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  • Image for Mechfights made mellow in Ignited Steel: Mech Tactics

    While fads come and go, mech games continue to simmer pleasantly away without ever taking over or going away. The latest one I've finally made some time for is Ignited Steel Colon Mech Tactics, a turn-based tactical game with a light sprinkling of FTL.

    Despite appearances, it's quite mildly roguelike, and those of you who dig a complex strategic challenge or skin of your teeth type survival story aren't quite the right audience. This one is a more forgiving affair, and yet not easy or simply enough that I ever got bored. It's a good time.

  • Redgi the rat prince in Tails Of Iron leaping at a giant, monstrous frog that has, somehow, teeth.

    Hello, gentle listener. I'm afraid it has been a while since we went into the exclusion zone to find an episode or two of The Nate Files, our extra supporter-only podcast. This is entirely my fault; I was incautious while we were in there and accidentally refracted into an eel, and then Nate nearly ate that eel - it was a whole thing*, but I'm right as rain now. That's a-moray! Thank you for sticking with us while we got that admin sorted out. We really do appreciate your support so we can make these podcasts and do other fun things (like pay for my de-sliming). We couldn't do it without you!

  • Captain Price smokes a cigar in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare

    I've not played Call Of Duty: Warzone in yonks. It used to take up practically all of my time, and now it's sat there neglected on my PC for the better part of a year or so. Even with King Kong and Godzilla arriving in the game today, I'm still playing Fortnite over it, which says it all, really.

    Why did I stop playing Warzone? Other games came along, I suppose. Maybe I'd become a bit burned out, which would only be natural considering the amount of hours I spent ducking and trucking. But I think the way it's changed has played a big part in my departure. More specifically, there's been too much change. The game looks bonkers now.

  • Shirley Curry talks to fans at PAX East 2022

    Supporters only: RPS@PAX 2022: Skyrim Grandma's complete PAX East panel

    Shirley Curry on the enduring appeal of Skyrim, why she won't be playing Starfield, and her ongoing search for creepy, scary games

    One of my biggest highlights from PAX East a couple of weeks ago was attending Shirley Curry, aka: Skyrim Grandma's panel about her roleplaying adventures in Bethesda's enormous RPG. Despite suffering a stroke just a couple of months beforehand, the 85-year-old YouTuber was on fine form during her PAX East panel, speaking to a packed out theatre of fans and viewers who have spent the better part of six years following her various playthroughs through Skyrim as a multitude of different characters. She talked briefly about her writing and character creation process for her Let's Play-style videos, before spending a whopping 45 minutes answering questions from the audience. These covered everything from her favourite things in Skyrim to her favourite, real-life candy, and also included a surprising number of horror game recommendations. In her own words, she loves stuff that's "weird and creepy", and has recently been looking for something new to play. "I’d really like to play a dark, scary game," she said, and the audience were only too happy to oblige.

    It was a truly wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon, and as soon as it was over, both Liam and I knew it was too good not to share. Here's a written transcript of the entire audience Q&A in full, plus a summary of her opening speech, for your reading pleasure.

  • Image for Ultra Age is a solid budget hack and slash

    In theory I'm rather partial to slash-em-up crowd fighting games, but I've never got on with the big names in the genre. Your Devil May Cries and your God Of Warses are the obvious reference points for describing Ultra Age, but it doesn't really feel like them, and I don't think it's trying to either.

    The basic idea is that you're stranded on a jungle planet full of industrial ruins, and have to fight through robots and huge animals in small groups, switching between several (kinda samey) swords as needed. It's not really doing anything spectacular, but it's enough of its own thing to feel like more than just a budget God Of Cries.

  • Image for RPS@PAX 2022: Our favourite booths from the show (and bonus carpet rankings)

    PAX East 2022 may be over, but we’ve still got plenty of things to talk about from our time in Boston. We have a bunch of videos in the pipeline that I can’t wait to share with you (including a fun piece exploring PAX staple collectible Pinny Arcade) but for now I think it’s about time we spoke about one of the best bits of in-person shows: the booths.

    Now, we already highlighted most of the booths at PAX East in our show floor tour that we published during the event itself, but we wanted to focus on some of our favourites in a little more detail. Come and see them (and their carpets) in all their glory below. I'm not kidding about the carpets. They were astounding.

  • The avatar of Ariana Grande in Fortnite's Rift Tour event.

    My friends and I have come full circle. We've gone from aggressively dunking on Fortnite to actively enjoying Fortnite. Why? Desperation. And its No Build mode. We sought a lighthearted battle royale having tried loads of others, and were suckered in by the prospect of a Fortnite that didn’t feature people erecting defensive fortresses in milliseconds.

    Incredibly, the game has delivered. I'm having fun - albeit with a tinge of unease. Not only does the game act like a blaring reminder that I've lost touch with the Top 40, it's also a bizarre metaverse where nothing is sacred.

  • Image for I stand with the excellent regicidal duelling robots of Hats Are Not Allowed

    This is just superb.

    I'm not a fan of most fighting games. All too often they have too many elaborate moves, too much memory testing, or they feel like glorified puzzles you have to figure out the one solution to.

    Hats Are Not Allowed takes an approach I find far more interesting. Combat is pared down to a few basic principles, and the challenge comes from learning how to combine them, and timing is less about animations than about second guessing your opponent. I can't say it's one of the best dueling games ever, but it's the best one I've played for ages.

  • Image for Warstride Challenges is an FPS where your greatest enemy... is yourself

    Warstride Challenges is a retro-inspired FPS that's also a rally game at heart. The game rules and I am smitten with it, mainly because it puts my FPS acumen through its paces: aim, movement, and shrimp-back are all subject to rigorous testing.

    But the game also appeals to a primal, competitive side of me. The one that's desperate to beat my rival Patrick, a bot who's literally programmed to be really good, and Edders, a ghostly version of myself who either strokes my ego or shatters it to pieces.

  • Image for RPS@PAX 2022: We chat to TinyBuild about Hello Neighbor 2, killer vacuums, giant spiders and a very big bear

    If you thought Larian's walled castle booth at this year's PAX East was impressive, wait until you clap eyes on TinyBuild's full-on PAX carnival. It was here where we saw Potion Craft's delightfully detailed little magic tent, for example, as well as the world's largest luminescent, inflatable spider, who was on hand repping their new arachnid-based multiplayer lightsaber game, Spiderheck. To talk more about the stand and the publisher's upcoming slate of games, we spoke to CEO Alex Nichiporchik, all in the company of his good (and grizzly) friend Larry the bear.

  • Image for RPS@PAX 2022: The best cosplay we saw at the show

    Supporters only: RPS@PAX 2022: The best cosplay we saw at the show

    Elden Ring cosplayers were particularly strong this year

    PAX East 2022 may be done and dusted for another year, but we've still got plenty more PAX-related goodies coming down the content pipes - and what better way to kick off our post-PAX offering than by rounding up all the best cosplay we saw down on the show floor? After all, it wouldn't be PAX, or indeed any kind of convention, without attendees showing off their incredible handiwork, so come and celebrate their sewing needle and glue gun skills by watching the video below.

  • Image for RPS@PAX 2022: Sunday daily round-up

    Supporters only: RPS@PAX 2022: Sunday daily round-up

    Our final report from the show floor

    PAX East 2022 has officially closed its doors for another year. We've had a great time over the last four days, but alas, it's time for us to head back home to the RPS Treehouse, find a nice cosy corner, and sleep for 100 years. Before we do that, though, here's our final daly round-up video, which is all about games, games, games. Enjoy!

  • Image for RPS@PAX 2022: We tour Larian's Baldur's Gate 3 booth, and chat about its 2023 release date

    Of all the booths at PAX East 2022 this year, Larian's Baldur's Gate III stand was by far one of the most impressive. Not only did they construct an entire walled city to hark back to its iconic, titular location, but they also had an enormous Nautiloid crashed into the top of it. There was a Mindflayer statue on hand as well, for fans to pose with next to their official cosplayers, and a little campfire for attendees to have a small sit down on, just like they'd do when resting in the game. It was such an incredible booth that we asked Larian to give us a tour of it, and while we did so we also took the opportunity to chat a bit about the reception of Update 7, the confirmation of its 2023 release date and more.

  • Image for RPS@PAX 2022: Saturday daily round-up

    Supporters only: RPS@PAX 2022: Saturday daily round-up

    Indie games galore, and hanging out with Skyrim Grandma

    Day Three of PAX East 2022 is done and dusted for another year, which means it's time for another daily round-up video. We had another jam-packed schedule today, checking out Dome Keeper (formerly known as Ludum Dare darling Dome Romantik) over on the Raw Fury booth, before heading over to the PAX Rising Showcase to check out a specially curated selection of upcoming indie games. We also caught up with Larian to chat about Baldur's Gate 3 (watch out for a dedicated video coming in the next day or two), and we capped off the day by attending Shirley "Skyrim Grandma" Curry's panel over on the Bumblebee Theatre stage. I'll be writing up a separate post about this in the coming days, but needless to say, Shirley was an absolute delight.

  • Image for RPS@PAX 2022: McPixel 3 is back and just as daft as ever

    The first McPixel was one of those point and click adventures that was just so wholesomely silly that it won you over with its mix of daft humour and bonkers, quickfire 'save the day' scenarios. Now, everyone's favourite bomb disposal expert is back in McPixel 3 (solo developer Sos Sosowski prefers we never mention the likes of McPixel 2), which we got to see in action over at the Devolver booth at PAX East 2022. Sosowski took the reins for us in this demo, showing us exactly how not to save the world in this equally comedic sequel, proving that the McPixel formula is still just as potent ten years on from the original.

  • Image for RPS@PAX 2022: The evolution of PC hardware modding

    Supporters only: RPS@PAX 2022: The evolution of PC hardware modding

    We chat with panel moderator Isaïe "Trouffman" Simonnet about the past, present and future of the hardware modding community

    PC hardare modding is never something I had the guts to try during my time in the RPS hardware mines, but after attending The Evolution Of PC Modding panel at PAX East this week, I wish I'd been a little bolder. Moderated by Overclocking-TV.com's Isaïe "Trouffman" Simonnet with special guests Joe Gialanella from ModMyMods, Eric "hobbseltoff" Hobbs from PC Modding Enthusiast, and Justin "Robeytech" Robey, these four experts took us through the history of PC modding over the last 15 years, the highs and lows of some of their very own builds, and what lies in store for PC modding going forward. It was a fascinating panel, and we caught up with Simonnet afterwards to try and recapture some of that excellent hardware chat for you folks at home.

  • Image for RPS@PAX 2022: Friday daily round-up

    Supporters only: RPS@PAX 2022: Friday daily round-up

    Games! Interviews! And a Wordle Royale?

    We're now halfway through PAX East 2022, which can only mean one thing: it's time for our second daily round-up video. Instead of plonking ourselves in the middle of the empty show floor after hours, we snuck back into Devolver's booth to film our Friday catch-up, where we started our day some 10 hours beforehand. We got the lowdown on McPixel 3 from solo dev Sos Sosowski, and marvelled once again at the lovely overgrown arcade cabinets of reverse citybuilder Terra Nil. We then moved over to the Focus stand to play supernatural cowboy slayer Evil West and the ultra fast FPS Warstride Challenges. We also stopped by the Pinny Arcade communtiy meet-up today, and sat in on a couple of panels, including one about the history of PC hardware modding and a Wordle Royale. Find out exactly what that means in the video below.

  • A Borderlands bandit in a mask points fingerguns at his own head.

    Pretend it's Thursday for a second. We've just emerged from Gearbox's 80-minute panel at PAX East 2022, and we're wondering how they managed to spend so much time talking about so little. You know something's gone wrong in a conference when you've got an entire segment dedicated to just merch, and Gearbox groupies are hollering for Tiny Tina G-Fuel cans like it was mana from heaven. Lucky for you, we suffered through all the merch plugs, the failed trailer loads, nothing announcements and yet another 20-minute magic set to bring you this condensed version of Gearbox's panel news, all so you don't have to suffer through that interminably long stream. Here's everything you need to know from the Gearbox Main Theatre Show panel in 5 minutes.

  • Image for RPS@PAX 2022: Cursed To Golf dev tells us exactly what's up with all the wacky golf games recently

    Recently, we asked what's the deal with all the wacky golf games coming out this year? Well, we thought we better answer that question by going straight to the source. While we were out at PAX East 2022, we tracked down the director of upcoming roguelike Cursed To Golf, Liam Edwards. As well as asking him about the enduring appeal of sunny green fairways, we also putted our way through its excellent PAX East demo, discovering this golflike is anything but cursed.

  • A screenshot from Approaching Infinity where the away team are exploring a planet

    There are plenty of space exploration games that take after Elite. It's only a matter of time before I end up recommending one here, since they're often pretty good, but Approaching Infinity has got there first because it's not only good, it's doing things completely differently.

    It's a free-roaming space game about exploring, trading, fighting, and doing questy things. But instead of copying Elite wholesale, it merely borrows some parts, and combines them with a classic roguelike framework, and lovingly paints the result with a huge dose of Star Trek. If your eyebrows just did a thing, I'd be very surprised if you don't enjoy it.

  • Image for RPS@PAX 2022: Tour of the show floor

    PAX East 2022 is in full swing, and we've been marching round the show floor to capture all the sights and sounds going on inside the Boston convention centre. After all, why should attendees have all the fun? Join us for our giant tour of the PAX East show floor, where we go behind the scenes on all the biggest stands, games and arenas to give you a snapshot picture of all things PAX.

  • Image for RPS@PAX 2022: The best (and most cursed) things we saw on the show floor

    We're still putting the finishing touches to our big PAX East show floor tour video, but while we wait, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek at some of the best (and worst) things we saw on our travels round the Boston convention centre. In the latter category, first prize definitely goes to the trio of highly cursed doll babies scattered around the stand for Chernobylite, the post-apocalyptic survival horror roguelite that came out last year. They were also accompanied by two gas masks, casually strewn across the corners of TV screens, but nothing compared to the truly haunted look of these semi-melted plastic husks.

  • Image for RPS@PAX 2022: Thursday daily round-up

    PAX East 2022 opened its doors for the first time in two years today, welcoming the masked and vaccinated masses to the Boston convention centre. As mentioned earlier in the week, Liam and I are out there in person, and we're making exclusive behind the scenes videos for RPS supporters. To kick things off, we've put together our first daily round-up video, where we tell what we got up to today, along with the biggest news from the show floor. Come and join us for our first daily rundown of PAX East.

  • Tunic fox holding up a sword on a grassy hill

    Lots of people (Katharine) said how much they liked Tunic. An isometric action game about a fox dressed as Zelda who goes an ickle wickle adventure. How good could it really be? Good apparently. Fine, sorry Tunic fans (mainly Katharine) I was very wrong.

    Brendy's Tunic review (oh, and sorry Brendy) goes into why the game is an isometric treat. But there's another thing I'd like to highlight: the music. It's a magnificent work companion or study aid or meditative ascent to nirvana enabler.

  • Image for Our Flag Means Death has renewed my desire for a proper single player pirate RPG

    This weekend I managed to watch, after recommendations from every corner of the internet, Our Flag Means Death, a TV show that is perhaps the most literal expression of the 'be gay, do crime' meme yet committed to celluloid. This got me thinking about pirate games again, as I do every 12-18 months or so. Everyone likes the pirate concept, and there is, I think, a collective urge to make piratey games. There are a bunch of them, after all. But there hasn't yet been one that I think provides exactly what I want from a pirate game.

  • Image for Bone's Cafe is even more fun than killing customers usually is

    Some of you will know that catering is an industry forever teeming with horrible people under great stress, and one that almost requires huge amounts of drugs to tolerate. And that's without even adding customers to the mix.

    You might think that simply murdering customers who annoyed you would make it a lot easier, but Bone's Cafe has taught me that if anything, killing and cooking people just causes more problems.

    Fun problems, though.

  • A young man poses on the rainy, neon-lit streets of Tokyo with a spirit coming out of his back in Ghostwire Tokyo

    I have now received most (but not quite all) of my stuff after moving, so I have a TV and two (2) consoles to play games on. One thing I've been playing recently is Ghostwire: Tokyo, a ghost huntin' action game that's a bit less weird and a bit more "kind of like an Ubisoft game" than I was expecting. But I like Ubisoft games just fine, so I'm having a blast - plus there are still some clutch ghost fights to be hand when I run out of finger-ammo for my magic hands.

    I am extra delighted by the animals, though. For whatever reason, they are unaffected by the evil fog that has swept through Tokyo and turned everyone into spirits, so there are a few dogs and cats just sitting around and (and this is the good bit) you can read their thoughts.

  • A screenshot from platformer Reiterate showing the player, a little white stickperson, jumping over spiked obstacles and platforms against a green background. At the top, dialogue reads 'Which is what I WOULD say, if I was trying to kill you.'

    The brutally hard one-hit platformer fad of the 2010s largely passed me by, and though traditionally I'd take this opportunity to slag both them and you off, I've nothing much against them as a whole. They just tend to bounce me off pretty fast, and a bit like with adventure games, when I get stuck I typically just get bored and do something else.

    It took almost 70 levels for Reiterate to do that. That's a recommendation.

  • Malenia, Blade of Miquella and the Goddess of Rot in Elden Ring

    Since Elden Ring hit the stores, I've been on a spree of #content. Loads of pieces, all expressing my adoration of a game that's proper lush. But in playing a game I enjoy, I have also played myself. My desire to visit The Lands Between has dipped and I'm not sure how to deal with this unexpected reaction. So, I am going to lay my thoughts out in words and hope that it untangles something in my brain. Here goes.

  • Image for Without TV I have become fixated on the shipping lane outside my house

    Regular readers will know that I have been complaining about moving to another country for some time. This move has now happened, but if you were hoping for an update on how I am getting on with a massive virtual jigsaw, you will be disappointed. Everything I own (bar the suitcase of clothes Mr. Ryanair allowed on the plane) has been held by customs. More monstrous is that my stuff actually cleared customs, but some absolute head-melter unrelated to me or my boxes of pens - and who, I am choosing to assume, tried to ship a load of high grade cocaine into Ireland - got the entire container stopped in Dublin.

    This means that I have been without any TV for two weeks. Nor any books, video games, or even my big bag of crochet. We didn't get internet until two days ago. It is only by the grace of a technician looking at an HDMI cable stuck in our wall jack, stroking his chin, and then yanking the cable really hard that I'm talking to you now. In those two weeks, I discovered I am weak. But by a stroke of complete luck the new flat faces an busy shipping lane in an estuary. So I have also discovered a deep love for big boats and VesselFinder.