There are some amazing examples of the genre out there, Ikaruga, Sine Mora and going further back, the wonderful Axelay on Super Nintendo. These are what I’d call the Prince William and Kate of the shooter world. Loved and held in high esteem. Sisters Royale I’m afraid is the Prince Andrew, dull and too busy hiding in Pizza Hut to be of any use to anyone.
Vane is game that has much potential, It has the feel of The Last Guardian to it and that in itself is a reason to want to like this game. The incredible visual style and the haunting 80s synths soundtrack adds buckets of atmosphere. It’s just a shame that the game is so obtuse for its own good.
Agony is game that tries really hard to produce a disturbing and scary version of hell. But it fails on both counts. Had the developer Madmind spent more time on the gameplay instead of getting butt physics correct (yes you read that correctly) we might have something here that could pass for a game. The desperate attempts to add shock with the now infamous censored scenes are just schoolboy tricks in a bid to generate hype and ultimately end up a moot point given just how terrible the rest of the game is.
The shameful thing is that had Gungrave just been re-released with a lick of paint for the PS4 I probably would have bought it and enjoyed it as I like these types of games. And you can tell even while craning your neck to see the bad dude behind you, there is some good old-fashioned shooting/slashing gameplay to be had if it wasn’t in VR. But alas in VR it is and you’re left with a game that will either make you feel ill or give you cramp before you get past the first couple of levels. Which is a shame when you know that if this game was more traditional, it would be much better for it.
The Shape of the World is an experience so I can’t really review it as a game. But as an experience, it fails to ignite my imagination in any way. I was bored very quickly and there isn’t much on offer either with only a limited number of chapters to explore.
Outward is billed as a survival RPG and that it is. The survival elements do make it an interesting adventure to an extent but sometimes it goes overboard and frustrates. The fighting is awful, the spells are too confusing and convoluted and as mentioned it’s really hard to give a crap about your character. Massive kudos to Nine Dots for embarking on a game of this magnitude and there is some great ideas here to make it stand out from the glut of other fantasy RPGs.
I like the ideas that Apex Construct tries to achieve but none of them gel often enough to be a truly enjoyable experience. The story and the world (and Ultron) are the highlights and graphically it's in the top tier of PSVR games. Should developers Fast Travel Games decide to do a sequel then there needs to be a lot of polishing to be done. I guess Apex Construct is a prime example of VR's best and worst qualities.
Overall the Cast of the Seven Godsends isn’t terrible, there is much to be applauded for the small team that made the game. The trouble is, it’s all just a bit basic. A bit forgettable. Eventually, after a few playthroughs, you’ll kind of just ‘get it’ and all the trial and error moments will be remembered to make the next play through a bit more of a smoother experience. The trouble is, one playthrough is enough, it’s just a bit of a none event so it’s unlikely you’ll go back for more, and I’m not sure that you would want to. 2D platform games are everywhere at the moment and many of them are much more fun than this, and I would recommend you try one of those.
So Speed 3: Grand Prix could be a fun F1 arcade game if you take away the game’s main selling point. It would have been a nice spiritual successor to Virtua Racing, but only if you don’t play the game as intended. You can have some fun bashing up other cars but it’s all rather pointless so it kinda makes this nothing more than glorified dodgems.
Everything is here and had the potential to be proper Terminator cannon being a ‘prequel’ to both films. Instead, we’re left with a game that if it was a colour would be grey. Just there, nothing special, nothing stand out, just part of the colour spectrum, and easily forgotten over brighter colours. (How’s that for an analogy?) however it has its moments and if you can find it for a few quid then it’s probably worth picking up otherwise it’s the perfect game for Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Now.
Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 2 gives you everything you would want from an official Motorcross game, whether you will get the most out of it though really depends if you are a mad fan of the sport. Along with the gameplay shortcomings mentioned earlier, the rawk soundtrack is terrible and gets way too repetitive way too soon. The visuals aren’t great either, but then I guess how pretty do you need muddy stadiums to be?
The Kings Bird is perhaps one of those games suited to gamers who love speedruns, where twitch platforming comes second nature and has the patience to really stick with the game. I enjoyed the first few levels, but the shortcomings of the controls and the haphazard nature of if they work or not kind of distracted me from what is an interesting and challenging game to play. Perhaps I need to just get better and these types of games, but having played games for 27 odd years I like to think I have the skills necessary to at least get to grips with the most challenging of games. As it stands The Kings Bird is hard to recommend to the casual gamer, but speedrunners will probably get the most out of this if they can get to grips with the somewhat broken mechanics.
Solo should have been two separate games really, one a standard cutesy platformer that you can throw on PSN and let people who enjoy puzzle platformers if that’s their bag and the other should have been a more meaningful journey where you do find out stuff about your past or present love or even if you’re suffering heartbreak. Being asked a question about sex and having such a personal question add nothing to the game is a bit of a bitter pill to swallow.