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?
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?
Whether you want to speak with the voice of the devil or sing with an Auto-Tune like effect, changing one’s voice is a fun way to spice up your gaming sessions or content. However, the ability to modulate your voice was oftentimes easier said than done. Such effects have traditionally been exclusive to physical devices. You can add effects to your voice through VST plugins in OBS, but that software’s inability to toggle filters with hotkeys makes voice modulation more troublesome than it’s worth.
Enter Voicemod. This application provides users with dozens of different voices that you can tweak to your liking. You also get access to a soundboard. It’s free to start, though you’ll have to pay for access to its full suite of features. Is Voicemod worth adding to your toolset?
Off the strength of two stellar SteamWorld Dig games and the excellent SteamWorld Heist, Image & Form have proven themselves as a developer worthy of my attention. I’m willing to give them a chance on whatever they put out.
Put that line of thinking to the test when I finally got around to SteamWorld Quest. This time, the talented studio tries their hand at creating a turn-based JRPG with a card battling system. Does Image & Form continue its hot streak?
Taking a quick detour into this Neo Geo arcade golf game!
Settlers of Catan – or just Catan as it’s known these days – is still a giant in the world of tabletop gaming. Originally released in 1995, the game has since sold over 22 million copies and is often cited as the spark that ignited the modern wave of tabletop gaming.
Though I’ve been a tabletop gaming enthusiast for a number of years now – and have an unopened copy of Settlers of Catan sitting on my shelf – my wife and I never found the right time to play. At last, thanks to our friends Brendan and Matt, we’ve finally crossed Catan off of our bucket list. Many years after the fact, is the island of Catan still worth settling?
Simple to learn, difficult to master, and providing a unique challenge every time, Carcassonne is a tabletop gaming classic. It’s no stranger to the world of video games either, as it’s made some fantastic appearances on mobile and the Xbox 360.
It goes without question then that the much newer Nintendo Switch version should provide a better experience then, or at least one comparable to those older iterations. Right?
Widely considered to be one of the best and most influential games of all-time, Metal Gear Solid is a game I’ve been actively dodging for most of my life. Part of that stems from an anti-Sony bias that formed in the 90s that I’ve since shedded. Part of it came from being a stealth game. I hate stealth games with a passion (with one beautiful exception). Even when I bought a copy of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for under $10, I ended up selling it later on without ever playing it.
At long last, during a random PlayStation Classic stream, I did the thing. By the end of it, I wasn’t quite sure of what to do with this newfound knowledge.
Remember Wario’s Woods? No? I don’t blame you. Released as the final officially-licensed NES game in 1994 (and released on the SNES later that year), this puzzle game felt like it got lost in the shuffle even at the time. Despite being a fan of Nintendo games and puzzle games, this one slipped through my fingers for reasons that elude me.
Not to say that it’s bad. Its core gameplay concept is actually rather interesting. Instead of taking direct control of the pieces as they fall down the well, you controlled a character inside the well who had to pick up, move, and drop the pieces in order to create sets and clear blocks. Haven’t really seen any games try that concept since.
Decades later, Treasure Stacker by indie studio PIXELAKES builds on the concept. Does this modern take prove that gaming shouldn’t have abandoned the idea when it did?
How do you revitalize Animal Crossing? Many may argue that this question is built on a false premise and that’s fine. For me, every gimmick they’ve bolted onto each subsequent release couldn’t mask the fact that I’m still catching fish, talking to villagers, and paying down a mountain of debt in the same ways that I did on the GameCube decades ago.
Much of what’s defined the franchise still persists in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, right down to how annoying it can be to cast your lure at the exact angle. Even so, I find myself completely enamoured with this Switch iteration thanks to a host of quality-of-life improvements.