Of the three major releases out this week, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare has been getting the steadiest reviews. The majority of critics were surprised to find that it’s a clever little shooter, with balanced character classes and decent maps.
Scores for the Xbox-exclusive include 8/10 from both The Official Xbox Magazine and God is a Geek, 8.5 from Polygon and a 7/10 from GameCentral. “It’s not the most technical shooter you’ll ever play, or the most content-filled, but in terms of instant accessibility and a breath of fresh garden air it feels like one of the most enjoyably different” said GameCentral, who also called it “the least brown shooter ever made”.
After hearing that there’s no single-player and that ‘micro-transactions’ feature we did fear the worst, so we admit to being surprised by this one. You don’t have to look hard to find it for around £20-£25 online either.
Reviews of Thief appeared a few days earlier. Again, we feared for this one prior to release – some online retailers were offering it for £29.99 to pre-order, which is usually a cause for concern. Even the product director has gone on record to say that it isn’t perfect. He does hope that you’ll have fun with it though, and with the Metacritic currently standing at 69% we’re sure that there’s some enjoyment to be had. You may want to give EGM’s review a read before purchasing – it received an absolute mauling, resulting in a 3.5/10. Their review is the harshest around – Eurogamer felt it was worth a 6/10 while EDGE gave it a solid 7/10.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadows 2 is another receiving mixed reviews. EDGE were the first to review it and subscribers were surprised to see it get 4/10 when their issue arrived.
Just to show how mixed reviews have been, we have a 5/10 from fellow magazine gamesTM, 6/10 from GameInformer, 6.5 from IGN, 7/10 from GameStyle and an 8/10 from The Official Xbox Magazine. No 9/10s yet, but on the other hand nobody has given it lower than 5/10.
Should you get stuck into this 20 hour long adventure? Read the reviews above – most critics have an awful lot to say about it.
Scrolling brawler Senran Kagura Burst is the week’s only release for Nintendo formats. It’s a bit…perverse, featuring busty females and the chance to lift their skirts up by blowing into the 3DS’s mic. Reviews haven’t been all that bad though, gaining 8/10 from Pocket Gamer and Nintendo Life. There are some frame rate issues and the story is said to be poor, but it’s still a solid Streets of Rage alike.
Tales of Symphonia Chronicle is another we can recommend, containing HD ports of the PlayStation 2’s Tales of Symphonia and Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. “If you’ve been itching to get into another giant quest filled with twists, turns, and a top-notch battle system, this is your chance” said Destructoid in their 8/10 review. From the sound of it, it’s more than just a mere HD upscale job – some assets have been redrawn entirely and there’s new art-work too.
Over on XBLA and PSN, Pac-Man Museum powers up. We were looking forward to this – it contains such classics as Pac-Land, Pac-Attack, Pac-Man Battle Royale and six others – but the £15.99 price-tag strikes us as awfully steep.
Incidentally, Takedown: Red Sabre sneaked onto XBLA last Friday. We missed it from last week’s round-up, but don’t blame us – it had been lingering on the release lists without a date for quite some time.
Next week: South Park: The Stick of Truth (PS3, 360, PC), Atelier Escha and Logy (PS3), Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures (PS3, 360, Wii U, 3DS, PC) and Phineas and Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff (Wii U, Wii, 3DS, DS).