Preview | Balan Wonderworld (startmenu Preview)

In a world where so many big-budget video games feel rather homogenised, to the point where most new releases can be easily described by just comparing it to another (e.g. Avengers is just Destiny but with Marvel), Balan Wonderworld really stands out from the crowd.

Wonderworld is the first title from new Square Enix subsidiary Balan Company, which is being directed by Yuji Naka (one of the men credited with creating Sonic the Hedgehog). Balan Wonderworld wears its inspiration on its sleeve and is quite clearly meant to evoke a sense of nostalgia from players despite being an original IP.

I’m sure you’ve seen every other outlet make obvious comparisons to old Sega games like Nights and Billy Hatcher, and you can hardly blame them. Watching the announcement trailer made me feel like I had stepped through a wormhole back to the late 90s or early 2000s but despite some trepidation about the whole thing I was admittedly quite charmed by just how strange this game seemed. The world could desperately do with more 3D-platformers that aren’t Super Mario or crowdfunded indie projects like A Hat in Time.

So, with a surprisingly sizable demo now available, it made sense to investigate this new world of Balan and let Naka and his team try to convince me to give this new (planned) franchise of theirs a look-see. Unfortunately, those aforementioned trepidations turned out to be justified.

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Marvel’s Avengers Beta Impressions – Avengers In Name Only?

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Ever since its initial reveal at E3 2019, I have wanted desperately to like Square Enix and Crystal Dynamic’s Avengers game. Unfortunately, nearly everything about it seemed to be forcing me to be sceptical about it.

The plot was uninteresting and a culmination of some of my least favourite ‘event comic’ superhero tropes, the gameplay appeared average at best and monotonous at worst, the hyper realistic graphics made for a grey and bland-looking world, and its mere existence as a service title akin to something like Destiny meant that this was Square Enix attempting to capitalise on a trendy market by using already existing characters as the poster boys to help push it.

I wanted to give the game a chance, though, so when I was granted the opportunity to try out the game’s beta, I took it. Sometimes, you really do need a hands-on approach to better judge a product and I’ll be detailing my experiences and first impressions here. Continue reading

Ten of My Favourite Games of the Decade

I know I’m late in saying this but, damn, this really is a new decade, huh? I never even considered it until it was pointed out to me. A lot has happened in the last ten years, and after looking at some good-looking games that are coming in the future, I’d like to reminisce about all the awesome games from the past. And, boy, there were a lot.

So, since everyone else has done it and I apparently have as much originality as a live-action Disney remake, here’s a list of some of my all-time favourite games to have been released throughout the 2010s – one from each year (I’m using the European release dates BTW). Continue reading