- Return to Castle Wolfenstein
- Fallout 3
- The Last of Us
If nothing else, it serves to show just how far gaming has moved on since it first came out, yet it's pretty hard to shake the feeling that Square Enix has just dialled it in with this version, and in doing so, has squandered the opportunity of giving Final Fantasy III a much deserved 21st Century re-rub.
Once those 100 levels have been conquered and the final Titan humbled, there's very little reason to fire the game up again other than the occasional mindless blast, which can be extended to infinity on account of the fact that the only thing left to spend all that amassed cash on is additional lives. It's also unfortunate that at this particular moment in time near enough every retro flavoured shooter that hits the market will inevitably get compared to Resogun, which has set the bar incredibly high.
The beauty of pool is that there is no story to plough through, no defined ending to strive towards - other than winning the current match - and this very essence is captured perfectly in Pure Pool. It's just the tale of a man with a stick and some balls getting down to business on a table...!
It's actually refreshing to see Zen release a table that isn't affiliated to Marvel or Star Wars for once, and as per usual the team has pulled out all the stops to deliver a product that does Telltale Games' franchise justice. The Walking Dead is an easy recommendation to anybody with more than a passing interest in pinball, and it's certainly one of the nicest tables Zen has released in some time. Picking this up should be a no brainer.
Kickbeat: Special Edition is a fun little diversion in small bursts but it doesn't really stray too far from the path it sets out right at the very start. Despite some solid gameplay mechanics, it sadly lacks the variety of content to ensure repeated play and as such will likely only appeal to diehard fans of the genre.
CastleStorm: Definitive Edition on PlayStation 4 is quite the time sink, and Zen Studios is to be commended for re-working a few proven, familiar play mechanics and binding them together to create an original, polished experience that feels fresh and is, most importantly, fun to play.
The Sniper Elite series is steadfastly ploughing its own furrow in a marketplace primarily dominated by the likes of Battlefield and Call of Duty. While it's unlikely to match either of those titans in terms of sales, it does offer an experience different enough for regular shooter fans to justify a purchase. As a PR exercise for anybody who has regularly played online shooters and may still have unresolved anger issues directed at snipers, Rebellion has made a strong statement with Sniper Elite III and as a form a therapy it proves to be both beneficial and effective.
There's no denying that Defense Grid 2 is an absorbing experience, and its low barriers to entry ensure it should appeal to seasoned RTS vets and tower defence noobs alike. For lovers of the blueprint, it's really not that hard to see why this series has become synonymous with the genre, and that in itself should be recommendation enough.
For the most part, Citizens of Earth is a curiously addictive romp, with the ability to elicit the occasional chuckle. However, it would be remiss not to slap a 'Buyer Beware' warning on it, due to its many issues, which is a real shame, as when it decides to work, it's a fun little time sink.
Those deeply entrenched in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's multiplayer component have likely already invested in this selection, but for anybody else, the Havoc pack delivers exactly what it says on the tin, with the stress-inducing Exo Zombies mode, some great new maps and a beefy weapon to add to the loadout. It's certainly a good indication of the quality to expect from Sledgehammer's next three DLC instalments.
While there's still some mindless, if slightly repetitive, fun to be had for the solo participant, Zombie Army Trilogy really shines as a multiplayer experience and does a great job of filling the 'Left 4 Dead'-shaped hole on the current consoles. It's not doing anything particularly innovative, yet the satisfying shooting mechanic, coupled with the ever grisly X-ray killcam makes it a great game to revisit when not in the mood for something more cerebral.
Zen Studios has designed enough tables over the years to know exactly what works and what doesn't, so it seems a shame that this entry to the series feels slightly bereft of features when compared to more recent additions to the collection.
For those deeply invested in the multiplayer aspect of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, this is another great package that further enhances a competitive mode that could already be described as being spoilt for choice in terms of options.
There's a good reason why a lot of these older games are commonly referred to as 'classics' and even a modern day re-rub replicating the timeless gameplay has the ability to evoke memories of a misspent youth shovelling coins into an arcade cabinet. Ultratron is an addictive little blast that does justice to Eugene Jarvis's original vision.
While there's a slight stumble with regards to story progression, for the most parts it's a great success and the fact that it's all the result of one man's labour of love makes it all the more impressive. Occasionally, modern day tributes miss the mark and lack some of the heart that made the inspiration so great but it's safe to say that Thomas Happ has totally nailed the Metroid vibe with Axiom Verge.
Despite being let down by the unresponsive controls, Abyss Odyssey: Extended Dream Edition remains an oddly compelling experience brimming with a lot of interesting ideas. It's a real shame that ACE Team didn't use this definitive version as an opportunity to fix the numerous issues that plagued the last-gen iterations.
Edelweiss is to be applauded for applying modern day game design to a genus long in need of a 21st century lick, and while it might not totally rejuvenate an interest in bullet hell shooters, it would be foolish for fans of the genre to ignore a game as polished and slick as Astebreed. Granted, there's a limited audience for this type of game, and it's definitely not for the casuals, but any gamer nostalgic for the time when skill played a major factor in progression should find this a worthy challenge.
It's business as usual for Sledgehammer, who has once more delivered a solid package that both compliments and adds longevity to the vanilla Advanced Warfare experience. There is a minor concern that a fracturing of the player base between those that own the new DLC and those that don't has started to impact slightly on the matchmaking, as finding Exo Grapple matches has started to take longer than it used to. However, those invested in the Exo-Zombies storyline should enjoy getting to grips with 'Carrier,' and the welcome addition of a wisecracking Bruce Campbell to the fray is a good choice that bodes well for an explosive final chapter.