Microsoft

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 (Xbox One)

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater made skate vernacular common knowledge – ollie and kickflips broke from the culture and into mainstream use. But more so, Pro Skater emboldened an entire era of punk. Its eccentric art, anti-authority bent, and music encapsulated not only skating, but the shared community around it. A remake saps that energy. Pro… Continue reading Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 (Xbox One)

Microsoft

Madden NFL 21 (Xbox One)

Coaches pace Madden 21’s sidelines holding branded Microsoft Surface tablets. That’s accurate. Surface’s became indelible to the NFL after announcers were shamed for incorrectly calling them iPads. But Madden 21 isn’t the real NFL. It wants to be; the NFL licenses says as much. This year’s Madden releases alongside a global pandemic, of which football’s… Continue reading Madden NFL 21 (Xbox One)

Microsoft

Battletoads (2020, Xbox One)

The Battletoads trio spend much of this reboot/reset/sequel/follow-up attempting to regain their popularity in a haze of fourth wall-shattering humor. It’s legitimately funny, frequently so, and the art style coincides with modern animation; Battletoads wouldn’t be out of place on Cartoon Network. By the finale, they come together, defeat evil, and shuck their quest for… Continue reading Battletoads (2020, Xbox One)

Microsoft

Destroy All Humans (2020, Xbox One)

Destroy All Humans’ remaster comes, partly so, at the right time. Less a parody of ’50s sci-fi cinema than it is satire of American post-war culture, the Furon Empire’s invasion pokes holes in the “America was great” nationalist pandering. Destroy All Humans’ military is run by gun-happy dolts, small town mayors speak like JFK but… Continue reading Destroy All Humans (2020, Xbox One)

Microsoft

Super Mega Baseball 3 (Xbox One)

Teams in Super Mega Baseball 3 don’t have home cities, at least in their names. Much is suggested in the stadiums though. Some squads base their operations in lower rent districts – that’s evident by the advertisers lining the warning track. Say, a lawyer service called “Bogus Docs: Creative Bookkeeping” for fields in working class… Continue reading Super Mega Baseball 3 (Xbox One)

Microsoft

Streets of Rage 4 (Xbox One)

When brawling through Wood Oak City’s prison and police station, the level’s end comes in the commissioners office. In anger, the corrupt leader smashes his desk, revealing a hidden briefcase full of cash. Things changed for Streets of Rage. The series began with Axel, Adam, Blaze – all detectives – fighting against the criminally-infested, rotting… Continue reading Streets of Rage 4 (Xbox One)

Microsoft

Doom Eternal (Xbox One)

A continent-sized pentagram is charred onto America when Doom Eternal begins. More than Satanic in Doom’s context, it’s symbolic of capitalist aspirations finally conquering us all. Much happened between Doom and Doom Eternal. That story is lost in book-length text logs hidden around levels. Evil won though, and that evil is corporate fealty. While Earth… Continue reading Doom Eternal (Xbox One)

Microsoft

Madden NFL 20 (Xbox One)

This year’s edition of the NFL’s carefully controlled videogame product focuses on QB1, a thin story concerning a college player pushed into a starting spot in his senior year – one game before the National Championship. Then, into the NFL, of course. It’s sports fantasy drivel, thinly formed but allowing people to live vicariously through… Continue reading Madden NFL 20 (Xbox One)