Nintendo dominate the hand-held market. While they technically do fight Microsoft and Sony, and battle against mobile gaming, they’re currently the only option for a proper hand-held console. That reign of power, though, is finally being challenged, not by Microsoft or a returning Sony but rather by Valve, the dominant force in PC gaming. A company with plenty of resources to throw at any project it fancies, stepping into the market and trying to expand PC gaming in a whole new way. Valve are aiming to do something dramatic, something big and something very exciting. Can it succeed?
There’s no risk of confusing Mario Golf: Super Rush for the real-world sport of golf. Luigi turning the green into a patch of ice makes that fairly clear, as does the giant bomb trying to putt. The vibrant colours, the sparkling special shots, Bowser hammering a ball toward the green – nope, this ain’t your granddaddy’s golf. This is arcadey golf. And yet…well, I can’t help but think Mario Golf: Super Rush doesn’t want to commit properly to its goofy looks and whacky characters. For a game that involves a giant bloody ape swinging a tiny golf club, Super Rush sure doesn’t like to step out of its comfort zone.
It wasn’t until I sat down to create this list of the best games of 2021 so far that I realised this year has been kind of weak. I’ve reviewed 21-games over the past six months and only gave a few of those a high score with the rest being mostly okay but far from great. Given how Covid has impacted the world, though, it’s hardly surprising that videogames have suffered, too, with multiple titles being delayed, and doubtless countless more behind the scenes were pushed back as well.
Alex Kidd in Miracle Land DX is actually the perfect example of why reviewing a remaster or remake can be tricky. You see, in some ways, the remake portion is separate from the game itself. You can have a crappy remake of an excellent game, and an excellent remake of a crappy game. And unfortunately, Alex Kidd in Miracle Land DX is very much the second one. On my extensive list of classic games I’d love to see remade, Alex Kidd ranks…well, it doesn’t rank. First released in Japan 1986 with hopes of Alex becoming Sega’s mascot the series was overtaken by the blue blur of Sonic the Hedgehog who would become a gaming icon. And while Alex did appear in several more games, he ultimately faded into the background. Why? Well, because he wasn’t all that compelling, but also because Alex Kidd in Miracle Land isn’t that good. Sorry.
I’m back with the 11th episode of the shoddy Wolf’s Gaming Podcast and as you might expect this episode is all about E3 and the many games revealed there. As such, it’s the longest episode to date, clocking in at just a little under 50-minutes, which is probably the absolute limit of how long someone can listen to my voice without jumping in front of a moving truck.
Look, I’m like 60% certain that I’m not a psychopath with a lust for extreme violence, but I also can’t die that something about brutal X-ray views of innards becoming outtards and spleens being exploded gives me a warm, tingly sensation. It’s for that reason that the manic action of the new Mortal Kombat games is so engaging to me, and it’s at least partially why this week I’m recommending to you Sniper Elite 4, a game that delivers glorious slot-motion shots of bullets obliterating testicles and intestines alike. But, y’know, the rest of the game is pretty good, too.
Genesis Noir can often feel less like a video game and more like an interactive Experience, with a capital E. It’s an abstract journey through time and space presented as a brooding noir tale about a watch peddler who witnesses the murder of his beloved Miss Mass at the hands of a jealous third party. The gunshot that kills her is the Big Bang, and thus our humble seller of time desperately combs time and space in a bid to find a way to stop the Big Bang itself and save his lady love. It is at times evocative, striking, jaw-dropping, exciting, and at other times is awkward and dull and pretentious. Above all else is unique and creative, a passion project created by a dedicated team across years of their life. I’m just not sure that Genesis Noir is for me. Or for you.
On Kickstarter the folks behind the long-running web-comic Cyanide & Happiness managed to raise $575,000 for this three episode point and click adventure project over 3-years ago, proving in the process that people will gladly pay good money for dick jokes. “The game will be a new approach to point-and-click adventures, filled with dark comedy, drama, weirdness, and an apocalypse in the suburbs.” That’s some big, bold claims about a genre that’s been around since time began, so does does Cyanide & Happiness: Freakpocolypse manage to live up these promises? Eh, not really.
The titular Sir Lovelot is on an epic quest to find the love of his life. To do that he’s going to venture from tower to tower, gifting the princesses that live within them a flower before climbing up their luxurious hair and getting down to…business. But each morning comes the same story of a broken heart. Perhaps they simply were not compatible, or perhaps Sir Lovelot can’t love good, I’m not judging. Regardless, Sir Lovelot heads out to once again seek the love of his life, and on the way to that love maybe find a few more princesses that need might be inclined to engage in a bit of casual rescuing. Ahem
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?