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Gotta go fast!
When producing a work of art as an homage to something that came before, there always exists the danger of the new product doing the job a little too well. It could very well be that the new product perfectly matches its inspiration beat for beat, yet it still feels hollow because it’s missing a soul of its own. Fortunately, Freedom...
Go, ninja, go!
Twenty-five years ago, a bright-eyed elementary school student whiled away time in class doodling crude pictures of ninjas in his notebook, completely unaware that such pictures would grow into a lifelong passion project. Indeed, The Messenger is the culmination of decades of daydreaming and prototyping, slowly being refined down into...
Let the hunt begin, again!
Everything changed for Capcom’s Monster Hunter series in January 2018, which saw the successful release of Monster Hunter: World on the PlayStation 4. Not only did the series change platforms from Nintendo’s family to that of Sony’s (a reversal of the situation that took place only a few years beforehand, when it...
A true dinosaur
In recent years, 3D platformers have experienced something of a renaissance in the modern game industry, with the likes of Yooka-Laylee, Super Mario Odyssey, and Crash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy making a notable impact on sales charts and the general conversation surrounding games. Though the appetite is clearly there for these sorts...
Our arrows will blot out the sun
The RTS genre is a tricky one to pull off correctly on consoles due to the limitations imposed by the much smaller number of available buttons on a controller. Still, games like Pikmin have shown that it can be done smartly, and there are ways to infuse RTS elements into another genre, like Tower Defense, as...
Gone in 60 seconds
There’s an old story in the literature world that Ernest Hemingway was once getting lunch with fellow authors and his signature stripped-back writing style was brought up as a discussion point. One of the other writers made a bet that Hemingway couldn’t write a story in six words, to which he replied by grabbing a napkin and...
They're good dogs, Brent
Nowadays, Platinum Games is one of the most respected names in gaming when it comes to action titles, but long before the studio was founded, many of its staff members were part of a Capcom subsidiary called Clover Studio. Clover made its name on producing interesting new IP instead of sequels, and its magnum opus was the...
If it ain't broke, don't fix it
Nintendo’s Picross series has been around for almost as long as the company has been making video games and it’s largely remained the same over all that time. What’s remarkable is how long this technique has worked, as the core gameplay is so simple - yet so addictive - that it doesn’t really need too much...
One of the first titles to truly show off the co-op power of the Switch was 2017's Overcooked, a fun arcade action game about chefs scrambling to get food orders out the door. Overcooked was a goofy, chaotic, and refreshingly original title that was a wonderful addition to the Switch eShop, so it was unsurprising that the sequel,...
"...and with strange aeons, even death may die"
When it comes to genres that the indie scene is absolutely enamoured with, few would rank higher than the roguelike and Metroidvania genres. It’d be easy to dismiss Dead Cells, then, as low-effort pandering to a current industry trend, another forgettable release in a marketplace rife with better...
Though it may not initially seem so, video game production is an extremely demanding task, requiring equal amounts of ambition, creativity, and attention to detail to produce something memorable - and that’s not even accounting for the long shadow cast by countless other games that have garnered mass acclaim and popularity. The act of...
Let the salt flow
There’s an old saying that imitation is the highest form of flattery, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a game that phrase applies more so than Dark Souls. It seems that you can hardly find an action game on any platform now that doesn’t try to emphasize its 'Soulslike' elements, regardless of how apt the description may be...
"And it's spherical! SPHERICAL!"
Those of you with long memories reaching back to the arcade days of gaming may remember Pang, a cute co-op action game which saw the player(s) shooting metal hooks into the air to pop balloons, which would then separate into smaller and faster balloons. It was a simple concept, executed well, and has since been...
It really should've ended at X5
The first five Mega Man X games, while slightly uneven, made for a mostly consistent experience, as they were all envisioned and planned by Keiji Inafune, one of the most influential figures to work with the series. Inafune only intended for there to be five games in the Mega Man X series, but the financial success of...
After releasing six games in the classic Mega Man franchise, Capcom had a working formula for the Blue Bomber down to a science, but things were getting rather tired. Mega Man needed something more than a charge shot or a slide move to mix up the gameplay, but that core loop of action platforming and fighting robot masters didn’t need to...
All your base are belong to us
There’s something to be said about the bizarre human tendency for mayhem, to break things in bombastic and exciting ways, and Mugsters does a great job of tapping into that chaotic desire. Dropping you onto an island in the midst of an alien invasion, Mugsters is all about creating messes and causing explosions,...
"Who am I? What am I?"
Though the Pokémon series will always be a video game franchise first and foremost, the anime is arguably the second most important pillar, following the adventures of Ash Ketchum and his ill-fated quest to try winning a Pokémon league. The first movie based on the anime was Pokémon The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back, and...
A direct path to RPG bliss
The Bravely Default games on the 3DS did a fantastic job of resurrecting the gameplay and feel of some of Square’s oldest games, employing a style that stayed true to genre roots while making modern changes wherever needed. When it was announced that the Bravely team would be tackling a new RPG on the Switch, fans were...
Wake up, Sheeple!
One of the best platformers currently available on the Switch eShop is Slime-San, the weird 2D sidescroller that takes place inside a giant carnivorous worm. The striking color palette, square screen design, and twitch platformer controls make it a nice alternative to contemporaries like Super Meat Boy and Celeste, and the sizable...
What could it be?
Nintendo’s upcoming paid online service has been a much talked about topic for the last year, as fans have speculated over what kind of value it will offer and whether Nintendo will finally get online ‘right’ this time. The company has revealed most of the features that will be included, with cloud saves, online play, and a...
Another game for the holiday season?
Nintendo by many metrics had a strong E3 showing, with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the new Pokémon games stealing the show. Even so, the company stock fell a considerable amount in the days after its showcase event, spurred on by a perceived lack of momentum on Nintendo’s part. After all, where was the...
A hit single
In 2014, Sega released Shining Resonance on the PS3 exclusively on Eastern shores, much to the chagrin of many overseas fans of the company’s long-running RPG franchise. Given the long history of Japan-only releases in the series, Shining Resonance seemed unlikely to receive a localisation, which made it all the more surprising when...
Yes, it's just as good as you've hoped
In 2018, it can be rather difficult for a JRPG to set itself apart from the crowd, even more so if it attempts to emulate the style or look of the grand adventures of the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. Still, if there were ever a company that could pull it off, it would be Square Enix. With Octopath Traveler, the...
Just in time for Halloween
One of the better video game adaptations in recent years has been that of Castlevania, a Netflix show that adapts the popular vampire-slaying action series to an anime format. Though the initial season was quite short, it hit all the right beats that it needed to, and got plenty of fans excited for what would be coming...