Tearaway Unfolded is the gaming equivalent of a hot bath. You slide into its world and relaxation takes over. It might be a little bit too hot, forcing you to hit the cold tap for a little bit, but there’s no real challenge there. If you’re of younger years, you’ll need more cold water than your adult friends, but the end result is pretty much the same.
When was the last time you had a great conversation? A chat that saw ideas flowing and hours passing. Whenever it was, I’m willing to bet it didn’t take place in a video game. For as much as conversations have become a central mechanic in nearly every RPG on the market, few of them feel real. You don’t engage in them, you barrel through them looking for your next quest or searching out that particularly delicious piece of lore. They’re puzzles where you search for the right combination of buttons to get what you want rather than conversations.
The Last Guardian is a difficult game to love. The nine years it took to develop comes out in its many flaws, and you will deal with dodgy frame rates, a camera which makes the one in Dark Souls look genius, clipping, occasionally poor graphics, more than a few bugs and a rather stubborn dog. And yet despite every one of those issues I adore it and particularly said dog.
There’s a moment about three-quarters of the way through V when following a particularly gruelling shootout Nathan Drake and his long-suffering better half Elena stop to engage in some mild bickering about what has come before. Eventually, they sign an uneasy peace and get in the car to drive off elsewhere. What follows is 30 seconds to a minute of Naughty Dog at their best. The music rises and as the beautiful landscape flies past you can sit back and appreciate what they’ve created. It’s the giraffe in The Last Of Us all over again.
There was a moment about ten hours into Dragon Age: Inquisition when I seriously considered packing the whole thing in and moving on. Every fight felt like a losing battle, and the story had all the gripping power of Jamie Langfield grasping for a cross (niche reference). It was only the fact that the game was already well over two years old and the knowledge that leaving it behind now was leaving it behind forever that convinced me to keep going. Thankfully, it turned out to be the right decision.
Like 37 million other people I spent this weekend immersed in the Mushroom Kingdom and tapping my finger along to Super Mario Run. Nintendo’s first foray into mobile gaming has attracted praise and controversy, with many pissed off at them having the gall to ask for money for their work and others annoyed at the need to be always online.
Another year, another Football Manager and another time sink that will take up well over a hundred hours of my life. My Football Manager addiction has been covered before, and I can reliably inform you that it hasn’t worn off, yet. Which brings us to the newest addition in the franchise, the unsurprisingly named Football Manager 2017. So the question is, how good is it?