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.
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.
Psycho-Pass: The Movie is in two ways an obvious return to form after getting sidetracked in its second series. The film brings back writer Gen Urobuchi and character Shinya Kogami, both who’ve been missing since the events of series one. But its hour and a half runtime doesn’t prove long enough to explore any of the complex issues that have been lingering in the background for a while now, and whilst the film is fun in a conventional way, it doesn’t fully realise the potential of the franchise.
F-Zero GX was developed by the video game equivalent of a supergroup. Ten years previously the idea of Mario and Sonic developers joining forces to create the fastest and most intense racing game ever made would have been considered about as likely as Sony and Microsoft teaming up today to end world poverty. Oh, and Namco were along for the ride too. The collective genius of these insanely talented people resulted in a unique and masterful game, and twelve years later it’s still at the top of its genre.
Muramasa Rebirth is one of the nicest looking games on the PlayStation Vita. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun to play, and with its additional DLC there’s an awful lot to see and do. As well as the original, adapted from the 2009 Wii game ‘Muramasa: The Demon Blade’, Vita owners have been treated with four smaller stories that make up the Genroku Legends. After a slow release schedule the full package is finally here, and today I’ll be reviewing the complete version of Muramasa Rebirth.
The 1990s were a strange time. A game like Harmful Park should have been an instant classic, and lauded for its innovative level design, unique style and competent gameplay. Instead it never made its way out of Japan, and today is a rare gem usually selling for over £100 online. Ironically it’s a hugely accessible game that turns a niche genre into an experience any kind of gamer can enjoy.