Most Recent: Top Story

It’s 2017 and Adventure Games Are Mainstream Again

“What kind of video games do you play?” It’s a broad question that I often find myself faced with, to which I’d respond “adventure games.” That answer is then followed with an exhausting amount of game name dropping, that, in most cases, have nothing to do with the type of games I’m talking about. “You mean, like Zelda?” Not quite.

The easiest way to reiterate what I’m talking about is by calling them “point-and-click” adventure games, which is a genre and style of game most notable on the PC in the mid- to early 90s. It’s a genre that was also declared dead after the commercial failure of the critically acclaimed Grim Fandango; a genre that, over the past few years, has slowly but surely been coming back into the mainstream. (more…)

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Mr. Shifty Review: Not Ready to Shift Into the Spotlight

Mr. Shifty is a top-down brawler from Team Shifty, a new development studio out of Brisbane, Australia. As Mr. Shifty, you are able to shift/teleport your way through walls and bullets, taking down your enemies at lightning speed while trying to break into the world’s most secure facility. There are 18 levels to shift your way across, all with varying difficulty. New enemies help keep the gameplay fresh and exciting, but the replayability of the title is lacking a bit.

So, you’re a teleporting thief who has embarked on his biggest heist yet. What could possibly go wrong? Well, if you are Mr. Shifty, the answer to that is everything. (more…)

Posted in PC, Reviews, Switch, Top Story | Tagged

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #82: Contra

“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start.

The rhythm of the words made them sound less like a controller input and more like a prayer. By “speaking” the correct phrase with their controller as the Contra title screen rolled into view, players were able to invoke the spirit of the developers and begin the game with 27 additional lives. In a way, the Konami Code was quite literally a gift from the gods behind the game’s creation, and not so dissimilar from the God Mode cheat that was included in early first-person shooters like Doom.

The Konami Code was originally programmed into 1986’s Gradius by Kazuhisa Hashimoto as a way to unlock a huge weapons cache in the notoriously difficult shooter. He has even joked that the button sequence was left in the game by accident. The Code quickly became an accepted part of the of the publisher’s identity, and its inclusion in Contra (along with Super Mario Bros.‘s Warp Zones and Metroid‘s password system) changed the way people progressed through a game’s levels. These features meant that players were no longer forced to follow the same trail through a game. Now, they could veer off in new directions, and discover what secrets a game held on their own. (more…)

Posted in Features, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story | Tagged

Kickstart This! Zombie Teacher

There must be something in the air in France (apart from all the political stuff), as there has been an unusually high number of game projects from the country launched on Kickstarter in the last few weeks. There’s LabyX from Yazorius in Bordeaux, a pair of games from Clermont-Ferrand (the awesome-looking NES game Twin Dragons by Antoine Gohin and building sim Sandbox by TarteUp), as well as Robi, which is in development at Xzezal in, um, “France, France.”

So, naturally, I chose a project from East London, because I used to live there. Just kidding. I chose Zombie Teacher because it looks awesome. So reach for those tasty brains and see what makes this game a delicious delight. Mmm… brains… (more…)

Posted in Features, Mobile, PC, Top Story |


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I Couldn’t Give Two Loots About Destiny 2

Destiny 2 will probably be upon us this year, assuming there are no delays like most AAA game these days. Bungie recently released the first teaser trailer alongside a rather naff logo. Seriously, the new logo looks like it was thrown together in Photoshop by a bored cat. I even managed to cook up some alternate designs while thinking about this opinion piece. The “2” just seems totally out of place. It could be more flush, using Roman numerals to match the Destiny font, or behind it, using a destroyed font to convey that war is coming, or is here already.

The trailer reveals very little about the game itself, beyond the fact that the Guardian Tower has fallen. It’s a clever story device, similar to Shepherd being resurrected at the start of Mass Effect 2, and it allows the game to shirk off aspects of the original, starting afresh with new adventures not constrained by the previous generation.

One issue Destiny fans never had to deal with was its graphics, as it is one of the prettiest first person shooters to grace the a console. The game’s problems lay in what was promised, or what fans hoped for, versus what was actually delivered. Even with The Taken King expansion, which is where I was introduced to the series, the game failed to truly dig into its own mythology, worlds, and threats, and became more of a slog, forcing players to revisit locations for the hundredth time all in the name of loot.

Yet, I don’t want to rant about failed promises of the original game. There is already an excellent post on Bungie’s Community Forums by “TrueMadnessNinja” that delves into the unfulfilled promises of the first entry. This is more of a wish list of things I wish had been in the first game, and I hope Bungie takes a look and can change my mind about picking up the sequel. (more…)

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The Games of May 2017

Nearly a dozen new games made their way onto store shelves in the closing days of April, but it looks like we’ll be showered with a smaller collection of new games in May. Thankfully, there’s plenty of interesting titles scheduled to launch over the next four weeks including Injustice 2, Friday the 13th, and Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. Did we miss your favorite? Read on to find out… (more…)

Posted in Features, Top Story |

Warpback: What We Played in April 2017

The Nintendo Switch isn’t just setting sales records, it continues to dominate any discussion about video games. The Warp Zoned staff were no different, as most of us spent the month of April firmly ensconced in Link’s quest to save Hyrule. But there are other games for the Switch besides Breath of the Wild, and Persona 5 might just steal your heart on the PS4 or PS3.

What else did we play last month, audience? Read on to find out… (more…)

Posted in Features, Top Story |

Grand Theft Auto IV: Nine Years Later

The highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto IV hit store shelves on April 29, 2008.

I was a sophomore in high school, and I remember it quite well. My mother totally disapproved, so if I wanted to play violent games, I’d have to ask my dad or grandfather to purchase them for me. In the months leading up to Grand Theft Auto IV’s release, I practically drooled over the latest news coverage and store ads (especially the Special Edition with its neat duffel bag, art book, soundtrack CD, and safe deposit box). I never did get the Special Edition, but my dad did purchase Grand Theft Auto IV for me.

My mother had relocated for work, so I had moved in with my father and grandfather in order to finish out the school year. A few months prior, my dad had made the jump from PlayStation 2 to Xbox 360. So on most days, I’d spend the evenings holed up in my grandfather’s basement, with an extra large bag of Peanut M&M’s in my lap, a bottle of Coke at my feet, and a bulky white Xbox 360 controller nestled between my slender teenaged hands. I’d sift through my dad’s video games, randomly popping in anything that appeared interesting, playing until either my dad came home from the NIH Power Plant, or my grandfather yelled down the stairs for me to turn off the TV and go to bed.

But on that Tuesday in April, my dad came home with a surprise… he’d purchased Grand Theft Auto IV! I finished my dinner, grabbed my go-to gaming snacks, and headed for the basement. I’ll never forget those opening scenes of Niko Bellic stepping off of the Platypus, waiting for his cousin Roman to arrive and indoctrinate him into the American way of life. (more…)

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