Retrospective: Shenmue

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at 12:00pm March 1 2014

It’s telling that there are only two series which share that much in common with Shenmue: Yakuza, with its heady Japanese environments, kitsch mini-games and crowd combat, plus The Elder Scrolls’ immense interactive population, circadian routines and completely voiced dialogue. This pair of game series, and their respective yardsticks of production, have paddled in Shenmue’s…

Tim Schafer on puzzles, poop jokes and returning to point-and-click with Broken Age

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at 02:00pm February 27 2014
Tim Schafer

Tim Schafer is the CEO of Double Fine, having made his name in the ’90s with his involvement in the first two Monkey Islands, Day Of The Tentacle, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango. The past few years have seen him experiment with new forms in Psychonauts, Brütal Legend and Stacking, though, so we ask him…

Xbox One and Kinect: saving lives or just a bit creepy?

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at 04:00pm November 26 2013
Kinect 1

Someone telling you they can feel your heartbeat is a sweet, intimate act. Most of all when you’re with your lover; slightly less sweet when it’s your doctor, and not all that sweet really when it’s a bearded man screaming it through your letterbox in the night. With the release of the Xbox One, there’s…

Super Mario 3D World review

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at 06:00pm November 19 2013

Don’t let the name fool you; it may say Super Mario World on the box, but there’s no sign of Yoshi here and no cape either. While Mario’s Tanooki form made a crowd-pleasing return in this game’s closest relative, Super Mario 3D Land, there’s no trace of that billowing yellow strip of magical fabric, which…

Retrospective: Ico

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at 10:00am November 16 2013

When did you first fall in love with Ico? Was it early on, with that initial, misty glimpse of the castle that would become your prison? Or was it later, when the clip-clop of shoes on stone had settled into your mind, and you discovered, at the top of the tower, the ghostly and innocent…

What is Deep Down? Capcom’s bold experiment in next-gen dungeoneering

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at 12:00pm November 11 2013

What exactly is Deep Down? After a few hands-on sessions and a gameplay demonstration led by executive producer Yoshinori Ono at September’s Tokyo Game Show, we’re still not entirely sure. At first, Capcom’s PS4-exclusive dungeon crawler appeared to be its take on Dark Souls. Then a 2094 New York meta-setting was introduced in a setup similar to…

The importance of meta-conversations and the intentional fallacy

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at 12:00pm November 6 2013
The importance of meta-conversations and the intentional fallacy

The world of English literature uses the phrase ‘intentional fallacy’ to mean believing that you can know what an author meant in writing something based on exterior information. A common example would be learning that JRR Tolkien fought at the Somme and inferring that Middle-earth was an allegory about the First and Second World Wars.…

Fable II’s dog, the lovable canine that became Lionhead’s best friend

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at 04:00pm November 4 2013
Fable IIs dog

What makes you attached to an NPC – their function or their form? The death of Aerith in Final Fantasy VII was a narrative gut punch, but it was Square’s audacious decision to rob you of a mid-level healer that truly made her passing a literal loss, one measured in lost experience points and wasted…

Tom Clancy’s The Division: how Ubisoft Massive is making next-gen’s hottest prospect

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at 10:00am October 21 2013
The Division

Don’t let the name deceive you: Ubisoft Massive isn’t an enormous studio. The Swedish developer of E3 2013’s biggest surprise numbers just 300 people. Naturally, as a modern Ubisoft project The Division will ultimately be made in co-development with the publisher’s global network of studios. For the moment, though, fewer than 300 people (15 of…

The Making Of: Berzerk

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at 12:00pm October 19 2013

It’s charming, yet brutal: a game that, back in the arcades, would lure players to its cabinet by broadcasting oddball one-liners, before stealing their money with unexpected ferocity. It’s simplistic, yet quietly thoughtful, building a world from stick-men and right angles, but populating it with clever ideas such as quirky AI that allows the enemies…

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