Ten games I’m looking forward to in 2019

It’s 2019! Another year has come and gone, and as usual I enjoyed a whole bunch of new (and old games)…. and also as usual, there were a bunch of games that I’d looked forward to, but then for one reason or another ended up never playing (or, you know, didn’t play yet). GOD OF WAR, MONSTER HUNTER WORLD, 428: SHIBUYA SCRAMBLE, SOULCALIBUR VI, MONSTER BOY, SUPER SMASH BROS ULTIMATE – eh, hopefully I’ll find a little more time for y’all over the coming 12 months.

So, it seems almost a given that at least half of the games I’m looking forward to in 2019 will end up sitting in my shelf, unplayed, till at least 2020, but hey – as bad as I am about buying games and then not play them, I’m sure as hell not gonna feel any backlog shame months in advance… so for now I’ll peacefully enjoy just being able to look forward to stuff, guilt-free!

So here we go, ten games I’m looking forward to (possibly!) playing in 2019: Continue reading Ten games I’m looking forward to in 2019

Thoughts on Streets of Rage 4’s art

A couple of months back, seemingly out of nowhere, DotEmu announced they were bringing out STREETS OF RAGE 4 – the first new STREETS OF RAGE game in 24 years (and counting)! Like many people out there I am hugely fond of the original SOR series, and am largely positive, excited even, for this new game. But given that I am a long-time fan, you bet I’ve got some Thoughts on SOR4.

First off, it should of course be noted that this is early days still. My impressions are all based on the small handful of trailers and screenshots that have been released, and considering the game doesn’t even have an official release date yet, I think it’s fair to say that we are pretty far away from the full picture. Still, based on what DotEmu & co have chosen to show of the game, I think there’s a number of things worth commenting on.

Although SOR4 will (presumably) be the first STREETS OF RAGE game to actually hit the market since 1994, it’s far from the first attempt at bringing the series back. SOR developers Ancient themselves put together concept art as well as mockups for a 3D incarnation back in the 90’s, but this original SOR4 was infamously axed by a SEGA exec unfamiliar with the SOR brand. Continue reading Thoughts on Streets of Rage 4’s art

Ten characters I really want to see return in Mortal Kombat 11

So, I recently wrote a post with a bunch of collected thoughts and speculation on MORTAL KOMBAT 11, but to be perfectly frank the real reason I wanted to write about MK11 was basically to talk about my personal wish list for what (or who) I would like to see in the game. Leave it to a verbose dimwit like me to spend 1,700 words without ever getting to the point! But hey, this way I get to spin off this wish list nonsense into its own post, which is probably for the better, anyway.

A few minor notes before we get started:

  • This is a list of who I want to see in MK11 – but I’ll make note of how likely I think each of these guys are to actually make it into the game
  • I’m operating under the assumption that all purported “leaks” are inaccurate, or at the very least not worth acknowledging until corroborated by official announcements
  • The list is not in order of who I’d like to see more or less, or any other particular order for that matter

All right, so without further ado, let’s get on to the list!

Continue reading Ten characters I really want to see return in Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat Eleven

At The Game Awards a couple of weeks back, MORTAL KOMBAT 11 was announced to the world. As a long-time fan of the MK series, and especially the most recent instalments, the news that the latest incarnation is coming – and soon! – was great indeed. NRS are keeping things close to their chest as usual, so for now we don’t know a whole lot about MK11. So let’s recklessly speculate and express some wishful thinking, shall we?

First off, there’s been a number of supposed “leaks” surrounding certain details about the game, including the character roster, game modes, and whatever else, dating back to well before the game was officially (or even unofficially) announced.  So far though, I personally haven’t seen anything leaked that has since turned out to be true, or couldn’t reasonably be guessed – at this point all the “leaked” info I’ve seen has been conflicting with other “leaked” info, and/or been of the nature that we can’t know what’s accurate until it’s corroborated by official reveals. So long story short: I’m largely ignoring all “leaks” for the time being. Continue reading Mortal Kombat Eleven

Five things that can make any game better

There’s no shortage of different types of games, and I think it goes without saying that there’s no one recipe for how to put together a good game (much less a successful one!). Even on a personal, subjective level, I might have a general preference or tendency towards certain types of games – arcadey and action-focused games in my case – but there are always exceptions. Certain games manages to either overcome some inherent bias on my part, or just appeal in a different way, for totally different reasons.

There’s no real central thread connecting what makes different types of games compelling, and as such, it would be sort of inane to suggest there are rules that any and every type of game should follow. Now, having said all that, throughout my years of obsessing over big and small details in games, there are a couple of things I’ve found can increase my enjoyment of a game – any game. So without further ado, presented in no particular order: Five things that can make any game better: Continue reading Five things that can make any game better

Thoughts on the DEAD RISING series and Capcom Vancouver going under

DEAD RISING is one of my absolute favourite games of all time. I could (and probably will, at some point) write at length about why I love it, why I disagree with most fans’ assessments of the sequels (DR3 is clearly the second best in the series, at least if you play it the right way), or why DEAD RISING 4 is a hot piece of garbage that pisses all over the series’ legacy (YouTubers Tehsnakerer and GhenryPerez have covered that last point pretty well though, so by all means check out their videos – I largely echo their thoughts). But for now I thought I’d share some musings on the state of the DEAD RISING series, in the wake of Capcom Vancouver (lead developer of the DR series starting with DR2) imploding earlier this year.

So DEAD RISING had been Capcom Vancouver’s bread and butter for a number of years, up until DEAD RISING 4 in 2016 (re-released and ported to PS4 in 2017 under the groanworthy moniker FRANK’S BIG PACKAGE). For a brief period Capcom Vancouver were also responsible for a much-maligned mobile free-to-play reboot of SUPER PUZZLE FIGHTER II TURBO. While that might sound like a great idea, CV’s PUZZLE FIGHTER not only looked absolutely hideous, it apparently played poorly too, quickly devolving to pay-to-win with the actual puzzle-solving aspect apparently second to building a sick deck with rare loot drops or whatever. I wish I could give a first-hand report on the game, but it was shut down before I got around to even trying it out. Continue reading Thoughts on the DEAD RISING series and Capcom Vancouver going under

Additional thoughts on Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z

I finished YAIBA last night, and… well, I felt rather compelled to amend my previous post on the game.

I still largely stand by what I wrote – the game isn’t AS bad as rumors make it out to be, the combat is pretty serviceable, the semi-automatic jumpy platformy bits are a fun palate cleanser, and the writing and story are atrocious. But what I can say with the benefit of hindsight, is that before writing the other post, I had happened to stop playing right before an absurd difficulty spike that served to highlight and exacerbate most of the game’s biggest problems: Mission 5.

“Mission 5: Ryu Hayabusa” is essentially nothing but a boss fight. Having reached the point where I was mostly satisfied with what I’d seen and was kind of waiting for the game to wrap up, I was thrilled to see the level starting with you facing off against Hayabusa right off the bat, without the need to go through a long level. I didn’t really talk about it last time, but up until that point, the boss fights had actually been decently fun. They had certainly exposed some of the weaknesses of the combat system; many combo attacks make cancelling into dodging or blocking inconsistent and thus completely unreliable – but figuring out how to work around that sort of became part of the puzzle, and coming out on top was just hard enough to make it a satisfying challenge to overcome.

Unfortunately, Hayabusa throws all that out the window. Continue reading Additional thoughts on Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z


So as part of my silly 1000 Follower special thing over on Twitch, I’ve been playing – among other things – YAIBA: NINJA GAIDEN Z. This was one of countless games in my collection that I’d picked up at one point or another with no particular desire to necessarily play it, beyond a general sense of “eh, why the heck not”. YAIBA I suppose has more reason for being in my collection than plenty of other games I’ve bought; it is (theoretically at any rate) part of a series I have traditionally enjoyed, but more importantly it’s a game I’d been curious to try out since it has, er… a reputation. That is, a very, very bad reputation.

Anyone who is even somewhat familiar with my streaming/collecting/game playing habits may know that I have a soft spot for “bad” games. Obviously that’s not to say I enjoy not enjoying something, but I’m often drawn to games with poor reputations because one way or another, less polished games seem to often have more personality, peculiarities or unique quirks than the kind of polished-to-a-sheen AAA games commonly agreed upon as “good”. And sure, sometimes…. a lot of the time even, “bad” games are really bad. But I do find that more often than not, even the worst crap at the bottom of the barrel has something going for it – some kernel of fun, a good idea or something interesting and unique if you’re just willing to look for it.

So, YAIBA. Now, there were many reasons to not question the narrative surrounding the game – it’s an odd, western-developed off-shoot of a revered (if less so with each successive mainline entry) Japanese action game series, that neither seems to look or feel much like its source material, nor be something that anyone really asked for. On top of that, it’s a god damned zombie game! So I gotta admit – I was pretty surprised to find that I… don’t really hate it. Continue reading Thoughts on YAIBA: NINJA GAIDEN Z


So I decided to start a blog after all. The idea is to use this site to help sort my thoughts on game design and stuff – and keep it in a hopefully easy-to-browse format should anyone, you know, want to read it.

Gonna have to figure out how to do WordPress stuff I guess, but hopefully there should be some content here sooner or later.