When Radiation City appeared on the eShop list of titles ‘Coming Soon’, I was excited. The original mobile port release by Atypical Games, Radiation Island, was one that I spent considerable time with during my early days playing the Nintendo Switch. While it was not without its fault, it offered an open-world experience with simple-to-play game mechanics and a crafting system I quite enjoyed. Fast forward then to my first, and last, hour playing Radiation City, and my thoughts on a promising game experience with bags of potential had diminished from excitement to utter, utter disappointment.
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.
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.
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.
Apparent from my extensive collection of sports-based video games, I am a huge fan of sporting titles. From NBA to Madden, and NFL to FIFA, I have always been a follower of sport and the competitive gameplay that these video games provide. One of my favourite memories of my teenage years was playing Brian Lara International Cricket 2005 – what a game that was. Now, that being said, my eclectic mix of sports games has never extended as far as Baseball.
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.
The Gaijin Distribution published title, Blades of Time, is the latest in a long line of ports from the last generation of home consoles to land on the Nintendo Switch. Whilst many have been obvious choices, and some a little less so, Blades of Time was the first that made me truly question why. This hack-and-slash, action-adventure title from 2012 is neither steeped in nostalgia nor back by popular demand. The media opinions were somewhat of a mixed bag, and it seemed that Blades of Time would be left to rest alongside the Xbox 360 and PS3.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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.
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!
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.
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.
Not to be confused with a phrase Kanye West might use when addressing his eldest daughter, Bad North is a real-time tactical roguelike game designed and developed by Plausible Concept. Now, while Kanye references may be less and less appropriate as I divulge my experiences with this title, some excellent links can be made in the opening.
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.
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.