We might be in a bit of a draught in terms of big games (at least until The Last of Us 2 arrives next month and is either the best thing ever or the worst thing ever, according to the Internet) but we’ve been a nice stream of awesome smaller titles. It’s been even better if you’re a fan of classic genres with the likes of Streets of Rage 4, and now Huntdown, a pixelated shooter with an old-school attitude, a love of action and some seriously smooth gameplay.
Sometimes I miss the clarity of being on a mountain bike hurtling down a hill, swerving around trees, carving up berms and nailing jumps. I miss that beautiful clarity where your entire mind shrinks down to a single, overwhelming thought: this is going to really fucking hurt. And it does. It really, really does. I loved downhill mountain biking, but I hated going back up the hills and I was never all that good at it, so I gave up the sport before it forced me to give up on having all my bones intact. Happily I can live vicariously through videogames, so here I am reviewing Shred 2! Ft. Sam Pilgrim.
2020 has already been a crazy year. And yet somehow in the midst of all this mayhem I never would have imagined that the weirdest thing of 2020 is that I’m playing Streets of Rage 4. I never saw this coming. I never once considered that after 26-years since Streets of Rage 3 we’d get a sequel. How did this even happen? Where did this come from? I don’t know. I don’t care, because Streets of Rage 4 is a hell of a sequel.
The world of motorsports, just like the rest of our little spinning globe, has basically crashed straight into a wall. The official MotoGP season has been postponed indefinitely at this point, leaving all us petrol heads sulking into our cups of motor oil. But this isn’t going to stop Milestone and their latest entry in the MotoGP video game franchise, astoundingly titled…er, MotoGP ’20. Clever.
Alder’s Blood certainly has an awesome setup: mankind has killed God, and now His corpse is corrupting the world, unleashing unrelenting horrors in the form of savage beasts. As the game opens you control Duke, a Hunter seeking the body of God in order to hopefully end the torment. But Duke’s reward is instead a haunting vision of horror that leaves him blind. You then swap over to Chief and his band of Hunter’s as they find Duke and set off on a mission to find the body of God, deal with the monsters and hopefully survive this bleak world through turn-based stealth and monster slaying.
Somehow we’ve made it into a whole new decade. It’s 2020 now, and that’s problematic because I’m still struggling to remember that it’s not the early 2000’s. But anyway, with the coming of a new year means reflection on the last one. I’ve seen some people who appear quite disappointed with 2019, and while I’d certainly agree it wasn’t a vintage year there were still a lot of awesome games released. And I’m going to subject you to the horror of having to read my list of which ones I thought were the best of the best, the creme of the crop, the champions of 2019.
It has been six years since Luigi’s Mansion 2 arrived on the Nintendo 3DS and a massive eighteen years since the original game debuted. Nobody could ever accuse Nintendo of rushing the series, then. But with time comes a growing sense of expectation, a pressure for the new game to do well. Luigi’s Mansion 3 has been a long time coming, so has it been worth the lengthy wait?
It’s an undeniable fact of life that geese are colossal arseholes. They waddle around with an uncaring swagger, aggressively assault any living being that isn’t another goose and generally just act like douchebags. The cleverly titled Untitled Goose Game lets you be a goose and wreak havoc upon an idyllic little town filled with people just going about their days. Little do they know what awaits them in this absolutely fantastic little indie game.
The passing of time tends to erode a game. A lot of the time an old game we have fond memories of doesn’t feel so good when we dust it off and play it in 2019, which is understandable because of the technical limitations of the time. But there are some games whose gameplay mechanics are so damn refined, so bloody good that even today they feel amazing. As this remake proves Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is one such game, a kart racing series that sadly fizzled out while Mario Kart carried on. But now its back with a fresh lick of paint and ready to take top spot on the podium.
A good kart racing game is such a pure thing, right? It’s like the essence of gaming; simple, joyful fun wrapped in bright colours. It’s something the whole family can enjoy. It’s also a genre that’s time in the spotlight is long gone. But now it’s making something of a resurgence, and after 7 years Sumo Digital is finally back with a sort-of sequel. So let’s review Team Sonic Racing, yeah? Let’s see if it can go toe-to-toe with Mario Kart 8 and the upcoming Crash Team Racing remake.