It’s a bit weird to be reviewing an NES game 26 years after its first release, but that’s the wonders of modern gaming for you. Earthbound Beginnings—or Mother, as it was known in Japan—is one of those legendary JRPGs that you hear about but have probably never played. Although the game was translated into English way back then, it was never officially released in the west because that era was the dawn of the Super Nintendo. We in South Africa never got this game, nor its sequel, Earthbound. Thanks to the Wii U’s Virtual Console, now you can play this NES classic, but is it worth playing 26 years later? Let’s find out.
You all know by now that the bat-PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight is so bat-ly gimped that it had to be forcefully, vengefully even, pulled from the online batstores. Thankfully, I’m playing one of the decent versions. I become the terror that flaps in the night. No, wait…wrong series. I become the dark detective in the night, and prowl through Gotham’s streets to bring you this batreview of Batman: Arkham batKnight.
Johannesburg-based freelance digital artist Riyahd Cassiem created these fantastic renders of The Dark Knight. The images are suitably broody, and I like the organic feel of Batman’s outfit in these images. If you like this, you should check out his other work over at his Blogspot site! There is some really wonderful stuff there. More images after the break.
If you’re not mainly a PC gamer, you might not be aware of Don’t Starve, a ridiculously successful indie minecrafty roguelike that came out in 2013. Its main claims to fame were the Burtony-Goreyesque graphics and the fact that you were dropped into the game with nary a clue about what to do, and then you just went ahead and did it anyway. Oh, and you die a lot. Do you like games where you die a lot? Unlike many roguelikes, it’s acutally more Rogue-ish than usual, and I’ll explain why.
Who among you are old enough to remember the arcade game Robotron 2084? Or Smash TV? Or any one of those old top down, dual-stick shooter games that spawned an entire genre. If you do, you’re going to have a massive dose of nostalgia in the form of Ultratron, from the same guys who brought you that other nostalgia-fest, Titan Attacks. Let’s get our guns loaded and our transistors blazing. Or was it the other way around?
Platform puzzle games are a darling of the Indie development community for a good reason, among them being the nostalgia effect. They’re difficult to do well, however, and an improperly-implemented puzzle mechanic can come over as boring, fiddly, or even ostentatious. Does Nihilumbra (“nihil” from the latin word for “nothing”, and “umbra” from the latin word for “shadow”. Don’t say I never teach you anything) for the Wii U suffer any of these problems or does it bring a spot of colour to a dark world? Let’s find out.
In 2009, Ronimo Games (the same people behind the amazing Awesomenauts) released Swords and Soldiers, ostensibly a real time strategy (RTS) game, but closer in fact to being a cross between RTS and tower defense (TD). The game, released on WiiWare, was enough of a success that it prompted remakes on other consoles and even on smartphones. 6 years later, and we finally have the sequel, named the same except with the “II” appended to it to let us know it’s not the same game as the first. I grab my viking helmet (no horns), Persian cutlass, and go demon hunting to bring you this review.
The original Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing was released in 2013, and featured a heavily steampunked version of Abraham Van Helsing, one of the main characters of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The game, thankfully, had no relation to the horrible Van Helsing film, and was actually a really enjoyable experience to play. The excellent sequel was released last year, and now the story finally comes to a close in this third installment a year later. I grab my monster hunting gear and go see what tales Mr Van Helsing can tell me.
The Yoshi’s Island series has been one of the most beloved Mario spin-off franchises to come from Nintendo. The games have had varying amounts of success, as my review of Yoshi’s New Island shows. Now we have Yoshi’s Woolly World for Wii U, and I’m going to start the review with these words: you’ll want this game.