584 Published Reviews
Star Wars Episode I: RacerSwitch
A game that admittedly was rushed to market in 1999 to ensure it hit shelves in time for the film’s release. So, the almost-there career mode feels a little undercooked in 2020 and the lack of polish to the AI stands out. But, it’s simple premise – recreating the excitement and thrill of Star Wars Pod Racing is a winning one. For pure high-speed thrills in a galaxy far, far, away, they still don’t get much better than this. And, getting to hear Watto hum the Cantina Theme is probably worth the price of admission alone.
West of DeadXbox One
West of Dead isn’t without its standoff moments of frustration, but a squint of the eye and a sweat-bead zero-flinch will see you standing tall post-Purgatory call out. Honestly, I just want to see more of it at this stage, maybe in less repetitive form, but as a continually-fleshed out new IP and one that keeps its creative skull-fire burning.
Phantom: Covert OpsPC
Stealth fans in 2020 have been blessed, locally sourced indie Wildfire is a systemic blend of stealth goodness presented as an old-school side-scroller, and now Phantom Covert Ops delivers what is without a doubt the definitive VR stealth experience. And that’s not an asterisks bit of marketing fluff, where if you were to separate the source from the presentation the result might be something not all that impressive.
Deep Rock GalacticXbox One
Of course, drinking a pint before each mission at the bar and then throwing the empty mug at one of your crew’s heads and emoting with a positive message about rocks and stones and brotherhood, is reason enough to give this a go and take the plunge.
Beyond BlueXbox One
Beyond Blue comes with the visual and audio chops (the soundtrack, specifically during dives is fantastic). It teaches all the way through and stands as hopefully the first major release in a lean towards games more centred around raising real-world awareness for the sphere upon which we live, and share, with other species. And how we can best move forward in keeping and maintaining a healthy balance.
Fussin' and a feudin' aside, if you possess the requisite patience levels and a methodical mind, Desperadoes III can quickly go from being an O.K. Corral to a great one. This is especially true if you're replaying it for those bonus objectives and you actually know how the West was won.
The Last of Us: Part IIPS4
If we could have said more, we would have, but we’ve kept this spoiler-free and critical, while hopefully regaling the tonal sense of what you can expect when firing the game up for the first time. It’s not for the faint of heart, and takes the post-apocalyptic formula to new brutality heights, but you’ll have dreaded fun while plotting your course both through the game, and for revenge.
Also, little touches like kicking enemies when they’re close into the air and then blasting them before they hit the ground is the sort of style needed to match Huntdown’s, well, style. Again, if the aesthetic grabs you it won’t let go until the final scumbag meets the end of your firearm. Just don’t expect your moves to match that of the funky synth-lines simmering below the neon, vibrant, and pleasantly grimy surface.
Command & Conquer RemasteredPC
Outside of the use of real-actors instead of digital counterparts, it did a lot more than that. It used the additional storage of the CD-ROM to create true immersive interactivity – from branching mission selection to addressing players as leaders to positioning you as a key player in the sort of virtual warfare that only an RTS could deliver.
Pixel Ripped 1995PS4
Beyond those isolated and minor hiccups, Ripped Pixel 1995 is a rare gem in the PSVR library. It's got a few clever ideas, unique mechanics, and the execution is mostly on point. Throw in some weapons grade VHS-era nostalgia with a decent array of spot-the-classic clones, and you've got a cartridge worth slotting into your Control Deck. With a few more dust dislodging blows though, we could have had a must-buy.
On both the surface and deep within, Wildfire is a success, and we definitely see this as a franchise in-waiting. Hopefully all the fanfare and positive critical reception the game has received so far continues, and we see it go beyond even Sneaky Bastards’ own expectations. There’s room for it to land on consoles down the track too, where it would fit nicely.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive EditionSwitch
In the end Xenoblade Chronicles is as grand and all-encompassing as Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and this Definitive Edition presents a wonderful remaster of an already excellent RPG. From the expansive and gorgeous worlds to explore to the memorable story and the stellar soundtrack. For those that have played the original the main story is all about the face-lift, with the new stuff reserved for the Future Connected expansion.
Minecraft Dungeons has a few bright spots, in its release form it’s highly polished with solid visuals and effects. Outside of the static nature of the environments they’re diverse and cover the range of locations you’d expect to find in this style of experience – from snow-capped mountains to volcanic caves and fortress-like structures. Minecraft Dungeons’ fantasy look is on point.
All that said, there’s a fun game here for people who are into 100%-ing anything they touch, and for those looking for something a little bit different. Be sure to watch the video examples riddled throughout this review to get an idea of what you’re in for, but I’ll be spending the rest of my game-time after plonking roughly 18 hours into it, uncovering everything else it has to offer.
Saints Row: The Third RemasteredXbox One
In the end Saints Row The Third Remastered is a reminder that the style of action seen in Grand Theft Auto and Crackdown can find a cartoonish and juvenile middle-ground. A place where the concept of gangs and friendship is both comic and grounded. A place where player freedom lets you make your mark on the world with style and a distinct lack of grace.
Mafia II: Definitive EditionPC
Vito’s rise is full of twists and turns that are always interesting even when they dip into stereotype and a facsimile of the classic cinematic mob epic. The expansions do flesh out the open-world setting of Empire Bay in interesting and meaningful ways, but in the end Mafia II: Definitive Edition remains an experience where the engaging story towers above all – sitting alongside the skyline of the impressive but only skin-deep Empire Bay.
For the respectable asking price, I don't think the above situation is a deal-breaker. If you were to go out on a (severed) limb for a speculative purchase, I think you'd find Gorn represents the nicest and red-iest slice of PSVR we've seen in some time.
Coffee TalkXbox One
What you should be preparing yourself for is a game with massive dialogue and very little in the way of ‘gaming’. It’s not a detriment, as it helps the experience standout, and I couldn’t stop once I was fully invested in all the characters. Plus, it’s a quirky Indie and fringe developers need all the help we can give them. So pull up a stool and order something warm, this might just become your new favourite cafe.
The huge variety of things to do with the 40-odd vehicles in the stunningly beautiful open world sandbox makes the game a joyful and (mostly) relaxing experience. And as the aural feedback is virtually non-existent anyway, lowering or even muting the volume entirely while loading up your favorite Spotify playlist is perhaps the best way to enjoy it. So sit back, crack a brewski, revel in the marvelous scenery, and haul a few loads. Just don't forget to pack your spare undies - you're gonna need 'em.
In the end Cloudpunk is as long as its narrative, with little more than collectibles to find through exploration. Mostly there to present videogame elements like vehicle upgrades or trinkets to place around your small apartment. The story though is memorable, and often as dense and layered as the jutting buildings that make-up Nivalis. An aesthetic joy throughout, and a cyberpunk tale well worth delivering to your desktop.
Fury UnleashedXbox One
Fury Unleashed is a fantastic distraction title that may have released in the right real-world window while we all struggle with the staying at home setup of 2020. It’s also an easy game to just pick up and play with mechanics easy enough to master, but packed with a layer of challenge that is subtle and rewarding. Especially on the Hard difficulty level.
Streets of Rage 4Xbox One
Not everything feels as timeless as the original soundtrack and the modern flourishes can feel out of step with the decidedly simple design. Not in the sense that modern electronic music is not as inventive or energetic or suitable for a beat-em up – but in the sense that perhaps Streets of Rage 4 doesn’t quite do enough to warrant the fresh coat of paint. And fresh set of beats.
To call Gears Tactics surprising is not that at all, it’s all about coming to terms with the realisation that at its core, Gears of War combat is tactical, deep, and full of its own style and flavour. And that all of that, when given enough time to develop and flesh out and expand upon, makes up the perfect list of ingredients to create a great turn-based tactics game.
XCOM: Chimera SquadPC
On that note, this lovely little spin-off is going to alienate very few people. A cheap as chips production that pares 25-years of a bloated XCOM back to a purer and leaner form. Like Rocky Balboa in, well, all of them. Granted the production values and polish is wanting, but the more intimate squad feel and new Breach mechanics became hopelessly addictive the more I played. And when it comes to XCOM, that’s enough for it to feel like a direct hit.
Operencia: The Stolen SunPC
In the end, the approachable combat gives the fantasy dungeon-crawling of Operencia a wider appeal than say a new Wizardry might. Fans of party-based RPGs in the vein of Baldur’s Gate or Dragon Age will find a lot to love here too, thanks to the combination of great writing and wonderful presentation. And hey, any fantasy world that features a relic called the magical Amulet of Zotmund is one worth visiting.