Resident Evil 4 (2023) Review

Ladies and gentlemen… They nailed it.

Resident Evil 4 was released in 2005 and changed the game. Action and survival horror would never be the same. The notorious “tank” controls of yesteryear were discarded forever in favour of tight, over-the-shoulder third person movement. Technical improvements meant more enemies on screen at once, leading to hectic action-survival set pieces. If this game had come out 5 years earlier, Dr. Salvador would probably be one of four total enemies in that original village sequence.

And it would have been enough!

Yes, Resi 4 is truly a classic. When the remakes of Resident Evil 2 & 3 were well received, 4 seemed inevitable. But 2 & 3 are different beasts. 4 has a special place in so many peoples hearts, a critical darling filled with iconic moments and cheesy dialogue that was played and replayed time and again by many, yours truly included. To remake such a title is a risky proposition. What if they ruin it? What if Leon doesn’t say his stupid one-liners any more? What if they make Ashley’s ears smaller?

No worries there.

Thankfully, Capcom know what they’re doing. This remake is a near perfect modern update, tweaking gameplay mechanics just enough to be interesting and toning down the camp just a smidge while still keeping some corny lines in there. Granted, I am still a *tiny* bit annoyed that Leon doesn’t say “No thanks, bro” at any point over the course of the game, but I will eventually get over this glaring omission.

*Sigh* FINE. I’ll take it. Whatever

The village, the castle, the island, all locations have been re-created with astonishing care and attention to detail. The mysterious merchant returns with new side-quests, gleefully throwing logic out the window with a cockney twinkle in his eye. Even his target range is back, and you can tell the developers really have love for the original material when the bonus round kicks in and a remix of the radio music from the OG intro starts playing.

Fuck these skull targets in particular, though.

Not just the merchant is back, every character has returned with a modern twist. Ashley is less of a useless, whiny damsel in distress stereotype. Luis actually sounds Spanish and thankfully makes no mention of Ashley’s “ballistics.” Ada decided to leave the evening wear at home for once, and Krauser is back with actual character motivation.

His boss fight music is better than ever, too.

Sadly, I did say the remake is *near* perfect. Some notable exclusions include the “It” monster and associated boss fight, which I think would have paired really well with the more serious horror tone of the remake. Also… Um… No, I think that’s it. I miss that one boss fight and some of Leon’s comebacks and have no further notes.

A senior moment, perhaps.

Capcom really got this right. I have total faith in whatever they decide to remake next. As long as Chris Redfield still punches a boulder in the inevitable 5 remake, I’ll be happy.

The Rare Hope of The Lands Between

“We found love in a hopeless place.” – Hidetaka Miyazaki, 2022

Elden Ring’s The Lands Between is certainly From Software’s most beautiful setting, perhaps one of the most aesthetically pleasing locales in video game history, but it’s not just the stunning visual of the glittering Erdtree rising miles into the sky that sets it apart from other games. The Lands Between has in abundance what other “Soulsborne” settings are sorely lacking: Hope.

So many vistas!

Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodborne all suffer an oppressive sense of hopelessness. Boletaria, Lordran, Drangleic, Lothric, Yharnam… I wouldn’t exactly call any of these prime holiday destinations. You visit at the nadir of civilisation, when all hope has withered into nothing, the sole consolation to the people who still have their sanity being the knowledge that soon everything might just go away forever.

Oh yeah. This is… This is great. I might rent a flat here

Perhaps Sekiro’s Ashina is the only other least depressing location, but the grounded world of Sengoku-era Japan sets it apart from the more dark-fantasy apocalypticism of the rest of From Software’s modern catalogue.

Standing in stark contrast to said catalogue, The Lands Between is vibrant and full of life. While humanity itself may be suffering a more traditional From Software fate, labouring under the yoke of power hungry gods and cursed with immortality until they lose their minds, the flora and fauna is thriving. Sheep and Deer graze in Limgrave, the lush Mistwood forest home to boars, beetles and bears, oh my (fucking god)

I can’t bear this XD

Liurnia’s watery terrain hosts its own unique crustaceans, flourishing with an endless supply of witless tarnished to pinch to their hearts content, and the Altus Plateau is basically where animals with decent credit go to graze eternal.

No, I didn’t forget about the lake of rot under Liurnia. I am merely ignoring it

I mean, it’s not all sunshine and golden light. Obviously, Caelid is suffering from something of an environmental catastrophe (putting it mildly. We’re talking like 1000 simultaneous Exxon Valdez oil spills here) and the Mountaintops of the Giants are something of a testament to the gods penchant for indiscriminate genocide… But hey, life found a way to survive in the Consecrated Snowfield, at least!

And not just any life! More fucking bears!

My point is, this isn’t a world condemned to ruin. What sets The Lands Between apart from its contemporaries is the sense that shit can be fixed, and not in the “slap a band-aid on it” sense of kindling the flame. It’s not too late, but the tension of the lands predicament is that it’s on a knife-edge. Stuff could get better (gods fuck off, cycle of natural life and death resumes) or a whole lot worse (rot eats the land, crazy flame god burns the world down) It all depends what kind of Tarnished manages to fight their way to Elden Lordship.

Not you.

Personally, I trust my blue four-armed wife to sort everything out.

She’s got this.

Return to Animal Crossing or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bells

Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out at the perfect time. OK, well, the perfect time for people who wanted to play Animal Crossing. Generally, humanity was not “having a good one” in March of 2020. Covid-19 was ramping up, and most countries were days away from facing lockdown. For many, the idea was abject misery. No friends, no parties, no social events, trapped indoors with just family or housemates for company. Truly an extroverts worst nightmare. Well, guess what, idiots?


A game had just been released where the impossible was possible. You could escape to an island paradise populated by adorable, anthropomorphic animals. The island itself could be bent to your whims, reshaped from a deserted fixer-upper to a pristine tropical getaway. You could even pay off your home loan in small, easy to swallow instalments! Now I KNOW we’re in a fantasy land.

Are you proud of me now, DAD?!

But, for many (myself included) we flew too close to the sun. Burned too hot, too bright. The allure of the quaint fantastical getaway of Sandypeach island (it has sand and peaches, you see) slowly began to lose it’s lustre. That happens when you’re playing a game almost non-stop for upwards of 3 months. The game was clearly designed for daily, manageable goals, and when you hit all of those in the first 30 minutes of playing for the day you can feel the burnout start to chafe.

I personally dropped the game around that time, only logging on again for the occasional seasonal event, new years hullabaloo or social occasion (I will NEVER miss Shari’s birthday) and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. Please don’t @ me if you’re one of the people who never stopped playing and have millions of nook miles funded by your dark web Raymond trading ring. For those of us who had thrown in the towel, the party was over.

These were dark times.

Until recently! The holiday I booked off work to play Return to Monkey Island afforded me a chance to see what my furry friends had been up to, and I’ve kinda fallen in love with the place again. I had forgotten the joy of just… turning my brain completely off for an hour or so, reading the little conversations you can have with your imaginary friends, digging up fossils, decorating the place to the nines, and trying to get that fucking ape Peewee to leave the island and never come back because I hate him.

His birthday is on 9/11, too. Peewee hates America.

It’s pathetic (oops, my life coach told me not to use that word. Sorry Doug) but returning to Sandypeach has reintroduced a bit of structure to my day, and I was amazed and the positive effect it had on my mental health. I feel relaxed and re-energized. I come home after a hard days work, and my silly little friends on my silly little make-believe island are waiting for me again. And for the next 40 minutes, we are gonna chill the fuck out. Try and stop us.

Return to Monkey Island Has Upset the Gamers

Return to Monkey Island is the new entry in the beloved Monkey Island series (are you following?) and the first Monkey Island in 31 years by creator Ron Gilbert. So far reviews have been pretty positive, but scroll through a few user reviews or spend a couple of minutes on the Monkey Island subreddit and you might get confused. People seem pretty mad. Why? What’s going on?

Well, that depends which one of them you ask. Some people were very upset about the new art style, to the degree that they actually sent threats to the developers about it before the game even came out. If you’re at least slightly familiar with how fans treat the people behind their favourite media this shouldnt be surprising, but it’s still totally abhorrent and I’d just like to go on the record real quick saying that if you sent any abuse to devs about this, fuck you.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

I’m not going to address the artstyle complaints too much because they’re all totally baseless. The game looks great, and art director Rex Crowle did a fantastic job. If it’s not your cup of tea, that sucks, but it shouldn’t hamper your experience playing the game. You might recall a few other Monkey Island games that drastically shook up the artstyle… Oh yeah, it was all of them.

Curse of Monkey Island’s art style was a breath of fresh air.

Post-release, the biggest complaint has been about the ending, and this one I can at least slightly understand because it’s a bit of a doozy. I won’t go too deep into spoilers, but let’s just say that it evokes the mind-twisting ending of Monkey Island 2: LeChucks Revenge, leaving a safe, happy-ending style conclusion by the wayside in favour of a thoughtful, up-for-interpretation style finale.

Unrelated image of a theme park.

I haven’t seen any threats flying around about this one, no firebombs or anthrax letters or anything like that, but people are still being pretty mean about it. To them I ask: Why? What were you expecting? Did you actually think the Secret of Monkey Island was going to be the ultimate voodoo spell? Were you hoping Guybrush and LeChuck were going to have a shirtless fistfight on the top of Metal Gear Rex?

I would actually like to commission someone to draw this properly please

This isn’t that kind of game, and you should stop expecting things to be made for you. This was the vision of the creators. It’s how they wanted things to end. If you didn’t like it, don’t be a dick about it. Don’t say it soiled your opinion of the whole series. The old games are still there, untouched- Go play them! But I beg of you: If something doesn’t meet your expecations, don’t go nuts. Don’t freak out and attack people who make art for you. Don’t be… one of those… gamers. Just think about it! See where the artist was coming from. Try and understand why they made things the way they did, and then engage with it again with a fresh perspective. It’s fun theorising about stuff!

Unrelated excellent fanart by Anders Gullmarsvik

For my part, I very much enjoyed Return. The Secret of Monkey Island was one of the very first video games I played way back in the early 90’s, and I’ve loved every single one. Yes, even that one. To see Ron Gilbert come back and knock it out of the park again like this has been a dream come true, I hope this blowback from a vocal minority hasn’t soured his desire to work on games and that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Guybrush. Perhaps a Flooring Inspection sim might be on the cards for the next instalment?

It’s Not Okay to Support Metal Gear Survive

You may recall a couple of years ago there was a certain amount of hubbub surrounding Hideo Kojima’s departure from publisher Konami. The Metal Gear mastermind was rumoured to have been forced to conclude work on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain before his vision was fully realised, was denied permission to attend award shows recognising his work on the unfinished game, and had his name physically removed from the box art and promotional images… Not that it was missing much in the game itself, but can you blame the guy for splashing his name wherever possible after Konami pulled a fucking damnatio memoriae?

To be clear, Konami is Stalin in this equation.

The public was given no idea of the basis for any of this mistreatment. From the sound of it Kojima slept with Mr. Konami’s wife, or spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire a major Hollywood actor to say five words. That second one may be a little far-fetched, but whatever happened between these two parties doesn’t really matter, does it? Konami’s behaviour spoke volumes, and hey, it still does!

Did I forget to mention cancelled horror darling Silent Hills?

New Metal Gear game, guys! Oh, but it doesn’t involve Hideo Kojima, and it takes all of the most insufferable trends from recent video games, forces them into a sacred cow before setting it on fire and kicking it down the stairs. Metal Gear Survive is Konami’s first (and god willing, last) attempt at making a game in the series without the involvement of the man himself, and no, I’m not counting Snake’s Revenge. Shut up.


Zombies? Of course! A crafting system? Hell, kids these days love the Minecrafts! Shove it in! You want co-op? No? Fuck you, you get AI team-mates! Microtransactions? Oh, you bet your well-lubricated asshole. Bend over bitch, it’s time to play a Triple-A video game. Is any of this setting off any alarm bells? Can you hear me? Hello? You’ve been in a coma for nine years Boss, it’s time to let go. Please. We love you.

Hm? You’re a representative from Special K? Oh. Oh, I see.

Oh, no, I’m sorry. I have just received a substantial wad of cash from an unnamed party. What I meant to say is that Metal Gear Survive deserves a chance, and you are a whiny entitled fanboy if you think otherwise. I bet you hated DmC, you filthy gamer. Go back to your mom’s basement and… No, no NO I CAN’T DO THIS! THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE! WE NEED TO BREAK FREE OF THIS FUCKING NIGHTMARE! OH GOD THEY’RE AT MY DOOR THEY’RE IN MY FUCKING HOUSE PLEASE DON’T LET THE-


I need to be as clear with you as possible on this – Konami is the Japanese EA. They love money. They love Pachinko, and they love money. The Metal Gear series was denied a dignified end, but we can shorten its suffering by not cramming money into its bloated corpse. Even if this game ends up being halfway entertaining, it’s not worth it. Konami do not deserve it, Kojima (probably) does not deserve it, do not support Konami. DO NOT SUPPORT KONAMI. Please, god.

Do not support Metal Gear Survive. You sell your soul to the devil for legendary guitar prowess, not mild ukelele proficiency.


Here’s to you.

It’s Still Not Too Late to Play Destiny, But Maybe You Shouldn’t

Back in 2014 when Destiny was first released on the PS4 by Halo heavyweights Bungie, I was strictly a “FPS belongs on PC” guy. Murdering virtual simulacrums of sentient beings is the most fun with a mouse and keyboard, of that there is no doubt. As such, I decided to skip Destiny when I eventually got my hands on a PS4 a couple of years later. I was sure that it would eventually find its way to PC, and resolved to wait patiently with my trigger finger lodged securely in my asshole.
The PC release announcement never came, but the sequel, creatively titled Destiny 2, was released on PC. I jumped straight in on release day, but immediately felt out of place. I always have a problem starting a game series by playing a sequel, it’s like defying the natural order of the universe. I felt like an imposter just sauntering into the ranks of the Guardians like “Hoo boy, what a hectic few years, eh guys? Can you believe we totally killed that god-king spacebug? And what about the rampant, uncontrollable nanotechnology huh? Crazy times, crazy times…”

destiny guardians
Hoo boy, another day at the office, right guys? I hate Mondays.

I felt bound by my own neuroses to purchase and finish (to the best of my ability) the original game and catch up to the rest of the watchers on the tower. I wasn’t disappointed! Destiny is still a great game with a surprising number of players still knocking around on its servers. All of the main story can be played through solo anyway, but if you want to try out Strikes (Destiny’s 3-man dungeon-type scenarios) or the Crucible (PVP) the matchmaking system will usually see you right. A couple of times I was dumped into a strike on my lonesome, but I was always joined eventually by a fellow late-bloomer or a loyal veteran getting their weekly MMO style checklists done.

Hey, HEY! No. That’s a negative stereotype and I won’t stand for it.

The only problem is the content that can’t be accessed unless you have a pre-existing party, and I’m speaking specifically about the raids. Huge, six-man scenarios that rely on teamwork as well as individual skill to clear. With the majority of the organised playerbase moved on to the sequel, coupled with my crippling fear of strangers, I was incapable of finding a group to play with. Let me emphasise that many fans of Destiny explicitly point to the raids as some of the most fun you can have in the game, with puzzles, tough enemies and desirable loot rewards.

Damn, this looks badass. Sure wish I could have been there.

With this in mind, I would advise anyone thinking of trying out the original Destiny to go for it, by all means, but keep in mind that without a few like-minded friends it’ll be a bit tricky to experience everything the game had to offer at its peak. If, unlike me, you don’t mind jumping into a franchise halfway through and faking it until making it, I’d direct you towards Destiny 2, where there’s still time to find an active clan or enough random people to see everything the game has to offer. Oh, and if you’re worried about missing out on the lore from Destiny 1, don’t worry about it, there isn’t any.

To read about the story visit http://www.whythefuckwasn’

I jest, but Destiny is notoriously terrible for telling stories through the medium of video games. There’s a rich world to explore if you feel up to digging through a fan archive of the now inaccessible web-based “grimoire cards” that previously shed a small amount of light (get it) on the subject. Or if you have some time to kill, check out this video. You’ll be up to speed in no time. Or, uh, in an hour and a half.

Eyes up, Guardian. Enjoy!

Nier: Automata Is Too Smart for Me

Nier: Automata is a great game, both on a surface gameplay level and a thematic level. Director Yoko Taro and the team at Platinum Games pulled out all the stops and created something truly unique, equal parts fun, moving and thought provoking. The fun was SUPER fun, and when I was moved I was MOVED. My only problem is that I don’t have too many thoughts to provoke.

me smart
This may come as a shock.

Let me explain in simple terms, mostly for my benefit- I am dumb. I’m a big dumb idiot. My cultural range is basically just video games and the bare minimum knowledge about cinema, TV, books and music to make it by in most casual social interactions, should they occur (god forbid.) So when a game like Nier: Automata comes along, with references to deep thoughts on the human condition and the nature of reality by famous philosophers, I have to stop and scratch my head. I have to stop and scratch my head a LOT, because the references get thrown around thick and fast.

Many enemies are named after eminent philosophers from the past. Engels, Beauvoir, Kirkegaard, names I was totally unfamiliar with before a cursory google after seeing them in-game. The only reference I actually caught was Nietzsche, a philosopher so famous that auto-correct knew who I was talking about when I misspelled his name. Even then, this one is mostly cheating because the character Pascal is actually reading one of Nietzche’s books at the time of the plug, and calls him a nutcase. Oh, by the way, Pascal is ALSO a philosophical reference. Who knew.

nier pascal
A simple, fun character with a totally not tragic storyline

Well, the internet knows, for sure. People much smarter than me have analysed this game to death already, far beyond my critical range of “the graphics are nice,” “The story seemed sad but I didn’t get it unless I’m thinking about it constantly” and “I want to propose to 2B’s glorious ass.” Actually, forget I said that last one. Her ass is probably satirical or symbolic or a statement on the vapid hollowness of mankind’s unchecked lusts, or some shit. If you’re at all interested in the hidden complexities of Nier: Automata, I heartily recommend the below video by Super Bunnyhop. George Weidman is smarter than I can ever aspire to be in my entire life.

This is a call for help. This is a call to arms. Dunces of the world, unite. I know you’re out there. I can’t be the only one that enjoys video games way above their intellectual station. Jesus Christ, video games are becoming too smart for me. Maybe I should take a step back and see if I can fit that triangle shape through the square hole if I tilt it just so.

Seriously though folks, I’m not writing this article just to berate myself for not being more intelligent (I get enough opportunities to do that in my daily life) but also to praise the game as a start on the path to greater knowledge. As much as I have begun to suspect that the game itself may actually be anti-philosophical thought (with the machine life forms repeating the same mistakes of human history over and over again, and Pascal’s aforementioned derision of Nietzche as a whackjob, among other things) I would have had little reason to ever research these fascinating people with their deep ideas had I not been led there by the game itself. It should feature a built-in Wikipedia link.

In summary, Nier: Automata is like a gateway drug for future nihilists.

nier sad A2

Uh… Good job, Platinum?

TGS 2017 Playstation Conference Reveals Left Alive and Some Other Stuff

This year’s Tokyo Game Show is officially underway, kicking off with the Playstation conference. A fairly subdued affair, for the most part- We got another look at the Shadow of the Colossus PS4 remaster, Monster Hunter World finally got a release date (January 2018) along with a fancy limited edition PS4 Pro, Zone of the Enders is getting another remaster with additional VR support (yay?) Final Fantasy IX is coming out again for the seventh or eighth time… But who gives a shit about any of that stuff. A new mech game directed by Toshifumi Nabeshima of the Armored Core series, robots designed by industry mech-specialist Takayuki Yanase and characters designed by Yoji Shinkawa of Metal Gear Solid fame is coming out next year.

The trailer may not give us much to go on, but if a game with such incredible talent behind it isn’t enough reason to get hype, I don’t know what is. Left Alive is currently slated for release on PS4 AND PC (hell yes) at some point in 2018.

If nothing else, the poster art helps me pretend that Metal Gear isn’t completely dead in the water.


Man, fuck Konami. NO, I’M NOT OVER IT.

Fallout 4 Survival Mode Survival Guide (Survival)

In a post I wrote a little while ago I talked about the Bethesda creation club and their new paid (but not really paid) mods (but not really mods.) After the story interested me I decided to give Fallout 4 another whirl after trying and failing to find any interest on it’s release back in 2015. My disappointment on the game as a whole not withstanding, I found the game’s Survival Mode, added in an update mid-2016, had breathed new life into the Commonwealth. Inspired by my recent 100 hours getting my jugular torn out by irradiated dogs, here’s a few tips on how to make it through thiss unforgiving difficulty setting.

Collect Empty Bottles

Yes, if you have a less than capacious carrying capacity then lugging around all of the junk you stumble across may sound like a hassle, but in Survival mode you’re going to need water to live. Funny, that. A couple of times every in-game day you’ll find yourself getting thirsty,  stunting your action points and making you sick if you don’t get some fluids in you… But most all naturally occurring water sources in the Commonwealth are irradiated beyond any real use. Carrying around your own empty bottles ready to fill as soon as you find a pure water source means you’ll have all the clean water you need to survive on your post-apocalyptic adventure. (An easy water source early on are the sinks in Vault 111, or you can just abuse the awful settlement crafting system and build yourself a water pump which inexplicably purifies any groundwater it produces.)

See Delicious Animal? Kill Delicious Animal

Hunger is also a problem, and there ain’t no place for vegans after a nuclear holocaust. In your travels you’re sure to find murderous hotdogs, walking seafood buffet Mirelurks and mouthwatering Brahmin herds. Don’t let these innocent creatures suffer another day in this hellish future- Fucking kill them! Feast on their succulent flesh. Not right away, obviously. Eating raw meat has only slightly less awful consequences in Fallout 4 than it does in real life. Luckily there’s a cooking station right there in your home town of Sanctuary waiting for you to practice your culinary skills, or you can be proactive and build one yourself with the right perks.

Don’t Pay Money to Die

If you have the Automatron DLC, you will get a quest at level 15 to save a traveling caravan from a band of marauding robots. For gods sake, don’t do it until you’ve built up your character a bit. Completing this quest sets you on the main quest line for the DLC, causing extremely deadly robots to start randomly spawning all over the Commonwealth, and they want to ruin your fucking life.  This one might be because my sneaky sniper build is almost totally ineffectual against their cold steel skin, but these things appearing all over the game hampered my enjoyment of the game so much I actually rolled back my save a good few hours to avoid it happening altogether. I would still recommend the DLC though, when you’re ready for it- the villainous Mechanist is a cool character, especially if you choose to engage him as the Silver Shroud, and you gain the ability to build and customise your own robotic companions when the quest is complete. Speaking of building stuff…

Don’t Build Stuff

I’m specifically talking about Settlements themselves, here. Getting a few perks in weapon crafting can dramatically increase your murder prowess, but that shit takes materials, yo. Materials that you should not spend on making the world a more civilised place. Materials that the innocent folk of the Commonwealth have in spades. So, as soon as you unlock a settlement, job one is to trash the fucking place. Scrap everything that isn’t nailed down, demolish their houses, leave the settlers cold and alone, and move on. “But Joebotnik,” I hear you cry, “I thought you said junk is a pain to lug around!” but fret not- those Settlers you just evicted? They’re your pack mules now! With the Local Leader perk you can convince some poor shmuck to carry your worthless trash from settlement to settlement, meaning any crafting material you leave at one location can be accessed from another. Dictatorship sure has it’s merits. Ave, true to Caesar.

Hopefully these few things I’ve picked up will help you on your way to… ugh… find your son and get the most enjoyment out of staying alive in the harsh environments of Fallout 4. Let’s face it, after dealing with Cazadores in Fallout: New Vegas, the Commonwealth is a cakewalk.



Space Invaders Early Review: 27,000 Hours In So Far, Here’s What We Think

Well guys, I tried. Three solid years of playing this game and I officially give up. I wanted to give a fair, complete, comprehensive review, but it seems there’s no end in sight. I will update this page if that changes, but for now, I will just be giving my first impressions. Before I begin, I want you all to know that when I say I tried, I really mean it. The only time I spent over the past three years not playing Space Invaders was the time I spent writing this review- a slow, tortuous period thanks to the crippling arthritis from which I now suffer.


Sorry. Post Traumatic Space Disorder.

On to the review. Heralded as one of the catalysts for the golden age of video games, Space Invaders is a simple game about destroying foreign invaders before they can tear down your walls. As timeless a concept in Trump’s America as it was back in Berlin circa 1978. You are a tiny moving gun turret, Earth’s first and only defence and one of the video game industries earliest and most memorable mascots. You face weird little squiggly alien things who mock your very existence by sauntering from left to right across the screen, getting lower and lower until the human race is destroyed. Let there be no mistake – their goal is genocide. There is only one way to stop them – Genocide.

You can move left and right, take cover, and shoot. Your ammo is limitless, much like the horde of aliens you face, but you can only have one bullet on screen at a time. This makes picking your moments the key to victory, as a single missed shot is precious time wasted, and precious space invaded. However, should you chance a shot at the back lines, you will be rewarded handsomely for scoring a hit. The enemies at the higher end of the screen reward more points, with the occasional appearance of the special spaceship zipping across the top of the screen scoring you the mega bucks if you land the kill. The aliens themselves are capable of firing their own projectiles, wearing down your barriers, deflecting shots and destroying any player foolish enough to be hit.

The soundtrack is a nice touch. A single, repeating, ominous note that speeds up the closer the zerglings get to the bottom of the screen. If you suffer from anxiety, or are on anti-psychotic medication, I would advise you to stay away from the frontlines on this one. The sound is the alien drumbeat of war, and I hear it in my dreams.

I have destroyed all the aliens on screen, and yet more appear seconds later. Their ardour is endless, their lust for blood, insatiable. What do they want with our planet? Resources? Labour? Is it simply the thrill of dominating a lesser species? I may never find out. But as long as there is breath in my body and cartilage in my joints, I will never give up the fight. But as it stands, I simply do not feel comfortable assigning a score to an unfinished story. If the final stage turns out to be a visual novel, I’ll let you all know. I will one day finish this review and give it the score out of 10 the planet deserves. Fellow citizens of Earth, this Space… remains un-invaded.


This article was inspired by a writing prompt from Brian Crecente because I am wasting my life.