Fans of classic arcade racers from the 90s will feel right at home with Hotshot Racing. Lucky Mountain have clearly demonstrated an understanding of what made those games so great while adding just enough modern modes and systems to allow for both better re-playability and player engagement.
There’s more than enough content here to keep younger gamers busy and even older gamers nostalgic for the genre will enjoy what’s on offer. The caveat being that the game has no difficulty settings and more seasoned gamers might find it a touch easy. But I feel the game is enjoyable enough to not notice how easy the game is and just soak up all the platforming goodness being thrown your way. There’s outfits to buy, secret stages to find and a reasonable amount of collectibles that don’t feel overwhelming or are difficult to attain.
It’s honestly hard to recommend this title outside potentially as an option to keep the kids busy due to the 4 player local multiplayer. As I said earlier, the potential for something genuinely good is buried there somewhere, but there’s just too much lacking in just about every area to recommend forking over $30 to play this.
West of Dead is a really enjoyable game that hooks you with its combat. While the idea of starting all over again can be a brutal punishment, particularly when you’ve found yourself nicely upgraded and powerful, the game is fun enough for it to not detract from your enjoyment too much.
Streets of Rage 4 is everything I could have wanted in a sequel to such a venerable series that I’ve always held in such high regard. It’s clear that both Lizardcube and Guard Crush get it. They managed to create a sequel that belongs right alongside its predecessors despite having to manage fan expectations and the ever present nostalgia that can inflate people’s memories of the old games, particularly after some three decades and change. It’s a prime example of how to modernise a bygone genre without abandoning the spirit of it, all while capturing the feeling of what made it so special and fun all those years ago. This is an absolutely mandatory play for any Streets of Rage or scrolling beat ’em up fan. I also recommend anyone with a penchant for old school gaming sensibilities to definitely give this a go.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is everything any Blind Forest fan would have wanted, or possibly hoped for from a sequel. Moon have created a game that has every right to be in the ‘AAA’ conversation with its 3D counterparts, with a level of care and polish normally reserved for much larger studios and far bigger budgets. Ultimately, it can’t be said enough how incredible Ori and the Will of the Wisps is. Blind Forest was already my personal favourite metroidvania of all time and Will of the Wisps has managed to raise the bar even further.