Sky Sanctuary

Sky_Sanctuary_Zone_by_Professor_RainePlaces 
Sky Sanctuary Zone
Sonic & Knuckles

In a 16-bit era constrained by technological limitations, Sky Sanctuary manages to communicate the giddying excitement of approaching the end-game. The music is triumphant, the enemies more intimidating and sophisticated than the typical grunts you’ve come across before. The Death Egg which previously sat on the horizon is now within spitting distance, rising ominously out of a sea of clouds as swarms of robots zip out of it like robotic wasps. Angel Island, home to the entirety of Sonic 3 and most of Sonic & Knuckles, floats in the background, tilting gently from side to side. Continue reading

No More Heroes Motel

The motelPlaces 
No More Heroes Motel  
No More Heroes

The player’s home and base of operations in the world of Santa Destroy is a first floor motel room, perpetually rented by the game’s slacker otaku protagonist, Travis Touchdown. Far from the dingy, cockroach-infested dump you’d expect, the room is clean and comfortable, cozy even. Continue reading

Port Carverton: University District

University District

Places 
University District  
Skate 3

.There are few places in gaming quite as idyllic as Port Carverton University. The campus is a glass and concrete landscape dotted with vegetation, composed of sloping ramps, stairs, benches and rails, stretched out underneath the eternal sunshine of an early millennium pop-punk music video. The expansiveness and visibility of everything laid out before you make skating in the area a pleasure; there are no unexpected obstacles to jump out abruptly in front of you and ruin your line. Continue reading

Pond Punk Bar

Places 
Pond Punk Bar 
Perfect Dark

Nestled beneath the rain-drenched, trench-coat filled streets of Chicago is the Pond Punk bar; a “secret” area which lacks any proper gameplay significance. The club is hidden in the bowels of a building decorated with a garish red neon sign, the only place in the entire level that appears to have any kind of commercial function. After traipsing down a grotty spiral ramp, lit by the signature glare of the game’s spotlights and enclosed by walls made up of exposed red bricks and slabs of battered concrete, you come to the entrance of the seedy den. Continue reading

cs_office

Places 
cs_office 
Counter-Stike: Source (featured), CS 1.6, CS: GO

I’ve played hundreds of hours of Counter-Strike: Source and the vast majority of those have been spent running around the narrow corridors and snowy courtyards of cs_office. It’s a minor miracle that each round remains engaging, especially as the starting conditions are exactly the same each time around. “Surely there’s only so much of one map a person can play,” the uninitiated might argue. Continue reading