just sad to see Reggie saunter out and talk about how awesome they’re doing when clearly, we know that to be false. The only thing they have going for them are their first party titles. They should just get out of the console business and make games OR they need to rethink their strategies and make something mind blowing that excites gamers and developers alike.

5 – Better XboxOne interface – I love the system but, as I outlined in my review, it’s not without it’s faults. Can you please ensure a swift turn around on those adjustments to party chat, video playback format support and the glitchy things that keep popping up.

6 – Lastly, I need a little more time in my day to write. Actually all of us here at FYC could use a little more time to spend here at our little slice on the web.

Thanks for taking note Santa. Merry Christmas to you and everyone else.

Review – Ryse: Son of Rome

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As one of the premiere exclusives announced for the Xbox One earlier this year, Ryse was met with some considerable push back and scathing comments from gamers and journalists alike for it’s gameplay demo. Crytek took those criticisms and ran with them looking to fix as much as they could in a relatively short amount of time.

Ryse puts players in the control of Marius Titus, who witnesses his family get brutally murdered by a band of Barbarians. In an act of rage and vengeance, he seeks out a role in the Roman Army. Marius’ story unfolds as he quickly rises through the ranks during the bloody conflict with the Barbarian masses. I liked the story. It was a little cliche…OK a lot cliche at times but who cares? If it’s entertaining and makes you want to keep moving on to see what happens next, then it’s effective.

As a premiere launch title for Xbox One, it was important to show off why we need to spend $500 on a new console and Crytek handily proved the Xbox One’s graphical prowess. It’s absolutely GORGEOUS. The environments, lighting and character models are top notch. Every little detail from the water, to the fire to the cracks in the marble columns and floors. Every little detail was painstakingly addressed and it did not go unnoticed by me. I must admit that it didn’t take long for me to notice that there are really just 5 or 6 enemy models which was a little disappointing but forgivable.

The game itself is very much on the rails in that there really is no way you can go from point a to b in one direction. At times, the player is also given command of his army, using voice commands, Marius can call in the archers for support or take a stance with other troops and in a phalanx formation. When fighting the masses, Marius can initiate a bloody and visceral execution to dispatch his enemy once and for all (children need not apply here). This is really where much of the early criticism stemmed from. In early demos, a big colored button popped up on screen in the form of a QTE. These can be rather distracting and really take away from the game – Crytek has righted that wrong by subtly outlining the enemy in a color that directly corresponds to the colors of the controllers face buttons. So really, the QTEs are still there they’re just a little less in your face and it works well.

The saying “K-I-S-S” or “Keep It Simple Stupid” is the mantra of the day when referring to the 2 player cooperative battles in Ryse. It is nothing more than putting the 2 players into an arena or Colosseum to fight out a scenario in front of thousands of blood thirsty Romans. Play through the scenarios, with the love of the crowd and you earn money which can be used to buy “Booster Packs” to outfit your gladiator with. It’s simple, fast and fun. Exactly what the doctor ordered.

I quite enjoyed Ryse: Son of Rome. I liked the single player story enough to play through it twice in short order and have had copious amounts of fun with the multiplayer. Looking forward to going home tonight to sink my teeth into the free DLC that was just released earlier today. This is another must buy title for your Xbox One.

Feed Your Console gives Ryse: Son of Rome an 8.5  out of 10

Review – Dead Rising 3

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The Next Generation of gaming is finally upon us and shambling in at the front of the line is the 3rd installment of Capcom’s highly successful and popular franchise, Dead Rising 3.

As a lover of all things Zombies, DR3 is a natural fit for me and was a day one pickup for my Xbox One. I was sold the very second I laid eyes on in-game footage – The sheer number of zombies on screen easily eclipses previous installments and I knew Capcom was on to something special here.

Dead Rising 3 gives us a new protagonist in Nick Ramos, a mechanic with a penchant for creating vehicles and weapons of mayhem at a moments notice as he runs around the fictional city of Los Perdidos in an effort to rescue survivors and perform tasks all with the final goal of escaping the city alive.

The gameplay is pretty well cookie cutter to the series with very little refinements done to to overall control scheme or the typical errand boy type missions. That’s not particularly a bad thing though – Dead Rising has never been about being serious or innovative new gameplay mechanics. It’s also not about incredible story telling (though they have been fun stories)..Dead Rising 3 is about the adventure of getting to your destination. Ducking, dodging and smashing your way from point A to point B as endless hordes of zombies threaten to stop you. And that is where the game’s true brilliance is. A new addition that should be note is the ability to make some truly visceral vehicles to help add to the carnage and flying body parts. We’re talking steamrollers + motorcycles destruction. It’s fantastic. You can also ask a buddy to join the frackus cooperatively as “Dick”. I found the cooperative game made DR3 considerably easier especially when fighting the deranged bosses where one can attract their attention while the other attacks from the side.

My favorite addition to the game comes in the form of Kinect interaction. When a zombie grabs you for a snack, you can push towards the screen and Nick will shove the zombie off him. It’s a natural motion that just works really well. Also with Kinect, when you say “over here” your voice can be heard by zombies in the immediate area will hear you and begin shambling their way to your direction. This can be helpful when facing the masses – Just climb up on a truck call out to them and then jump over them…orrrr…..toss down some form or explosive and BLOW THOSE EFFERS UP! (My personal favorite).

Similar to DR1 and 2, throughout the overall story are some interesting “boss” missions. The bosses are just as over the top and insane as you’d come to expect from Dead Rising. From the roided out female body builder Cherii to the Dom with a flame thrower that resembles an over-sized erection(hilarious all the way).

Graphically DR3 is a massive step up on it’s predecessor. The zombies are more varied in their appearance and their movements. Did I mention just how many of these bloody things can be on screen at any given time? My god it feels as though there are times where there has to be 1000 zombies on screen at any given time. It’s especially impressive when you come up over a hill on the highway and there’s just a sea of zombies shambling around as far as the eye can see.

If there’s any one title you bring home for your Newly minted Xbox One, this is it.

Feed Your Console Gives Dead Rising a solid 8.5 out of 10