Retrospective: The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time

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at 04:00pm April 21 2014
Ocarina 1

Shigeru Miyamoto once said that ‘a delayed game is eventually good; a bad game is bad forever’. If that saying were ever to be collected, it should be illustrated with a picture of Ocarina Of Time, the game that didn’t make the Nintendo 64 launch date by over two years. If gaming ever had a…

Retrospective: Half-Life 2

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at 01:00pm April 21 2014
Half-Life 2

Had it slipped even farther from that 2003 release date, sending expectations not just through the roof but into outer space, Half-Life 2 would still have scored that 10. Like Xen, the border world in which life for Gordon Freeman went from bad to catastrophic in the blink of an eye, it exists entirely in…

Retrospective: Super Mario 64

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at 10:30am April 21 2014
mario64

To get one of the ‘secret’ castle stars in Super Mario 64, you need to catch a yellow rabbit. It’s there, unexpectedly, when Mario unlocks a door in the basement of Peach’s castle, hopping to and fro. There’s no indication of its purpose, or that you’ll be rewarded for capturing it; no precedent for Mario…

Retrospective: Halo: Combat Evolved

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at 04:00pm April 20 2014
Halo retro

It probably ranks as the greatest turnaround in the history of gaming, and it’s impossible that more could have been riding on it. When Halo was released, Microsoft was seen as a mistrusted outsider with predatory motives and a ridiculed console design. Within a matter of weeks in late 2001, all that had changed. Halo…

Retrospective: The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past

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at 10:30am April 20 2014
Link to the past

There’s something about viewing a Zelda game from above. Shigeru Miyamoto has famously said that the N64’s Ocarina Of Time – which appeared seven long years after this, its home console predecessor, was released in 1991 – was how Zelda had always looked in his head. The implication was that Ocarina was the world of…

Retrospective: Resident Evil 4

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at 04:00pm April 19 2014
Resi4

The phrase ‘a new kind of evil’ has been devalued over the years by marketing folk given little to work with. But not by Resident Evil 4. Not in its parish where clucking chickens scamper at the feet, cows lazily chew cud in their stalls, men tend the crops and women stoke a communal pyre…

Retrospective: Super Mario World

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at 11:23am April 19 2014
Super Mario World

It’s almost a matter of course, discussing a Nintendo great in a retrospective, to detail its innovations at length. If it was the first in beloved series on a new platform – and Super Mario World was just that – then so much the better, because Shigeru Miyamoto and his team are bound to have…

Retrospective: Street Fighter II

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at 05:18pm April 18 2014
Street Fighter II 2

Bursting on to the world arcade scene in 1991 with the force of a Hadouken to redefine the fighting genre and inspire a generation of bragging rights, Street Fighter II has since written its own chapter in the annals of videogame folklore. Almost every gamer, be they casual or hardcore, will have encountered this seminal…

Retrospective: Final Fantasy VII

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at 12:54pm April 18 2014
Final Fantasy VII

Overblown, inconsistent and incoherent are all fair criticisms of FFVII. It’s also understated, consistent and coherent. Like Whitman, it stands above mere critical vocabulary and declares: ‘Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself.’ Utterly modern in setting and narrative, to the point of making ecology the dominant concern, FFVII also contains elements…

Bugbear Entertainment on Next Car Game and the simple pleasure of messy driving

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at 02:30pm April 17 2014
Next Car Game

Admit it: whenever a new Colin McRae or TOCA release presented another nuanced handling model to master, the first thing you did after putting the disc in was to drive into a wall to test how far your car’s bodywork would bend. Inevitably, and disappointingly, it would only ever buckle as far as the indestructible box at the…

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