We love a good shadow drop here at Rapid Reviews HQ. The idea of a brand-new title gracing the eShop on a random Thursday evening fills us with joy. It’s made all the better when it’s a hotly anticipated or long-rumoured release. In the case of Metroid Prime Remastered, it was both. Regarded with reverence as one of the greatest games of all time, the original Metroid Prime is a game that needs no introduction — unless, of course, you never owned a GameCube in the early 2000s. Or, in the case of this writer, owned a GameCube but somehow chose Donkey Konga and the accompanying Bongos as their game of choice when making a yearly subscription to the Official Nintendo Magazine. Yeah, me neither.
A wise man once said that if you are going to do something, it should either be different or better than the competition. Whilst there are plenty of occasions where this isn’t always a fair statement, it couldn’t be truer when considering the development of a new roguelike or twin-stick shooter. Where once there was a clamouring for games of this ilk, eShops are now fit to burst with games that just haven’t done enough to avoid the cliched comparisons to Hades and The Binding of Isaac.
There are few games out there that wear their heart on their sleeve quite like Oddworld does. The clue is quite literally in the name with this franchise: it’s a rather odd world. Since the late 90’s, Abe has featured on our screens no matter what the era or the console generation. The gameplay and mechanics may have changed somewhat, but at its core, the Oddworld premise has remained constant.
Although the subject matter is dark, the tone is devastating, and the outlook initially bleak, I firmly believe that anyone over the age of 12 should play this game. Many will cite Animal Crossing: New Horizons as their game of the pandemic, and with 200 hours of playtime, I’d have likely done the same. However, having recently played through Umurangi Generation, it is this that will stick with me in the years that follow.
Guilty Gear Strive is the latest entry in the long-running Guilty Gear franchise, one that spans more than 20 years. Documented as the 7th mainline instalment, but the 25th Guilty Gear game overall, Strive represents the first foray into next-gen gaming and my goodness does it make its mark.
Game Builder Garage is signature Nintendo. For better and for worse, GBG exemplifies the Japanese company’s commitment to innovation, and it’s a real compliment to the already brimming back catalogue of titles. What GBG represents is a company dedicated to game development, to young and aspiring programmers, and to the future of video game design. Naturally, anything ‘signature Nintendo’ does come with a few concessions that hold it back from being everything it could be, but that shouldn’t deter anyone even remotely interested in this games’ offering.
Committing tax evasion in the UK is illegal and punishable by fine or imprisonment. So too is asking Switch players to use B to select items in a menu, but for the purpose of this review, I’m willing to go forgo any penalties against Snoozy Kazoo – the development team behind Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion.
With a beautiful painterly art style and a sumptuous soundtrack to boot, the developers behind Cozy Grove have sought to develop just that, a digital, cozy grove. A haven from the trials and tribulations of life where you can sit back and unwind. It’s games like these that will mean many a player will forever champion the indie scene. Even when some don’t always hit all the right notes.
Square Enix are the best at what they do, aren’t they? Mastering a genre and providing hit after hit takes years of experience, and Square Enix have that in abundance. Be it Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, or the Saga series, they continue to invent and reinvent whilst keeping the heart and soul of these games at the forefront of all they do. Bravely Default II, the sequel to the 3DS original from 2012, is the latest game by Square Enix to be given the same treatment.
Emblazoned across Pumpkin Jack’s website is the slogan “Medieval meets Jak & Daxter”. If that isn’t an indicator of what’s to follow, I’m not sure what would be. It’s indicative of everything this game stands for, warts and all, and feels very much a take it or leave it approach by the developer. ‘Remember those games from the late 90’s and early 2000’s that we all know and loved? Well, if you think you’ll still love them now, I’ve made a new one.’
Wolf. Crinos. Human. Three forms that render the moment-to-moment gameplay of Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood as unique as it comes. When you aren’t sneaking around in the shadows in Cahal’s wolf form, you are shapeshifting into a human to snap necks or transitioning into a Crinos to wreak havoc on the environment and your enemies. It’s fascinating, yet oh-so-flawed.
Perched atop the Empire State observing the snow-covered streets of Manhattan, I put the controller down and take it all in. So, this is what next-gen gaming is all about. The streets are alive with the hustle and bustle of downtown Manhattan. The visuals offer a crispness and clarity I have never seen before. And, there’s an affinity with the story that took hold from the off. As I dive off to protect the citizens of my city from the next crime in progress, it dawns on me.
Let’s get straight down to brass tacks. The performance of Deadly Premonition 2 is nothing short of appalling. With a stuttering frame-rate, inaudible cutscenes, texture pop-in that begs the question as to why they even bothered adding the asset in at all and loading times so long you’ll be left wondering if the game has crashed. All of these equate to a game that is almost unplayable. The most important word in this paragraph? Almost.
In the last month I have: renovated my house, developed a relationship with my new girlfriend, enjoyed meaningful walks out in the open air and spent some time quality time with the people that matter most. Oh, and I’ve been tending to crops and looking after the animals on my farm. That’s right; I’ve been playing STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town.
If real-life hadn’t got in the way, I could have quite easily completed the single player ‘campaign’ of Star Wars Episode 1 Racer in a few sittings. Harkening back to the good ol’ days of the N64 (among other consoles), this re-release of a 20+ year old racing game has the potential to transport a player back to a simpler time: a time when 2-player local coop and late nights gathered around a TV were commonplace. The fact that I would have finished it in such a short space of time is indicative of how well it has recaptured that magic, but it is also representative of how easy it is.
There is beauty to be found in boredom and a magic in the mundane. Unfortunately, in the case of Farmer’s Dynasty, it doesn’t matter how hard it tries, it can’t satiate the same sentiments. ‘More than just an agricultural simulation’ is the tagline, and whilst this may be true, it isn’t necessarily a good thing.
There is something special about a game that has been designed and developed by a small group of individuals. No matter the industry, we all know that working as part of a team can come with its challenges, but ultimately, the more team members there are, the greater the pool of resources and potential a project can have.
With such a unique approach to the release of The Wonderful 101: Remastered on the Nintendo Switch, and because it would have been a missed opportunity not to – something you’ll find rather apt as you read on, I have chosen to share 101 comments, considerations and key details about PlatinumGames’ latest game. Enjoy!
When Fire Emblem: Three Houses released in the second half of 2019, it thrust tactical RPGs into the spotlight once again. Named in many Switch owners top three games of the last 12 months, fans new and old enjoyed all that Fire Emblem had to offer. It’s only natural then to see interest rise in similar titles that are subsequently released. Queue Narcos: Rise of the Cartels.
Based in Madrid, Team Gotham are a team of five who have, since 2014, developed four games. Two of these are available free via GameJolt: no ONE and Fidelio, another can be found on Steam under the name, The Guest, and the latest title, SOLO: Islands of the Heart, is now made a home on the Nintendo Switch. With home consoles being a goal of theirs, Solo represents a significant moment for the team, and we were keen to see how it fared.