where literally every second game is getting a remaster, mafia was quite literally at the bottom of my wishlist, there's nothing wrong with the original at all, so why remake it? devs will remake literally every game, except for the ones that would benefit the most. i’m still waiting for a remaster of disaster report 2 and i imagine i'll die the day before the announce it.

i guess this was some redemption attempt by hangar 13??? because it didn’t work. the game feels more like mafia 3 than it does the original game and it comes with all the shit as well.

the story is whatever, a usual mishmash of godfather, goodfellas and every other mob movie ever conceived. Its got everything you’d expect, tommy guns, drive bys, bootlegging a crime family ‘who doesn't peddle drugs’ until they do and a main character who only does some of the bad stuff but has a family so it’s ok, until he shoots like 500 people. It’s fun, up until the point you realise you could just watch the godfather and you’d probably enjoy yourself a lot more.

the world looks alright, it’s a pretty good reimaging of the city of lost heaven, except for the fact that if you just play through the story you’ll only ever see maybe 40% of it, like a lot of good work went to waste. you can explore in a free roam mode, and I get they wanted to keep the story linear like the original , but I don’t think anyone would have been mad if they had done a gta and made you travel to the next mission, at least you would have seen more of the city.

the shooting is total horseshit, the devs in a pre release video said it was because they wanted the main character to feel grounded in the world and because he wasn't "trained" or something., which is a nice touch, but then you actually have to play the game. we suspend so much of our imagination when playing a game, you don’t need to turn on the ignition every time you hop into a car in a game? so when 90% of the missions involve shooting bad dudes, it doesn’t feel fun having what essentially feels like a water pistol at your disposal.

the dumb rEaLiSm gets me to the infamous race section of the game. I don't know what hanger 13 were thinking, nobody and i mean nobody in 2002 thought the race section in the original was good, so why in the world did they remake it to be the exact same nightmare hellscape of flying your car into the wall a million times before you relent and turn down the driving difficulty. also none of the ai cars seem to be under the same physical rules of the universe as the player and get to glide smoothly over the finish line.

the whole game feels as if they just put a mask over mafia 3 and called it a day, literally all of the same problems turn up 4 years later, just play the original game, it’s still on steam

Nothing makes you feel the never-ending cruel flow of time like realizing that Jumping Flash! is nearly 30 years old.

Like cmon, it's only two years older than Doom , a fully 3D colorful platformer on a first time console, two years after Doom.

This shit rocks

Umurangi Generation is a game so close to home it hurts. “Umurangi” is Te Reo for “Red Sky” a reference to the devastating 2019/2020 Australian bushfires. The game is born out of the ineptitude and mismanagement of the crisis and the flat-out refusal by the Australian Government and the media to accept and act on the true cause, climate change.

For anyone born after 1985, we are the Umurangi Generation, the first generation of people to be the primary victims of climate change and the devasting ecological impacts it will have on our lives.

The game is a biting criticism of conservative neoliberalism and its ability to handwave away the causes of disasters and instead stoop to platitudes and reactionary policy to distract the population away from actual climate action.

It references this criticism through the lens of fictional Kaiju attack in Aotearoa/New Zealand and a United Nations intervention in the city. Stylised by works like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Yoji Shinkawa’s Zone of the Enders and Jet Set Radio. The game is heady mix of early 2000s Dreamcast aesthetics and Japanese cyberpunk.

I’m not going to spoil much of story but if you’d like more, Errant Signal’s video essay Vibing to the End in Umurangi Generation is an excellent exploration of the game’s themes.

The gameplay essentially has you traversing a number of locations ticking off a list of subjects within a time limit completing all the challenges nets you a bonus bit of kit, expanding on your creative ability to capture the city and it’s inhabitants.

The story is revealed through your photos and you’ll soon begin to piece together how it’s all just vibe for the Umurangi generation as the world collapses around them.

The soundtrack is one of the stand outs for me, produced by ThorHighHeels under the moniker “Adolf Nomura” it’s an incredible lo-fi electronic mix of drum n bass, hip hop and even some trap.
There are some minor issues with the console version and I’d probably recommend playing this on PC instead, especially since you’re unable to get fine adjustments to the camera with a large dead zone on the analog stick. Traversal of the world is also kind of annoying with the triple jump sorta sticking you to the wall.

Overall, a fairly special game for me.

Wordle is as much a game about flexing over your friends and family and it is about guessing a five-letter word every day.

The morning I got TANGY (#209) in two guesses, I nearly jumped out of my seat. I had made a lucky first guess with LATER and like most people, staring at the keyboard for a few minutes produced TANGY. I’m not entirely sure why I guessed it, but you can be sure I made everyone I was playing with knew.

The premise of Wordle isn’t exactly unique, but it doesn’t have to be, where it shines is its simple method to share your results with anyone who cares (or doesn’t). It’s Mastermind but with five letter words, it’s Jotto but it’s online.

Every day, a new target word is selected and everyday the player gets 6 guesses to find the correct word. Previous guesses provide enough information to assist the player in getting closer to the target, correct letters in the wrong spot are highlighted in yellow, if they’re in the right spot, they get highlighted in green.

The challenge lies in the restrictions Wordle places on the player. Players only have 24 hours to guess the correct word and only 6 opportunities to do so. If you don’t make it, your streak breaks and you must deal with the perhaps self-imposed shame of sending through a X/6 to your friends who all got it in three or four.

The genius of Wordle is what occurs outside of the website as much as the game itself. Clicking the share button automatically adds your results to the clipboard allowing for easy sharing, the results are obscured by just showing the number of guesses it took and a little grid of your grey, yellow and green blocks made of emojis.

Starting this year those little grids infected everywhere, they turned up on Twitter, in your WhatsApp groups and even your Dad probably sent you his grid, followed by the answer, now ruining your day as the thrill of the guess had now been stolen from you. Fairly quickly dynamics develop, you learn just how competitive your friends really are, with their wordle scores coming in sharp every morning (or sometimes just past midnight)

Words like PROXY (#213), REBUS (#196) and WRUNG (#225), brought the ire of many people, with those uncommon words frequently trending on twitter for the day. Likewise, HUMOR (#207) and FAVOR (#235) caused everyone outside of the United States to audibly gasp at the use of the plainly incorrect five letter use of those words.

Joshua Wardle, the game’s creator was responsible for two of Reddit’s most memorable experiences, the Button and Place, both ephemeral experiences, little distractions which resulted in a lot of joy for the millions of people who participated.

Wordle is the same, it’s not supposed to be a time sink, or something you can practice. It’s just a tiny thing which can take 10 minutes in your morning and provides a lot of laughs and frustrations with your friends and family. It’s a reminder that games don’t need to be enormous experiences to bring joy to people.

There are no ads, nothing to pay, no required accounts or overzealous web tracking. It’s just dumb little game and I love it.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll love it though as it’s been bought by the New York Times, with no guarantee the game will remain free or without advertising, but I’m not bothered by it, because my enjoyment of the game won’t last forever and that’s OK.