After 35 years, the Legend of Zelda series remains an important fixture in the broad tapestry of videogames – an icon for digital adventurers. However, after decades of inspiring a range of imitators and ground breaking RPGs, the series is playfully discarding many longstanding tropes and staples to experiment and play around with a host of new gameplay mechanics popularised in everything from Dark Souls to Donkey Konga.
Amidst a range of recent titles seeking to update the classic videogame brawler, Squareblind.co.uk looks at how the simple mechanics of kicks, punches, parries and special moves that are essential to the genre are being subverted to incorporate more nuanced narrative themes and concepts such as unreliable narrators.
There can be real joy in plugging in some beloved old controller or joystick into a modern platformer. But trying to give a modern game with its multiple input and control options a retro, tactile feel is not always easy when you have just six buttons to do so.
JJ Robinson braves the zombified cornfields of digital small-town Americana. Along the way, he finds the experience of going through an 8 year-old game – and especially its sequel – may tell a player way more than is comfortable about who we are in times of strife and trouble, as well as what matters most when the chips are down… Yeehaarrrrgh.
Our final retrospective of gaming in 2020 looked at the concept of anti-football games, online competitive Super Mario and what makes a good videogame forward roll.
Squareblind.co.uk looks at the game that have defined its 2020 with co-op titles such as Risk of Rain 2 sitting alongside more cutthroat distractions such as Monopoly and Mario Party.
For better or worse, we all have to do the best we can in life to get by with what we’re given. Both Dead Cells and Slay the Spire perfectly encapsulate this school of thought with very different styles of gameplay.
Even with the decades of advances we have seen around AI, who needs a monstrous digital opponent when you can face off against a rival human or life partner in a multiplayer battle of manipulation, recriminations and false accusations? This is Among Us, one of the most popular games of 2020.
In a week where most of the western world has been focused on the notion of power and those that will control our destinies, Hades offers some form of catharsis around persistence and belief being able to overcome injustice and deeply entrenched systemic failings.
What better way is there to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the first Super Mario Bros than transforming it into a gruelling endurance run against 34 other players – where the pleasure of nostalgia is mixed up with a vindictive battle of attrition.