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Alexander Cattani - Column Archives

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June 6, 2017

GNOG good but not great
Even after viewing several of trailers and reading several descriptions, I still didn’t exactly know what to make of KO_OP Mode's latest title, GNOG. Not knowing how exactly to comprehend a piece of art usually draws me closer to it and makes me want to find out what creators exact intent was. Upon loading up GNOG with this in mind, I was once again faced with the sobering realization that looks can be deceiving.


May 16, 2017

The Surge is the jolt we need
Like many others, I’ve often pondered what the future of technology could potentially hold. But just as interesting of a query to me, is what the subsequent effect of technology's evolution on humanity will be. Will the lines between man and machine eventually meld? Will 100% organic humanity ultimately be a thing of the past? There is a myriad of titles across almost every medium that tackles these potentially immanent questions. The most recent being Deck 13's The Surge.


April 5, 2017

Pixel Story, a clever trip to the past
To me, peering into the past and familiarizing myself with the history of videogames is just as interesting as speculating about what the future of the medium could potentially hold. Upon loading up A Pixel Story without any prior knowledge of the title, I expected to be in for yet another 8-bit indie jaunt that tugged on the well-worn heartstrings of gamers from a particular era. While A Pixel Story is guilty of just that, developer Lamplight studios' approach to gameplay and presentation warrants some attention.


March 14, 2017

Kingdom Hearts collection for fans only
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is the third Kingdom Hearts collection released by Square Enix. The collection is comprised of three titles. Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD, Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage and Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover.


February 16, 2017

Nioh is far more than a Dark Souls clone
It would be disingenuous to claim that Nioh doesn't borrow heavily from the Souls series of games. While Team Ninja's latest wears its inspiration on its sleeve, Nioh manages to introduce a multitude of meaningful mechanics that separate itself from genre contemporaries.


January 10, 2017

Tomb Raider collection has it all
Now made available to PS4 gamers and with "20 Year Celebration" slapped onto its moniker, Rise of The Tomb Raider’s 2016 re-release offers the contents of the 2015 package, as well as some neat bonuses to boot.


December 16, 2016

Last Guardian triumphs despite flaws
After a long, long wait, The Last Guardian is finally here! Sony’s follow up to the avant-garde PS2 classic, Shadow of the Colossus, begins with a nameless boy awakening next to Trico, a beast whose reputation isn’t the peachiest amongst the locals. Unbeknownst to how he got there, the boy must now find his way back home. Rather than venturing off alone, the boy enlists the help of Trico and the two begin their adventure.


November 23, 2016

Dragon Quest 7 a masterful JRPG
Dragon Quest, Japan's long-running and storied franchise has been a dominant force within the JRPG genre for years. Released in 2000, Dragon Quest 7 proved to be one of the series’ most revered entries. The title was responsible for pushing the JRPG genre forward and establishing the Dragon Quest name beyond its native land of Japan.


October 20, 2016

Dead Rising collection has it all
Released nearly a decade ago, the original Dead Rising displayed what the then current generation of consoles could be capable of. Hordes of undead shuffling on one screen with minimal performances hitches was a sight to behold in 2006 and undoubtedly turned heads.


September 26, 2016

'Tomorrow Children' preaches well but doesn't play well
Announced some time back in 2014, The Tomorrow Children appeared to be a mysterious, avant-garde looking indie title with a minimalistic aesthetic, reminiscent of acclaimed indie hits such as Journey and the Unfinished Swan. Having my interest peaked, I intentionally avoided any media coverage of the title and aimed to experience it without preconceived notions formed. It’s not often one can successfully avoid the ever increasing media barrage that follows a title until release. Fortunately, I managed to do so.


September 6, 2016

Strike Vector EX
Originally released on PC back in 2014, Strike Vector delivered frenetic, arcade-style aerial combat and a multiplayer suite aimed at satisfying those with a yearning for competitiveness. Met with a predominantly positive response, the indie title has made its way to consoles. Now with “EX” added to the title’s moniker, console gamers can expect a couple of new additions to Rage Quit Corporation’s latest.


August 18, 2016

Explore away in No Man’s Sky
Finally, the hotly anticipated space exploration title, No Man’s Sky, is upon us. After about two hours of playtime, it became clear what type of experience I was in for. The core gameplay loop in No Man’s Sky consists of flying from planet to planet, harvesting materials, using said materials to either upgrade or create additions to the exo-suit, multi-tool, or vessel and then continuing onward.


July 13, 2016

Umbrella Corps: Been There, Done That
At one point in time, the Resident Evil name was synonymous with innovative gameplay, spine-tingling moments and most of all quality. It goes without saying that the first few entries in the series set a benchmark for the horror genre. As time progressed and genre contemporaries adapted to the growing trends in the market, Capcom followed suit and began to incorporate more modern mechanics into subsequent releases. Additions such as a behind the shoulder camera, quick time events and more variety in regards to combat were among the new additions. These changes resulted in more action heavy experiences, which was a far cry from the plotting, methodical pace that defined the series during its debut.


June 29, 2016

Flaws hurt There Came an Echo
Iridium Studios’ successfully kickstarted title - There Came an Echo - aims to innovate on the fan favourite strategy genre by allowing gamers the opportunity to play the entire title using their voice.


June 14, 2016

E3: Sony brings the games
Sony’s E3 press conference started with a very familiar face. Kratos, the God of War, is back.


June 13, 2016

E3: Bethesda showcases Dishonored 2, Quake Champions
Bethesda has a bit of everything at this year’s E3. They kicked off their second annual E3 showcase by debuting the world premiere cinematic teaser for the latest entry in the Quake franchise. Quake Champions, the first iteration in the series since 2007’s Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. The brief cinematic showed space marines and brutal aliens trading fire while utilizing what looked to be character specific buffs to gain an edge in battle. More information on Quake Champions will be disclosed during Bethesda’s upcoming Quake Con convention later in August.


June 7, 2016

Far Harbour elevates Fallout
Depending on whom you ask, Fallout 4’s debut add-on, “Automatron” and the succeeding “Wasteland Workshop”, either satiated the Fallout 4 fan base or left them feeling underwhelmed. Regardless of the aforementioned two DLC’s reception, Fallout 4’s third DLC release Far Harbour was easily the most anticipated of the three and was touted as the first “legitimate” expansion by fans following its initial reveal. With this said, a reasonable portion of die-hard fans still continue to meander the wastes, especially those entrenched within the modding community.


May 16, 2016

Fallout’s Wasteland Workshop wears thin
It would be insincere to claim that Fallout 4’s settlement customization mechanics were met with a booming cheer of universal approval back in 2015. While some reveled at the thought of playing post-apocalyptic home decorator some fans wrote the inclusion off as just the developers just embracing the crafting trend of recent years.


Apr 26, 2016

Fallout’s 'Automatron' is all about the bots
Bethesda’s Automatron is the first of the post release pieces of DLC to be released for last year’s Fallout 4. The maniacal villain known befittingly as The Mechanist has dispatched a litany of scrapped together robots upon the Commonwealth. Now, it’s up to the Lone Wanderer to terminate said mechanical foes and bring order back to the wasteland or as much order as you can possibly bring to a post-nuclear shell of a city.


Mar 28, 2016

Heavy Rain thrills despite shortcomings
Released in 2010 and met with a polarizing response, Quantic Dream’s crime thriller Heavy Rain aimed to blur the lines between interactive and passive entertainment. While some narrative picky gamers, especially those with a refined palate for film, would go on to dissect the title’s writing imperfections and plot inconsistencies, Heavy Rain still provided a gripping narrative chock full of gut-wrenching ultimatums, startling twists and enough on-screen prompts to make a DDR veteran gasp in awe. Now almost seven years after its initial release, the title is once again made available for PS4 owners.


Feb 24, 2016

New Street Fighter, innovative but lacks punch
2008’s Street Fighter 4 modernized the beloved fighting game franchise in a number of substantial ways. The titles overhauled look, plus several deviations to the formula, not only helped restore Street Fighters long-lost relevance but also re-established its status as top dog.


Feb 12, 2016

Random events torpedo Tharsis
Roguelikes are dime a dozen nowadays. The indie-spawned genre first garnered popularity some years back with titles such as Spelunky and FTL. They captivated gamers with their addictive gameplay and tough difficulty. The Roguelike rules are simple; stay alive for as long as possible.


Dec 10, 2015

Life is Strange finale worth the journey
Life is Strange, the five part episodic adventure from Dontnod entertainment has finally reached its long awaited conclusion. Fans who’ve stuck with the game have waited with baited breath for its rather overdue finale. From the get-go, Life is Strange went in a different direction. Themes within its narrative were unique and challenged conventional story telling found in most modern titles.


Nov 30, 2015

Incomparable Zur hits all the right notes in Fallout 4
G4 Canada recently had the opportunity to interview one of gaming's most prolific composers, Inon Zur. In addition to scoring video games, Zur has also scored various television shows, movies and even webisodes. Zur's body of work within the gaming industry includes prominent titles such as Men of Valor, Crysis, Prince of Persia, Dragon Age: Origins, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and the recent critically acclaimed Fallout 4.


Nov 12, 2015

Fallout 4, one of 2015's best
Fallout 4, Bethesda's long-awaited follow up to the universally acclaimed Fallout 3, was released as quickly as it was revealed. It was only six months ago at E3 2015 when the public was given their first glimpse into the next generation of the celebrated open-world franchise.


Nov 6, 2015

Dragon Quest: Heroes lacks depth
In the Kingdom of Arba, both humans and monsters use to co-exist in perfect harmony. Until seemingly out of nowhere the monsters grew inexplicably violent and started attacking their former confederates. Now, as either Luceus or Aurora, you and your ever-growing band of warriors must travel far and wide to help quell the unprompted conflict that has caused a nationwide panic.


Oct 7, 2015

Uncharted Collection a treasure trove of gaming goodness
Over the years, Naughty Dog's acclaimed Uncharted series has provided gamers with high-octane action, jaw-dropping set pieces and excellent storytelling.


Sept 25, 2015

Greatness unfolds in new Tearaway
Originally released in 2013 as a PlayStation Vita exclusive, Tearaway stood out as one of the more unique titles to be released for the platform. Stylized and charming, Tearaway held promise especially considering it came from the same imaginative minds that brought us the Little Big Planet series.


Sept 2, 2015

New Geometry Wars ramps up the difficulty
Geometry Wars, the frantic neon drenched twin stick shooter, has returned to reclaim its throne. Now with the word "Evolved" added to its title, Vita owners can now enjoy the series' latest entry.


July 30, 2015

Inside Nintendo's Summer Celebration
It was a Nintendo wonderland. A feast for gamers both casual and hard-core. At its Summer Celebration held in downtown Toronto, Nintendo gave G4 Canada a sneak peak at 2015's much-anticipated releases. Below are our detailed highlights.


June 18, 2015

E3: Ubisoft shows a bit of everything, Bethesda highlights Fallout 4
With the potty-mouthed actress Aisha Tyler once again MC'ing the proceedings, Ubisoft's E3 press conference proved the game company is moving - slowly, but surely - beyond the usual suspects in its large portfolio of existing IPs.


June 5, 2015

Xenoblade a must for 3DS XL owners
Initially released in Japan in 2010, Xenoblade Chronicles quickly garnered praise for revitalizing the JRPG genre through its modernized approach to gameplay. Even with its warm acceptance from fans and critics alike, Nintendo remained radio silent on whether or not its hot new JRPG would ever see a North American release. Xenoblade Chronicles finally was released across the pond hitting shelves in North American on April 6th, 2012.


May 8, 2015

Life is Strange improves with Episode 2
The second episode of Life is Strange dials up the drama while alleviating some faults that surrounded the mostly competent debut episode. As protagonist Max Caulfield grows less and less ambivalent about her ability to undo time, she begins to develop a sense of self-righteousness, and flirts with the idea of using her power for more than just resolving trivial tasks. Bonds between characters are tested, while the effects of social torment begin to wear on a supporting character.


Apr 17, 2015

Oreshika, a spectacular journey
Oreshika: Tainted: Bloodlines is the epitome of why gaming on the Vita can be such a deeply rewarding experience. Bloodlines is massive time investment that fits right at home on a portable simply due to the sheer convenience of being able to dump hours into your save file, wherever, whenever.


Apr 2, 2015

Evil Within DLC has more depth, scares
Shinji Mikami's spine-tingling gore fest The Evil Within frightened me more times than I care to mention. It brought relentless scares and showcased a beautifully realized world that oozed atmosphere. Though, due to a flat protagonist and some technical setbacks, it didn't quite jump start life into the survival horror genre as some had hoped. Nevertheless, it was a memorable and tense romp that I'd gladly journey through again.


Mar 16, 2015

Code Name S.T.E.A.M. campy comic book fun
Most notably known for the renowned Fire Emblem series, developer Intelligent Systems is back with their latest offering: Code Name S.T.E.A.M. It is a third person strategy game similar to the PS3 cult favourite, Valkyrie Chronicles. But, does this 3DS exclusive fire on all cylinders or does it run out of steam before it can even get going?


Mar 11, 2015

Rating PlayStation Now
A couple years back rumours ran rampant that Sony was looking into acquiring game streaming service, Gaikai. This immediately lead gamers to speculate that Sony was interested in game streaming as a viable platform to distribute content to players. Fast-forward several years later and Sony's ambitious idea has finally seen the light of day. With PlayStation Now currently available on PS3, PS4 and PS Vita, Sony aims to make game streaming the next great way to enjoy some of your favourite titles.


Feb 23, 2015

Hack time in Life is Strange
Meet Maxine, a self-deprecating teenager who enjoys a love for skater boys, selfies and vintage photography. She spends her days jotting down angst-ridden passages in her diary and scowling at the popular girls in school. She's your typical millennial awkwardly stumbling through her formative years. All is normal in the life of Maxine, until she is inexplicably granted with the ability to rewind time.


Feb 5, 2015

Kingdom Hearts reMIX casts a spell on fans
Nostalgia, it is the warm feeling of comfort transporting one back to a carefree time of innocence. Whether it is revisiting a location that held great significance for you as a child, or hearing a song that brings you back to bygone years, or in this case, replaying one of the PS2's seminal classics in magnificent HD. Nostalgia can be a very powerful force but it can also be a blinding one.


Jan 7, 2015

Rogue caters to Black Flag fans
If you're a fan of Ubisoft's flagship Assassin's Creed series, then 2014 must've seemed splendid. Not only was Assassin's Creed: Unity, the first true next-gen title in the series but it was announced that a second Assassin's game would be hitting store shelves the same day. Enter Assassin's Creed: Rogue. Ubisoft hasn't forgotten about its last-gen following.


Nov 24, 2014

Definitive Sleeping Dogs still thrills
Sleeping Dogs is a game that should've garnered more attention when it first debuted in 2012. It was easily one of year's biggest surprises and was well-received. It boasted brilliant combat, a dense world to mess around in as well as an impressively written story.


Nov 7, 2014

Natural Doctrine disenchanting
Natural Doctrine isn't for the faint of heart. Much like the acclaimed Dark Souls before it, what's found in Kadokawa Games latest is a challenging and brutal experience that is sure to drive some gamers to the point of frustration. However, Dark Souls was a reasonably fair game, whereas Natural Doctrine feels one-sided in its difficulty. It is more like a sadistic tormentor watching you writhe in pain, rather than being there to teach you a lesson.


Oct 31, 2014

Evil Within scares up chills and thrills
The Evil Within harkens back the glory days of survival horror. Complete with nightmare inducing monstrosities, eerie environments that look like they've been lifted straight from a Hieronymus Bosch painting and more blood and guts than you can shake a served leg at, the latest game from the twisted mind that brought us the seminal classic Resident Evil 4 is sure to disturb and delight fans of the beloved genre.


May 6, 2014

Lords of Shadow 2 has no bite
In the past, Castlevania fans would often exercise caution before heading into a 3D adventure featuring Dracula. The reason being is that the series hasn't really enjoyed the same acclaim as it did in its familiar 2D space. Then, one of 2010's most underrated games was released: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. The gothic action epic proved to be a step in the right direction and demonstrated that if handled with care, the classic vampire thriller can indeed make the transition to 3D gracefully.


Apr 15, 2014

New Earth Defense Force, a great distraction
The Earth Defense Force series has always been known for it's frantic action and self-aware style. When brought up in conversations, things like "Guilty Pleasure" or "So bad it's good" often come up. Coming into the series' latest instalment, having never played an EDF game before, I was intrigued to say the least. After about my second hour of game time, I knew exactly what I was in for … amusing, ridiculous and, at times, frustrating shooter that truly is one of a kind.


Oct 23, 2013

'Killzone' right on target
Though the PlayStation Vita still has some considerable ground to make up if it ever hopes to gain acceptance beyond its niche following, the system has been making some noble strides as of late. A recent slew of quality software has been released and Sony's new indie initiative sees the system getting some of the best and brightest from smaller developers.


Oct 1, 2013

Splinter Cell: Different Fisher, same action
Sam Fisher is one of gaming’s most stern, intimidating and deadly agents. Sam’s made quite a name for himself being the protagonist of one of the most notable series in the stealth genre: Splinter Cell. Sam’s back but is his new look and voice worthy of the Splinter Cell name? Enter, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, the sixth game in Ubisoft’s long running series.


Aug 30, 2013

‘Dishonored’ finale lacks punch
The Brigmore Witches is the end of Daud’s journey and subsequently the last of Dishonored’s post-release content. Does this follow up to the ‘Knife of Dunwall’ successfully tie us over until a ‘Dishonored’ sequel or does this final episode fail to send one of 2012’s greatest out on a high note? Let’s see, faithful reader.


Jul 23, 2013

Grid 2 accelerates series
Coming five years after the successful debut of its predecessor, Grid 2 has finally drifted its way into the hands of racing gamers. Has its long wait been worth it, or is Codemaster's sequel better off taking a permanent pit stop?


Jul 5, 2013

Forget Remember Me
In today’s sea of sequels, prequels and far too familiar scenarios, it’s easy to be left feeling like you’ve seen it all. Some gamers eagerly wait for the next studio to come along and break the mold. Something that doesn’t tie into an existing IP or that has a shiny 2 at the end of the title. Something like, Remember Me.


Jun 18, 2013

Soul Sacrifice dispels boredom
As ‘Soul Sacrifice’ begins; you are an unlucky individual who has been enslaved by a sorcerer drunk with power. Your captor – Magusar - preys off of human sacrifices. During your imprisonment, you stumble upon an eccentric talking book, Librom. Through it, you will relive the trials and tribulations of a past sorcerer. His memories are now your memories and what you learn prepares you for the inevitable confrontation with your newly acquainted adversary. Flip open the worn pages and strap yourself in for one of the Vita’s most anticipated titles to date.


May 6, 2013

'Dishonored' DLC continues the adventure
2012’s Dishonored was an experience that boasted both originality and quality. Its stealth gameplay was accessible, while also making you feel like a true assassin. Its emphasis on player choice coupled with an engrossing world quickly made me a fan. It was a breath of fresh air and one of my top games of 2012.


Apr 22, 2013

'Gears' still grinding out gaming goodness
'Gears of War' is one of the most acclaimed shooters of this console generation. It is famous for its unrelenting brutal action and rock solid gameplay. It's no surprise that this series has the dedicated following it does.


Mar 26, 2013

Vergil's Downfall doesn't make the cut
Even though it is still early in the year, Ninja Theory's stylish reboot of the Devil May Cry series is my action game to beat of 2013. Aside from some minor issues, there was very little I found wrong with Dante's edgy new venture. Naturally, my hopes were high for the first piece of post release content, especially when players were told they will take control of another demon slayer. Unfortunately, Vergil's Downfall never amounts to anything more than a half-baked, underwhelming time-killer.


Feb 13, 2013

Changes only make DMC better
With reboots you have to take the good with the bad. When it comes to the long-standing Devil May Cry series gone are the days of the comical, one-liner spitting, swoop-haired Dante. Our new demon slayer plays by his own rules and is often more serious than goofy. A completely original setting and story accompany our protagonist as well.


Dec 24, 2012

Assassin's Creed liberated on the Vita
When I read the news that the PlayStation Vita was getting its own Assassin's Creed game I was intrigued. It's no shock that the series hasn't enjoyed much success on handhelds in the past. I was hoping that this time Ubisoft would finally nail it, and for the most part they have.


Dec 10, 2012

Zone Enders Collection honours series
Released over ten years ago, the original Zone of the Enders was an ambitious title that never really achieved greatness. Created by Hideo Kojima, well known for his famous Metal Gear Solid series, it told the story of Leo Stenbuck, whose home colony of Antilia, endured a relentless assault during the game's opening.


Nov 30, 2012

Choice, story drive Dishonored
When I first started playing Dishonored it was apparent I was in for something unique. Dishonored is by no means a ground-breaking title but it does enough to deserve one’s attention. Mixing stealth gameplay with supernatural elements it is a great, albeit somewhat flawed adventure.

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