Sony Fanboy Here: You Should Buy a Nintendo Switch

With the exception of a Mega Drive in my early years and several Gameboys (to toast the Elite Four with a high-level Charizard), Andrew has predominantly stuck to the Sony systems.

Once the sacred PS1 entered our domain, a very young Andrew’s eyes had been introduced to this incredible new polygoncentric world of entertainment that seemed too good to be true. The words “Rule number 95 kid, concentrate” became ingrained onto my brain as I mercilessly battered the Hercules demo that came with our first demo disc.

Fast-forward to my mid-20’s and barring a 3DS, I’ve had all the Sony consoles and nothing else.

That is until 2019.

It wasn’t until about a year ago that I really understood who or what the Nintendo Switch was and what it was capable of. It seemed kind of neat in all honesty. I’d always admired Nintendo’s franchises, yet simultaneously criticised them for being the same thing over and over again.

So, after putting it off for a while, I gave up being patient and got sick of those endless nights salivating over juicy deals. The raw want had consumed me. So I sought out that very piece of hardware and claimed one for myself.

My word, Nintendo have crafted something special. But I think they had to after learning a valuable lesson from the sorry state of affairs that was the Wii U.

Wii U

You did bad.

I was working in Game around the time of the Wii U’s life cycle and I barely remember anyone buying them. The controller design seemed bland, there was a significant lack of software support for the console and it ultimately flopped harder than Willy the whale.

It wasn’t too long before the poor thing was taken off of life support for good and Nintendo was already hard at work trying to rectify their mistakes. The old playbook was quickly dumped into a shredder and its newest creation showed that you CAN teach an old Mario new hat tricks.

Before I proceed any further with this rhetoric, I’ve still got Sony very much coursing through my blood and it will forever remain as my number one. However, I do know some close-minded people exist in this world. I want them to know, it’s actually safe to expand your horizon as you don’t owe loyalty to anyone.

Some people will stubbornly stick to one name, for what?

At heart, I’m a gamer. I love games. Until November 2018, with my 3DS I had never so much as sniffed the cartridge of a Zelda game. Whereas now I’ve experienced the wonders of A Link Between Worlds, Breath of the Wild and the legendary Metacritic deity that is Ocarina of Time.

Nintendo Switch

The pleasure I’ve had with BOTW is indescribable. Factor in Let’s Go Pokemon, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8, Tetris 99, Mario Party, Bayonetta, Smash Bros. Ultimate etc.

The Switch’s offerings already far exceed the Wii U’s its even re-releasing some of the U titles that would’ve otherwise gone untouched. The crisp graphics, docked or not, are fantastic and its seamless transition from docked to handheld is just magnificent.

So many time I’ve been downstairs, something is on the TV and I’ve been playing handheld. I’ve then vacated the room, gone upstairs with it and docked it to enjoy it to its most powerful version on my TV. Quick. Easy. Simple. Takes but mere seconds.

Nintendo Switch Preview Event

I’ve not even touched on the sophisticated nature of the technology yet either. The Joy-Cons are a quite literal joy. See, that’s why I’m such an advocate for the Switch, its got so many ways of being played and enJOYed.

If you have multiple people round for a chaotic Grand Prix in Mario Kart, you can unclip the two Joy-Cons from the side of the Switch, and then they can then be each used individually as controllers. It’s not fiddly and with the ability to get some sexy Gamecube controllers for the console too, you should never be short of hardware possibilities.

*Disclaimer: blue shells are unavoidable however. #antiblueshellparty

With upcoming games such as Luigi’s Mansion 3, rumoured Metroid games, the newest iteration in the long-running Pokemon franchise and another Zelda game in production, there’s just so much projected longevity in the offing. All of which can be enjoyed in the comfort of your home or commuting OR whilst you spend a hard-earned break during work.

Whilst I have bemoaned Nintendo’s lack of new IP’s throughout the years, I’ve realised it’s because they don’t need them. Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Pokemon, Zelda and Kirby amongst others. They all have franchises WITHIN franchises. Why? Because they do them well. Consistently. Barring the first two or three Zelda games, I think virtually every other game has gone on to garner universal acclaim. Mario Galaxy 1 + 2 are two of the best received games ever; ditto Super Mario Odyssey.

On top of all this, third-party support is very much a thing for the Switch. DOOM, Dark Souls, Mortal Kombat and Crash Bandicoot are big examples of third-party titles on the Switch with many, many more slated for it.

Switch MK 11

The impact of having this gory, fighting game behemoth is huge. It shows that Nintendo aren’t bereft of Adult-themed games. Although I think Bowser would’ve been amazing in this.

My Switch is my second console. All my main and third-party games will be bought for my PS4 Pro. End of story. But is it fair I deprive myself of all these other fun games? Absolutely not.

Now excuse me, I’ve just placed 4th in a game of Tetris 99 and I would very much like to get a win…or should I find that final pesky moon on Mario…hmm…

– Andy.H. –

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PS VR Moss Review – A Couple of Whiskers Away From Being Incredible

In the two years since virtual reality emerged onto the scene in a mist of excitement and anticipation, it’s had plenty of good games to show off this sophisticated technology. However, there’s not too many that have stamped their authority and made their way into the upper echelons of must-have, game of the year contention.

Moss is a game that has all the potential in the world to reach those dizzying heights as it’s a delightful adventure with an endlessly enchanting protagonist.

Our dear mouse, Quill, is living peacefully in her village, until an evil snake by the name of Sarffog, incites chaos and runs amuck. Quill’s uncle is captured and whisked away to a place unknown.


This is obviously troubling for our delicate hero who rebels against her uncle’s wishes to remain safe, and goes off in search of her relative. Long story short, that is the story. It never gets any more complicated, and additional exposition is provided in the form of an interactive storybook inside of a spacious cathedral.

The narrative is played out on these pages that can you can turn using your controller. I always appreciate these little niche touches as I feel they enhance your overall experience It differentiates the gameplay from anything else whilst simultaneously engrossing the player.

So off Quill goes on a journey of bravery and self-discovery, with yourself as her loyal overseer to guide her to victory. Quill acknowledges your masked presence, which you can see in the reflection of water around you. It further strengthens the bond that you’ve already created and it’s moulded and shaped as the game progresses.


So, did you see that ludicrous display last night?

Polyarc’s art design is simply wonderful, from the initial village you start off in to dark, mystical forests and ominous castles later on in the game. It’s one of the better looking VR games I’ve had the chance to play too as it boasts some rather tidy graphics; a benefit of the PS4 pro.

The visual aspect is helped by the structuring of each chapter as the camera is fixed for each ‘segment’ you have to overcome. So upon Quill entering the frame, you are confined to this section of the level until you successfully cross the invisible checkpoint that sets Quill running off to the next section of the chapter.

It allows the game to place a greater emphasis on the obstacles you have to overcome, all the while showing off an impactful back drop e.g a dirty, ugly swamp on the horizon whilst Quill is tackling enemies in front of you.


As for the gameplay itself, you’re introduced to the platforming elements step-by-step. Moving, basic jumps, shimmying across a ledge etc. It’s not too long before you’re in your first fight either. The combat is simple enough as there’s no combos or any real depth, it’s simply mashing the square button and occasionally rolling to one side; Dark Souls style.

But that’s not what Moss is trying to achieve here, it doesn’t demand that you learn a whole host of stylish executions, the combat is merely a softer way of portraying conflict. The aim here is trying to boast a lovable character in a curious land. You’ll rarely fail a section in the game as the straightforward combat is something that I don’t believe a fly would have trouble mastering within half an hour.

But this is where the main problem for Moss begins; ironically. Just as you’re starting to get comfortable with Moss, just as you’re arching your recliner back and beginning to tenderly nibble on the succulent, greasy chicken wings by your side, it’s over.  In about 2-3 hours, possibly even less.

I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s a glorified tech demo as that would be doing this game a complete disservice. However, I just couldn’t shake that gut feeling of disappointment when it clicked that I had moved all the cheese. There was nothing more to sample. I thought I was going crackers personally.

Don’t get me wrong, the time we do get is a treat and I enjoyed virtually every second of it, as easy as it was. But from a critical standpoint, the length sadly has to count against it with this being a £20-30 purchase. As I alluded to earlier, the foundation here is rock solid, I just hope the next adventure can be a bit longer than the average feature film.

Throughout the game, the puzzles evolve and lots of it requires precise use of the motion controls to pull objects towards you. Requiring you to rotate contraptions in order for Quill to make inroads.


Sometimes the gameplay blends puzzles together with enemies and they intertwine to create some slightly more tasking challenges later on, but again, nothing too strenuous.

Another example really of how lacklustre and bare the content is here is that there’s only two different recurring enemy types in the game: a rather harmless bug-type creature with a basic lunge attack, and a variation of this bug that can fire a projectile.

In fairness to the game, it does have some replayability due to its two type of collectibles that are scattered throughout the adventure. Each section tends to have a smattering of classic destructibles e.g barrels. Within these breakables are relic dust, so you’ve got a set amount of that to locate in each chapter.

On the other hand, you’ve got the slightly more obscure scrolls that can easily deceive you. There’s only about 20 or so, but some of them will take a bit more deduction and sleuthing to pinpoint.

An effective, and necessary method to finding some of them, is by cleverly using your environment to your advantage. By that, your first-eye view of each section is just a static frames essentially, but your vantage point is sometimes obscured by a pillar say.

If you lean in slightly, you’ll be able to peer around this obstruction and reveal tucked away secrets or otherwise inaccessible areas. Not only is this a fantastic way to keep you engaged, but a cheeky glance will uncover another opening that was impossible to see from your original position; ergo a secret scroll.

So if you do finish the game and you’re short some relic dust and a couple of sacred scrolls, then you’ve got the added incentive to go back and see what you’ve missed. You also get another chance to see Quill’s sheer delight at finding these collectibles. Cute.


In conclusion…

Moss has an aura about it that is assertive in what it wants to accomplish; establishing a character that you care about and building an intrinsic world that you will have fun in exploring, albeit a fixed one.

There’s no real openness to the game, but there doesn’t need to be. Each section is filled with plenty of depth and layers to make it feel fuller. Quill handles smoothly and the gameplay is generally accessible to all-comers.

The length and general ease of the game does bring this gleeful story down a peg or two, which is a shame as the ideas here are so positive. Plus, with the open-endedness of the ending, it’s very easy to see a more gratifying and expansive sequel in the future.

I wouldn’t even be hesitant in expecting an idealistic follow-up as my brief time with Moss was really that enjoyable, and the flaws aren’t even that substantial.

If we Polyarc can just knuckle down on delivering more content, more enemies, npc’s and taking the platforming to new heights, then maybe potential game of the year status will beckon.



– Andy.H. –

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My Favourite Wrestling Matches of All-Time – The Rock vs Stone Cold – Wrestlemania 17, 2001.

“You’ve got the WWF Title Rock, and I want it.”

No clever titles here for this one. We’re just going to lay the smackdown and get straight to the bottom line of this one. See what I did there? Hell yeah? Hell yeah? No? You totally did. You didn’t?… IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU DIDN’T!

This will be an easy series to write and one that’s going to be a lot of fun. A self-indulgent, self-righteous look at the professional wrestling encounters that my brain has deemed to be at the apex (predator) of Mount Grapsmore.

Even if you’re a casual fan, chances are that at least one of these masterpieces will hit home with you. Otherwise, I hope this gives you a new match to watch and piledrive into your head.

And I will say this now…any other subsequent entries into this series will not be in any order.

THIS…is the one. This has been my favourite match for the better part of 15 years. Nothing has topped it. It’s possible nothing will. Enough promo work, let’s shoot from the hip and get to work.

The Setting

The Astrodome in Houston, Texas. 67, 000 people. The greatest wrestling PPV ever put on by any company.

A night that had featured…

An emotionally charged father vs son Street Fight.


An indescribable, car crash stuntfest in the legendary TLC II match.


An absolute 5-star, wrestling clinic between Kurt Angle and himself (joke).


And two, future, Hall of Famers trying their best to end each other’s career, all across the arena in a battle for the ages.


This night is fondly remembered for a plethora of reasons. But, even if the madness had ended after the first eleven matches, it would still be a contender for best wrestling PPV ever.

Then you had the main event.

Two of the greatest of all-time.


The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Attitude Era’s two biggest stars, for the WWF Championship.

Before the era of 7-hour Wrestlemania’s that were so bloated, you’d have thought they’d gorged on a 3-course meal of gluttony, greed and a side helping of gluttony, you had a perfect show like this clocking in at less than 4 hours.

The crowd had already been treated to some astonishing entertainment and they were still, fresh off the grill, hot for this sumptuous final match in prospect. It was the main event that everyone wanted, and before Vince’s senility kicked in, he actually used to know what his fans wanted.

The Story

Rocky was the champion, Austin was the plucky challenger; not an underdog by any means. Despite the partisan atmosphere within the venue, this was very much a face vs face scenario in the main event of Wrestlemania. Given how traditional the WWE are with regards to their match psychology, it made for a unique dynamic.

The pre-match package is still the best I’ve ever seen, and it still gives me goosebumps now. Limp Bizkit’s ‘My Way’ was such a fitting song that really narrated the inherent desire of these two men to walk out of Wrestlemania with the most coveted title in all of pro wrestling.

It was that simple. I’m better than you. They fought on RAW and Smackdown in the weeks leading up to it and you just didn’t know which way this was going to go.

The Match

Needless to say, the spine-tingling pop when Disturbed’s awesome version of ‘Glass Shatters’ hits sets the tone from the get-go. Austin fearlessly made his way to the ring. Rock soon followed to a large chorus of boos. He was a face, but this was Texas. Rattlesnake country.

Another modern day trope that this match avoided is the pre-match, in-ring introductions to give it that big fight feel. Literally, Rocky descends from the top rope after doing his signature pose and Austin just blasts him in the face and the bell ring-dings.

This main event, at a fairly hefty 30 minutes, absolutely flies by. Even Sonic The Hedgehog experts couldn’t do Green Hill Zone Act 1 quicker than this match takes to complete.

If you went to a bar and asked for a specialty drink of its finest liquors, it would be this match. A blank canvas delicately sprinkled with sugar, spice, and everything nice…not to mention some tasty blade jobs too. Man do these guys bleed in this match; a rarity given how rarely The Rock bladed.


The argument can be made for no chair shots in modern day wrestling (which if protected would be fine), but some colour can really add to the drama of an intense match. The claret certainly flowed in this match and so did the action.

Brawling in the ring, brawling outside the ring, brawling in the crowd. Wrestling in the ring, wrestling outside the ring…more brawling in the crowd. They absolutely held nothing back in this No Disqualification, championship epic.

They used chairs, announce tables, the ring bell, the WWF title itself; anything that wasn’t glued down would normally be considered an illicit object became a tool of destruction in this physical, sordid war of attrition.

In addition to all of this tomfoolery, the storytelling is simply on a different level here. Harking back to the pre-match package; the mission statement here was clear, win at all costs.

As the match motors towards its epic finale; both men, beaten and battered, begin to pull out a variety of manoeuvres, in desperation more than anything. The Rock commonly used the Sharpshooter in his matches, so Austin stole it. Austin even used ‘The Million Dollar Dream’, a submission hold he hadn’t used since the days of his old ‘Ringmaster’ gimmick. You just wondered if he would fall short.

The iconic play-by-play of Jim Ross and Paul Heyman really added to the ferocity of the action and sold the action beautifully. The match crescendoed magnificently into a game of ‘what’ve you got left hombre?’They hit their own finishers. Still they kicked-out. They hit each other’s finishers. They still kicked out. The crowd was absolutely electric and they went berserk for everything.

WM17StunnerNo one sold the Stunner better.

…and then it happened.

Vincent Kennedy McMahon idly, trundled towards the warzone; I mean, he is the owner of the company so he can pretty much do what he wants. The Rock basically had Austin beaten after a People’s Elbow and McMahon would aid Austin in his conquest to capture the gold. Vince lobbed a chair into the proceedings, leaving Stone Cold caught between a rock and a hard chair.

After a admirable display of intestinal fortitude from The Rock, Austin lost his cool, and metamorphosed from fan-favourite ass-kicker, into his heelish don’t give two sh*ts about anyone psychopathy.

One vicious steel chair beatdown later, and Austin won the WWF Title, aligning himself with his long-time nemesis in the process. It’s a heel turn that is largely regarded as a failure, it did have its moments, but who’s honestly going to boo Stone Cold Steve Austin? Really?


This was a main event clash that blended technical wrestling, attitude era-style brawling, unteachable ring psychology and organic storytelling.

An unrelenting pace of face vs face that AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura could really have learnt from for their disappointing Wrestlemania 34 match. That was two babyfaces competing for the WWE Title, but lacking any serious heat or proper motivation; which is amazing when you consider the talent on-show.

I’ve been watching wrestling for nearly 20 years, nothing has bettered this match in my eyes…yet.

Till next time folks. What’s your favourite match of all-time? Let me know.

– Andy.H. –

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PS1 Remakes That We Crave. Vol. 1

The ongoing question of whether or not remakes/remasters are a good thing is irrelevant; the sales speak for themselves, as does the public clamouring for beloved titles of yore. If you want to look at it from an objective standpoint, they generally sell; the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy being a focal point of this recent trend.

The genuine outpouring of raw, physical emotion that some of these games bring out in people, it’s exactly that. Raw. Visceral. The pure nostalgia trip that your brain goes through thinking about these classics that, even as I type this and as you read this, you’re thinking about right now.

Who doesn’t want that rush of serotonin, coursing through their body as you reimagine those delicate pixels that gave you good times back in the day? So, if it’s done right, why wouldn’t you want that now?

I do.


So it’s my privilege of presenting to you a few select games that I’d like to give me my juicy fill of addictive, biological positivity. I generally hear the same names thrown around with regards to remakes, so my selections may not conform to public opinion. So read on and satisfy your curiosity.

In no particular order…

#1 – Tombi 1 + 2

Two bizarre adventures that border on the weird and wonderful.

A story of a feral, young child that clearly hasn’t had a conventional upbringing; hence his unusual appearance and his tendency to run on all fours. His violent pink hair that could seamlessly blend in with Aurora Borealis and teeth that could cut through glass are things that make Tombi immediately distinguishable.

Our first foray into this mysterious universe sees our hero’s sacred necklace go missing due to a skirmish with evil pigs. It’s one of those ideas that seems born of a random plot generator on Google. Whilst the premise sometimes favours the inane, it’s just too unique for me to care.

TombiFlowersThe stuff of nightmares…

One second you’re in a forest of laughing and crying flowers, the next you’re in a Dwarf Forest stacked to the rafters with leaves to bobsled down on your jungle-arse. The level designers must’ve been on a good ‘trip’ when they brainstormed ideas for this game as no two places feel the same. Each location batters you with an array of different colour palettes and equally fitting music.

Due in part to the story, each level has an interesting duality hidden behind it in that when you’ve bested one of the evil pig bosses, the curse is removed; changing the music and scenery to something more uplifting.


Although the sales for it weren’t anything special, it did just enough to warrant a squeal, sorry sequel. Think I might need some oinkment for that slip-up.

Tombi 2 on what worked the first time around by adding lots more quests and things to do e.g mine cart sections, nut collecting for squirrels and bird-washing amongst other unusual mini-games. Instead of a necklace this time, it was Tombi’s girlfriend. I’m still waiting for the prequel where we get to see how in gods name this twisted, candyfloss looking vampire-Tarzan, that can’t speak, got a girlfriend. He’s probably happy for her to pig out at buffets I’m guessing.


Whoopee Camp added an additional dimension to the gameplay to allow for more inventive platforming, along with different outfits offering different abilities.

Two games that were well-recieved but poorly purchased. Still, if they were given the ol’ spit shine, a decent bit of marketing with social media, then it’d be great to revisit these forgotten gems.

#2 – Driver

IF…and that’s an Andre The Giant-sized if, you managed to get past the infamous ‘tutorial’ for this game, then you’ll have been able to appreciate just how awesome and influential this game was.

On the flip side, most people perhaps didn’t have the opportunity to explore the splendor of Driver. The baby steps of the game literally tried to sever your feet, such was the sharpness of the difficulty spike it placed before you. It was intended to grind your gears, get you so angry that you’d furiously go into work and earn a suspension, maybe even become an alco-hydraulic…


If anyone says the cleared this on their first-ever go, then you are duly obliged to poke them in their eyes. It is sacrilege to lie about something so profound.

But with perseverance comes reward, if you reached mission two, well, it didn’t actually get much easier to be honest. This was a hard game and made you earn your racing stripes. But it was worth it.

Taking the reigns of Tanner, an undercover cop, your vigilante duties took you all over America from Miami to San Francisco, to LA to the Big Apple itself. The story wasn’t much to balk at, it was the meat of the missions really where you wanted to sink your omnivorous mouth chompers into.

With the help of some oil-slick physics, the cars handled very well. It was a hybrid arcade-sim system with the ticker pointing towards the arcade side of things a bit more. Speeding around a corner felt great, perfectly dissecting two passive vehicles gave you your action hero rush, and the high-speed chase scenario never grew old. Even more so as the soundtrack is belting out some funky 70’s style cheesiness that wouldn’t be out of place in an episode of Starksy and Hutch.


The missions were paced quite well, and with tight accompanying gameplay to boot, your experience rarely felt tainted or a chore. Whether it was standard A-to-B journeys, tailing a vehicle smashing cars up or chasing/being chased by the police.

Some of the sequels left a lot to be desired for the franchise, but the original is still one of the better driving games even to this day.

#3 – Gex 3D

Gex is another one of those attempts to mould a company mascot that can hopefully topple the dominance of icons such as Mario and Sonic. The latter are still going strong today, whereas Gex inexplicably didn’t even see the next generation of consoles.

Why inexplicably you ask? Because when you’ve got a game as good as this, you have to wonder why it didn’t get a PS2 entry.


It was a highly satirical platformer with pop culture references about anything you can possibly think of. Gex is brilliantly voiced by Leslie Phillips CBE, and his lines are oozing with personality and buckets of charisma.

Admittedly, the controls were a bit wonky at times and the platforming was a teeny bit dodgy, but nevertheless, it was another highly imaginative game. It parodies Godzilla and Looney Tunes amongst other things whilst remaining self-aware.


Each level had multiple remotes to collect by finding all the specific collectibles for that level or even getting to the end of the level, which usually ended up being a tricky gauntlet; but it was rewarding.

A charming protagonist, a well-written script rife with humour, lots of variety in the levels and enemies etc.


One of many bonus rounds in the game.

I’d be ecstatic if this got the remake treatment.

#4 – Time Crisis

A genre-defining game if ever there was one

Was it the first to feature light-guns? Nope. The ever-popular Duck Hunt gets a huge pat on the back for that, as does Sega’s Virtua Cop. But the introduction of Time Crisis packaged with the revolutionary G-Con and gun pedal was quite something.

No longer did you have to cry real tears as the arcade machine gleefully swallowed up your hard-earned money. Now you could bring the experience home; still crying thanks to the last stage. *cries in nostalgia*


It was a successful game with a fun story, addictive gameplay and spawned numerous sequels due to its accessibility.

However, the genre did die out as the years went by. We began to move past its initial 1995 arcade release and subsequent 1997 home console debut. On-rails shooters were being phased out as they weren’t ‘cool’ anymore.

  1. I see what they mean. You were at home, firing a plastic gun at a TV screen, cursing your ‘broken’ gun for causing you to run out of credits.
  2. I was 1. Do I regret it? Hell no! It was frickin awesome. I was firing a plastic gun at intangible terrorists for crying out loud! How is that not cool!?

TimeCrisisBossKnivesThis…THIS guy chewed up my credits for fun with his f*****g knives…

Regardless, times change. But, in my eyes, they’ve changed again.

Pointing our square eyes toward the hot topic of virtual reality; one of the key selling points of VR has been the real-intimate nature of the gameplay. Now when you consider that lots of VR games are commonly on-rails shooters/rollercoaster games; you have to think it’s not a question of if, but when.

The reintegration of Time Crisis into the gaming world is now a real possibility. Boyd rumours of so many games being brought back into existence, who’s to say a developer won’t do this for an arcade classic? Just remake the original game, maybe with Time Crisis 2 thrown in for good measure, and you have a chance to cash-in. If it’s successful, then howdy partner, we got us a rootin-tootin franchise to be rebootin.


With a headset on and a controller in each hand, we could be hearing “ACTION” sooner rather than later.

#5 – Crash Bash

For my money, this is one of the most underrated games of all-time; merely for the ungodly amount of hours, myself and my best friend, have sunk into this unexpected barrel of laughs and frustration.

Whenever anyone thinks of the Playstation 1 era Crash games, Crash Bash is generally considered to be the lowest rung of the ladder. It was the only one not to be made by the legendary Naughty Dog, but that does not detract from the quality of the game by any means.


Everything still feels true to the Crash Bandicoot universe, the roster is comprised of previous entries into the franchise; with the addition of a new creation, a cross-breed monkey/kangaroo by the name of Rilla Roo.

The layout is identical to Crash: Warped with its intimate warp rooms divided up into different levels. Each level generally is a mini-game i.e The first four warp rooms each have a level dedicated to the characters being locked on top of a painfully adorable polar bear that you need to use to charge other players off of the arena.

No two levels are the same. One polar level is constantly tiliting, mean you have to skillfully negotiate the ever-changing landscape, whilst remaining on high alert for incoming threats all around you. In later levels, you’ll play the same kind of battle, but with subtle variations that change the dynamic of the gameplay.

You’ve got tank battles, frantic pogo encounter in which you need to bank points after soaking the level in your respective colour. Popping balloons, boss battles and a whole host of other mini-games makes for a good evening, or 600.

The main adventure mode is a simple concept of Good vs Evil. Aku-Aku vs Uka-Uka. You need to claim the trophy for each level, which you can do by being victorious in a best of 5 format.

When you do clear each level, you then unlock the gem challenge which is usually winning a single round in either a vastly reduced amount of time, or by reaching a greatly handicapped total before your opponents. Furthermore, there’s also a crystal challenge for each level too. It’s just a pre-set parameter you need to overcome; and some of them are fiendishly difficult, as in, soaking your eyeballs in bleach frustrating. I’m onto my fifth pair now.

Later in the journey, you can then fight for relics which involves beating the arena champions for the stage, but you’ll need to do it either 2 or 3 times in-a-row, depending on if it’s the Gold or Sapphire relic you want to add to your spiffing collection.


You should find it difficult to get bored with this game, especially if you battle the games head-on with a partner.  It’s your best bet if you have any intention of getting everything in the game, hence the frustration part I alluded to earlier.

Or if you want to chill a bit more, you can play these games in a relaxed party mode against the AI or with friends.

I appreciate that Crash Team Racing would be remade first ahead of Crash Bash, but if someone could see it my way and prioritise this, then I’d be an eternally grateful Bandicoot.

Till part 2…

What games do YOU want to see remade?

– Andy.H. –

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The Last Hour of WWE Crown Jewel Was A Damning Indictment of Their Problems

From the second that the Jamal Khashoggi story hit the mainstream news, Crown Jewel was basically a PR nightmare waiting to unfold. Despite the true nature of the circumstances surround his death, WWE still went ahead with the controversial event to the vehement displeasure of everyone.

Even two of the WWE’s top stars, in John Cena and Daniel Bryan, abdicated the show in protest of the WWE’s immorality.

Report: John Cena, Daniel Bryan ‘Refusing’ To Appear At Crown Jewel

In effect, Crown Jewel was doomed no matter what happened during the course of the night, but it didn’t mean the show needed to be bad. It ended up being absolutely horrific; an unsalvageable train wreck of a PPV.

The show left the station, featured a brief tannoy announcement from a questionable conductor, before having a herd of rampaging wildebeests collide into the side of it with enough force to oust the carriages into the rubbish dump below.


What a great occasion to bring back an already tarnished personality in the wrestling world.

It’s heavily-promoted ‘World Cup’ (that featured seven Americans and one Mexican-American, go figure) was akin to the King of the Ring style shows of old. A format never worked. You get lots of short matches, with no time to develop, no time to tell a story or that generally entertain. Even the tag match was only good, but as formulaic as they come, which is not what you’d expect from The New Day and The Bar.

So to the last hour of the show. 3 matches and 3 reasons why the WWE is languishing in a ever-darkening sea of contaminated tripe.

Match #1 – Brock Lesnar vs Braun Strowman for the Vacant WWE Universal Championship


I feel like we turned back the clock a few months here. Either that or Vince got out his little scrapbook of ideas to see what he can re-use.

“Dammit Paul, Braun is over, he’s my greatest creation in years. Roman’s ill…I miss Roman…anyway, I think it’s time we finally give the fans what they want, we need to put the strap back on Brock because it’s best for business HAHAHAHA *sneezes* DAMMIT ALL TO HELL!

If you’re not well-versed in McMahonology, then a lot of that insanity above will have gone so far over your head that your neck is going to shrivel into a heap of cramp from cloud-gazing.

In short, Brock was champion for FAR TOO LONG. Since Wrestlemania 33, he held the Universal Title for 16 months. In that time, he competed a measly eight times, with only seven of those being for the title.

Despite the overwhelming distain towards Roman Reigns (get well dude <3), the general consensus was that relieving Lesnar of the title was good for the product. Reigns’ illness has forced him to relinquish it, and suddenly the stock of this match skyrocketed.

They had a big chance here to concoct something special. Instead, Brock effectively squashed WWE’s biggest monster. I don’t want to hear that Braun survived four F-5’s, that doesn’t make someone look good. Braun’s only offense in a 3-minute squash match was basically one kick.


-Insert Drew McIntyre into the match and make it a triple threat, as he has been involved with Braun a lot lately. It could’ve helped to pad the match out a bit and also make Brock earn it a bit more.

-Have Drew interfere, cause a double DQ, end the match as a no-contest and have a tournament at Survivor Series to determine a champion. Simple. This way, you negate the problem of having anyone look weak, you open a new realm of possibility, create more intrigue for Survivor Series and most importantly, that crowd didn’t care what happened during this match or most of the night to be perfectly honest.

Basically, this was all bad.

BUT…if on RAW we maybe have Brock drop the title to someone, fantastic. Do it.

Sadly, he’s probably going to hold onto that ugly, tomato skin until Wrestlemania and further run that title in the grounds of obscurity and make it lose its last single, shred of credibility. The whole thing was another in a long list of examples of the company going into business for themselves, and not the fans.

Match #2 – Dolph Ziggler vs The Miz Shane McMahon to declare the winner of World Cup Tournament Final


Shane, I’m as surprised as you are.

BEST. IN. THE. WORLD. That is practically engrained onto my brain now it’s been advertised enough. If specialists performed brain surgery on me, the whole procedure would suffer a brief hiatus due to the internal shock of seeing “best in the world” childishly scribbled across my cerebral cortex.

Such is the WWE’s loathsome tendency to brand everything.

A 48-year-old Shane McMahon is now officially ‘the best wrestler in the world’. According to the events of Crown Jewel whereby the Smackdown Commissioner inexplicably inserted himself into the match at the behest…of himself, replacing an ‘injured’ Miz.

Not only that, I can’t believe I’m typing all of this by the way, but he pinned Dolph Ziggler (clean) in about 2 minutes following a vintage Coast-To-Coast. The only move in the history of professional wrestling that has never beaten anybody.

You’ve got to laugh. The ever-imposing and authoritative nature of the McMahon regime reared its ugly head once again here. Not only did this completely undermine the pointless tournament they’d been promoting for weeks; but it was so absurd and ludicrously nonsensical that you just couldn’t help but laugh.

Who will forget that warm, endearing image of Shane O’ Mac running around the ring with that damn trophy like he’d just won a titanic, 60-minute slog with a bear.

For story purposes, my assumption is that The Miz faked his injury in order to save himself the risk of being fired; as per the stipulation imposed on any Smackdown superstar who got to the final and lost.

Similarly, like with the Universal Title, they had a chance to give someone a nice little push here. Instead, the bosses son stuck his nose in business that wasn’t his, and further solidified his growing legacy as the greatest wrestler that has ever lived. Eurgh.

Match #3 – DX vs The Brothers of Destruction



^^^^^^ See that figure above? That’s the combined age of all four participants in this match. The main event of the show consisted of four part-timers. Let me rephrase that, the main event of this PPV, consisted of a guy who’d been retired for eight years, one guy who is pretty pre-occupied with his real-life mayoral duties for Knox County, one guy that is very much on his last legs as the prince of darkness, and one guy who spends his time in a suit and tie being an Executive Vice President backstage.

It’s clear here that the lesson wasn’t learned from Super Show Down. HHH vs The Undertaker went nearly 30 minutes in the land down under. Due to the time difference or whatever, I feel like that match is still going on now.

To reiterate, this was a clear indicator that we shouldn’t have these veterans working a long, drawn out affair. The pace was slower than a care home, zimmer-frame, grand prix with the winner pocketing priority seating to the evening’s bingo.

The match was plodding, riddled with botches, Kane was accidentally unmasked for the millionth time and Shawn just barely escaped death performing a moonsault to the outside.

He was the shining beacon of light in the claustrophobic cavern of eternal darkness that was this match. Shawn Michaels is my favourite wrestler of all-time. I think he retired too early as he clearly still had IT. At Crown Jewel he did admittedly look a bit rusty, but he definitely still put on a show; and I believe he could still work a MOTY contender with the right guy *cough* AJ Styles.

I hate the fact he came out of retirement, for this of all shows. But if HBK is back, then maybe he can work a couple more matches before retiring at Wrestlemania once again.

As a whole however, this match was everything that is wrong with the WWE. The undying emphasis on the established guard, continually taking up slots that need to be filled by the younger guys.

The WWE makes enough money. It’s the biggest wrestling company in the world bar-none. They’re never going to be challenged no matter what anyone wants to believe.

One of these days, Vince needs to bite the bullet and start the integration of younger guys into main event slots without the need to panic and call upon his tried and tested soldiers.


  1. Putting the title on Lesnar was desperation and a way to return the status-quo in Vince’s head. A worrying thought is that he doesn’t trust ANYONE on the RAW brand that he feels can carry the company. But who’s fault is that?
  2. Shane winning the World Cup. Yeah. No.
  3. Out with the old, in with the new.  It doesn’t need to be any clearer than that.

The common factor in all of this? Over-reliance on part-timers who aren’t busting their arse on the road 300+ days a year. It needs to stop. But it won’t.

– Andy.H. –

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Has Gaming Peaked?

Video games have seldom failed to innovate over the many decades of their existence. The bar continues to be raised to new levels of air superiority and the progression of games development continues to be treated like a precarious game of Jenga. As one developer slides out a block with inch-perfect precision; another will grab it from their hand, add another for good measure, and slam it down on the top of this ever-expanding, beast of construction.

The continuing evolution can be compared to that of the ‘mine’s bigger than yours’ skyscraper war that continues to escalate to untold heights. At one point, New York upheld their dominance over a 66-year period in which their structures were unsurpassable. Eventually, Kuala Lumpur got a taste of the pie and got in on the act with the impressive Petronas Towers. But that was soon dethroned by Tapei 101.

…AND then Dubai decided they’d grown weary of the child’s play before them and ultimately usurped everyone by unleashing the behemoth that is the Burj Khalifa – obliterating the previous record by over 300 meters.


This same philosophy has been a constant throughout the video game scene, dating as far back as everyone’s favourite, back and forth, bleep-bloop-a-thon; Pong. Pong was the equivalent of the Empire State Building, but now, it’s been left far behind in the dust to bigger and greater powers that be.

I’ll be completely honest with you valued reader, the classics such as Asteroids, Pac-Man and Space Invaders just don’t hook me or stimulate me to a great extent. I can’t play them for more than 5-10 minutes before wishing I was bitten by a mosquito so that the scratching the bite would give me something better to do. Whereas human beings that are 10 and 20 years my senior, used to invest every waking second of their time into these past pleasures. Relics of a bygone era that have transcended generations of ‘bigger and better’ games.

That’s not to say these games are bad, not by a long shot. It’s just that those simple mechanics have been reworked, revamped and injected with Bane-levels of energy, vigour and more importantly…the future.


Safe to say, we’ve come a long way since this.

Technology has continued to excel. Technology has continued to advance beyond the realms of unthinkable possibility. And technology has made gaming’s journey a mind-blowing field of dreams that we continue to walk through and discover new secrets on along the way.


Are we coming towards the end of this creative boom?

The bigger the steps that gaming takes, the less room is being left to do something new. Resulting in tiny baby steps that serve only to prolong this extension and extort more money from consumers in the meantime.

The pipeline isn’t as fresh as it once was; concepts and genres are being regurgitated for an easy buck and few mechanics are truly ground-breaking anymore. Not to mention the unwelcome influx of shady business practices such as DLC and Loot Boxes. These ugly strategies seem to be more frequent than ever, which in turn starves us of new prospects and the need for those companies to invest in new ideas and IP”s.

It still may be sometime away, but the looming dread of gaming arriving at its zenith seems closer than ever.

Take graphics as a key proponent of this argument, graphics are one of the most obvious ways we can analyse just how much development has been made over the years.

Starting from Pong’s primitive use of pixels, we’ve walked a long and winding pass that taken us through such places as Commodore City, Sega Saloon and the ever-popular Nintendo Necropolis (my inventive alliteration DIED at this point).

During this period we had Prince of Persia, Bubble Bobble, Sonic The Hedgehog, Street Fighter II, Streets of Rage, Earthworm Jim, Kirby, Mortal Kombat, Chrono Trigger, Mario Kart and Zelda.

Not a bad line-up?

*Side note: here’s a shameless plug to my recent Bubble Bobble article.

Fast forward to the Nineties and some of the powerhouses are really starting to emerge at this point with the undeniable presence of the N64 and the Playstation.

The step-up was big, and with games like Mario 64 , Metal Gear Solid and Gran Turismo flexing their sleek muscles, the landscape was beginning to change for the better.


Sony not only took the burden of having to try and go one better than they did for the PS1, but they took that burden and piled more burdens on top of it. They really hit the weights. Piling on plate after plate, gulping pixel protein and pushed themselves to deliver a never-seen-before piece of hardware that could exceed limits. But they did this, over and over with the almighty PS2 eventually being dwarfed by the PS3 and so forth.

The next generation of video game consoles were very much in effect a decade later with the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii primarily owning the console market. They were the standard bearer.

Now in 2018, The PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch reign surprise. I didn’t think The Last of Us could be topped for looks, it didn’t seem fathomable for a game to move in motion as seamlessly as Forza Horizon; but in the last few years or so…oh boy…boy…BOY!

God of War, Uncharted 4, Horizon Zero Dawn, Spider-Man, GTA V, The Witcher III, Halo, Forza, Gears of War, Zelda, Battlefield 1 and many, many more have continued to astound. When one title steals the spotlight, there’s another right around the corner to supercede its predecessor.

However, where we are right now in terms of graphics, it’s good, it’s damn good. But it’s not getting THAT much better. For instance, the leap from PS1 to PS2 was monumental. PS2 to PS3 was incredible, PS3 to PS4 was the point at which I would say the leap merely became a hop. Killzone: Shadow Fall looked stunning as a PS4 launch title, but was arguable a slightly flashier version of Killzone 3 on the console before.

We’ve hit a wall, albeit a sexy looking wall gleaming with thousands of pristine pixels. 4K and HDR has upgraded the quality of the projected image, but at the end of the day, it’s still only fractional in the context of change. 8K will be next, whilst that will be phenomenal no doubt, it’ll never represent anything like the grand canyon jump we made over a decade ago.


True story, I just spent 5 mins browsing through pictures of walls until I found a SUITABLE WALL. This is the one that resonated with me the most.

But that’s the visual side of things, in terms of gameplay, as I’ve said, the same tired and tested tropes are being recycled to the point of over-saturation.

Now, to pretty much contradict myself once more, I do enjoy lots of this. My games list is a constant ‘one game bought, two more added’. There’s just so much out there that I’m more spoiled than a silver-spooned, home-schooled child that will remorselessly smash the family porcelain if I can’t have my diamond encrusted gold chain to show off to Moriarty my invisible friend.

That being said, the last two generations of gaming have been structured similarly in that there’s been on over-reliance and emphasis on favouring a particular genre. A genre that will be abused and exploited for every penny for an easy cash-grab.

First-person shooters had limited success on the PS2 and Xbox 360. Outside of Timesplitters, Halo, Killzone, Half-Life, Medal of Honor: Frontline and Call of Duty 2/3 and I can’t think of too much else. Then the PS3 and 360 arrived and it was just one FPS after another. Putting together a quick 4-8 hour campaign, tack on multiplayer and deliver it at full-price.

Our recent iteration of hardware has seen a HUUUUGEE surge in open world games. Makes sense though. We’re operating in a exciting time of sophisticated game engines running off of ultra-powerful machines. The PS2 is now essentially a Nissan Micra to the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport that is the PS4 Pro.


Pertaining to this super computer power, it’s led to the creation of vast, sprawling worlds. So vast that I can just picture a developer using a single finger with a pointed claw, clawing at the disc to fit in one last palm tree into their game. But that’s just me.

There’s just nothing much new out there. I won’t get into the whole remaster/remake debate(not yet anyway, stay tuned), but between this, the ‘big’ games with repetitive side missions, collectibles etc. It’s just easy to do.

How much GENUINE originality has there been in the gaming world since 2014?

You do get plenty of it in the independent scene, but sadly they don’t get the time or success that they need to properly excel and it usually becomes inconsequential to the broader horizon. On the other end of the scale, your more mass market companies *cough* EA *cough* Ubisoft are more than happy to indulge in their incurable disease of sequelitis.


So many of the same franchises have carried over two and even three generations of consoles now with no signs of ceasing. Again, not saying that’s a bad thing; just merely stating a point to discuss.

Needless to say it would be ignorant of me to bypass one of the truer examples of growth that has exemplified change within the gaming industry. That would be the relative success of virtual reality.

But Andrew…where are the hundreds of millions of sales that would financially represent success? Is there anything like a 1:1 demographic for VR that would suggest a sustainable future for VR technology and investment?

VR shouldn’t have worked. It’s a gimmick that’s been the dream of many, myself included, for so very long. If I’m not mistaken, 2016 saw the release of the main competition with regards to VR: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Playstation VR. With all the peripheral devices and the cumbersome nature of the hardware, it’s easy to see why people would be put off, especially with something that is a mostly untouched market.


Guarantee he’s playing a game involving an ice-cream.

Sales seem to be going really well so far and with over 200 current PS4 VR games to play at the moment with Beat Saber and many others to come, the future is looking bright for this true innovation.

And if you’re not sold on the idea of your room becoming a virtual world space, trust me, I have one, it’s immersive, impactful and everything becomes…well immersive. There’s no other way of putting, no lexicon can accurately summise how powerful this tool is. One word – immersive.

On the other hand, we can’t all stand around all day admiring the arse of VR. Time doesn’t slow down for anyone and this is supported by the recent news that the PS5 has a date with destiny in the near-future…probably Destiny 3 to be honest but ANYWAY.

What does the future hold for gaming? Will the raw power and engineering of our next generation of beasts allow a new genre to take centre-stage? Will some crazy new computer chip allow gaming to literally look like real-life? Or are we going to stagnate and toil away in the comfort we already know? Just with prettier pencils.

– Andy.H. –

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Retro Rewind: Bubble Bobble

An undisputed classic. One of THE co-op games of the past millennium.

It just doesn’t come simpler does it?

A green dinosaur. A blue dinosaur. Descending 100 levels deep into a bizarre dungeon. Rescuing their human girlfriends. Simples.

I don’t think an invention can be created to accurately find out just how many times I’ve I’ve gone to war with this 8-bit legend. Every playthrough is a new journey and a new experience. But what do you do to beat it?

Just envelop a monsta in a bubble, then pop it!

A simplistic concept no doubt, but the road to achieving it is the fun part. The game features one of the early instances of RnG gameplay as each level can generate all manor of items to enhance your dino-capabilities.

An umbrella that can metaphorically get a jump rope out and skip you ahead a few rounds, a bottle that instantly removes all enemies in the level and shifts the round into one of the bonus variety; heck, even a water crucifix that floods the level and eradicates all enemy scum. There’s endless variety within each playthrough, and it’s one of the things that makes the game so enticing and endlessly replayable.


See that brolly? Get it at all costs. The pepper? Not so much.

The game also boasts the most inconceivably easy controls too, a staple of retro games. One button to jump and one button to fire a bubble. That’s it. Your performance is then largely based on skill, something that I feel is lost in some modern day games. Anyone can literally pick this up and play it, but it takes guile and skill to pick it up…quickly.

Each level seemingly represents a theme with regards to its layout and presentation of its enemies etc. Some are in the shape of enemies, and some are shaped like words, perhaps messages left by the girlfriends? Just a bit of lore lurking for you.

Naturally, the further you progress into the chaos, the further your skillset is tested.

Basic enemies such as Bonzo (see below) can only jump up and he has no attacks, but get crowded by enough of them, and you are sure to surrender a life to the dungeon. If you do get to the later levels, then you’ll get ‘Drunk’ launching his empty alcohol bottles at you, rebounding until they either hit you or return back to their inebriated master.


The game presents a natural learning curve and never truly feels unfair.

But enough of that, it’s time for the best part. The effing music.

It constantly loops the same sub-minute tune for seemingly an eternity, but if this was the soundtrack to eternity, then sign me up. It’s the most insanely, catchy jingle of any game I’ve ever played. Almost iconic.

But it’s not just the main theme that mesmerises the ears, it’s everything else too. The secret room music, final boss music and even the intense ‘hurry up!’ version of the main music. The sound effects of the bubbles, the noise it makes when you get hit and lose a life; these are all the subtle nuances that add to the ever-lasting stream of charm that this game oozes.

I know what you’re thinking, yes…there is a one-hour loop of this music and yes…I have listened to it in its entirety.

Oh, and if the challenge of trying to topple the hundred-round mountain wasn’t hard enough; the road to the secret rooms lie beyond the summit, or below the depths in this case.

If you can get to round 20 without losing a single life, then a door appears to a secret room. Congratulations, few people see that room, I myself have only seen it a few select times. Done that? Well we better up the ante then, get to round 30 without suffering damage? Then you will gain access to hidden room number two.

I think I’ve reached it once in my entire life…

Wait, what? You want an even greater challenge you sadistic maniac!?!? Reach round 40 then without dying. I dare you.


Secret Room number one. Pretty isn’t it? This is all I’ll give you, if you want to see more, then you’d better get good at the game my friend.

This game offers so much content, so many hours of fun and is guaranteed a good time with a friend.

I guess the only question…is who gets to be Bub?


– Andy.H. –

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