(Lucky you have a short name, Jess.)
When I first heard about Minecraft: Story Mode, I (like many others) had so, so many questions. Most of them were variations of “why” and “how”, with a whole bunch of “what” thrown in there, just for good measure. Telltale, however, are masters of what they do, and so I approached this new addition to their growing oeuvre with cautious optimism that they would make good use of Minecraft’s signature design and unique feel. As it turns out, the expansive and immersive world of Minecraft was just crying out for someone to throw a proper plot into it – and Telltale seem to have found the perfect one.
‘Ninja Pizza Girl’ isn’t a title that immediately evokes the kind of image I would associate with a game that tackles serious issues. Well, unless you’re really serious about pizzas and their timely delivery (which, to be fair, we all are at heart). So when I heard that this was a game about ‘self-esteem, bullying and resilience’, I had to know how the hell that was possible – and the result was better than I expected.
The Talos Principle is a fantastic presentation of art, thought and design. While the narrative is far-reaching and rather ambitious, it works because the delivery is straightforward and logical, and is a complementary fit for the logic-puzzle gameplay and exploration. There are no ground-breaking gameplay mechanics akin to Portal’s gun, but The Talos Principle perfectly utilises what mechanics are offered. Within the recent landscape of rather disappointing attempts at innovation and immersion in video games, I’m proud to claim that The Talos Principle is the best game I’ve played in recent memory, and it ticks all my boxes. There’s no jokes or jabs right here, it’s just straight-up good.
Provide games, and the nerds will come.
Last weekend, Britt and I attended the EB Games Expo in Sydney to check out a bunch of upcoming games and get a feel for what’s in gaming’s near future. This year, the focus was shifted from home-grown indie games to the multitude of AAA titles that were announced at E3 in June, meaning hype levels were high and lines were inevitably long. I was only able to attend for a day, but I did manage to experience some of the most highly anticipated titles on offer – even if only in the usual brief, convention-style manner. Britt had a bit more time at the expo than me, so she will probably be able to cover things in a little more detail, but here are my thoughts on what I did manage to see.
Matt’s note: I loved Zombi U but haven’t played this one–that said, I did love lots that Nick didn’t about the game (characters, setting etc.) So if roguelike zombie killing in London piques your interest, I’d still 100% heartily recommend Zombi U; it’s one my top games of this gen. I can’t praise it enough–it was a beautiful way to start off the Wii U and flew under almost everyone’s radar. I’m looking forward to getting my own hands on the update. That said, Nick wasn’t quite as fond of it, and I want to play it myself and see if it was the Wii U -> everything else transition that didn’t do it any favours, or if it just wasn’t his cup of tea. There’s no such thing as an objective review!
After getting off on most certainly the wrong foot, I was relieved to enjoy Zombi for what fun it offered, even considering the array of disagreeable design decisions demonstrated from the onset. Zombi has successfully stuck the landing in the realm of PS4, Xbox One and PC after jumping from Wii U exclusivity, but the inherent process of shedding tablet-infused high jinks during that leap has taken away the only factors that made this title distinguishable from every other piece of zombie fiction. The name change captures this notion neatly – Zombi U minus the Wii U became Zombi, a generic name for a generic game.
Ronin is an interesting revenge-fuelled(-ish) turn-based 2D action experience, with Polish indie dev Tomasz Wacławek taking smart steps to craft a much-needed opportunity to carry out the mission of a deadly, if not always stealthy, assassin. It isn’t a particularly long game (which goes well with this not particularly long review), but the simple-yet-satisfying turn-based action provides enough of a punchy experience to warrant a go, with wicked murder moments aplenty.
An infinite loop. Classic Herbert…
Dazzling 2D logic puzzle game The Bridge is making the jump to console this week, and we’re excited for the chance to revisit the gravity-defying and troubled life of Herbert- I mean of the fictional Isaac Newton, as he traverses the magnificent and ridiculous rooms of his mansion. The beautiful black and white lithograph art style is integrated perfectly into the gameplay itself, and two and a half years after first experiencing it, this title has left a lasting impression as a must-play brain teaser.
The Bridge will be available first for Xbox One on August 14th, then for PS3, PS4, PS Vita and Ouya on August 18th, and for Wii U on August 20th. I’ll be picking it up on PS4 next Tuesday, how will you be crossing The Bridge?
For more information on The Bridge and the legendary independent team responsible for it, check out this site.
For the ever-eloquent review for the PC version we wrote back in 2013, follow this link!