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 experienced to some of the more 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

Soulcalibur

Soulcalibur

It is really great to play SoulCalibur again, and the game is as fun as ever, but it also lacks some of the original Dreamcast content. The loss of mission mode, lack of online multiplayer and black bars on either side of the screen brings the score down a bit, but the gameplay is intact. SoulCalibur was one of the best weapon-based brawlers of the Dreamcast era and is still a nice addition to anyone’s library.

Gameplay: Still a great game even with the cut content.
Graphics: Holds up surprisingly apart from no support for widescreens.
Sound: The audio is still as chaotic as the original

Pure

Pure

Pure is a very underrated game which is a pity as it actually has some solid gameplay and plenty of adrenaline fueled races. You can fly through it if you are not interested in multi-player or achievements, but overall it is a good game.

Gameplay: Fast and frantic with some insane tricks.

Graphics: Detailed environments with stunning vistas and plenty of effects.

Sound: The sound effects are ok, but the voices can become a tad annoying

TECHNOSPHERE RELOAD

TECHNOSPHERE RELOAD

Technosphere Reload is a great looking game, but don’t underestimate the challenge that it has to offer. While it might look like a casual title, completing it will take every ounce of skill and patience that you have. The game requires you to roll a sphere through a gauntlet of maze filled traps while figuring out some puzzles along the way. It will also put your platforming skills to the test, but beware as lives are limited and checkpoints few and far between. This is not a game for the easily frustrated, but it does look great and overcoming the odds that are stacked against you can be very rewarding.

Gameplay: Frequently frustrating and bogged down by needless elements like the energy meter, but rewarding if you can handle the challenge.

Graphics: The visuals look top notch, but can be blinding at times.

Audio: No soundtrack and the sound effects are serviceable at best

Citrouille

Citrouille

It is easy to mistake Citrouille for a casual game because of the adorable visuals, but players who underestimate it are in for a shock. This game feels like it was ripped straight out of an ’80s arcade and given a brand new lick of paint. Citrouille is best played with a friend in local co-op, but even on your own it is a lot of fun. It is a pity that it lacks any online features and that the co-op as well as versus modes are restricted to local only, but other than that it is a great game and definitely a bit of a hidden gem.

Gameplay: Tough as nails, but very easy to pick up and play.

Graphics: Everything from the designs to the animations are superb.

Sound: The tunes are good and the sound effects more than decent

THE VIDEOKID

THE VIDEOKID

THE VIDEOKID is an addictive and nostalgic homage to the eighties in general and Paperboy in particular. It is a lot more chaotic than Paperboy, though, and you will need quick reflexes if you want to make it to the end of your pirate video tape delivering run. It is a pity that the game only features a single level, but the randomized elements along with the huge amount of pop culture references keeps things entertaining. These cameos can become rather distracting, but that’s all part of the challenge. Considering the low price tag on THE VIDEOKID, there’s no reason not to add it to your collection.

Gameplay: Skate around a wacky eighties neighborhood while delivering pirated VHS tapes.

Graphics: The voxel art style looks great and allowed the developers to insert plenty of pop culture character cameos.

Sound: The soundtrack is nice and so is the sound effects, but things can become a little chaotic