Alan Wake Remastered: Have torch, will travel

Alan Wake is not your typical video game hero.

He’s not a former soldier skilled in the art of warfare or a wronged man out for revenge: He’s a writer in a tweed sports jacket with leather elbow pads (over the top of a hoodie) who runs out of puff after he’s sprinted for a few seconds. He’s an every day man.

Alice. He’s hoping to cure the writer’s block that has stifled his creative flow for two years but he quickly finds out that all is not what it seems in this seemingly sleepy town.

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Hell Architect, Byte Size review (PC)

The management sim genre is one that has been around for as long as I can remember but I can’t say I’ve ever played one set in the realms of Hell that tasks you with making hell a better version of itself (is that even possible?)

That’s the idea behind Hell Architect, a management sim from Polish developer Woodland Games where you’re tasked as Hell Manager who is in charge of, well, developing the nine rings of Hell and making it a place Lucifer himself would be proud of.

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Psychonauts 2, review

Five years.

Five long years (actually, it’s more like five and a half years but what’s six months?)

That’s how long I’ve been waiting for Psychonauts 2 from Lucasfilm alumni Tim Schafer & his Double Fine Productions studio to be released since I backed it on crowd-funding platform Fig in January 2016.

I’ve long been a fan of Tim Schaefer’s work – don’t get into a conversation with me about how good Grim Fandango is – and while Broken Age didn’t do it for me, despite funding that, too, I jumped at the chance to crowd-fund Psychonauts 2 when I learned it needed help to be made. This was a chance to be part of game development history, right?

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Intel i5-10600K CPU review: The heart of a new PC build

Recently, Intel Australia/New Zealand got in touch and offered me the chance to test out its 10th Generation i5-10600K CPU – and I jumped at the chance.

I was keen to have the chance to re-build my PC with a newer generation CPU & see how Intel’s 10th Gen chip compares to the i5 8400 that I had been using for the past four years or so.

A big thanks to Intel Australia/New Zealand for the opportunity.

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Byte Sized review: Red Solstice 2: Survivors

I never played the original Red Solstice so I can’t offer an opinion on its merits, good or otherwise, but Red Solstice 2: Survivors seems like a solid real-time action game with RPG mechanics.

It’s set on Mars where you control a battle-hardened marine having to help repel an invasion by the mutant Strol.

The story might not be original and the gameplay is nothing new but Red Solstice 2: Survivors is an enjoyable romp in a sci-fi inspired universe if you’re a fan of X-COM and it’s ilk.

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Death’s Door preview (PC)

If Devolver Digital is the king of the independent video game, then Death’s Door is the latest jewel in its already glittering crown – and what a big, beautiful, glittering head piece it is!

In fact, Death’s Door could be the sleeper hit of the year that I knew nothing about, but I’m glad I know about it now.

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Days Gone PC technical review

Once upon a time, you would never have imagined seeing a PlayStation game appearing on a Windows PC but now it’s becoming more and more common place.

First, we saw Guerilla’s Horizon Zero Dawn make the leap from PlayStation to PC, then we were graced with Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding (although HZD was a rough port at launch that required a fair bit of work to get it working properly). Now, it’s the turn of Days Gone PC, a zombie-filled adventure across a post-apocalyptic American mid-west, starring grizzled biker Deacon St John. It’s a technical marvel that really show cases what is possible with PC gaming.

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Judgement review (Xbox Series X)

I reviewed Sega’s Judgement, a spin-off from the company’s Yakuza series, a year ago on this site.

Now that I’ve played it again on Xbox Series X, my opinion still hasn’t changed: It’s one of the best games from studio Ryu Go Gotuku and if you’re a fan of the Yakuza series then you need to play this. It really is that simple.

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Norton 360 for Gamers

Norton 360 for Gamers, you say? In this day and age, anti-virus is a vital necessity when it comes to online protection from data and identity thieves.

I’ve had warnings in the past of accounts being potentially compromised but they never seemed to come to anything. At least I don’t think they did. But I’ve always used some form of anti-virus, both free and subscription (Kaspersky, AVG, Avast, even Windows Defender), and it’s certainly true that you get what you pay for.

Norton is one of the industry’s big players and I’ve been a fan of the company’s anti-virus solutions for a few years, offering a pretty consistent product that provides solid online protection combined with an easy-to-use interface.

(Previously posted at www.gamejunkie.net.nz)

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Evil Genius 2: World Domination (PC review)

It’s hard work being an evil meglomaniacal dictator in Evil Genius 2, believe me.

I mean, between ensuring you have enough energy to keep the lights on in your ever-expanding lair where you’re plotting world domination, you also have to deal with workers (aka minions) who are more concerned with what’s for lunch.

A sequel to the original Evil Genius, a real-time strategy/world builder game from Elixir Games in 2004, Evil Genuis 2: World Domination has a real Austin Powers/Despicable Me feel to it.

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Two Point Hospital Jumbo edition (Nintendo Switch)

I’m just going to come out and say it: I’ve had a absolute blast playing Two Point Hospital Jumbo Edition on the Nintendo Switch.

A management sim where you have to build and manage hospitals (and staff) while more and more demands (and illnesses) are thrown at you, Two Point Hospital takes a lot of influences from Bullfrog’s Theme Hospital, a classic management sim from the past. Throw in a wicked sense of humour, and Two Point Hospital Jumbo Edition is just a delight to play.

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