A Sonic-the-Hedgehog-esque money-as-health system would be my proposed solution, where every hit results in some dropped wonga as you limp back to the escape vessel, but until then, for all The Swindle’s good attributes, it manages to suck the fun out of its own good ideas so thoroughly in its early-game that many players won’t have the desire to soldier on.
The justification for badgercide aside, Fox ‘n’ Forests is another of those indie titles that, while a faithful and enjoyable homage to their subject material, also isn’t going to blow anyone away or change anyone’s mind. Whereas Shovel Knight kept what worked from retro games and threw out what didn’t, Fox brings over slightly too much in the name of nostalgia and ends up with a few rough edges
It’s hard to give a game like Solo a definitive score; sure, I can critique things like the presentation (which is masterful) and the gameplay (which is pretty good but I wouldn’t say masterful), but what you actually get out of the game is entirely up to you. How willing are you to be honest with yourself about your feelings?
If you’ve not played a Pac-Man game recently, as I imagine most of us haven’t, it’s worth a dip, and even if you’re a pellet-munching savant this is the best portable Pac-Man you’ll get, and the two-player justifies it as well. Waka waka indeed.
Even as a budget game (retailing for around £30) Showdown is tricky to recommend. It certainly looks the part: polished, lively menus, a pleasant if not stand-out soundtrack, an incredibly deep character creator: but all of this is style for a serious lack of substance.
For me, the returning Pokémon – like old friends at this point – and tweaks to the plot and Totem fights justified the return, but not without reservations, and not without being prepared to be taught how to catch a Pokémon for the millionth time.
Super Mario Odyssey is a return to form for Mario you didn’t even know he needed. It’s bursting with new ideas, and old ones, too – there’s some really genuinely heartfelt fan-service in the postgame that shows Nintendo appreciates their Mario fans a whole lot (that I shan’t spoil).
Ultimately, Flame in the Flood’s greatest success is as an experience; the excellent soundtrack, the complimentary visuals and snippets of plot all make the first few hours of gameplay a harmonious, pleasant experience – were rentals still a thing, this would be a perfect candidate. But alas, it is no longer 1999, and Blockbuster busted their last block a long time ago – and as the hours rack up the numerous minor issues add up to diminish, though not in any way ruin, the experience.