- Xbox Live Arcade - 800 Microsoft Points (£6.80)
- Coming soon to PC and PS3.
When you've got an archive that's bulging with classic brands – as Atari does – it's natural to delve into it now and then. But while it's one thing going back to Tempest, Battlezone or Asteroids, you're stretching it to exhume a title that hasn't been touched for 30 years.
To then completely ignore the source material and remake it as a Miziguchi-inspired on-rails shooter makes even less sense. The only solution is to make a game of such undeniable excellence that people get over their hang-ups over its retro origins.
Sadly, Killspeed's re-imagining gets off to a rocky start, sending you into a garish battle against winged beasties and, ulp, giant enemy crabs. It doesn't help that you're saddled with an inelegant control set-up that demands constant use of all four shoulder buttons at once.
And as if juggling standard fire, rail-gun, lock-on missiles, and dodge manoeuvres doesn't scramble your brain, then the need to pilot Yar and her targeting reticule independently might send you over the edge. You get used to its eccentric demands eventually, but genuine enjoyment always feels tantalisingly out of reach.
After you've soared through the air dispatching assorted alien detritus, the obligatory boss battle comes and goes with minimal fuss, and it's on to the next similarly underwhelming set of encounters – but not before some nonsensical cartoons that desperately try (and fail) to add to the drama.
The occasional nod to the visual minimalism of Rez gives cause for optimism that Yars' Revenge will develop into something of substance, but by the end you're left wishing that Sega would produce an HD remake of Panzer Dragoon and be done with it.
3D Twist And Match
- PSN Minis - £1.74.
- DSiWare - 200 DSiWare Points (£1.80)
- iPhone/iPad - £0.59
Some games are so excruciatingly terrible that you feel compelled to review them, if only as a benevolent act of public service to ward off the curious and daft.
The concept behind Sanuk Games' offering is sound enough: rotate three-dimensional objects as quickly as you can so that they fit the silhouette behind them. The problem lies in the godawful execution.
For a start, you're not allowed to freely rotate the object in question, but have to essentially click through predetermined increments until it clicks into place. But the worst part of it is the fact that the shape tends to obscure the silhouette, making it arbitrarily tricky to discern what you're shooting for.
With all that against you, topping up the rapidly diminishing time bar becomes more of an exercise in good fortune than positional nous. On the plus side, the sooner the Game Over screen appears, the sooner you can stop playing this worthless effort. Wasting money doesn't have to involve endless misery.