With the 18th of December upon us it’s time to sit back and take stock of the games I’ve played this year to pick a top 5. Long time followers will know that my own ‘Top 5 of the Year‘ is picked from a list of games that I’ve played for the first time this year rather than necessarily being released in 2019. This self-imposed rule set has thinned out my choices this year because, if nothing else, 2019 was characterised for me by retro-revisitings, or specifically the original Resident Evil 2.
My desire to revisit the original before taking on the remake led to an interest in the obscure unreleased games in the series, the different versions of the 2nd game, an overdue exploration of the director’s cut of the original and Code: Veronica, along with that self-designed marathon to really fully explore and rediscover the game that is responsible for such a big part of my gaming enthusiasm today. Couple this with the rediscovery of my PS2 games collection that involved replaying games such as TimeSplitters2, SSX3, and Silent Hill 2, and maybe it’s clear why my ‘New’ games played this year list is so small. It only totals 20 games compared to the 44 of 2018.
… and that’s not even considering personal events that have reduced my gameplay time somewhat…. Continue reading “The Official Hundstrasse Top 5 of 2019: It’s Been a Weird Year”
It’s a well known fact… I assume… that humans like doing things… ok, this is what happens when I try to come up with a powerful opening statement. I’ll rephrase that. I like doing things. Or more accurately I like the satisfying feeling you get from a task well done, and let’s face it there is a good chunk of the games industry out there … Continue reading Workin’ 9 ’til: 5 Games The Feel Like Work… in a Good Way…
A few weeks ago I had a hankering to revisit the films of the late, great, George A. Romero; specifically his two Zombie masterpieces: ‘Night of the Living Dead’ (1968) and ‘Dawn of the Dead’ (1978). I have very few film buff credentials (being more of a casual absorber of the silver screen), but even I know that these two films arguably defined the zombie genre cementing Romero in history as the undisputed zombie master. They created lore, established tropes, and even their production carried some legendary stories such as Romero himself grabbing the reels as soon as editing on NotLD finished and scouting movie theatres for somewhere that would agree to screen it.
Sadly Romero passed away in 2017. It wasn’t only a loss for the world of cinema, but for the gaming world too. At the time I reflected that every zombie themed game could trace its roots to the work of Romero, either directly or indirectly. My own teenage interest in Resident Evil 2 led me to his films and, whilst to the outside observer his work could be dismissed as decadent gore for the sake of it, the themes he set up are what makes the zombie genre (and zombie apocalypse) so grotesquely captivating. Having revisited the films, it seems like a good moment to stack up how the gentle torrent of zombie themed games that erupted in the 90’s stacks up against Romero’s original work; in short, are we playing the zombie apocalypse in the way George A. Romero imagined it? Continue reading “Gaming of the Dead: What Would George A. Romero Think?”
No Blog Posts, No Tweets, No Random Sonic the Hedgehog Doodles… I bet you’re all wondering what’s going on over here at Hundstrasse.com?? Well, the good news is that I’m writing this now so there’s no need to keep fiddling with the rabbit ears on top of your set; not that analogue TV has been a ‘thing’ for years now, nor do I have a … Continue reading Editorial: September – An Announcement
Valve’s: The Lab is still my go to VR demo for anyone wanting to give that ol’ headset their first go. Taking a playful sandbox approach to VR-ing it introduces new users to the concepts of VR in a polished and intuitive way; warp movement, picking things up, firing a bow and arrow – yes, all the core part of VR are there!
My favourite part of ‘The Lab’ however is still the Portal themed robot maintenance bay; a short linear demo with very few interactive elements that astounds me every time I give it a shot. It’s the virtual transportation in to the world of Portal that blows me away. Coming face to face with the beautifully intricate Atlas or that moment when GlaDOS drops in to view – the immersion and the sense of scale are awesome, and for a fan of the source material it gives me chills every time. It’s the same reason that for a long time my Steam VR home was the Team Fortress 2 theme, the chance to be beamed directly in to your favourite game universe is too much to pass up. Continue reading “Quake VR: Queasy…”
Google made some controversial splashing in the gaming world recently by announcing the Google Stadia and being the ultra-switched-on-mile-a-minute person that I am…. it kinda passed me by. I think I have a certain noise filter when it comes to gaming news and promises of live-streaming have been the right amount of hyped and disappointing over the years for me to mentally file it under “Meh”. This morning’s commute however saw it crop up on my twitter feed a few more times and I decided to take a look at the details. Continue reading “Google Stadia: Game Breaking or Game Changing”
Hey! How’s it going you July people? All good out there in Someplaceville? If you’re a sunshine-type person then I hope you’re out there enjoying the good weather, or if you’re like me then I hope you’re safely locked indoors away from all that pollen and we can collectively hope to get a few good storms out of the humidity. Either way it’s July already, … Continue reading Editorial: July – Wait?! What Happened to June?
I haven’t played Apex Legends for a while now. I seem to have drifted away from it for the moment, but still think that it is the incarnation of the whole battle-royale-thing that suits me the best and I generally been enjoying jumping in to rounds with the randoms that inhabit King’s Canyon. It’s the events of one ill-fated round that I want to focus on as they keep coming back to me even now, several months later… Continue reading “Nice Try: Can We Make Things Better Serverside?”
… you’re frozen to the spot…
A bullet hovers, stationary, abruptly halted along that incomplete vector from barrel to your face. It’s barely a foot from its intended destination. Without moving your head you allow your knees to bend. The very act of crouching seems to gently turn the crank on the passage of time and the bullet slowly proceeds forward. You continue to crouch, but can’t resist letting your eyes follow the projectile as it sails over your head. This is a game played out long-form over fractions of seconds.
Super Hot is a game that’s been on my radar for a long time; novel time disrupting mechanics often interest me and the concept of Super Hot, an FPS where time only moves when you do, was a serenade to that bit of my brain. Unfortunately I’ve also got a superficial part to my personality and I’m entirely guilty in this case of judging a book my its cover; in short, that angular stark red on white aesthetic turned me off the whole idea of even trying the game. It’s just not something I found appealing and each time I browsed the store page I couldn’t ever quite get past the initial nose-screwing-up to hit the buy button.
My evenings recently however have involved much furniture shuffling as I’ve had a spree of VR gaming. During various internet delvings to find out which VR title I should jump in to next, I consistently saw high praise for the VR version of Super Hot, so I took a deep breath and set aside my visual preferences to give it a shot. Continue reading “Super Hot VR: There’s a Screen Strapped to Your Face”
On top of the games that I’ve blogged about this month, my wife and I have been playing Yoshi’s Crafted World. We’re always on the look out for some co-op action and I decided to buy if for my Wife’s birthday on the whim of it looking cute and being met with positive reviews. It’s a game that highlights a big problem with blogging about Nintendo games; namely they’re so remarkably well put together it’s pretty difficult to say much about them at all. In this respect Yoshi’s crafted world doesn’t disappoint; it’s a solid platformer with a balanced array of puzzle mechanics that’s brimming with charm. As a co-op experience it’ll have you smiling & laughing as you both bumble around the levels landing continually on each other’s backs and more often then not eating and then firing your teammate back out at some foe. I’m not saying that it’s going to be to everyone’s tastes or that it’s the greatest game int he world ever… it’s just exactly what you expect it to be and the highly polished product of a company that … let’s face it… know what they’re good at. Continue reading “Editorial: May – Oh? No Thank-You!”