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.
A few days before writing this, I must confess that I hadn’t played Burnout 2: Point of Impact for quite some time. I had fond memories of the series as a whole, but hadn’t revisited any of them — including last installment Paradise — for many years.
Recording an episode of The MoeGamer Podcast on arcade racers (which you can watch and/or listen to right here) inspired me to dig out some old favourites, though — and Burnout 2 was high up my priority list.
After several hours of utter racing joy flew by without me noticing, it made me realise — or perhaps recall — that Burnout 2: Point of Impact is one of the finest arcade racers ever created. And even with the recent resurgence of interest in the genre thanks to spunky indies, they really do not make ’em like this any more. Let’s take a closer look.
We’re going retro for this week’s short;Play, with one of the many games in the first Midway Arcade Treasures compilation for PlayStation 2, Xbox and Gamecube. (There’s also a PSP version, but that’s slightly different.)
Joust 2: Survival of the Fittest perhaps hasn’t aged as well as some other arcade classics due to its monstrous level of quarter-munching difficulty, but it’s an interesting game that doesn’t get a lot of acknowledgement, while its predecessor is very fondly regarded. This may partly be due to the fact that Joust 2 didn’t get any home ports, while the original Joust was on pretty much everything.
I like Super Smash Bros. I think. I’m never quite 100% sure.
I do know for a fact I’ve purchased each and every one at launch (with the exception of the N64 original) and, in fact, still own my copies of both Brawl on Wii and …for Wii U on, uh, Wii U. Melee? No, unfortunately; while I’m rebuilding my GameCube collection now I’ve got my original (GameCube-compatible) Wii hooked up to my TV once again, Melee is not a title I’ve particularly prioritised re-acquiring.
Anyway, fact is, I’ve always at least made an honest-to-goodness attempt to like Super Smash Bros. And I’m very much looking forward to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Switch, which, at the time of writing, is launching in just over a week. And I intend to spend most of the holiday period playing it!
Yes, yes, yes, I know it’s also on Xbox and Gamecube, but I’ve always thought of TimeSplitters as a PlayStation thing, so that’s where it’s getting categorised today.
Ahem. Anyway. TimeSplitters 2 is, unsurprisingly, the follow-up to the excellent TimeSplitters, a game developed by ex-Rare folks who previously worked on GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark on the Nintendo 64.
The original TimeSplitters has aged very well. Its sequel is even better. Let’s take a closer look.
One of the most interesting inclusions in the Nintendo Switch release of Namco Museum is Pac-Man Vs.
Originally released for GameCube in 2003, it’s an unusual title for Namco in that it wasn’t developed in-house as an arcade game; rather, it was designed by the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto and developed by Nintendo specifically for the GameCube, which perhaps explains why we haven’t seen it rereleased for anything other than Nintendo DS (via that platform’s own Namco Museum release) and, most recently at the time of writing, Switch.
It’s also noteworthy as one of the first examples of asymmetric multiplayer gameplay, which makes the fact it never got a release on Wii U somewhat baffling. But, well, it’s a bit late for that now!
There was a period in my life where I happily devoured every single JRPG I came across to the exclusion of almost all other types of game.
To be perfectly frank, I’m pretty much back in that situation now after a few years of feeling “obliged” to play the big triple-A games that everyone was talking about, but I still primarily associate my early 20s with “my JRPG period” — or perhaps more accurately, “my first JRPG period.”
Returning to the fold a number of years after my original JRPG binge has allowed me to both appreciate how the genre has changed and evolved over the years, and see the older titles I loved so much first time around in a new light. So with that in mind, let’s look back at a classic long overdue an HD remaster.
This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2013 as part of the site’s regular Swords and Zippers column on JRPGs. It has been edited and republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.
In contrast to The Wind Waker, which shook things up considerably in terms of both aesthetic and game structure, you’d be forgiven for thinking Twilight Princess was “just another Zelda game”.
It marks a return to the semi-realistic visuals of Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, and is set firmly on dry land in the familiar land of Hyrule — albeit another, differently laid-out Hyrule to its predecessors on the grounds that it’s yet another era in the extremely convoluted Zelda timelines.
But get into the game a bit and you’ll discover something a little different to what we typically expect from a Zelda game: childish optimism replaced with melancholy; the usual feeling of light inevitably triumphing over darkness replaced by questions over whether everything really will turn out all right this time; and an air of slight cynicism that largely emanates from Link’s perpetual companion Midna, one of the most memorable characters the series has ever seen.
Any time someone claims that Nintendo’s flagship action-adventure-kinda-sorta-but-not-really RPG series The Legend of Zelda is stagnant and doesn’t try anything new, the perfect rebuttal is The Wind Waker.
Originally released in 2002 to a somewhat surprised Gamecube audience that wasn’t sure what to make of its cel-shaded visuals and seafaring-heavy gameplay, The Wind Waker has subsequently proven itself to be a timeless classic in the series as well as one of the most interesting Zelda titles there has ever been.
And with the HD remaster for Wii U, the definitive version of the game now exists thanks to some much needed tweaks and updates as well as full widescreen support and glorious high-resolution visuals.