Thursday, April 1, 2021

Review Round-Up - March 2021

Open your eyes to one of the better open-world action-adventure games released since
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with SPC's Game of the Month: Immortals: Fenyx Rising!
There's no foolin' around here when it comes to the Review Round-Up! Out with the old month and in with the new, but before we do that, let's take a look back at the month that was March and see the four video game reviews published on SuperPhillip Central during that time.

Things started with an unabashed clone of SEGA's Crazy Taxi, Taxi Chaos, which no doubt was the developer's intention, but what wasn't their intention hopefully was having their game only receiving a below average C- grade. However, we rebounded, in a way, with Pumpkin Jack. Sure, it's a game better suited for Halloween, but any time is a good time for a competent 3D platformer. The game earned a B- grade. 

Following that was March's Game of the Month on SuperPhillip Central, the amazing open-world action-adventure modeled after The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in oh-so-many flattering ways, Immortals: Fenyx Rising. Its wings (and the quality of the game) allowed it to soar high over the rest of the titles reviewed the month, earning a grand A- grade.

Finally, Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville - Complete Edition on the Nintendo Switch took root on SuperPhillip Central, surprising me greatly with its quality and addictiveness, receiving a B+ grade. 

Overall, a good month of reviews on SPC, with even more to come in April! Until then, check out some excerpts from each review from March, and scope the SPC Review Archive for all reviews ever published on this site.

Taxi Chaos (PS4, XB1, NSW) - C-

Taxi Chaos is basically store-brand imitation Crazy Taxi. It has had all of the charm, personality, and originality drained from it. If it were a cereal, Taxi Chaos would be the Fruit Rings to Crazy Taxi's Fruit Loops. The game attempts to throw in its own brand of innovation with quests, but the execution makes it not worth the effort whatsoever and a total chore to seek them out. Between the repetitive dialogue, annoying characters, grating, generic rock music, and basic city, there isn't much to love with Taxi Chaos. Fortunately, the driving mechanics themselves are up to snuff, and it is fun enough to drive around, leap to rooftops, and find shortcuts. Is the $35 price of admission--or in Taxi Chaos' case--"fare" worth it to hop in for a ride? Certainly and unfortunately not, as that price tag absolutely kills any chance of me recommending this game. Stick with Crazy Taxi and its two numbered sequels if you are desperate for a wild ride taxi-style.

Pumpkin Jack (PS4) - B-

[Pumpkin Jack's] just over far too soon, which makes its initial $29.99 MSRP a bit tough to swallow considering you're essentially paying five bucks for each hour of game time. Still, with superb platforming, clever ideas in its levels, and a pleasing presentation--from aesthetics to story, one can celebrate Halloween all year round courtesy of Pumpkin Jack.

Immortals: Fenyx Rising (Multi) - A-

In many ways, Immortals: Fenyx Rising outshines its inspiration of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which was no easy task, for sure. Of course, having a blueprint to work with instead of coming up with a totally new approach like Nintendo had to do helps, but overall, Ubisoft definitely delivered an improved experience for the most part. While Immortals: Fenyx Rising does have an Achilles Heel or two, such as some of the Myth challenges around the Golden Isle bring with them plenty of tedium through repetition, some puzzles in the Vaults of Tartaros are very unfriendly due to occasionally wonky physics, and some of the humor in the game failed to bring me any laughs whatsoever (and usually it was an eyeroll instead), the game is a gift from the Gods as far as I'm concerned. Exploration is a dream, running and soaring across the Golden Isle is a blast, and combat and the better half of puzzles in the game are magnificently done. Fortunately, Immortals: Fenyx Rising rises to the occasion and makes for one super satisfying open world adventure.

Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville - Complete Edition (NSW) - B+

Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville - Complete Edition was my first foray with anything in the Plants vs. Zombies series. Between the nearly endlessly entertaining multiplayer--that with bots means the fun will continue long after what currently is a sizable online community eventually diminishes--and the amazing amount of single player options available, whether free-roaming adventure maps or offline modes, I played a heck of a lot more than I expected I would (and I'm hardly done yet). It's only been out for just under two weeks and already I've put over 50 hours into the game with most of my time being dedicated to offline pursuits. Having a full game available online or off, no microtransactions, and plenty of content to enjoy, EA and Popcap definitely didn't pull the wool over Switch owners' eyes with its "Complete" in Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville's Complete Edition branding.

Plant yourself firmly in your seat and get ready to zombie-lieve the fun
awaiting you with Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville - Complete Edition!

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