Category: Reviews

Sega Ages Gain Ground (Switch) – the game I bought a Switch for

That title is a joke. Kind of. A half-joke. Honestly I have been anticipating this game since it was first announced many moons ago! Gain Ground on the Megadrive/Genesis is one of my favourite games. I have alluded to this game several times over the years, and I’m here to reiterate that it rocks, especially in co-op. It’s a slow, deliberate and strategic action game. An old and obscure Sega arcade release originally, it finally makes a long-awaited return… I can hardly wait and I want you to be just as excited. (Ha, fat chance.) But I’ll try my best here anyway – bring the hype! Continue reading

Advertisements

It only took 25 years… Sonic Mania (Switch)

So I picked up Sonic Mania from the US eShop in the recent Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. When you see a deal, gotta go fast, right?

I’m not the biggest Sonic fan by any means but I did grow up around (not exactly with) Sonic games for the Megadrive. Of those early Sonic games I spent the most time with my favourite, Sonic 2. 2017, 25 years after Sonic 2 was released, Sega finally released a worthy successor. I kid of course – it’s fun to argue which of the classic Megadrive games is the best but honestly they all have something to recommend them. Post-Megadrive though, there’s no doubt that the Sonic series went from system seller to mixed bag. After all that Sonic’s been through I’m amazed how well Sonic Mania turned out. To the point where I have no qualms saying this is the best Sonic game ever made, even after just a few short hours. Continue reading

Resident Evil Revelations 2 (Switch): thoroughly sensible action horror

It’s no Last of Us, but Resident Evil Revelations 2 is very good at what it does. The story is cheesy as Resi should be, the atmosphere creepy but not unrelentingly so, the action engaging and the controls butter smooth. Overall Revelations 2 does a fine job of combining elements of the pre-Resident Evil 4 and post-Resident Evil 4 games. Continue reading

PixelJunk Monsters 1 and 2 (Wii U and Switch)

Overcooked left a delicious taste in my mouth and spurred on the need for more couch co-op. Overcooked 2 was tempting but I recalled an interesting title on Wii U that I’d enjoyed playing solo. “Dance, Tikiman, dance” has become an oft-repeated refrain, thanks to playing through both PixelJunk Monsters games back to back. Continue reading

Fine dining for two with Overcooked: Special Edition (Switch)

Waaay back in 2014 we had a post about ‘the best games for couples’. The post tells an embarrassing story about me before listing some of our favourite gaming experiences as a couple. In the years since Maya and me have played many games together, and our list today would probably look quite different. One new addition would surely be Overcooked: Special Edition. This is a nifty co-op game that tested our relationship – mostly in positive ways, I’m pleased to report. Continue reading

Dead Space (PS3) – Resident Evil 4 to the bone

Alongside Mirror’s Edge, Dead Space was EA’s other critical darling/commercial flop in the Wii/360/PS3 era. Unlike Mirror’s Edge, which is an original attempt at a first person platformer, Dead Space is a loving tribute to Resident Evil 4. It’s a tightly paced re-imagining of Capcom’s classic with some cool twists of its own. A handful of hours in I’m greatly enjoying it, and can recommend it above Shinji Mikami’s own spiritual successor to RE4, The Evil Within.

The aforementioned twists on the formula are: environments with zero gravity, and vacuums with a limited oxygen supply; unique weapons that depart from the usual pistol/shotgun/submachine gun formula; a heavy emphasis on dismembering foes. Where I’m at in the game, these have all proven themselves to be strong additions to the tried and true winning formula for the third person shooter laid down by Resident Evil 4.

How about that formula then? It’s been executed extremely well so far. There’s the strong sense of atmosphere, with plenty of tension as you encounter increasingly ghoulish scenes aboard the space station USG Ishimura. There’s the quick pace and a clear objective at all times. Frequent interactions with your capable comrades on the intercom or in person serve a dual purpose, just as in Resident Evil 4: they offer a welcome spot of relief from the grisly surrounds, as well as keeping you clear on your next objective. The Dead Space devs did their homework, that’s for sure.

There’s still plenty more of Dead Space for me to see – I hope – so maybe things will change. But as it stands I’m having a great old time and I can’t wait to see what other surprises the devs have in store for me through the rest of the game. I’ve also heard nothing but positive things about Dead Space 2, which I am dying can’t wait to check out too.

Catherine (PS3) – a flawed curio

Some great ideas, executed not so well. That summarises Catherine in a nutshell for me. It’s a pity because I admire Atlas and their willingness to go off the tried and true path. Like other Atlas titles (notably the Persona series), Catherine is divided into two distinct styles of gameplay. We mostly watch, visual novel style, the protagonist’s intense social challenges in the day, and then take full control of him during his dreams at night in a series of puzzle challenges. Continue reading