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)

Microsoft

Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox One)

At the festival race starting line, LED boards flash rainbow colors, bright enough to reflect off the vehicles as their engines hum in excitement. It’s gorgeous. Finish the race and massive, 30-foot tall LED boards sprout up, likewise splashing colors in a kaleidoscopic celebration of cars. It’s prideful, the best of what Forza Horizon is… Continue reading Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox One)

Microsoft

Halloween: Haunted ’86 (Xbox One)

The limitations of the 8-bit NES – the console Haunted ’86 was designed for – add to its creeps. A tight, restrictive color palette locks Haunted ’86 to using extensive black. That means ledges and background objects appear to just peek out, their edges highlighted. It’s mood where so few games of this ilk even… Continue reading Halloween: Haunted ’86 (Xbox One)

Microsoft

Super Lucky’s Tale (Xbox One)

Kids likely won’t care that Lucky, a fox that for some reason collects shamrocks, doesn’t have a personality. Lucky doesn’t even speak. He runs and bounds over obstacles with enjoyable, cheery motion. Lucky is having a blast and that’s enough. Timid and minimalist – that’s Super Lucky’s Tale. Quaint fantasy surroundings place Lucky in minor… Continue reading Super Lucky’s Tale (Xbox One)

Microsoft

Forza Motorsport 7 (Xbox One)

Imagine, for a moment, you need brakes on your car. It’s a $60 repair according to the mechanic, seemingly a great price for new brakes. You agree. However, returning home, you discover those brakes weren’t installed. The mechanic explains $60 was the initial price. For additional cash, you can purchase a mystery box. That box… Continue reading Forza Motorsport 7 (Xbox One)

Microsoft

Cuphead (Xbox One)

Cuphead doesn’t ignore realities of senescent media it’s lauding; Cuphead merely engages with it on different terms. Depression era animation, a pioneering era for the medium, too often employed appalling racial stereotypes and garish war propaganda, butting against the litany of creativity. The Fleischer’s Betty Boop, Popeye, and Gabby series; Ub Iwerks’ Flip the Frog… Continue reading Cuphead (Xbox One)