REVIEW: Metroid Prime Remastered is Prime Perfected
The definitive first-person adventure game returns!
For as far back as I can remember, I have always been the Nintendo kid. My parents bought my older brother an NES, and then the SNES, before I was born, so I was fortunate enough to cut my teeth on classic games like Super Mario Bros. 3 and Donkey Kong Country (as well as an assortment of random rentals, like Claymates). However, Metroid wasn’t even a series remotely on my radar. I didn’t know who Samus was when I finally got Super Smash Bros. 64, mistakenly believing she was somehow related to Captain Falcon because some of their fighting stances looked similar. It wasn’t until years later, when I went over to a friend’s house to hang out and play GameCube, that I was properly re-introduced to Samus Aran in Metroid Prime – a game so beautiful and groundbreaking that I was convinced video games could never look better than that. It was one of the defining games of the GCN era, in terms of gameplay, atmosphere, graphics, and sound design – and I believe that Metroid Prime Remastered is going to be the same for the Switch.
REVIEW: Bayonetta 3 Flies Us to the Moon One Last Time
The Bayonetta franchise has always been lauded for its addictive hack-and-slash gameplay, out-of-this-world storytelling, and inspired art direction. Bayonetta 3 dials all of these elements up to eleven, solidifying itself as the apex of the series – for better and worse. The new battle mechanics are absolutely thrilling to execute, breathing new life into familiar gameplay; the environments are as varied as they are beautiful, with spectacular visuals and inventive level design; the soundtrack is also a standout element, featuring some of the best music in the franchise. Pair all of that with some of the most jaw-dropping cutscenes and mind-blowing action set pieces you’ll ever witness in a video game, and it’s safe to say that Bayonetta 3 was a game worth waiting for.
REVIEW: OlliOlli World: Finding the Flowzone DLC is a Whirlwind of Fun
Skate like the wind
Earlier this month, Private Division and Roll7 released Finding the Flowzone, the second and last DLC expansion for OlliOlli World. This excellent expansion takes players to the Flowzone Layer, a world in the clouds filled with new characters, challenges, and a new way to skate on the wind as you search for the hidden city of Radlantis.
Like the V.O.I.D. Riders expansion, you unlock this DLC by playing a new level in an existing District – in this case, Sunshine Valley. There you sync up with your regular crew and the Skate Wizard, who all teach you how to skate through the wind zones to catch more air. As Gnarly Mike puts it, “You just get in a wind zone and it’ll push you in the direction it’s blowing.”
REVIEW: OlliOlli World: VOID Riders DLC Radically Ups the Ante
Let go your earthly tether and enter the V.O.I.D.
OlliOlli World revolutionized what skating games could be earlier this year with its addictive gameplay, innovative track design, and explosive art direction. While exploring the diverse world of Radlandia, players made a ton of new friends, explored new places, and learned a lot of new tricks in the quest to impress the Skate Godz and become the next Skate Wizard – but now a new set of challenges has arrived. A trio of hyperpop aliens known as the VOID Riders have invaded Radlandia in a totally out-of-this-world DLC expansion that gives players a whole new way to skate while raising the stakes.
REVIEW: Silt is a Terrifying Journey Into the Deep
How long can you hold your breath?
Silt is a harrowing puzzle-adventure game from Bristol-based indie developer Spiral Circus, featuring a silent deep-sea diver as they explore the dark and dangerous depths of the ocean. The game is as beautiful as it is terrifying, thanks to its monochromatic art style, fearsome creatures, and wonderfully restrained sound design – all of which blend together to truly make you feel like you’re alone in some ancient abyss. This feeling of isolation fuels the desire to explore, to uncover whatever mysteries you’re there to solve. And what you encounter throughout your journey into the void is truly the stuff of nightmares.
12 Years Later, Super Mario Galaxy 2 Deserves an HD Remaster
Fans are missing this Mario game
Super Mario Galaxy first released on the Wii November 1st, 2007. It was Nintendo’s big holiday title for the Wii’s second anniversary, and the first mainline Mario game to hit shelves since Sunshine released on the GameCube in the Summer of 2002. In that five year gap of time, many fans wondered what direction Nintendo would take their favorite mustachioed plumber, though I think it’s safe to say no one expected the masterpiece that was (and still is) Galaxy. With its dazzling art direction, graphical fidelity, clever gravity-based platforming, and fully orchestrated music, Super Mario Galaxy launched the Mario franchise to new heights and proved that the Wii had more to offer than sports and party games. This cosmic game was so popular and beloved that Nintendo even re-released it as part of 2020’s Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection to celebrate the franchise’s 35th anniversary, but to the chagrin of fans, one 3D Mario game was notably missing from the collection – 2010’s Super Mario Galaxy 2.
REVIEW: Dark Deity takes Tactical RPGs back to their Pixelated Roots
Choose your grid-based path carefully
Built from a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, Dark Deity is a tactical RPG that borrows heavily from Nintendo’s own Fire Emblem franchise, while adding its own twists to the genre. From the massive cast of characters and their engaging stories to the intricately-structured maps and unique weapons system, Dark Deity is a return to form for fans of classic TRPG games. Gone is the fat and bloat that can be found clinging to more modern TRPGs, replaced with an almost laser-focused attention to detail on the game’s grid-based levels and surprisingly deep combat, making Dark Deity feel like a fresh of breath air for anyone craving an old school TRPG experience – but not one without its own issues.
REVIEW: Young Souls Packs a Real (and Emotional) Punch
Stop the gobbons, save the town
Young Souls is the type of game that immediately charmed me. The art style is impeccable, the music is great, the characters are fully-formed, and the gameplay is both engaging and fun. If you’re looking for a flashy, action-packed brawler with challenging combat and a surprisingly deep and nuanced story, Young Souls might be the perfect stay-at-home-all-weekend game for you.
Young Souls opens up with a gorgeously-animated cut-scene that looks like something you might see in an animated film: the main human characters, teenage twin siblings named Jenn and Tristan, are knocked out in the middle of a street. Text pops up on the screen as an unseen figure mentions a war, and when the twins wake up, they find that they’re standing in the middle of a burning town. The unseen figure is revealed to be a goblin named Baldwin, and he says that the Goblin Leader Dwarvengobben has come, and that they must run – but the twins refuse. They say they must stop him, and then you are dropped right into the action.
Review: Time Loader is a Small Blast from the Past
The future rests in this little robot’s hands
At its core, Time Loader is a game about trying to change the past. After a childhood accident renders the main character (Adam) paralyzed and wheelchair-bound, he devotes his life to figuring out a way to prevent the accident from ever happening. His solution is a little robot that he sends back in time to 1995 via a modified microwave to clear out the obstacles that led to his accident. What follows is a series of clever physics-based, 2D-platformer puzzles as the robot traverses Adam’s childhood home to undo the tragic event that spawned the crux of the game. The thing is, anyone familiar with time travel knows that the things you change in the past often have unforeseen consequences in the future.
OlliOlli World Switch Review: A Bodaciously Good Grind
Time to hit the slopes (that's skating lingo, right?)
As a newcomer to the OlliOlli franchise, I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I booted up OlliOlli World for the first time. I’d seen the various gameplay and cinematic trailers floating around the internet, and I’m a veteran gamer when it comes to 2D platformers, so I got the gist of the game. That said, it wasn’t until I landed in Radlandia myself and hit the opening track that it fully made sense. OlliOlli World is a feast for the senses. From the explosion of color that oozes throughout the game to the groovy soundtrack filled to the brim with super chill beats, this twitchy, momentum-based sidescroller is one of the coolest (and most addicting) games I’ve played in a hot minute.