Games reviews roundup: Arms; Tormentor x Punisher; Wipeout Omega Collection

Nintendo demonstrates a firm grasp of motion-controlled fighting, the retro boom gets tough and Sonys racer gets a revamp


Nintendo Switch, Nintendo, cert: 12

Some gaming genres boast a fine lineage, but there is no great pedigree among motion-controlled fighters.

The category has been stymied by clumsy, frustrating experiences, that lack the depth offered by traditional gamepads. Nintendo Switchs take on the genre uses the consoles Joy-Cons (one in each hand) to fire extendable arms at enemies in fierce battles, and genuinely hits the mark. Players use motion control to move, hit, block, dodge and arc punches, with just the shoulder buttons used to jump and dash. Its simple, but as with all the best multiplayer games, there are hidden depths. Each fighter comes with multiple arms that can be mixed and matched, and battles are kept competitive through power-ups, bombs and frenzied attacks. The single-player is admittedly relatively basic, and aside from a few mini-game contests, there arent many modes. But make a proper fight of it online or local and this sits alongside Mario Kart as a true Nintendo multiplayer gem. CD

Knowingly excessive: Tormentor X Punisher.

Tormentor X Punisher

Mac, PC, Raw Fury, cert: NA

Tormentor X Punisher is further confirmation that the ongoing nostalgic indie studio boom offers gamers a real challenge. For the team behind this top-down twin-stick shooter, a wistful nod to retro-style difficulty was not enough. Every element here is intense and demanding. The metal score rasps and roars, vulgarity and aggression pour from the writing. The action, too, is unrelenting. TxP requires its players to clear rooms of enemies with a shotgun and machine gun, and it very rarely slows down. The gameplay is knowingly excessive, and despite its relative simplicity, there is much innovation and depth. It wont be for everyone and certainly isnt afraid to look down its nose at the player, but every demeaning glance comes with a glint in the eye. Playful, violent, absurd and overwhelming, Tormentor X Punisher is as superb as it is extreme. WF

Pops off the screen: Wipeout Omega Collection. Photograph: PR Company Handout

Wipeout Omega Collection

PS4, Sony, cert: 7

After years on ice, Sony finally brings its iconic futuristic racing series to the PS4 in the form of the Omega Collection, a compilation of previous releases. Gathered here are the PS3 titles HD and Fury, alongside the Vitas 2048 all solid reminders of why the series is so well loved. All have benefited from a visual upgrade, and its the best Wipeout has ever looked. The game including the welcome and hugely enjoyable local multiplayer pops off the screen with a vibrant colour palette, and racing around futuristic cityscapes is a joy thanks to the smooth frame-rate. It wouldnt be a Wipeout game without thumping beats to race to, and the Omega Collection delivers: while some of the original songs are absent, what is present suits the game down to the ground. At a sub-premium price point, Omega is a collective reissue that for once, more than makes the grade. AC

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