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Category: Games

Metroid: Samus Returns – the alpha and omega of a series

After completing Metroid Prime I summarised the game as, “a good Metroid in 3D, but not a Super Metroid in 3D.” Of course, a Super Metroid in 3D would never happen. Metroid Prime was successful enough for the developers to not mess with the new formula and it culminated in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Effectively that game was “Zelda in Space”. Intricate skill challenges had been replaced with the high-density of instantly solved puzzles, previously Spartan mazes were filled to the brim with triggers and “things to do”, and the overpowered combat aspect was removed to feature more careful aiming…

The Mummy Demastered: metroidvania lives again!

Metroidvania is anything but a dead genre, but this “resurrection” might be a bit on the nose. The Mummy Demastered combines the ancient evil entities of Castlevania with a more modern arsenal of Metroid into one game carrying the IP of a dead “franchise” trying to gain relevancy again. It’s a bit much. Also, who cares, I’ll play it! (Especially after WayForward’s excellent Aliens: Infestation.)

Lost Sphear looks to fix combat

I am Setsuna was a love-letter to Chrono Trigger, yet it ever so slightly missed the mark with its combat system. All combat abilities basically took place within one second, making each of them have more or less the same impact: sparkly thing happens, numbers pop-up. Based on this walk-through of the Switch demo, it seems they’ve taken that problem to heart and slowed down combat a bit more to show what characters are actually doing. Should up the dramatic flair of combat and make double an triple tecs all the more satisfying again.

Destiny’s second coming

Hitting level 20 does nothing of course. If anything Destiny 2 starts at level 20. An imposed maximum level that marks the end of easy steady progression and beckons you to start grinding through areas and challenges in order to maximise the statistics on your equipment. It’s all shockingly familiar. Because it’s the same dance that the original Destiny offered. In fact, I’m wondering why I’m playing this. Not because Destiny is a bad game. It’s just incredibly obtuse. While the first game had issues in its developments causing its story and plot to be almost non-existent, its game design…

Sundered is pretty & awesome

Truth to be told, I didn’t expect Sundered to be any good. Sure, it looked the part in the trailer, but that initial vid also seemed to put an ungodly emphasis on enemy crowd control and dodging lasers. “Bullet-hell? In my Metroidvania? I don’t think so.” So instead of buying it at launch, I filed it away in my PS4 wishlist. After reading some first impressions the initial fears melted away. Having now played the damned (and damned it most certainly is) thing, I can say it’s delicious. Those shoot’em up and bullet-hell elements in the game really aren’t what…

Nioh is an ode to the Soulsborne

It has taken a suspiciously long time before anyone attempted to emulate the success of Demon’s Souls and its offspring the Dark Souls series. Only two years ago did Lords of the Fallen take a somewhat random stab at it (and died). From Software’s own Bloodborne was so similar that it spontaneously generated the “Soulsborne” genre name and wasn’t even regarded as a competitor. Maybe it’s simply too difficult a task to fill From’s shoes. Would be kind of poetic, wouldn’t it?

Bait and Nintendo Switch

In October 2016, we first got a teaser view of the Nintendo Switch and all was well in the world (relatively, that is). There was common sense behind Nintendo wanting to merge the handheld and console markets into one device. Finally, Nintendo can focus on what they do best. But come January 2017, “there’s always something to nag about” appears to be the thing Nintendo does best.

Super Metroid’s teachings

If you’re making a game that breaks from convention, set that expectation early and show the player — force them to understand — through level design how yours differs, but also note that some players won’t want to cooperate and will need to be subtly prodded back on track. Source: Gamasutra – 7 introductory levels that all game developers should study Super Metroid got included? No surprises here. But apart from it establishing its differences early on compared to other platform games, Super Metroid is also subtle in teaching you new skills further down the road. The animals on Zebes are an overlooked…

Samurai Warriors 4 is a bowl of instant ramen

For many years people have watched Koei’s Warriors series of games and collectively shook their heads at it. So how could Samurai Warriors 4 possibly be fun? Battle after battle fighting against lifeless dumb soldiers while running around a random environment with the occasional similar sounding general uttering nonsensical battle cries.