Thursday, 9 June 2011







Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Ultimate N64 Countdown 10 - 6 by Alex

10.   Lylat Wars
        Developer/Publisher:         Nintendo/Nintendo
           PAL Release:                      20/10/97
Shhh, we’re not allowed to call it Star Fox in Europe, but no matter what you call it, it’s in the top 10 N64 games of all time for good reason. Arguably more Star Wars than any of the ‘proper’ Star Wars games on the N64, Lylat Wars is simply one of the finest shooters around. With incredibly high production values for its time, the game really helped signal the evolution of Nintendo into the 64-bit era.
Nintendo always show third party developers how to squeeze that little bit extra out of their hardware and Lylat Wars was a prime example of that. The huge amount of voice samples, full motion animation and tons of cinematic sequences on show really proved what a marvelous technical achievement the game was in 1997.
As well as a great technical achievement, Lylat Wars was also tremendously entertaining. Every level is bursting with non-stop action as Fox McCloud barrel rolls his way through asteroid fields and lava planets both in his Arwing ship. The Landmaster tank levels and the free flying dog fight sections were also utterly exhilarating and when you factor in the huge boss fights and branching difficulty routes it’s difficult to think of what more a top quality action game can do.
It’s incredible to think that Nintendo have never improved on this installment of the Star Fox franchise since 1997, but that is once again testament to the difficulty any developer would have in trying to create a more cinematic, action-packed and dazzling game than this. This is one game that easily stands the test of time and remains one of the most playable N64 titles today.

Best moment: The various ends of the game are all spectacular. Whether dodging loads of obstacles whilst chasing a golem boss through a stone temple or fighting the giant brain form of Andross before a very ‘Star Wars’ reunion between Fox and his father, all the scenarios ensure a fitting end to a spectacular game.

Playability today (out of 5): 5

9.     International Superstar Soccer 64
        Developer/Publisher:         Konami/Konami
           PAL Release:                      1/6/97

There are various older sports games that you can always go back to and play ‘for a laugh’ and never has that been truer than with ISS64. Arcade-natured sports titles, like ISS and Gretzky can remain timeless because they never relied on trying to perfectly simulate their real life counterparts, instead relying on taking the most exciting aspects of the sports and exaggerating them to produce an experience of fun above all else.
ISS64 has all the ingredients to create the perfect arcade football pie. Goal ‘em up gung-ho tactics, dribbling round the entire opposition team with your goalie, hilariously terrible commentary, 40 yard screamers, referees who think free kicks are for sissies and seemingly always enough stoppage time for that last minute equalizer.
We are not forgetting as well that, at the time, ISS64 was far and away the best quality football experience available. It was the best looking, most responsive and easily the most playable football game around with just enough of a tactical aspect that could be utilised to make sure football fans of all types could get something out of the game. And ISS64 is a title that football fans can still get something out of. It might be ridiculous, it might be over the top but it’ll always be great fun, especially in multiplayer – you simply cannot play this game without a smile on your face.    

Best moment: The wonderful scenario mode is specifically designed to create unparalleled tension and excitement. It puts you in the middle of a match with not much time running out and tasks you with either holding a lead or coming back from a heavy deficit. It’s always a complete blast and the satisfaction of coming from 4-1 down with 3 minutes to go is utterly awesome. Special mention also to the ridiculously funny box art – “everyone get him, he’s German!”

Playability today (out of 5): 4

8.     The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
        Developer/Publisher:         Nintendo/Nintendo
           PAL Release:                      17/11/00

Perhaps another surprise to see this wonderful gem of a game so far down the list (although 8th out of 387 PAL titles is actually pretty good!), Majora’s Mask doesn’t quite break the top 5 simply because it didn’t make the same impact or break as much ground that Ocarina, or indeed some of the games higher in this list, did.
Ocarina took the world by storm, being the breathtaking 3D debut of Link and topping ‘best game ever’ polls ever since. Majora’s Mask could never have lived up to that standard, but it did enough to freshen up the formula and change the tone from Ocarina’s that it will have to settle for simply being one of the greatest ‘sequels’ of all time.
The game itself is typically a masterpiece of design, with the usual whimsical characters, sprawling dungeons, beautiful music, giant boss fights and a huge map with a variety of different locations. Standard high quality Zelda fare, then, but Majora’s Mask added in several unusual elements that make it a different beast to Ocarina and one of the most unique adventure games ever created.
Majora took on a much darker tone than any other game in the Zelda canon and the story has pretty much the most awesome premise of all time - get all your shit sorted in 3 days or the moon will fall on everyone. Link could use his ocarina to adjust time and could also transform into different creatures by donning masks and these new features impressively altered the experience of the game from Ocarina.
Majora’s Mask really is a master class in how to retain everything that worked in an original game and still make a sequel feel like a completely different experience altogether. How many times are current generation sequels criticised for not changing the formula enough? No such problem for Majora’s Mask, which is the perfect alternative, darker companion to Ocarina on the N64. It’s yet another epic and enchanting Zelda classic that fully deserves to be recognised alongside its predecessor as a standard-setter for how all adventure games should be made.

Best moment: The use of the ocarina to slow time and return to the first of the three days was used to create many mind-bending puzzles and side quests and none linger in the memory more than the Kafei and Anju side quest. It’s an epic and romantic tale that makes full use all the time travelling features of the game and proves the supreme ability of Nintendo to create memorable moments that you won’t find anywhere else. And it’s not even part of the main adventure.

Playability today (out of 5): 5

7.     Goldeneye 007
        Developer/Publisher:         Rare/Nintendo
           PAL Release:                      25/8/97

Goldeneye 007 is, without a doubt, one of the most groundbreaking and significant titles released on the N64. It was very much the game that persuaded many to buy the console in the first place as it showed neutrals that there was FAR more to the N64 than Mario. It has influenced so many shooters since and, at the time, did everything right.
Helped majorly by the N64’s groundbreaking analogue stick, the game had unparalleled levels of control and blended action shooting with super spy objectives to create the ultimate Bond adventure.
Shooters had never been better than Goldeneye – there were tons of weapons that you could steal from fallen enemies, difficulty specific objectives, smart (at the time) enemy AI, perfect controls and that legendary all-conquering multiplayer.
There simply was no other gaming pastime that could usurp 4 friends sitting around an N64 for some Goldeneye multiplayer – it defined some friendships. The maps were all totally awesome, mostly based on the single player, but perfectly fitting the multiplayer mayhem and there were also tons of weapon sets, customisable scenarios and characters to top it all off.
If you went back 10 years, Goldeneye would easily be at the top of a lot of all time charts, but nowadays the game hasn’t held up as well as memory serves, but its status as a classic is undeniable.
But memories of Goldeneye are something that everyone has. Wherever you went and whomever you played it with, it was always different. Everybody had their own playing style, their own favourite maps, weapons, characters and rules (no Oddjobs anyone?). It may not hold up today, but it can still be felt in modern FPS titles – you can play many games today and say, “Goldeneye started that”. In today’s anonymous online world, multiplayer shooters will simply never be the same and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Best moment: Dropping in on the guy on the toilet in Facility? Driving the tank through the streets of Moscow? Chasing Trevelyan through the Cradle? Using a watch laser to escape from a soon to be destroyed train? Or simply 4-player license to kill with power weapons on Temple? Everyone has their own favourite moments and that is what makes Goldeneye an indisputable classic.

Playability today (out of 5): 3

6.     F-Zero X
           Developer/Publisher:         Nintendo/Nintendo
           PAL Release:                      6/11/98

F-Zero X rocks. Literally, it rocks so hard. It’s the fastest, craziest, most heavy metal video game ever made. Back in 1998, F-Zero X was the first racing game to run at 60 frames per second and featured 30 vehicles (with some of the greatest names of all time – Crazy Bear! Wonder Wasp! Genius!) on screen at the same time and, for want of a better phrase, it was awesome.
Races were absolute carnage at up to 1500km/h across tracks littered with sky-high jumps, cylinders, half pipes, boosts, ice patches and even sand paper. It was a high-octane thrill ride that was utterly relentless with the action never letting up for a second.
As well as a blistering single player mode, F-Zero X had several other excellent features. The multiplayer was always an absolute riot, and this was further exaggerated by the ‘VS Slot’, which was a slot machine that allowed players who had retired from the race to exact brutal revenge on those still competing by draining all their health with three matching symbols. Being a virtual spectator to a video game has never been so much fun.
There was also the death race was a timed challenge for how quickly you could ruin the shit of every other vehicle on the track by smashing the hell out of everything moving. It was brutal and brilliant fun and the kind of experience leaderboards were made for.
F-Zero X definitely still holds up today. It might not be the prettiest game ever, but the sense of speed still remains and the unpredictability and sense that anything can happen makes it unquestionably ridiculous entertainment. Oh, and the soundtrack is amazing!

Best moment:  The ‘X’ cup, which randomly generated a different track with each play. Sometimes the random tracks could throw up a turn so utterly heinous that it would be almost impossible to negotiate and would annihilate every vehicle on the track in an instant. This could sometimes happen so quickly that N64 magazine used to run a segment where readers attempted to send in the shortest time it took for everyone to be destroyed. Genius.

Playability today (out of 5): 5

Monday, 30 May 2011

L.A. Noire Review - By David

Developer - Team Bondi

Publisher - Rockstar

Firstly, it’s important to eliminate a popular misconception about LA Noire. 
This is absolutely not another GTA clone. Players approaching this title with the impression that they will be tearing up the streets Niko Bellic style are likely to be disappointed. Looks aside, LA Noire actually has more in common with a point and click adventure title than it does the traditional sandbox experience.
Set in post world war 2 Los Angeles, LA Noire tells the story about ex soldier turned detective Cole Phelps, as he works his way up the ranks of the LAPD. Like all Rockstar protagonists, Phelps is an outsider, struggling to fit in, in a world that doesn't really understand him. Initially coming across as a cold arrogant cop, it quickly becomes apparent that Phelps is a brilliant yet flawed individual that is not only battling crime during one of Civilized Americas most violent periods, but is also concealing demons of his own that he is struggling to come to terms with.
The main body of the game is centered around investigating crime scenes and interviewing suspects. It is because of this that Rockstar have really pulled out the stops when it comes to facial animation. The attention to detail when capturing and rendering the facial expressions of LA’s citizens is quite frankly astounding, and it needed to be. Reading the faces of those being interviewed by Phelps is a staple part of the game. During the interviews, the player has to decide whether they want believe the answers they are being given, doubt the persons response, or out right accuse them of lying, before presenting the suspect with evidence found at the scene of the crime to support your accusations.
As you've probably worked out, spending most of your time investigating and interviewing really affects the pacing of the game, which is huge differentiating factor between LA Noire, and a traditional Rockstar game. Fortunately though, if this game is approached with the correct mentality the slow pacing is rarely an issue. There is a patch around two thirds of the way through that can become tedious, but the story should manage to pull most players through far enough for Rockstar to shake things up and make the game interesting again.
The pacing is not the only problem that LA Noire has. The graphics are far from perfect, and aside from character faces, the game is completely unremarkable in looks, suffering from occasional popping issues, and poor texture rendering. When the size of the city is taken into account this understandable, but the problems still remain. Although never really boring, the game does become noticeably repetitive, which is accentuated by clunky controls that can often inhibit crime scene investigations.
Overall though, this game is a classy piece of work, and should be recommended to anyone that enjoys an engrossing narrative, that brings post war LA to life in a way it never has before. Although not without its faults, the majority of the experience is an enjoyable one. Pacing, and an utterly unfulfilling ending tarnish what would have made the game a serious contender for game of the year, but as a whole LA Noire is one of this generations games that every gamer should at least try, even if it wont be remembered as one of the greats.
3 Good Points

  • Utterly refreshing, and different from almost everything else.
  • Brilliantly developed and thought out main character, that will have players desperate to learn more about.
  • Facial animation is astounding.
3 Bad Points
  • Some pacing issues
  • The ending.
  • Perhaps goes on an hour or two too long.

Solid, although completely unremarkable, the quality of facial animation can often jar against surroundings that are only fine. Holds up for the most part on the faces alone.
Something refreshing that can become mundane as the game progresses.
Fantastic in all areas except the ending, which quite honestly is rubbish.
The Rockstar social club is brilliant and will have players playing this game long after the main story is done.
Value For Money At
25-30 hours of gameplay, plus a brilliantly laid out game for completionists to plug away at.
Brilliant foray into a new way of playing games that should definitely be explored in the future. After we've all played this game first that is.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Ultimate N64 Countdown 15 - 11 by Alex

15.   Mario Golf
        Developer/Publisher:         Camelot/Nintendo
           PAL Release:                      14/9/99

Camelot reappears in the list with another Mario sports title. It appears higher in the list than Mario Tennis, not just because it was the first of the N64 Mario sports titles, but because it was an altogether more deep experience that achieved more than the quick pick-up-then-put-down multiplayer madness of Mario’s racquet-based successor. Mario Golf did the same job as tennis by taking a sport and adding in crazy characters, brightly coloured Nintendo themed courses and cool powerups to make the sport of golf infinitely more exciting. There were tonnes of courses and a variety of different modes that could take forever to fully master and produce better scorecards. The game also had a brilliant replay mode that could let you save your best shots if ever any boasts needed backing up. As was evidently the case with Camelot/Nintendo games on the N64 the game was made with great attention to detail and a very robust control system with a perfect balance between arcade fun and serious realism and as such is another classic Mario Sports title that is still ridiculously playable today. Only 4 words are needed – match play drinking game.

Best moment: Without a doubt, there is no greater feeling in golf than hitting a hole in one, and Mario Golf’s greatest moments came on the incredibly rare occasion that you would pull off one of these miracles. Hit one on a par 4 course? Friends don’t believe you? Be prepared to feel infinitely smug as replay mode beautifully backs you up as your mates eat humble pie.

Playability today (out of 5):  4       

14.   Super Smash Bros.
        Developer/Publisher:         HAL Laboratory/Nintendo
           PAL Release:                      19/11/99

UK gamers should be very grateful we got to play this game in the first place as it wasn’t until a petitioned campaign (which I, of course, took part in) by the magazine now named NGamer that Nintendo even planned to release the title over here. And how lucky we were to get to play this simple to pick up, yet chaotically frantic beat ‘em up featuring an all star cast of Nintendo mascots.
The fighting is controlled mainly by using 2 buttons, one for normal attacks and one for character specific special attacks and works brilliantly well, and has thus been kept the same for the 2 equally excellent sequels. The on screen mayhem is beefed up with a whole variety of mental items including a SNES Superscope and Pokeballs. Smash Bros is a fine example of less is more; you don’t need ridiculous combos or buckets of blood to make a great fighting game – here is a brilliant game perfectly accessible for anyone and a simple press of the A button lets you hit Jigglypuff in the face with a baseball bat.
The series has definitely improved with subsequent installments but so good is the formula and so frantic the action that Smash Bros remains one of the most playable of the N64 titles today.

Best moment: The game is so packed with Nintendo fan service it’s hard to pick out singular moments, but finally sealing the fate of the ridiculous giant hand boss at the end of the main mode takes ages, especially on harder difficulties, and at the end of a long slog it’s a great moment.

Playability today (out of 5): 5

13.   WWF No Mercy
        Developer/Publisher:         Aki/THQ
           PAL Release:                      15/12/00

The very late 90s and early 00s was truly a golden era for wrestling games. THQ oversaw several excellent titles across various platforms that went from strength to strength. The Playstation had the, admittedly brilliant, Smackdown! titles and the N64 had WCW/nWo Revene, Wrestlemania 2000 and No Mercy. No Mercy was the pinnacle of wrestling games at the time and featured several improvements over the previous game in the series – the fantastic Wrestlemania 2000.
The roster was bigger; players could now engage in ladder and special guest referee matches; backstage areas were opened up for hardcore carnage and you could put opponents through the ringside announce table. It really was the most comprehensive wrestling game ever made and the perfect sequel to WM2000, leaving the fantastic gameplay system largely untouched.
The game’s career mode was perhaps the greatest improvement over previous games, with different stories available for each of the different title belts. No Mercy featured awesome branching storylines that meant that you could carry on in a different direction through the story even if you lost a match. Forget what current games boast – No Mercy has one of the greatest rosters of characters (possibly because of the era in which it was made) and one of the best and most accessible control systems ever, especially as more recent games seem to get more convoluted with each release. It will live long as a timeless classic that possesses that little bit of charm and developer care that current wrestling games simply haven’t replicated. Ah, the good ol’ days!

Best moment: Ironically, the best moment is probably due to the horrible fault that early builds of the game had where the cartridge would randomly delete all the save data during the career mode. This affected so many gamers that the BBC program Watchdog ran a special on it. Seeing Anne Robinson reading out letters from disgruntled parents who bought their kids the broken game was a sight to behold. The company did replace any faulty carts with new ones and therefore the best moment came when gamers could finally play through the excellent career modes without fear of their effort being completely pointless. Much like Anne Robinson.

Playability today (out of 5): 4

12.   Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey
        Developer/Publisher:         Williams/Midway
           PAL Release:                      10/10/97

Perhaps a surprising entry so high up for some, but Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey is a game that never fails to provide brutal, fast paced and high octane multiplayer experiences that will leave you crying with laughter. Ported from arcades in ’96 in the US, Gretzky was actually the first sports game AND the first four player game to be released on the console. To say it set the standard for four player gaming on the N64 is putting it lightly.
Being originally an arcade game, it’s no surprise that Gretzky is less about simulation and more about fun and the fun comes by the bucket load. Playing as a three on three game with no rules makes the game feel like the most brutal game of prison rules hockey ever. Bone crunching body checks, turbo boosts and the obligatory fighting sections make Gretzky the perfect game representation of what ice hockey is – ridiculous and brutal.
With the scaled down three on three games, the rink is made smaller and therefore the action feels faster and more compact, giving way to an absolute ruckus of non stop shots, saves, goals, checks, trips and fights. It’s one of the most perfect arcade sports titles ever made because it takes out stats and tactics and provides a chaotic experience that players who have no idea about ice hockey can get enjoy. The polygonal players may look a bit dated nowadays, but for fast and furious action for any sports fans, Gretzky still stands right at the very top for sheer balls-out non-stop action.  

Best moment: The game is so fast paced and full of incident that there will be so many great moments in every match you play, but using a turbo boost to give more shot power unleashed hilarious results; knocking the goalie and net flying backwards towards the wall or even setting the net on fire. Goals can be scored so quickly due to the small rink that even the last 20 seconds of a game can see 5 goals go flying in, providing non-stop drama and miraculous last second comebacks.

Playability today (out of 5): 5

11.   Mario Kart 64
           Developer/Publisher:         Nintendo/Nintendo
           PAL Release:                      24/6/97

It seems that if you ask 5 gamers which is their favourite version of Mario Kart, you would most probably get at least 3 different answers. Mario Kart 64 isn’t generally regarded as the best entry in the series but it can definitely be credited with adding a real sense of mayhem to the formula and solidifying Mario Kart as the terrific multiplayer experience it still is today.
Mario Kart 64 is another of those N64 titles that made 4 player split screen gaming, an increasingly distant memory in today’s faceless online world, and 4 player gaming is the focal point that stands out in the memories of MK64. The game was utterly chaotic with more and crazier items being introduced as well as those classic shortcuts that everyone remembers.
Some of the courses in MK64 were admittedly wider than those in the SNES original, but that doesn’t mean that the game required any less skill to get round the tracks. On higher classes like 150cc and Mirror Mode, drifting and boosting are necessities for success.
The courses also provide several great memories and MK64 definitely has some of the series’ best. There’s the inclusion of Peach’s Castle landmark on Royal Raceway; the frenzy of oncoming traffic in Toad’s Turnpike; the huge river jump on DK’s Jungle Parkway and the many different routes of Yoshi’s Valley, the game has an endless number of high points and is still immensely playable today, with or without those nostalgia goggles.

Best moment: There are great moments of triumph in the game like nailing that shortcut in Mario Raceway or bursting through the waterfall shortcut in Koopa Troopa beach. But there are also moments of extreme frustration that can, somehow, be equally enjoyable and provide more stories to tell and reasons to play the game again. Most notably has to be getting hit by the lightning bolt going over that jump in Wario Stadium, meaning you don’t quite make it over and instead land on the track down below, having to make your way back again for another try from a distinctly worse race position. Possibly the most evil tactic in gaming when pulled off.

Playability today (out of 5): 4      

Saturday, 28 May 2011


Developer:    Valve
Publisher:     Valve

                                      copyright 2011
It’s difficult to write a review of Portal 2 without sounding cliché or using hyperbole. But then again it’s difficult to play Portal 2 without getting the feeling that the game is, quite simply, a work of genius. Valve have most certainly done it again and produced the perfect sequel to that most unexpected of joys found in the Orange Box. 

Whether it has already been said or not, Portal 2 is unquestionably one of the funniest games ever made. The characters are all hilarious, the wit is sharp and the laughs just keep on coming. The dialogue is all presented in an unobtrusive way and the game follows the unbeaten storytelling example set in the Half Life series where the story revolves around the player and events unfold seamlessly in front of your eyes as you move through the various tests.

The game takes place many years after the end of the original Portal game where we saw main character Chell being dragged away, having destroyed GLaDOS. We quickly learn that Chell has spent those many years in isolation in the Aperture Science Facility, but escape is imminent with the help of new character Wheatley, voiced magnificently by Stephen Merchant.

The game follows the same premise as the original, but there are several new locations and a huge amount of new elements to go along with the portals such as gels that affect the surfaces they touch; light bridges and aerial faith plates among several more. The new elements keep everything feeling fresh, yet the familiar aspects of the previous game have also been wholly improved upon. The game’s perfect pacing means it never stagnates, always throws something new and brain taxing at you and really shows that Valve know how to keep a game engrossing from start to finish.

As well the new gameplay features, Portal 2 has also added several new environments that help break up the generic test chamber formula of the first game. The facility has been in a state of disrepair without the previously destroyed GLaDOS and the start of the game shows chambers covered in overgrown plant life. Through the course of the game, the narrative ensures that Chell travels across a variety of different locations across the facility, encountering new characters, like the brilliant Cave Johnson, voiced by J.K. Simmons, who adds a hilarious and different take on the GLaDOS style voice over routine.

It’s clear to see that so much time and thought has gone into every single element of the game. The script writing and level design is of almost unparalleled quality. Every joke is timed perfectly and never fails to hit the mark. Every test is ingeniously designed using the (still) amazing physics engine to be fiendishly taxing without ever being unfair. There are very few feelings more satisfying in gaming than solving a more difficult puzzle in Portal 2.

As well as boasting a phenomenally entertaining single player experience, Portal 2 also contains one of the most rewarding and enjoyable co-op experiences of all time. Portal 2 puts the co-operation in co-op. The game requires much more than your standard 2 player flanking and reviving. The co-op portion of the game is completely standalone from the single player element and puzzles require full cohesion to be completed.

Co-op here is all about communication and unity, with a lot of the puzzles requiring skilful execution of timing and precision. It’s a great experience to share with someone else, where two minds can click together to solve a puzzle, giving off an immense feeling of dual accomplishment. All the while, GLaDOS will slyly insult your co-op partner when only you can hear and vice-versa. Co-op simply does not get any better or more perfectly designed than this.

Every game has its faults, but listing those in Portal 2 is extremely difficult. The graphics are merely good, not great, and despite a meaty 10+ hour single player and additional co-op mode, the game can feel short purely because you simply cannot get enough. It seems impossible to dislike a game that epitomises exactly what gamers want. The writing, pacing, level design, difficulty and the sense of challenge and reward are tuned to perfection. Portal 2 is such a marvellous and unique achievement that it should be experienced and celebrated by anyone who claims to love video games. 

                                      copyright 2011

+          The story is great and the script is hilarious.
+          The new puzzle elements are inventive and brilliant.
+          One of the best co-op elements of all time.


-           Graphics are good, but look a little bit dated now.
-           The length of the game is good, but we always want more!
-           Some of the achievements require several other people to own the  game; meaning 1000G is not entirely in your own hands.

Better than the original and are more than adequate for the game’s needs, but the graphics are running off a rather dated engine which can show at times.

Utterly unique, perfectly challenging and supremely rewarding. The pacing is superb and the new elements and different challenges mean the game is enjoyable throughout. Perfect.

A gripping and utterly hilarious story full of wit, sarcasm and the odd twist. Brilliant dialogue superbly voiced across the board and told in that totally distinctive and unobtrusive way that Valve have mastered so well.  

A game as enjoyable and well designed as this deserves to be replayed. Shame there’s no advanced challenges but it’s near impossible to complain when there’s FREE single player and co-op DLC to come.

Anyone who claims to love video games simply has to play this game. There is no game series like Portal, and this sequel is the definitive experience. The very definition of a classic.

The perfect sequel and a near perfect game. Funny, clever, engrossing and challenging – games rarely come as finely tuned as this. Not only one of the best games this generation, but one of the best games of all time. An utterly essential title – you need this game.