In the early weeks of its life, the PS3 was Super Stardust HD. That's how I remember it anyway. And when the PS4 came around, it turned out that the PS4 was Resogun. The news today that low sales have forced Housemarque, who made both these games, to declare that 'Arcade is dead' lends all of these memories a bittersweet tinge. And yet - and I mean this as the highest compliment I can come up with - it's hard to have too many emotions around games like Super Stardust and Resogun, other than panic and excitement - extreme, panoramic excitement. Bittersweet melancholy doesn't stick about for long.
If you own a PlayStation 4 Pro console and you've not added Resogun to your collection, you're missing out on one of the best showcase titles available for the system. Developer Housemarque has delivered a brilliant 4K presentation and vibrant HDR, while retaining a locked 60fps during gameplay. It's the same Resogun gameplay we've loved since launch, but beautifully retooled for the new generation of ultra HD displays. Essentially, it delivers the full promise of the Pro hardware where so many titles have come up just a little short.
Even if the city of Helsinki didn't have a decent claim to being the capital of video games, it's certainly got a decent shout of being where the real capital is. Rovio's success is legendary, its setbacks in recent years washed over by the phenomenal reception to the Angry Birds movie, while the recent revelation that Supercell, off the back of Clash of Clans among other titles, helped raise Finland's revenues from capital gains tax by a fifth is a wonderful illustration of the social responsibility that's endemic in the city.
Between The Swindle and Invisible, Inc, 2015 was a pretty brilliant year for thieves, so I figured that my Christmas game would be Sly 4, which I'd missed upon its release, but glimpsed in passing. A world of midnight skies and clattering over rooftops: the perfect treat for late December.
It's quite possibly not meant to happen this way. A new console arrives accompanied by expensive fireworks and equipped with considerable firepower, and the one game everyone's talking about has its heart set in the corner of an 80s arcade, even if it's been dolled up in sharp voxel threads from an early 90s vision of the future. Resogun's status as the jewel in the PlayStation 4's crown might have been assisted by the less sparkling offerings elsewhere in Sony's first-party line-up, but none of that could detract from the sheer amount of style developer Housemarque had injected into its shooter.
It's PlayStation 4 launch week - in the US at least. For the UK and Europe, the next generation doesn't start for another couple of weeks, while Japan is months away from the arrival of Sony's latest hardware. To help bridge the gap, we're happy to provide some 1080p60 download video of the key Sony first-party exclusives: Killzone Shadow Fall, Resogun and Knack.
Indies are scorching hot. Maybe it was Minecraft. Maybe it was Super Meat Boy. Maybe it was Journey. Either way, just weeks before the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One it is indie developers who find themselves - whether they like it or not - on the front line of the next generation battle.
"Resogun definitely would not be possible on this [current] generation of hardware," says Housemarque lead programmer Harry Kruger. "The approach would need to have been a lot different and we'd have to have cut a lot of corners. Quite simply the result wouldn't be the same. When you're developing for multiple platforms, the weakest platform basically becomes the lead platform. Essentially this version would have been a port."