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Author: Ross Joseph Gardner

Deathloop – The Verdict

Deathloop – The Verdict

“I’m gonna live happily ever after, right here. Forever.”

As I finish absorbing the Residuum from a temporally-dislocated shovel, I’m told Julianna is on the hunt. What’s she on the hunt for?

Me. Why? Because I want to break the loop – the interminable hell of living the same day over, and over, and over again, on a demented island called Blackreef.

And likely for something more. Something that’s woven into every tick of every clock.

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Boyfriend Dungeon – The Verdict

Boyfriend Dungeon – The Verdict

“We’re just too hot for this old rickety thing to handle.”

Verona Beach – a chill place to spend the summer. Especially in a rent-free apartment previously occupied by your cousin. Kind of him to offer you the space, even if he’s one of the most obnoxious and interfering people you’ll ever meet. But hey, families – can’t pick ‘em.

But you can pick lovers, and that’s part of the reason you’re here. See, you’ve never had a date. Not even once. Your cousin, under some duress from your mother, has been assigned your wingman, but it won’t be long before you’re able to make connections at your own pace. Connections that have some very interesting quirks…

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Quake – Dimension of the Machine

Quake – Dimension of the Machine

“Yet again being a cog in the machine…”

The dimension of Quake’s evil has the power to possess. We see its dark influence in the corrupted soldiers of fallen portal stations and the Eldritch structures that blot a netherworld beyond space and time. That dark influence has now taken possession of Machine Games, and they have channelled it into the game’s fourth official expansion, Dimension of the Machine.

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Quake Remaster Released

Quake Remaster Released

QuakeCon got off to a fantastic start today with the release of a remastered Quake, available on digital storefronts for just £7.99 – and free too those who already own it. Long-rumoured and much anticipated, this remaster comes courtesy of Machine Games Nightdive Studios, and id Software.

Machine Games had already proven their Quake bona fides with the 2016 release of Dimension of the Past, a third expansion pack to the original game that was released on Quake’s twentieth anniversary. That expansion pack is now available in the remaster package, along with plenty more to be excited about.

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Discovering Super Metroid

Discovering Super Metroid

“The last Metroid is in captivity. The galaxy is at peace…”

The start of last summer was special, in spite of everything: I completed System Shock for the very first time. I had long been acquainted with its sequel, but the original eluded me. To my surprise it was unquestionably the best gaming experience I had throughout 2020, save Half-Life: Alyx.

Not bad going for a game close to thirty years old. I didn’t much expect anything comparable in 2021, but 1994 wasn’t done with me yet.

Enter Super Metroid.

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DOOM 64 – A Retrospective

DOOM 64 – A Retrospective

“The planetary policy was clear. An absolute quarantine was guaranteed by apocalyptic levels of radiation. The empty dark corridors stand motionless, abandoned. The installations sealed.”

Doom 64 took me by surprise. Growing up I never owned a Nintendo 64 (I was a PlayStation kid), so for years I operated under the belief that no such conversion of id’s classic first-person shooter had made its way onto Nintendo’s console. By the time I learned of its existence, my interest was best described as “indifferent”. I just casually assumed it was Doom all over again, not caring to dig any deeper into Midway Games’ title.

What a putz.

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Backbone – The Verdict

Backbone – The Verdict

“So much misguided effort pursuing only the shadow of the big picture – why?”

I’d been anticipating Backbone for some time, but I didn’t go into it with an excited smile. Not quite. That isn’t because it was released to polarising reviews, but rather because of the developer’s response to that reception. It goes without saying these developers put everything into their game, and goddamn, they have every right to stand by it with confidence and pride.

I am so very behind that…

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Retrospective – Soul Reaver 2 (2001)

Retrospective – Soul Reaver 2 (2001)

“But suppose your throw a coin enough times – suppose one day it lands on its edge.”

The opening to Soul Reaver is seared into my memory. No matter how many times I watch the introductory cutscene, the booming synth pulls me right back into the Gothic tableau of the Legacy of Kain universe, as if I were discovering it anew. With slick narrative efficiency, it sets in motion a tale of vengeance that spills out across time, daring its protagonists to challenge the apparent indomitability of fate.

And dare they do.

Yeah, I adore Soul Reaver.

So. Soul Reaver 2, then. A challenging game to write about, frankly.

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Overboard! – The Verdict

Overboard! – The Verdict

Attempting to get away with homicide in the presence of a detective is pure folly, but that’s never stopped Agatha Christie’s villains, has it? Still, they all stumble in the end – Poirot and his fellow sleuths are just that good, ain’t they?

Overboard! has no such detective figure (well, not quite), so the plan to push my broke, fascist-sympathising husband into the ocean and claim his life insurance ought to be a doddle. But it turns out – can you believe it? – murder just isn’t that simple.

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