Though Hi-Rez Studios has been around for decades, they didn’t really grab my attention until I tried Paladins on the Nintendo Switch. During a time when Blizzard’s hero shooter wasn’t on the platform, Paladins served as a solid free-to-play alternative. Even now, some may choose to play Paladins over Overwatch on Switch due to the former running at a butter 60 frames per second while the latter can struggle maintaining 30.
The studio’s latest free-to-play game is Rogue Company. This time, it’s a team-based third-person shooter where dueling mercenary groups attempt to complete their objects. Does it do enough to stand out in a saturated shooter market?
With Tetris 99, Nintendo found a format for battle royale games that wasn’t a shooter. Personally, I was crossing my fingers for Tetris Attack/Puzzle League in that style. Will have to wait at least a bit longer.
For the time being, Nintendo takes their template in a wildly different direction. How about a Super Mario battle royale?
The original Super Mario All-Stars really made a mark on me. Beyond being a collection of some of greatest games ever made, Nintendo went the extra mile by updating the presentation of each game. It also included Lost Levels, which up until that point was never released outside of Japan. Sure, a case can be made that Nintendo should have left those alone. I, however, loved the fresh coat of paint.
Evoking the All-Stars moniker for Super Mario 3D All-Stars immediately makes me feel like there should be more to this compilation than just the games themselves. This time around, it feels like the package is a bit short on the extras. But does that really matter?
Wanting to escape the soul-crushing corporate world, you retreat to the farm that once belonged to your grandfather. The cabin is tiny and wilderness has reclaimed the land, but with a lot of elbow grease, you can restore it to its former glory.
Thus, your adventure in Stardew Valley begins. Even with over 10 million sold since its 2016 launch, I still found a patch of land to call my own.
For a younger generation, the box pictured above means absolutely nothing. For the rest of us old folk, its nostalgia is undeniable. Long before the advent of Netflix, we went to video rental stores like Blockbuster to rent movies in VHS format.
When my wife Steff and I first saw this box on the shelf, we immediately did a double take. No, this isn’t a remnant from the past. It’s the box for a new tabletop party game featuring the Blockbuster brand.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout loosely translates the experience of game shows like Wipeout and Takeshi’s Castle into the realm of video games. Up to 60 players compete for the top spot by partaking in a series of mini games that will have you running, jumping, working as a team, and more. Are you ready to wear a silly costume and race for the goal?
From Dominion, to Marvel Legendary, to Paperback, the deck-building genre of tabletop games is one of my favourites. Through the process of building your deck with new cards, you dramatically improve your ability to complete the task at hand, whether it’s to build a kingdom, defeat super villains, or write your next great novel.
In recent times, the deck-building mechanic has melded with video game design in ways that push both forward. For example, SteamWorld Quest is in most respects is a cookie-cutter JRPG. But with deck-building as the foundation for its combat, you get an insane amount of control over how you spec out each character and approach each fight.
Enter Slay the Spire. In many ways, it stays very close to its Roguelike roots. Your goal is to fight through the dungeon and make it out alive in one go. If you die, you have to start the whole thing from the beginning. However, the introduction of deck-building takes it to a fresh and exciting new place.
From Altered Beast, to Golden Axe, to Comix Zone, Sega was once deeply invested in the beat-em-up genre. Of all their efforts, none were more highly regarded than the Streets of Rage series. Its success in the nineties carried across three entries on the Genesis.
While the genre has long since fallen out of favour due to its simplicity among many other factors, Streets of Rage isn’t exactly down for the count. We just got the critically-acclaimed Streets of Rage 4, which seems like a great modern take on the genre. Does the 90s fan-fave still hold up?
Does the world need another Clubhouse Games?
Before the advent of smartphones, Clubhouse Games on the Nintendo DS was quite the novelty. Compilations of these classic games that could be played on-the-go didn’t exist at the time. Though I only played a bit of it, my mom bought her own DS so she could play it to her heart’s content without having to bug my brother or I for our handhelds.
Not long after, smartphones, app stores, and free-to-play games emerged to the forefront. Most of the classic games contained in Clubhouse Games were the first to make the transition. Heck, some of the games within the new Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics already have cheap alternatives on the Nintendo Switch eShop. Do you really need to pay a premium for Nintendo’s versions of these games?
When it comes to video game golf, I tend to prefer games that are a bit more fantastical rather than realistic. However, I do have my limits. Mario Golf on the Nintendo 64 finds my perfect blend of realism vs. fantasy, but its sequel on the GameCube was completely off-putting for its overly fantastical courses and power shots.
What the Golf? pushes the fantastical elements so far into the realm of silly that it’s only a golf game in the broadest of senses. Though the game bills itself as being a golf game for those that like golf, does it have any appeal for those that do?