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.
Any game that has you taking order from a sentient banana named Pedro is guaranteed to be good. It’s like a rule of the universe or something. I’m sure of it. My Friend Pedro does indeed have a talking banana and thus is at an immediate advantage over almost every other game. To be honest if you actually need a review after being told about a sentient banana then I’m not sure this game is for you. Or games in general. Or life, for that matter. What the hell is wrong with you?
I’ve been watching Formula 1 for as long as I can remember, having been raised on a diet of that and MotoGP. These days, though, I’m struggling to stay a fan of the sport. Actual racing has taken a back seat to managing tyres, fuel, temperatures and energy. Overtakes are almost always due to the use of DRS, a system that gives the chasing car a massive advantage on straights. Meanwhile penalties now seem to follow the rulebook to the letter, rather than follow the spirit which has seen racers being given harsh penalties for trying to actually race.
These days it seems like you can’t go more than five minutes without tripping over a tentacle brandishing the latest Lovecraftian inspired piece of fiction. Regardless of how you feel about H.P. Lovecraft himself his work has endured, and now that it’s in the public domain it seems his world of cosmic horror and unfathomable beings will live on. Now the developers of the Sherlock Holmes games are taking a crack at the Cthulhu mythos, transplanting their detective mechanics into a world where cosmic horror threatens your sanity. Does The Sinking City float, or sink?
You have to admit that as names go Void Bastards is a pretty good one. It captures your attention, just like the striking graphical style does. Once you’ve been successfully reeled in by the cool name and pretty pictures, though, what exactly does Void Bastards offer up? British accents, spaceships, tourists and lots of stuff to craft. That’s what.
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.
For a while I was into mountain biking, specifically the downhill side of it because actually having to peddle is just the worst. I say I was into mountain biking, but mostly what happened was that I pin balled from tree to tree in a generally downward direction. But the point is I’ve always wanted more games focused around mountain biking, and while Descenders might not be the more simulation focused game I was hoping for it sure is a whole lot of fun its own right.
Fighting games are like some sort of detox. After playing game after game where I’m living a power fantasy playing a fighting game can be a slap to the face, a reminder that I’m not as good as I think. One on one there are no excuses. Failure needs to be owned. Lessons must be learned. Inventive swear words must fill the air like so many angry, foul-mouthed bees. And my favourite fighting game series in history is Mortal Kombat. I’ve been playing them since Mortal Kombat 2, and now we’re up to the 11th numbered game in the series. For a while things were rough, but then NetherRealm made an epic comeback in 2011. Since then, Mortal Kombat has been better than ever. But Mortal Kombat 11…well, it’s a little trickier.
Close to the Sun likes to label each of its chapters based on Greek mythology, mentioning characters like Icarus. So let me get a bit posh here and chat about Icarus, too. You’ve probably heard the story: Icarus is the son of Daedalus, the designer of the famous Labyrinth where the Minotaur dwelt. The tale goes that Minos imprisoned Daedalus and Icarus in a tower to keep the secret of the maze safe. The two prisoners used feathers and wax to create wings, and leapt from the tower. Daedalus told his son not to fly too high or else the sun would melt the wax holding his wings together, and not to fly too low which would wet the feathers. But because Icarus was a fucking moron he flew too Close to the Sun (HA!) and his wings melted, thus he fell into the sea and drowned. The end. Close to the Sun tries to fly up to the narrative heights of brilliance but its wings start to melt. So it tries to fly down to the cold depths of horror and nearly drowns. And so Close to the Sun never does find its balance. It never soars high in the sky, nor skims the waves. Jesus, this has turned too philosophical. I need a beer or something. Let’s just review this thing, yeah?
Considering that World War Z, the film starring Brad Pitt based on the book that didn’t star Brad Pitt, came out waaaaay back in 2013 it seems a tad odd to release an official World War Z videogame some six years later. And yet here we are. But despite being based upon the movie World War Z is much more like a sequel to Left 4 Dead 2 in spirit, if not in name. Also, this doesn’t star Brad Pitt, either.