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Herald Sun - Switched On - - GADGETS & GAMES -

TRIS­TAN OGILVIE

GAMES IN RE­VIEW MARIO & LUIGI: PA­PER JAM BROS. [G]

NIN­TENDO 3DS / $59.95 / OUT NOW

This rol­lick­ing role-play­ing game sees Mario and Luigi join forces with pa­per-thin 2D ver­sions of them­selves in a quest to res­cue a pair of princesses. It’s a sim­ple setup, but Pa­per Jam Bros. con­sis­tently en­ter­tains by mix­ing clas­sic brick-bust­ing Mario game­play with a se­ries of imag­i­na­tive boss fights. The writ­ing is hi­lar­i­ously self-aware and whim­si­cal with­out be­ing trite, the game world is burst­ing with colour, and the quest is lengthy with­out ever be­com­ing staid.

STEAMWORLD HEIST [PG]

NIN­TENDO 3DS / $29.95 / OUT NOW

Mov­ing away from the puz­zle-plat­form­ing of Steamworld Dig, Heist is a turn-based, 2D shooter in which the player must travel the galaxy bat­tling ri­val ro­bots on scrappy space freighters and scav­eng­ing for ran­dom loot. Its steam­punk pre­sen­ta­tion is ex­cel­lent, and its core com­bat me­chan­ics are sur­pris­ingly deep. Each new en­counter presents its own tac­ti­cal nu­ance, and cus­tomis­ing the cast and load­out of your party is para­mount. Hugely ad­dic­tive.

YAKUZA 5 [MA15+]

PS3 /$59.95 / OUT NOW

It’s taken three years to be trans­lated from its Ja­panese release, but Yakuza 5 proves to be a grip­ping ac­tion ad­ven­ture. Fea­tur­ing five sprawl­ing lo­cales based on real-world Ja­panese set­tings, Yakuza 5 has enough game­play di­ver­sions to ri­val the Grand Theft Auto se­ries. Un­like Rock­star’s fran­chise, Yakuza 5 for­goes satire in favour of se­ri­ous crime drama, with a su­perb nar­ra­tive and com­plex char­ac­ters.

FAT PRINCESS AD­VEN­TURES [M]

PS4 / $29.95 / OUT NOW

Fat Princess has shed weight since its 2009 de­but. While the orig­i­nal was a more strate­gic tower-de­fence ex­pe­ri­ence, Ad­ven­tures is a dumbed down Gaunt­let-style hack-and-slash game for up to four play­ers. There’s less to it, with the four char­ac­ter classes offering only slight con­trasts in play­ing style. It’s mind­less fun with friends, but too repet­i­tive solo.

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