Game Review: Carrion is a slippery, skittering delight

Carrion

That horrible feeling that sometimes follows a decent mid-afternoon nap – who am I, where am I, where is everyone – is the starting point for Carrion. Except here you need to add what am I, as your first action is to slop across the floor in a clot of slopping tendrils, with a tiny razor-lined mouth in a perpetual silent scream. And that feeling never fades, instead driving you forward with a singular motivation: get out. 

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Simon’s Favourite Films & Games of 2019

Best of 2019

As 2019 gradually fades into obscurity, it’s time for my yearly tradition of somehow ranking subjective experiences. This year is easier for me, though, as my free time has virtually disappeared (as you can probably tell from my complete lack of writing). As a result, I’m no longer diving deep into complicated experiences until they yield their goods. My metric is simple – is this fun? Does it inspire me? Does it make me feel? And if the answer is no – from a really early point – then it gets pushed aside.

Movies are easier to get through thanks to a much shorter time commitment than a game, so instead, they just get thrown in the outbox. My list of games, though, is more an example of the need for good design throughout – and how a jump in style can put me off forever. So let’s take a look!

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Marvel’s Spider-Man Makes You Feel Like You’re Spider-Man

Spider-Man

There aren’t that many games that I would consider to be among my favourite games of all time. I have played games on various platforms since I was a kid, but not a lot of them have really stuck with me. The ones that have though have generally stuck because they resonated with me on some deeper level. Firewatch is a great recent example of this, a game that made me cry in its text-based introductory chapter and punched me directly in the emotions at the climax. Bioshock is another, a game that scared me relentlessly for hours before unveiling one of the best video game story twists of all time.

I’ve been thinking about these games for the past few days because I am pretty sure that Marvel’s Spider-Man on the PlayStation 4 is going to end up on my list of all time favourite games.

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The Top Movies And Games of 2015, According to Simon

 

MMBestOf

Happy New Year! As you may have noticed, we had a quiet second half of the year here at Awesome Friday, but that’s not to say we weren’t busy. It’s the opposite, actually; between work, and kids, and writing an entire bloody book in November, I’ve barely had time to indulge in my twin pleasures of games and movies, let alone write about them. Looking back over the year, there are a number of titles that I wish I’d had the chance to watch and play, but I also discovered I engaged with enough entertainment to put together a list.

So, here is it: my Best Of 2015.

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All Hail PS4’s Sleep Mode

PS4

And praise be to the Suspend/Resume function.

Childbirth is a miracle. I’ve seen a tiny human being come out of another human being twice – the first emerging like a stone skimming over water, the second grumpily being pulled out after refusing to budge, both heralded by the battlecry of a woman adding a +1 to the world with thunderous determination  – and it’s really something. And by really something I mean completely changing your view of yourself and the Universe, but it’s a more relatable summary.

Having kids reframes your world in the best, most exhausting ways possible, but one of the biggest hits comes to gaming time. The nightly hours playing TimeSplitters are a memory so ancient they might as well be from another dimension. Even finishing a game becomes a novelty, and up until recently there was no solution to the frequent sudden instances where the game has to go off now. Thankfully, Sony has solved this with a firmware addition that should be renamed Every Dad’s Best Friend – the glory and brilliance of PS4’s Sleep and Suspend mode.

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Review: Galak-Z (PS4)

Spelunky has a lot to answer for. Ever since it single-handedly championed procedurally-generated levels back in its enhanced 2012 version, many other games have been lining up to try and emulate its perfect blend of slow progression and brutal punishments. 17-Bit’s Galak-Z is the latest to follow this trend, openly shifting from its initial open-world design in favour of a chaotic and frustration-filled set of tough challenges. And it so nearly gets it right.

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