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Alan Wen

4 months ago

20 years on, Jet Set Radio is still influencing developers

Okay, so technically it wasn't until 2012 that PC players got to skate, tag and grind for themselves, but June 29th marked the 20th anniversary of the original release of Jet Set Radio (or Jet Grind Radio, as it was known Stateside at the time). An anti-establishment skating action game with a killer soundtrack, Jet Set Radio was the hippest thing ever to burst onto…

8 months ago

9 months ago

The joy of harmless griefing in Wattam

Griefing, a term applying to any bad faith behaviour in an online game, whether it’s ruining things for your group or harassing other players, has reared its ugly head since early MMOs like Ultima Online. The behaviour existed even further back in MUDs, text-based multi-user dungeons, before the term griefing had been coined. Yet, going by the popularity of Untitled Goose Game, there’s clearly a…

2 years ago

The Joy Of S-ranking Resident Evil 2

I’m not usually one for speedrunning. I do however get a kick out of being able to get through a game much faster on the second or third time around. There’s just an immense satisfaction of revisiting a brain-bending puzzle or boss fight that had you agonising over an hour the first time, only to mop it up in minutes on a second run.Of the…

The Joy of failing in Katamari Damacy Reroll

Playing Katamari Damacy Reroll can be a lot more unwieldy than you’d expect. But then using both analogue sticks to move and steer your katamari makes sense because it sort of represents the arms of your little prince who’s pushing this katamari in front of him, which gets bigger and bigger the more objects he rolls up. It’d make sense for it to feel unwieldy,…

Firewatch’s walkie-talkie friendship is what made it stand out

First-person walking simulators can be pretty low-budget. That isn’t to say that they can’t look beautiful, as the Hebrides does in Dear Esther, which pioneered the 'walking here for a bit of story there' sub-genre. Making super detailed character models and animations? That’s complicated and resource-heavy. It’s no surprise that an indie developer doing a walking sim might eschew giving their characters actual walk-on parts.You…

The best Japanese games to play on PC

After spending much of this decade catching up with the rest of the world, the Japanese games industry is truly back, and PC gamers have been reaping the rewards of this renaissance. It’s taken time for Japanese developers and publishers to get on board, especially with consoles and smartphones remaining the dominant gaming platforms in their native country. But as classic console franchises finally make…