Ye olde London was not a nice place. Grime, dirt and detritus covered the streets, smog hung in the air, hygiene was more of a myth than reality and people disappeared on a fairly regular basis due to being pressganged, walking down the wrong alley, drunkenly stumbling into the ocean or any number of delightfully degrading deaths,. Living day to day was a hardship for the common people, made all the harder by the absurd cost of meat. But…humans are meat, right? Seems like a prime business opportunity. Cue the Ravenous Devils, Hildred and Percival, and their lives of butchery and business management.
Probably every review of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is going to refer to this game as being Borderlands with a coat of Dungeons & Dragons paint. But as unoriginal as that might sound, it’s also an incredibly accurate statement that explains everything about the game that you need to know. This is essentially a reskin of Borderlands 3, and with that comes a lot of good and a fair bit of not so good. The shooting and looting loop is excellent and the humour is much stronger than it was in the previous game. But on the other hand, the structure of the game has barely changed since the original Borderlands and there’s a strong sense Gearbox needs to think about how to evolve their missions designs. In short, if you still love Borderlands and have a soft spot for fantasy then this is going to be for you. And if Borderlands is starting to grind your gears, it’s best avoided. Me? I fall firmly into the first camp.
We live in an age of remakes, remasters and re-releases. It allows whole new audiences to explore games from a different generation or can breathe new life into a cult classic. But it also means we often end up seeing some very odd re-releases and ports as companies attempt to squeeze out a little more money from their games, and Quest for Infamy certainly feels like one of those odder choices. First released on the PC back in 2016, Quest for Infamy is a successor of sorts to the old Quest for Glory titles, a blend of point and click puzzling and RPG mechanics. Now, Quest for Infamy brings its love of those largely forgotten games to the Nintendo Switch, Playstation and Xbox.
The Everest 5.1 surround sound is the latest product from Majority, the relatively small audio company that recently sent me their M40 speakers which I really liked despite a couple of negatives. The Everest is a 300w soundbar boasting Dolby Digital designed to fit under your TV or monitor, and its party trick is that it comes with two wireless speakers to provide surround sound to help immerse you in games, music and movies, plus a chunky wireless subwoofer. That’s a tempting package, especially if, like me, your setup is in a small room where space is at a premium. However, it all comes at a reasonably hefty price of around £230. That’s, like, at least two bags of sweets! So, is the Majority Everest worth that many bags of sweets, or like climbing the mountain itself ,should you just not bother and stuff your face with Jelly Babies instead?
Having been battered by two separate storms that decided to form a tag-team over the course of two days, I’ve been stuck without any power for around 60-hours now in a freezing cold house and a manic German Shepard that freaks out as soon as the wind gusts more than jogging speed. Needless to say, it hasn’t been fun. Mobile signal has been patchy at best, so I’ve been out of the gaming news loop for a while. But surely nothing too big could have happened in such a small time-frame, right? I mean, Microsoft just bought Activision-Blizzard for an obscene amount of cash, so surely that’s all the big news for now? Nope. You lose power for a few days and suddenly Sony buys Bungie. Bloody hell. What, you couldn’t wait a few days Sony? Gits.
I’m on a spaceship with a talking tree, a creature that most definitely isn’t a raccoon and a space Llama. In any other game this could be considered weird, but in Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s just a Monday. Assuming they have Mondays in space. It was never brought up. The point is, the Guardians of the Galaxy are one of the strangest groups in comic books, and until Marvel turned them into a household name in 2014 they were a relatively unknown bunch of misfits that dealt in some of the weirdest aspects of the Marvel universe. So a videogame based on their antics sounds like a perfect fit. We deal in weird shit all the time. How does their first foray into games hold up?
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.
Indie games are the home of some of the best puzzle-based experiences around because they are willing to take unique, interesting ideas and run with them, or in some cases roll with them. That’s Tandem: A Tale of Shadows in a nutshell. The opening cutscene lays down the basis of this weird story: little Emma is intrigued by the disappearance of Thomas Kane, the only son of the famed Kane Illusionists who disappeared a decade prior. Scotland Yard have failed entirely to penetrate the twisted Kane mansion which houses all manner of oddities. On her way to the gothic abode a teddy bear falls from a speeding carriage, and to little Emma’s surprise, the bear immediately jumps up and pursues the runaway vehicle. Together, Emma and Fenton the teddy enter the mysterious home of the Kane’s and wind up working in tandem to solve the numerous puzzles that hide dark secrets.
Jurassic Park: Evolution 2 was ultimately a charming but slow management game that suffered from a lack of depth. The magic of breeding and looking after massive dinosaurs gave way to fairly bog-standard gameplay interspersed with moments of chaos when a T-rex broke free and ate a few paying customers. When Frontier announced a sequel I was excited to see if they could fulfil all the potential the original had of being a casual but hugely entertaining sim-park title. As evolutions go, this one has a few random mutations that need to be removed from the genome if there’s going to be a third game, but overall it’s a decent improvement. It’s bigger, it’s meatier, it’s toothier. If the first game was the classic T-rex, this is the Indominus Rex. Welcome, to Jurassic World: Evolution 2.
Halloween may have already passed in a sugar-induced blur but that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about spooky stuff, right? Sunshine Manor is actually a prequel to 2016’s Sunshine Camp, although you don’t need to have played that. It has all the hallmarks of a creepy good time: a weird mansion, a mystery to solve, some demons and even a cult! It’s all wrapped up in a rather nice visual style, too, that harkens back to the 8-bit days. Hell, it even has a dog you can pet! What more could you possibly want?