2008 was the year my love for strategy and tower defence games started. It was this year that I saw Tim Curry escape “to the one place that hasn’t been corrupted by capitalism… SPACE” in Red Alert 3, and Savage Moon had me building mortar towers faster than a charging insectoid. Dungeon of the Endless has recently crash-landed on the PlayStation network; should you plan an all out attack or make a tactical retreat?
I am a collector by nature, I think on some level we all are. I collect a wide variety of stuff; from first editions to retro action figures. We collect things without even knowing it, like personal triumphs or emotional scars. Collecting them all; completing the set, can be reassuring. It’s a way to chart progress, learn valuable lessons and take control of something in this crazy world. Book Of Demons called to the collector in me.
In recent years, popular culture has shifted and I have found myself being horrifyingly referred to as a “retro hipster”. Admittedly, I do collect vintage action figures and retro games consoles. I have done since I was a child in the 90’s. I collect these things because they are tiny windows into the past, little reminders of youth and imagination that I can hold in my hand. Playing through Thy Sword invoked the same feelings of nostalgia and wonder in me.
Random Heroes: Gold Edition reminds me of a simpler time in gaming. When consoles used cartridges, control pads had wires and three buttons, and simple sprites were cutting edge. Times have changed, we’ve moved on, but some developers still look back to those early days for inspiration.
Creativity can be a cruel and complicated mistress. All too often, a creator is their own harshest critic. I can believe that Picasso didn’t like his own paintings or that Kubrick wouldn’t watch his own films. The lifeblood that fuels creativity is the appreciation and admiration of others. Writers don’t write for themselves; they write for you; the reader. Fury Unleashed is a game that understands this far better than most.
I’ll be honest with you. I’m a bit of a PlayStation fanboy. I’ve never owned an Xbox and I occasionally find myself viewing their exclusive titles with covetous eyes: Below was one of those titles. Like a P.E teacher I used to have, this game has a reputation of being incredibly hard and unforgiving. I am by no means a glutton for punishment kind of player, but I itched to pit myself against the perilous and mysterious depths of Below.