Replay: Ratchet & Clank

Ratchet & Clank (PS2, 2002), 600x463Publisher: SCE  Developer: Insomniac Games  Format: PS2  Release: 2002

On planet Rilgar, one of two game areas available in the demo for Ratchet & Clank, there is a seemingly impassable tunnel. This tunnel, a platforming gauntlet made all the more desperate by the pressure of a rising water level, can only be passed with a combination of gadgetry, mechanical understanding and flawless timing. Most first-timers aren’t capable of making it through this treacherous challenge with anything approaching casual decorum. But once you attain the skill and understanding to master it, you appreciate this formative sci-fi character action game more keenly than when you first took a chance on its fuzzy-eared protagonist and his robotic sidekick. Continue reading

Replay: MediEvil 2

MediEvil 2, characters art 02 (1920x1080)Publisher: SCE  Developer: SCE Cambridge Studio  Format: PS1  Release: 2000

It’s ironic, really. For a game about battling ghoulish creatures in typically disquieting surroundings, the scariest part about MediEvil 2 was facing up to its many nightmarish foes. I mean that literally, because lining up the broad sword-swings and crossbow bolts of bony protagonist, Sir Daniel Fortesque, with the rotting, uncoordinated corpses that stand in his way is tougher than juggling with pumpkins. Continue reading

Replay: Ridge Racer (PSP)

Ridge Racer (PSP), Namco, asset 03 (1280x720)Publisher: Namco  Developer: Namco  Format: PSP  Release: 2004, 2005 (US, EU)

When it launched alongside Sony’s first handheld game system in December 2004, Ridge Racer for PSP was a game out of its time. It was Namco’s attempt to recreate the technological leap that the series had signalled a decade earlier on the original PlayStation. It was also the Japanese development team’s chance to push against the current in the globalised racing market and reclaim its relevance. And it was a proposal that simple, neatly executed ideas were the ones that would work best on Sony’s powerful handheld. Continue reading

Favourite games of E3 2015

Uncharted 4, PS4, 01 EU 23/06/2015 (1920x1080)Best of E3 round-ups: they’re so subjective, aren’t they? But that’s not going to stop me doing one of my own.

Not being present at E3 2015, or played any of the games on display, a small selection of some of my personal favourites seems the most honest way to approach things. What follows are 10 of the games that impressed me at this year’s E3. Continue reading

Moments We Remember: Madtyger on Spyro the Dragon

Chronicling stories of how gaming has changed us – one moment at a timeSpyro the Dragon, 01 (1024x576)Title: Spyro the Dragon (Sony / Universal Interactive, 1998)
Format: PS1

Madtyger shares her take on the titular purple dragon that opened her eyes to the wonders of video game stories. Continue reading

Conservative consoles: probing the shortage of original exclusives on PS4 and Xbox One

Xbox One / PS4 comparison, Nov 20, 2013, Mark Farrell (1280x720)The complexities of the modern console game have not had a positive effect on the number of original or exclusive titles for PS4 and Xbox One owners to play, so far, this generation.

This week, Naughty Dog told PlayStation fans, via the PlayStation Blog, that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Sony’s flagship PS4 release for this holiday season, has been delayed until 2016. Giant Bomb’s Jeff Gerstmann wrote an article about how scant both PS4 and Xbox One’s 2015 retail release lists currently look. Granted we’ve not been hit with the annual dollop of E3 announcements, but, despite grand promises, the current generation of game consoles have been plagued by a dearth of specially-created software worthy of their processing power and feature sets. Continue reading

PlayStation: memorable moments in video game marketing

PlayStation symbols ad, SCEA, Jun 7, 2005, by David WulffMarketing and advertising can trigger memories just as the brands and products they are promoting can.

And even though marketers are responsible for many of us buying piles of tat we don’t need, interest in television shows such as drama series Mad Men or a magazine documentary such as Channel 4’s Top 100 TV Adverts (2003) shows you don’t have to be a fresh-faced marketing wannabe to be interested in the advertising that populates our world or the creativity that’s gone into making them. Continue reading

Invasion day: Killzone 2 arrives at last

Killzone 2, PS3, 2009, 01 (1280x720)Killzone 2 is out. Now that’s four words I almost thought I may never write. It’s also a little strange writing this post about the game now, on its release day, when I haven’t a PS3 within 10 metres of me to play it. I never envisioned this would be how I would spend my day on the release of such a long-awaited title.

Well I’m not hugely bothered. In fact, I’ve already played the game for review, and had a fantastic time doing so. The whole atmosphere and concept that Guerrilla Games has created – in regards to assaulting this hostile world with a couple of trash-talking soldiers, arriving on some extremely vulnerable landing craft – is very exciting, to me that is. I don’t wish to say too much about the game itself, as it’s only just come out, but I would like to say a couple things about my own feelings towards Killzone 2’s journey from hype to home console. Continue reading