Nier Review: A Perfectly Flawed Masterpiece

This game – this damn game – is the reason I didn’t publish an article on Secret Cave for more than two months.

I’d planned out at least four different articles for Nier in my head over that time, but none could do it justice. I had to keep playing until I’d reached 100% completion.

And once I saw everything it had to offer, I was at a total loss for words.

Nier is quite possibly the best gaming experience I’ve ever had. I say “experience” because (as with an increasing number of titles) Nier manages to interact with the player directly, completely separate from the in-game characters.…   [continue reading]

Rockstar Retrospective: Grand Theft Auto III

Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

As hopefully the first in a series of “Rockstar Retrospective” articles, I thought it prudent to start with their first 3D foray, Grand Theft Auto III.  Having recently earned the Platinum Trophy on this undoubted classic, I feel in a position to give it a fair and holistic overview.  A diminutive eleven years of age on its day of release, it helps that I hold such vivid memories of its initial impact too.  With that in mind, there’s plenty about the game that screams of bad design – almost in equal measure to the beautiful details found in every corner of the experience.  …   [continue reading]

A Case for Luigi

Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

Mario is the proud progenitor of the world’s very best selling video game franchise.  His titles have influenced almost every generation of home console and he’s entertained countless individuals internationally – from the young to the old.  With that in mind, what of his younger brother – Luigi?  Since Mario has clearly taken the fore, Luigi’s been conversely left in a large and imposing shadow.  This has had the effect of rendering him vastly more interesting over the years, despite his sidekick trappings.  While he’s only held three true starring roles in his “career” (in Mario is Missing! …   [continue reading]

Online Multiplayer: The Addictive and Infuriating Barrier

I used to hate the idea of online multiplayer.

I grew up on single player behemoths; Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Dark Cloud, and Devil May Cry. Why would I play against other people when I had hours of challenging enjoyment ahead of me?

In my mind, online multiplayer (when it came about, that is) was just asking to get yourself trashed, then screamed at by someone half your age with double your free time to practice.

That’s not fun – that’s masochism.

Gaming nerd and movie over-analyzer. Has credits on Appcues, Usability Geek, and Process Street, but comes to Secret Cave to unwind and spit the shit.
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Death of a Legend

Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

It seems, as gamers, that Mario and his Mushroom Kingdom associates have been with us from the beginning.  Of course, they haven’t.  What’s important about Shigeru Miyamoto’s work on the Mario series is that it almost invalidated everything that came before.  With some, indeed many, exceptions, most that preceded it suddenly seemed like mere experimental prodding towards something of greater importance.  Perhaps i’m overstating Mario’s power but that’s, at least, how it seems on the wide open surface.  Having already set the watermark high with his first outings, he would only continue that trend for the decades ahead – reinventing the platforming genre at every turn and outclassing his peers with ease.…   [continue reading]

Secret Cave Podcast #1: Star Trek, Donnie Darko & Stories in Video Games

The debut episode of the Secret Cave podcast marks the first of many discussions between our writers that will be edited into neat little audio files for your enjoyment.

We give you an introduction to the kinds of content you can expect to find on Secret Cave, then dive into discussion about Star Trek, Donnie Darko, and stories in video games.

To make sure you get future episodes, subscribe to our email newsletter using the box on the right, and subscribe to Lee on YouTube.

We’ll also be announcing episodes on Twitter, and streaming them on Twitch.

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No Man’s Redemption

No Man’s Sky is quite the heat magnet.  Indeed, there’s very little need for yet another article from some ripped-off geek-boy registering his disappointment.  Something else has even reared its head in backlash, inevitable and irritating in its aloof judgement.  I’m seeing so much defence of the game in a wholly uncritical, “well-I-still-like-it”, way that I can’t take it anymore.  Sean Murray’s probably relying on the defenders of the game to keep his misfired “labour of love” on track, and much of the hate has slipped into focused obscurity as gamers, one by one, give up on the screensaver that is No Man’s Sky.…   [continue reading]

GundeadliGne Review: The Most Fun You Can Have With An Epileptic Seizure

gundeadligne - header

Some of my first memories of gaming come from wandering into an arcade on Cleethorpes seafront; a crappy little run of buildings spanning both sides of the pier, discordantly bleating out Oh, My Darling Clementine to the clank of small change hitting metal and the very occasional cry of joy over a 5p toy being spat out after £15 was force fed into one of the top chutes.

Amongst the mechanical 2p thieves and bullshit crane machines a lifelong hobby was born. The obligatory House Of The Dead box towered imposingly, scaring my 7-year-old self into steering clear of the thing entirely, so that just left a single stick, top-down bullet hell title which had your helicopter shooting down waves of military tech.…   [continue reading]

DOOM [FINAL IMPRESSIONS]

DOOM
Final Impressions

(all ratings are out of 10)

Concept
5

It’s not a particularly interesting idea to throw another Doom sequel at us, and it doesn’t even twist it that much on its head to make it a re-boot.  The idea of violent first-person shooting has an appeal, but a limited one.

British fellow consumes media and regurgitates back what you should think about it.
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