- Deus Ex
- Fallout 2
Where the Heart Leads offers a supremely compelling and fascinating overall narrative, one that is filled with genuinely meaningful choices – surely a rarity in video games? Unfortunately, its tall tale is also bogged down with numerous presentation issues that result in dull characterisation. Overall an uneven experience that's both brilliant and boring – sometimes at the same time.
Mighty Goose is the game I never knew I always wanted. It's a silly 90's cartoon homage to Metal Slug. Yet it also does enough that is new to be recognised on its own terms. Big, bold and bonkers, this is a game that is definitely worth a gander if you, like me, love your classic run 'n guns. It's just a shame about the pants local co-op.
Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is an exceedingly bland experience. This remake trades heavily on the 90s nostalgia factor, but fails to consider that, with the original only released outside of Japan in 2012, few will have played Monster World 4 in order to have any feelings of nostalgia about it. Sadly, all those playing the game for the first time will find little to get excited about.
Capcom Arcade Stadium is a perfume soaked and kiss covered love letter to the arcade. Capcom really has set the benchmark for how iconic publishers should preserve their work for future generations. The pitch-perfect emulation is notable, but it's the courage to make the necessary changes to classic games and ensure accessibility for all that is truly genius. Sure, having to buy everything in packs is a pain but you're bound to uncover a few unexpected gems in the process. Now, how about that Rival Schools: United by Fate, eh Capcom?
I'm fairly sure that Beautiful Desolation is a decent game. This is a vast world clearly built with passion and with a keen attention to detail. Unfortunately, this console conversion is no way at all to experience The Brotherhood's latest. Awful pathfinding, so many invisible walls that if they were visible they could be seen from space, and clunky, unresponsive controls turn the fetch quest-heavy gameplay into a meandering slog.
Mad Rat Dead offers an entirely unique rhythm action platformer experience, one that is so good you'll want to surgically attach more ears to your body. Original, addictive and tremendously thrilling, Mad Rat Dead will make you love 2D platformers again.
Gravity Heroes is a curious proposition. The core gameplay elements are rock solid, the four-player gravity switching leading to plenty of chaotic fun, but the concept as a whole feels under-explored and the intense difficulty will can soon become a joyless slog.
Smelter's opening cutscene got me very pumped for what was to follow, but what did follow left me despondent. I'd been set up and felt ready for an awesome 16-bit experience that, thanks to its promised smelting of genres, would feel genuinely fresh. The game that followed wasn't fresh, it was past its sell by date and starting to smell like feet.
Equal parts puzzler, platformer, fighter and cutesy collection of pixels, Jumpala is certainly an intoxicating concoction. It is also equal part superb. For those prepared to put the time in to find online rivals then this is a competitive experience to be savoured.
Blind Drive is like no game I've ever played before, which, having played video games for the last thirty years, is certainly saying something. Lo-Fi People has delivered one of the most compelling and plainly weird video game experiences of 2021. Your ears will love this game.