Issy van der Velde
In attempting to emulate the cinematic aesthetic of many narrative-driven triple-A games, Deliver Us Mars lost a lot of what made Deliver Us The Moon work. Instead of a charming indie, we’re left with a disappointing wannabe. There’s an interesting story in here that’s able to shine through the dust occasionally, alongside some gorgeous vistas and wonderful sci-fi imagery, but if we get a third entry in the series, I hope it returns to its roots instead of trying to be something it’s not. Bigger isn’t always better.
Floodland not only asks if you’ll sink or swim when the world ends, but if you’ll plunge your arm into the murky depths to pull others up with you or step on their heads to save yourself. Its ability to look toward the future of civilisation without losing sight of the individuals who will form it is insightful. It lacks a certain spark that would make it great, and some unfortunate bugs let it down in the mid-late game, but I look forward to returning to the floodlands once these teething issues are ironed out.
A Plague Tale: Requiem is relentless in its depiction of misery. It imparts the troubling message that no matter how hard we try, we can’t change the future, and trying to do so only invites more pain and suffering than willingly submitting to our eventual demise. A series about two children losing their innocence and being corrupted by the evils of the world is one I welcome, but not when it teaches us to give up instead of fighting for a future all our own. The world may seem hopeless right now, but if we give in to the despair we’re choosing doom, and I’d rather go down slinging.
I want to like Steelrising, I really do, but it just won’t let me. Every aspect of the game feels like a barrier to the one thing I enjoyed: combat. Even that got boring. The characters are bland, the story is dull, the setting is derivative, and the finished product is too buggy and bloated to truly enjoy. It needed a few more turns of the key to go the distance and keep on ticking smoothly.
If you’re expecting completely remade games, this isn’t the remaster collection for you. But if you want to relive your childhood memories and frustrations with Klonoa, the Phantasy Reverie Series is the way to do it. Getting two cult-classics in one is a fantastic deal, and if you can look past the quirks and situate yourself firmly in 2001, you’ll find these games just as perfect as you remember them. And if you missed out on the Klonoa hype as a kid but enjoy early 2000s platformers and want to see what all the fuss is about, there’s no better time to dive into the dream than now.
Deliver Us The Moon is a wonderful puzzle game on Earth and in space, but the Moon itself fails to live up to its wondrous promise. While interesting puzzles are still sprinkled throughout, a sense of repetition creeps in and gets in the way of an otherwise enjoyable story. It’s not that it fails to hit its target, it just turns out the target isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.