Have a real blast with Star Lord and his crew: PETER HOSKIN reviews Guardians Of The Galaxy and Mario Party Superstars
Guardians Of The Galaxy (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, PC, £59.99)
Verdict: Space odyssey
Have you ever bounced around the hollowed-out inside of a giant celestial being’s skull?
I have. Or at least I have while playing as Peter Quill (who wishes you knew him as Star-Lord) in the new Guardians Of The Galaxy game, released this week.
And that’s not even the craziest thing that my gang of galactic misfits and I got up to. Was it when the gun-toting racoon challenged me to a shooting match and an arcade-style counter appeared on screen? Was it when we all chopped up a massive space octopus in a tyrant’s fortress? Or later, all that bother with the cult?
All of which is to say: this game is overflowing with invention, colour, and big, cosmic spectacle. Its makers have surpassed even the mighty Marvel Cinematic Universe in translating the Guardians from the comic-book page, where they began, to the screen.
But, really, it’s not the widescreen hullabaloo that sets Guardians Of The Galaxy apart. It’s the close-up drama. In between surprisingly intense bouts of combat against aliens, androids and cultists, you get to simply spend time with your crewmates. The relationships that you make — or break — properly affect how the story progresses.
It’s unsurprising that a game this ambitious has some bugs; the occasional odd facial animation or stuck conversation. But they will be eradicated by future updates.
In the meantime, I’m still having a blast with my, er, blasters and my buddies. Pew! Pew! That racoon ain’t got nothing on me.
Mario Party Superstars (Switch, £49.99)
Verdict: A deserved celebration
Nintendo’s moustachioed plumber sure has been working overtime recently. Not long after his latest golf game comes this: a new Mario Party game, or, rather, a newish one. This is a collection of Mario Party classics renovated for the Switch.
It’s a great deal of fun; tearing around boardgame landscapes in competition with up to three of your friends, then jostling to succeed in dozens of fast-paced minigames.
Quick! Stay balanced on a block of ice! Dodge boulders! Score a penalty!
Just the thing to occupy a cold evening, until the next Mario game comes out.