German developer Monokel are the new kids on the block, entering the fray with their first project, White Shadows. These are probably the game’s I hate reviewing the most because criticising any new developer trying to enter the scene with something cool and different feels like running up to a child and punching them in the kidney. But as I always I write reviews with the player in mind, not the developer. White Shadows is certainly unique and a hell of a debut for a new company in many regards. It shows incredible artistic strength. The gameplay just isn’t up to par, however. So let’s jump into this.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart opens with a celebration of our two titular heroes, a parade thrown in their honour. As the duo make their way through parade floats that reference their prior adventures Ratchet points out that it has been years since they’ve even done anything vaguely heroic, so why are they being celebrated? And do they really still have it? Are they still capable of daring-do and heroic heroism? Of course, as per the unwritten rules of video games things quickly go wrong; Dr Nefarious arrives just in time to steal the Dimensionator which Crank was going to gift to his friend in the hopes of letting him find his lost people, and the very fabric of space and time begins to rip apart.
There’s nothing quite like the classic mascot platformers, and of course the king of these is Mario, a legendary icon that is locked off unless you own a Nintendo console (or play the naff Mario runner mobile game.) But that doesn’t mean you can’t find some games that come close to capturing the Mario magic, which is exactly what I’m looking at today. New Super Lucky’s Tale is a platformer and love letter to games like Mario 64, Crash Bandicoot and Spyro, so if you’re looking for something breezy look no further.
Back during the days of the Playstation 2, the cheerful, charming mascot platformer was all the rage, from Spyro the Dragon to Crash Bandicoot, both of which have gotten remastered or remade. These days the cutesy platformer isn’t as popular as it once was, but every now and then a new one turns up and tickles the ol’ nostalgia balls. This time it’s Pumpkin Jack, a game that feels so much like a classic PS2 platformer that you could tell me it was actually just a remaster and I’d believe you. In fact, it’s so enamoured with evoking the spirit of those old platformers that it even has iffy combat and a naff story, just like them. So, let’s review Pumpkin Jack, the bastard offspring of MediEvil and A Nightmare Before Christmas.