Andrew Passafiume


When I was young, one of the biggest appeals of games to me was fulfilling a fantasy, as it may have been for a lot of people. Many turned to RPGs or action games to meet this demand, allowing them to live in worlds beyond their wildest imaginations, but I found myself deeply involved in more niche affairs. I’ve discussed my love for games that involved sailing, especially pirate-themed titles, but it wasn’t the only thing I found myself passionate about at a young age. What if you could take to the skies? Flying a plane, whether modern or from a bygone era of air travel, became something I loved to see recreated.

Luckily for me, it didn’t take long for me to discover its potential in games and learn its true importance in the medium as a whole.



RedLynx’ hit series, Trials, began as a web release way back in 2000. It was a simple, mindless distraction, but one many couldn’t stop playing. It wasn’t long before the formula begun taking new form, shifting from a basic (albeit addictive) little game into something much larger. Trials Fusion, the latest in this series, features a new, futuristic coat of paint, but maintains everything that made it noteworthy to begin with.



When examining many recent indie releases, it can be easy to pinpoint their influences, especially since so many proudly focus on them. The same is true of Strike Suit Zero, the first title from Born Ready Games. Following in the footsteps of classics such as the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series, Strike Suit Zero is the studio’s attempt to revitalize (and redefine) the space combat genre. It’s a refreshing take on a well-worn formula, although it tends to ignore variety in favor of its particular brand of combat.



Genre 101 looks at the past and present of a game genre to find lessons about what defines it. In this installment, Andrew Passafiume steps in as host to talk with Graham Russell about the traditional action-puzzler. READ MORE


Recently we saw the release of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, which has caused a ruckus in the months leading up to it regarding its length and the cost of paying what many considered to be a “demo” of the upcoming The Phantom Pain. It’s an experimental approach, to be sure, but it isn’t the first example of this in recent years and it certainly won’t be the last. While some might see it as a dangerous trend, I can’t help but see it as a positive approach.



Aren’t superpowers the best? Being able to travel at insane speeds, jump higher than even the tallest buildings and take down your foes with a flurry of different abilities is something that will never get old. The inFamous series is one of the best examples of imbuing you with powers and letting you run wild with them, providing a thrill ride that few games can rival. The newest title in the series, inFamous: Second Son, presents you with a new setting, protagonist and plenty of new powers to play with, yet it all feels oddly familiar.



Ever since the humble beginnings of the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, we’ve seen releases of large swaths of arcade-style games. These titles, from Geometry Wars to Super Stardust, have populated these services from day one. Vlambeer, the creative team behind Super Crate Box and Ridiculous Fishing, is back with Luftrausers, a 2D action game that feels like it’s a lost gem from a bygone era. It continues the unstoppable trend of arcade-style downloadable games in style.



One of the grandfathers of stealth, Metal Gear Solid, has seen a lot of changes over the years. You can almost track the slow evolution of the genre with each iteration, going from traditional stealth with the original title to a more streamlined, varied approach with Metal Gear Solid 4. The prologue to the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, titled Ground Zeroes, pushes the series even more away from its roots, making it the most modern adaptation of the classic formula.



My very first New Game+ column was all about the “death” of local multiplayer. No, it never actually died, but with the start of the last console generation it seemed to be steadily disappearing. Online multiplayer continued to get bigger and more popular as the generation went on, with only a select handful of the best actually supporting local play.  Luckily for us, those who love playing games locally with some buddies, we have seen a resurgence of titles that support (or exclusively focus on) local multiplayer in the past couple of years.



When I made it to the temple for the first time, I had to take a break, knowing all too well that I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to face. I then took a deep breath, unpaused and died almost immediately. It took me a while to get back to the temple, and almost every time I did, it became my final stopping point due to a sudden, avoidable death. Thought the ice caves were too easy? Don’t get complacent. This is Spelunky, after all.