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 build on the legacy of games like Outrun 2, Split Second and Blur, but takes the mascot racer, a genre that often aggravates players with its random elements, and turns it into a serious competitive racer. All while being an absurdly fun celebration of all things SEGA. Read the rest of this entry »
Exsssssploring the controller
When we put up our review of Snake Pass [official site] I remember one of the comments asking about whether you can play the game on mouse and keyboard. It’s an interesting question. The short answer is yes, but the longer answer is about how the developers, particularly Seb Liese whose tech prototype for snake movement started the whole ball rolling (or snake slithering), saw the controller in relation to the experience of playing. The way the input feels is intended to be a part of the whole experience – to the point where Liese was lobbying to ship without a mouse and keyboard option at one point because they hadn’t found one which adequately expressed the same physical elements of playing. Read the rest of this entry »
Teach yourself python
Smarter than half a dozen BioShocks despite looking a bit like it fell from a lost GameCube promotional disc, Snake Pass [official site] is an animal physics game without the slapstick comedy that often entails. (Tail, like a snake has).
I’m not sure if it’s best referred to as a platformer or a puzzle game. The main activity in Snake Pass is progressing from one platform to another, but where historically (hiss, like a snake) platformers involve high-speed bounding from place to place, this is about slow-speed slithering, climbing and clenching. You’re a snake, see. Snakes don’t jump, apart from in that bit in David Attenborough when one of them snatches a hummingbird out of the air or something.
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Can Cars Be Art?
This is the latest in the series of articles about the art technology of games, in collaboration with the particularly handsome Dead End Thrills.
How better to celebrate 25 years of Mega Drive than on a site dedicated to PC games, via a game synonymous with Xbox-powered coin-ops? Not so fast, RPS! This copy of the seldom-bought PC version of OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast protects this feature. [Holds up empty hand.] No, wait, these copies! [Turns to empty shelf.] Aha! These copies! [Fires up empty web page.] Nngh! They were right here! Get this straightjacket off me!
Okay, so it’s not actually possible to buy this game any more due to expired Ferrari licensing. Not that it matters here. There’s always a fistful of reasons to talk about OutRun, not just the coincidence of Mega Drive’s birthday which I only heard about this morning. Read the rest of this entry »