Best of Xbox Game Pass – Stellaris: Console Edition

On the very first Best of Xbox Game Pass last week I opted to kick things off with something light and airy and cheerful. Peggle 2 is the epitome of a game anyone can pick up and play. This week in the Best of Xbox Game Pass I’m going completely in the opposite direction with a Grand strategy game that is so Grand it needs a capital G. Stellaris: Console Edition is an epic strategy game where you take control of an entire civilization and guide it as it ventures out into the depths of space to colonize new planets, discover incredible secrets, find alien races, engage in wars that span the galaxy, form alliances and hopefully carve out their place in the universe. Stellaris can be dauntingly huge thanks to its focus on menus and numbers, but if you’re willing to sacrifice almost all your free time and possibly your first-born child to it, Stellaris can also be incredibly rewarding.

Weekend Whammy: Mortal Kombat & Journalism & 6 Days in Fallujah

MOOOOOOOOOOORTAL KOMBAT! DUN DUN DUN DUN DA DUN. Yes, the trailer for the new Mortal Kombat trailer was shoved out onto Youtube and it’s glorious. Quite honest, after the sheer perfection of the 1996 Mortal Kombat (God, that movie is so hilariously goofy. I love it) I never thought we’d see a modern Mortal Kombat flick, especially because the games themselves are essentially Mortal Kombat movies already. I mean, have you played Mortal Kombat 11? It has over four freaking hours of cutscenes that are so cheesy and melodramatic that it might just make you explode from grinning at the insanity of it all.

PS5 Media Remote Review – Who Is This For?

If you have somehow managed to acquire a mythical Playstation 5, perhaps using occult rituals or something, then you might also be eyeing up some of the official Sony accessories to go with your sleek new console. The charging dock and the Pulse headset are the obvious choices, but something a bit less obvious is the official Playstation 5 Media Remote that promises the be the ultimate in media control! Er, well, actually, it just promises to let you, “Conveniently navigate entertainment on your PlayStation®5 console with intuitive media and TV controls.” But is it actually any good at that? Let’s find out.

Best of Game Pass, Week 1: Peggle 2

Peggle 2 made its way onto Game Pass fairly recently thanks to EA Play getting rolled into the already gigantic library of titles. And what a brilliant addition it is, a colourful explosion of goodness that is fine-tuned to make you smile. Over the years since its initial launch in 2013, Peggle 2 has become a game I go back to regularly when I’m looking to just kick back and relax with something simple yet satisfying, easy yet tricky. While people argue over whether Peggle 2 is a good sequel or not, for me it’s easily the best of the available Peggle games.

The Medium Review – Lives Up To Its Name

As the first exclusive game available on Microsoft’s latest consoles, The Medium has been an enticing prospect. It also put a bit of pressure on Bloober Team, the developers of such horror/psychological games as Layers of Fear, Observer and Blair Witch. A lot of eyes were always going to fall on The Medium as people were eager to get a taste of the first exclusive, albeit an exclusive also available on PC due to Microsoft’s business model. So, is The Medium a worthy reason to rush out and buy an Xbox Series S or Series X? No. Not really. And not just because you can’t find any Xbox Series consoles, anyway.

Destruction AllStars Review – Kind Of Forgettable

It’s hard to see how Destruction AllStars was ever being considered as a boxed, £70 launch title for the PS5. It’s such a weird tale: Destruction AllStars to be one of just three PS5 exclusive games available at launch and was perhaps the most potentially exciting as the three considering the other two were a freebie and a remake of a beloved, older game. Destruction AllStars was not only going to be one of just three launch exclusives, but it was also going to be the only brand new IP, the only unknown quantity. But suspicions were raised when nothing of the game was being shown. We knew it was a multiplayer game about wrecking cars in arenas, but that was it. Then it got delayed, and then finally Sony revealed it was going to be free for Playstation Plus subscribers. There’s fun to be had but it feels like someone accidentally deleted a bunch of content from the game and couldn’t get it back. Four arenas, incredibly boring customization and shallow gameplay make this worth £10-15 at most, not £70, although there is at least a solid chassis for developer Lucid Games to build on down the road.

Weekend Whammy: My First Platinum Trophy

As I write this I’m watching my 7-year old niece racing around in Forza Horizon 4 using my Logitech steering wheel. She’s just done about a dozen donuts while trying to run over a deer, loudly complaining that they always manage to jump out of her way. A few minutes earlier she screamed at the GPS for telling her to turn right before yelling again because she missed the turn. She’s been cackling like a witch pretty much the entire time, though, so at least she’s having fun. At least, I think she’s having fun. That maniacal laugh is kind of concerning. Maybe I should take her to a vet or something.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game Review – Not In Lesbians With It

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game disappeared from sale 10-years ago following licensing issues, and in the process it became the post-child for the potential pitfalls of games only being available digitally. Unless you already owned the game, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game was simply gone. The side-scrolling brawler based in the hit books and the awesome movie vanished, and yet there were a die-hard few fans who kept hoping, kept wishing that somehow Scott Pilgrim would return. And then somehow it did. Ubisoft announced that Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game would be coming back after 10 long years, this time billed as the Complete Edition, containing all the previously released DLC. 10-years is a long time, though, and things have changed. Can Scott still hold his own in the 2021, beat up his girlfriend’s seven evil exes and win the day?

Hitman 3 Review – Greatest Hits, Man

IO Interactive are back with the final chapter in their World of Assassination trilogy that began back in 2016 as an experimental episodic game. While it’s a tad sad that IO Interactive are leaving Hitman behind, at least, for now, they’re moving on to create a 007 game which I can’t wait to see. So, with Hitman and Hitman 2 being some of my favourite games…well, ever, how does Hitman 3 stack up? Is this the big send-off myself and millions of people were hoping for? Or is a bit like those assassinations that go horribly wrong and end up with you cowering behind a wall?