Mirror’s Edge harkens back to a more experimental era of Electronic Arts; an era where their developers could take risks and explore new, creative gameplay. Parkour and movement are the primary focus of the game, with some combat sections interspersed throughout. Aiming and firing weapons is clunky, but makes sense in the context of the gameplay (the protagonist Faith is not trained in using weapons). Faith’s lack of combat prowess serves to further nudge the player into focusing on character movement and chaining her assortment of moves together.
Super Mario Galaxy is a fantastic platformer with a stream of interesting ideas and creative level design. Combining the general movement of Super Mario 64 and the linear, structured missions of Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy redefined the Mario franchise. The ability to walk within the full 360 degrees of a planetoid is a revelation. Nothing is off limits. Mario can platform in any direction, resulting in platforming puzzles where the player has to plan their jumps and how Mario will be affected by the gravity.
It used to be easy to review a videogame. The game would come out, a review would be released, and that was that. Games usually didn’t change much; at most, the cartridge or disk would have minor bug fixes or other changes patched in and released into circulation. All players essentially got the same game experience. With the availability of digital distribution and greater internet access and speeds, videogames today are not limited to the original release code.
Astro’s Playroom utilizes the PlayStation 5 hardware in unique and revolutionary ways to create a truly next generation experience. The game maximizes two of the PS5’s most interesting hardware features: the DualSense controller and the Solid State Drive. The DualSense is a game changer in videogame interactivity. Utilizing motors similar to the Nintendo Switch’s HD Rumble, players receive tactile feedback as they traverse through the game’s varied environments. It’s hard to describe without experiencing it, but it’s almost as if you can feel texture and material of the environment through the controller.
Sonic 3 & Knuckles (S3&K) is the largest and most daring game of the series on the Sega Genesis that sometimes trips over its own scope and ambition. Stuttering Craig of the former Screw Attack once brought up that Sonic the Hedgehog games at their core aren’t about speed, but good platforming. Speed is the player’s reward for understanding level mechanics and being proficient in controlling the characters. S3&K amplifies this with dizzying loops and ramps in its massive levels.