The original Gungrave is one of those PS2 titles that I often admired from afar. As a predominantly Xbox fanboy in my teenage years, my time was mainly spent on the battlefield of Halo: Combat Evolved. So sadly, my experience of Gungrave remained looking at the box art in my local video-game store.
Looking up at the night sky often brings thoughts of what it would be like to go into space. While humanity has reached out into the cold dark, we’ve not physically been any further than our own Moon. With the first manned mission to Mars still years away, it falls to comic books, television shows, and video games to open this expanse. As such, we often get tales of daring heroes who battle alien threats or craft their own stories as hot-shot pilots.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the culmination to over twelve years of storytelling that was started back in 2010 with Xenoblade Chronicles. Part of the wider ‘Xeno’ series of RPGs, this relatively unknown series has since gone from obscurity to becoming one of Nintendo’s big-hitters. With the premise of another massive world to explore – and a story that aims to tie-up the loose ends of Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – Xenoblade Chronicles 3 already had an air of anticipation around its release.
Star Trek as a franchise has gone through quite the revival over the last few years. With shows like ‘Star Trek: Picard’, ‘Star Trek: Discovery’, and ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ to entertain adult “Trekkies”. Not content with leaving Star Trek to the mature crowd, Alex Kurzman has delivered his extended universe to the younger generation too.
Created by indie developer FYQD-Studio, Bright Memory made its debut back in 2019 as part of Steam’s Early Access program. Originally released as Bright Memory Episode 1, the indie first-person shooter received great reviews, and to this day holds a 91% approval rating on Steam. Instead of releasing the planned Bright Memory Episode 2, FYQD-STUDIO have instead completed the game, and rebranded it under the new name of, Bright Memory: Infinite.
Fobia: St. Dinfna Hotel is a game that has been on my indie-horror radar for quite a while. The location within a vast hotel that seemingly shifts through various realities, not only screamed out the desperate isolation of ‘The Shining’ but also adds quite a hook to its narrative.
Much like the humble zombie, vampires have been part and parcel of video games for quite a while. As monsters go, they’re quite a versatile bunch who can lend their hand to a multiple of genres. Whether it’s the action-oriented ‘Legacy of Kaine’ series or the terrible (and much) forgotten ‘Vampire Rain’, or even the classic ‘Castlevania’ – each game offers a different portrayal of the blood-sucking undead creature.
It’s been thirteen years since the gaming world first encountered Demon Souls. This hard-core RPG from Armored Core developer FromSoftware was the unknowing precursor to the whole “Soulsborne” genre. Even with its relentless assault on its player base’s sanity, those who experienced the initial PlayStation 3 release were instantly hooked. Not only was this due to its punishing yet rewarding difficulty, but also the vast amount of lore and deep RPG elements that hid underneath.
When it comes to the humble arcade brawler, I’d like to think that I’m a bit of an aficionado. From high-flying titles of Streets of Rage, and Final Fight, to the niche of Knights of the Round and Alien Vs. Predator – my combo-button mashing prowess have saved countless worlds and cities from the forces of evil. Next in line is Final Vendetta, an arcade side-scrolling beat-em-up that’s just as much a homage to the genre’s greats as it is original.
Pirates are a pretty versatile group. Whether it’s on the high seas, in space, or on a distant planet. If a pirate’s involved then you know what kind of adventure you’re in for. On its surface Black Skylands ticks many pirate boxes. You’ll be the captain of your own ship, travel to interesting places, go on grand adventures, tackle someone wanting to destroy your way of life, and even find treasure. However, rather than taking place on land, this adventure sees you heading to the skies – and your boat…it’s an airship!
HighFleet is a hard-core strategy title that’s been developed by Konstantin Koshutin and published by MicroProse. Combining a rich strategic element with tactical air combat, and resource management, HighFleet will either see you save your nation or watch its hope burn in the harsh desert sun.
I’m often wary of titles that have started their lives off on mobile devices. Quite often these games offer simple, repetitive gameplay that never quite shakes off the shackles that comes with mobile gaming. While there are plenty of truly horrendous mobile ports on the market (I’m looking at you Afterpulse!), there are a few diamonds in the rough. One such title aiming to be a cut above the rest is EGGLIA Rebirth. And when it comes to the development team, Brownies have quite the RPG history behind them!
The origins to River City Girls can be traced back to Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-Tachi no Banka, a 1994 title on the Super Famicom – Super NES for Western gamers. Developed by WayForward, River City Girls Zero acts as both a prequel to River City Girls, and a remake. This is due to the title being updated and repackaged for its release to Western markets. Now featuring full localisation, River City Girls Zero is a great introduction to the wider Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun franchise.
When it comes to motorsport, gamers are spoilt for choice. Whereas the majority of gamers gravitate to platform exclusives such as Forza Horizon 5, or the recently released Gran Turismo 7, there’s also a wealth of multi-platform titles too. One such is GRID Legends which has been developed by the racing heavyweights over at Codemasters.
The genesis of Rainbow Six Extraction started back in 2018. Ubisoft had introduced a limited-time event to their squad-based shooter, Rainbow Six Seige. This game mode, titled ‘Outbreak‘, tasked a cooperative team to take out a wave of aliens, rather than terrorists. With the event being well-received, Ubisoft has developed the formula into a standalone title.
The survival horror genre has seen a bit of a revival over the last couple of years. The success of both Resident Evil 7 and the “REmake” of Resident Evil 2 have highlighted that gamers want the more claustrophobic horrors of the past, rather than a blockbuster schlock-filled epic. One title that aims to put the traditional survival horror aspect back on the map is Heaven Dust 2.
Much like the plethora of faded 80’s/90’s popstars, Skyrim also doesn’t know when to quit. Over the years Bethesda’s open-world RPG has made its presence known on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, PC, and the Nintendo Switch. Not content with letting sleeping Dragons lie – and to celebrate the title’s 10-year anniversary – Skyrim (re-branded as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition) is now available on Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5!
Over the last few years the rogue genre (and its many offshoots) has seen a mass influx of titles. From heavy-hitters such as Hades and The Binding of Issac, to an abundance of lesser known indie titles, there’s been no better time to be a rogue-like-lite fan. One such game that’s attempting its own spin on the formula is Vagante.
When it comes to Battlefield I like to call myself a veteran of the series. My love of large scale combat started off back in 2002 with Battlefield 2 and has grown ever since. I like to say that I’ve seen it all. From the highs of Battlefield: Vietnam, to the lows of Battlefield: Hardline, I’ve been there and – for Battlefield 3 – gotten the t-shirt (RIP Gamestation).
The first person shooter market is quite bloated. With FPS titles almost launching on a weekly basis, it’s easy for the odd diamond to get lost in the rough. With Call of Duty still being the FPS king, it’s also used as the benchmark for everything else. One title that’s aiming to take – or at least challenge COD’s supremacy is Insurgency: Sandstorm. Developed by New World Interactive, Insurgency: Sandstorm is a bare-bones multiplayer FPS that aims to highlight the brutal nature of modern warfare.