Category Archives: short;Play

short;Play: Rise of the Dragon

Adventure games — particularly point-and-click affairs from the ’90s — are a genre I’ve loved for a long time. And one of my all-time favourites from back in the day is Rise of the Dragon, a futuristic dystopian adventure by Dynamix that feels all the more plausible today.

Taking on the role of William “Blade” Hunter, trenchcoat-wearing private detective extraordinaire, it’s your job to investigate the strange and horrifying death of the mayor’s daughter, stop the spread of a deadly DNA-altering drug and prevent the resurrection of an ancient Chinese wizard who really wants to take over Los Angeles for some reason. I say he’s welcome to it; LA’s a shithole now, and it looks even worse in the future.

Check out my full playthrough of this adventure game classic in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

short;Play: Tee Off

If you’re unfamiliar with various takes on sports games over the years, you might not think that “arcade-style” is a descriptor one could readily associate with golf titles.

But there have been numerous great examples of top-notch arcade-style golf games throughout gaming history. And one of my absolute favourites of all time is Tee Off, a game put together by little-known Japanese dev Bottom Up and published by Acclaim. Not only is it a super-fun golf game, it has a fantastic soundtrack that sounds like something out of Sonic Adventure, as well as a full-on second game mode based on “gate ball”, or Japanese croquet.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

short;Play: Fractalus

Rescue on Fractalus is one of my all-time favourite games, so I was tremendously excited to hear that a remake that has been ten years in development finally reached its 1.0 release the other day.

At the same time, I was a little skeptical; could a modern reimagining of a classic 8-bit game, deliberately built within the constraints of technology of the time (albeit using some real bleeding-edge programming techniques) really match up to its inspiration? Only one way to find out, isn’t there? Well, maybe two; you can also download it for yourself for free at the official site.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

short;Play: Dead Rising

We’ve been in the “HD era” for a while now — so long, in fact, that titles from the early days of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 probably count as being “retro”.

An all-time classic from this early period — a dark time when developers apparently didn’t know what VSync was — was Capcom’s Dead Rising, an ambitious quasi-open world affair that saw you battering your way through hordes of zombies in an attempt to solve the mysterious outbreak in a sleepy Colorado town. There are better ways to play this today, but I’ll always have a soft spot for the original Xbox 360 version — particularly with how cheaply you can acquire a copy today.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

short;Play: Warriors Orochi 2

Now I’m starting to explore Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, here’s a brief look at the game we’ve just left behind: Warriors Orochi 2.

Warriors Orochi 2 was received fairly poorly in the West, largely because the West doesn’t really know how to review Warriors games — but also because at first glance, it seems very similar to the first Warriors Orochi. Delve into it a little deeper, though, and you’ll find an interesting character progression system that can devour a significant chunk of your life if you let it!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

short;Play: TimeSplitters 2

You asked for it, and I… was going to do it anyway, but here it is! TimeSplitters 2, one of the finest console first-person shooters ever created — and indeed one of my favourite games of all time.

TimeSplitters 2 took everything that was good about the first game and provided more. Much, much more. We have a story mode that is much closer to what its spiritual predecessors GoldenEye and Perfect Dark provided on the Nintendo 64. We have a more structured single-player experience for the “arcade” mode. We have a wide variety of weird and wonderful challenges. And we have many, many, many characters to collect.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

short;Play: Quantum Theory

What might it look like if the creative minds behind the masterful Project Zero series of ghost-hunting survival horror games made a third-person shooter?

A lot like Quantum Theory, as it happens! Released in 2010 as the work of Project Zero creator Makoto Shibata and Koei Tecmo’s Team Tachyon development department, Quantum Theory was not well received by press or public alike. Checking it out ten years later, though, it turns out there’s a lot of interesting — and visually arresting — stuff to explore in this game.

So let’s do that in the video below! Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more when you’re done.

short;Play: Burnout 2

Burnout 2 best Burnout? In my mind it certainly is, which is why I was keen to spend a bit more time playing it for this week’s short;Play.

Burnout 2 is one of the best arcade racers ever created, as I’ve already argued at length, and it’s a crying shame it’s not one of the many games from the PS2 era that has ended up with an HD remaster of some sort. Although I worry it might lose some of the magic if ported to modern consoles — particularly if it ended up with a string of patches and DLC attached to it, as some of these remasters have ended up suffering!

Still, there’s nothing stopping us from enjoying the original and best, so let’s do just that. Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

short;Play: Inertial Drift

What do you mean it sounds a bit like “Initial D”? Completely coincidental, I’m sure.

Inertial Drift is a brand new arcade racer with an unusual but highly effective twin-stick control scheme. It’s a ton of fun that channels some serious ’90s energy, and proof if proof were needed that indie devs are on point when it comes to resurrecting supposedly “dead” game genres.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

short;Play: TimeSplitters

I love me some TimeSplitters. And I was in the mood for some TimeSplitters lately. So what better way to scratch that itch than to play some TimeSplitters?

The original TimeSplitters was a PlayStation 2 launch game developed by ex-Rare employees who previously worked on GoldenEye and Perfect Dark — and it actually got some flak for being less narrative-focused than its spiritual predecessors. Today, however, its arcade-style, mechanics-centric action is blessed relief from the myriad open world, XP-grinding, 100-hour epics we have today, even outside the RPG genre. Just turn on, play, enjoy.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more. There’s more I want to talk about with regard to TimeSplitters, so this will likely return to short;Play at some point in the near future!