JoyMasher has a penchant for making games in the 8-bit style that’s paid homages to classics of that era like Ninja Gaiden, Ghosts n’ Goblins, and Castlevania with their games, Oniken and Odallus: The Dark Call. With Blazing Chrome, JoyMasher takes on the 16-bit era in a Metal Slug meets Contra-esque game. Truth be told Blazing Chrome is not easy, and neither have JoyMasher’s prior games, but it’s far from impossible. There’s difficulty options to lessen or increase the hurt. All in all, it’s a wild ride full of crazy bosses, great music, and a memorable look that will have you wondering where you’re supposed to deposit your quarters.
I’m not sure how, but the wizards at Codemasters have topped themselves for a third year in a row. As it stands, F1 2019 is absolutely the best Formula One game yet – which is hard to say after so many good years of F1 entries from the developers. Codemasters worked on visual enhancements, and expanded the career mode for a fuller experience. The enhancements, returning classics, and updated career mode make this an absolute winner.
I love a good hacking game. For as long as movies and TV have been romanticizing computer hacking as a sport or profession, the appeal of sitting down in front of a computer, blasting out a series of keystrokes and suddenly being in control of any information or systems you want has been undeniably exciting. This was the promise of the internet age, that heady time in the late 90’s and early 00’s that saw a computer land in every home.
Hi-Bit Studios embraces the thoughts and feelings of teenage life, in 198X. Released as the first part of an unknown quantity, 198X explores the growing pains, the desire to fit in to a mold that’s not been set. This Kickstarter success is ambitious, thought-provoking, and entertaining. It strikes a nice balance between genres and telling a story. While the game ends on a cliffhanger, the story is worth hearing in its current form.
I’ve been following DeadToast Entertainment’s development of My Friend Pedro for a while now, prior to Devolver Digital bringing them under their publishing umbrella. The game had a cult following that was mostly shown via GIFs on Twitter, and I’ve been eager to get my hands on it. Now that I have, I can say that My Friend Pedro feels very familiar, yet completely unique in its own space. The acrobatics, gunplay, and ease at which you can control these aspects is unrivaled and unlike anything I’ve played before. Gwen Stefani had it right, because “This shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!”
Forza Horizon 4‘s second expansion takes an unexpected turn into LEGO Valley. LEGO Speed Champions features a sizable map, a small selection of cars that have been LEGOized, and a whole host of challenges and features that breaks the mold of prior DLCs and main game offerings. It perhaps is a bit underwhelming for those who were expecting something else out of this, but there’s lots to do and see that’ll make you sing “Everything Is AWESOME!!!”
Lovely Planet makes a triumphant resurgence with its fast and fluid speedrunner, Lovely Planet 2: April Skies. It’s a return to form for the fourth entry in the series, and it couldn’t come at a better time after lying dormant for an extra year. This is a first-person shooter that’s hardcore in every sense of the word except for its cutesy look and soundtrack. This is a game that demands precision and accuracy, but does so. This is the truest sequel to 2014’s Lovely Planet, and is QUICKTEQUILA’s best entry to-date.
There is chaos on the battlefield, the strangely logical chaos of a brutal fracas. Everything is light and sound and mud and blood and the glint of clashing steel. Grunts and bellows and screams beset you on all sides, and are flooded with input as you try to make sense of the things you see and hear in front of you in time to stay alive. You parry once, twice, again, riposte, slash, backstep, parry, slash, dodge. A maul crushes your opponent’s skull from seemingly nowhere, and three more enemies crest the hill in his place. You dig deep, unleash your war cry and charge ahead, coordinating with your ally for a few miraculous moments as you sideswipe while he thrusts, cutting down the poor sap who ran ahead by himself. You meet the opposing duo, and begin a brutal waltz of exchanged parries, slashes, dodges, nicks and cuts. You plunge your sword through one and now the odds are in your favor, your sole opponent backed up against a rock with nowhere to turn. You move in for the kill, interrupting his attack with your sword and leaving him wide open for your ally to bash his head. You’ve won, and as you reach for the “scream” key to celebrate, you hear the telltale sound of clay shattering and see yourself licked by fire. You turn to run; your head is a boulder, rolling away from your body. As it settles, you can see your attackers dancing over your decapitated corpse while one of them plays the lute. This is the third time that jackass has snuck up on you, you are helpfully reminded, and you swear vengeance as you are whisked away to the overhead view of the battle.
MotoGP 19 sees many big changes for this year’s entry, and all of them are positive. This is also a year of additions and refinements, building off of what came last year in exponential ways. Milestone has given the game a fresh coat of paint, that’s brighter and more vibrant, making it feel more alive. The simulation of seeing your rider shift side-to-side for narrow turns while simultaneously trying not to let the bike fall to the ground. MotoGP 19 is best the series has been, but has room to grow and improve.