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…

Chaos Reborn is the sequel 30 years in the making

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at 03:44pm April 15 2014
Chaos Reborn

Julian Gollop made four Rebelstars, two X-COMs, a Ghost Recon and an Assassin’s Creed before considering a return to Chaos. Before Chaos’s most recent rebirth, it was a 1985 ZX Spectrum game, and before that it was a boardgame, but only a handful of British 30-somethings will recognise this as a sequel. For most, Chaos Reborn…

N++ and parting’s sweet sorrow

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at 11:50am April 15 2014

In 2008, I interviewed a game developer for the first time. N+ creators Mare Sheppard and Raigan Burns didn’t ask about my age when I spoke to them, but I would have lied to them if they had. I was 16. Sheppard and Burns were brimming with energy and optimism back then. They’d become two…

How to launch a game in China

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at 10:07am April 15 2014
Auto Club Revolution

China is a huge, intimidating territory for your average studio, but Eutechnyx CEO Darren Jobling is a great believer in its potential. And he’s not the only one – figures from the Chinese government suggest that next year it will overtake the USA as the world’s largest consumer market, and a slew of western companies…

Still Playing: FTL – discovering new ways to die in Subset’s challenging space-captain sim

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at 04:00pm April 14 2014

The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy would probably classify the spiky, metallic Lanius as the one creature in the galaxy you’d least want to meet, largely thanks to their tendency to suck all of the breathable oxygen out of any room they’re standing in. You’d be forgiven for wondering why you’d want one manning the…

Hollow souls: why today’s football games can’t simulate the spirit of the beautiful game

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at 02:48pm April 14 2014
World Cup 2014

While the crazy money at the top tiers of professional football can make a man weep, there’s no doubting what comprises the enduring appeal of the world’s most popular sport, followed by an estimated 3.5 billion people. Or: half the globe’s population. It’s not the glamour or the sports cars, or even the montage of…

This War of Mine: a civilian survival story that is 11 Bit Studios’ ‘most important work ever’

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at 10:50am April 14 2014
This War Of Mine

The opening seconds of the reveal trailer for This War of Mine could be the first mission of a new Modern Warfare. A bunch of well-outfitted soldiers barrel along a wrecked street, bullets whizzing by and grenades going off. One gets caught in the shoulder and spins round to the ground. True, the scene plays…

Retrospective: Puyo Pop Fever

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at 04:32pm April 12 2014
Puyo Pop Fever

Puyo Puyo was created in 1991, but it wasn’t released outside its native Japan until it was repackaged a couple of years later as Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine on the Mega Drive, and Kirby’s Ghost Trap on the SNES. Even then, it took a while to impress European and American audiences due to the…

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