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.
While platformers might not be powerful juggernaut that they once were we gamers are still treated to a relatively slow but steady stream of new games in the genre. Unruly Heroes is the latest in that stream, but as always the question is a simple one; is it actually any bloody good? Yes. Yes, it is. This is a hugely entertaining romp that’s near perfect for family gaming.
There are a lot of survival games centred around crafting out there, so Smoke and Sacrifice has its work cut out when it comes to standing out from the crowd. Initially released back in 2018 for PC and Switch, Smoke and Sacrifice has made its way to Xbox One and Playstation 4 for 2019. Has it been worth the wait?
After 20-years in a garage under a dusty tarp a developer has finally decided to wheel V-Rally out, give it a new paint job and see if the old girl can still run. It’s a sequel I never expected and a difficult one to review because even V-Rally 3 was 16-years ago and my memory of it is fuzzy to say the least. So this is going to be less of a review focusing on whether it’s a good sequel that carries on the series legacy and more of a review talking about whether it’s just a good racing game.
Dead Cells is a rogue-like or rogue-lite or rogue-something depending on the exact definition that you opt to go by, meaning that whenever you die you’ll just respawn at the very start but having hopefully managed to make some progress along the way by grabbing lots of Cells from dead enemies, shiny new blueprints and maybe even a Rune or two. In other words this genre is a bit like banging your head off of a brick wall with the goal being to break through. Keep doing it long enough and you might just manage to break the wall. But at what cost? Concussion, I would imagine, at the very least.
As a member of the kilted nation known as Scotland, I’ve always felt that me and my kin don’t get much representation in video games, our brief appearances usually being limited to some swearing or a heavily stereotypical character who loves drinking fighting and is ginger. But Wulverblade seeks to put Scotland in the limelight, specifically, our history against the mighty Roman Empire where the Pictish people held against the best the Romans could offer before Hadrian’s wall was constructed and Rome decided it just wasn’t going to be worth the bloody effort.