A Hat in Time VS Yooka-Laylee – How One Rose, How One Fell

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the following:

A Hat in Time
Yooka-Laylee

A Hat in Time VS Yooka-Laylee

2017 saw the releases of A Hat in Time and Yooka-Laylee – two titles that aimed to help revive the 3D platformer/collectathon genre, much like classic titles such as Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie. While 2017 was jam-packed with much bigger and popular releases, these two in particular stood out to me personally. Why? Well, the first reason is because of how similar they were.

Whilst A Hat in Time was the first game made by the folks at Gears for Breakfast (a relatively new group that initially consisted of one developer – Jonas Kaerlev – before more members joined voluntarily), Yooka-Laylee had a bigger name attached; specifically Playtonic Games, formed by ex-Rare members who had worked on beloved 90s platformers like Donkey Kong Country and the aforementioned Banjo-Kazooie and its sequel.

However, despite these differing backgrounds, both games came about thanks to incredibly successful crowdfunding campaigns. Whether it be because of promising early footage or their years of experience, Gears for Breakfast and Playtonic inspired confidence within their backers; the future seemed bright for those dying for a return to this long-forgotten genre. Continue reading

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Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Beta – First Impressions

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I’ve already mentioned my interest in Square Enix’s upcoming crossover fighting game for the PS4 in a recent article, but I still had some slight reservations regarding whether I could actually play the game or not. I don’t want to spend money on something that I ultimately can’t get to grips with. Fortunately, Square Enix released an open beta for the game, allowing players all over to get a taste of what it has in store.

With the beta now closed and the game due out in a few days, I figured I’d jot down my personal experiences with Dissidia to share with you all and see if this is a game anyone can pick up and enjoy or something reserved only for the most die-hard of fighting game fans. Continue reading

Five of My Favourite Generation 7 Pokémon

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About a couple of years ago, I wrote a list about thirty of my favourite Pokémon, but that was before the then upcoming seventh generation of games had come out – Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. These two games introduced a bunch of brand new catch-able creatures so, with the updated releases, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, still fresh in my memory, I figured I would follow up on that previous list and share a small sample of my favourite additions to the ever growing world of Pokémon.

Quick disclaimer – I’m only including brand new Pokémon so no Alolan forms. Continue reading

Ten Anticipated Games of 2018

Say what you will about 2017 as a whole, but it’s definitely been a fantastic year for videogames. Sure, it’s not been perfect – Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite failed to live up to its legacy and suffered in sales as a result, Platinum’s newest darling, Scalebound, got cancelled, killing one of the few exclusives the Xbox One had, and the lootbox craze has only worsened thanks to the likes of Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Star Wars Battlefront II.

On the plus side, though, Persona 5 finally launched and met all of our expectations, Sonic Mania was a successful return to form for the Blue Blur (in terms of his 2D games, at least) and the Nintendo Switch has pretty much killed it since its release with the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildXenoblade Chronicles 2 and Super Mario Odyssey.

It’s going to be a tough year to top, but 2018 looks set to have some pretty kick-ass games too. But which ones am I looking forward to the most (and most likely won’t have time to play because, God damn, 2017 had too many good games I still need to play through)? Well, let me share them with you and, hopefully, they’ll turn out to be as fantastic as I think they will be. Continue reading

Sonic Forces – …Me to Question This Franchise’s Future Again

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After a hiatus of sorts that was born from the unmitigated disaster known as Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, 2017 was set to be the year of Sonic the Hedgehog’s return. And while most eyes were focused on Sonic Mania, – a nostalgic throwback to his glory days in the 90s – my attention was placed squarely on his new 3D outing, Sonic Forces. If Mania was specifically designed to pander to Classic Sonic fans, Forces seemed to be doing the same for those who grew up with the more recent titles, such as myself.

Even when early previews were quite negative, I remained optimistic that while the game might not be the same level of quality as, say, Sonic Generations, it’d at the very least provide me with plenty of enjoyment and help usher in a new age of good 3D Sonic games. Sadly, that is not entirely the case. Continue reading

Random Rankings – Team Rainbow Rocket Leaders

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the following:

Pokémon Black & White
Pokémon Black 2 & White 2
Pokémon Diamond & Pearl
Pokémon Fire Red & Leaf Green

Pokémon Platinum
Pokémon Red & Blue
Pokémon Sun & Moon
Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon
Pokémon X & Y
Pokémon Yellow

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Last week, it was revealed that the upcoming Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon would mark the return of Team Rocket – now under the new guise of Team Rainbow Rocket – and will  consist of every main villain in the series thus far (at least in terms of the main games). Villainous team-ups are always great, so being able to see all these familiar antagonists return and getting another chance to kick their asses has got a lot of people excited, including me.

Battling the leaders of these diabolical organisations has always been the highlights of the series but, now that they’re all in a game together, how do they fare against each other? Which of them is as mighty as Mewtwo and who’s just as boring as Burmy? Let’s find out by subjecting them to a Random Ranking! Continue reading

Danganronpa – The Saga of Hope’s Peak Academy (Series Retrospective)

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the entire Danganronpa series

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Where do I even begin describing something like Danganronpa? What even is a Danganronpa? It almost sounds like a word a one year old would make up (real talk, though, it’s actually a portmanteau of the Japanese words ‘dangan’ and ‘ronpa,’ which mean ‘bullet’ and ‘refute’ respectively. It’ll make sense later).

Bizarre names aside, though, this strange series has really made a name for itself since the first game’s initial release in 2010. Back then, it was a Japan-only PSP title that only a small handful of Western fans soon learned about. Cut to 2014 and someone, somewhere, decided that the rest of the world should be made privy to the lives of the Super High-School Level Students of Hope’s Peak Academy. And it paid off in a big way.

Following the first game’s re-release on the Vita, Danganronpa has slowly but surely become notably more well-known. While by no means a household name, it still developed a surge in popularity. Originally just two games on the PSP (a console most people don’t even acknowledge anymore), the series now consists of seven games, several re-releases, two anime series, novels and a tonne of manga (seriously, there is a lot of it).

I found myself checking the first game out almost on a whim, and ended up falling in love with it and desperate for more. It’s since quickly become possibly one of my favourite series, so (with the next game in the series arriving later this month) I’ve decided to write up a personal retrospective about my experiences with it and why I love this franchise all about the ongoing struggle between hope and despair. Continue reading

Random Rankings – Mario Kart 8 Courses

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Despite telling myself there was no point in buying it again, I recently caved and wound up getting Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch. Between the new characters, improved Battle Mode and all the included DLC, it’s easily the definitive version of the game. If you missed out on MK 8 the first time around, you have no excuse to not grab a copy.

As I replayed it, I was reminded of how good a lot of the race courses were, which got me to wondering which ones I liked the best. So, just for shits and giggles, I’ve ranked each and every course from Mario Kart 8, from my least favourite to my most favourite, with brief explanations as to why. Continue reading

Ten Worlds I Want in Kingdom Hearts Part 2

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the following:

The Kingdom Hearts series
Moana
Zootropolis

About a couple of years ago, I wrote a list of worlds I would like to see appear in the Kingdom Hearts series. Since that list, both Tangled and Big Hero 6 based worlds have been confirmed for Kingdom Hearts III, which clearly means Square Enix and Disney read my stuff and value my opinion. Or it’s just a coincidence.

Regardless, with a new trailer and a new world to be shown this weekend at the D23 Expo, I’ve decided to return to this topic with another ten Disney properties that I’d love to see adapted in a future title. Continue reading

Dust: An Elysian Tail – Wait, ONE Guy Made This?!

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You ever have one of those games that you so desperately want but just don’t have the means of playing it? For me, that game was indie title Dust: An Elysian Tail. Released in 2012, it was only available for Xbox and PC; I had neither and certainly wasn’t going to invest in either just for a single indie game. But I always hoped that, someday, the game would be released on other systems and, lo and behold, fate threw me a bone and gave Dust a release on the PS4 in 2014.

Despite my eagerness, however, I have only just managed to properly play it for myself. Was it worth the wait or did I get needlessly overexcited? Continue reading