Civilization VI (Switch)

Review Posted 10|Dec by
Civilization VI (Switch)

Handheld Godliness

The Civilization series has been part of my life since the PC release of the second game way back in 1996. It was partly responsible for all the problems I had with revising for exams as the urge to have ‘just one more turn’ was always too much. My obsession with the game became so great that I used to arrange LAN games with friends and we’d sometimes play for over 24 hours, forming alliances, breaking them and trying to ensure world domination for our respective nations. To this day I would maintain that the game taught me more about the key development points of humanity than I ever absorbed in school. I learned not only the importance of irrigation of land but also why nations must carefully balance scientific research with the accumulation of wealth in order to stay ahead of their rivals.
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SEGA Mega Drive Classics - Switch

Review Posted 5|Dec by
SEGA Mega Drive Classics - Switch

A mega drive down memory lane

I remember the first time I saw a SEGA Mega Drive. It was a thing of beauty compared to the blocky, but functional, SEGA Master System that I had won in a Rice Crispies competition. It would be several years until I would be able to own one for myself. I still have very fond memories of the machine, coming home from school with friends and playing two-player games like Streets of Rage and T2: The Arcade Game.
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Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Review Posted 4|Dec by
Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Feel the burn

Something strange happened when I started the Spyro Reignited Trilogy - before the game started I couldn’t remember anything from the original, but as soon as the intro finished I was off! Almost on auto-pilot, I swept through the first world as if some unseen hand was guiding my way.
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Hitman 2

Review Posted 19|Nov by
Hitman 2

Bald, beautiful and bigger than ever

The board game Mouse Trap has a lot to answer for. For the climax of the game to work perfectly, it required careful manipulation of a man on a diving board, tightening of elastic bands, careful positioning of a metal ball (usually lost under a sofa within the first week after Christmas) and surgeon-like dexterity to balance the cage. The payoff to all this handiwork was extremely satisfying in those pre-video game days but once you’d seen the trap in action, it was never quite as exciting again.
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The Council: Episode 4: Burning Bridge

Review Posted 1|Nov by
The Council: Episode 4: Burning Bridge

A narrowing of generalists

TellTale Games is dead and once again I am worried about the future of narrative driven games. Sure, there has been a general increase in quality of story in games over the last five years, but purely narrative-based games once again seem to be under threat.

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Valkyria Chronicles 4

Review Posted 26|Oct by
Valkyria Chronicles 4

Let slip the squads of war

After last year’s Valkyria Revolution left a sour taste in my mouth I despaired for the future of the franchise. Now comes a proper sequel to the beloved strategic JRPG in the form of Valkyria Chronicles 4. But is it enough to right this franchise’s course?

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Yakuza Kiwami 2

Review Posted 21|Sep by
Yakuza Kiwami 2

Now that the Yakuza series appears to have found a reasonably dedicated following outside of Japan Sega seems intent on releasing remastered versions of the game at a steady pace. It's only a few months ago that I finished playing the ‘last’ entry in the series, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life.
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Marvel's Spider-Man

Review Posted 17|Sep by
Marvel's Spider-Man

No flies on this game

The problems that face many super heroes usually include creating a formula that can stop a deadly virus or deciding how to block that volcano which threatens to wipe out a small country or which fist to punch a giant world-destroying robot with. Most cape-wearing godlike beings aren't too concerned about how to scrape together next month's rent or considering why they can't balance their hero lifestyle and keep a girlfriend. You don't often see Superman struggling with sleep deprivation and failing a chemistry exam. These are just the sorts of situations that appear regularly in Marvel's Spider-Man and Peter Parker's (aka The Amazing Spider-Man) humanity and real world issues are the exact reasons I personally love the character and why he has remained a favourite for many comic fans for the last sixty-five years.
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LEGO The Incredibles

Review Posted 26|Jul by
LEGO The Incredibles

A dad's-eye view

I've managed to avoid the world of LEGO games up until now.

Not that I've been trying to. I've always loved the idea of them. A gentle parody of a beloved series is right up my street. It's just none of them have been based on a franchise that could justify me sitting down and spending time with a kids game.
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Pode

Review Posted 19|Jul by
Pode

Couch co-op games have recently begun to come back in style. For a while it felt like they were gone for good as developers began to focus almost entirely on the online experience. However, a new breed of independent developers are filling the gap left by the bigger publishers with experiences that can only be played by people in the same room. 'Henchman and Goon's' Pode reminds me to a great extent of a rather forgotten PS2 game released early in the console's cycle, Kuri Kuri Mix. Both games focus on navigating platforms cooperatively whilst solving puzzles. However, Pode's design is significantly more forgiving, although its puzzles are rather more esoteric.
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Forgotten Anne

Review Posted 21|Jun by
Forgotten Anne

There's an actual Cities of Gold reference in here

A sock carelessly forgotten under the bed - that is how Forgotton Anne's unforgettable story begins. The world is a busy place and we lose possessions all the time, but what happens to those things? That shoe you saw in the middle of the road that isn't there the next time you walk by? Let me introduce you to The Realm.
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Onrush

Review Posted 14|Jun by
Onrush

Overwatch on wheels

Not many games instantly grab my attention in an overwhelmingly positive way. The last game to do so was Titanfall. I played it at an Expo and it was as if everything that the game was trying to do poured straight into my head.

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Shane sucks at Everspace

Feature Posted 8|Jun by
Shane sucks at Everspace

But he thinks it's pretty neat anyway

As someone who reviews video games I face a unique conundrum - what do I do if I suck at a game I'm reviewing? If I was playing it for my own amusement I could just give up and move on, but that doesn't cut it when you have copy to get out the door.
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The Council Episode 2: Hide and Seek

Review Posted 7|Jun by
The Council Episode 2: Hide and Seek

Still one of the most intriguing adventure series on the market

I really enjoyed the first episode of The Council, entitled The Mad Ones released earlier in the year. It wasn't without its problems, but its innovative new take on TellTale-style adventure games focused on RPG-style character upgrades caught my attention.

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Earthlock

Review Posted 31|May by
Earthlock

A sweet homage to classic JRPGs

I'm always on the lookout for fresh role-playing games, but sometimes I just want something that is by-the-books to sink my teeth in to. Earthlock fits that bill perfectly, giving us likeable characters that follow an okay story with satisfying combat.

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