Metroid 1 – Where the Universe Began

Your health is getting low, and you’re lost in the depths of Norfair. The only light in this dark hellscape is burning hot lava. You can feel the heat threatening to chip away at your HP. Alien creatures sense your fear and hop towards you aggressively. You fight and push on as far as you can go. You’re not quite sure what’s up ahead, but the hope of an Energy Tank or any kind of upgrade is keeping you going. You could go back and farm for health, or you could risk the unknown for a big pay off. What’s there to lose? You can always respawn and try again with full health…. oh wait, no you can’t. Help is not coming.

Dying in Metroid punishes you by reviving you with 30HP, regardless of how many additional e-tanks you had. This means enemies can kill you in a few hits, and farming health back will take more than a dozen enemy kills to get. The odds are never in your favour, as you lose health much faster than you can get it back. This might seem unfair but it was essential in creating this feeling of danger while moving forward to the next room. How much are you willing to risk?

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Journey to the Savage Planet – New Lease on Life

Good morning. What year is it?

I fell asleep on Earth and now I’ve woken up after an unknown number of years, alert and refreshed. Kindred Technologies are just the best, aren’t they? They call themselves the “4th best” space exploration company, but they really speak to me as a normal human being. I didn’t have much to live for so I signed up for their “experiment”. The year was 2034 and I got myself into 5 million dollars of debt from working too much and… wait, is that how working is supposed to work? I’ve never had the time or energy to think about it. Anyway, I’ve been given an opportunity to redeem myself by being launched towards a random planet in an experiment to find a habitable environment for humans. I was feeling lucky and sure enough, managed to land somewhere in one piece. Let’s see what this place is all about.

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ReCore – Metroid Composite

What happens when you get the director of Mega Man and three people from the Metroid Prime team, then rush out a game with their names as the selling point? Something pretty forgettable, evidently. ReCore came out in 2016 with so many bugs they had to make a “Definitive Edition” on the same console a year later. Since then the game has been sitting in discount bins and Game Pass, tempting me with mild intrigue. I’ve been in a Metroid mood lately so I decided to see what this game was all about.

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Jump Rope Challenge – Seven Day Adventure

Once upon a time, a group of Nintendo developers were working in an office. Suddenly, a global event happened that forced them to work from home. At first they enjoyed the comfort, but soon began to miss going outside. They just weren’t getting the exercise and body stimulation they needed. To solve this problem, the developers ordered some copies of Ring Fit Adventure. Gaming and fitness at the same time? Now you can work out while you work! Unfortunately, the game is so sold out that Nintendo’s own staff can’t even get a copy. Gotta fill those pre-orders first. Not content with waiting until their bodies turned to dust, these brave Nintendo developers decided to take the challenge into their own hands and design a piece of software themselves. Jump Rope Challenge uses the Joy-Cons to simulate a jump rope, with a counter on the screen and cute art style for motivation.

This game is a free download, and was announced and released on the same day in this tweet. If you want to give it a try, all you need is around 70mb of free space and two Joy-Cons that come with the regular Switch. If you’re too lazy, just follow my journey instead.

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Lonely Mountains: Downhill – Open Air Time Trials

What a great day. There’s nothing like being out in nature, completely free. You don’t have anywhere to be, and you’re riding your bike happily along. You start riding a bit faster, not because you need to be anywhere, but because the mountain is daring you. You scoot around the corner to get a better view, then get faster and faster downhill. WOOOOO!! YEAH! Suddenly it’s getting twisty… better slow down. Nah, you can handle this!

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Doom Eternal – In the MOOD for DOOM

I’m on 3% health but I’ve never felt so alive. No ammo, no resources, no choice but to perform a Glory Kill. After a decisive stab, health spills out of the demon’s discarded head. I grabbed the health and turned around just in time to throw a grenade into a Cacodemon’s mouth, weaken an Arachotron with my super shotgun, chainsaw an imp for ammo, then turn back to the stunned Cacodemon and rip its eyeball out with my fist. If I ever stop moving during all this, I’m dead. DOOM is a game that doesn’t reward aggressive play, it requires it. The more ammo and health you lose, the more you’re going to get back.

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RISE: Race The Future – Formula eShop

No need for any explanation. It’s the future, we’re driving, and the lights are green!

Alright so ZR is accelerate, ZL is brake. That’s all I really know going into the first race, with no introduction, text or objective. I got this! The eShop description claims this is “set in the near future, with a new kind of wheel technology” but there’s no story in the actual game. That’s all you really need to know in an arcade racer, to be fair. I hung on to the road as best I could while learning the controls and taking in this immense track detail.

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Borderlands: Nintendo Switch Edition Impressions!

After a decade of “Borderlands would be cool on Wii / Wii U / Switch” followed by thinking emojis, something finally happened. Borderlands 1, 2 and The Pre-Sequel have all come out on Switch and I’ve started playing the first game. These were released with no screenshots, footage or impressions so there’s some unknowns that I would like to quickly clear up in this impressions article. Firstly and most importantly, the game has motion controls! Rejoice!

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Borderlands Prime 3 – Guns, Love & Tentacles

Pull up a chair and let me tell you a story.

After losing everything at the casino, I’ve started a brand new life. My character Zane was maxed out to lvl57, with nowhere left to go. I received a wedding invitation in the mail to remind me of what’s important. Love! Hammerlock and Wainwright were getting married and wanted their favourite vault hunter to do the honours. Fresh with inspiration, I made a brand new character, FL4K. I’m still the same person, I just look and talk like a robotic slayer now. I’ve also got a pet Skag! He’s a good boy and sometimes coughs up extra ammo.

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Deadly Premonition – Sequel in the Coffee

Can you believe it, Zach? Deadly Premonition is getting a sequel. Not only that, but the first game has been revived on Nintendo Switch. I was a huge fan of the original 10 years ago, and this was perhaps the most shocking announcement I’ve ever seen in a Nintendo Direct. I had accepted the game as a one-of thing, and never even considered a sequel after the director had moved on. I should have known, Zach. Directors never move on. The coffee warned me about this.


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Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot – Blow Up The Pokies

If you think being in lockdown for a few months is bad, try 7 years. Now imagine you are locked in a casino. Someone has come to bail you out, but it’s too late. You’ve become a bitter, twisted, addicted, Borderlands enemy.

It’s not all bad. Meet “All-in” Alan, he’s having the time of his life. “7 years? I didn’t even notice! My big win is just around the corner!”. As long as he has his optimism, he’s winning on the inside.

Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot is the first paid DLC released for Borderlands 3, and just like a real casino, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. You’re also not going to get your money back. It was hard to understand the angle of this before playing it, but it starts to make sense when you get there. This casino is so big, it exists as its own planetary structure floating in space by itself. The owner is missing in action and security protocols have come into effect, locking people inside for the last 7 years with no way out. Many events have unfolded in those years so you’re not just “going to a casino” in this campaign, but discovering an entire civilization of depraved casino dwellers.

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Tonight We Riot – The Official Game of Antifa

Developed by the worker owned cooperative Pixel Pushers Union 512, Tonight We Riot is a side scrolling crowd brawler with a retro-anarcho-communist aesthetic. Set in 20XX, Tonight We Riot depicts a society at breaking point under the oppression of capitalism, with the working masses living precarious lives in service of the capitalist owners whose power is entrenched through owning the media and political institutions. So pretty much like right now, without the global pandemic.

Before we go on, a big trigger warning for any reactionary readers we might have who prefer their video games to not contain politics; Tonight We Riot is unashamedly political, featuring not only women but people who are not white too.

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Borderlands 3 – Revenge of the 80s

The Cartel has arrived to take over Borderlands 3, with the mandatory lock-down requirements of 80s synth music, sports cars and golden toilets.

You’re still gonna need your own toilet paper, though. Everyone here wipes their arse with money.

Revenge of the Cartels is a free event for Borderlands 3 that runs from April 23 to June 4. It’s a rather short romp but offers impressive production values, with a new area, new enemies and new music. It takes place in a villa-style mansion suspended above a giant waterfall and surrounded by an immense natural landscape where dinosaurs wouldn’t look out of place. Continue reading “Borderlands 3 – Revenge of the 80s”