What Remains of Edith Finch – Time Well Spent

Sometimes all you need is a good story. Whether you’re reading one or writing one, the power of an event unfolding in your mind can not be underestimated. An entire world can come to life right in front of you. Things that are far away can feel like they are right there, if only just for a moment. You can’t have them but you can feel them. Through stories, people’s actions can exist long after they’ve been performed. History can be preserved. A single moment can become its own feeling to go back to. Sometimes you need a bit more though. Sometimes you need a good videogame.

What Remains of Edith Finch is a slow-paced adventure game that takes you to the large Finch family mansion, surrounded by dense forest. Many tragic events have happened here and it has resulted in every Finch family member dying in different ways, and you’re there to investigate what this curse is all about. With no real knowledge of who you even are or what’s waiting in the house, it has a very curious feeling right from the start. All you really know is your character “inherited” this place but hasn’t come here in years. Why would you not visit your gigantic house? It’s this detail that gives a subtle hint of danger and intrigue. How bad could it be? Continue reading “What Remains of Edith Finch – Time Well Spent”

Gran Turismo Sport – A Fresh Start

Mmmmm, nothing like that new track smell. It’s the perfect cure to that nauseating “new car” smell of freshly glued plastic. A new location is a little more refreshing to breathe in, and different to play. I can smell the ocean air and hear the breeze hit the mountain with a calming whoosh. After a somewhat reluctant installation, this is what Gran Turismo Sport needed to draw me in. This wonderful track called Dragon Trail. Where’s that? Nowhere. This is a brand new make-believe racetrack for GT Sport and it brings some much-needed identity to make this feel like a brand new special videogame. As someone who’s played every world circuit track in dozens of racing games before, the new tracks in GT Sport are exciting. Not just because of the new scenery, but it’s a brand new stimulating challenge with new corners and layouts to learn.

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Dragon Quest Heroes – Heroes of Light Comfy Grinding

What do you get when you mix two of the safest, most repetitive series in gaming together? You guessed it, Dragon Quest Heroes! Nothing to see here right? DQ Heroes mixes the relentless button-mashing combat of Warriors games with the traditional JRPG structure and familiarity of Dragon Quest, but the result isn’t quite as as you’d expect. The game has no more grinding than any series would normally have, instead combining the charm and customisation of each series to make a better version of both. I’ve finally got my hands on the PS4 version after getting tired of waiting for Square-Enix to localize it on Switch and take our money (it’s been “coming soon” for 2 years with no release date still), and I’m having a blast with it.

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Project Highrise – A Vertical Empire

Project Highrise, by Somasim Games is an unabashed homage to Yutaka “Yoot” Saito’s 1994 hit SimTower. The two games share the same premise and aesthetic, with Project Highrise’s art style firmly planted in the early 1990s. It’s a game where you’re tasked with constructing and managing a building, leasing out space to offices, shops, hotels, restaurants and apartments, with the revenue going into services for the tenants and further construction. It’s a sandbox management sim and I think it’s a really good one, but there’s a lot to talk about and the comparisons to SimTower have to be made. Continue reading “Project Highrise – A Vertical Empire”

Don Bradman Cricket 14 is everything I dreamed a cricket game could be

Despite being one of the most popular sports in the world, cricket has rarely been reproduced in anything resembling a fun video game. The last good cricket games I played were the Beam Software developed Super International Cricket (SNES) and its followups on PC. Since sport sims embraced the third dimension cricket games have floundered, with only Codemasters and EA sporadically contracting third string development teams to churn out buggy, unplayable affairs. This is a shame because the first time I played an N64, fresh off my experience with Super International Cricket, I imagined a three dimensional cricket game with a dynamic camera and footwork based shot selection. After almost twenty years, Big Ant Studios have realised my dream.

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Gamers, stop being shit and buy a Wii U

It’s been a while since I’ve done a rant, which means a lot of rage has built up. I’m going to deliver it to you right now in the form of a reality check on the state of the gaming industry. It’s gotten to such a bad state in the past few years I’ve just avoided talking or thinking about it and happily played my games. Iwata was right in 2000-2004 about graphics not being important. In 2015 he’s still right. He’s been right every time he’s opened his mouth and prophetised games declining in value (aka the end of the world) which IS NOW UPON US.

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Depressing Realities Surrounding Next-Gen Gaming

Oh hey, guess what folks? The ‘true’ next-generation game systems arrived last month, but unlike most people who are absolutely convinced these are the best systems EVAH, I’m going to put out some more depressing realities that we could face. After all, didn’t you all like my last one?

No? Well shit.

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