A trio of publishers are giving titles from their back catalogue a digital dust-off this week – EA, Capcom and THQ.
Burnout Paradise Remastered is easily the most eagerly of out of the three. A new Burnout is a long overdue, and Paradise is something of a franchise high-note thanks to its open-world and awesome soundtrack. Reviewers note that it’s showing its age in some areas though, such as rival racer AI.
As for Devil May Cry HD Collection, well, it seems that all three games are showing their age…a fact not helped by the lack of effort Capcom has put into these re-releases. Gaming Age was so unimpressed that they dealt the package a ‘D’ grade (the equivalent of 2.5/10 or 25%). “If you have fond memories, keep them there, rather than allowing them to become sullied by this hideous abomination,” they said.
THQ’s remake of The Raven – a cult last-gen crime thriller – is fairing far better, gaining a lofty 80% from GameSpew. “Gems like this are easily buried and forgotten about in a swathe of AAA releases, but now you’ve got another chance to delve into it, and this time with more bells and whistles.” was their final verdict.
Kirby Star Allies on Switch has divided critics, meanwhile, with scores as low as 4/10 and as high as 8/10. Why the indifference? It’s all down to the difficulty level, it seems – it’s polished, slick, and as cute as a button, but a complete cakewalk. A great game for younger players, or franchise newcomers, but don’t expect it to test your mettle. We’ve rounded-up scores below.
For those looking for something brand new, there’s the first episode in Focus’ political drama The Council. It makes a good first impression, entailing the mysterious disappearance of the likeable lead’s mother, and presented in a sophisticated manner. Fans of Telltale adventures would do well to take a look as it employs a similar structure.
Surviving Mars gains both a physical and retail release. Coming from the minds behind Tropico, it’s a sci-fi city sim allowing gamers to create their own colony on Mars. Expect a warped sense of humour to help carry it through.
Looking ahead to Friday, a battle of twin-stick shooters is imminent with Tesla vs Lovecraft and the comical Vicious Attack Llama Apocalypse: VALA both hitting Xbox One.
Tesla vs Lovecraft (also on PS4) has gained a steady string of 7/10s. Despite launching on PC back in February, reviews of VALA are thin on the ground. It looks accomplished, however, and Steam user reviews are positive, so it’s certainly one to look out for.
New release showcase:
Burnout Paradise Remastered
8/10 – TheSixthAxis: “The racing is sublime, the stunts are spectacular, and there’s always something to do round the next corner”
4/5 – Hardcore Gamer: “Burnout Paradise Remastered still offers one of the best playgrounds to speed and smash through over a decade later, fueled by a smooth presentation, abundance of cars and an engaging soundtrack”
75/100 – Xbox Achievements: “Burnout Paradise Remastered represents a more than welcome comeback for a series that’s been away for far too long. Given a lustrous new coat of paint, Burnout Paradise still looks the business then, but now it’s got us yearning for a whole new Burnout”
Kirby Star Allies
8.3 – IGN: “Kirby Star Allies brings frantic four-player fun that’s continually a blast, thanks to countless ally combinations”
7/10 – Polygon: “It’s a kid-friendly romp through the franchise’s most memorable moments, and the asymmetric gameplay and lively spirit of Kirby’s latest journey make it a great way to introduce a new generation of fans to the series”
4/10 – The Metro: “Kirby’s games never seem fair on the enemies but this tiresome and poorly balanced co-op platformer offers little chance of fun for them or you”
9/10 – PSU: “With a serious tone, and a drama laden cast, Q.U.B.E. 2 is simply a cerebral experience. You’ll be able to sit down, calm your nerves, and look at things from a different perspective, if only for the time it takes to master a sliding Q.U.B.E. jump.”
8/10 – Destructoid: “Some easier puzzles aside, it’s still as satisfying as ever to conquer the larger puzzle rooms and Q.U.B.E. 2 is still a puzzle game I can easily recommend, as much of my nitpicking doesn’t detract too much from the overall package”
7/10 – GameSpot: “C.U.B.E. 2 makes remarkably clever changes to a formula well established by its predecessor, giving you more agency over puzzle solutions with redefined core mechanics”
Devil May Cry HD Collection
67/100 – Xbox Tavern: “Despite the dated visuals and camera issues, the gameplay remains as fun, as fast paced, and as addictive as it was over a decade ago. However, the lack of anything new in this collection may leave many of you wanting for more”
6/10 – The Metro: “A relatively competent remaster collection but the games are so old now that, without a full remake, newcomers will struggle to understand how they became so beloved”
5/10 – PSU: “The chance to properly spruce up Dante’s first three adventures has been missed here, and instead we get the already miserly remasters that appeared on PS3. At a time where it’d be great to remember why Devil May Cry can be so good, we get minimal effort and Devil May Cry 2”
The Council – Episode 1: The Mad Ones
8.5 – PSU: “The Council Episode One is a thunderously promising start for this fresh, sophisticated and intelligent take on the narrative adventure”
4/5 – Windows Central: “Though rough around the edges overall due to some performance issues, the first episode of The Council has laid a strong foundation for this intriguing story and fun gameplay to continue down the line”
6.0 – God is a Geek: “The opening episode isn’t exactly the most gripping of affairs, as this slow burning, political drama takes a while to get going and isn’t helped by poor presentation and dull puzzles. But there is potential here for an interesting story to be told in future episodes”
Tesla vs Lovecraft
8.0 – Critical Hit: “Tesla vs Lovecraft doesn’t reinvent the twin-stick shooter wheel, but it does refine and perfect the formula of what makes that genre tick thanks to its suitably meaty action, vibrant visuals and a perk system that is deeper than the sunken city of R’Lyeh”
7/10 – Cubed3: “Tesla plays differently in each stage, but they can sometimes be repetitive as they are quite simply slaughterhouses. For a twin-stick shooter, however, this plays exactly as expected and time quickly flies due to the simple nature of the mechanics; blast everything and watch the screen fill with a crescendo of colour”
7.0 – VideoChums: “When it comes to twin-stick shooting, Tesla vs Lovecraft definitely has a solid foundation that’s a ton of fun. However, the limited scope of what you can do limits the experience and ends up making it feel repetitive after only a short while”
New digital multi-format releases:
Pure Farming 2018
The Raven HD
The Council: Complete Season
Beast Quest – The Official Game
The Long Reach
New on PSN:
Zeus Quest Remastered
The 25th Ward: The Silver Case
Symmetry NeuroVoider – PS Vita
Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms – PS Vita
New on Xbox One Store:
Vicious Attack Llama Apocalypse (V.A.L.A.)
Next week: Sea of Thieves, Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered, A.O.T. 2, Titan Quest, A Way Out, Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, Detective Pikachu, R.B.I. Baseball 18, The Count Lucanor, Where Are My Friends? and Western Press.