One aspect of gaming we’ve lost sight of a bit over the course of the last couple of console generations is the idea of a game that is “nothing but fun”.
I’m talking about mechanics-centric games where the aim is to just have a good time and challenge yourself; games that aren’t trying to “say something”; games that aren’t trying to be artistic in a narrative sense.
This kind of game hasn’t died out completely, of course, but at the time of writing they remain primarily confined to the independently developed, digital-only sector. Capcom’s Under the Skin for PS2, meanwhile, reminds us of a time not so long ago (2004) when this type of experience would get a full retail release and no-one would bat an eyelid.
Continue reading PS2 Essentials: Under the Skin
Poor old Pac-Man’s been put through the wringer since his first appearance in 1980.
He’s gone on adventures, been platforming, attempted to educate the masses and even kicked the snot out of his fellow video game icons. But somehow it always comes back to doing what he does best: munching his way through mazes while attempting not to, in turn, get noshed off by ghosts. (Although some people are into that.)
Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 is Namco’s latest attempt to put an interesting twist on the original Pac-Man formula. And it’s a ton of fun.
Continue reading Namco Essentials: Pac-Man Championship Edition 2
What makes a good sequel? It’s a question that there isn’t really a conclusive answer for, because there are so many different ways you can approach it.
In the world of video games, we’ve had titles that completely reinvent themselves from their previous installments, games that simply offer more of the same, and series that evolve, change and improve over time.
The sequel to Azure Striker Gunvolt takes a combination of approaches, building on the good work of the original and expanding it considerably. And, like its predecessor, it’s a cracking good time, particularly for those who grew up in the 16-bit era.
Continue reading Azure Striker Gunvolt 2: Amping It Up