Need for Speed™ Rivals

Need for Speed™ Rivals

Need For Speed: Rivals fuses some of the best elements of Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted. The exotic cars and scenic open-world setting of Rivals make for exhilarating races and chases while the ability to play as either racers or cops adds some variety to the mix. The locked framerate can be overcome, but it’s still a baffling inclusion and the heavy emphasis on online play will also be an annoyance to solo players. However, despite the flaws, this is still a great entry in the series and a lot of fun to play.

Gameplay: Fast and frantic, but some players might find it a little too easy.

Graphics: The Frostbite 3 engine is used to great effect in this game.

Sound: Decent soundtrack, overly dramatic voice acting, and good sound effects

Need for Speed™ Most Wanted

Need for Speed™ Most Wanted

Need for Speed: Most Wanted might share a name with the 2005 original and feature police chases, but that’s about where the similarities end. The single-player mode feels bland and empty while the multiplayer mode has more in common with Burnout Paradise than Need for Speed. In fact, the entire game feels like an inferior Need for Speed themed imitation of Burnout Paradise, which makes it hard to recommend.

Gameplay: Very lacking compared to previous entries in the series.

Graphics: The graphics are good, but the overall style of the game is very bland.

Sound: The usual selection of licensed tunes, but nothing exceptional

Burnout™ Paradise Remastered

Burnout™ Paradise Remastered

Burnout Paradise Remastered is an updated version of the original release from 2008 featuring better visuals as well as all the previously released DLC. The game looks better than ever and is still a lot of fun to play, but also retains a lot of the archaic interface elements. It also lacks features such as way-points and a fast travel system that fans of modern open-world games take for granted. Nevertheless, it is still a lot of fun to play and there are hours upon hours of content waiting in Paradise City.

Gameplay: Fun and addictive, but some things have not aged so well in the ten years since the original release.

Graphics: Not a massive visual overhaul compared to the original, but the game does look pretty good.

Sound: The soundtrack is still great and the sound effects decent

Zombie Derby 2

Zombie Derby 2

Zombie Derby 2 follows the exact same formula as the original, so you are still driving through hordes of zombies while trying to conserve fuel and avoid obstacles. All the action takes place on a 2D plane, so you are driving in a straight line, but getting to the end is not easy unless your vehicle is fully upgraded. The game features a lot of grinding, but it is still fun and perfect for killing a few minutes.

Gameplay: Simple, but addictive and quite challenging, especially the Extreme mode.

Graphics: All the 3D assets look much better compared to the original game as does the backgrounds.

Sound: Great if you enjoy guitar-driven music tracks

Guns, Gore & Cannoli

Guns, Gore & Cannoli

Take on the mob, the military, and the undead in this Mafia themed 2D shooter. Playing as a mob enforcer named Vinnie this game unleashes players on a city that has been overrun by the living dead. A large arsenal of games makes for a fun shooter, but the controls are a little stiff and the adventure is sadly short-lived. The inclusion of four-player co-op is a welcome one but unfortunately limited to local only. Nevertheless, the game does have its moments and provides plenty of mayhem while it lasts.

Gameplay: Shooting zombies in the head is always fun.

Graphics: The art style is detailed and unique.

Sound: The music and one-liners make it sound like a Mafia b-movie

Need for Speed™ The Run

Need for Speed™ The Run

Need for Speed: The Run takes the form of a high-speed road trip across the USA as players take control of Jack Rourke. Jack is on the run from the mob and, with the aid of his longtime friend Sam, is taking part in a high stakes cross country race to get them off his back. The story mode is short but quite entertaining, but the game also has a “Challenge” mode to keep players coming back for more. Fans of Hot Pursuit might find The Run disappointing as it features a very different playstyle, but those looking to simply drive fast cars through beautiful scenery will enjoy the game.

Gameplay: The races are exciting, but the quick-time events feel very tacked-on.

Graphics: Beautiful cars and some of the best-looking scenery in the series.

Sound: The soundtrack is great, but the voice acting can be a little lackluster

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is a more pure arcade experience compared to some of the story-heavy entries in the series. Being able to pick which side of the law you want to play for each race also adds some longevity to the game. Thanks to the involvement of Criterion it feels closer to Burnout than Need for Speed at times, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. With a larger roster of exotic cars and some scenic locations to put them through their paces, there’s plenty of fun to be had with Hot Pursuit.

Gameplay: Pure petal to the metal racing in exotic cars.

Graphics: Still looks good, especially at higher resolutions.

Sound: Features a nice licensed soundtrack and good sound effects

Intake

Intake

Intake is a great retro-style arcade shooter that challenges players to blast luminescent pills using the correct colored shots. It’s a deceptively simple title but can become very addictive after a few rounds. The inclusion of power-ups and special challenge levels every few rounds also keeps the game unpredictable. It’s a pity that the soundtrack only features five tunes, but the gameplay is solid, and chasing high scores is a real adrenaline rush.

Gameplay: Straightforward to play, but very challenging and quite addictive.

Graphics: Relatively simple, but very stylish.

Sound: The soundtrack is great, but there are only five tunes

Toki

Toki

Toki is a great looking update of a classic arcade game, but despite the visual gloss and re-orchestrated soundtrack, it is still as tough as nails. This is not a game for players who demand infinite lives and saves, but fans of the original will get a kick out of this high definition version. Although it is a very short game, it is going to take a while for players to complete it, especially on the higher difficulties.

Gameplay: Tough as nails, but also a lot of fun.

Graphics: The updated visuals look great, but remain true to the original.

Sound: Features some lovely re-orchestrated music as well as the original tunes

Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages

Although the key to success in Rock of Ages is often speed instead of strategy, it is still an interesting mix of genres that is a lot of fun to play. The campaign mode is very funny, but also very short and easy, so you’ll want to play with friends to get the most out of this game. The tower defense elements are a bit underutilized using a giant boulder to crush everything in your path is so much fun that it doesn’t really matter.

Gameplay: Very entertaining, but not as much strategic depth as you might think.

Graphics: The art style is very unique and funny.

Sound: Very juvenile, but once again it’s hard not to smile while playing