Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes Review @ School Library Journal

keeptalkingandnobodyexplodesIf the traditional Smash Bros/Mario Kart/Minecraft rotation has your gaming group in a funk, you might want to try something different and check out Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, a two-person bomb defusal game from Steel Crate Games. The developer explains how it all works pretty well on the game’s official website:

One player is trapped in a virtual room with a ticking time bomb they must defuse. The other players are the “Experts” who must give the instructions to defuse the bomb by deciphering the information found in the bomb defusal manual. But there’s a catch: the experts can’t see the bomb, so everyone will need to talk it out – fast!

Writing a review for School Library Journal’s Teen Librarian Toolbox, Teen Librarian Alanna Graves was also happy with the chaotic camaraderie created by Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes:

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, created by Steel Crate Games, was recommended to me from a colleague when I asked our staff if they knew of a fun game where players work together to defuse a bomb. I was not disappointed with this recommendation.

The game can get really dramatic as the timer ticks closer to zero, and voices tend to get louder as anxiety increases!

I’ve played a few rounds of Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes and I’ve got to agree, it’s a great game for any group of players.

Batman: The Telltale Series: The VGL Review

batmanthetelltaleseriesTelltale Games has embarked on their biggest project yet with the release of the premiere episode of Batman: The Telltale Series. Following both Batman and Bruce Wayne, the publisher wants to tell the kind of Batman story that you don’t often see in games.

I recently reviewed Batman: The Telltale Series for Warp Zoned, and while some of the scenes drag a bit (especially the lectures from Alfred), I can’t wait to explore more of Gotham City in the future:

I’ve never played a Telltale game before, but Batman: The Telltale Series felt like a good jumping off point for their patented combination of dialogue choices and Quick Time Events. Even with the inclusion of a “Finishing Move” meter, it felt like the Quick Time Events were a bit pointless. But I liked that the conversation choices let me mold my Batman into a noble hero, rather than the psychopath he’s sometimes depicted as (even if many of the choices do boil down to “Punch A Mobster” versus “Punch A Mobster Really Hard”).

The first episode of Batman: The Telltale Series is currently available to download for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

A “Season Pass Disc,” which contains the first episode and a one-time download code for future episodes, is also now available for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

This Week’s New Releases + Game News: September 12, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, a turn-based RPG for the PS3 and Vita.

Published by XSEED and developed by Falcom, Trails of Cold Steel II is a tactical turn-based title where the fate of the kingdom is at stake and only a plucky band of outsiders can save the day. Players interested in obscure Japanese RPGs will definitely be interested in this one.

Also of note this week is Just Sing, Ubisoft’s singing spinoff of the Just Dance franchise. Available for the PS4 and Xbox One, players will be able to sing (or lip sync) along with songs from Britney Spears, Sia, Justin Bieber, and others. Best of all, Just Sing can easily be used during an open gaming program because it doesn’t require a microphone peripheral. Ubisoft has released a companion app that’ll turn any smartphone into a microphone.

All Links in “This Week’s New Releases + Game News” are Provided by Warp Zoned.

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No Man’s Sky Review @ School Library Journal

nomansskyWith complaints of broken promises and missing features flooding its online reviews, No Man’s Sky has become one of the most divisive games in recent memory. That said, many PC and PS4 players are absolutely amazed by its massive universe, and have gladly spent hours upon hours exploring strange new worlds and boldly going where no one has gone before (different franchise, but you get the idea).

Unfortunately, Teen Librarian Alanna Graves falls in the former camp. In a review on School Library Journal’s Teen Librarian Toolbox, she had this to say:

After a few days, I grew tired of No Man’s Sky. The game is too repetitive and overwhelming for my taste. All you do is find a new planet, land on it, explore, gather materials, maybe learn a few alien words if you’re lucky, rinse and repeat. This game is great for gamers out there who love to grind in video games, but I think those gamers are the type who will go out and purchase the game for themselves.

This Week’s New Releases + Game News: September 5, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is a tie between two monster-hunting titles… Bandai Namco’s God Eater 2: Rage Burst and Koei Tecmo’s Attack On Titan.

Japanese developers love pitting a single player (or a small co-op team) against a giant monster. Ever since the success of Monster Hunter back in the PS2 days, “monster hunting” games have almost become their own genre. And this week, players might be interested in trying out God Eater 2: Rage Burst, a PS4 game where players use “God Arcs” to battle demonic entities known as Aragami. The Aragami like to chow down on lowly humans, much like the Titans at the center of Koei Tecmo’s Attack On Titan, which is another adaptation of the popular anime for the PS4 and Xbox One.

Also of note this week is a trio of re-releases. Let’s start things off with Assetto Corsa, a racing simulation that was originally released for the PC and is now available for the PS4 and Xbox One. Your patrons might also be interested in slaying more giant monsters in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Game of the Year Edition, which collects all of the game’s downloadable expansions in a single package for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Finally, Capcom added improved graphics to Resident Evil 4, which is a bona fide classic, and re-released it for the PS4 and Xbox One.

All Links in “This Week’s New Releases + Game News” are Provided by Warp Zoned.

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VGL Pick of the Week Roundup: August 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Release Calendar is about to start picking up any minute now, especially after all the big games set to be revealed at this weekend’s PAX West expo.

But a (very small) number of new games were also released in the last five weeks, so if you missed any Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week selections during the month of August, I’ve collected them below. Continue reading

This Week’s New Releases + Game News: August 29, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is a tie between Madden NFL 17 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

The release of Madden NFL 17 on the PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360 means that it’s time for FOOTBALL, and for this year’s entry in their annual sports franchise, EA Sports focused on improving Madden’s famed Franchise Mode. That should make the hardcore statheads very happy, but Madden appeals to almost everybody, so most patrons will be happy to see it on the shelves.

Many gamers are excited for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided as well, though it’s a very different kind of game… a science fiction story that has many parallels to our world including civil rights, terrorism, and government surveillance. Its heady themes make it one of the smarter games out there, and one that many PC, PS4, and Xbox One owners are very interested in.

Also of note this week is The King of Fighters XIV, a one-on-one fighter for the PS4. Players familiar with the long-running King of Fighters franchise will want to check it out, as will fans of one-on-one fighting games like Street Fighter V and Mortal Kombat X.

All Links in “This Week’s New Releases + Game News” are Provided by Warp Zoned.

New Release Round-Up

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Dark Souls Comic Miniseries Will Be Released as Graphic Novel on December 6

darksouls-graphicnovelThe final issue in Titan’s Dark Souls comic book adaptation is now available to purchase from your local comic shop, but Titan has also announced that a collected edition will be available this December. Written by George Mann, and with artwork by Alan Quah, the Dark Souls comic looks at an unexplored side of the game’s world by following Fira, a “battle-hardened warrior”:

The official comic set in the world of the best-selling Dark Souls videogame franchise! Join Fira – a battle-hardened warrior – as she embarks upon a perilous quest to save her ailing kingdom, fighting countless hoards of demonic foes along the way!

Dark Souls: The Breath of Andolus will be released on December 6 and contain all four issues from the miniseries.