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

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

E3 2015 news highlights

Nintendo, E3 2015 booth, 18/06/2015, by emr9801 (2048x1152)Given the number of announcements in the two weeks prior to E3 2015, I was afraid the show itself would struggle to offer up many surprises this year. But that didn’t prove to be the case. First Microsoft stepped up with its broadest line-up since the early days of the 360. Then, Sony follow it with a trio of well-wishers’ most wanted. And elsewhere new ideas are blossoming for the next generation systems at last.

Previously, I’ve felt pretty underwhelmed by all three of the current-gen consoles. But this E3 has given me, and others yet to pick up a PS4, Xbox One or Wii U, reason to take notice again. Here are some of my highlights from E3 2015. 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

Moments We Remember: Aaron Lee on Shadow of the Colossus

Chronicling stories of how gaming has changed us – one moment at a time
Shadow of the Colossus, Avion 00 Arena (1833x1030)~ How to get involved and share your own special gaming moment ~

Title: Shadow of the Colossus (Sony, 2005)
Format: PS2
Spoilers: mild, gameplay-related

I’ve got the measure of this, I thought naïvely, urging the Link-like adventurer, Wander, and his horse, Agro, on through a narrow uphill path in Shadow of the Colossus. This is a game about atmosphere, sacrifice and wonderment. It’s minimalist because it is totally focused on delivering its narrative – which is shown more than spoken – and gameplay in as graceful a manner as you could wish for back in 2005. Continue reading

Introducing Moments We Remember

Chronicling stories of how gaming has changed us – one moment at a time
Gaming at home, Aug 15, 2009, by Maria Morri (1920x1080)I’m about to embark on a journey with this post – and I’ll need your help. This journey will either lead to a honeycomb of new tales and new faces, or it will peter out and be assigned to the graveyard of faded feature ideas. So on that jolly note, here goes.

Real-life story features in game magazines and websites are some of my favourite. They are the ‘My Favourite Game’ articles. The community spotlights that were previously so common on GameSpot and IGN before social media killed forums. The career spotlights in the likes of Develop magazine. Or, occasionally, the one-off posts by guest writers who give you a whole new perspective on a game or genre. 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