The wilful damage to public property is a common theme amongst video games these days. Whether from a tank, military helicopter or stealthily planted explosives, bringing down a tall, man-made structure comes with a certain catharsis. Now you see a proud representation of mankind’s ability to assert itself over other beings on this Earth… BOOM… Now you don’t.
As one of Princess Peach’s most loyal attendants, Toad has been quite used to playing second fiddle in the Mario universe. He first appeared in the NES title Super Mario Bros. as the clueless messenger in each of Bowser’s strongholds, giving you a pat on the back for saving him and directing you to yet “another castle.”
There was quite a lot of American Civil War history in my house growing up. We weren’t an American family (Australian, in fact), but my father was rather fond of the PBS mini-series The Civil War, which relived the anguish – through letters and written accounts – by those that witnessed the four year-long battle of Union against the Confederacy.
I launched into Shovel Knight with some pretty hefty expectations given the buzz about it being one of the standout indie titles of 2014. Catchy chiptunes, uber-hard platform mechanics, old school rescue-the-princess storyline re-imagined with shovels instead of swords.
There are certain video games from my youth that stick out in my memory. The first hours of playing Metroid and The Legend of Zelda on a brand new NES were definitely a highlight, but there were games in the late ’80s and early ’90s that simply perplexed me.
When Diablo III came out in 2012, we all had pretty high expectations. The game ended up being one of Blizzard’s seemingly never ending development cycles, and they assured us that it would be worth it.
And it was, kinda.