The Sony PSVR will be a whole year old in a couple of months, probably. a good time to get back to launching some big and exciting titles to galvanise the user base. There have been a steady stream of games coming along, mostly Indie, but a few big hitters.
Until now nobody had really touch the Holy Grail of VR – a solid First Person Shooter and a game of decent length.
Not only do Sony come out swinging on both counts they also launch the Aim Controller to back it up. If you thought VR made you look dorky enough, then step this way and be pleasantly surprised.
Farpoint treads some well trodden ground, launching into one of many long winded cutscenes it sets you up as a pilot collecting Scientists from a remote Space Station. Of course things go wrong and it’s all up to you to fix the problem. Ok so far.
Cue a lumpy bumpy ride in a dropship and you are on the surface of a hostile planet, which soon becomes a corridor driven shooting gallery, albeit an immersive VR one.
It was the year the PS4 launched and Tequila Works had a colourful and exciting new game showcased as a Sony exclusive.
That game was RiME, evoking memories of anything Team Ico related even at that early stage it looked serene, enigmatic and had a simple quality that made you want to know it better. Blockbusters teased in that year came and went, blockbusters from following years have been and gone, then it was suddenly now and the time for RiME.
First off this isn’t an easy gig, it really is fair to say the game has delivered in spades and if I had a choice I would leave it right there, smack on 111 words. But, life isn’t like that, life is something else.
Take a couple of fondly remembered puzzle franchises, mix them up with some multiplayer add a party machine like the Ninetendo Switch and what do you get?
Well it’s certainly fun, but sometimes equally frustrating.
The original Gameboy for me was all about Tetris, that grey/green liquid crystal display and the unforgettable theme tune pumping away. Dropping blocks at speed and holding that big heavy handheld up to my nose in bad light. Yes, those were the days. Puyo Puyo, not so much. To be honest it has passed me by until now and while I could happily rank Tetris up alongside the the Rubik Cube or Othello as ‘easy to learn, difficult to master’ cultural icons I have to say Puyo Puyo is new to me.
I’m a purist when it comes to Mario Kart, having experienced many heart wrenching moments at the hands of the characters and many slating moments of joy. Especially sneaking a 150cc win against Luigi on the Rainbow Road. This was all of course a very long time ago on the SNES. When consoles were simple, you couldn’t Tweet or Post anything you did and the gameplay mattered, especially in glorious Mode7 graphics.
So twenty odd years later and here we are with a polished version of the wiiU Mario Kart, a extensive track list, extra modes and a host of characters new and old.
Start your engines.
Nintendo has always been something of a mystery to me, recent years I have been sold by the hardware, but never enough to stick with it. Maybe its the family friendly vibe or just that the killer apps have been just way too cutesy.
Don’t get me wrong I’ve lived and loved some good times with Nintendo, mainly SNES, various Gameboys and the ultimate couch co-op machine the N64. Of course those were the olden days, before things got online and social, before Trophies, Achievements and Coins.
Having been in the wild for a couple of months, we’re late to the Switch party, but that’s often not a bad thing. Continue reading
Something happened around nine long years ago, Call of Duty exploded into homes across the world. After a fairly regular crack at World War II the franchise needed a kick in the arm, actually the genre needed a kick in the arm and Infinity Ward stepped up to the plate.
Modern Warfare was a cinematic shooter experience, the single player campaign was groundbreaking, taking notes from some classics and narrative tricks from the likes of Half Life. Then it shook all that up in a big box of Michael Bay, brought in some epic voice talent and became a global journey overshadowing any Bond movie.
It was a game that captured imaginations from the moment you loaded up the Kill House training session with the legendary Captain Price, all the way through to clearing the post game bonus level Mile High on Veteran difficulty. It was a shooter that encouraged you to replay missions, not only for collectibles and trophies/achievements, but because they were incredibly good. The game had legs and that’s why even the second hand bins had it for years at almost full price.
I grew up in a golden age of gaming, an age that even now we look back at with rose tinted pixelated vision. There are times I wonder why I missed out on some late eighties pop culture, but now I’ve remembered.
I had different Rockstars to my peers – they were magician-like programmers, my posters where full-page game adverts torn from magazines and most of those memories come flooding back when I leaf through this book.
I say book, it’s actually two. Two beautifully presented (in a display box) hardback books weighing in at around 600 pages of fascinating interviews, images and excerpts from the world of Gremlin. It’s a shock to see the salary of a programmer thirty odd years ago.
Tom Clancy Ghost Recon games have been around for a while and in many guises, personally I have preferred the more recent future-now takes on the genre, but Wildlands is bring that back to Ground Zero. Throwing your hand built protagonist and his three teammates into a quest to clean up Bolivia on a wave of destruction.
Sounds great so far and mostly it is.
Having avoided the Beta preview I went into Wildlands blind and without any preconceptions. Straight off the bat I was impressed by the scope of the environment. Being offered a huge open world to tackle as you see fit is a great thing in anybody eyes and you don’t have to look far into your back catalogue for top notch titles that have offered similar experiences.
The latest entry into a long running and respected franchise from Sega has turned back the clock and dropped players into a prequel of sorts. It’s a clever move and one that makes the experience more attractive to Yakuza virgins like myself.
That clock in question has been turned back to 1988 and you get to ‘kind of’ free roam about in Kamurocho, something of a Red Light district in Tokyo. So, its time to dust off your knuckles, slip on a sharp suit and experience some exotic Japanese culture.
An awful lot has happened in the last nine years, especially to me.
Moved country (again), gained three kids, lost animals, gained animals, lost jobs, gained jobs, kept my kindred spirit happy, movies came and went, games came and went, I self-published books, wrote 4 screenplays that never won anything, fought off the daily black shadow of fear from the Big C and gave birth to this site.
Its been a ball, and in the middle of it all there was something I had to experience, something I yearned for year after year. Every Sony E3 presser I would sit and watch the internet like Batman waiting for Joker to pop up somewhere, I needed news, a whisper or even just a sign of life that Trico was still coming.
Trico, a legend amongst gamers – the product of Japan Studio and Team Ico, the powerhouse combo behind two of the most endearing Playstation experiences ever created and it was attached to the mysteriously titled The Last Guardian. Here are the 2009 and 2016 trailers.