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.
Welcome to the island of dreams. Blackouts have destroyed many major cities and millions of refugees have found this one place that was previously off the radar, “Terranova”. By some miracle, it’s the only major city that wasn’t attacked. Must be great! Everyone get in line.
This place reeks of filthy propaganda and corruption to the point where it is literally projected in the air. What a wonderful direction technology has gone. Join us for a wonderful future! Sure, what could possibly go wrong? What could possibly be fishy about one organization deciding all the information you will hear? Good thing this is just a videogame. That would never happen in our world.
It’s been 3 years since the incident at Beacon Mental Hospital. Coincidentally, there’s also a 3 year gap between the release of The Evil Within 1 and 2. Is this real life? That’s a question Sebastian asks himself again too. Free from the evils of the STEM mindscape, he’s found himself in a brand new horrific situation. With questions unanswered and a shattered sense of self dwindling into alcoholic indulgence, a new adventure might be exactly what he needs.
Don’t tell anyone, but Forza Horizon 2 is still open. You won’t find it on the Xbox Store anymore, but the disc still works. Once installed with a light 2GB patch, you’ll find yourself in a delisted wonderland. Why is it delisted? Playground Games have moved onto Forza Horizon 3 and 4 and I guess Microsoft want you to buy those instead. It could also be licensing issues with the soundtrack, a fate that buried the Tony Hawk classics and threatens the longevity and relevance of GTA games. Here we are though, in Europe. This is the setting of Forza Horizon 2 and it’s absolutely beautiful.
After seven years of DLC and side-stories for Borderlands 2, the third game is finally here. I’ve jumped into it over the past week and have been enjoying some vault hunting on brand new planets. The story is new, environments are new, there’s a million new guns, and the vault hunters themselves have brand new skills. So, what else is new? I keep hearing people say it’s just “more Borderlands” as if to downplay this game. Of course it’s more Borderlands, the title of the game is Borderlands 3. It’s not inaccurate, just a lazy way to describe it. Borderlands 3 is purposefully designed as a sequel and does a pretty good job improving the core gameplay while offering a new scenario. I’m currently level 20 and will go a bit more in depth about what’s new.
The year is A.D. 21XX and humanity is…. ah screw it, you’ve heard it all before. This is yet another videogame where billions of humans have died and you are our last hope. There’s just something about ultimate apocalyptic destruction that makes for a good action game. Or survival game. Or story-heavy RPG. Or driving game. First-person shooting. Golf. Heck, is everything better without humans? No, that question is too deep for this game’s colour palette. Humanity is on the brink of extinction and it’s time…
Glada blad daneeashe blap blurp dawesome! Oh excuse me I’ve become an NPC inside a book and this is how I talk now, but I can still write in English I guess. That’s right I’m inside the Book of Ages and there’s a bunch of whimsical worlds here. Coins and platforms hover in the air and there are no rules at all. Oh except, you can’t rotate the camera too much. Small details. You also die if you hit something three times, but there’s plenty of lives to go around. I’m going to tell you all about a Fox who’s come to save us all, his name is Lucky. You see, this book is being threatened by the evil Jinx and the pages are being overrun by Kitty Litter. The who and the what now? Well, all you need to know is the fox’s name is Lucky and this is Super Lucky’s Tale.
What if you couldn’t see colours? What if you see different colours to other people? Would you ever know, if you both refer to the colour with the same name? What if your purple is my orange? What if colour was stripped from the world and created alternate realities? You won’t find any of these answers in Hue, but you’ll find a fun little videogame.
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”→
What is time, but an egg. You can hard-boil your long-term plans or shatter that shell on a hot plate of opportunity. But what happens to time when it shatters? The correct explanation of time travel is that there is none. Quantum Break successful proves how ridiculous it would be, as a concept and a reality. At the same time it accomplishes a thrilling narrative and theorises how it could be possible and what the effects would be in the human world. What happens at the end of time? What happens when time is broken? Is your reality poached or sunny side up?
Fear Effect and it’s sequel were breakthrough hits at the turn of the millennium. Releasing late in the life of the original Playstation, they stood out with their stylish cel shaded graphics and sexy bisexual lead character, which was a big deal at the time. And then the series died. 15 years later Square Enix, who inherited the property after buying out Eidos Interactive, put out an open call for expressions of interest in bringing Fear Effect back. A (barely) successful kickstarter followed and last year French developer Sushee shat Fear Effect Sedna out.
It all starts with an oof. When the first humans walked the Earth and saw each other they said oof. When they rolled out of bed for the first time they said oof. Then again the second time. When cowboys got trod on by their horse they said oof. Or was that hoof? We’ll never know. Like those great moments in history, it’s also how the Ys series started.
Forty years ago, revolution swept Iran. The western backed autocrat, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was ousted from power by a popular coalition of forces and an Islamic republic, led by Allah’s apparent representative Ruhollah Khomeini, was established. 1979 Revolution: Black Friday tells the story of Black Friday, a turning point of the revolution, through the lens of fictional photo journalist Reza Shirazi. It’s less a traditional video game and more a kind of edutainment interactive historical drama, with developer iNK Stories borrowing heavily from the Telltale Games formula to immerse the player in the chaos of revolution.
This game starts off in the most disorienting way possible, with a dramatic climbing sequence in the snowy mountains full of quick-time button prompts. Press A. Press X. Twirl the stick and mash Y. It’s a great way to not learn how this game plays at all. It’s not too hard, just confusing. You’ll be holding up on the analog stick most of the time, watching Lara jump perfectly across gaps and grab her wall of choice. You are left guessing which direction Lara is going to jump as the camera swings wildly on its own. Just press A and hope for the best. Press X to grab the wall. Oh, okay. I did that I guess? Oh no, I fell. Wait, I’m meant to fall. Really got me there, game. The whole scene is just overly stressful despite barely any button inputs happening at all. It gave me a horrible first impression as the game felt very phony and I hadn’t even played a Tomb Raider game before and didn’t know any backstory to this game. I was ready to delete the game after this and move on.
We’re approaching the end of 2018 and I’ve just got myself a brand new Xbox One S, five years into the lifespan of Xbox One. It’s a new world for me as I’ve been playing nothing but Nintendo stuff for the last few years, having a great time it must be said. I never had a PS4 either so this is my first time dipping into the 2013 “next-gen” console family, which is now this-gen, or half-gen to the Pro and X which will be last-gen again next year. Phew. Whatever you want to call it, I have a lot of gaming to catch up on and I thought this was a unique perspective worth a little writeup. I was lucky enough to get my XB1S bundled with Red Dead Redemption 2 and Forza Horizon 4, two very expensive new release games. The whole bundle was $100-200 AU cheaper than a Switch or PS4 by themselves, which is ridiculous. Xbox is priced very well and has huge support in Australia, and I was in a good spot to take advantage of it. It just felt like the right time with Nintendo’s Switch holiday lineup mainly focused on two games I’m not that interested in. I got home with my new Xbox and it felt like Christmas again. The old, fun, child-like Christmas, not the new HD remake “Adult Christmas” which is full of disappointing social engagements. This was going to be fun on my own terms.