Review: Growlanser II: The Sense of Justice
As the end credits rolled I realised I wasn’t quite sure what a ‘Growlanser’ was or why the subtitle ‘The Sense of Justice’ was chosen. I looked up the game on Wikipedia – which I hadn’t done before this point – and also saw that there were dating sim elements in the game’s final section that I’d completely missed out on because my ‘friendship’ levels with the female characters wasn’t high enough. The list of unsolved mysteries was getting longer…
Review: NieR Automata
It’s taken me a lot longer than it should have to get around to this review. The fact that I’m still playing NieR Automata is certainly a positive, and now it’s been a few months I can safely say it’s one of the most intriguing and all-round excellent games to come out in a really long time.
Review: Wipeout Omega Collection
Wipeout: Omega Collection is the remaster of a remaster, and much of the content goes all the way back to the good ol’ days of the PSP. There’s tracks here I’ve now played through in four different iterations of the franchise, but the fact that there’s now a Wipeout game on PlayStation 4 is certainly nothing to complain about – especially considering that Studio Liverpool closed back in 2012. Although familiar, Wipeout: Omega Collection delivers a further level of refinement to an already masterful series, and that’s pretty great.
A strange thing is currently happening to one of my all-time favourite genres. Wipeout is no more, there hasn’t been a F-Zero game in over a decade, and Rollcage II came out in 1996 – the future of the futuristic racer is now a race between new IPs. Redout is the game that’s taken an early lead, and although heavily influenced by the aforementioned titles, it also throws some compelling new ideas into the mix.
Review: DoDonPachi Resurrection
DoDonPachi Resurrection is one of CAVE’s best shooters, and as anyone familiar with CAVE will already know – these guys are the masters of their genre. Originally released for the arcade in 2008 and then ported to Xbox 360 in 2011, DDPR has now arrived on Steam, and comes complete with enough modes to stand out as the definitive version of the game.
Retro Review: Sonic Adventure
It’s easy to forget that Sonic Adventure was once an all-round hit. These days the 3D Sonic games are at worst seen as a collective mess, and at best still come up inferior to the 2D classics. Yet SEGA’s first attempt at transitioning dimensions was surprisingly competent, and Sonic Adventure largely succeeds at retaining the qualities that made the Mega Drive games so great. Just like before, the most fun you can have in Sonic’s Dreamcast debut involves running really, really fast in a straight line towards a giant loop-the-loop.
Review: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
There’s really a lot to like about Uncharted 4. This is an adventure that jumps between genres in much the same way that Nathan Drake leaps between crumbling structures, swinging around around on his grapple hook without a care in the world. You are shooting stuff, climbing stuff, solving puzzles and traveling the globe in search of treasure. It’s a thrilling and cinematic ride that concludes the Uncharted series on a high note.
Review: Hyper Light Drifter
In balancing retro aesthetic with modern mechanics, Hyper Light Drifter stands out as a notable success. Its striking visuals, open ended design and fast, punishing combat makes for a unique experience, but the comparisons to other great videogames are also plenty. Think Fez meets Dark Souls meets The Legend of Zelda: A Link to The Past, and be very excited.
Review: Until Dawn
Until Dawn is a well-crafted tribute to classic horror films such as Halloween, Scream, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare of Elm Street and many more. In turning the premise of a slasher movie into a Heavy Rain style interactive adventure it largely succeeds, although shoehorning every cool idea from an anthology of Wes Craven and John Carpenter films into a single narrative does’t fully work.
Retro Review: Persona 3 FES
Whilst widely regarded as one of the PlayStation 2’s best games, there’s also a sense that no one really knows what to make of Persona 3. In many ways it’s an accomplished title, and one of the underground hits that defined the final years of the PS2’s lifespan. But it’s also slow, repetitive and unrefined. It’s easier to work out what’s bad about Persona 3 than what’s good about it, yet it is good. It must be good, they make movies about this game.