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Amr Al-Aaser

2 months ago

Feature: New Testaments

Puyo Puyo Tetris is a history lesson in competitive puzzles

New Testaments is a monthly column in which Amr Al-Aaser presents an overlooked modern game and explicates its best ideas. After several years trapped in a Tetris licensing hell, Puyo Puyo Tetris finally appeared on PC earlier this year. Developed by Sonic Team, the game is a reflection of the long histories of both franchises. Each game began quietly as a PC title, evolving through…

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4 months ago

Feature: New Testaments

Nioh brings a ballet of breathtaking violence

New Testaments is a new monthly column in which Amr Al-Aaser presents an overlooked modern game and explicates its best ideas. Nioh is the kind of game that this column exists for. On release it quickly saw itself buried beneath the comparisons to Dark Souls, praised for the ways it imitated the series, and criticised for its failings in repeating From Software's successes. But while…

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5 months ago

Feature: New Testaments

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed turned the mascot racer into serious competition

New Testaments is a monthly retrospective in which Amr Al-Aaser presents an overlooked modern game and champions its best ideas. Sonic the Hedgehog might be fast, but he’s probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of top tier arcade racers. So it might catch you by surprise to find out that Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed manages to not only…

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6 months ago

Feature: New Testaments

Chronicles Of Teddy makes music into a language

New Testaments is a new monthly column in which Amr Al-Aaser presents an overlooked modern game and explicates its best ideas. From the opening titles it's clear that Chronicles of Teddy is channeling a deep fondness of Zelda II. There's homage clear in its presentation and its structure. But Chronicles of Teddy never quite reaches the heights of that inspiration. Its world is too meandering,…

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8 months ago

Feature: Political without being heavy handed

Even The Ocean shows us how good people let bad things happen

Videogames aren't much for quiet. They trend towards spectacle, to grandiose statements of scale, and the intense catharsis of violence. And sometimes that means we won’t hear a message unless its shouted at us, unless it roars above the noise ever present in this space. We prefer meaning to be blunt and dramatic. So it’s easy to see how Even The Ocean, the second game…

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9 months ago

Feature: Not just Sonic in a new skin

Spark the Electric Jester is more than mere homage

Games often feel doomed to be defined either by the games they're inspired by, or the games they go on to inspire. After all, this is a space where certain games loom so large that we've named entire genres after them. So it can be tough to sneak out of the "x meets y" framework we use to describe games. Spark the Electric Jester wears…

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