Shantae Half-Genie: Ultimate Edition
XO/PS4/PC/Sw ★★★★ Age: 7+
A crowd-funded old-school platformer of a type seemingly out of fashion, Shantae makes a pleasing return in this Ultimate Edition that ticks all the boxes for fans of a certain age.
The 2D platforming holds few surprises but not many will be able to resist Shantae’s charming art style, appealing lead and her penchant for whipping enemies with her long hair. There’s humour in abundance here, an amusing range of powers and a Metroidvania structure that depends on her growing abilities.
Alongside modern gaming’s pantheon, it feels decidedly simplistic but that’s more or less the point for a whole swathe of nostalgic players.
Danger Zone 2 (XO/PS4/PC) ★★★ Age: 7+
We want this to succeed, truly we do. But the team who formerly produced the sensational Burnout series for EA clearly lack the big-budget support of a major publisher for this latest tilt at their signature crash sim.
Resuscitating the riotously amusing traffic pile-up in which you drive at high speed into a crowded highway junction, DZ2 attempts to flesh out the mode that helped define Burnout. Most components are present and correct — copious vehicles, corkscrewing roads and explosive collisions — yet it never fully gels.
Maybe it’s the rookie mistake of unreadable text in the interface or the generous sprinkling of game-breaking bugs. But this is one old favourite that feels in need of a lot more time in the oven.