I hate the abbreviation that is “Feb”. I don’t know why, it’s entirely irrational.
Welcome to the second month of 2017, everyone. In this month’s edition of games turning 10 we have some corkers… So welcome to games turning 10: February edition.
Diddy Kong Racing DS (NDS): 5th February
Don’t get me wrong here; I haven’t put this in for any reason other than I wanted to ask why did this even get made? Clearly, the answer is “well it’s a remake of the N64 game” but really, guys, I don’t think even that justifies repackaging Mario Kart with a literal monkey on the cover. Maybe that’s harsh – it genuinely is a different game.
If I’d been older than 13 and had much interest in games beyond World of Warcraft at this age even the aggregate scores of 66(ish) couldn’t have convinced me this was worth the money I pulled out of my Christmas cards. But you’ve gotta give it to them: they were trying to make an (apparently) well loved classic a remake, the original is Nintendo’s sixth best selling game!
The Sims 2 Life Stories (PC): 6th February
This one is pretty surprising for myself (come on, what teenage girl didn’t love The Sims). For those of you who stuck to the original and best (core) SIMS games, you probably haven’t experienced the version made for low spec laptops, so everyone could join in with the fun.
Effectively The Sims Life Stories is a series of ‘scenario’ management games. There are two stories in the game to play through and to advance you must complete pre-set goals. I won’t ruin the story for you, but know that this was a refreshing change in a series of games which I found got dull quickly, especially after you’d met the grim reaper in a few amusing ways. I would still recommend this little collection today, they aren’t too demanding and can be a lot of fun.
Aggregate scores are in the 70’s, mixed-to-positive.
Wii Play (Wii): 12th February (NA)
Okay so this might count as cheating because technically it had already been released everywhere else by the end of 2006… But this is my article, not yours, and I’ll write about what I want to.
Wii Play, the game bundled with the Wii, tanks, fishing, shooting range… It’s ten years old. I have trouble believing a lot of things, but this is a big one. I mean: anyone who owned a Wii back in the day has played this. They’ve all thrown their controller at the floor in competitive rage when they’ve lost at Tanks or reeled in their line at the wrong moment while fishing…. And that cow racing game…
Again, this is an excellent example of how the Wii is the best party console of all time. Aggregate scores sit low on this one and I won’t even mention them because I disagree so much, the only advice I can give you is to get some mates over, have a beer or two, and have the time of your life. Remember, though: Wear that wrist strap, and drink responsibly.
Crackdown (360): 20th February
The Xbox-exclusive, Crackdown, is a game which still, even today, has a fairly solid fan base. Crackdown 3 is due *sometime* but as mentioned in this article the future is not looking bright for the third instalment of the series.
This is an open world action RPG, and is supposed to be ridiculous fun to play. It’s a third-person shooter in a sandbox environment. Our protagonist is one of many predefined Agents who have been bionically enhanced in order to protect our fictional Pacific City from all sorts of bad guys. You use various super-powered techniques to obliterate gang kingpins and protect your beloved home. It sounds, and feels, totally ridiculous. Graphically this is very reminiscent of the cel-shaded style of Borderlands, thus to play it today doesn’t make it feel super old, that said it does feel dated and you’re probably better off booting up Crackdown 2 which is only 7 years old if you wanna mess about and have a good time.
Metacritic has this down as a strong 83/100 – Not too shabby at all.
Sonic and the Secret Rings (Wii): 20th February
The question on everybody’s lips: Why can’t they let Sonic die. The little blue speed mouse had a really tough year in 2007. Poor guy.
I mean, maybe that’s a little harsh. His February actually wasn’t that bad, especially when you take into consideration that it was the 16th of this month when Britney Spears had her classic head-shave meltdown…. Ah, those were the days.
Sonic and the Secret Rings is not the worst 3D Sonic game out there, not that that really means very much at all. This one is a play on the classic Arabian Nights; Sonic falls asleep after reading the classic tale and, naturally, is woken up by is sidekick throughout and Genie of the Ring, Shahra. She tells him that the pages of the tale are being erased and he must enter the book to help her prevent this from happening. So, of course, they enter the book…Then all sorts of drama ensues and I really wouldn’t want to ruin it for you. If you feel inclined to play this you probably want to experience it all with a fresh mind.
Aggregate scores? 69/70 – He’s on the up. I couldn’t be more proud.
Alien Hominid (XBLA): 28th February
At the very end of the month we got the classic Alien Hominid added to Xbox Live Arcade. This game was already 5 when it was added here, but the fact that something originally released on Newgrounds as a flash-only game was subsequently ported to other platforms is fairly impressive.
For those of you who don’t know it: Alien Hominid is The Behemoth’s (BattleBlock Theater, Castle Crashers, Pit People) debut game. You’re an alien who has crash landed on earth and is being chased by the FBI who you have to shoot down as you try and escape. It’s incredibly fun and with cartoon-style graphics it doesn’t feel old at all. Best news? You can still play it for absolutely free online – thank me later.
Every platform got a different Metacritic aggregate score, the highest being GBA at 95/100 and the lowest being Xbox at 76/100.
Again this is only a snapshot of the month, but really; what else do you need to know about? Check back next month for your March dose of nostalgia.
Also! Shout-out to our own Editor in Chief Oli who is also celebrating a birthday this month (though he’s way older than 10).