A little over three years ago, a game that seemed like it might just have what it took to stand up to Final Fantasy appeared. Xenosaga Episode I had amazing graphics, an engrossing and epic story in a far-flung future, and the challenging gameplay to back it up. It had more ambition and polish than any other contender.
Things... didn't work out.
Xenosaga Episode II followed two years later, scaled way back, its story mostly told in flashbacks and its gameplay oversimplified. Predictably, many
At 25, Xevious is probably older than a number of the people reading this review. For those of you who dont know, this 1982 Namco coin-muncher was one of the first vertical scrolling arcade shooters, helping establish the standard for everything that came in its wake. And while the shooter genre has largely come and gone in the annals of gamedom, Xevious remains a very big part of interactive entertainment history.
But the problem with porting and releasing downright ancient games like this on
Pew pew pew go the space lasers. Boom boom boom go the enemies. Wobble wobble wobble goes the fluctuating deep space background. Grow grow grow goes the score multiplier. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. XG Blast! is to Geometry Wars what Pepsi is to Coke: one came first and wowed the world with its fizz and vigour; the other followed, basically copied, but gained a fanbase with some subtle differences.
Start with a second-rate cartoon license. Add a dash of a bargain-bin party game, then stuff it inside half-baked 3D roaming combat and stir well. Finally, let the mix rot in the sun for a week. What do you get? Youd be half right if you said “something really icky,” but youd be totally on the mark if you said Xiaolin Showdown on the PS2.
Xiaolin Showdown is a four-player, free-roaming competitive fighting game (though youd be hard-pressed to tell by reading the blurb on the games
Jim Ansell, the father of Total War, falls out with Creative Assembly’s new owners Sega and leaves to form an indie outfit. His studio’s first release is a thrilling thirteenth century wargame that runs Cantabrian rings round Medieval II. Reviewers love it. Punters love it. Even people that don’t like it love it. A fierce and fruitful rivalry is born. Ah, if only. In truth this doppelganger was made by a gang of Russians,