Micro Machines World Series sees the franchise attempt to make the move into the competitive online multiplayer scene. But rather than do so by leveraging its strengths and the gameplay modes series fans enjoy playing, Codemasters have focused on a dull game mode that feels out of place with the rest of the franchise.
Bokida presents a compelling world to explore that’s wrapped in a peaceful, almost zen atmosphere. You’re never in danger or racing against any sort of threat in Bokida. You’re free to go where you like, see what you want and tackle the world at your own pace and in whatever way you see fit.
There’s the core of a great game here, and it’s still fun to smash a car into oncoming traffic and watch the ensuing chaos. But the game is focused on the wrong things, specifically its Smashbreaker and aftertouch mechanics, instead of just dumping you into a simulation of a motorway and told to go nuts. There’s still fun to be had in Danger Zone, but it’s unfortunately held back by this misplaced focus.
Black & White Bushido is a game that’s hard to recommend. While its core fighting mechanics are sound, save for the confusion that can arise from its stealth systems and monochromatic presentation, it doesn’t really have a lot to keep you hooked. There’s no denying that a group of friends playing locally can have a good time, but it lacks any sort of staying power in single-player or online.
Crawl is a fairly decent dungeon crawler that’s made a hell of a lot better when played with friends. It suffers from some slightly imprecise controls and an art style that, while great to look at, can make for a confusing cacophony of chaos that can lead to player death. It’s also a riot to play with some friends, with some of the best multiplayer gaming I’ve played so far this year. The only downside to that is that there isn’t any online options.
Little Nightmares is an excellent experience wrapped in a fairly frustrating game. The world that Tarsier Studios have constructed is excellent – trading on its dollhouse-like environments, terrifying antagonists and incredible audio to create an incredibly atmospheric and disturbing horror game. But this otherwise great presentation is let down badly by poorly implemented gameplay and a story that feels like it goes nowhere.
There’s an interesting premise at the heart of What Remains of Edith Finch – explore a house and get to know a bunch of characters by invading their personal space and seeing how they died. And the short stories themselves can be interesting, particularly the shifts and changes they bring to the otherwise standard first-person gameplay. But there’s very little attempt made outside of these short stories to actually connect the player with its many subjects. Too often I felt like I was simply going through the motions.
I really wanted to like Yooka-Laylee. I don’t. Instead of taking a beloved style of game and updating it for modern times (à la Doom last year), Playtonic essentially created a game that could have been from 1998 and released it in 2017. The result is a mess of poorly implemented game mechanics that the games industry fixed two decades ago.