Patrick O'Rourke

I'm a Ryerson University Journalism graduate and freelance Journalist/Blogger extraordinaire with a soft spot for video games and technology. I've been gaming my entire life and blog extensively about my travels through gamedom on GameJudgment. I've written for various small video game blogs but started GameJudgment because I wanted more editorial freedom. Follow me on Twitter at Patrick_O'Rourke or check out some of my other work at www.patrickorourke.ca.

As you might have noticed, GameJudgment hasn’t been updated in quite some time. I’m currently working full time covering games and technology for a national Canadian news network called Postmedia (although my content mainly shows up on Canada.com) and I just haven’t had time to keep GameJudgment going. I’m not shutting the site down, but it definitely won’t be run in the same capacity as it’s been in the past. If a contributor happens to put a piece together, I’ll get it up on the site asap. If you’re interested in checking out where I’m working now, check out Canada.com’s Technology section at this link. Thank you for supporting us… (more…)

I never thought I would review a dance game, for any video game system, ever. Yet here I am, writing about the latest edition of Ubisoft’s extremely successful Just Dance franchise, Just Dance Greatest Hits. The title offers a surprisingly enjoyable experience, even for uncoordinated individuals (like me). Though I’m a total n00b when it comes to anything dance related, I have played Harmonix’s Dance Central series a few times. Make no mistake, though, dance games are probably as far as you can get from my gaming forte. Just Dance Greatest Hits combines the most popular songs from the first two Wii titles into one motion-based Kinect title. If you’re a fan of the series, and you’ve spent time with Just Dance and Just Dance… (more…)

There’s no denying that Diablo III had an extremely shaky launch. Blizzard Activion’s sequel to the cult class PC title Diablo II promised highly touted new features—but they failed to launch on time. Diablo III’s auction house, a system that allows players to sell in-game weapons for real world money, launched late and a player vs. player mode still hasn’t been released. Many gamers weren’t even able to play Diablo III at launch because Blizzard’s servers went down shortly after its release. Fans are also angry about the title’s somewhat intrusive DRM that requires the player to maintain a constant internet connection in order to play the single player campaign. But the big questions is,… (more…)

Indie PC masterpiece Home doesn’t really fit into a set video game genre. It ruly is unlike any title I’ve played. In many ways Home is less of a video game and more of an interactive, story-driven experience that harkens back to old school point and click adventure titles, a genre that is pretty much dead. Developed by Toronto-based indie developer Benjamin Rivers, Home graphically looks like  a Super Nintendo title. Its pixelated retro style gives the title a unique look and a feel that resembles recent pixel art indie titles like Phil Fish’s Fez. Home follows the journey of a character who wakes up in a dimly lit underground tunnel, totally unaware of how he… (more…)

Square Enix will show off a ton of titles By: Abhishek Indoria The worlds biggest video game expo is just a few days away. A lot of people have been eagerly anticipating this year’s E3 just because the past year has been rather uneventful in the video game surprise department. Square-Enix, by far, has the best and most varied line up of titles at this year’s E3. The company is showing off an astounding eighteen games. They’ve got Tomb Raider, Hitman Absolution, Final Fantasy Dimensions, Heroes of Ruin, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Quantum Conundrum, Sleeping Dogs and Theatrythm Final Fantasy. We also might get to see Final Fantasy Versus XIII renamed as Final Fantasy XV,… (more…)

Fable Heroes isn’t a bad video game. But there also isn’t anything special about it. The title is a generic hack-and-slash side scrolling Castle Crashers style multiplayer game. Fable’s famous quirkiness is very present throughout the game’s journey and it’s also refreshingly light hearted (are those puppets in the background of almost every stage really naked?). All of the levels are based on familiar Fable locales so fans of the series will enjoy the homage Fable Heroes pays to past titles. Collecting coins is the main goal of Fable Heroes and competing against friends to see who can grab the most by the end of a level is fun for a short period. Using an… (more…)

A few years ago I downloaded a generic Trials game on my old Blackberry Curve. I played the game to death and killed countless hours on the subway doing back flips on my two dimensional dirt bike. Honestly, I don’t know why I enjoyed the game. It was repetitive, insanely hard and very frustrating, but something about the mechanics kept me coming back for more. The first Xbox 360 Trials title, Trials HD, was released on the Xbox Live Arcade in 2009. When it came out, I tested the demo but didn’t feel compelled to continue playing. There wasn’t enough ‘game’ to warrant purchasing the full version. The title’s sequel, Trials Evolution, seems to have… (more…)

Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir is a very different kind of video game. The title focuses on the 3DS’ augmented reality feature, only instead of utilizing the cards included with the handheld, the player uses a small paper diary included with the game to solve puzzles. The player points the 3DS’ camera at it and three dimensional objects appear through augmented reality. The game begins by asking the player to take a self-portrait. This is when the game’s flaws first appear. The 3DS’ camera’s low 1.6 mega pixel camera preforms very poorly under low lighting conditions. My face ended up a noisy mess of pixels. Through the 3DS’ built in camera, Spirit Camera places… (more…)

Bloodforge is one of many recent Xbox Live arcade (XBLA) titles that attempts to blur the lines between downloadable and retail game releases. Its production values and graphics are impressive (especially for a downloadable title). What’s unfortunate is that the game isn’t very much fun. With a name like Bloodforge, I expected the title to be full of blood and gore. I was absolutely correct. Bloodforge is extremely violent—red fluids are constantly squirting out of enemies as you hack and slash through them. But the blood effect looks cheesy and forced. The game is obviously trying to maintain a serious tone through its extreme violence but it ends up looking borderline comical. In Bloodforge, you play as a… (more…)

Phil Fish’s Canadian developed indie video game Fez is unlike any title I’ve played. Graphically, it’s on par with a Nintendo title from the mid 80s, with a bit more polish and a few interesting graphic effects. The title isn’t about visual flair though—it’s about going back to the lost simplicity that makes retro video games so appealing. Fez is a simple game but that’s what makes it so much fun. At first glance, it resembles a generic 2D side scroller with pixelated old-school graphics but it goes much deeper than that. Fez allows the player to rotate its world in order to solve puzzles and collect cubes. It forces the player to think about… (more…)

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