PAX East 2017: Loot Rascals

First Look Posted 20|Apr by
PAX East 2017: Loot Rascals

Rogue-like hex-based card-wielding fun

There's a podcast I listen to called Checkpoints. It is similar to my own show, The Sausage Factory in that it is interview-based and questions members of the games industry about them and their careers. One of the standard questions asked in Checkpoints is 'what is the funniest game you have ever played'? or words to that effect. Up until recently my answer has been the standard Monkey Island, but now, having played Loot Rascals at PAX East 2017, my answer has shifted.
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The Silver Case

Review Posted 13|Apr by
The Silver Case

Suda51's directorial debut gets re-opened

Sometimes a game should be remastered not because it was a good game, but because it is a historical curiosity, The Silver Case is such a game.

Set in a crime-riddled area of Japan, The Silver Case follows the investigation of a series of murders from the perspective of two characters. Primarily the story is told through text with striking 2D artwork to support the grim tone of the story.
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PAX East 2017: The Metronomicon

Preview Posted 10|Apr by
PAX East 2017: The Metronomicon

Party like it's 1399

Speaking as a long time Dungeon/Game Master of pen and paper RPGs I have often wondered if a combat encounter would be spruced up by having the players compete against the monsters via a dance-off. Thankfully these thoughts are fleeting as I realise that if I were to introduce such a mechanic into my games, my players would likely give me a 0.0 score and flounce off in fully choreographed formation.
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PAX East 2017: Pathologic

Preview Posted 6|Apr by
PAX East 2017: Pathologic

A stroll into darkness

The word 'insanity' and variants thereof is used a great deal. But few people really know what it means to be insane in the true sense of the word. It's akin to losing a limb as the brain is no longer working as one is used to.

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Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands

Review Posted 4|Apr by
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands

A slightly broken open world

I have extremely fond memories of the original Ghost Recon released on the first Xbox in 2001. Xbox Live was a new service with only a handful of games playable online, most of which were not particularly good. Ghost Recon provided something that other games had so far failed to deliver: real depth and strategy.
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Mass Effect: Andromeda

Review Posted 3|Apr by
Mass Effect: Andromeda

Is it all bad?

I think it's probably fair to say that Mass Effect: Andromeda has had a shaky launch. You probably saw all of the gifs and clips doing the rounds on social media of the game's immediate problems. From awful facial animations to embarrassing voice acting, Andromeda was showing all the signs of a game that was rushed to launch, a travesty when you consider that it's reported to have been in development for five years.
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The Signal from Tölva

Preview Posted 31|Mar by
The Signal from Tölva

Sir, You are Being Hunted (on an alien planet)

Questions; that's been the theme that's kept cropping up in my recent gaming. So many games I have played ask questions of the player that are never really answered. At least not during the short time I get to experience them.

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The Mannequin

Preview Posted 28|Mar by
The Mannequin

'Outright disturbing'

Jump scares have become with synonymous with horror games, but that's not what horror is really about. At least not for The Mannequin, a game I encountered soon after entering EGX 2016 as it stood not 100 yards from the main entrance to the show.

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Endless Space 2 Impressions

Preview Posted 27|Mar by
Endless Space 2 Impressions

Endless, but also fuller

What is it about 4X games (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate) that compels us to continue to play them long after the night has drawn in and in some cases hear the dawn chorus the following morning? Why does this specific genre command so much attention and what can be done to make it even more entertaining than it already clearly is?
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Horizon: Zero Dawn

Review Posted 20|Mar by
Horizon: Zero Dawn

Avoiding the sins of the open world

Open-world games are starting to get a bad rap with gamers. Complaints of huge maps filled with icons leaving people feeling cold litter forums and social media as some are starting to turn their back.

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NieR: Automata

Review Posted 17|Mar by
NieR: Automata

Another March GOTY contender

There are few games that truly stick with me after I've finished playing them, games that I know I'll revisit years later or occasionally just get choked up by hearing a piece of music from its soundtrack. NieR: Automata is going to be one of those rare games.
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Future Unfolding

Review Posted 15|Mar by
Future Unfolding

Play it

I'm the sort of gamer who likes to play as many games as possible. While some have a preferred genre or developer I'm happy to move from game to game to experience as much as this medium has to offer.

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Mario Sports Superstars

Review Posted 13|Mar by
Mario Sports Superstars

Not quite so super

Nintendo's hybrid home/handheld console, the Switch has finally been released. Its handheld predecessor, the 3DS has had a long and largely successful life. It never quite reached the heights of the original DS, but it has a large library of mostly excellent games and has provided both myself (and now my daughter) with hours of entertainment. The fate of the 3DS in the post-Switch world is debatable.
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Dead Cells

Preview Posted 6|Mar by
Dead Cells

Metroidvania and rogue-like all at once

Matter cannot be destroyed, it merely changes state. That is the case when we expire and it is something Dead Cells explores as this rogue-like platformer seeks to enthral unsuspecting video game fans into its world of re-appropriating dead matter for one's own needs. Read on to find out what I made of this very dark game while traipsing the vast expo hall that is EGX.
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Torment: Tides of Numenera

Review Posted 2|Mar by
Torment: Tides of Numenera

Indistinguishable from magic

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Arthur C. Clarke said this and this is the very philosophy that governs Torment: Tides of Numenera. All of our wonderful technology comes from ten thousand years of advancements. Imagine demonstrating something like Google Translate to the architects of The Rosetta stone - to them it would appear akin to magic. So, imagine the countless civilisations that would rise and fall over a billion years... technology would ebb and flow and change beyond our comprehension.
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