Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia (3DS) review

Nintendo / Intelligent Systems
Nintendo 3DS

Hey! Remember Fire Emblem Gaiden? Of course you don’t, you lying bastard: it was released on the Famicom (NES) in Japan 25 years ago and never made it to the west.

But fret not, because it’s back as a shiny new 3DS remake, complete with a much less concise title – Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia.

Let’s be clear, though: this ain’t your daddy’s Fire Emblem. Um, unless yer da used to live in Hokkaido or something in the early ’90s.

Echoes tells the story of the continent of Valentia, which has been divided by warring nations. One country worships the earth god Mila, whereas another worships the dark god Duma.

You play two different campaigns at once: one involving a young lad called Alm, and one starring a similarly youthful lass by the name of Celica.

Alm and Celica were childhood friends, but ‘events’ split them up early in their lives and they each go on to lead different armies on opposite sides. If you think this means an awkward reunion is inevitable, then… well, yes. Obviously. Continue reading “Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia (3DS) review”

Review round-up #2: NBA Playgrounds, OK Golf, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Kitty Powers, Ruin Of The Reckless

It’s time for my second review round-up, covering the games I’ve been playing over the past week or two. This time around:

• Is NBA Playgrounds more Space Jam or Shaq Fu?
• Is OK Golf more Tiger Woods ten years ago or Tiger Woods today?
• Is Puyo Puyo Tetris more Bloc Party or New Kids On The Block?
• Is Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker more drag queen or Drag Me To Hell?
• Is Ruin Of The Reckless more procedural perfection or by-the-numbers baws?

Read on to find out, innit. Continue reading “Review round-up #2: NBA Playgrounds, OK Golf, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Kitty Powers, Ruin Of The Reckless”

Review round-up #1: Lego City, Neurovoider, Disney Afternoon Collection, Pic-A-Pix Color, FlatOut 4

Tired Old Hack is two years old now, and in that time the site has finally grown to a stage where I’m able to start doing what I love again: reviewing lots of games.

Most big sites review all the triple-A games but often other titles are ignored. One of the main points of Tired Old Hack is to make sure these other games get their chance. The thing is, I like to write long, meaty reviews but since I’m only one man I don’t really have the ability to do this for every game I get review code for.

Since I want to cover as many games as possible – to make sure you lovely bastards are suitably informed as to what I’m liking and what you should steer well clear of – I’ve decided to start these regular review round-ups. Continue reading “Review round-up #1: Lego City, Neurovoider, Disney Afternoon Collection, Pic-A-Pix Color, FlatOut 4”

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) review

Nintendo / Nintendo EAD

For most games, selling 8 million copies would be considered a huge success. Much whooping and hollering would take place, and both publisher and developer would metaphorically and physically kiss each other on the lips at a job well done.

Mario Kart isn’t most games though. For it, 8 million is quite an underachievement. Considering the DS, Wii and 3DS entries sold 23, 36 and 14 million copies respectively, a ‘mere’ 8 million has to go down, bizarrely, as a disappointment.

This was the fate that befell the appropriately named Mario Kart 8, which failed to hit octuple figures through no fault of its own. Indeed, most people who played it considered it the greatest Mario Kart game ever made.

The reason for its relative sales funk, of course, was that it was released on the Wii U, a console that – as genuinely great as it was – ended up being about as popular as an Al Jolson cosplayer at the MOBO awards.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, then, finds itself in an interesting position. It’s essentially an enhanced version of a game that, despite already selling 8 million copies, is set to be experienced by a whole host of new players for the first time. Continue reading “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) review”

Voodoo Vince Remastered (Xbox One) review

Microsoft / Beep Games
Xbox One, PC (Xbox One version reviewed)

A fortnight ago I posted a review of Yooka-Laylee, saying that long-time gamers who fondly remembered Rare’s glory days would enjoy it.

If you fall under that category and you’re looking for more old-school runny-jumpy goodness, Voodoo Vince Remastered is another recent release that should appeal to fans of turn-of-the-millennium platformers.

Mainly because it literally is one. Continue reading “Voodoo Vince Remastered (Xbox One) review”

Kamiko (Switch) review

Skipmore / Flyhigh Works

Well, here’s a nice wee surprise. After last night’s Nintendo Direct ended I decided to check out the Japanese eShop out of curiosity, and there I found Kamiko.

It’s a little Japanese indie game made by a chap called ‘Y. Kimura’, but who prefers to go by Skipmore. He enjoyed a bit of cult success with the Fairune RPGs on the 3DS eShop, and now he’s back on the Switch.

Whereas Fairune was a fairly slow-paced take on the original Legend Of Zelda though, Kamiko is… um, a fairly fast-paced take on it. Continue reading “Kamiko (Switch) review”

Aaero (Xbox One) review

Mad Fellows / Reverb Triple XP
Xbox One, PS4, Steam (Xbox One version reviewed)

FreeStyleGames was always a bit of an underrated studio in my eyes.  Specialising in rhythm action games, this British outfit was responsible for both fantastic DJ Hero titles, as well as the brilliant Guitar Hero Live.

Unfortunately, DJ Hero and DJ Hero 2 were released at a time when the plastic instrument craze was beginning to die, and Guitar Hero Live – an attempt to resurrect it – didn’t quite manage this.

It’s a real shame, because all three games are among my favourites in the rhythm action genre. I doff my cap to you, FreeStyleGames, you fallen geniuses (Activision made 50 staff redundant in 2016 and the studio was eventually bought by Ubisoft and renamed Ubisoft Leamington).

“The point, Chris,” you rasp in an impatient sputter. “Get to the bastard point.”

The point is that Aaero is the work of Paul Norris and Dan Horbury, who were the Music Team Lead and Senior Engine Programmers respectively at FreeStyleGames. And that’s why you should be paying attention to it. Continue reading “Aaero (Xbox One) review”