Like drift-racer OutRun before it, After Burner is the latest Sega classic to get an HD remake and a release on XBLA. Out of the two, OutRun Online Arcade is still the one to go for – there’s much more bang for your buck there. After Burner Climax features a reworked version of the Arcade mode, which – despite looking lovely in HD and being incredibly satisfying to play – only amounts to about ten minutes of fun. Sure, you can change some variables in the main Arcade by fiddling with EX options (get a bigger targeting reticule, more credits, an auto-gun and so on), but if anything that makes your play-throughs shorter...
What’s your view on point-and-click games? Old-fashioned and tedious, or deliciously retro? Because this game is only going to be suitable for those who thrive on the kind of gameplay that has you filling a bucket with water drawn from the hand pump outside the kitchen, offering it to a goat so he’ll move to one side and grant you access to a remote part of the island, where you’ll then find a harness you must give to the
Forget what you’ve seen on CSI. When it comes to solving a murder case, all that you really need is the ability to locate five peaches in a cluttered bedroom. In this mystery-themed puzzler it’s not powers of deduction that’ll help you play the role of Poirot, but I-Spy skills and 20/20 vision.
There’s about a million adventure games that would be brilliant on the Wii. Imagine a LucasArts compilation – we’d happily pay near full price for that. What we wouldn’t happily do is pay the same amount to direct a waddling Belgian around a static seaside resort.
Botched movie-to-game adaptations are nothing new, but blunders of the book-to-game variety may be on the rise. As the second Agatha Christie game from The Adventure Company, Murder on the Orient Express casts you as an eager assistant to the famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, as you work to solve a mysterious murder aboard a luxurious train to Paris - but the fun gets derailed before you even leave the station. Sticking close to the plot of the novel, the game moves at an
How would you go about making a classic ‘whodunnit’ mystery novel even better? If your answer is “By turning it into a videogame where your time is divided between furiously tapping the touchscreen to keep the dialogue moving, answering sub-Layton calibre logic puzzles (usually about train times – Poirot gives this kind of thing too much thought) and desperately fighting against an overly-fussy handwriting recognition system,” you answered… incorrectly!
Pirates, eh!? Brilliant, eh!? Not really, but this is a multiplayer game up there with Bomberman and Worms. Eight players sail the seas, fight, and attempt to occupy ports to secure victory. Offline, it’s... a bit rubbish. It’s a speedy and strategic RTS-lite, and unlike anything else on PSN. Just don’t bother playing alone.
Pirates, eh!? Brilliant, eh!? Not really, but this is a multiplayer game up there with Bomberman and Worms.
Making an online game these days is tough, as there are few interesting settings left to force into the bizarre mold that is the MMO. Luckily for us, there’s a chauvinistic lore-trove waiting in the wings: Robert E. Howard’s Hyboria - the world of shirtless sword-swinger Conan the Cimmerian - which has now become the most brutal MMO in existence.
The original Age of Empires sold a gazillion copies by ushering in the idea of epochs in real-time strategy games (where you slowly move your civilization through a series of technological ages). Since then, Age of Mythology and Age of Empires II each offered incremental changes, and Age of Empires III keeps the streak alive. That's both good and bad: the gameplay is accessible, easy to learn and very polished, but too often Age III has a "been there, done that" feeling.