George Boatfield, Harrogate
Small bottles, some full, some empty over in the corner. A forbidden treasure: the finest cloth in the land, and in bountiful supply. But a warning too, for overuse of these remarkable elixirs could place a terrible curse on the user: one of cracked, blistering skin with a painful sting.
No, this isn’t the plot for my upcoming ‘Uncharted 5’ script, but rather my discovery of the cleaning supplies, and the answer to where all the supermarket stock had gone, upon returning to my family home. Step aside, Nathan Drake, it looks like my parents know a thing or two about hoarding buried treasure...
And Nate did indeed step aside. My game for today was Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, fitting considering that it was something that I last played right before leaving for university. This is a story that doesn’t include Drake whatsoever, and rather is one that expands the roles of some of the series’ best supporting characters to show that Uncharted can live on without its main protagonist.
Indeed, I highlighted The Lost Legacy as one of the Courier’s best games of the year way back in 2017. Much of what I said then with regards to my thoughts on the game still rings true in the here and now. Seeking 100% completion of the game’s trophies, I was quickly reminded of the perfect balance that The Lost Legacy strikes between exploration, climbing, gunfights and cutscenes.
So while Uncharted does often cover terrible curses and plagues during its exploration of history and mythology, don’t let the coronavirus put you off that in the meantime. If anything, let this wonderfully pulpy adventure inject some fun into the idea of escaping a life-threatening death trap of disease and decay… well, so much for a positive end! Stay safe, gang.
James Troughton, Newcastle upon Tyne
Yesterday, I indulged in the brand spanking new treasure-trove that is Half-Life: Alyx, but as fantastic and nerdgasmic as that is, there's another VR title that's caught my eye, one that's helping me stay fit in the wake of self-isolation: Beat Saber.
High-energy, arm-flailing fun, with upbeat songs and little space requirement, Beat Saber is the perfect VR title, with infinite replay value, plenty of challenge and lots of community content. What's not to love?
The concept is simple - blocks with directional arrows come at you and, using a lightsaber, you swing at them in the right direction. This is done to the beat of a song and essentially makes you the drummer, albeit with a Star Wars theme and a neon Tron-like aesthetic. As Eccleston would say, it's fantastic.
Alex Darbyshire, York
Remember that period of time when Sonic Team were trying to turn Sonic into a skating property? The results varied, with games such as Sonic Riders and Sonic Rush coming out within a year of each other. The former was met with a lukewarm response. The latter, however, did well enough to get a sequel.
In keeping with the tropical island theme that seems to be emerging, the setting of Sonic Rush Adventure is set on a cluster of islands in the middle of a vast blue ocean. The first thing one noticed on booting this game up was the score. Unfortunately, the sequel did not have the hand of Jet Set Radio composer and real-life deity Hideki Naganuma at the wheel. That said, the graffiti-punk sounds have carried over, adding some tropical flair and some classic Sonic city-pop.
Sonic games are rarely impressive, with Sonic Mania’s success becoming the exception that proves this rule. That said, Sonic Rush Adventure makes use of its Nintendo DS functionality, with both screens displaying the levels at different elevations, giving some extra depth to the densely vegetated jungle levels. Additionally, the navigation to the levels is a minigame in itself, with Sonic or Blaze being able to embark on a variety of vehicles, such as a waterski, submarine, and a barge.
These all use the touchscreen and vary from races, to avoiding obstacles, to nailing tricks at high speed. You’re never without something to do in this game, and that’s something I needed during this rather slow day.