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Posts tagged “retrospective”

Feature: Yes, Myst is still one of the worst games ever

Is Myst still one of the worst games ever?

I have been rude about Myst for longer than many readers will have been alive. Seriously, I'm talking for 21 years professionally, and six years before that as a hobbyist hater of terrible games. But, today I confront myself with an uncomfortable reality: I've not played it in a very long time. I've been wrong about other games. What if I'm wrong about Myst? What…

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Feature: Don't gib it the time of day

Daikatana is a game that lives down to its reputation

When I turn my mind to choosing the next game for Past Perfect, I tend to pick between one of two agenda. The first is to replay a game I remember really enjoying to see if I was right to. The other is to replay a game that has a terrible reputation to see if it's deserved. I think it's obvious Daikatana appears in the…

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Feature: Dishonorable

Thief (2014) isn’t as bad as you remember, but gosh, no, it’s still not good enough

My agenda: I really wanted to return to 2014's hated Thief and prove that it never deserved the vitriol it received. My reality: before the game even started I was bombarded by a barrage of pop-up windows informing me which new heists and levels were available to me as DLC, and I started to hate it a bit already. So why this desire to defend…

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Feature: A Keeper

Thief: Deadly Shadows will still have you fearing the light some 16 years on

I was a little afraid of returning to this one. Not because I knew it'd mean returning to The Cradle, even though I was very intrigued to see if it would still work. But because I once scored it 90% in a magazine, and I really didn't want to be wrong. What if I'd been caught up in the hype of reviewing a massive title…

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Feature: Frobozz Magic

Zork: Grand Inquisitor is the only pre-rendered, FMV game that should ever have been allowed

Last week I settled an old argument. Well, lost an old argument. RPS contributor Richard Cobbett had always told me Zak McKracken was a terrible game, and oh boy, he was right. Which reminded me of our other decades-long feud: Zork - Grand Inquisitor.

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Feature: She blows poodles over old noizglunk

Zak McKracken And The Alien Mindbenders: The LucasArts game you don’t want to play any more

I remember really loving Zak McKracken And The Alien Mindbenders. Richard Cobbett, frequently of this parish, always tells me that I am stupid and wrong and it was a terrible game. So I finally decided to prove him wrong.

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Feature: VVSOP2123

Star Trek: Judgment Rites is a joyful anachronism from an impossible past

The shock doesn't wear off. Before you all departed for Christmas shore leave, I wrote about returning to the peculiarly named Star Trek: 25th Anniversary Edition, wherein I expressed the complete bizarreness that comes with hearing the original cast of the TV show reunited to voice, of all things, a point-and-click adventure game. Everything about that just seems so utterly anachronistic today, and yet in…

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Feature: "That's a phaser, not a flashlight!"

Star Trek: 25th Anniversary has so much to teach modern games

Please update your nomenclature from Star Trek: 25nd Anniversary to Star Trek: 52th Anniversary. It is indeed a worrisome 27 years since this first Star Trek graphic adventure game came out in 1992. But sure - SURELY - it must be absolutely unplayable rubbish now, right? I mean, let's look at the ingredients: TV/Movie tie-in game. Non-Sierra/LucasArts early '90s adventure. Three decades old. Thing is,…

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Feature: Thanks for the memories

Nine years on, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is still scary as all hell

I return to Amnesia: The Dark Descent with one question alone: will it still scare me? Amnesia scared the bejesus out of me in 2010 when it first came out. But we all know how games age, and the magic can wear off. At the time the graphics and physics on offer were really astonishing work for a tiny indie team, but what about almost…

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Feature: A force for good

If you like Star Wars you should play the 22 year old Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2

Star Wars is, for me, first and foremost a video game franchise. I know there are films, I’ve seen some of them (seven of the eleven by my count), but I’m far more likely to tell you that A New Hope took place between the events of Jedi: Fallen Order and Dark Forces II than the other way around. When I see that title fade…

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Feature: Tentacles at dawn

What Call Of Cthulhu and The Sinking City could learn from this interactive fiction classic

Picture Cthulhu and his tentacled cohorts, dark and dreaming beneath the waves. H.P. Lovecraft’s crooked astral vistas - wrought out of cosmic despair, fear of the unknown, and his racism - have saturated games for better and worse. As hypnotic as his nightmare visions are, the same tropes regurgitated at face value have become dry and tired. It’s been done, and it’s steeped in its…

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Feature: A flood of praise

The best Halo has been on PC all along

Halo: The Master Chief Collection will make its way to PC soon, bringing the whole Halo series to this lovely platform. While I can't wait, let's be honest: the best one has been on PC this whole time. Halo: Combat Evolved hasn't been bettered by follow-up installments, but the reasons for that are tricky to nail down. It popularised many things in first-person shooters, such…

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Feature: We live in its shadow

Hold it right there, you taffer – Thief is 20 years old today!

Is Thief: The Dark Project the best game ever? If Thief II isn't, then it definitely is. With its twentieth birthday arriving today, I've been replaying the original sneak 'em up to see if it still holds up (of course it does), and whether my memory of it stands up to reality (it's way better than I remembered).

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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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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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Planet X3 is a brand new CGA DOS game in development

Among the folks I follow on YouTube, I tune into The 8-Bit Guy whenever I feel like seriously learning about retro computer history. On top of his hardware breakdowns and restoration projects, he semi-recently made a strategy game for the Commodore 64 called Planet X2. For some time he's been working on a PC-based sequel designed to support even the most ancient of IBM-compatible machines,…

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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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Feature: A final farewell

The rise and fall of Super Monday Night Combat helped make me better

I don’t think many will mourn the death of Super Monday Night Combat. Uber Entertainment’s free-to-play follow-up to XBLA smash Monday Night Combat was something of a hidden gem, albeit one with its die-hard fans. It still sits at the top of my Steam most-played list, and I promise this piece isn’t just an excuse for dumping over a thousand hours in a game few…

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