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Everything posted by Cube

  1. House buying is the worst

    The most difficult part is deciding which things we'll definitely need or not need. I suppose I can pack up all consoles (except Series S), as well as going down to a plate each in the kitchen. Was planning on continuing with Sonic stuff after Mass Effect, but that can wait until after the move. I've ordered a load of Ikea bags for board games, as they're better for transport of them than boxes.
  2. House buying is the worst

    The chain is currently in "final enquiries". Turn around may be quicker than expected as the target is still for the end of the month. I should probably look at starting to pack...
  3. At 00:03 today, I finished Donkey Kong 64 for the first time, with 101% completion and everything found. Incidentally, the single most frustrating part in terms of camera and platforming was in the first level, so a lot of the rest of the game was a lot more enjoyable.
  4. Definitely the highlight of the direct for me.
  5. Announced during the direct, Game Freak are developing a "core Pokémon RPG title" for Nintendo Switch - likely more than a year away though.
  6. Most of that sounds horrible (especially the daily/weekly stuff), and the costumes seem unlikely without a method to sell them for money. The unique item thing was fine in Double Dash!!
  7. Lego!

    Interestingly, Bricklink Studio is technically official, as they're owned by LEGO.
  8. As long as they also release those tracks on the Wii U version (which they won't).
  9. Will Summer Game Fest be some pointless introduction then claiming other people's stuff as his own like last year? It just made the entire thing more confusing, all because some washed up celebrity wants attention.
  10. Your Gaming Diary 2022

    A Plague Take: Innocence I was honestly expecting a kind of “walking simulator” from this, but it’s very much a stealth-puzzle game with a heavy focus on story. A Plague Tale is set in 14th century France, you are the daughter of a lord, your brother has a mysterious illness and you are both forced on the run when the inquisition attacks, killing your family. For the most part, I found the story to be very engaging, even if it is filled with a ton of young adult fantasy tropes. The game also crosses the line for suspension of disbelief, the game starts off feeling very realistic before this plague of rats comes along, which I had no option with, but then the game introduces alchemy as though it just a regular thing, with you meeting a 10 year old apprentice who acts like a complete master. The main mystery kept me going, although the game leaves a lot open to be answered in the sequel. The gameplay is a stealth game, and getting spotted almost always results in death, you can’t run away, hide and try again. Throughout the game, you will gain lots of tools to throw or use with your sling, such as basic rocks, flaming rocks that can set things on fire (things like wood, you can’t just set armoured people on fire), or pots to cause a distraction. Each stealth section is like a puzzle, where you have to work out which objects to use and where to get past the enemies. These objects need to be found or crafted, so there is limited supply. This makes things suspenseful, but it does mean that you can run out of things and be unable to progress, having to restart the chapter. I almost got to this, but ended up finding rocks by walking most of the way to the start of the level (you can only use rocks found in bags, I walked down a long stream with loads of pebbles to find this bag). It’s also possible to be caught in a bad checkpoint and have no other option. There are a few sections where direct combat is the only option, with you having to use the sling to kill enemies running at you. These sections are quite annoying, and there’s one really bad section in the final chapter, where you can miss enemies through what seems to be random chance. There’s a lot to like about A Plague Tale, but also a lot of annoyances. Hopefully these can be sorted for the next game. Sunset Overdrive Crazy, over the top and a ton of fun. Sunset Overdrive is stupid in all the right ways. An energy drinks company (who happen to be the biggest company in the world) releases their new drink ealy in Sunset City, but has the unintended side effect of turning everyone into mutant zombies. You manage to escape to your apartment then get roped into helping the remaining survivors. Sunset Overdrive is an open world “superhero” game (the main character doesn’t have “superpowers” as such, they’re just naturally awesome). The main thing that makes Sunset Overdrive so much fun is the traversal mechanics: you can jump high by bouncing off objects, grind across many things and even dash in the air or on water. Getting from point to point is just so satisfying and immense fun. As you move across different objects, you’ll increase your “style” meter and combo. Even though it’s used in combat, I found myself trying to get a high combo whenever I had to go from A to B (the game has fast travel, but it’s best to ignore it). Combat itself is also lots of fun, as it encourages killing while being stylish, jumping around and grinding while taking out loads of enemies. The weapons are whimsical and enjoyable to use. The way some enemies explode – with their “goo” literally making words like “POP” is so satisfying and adds to the style. Sunset Overdrive never cares about being serious, it constantly breaks the fourth wall, even with background enemy dialogue (such as enemies talking about how they can’t run out of ammo because they’re not the main character). While this is a regular occurrence, it never gets to the point where it feels like too much, there’s still plenty of its own humour, with some interesting characters and moments. I found myself enjoying even the most basic side quests due to the fun traversal, combat and entertaining dialogue. If you haven’t played it, I highly recommend it. The Pedestrian I was expecting a simple platformer, the novel concept of running through signs seemed interesting, but I had no idea that the simple idea was such an important part of the gameplay itself. You play as a stickman – the generic kind you see on various signs (like the toilet sign). You run through signs and complete puzzles. At any time you can “pause” the game and are able to move some of the signs around, and connect doors and ladders together (they have to be facing opposite directions). Manipulating the signs and doors in this way is the main core of the puzzles, and the game will introduce new elements as you progress. I don’t want to go into too much detail due to spoilers, but I thought a lot of the puzzles were taxing, but it never got to the point where I felt like giving up. There’s a lot of clever ideas and solutions, and for the more complex puzzles I didn’t think “finally” or “that was stupidly obvious”, my response when finding a solution was “that was cool”. The concept of the game also makes more sense when you start to interact with the world beyond the signs. There’s an early section where you encounter a shut door, and only when you manipulate the lift the sign is inside (by activating buttons on the sign) and move it upwards can you continue. The fascinating thing is that the game explains all these complex actions without any dialogue or text. Everything is explained via symbols and pictures, with new sections having very basic puzzles to explain by making you do something. I never felt confused as to what I had to do, and it gets its mechanics across to the player in a surprisingly clear way. If I had any complaints about The Pedestrian, it’s that the last level is short. The mechanic introduced there felt like it would have a lot of possibilities and I really wanted more puzzles using it. Gorogoa A very unique puzzle game, with lots of beautiful art. You are a young boy who sees a dragon, and must gather 5 fruits to make an offering (or something, the story is done via imagery alone) and you must help him. This one is quite difficult to explain. You essentially have 4 “panels” (like comic book panels). Dragging the panels will either move them, or drag off a “layer” to create a new panel. By manipulating these panels, you can lead the young boy to the five magic fruits. The game is quite fascinating, although I found myself to be just moving stuff around to try and progress in a few areas. Some solutions are extremely clever, while others I just did by clicking on something and not quite knowing what I did. It’s a very short game (about an hour or so), so for cheap (or Game Pass), it’s worth experiencing for how unique it is.
  11. If it's built into the game and console clock and not based on a server, then that's absolutely fine. I was referring more to what other games do with seasonal content where if you don't play a game between certain dates (or worse, play loads of it to unlock it in a very short timeframe), you can never unlock the specific content.
  12. As long as there's no limit on it. Time limited seasonal content is a horrible trend. Edit: Actually, thinking about it, I'm not sure if Mario Kart 9/10 would be as much of a "must buy" for me due to the online subscription.
  13. Unless they want to do another normal/deluxe release and release MK9 (10 if you want to count the utterly vile and predatory MK Tour) at the end of the Switch's lifespan and then release another version on the next console, I doubt we'll see a proper Mario Kart on the Switch. It's quite disappointing that the Switch will be my first Nintendo console without a Mario Kart game. It still seems strange that Diddy wasn't in Mario Kart 8. Banjo also has two great kart style games in his belt (DKR and Sonic All-Stars), plus his own not so good one (Banjo-Pilot), so more would definitely be good.
  14. Favourite games of 2021?

    My top 10 overall: My massively long ranking of all the games I've played: Out of games I really want to play from 2021, Metroid Dread is the main one.
  15. EEVIL's New Year Resolution Thread!

    Some quite major ones for me: - finish buying a house - get married (officially, no big ceremony) - possibly start a family.
  16. Sega's VR headset. Unlike the Virtual Boy, this was a full colour headset with head tracking. They had issues with headaches (likely because of the resolution of the screens), but is essentially the same idea as current headsets.
  17. Xbox Series S | X Console Discussion

    A port of the original would be immensely disappointing as we know the remaster exists, I'd probably just continue playing that version (especially with modders fixing issues).
  18. Best Films of 2021

    At least it's not as short as the entire list of 2021 films that I've seen: -
  19. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    @drahkon is that all spreadsheet work or did you use a website for it?
  20. General Movie Thread

    The Batman trailer 1: Dark, mysterious and gritty. The Batman trailer 2: Halle Berry Catwoman dialogue.
  21. I have decided to set myself a challenge: try to play as many Sonic games as possible. This will be between different games and not non stop after each other. I will be playing the best versions of games rather then the very original ones, although vastly different versions will count separately (16 bit and 8 big Sonic the Hedgehog, Console and DS Colours and Generations for example). Some will require emulation as they haven't had releases since, or I have no platform to play them on. I have also added a few select ports as I think they deserve mentioning. Instead of release order, I have randomised the order I will play it in. However, Series of games will be played in order (So if Sonic 1 is #23 and Sonic 2 is #19 they get swapped around). There are some games which I may not be able to play. There seem to be some old mobile games which don't exist anywhere online, and Sonic Free Riders is probably a bit expensive to play considering it's quality (requiring a Kinect...I don't even know if my 360 is compatible with it or if it needs an update as it doesn't have WiFi). This will probably take ages, but I'll update this thread for each game. I may not be good enough to complete them all but I'll try my best, as long as I put a decent amount of playtime relevant to each game.
  22. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    Alice: Madness Returns This one is very different in style to the first game, and I really enjoyed it. The biggest initial difference is that it’s dark in the “tragic” sense and not just hard to see: some of the levels are brightly coloured but with troubling imagery. It also has an actual story to it, revolving around a doctor who is helping Alice forger the tragic incident that killed her parents and sister. Deep in Alice’s mind is the truth to what has happened, but also muddled in with defensive tactics (“you couldn’t do anything”) and survivor’s guilt (“you could have saved them, but selfishly saved yourself instead”). The gameplay itself is much more fluid, with jumping feeling very precise. Alice has a triple jump and a float, meaning you can jump some quite long distances. You will get multiple items: the knife from the first game returns as the main melee, with a pepper grinder acting as a gun to shoot distance targets. It features Z-targeting from The Legend of Zelda to aid in combat, which is a ton of fun, especially when you unlock more abilities. The biggest weakness is that some of the levels can go on a bit long: I would have preferred to have seen more locations and spending less time in them, the dollhouse level (which is wonderfully creepy and disturbing) seems to go on forever. There’s also no bosses, so the only change from platforming and combat are some utterly dreadful minigames such as sliding puzzles and a rhythm game which is difficult because the bar that moves across is wonky (although that might possibly be a flaw of FPS boost). That said, the core gameplay is fun and the story is compelling and goes to far, far disturbing territory than I was expecting. It was a very interesting experience. Banjo-Kazooie Banjo-Kazooie is possibly my favourite game, something I utterly love. I play it around Christmas every year and never get tired of it. But why is this? What makes Banjo-Kazooie such a lovable game to play? For starters, Banjo-Kazooie has a lot of character, from Banjo-Kazooie themselves to the worlds, settings and music. Even characters like Colliwobble (a giant cauliflower with googly eyes) has a magical style and charm to it. I think it’s Rare’s love for googly eyes, so much stuff has it, including boulders, blocks of ice and boxes of TNT. The world of Banjo-Kazooie is just alive in a joyful way. Then you have the heroes Banjo and Kazooie. Banjo is a fairly straight character. For the most part he’s kind and gentle and wants to do good. If he was completely on his own, he may be a bit bland, but luckily his trust friend Kazooie lives in his backpack. Kazooie is rude, sassy and will mock anything. Together, it makes for great banter between them and other characters. And all dialogue is text with grunts, which helps make their world remain unique. I really hope any (if there are any) future games keep this as I’m not sure how I’d feel about proper voice acting. Banjo-Kazooie is a 3D collect-a-thon platformer, which doesn’t go overboard on its collectibles. Banjo and Kazooie have a lot of moves crammed onto a controller, but they all work really well. There are some slight niggles, like trying to change the camera while aiming an egg can activate your golden feathers, but the platforming itself feels extremely precise, with any missed jumps never feeling like the game’s fault. The camera also functions fine for the most part, but there’s a couple of areas with some forced angles that don’t work, such as the path to Mad Monster Mansion which is a narrow walkway that can be difficult to see. There are 9 worlds in Banjo-Kazooie. These each have 10 jiggies to collect, 100 notes, two honeycomb pieces (which increase your health). One jiggy in every level will be finding all five Jinjos hidden in each level. The levels will be considered small by today’s standards, but I think that they are ideal. It’s a size where you can search for everything without tedium or growing tired of it. Each world has its own charm. Mumbo’s Mountain is a great introductory world. It’s a great introduction to how jiggies are hidden. Some are out in the open, some given to you by characters, some by activating switches and some by smashing things or just trying to shoot eggs into any hole you find. It sets you up for handling the later levels. It also introduces the important Talon Trot move, which allows you to use Kazooie’s legs to traverse steep slopes, and the layout of the level encourages heavy use. Also here is the first Mumbo Skull. Enter here and you’ll find the crazy shaman Mumbo Jumbo. If you’ve found enough Mumbo tokens, he’ll cast a spell on you and you’ll turn into a termite. These transformations are another wonderful thing about Banjo-Kazooie. They’re not in every level so aren’t overused, but they turn you into different animals (or objects), which is required for certain jiggies. They’re all wonderful to use and are simply a joyous thing to have in the game. After Mumbo’s Mountain, we get Treasure Trove Cove, a beach level filled with crabs. Mambo’s Mountain also introduces you to a pound attack (using Kazooie’s beak), which is used here for enemies and tasks. Flying is also introduced, as Kazooie can use red feathers to fly around the map. Treasure Trove Cove is quite open, with a jiggy that encourages flying around it. There’s also a very scary shark in the water. It’s a really wonderful level. Next up is the weakest part of Banjo-Kazooie: Clanker’s Cavern. It’s a murky underwater level, and looks fairly dull. I do like Clanker – a big whale that has been turned into a horrifying trash disposal monster, but is actually a nice but depressed individual, but there’s a lot of swimming in this level, including a very deep dive that terrified me as a kid. Bubblegloop Swamp swiftly returns to form, especially because of adorable crocodile Banjo.This level is split up into segments, and then croco Banjo can traverse new areas, including a fairly difficult minigame with Mr Vile, sneaky crocodile (although a move from a later level can make this easier if you wish) Then the wonderful wintery world of Freezeezy Peak, a level revolving around a giant snowman. One slight niggle for me with this is that you can’t finish the level initially, so I’d recommend a quick trip into the next level to grab the speed trainers, but it’s only a minor hassle. In Freezeezy Peak you get to climb the giant snowman’s scarf, have aerial fights with aggressive smaller snowmen, turn into a Walrus and take part in races – WAHEEEY! From the snow straight to the sand of Gobi’s Valley. This is one of the more challenging levels, with pyramids, temples and sphinxes holding challenges you need to complete. One of these requires a perfect run with the speed boots, and still takes me multiple attempts each playthrough. That said, there is still a load of fun and charm. Up next is for some halloween fun in Mad Monster Mansion, a haunted house and grounds. Initially, I found this level to be incredibly daunting, but traversal isn’t as difficult as initially seems, and getting around the level is quite fun. There’s lots of rooms to explore and even a toilet to explore. Brilliantly, the toilet itself is also a character called Loggo. Oh, one thing I forgot to mention is that Banjo-Kazooie loves puns. Some people may pretend to groan at puns, but everyone loves them. Rusty Bucket Bay is the penultimate level, with some very tough challenges. The water in this level drains your air much faster than previous levels, so even though there’s a lot of water, you only spend small stints in it. There’s lots of hidden rooms to find, with some fun and cute details hidden in them. The transformation in this level is also super adorable. And last is the seasonal Click Clock Wood. This is split into four “sections” that you open up over time, each is the whole world in a different season, and some jiggies require doing parts in each season, although if you fully explore each season before moving on, you don’t have to go back and forth. It’s lovely to see all the changes throughout the seasons. Connecting these together is Grunty’s tower. Grunty is an evil witch who wants to make herself beautiful (by stealing the beauty from Banjo’s sister, Tooty, who became a staple of all future Banjo games…either that or she was relegated to a missing person’s poster and forgotten about). You explore the tower, finding jigsaws to fill in with the jiggy pieces you collect to open the main worlds. There are also 10 jiggies hidden here, which require you to hit a switch in each level to reveal (except for one, which is given to you at the start of the game). And once you get past all the levels and go to defeat Gunty, it doesn’t go straight into a boss battle (that comes later), instead you have to complete Grunty’s Furnace Fun, a trivia board game where you have to answer questions about the game (or complete some mini games from previous levels). These questions could be about Grunty herself, pictures of places in levels to identify, trivia about characters or identifying sound and music. Music. That’s a very important part of what makes Banjo-Kazooie work. Composer Grant Kirkhope did an absolutely phenomenal job of creating some tunes that you will be humming for the rest of your lives. They also work with the levels extremely well, adding to the magical experience. The music will also vary slightly based on different locations of each level or going underwater, all with perfectly smooth transitions between them. The music to Banjo-Kazooie is simply heaven for your ears, and will put a smile on your face for the entirety of your playthrough. Even other people in your house will start humming the tunes. Replaying Banjo-Kazooie takes between 6 and 10 hours, although this will be a lot longer the first time. It’s a great length for annual revisits and is an extremely well-contained piece of media. You can follow it by its sequel, Banjo-Tooie (as I do every few years), but it works extremely well on its own. The entirety of the game is just full of joy, accompanied by very happy tunes and a sense that everyone working on the game was enjoying themselves. There are two versions of this game, the original on N64 and a remaster version on Xbox. I highly recommend the Xbox version, as the better controller design helps a lot, and the widescreen HD image is much nicer to see. The main other difference between the two is that the Xbox version is easier, as it saves what notes you have collected. In the original, you need to collect all 100 in one go, which I believe was mainly due to memory limits on the N64 and not the original intention. Lake Lake is a game set in the 80s and is about a woman who has gotten fed up with life at a programming firm in a big city and has the opportunity to take over her dad’s old job as a postal worker for two weeks. Throughout her stay, her interactions with people will help her decide what she wants to do with the rest of her life. The gameplay is very simple: you deliver letters and parcels. You drive to a location, drop of a letter in a letterbox or take a parcel from the back. Sometimes there’s nobody there, but other times you strike up a conversation. There are some interesting individuals like a lumberjack who wants to save the countryside from apartments, your old childhood friend and a woman who is trying to run a video rental store but is struggling as not enough people have a VCR at home. There’s no time limit, you just drive around at your own pace and return to the post office when finished. It probably sounds boring, but it actually comes across as really relaxing, there’s a certain charm to the whole game: just like the “holiday” as a postal worker is to the main character, the game is just a nice change of pace for the person playing. The Gunk Exploring a strange energy spike on what seems to be a desolate rock, The Gunk has you encounter a strange substance that seems to be suppressing life on the planet. The game is filled with a sense of wonder as you remove this gunk and restore the life it had “killed”, resulting in some beautiful looking areas. The gameplay is simple, but enjoyable: you hoover up gunk (and sometimes enemies) to restore plantlife, then throw plants around to make new platforms or remove obstructions. The Gunk never gets difficult, and the development the characters go through is predictable, but with a short length and some enjoyable dialogue, The Gunk is a pleasant and charming ride. I’d love to see more of this, perhaps another adventure with these characters or just another short but sweet game.
  23. Favourite Gaming Christmas Memory?

    I got a Nintendo 64 for Christmas, along with GoldenEye 007. I read all of the briefings and stuff for the Dam and tried to play through it, I got killed a lot by the enemies inside the Dam itself. On the agent difficulty, you don't need to go into that section, but I did not know this: from reading the briefing and knowing that you had to jump off the dam, I spent ages and ages looking for some bungee rope because I couldn't see any in my inventory.
  24. Embracer are another company mopping up the industry. They own loads, including THQ Nordic, Koch Media, Deep Silver, Aspyr (and some of these are still buying studios) and have just bought one of the the biggest board game companies for $3 billion.
  25. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    And finally caught up with my write ups. Mind Scanners This is one game I didn’t finish. I liked the idea of Mind Scanners: it’s a game with a similar style and premise as the great Papers, Please, set in a dystopian future where you have to scan minds and declare if they’re sane or insane. Your daughter is currently being “treated” by the structure, so you have to work for them as a Mind Scanner in order to see her again. They ask you to fix anyone you declare insane, and to watch out for people who could disrupt the structure. Treating someone comes in two stages: first the person you’re investigating will say statements about themselves, which you have to categorise to diagnose their problems. Get three of these correct in a row and you can decide if they’re sane or insane. This part of the game is great, in its own horrible way. The extremely black and white options of simply “sane” or “insane” make you want to not classify some people as insane, but it’s behaviour that the “structure” doesn’t want, so sometimes you decide to mark someone as insane as you feel you have to. The extremely blatant nature of it makes you think more about each person’s issues – and there are really some interesting characters. Every now and then there will be someone broken, giving you a bit of relief that you’re actually helping someone. The second part is treatment. It has some nice ideas: fixing them with your Mind Scanner drains their personality (the “structure” has no issue with you fully draining it – they may actually prefer it), there are ways to save their personality, but it costs valuable time. It’s an interesting choice. Unfortunately, how you do this is where the game fails: each item you can use to treat someone requires you to play a basic minigame that doesn’t tell you what to do, so you have to try and learn it. Some are really obscure and require sticks and multiple buttons to use. With all the difficult decision making you have to do, it’s just a massive downer when your choices are rendered meaningless because of extremely vague minigames. On top of that, they’re extremely, extremely repetitive. The game certainly has some nice ideas, but the frustrating minigames really sours it Evil Genius 2: World Domination Evil Genius 2 is essentially Theme Hospital but for Bond villains instead of doctors. You build your own secret lair and launch a plan to take over the world. You start out with a fairly small lair, building the necessities you need. One aspect that I haven’t seen much of before is the amount of storage you need for certain assets, most notably your money: you will need to create large vaults to store gold. It’s really satisfying to see a massive amount of gold bars, especially when you get into a position where you can spend a large amount, see it vanish, but then watch it quickly fill up. On the other hand, though, the storage for gold, henchmen (you need lockers to increase your capacity), energy and other equipment is massive, and initially your space is very limited as you can only build in the areas of weak rock. As you work through the game, you’ll be able to train your goons into specific specialities, such as advanced guards, spies who run your casino to provide a legitimate looking front and scientists who conduct research. There’s a lot to research – probably too much – and your progress is gated by how far through the main campaign you are. You can get some fancy traps, as well as more efficient storage for vaults, henchmen equipment, and can drill through harder rocks, but by the time you can access this stuff, you are close to the end. Trying to foil you are agents. They will try to gather evidence of your wrongdoings, or sometimes even attempt to kill the main villain. When you spot them, you can mark them as targets to distract (your goons will try to keep them occupied in the casino until they’re satisfied that nothing nefarious is happening), capture them (allowing you to tortutre them for intel) or just kill them. With some research upgrades, you can make these auto assign based on different rooms. However, all this depends on your goons spotting them, some spies may don costumes to fool your goons and wreak havoc by stealing stuff, gathering evidence, sabotaging equipment or even starting fires. There’s a lot of other aspects of the game that are automated, such as training. You set a target amount for each minion type and they will train themselves until they reach that level. There are some moments where the lack of direct control is frustrating, but most of the time the automation works great. There’s still a lot of maintenance to do by making sure there are enough food/beds/relaxation for your goons, and they may even choose to desert you (thankfully, you can execute your minions whenever you want – even loyal wans if you want to). The main form of completing objectives is by viewing the world map and sending goons of certain types (as well as spending money/intel) to complete the objective. You need to set up criminal networks here and your activity will attract more spies. The length of the campaign is something I found odd: it’s too short to unlock everything, but also really drags on by the end. You can also not continue after you’ve taken over the world, which to me was just a really depressing end, having to load a much earlier save (the fairly long end game locks you out of certain objectives) instead of carrying on to unlock more stuff. It was a fun game, but I wasn’t compelled to play as any of the other three villains. The Matrix Awakens Experiance A tech demo showcasing what next gen consoles can do, and it really does look spectacular, even on the Xbox Series S. It starts with a simple combat scene, an on-rail shooting section where you fend off agents from the back of a car, and then you get to explore the rather vast city. There isn’t a lot to do other than drive around, or “fly” (which is essentially a free cam mode), but the demo itself is very impressive, it looks fantastic and you can toggle all sorts of modes to see how it works. One thing in particular I liked was the traffic: I blocked off the highway and let traffic back up, which it did to an extremely impressive degree, where you would usually expect things to just not spawn any more. American McGee’s Alice I’ve been curious about Alice: Madness Returns so I figured that I would check the first game out before playing (which is actually included in its entirety in Madness Returns). The series is about a girl with mental issues, who retreats into Wonderland in her mind. I’ll be blunt: just start with the sequel. The plot in this is very thin so you won’t be missing out on anything important. It was originally released on Xbox, but it’s so clunky that if someone had told me that it was an early PlayStation game, I wouldn’t have realised it wasn’t. The biggest issue is jumping: there’s a big wind up animation which makes the jump actually happen on-screen a second after you press the button, and it doesn’t seem to take momentum into account at all. A jump at full speed feels the same as a stationary jump. It makes the platforming segments a nightmare to play – to the point where I was saving after every single jump, due to how unresponsive the game felt. The other large part of the game is combat, which is also not good: take the parts of the original Doom that feel dated, then ignore the parts that make it fast, smooth and fun. That is the feeling I got from the combat in American McGee’s Alice. You’ll also resort to using only a handful of weapons, as some are a lot more powerful than others. Enemies are also purposefully designed to be annoying, with flying enemies that blow you around with gusts of air, enemies that freeze you, or ones that fly up really high and drop explosives on you. The level design is also disorientating, not in a whimsical way, but in a “everything looks the same so I’m not sure if I’m going backwards” way. The graphics are just dark (not thematically dark, literally dark) and the different areas don’t feel like part of the same world. There are some nice ideas in the game, but it’s just not nice to play.