SYSTEM: Sony PlayStation 4 (PC, Xbox One)
ESRB RATING: Everyone
REVIEW RATING: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
Konami's "PES" series has been going head to head against EA's "Fifa" series since the turn of the century, and the result usually favored "Fifa." It took a while for Konami to pull ahead, but "Pro Evolution Soccer 2015" scores a hat trick with a new gaming engine, complex ball handling and realistic A.I.
Let's start with the improved ground game. Not only are the shooting and dribbling better all around but the overhauled one-touch pass system lets players make split-second decisions to continue the flow of the ball. I like how the game focuses less on individual tricks and more on maintaining the momentum and taking advantage of each player's strengths.
Improved player intelligence means that you can rely on teammates to back you up and perhaps even anticipate your moves. However, the opponents are just as smart and will team up on you and even try to get players offsides. Opponents even adapt to the player's moves in an effort to keep them on their toes, so it helps to know your opponent's weaknesses as well as your own.
Although the Master League mode is starting to look a bit outdated, the new myClub online mode is a welcome addition! This mode tasks players with taking a group of budding soccer stars from nobodies to world champions. It's up to the player use their agent to recruit a manager and teammates that work well together. With some luck, maybe you'll even get to sign a dream player!
This series still suffers a bit from the lack of officially licensed teams and stadiums. However, my biggest problem is the lackluster Master League mode that seems to have been overlooked this season.
Still, no matter if you prefer "PES 2015" or the latest Fifa game, the clear winners are soccer-loving gamers!
'QP Shooting — Dangerous!!'
PUBLISHER: Fruitbat Factory
SYSTEM: Windows PC
PRICE: $7.99 Download
ESRB RATING: Teen
REVIEW RATING: 4.0 stars (out of 5)
Another holiday season rolls around, and another pudding-loving dog girl is ready to blast everything to stars ... err ... smithereens! "Wait ... wait ... what?" Everything in that sentence makes perfect sense when you're playing "QP Shooting — Dangerous." Want to know more?
QP is the name of a Japanese Harajuku-style girl with dog ears and an unhealthy desire for pudding. Apparently, she's ready to shoot the crap out of anyone and anything that blocks her next bowl of creamy goodness, and that includes trains, birds, giant top hats and even former friends! Believe me, you don't want to cross paths with her Rbits.
Rbits are QP's basic weapon, and they consist of floating rabbit heads that rotate around her body and fire projectiles outwards. The cool thing about Rbits is that their formations can be customized. Up to three different formations can be used during combat, and changing between them can drastically affect QP's performance. It's pretty effective to switch between the default forward-facing and rear-facing formations when enemies and their infinite projectiles surround QP. Players can eventually obtain 28 different Rbit formations, making it nearly as much fun to unlock them as it is to blast through each stage!
When the going gets really rough, it's time to save QP's canine hide with Hyper mode! Gathering stars from fallen enemies charges up Hyper mode, and activating it not only turns all enemies and projectiles into stars, but it also increases the damage QP deals! Even more stars can be collected by basically doing combo star collections to initiate bonus strings.
"QP Shooting — Dangerous!!" has it all: smooth visuals, intense and challenging game play, customizable Rbits, childhood drama, dog ears, pudding. My only real complaint is that it needs more cowbell!
REVIEW SCORING SYSTEM
5 stars = Must Have
4 stars = Very Good
3 stars = Above Average
2 stars = Bargain Bin
1 star = Don't Bother
Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)
E10+: (Everyone 10 and older)
T: Teen (13 and older)
M: Mature (17 and older)
To find out more about Jeb Haught and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.