There’s no shortage of third-party controllers on the market from a wide variety of companies, some of which are reputable and some of which are just pushing out cheap tat. 8BitDo has managed to build a solid reputation, developing and releasing a variety of controllers across multiple platforms, including an arcade fight stick and some awesome retro-themed controllers. Today, I’m reviewing their so-called Ultimate controller, a reasonably priced piece of tech that punches well above its price bracket.
Like a sleeper car with a highly tuned engine under the hood pulling up to the starting line, Need for Speed: Unbound arrived with almost no hype, despite developer Criterion returning for the first time since 2012. Leading up to its launch there had hardly been any marketing and review codes weren’t handed out until launch day, usually an ominous sign that the publisher either doesn’t have any faith in the game or that there are some big issues. But just like that sleeper car sitting on the line, when the flag drops Need for Speed: Unbound unleashes all that hidden potential. It’s not the best racer out there, but it’s the best game in the series for a long time and a lot of fun. Provided you can put up with the horrendous story, that is.
Initially released a year ago on PC to a very positive rating, this rogue-lite FPS where you blast away heaps of baddies while collecting upgrades has made the leap to console. Gunfire Reborn was a supremely pleasant surprise to me, coming from absolutely nowhere and being a good time from start to finish. It’s also another solid grab for Game Pass in Xbox’s continuous mission to find content to feed its ever-expanding subscription service. This is the kind of game you can stumble upon while browsing Game Pass, download on a whim and wind up engrossed in.
It has been nine long years since Warner Bros Montreal last released a game. Batman: Arkham Origins was the forgotten child, shoved to the side as people referred to the Arkham “trilogy” developed by Rocksteady. And while it was certainly true that Arkham Origins didn’t hit quite the same highs, Warner Bros Montreal still delivered a rock-solid Batman game. With that success, the future seemed bright for Warner Bros Montreal as they were primed to take over the Batman license while Rocksteady moved on to other things. But then they released the Batgirl DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight and…vanished. Reports of canceled projects such as an Arkham Knight sequel starring Damian Wayne and a Suicide Squad title threw the entire studio’s existence into question. Nine years is a long time for a studio to expend money without putting anything out. Here we are, though; Gotham Knights, a brand new Batman game that isn’t set in the Arkham universe, a chance for Warner Bros Montreal to don their cape and cowl again, an opportunity to prove themselves the heroes we deserve.
Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is yet another game in a long line of games that wants to liken itself to the “souls” genre despite actually having very little in common with From Software’s desire to beat people into submission. Aside from a lack of a map and losing some resources when you die, Asterigos has nothing to do with Dark Souls or its ilk, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in good qualities. While it might not offer anything new or groundbreaking there is a solidly designed action-RPG here that offers a lot of content for a relatively low price, and for the right person that’s going to be a killer deal.
The Dakar Rally is one of the coolest motorsport events in the world, an epic race across the vast expanses of Saudi Arabia that tests not only pure speed but also navigation skills and endurance. Cars, trucks, quads, bikes and buggies blast along tracks, leap over dunes and slide around bends in a bid to get the best time in stages that span hundreds of kilometres. It’s also a testament to just how crazy and arrogant humans really are – we see an endless desert and think to ourselves, “let’s drive some stuff over it!” Dakar Desert Rally from Sabre Interactive is the latest attempt to capture the magic and epicness of the event and I’m happy to be able to tell you that it’s quite a step up from the 2018 game. This can be a rewarding game for anybody willing to put in the time, but some rough edges keep it from being truly great.
There’s a moment in John Wick after the titular badass has decimated several attackers who made the idiotic mistake of invading his home. With bodies littering the floor and blood soaking into the carpet, Wick makes a call to contacts from his previous life. Minutes later, a clean-up crew arrives to drag the corpses away and freshen the place up. It’s the job of unsung heroes (?) and has frequently made me question if such a thing exists in other action movies. How often do we see a building full of bodies left behind after an action sequence? Surely they don’t just get left there, right? Even in real life, do the mob have cleanup crews that hide the evidence? According to Serial Cleaners, the answer is yes, and they’re so damn good at their job they can even clean up a crime scene while the cops are are busy investigating it.
Gamepass is already one hell of a value proposition, which is exactly why people continue to debate whether it actually earns Microsoft any profit or if it’s an unsustainable model kept afloat by Microsoft’s vast cash reserves. Either way, for us gamers it is an almost absurd deal. And in that absurdity is even more insane value: The Hitman Trilogy, combining the World of Assassination trilogy from IO Interactive into one massive package boasting 20 levels with some of the best replay value around. Even if you just play around once or twice in a level you could easily spend a few hours in it, but if you’re like me that just isn’t enough and dozens upon dozens of hours later you might finally wrap up your career as Hitman.
The massive monstrosity that is the Embracer Group continues to gobble up more and more developers and intellectual properties, and regardless of how you feel about that one good thing has come of it; a willingness to mine their extensive catalogue via remasters and remakes, many of which seem to designed to test whether there’s an audience for a brand new game. In 2020, Black Forest released their remake/remaster of Destroy All Humans, a cult classic from the Playstation 2 days where you played as an alien invading Earth. Now, the much-beloved sequel has gotten the same treatment from Black Forest, making me wonder if we might finally get to see Destroy All Humans 3. That’s the future, though – let’s focus on the here and now; is Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed still fun in 2022 and has Black Forest done it justice?
As a Scotsman born and raised, there is no fate I would dread more than being cursed to play the game of golf forever. And yet this is the premise of Cursed to Golf, a roguelike 2D recreation of the sport where you have to work your way through 18 holes of golf purgatory, having been cast down there due to being struck by lightning during a golf tournament. I have no idea if this is a common occurrence during golf, but if it is I might actually start watching the sport. So, is Cursed to Golf a hole in one, or a bogey? Let’s find out.