Vehicle simulation games are not for everyone. Unlike other games, there usually is no story, and the level of detail involved in game-play is usually very high. In fact, the better the simulator, the more true-to-life the game is to whatever it is that you are driving/piloting, be it cars, airplanes, and yes, trains. Dovetail Games’ Train Simulator 2015 carries on the proud tradition of the Railworks line, giving players the ability to don a figurative locomotive engineer’s cap and learn all there is to know about driving trains. It may not be an exciting-sounding prospect – but it can surprisingly fun engaging in its thoroughness, and the production value enhances it even further.
People really love a good team-up. It’s not hard to see why; the idea of something being greater than the sum of its parts is very compelling – especially when the components are amazing. We have seen it before, with games like Street Fighter vs. Capcom, or the Super Smash Bros. franchise – and it works. I have often wondered what it would be like for Professor Layton and Luke Triton to meet other videogame characters on one of their adventures. Would it work? Well, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Level-5 and Capcom) answers that question, in a Nintendo 3DS game that has the most FPS out of any game ever made. And by FPS I mean Finger Pointing Sequences, of course.
Several years ago, Hasbro and their partners took the My Little Pony franchise to a new place with the Equestria Girls film and line of toys. A significant departure from the normal My Little Pony series, Equestria Girls featured the ponies as humans – transformed by walking through a magic mirror. Now, Hasbro shines a spotlight on the My Little Pony Equestria line with the My Little Pony Equestria Girls Rainbow Rocks Mane Event Stage, which corresponds with the recently released film, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks.
We have reviewed Ambient Design’s ArtRage before (way back when it was an earlier version), but since then ArtRage has grown somewhat, taking a great feature set and infusing it with even more goodness. Accessible and powerful, ArtRage 4.5 is within reach both a learning and budget perspective. Don’t think for a moment, though, that its relatively low price tag or its simple interface make it a candidate for only the amateur artist – this application has plenty of tricks up its sleeve for the more advanced as well.
When Playground Games and Turn 10 Studios released Forza Horizon a few years ago for the Xbox 360, they managed to marry the physics of a driving simulator to the fun of an arcade racer. Being able to drive serious wheels around an alternate version Colorado with relative freedom was a blast – and I periodically return to Horizon to casually satisfy my jonesing for speed. Now, Playground and Turn 10 have somehow managed to take that concept and improve upon it, in the Europe-centric Forza Horizon 2. With over 3 times the driving area and a lot more freedom, racing-junkie Xbox One owners will have a new go-to game for all of the thrills and spills that they can handle. As “Doc” Brown said at the end of Back to the Future 3: “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”
The last installment in the Dance Central franchise (developed by Harmonix), Dance Central 3, had an interesting campaign that had a dancing army and time travel. While I found it fun, there was a certain amount of cheese to the story, and too much cheese can sometimes slow you down. Compared to that last iteration in the franchise, Dance Central Spotlight for the Xbox One is a lean, mean, dancing machine. Whereas Dance Central 3 was like a banquet that left players with a lot to digest, Dance Central Spotlight is like a light meal: satisfying and exactly what you need when you need it, without any extra trappings.
While there are a bevy of personal sound delivery solutions for the Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 from third parties, Sony’s own headphone solutions have always been a welcome one. Both the Wireless Stereo Headset and the Pulse Elite Edition Wireless Headset are great products, delivering great sound quality while remaining conveniently portable and durable – all for a reasonable price. Sony’s PlayStation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset is the latest in their line of listening technology, and it should come as no surprise that this full-featured headset meets and exceeds the bar set by the previous two headphones.