I’m not exactly known for being consistent when it comes to putting out a weekly post, as my Best of Xbox Game Pass series knows all too well. But I’m going to give it another shot with this format which is a simple look at some of the week’s biggest videogame-related headlines with a few of my own thoughts thrown into the mix.
Deliver Us Mars is the sequel to Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna, a narrative-driven game that had a lot of issues when it launched at the end of 2018. KeokeN Interactive removed the game from sale and worked hard to patch it up, including a reworked ending, before releasing it again minus the Fortuna subtitle. Then, last year, they released a PS5 and Xbox Series patch, bringing it back into the public eye. Now, KeokeN Interactive are back with a follow-up and although you can enjoy the story without having played the original, the cast of characters is largely the same, carrying on the story of the Johanson family. This time the focus is on Kathy Johanson, the youngest of the family who has spent years training to become an astronaut. Her story is an interesting one marred by monotonous gameplay. Although KeokeN Interactive’s passion and love for its game are undeniable, and it has certainly launched in a better state than its debut in 2018, Deliver Us Mars doesn’t always deliver the goods.
A rogue-lite deck builder built around battling demons and heavy metal music. Running down that checklist, it seems Big Blue Bubble was trying to make something just for me. It’s an appealing mix and I’m always down for some tasty riffs that make the ears bleed and the soul plead for more. After spending a dozen hours in Power Chord battling demons, collecting cards and hoping that this run was going to come together, I came to the conclusion that Power Chord is the rock debut album of a heavy metal band with potential, but hasn’t managed to put any real depth into their music.
The Internet is a spectacular place. At our fingertips we have the breadth of human knowledge, the ability to talk to people around the globe in an instant and a seemingly endless amount of videos where people do stupid things. Truly, it’s one of the greatest technological innovations we, as a species, have ever made. And yet it can also be a dangerous place, full of nasty infections that can get into your computer and people looking to get their grubby mitts on your private information. More than ever, it’s important to arm your computer with powerful software designed to protect it from the worst parts of the Internet. And I’m not just talking about Tik Tok.
Of all the things I imagined Firaxis doing, mostly involving getting on with XCOM 3, there was never a point where I considered them getting their hands on the Marvel license and making a turn-based tactics game involving the Midnight Suns, cards and attending a weekly book club meeting with Blade where you end up discussing a Kree book outlining their military doctrine. And yet here we are. Firaxis has taken their genius and attempted something interesting and a little weird, mixing a bunch of ideas into a chunky 40+ hour adventure. Like a long-running comic’s canon, Marvel’s Midnight Suns is…complicated.
The mouse market is a confusing place filled with equally confusing terminology and numbers. There’s so much choice out there, from established brands to a myriad of newcomers offering insanely light mice designed for people who have sacrificed thousands of hours upon the altars of competitive multiplayer. So when I went hunting to replace my Logitech G403 I was greeted with so many choices that my brain immediately displayed a 404 error and refused to do anything for a few hours. After a lot of searching, I settled on one of Razer’s latest mice, the Basilisk V3, their updated version of a mouse I actually reviewed back in 2017. Three revisions later, how is it holding up?
The Crossfire franchise was something of a mystery to me, a name that has been around since the early 2000’s and boasts of being the biggest FPS in the world. Yet, like me, you probably haven’t even heard of it. In 2020 the free-to-play shooter laid claim to a whopping 6 million active players, with most of those being in Asia, and has grossed over $ 10 billion. Over the past few years, there’s been an effort to push Crossfire into Western markets, as well as turn into a multi-genre franchise. So, with my limited knowledge of what Crossfire is, I decided to check out Crossfire: Legion, an RTS developed by Canadian studio Blackbird Interactive.
There’s no shortage of third-party controllers on the market from a wide variety of companies, some of which are reputable and some of which are just pushing out cheap tat. 8BitDo has managed to build a solid reputation, developing and releasing a variety of controllers across multiple platforms, including an arcade fight stick and some awesome retro-themed controllers. Today, I’m reviewing their so-called Ultimate controller, a reasonably priced piece of tech that punches well above its price bracket.
Like a sleeper car with a highly tuned engine under the hood pulling up to the starting line, Need for Speed: Unbound arrived with almost no hype, despite developer Criterion returning for the first time since 2012. Leading up to its launch there had hardly been any marketing and review codes weren’t handed out until launch day, usually an ominous sign that the publisher either doesn’t have any faith in the game or that there are some big issues. But just like that sleeper car sitting on the line, when the flag drops Need for Speed: Unbound unleashes all that hidden potential. It’s not the best racer out there, but it’s the best game in the series for a long time and a lot of fun. Provided you can put up with the horrendous story, that is.
Following up on greatness is never easy. Santa Monica had the element of surprise when they revived God of War in 2018 and so when the world got to experience the epic return of Kratos it became a hit of Godlike proportions, selling millions of copies, snatching up awards like Kratos grabbing Hacksilver and becoming one of the most beloved Playstation games in history. But God of War: Ragnarock doesn’t have the element of surprise; we know what to expect now, what Santa Monica can do with the Ghost of Sparta. So after a 4-year wait, has God of War: Ragnarock delivered the epic climax we were all hoping for?