Skully from developer Finish Line Games and publisher Modus Games is a 3D puzzle platformer where you traverse open spaces to solve problems, combat enemies, and find a number collectibles that rivals Banjo-Kazooie. It harkens back to a specific era that many will find nostalgic. Skully has a lot of fun with itself, but also has its serious moments that keep it down to earth. There were times I was exasperated either due to imprecise platforming or when the game’s locomotion was interrupted, but Skully will bowl you over with its charm. In the words of the immortal Fred Durst, “Keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ rollin’”.
Assetto Corsa Competizione is one of the most realistic racing experiences one can have on the PlayStation 4 sans Gran Turismo. The world and the vehicles are gorgeous, but unfortunately, there isn’t much else to the game Assetto Corsa Competizione (ACC). It’s a reasonably straightforward racing game that is relatively bare-bones.
Blaze Revolutions is one of the most inventive RTS’ I’ve ever played. It’s also one of the buggiest and most incomplete, too. For every cool or unique idea Blaze Revolutions has, there’s some sort of step back or problem that goes with it. This is a game in serious need of fixes and improvements from developer Little Chicken Game Company, yet I still managed to enjoy what I could of Blaze Revolutions.
Longtime followers of Hideo Kojima’s work know that his games have a reputation for being multifaceted journeys that are as frequently confounding as they are astounding. We go along for each new ride fully aware that we are setting ourselves up for amazement and moments of frustration, and that the experience is often about accepting and even inviting both extreme ends of this spectrum, and everything in between.
Death Stranding is Kojima’s first foray into something truly new in well over a decade (not counting the ill-fated but well-loved P.T.), and the question that has largely been hanging over the release of this game is “Can it stand apart from Kojima’s legacy?” Or, more pointedly, “Can Death Stranding escape the shadow of Metal Gear?” Given that Death Stranding originally released on consoles in 2019 and there has been plenty of time for players to evaluate these questions and come to their own conclusions, I won’t spend overly much time on this particular point, except to say this: Death Stranding‘s parallels to and influences from the Metal Gear series are inevitable.
Razing a small farming town of its barns, mills, and residences with my UFO’s laser, probing denizens to the point that their head explodes, and zapping them so hard their skeletons show are all part of what makes Destroy All Humans! so much fun. It doesn’t take itself seriously, and is a parody of the 1950s hysteria that works to great effect. This is a remake of Pandemic Studios’ 2005 original, thanks to Black Forest Games making it look and play better than ever. Destroy All Humans! is endearing and full of laughter, from rampages to its absurd situations that make it a classic.
I emerge from below decks of a shipping barge and face the shimmering, sparkling ocean. It extends outward in all directions and touches the pale blue sky in the distance, tiny reflections of the sun dancing on the water. Seagulls cry as they circle overhead and the air smells of salt water. I turn to the bow of the ship and see shining spires of glass rising up out of the verdant landmass ahead. There is a feeling of serenity and hope in this beautiful moment, and an excitement about the potential that lies directly ahead of me. Predictably, the moment is interrupted by a mysterious and powerful interloper who is looking specifically for me, and the situation quickly turns from serene to severe as I have to fight for my life and find a way to escape the ship to the safety of the literal game world waiting for me on the mainland.
At the time of its initial release, Munch’s Oddysee was fairly highly regarded. It heralded a new era of quality visuals, opportunities to explore large, open spaces, detailed and bizarre character designs that sprung to life in 3D, and quirky (or even bizarre) ways of interacting with the game that were clever riffs on some time-tested ideas. It was a showcase for what was possible, and indeed it demonstrated a great deal of potential and creativity.
Formula One has just begun its racing season after delays for obvious reasons, and F1 2020 arrives just in time to be a great companion for what remains of this truncated season. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of content to be found here, and Codemasters has crafted another masterpiece in F1 2020 that hits all the right notes. This is a Formula One game that’s accessible for all players with casual to pro settings and immersive modes that offer dozens of hours of gameplay. If you’ve been wanting to play this series for any reason, F1 2020 is what you’ve been waiting for.
Burnout Paradise is unquestionably one of the best racing games at all time. It may not be everybody’s favorite Burnout game, but it certainly is my favorite, and it is undeniable that Burnout Paradise revolutionized the casual/arcade racing genre, and important groundwork that many racing games in multiple sub genres are still built on today. You can see Paradise‘s DNA in everything from Need for Speed to Forza Horizon to the DiRT series and well beyond. It was a drastically influential game that had a lasting impact on the design of racing games. It also happens to be an absolute blast to play and sports some of the most incredibly cohesive game design I’ve seen; the car handling, world design, art direction, extra objectives, event types, and even the soundtrack choices all work in tandem to create a thrilling, raucous playground. Burnout Paradise is the rare game where every single aspect sings together in beautiful harmony, and it creates an impactful, joyful experience that still feels exciting and unbelievably fun to play today. It is in many ways a masterpiece, showcasing how strong video games can be not as art, but as sources of pure entertainment and glee, which frankly is something of an artistic achievement in its own right.
Maneater puts you in the role of a bull shark seeking revenge on a deadly shark hunter. What developer Tripwire has crafted here is a “shark RPG.” It’s an open world you can traverse as this ferocious shark. Maneater is silly and campy, with just a hint of the realistic thrown in and thankfully, balances it all together very well. Things never feel too silly, yet you never get the feeling that you’re supposed to take any of this seriously, creating the perfect blend of fun.
Developer Hyperstrange draws inspiration from 80s power fantasy novels, DOOM (2016), and Dark Souls to deliver ELDERBORN. It’s loud, gory, and in-your-face with the arcade-like hack ‘n’ slash combat. The Souls-like consequences to its hack ‘n’ slash combat is a solid experience without having to watch or otherwise manage stamina bars or status effects. And while the overall experience of ELDERBORN leaves a lot to be desired, this is a first-person melee action game all its own.
The classics are given their mantle for a reason. They endure through the ages, remaining relevant well past their contemporaries and showing us the sources of inspiration still present in games of today. Myst is one such classic, a name so synonymous with games and adventures that it was an essential part of growing up in the 90s, and is still iconic to this day. It has been remade and updated multiple times, both to remain accessible on newer platforms, and to present the game as it was originally envisioned by the Miller brothers. realMyst: Masterpiece Edition is the current terminus of that path of the game’s evolution; a fully-realized 3D world with improved textures, effects, and music, navigable in first person. Originally released in 2014, it is arguably the definitive way to play Myst, and now to ensure it is as widely available as possible, it’s available on Switch. For a game that came out six years ago, you’d be forgiven for assuming it would be a cakewalk for the Switch to play, but the reality is that this feels like a step backward into time in the wrong way.
“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” This is Desperados III in a nutshell, where careful planning doesn’t always mean a flawless execution. This is a game of trial-and-error, where the use of quicksave and quickload become invaluable resources to rely on for getting through any given level. Desperados III sees the real-time tactics game with pause return in glorious fashion thanks to Shadow Tactics developer, Mimimi Games. Desperados III represents the best of the genre, and is the hallmark of excellence.
You’re jolted awake, shaken from a long, comfortable slumber by a frantic man with shock white hair and a sense of urgency that does little to soothe your frayed nerves. Klaxons wail and your senses are generally overwhelmed by the rush of stimulus they’ve not been subjected to in nearly seventy years. Wait, seventy years? It was supposed to be ten… and now you’re being sealed in a pod and dropped onto the surface of an alien planet, and you have next to no idea what’s going on . The world that awaits you is mysterious but lush and vibrant, full of bizarre creatures and a sizable number of people with a curious affinity for a questionably reputable mega-corporation. You’re intrigued, and you want to dive in deeper, except you can’t shake the sense that you’re wearing goggles covered in mud and grime you can’t seem to clean off.
The first fifteen minutes of The Outer Worlds serve as a great introduction into a world that should be full of life, personality, and unique character, but on the Switch the experience ultimately comes off as a discount replica of the genuine article.
OPSEAT has been making gaming chairs for several years now, and I’m without a doubt convinced they make the best of them. I’m a disabled veteran, and when I work or game, I need back support more than most. The OPSEAT Master Series Gaming Chair is a quality purchase for anyone worried about having bad posture or even discomfort during long sessions of whatever you’re doing while sitting. OPSEAT delivers on every front, and should be your first thought when considering a purchase of a new chair.