Videogames highlights - March 2017, Mega Drive edition

August 4, 2017 · Filed Under In Depth, Videogaming 
This entry is part of the series Videogames Highlights

In Depth - A merciless lens pointed on the hot topics, passionate and detailed retrospectives, reflections beyond the appearances I will never get tired of praising that wonderful cultural movement generally defined with the term “emulation”, a world where technical barriers are regularly knocked down and where rare - or even unfinished - digital artifacts are preserved in favor of the present players and the future scholars. Emulation is the technology wonder that let the most resolute among us to go hunt for the earliest easter egg put into an arcade game, or to try new combos in a game (Street Fighter 2: World Warrior) we though everything was seen and said about. Little matters that some parasite would like to turn every gaming bit of the past into an endless source of profit: pure emulation is not a business, it never was and it will never be.

Nex Machina

Nex Machina

Housemarque’s Finnish developers are skilled in making shoot’em ups since forever. In their latest work they left The Reap’s outer space behind and landed on the solid ground to let the player face the robotic menace face-to-face: Nex Machina is a “twin-stick” shooter (yet playable with mouse and keyboard as well) that’s fast, frantic and essentially very messed up, a challenge including more than 100 levels and that can be dealt with both in solitary and multiplayer mode. The European studio partnered with Eugene Jarvis, designer of classics like Robotron: 2084 and Smash TV, to recreate the typical arcade feeling which often was just fast, frantic and essentially very messed up. Available since June on PC Windows and PS4.

Paprium

Paprium

27 years after its official debut on the market, the Mega Drive console has yet to be completely abandoned by developers. A result of the miraculous attributes of emulation as I was just saying, sure, but also a result of the efforts by a small team of fanatics named WaterMelon Games: seven years after the release of Pier Solar and the Great Architects, the retro-indie team is ready to come back and ride the electronic lanes of Sega’s 16-bit classic again with Paprium, a new scrolling beat’em up that wants to renew the golden years of the genre’s best specimens (on Genesis and elsewhere) in an Oriental-themed cyber-punk world. Paprium took 4 years of development, will feature 24 levels to go through with five playable characters and it will be released both in a “global” version and regional ones for three different markets (Europe, Japan and USA) on a colossal 80 Megabit cartridge. To be released on September, only for Mega Drive/Genesis.

Rain World

Rain World

If Paprium is following the steps of Mega Drive hits, another indie production like Rain World is trying to say something different with a bit more modern technologies and platforms: the adventure featuring the slugcat looks like a platform but hides a survival experience, and the player will be forced to view the strange creatures inhabiting the game’s world both as potential preys and as dangerous predators. After six years in development Rain World is finally available (since March) on PC Windows and PS4.

The Path To Die

The Path To Die

The ancient Japan is the best setting for sword fights, and the developers of The Path To Die chose to depict the gory adventures of a solitary samurai from a bird’s eye perspective capable of magnifying the spectacular clash between two swords. The developers promise a detailed and evocative pixel art, an innovative combat system and an IA that will keep the ronin in all of us busy. To be released on PC, when it’s ready. Maybe.

Thimbleweed Park

Thimbleweed Park

The making of a game like Thimbleweed Park can be a terrifying and stressful experience, Ron Gilbert explained in the last post about the development phase of his new point-and-click graphic adventure, and if you survive the bugs there is always marketing and all those “secondary” activities (PR, social, trailer, price etc.) needed for a safe landing of your new creature on the market. Whatever it is the spiritual heir to Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island is finally out, the reviews welcomed the newcomer and Gilbert promised to support the game in the months to come. Available since March on PC Windows and Xbox One, to be released on the other platforms.

WipEout: Omega Collection

Wipeout: Omega Collection

While waiting to put one of his PSP back to work and seriously go back to playing the two WipEout published for the portable platform, yours truly can’t help but salute any new material released by Sony for WipEout: Omega Collection. The latest rendering of the most intense futuristic races ever isn’t a new chapter in the saga but rather an updated mix of the two WipEout that came out for PS3 (Wipeout HD) and PS Vita (Wipeout 2048), but even such an “ultra-powered” remake for the new generation consoles seems to make a very good impression in Full HD (PS4) or “dynamic” 4K (PS4 Pro) in its 60 frames per second glory. Available since June exclusively for PS4 platforms.

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