It’s another episode of the podcast that has absolutely zero consistent release schedule. This time I cover the games I’m playing plus some news, so here the notes I take and then use when recording and the podcast itself.
Probably my favourite moment in UnMetal came when sneaking through a screen full of sleeping guard dogs. My stench was visibly wafting across the screen, alternating between going straight up and straight down. The goal was, of course, to carefully weave through the deadly mutts without my horrific, sewer-drenched clothes waking them up. But on my second attempt, I thought of something: I went to the inventory and equipped the thermal suit I had previously used to pass by thermal sensors. To my surprise and delight, the suit contained my reek and I was able to amble through the dogs. Was this just some bug, or had the lone developer really considered that I might stick the suit on? I think it’s the latter, because this is a seriously well-designed game.
These days it’s like you can’t walk down the street without tripping over a bunch of cyberpunk games, from the high-profile cock-ups to a host of indie games that range in quality and scope. Foreclosed is the latest cyberpunk game stepping up, hoping that it’s mix of third-person shooting and stealth, along with a striking art style, will be enough to grab your attention. It’s certainly releasing at the right time – we’re in a bit of a drought when it comes to big, shiny new games, giving the small stuff a chance to shine. But I’m saddened to report that Foreclosed suffers from good ideas but crappy execution.
Are you really a lover of games if you don’t have that one title that turns you into a ball of squealing nerdiness? That one game that speaks to you on some sort of spiritual level, the likes of which your own partner can’t even reach? For me, that game is Hades, one of the finest works of art our beloved medium has seen in years, and right up there in my top ten favorite games of all time. A hyperbolic statement for sure, but I’m going to need to you to shut up and just let me have this one, okay? Because now that Hades has hit Game Pass and launched on Playstation, there’s no excuse for failing to experience Supergiant’s masterpiece.
I do love a quirky concept. I’m a sucker for the kind of premise that someone dreams up after downing 9-pints and then finding a pen and a napkin. In the case of Trigger Witch, these witches have ditched fireballs and pulling cute rabbits out of hats for something far better: AK-47s. Nothing can make a problem vanish quicker than a hail of bullets, and so now witches accept firearms from the strange Ordinance Rift and become members of The Clip. Their old traditions and their magic fading into the past, they now worship at the alter of gunpowder.
Nintendo dominate the hand-held market. While they technically do fight Microsoft and Sony, and battle against mobile gaming, they’re currently the only option for a proper hand-held console. That reign of power, though, is finally being challenged, not by Microsoft or a returning Sony but rather by Valve, the dominant force in PC gaming. A company with plenty of resources to throw at any project it fancies, stepping into the market and trying to expand PC gaming in a whole new way. Valve are aiming to do something dramatic, something big and something very exciting. Can it succeed?
There’s no risk of confusing Mario Golf: Super Rush for the real-world sport of golf. Luigi turning the green into a patch of ice makes that fairly clear, as does the giant bomb trying to putt. The vibrant colours, the sparkling special shots, Bowser hammering a ball toward the green – nope, this ain’t your granddaddy’s golf. This is arcadey golf. And yet…well, I can’t help but think Mario Golf: Super Rush doesn’t want to commit properly to its goofy looks and whacky characters. For a game that involves a giant bloody ape swinging a tiny golf club, Super Rush sure doesn’t like to step out of its comfort zone.
It wasn’t until I sat down to create this list of the best games of 2021 so far that I realised this year has been kind of weak. I’ve reviewed 21-games over the past six months and only gave a few of those a high score with the rest being mostly okay but far from great. Given how Covid has impacted the world, though, it’s hardly surprising that videogames have suffered, too, with multiple titles being delayed, and doubtless countless more behind the scenes were pushed back as well.
Alex Kidd in Miracle Land DX is actually the perfect example of why reviewing a remaster or remake can be tricky. You see, in some ways, the remake portion is separate from the game itself. You can have a crappy remake of an excellent game, and an excellent remake of a crappy game. And unfortunately, Alex Kidd in Miracle Land DX is very much the second one. On my extensive list of classic games I’d love to see remade, Alex Kidd ranks…well, it doesn’t rank. First released in Japan 1986 with hopes of Alex becoming Sega’s mascot the series was overtaken by the blue blur of Sonic the Hedgehog who would become a gaming icon. And while Alex did appear in several more games, he ultimately faded into the background. Why? Well, because he wasn’t all that compelling, but also because Alex Kidd in Miracle Land isn’t that good. Sorry.
I’m back with the 11th episode of the shoddy Wolf’s Gaming Podcast and as you might expect this episode is all about E3 and the many games revealed there. As such, it’s the longest episode to date, clocking in at just a little under 50-minutes, which is probably the absolute limit of how long someone can listen to my voice without jumping in front of a moving truck.