James Troughton, Newcastle upon Tyne
My initiation into the brutal, fear-mongering-for-parents franchise was with Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, and my favourite fighting game up until now was Injustice 2, but Mortal Kombat 11 truly gives it a run for its money.
Netherrealm has yet again knocked it out of the park with this latest entry into their beat-em-up gallery, and the gory spectacle is a great stress reliever that is perfect for the anxiety-building tension of self-isolation.
Whether it's the fantastic movie-like story, the rewarding towers, the competitive online or the phenomenal 'kustomisation', Mortal Kombat 11 has something for everybody, even those like myself who favour fancy dress over punch-kick-uppercut.
Like most games, the only thing that lets it down is the player base - if you delve into the matchmaking system, make sure to disable your messages, otherwise, you'll be met with a barrage of toxicity. Even then, you'll find yourself at the other end of tea-bagging tryhards. This is a game best played with friends in tight-knit, casual 1-v-1s, or by your lonesome, exploring a cosmetic catalog that rivals Club Penguin's.
Moving on from the lumbering beasts of Shadow of the Colossus, I returned to the small, adorable creatures of Animal Crossing thanks to the latest instalment: New Horizons. Alex did a great job of summarising what makes returning to this game so great, so I thought I’d jump into island life to explore one of my favourite parts of the series: multiplayer!
It’s always been a joy to visit the towns of friends, admiring whatever little projects they’ve been working on. A major part of each game since the introduction of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection on DS, each new entry has attempted to develop this element. It’s safe to say I was looking forward to seeing what had changed in New Horizons.
But then I ran into the roadblocks. Lagging behind the rest of the gang by a day or so, it meant that I couldn’t yet access the multiplayer. Beyond that, any attempt I made to access the online portion reminded me that I had not yet paid for a Nintendo Switch Online membership. While I’m sure that the online offerings will be suitably expanded for this outing, this served as a reminder of simpler times, when all that was needed was a DS and a WiFi connection.
No one said that there wouldn’t be complications in this quest to play a new game every day. I’m just glad that there was a wholesome, objective-rich single player to stick my teeth into while I wait for my online woes to be resolved.
Alex Darbyshire, York
The phrase ‘life imitates art’ is often thrown around these days, but I feel today’s experience with Bloodborne best embodied it. Yharnam, the city of the game’s setting, is beset by a disease that forces all of the xenophobic populous to stay indoors. Sound familiar?
I don’t mean to trivialise a very real pandemic by my comparison here, simply that it was serendipitous that my friends and I decided to begin a co-op session just as Boris Johnson locked down the country. Hopefully nobody in real life turns into a bloodthirsty beast, or a monstrous space-squid.
Bloodborne is as good as ever. It’s quite right that this game is lauded as one of the finest on the PlayStation 4 platform. Skulking around the dark streets of Yharnam with a couple friends will never get old. What will, very quickly I’m sure, is the novelty of being forced indoors by the government.