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Khee Hoon Chan

3 months ago

Feature: O look, a stone

Premature Evaluation: Stone Story RPG

Stone Story begins with the birth of a singular “o”, blinking ceaselessly at the centre of a pitch black screen. Shimmering like buried silver, the text on screen informs you that this is all you see; the rest of the universe lays concealed beneath a veil of darkness. You can’t see or hear anything, but you can, at least, feel the rocks that chafe your…

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5 months ago

Feature: Devotion to the "public interest"

China forced one horror game publisher to close, but the whole region felt it

Much like the phantoms that materialise and disappear within the dusky corridors of Devotion, the game itself felt like an apparition. Launched in February, the solid Taiwanese horror game vanished from Steam just weeks afterwards, due to the discovery of in-game talismans that contain derisive references to China’s President, Xi Jinping. Facing a firestorm of criticism, its studio, Red Candle Games, hurriedly hunkered down, announcing…

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7 months ago

Feature: Dummy horror

Layers Of Fear 2 review

There’s something about mannequins that makes them such prime fodder for horror games. The dead-eyed stare sans pupils, the unnaturally rigid poses and angular elbows, and the perverse mimicry of human behaviour hurls them right into the trough of the uncanny valley. Like many horror staples, these are strategically placed to unnerve players and elicit a quick scare, with a plethora of games placing them…

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9 months ago

Feature: Ape me out tonight

How the frenetic jazz of Ape Out elevates its violence

From the languid tempo that starts each level, to the frenetic bebop energy driving a series of devastating assaults, the soundscape of the indie beat ‘em up Ape Out is all about contrasts. As the eponymous gorilla, Ape Out lets players exact revenge against a battalion of doughy humans who are too feeble to stand directly against your wrath. It’s thunderous centrifuge of jazz and…

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Feature: Eight, eight, eight...

Devotion review

Editor's note: You can't buy Devotion anywhere currently, for reasons discussed in this article. But we're reviewing it anyway. In my younger years, my parents brought me to a Chinese shaman called a jitong. These visits both unnerved and fascinated me. The jitong, who lived in a grimy, dimly lit apartment that smelt of incense, would let herself be possessed by a spirit that spoke…

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1 year ago

Feature: A megaton of memories

Fallout 3 is ten years old, let’s remember its best stories and quests

It began with the flickering of vacuum tubes behind the mesh of a derelict radio. A jaunty 1950s melody drifting out. A brief glance from a Brotherhood of Steel knight, and then the scene cuts to black. A decade ago, this was the introduction to Fallout 3. While the sequence bears a striking resemblance to that of 1997’s Fallout, that’s where most similarities end. Fallout…

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Feature: Yo dawg, I heard you like RPGs...

CrossCode review

Satirical website Hard Drive once ran a story which poked fun at the long, drawn-out nature of most RPGs. In a hard-hitting investigative report, one player was commended for finally “getting to the good shit” at the 117-hour mark of a fictional game, while his roommate scoffed at him for only making it mid-way through the game. Like most RPGs, CrossCode is an immense and…

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Feature: Relishing the last days

LawBreakers didn’t deserve such an ignoble end

Among the avalanche of trigger-happy competitive shooters, LawBreakers is an obvious homage to the twitchy, run-and-gunnners of yesteryear like Quake and Doom. Set in an over-the-top, zero-gravity arena, it encourages and demands from its players a mastery of sharpshooting and bullet-pumping. It’s a pity this may have deterred many aspiring LawBreakers players, and a double pity that the ill-fated studio is shutting down its servers…

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2 years ago

Feature: Object impermenance

The Joy of Serial Cleaner’s utter silliness

Chores are not supposed to be enjoyable. At home, stacks of unwashed bowls, cups and cutlery flood the sink, with the occasional fly fluttering about in search of a morsel. It’s only when I run out of clean plates that I wearily make my way there, caterwauling as I wash the dishes out of sheer necessity. But when staring at the bloodshed of Serial Cleaner,…

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