GameLuster You Know You Do Mon, 19 Jun 2017 05:06:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Nintendo Announced amiibos Aplenty at E3 Mon, 19 Jun 2017 01:50:36 +0000 Do you care about amiibos?

Nintendo’s revealed quite a few of them at E3 for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and Fire Emblem Warriors.

The new Breath of the Wild amiibos depict the four champions Mipha the Zora, Daruk the Goron, Revali the Rito, and Urbosa the Gerudo. Each amiibo is finely detailed and features the characters with their signature weapon. These will likely offer the same bonuses as all previous amiibos for the game, but this has not been officially announced.

Super Mario Odyssey‘s amiibos feature Mario, Bowser and Peach all in their wedding outfits that tie in with Bowser’s plan in the game. In terms of functionality each amiibo will unlock new costumes within the main game. How else they may help the player is currently undisclosed.


The two amiibos to tie in with Fire Emblem Warriors depict characters from Fire Emblem Awakening. These are fan-favorite character Chrom armed with the heroic blade of legend and a young Tiki.

Nintendo has made no announcement on how these amiibos will function within Fire Emblem Warriors but they might take a similar approach as Hyrule Warriors. In that game amiibos were used to unlock weapons or resources necessary for upgrading your characters.

These new amiibos will launch alongside Fire Emblem Warriors later this year. You can see a close up look at the figures below.

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Mr. Shifty Review Mon, 19 Jun 2017 00:56:09 +0000 Judging a game can be challenging. On one hand you might reflect on how much fun the game was by discussing the mechanics and how they create a fun and cohesive experience. On the other hand you must decide if a game is worth purchasing when faced with frustrating problems that dampen the experience. Sometimes these problems aren’t worth mentioning because they’re inconsequential but other times these problems can significantly drag down the experience. How much should nitpicking out problems determine our ultimate view of the game if it has a lot of fun and has great ideas?

This is precisely the conflict with reviewing Mr. Shifty, Team Shifty’s over-head-perspective beat ‘em up. On paper Mr.Shifty is brimming with potential and from the moment the game began it was easy to tell that Mr. Shifty was going to be a frustratingly good time, akin to playing a classic platformer.

Mr. Shifty’s frustrating qualities are part of the overall charm of the game. In many ways it feels like going back in time to a gaming past where one mistake meant the end. Mr. Shifty is killed with a single shot and on the journey you will face conflict with a plethora of enemies ready to put you down if you don’t think quickly. You will die a lot.

The key mechanic in Mr. Shifty is teleportation. You must master this skill to reach the goal and best all the enemies and won’t stand a chance without using it.

You must be able to jump into a room, swiftly beat up an enemy, and teleport back out, dodging any foes who might notice your presence. Often you must teleport as this is the only certain way to avoid enemy attacks and to progress. Teleporting opens the door to many strategies, each as fun as the next. It’s ingenious how well this mechanic works and how it can be utilized to deal with deadly obstacles, level progression and, of course, enemies.

Part of Mr. Shifty‘s charm is that it starts off simple. You are given some basic enemies to defeat as you learn how to harness your teleportation skills in order to quickly dodge bullets and take out foes with a swift punch or two. As the game progresses more challenging enemies are added to the mix. While the early foes were slow to react, these new enemies shoot on sight forcing you to think more quickly and to teleport to safety.

At the same time smaller mechanics are added that teach you handy skills for quickly dispatching foes. Everything in the early game works cohesively so you learn your skills and limits but at the same time learn how to handle the tougher late-game situations. For example, if you see a pressure mine the game will teach you that you can pick it up but must dispose of it. You can throw it at a wall or enemy and cause a reaction. This will be useful knowledge as you delve deeper into the game. It is impressive how the game teaches you techniques without explicitly telling you them.

With your knowledge of the mechanics in tow, Mr. Shifty becomes a stunningly fast-paced experience. It is always satisfying getting through an intense combat situation using all the tools available to you. Resourcefulness and ingenuity are key. Most rooms you enter have weapons obtainable through minor destruction or that are just laying around. You might be able to find a staff, among other weapons, which can be used to swiftly defeat foes with a simple swing. In one fell swoop you could pick up a shield on the ground, throw it away quickly as you cross the room, and pick up a stick on the ground to use as a weapon. The game requires fluidity.

As noted earlier, you will die a lot. In some instances there are things you don’t see coming and in others there is a mechanic you must use with perfect timing but mistime by a hair. In addition the new enemy types (that are frequently added) can interrupt your flow. It is almost certain that you will die on a first encounter because of how their attack styles constantly change. The challenge born from this consistent evolution is satisfying in the long run.

When all is said and done it is easy to recommend Mr. Shifty, but there is a set back: the game’s technical issues.

In most games noting technical shortcomings is being nitpicky but in Mr. Shifty they are a major concern. Throughout this game you need to be quick and precise but are hampered by frequent framerate drops. These often mess up your precision and may leave you dead from a random enemy shot.

This is not the only frustrating downside. Throughout the game you are going floor to floor in a huge tower. Each floor classifies as a stage wherein you meet with a plethora of enemy forces each more challenging than the last. The problem is that Mr. Shifty has no save system beyond a checkpoint after each completed stage and it crashes a fair bit along the way. This issue becomes even more frustrating when you are close to the end of a stage and the game randomly crashes. Being forced to restart the game is particularly aggravating on the more difficult, later levels which you can easily spend half-an-hour or more playing.

Mr. Shifty is a game that mechanically works well. Its core ideas are handled with precision and are fun to use. It was hard not to have fun with the fast-paced action and quick-thinking of Mr. Shifty and, as such, it’s a game that can be recommended. If only the game had been ironed out and had the technical problems squashed Mr. Shifty would be a near-perfect experience, but they hold the game back.

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Yoshi Coming to Nintendo Switch in 2018 Thu, 15 Jun 2017 02:51:59 +0000 Nintendo had surprises for all their fans at E3, including those of their star dinosaur. Yoshi, like Kirby, Metroid, and Pokemon, is coming to the Switch.

The tentatively titled Yoshi keeps the wool art style from 2015’s Yoshi’s Wooly World on Yoshi’s character model but the gameworld is made of cardboard and paper.

The gameplay will add an extra dimension to the traditional 2D platformer design. The game features the ability to flip the world. Doing so reveals a new setup for the area that Yoshi can explore with 3D movement. Think Super Paper Mario. This ability is used in puzzle solving as it allows Yoshi to progress down otherwise impassable routes and discover secret areas. Each stage will have items to find as well. The game will also feature two-player cooperative play.

Yoshi will arrive in 2018. Check out the trailer below.

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Fire Emblem Warriors Arrives This Autumn Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:47:00 +0000 Fire Emblem Warriors has been known about since the game was announced back during the Switch’s reveal show but Nintendo has finally highlighted more of the story of this new, cross-over effort with Koei Tecmo.

The story in Fire Emblem Warriors centers around twin protagonists Lian and Zion as they set off to take down an evil dragon who is threatening their land. In doing so they will come across many iconic faces from throughout the Fire Emblem franchise who will assist them on their journey.

The game has been confirmed to include only English audio and voice acting, to the dismay of those hoping to change on-the-fly between that and Japanese.

Nintendo has confirmed that Fire Emblem Warriors will be headed to the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS this autumn. Get ready to enter the battlefield with the new trailer below:

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Confirmed for 2017 Release Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:23:27 +0000 It was doubtful Monolith Soft would bring Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to the Switch in 2017 given the history of the franchise’s releases, the scale of the games, and how long it took to bring Xenoblade Chronicles X out.

Lo and behold, Nintendo has silenced the doubters by confirming that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is headed to the Nintendo Switch during the holiday season of 2017.

The much anticipated sequel of the Wii classic promises players “an endless ocean of clouds” accessible for exploration. It will also feature the “last remnants of civilization” living “on the backs of colossal beasts called Titans”.

The story will follow Rex and his new friend Pyra, a mysterious being known as a blade, who will grant him extraordinary powers.

You can see more on what Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has in store in the trailer below.

(And here’s to the game not being pushed back to 2018.)

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New Pokemon RPG Announced for Nintendo Switch, No Specifics Revealed Wed, 14 Jun 2017 23:34:48 +0000 Pokken Tournament DX was revealed last week for Nintendo Switch and, while this news may have been anticlimactic to those expecting more from the “Pokemon Direct”, fans of the Pokemon franchise can rest assured there is a standard Pokemon title coming to the Switch.

No game specifics have been announced but The Pokemon Company’s president has confirmed that a new RPG entry in the series will be headed to the platform. The only real information we know is that Game Freak is handling the game and it will likely arrive sometime in the next year.

There is still reason to speculate on the franchise’s “Stars” installment, the complementary third game to Sun and Moon, but it remains to be confirmed whether this is in development or only a rumor.

Pokemon for Switch will mark the franchise’s first time coming off dedicated handhelds and onto a standard console for a main-series game.

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Rocket League Driving Its Way to Nintendo Switch this Holiday Season Wed, 14 Jun 2017 03:35:18 +0000 Psyonix’s Rocket League has become a cultural phenomenon since it arrived on the Playstation 4 and PC in 2015, and now the smash hit game is coming to the Nintendo Switch.

Rocket League was announced for Nintendo’s system during the E3 Spotlight where the developers revealed how Rocket League will work on the system.

The Switch version of Rocket League will have all the content from the other versions of the game, while also including Nintendo exclusive items such as Mario’s hat to dress your car with and even exclusive cars.

The game will have local wireless multiplayer so Switch owners can play together. The game will also have the ability for cross-platform play allowing Switch owners to play online with Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC players.

Rocket League is set to launch “this holiday.” Specifics have not been revealed.

You can check out a trailer for the game below:

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Kirby Coming to Nintendo Switch in 2018 Wed, 14 Jun 2017 03:14:23 +0000 Kirby is presently the king of Nintendo’s systems.

Only a couple months ago Nintendo made a big deal about announcing multiple Kirby releases for the Nintendo 3DS. Now it’s the Nintendo Switch’s turn for some love from the pink puffball.

Kirby will debut on the Nintendo Switch in an old-school, side-scrolling co-operative platformer like Kirby’s Return to Dreamland on the Wii.

From what was shown in the trailer this game will bring back many of Kirby’s classic abilities. There will also be new ones, including the ability to charm foes and have them work with you. With this ability in use either the computer or another player can take on the role of the charmed enemies and play alongside Kirby.

Very little was shown and the emphasis was placed on the co-operative feature. The game is tentatively titled Kirby and planned for release in 2018.

Here’s the trailer:

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Metroid: Samus Returns Announced for Nintendo 3DS Wed, 14 Jun 2017 02:35:39 +0000 Nintendo is going big with Metroid at this year’s E3. Metroid Prime 4 was revealed, and now they have announced the Game Boy classic Metroid II: Return of Samus is getting remade for the Nintendo 3DS as Metroid: Samus Returns. The game will bring with it enhanced 3D visuals but at its core will remain the same classic game that fans loved back in 1991.

The game is being developed by MercurySteam and is set for release on September 15 this year. This will be the first time that Metroid has gone back to its roots since Metroid: Zero Mission for the Game Boy Advance, the remake of the original Metroid.

Alongside this announcement came news that the game will feature amiibo support, although their exact function within the game is unclear. 

The first of these is Samus in a pose that harkens back to the original box art for the Game Boy version. There will also be a squishy amiibo of the Metroid creature itself.

Check out the amiibos and a trailer for Metroid: Samus Returns below.

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Super Mario Odyssey Gameplay Shown, Release Date Announced Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:56:15 +0000 Super Mario Odyssey could be Nintendo’s biggest game for 2017. Fans are excited to see where Nintendo is going with their lead plumber, and Super Mario Odyssey shouldn’t disappoint.

Nintendo’s E3 presentation provided a bigger emphasis on Mario’s hat “Cappy” showing more on how this sentient hat ties into the gameplay. Mario’s hat will act as much more then a simple platforming mechanic. As the trailer demonstrates, Mario will be able to throw his hat and take control of different lifeforms.

This ability will likely be used in puzzle solving. Mario inhabited different bodies and used them in different ways, including creating a stack of Goombas, taking control of a frog and even a human. The hat clearly is taking center stage as a core piece of the games’ story and gameplay.

Super Mario Odyssey also has an official release date: October 27.

Now do yourself a favor and check out the trailer below (it has a rather catchy song).

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Metroid Prime 4 Announced for Nintendo Switch Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:21:13 +0000 The last proper Metroid Prime title was released in 2007 but another is on the way almost a decade later. Metroid Prime 4 was officially announced by Nintendo at their press conference.

According to series producer Kensuke Tanabe, “Metroid Prime 4 returns to the First-Person Adventure roots of the original Metroid Prime game.” Further, its storyline will “tie together the events of the Metroid Prime universe” while taking it in new directions. Prime 4 is in development for the Switch.

Beyond these facts, fans may speculate.

Experiencing what Nintendo did with Zelda: Breath of the Wild, an open-world Metroid Prime would be delicious. Of course, Metroid has been open-ended from the start, but not Breath of the Wild open. Prime’s gameplay systems – power-ups, scans and log entries, non-linear exploration, puzzles, and different environs requiring different suits – would complement well an open structure like the one in the latest Zelda or in titles like Fallout 4.

But this is just speculation – fans must wait and see.

For now, you can see this:

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Undertale is Coming to the Playstation 4 and PS Vita Tue, 13 Jun 2017 03:39:24 +0000 Undertale has become a cultural phenomenon with its classic look, clever gameplay systems, interesting humor, and deep meaning. Originally released on the PC, more people may now get excited about and understand the games’ appeal with the reveal that Undertale is being brought to the Playstation 4 and PS Vita. The game is set to arrive this summer with physical and special editions.

The physical edition includes a twenty-four page illustrated booklet and the collector’s edition adds the soundtrack, some annotated sheet music, and a musical locket.

The PS4 port of Undertale will include with it Japanese localization allowing all dialouge to be in Japanese or English.

Undertale was universally loved by critics and consumers and this release on the Playstation 4 and PS Vita will be the games’ console debut. Finally, non-PC users will be able to experience Undertale either on the TV or on the go.

You can watch the trailer below.

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Shadow of the Colossus Coming to the Playstation 4 Tue, 13 Jun 2017 03:17:03 +0000 In a surprising reveal during Sony’s E3 press conference, a Shadow of the Colossus remake was announced for the Playstation 4, planned for release in 2018. From what was shown it looks to be the same classic game revived in new graphics.

Not much has been shared on the game but the trailer does show off the games’ iconic set-pieces. Featuring the daunting Colossus beings and all the game’s foreboding world, this is a remake for the fans and those that missed the classic gem the first time around.

Shadow of the Colossus has managed to achieve a huge cult following over the last several years. The game is widely regarded as one of the Playstation 2’s best and a game that everybody must play. It was re-released in an HD pack with Ico for the PS3. Now, more people are going to have the opportunity to experience it on the PS4.

You can check out the trailer below. Prepare for some excitement and some serious nostalgia.

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Beyond Good and Evil 2 Revealed Tue, 13 Jun 2017 01:29:43 +0000 Beyond Good and Evil 2 has officially been revealed.

It’s been a long time coming, but Ubisoft’s cinematic trailer finally confirmed that the game is coming. No actual gameplay has been shown yet.

You’ll first notice the grimy setting, colorful characters, and plentiful cursing. This latter is in stark contrast to the first game. The environment opens up as the characters soar across a cityscape and then blast off into space.

A sequel to Ubisoft’s 2003 classic has long been anticipated and teased. Announced in 2008, Beyond Good and Evil 2 would join the ranks of Duke Nukem Forever and Half-Life 2: Episode 3 as games that “may never come.”

Just last year at E3, Ubisoft confirmed that celebrated Rayman creator Michel Ancel was working on the title, but no information on the game itself was given. Fast forward to E3 2017, and that has changed.

Ubisoft has not revealed any specific gameplay details but hinted at open-world design and online play. Read up more on the game including its “Space Monkey” gameplay testing program at the official site.

Warning – strong language:


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Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle Announced for Nintendo Switch Mon, 12 Jun 2017 23:09:08 +0000 Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle has to have been one of the worst kept secrets in gaming, but it was still an exciting way for Ubisoft to kickoff their E3 press conference. Starting with a simple animation including the Rabbids and a Mario coin block, Ubisoft then welcomed Shigeru Miyamoto to the stage to discuss the game.

Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle has reportedly been in development for the past three years. Ubisoft approached Nintendo about the idea to blend the colorful and clever world of Mario with the zaniness of the Rabbids. When approched about the game, Miyamoto stated that the one thing they did not want was for Ubisoft to craft another platformer with Rabbids thrown in.

Instead Ubisoft was tasked with crafting a unique game that blends the two worlds together. The Rabbids have randomly shown up in the Mushroom Kingdom and, though some are Mario’s allies, most are his antagonists.

Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a turn-based strategy adventure featuring exploration. In this game combat takes place in open areas wherein each turn Mario and his companions can move about a set field and attempt to defeat their foes. There is plenty of room for strategy. Characters are able to launch each other to get an angle on foes and can use pipes to get behind enemies.

There are lots of weapons and items, one of the most important a blaster that each character wields. There will be many attack options open to the player. Each character will even have their own special skill to utilize in battles.

Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle will feature eight characters including Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, and four Rabbids dressed like the Mario characters.

Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle arrives on August 29. Check out the trailer below.

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Bethesda E3 Conference Quick Report Mon, 12 Jun 2017 06:12:08 +0000 Bethesda’s E3 conference has come and gone and though there was no Elder Scrolls VI what we got wasn’t bad.

For starters, Bethesda revealed that both DOOM and Fallout 4 will be receiving VR treatment with DOOM VFR and Fallout 4 VR. (It’s no mystery what the stands for.)

Dishonored 2 will be receiving some DLC, perhaps standalone, called Death of the Outsider. The cinematic trailer shows that players will likely play as Meagan Foster, the captain of the Dreadful Wale in Dishonored 2, or a combination of her and Daud, who was also in the trailer.

The Evil Within 2 was also revealed with a psychedelic trailer.

The grand finale was a lengthy trailer for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. The trailer, which had live-action, cinematic, and in-game segments, revealed that B. J. Blazkowicz is back, is recovering from surgery, and has some kind of power suit that shields him. It will have an American setting where the US is under Nazi control and B. J. is once again joining up with a resistance group. Check out the trailer below.

E3 continues tomorrow with “The PC Gaming Show” and Ubisoft’s and Sony’s press conferences. Tuesday morning is Nintendo’s.

Warning: Strong content in trailer below.


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Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Announced for Nintendo 3DS Sun, 11 Jun 2017 23:56:11 +0000 Despite rumors that the next major Pokemon installment would release on the Switch, The Pokemon Company has revealed the next major Pokemon games to be coming to the 3DS. These are Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, arriving on November 17 worldwide.

The reveal was made subtly, being at the end of the Pokken Tounament DX commercial. The reveal also only showed minor details, many of which looked familiar to the main Sun and Moon games.

The Pokemon Company has shared that Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon will take place on an alternate story line from the original games with new features and new Pokemon to find. It even brings a new look for the box: legendary Pokemon Solgeleo and Lunala.

It is not clear where Nintendo plans to go with this, but the “Ultra” titling suggests the games will have a connection with the Ultra Beasts from the main games. It is possible we have a Black 2 and White 2 situation but time will tell when The Pokemon Company reveals more on this game closer to launch.

What will be different? What path will the story lead down? Hopefully this game explores different territory and mixes things up from the originals.

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Pokemon Gold and Silver are headed to the 3DS Virtual Console Sun, 11 Jun 2017 23:16:08 +0000 In 2016 Nintendo surprised everyone when they revealed the games that started a legend would be headed to the 3DS Virtual Console. Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow were massive hits and inspired demand for the Gold and Silver versions to be released on the service also.

After more than a year, The Pokemon Company has finally unveiled the news that Pokemon Gold and Silver will be headed to the 3DS Virtual Console later this year.

Both games will arrive on Virtual Console September 22. Pokemon Gold and Silver originally made their debut in Japan in 1999 and in North America and Europe in 2000 and 2001, respectively. The games were sequels to Red and Blue and took place three years later, continuing the story with the main villains and introduced players to the Johto region.

Unlike the release of Red and Blue where Yellow came with them, the third game in this trilogy, Pokemon Crystal, will not be made available. It remains up in the air if The Pokemon Company plans to bring Crystal to the Virtual Console in the future or not, but for now Gold and Silver will allow more players to continue their classic Pokemon journey.

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Pokken Tournament DX Coming to the Nintendo Switch Sun, 11 Jun 2017 23:03:38 +0000 During the latest Pokemon Direct, The Pokemon Company unveiled that Wii U/ Arcade fighting game Pokken Tournament is headed to the Nintendo Switch. The game will come out as Pokken Tournament DX offering players a definitive experience like the current Arcade version.

Pokken Tournament DX boosts the playable Pokemon roster from sixteen to twenty-one, adding in Darkrai, Croagunk, Scizor, Empoleon and Sun and Moon’s Decidueye as new fighters.

The game will offer players the chance to play on-the-go, even allowing players to use a single Joy-Con to play with others while in “tabletop mode”. The definitive game will likely be played in-the-dock (meaning that the Switch is setup like a traditional console) although it is unclear at this time how the game will perform both on and off the dock.

Pokken Tournament DX is set to hit the Nintendo Switch September 22.

Are you excited to jump into some Pokken Tournament action? Do you wish Nintendo and The Pokemon Company had brought us a proper Pokemon game for the Switch? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Nintendo E3 2017 Wishlist Mon, 05 Jun 2017 05:34:53 +0000 It’s that time of year again.

E3 is approaching. What new games will be announced? What games will finally be given solid release dates? These are the questions on every gamer’s lips.

I am most excited about Nintendo. With companies like Sony or Ubisoft it is easy to predict what is coming, but Nintendo keeps you guessing and has many surprises up their sleeve, good or bad. Last year they focused on Breath of the Wild and in previous years made many surprising announcements. Who saw Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival coming? Not me!

So I made a wishlist of the surprises I want to see from Nintendo at E3 this year.

Pikmin for Nintendo Switch

Let’s start with the announcement I most want to see: Pikmin for the Nintendo Switch. This year Nintendo will be bringing Hey! Pikmin to the Nintendo 3DS and, while this game looks fun, it will not be the typical Pikmin experience. Hey! Pikmin has some solid ideas but also a different focus from main Pikmin titles. There is room for a new Pikmin in the traditional design.

The ideal new Pikmin would be a pseudo open-world adventure that beautifully blends exploration with strategy, planning with unit management, and have all the other charm of the series. Some time ago Nintendo did confirm a new Pikmin was in development, but I am convinced Hey! Pikmin was not it. Pikmin may not be the biggest franchise, and it certainly wouldn’t “win E3″, but it is an announcement that would please fans. Come on, Nintendo – take us on another wonderful Pikmin adventure! Or just remake the first three games for the Switch – I’ll take that!

Arms amiibos

In the recent Nintendo Direct Nintendo emphasized Arms heavily, yet no amiibo announcements were made. I thought it was just short of required that amiibos get made for every big Nintendo release. Splatoon 2 is getting more amiibos, Hey! Pikmin is getting a (really adorable) amiibo, and Arms should follow suit.

Speaking as someone whose bedroom is buried in amiibos, it is disappointing that no amiibos were announced for Arms. It does not matter how pointless these figures really are, amiibos are still money makers because people want more collectibles on their shelves. I don’t think amiibos are going to happen for Arms, but the game does come out just after E3, so Nintendo could still announce them. I really want amiibos of Spring Man and Ribbon Girl.

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remakes

Yes, I think most people could have seen this coming. I mean, isn’t it time for some Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remakes? Many Pokemon fans predict these remakes are coming, even by the end of this year. I’m joining the bandwagon.

The chances of this announcement are low as neither Nintendo nor the Pokemon Company typically announce Pokemon games at E3. But this is a wishlist and the series is the biggest it has been in years.

Super Mario Odyssey’s release date

This is an obvious entry. I want to see more of Super Mario Odyssey!

We need a release date. For Nintendo Switch owners this is the biggest game in the near future for the console, and we all really want to know when we can expect to play it. “Holiday 2017” does not cut it.

I don’t remember the last time I was this excited for a Mario game. Sure, Super Mario 3D World looked fun when it was announced and Super Mario Maker was interesting, but Super Mario Odyssey is in the league of the next “real” Mario game following the Galaxy titles. It’s unclear how many games the Switch will see by the end of the year, so it is important Nintendo keeps up interest with an Odyssey release date and some gameplay footage. If they show fans a release date this could be their next Breath of the Wild in terms of hype.

Nintendo has confirmed a small showing of this game. Hopefully the release date comes with that.

Fully 3D Donkey Kong on Switch

I feel like a broken record with Donkey Kong. Nearly every time I make a wishlist for E3 or an upcoming Nintendo announcement I always list another 3D Donkey Kong game.

Donkey Kong was more or less my childhood. I spent many hours playing Donkey Kong 64 and loved every minute. The worlds, the music, and the characters were great.

For years I have hoped that Nintendo would bring Donkey Kong back to the full 3D design and despite enjoying Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze I can’t deny that I was disappointed with another side-scrolling installment. Maybe this is the year Nintendo brings Donkey Kong back to mostly unexplored territory by announcing a fully 3D adventure in the vein of Donkey Kong 64.

“Honorable mentions”

Stardew Valley’s release date and physical copy

I love Stardew Valley and cannot wait to be able to play the game wherever I go. Hopefully E3 will bring word of the official release date for the Switch version and, by extension, bring us a physical copy similar to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One releases.

Some big third party reveals

Compared to the Wii U Nintendo seems to be handling themselves pretty well with the Nintendo Switch. Just with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Breath of the Wild the system is successful, but Nintendo still needs third party releases. There are already some promises in the pipeline, but at E3 Nintendo needs specific announcements for upcoming games, like new ones from Ubisoft or Bethesda. The Switch will need to provide a solid library in the long run. Nintendo could announce a game like South Park: The Fractured But Whole for their system, showing they are planning a future for the Switch beyond their own style of game.

Virtual Console

Hey, Nintendo, where is the one big feature that should have been on the Switch from the start?

The Virtual Console is a massive collection that offers access to classic gems, yet, on the Switch, it is missing. At E3 Nintendo should share news on the service and, by extension, on some great deals for debut titles. One of these announcements could be for a Gamecube service.

Here’s hoping that Nintendo will have an exciting showing at E3 this year. I hope at least one or two of the things I’ve listed here happen.

Nintendo has much potential with the Switch. Maybe the masters of surprise will strike again and give some exciting reveals.

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Sonic Mania Release Date Confirmed Wed, 31 May 2017 23:48:34 +0000 The classic Sonic throwback Sonic Mania will release August 15 this year for the PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch. Digital versions and the physical Collector’s Edition are available to preorder. The Collector’s Edition includes a twelve-inch Sonic statue, a Sega cartridge with a gold ring on it, and a metallic collector’s card with a download key for the game.

Sonic Mania recaptures the style of the classic Genesis-era Sonic the Hedgehog side-scrollers, with Zones and Acts, bosses, a reminiscent soundtrack, and Tails and Knuckles as playable characters. The game will run at 60 frames per second with “pixel perfect” graphics and will include new levels and “reimagined” old ones. Each character will have a new special ability that will change the gameplay in classic acts.

Sonic Mania won’t be the only classic-platformer throwback to release this summer. Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy, a remake of the first three Crash Bandicoot games, launches June 30, though this one has a complete visual revamp instead of Sonic Mania’s faithful look. Yooka-Laylee, a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, launched in April to solid success. May’s Strafe also attempted to recapture a classic game style, 90s first-person shooters, though its success as a throwback is questionable.

These throwbacks are welcome and fun, but sometimes they fall flat if they don’t offer enough that’s fresh. Let’s hope Sonic Mania stays fizzy.

Sonic Mania is developed by Christian Whitehead, Headcannon, and PagodaWest Games in association with Sega of America.

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Not “Quake”-like, but Still Fun – Strafe Reviewed Wed, 31 May 2017 00:31:06 +0000 If you go into Pixel Titans’ Strafe expecting a first-person shooter straight out of 1996, you can’t be blamed. The game was advertised as a throwback to the days when low-poly 3D models and 320×200 resolution were bleeding edge. For the PC and Mac, the game was even priced at $19.96. The official website touted guns, gibs, and secrets. Everything suggested Quake.

Turns out, the game isn’t built like Quake or any other classic first-person shooter at all. You wonder why the developers marketed it as such. I was a little peeved by how misled I had been. I had expected the game to play like Quake with randomly generated levels.

Strafe, no throwback first-person shooter, is a roguelike first-person shooter. There is no saving or loading and you start the game over with each death. There is no difficulty setting – the game is very hard as is, with enemies hoarding around you, and your armor, health, and ammo depleting quickly without any regular pickups to replenish it. There is a choice for one weapon to start each game with and the option to pick up secondary guns or upgrades while playing. None of these traits are old-school FPS.

There are some old-school first-person shooter elements in Strafe: bunny hopping, strafe jumping, an exorbitant amount of blood and gore, and a great computer-y soundtrack. But these parts of the game are superficial. Strafe is no more a throwback to Quake as Spelunky was a throwback to Super Mario Bros. The game’s advertising has been shamelessly misleading.

Knowing what kind of a game Strafe is, though, you may enjoy it. I never got tired of blowing the heads off of the little grunt creatures and the pain of “permadeath” bears with it the pleasure of progressing ever further on each try. Maybe the next time you’ll make it one stage more. Maybe you’ll last more than one second on stage 1-3. Maybe you’ll build a teleporter. Each run offers a chance to progress and with randomly generated levels also offers different paths to jump, shoot, and be killed down. The entry areas to each level remain the same and the architecture is simple, so take the random generation for what you will. In the least, it helps stay the monotony.

As noted, Strafe is very difficult. Even after dozens of runs you may not develop a working strategy. I approached the levels by killing each enemy and pacing myself, but this strategy crashes down in the long run if you burn through too much ammo and get into too many close encounters. Speed-running and bunny-hopping your way through each level may destroy you in the long-run, too, as you’re ignoring any upgrades and are more likely to screw up. Killing each enemy or speed-running yielded success or failure equally in my experience, so there is no surefire strategy for Strafe.

In each run, you may choose to use weapon upgrade stations to give your gun a new firing mode. This upgrade may be better or worse and while the upgrade station’s cute little droid is upgrading your weapon enemies pile around you while you have nothing but your fists to defend yourself with. I usually avoided upgrading my weapon because even if I had cleared an area of all enemies and could afford the time without my gun, the resulting upgrade may not be an improvement.

You may also collect scrap – you are a scrapper, for crying out loud – and use this scrap to make ammo or armor at special recycling stations. Armor is vital, but so is ammo, and each goes quick. The lower-priced ammo and armor refills amount to very little, so you’ll be smart to save up for the bigger armor or ammo refills. Strafe is tight about pickups for health, armor, and ammo. There are food stations on the walls, one per level, that provide some health, and there are wooden and metal crates to shoot for some pickups, but collecting scrap to use at the recycling stations is vital for success.

Too bad scrap is hard to see. Most of the time I only heard the pickup noise associated with scrap without ever seeing it on the ground. I can identify scrap now, but only with much scrutiny. It would help if such a crucial pickup were more pronounced.

While struggling to find scrap and grappling with the game’s difficulty, you will enjoy a very nice soundtrack. No joke, Strafe’s music is computer-y, techno-bliss. Parts of it harken back to games like Doom or Terminal Velocity. The soundtrack kept me hypnotized and immersed in the experience more than any other part of the game.

The other part of Strafe that is both blissful and throwback is the amount of blood. I mean, it sprays. I surveyed corridors painted in red and covered in gibs and, while the computer-y music played, I felt, if just for a fleeting moment, to be bathing in the aura of old-school shooters. Not that Doom or Quake had this much blood, but blood and gibs were a part of those games – a part Strafe highlights to a ridiculously gleeful level.

The key point with Strafe is that only in its music and gibs can it harken back to old-school shooters, and then, only superficially. Strafe’s core gameplay can never throwback to games like Quake.

So why was it advertised as a throwback shooter? One wonders why the developers chose to market this game the way they did without ever mentioning, “Hey, this is a roguelike. Don’t let us make you expect Doom or Quake, because it’s not that!” Not getting at all what I expected from this game is a huge mark against it. If you’ve been sold orange juice but were told it was milk, it wouldn’t matter how good the orange juice was – you wanted milk!

So Strafe is good, but it’s not what we were led to believe it was. If you’re interested in a difficult roguelike first-person shooter, and enjoy game-y soundtracks and lots of blood and gibs, I can recommend it to you. But if you want a 1996-style Quake throwback, stay away. You won’t get that here. Part of me is still itching for that authentic throwback FPS and is disappointed by the kind of game Strafe actually is, fun though it may be.

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“PSYCHOSHOCK” – Prey Reviewed Sun, 28 May 2017 07:31:47 +0000 The DNA of Arkane’s Prey is System Shock 2. You can sense it as soon as you pick up a wrench, break the glass and step into Talos I. “Psychoshock” would be a more appropriate title for this game –it is the name of one of the game’s psionic abilities – but whatever the name, it is clear Arkane wanted to create a successor to Looking Glass’ and Irrational’s classic, and they succeeded.

Even if you’ve never played System Shock 2, you may appreciate Prey if you’ve enjoyed Arkane’s other series Dishonored or the Shock spiritual successor of a decade ago, Bioshock. If you’ve never played any of those or similar titles but are interested in a game that gives you tools and powers to play with as you explore an open-ended environment, Prey is for you. The storyline, characters and environment aesthetics are not as intriguing as those in the game’s spiritual predecessors, and there are a few technical issues, but the gameplay and certain parts of the fiction make for a great game.

Prey’s setting is “Talos I” in the year 2032. Talos I is a space station owned and once-operated by the company “TranStar.” Exploring the station is half the fun. You’ll likely steer from the main quest in order to explore each of Talos’ decks on your own. But you won’t lark about freely, as the game’s alien enemies, the Typhon, haunt Talos’ halls. They were being studied on Talos I but have broken from containment, and you’ll be hiding from them, combating them, and, more often than not, killed by them throughout the game.

To fight the Typhon and explore Talos I, you – or “Yu”, as the main character is the TranStar executive named Morgan Yu – will use “neuromods.” These are like the cybernetic modules in System Shock 2 or Adam in Bioshock. The greater story behind neuromods is that TranStar had been developing them as consumer products that give people skills and abilities immediately – someone who has never taken a math course can become a mathematician, and so on. In the game, neuromods unlock passive and active abilities under “Scientist”, “Engineer”, and “Security” categories. They also unlock psionic powers – Typhon-based powers branched under “Energy”, “Morph”, and “Telepathy.” You may upgrade the three former skill sets without consequence (beyond spending neuromods), but choosing to unlock psionic powers makes you more Typhon. If you become too Typhon, Talos I’s turrets will see you as a threat and fire on you. Using turrets against the Typhon is a valuable tactic, so having them turn on you would be a loss. (Ingenuity could help you if the turrets start shooting at you, though. A “Hack” skill can turn turrets back on your side, even if you are still read by them as a Typhon.)

Choose which skills you upgrade carefully as neuromods go fast and are hard to come by. You usually pick them up at key locations during the main storyline. On the flipside, if you’re extremely cautious in spending them – like I was – then you’ll have a pile of them left over by game’s end (I had around 14 in the late stages). But early, you want to upgrade carefully. You may not be able to unlock a higher “Repair” ability if you focus on Hack, etc.

Other upgrades include “suit chipsets” for the TranStar suit you are wearing and “scope chipsets” for the psychoscope, a piece of technology you pick up early in the game that allows you to scan the Typhon. Suit chipsets include buffs like increasing your speed while sneaking or increasing the suit’s resistance to hazardous environments. Scope chipsets include decreasing time spent scanning Typhon or increasing the damage dealt with psionic powers.

Another upgrade you get early on is the “zero-gravity propulsion system.” This allows you to travel outside of the space station and through the internal, low-gravity “Gravity Utility Tunnel System”, or “G.U.T.S.” This transportation option allows you to get from between a few of Talos’ areas and is required to get to the game’s Arboretum deck for the first time.

Traveling in low-gravity is annoying, but doing so outside of the station provides scenic views of space. Traveling through the G.U.T.S. low-grav tunnels reminded me of traveling through cyberspace in System Shock (perhaps the developers intended this as a throwback), but even with this nostalgic flashback I was aggravated while floating about in low-gravity. I’m glad that low-grav travel is minimal in the game as, like swimming in water, floating about and spinning to get correct headings just isn’t fun in a first-person game. If you’re like me you’ll feel like a stooge banging into every wall and obstacle and getting annihilated by every enemy while in zero-gravity. (I was never that good at Descent.)

While you’re upgrading your suit and scope with neuromods and low-grav propulsion, there is a loot system to play with that’s quite fun. Pick up junk or duplicates of key items, like weapons, and process them through recycle stations to yield raw materials. Then use these to fabricate items at a fabrication station. For this you will also need that item’s fabrication plan. I used this process to create many medkits and ammo packs, and you must use it to create a few key quest items.

Prey has a limited arsenal. Its effect depends on how much you want to use guns. You can play Prey more like a shooter, or just sneak while using powers and the wrench (the wrench is very solid). There are weapon upgrade kits, vital if you plan on combating the Typhon head on. To fully upgrade guns you must spend precious neuromods on the “Gunsmith” and “Lab Tech” skills, and then find and use enough of the weapon upgrade kits. Even with fully upgraded weapons, you need some complementary skill or technique as guns alone won’t do the trick. You will not be able to play Prey as a straight first-person shooter except, perhaps, on Easy mode. The difficulty on Normal, even, is steep.

The arsenal includes a silenced 9mm pistol, a shotgun, a stun gun, and a laser gun (the “Q-Beam”). The “GLOO Cannon” shoots hardening gel that freezes Typhons. The small Typhons, called “Mimics”, can be gelled to the point of freezing quickly. The bigger “Phantoms” take more shots to solidify. You’ll want to upgrade your GLOO Cannon as much as the other weapons to effectively fight the aliens. Weapon upgrades for the GLOO Cannon, and others, include range, power, and magazine size.

You will also find EMP grenades and other throwing items like “Typhon Lures.” The latter draws Typhon in the area to one spot. The “Nullwave Transmitter” prevents Typhon from using psionic powers – very handy. All matter of throwing items and weapons in Prey should be used sparingly, as ammo depletes quickly, pickups are few, and any one battle with the Typhon burns a lot of resources.

Undulating, dark, and to varying degrees formless, the Typhon are a nightmare. The Mimics scurry about like spiders and may assume the form of any object. You may stoop to pick up an item only to see it change suddenly into this headcrab-esque creature. Phantoms mutter muffled phrases and pound the floors as they patrol. Several times I was crouched under a desk or table in terror as a Phantom walked by. “Telepaths” and the eerily formless “Weavers” loom creepily. More Typhon types exist, one especially frightening. These are some of the scariest creatures made in gaming.

You may scan the different Typhon forms with the psychoscope to learn more about how to combat them. This is like researching annelid organs in System Shock 2 or taking photos in Bioshock. Scans of any Typhon type yield data on that Typhon’s weaknesses and immunities, such as to “Nullwave” or “Fire”, notes written by player-character Morgan, and new psionic powers you may unlock with neuromods.

You will get the most out of Prey creeping about Talos I, discovering new areas and grappling with new objects and environments. The way the station is designed you may travel from one area of each deck to another and from one deck to another deck without being held within a straight path. As you go, you may learn about the characters and their stories via PDA audio logs, emails, and notes.

You may proceed down the main storyline or veer off to a side quest. You’ll likely step in and out of both as you explore Talos I. I cared more for finding new areas of the space station and soaking in the atmosphere than for progressing down the main plot. The waypoint markers for objectives may annoy as you explore, so turn them off by setting all objectives to ‘inactive’. (As of now there is no HUD option to turn off waypoints.)

The central storyline is built from good parts – the Typhon aliens and the story of the neuromods are fascinating – but, as a whole, the narrative is bland, amounting to a story of aliens and the tragic fall of humans tampering with new technologies. As gamers, we’ve experienced this many times. A specific problem to Prey is the lack of intriguing characters. I will not delve into spoilers here, but there is no condescending Dr. Polito, egomaniacal Shodan, energetic Marie Delacroix, or larger-than-life Andrew Ryan. Your character’s brother, Alex Yu, intrigues slightly as a tired CEO who clings to big dreams about his company and its technological innovations. There are also some amusing backstories between crew members gleaned from PDAs and emails, but on the whole Prey doesn’t offer the memorable narrative or characters of System Shock 2 or Bioshock.

On the technical side, Prey suffers from one consistent flaw: long load times. On a PC with an intel i7, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, and 16 gigs of RAM, I typically waited anywhere from thirty to fifty seconds for the game to load a new area or a save file that I hadn’t recently loaded. Quick loads and loads of a save I had last loaded were quick, but all other load times took too long. Thirty seconds isn’t unbearable, true, but the fifty second or more loads are much.

Another technical flaw occurred when transitioning from normal gravity to zero gravity at a couple points. One of these was a transition zone that was horizontal, whereby you traveled into the low-grav area downwards and back to normal gravity upwards. Here I consistently remained in the “airlock” transition between the two zones, only being able to get out into normal gravity after several tries and pressing the “jump” key repeatedly. At another point transitioning into low gravity sent me, briefly, into “game space”, as if I had turned on “noclip” mode.

Aside from gravity transition problems, another technical slight I discovered was that a few of the NPC characters in the last third of the game sounded unusually muffled when they spoke, as if speaking in a small room. This isn’t the case with all of the NPCs, but the vocals of the ones affected stood out.

If, like me, you want more of a fantastic sci-fi setting, Prey’s Talos I may feel too close to home. Aesthetically, the game has a consistent 60s “retro-future” space-station design. Talos I feels like a mix of touring a NASA space center and walking through a cutting edge office building based on a 60s idea of the future. There’s a lot of wood paneling, a lot of white walls, and a lot of tubes. Personally, I wanted more blue. I also wanted a spaceship adrift in uncharted territory. There is plenty of sci-fi in Talos I, don’t misinterpret me, and you will feel a sense of the fantastic, especially on the Arboretum deck at the top of the station. But I’d take an adrift spaceship in uncharted territory over a space station orbiting the moon any day of the week. (One aspect of the setting I did like is its similarity to Shock’s Citadel Station, but I’m more of a Von Braun guy.)

Despite aesthetically not being my perfect cup of tea, a bland storyline and some technical blemishes, Prey has most of what an old-school gamer like me wants in a Shock-like: System Shock 2 style skill upgrade systems and an open-ended environment. Prey solidifies Arkane as the only game studio giving us these “immersive sim” experiences with player choice and open design that work. If you get excited about these traits in a game, or want to roam around a space station with creepy aliens and tools and abilities to use, check out Prey.

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New Entries in Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and The Crew Franchises Announced by Ubisoft Tue, 23 May 2017 00:52:51 +0000 Ubisoft has revealed plans to release four AAA titles within the next fiscal year, which lasts until March 31, 2018. During their 2017 fiscal year earnings report, Ubisoft announced a new entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Far Cry 5, and The Crew 2. Ubisoft also re-confirmed the release of South Park: The Fractured But Whole in this fiscal year.

Rumors and leaks surrounding the next Assassin’s Creed game have been circling since early 2016. Recently, a supposed off-screen screenshot of the game, which you can see above, was posted on Reddit and was confirmed by “three separate Eurogamer sources.” The screenshot lent credence to rumors that the new entry would be set in Egypt as it has an Egyptian aesthetic and the quest objective in the top left corner says “Follow Shadya to Khenut’s villa.” (Kenut was an Egyptian Queen from 2375-2345 BC.) It also shows travel by boat, which hasn’t been seen in the franchise since 2014’s Assassins’ Creed: Rogue.

Assassin's Creed logo

Alongside the announcement, the Assassin’s Creed UK Twitter account debuted a new piece of art featuring the franchise’s logo with the tagline “A new era begins.” The tweet also stated that more info will be revealed at E3.

Far Cry 5 logo

A logo for Far Cry 5 was revealed on the Ubisoft forums. The blue and red bordering the letters and number suggest a neon, modern, or futuristic aesthetic.

A logo for The Crew 2 was also revealed, and in an email sent to Ubisoft newsletter recipients the tagline “Beyond the road…” was given alongside it. No further details have been released at this stage about the new games, but expect to hear more at Ubisoft’s E3 press conference next month.

The Crew sequel logo

Ubisoft also confirmed that it plans to release four more AAA titles in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. No information was given on what those four major titles might be.

Are you excited by a new Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, or The Crew? Have you planned on picking up The Fractured But Whole? Let us know in the comments below.

Call of Duty harkens to its roots in “WWII” Tue, 23 May 2017 00:33:32 +0000 April 26, 2017 will live in infamy as the day that changed the Call of Duty franchise forever.

After Modern Warfare 2, the Call of Duty series has veered left and right with games such as Ghosts, Advanced Warfare, Black Ops 3 and Infinite Warfare. This year, however, Activision is going back to the style of game that made the series great in the first place: World War II-era combat.

On April 26 Call of Duty: World War II was announced. No longer are we to see wall jumping and jet packs dominating multiplayer because CoD: WWII will be all about “boots-on-the-ground” combat. The multiplayer will offer new modes, systems and gameplay innovations across the iconic Western Front of Word War II.

The single player campaign is said to have outstanding visuals and will put players in the very center of a world that was on the brink of tyranny. The return of the fan favorite Nazi Zombie game mode will be welcomed by longtime fans.

Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg said, “More than two and a-half years ago we made the decision to return this franchise to its roots, and Call of Duty: WWII does so in epic fashion. The team at Sledgehammer Games is delivering an authentic, gritty, cinematic experience that honors both the epic scale and the human struggle of the greatest war the world has ever known. This game will let longtime fans experience World War II like never before, and will introduce this historic conflict to a whole new generation of gamers in the process.”

Michael Condrey, Studio Head and Co-Founder of Sledgehammer Games, said, “Call of Duty: WWII has been a journey of inspiration and passion for everyone at Sledgehammer Games. The team is dedicated to delivering on the intense nature of war that focuses on the heroism and sacrifice of soldiers in WWII. Our rich, narrative-driven, action-packed campaign and engaging and innovative multiplayer experience immerse players into the boots of a soldier fighting for freedom in a world on the brink of tyranny. And our co-operative mode delivers a unique storyline that’s an all-new take on Nazi Zombies that we think fans are going to love.”

Call of Duty fans once again have something incredible to look forward to. Call of Duty is a series that once exclusively had been set in World War II, and this year the series returns to its roots after all these years of crazy modern and near-future storylines.

Do you think this change back to the old ways is a good one? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.



Call of Duty: Black Ops III Zombies Chronicles Announced, Details Revealed Tue, 09 May 2017 03:35:08 +0000 Call of Duty: Black Ops III continues to have post launch support with Activision and Treyarch announcing a new content expansion titled Zombies Chronicles for PlayStation 4, coming May 16.

Treyarch is calling the content a “love letter to the CoD community” and it contains remastered versions of eight Zombies maps from the Call of Duty Zombie Mode franchise including:

• 3 Call of Duty: World at War Maps: Nacht der Untoten, Verruckt, and Shi No Numa
• 4 Call of Duty: Black Ops Maps: Kino Der Toten, Ascension, Shangri-la, and Moon
• A Call of Duty: Black Ops II Map: Origins

Zombies Chronicles updates the maps for current-gen platforms and features upgrades to bring them up with current Zombies maps in Black Ops III.

From Activision’s official press release:

“The collection adds vibrant current-generation visuals, enhanced lighting, revamped character models and environments, and updated AI and audio systems. Zombies Chronicles also lets players use custom weapons, including current weaponry featured in Black Ops III that wasn’t featured in the original maps.”

Zombies Chronicles will be priced at $29.99 USD, £42.99 GBP, and $44.95 AUD, and will only be available digitally. Players will also receive the following when purchased:

  • 20 Vials of Liquid Divinium
  • 2 All-New Whimsical GobbleGums
  • Exclusive Zombies Pack-A-Punch Weapon Camo

A Black Ops III Zombies Chronicles PS4 Dynamic Theme will also be offered as a pre-order incentive, featuring artwork by a renowned artist. To celebrate the launch of the pack, Treyarch and Activision will be kicking off the “8 Days of the Dead” celebration where Black Ops III players on all platforms and Zombies Chronicles owners on PS4 will receive double-XP rewards and can compete in exclusive community challenges.

There has been no word yet on when Zombies Chronicles will come to other platforms, but Call of Duty maps currently have one-month exclusive access on PlayStation 4, so expect the other platforms to receive the content sometime in June.

Treyarch has also released screenshots of each of the maps and a trailer, all of which you can check out below.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Review Tue, 09 May 2017 02:12:09 +0000 Forgotten titles from the late Wii U’s library deserve renewed attention. The first to get some is Mario Kart 8 with the Nintendo Switch’s Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. In this re-release, Nintendo has tweaked the design of the Wii U original and crafted the definitive Mario Kart experience.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe offers players new and improved content with the return of Battle Mode to its former glory and the inclusion of most of the content from the Wii U version, DLC included. For those who didn’t pay extra for all of MK8‘s post-launch content, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has much to offer.

The game has forty-eight tracks to race on. Classic tracks have fresh twists that capitalize on the changes made to the core Kart mechanics through the years and the new tracks are fun to race on and remain some of Nintendo’s best Mario Kart content.

The best news for veteran players is that all content is ready to be played from the start. There is no tedious requirement to unlock, for a second time, later cups in order to race on your favorite courses. Newcomers, though, will miss out on the fun of unlocking new content as they progress.

A notable addition in Deluxe is the ability to carry two items, a feature from Double Dash!! that was absent in Mario Kart 8. Picking up and hanging on to two items adds a layer of strategy to the game and increases the odds of random craziness erupting during each race. There are also two-item item blocks, as in Double Dash!!, so there is plenty of chaos as items are thrown constantly that turn big leads into sour defeat.

The most important part of Deluxe is the proper return of Battle Mode. After the awful version in the Wii U original, Nintendo has fixed the one element that held it back by having eight courses specific to Battle available to play on, omitting the use of standard race tracks for Battle. The Battle Mode courses are well designed and allow for the execution of the mode’s core mechanics effectively. The newly created courses, such as “Dragon Shrine” or the Splatoon-themed stage, are some of the best to date, and the older courses included are still enjoyable.

Battle Mode includes five modes for players to enjoy. There are the classics – “Balloon Battle”, “Bob-omb Blast”, “Shine Thief”, and “Coin Runners” – and the new “Renegade Roundup.”

Bob-omb Blast returns from Double Dash!! and tasks players with throwing bob-ombs to hit each other and earn points. Shine Thief also comes back from Double Dash!!, and in it players have to collect the big Shine and stop other players from getting it. One may steal the Shine by getting items and hitting the carrier to free it for another player to grab. This mode ends when the time runs out or a player holds the Shine for a set period of time that carries over even if they lose the Shine.

Coin Runners is a franchise staple. In it, players collect the most coins before the timer runs out. Renagade Roundup, on the other hand, is a new mode that essentially is a game of cops and robbers. Players are put into teams and one side is armed with piranha plants used to catch opponents. The other side must avoid these and free any team members who have been captured. This is a great new addition to the game and is the most fun when you are fleeing your would-be captors.

Though Battle Mode has returned and is the most fun part of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, it isn’t perfect. Some of the modes’ mechanics are inconsistent with the rest of the game. Bom-omb Blast requires you to hold down the throw button to launch the bob-omb further, which is not present when using bob-ombs in the rest of the game. Balloon Battle is dull because it uses points and there is no option for the classic “deathmatch” style that was so fun in the past.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe includes new options that make the game easier to play. These are tailored for younger players so, finally, you can play with your young child or relative without getting frustrated. “Smart steering” keeps players on the tracks and away from walls and “auto-accelerate” eliminates the need to hold the button to drive. It has never been easier to sit and play a game with a younger family member.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a solid racing game that greatly improves upon the original Wii U version. If you are a Nintendo Switch owner this is another must own game. Come for the solid kart racing and great tracks and stay for the welcome return of Battle Mode. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the definitive Mario Kart experience.

(Check out our review of the Wii U original.)

Prey Launches Sat, 06 May 2017 18:43:52 +0000 Prey, the sci-fi role-playing shooter hybrid from Bethesda and Arkane, is now available on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

As Morgan Yu, players must fight the “Typhon” alien menace haunting TranStar’s Talos I space station using special powers, upgrades, and weapons, from a standard shotgun to the unique “shoots-gel-that-hardens” GLOO Cannon.

Using “Neuromods,” players may upgrade abilities like “Leverage” (concerns picking up objects), “Hacking,” or “Repair.” Health and armor upgrades are also available, as are abilities learned from the Typhon. Weapon upgrade kits may be used to improve the players’ arsenal.

As you explore the ruined space station, read email messages, listen to audio logs, and survey the desolation, uncovering secrets on your identity, TranStar’s experiments, and the alien creatures. Find keycards and passcodes to progress through secure doors, or find other ways around.

From the game’s creative director Raphael Colantonio:

Prey is set in an immersive world [with] shooter and RPG elements. Players can craft their own playstyle based on gameplay choices, while incorporating alien abilities and unique skills.”

Arkane Studios also developed Dishonored and its sequel, two games that are similar to Prey in their open-ended gameplay and special powers. Prey also draws inspiration from the classic System Shock titles.

Though the game shares the same name of Human Heads’ 2006 game, the similarity stops there – Arkane’s Prey is a reimagining of the IP.

Darksiders III Announced, Story Details Revealed Sat, 06 May 2017 03:14:40 +0000 THQ Nordic has officially announced Darksiders III, the next entry in the hack-n-slash action adventure series being developed by Gunfire Games.

Like previous entries in the series, Darksiders III will be an open-world action adventure title with exploration and environmental puzzles. The series’ hack-n-slash combat will continue with new protagonist Fury. The game is set around the same time as Darksiders II, and tasks Fury with destroying the Seven Deadly Sins.

From the official press release:

“Return to an apocalyptic planet Earth in Darksiders III, a hack-n-slash action adventure where players take on the role of FURY in her quest to hunt down and dispose of the Seven Deadly Sins. The Charred Council calls upon Fury to battle from the heights of heaven down through the depths of hell in a quest to restore humanity and prove that she is the most powerful of the Horsemen. As a mage, FURY relies on her whip and magic to restore the balance between good and evil. The expansive, Darksiders III game world is presented as an open-ended, living, free-form planet Earth that is dilapidated by war and decay, and overrun by nature. FURY will move back and forth between environments to uncover secrets while advancing the Darksiders III story.”

See the reveal trailer below:


Gunfire Games is a studio made up of former Vigil Games employees who developed the first two Darksiders games. Reinhard Pollice, Director of Business and Product Development at THQ Nordic, stated that,

“The Gunfire team brings an intimate involvement with every aspect of the Darksiders franchise since its inception. There is simply no team better qualified to create Darksiders III.” 

Since their formation in 2014, Gunfire Games has worked on Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition and the VR game Chronos.

Lars Wingefors, Co-Founder and Group CEO at THQ Nordic AB, said, “After countless rumors, a major catalogue acquisition, and even a corporate re-brand, the team at THQ Nordic is thrilled to finally confirm plans for Darksiders III. As promised, we have taken our time to ensure that this next Darksiders will be everything action-adventure gamers and especially Darksiders loyalists could dream of and more.”

Darksiders III is scheduled for release in 2018 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

Party Like It’s 1996 with Strafe Fri, 05 May 2017 01:08:22 +0000 Strafe is the throwback first-person shooter developed by Pixel Titans and published by Devolver Digital that began on Kickstarter and is coming to PC, Mac, and PS4 on May 9.

Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, and any given 90s-era FPS are inspiration. Strafe‘s “Bleeding Edge Graphics and Gameplay” – that focus on “speed, gibs, and secrets”- are straight out of 1996 as the game has quick movement, blood and gore, and secret rooms and levels. The game is also rogue-like in that levels change each time you play.

From the official site:

“STRAFE ® is a unique singleplayer 3D action experience where the player can pick up a gun and shoot hordes of things in the face… We give you the levels, you paint them red.”

Sounds great.

In the game, you play as a “scrapper” whose scout ship has joined up with Icarus, a massive spacecraft, as it explores uncharted space. After returning from a scrapping run, Icarus is nowhere to be seen. Still located through the teleporter’s coordinates, you teleport aboard. Having brought a gun “just in case,” you encounter the monsters and the carnage begins.

To see more of Strafe, check out “Strafecon,” a digital convention of streamers playing the game, and watch the launch trailer below.

Yooka-Laylee Could Be Improved by the Switch Versions’ Launch Wed, 03 May 2017 18:07:30 +0000 Yooka-Laylee had been a highly anticipated throwback to the N64 era of platform gaming, but upon launch met much negative criticism. Among the complaints were control issues and annoying sounds and dialogue, and these just the tip of the iceberg. Playtonic has taken these complaints in account and are now improving the game.

In a post on their blog, Playtonic thanked the fans and discussed the reaction to the game and the coming tweaks:

Yooka-Laylee has been in the wild for two whole weeks and we’ve been positively overchuffed by the response from fans and backers around the world! We’ve very much enjoyed reading your feedback, lurking on your livestreams and absorbing your lovely comments, so thanks again for the support! It’s been emotional.

Thanks to you lot, some 20 developers remain off the streets, mostly fed and in a stronger position than ever to continue creating colourful, personality-plump adventures!

But first… we’ve got some spit ‘n’ polish to deploy.

In the days since launch – and as we work with speed towards the Nintendo Switch – the dev team has been frogmarched back down into the development mines to uncover our next big game update, which will add significant improvements and introduce some of the most requested features.

That means stuff like the optional ability to skip dialogue faster, bypass cutscenes or reduce those pesky gibberish voices, which should please the speedrunners among us. We’ll also be adding a sprinkling of design polish throughout the adventure and by popular request, changes to how the camera operates.

You can expect a more detailed breakdown of the game update in the coming weeks, as we continue to tinker around with the coding furnace.”

Playtonic could have ignored the criticisms, but instead is listening to fans’ feedback and wants to improve the game experience.

Playtonic should get the game up to scratch by the time the Switch version launches and everyone can enjoy a polished Yooka-Laylee.

Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition Coming to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One Sat, 29 Apr 2017 22:02:09 +0000 In a surprise reveal, developer Screaming Villains has announced Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition.

For those who are not so familiar with this game, Night Trap is a “full motion video” game and one of the most controversial games ever released.  It was part of what inspired U.S Congressional hearings on mature video game content. The game released back in 1992 on the Sega CD, and arrived on additional platforms such as the PC and 3DO. Now more people will have the chance to play it and make their own conclusion on the game’s subject matter.

Night Trap follows five teenage girls whom the player must protect from vampires.

Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition will arrive on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One in the United States and Europe sometime this spring.

In further news, a physical version of the game is set to be released through Limited Run Games. This will be exclusively available for the Playstation 4 in limited release.

Have you ever played Night Trap? Are you looking forward to giving this game a chance and seeing how it plays, and how controversial the game really is? Let us know in the comment section down below.

What We’re Looking Forward to in Star Wars Battlefront II Tue, 25 Apr 2017 02:59:30 +0000 Just over a week ago the lid was lifted on Star Wars Battlefront II, with EA officially revealing it to the world at the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando. Developed by DICE and two additional studios, Battlefront II needs to make up for the shortcomings of the original. The teams are making a more fleshed out, “boots on the ground” Star Wars experience that fans have been craving since the original Battlefront series over 10 years ago. After digging through all the reveals and interviews from that weekend and knowing what little we know, here are some of the things that we’re looking forward to most in Star Wars Battlefront II.

An Actual Campaign

2015’s Star Wars Battlefront was infamous for its lack of a single player campaign. This frustrated fans who thought it a missed opportunity to further explore other characters, unknown or new, from the original trilogy. Ever since Battlefront II was first teased last year, EA has stated that there will be a single player campaign, and that fans should be excited about it. Not only will it be played as the Empire (a side which is often neglected), it will be set in the thirty year gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The story will be canon, or an official story within the Star Wars universe.

The campaign is being developed by Motive Studios (a newer EA-owned studio formed to create Star Wars games and headed by Jade Raymond, former head of Ubisoft Toronto) and is co-written by Walt Williams, who wrote the critically acclaimed Spec Ops: The Line. In the campaign, players will assume the role of Iden Versio (played by True Blood’s Janina Gavankar), an elite Imperial Commando who leads Inferno Squadron, a group of TIE Fighter/Commando hybrids for the Empire, with skills in sabotage and infiltration. The campaign starts with the destruction of the second Death Star and chronicles Iden and her squads’ missions over the thirty year period.

According to interviews, the story humanises the Empire by introducing characters who have grown up seeing the Empire as a force for good. This will provide a radical perspective on a war rarely seen outside the eyes of the Rebellion or the Sith. The campaign has a new planet called Vardos, an “Imperial Utopia”, where protagonist Iden grew up.

There will be space battles in the campaign and there may be stealth gameplay as well. Beyond that, there aren’t many more details, including how Motive plans to tell a story that spans thirty years. Hopefully we will get new details soon.

Refined Multiplayer

Whilst 2015’s Battlefront was not terrible, it felt lacking. It didn’t ease fans’ frustrations when DLC for the game released that “should’ve been included with the game in first place”. But fear not, DICE has been listening to its fans, and the sequel will be a complete game.

Battlefront II will span all three eras of the Star Wars films, letting you relive some of the biggest battles in Star Wars cinematic history. This includes those with Darth Maul, Yoda, Rey, Kylo Ren, and other, new heroes and returning favourites. Heroes will be tied to era-appropriate maps, so we won’t be able to run around slicing rebels as Darth Maul on Yavin 4. Instead of the “light” feel heroes had in Battlefront, Battlefront II‘s Heroes will also be weightier, meaning more satisfying melee combat.

Battlefront II will offer full classes instead of changeable equipment loadouts, like in the previous entry. Each class will have a shared progression system and will change appearance depending on what map and side you’re playing on. The progression system lets you mould a character as you play to your personal play-style. Vehicles and heroes, and something else that has yet to be revealed, will have their own individual progression systems, letting you add abilities to heroes and upgrade your favourite ships.

The sequel veers from the heavily criticised system in the original where heroes, gadgets and vehicles were acquired by picking up floating holograms. Unless you camped on a hologram spawn spot, or happened to be in the right place at the right time, picking up these power-ups was rare. Heroes and vehicles will now work on a ‘resource-based system’. Whilst there will still be some power ups around the battlefield, players will earn in-match currency for performing well that will let them purchase vehicles and heroes. The developers have stated that they want to see multiple heroes running around matches. However, they will be easier to take down.

Dedicated Space Battles

The space battles in Battlefront’s Death Star DLC were existing vehicle modes taking place outside the Death Star, but in this sequel there will be more to them. It has been confirmed that Burnout series’ creator Criterion will bring space battles to life once again in a Star Wars game. Criterion is no stranger to the world of Star Wars space combat. They developed the Star Wars Battlefront: Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission which released as free DLC to owners of Star Wars Battlefront on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR last year. Since we haven’t had dedicated Star Wars space combat since 2005’s Star Wars Battlefront II, having a studio with Criterion’s pedigree handle the space combat means EA wants it done right.

Offline Co-Op

EA also confirmed that Battlefront II will feature full offline split-screen multiplayer co-op on console versions, but not on PC. In this mode, upgrades can be earned which will transfer to online multiplayer. This a big step-up from the split-screen co-op in the previous Battlefront, which was limited to the ‘Missions’ game mode (essentially just survival on a couple of smaller maps).

For now, this is what we’re looking forward to most in Star Wars Battlefront II. We will no doubt get more details in the coming months, especially with E3 and EA Play (EA’s pre-E3 event) just around the corner.

What are you looking forward to most in Battlefront II? Let us know in the comments below.

Lego City Undercover Truly Has A Chance To Shine Thanks To The Port Fri, 21 Apr 2017 03:15:31 +0000 The Wii U was home to numerous games that will easily be remembered for their incredible quality. Sure the fact that quality games were few and far between may not help this, but looking at the positives, Lego City Undercover was an incredible addition to the systems library. On a system starved of open world games, TT Fusion worked with Nintendo to bring an incredibly fun Lego experience to the system that was the best of its kind. Quirky, destructive, silly, Lego City Undercover was something special.

This is what makes this porting business so appealing, the Wii U barely had the numbers to offer this game the attention it deserved and they purposefully chose the right time to port the game when the Wii U was no longer relevant. So now the game is available on three new platforms, the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo’s newest system the Nintendo Switch, and surely we can agree it is great to see this game finally able to see the mass appeal it does honestly deserve.

When put into context of games that are already available on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, Lego City Undercover does not seem all that special. The systems are full of open world games with wacky stories, and games where you get to steal cars and be destructive. Grand Theft Auto has been out for years on these systems, but when compared to Lego City there is a clear gap that can be noticed.

Grand Theft Auto among other open world games of a similar nature are built for the adult gamer to indulge their criminal fantasies. Lego City Undercover on the other hand is built as an opposite force, sure you can be destructive, and I personally would have loved to have seen some form of punishment system for my reckless endangerment of Lego City civilian’s lives, but it is built in the framework that you are the good guy.

Lego City Undercover remaster screenshot 1

Lego City Undercover is essentially Grand Theft Auto but more entailed towards a more child centric audience with the end result of your own illegal activities being towards capturing a master criminal. This means that parents are able to give their child that copy of Grand Theft Auto that they have been nagging for but in a much safer way that they don’t have to be concerned about what their children are seeing or doing. The fact that more kids have access to a Playstation 4 or Xbox One makes Lego City Undercover more likely to be enjoyed by these younger audiences, or at least that is the hope.

From my experience, nothing about the game has been extended and there are no new side activities to do, there is no new world sections and there is definitely no real improvement in load times. Essentially if you happened to play the Wii U version what you see is what you get, except for one element that does make this definitive, multiplayer.

The multiplayer feature is a much loved staple of Lego games, at least in the modern era, as such it was baffling to many that a game in the brand would not include multiplayer. Sure it seemed silly at first but it was handled well in terms of how the game relied on a more personal story through Chase McCain. If an attempt was made to include multiplayer in the Wii U version, it would have felt forced and would have been lacking considering the careful focus the game had with the gamepad being used in tangent with the television.

Lego City Undercover remaster screenshot 2

Fast forward to now and this seems mixed, playing Lego City Undercover as a single player game was part of the charm and the experience. This was a personal story and only really had one character at its core playing the role of protagonist, this is shown further when you enter multiplayer and the second player is a carbon copy just with different coloured clothes. Yet, for all the things that can be said that argue against multiplayers inclusion, it really was a great addition that adds a lot to the game.

Lego City’s huge world can now be explored as a team, whether you are playing to find all hidden items or having fun with rampant destruction. Everything about Lego City Undercover just feels better when you have someone at your side in missions or just messing around in the overworld. It is that ingredient which was easy to understand not having but ultimately creates a better game especially for those who want to play a game together that is fun, charming, and a bit silly.

The Playstation 4 and Xbox One are a new great home for Lego City but for obvious reasons these platforms are not ideal. Lego City Undercover can be looked over for the more mature offerings found on the consoles, Grand Theft Auto, The Witcher and more will overshadow the game despite its obvious fun qualities. This is where the Nintendo Switch acts as a great home console offering two wonderful benefits.

On the Nintendo Switch there is not currently a huge game market full of big open world adventures that will overshadow Lego City Undercover. But more important is the simple nature of the systems design, the fact that you can take the Switch on the go means that Lego City Undercover can be enjoyed at a much greater capacity then on other platforms. There is more fun to be had in playing Lego City Undercover here where you can enjoy another experience out and about. Even still there is value no matter where you play, and it is great to know that more people can now enjoy another game that deserves the attention.

I stand by what I said in my original review, Lego City Undercover is one of the best Lego games in years, and through the Playstation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch it truly shows it. If you are looking for something that is fun and cheesy I implore you give Lego City Undercover a chance! You surely will not regret it.

If you want more from Lego City Undercover you can read my original review here, although some of the information is no longer relevant to the current iteration of the game.

Hey! Pikmin Is Being Developed By Arzest Fri, 21 Apr 2017 01:02:39 +0000 Back in 2016 Nintendo unveiled a little game for the 3DS based around the Pikmin franchise, at the time we were given no name but were shown an entirely new direction for the series. During the recent Nintendo Direct Pikmin finally showed its face again this time receiving a release date as well as a proper name in the form of Hey! Pikmin.

But the question remains who was developing this 2D sidescroller edition in the Pikmin franchise? Most suggested that this was Nintendo’s internal teams, but a classification for the game in Australia has instead revealed that the game is being handled by Arzest.

For those unaware, Arzest is an independent developer with a history of work with Nintendo and the 3DS. The company was responsible for the 3DS version of Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, they also developed Yoshi’s New Island. What is notable however, is that neither game have seen a great response from critics or consumers. Hopefully this is not a bad sign for the upcoming Hey! Pikmin.

This discovery of the developer does give Pikmin fans some room to hope that the next major instalment of the franchise is coming sooner rather then later with Arzest handling the spinoff.

Hey! Pikmin will arrive on July 28th, a new amiibo is also being released for the game available on the same day.

Star Wars Battlefront II Officially Revealed, Release Date and Story Details Outlined Thu, 20 Apr 2017 05:46:46 +0000 EA and Disney have lifted the lid on Star Wars Battlefront II, officially revealing the new shooter at a panel at Star Wars Celebration over the weekend. As with the previous entry, Battlefront II will be developed primarily by DICE, but two more studios are also lending their talent for the sequel: EA’s new Motive studio, headed by former Ubisoft Toronto head Jade Raymond, as well as Criterion, developers of the Burnout series and the Star Wars Battlefront X-Wing VR Experience from last year.

The campaign for Battlefront II will take place in the 30-year period between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, and it will follow protagonist Iden Versio, leader of the elite Imperial unit Inferno Squad. During the campaign players will also get the chance to play as well-known characters such as Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren. The campaign is being handled by Motive studio, according to EA, and is being developed in close partnership with the story team at Lucasfilm. It was also revealed that the story will be canon within the Star Wars universe.

In a statement at Star Wars Celebration, Motive game director Mark Thompson said “We wanted to create a campaign that told a story we haven’t seen before in Star Wars. It was important for us to tell a new authentic story, one that gives players a brand-new perspective. By putting players in the boots of an elite member of the Imperial forces, we can show them what the battle was like from the other side.”

Battlefront II’s multiplayer will once again be developed by DICE and it will span all three eras of Star Wars films. It will have playable heroes and villains including Rey, Luke, Yoda, Darth Maul, and more that have yet to be confirmed, and game modes will support up to 40 players with maps announced so far including Yavin 4, Mos Eisley, and Starkiller Base. Space battles are also making a return, with Criterion leading development in that area. EA stated that Battlefront II will offer “high stakes dogfights” with land and air vehicles including First Order TIE Fighters, the Millennium Falcon and more.

As well as the standard version of the game, an Elite Trooper Deluxe Edition is available for pre-order. As well as granting 3-days early access to the game, this edition will include four trooper upgrade packs including modifiers and modifications to outfit classes. Any pre-order of the game will also come with The Last Jedi Heroes pack, which includes exclusive Kylo Ren and Rey themed looks based on the characters’ appearances in the upcoming film, as well as modifiers for said characters and the Millennium Falcon.

Star Wars Battlefront II will be released on November 17th for PS4, Xbox One and PC (November 14th for Deluxe edition). Let us know in the comments below if you’ll be picking it up.

Crowd-funded scroller Damsel has potential Wed, 19 Apr 2017 02:33:35 +0000 In Damsel Productions’ Damsel, you play as Agent Damsel and battle vampires. With fluid gameplay and spunky style, Damsel has potential to be a fun side-scrolling action game.

Agent Damsel receives assignments at the start of each of the game’s 120 plus missions. Each mission has one primary objective and several bonus challenges. Both the main objective and the side challenges include killing vampires, gathering intel, diffusing bombs, and rescuing hostages. The latter two require care, as bombs may be ticking down as soon as the mission begins and shooting towards vampires anywhere near a hostage will likely kill the hostage.

For diffusing or rescuing, a mini game plays that requires you to time a button press as an indicator passes over a sweet spot. This must be done sequentially – missing the third sweet spot will start the sequence over so that you have to time it again with the first until you get all three right. This can be very tense with a bomb timer counting down.

Agent Damsel uses a shotgun that has infinite ammo and, for reloading, has a cool down period. The gameplay is standard side-view action with running, jumping, and upgrades like wall jumping. You may play with either an Xbox controller or mouse and keyboard. For the demo build, you cannot change key inputs. I tried at the game’s startup but the changes were not reflected in game.

Preset graphics options include “Fastest”, “Simple”, and “Beautiful”. I played at “fastest” first – “Beautiful” was a huge improvement and, at least on my PC, caused no performance decrease. The visual style is cartoony veering on Flash game visuals, with environs that are all urban, such as rooftops, back alleys, and warehouses.

The game is planned for release in 2017. It will include both single player and co-op. Check out the developers’ page, download the demo, or invest in its development here.


Fourtex Jugo Review Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:10:59 +0000 This is the first review I have struggled to write. I sat at my laptop with all of my notes, thinking of the many different ways I could write this review. At first I was going to just go off my notes verbatim for comedic effect, they read like a person who’s being tortured. With notes like “Oh god, they’ve added shapes now?!” and the like. I feel like that would be disingenuous though. It’s pretty evident that this game was made to be the next 2048 or the next Sudoku like game. For people who adore those games and are just craving to get their hands on another math filled grid based Japanese style puzzle game, I will happily recommend this game to you. Here’s the thing, I’m one of those people though. I adore crushingly difficult math puzzles that switch between common core math and certain forms of algebra with entire paragraphs of rules. If they make sense that is.


I’m going to do my best to breakdown the rules of this game, I have a feeling this may not go well. The most basic explanation I can give you is: You match two of the same number to make the next highest number (Ex. 8+8=9) or you connect two numbers to make Pi, which in this game is 15 (Ex. 8+7=15 or 14+14= 15). Now once you make Pi you need to connect one of the three instances of Pi that are on the screen. Two matching Pi symbols make a white “Nom” and two non match Pi symbols make a black “Nom”.

You connect both White and Black Noms to create what is called a void. A Void is an open hole on your playing field that can be filled with any number, element, or nom. As you are multitasking on all of this, number’s, elements, noms, and voids are all sliding up and down and back and forth as you are connecting everything else. There are claws also that come into play. These claws get hungry too and grab the most necessary thing you need. The entire time that all of this is happening you have to be careful where you connect all these things because the tiles you connect on will Gray out. When all the tiles are Gray, the game is over and it tallies up your score and the stuff on the grid to give you a final score. The entire point of it all is to beat the target score on each level. All of this is just on the tutorial level (except it only uses two instances of Pi and not all three that I mentioned) and after two hours on the tutorial level I finally beat it. After my nine hours of playing this game, I can absolutely decimate the target score for the first level.


Here’s the thing though, that’s just the tutorial level. When you reach level two, shapes and a third version of Pi is added. I could not beat the second level. I spent SIX HOURS playing level two, over and over and over. I was playing it to review, I wanted to see the rest of what this game had to offer. You can’t stop on the second level. So I decided to “cheat”, there is a mechanic in the game where you can hit “Y’’ on the controller and it shows you the next best move. So I figured to just hit that from the very beginning move and let the level beat itself so I can move on. That’s not what happened though, It ran out of moves. The game lost to itself. A thing who’s only job is to know how to play this game in its best possible way, lost. That means one of two things, either these levels are so random that you can lose before you even started thanks to luck, or this game is such complicated nonsense that even the “best move” mechanic doesn’t really understand what its supposed to be doing.


If Fourtex Jugo stuck to the mechanics of the first level and maybe added more deadly traps as you progress (which they do among all the other mechanics) I could really get into this. By hour four on the second stage I kept going back and demolishing that first level because it felt nice to beat a stage. This game made me feel like an absolute moron and that leads me to my next thought. I can’t figure out if I’m too much of an idiot to play this game or if this game was just made by an absolute madman.

There is a feature where you can watch people who beat a level, play that level move by move. So I clicked on the guy who has the number one place in the worldwide leader board and followed what they did. I didn’t do nearly as well but I beat stage two by the skin of my teeth. By stage three you are hit with spikes and the omega symbol on top of, Three versions of Pi, three different shapes, Noms’, numbers, elements, voids, claws, graying tiles, everything sliding every which way as you make all of these connections and moves, and don’t forget about that constant pressure of running out of moves at anytime. This game broke my brain not by difficulty but just by the sheer chaos of everything going on. This game is for someone, look at the the leader boards. People are playing this game and love it enough to get the highest scores from all around the world. When I received the key for this game I was downright excited to get my hands dirty and spend at least 15 hours straight full of puzzles and math. For the most part that’s what I got but with a thousand different mechanics screaming for your attention at one time.


The sound I have a slight issue with as well. For the most part, the soundtrack is one note being held on a keyboard and slowly being let up while another key is being played (that’s the best I could make of it at least) and it is absolutely hypnotizing. I have never zoned out on a game so damn hard in my life, It feels like there is something intentionally going on here to forcibly make you zone out. It’s really weird. Here’s my issue though, as you click on a single tile it holds another note down, then when you connect to tiles to each other it makes a note one octave higher. Sometimes that high note gets stuck though and makes your ears bleed until you restart the level. That needs to be fixed pronto. Weirdly enough I haven’t seen any complaints on the Steam message boards about this, so I may be the only person with this issue. The game has you so zoned out at times that when you connect the wrong tiles the error sound will jolt you right out of your seat.


The graphics are very minimalist and enjoyable. They do exactly what they’re supposed to do and they are almost necessary. There’s no way I could play this game if the graphics were even the least bit more detailed. When you just have the numbers on screen, its very reminiscent of games like Sudoku and 2048. A bunch of numbers on a sliding grid. Again, if that sounds like your jam then absolutely give this game a look. Who know’s, it might make perfect sense to you and I really am just that dumb. Without trying to sound extremely narcissistic, I’m pretty sure that’s not the case though.


All in all, I appreciate the effort that went into this game. When I take a look at any indie game I always remind myself that the game I’m playing is somebodies baby. Someone has spent the last two years of their life perfecting the game that is currently in front of me. So I try to be as kind and open minded to every game that comes across my desk. With that said I say these final statements in the kindest way I can, I absolutely loathe this game. It caused all kinds of anxiety issues and strange zoning out effects. I felt like I was on a bad drug trip while trying to solve math and puzzle matching problems. I see the effort Salty Dog Digital put into this game with all of it’s rules and mechanics. Unfortunately it all fails when you almost have a breakdown from being overwhelmed by a thousand different thoughts at every single move.

Fairy Tale: Three Heroes Indie Review Sun, 16 Apr 2017 00:43:51 +0000 I was intrigued when someone first described Fairy Tale: Three Heroes to me and I’m going to give you the same description that I was given. Its an RPG/Puzzle game that takes place in a world of Russian fairy tales, it is a game made by a small team of developers called “Cats Who Play” that are located in Moscow. This game is Russian, very very Russian. Its also an absolute blast and one of the most frustrating games I’ve played in recent memory. The biggest issue being localization at times. Also it doesn’t save after completing every main and side quest. I ended up playing the first four quests about three times over and almost gave up right there, remember to save manually after everything.


Speaking of localization, not only can the English be just a hair off at times but so is the voice acting. When it comes to indie games I try not to bag too much on the voice acting, people do the best they can with what they have and I understand that. In this case though, something has to be said. Its almost in so bad its good territory. Alisha (The archer hero) is voice acted by someone who sounds like Jean Claude Van Dam trying to do a ye’ old English accent and giving up halfway through. Dobrynya (Our tall athletic staff using hero) sounds almost mentally handicapped, and Ilya (The Dwarf Tank hero) sounds like a twelve year old doing his best “angry old man gruff voice”. Luckily there is an option to turn down just the voices but that leads to another issue: Exposition Dump Speech.

While most of the lore and story is drip fed nicely to you, there are a lot of times that characters just randomly dump all kinds of unnecessary exposition on you which forces you to kind of tune out. You get used to ignoring it only to realize that what you’re supposed to be doing in the next level was explained as well and you missed it. Then there are the times where you do pay attention but because the localization is the way it is, you still aren’t quite sure whats expected of you. I spent a lot of the game stumbling blind and doing my best trying to go by the brief descriptions of quests on the map.


Speaking of quests and the map, boy could this game do with a proper quest User Interface. A tool of some kind that lines up the quests and orders them from main quest to side quest or something of that nature. I do like when I pull up the map and select the quest, a little arrow points you in the proper direction. It works for what its supposed to do and I’ve never had an issue with it glitching out or anything. My only problem with it is every time I finish one simple task within a quest I have to pull the map back up and select the location but sometimes the button that brings up the map just doesn’t work. I don’t know why or what causes this but my god is it annoying. It also seems to happen in quests when time is of the essence.


Now that I’ve gotten my complaints out of the way, let me just say: I love this game. I’ve had a blast with it so far. In the 9 hours I’ve played it, I’ve already beat it and really enjoyed my time with it for the most part. The graphics pop off the screen with their colorful and bright cell shaded style. At times I was really surprised how good it looked.

The music is bombastic and great, it heightens the fun of every fight and makes the most of the calm moments while wandering around the world and speaking to NPC’s or solving puzzles. The physics are by far my favorite thing about the game. I’m not sure if they are supposed to be crazy but they really add to the game’s charm. Flinging a wolf or a wild boar into a gate just to watch everything smash into a million pieces and fly all over the screen is so much fun. As well as using Dobrynya staff to pole vault him into the air (Which is ridiculously far when its leveled up all the way) only to have him rag-doll and smash his face into everything is hysterical and never got old. I flung him into absolutely everything: Enemies, rocks, fences, NPCS, trees, animals, etc.


The puzzle elements to the game are a lot of fun as well. Often bringing back memories of a Super Nintendo game called The Lost Vikings that used the same idea, use all three heroes specific abilities to solve puzzles. My favorite level in the game (Which also happens to be the most linear) is a large square map with a road curving its way through the middle. Behind your heroes are the towns people who have had enough of these bandits and have taken up arms to fight them, unfortunately they are nothing but a liability and if they get into a fight, they will lose. So its up to the three heroes to quickly dispatch enemies and take out the traps before the villagers get to it.

Each section of the map that your heroes complete the villagers get more rabid and faster because they want to take out bandits as well and your heroes are doing all the work. It adds a new level of pressure that hasn’t been there at all in the game until this point and is very well done. The level after that had me damn near breaking my keyboard. It involves getting to the bandits who have made it out with the villagers belongings and money before they get to boats. The extremely short “timer” for this level mixed with how badly the directions for what you’re supposed to be doing are rage inducing.


For the most part I love how the world is broken up. Its essentially a bunch of small open world areas filled with quests, NPC’s, and enemies that all connect to make one larger overarching world. It works extremely well in Three Heroes favour. With a name like Fairy Tale: Three Heroes it makes me hopeful that this may be a series. I really enjoyed the set piece that all these Russian fairy tales allowed me to run around in. There is definitely more they could do with this world and I would be absolutely excited to revisit this world once again.

New Naruto Game, Legacy Collection Announced Sat, 15 Apr 2017 07:31:06 +0000 Bandai Namco Entertainment have today announced two new Naruto projects in development: Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker, the latest addition to the popular game series, and Naruto Shippudden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy, a remastered collection of four previously released games.

First up, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is being developed by Soleil Ltd. According to Bandai Namco’s official announcement “this new action game enables players to compete online in 4 vs. 4 matches against other teams to become elite ninja masters. In Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Strikerplayers go head-to-head in 4 vs. 4 battles, with all eight ninjas fighting simultaneously. It features beloved Naruto characters and teams from the series, including Naruto, Sasuke, and Team 7. The game brings a brand-new graphic style with vivid colours and a dynamic third-person ninja gameplay style that enables players to take advantage of the arena environment with vertical running and jumping to elevated areas. Players can choose to play co-op with friends and lead teams to victory to be the top ninjas online.” Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC (via Steam) in 2017.

Naruto Shippudden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy was also announced alongside Naruto to Boruta. It contains remastered versions of Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm, Naruto Shippudden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2, Naruto Shippudden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst, as well as the inclusion of Naruto Shippudden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 – Road to Boruto. Bandai Namco noted in the announcement that this is the first time that the first three games will be available on current generation consoles, and that the collection will include all of the major downloadable content from throughout the series. The retail release of the collection will also include a Steelbook case, art book and a bonus Naruto anime disc. Naruto Shippudden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC (via Steam) in the second half of 2017.

Bandai Namco also announced Naruto Shippudden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Trilogy, which will include the first three Ultimate Ninja Storm games digitally for fans who already own Naruto Shippudden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4. It will release at the same time as the Legacy collection on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC (via Steam).

Are you excited to relive the Naruto saga on current consoles again? Or will you be jumping into the series for the first time? Let us know in the comments below.


Headup Games Is Bringing The Binding Of Isaac: Afterbirth+ To Europe and Australia Sat, 15 Apr 2017 07:21:46 +0000 The Binding of Issac: Afterbirth+ recently made its debut on the Nintendo Switch in North America, but those in Europe and Australia were left to wonder when they would be able to pick up a copy. Due to logistical reasons and the way retail releases work, Nicalis was forced to skip the PAL regions for their physical retail release, but this is about to change.

Headup Games has teamed up with Nicalis to bring The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ to the Nintendo Switch in Europe and Australia. Headup Games is likely best known for the recent Typoman (at least among Nintendo fans), but have had a rich history across multiple platforms.

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ is set to arrive in Europe and Australia somewhere within Q2 of this year, giving it two to three months to arrive. Pricing (in Europe at least) is set for €39.99.

Nicalis president Tyrone Rodriguez has issued a press release that outlines plans for the partnership to continue going forward, he stated:

Nicalis has sought a partner that can take good care of our European fanbase. And with Headup Games, we’ve found it. They’re going to do their best to ensure our games get into the hands of European players.

If this partnership continues it means that European Nintendo Switch owners could look forward to getting the recently announced Cave Story+ in the future. For now. fans can look forward to the impending release of The Binding of Isaac in cartridge form.

Hopes for This Year’s E3 Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:07:57 +0000 E3 2017 is quickly approaching and though it may seem as if maybe there isn’t as much hype as past years, there is still a ton to look forward to. Therefore, here is what we are on the lookout for this year:

Project Scorpio

Project Scorpio, Microsoft’s new console that has finally started to come to fruition after some years of rumors. With the recent release of the actual tech information over the past couple of weeks, all focus has shifted to actual gameplay and how the system will run. Many hope to see possible new game releases and announcement that coincide with the Scorpio as well as a possible release date for the new system. One can only hope for all this, but the fact of the matter is that Project Scorpio’s announcement is almost a certainty at this year’s E3.

Development Hell Titles

Ah yes, all those games that have been talked about and rumored for years but have very little to no information. Games such as Kingdom Hearts 3, Beyond Good and Evil 2, and even the Final Fantasy 7 Remake are all titles that have one very bad thing in common: they are all in development hell. Now, this doesn’t mean that these games aren’t going to release, but please for THE LOVE OF GOD can we get any type of information this year? A tease, some gameplay, even just a news update can suffice for these. I’m not sure what the whole deal and love that some of these game developers have with having such enormous gaps in updates for their games, but lets just hope it all comes to an end soon.

PlayStation Conference

Every year it seems that we all agree that PlayStation overwhelmingly wins the “conference” wars almost every year with either a huge surprise that no one see’s coming or simply for the fact that they give the people what they want. That also involves other conferences not doing very well, but we won’t dive into that. There should be a plethora of things for PlayStation to dive into as far as presenting more on the PS4 Pro as well as games such as The Last of Us 2 and a brand new Call of Duty Game.

The Event

E3 is just one big video game party to be honest and that in itself is a large reason why E3 is such a success every year. Now with the inclusion of the public for the first time ever, this should only increase the fanfare that we are used to in years past. The games are coming, the systems are on the horizon and yet there seems to be so much more to be intrigued about.

Something you are looking forward to that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check out our other articles!

Darksiders: Warmastered Edition Finally Coming To Wii U On May 23 Sun, 09 Apr 2017 23:24:36 +0000 Darksiders: Warmastered Edition finally made its way to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One last November, but did not come to the Wii U, despite a version for that platform having been announced. After facing multiple delays and several rumors that the game might be scrapped for the system, THQ Nordic has revealed that Darksiders: Warmastered Edition has not been cancelled for the Wii U and has given perspective buyers a release date.

Darksiders: Warmastered Edition will come May 23 worldwide, selling for $19.99 and £14.99.

As part of the announcement THQ Nordic sent out the following statement:

Contrary to a couple of online rumours, Wii U™ version is on its way and by no means cancelled

Darksiders Warmastered Edition is a remaster of the original Darksiders with hellish HD resolution and performance improvements!

About Darksiders

Deceived by the forces of evil into prematurely bringing about the end of the world, War – the first Horseman of the Apocalypse – stands accused of breaking the sacred law by inciting a war between Heaven and Hell. In the slaughter that ensued, the demonic forces defeated the heavenly hosts and laid claim to the Earth.

+ Apocalyptic Power – Unleash the wrath of War, combining brutal attacks and supernatural abilities to decimate all who stand in your way
+ Extreme Arsenal – Wield a devastating arsenal of angelic, demonic and Earthly weapons; and blaze a trail of destruction atop Ruin, War’s fiery phantom steed
+ Epic Quest – Battle across the wastelands and demon-infested dungeons of the decimated Earth in your quest for vengeance and redemption
+ Character Progression – Uncover powerful ancient relics, upgrade your weapons, unlock new abilities, and customize your gameplay style
+ Battle Heaven and Hell – Battle against all who stand in your way – from war-weary angelic forces to Hell’s hideous demon hordes

Darksiders: Warmastered Edition is on its way to the Wii U, but lets hope that there will be no more bumps in the road. Are you planning on playing Darksiders on the Wii U? Let us know in the comment’s below.

Nerds With Mics: For Nerds By Nerds Sun, 09 Apr 2017 23:20:28 +0000  The gaming and nerd-media podcast market is drowning in mediocre content and everyone seems to be following the same blueprint, but Nerds With Mics offers a fresh take for Gaming & Pop Culture podcasts.

Nerds With Mics is a weekly podcast that breaks down nerd culture news and discussion topics. It is part of a larger media brand, with a companion website dedicated to bringing news and reviews of everything and anything that could be deemed a part of nerd culture. At the time of this writing they have amassed a large number of followers with 44 audio episodes (available where ever podcasts are “sold”) and 53 episodes on their YouTube channel. Since its start in March of 2016 they have spun off from just three people to seven.


The three individuals who created Nerds With Mics are Travis, Justin, and Maxwell. Travis brings his knowledge of 80s and 90s pop culture to every discussion. Justin, while not as versed in the old school, does bring his knowledge of current gaming and pop culture media. Maxwell’s knowledge and experiences of studying abroad colors his more serious contributions to the discussion.


The rest of the team includes Chad, who hosts a Saturday Morning Podcast for Nerds With Mics called The Saturday Morning Replay, Allie, the dedicated Twitch Streamer, Terry and Sam, labelled as “content creators” who produce the best content possible for Nerds With Mics in many formats.

While I’m writing this to promote Nerds With Mics and everyone’s work with the Nerds With Mics brand, I also want to bring more attention to a podcast that deserves all the success it can garner. If you are interested in gaming, film, comics, or anything that is considered a part of nerd culture, this is the podcast for you.


Quake Champions Beta Begins Thu, 06 Apr 2017 15:44:44 +0000 The first wave of Quake Champions beta invites has been sent out. If you signed up, and were lucky, you got one. For those who did not, more will be sent out soon.

This comes on the heels of the latest Champion reveals: Anarki, the guy-on-a-skateboard in Quake III, and Slash, the gal-on-roller-blades. 

The duo is back, each with a little more ‘tude.


Other Champions have been and will be revealed on Quake Champion’s official site.

Ranger, the classic Quake hero, and who will have more info revealed on May 3, is the crux of Champions’ business model.

Champions will have a free-to-play version in which one can only play as Ranger out of the gate. To play as other Champions, one must earn and spend “favor” – the in-game currency – on either Champions or on “backpacks”, which ultimately allow players to unlock Champions and skins. Spending favor directly will allow one to use a Champion only for a set time period.

Some have noted a downside to this model: there will be a whole lot of Rangers running around.

If you buy Champions, all the characters will be available from the start.

I will purchase the game and mostly play as Ranger. It’s the classic Quake in me (and Sarge hasn’t been revealed yet).

I hope others won’t assume I am on the free-to-play version because of my steady Ranger model. I don’t want to be in the lot of free-to-play Rangers. I am my own, paid-for, Quake veteran Ranger. A classic Ranger skin available only to those who paid for the game is welcome.

Are you in the beta? Please let us (or me) know about it in the comments. (Does it feel like Quake? How’s the rocket launcher? How many arenas are there? Seriously, let me know!)

And check out some gameplay, too:

Dishonored 2 Getting Free Trial This Week Thu, 06 Apr 2017 13:43:46 +0000 Arkane Studios and Bethesda Softworks have revealed that Dishonored 2 will be receiving a free trial on the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Those who have not tried the Game Awards’ best Action Adventure game of 2016 may now do so for free.

More than a small demo, the trial includes the game’s first three missions and both the game’s playable characters, the Royal Protector Corvo Attano and the Empress Emily Kaldwin. All progress made in the trial may be transferred to the full game for those who choose to continue playing onward.

Dishonored 2‘s trial will be available through the games’ digital store pages. If you have not played Arkane Studios’ hit title, this should be a done deal for you.

Dishonored 2 was released November of last year and is the sequel to 2012’s Dishonored. Both titles are first-person action-adventure games that may be played as a stealth game, an action game, or as some amount of both. Each draws inspiration from classic game series like Thief and Deus Ex. Both were critically and commercially well received.

Do you plan to give Dishonored 2 a try with this? Do you wish more games had trial versions this substantial available? Let us know in the comments.

New Rad Rogers Game For Consoles On The Horizon Thu, 06 Apr 2017 02:34:18 +0000 Rad Rodgers, a nostalgic platformer reminiscent of classic DOS-era games like Commander Keen, has recently been confirmed for Xbox One and PS4 by THQ Nordic.

On March 31, THQ Nordic announced they had acquired the Rad Rodgers IP.  Slipgate Studios, formerly Interceptor Entertainment and developer of Rad Rodgers, revealed that work on an Xbox One version, in addition to the PC and PS4 versions already in development, has begun. An early portion of the game, Rad Rodgers: World One, is already available on Steam and GOG.

Ending Soon

Rad Rodgers is a little boy obsessed with video games. One night, he falls asleep after a long gaming session and wakes up to find that his old game console has turned itself back on. In a flash, Rad finds he is the protagonist of his very own video game.

“Dusty”, a sentient, potty-mouthed retro game console, is Rad’s sidekick. The two traverse several different worlds. World One takes place in a jungle that has been corrupted. Rad and Dusty must save the jungle’s denizens and bring life back to “The Elder Tree”, another foul-mouthed character.


There are power-ups and weapons throughout. Two of the guns are “The Bolt Blaster” and “The Phoenix Cannon”. The Bolt Blaster is a serviceable sidearm with unlimited ammo, but is the weakest. The Phoenix Cannon is much more powerful and shoots a large bird whose wings engulf enemies in flames.

Slipgate has promised five other weapon power-ups as well, but are currently keeping them, and other power-ups, under wraps.

The team has announced that hidden “Easter eggs” lay throughout for achievement hunters and perfectionists.

The music is being composed by Andrew Hulshult, whose work you may have heard in the recently released Bombshell and in 2013’s Rise of The Triad remake. He incorporates synthesizers into a retro-inspired midi soundtrack. He has spent three years as the main composer for 3D Realms.


Rad Rodgers is another case of a successful Kickstarter campaign coming to fruition, and I am beyond excited for it. Jazz Jackrabbit and Commander Keen bring back memories of me spending the summer at my aunt’s house playing around on her computer – I loved those games back in the day. With the amount of talented people leading the development, I am very optimistic for this one.

Check out the trailer:

Upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda Changes Detailed by BioWare Wed, 05 Apr 2017 23:23:16 +0000 After a successful launch two weeks ago, BioWare has revealed a list of changes coming in a patch to their newest sci-fi RPG, Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Following an announcement about upcoming patch details last week, BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn revealed in a post on the game’s official site that the new patch will be made available this Thursday. It will address technical issues, including crashes and performance, and will also feature a number of improvements that the community requested. Highlights include:

  • Allowing players to skip ahead when travelling between planets in the galaxy map
  • Increasing inventory space
  • Improving the appearance of eyes for human and asari characters
  • Decreasing the cost of Remnant decryption keys and making them more accessible at merchants
  • Improving localized voice over lip sync
  • Fixing Ryder’s movements when running in a zig zag pattern
  • Improving matchmaking and latency in multiplayer

The patch includes a host of other changes which can be found in BioWare’s patch notes here.

BioWare also teased more patches to be released over the next two months which will further improve stability, performance, and several other areas of the game. These will include:

  • More options and variety in the character creator
  • Improvements to hair and general appearance for characters
  • Ongoing improvements to cinematic scenes and animations
  • Improvements to male romance options for Scott Ryder
  • Adjustments to conversations with Hainly Abrams

BioWare is also looking at releasing more single-player cosmetic items for free.

For multiplayer, BioWare stated that over the same time frame they are “going to continue to build on the APEX missions that have been running since launch… adding new maps, characters, and weapons.” On Thursday, they will start the first of three new chapters on The Remnant Investigation. 

Are you enjoying your time in Mass Effect: Andromeda so far, or have you not even picked it up? If you’ve played it, do you think these patches will improve the game? Let us know in the comments below.

Red Dead Redemption 2’s Release Date and Price Leaked Mon, 03 Apr 2017 02:34:29 +0000 Red Dead Redemption 2, announced by Rockstar games last year, may have had its release date leaked. UK retailer Base is advertising the game with a September 26 release date and a £44.99 price tag. This by no means confirms the release date, but the leak is the only information we have on one of the most anticipated games of 2017.

While Rockstar has not yet commented on the alleged release date, fans may find solace in the fact that last year Rockstar announced Red Dead Redemption 2 would be releasing in the fall of 2017. September 26 obviously fits the bill, and as September 26th is a Tuesday, the day most blockbusters tend to launch on, it is more likely the official release date.

Rockstar would have preferred an official announcement, but if this date is confirmed by them in the future, there’s not much that can be done about it now. All we can hope for is that Red Dead Redemption 2 is even half as good as its predecessor, because, if it is, then we are in for a real treat in the second half of 2017.

Are you all excited for the release of the new Red Dead? Let us know in the comments below.

CD Projekt RED teases The Witcher 4 Mon, 03 Apr 2017 02:25:41 +0000 CD Projekt RED has been teasing fans recently with a potential Witcher 4.

Adam Kicinski, CEO of the company, made an official statement regarding The Witcher 4 on a Polish TV station.

“It’s too early to talk about it, but it’s not like we’re forgetting about this brand. It wouldn’t be fair towards the fans. We work within this universe for over a dozen years now and I don’t think it’s going to be the end of it.”

The good news we can take from this is that the Witcher series is not over, but The Witcher 4 may be a ways off as of yet.

As a longtime fan of the series, any sort of update excites me. I’m sure this news will excite fans all over the world. The official game designers of the Witcher are currently in the middle of designing another open-world game called Cyberpunk 2077. This could, in turn, mean that we may not get any in depth details about The Witcher 4 until sometime in 2018. Here’s hoping for some outstanding monster killing once again in the not so distant future.

Would you guys and girls all be excited for a new game in the Witcher franchise? Let us know in the comments.

Lego Worlds Review Mon, 03 Apr 2017 02:08:15 +0000 Traveler’s Tales, or TT Games as they are better known now, have been creating Lego games for many years. They brought the Lego universe to gaming life with Lego Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Batman, and more. Beyond film and book-based Lego adaptations, there is one obvious Lego game idea: one about construction. Using your imagination to build worlds and create your own adventure, like in Minecraft, is a fundamental Lego idea. With Lego Worlds, gamers can embrace their imagination with the buildings bricks rather than be stuck to an already constructed game world.

In Lego Worlds, you are able to terraform the land to your specifications, add items and objects you find along the way, and create your own adventure. This sounds great, but Lego Worlds, for all it tasks you with, is plagued with game-breaking issues.

Not even five minutes after starting Lego Worlds, the game was already breaking. Among the biggest issues is an uncontrollable camera that made it near impossible to play. Furthermore, many of the games’ tools are not always responsive. One such item is the landscape tool. This does not always allow you to move the reticule and transform the land as required.

The above-mentioned issues only scratch the surface of the game’s problems. Playing the games’ local multiplayer feature is frustrating as it struggles to keep a consistent frame-rate. As soon as another player is added, Lego Worlds becomes a barely-functioning mess.

Lego Worlds review one

If you can deal with these problems, you may give the game a chance. Most of Lego Worlds is about travelling to various locations and finding gold bricks to unlock new items and locations. Gold bricks are collected in multiple ways, the most common doing quests for the residents of each world you visit. These quests include painting a building or finding an item a person wants. The other way to gain gold bricks is by using all the tools at your disposal to explore the world and find the bricks hidden throughout.

On each world you have many tasks to do. Most of them are completing small objectives, but another big part of the game is using your discovery tool to scan various items in the world which you can then use to build your own world. While you can eventually get your own world to play freely on, you are not able to create as you see fit until you have explored most of the games’ pre-made worlds, meaning there’s little point to flex your creative muscles early on. All pre-made worlds are available from the start.

This makes the game feel like No Man’s Sky. You arrive on a new world and then pilfer it for all the resources you need, like gold bricks or weapons and tradeable objects, and then you leave. While each world has a unique flair – there’s a pirate world, a fantasy world, and more – each world’s basic structure feels similar. This makes world’s feel cheap as there is little reason to stick around or return, and many of the locations are quickly forgotten.

Lego Worlds review three

By the time you reach the third world the game already feels like it is throwing you into familiar territory, and Lego Worlds becomes a slog to get through. Many of the objects you find are similar to one another and don’t add anything meaningful, and it is rare that a world is exciting. The biggest standout was a beanstalk found in the fantasy world, but this was an exception to the rule of drab landscapes.

If you pull yourself through the tiresome world exploring bits of Lego Worlds, around ten hours long, there is a reward. The world-building part of the game is well done…when the game is not breaking on you.

Putting aside all complaints, the initial ten hour slog is worth it for the chance to play with Lego as it should be. Forget a giant intergalactic adventure or licensed property, Lego Worlds shines when it embraces the world that is now owned by Minecraft and you are set free to create your own story and world.

Lego Worlds offers a surprisingly decent building system that is easy to manage. You simply access an item known as the build tool and then line up where you want to start building. The rest is as simple as playing with actual Lego bricks as you place one block on top of the other. There is even a good variety of shapes and sizes of Lego blocks, allowing you to create some amazing structures within the world. You could even argue that it outdoes Minecraft in building simplicity.

Lego Worlds review two

It takes a long time to get to the good part and, aside from a rare discovery, exploring the premade worlds is not exciting, but seeing all the hard work you put into the early game really opens Lego Worlds up to the player. The creation portion of the game is what Lego Worlds should have been about all along.

If Lego Worlds was less busy and focused on setting foot on your own plot of land and creating, and did not break every five minutes, it could have been something special. As it stands, though, the slog of Lego Worlds might be too much for some, and the true freedom offered by your discoveries might not be worth some people’s time. If you have ever wanted to build and create a living, breathing Lego World, then there is something here for you, but if you just want to explore multiple bite-sized worlds, then Lego Worlds will not offer you much.

In Defense of: Beyond Eyes Mon, 03 Apr 2017 00:38:02 +0000 Slow paced games of a certain nature, have a bad reputation, all too often if somebody hears that a game is slow they ignore it, thus failing to see what it was that it had to offer. There are so many games like this that can be considered slow, especially for the sake of experience, Gone Home, Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, Dear Esther and much more. The thing with these games is that the slow pace is a part of their expert design, focusing more on narrative and meaning than traditional gameplay.

The sad thing is, while there is certainly an audience for these types of games, many simply just ignore them because of a lack of game mechanics and “slow” progression calling them non-games. Yet I would argue that these types of experiences are ones that mean more because of their design, and they actually affect you.

While Gone Home, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, and even Dear Esther have found a certain fan base, (however minuscule,) there is one particular game that I feel is all too often forgotten and yet it is the most beautiful one of all. A story of friendship, isolation, loneliness, depression, and in the end, a touch of joy. It’s a game that (excuse the joke) goes Beyond Eyes, exploring so much in a wonderfully gripping (and yes) slow paced experience, which to me is a highlight of its genre.

Beyond Eyes review 2

Beyond Eyes told the story of Rae, a young girl who was blinded by a firework that went wrong, this sent Rae into isolation facing the trouble of her new found ailment, and no longer being able to face the world. She was left alone, and spent her days in her garden wallowing in her own self-pity until the day a cat turned up, this cat didn’t care about her problems and became her friend spending its days coming and playing with Rae and helping her have a companion and finally be free again. But as the months wear on her friend stops visiting, causing Rae to venture into what is now the unknown world to seek out her lost friend.

To respect these types of games, the so-called “walking simulator”, you need to respect narrative and be willing to take the time to try to engage with the story. While people have managed to connect with some of the major titles in the genre, Beyond Eyes is one that I feel far too many turn their back on, failing to appreciate the difficulty of the narrative and the struggles of our protagonist, which is an idea that is perfectly simulated in its design and gameplay.

Beyond Eyes review 3

Beyond Eyes is not a game about solving a mystery and uncovering a hidden narrative, fighting through a zombie apocalypse or dead city, or simply interaction. Beyond Eyes is about nothing more than the journey we take to reach the end goal, why ThatGameCompany’s game Journey worked so well was because of the way it stood out, the mysterious world that lay before your eyes, and the rough adventure that Journey took you on to get to the end goal. Beyond Eyes is like Journey just more indirectly, in this game we perceive the world through the eyes of our protagonist only being able to visualize things in such a way that she can feel or imagine, suddenly the world is a harsh place but with strong determination you persevere in order to find your friend.

Beyond Eyes is about its journey, forgetting anything that may be deemed wrong and that breaks typical game conventions, it’s about getting lost in Rae’s lonely world. There is nothing else to it, you need to simply step into this with a mind open to exploration, and tough ideas, and be willing to put aside your individual perception to just enjoy it for how it has been crafted.

Beyond Eyes review 1

Just because Beyond Eyes is not what many would perceive as a game, does not make it worth avoiding, is this why so many called Gone Home, a non-game? No, Beyond Eyes is more than the sum of its parts. It is the developer trying to communicate with the player and invite us into this world to see the character. It is a two way conversation which works to offer players what they need to know and understand while telling its tale.

All too often we try to dismiss games liked Beyond Eyes but the point with these is that they are supposed to tell a story, to teach, to catch you in a moment of emotion and go through the many hardships that one might face. It’s not about gameplay, it is about becoming one with the story and perhaps learning or even owning the experience and cherishing it. So next time you see this game or something similar, why not simply try, and maybe you might just find yourself in something truly special.

Destiny 2 Release Date & Collector’s Editions Announced Sat, 01 Apr 2017 23:31:26 +0000 After officially revealing Destiny 2 earlier this week, Bungie has announced the release date for their upcoming shooter as well as a host of other new details. Destiny 2 will launch worldwide on September 8th for the PS4, Xbox One and PC, confirming rumours and leaks regarding a PC release for the last few months.

An open beta for Destiny 2 will also be available in the coming months, and anyone who pre-orders will get early access to the beta. The announcement was a part of the reveal trailer which you can check out below:

In the trailer, we learn that the Cabal have invaded the last safe city on Earth, destroying the Tower. Bungie have provided the following story tease for Destiny 2:

“Humanity’s last safe city has fallen to an overwhelming invasion force, led by Ghaul, the imposing commander of the brutal Red Legion. He has stripped the city’s Guardians of their power, and forced the survivors to flee. You will venture to mysterious, unexplored worlds of our solar system to discover an arsenal of weapons and devastating new combat abilities. To defeat the Red Legion and confront Ghaul, you must reunite humanity’s scattered heroes, stand together, and fight back to reclaim our home.”

Bungie will reveal first gameplay from the sequel in a livestream event on May 18th. They also confirmed that the PS4 version will have timed exclusive content for one year, with more details to come soon.

An Expansion Pass will once again be available and it will include access to two major expansions, which will include “brand new story missions, cooperative activities, competitive multiplayer, and a wealth of new weapons, armour, and gear.”


Destiny 2 will retail for $59.99 USD/£59.99 GBP/$99.95 AUD when it launches on September 8 and is available for pre-order now. Bungie has also revealed multiple editions of Destiny 2, including the Collector’s Edition, Limited Edition and Digital Deluxe Edition, also currently available for pre-order.


The Collector’s Edition will retail for $249.99 USD/£219.99 GBP/$349.95 AUD, and will include:

The contents of the Destiny 2 Collector's Edition.

  • Destiny 2 game in a SteelBook case
  • Destiny 2 Expansion Pass
  • Destiny 2 Customizable Frontier Bag
  • 15” Laptop/Tablet Sleeve with protective pocket slip
  • A Frontier Kit, featuring a Solar panel USB charger with built-in light, paracord, a solar blanket
  • Booklet with secrets into the Cabal Empire
  • A Cabal Schematic
  • Collectible Postcard Images
  • Cabal Military Pawns
  • Legendary Sword DLC
  • Legendary Player Emote DLC
  • Cabal Empire Themed Emblem DLC

The Limited Edition will be available for $99.99 USD/£89.99 GBP/$149.95 AUD and will include:

Here's the Destiny Limited Edition SteelBook cover.

  • Destiny 2 game in a SteelBook case
  • Destiny 2 Expansion Pass
  • Booklet with secrets into the Cabal Empire
  • A Cabal Schematic
  • Collectible Postcard Images
  • Cabal Military Pawns
  • Legendary Sword DLC
  • Legendary Player Emote DLC
  • Cabal Empire Themed Emblem DLC

The Digital Deluxe Edition will be priced the same as the above limited edition, and will include:

  • Destiny 2 base game
  • Destiny 2 Expansion Pass
  • Legendary Sword DLC
  • Legendary Player Emote DLC
  • Cabal Empire Themed Emblem DLC

Now that we have more details, are you guys more excited about Destiny 2? Let us know in the comments below.

Star Wars The Old Republic Patch Update Fri, 31 Mar 2017 03:50:45 +0000 Star Wars The Old Republic Patch Update


As much as I and many others love Bioware, it always makes us a little leery when updates and patches happen to our favorite MMO. You could see the concern on my face when about a week ago I went to log into my “Old Republic” account and there was a big unmissable overlay blocking my screen, letting me know the servers would be down on the 28th of March for some updating. Sometimes this means nothing much and small bugs and errors are fixed, sometimes they create more problems than they fixed. While trying it out yesterday, it all seems to be fairly okay. Of course it’s not nearly as intensive as the recent 5.0 update that took place in November of last year.


For those who are curious, here is what was currently fixed or updated with the recent patch:

  • Nar Shadda planetary missions will not auto-complete after being given by Galactic Command
  • The amount of dark and light side required for dark 1 and light 1 has been set from 7500 to 3000
  • A pop-up for specific Class Missions would show different XP amounts than what you would actually be rewarded
  • An issue with the mission “Dismantle the Opposition” where killing enemies was not adding to the mission progression
  • In Skurr and Velloc the Dark Relics will no longer despawn when messing with the access panels
  • When taking on Adacin and Zanisk from the entrance, it will no longer stop the mission from functioning
  • An issue where the helmet would not show properly for Body Type 2 female players
  • The player vehicle the “Planetary Interceptor” has been changed to its “Sith-like” original form
Destiny 2 Officially Revealed Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:12:53 +0000 It’s official. After many hints and leaks, Destiny 2 has been revealed, along with its logo (seen above) that was tweeted by Bungie. While we have known that Bungie has been working on a sequel to Destiny, this is the first official announcement.

It comes after several promotional posters were leaked last week showing the same logo. The posters were allegedly leaked by GameStop Italy and mentioned a September release date along with an impending beta. While Bungie has not officially announced a release date or beta, this reveal gives more legitimacy to those rumors.

Earlier this year, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg shared an update regarding the development of a Destiny sequel during an investors’ call. He said that “development is going great, and it is indeed on track for release this fall” and that it “will deliver a great cinematic story.”

Bungie also recently discussed features that will and won’t be transferring to Destiny 2 from the original. Hard earned guns and gear will not be making the journey, but custom characters and cosmetic items such as shaders, ships, and ghost shells will.

Even though today’s announcement was very light on details, we may receive more information in the coming months before E3 descends upon us in June.

Are you excited to jump back into the world of Destiny? Or did you never leave? Let us know in the comments below.

Nintendo Acknowledges Switch’s Joy-Con Sync Issues, Manufacturing Error to Blame Sun, 26 Mar 2017 19:45:35 +0000 Since previews of and the launch of the Nintendo Switch, media outlets and fans have complained about issues with the system’s Joy-Cons, specifically the left Joy-Con’s tendency to de-sync itself when covered in games like 1-2-Switch.

Nintendo initially addressed these concerns by stating that the number of issues reported were insignificant, and that users should refer to an online consumer support site to help fix these issues. Recommended fixes include keeping the device away from wireless sources, including headsets and other controllers.

However, in a statement provided to IGN, Nintendo has now confirmed that in a small number of units a manufacturing variation caused wireless interference in the left Joy-Con. It states that there is not a design fault with the controllers, and that future units will be unaffected.

The statement reads:

“There is no design issue with the Joy-Con controllers, and no widespread proactive repair or replacement effort is underway. A manufacturing variation has resulted in wireless interference with a small number of the left Joy-Con. Moving forward this will not be an issue, as the manufacturing variation has been addressed and corrected at the factory level… 

“There are other reasons consumers may be experiencing wireless interference. We are asking consumers to contact our customer support team so we can help them determine if a repair is necessary. If it is, consumers can send their controller directly to Nintendo for the adjustment, free of charge, with an anticipated quick return of less than a week. Repair timing may vary by region.  For help with any hardware or software questions, please visit”

Additionally, a report by CNET shows that Nintendo’s fix adds a piece of foam into the controller. In any case, this is good news for Switch owners experiencing issues.

Nintendo also confirmed that they will be doubling Switch production to meet consumer demand, so it is all the more good that future units will be unaffected by this issue.

Have you been affected by the left Joy-Con desync issue? Was this holding you back from purchasing a Switch? Let us know in the comments.

]]> 3 Xbox Games With Gold Revealed For April Sun, 26 Mar 2017 19:06:19 +0000 As another month draws to a close, Microsoft has announced the games that will be coming to the Xbox One and Xbox 360 for next month’s Games with Gold. Among the lineup are some big-name games that will appeal to a variety of people across the two systems.

Xbox One owners will be able to get a hold of system launch title Ryse: Son of Rome. This game did not grab the attention of consumers when it launched back in 2013, and while critics did praise the games’ graphics they were not impressed by most of the gameplay. Ryse: Son of Rome will be available from April 1st to April 30th.

In the latter half of the month, Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season Two will be made available. This season was praised for improving the storytelling from the original season and continuing the story of Clementine while maintaining the same level of heart and drama. Telltale’s The Walking Dead will be available from April 16th to May 15th.

Xbox 360 players can look forward to Darksiders, a game that has been highly praised for its gameplay. It will be available from April 1st to April 15th. In the second half of the month, players can step into the closing chapter of Ezio Auditore’s journey in Assassin’s Creed Revelations, which will be available from April 16th to April 30th.

Remember that all Xbox 360 games are backwards compatible with the Xbox One.

Don’t forget Layers of Fear and Evolve are currently available on the Xbox One, and Heavy Weapon is avaialble for the Xbox 360. Pick these up before you miss out.

The Good and The Bad in Shadow of Mordor Sun, 26 Mar 2017 03:27:53 +0000 In 2014, Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment published Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, what I think was a magnificent game. It had been a long time since fans of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings had had a chance to experience a game set in Middle-earth. Now with Middle-earth: Shadow of War being announced, I decided to make a list of things I loved and things I felt could have been better in Shadow of Mordor. 

1. Orc Ranking System (a positive): This was one of the most intriguing enemy systems I have encountered in any game. There was no enemy that didn’t matter in Shadow of Mordor. If any orc in the game killed you they would instantly be promoted through the ranks and gain a leadership role. The orc that killed you would also remember you if you encountered it again and would say something along the lines of “Come back for more?” or “I thought I took care of you the last time!” This made the game feel unique from most other, similar games. I hope for this same kind of feature in Shadow of War.



2. Repetition (a negative): Shadow of Mordor felt way too predictable by the time you had reached the halfway point in the game. The first half of the game had you find and kill all five war-chiefs. The second half, lo and behold, consists of you finding another five war-chiefs, but this time you have to take control of their minds. Now, I loved spending all day slaughtering masses of orcs, but there was no compelling point to it all because the story was so repetitive. In Shadow of War, I hope for a more expansive plot line.


3. Lack of Distinguishable Areas (a negative): Everywhere you go in Shadow of Mordor feels very similar to the last place you went. It is quite difficult to distinguish one place from the next without the use of the map. Shadow of War needs more distinguishable environments, as in Skyrim. When you walk from the snowy mountains of Winterhold to the lush farmlands of Whiterun, you can see the change in the environment. Shadow of War needs to incorporate this sense of variety.


4.Free Run” and Combat Mechanics (positives with one slight negative): While running around Shadow of Mordor I was never bored. The free-run mechanics allow you access to almost any ledge in the game. I never had to spend a lot of time finding a way around a cliff as there was almost always a way to climb up it. It felt like playing Assassins Creed at times, but with a much quicker and stronger character.

The combat was one of the most enjoyable things about Shadow of Mordor. I could run around for hours just fighting orcs without completing any of the main questline and still enjoy myself because the combat was that good. The only annoying part about the combat was that you had to use quicktime events to kill stronger orcs or warchiefs . While quicktime events are enjoyable for awhile, they get very repetitive and ease the challenge of killing the larger enemies.

I hope that Shadow of War keeps the free-run mechanics exactly as they were, but I would like there to a few less quicktime events with regards to the combat system.


5. Sauron (a negative): Not getting to engage in an epic battle with one of the most well-known villains in all of book, movie and video game lore annoyed me more than anything. I spent the whole game killing all of the war-chiefs in a desperate attempt to square off with the one enemy I had wanted to battle with in a video game ever since I was five years old and picked up my first controller: Sauron. But, I had to find out that there is no battle with him. There is downloadable content that has a fight with him, but you are a different character. This does not carry the same weight fighting him in the main game as your regular character would have.

Please, Warner Bros., I beg you: let me square off with Sauron in Shadow of War.


Shadow of War has a lot to live up to, but if Warner Bros. puts the same type of work into it as they put into Shadow of Mordor, I have no doubt it will live up to the expectations. With just a few tweaks, Warner Bros. could potentially turn Shadow of War into one of the finest games of our generation.

Fire Emblem Echoes Launching With Special Edition Sun, 26 Mar 2017 02:16:31 +0000 Nintendo recently announced that Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia will be launching alongside a limited edition on May 19th in North America and May 20th in Australia. The Australian and North American limited edition bundle will include the game, a hardcover art book, a sound selection CD, a pin set depicting characters Alm, Celica and Marth as well as a reversible cover sheet that resembles the packaging of the original Famicom game. The UK version of the bundle includes the Alm and Celica amiibo figures on top of everything else. For those not in the UK, the Alm and Celica amiibo figures will be also be coming on launch day.

The limited edition bundle will be available at Gamestop for $59.99 in North America and at EB Games Australia for $99.95. It’s safe to assume that these will sell pretty quickly, so be sure to secure yourself a copy if you are interested.

For what you get with the bundle, the higher price tag is reasonable. I think that the extra money is worth it but I have been prone to buy limited edition bundles for no good reason. I’m interested in the game itself, though, and I’m sure the limited edition items will be great additions to my collection.

Do you guys think the extra money is worth it? Let us know in the comments.



Soda Dungeon Review Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:54:04 +0000 Soda Dungeon is the free mobile game now released on Steam you didn’t know you needed. Now, don’t click back just yet. I know how awful that sounds and I, too, have been burned a few times by mobile games on Steam. But publisher Armor Games and Developer Afro-Ninja got their start on Newgrounds back in the day and have consistently pumped out great games. Armor Games holds a lot of water in the indie scene, and Soda Dungeon is another testament to their production of top-quality content for free.

Soda Dungeon started on mobile, released for iOS on October 7th, 2015, and Android on November 12th, 2015. The Steam release came February 7th this year. For a free game it is impressive to see no pay walls, no ads, no annoying timers, and optional purchases that I haven’t had to use yet. While some upgrades for your in-game bar are quite high, it’s more fun to play the game the way it is meant to be played instead of just dropping a wad of cash to upgrade. You may beat the game without spending a dime, but you might be tempted to pony up for developers who have gone out of their way to create a fantastic game for their customers.


Enough gushing over the developers and producers. What about the game itself?

It plays identical to its counterpart on mobile, but I enjoy it much more on my laptop. It’s one of those perfect time-waster games to distract you while at work or while busy doing other stuff. I call it a “Podcast Game”, one I can play while catching up on my favorite podcasts. The controls are simple because it only uses the mouse. You may also automate the action in the dungeons. It’s been convenient for me to load up my team of adventurers with the best gear I’ve come across and send them into a dungeon while I get up from my desk and do something else. You can play it like a regular dungeon-crawling, turn-based RPG if you wish, but that’s not the point. The main draw of the game is to upgrade your soda shop with bigger and better items and additional services so that you can attract bigger and badder fighters and adventurers to collect more loot to continue to advance your soda shop. It’s a vicious cycle of satisfaction.

There is also a mode called “Arena”. In this, you pick three adventures and equip them with the best possible gear, then pit them against three other adventurers for ten levels to win a specific amount of gold. It’s another enjoyable but low-commitment way to pass the time in Soda Dungeon.


The graphics are every ones’ favorite style: pixel art. True, this is a graphical style that has become overused and tiresome, even after the downright beauty of Fate Tectonics’ visuals. But it’s forgiven here, as the pixel art in Soda Dungeon is fantastic. It was designed by very talented people who clearly cared about their art.

Now, as more than half the indie titles I own on Steam are all beautifully crafted with 8 or 16-bit pixel art, there are only so many times I can comment how gorgeous the style is. For those of you who are still in love with this graphics style , Soda Dungeon has you covered – it may remind you of another pixel-art great, Overture.

soda dungeon screen2 golem

The music and sound in Soda Dungeon is serviceable. There is nothing either breathtaking or grating. I’m sure most people turn it off and put on something else, anyway. There is no voice acting or heavy story lines to follow, and, like I wrote above, this is a perfect podcast game.

Overall Soda Dungeon is a great game to waste time on. From upgrading your soda shop with different types of sodas (which unlock new adventurers for you to hire), to gaining additions such as a wizard and a blacksmith, or adding beds, tables, chairs, soda casks, decorations, kitchens, or a bank vault to your shop, and then seeing all this add to your soda shop’s reputation, which in turn adds more funds and items for you to equip your adventurers with, so they can get you better loot, so you can get more upgrades and add-ons for your soda shop, to everything else in the game’s fun cycle, the gameplay is pure gold. It sounds repetitive – and it is – but that’s not a bad thing. Soda dungeon is a niche game I can’t recommend for everyone but if what I’ve said has intrigued you you should give it a try.

Arms Trailers Show Off Characters and Weapons Wed, 22 Mar 2017 03:09:14 +0000 Sometime this Spring, Nintendo is set to bring Switch owners a new kind of fighting game: Arms.

Arms will have some interesting and diverse characters and weapons. A new trailer details each characters’ general abilities:

Spring Man is your standard all around character. When dashing he builds up a shockwave which is able to repel attacks. At low health Spring Man will have permanent access to charge attacks, which will allow players to make a comeback even when circumstances are dire.

Ribbon Girl is your agile character, capable of constantly performing mid-air jumps. She is also capable of a quick drop maneuver which can help dodge an opponents’ aerial attack.

Ninjara has the ability to create a smoke screen when he uses his air dash ability. This will allow him to vanish temporarily. Ninjara can warp while guarding to further dodge attacks, and then come in for his own.

Master Mummy – a mummy – is capable of taking hits while not being pushed back. This allows him to push towards opponents with ease. He can also restore his health by guarding – obviously, a perk of being a mummy.

Mechanica is a heavyweight character who has the ability to hover in mid-air thanks to her robotic suit. She is also difficult to stun, similar to Master Mummy, but with less stun resistance.

A weapons trailer was also released:

Toaster looks like a standard boxing glove, but when charged they catch fire and can set opponents on fire. When hit by this, opponents will take a lot of damage and will always get knocked down. This is true even for Master Mummy.

Megaton is a metal ball that is capable of dealing large chunks of damage, but is quite slow. When charged up, it gets bigger, making it hard for opponents to dodge and allowing one to knock back enemy hits with relative ease.

Sparky looks like a yellow boxing glove that, when charged, fills with electricity. This allows you to stun your opponent and go in for further attacks.

Boomerang acts like a standard boomerang. You can throw these around obstacles to hit opponents by guiding them, and can charge these to blow opponents away when they are hit.

Revolver allows players to shoot opponents from a distance with three quick shots, and when charged will stun the opponent. However, the bullets fired from this weapon are easily deflected.

Slapamander is a giant hand ready to be thrown around like a whip with a wide arc. When charged, the Slapamander ignites and will deal more damage.

You can mix all the weapons around. By this, you can find a combination that suits you from a wide variety.

Are you excited to try out these characters and weapons? Are you looking forward to playing Arms? Let us know in the comments.

Activision returns to its roots with 2017 Call of Duty Tue, 21 Mar 2017 02:35:59 +0000 The Call of Duty franchise has been going for fourteen long years, with annual releases since 2007. This year, Activision has excited Call of Duty fans all over the world by announcing that the 2017 installment of the series will take the game “back to its roots.”

Thomas Tippl, the chief operating officer at Activision, was speaking at a conference with investors and said about the lack of success with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare: “It’s clear that, for a portion of our audience, the space setting just didn’t resonate … We have a passionate, experienced studio deeply committed to this direction, and despite the risks we saw, we believe it is important to consider the passions of our game teams in deciding what content to create.”

Tippl continued, making it clear that Activision does have Call of Duty fans’ best interests at heart: “”In 2017, Activision will take Call of Duty back to its roots and traditional combat will once again take center stage. This is what our dedicated community of Call of Duty players and Sledgehammer Games, which has been developing this year’s title, are the most excited about.”

Call of Duty revolutionized the first person shooter genre of games, but fans of the series are tired of how futuristic it has become. It is refreshing that Activision is willing to admit that the “new and innovative” approach of Infinite Warfare has not been getting the expected support from longstanding fans and that they are willing to go back to what made them successful originally. The Call of Duty community is excited again.


]]> 5
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Announced, Gameplay Revealed Tue, 21 Mar 2017 02:30:30 +0000 Middle-earth fans rejoice!

Warner Bros. has officially announced a sequel to 2014’s critically acclaimed hit Shadow of Mordor, Middle-earth: Shadow of War. It will be released on August 22 in the US, August 23 in Australia and August 25 in Europe, and will be available on PS4 (including PS4 Pro), Xbox One (including Project Scorpio), Steam and Windows 10 (where it will be an Xbox Play Anywhere title).

Shadow of War is being developed by the team from the original, Monolith Software, and will once again feature an original story set in the Middle-earth universe between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. From an official press release on the announcement: “In Middle-earth: Shadow of War, players wield a new Ring of Power and confront the deadliest of enemies, including Sauron and his Nazgul, in a monumental battle for Middle-earth.”

The award-winning Nemesis System from the original is also making a comeback, and has been further expanded for the sequel. From the press release:

“This robust personalisation system from the first game is now applied to the entire world where the environments and characters are all shaped by player actions and decisions, creating a personal world unique to every gameplay experience. Shadow of War expands on the Nemesis System with the introduction of Followers who bring about entirely new stories of loyalty, betrayal and revenge. The Nemesis System is also expanded to create a unique personal world through Nemesis Fortresses, which allows players to utilise different strategies to conquer dynamic strongholds and create personalised worlds with their unique Orc army.”

Warner Bros. have also released a 16 minute gameplay reveal trailer, showing Talion and his Orc army taking down one of the aforementioned Nemesis Fortresses. It is revealed in the trailer that Talion will also be able to dominate, ride and fight with drakes (dragons). Talion is shown dominating an enemy drake and using it to firebomb enemy catapult emplacements to ease the pressure on his army. Check it out below:

Let us know what you think in the comments.

Indie Review: Fate Tectonics Sun, 19 Mar 2017 05:32:58 +0000 Every so often you play a game that immediately grabs you, throws you into something strange and wonderful, and never lets go. It has been a long time since I played a game that I’m still thinking about even when I’m not playing it. Lying in bed last night after playing a few hours of Golden Gear Games’ Fate Tectonics, I was still rotating land pieces in my head to fit in the right order and appease the gods. I have not experienced this same sensation since playing Tetris as a child. This is a puzzle game unlike anything I’ve ever played and solidifies my deep love for the indie gaming scene from which it comes.

First, the pixel art. Just the other day I discussed with a friend how tired I was of pixel art, believing it is overused and a gimmick that mediocre indie developers use to trick you into buying their game. Fate Tectonics has revitalized my love for 16-bit style indie games. The amount of hours the developers must have spent making the art for this game are innumerable. Every pixel is beautifully hand-crafted – it’s absolutely perfect.

The music, too, is beautifully done, and is a 16-bit symphonic soundtrack. The music is gentle as you’re world building and becomes hectic as any “god” gets unhappy (more on this below). It fits well, never gets old, and will get stuck in your head.


Fate Tectonics consists of two major gameplay features: world building and god appeasing. Of the many game modes, I have spent the bulk of my time playing “Serenity”, the most accessible.

Every god has their likes and dislikes and you must find a happy medium for all of them. You start out in Serenity mode by placing down the temple of Penelope, the god of civilization. From there, land masses spring up and you are given land tiles to place down. Your goal with the land tiles is to connect all of the sides to other connecting sides. You’ll have a four by four tile that is sectioned off into four distinct pieces of land (Grass, Water, Mountain, and Trees) and you must find a part of your world where each of those pieces match. Water connects with water, grass connects with grass, and so on.


On top of all the land connecting, you also have to think about the gods who are floating about your screen. Penelope loves towns, boats, and grassy plains, but Barnacles, the god of the ocean, hates boats and loves the sea. You must balance placing boats to appease Penelope with adding ocean tiles to appease Barnacles. Now, throw in about five more gods you have to appease while quickly trying to match tiles of land together, and you have a cornucopia of puzzle game euphoria.

As you successfully place tile pieces and raise the satisfaction levels of your gods you “level up”. When this happens you are given either the ability to unlock a new temple to add to your world, new land tiles, new land swapping abilities, shrines, or other upgrades. This gives you a “carrot on a stick” to chase, as any similar game does with upgrade trees, and enhances an already addictive game.


In addition to Serenity, there are three other modes. The first one you’ll be introduced to is “Tutyr”. In this mode, the tutorial god teaches you the information you will need to play the game. I found myself going back to him frequently to make sure I understood the concept for some of the more complex abilities that you unlock.

The “Ragnarosa and Fortuna” mode is for more advanced players and has you attempt gaining Fortuna’s favor while staving off Ragnarosa’s rage as you travel through all the games’ ages. If you can’t get enough of trying to please the gods in Serenity mode but want a bit more of a challenge with an ever-swinging axe always looming over your world, this is the game mode for you.

Finally, there is Custom Mode. The god “Travissty” lets you make your own rules for the kind of game you want to play. It is a great mode that I’ve had fun experimenting in, but I prefer Serenity mode.


After a few hours Fate Tectonics becomes repetitive, but just like Tetris you find yourself crawling back to it. I had been playing so many indie games that all of the indie scene began to feel stale, but Fate Tectonics brought my interest back at warp speed. I do not think there is a game out there that can please everyone but Fate Tectonics comes close. I recommend it more so than any other indie game I’ve played, even as a world-builder game – I adore Sid Meier’s Civilization but wouldn’t recommend it to many people I know because it would not be for them. But almost anyone can find something to enjoy in Fate Tectonics.

Resident Evil 7, Biohazard: Review Sun, 19 Mar 2017 03:25:59 +0000 Resident Evil 7 does a brilliant job of going back to its roots and incorporating all of the features which made Resident Evil such a successful franchise in the first place. This game expertly blends the aspects of horror with an enthralling story. The game does take on a first person view rather than a third person like in the originals, but in my opinion, this makes the game feel that bit scarier as you don’t have the ability to know whats on each side of you at all times. The game goes back to carefully creeping around corners and searching every nook and cranny for collectable items that will aid your experience later in the game. Safe rooms are also nicely integrated into the game for a break in the never ending feeling of sheer dread as you roam around the Baker family home. Gone are the days where Resident Evil was turning into a fast paced action shooter and in its place comes a game that is not perfect but has begun to make the necessary adjustments to get itself back to where it needs to be.

Resident Evil Daddy

Set in probably the most terrifying area since the Spencer Mansion, Resident Evil Biohazard instantly catapults you into a world of horrifying mystery with tantalising puzzles that need to be solved as you go along. Nothing in the game feels unneeded, I never went to get an item or completed a puzzle that I felt had no bearing on the actual story. One of the smaller problems for me was the physics of the game. For example one simple cut in a door would make it shatter into a million pieces. This took away from how scary certain parts of the game should have been. This was only a minor problem though and things like this only happened once or twice throughout the whole story. The one thing I think this Resident Evil did superbly well was make the house feel like somewhere that people actually lived rather than just some giant hollowed out maze. The photographs and viewable items scattered all around the house made you feel like you were truly apart of this story that was unfolding in front of your eyes.

Resident Evil

There were sadly not enough enemies in the game for my liking. While the game did have me constantly on the edge of my seat, I knew that the only enemies I would ever encounter would be either the Baker family or these disgusting demonic creatures seemingly made out of a substance which is scattered all around the house. After encountering the creatures a few times, they did lose their scary aspect and by the end of the game I was strolling around shooting them for fun without actually feeling like they were causing me any trouble. The Baker family however, are brilliantly portrayed. Every single encounter with them is different and I was never once locked in battle with any of them without feeling utterly terrified that I was going to die any second. Each time you fought one of the Bakers they would be weak to a certain weapon in your inventory and the game left you to fumble around trying to find the right combination of weapons to fight with, while also scrambling around small congested areas trying to not get your guts ripped out by the crazed Bakers.Resident-Evil-7-Top-700x393

The game was not horribly challenging to get through and never was I in a boss fight or roaming an area that I felt completely out of my depth in. In saying this however, the game does a good job of punishing you if you do get lazy in boss fights. For example while fighting one of the Bakers the chainsaw I was using ran out of power and I failed to realise this until he was half through cutting me into a million tiny pieces. Some of the puzzles in the game while they were always fun to do, felt a bit overly simplistic, particularly the shadow puzzles. One of the Bakers also seemingly just disappears before the end of the game which, did leave me a little bit annoyed. Without ruining any of the storyline, the ending does leave a bit to be desired and does feel slightly lazy but it is not significant enough of a fault to take too much away from my overall enjoyment of the game. As a whole, Capcom has done a good job of creating a game that brings back all of its old features that once made the series great, while also integrating some new ideas to keep the series moving forward. It is a rare occurrence that I sit down to play through the relatively short storylines that survival horror games tend to have and am thoroughly drawn in by the story. Resident Evil 7 kept me constantly on edge and also made me never want to put the controller down as I wanted to find out all there was to know about the mysterious Baker family. Even now after playing through its roughly 8 hour story, I would happily go back and do it all again to get all of the achievements on offer, which I believe is a clear sign of a very good game. My overall experience with this game was thrilling and I can’t wait to sit down and experience it all over again.

Microsoft Announces the Xbox Live Creators Program Sun, 19 Mar 2017 02:52:31 +0000 At the recent Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Microsoft announced the Xbox Live Creators Program. In theory it lets any developer that wants to create an Xbox Live-enabled indie game, to do just that. With the recent fall of Steam Greenlight and the current state that Steam Early Access is in, it concerns me for whats to come. Then again we’ve seen GOG deliver a great platform for indie games. Here’s to hoping Microsoft has studied both of those platforms and paid attention to whats worked and what hasn’t worked thus far.

Independent Games @ Xbox was announced way back in 2013, with the main idea being that anyone with a good pitch would receive two Xbox Development Kits to produce games for both Windows and Xbox. Microsoft has finally gone through with this program and  most companies have already found success with it. As someone who’s deep into the indie gaming pool, I welcome this with open arms. As long as they use real quality control and don’t just open up the flood gates, they are giving a much needed platform for Indie developers to sell their finished products. This could lead to exposure for new and amazing studios, companies that are right now currently floundering in Steams Early Access.

Microsoft has worked hard to make sure that its much easier to integrate Xbox Live with the Xbox Live Creators Software Developers Kits. They are currently boasting about the following features:

  • Integration with Xbox Live Social
  • Use of both GameDVR and Beam Broadcast
  • Xbox Live leader boards and stats
  • Title Storage/Connected Storage
  • Xbox Live Sign-in, profile, and Gamertag
  • And finally a real presence on Xbox Live with activity feeds that feature recently played titles


So with the proven success of Independent Games @ Xbox, the awesome store front that GOG currently has, Steam finally listening to the consumer by axing Greenlight. With this exciting announcement, there is a lot to be excited for in the world of indie gaming. Every day more and more eyes are on the indie world and the genre is ever growing as people discover experiences they’ve never had in gaming before. I’m not ready to throw up my hands and declare this a touch down because we’ve all seen Microsoft take great ideas and present us with a broken product or what is very obviously a non-consumer friendly product. I’m optimistic and hopeful but very cautious with my excitement at the same time.

Turok 2 Remaster Released Sat, 18 Mar 2017 21:36:58 +0000 Night Dive Studios’ remastered version of Turok 2: Seeds of Evil has been released on GOG and Steam. The remaster comes with several improvements, such as the ability to save anywhere, new and enhanced visuals, and improved enemy AI.

The game has six worlds, over twenty weapons, and online multiplayer. The game can be played online via Steam, GOG Galaxy, LAN, or direct IP. Split-screen can also be played over network multiplayer. A new game mode, “Last Turok Standing”, has been added.

Bugs have been reported for the game by users on GOG and Steam. These include crashes, graphical errors, framerate drops, and others. For more information, see the game’s community pages at GOG and Steam.

Turok 2 was originally released in 1998 for the Nintendo 64 and PC. It is a first-person shooter starring the dinosaur slayer Turok, with large maps that task players with different objectives to complete and that involve exploration and backtracking. Enemies include standard dinosaurs and mutant dinosaur hybrids. The game met critical and commercial success and was followed up with Turok: Rage Wars and Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion.

Turok 2 and its predecessor, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, were both developed by Iguana Entertainment and published by Acclaim Studios. Night Dive Studios released a remaster of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter in 2015, also available on Steam and GOG. 

2Dark Review Fri, 17 Mar 2017 02:50:30 +0000 2Dark is a tasteless turd of a game from Gloomywood and Bigben Interactive that shines as an example of how not to design a top-down stealth and shooter hybrid. The gameplay is neither fun nor satisfying, the mechanics are sloppy, the story tasteless, and the atmosphere empty. A poorly designed save system on top of all this makes 2Dark really too bad.

The gameplay consists of moving, sneaking, shooting, and looting. None of these activities is fun in 2Dark. Facing from the top-down view, you move the main character, Detective Smith, and may enable stealthy movement by holding the left trigger button (L2) in the PS4 version of the game. This is where user-friendliness ends, as the rest of the controls in 2Dark will cause you to fumble around needlessly.

The first annoying control scheme is for the inventory. It is displayed, in real-time, at the left-hand of the screen. You may select items while in game by using the directional buttons, and to equip an item, you press the triangle button once it is highlighted. To use weapons, you then press the right trigger (R2) button. There is a dichotomy between left-hand and right-hand items, but the game never explains this clearly. I gleaned the flashlight is a left-hand item and any weapon a right-hand item. Holding down the left or right bumper buttons (L1 and R1) brings up circular menus through which you may select an item for either hand. It was hard to discern which hand was holding what item, though, as the graphics are nondescript. Indeed, it is difficult to discern most if not all details in 2Dark.

One inventory feature is that you can combine items. To reload a gun, you must select ammo from the inventory and combine it with a weapon.  A reload button or an automatic reload would have been preferable. The process of reloading is not the only needless hurdling 2Dark requires.

Using keys is another aspect that forces players to jump hoops. Once you have a key to a locked door, you must equip the key—holding it—in order to unlock the door. This means finding the key in the inventory panel, selecting it, and pressing triangle to equip it—all while enemies may be behind you about to shoot. Having keys as a separate item type to select while holding a gun or having keys automatically unlock doors would have been more convenient.

Inconvenience and annoyance in game mechanics stretches further. There is no indication of aim while firing a weapon, and it is difficult to know, when opening crates, if you have actually looted it or not. No highlights or other indicators come on-screen, and the sounds associated with looting are not distinct. There is no satisfying smash, click, or creak whereby you feel the joy of looting. In 2Dark it’s more a perfunctory “You just looted something…maybe.”

Items that go into your inventory are picked up by touching them. Objects, like the bodies of slain enemies, are picked up and carried by pressing “X”. It would be simpler if all items and objects were picked up by pressing X. I kept pressing X when I did not need to, and often wondered if what I was facing required me to press X to interact with it or if just touching it should work. The game was never clear on this. And automatically picking up items you touch may cause deep frustration. In one level, picking up a type of item sets off an alarm. As I walked through a dark area, the alarm suddenly sounded, and I had had no indication that I had been about to pick up said item. In the darkness I must have brushed up against it.

You rarely receive reasonable indications of what is going on in 2Dark. Not far in the first level, I died suddenly. With annoying death ambiance blaring through my headphones, on-screen text imparted that I had been impaled. “Impaled, you say?” I wanted to ask, as I had seen nothing to be impaled on. But a tiny, indiscernible graphic on screen, that could just as easily have been a grain of rice as a spike, had indeed impaled me. I would have appreciated some forewarning, but 2Dark cautions you as much as a “Road Closed” sign right at the point of construction.

Frequent, sudden deaths, due to impalement or falling down a pit that you cannot see, would have been remedied by a solid save system. 2Dark is too good for such a feature. Though the game menu has a “Load Game” selection, there is no “Save Game” selection. Such a setup is not unprecedented, and it does not make a game bad, but 2Dark handles saving such that there might as well have been a “Save Game” option.

To save the game you have to smoke. This means selecting either your lighter or your cigarette case in the inventory and combining the two. As Detective Smith proceeds to smoke, the game world continues in action. So as the very words “Saving Game” appear on screen, an enemy can chance by you and kill you. There is an option to cancel the save while the game is saving. Perhaps since it takes so long to save some players may give up and prefer losing their progress to waiting for Smith to finish his smoke. As there is only one save file, never choose to save at the wrong time. (But you should never choose to play this game in the first place anyway.)

This hurdle to saving is needless. In games wherein you save by interacting with objects in the game world, like in Resident Evil, there is a method to the madness as limited items, like ink ribbons, are used. In these cases, the intent of the developers is clear: whether you like it or not, ration your saves. But in 2Dark, as both cigarettes and lighter fluid are infinite, there is no rationing, and so no point to selecting inventory items and watching an on-screen animation in order to save.

There also is no auto-save. Occasionally, Detective Smith opines for a smoke, which is your only reminder to save manually. As the game’s instruction screen indicates, smoking is bad for your health, but you better light one every time Smith feels for it, or you will be restarting levels often (and likely quitting the game often, too).


So 2Dark’s gameplay and mechanics are below average. As for the story and atmosphere, both are depressing (as the game’s title implies). Darkness in theme can be done well, and when done well it works, however repulsive it may be. It is not done well in 2Dark, thus all the sordid content in the game comes off as tasteless.

The game opens with Detective Smith’s ill-fated camping trip in which his wife is murdered and children kidnapped. Years later, Smith still believes that his children are alive. A newspaper excerpt you may pick up and read reveals that Smith was dismissed from the police department, and so now he operates rogue. His quest, and the premise of each mission, is to track down kidnapped children and free them, and by proxy find the kidnappers who abducted his own children.

How this is handled in each mission feels dirty. Not far into the first mission—an abandoned carnival (yippee)—you learn, from a prompt, that you may use candy to attract children’s attention. When you pick up your first piece of candy, you learn further that candy may be used to speed up children’s movement as they follow you. True, you are the good guy, and true, kids like candy (everyone does, really), but it feels wrong equipping or throwing candy to get kids to follow you. Creepers using candy to lure children is a thing. It is a tasteless mechanic.

There is also the option to get children’s attention by yelling. Doing so over a small radius likely won’t attract enemies’ attention, but also requires you be very close to the children for them to hear. Doing so over a large radius does vice versa (think Olimar’s whistling from Pikmin). This, like candy-luring, feels creepy, as Detective Smith’s “Come on” audible could not sound more predatory. A pleasant “Let’s go” or “Follow me” would have been much better.

Note that in game the imprisoned children wail and sob. Hearing a child crying constantly as you plot a way to sneak by an enemy or pass some other obstacle (like a barred door) is not enjoyable. This point ties in with my earlier one about darkness—done well, a dark ploy such as rescuing sobbing children could work. But while grappling with the clunky mechanics of 2Dark and digesting its unsavory content, hearing a terrible crying noise is only aggravating.

Aggravating more so is some of the dialogue you will read. Some of the enemies say uncomfortable lines on child kidnapping, and the characters you encounter are mostly disgusting. In the abandoned carnival level, you meet a deranged clown who uses kidnapped children in his personal circus acts. Deranged characters like these can appropriately drive a narrative. You meet plenty of deranged people in Bioshock, but its design is of such caliber that it works. Tasteless dark content in a clunky game like 2Dark is always off-putting.


Atmospheric ambiance—essential for any game with stealth or a dark story—is either poorly done or absent in 2Dark. The ambient music is not terrible, but neither is it memorable. It also sets in and stops abruptly, causing several odd quiet moments where there is no background sound. What you will hear at almost every second is Detective Smith saying “hm”, which he does whenever he notices something. If nothing else, 2Dark likely sets a record for number of times “hm” is muttered in a game.

The visuals save nothing in 2Dark’s thematic mess. Ugly and blocky, the game is an eyesore, with no nostalgic charm in its style to merit the low quality graphics. Some of the additional visuals in the game are well below average, such as the photo you find early on of Smith and his family in a canoe that has no sense of proportion. There is no style to the game’s graphics or its hand-drawn characters—all is either drab or ugly, like an artistic vacuum.

In 2Dark clunky gameplay and mechanics, a needlessly involving save feature, and tasteless thematic material combine. In other words, it is not a game you want to play or purchase. Do yourself a favor and stay away from this one, lest it abduct your time away and leave you crying like the poor children in game.

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1-2 Switch Review Fri, 17 Mar 2017 01:15:06 +0000 Wii Sports helped promote the Wii, allowing people to understand the ideas behind the console and encouraging people to play with friends and family. As such, it proved the benefit of a key release that demonstrates the features of a new console. Nintendo may have failed to properly communicate this with the Wii U and Nintendo Land, but they have certainly come back stronger with the key game of their newest console, 1-2 Switch.

Nintendo proves time and again that they understand the nature of games. Their constant focus with their consoles and their games is the fun value and this element is on display at its best with 1-2 Switch. This game is all about the benefits of playing with another person, to face one another without the boundaries and restrictions created by common game practices and, instead, to face each other directly and watch each other’s movements.

Want to feel awkward while playing a game? Well, you may find a way with 1-2 Switch, as it is one of the most awkward experiences that can be played. As you do an activity getting told to “look deep into each other’s eyes” is incredibly uncomfortable. Yet this experience is also part of the game’s appeal – you are given tasks to perform that continually alter the gameplay.

1-2 Switch review two

Despite its obvious focus on being a proof of concept, 1-2 Switch is a fun game to play. However, there is nothing that will make people want to come back past initial play sessions, and the game’s limited accessibility for single players hinders its value. 1-2 Switch is a game that will quickly be forgotten as much greater multiplayer experiences come. But for now, 1-2 Switch has the potential to make people smile with its unique fun and awkward gameplay.

1-2 Switch features twenty eight different activities for players to enjoy, with most of them taking only two minutes maximum to complete. From the highly advertised quick draw and cow milking, to other oddities including safe cracking and runway walking, there is no shortage of game options offering their own sense of fun, even if it is just to put a smile on someone’s face.

Each activity begins with a charming tutorial video. In these you get to see real people performing the actions for the game (and they are clearly having fun). These tutorials explain each games’ concept well and also offer a good laugh. The tutorial actor’s enjoyment is intoxicating, adding to the joy that comes when you start up each game.

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The main function of 1-2 Switch is, similar to Wii Sports and the Wii, to show off how the controls technology can be implemented into different gaming experiences. This is apparent from a selection of these games.

“Ball Count” has the player moving the Joy-Con to simulate balls moving in a box with the controller rumbling whenever they hit the edge. Similarly, in “Sneaky Dice” the controller rumbles to indicate the number that your opponent rolled. These games do a great job at telegraphing these mechanics and how they can be used in different ways.

“HD Rumble” offers more humorous demonstrations that embrace the games quirky nature. “Shave” has two players using the Joy-Cons to win a shaving competition with the controller rumbling to indicate each hair removed being removed. “Soda Shake” has you shaking up a bottle and passing it between players, giving similar rumble feedback.

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1-2 Switch is at its strongest when it embraces its motion controls and players’ imagination. “Sword Fight” tasks players with an imaginary sword fight in which they block each other’s swings by thrusting the controllers in different directions. “Wizard” is reminiscent of the final duel in Harry Potter as players try to force their magic stream towards each other.

The best element of 1-2 Switch is that there is value in playing each game multiple times over, even if it is not the most exciting one. Each game is enjoyable and inspires you to embrace your silly side, whether walking an imaginary runway or having a dance off.

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Just for the simple pleasure of a smile, each game will make you want to play again to see if you can do better. 1-2 Switch will work best at parties with its zany activities that require interpersonal interaction or acting silly.

Multiplayer is the main part of 1-2 Play, but there are two exceptions that, nonetheless, maintain the game’s quirks. “Baby” is one of the more unique games that manages to be any parent’s worst nightmare. In this game you need to cradle the Switch console with the Joy-cons and try to rock a baby to sleep, infuriating crying included. However, for most people who have tried to console a baby in their life this game may feel unnatural without the ability to perform a back rub and gentle hushing.

The other single-player game is “Eating Contest”. This game uses the sensor on the right Joy-Con to track the player’s mouth movements as they emulate eating. This and the baby game can be played alone, but players may still try to outdo each other.

There is satisfaction across all twenty eight games available within this package, and while 1-2 Switch will never reach the popularity of Wii Sports, the amount of smiles that will be born from this farfetched concept cannot be denied. In the long run this game identifies some of the Nintendo Switch’s key ideas to the public, which is great, but there are issues regarding 1-2 Switch‘s long-term appeal. This game feels like something that will be fun for a little while but won’t last longer than a couple of play sessions.

Verdun: 1914-1918 Review Thu, 16 Mar 2017 23:49:30 +0000 You might be thinking, “Verdun, why does that name seem familiar…” Well, if you know your world war history, you’ll know that one of the most infamous battles of World War 1 took place at Verdun in 1916. Based on that battle, Verdun: 1914-1918 is a multiplayer first-person shooter set in the First World War. Meant to offer a realistic WWI setting and immersive, realistic trench warfare, it looked promising. Having already released on PC and PS4 in April and August of last year, Verdun has finally made its way to the Xbox One. Was it worth the wait? Even though it does give you a sense of what trench warfare was like, a host of control, visual, design and performance issues, as well as a lack of a player base, prevent this from being a good multiplayer shooter.

Verdun offers 4 game types: Frontlines, Attrition, Rifle Deathmatch and Squad Defence. When starting the game for the first time, you’re introduced to Frontlines mode. Frontlines involves the attacking team running across No Man’s Land to try and capture the defending team’s trench. The more players that can make it across, the easier it will be. If the attackers are successful in taking the trench, they must then prevent the other team from taking it back, holding out long enough for the timer to tick down, at which point they become the attackers again and move onto the next trench. If they’re unsuccessful, they then have a small window to run back to their previous trench and defend it. It goes back and forth like this for the entire match, and more often than not ends in a tie. This is the main draw of the game, and where you’ll likely spend most of your time.

Attrition is a six-player Free-for-All mode, Rifle Deathmatch is twelve-player Team Deathmatch, and Squad Defence is a wave-defence mode, where you are teamed up with three other players, dropped into a map, and must survive for as long as possible. You can also play Squad Defence offline, though by yourself with no local co-op.

Squads are a major feature of Frontlines mode, in a similar vein to Battlefield, but mostly different. Squads are made up of four players, with each player assigned to a different role, with different weapons available for each. The leaders of the squads, or non-commissioned officers (NCOs), also have abilities available to them, where they can either call for artillery support, a recon plane, or gas grenades to cover an area, depending on the type of squad they head. Additionally, NCOs have small areas around them on the mini-map, and if you stay in these you gain XP bonuses when you kill an enemy or take a trench.

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As you continually play with the same squad (assuming you’re playing with friends or the other members don’t leave), your squad levels up and more abilities become available as well as better weapons and cooler looking uniforms. It is great when you get placed in a squad with players who play their assigned roles, as it makes the games that much easier. At one point during a match I ordered my squad to defend a particular spot on a trench, and we managed to take out more than half of the enemy team as they charged across No Man’s Land, which ended in our team successfully defending the trench and winning the match. Unfortunately, this is where the good parts of the game end and the problems start to rear their heads.

Verdun is a game where you are constantly wrestling with the controls. Even though it uses a pretty standard controller layout, immediately recognisable to anyone who plays shooters, trying to get it to do what you want it to do becomes frustrating. For example, sprinting is achieved by pressing in on the left stick, a pretty common scheme. However, the game doesn’t tell you that in order to stop sprinting you need to press the stick in again, even if you’ve already stopped moving. More than a few times I’ve gone charging up to a trench entrance and crouched at the side, ready to peek around the corner to take out any unaware enemies, only then to start sprinting around the corner right into an enemy squad after only slightly nudging the left stick. Sometimes you can’t sprint at all, even with a full stamina bar, no matter how many times you press the stick in.

Trying to crouch or go prone is difficult as well. Quite often I’d be quickly running across No Man’s Land, often towards a crater for cover, and when the bullets started flying I’d just keep running straight into the fire, as opposed to ducking down behind said cover, even though I was pressing or holding the crouch button. On the other hand, when crouching or lying down I was often unable to get back up and start attacking the next trench regardless of how many times I pressed the button. Also, a button press during a reload animation will cancel the reload and make you start all over. This becomes more frustrating when you couple it with the fact that reload animations are already pretty lengthy as the developers have opted for realistic reload times with their period-appropriate weapons.

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Visually, the game is a bit bland. The guns and uniforms you unlock do look like their real-world counterparts, but the guns have a weird shiny quality to them which makes them look off. It would have been a nice touch to have them pick up a bit of dirt or mud as you play, seeing as you spend a lot of time lying down in it. But this isn’t what you’ll spend most of your time looking at. The maps are quite empty, with a lot of assets reused multiple times in the same map. On more than one occasion, I went around the corner of a trench, only to see the exact same corner a little bit further down. There’s occasionally a lone, crashed plane or destroyed tank in the fields, but that’s about it for variety. The visuals would be more suited to the previous generation of consoles, with lots of big textures and low detail on everything from the walls of the trenches to the grass or foliage. This would not be an issue if the gameplay was up to scratch but, unfortunately, it isn’t.

The developers made some interesting design choices for Verdun. In the games’ store description, they boast about the games realistic and authentic sounds. However, when fired the M1903 Springfield rifle, one of the most iconic rifles of that era, sounds like someone banging on a snare drum. The audio sounds very off – grenades exploding are uncharacteristically quiet, and bullets hitting wooden barriers sound like someone actually knocking on wood. There’s also a distinct lack of music in the game. The only times I ever heard music playing was when a new round started, and that was just a 5-second soundbite.

Aiming in the game is not reliable. On many occasions I had my sights pointed in the middle of an enemy’s chest or head, only for my shot to miss. This becomes quite frustrating as it only takes one shot to kill someone with a rifle and two to three with a pistol. Grenades also have an abnormally large range – they can be thrown in excess of 300 metres, which is typically the distance between trenches. Quite often I’d die within seconds of starting a round from a randomly thrown grenade.

You will die a lot in this game, but that wouldn’t be much of an issue if the respawn timer wasn’t so random. The timer can range anywhere from 3 to 30 seconds, more often the latter. If you’ve been killed attacking or defending a trench, you can’t get back to help your teammates until you have waited 25 seconds. As for where you’ll respawn, it’s anybody’s guess. You could spawn on a teammate or right back at the beginning of the map.

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The game also suffers from a few performance issues. It crashes to the home screen regularly; the frame rate constantly drops, which is especially jarring in first-person shooters; and the load times are often unbearable – it takes 30 seconds to get from the title screen to the main menu. There’s also an annoying bug that causes player’s silhouettes to turn neon pink, resulting in teams of soldier-shaped pink blobs running around. It makes it quite easy to spot the enemy team, but also the reverse, resulting in a lot more deaths.

Because of a lack of players, I was unable to even try the Attrition and Rifle Deathmatch modes. The most people I ever saw online was 40 worldwide, average of about 20, and they only played Frontlines. I tried my hand at Squad Defence offline, but random difficulty spikes made it almost impossible to progress past the second wave. The first round consists of about 5-6 enemy soldiers in groups of three, which is pretty easy. However, the second wave consists of 20 or more soldiers as well as constant artillery fire bombarding every part of the map. I don’t think besting it could be possible even with a full squad.

All in all, Verdun: 1914-1918 is a game that promised to be a realistic, authentic WWI experience, but falls well short of the line. Although the Frontlines mode and the squads mechanic can be enjoyable, issues with the controls, design, performance issues and a lack of players lead to an overly frustrating experience that holds this game back from being what should be a good shooter. I only recommend this to WWI enthusiasts who want to know what trench warfare would have been like.

Resident Evil: Revelations for PS4 and Xbox One set for release This Fall Thu, 16 Mar 2017 03:45:31 +0000 Fans of the acclaimed horror-survival hybrid series Resident Evil have a treat coming their way this autumn. Capcom has announced that Resident Evil: Revelations will be ported to Play Station 4 and Xbox One sometime during autumn 2017. The original game was released in early 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS, and only a year later was released in an HD version for PC, Wii U, Play Station 3, and Xbox 360. This HD remaster is the version that fans of the series can look forward to later this year.

Revelations takes place between numbered games 4 and 5 of the titular series and follows series regulars Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield as they work to stop a bioterrorist group from infecting the Earth’s oceans with a virus. Originally designed to bring the series back to its horror roots while modernizing the gameplay, the 2012 release of Revelations received a generally positive review. Generally positive was good enough for Capcom, and they released Revelations 2 in 2015. Those looking forward to this HD port can expect the usual updated graphics, but Capcom has so far been silent about any new features or upgrades. However, fans can rest assured that the game will keep the hair-raising, fast-paced combat that the series is known for.

The Resident Evil series has long been one of the first to come to mind when considering the horror genre of video games, which has gained a great deal of popularity in recent years. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that Capcom has taken the time to port this installation to newer consoles. It is sure to be a very good looking, terrifying treat for both longstanding fans and players new to the series. Revelations is a good game to keep an eye out for this year, especially if it comes out in time for Halloween.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Review Tue, 14 Mar 2017 10:36:28 +0000 Score: 9.5/10

Story: 9/10

Gameplay: 10/10

Graphics: 10/10

Replayability: 10/10

Horizon Zero Dawn is a game that excites me for the future of gaming. For a long time now gaming has been slowly moving towards a sole multiplayer experience. Games such as Destiny and the Division have come and gone with many people finding them quite enjoyable, but the sense of losing yourself in a gripping story has just not been there in the past few years of gaming. Horizon Zero Dawn is a refreshing break from the multiplayer madness that is modern day gaming. Set in a futuristic world where machines rule the earth and humans have gone back to living in small tribes, Horizon does an outstanding job of making you feel as if you are just as much a part of that world as everyone in it. Aloy, who is the games main protagonist is truly phenomenal. Her story evoked so many different emotions in me. I found it so very hard to pull myself away from it.

Horizon is set in a very large open world. It is probably just a bit smaller than the world of Skyrim. What is in Horizons world is what makes the game so special. Filled with ruins reclaimed by nature, the game evokes a real feeling of hopelessness for humanity in the beginning. As the game moves on we see how advanced the human race had become before the machines took over. The video logs and journal entries scattered all around the world makes the game feel even better. I loved stopping in the middle of exploring to read some of the stories left behind by people. There is also so much to do in Horizon as well as the story. The game cleverly makes you craft your fast travel packs so you don’t have an unlimited supply. This could have potentially been a very bad idea if the world was boring to explore, but I loved being made explore this beautiful world. For certain main quests I would find that I would need to walk 4000 metres across the map. By the time I had reached the place I was trying to get to I would most likely have taken down one of the many bandit camps in the game, taken on many different types of machines and probably have stumbled upon a few side quests to do. Crafting is also a huge part of the game, with supplies scattered all over the world. It is essential to pick up all the supplies you can hold as you will need them to make arrows for your bow, which is your main weapon. Horizon is a game which really lets you choose your own path. You can follow the story which is brilliant, or you can go out on your own exploring different cities, doing side quests, taking on bandit camps and battling some of the toughest machines the world has to offer. No matter what way you want to approach the game, it has something good to offer.

There really are not that many flaws in a game that can be considered a near masterpiece from Guerrilla games. One very minor flaw was how Aloy forced doors open with her spear. When she was putting her spear in the crack in the door it seemed to just phase through the door. The freerun mechanics also only work in certain areas which I felt was a little bit annoying, as there were many obviously accessible ledges that I couldn’t get up to because Aloy wouldn’t catch hold of the edge. The story was excellent throughout, it ebbded and flowed and took loads of chances which all payed off. The story was thought provoking and constantly left me wanting more. Every main quest seemed to end on a bit of a cliff-hanger and made it hard to ever want to turn the game off. I also thought it was a good idea by Horizon to only let you save at campfires. It made the element of exploration slightly more risky, because if you got yourself into trouble you could not just save at any point. When playing Horizon I felt like it took inspiration from other great RPG’s and even some movies. For example, the opening scene is very reminiscent of the opening scene in the Lion King and then the campfires give off the same kind of feel as the bonfires in Dark Souls do. I think it shows how brave Guerilla games were, to take ideas from other successful franchises and incorporate them into this brilliant game world.

Horizon is a game that you can get truly immersed in. The story is roughly 25-30 hours long and to be honest that’s nothing in comparison to how much more gameplay there is. If you incorporate Bandit camps, side quests and other character building events from the game, there is probably well over 100 hours of gameplay there. That is without all of the time you will spend fighting machines for fun, because the combat system is just that good. I never felt like I couldn’t take on an enemy, but I always needed to have my wits about me for every combat situation. All of the machines attack in different ways and so you always have to prepare yourself for different kinds of combat. The human enemies are pretty easy to kill and are not particularly intelligent by any means. Sadly it is quite difficult to take a stealthy approach to playing as there is no way to move dead bodies and so the AI will generally stumble upon someone you have killed and realise you are there. The game also has an override mechanic, which lets you take control of other machines to either, use as a mount or help you in combat. Like most open world games Horizon has a skill tree. You gain skill points from levelling up and from completing quests. The skill tree is extremely accessible and not at all difficult to understand. As a whole I think this game can be considered a true masterpiece in modern gaming. Horizon is a game that will be talked about for years to come and I for one never want to stop playing.

Indie Review: Fight The Dragon Tue, 14 Mar 2017 02:21:25 +0000 With so many RPG-lite multiplayer creation games fighting for relevance nowadays, Fight The Dragon is a pretty decent breath of fresh air at times. At other times, its the same old thing we’ve seen a thousand times, and at other times is a totally broken mess that freezes my computer and crashes all together. My love for this game goes back and forth. In its most bare bones definition, this game is an RPG Hack and Slash where quests and other things are created by the community.

Lets begin with the character creation. There’s no way around this conclusion, this entire game hinges on its community creating things for it. At its base level the character creation is very “meh” at best. That’s where Steam’s Workshop comes in. I have never played a game that was so suited for Workshop (besides Garry’s Mod of course) that used it to the best of its ability. You’ve got your usual stuff here though: Hair, Face, Clothes, and etc. The playable characters you get are: Fighter, Fire Mage, Frost Mage, and Rouge. Thrilling stuff I know.

So what about the big feature this game relies on, its community creations. That image above is from the In-Game Construction Kit. While a bit daunting at first, they’ve really gone out of their way to make the construction of quests and dungeons easy for first timers to this kind of game. With a status in your right hand corner keeping track of everything from enemies, traps, bosses, loot, and checkpoints, and then grades it all on the bottom of the screen to let you know just how difficult it is. I have found that this system could use some tweaking. There are times I go to play what should be an easy level and get completely destroyed by enemies, as well there are times I go to play a hard level and it feels like I just breeze right through it. I’m not sure whats going on behind the scenes of the Construction Kit but I feel it could use a bit of tinkering.

The over world is great. For the most part. I like that I get to create the map of the over world based on the levels I decide to play. I love the filtering system so I can play daily challenges for extra XP, that is utterly satisfying. As well as being able to find levels based on difficulty, ratings, creators, etc. I love this and it has helped me keep up with fantastic level creators as well as ignore those who have a history of broken levels. Speaking of broken levels though, I’m not sure why it happens or how it happens but sometimes this game falls apart on you. It mostly happens inside certain levels but the most frustrating one by far happens on my over world screen. I play a random level only to keep falling through the world and dying over and over until it fails me. When I get back to the over world screen and try to remove this level my entire game freezes and after about a minute it crashes my game. This has happened about six different times. So I’ve given up on trying to remove any levels on my over world.

You can spend hours upon hours creating levels and being the ultimate dungeon master or you can be like me and play level after level made by much more talented creators. While I am super grateful for all the work people have put into creating levels and items for this game, I can’t be bothered at this point. Then again, that’s me. I want to play all of the levels from the absolute drivel to the jaw dropping levels that make you wonder how on earth they even came up with the idea for such a quest. Also, this game looks good. It may have a few things in common with voxel games but Fight The Dragon is pretty. It can often feel like a table-top RPG come to life. As someone who’s poured 100’s of hours of his life into Table Top RPGS, I appreciate this dearly. There are so many games out there like Never Winter and Shadowrun that take the premise, random chance elements, and stories, and make a game around that, and those games are amazing in what they do. Well, Most of them anyways. Fight The Dragon is the first time that I felt like I was truly playing on a dungeon map, its that table top map brought to life. With a game who’s story is as vague as “level up to fight a dragon” what they do with such a simple idea is astounding. I give so many props to 3 Sprockets for creating a game that feels so unique when compared to the flood of other sandbox style multiplayer creation games.

Before I finish this, I have to talk about the most important thing. Adventuring with friends. I’ve spent a lot of my time with this game adventuring alone and I’ve spent a lot of it playing with friends. While playing by yourself this game is still an addicting loot fest that keeps you wanting more. With friends though, this game is all of that and more. From tackling some of the hardest bosses to goofing around in levels. Its been a long time since any of us had played around in co-op like we did with Fight The Dragons. I was my sixth grade self all over again when I first found Dungeons and Dragons. There is this idea of “Wow there’s so much to explore and I get to do it with my best friends” and this feeling makes some of even the most frustrating bosses a good time. If you can’t find any friends to play this game, I still recommend it if everything else I said tickles your fancy. If you enjoy what I said about the game and have friends who already own it, go pick this game up. You will not be disappointed. Just know that you will have to fight the actual dragon alone, so make sure you pick up all the Dragon Scrolls you can. Oh and for a quick tip, his health loss is permanent specifically so you keep using scrolls to go back and fight him. I didn’t realize this and horded the shit out of those things for when I got to a super high level.

So in conclusion, I love this game. Even with its occasional game breaking glitches and music/soundFX so bland I forgot to even mention it. Its RPG elements are light enough that even beginners like my wife (someone who’s never played anything other than Super Mario and The Sims) picked this up and understood its mechanics with no real explanation. Its also satisfying enough for RPG veterans like myself to want to keep playing. You can feel your character getting stronger and more powerful with every level up and every bit of loot you pick. That as well, the loot, the wonderful loot. Its everywhere and it never gets old. The daily challenges that boost your XP for that “just one more level” feeling. This game hinges on a thriving creative community and thank god it found one. I have over 25 hours in this game on Steam currently and I plan to put MUCH MUCH more hours into it. Its cheap on Steam, even if this type of game isn’t your thing, I’d still recommend giving it a shot. As well go try out Cubemen, another game series made by Fight The Dragons developer.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Review Sat, 11 Mar 2017 05:59:00 +0000 After much waiting with frustrating delays, Nintendo has finally released The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Breath of the Wild is an interesting Zelda experience as it never feels like typical Zelda. It could have been an entirely different game that Nintendo executives saw and insisted get reskinned as Zelda. This is not a bad thing – Breath of the Wild is one of the most refreshing and game-changing entries in the Zelda franchise in a long time.

The story begins with Link waking up in the “Shrine of Resurrection” with no memory of the past. He is informed that he has been asleep for one hundred years, and from here sets out with the goal to save Zelda from Calamity Ganon. Without going into spoilers, this is the basic narrative, with further points explored as you progress through the game.

The amnesia element is one of Breath of the Wild’s most interesting narrative pulls. The game tasks you with finding your lost memories through simple story quests or the greater quest that explores the back story. Seeing small snippets of your past as presented by key characters in the game is fascinating.


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But this narrative feature ironically brings to light one of the biggest aggravations in Breath of the Wild. Nintendo has already shown portions of important moments in promotional material. If you have viewed any of this, then knowing what is to come may make these key moments lose some of the impact they otherwise would have had.

Aside from the back story bits, which are satisfying if you have not watched any promos for the game, the overall story in Breath of the Wild is weak. From the moment the game begins, one can see the parts of the game the developers put their effort in to, and these are well done, but all at the expense of the narrative. This demonstrates how far the Zelda franchise has come over the years – Nintendo now focuses on making a large, open-world – but it also shows that this different focus makes the story weaker than in prior entries. Much of the story feels empty, and story elements are missing that would have been interesting to explore.

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It is obvious that Nintendo’s focus with Breath of the Wild was on crafting an open-world. This Zelda entry harkens back to the original game – never since have players been given such freedom to explore in this franchise. You can focus on the main story, or go wherever you wish. It’s up to you.

Despite this theoretical freedom, in practice you will learn that there must be some structure to your explorations. Some areas teem with stronger enemies against which you stand no chance early in the game, so you will want to stick to the easier areas. But whether you play it safe or flirt with danger, you will enjoy being able to frolic about in an open-world Zelda. Just be aware that if you tend towards danger, you will die. A lot.

As in any open-world game, you can lose several hours to running around without clear direction. This constant adventuring is complemented by the games’ traversal mechanics. In the overworld, Link can scale any mountain, tree, or other incline. This means you can easily head to a higher point, and then gain a better perspective on where to go next. This adds to the open-world experience as you can climb more often and more easily than in similar games. This opens up a new dimension – you should not ignore steep areas that typically are just part of the background.

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One of the games’ key items, the paraglider, can be used to soar across the skies (for as long as your stamina meter holds out). This, like climbing, makes travelling easier. After you climb a high mountain or hill and spot somewhere you want to explore, all you need do is simply glide down. Paragliding and climbing cater immediate satisfaction when eyeing new places that you want to check out.

The variety in Hyrule’s landscape is enchanting. There are many different environments throughout Hyrule Kingdom: harsh deserts (best travelled by nightfall), cold mountains, and boiling hot surfaces. Discovering dark and foreboding forests, electrified plains, or open fields never allow for dull moments.

While traveling its large, diversified world, you will come upon one of Breath of the Wild‘s unique additions to the Zelda formula: Shrines, or mini dungeons. These Shrines offer classic Zelda problem solving that requires the use of different skills. In some Shrines you will face a small combat challenge, but in most you will encounter puzzles. In each puzzle Shrine you will learn a new ability for the obstacle you face. The abilities you gain in Shrines act as replacements for many of Link’s classic items. One of them allows you to use bombs that now come in two different shapes (a sphere and a cube) and are unlimited (but there is a recharge time between uses). Other powers are less traditional, like a magnetic power that allows you to move magnetized objects, and another that enables you to raise frozen pillars out of water. Each ability you acquire in a Shrine can be used in the greater game world. Mixing them up and utilizing them in innovative ways unlocks more of the games’ secrets.

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Combat in Breath of the Wild breaks from the usual Zelda experience. Unlike past Zelda titles, you pick up several weapons, each with different levels of durability and different strengths and weaknesses. Forget finding the one or two swords and riding them out – in Breath of the Wild, you will be picking up, using, breaking, and learning dozens of different weapons. Enemies will usually drop weapons, leading to a cycle: keep swapping out weapons until you find one you love, and then wield it until it breaks.

Breath of the Wild adds stealth to the combat mix. You may sneak into enemy camps and steal their weapons, as well as silently kill them. There is also a dodge-and-parry system that requires perfectly-timed button presses to defend yourself or harm the enemy with greater effect. You can also use the environment by pushing rocks down cliffs to fall onto enemies. Clearly, the developers wanted to deepen the historically shallow Zelda combat formula.

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The game’s biggest change from past Zelda comes in its extensive inventory and health recovery system, which ties into its open world. Just about everything in the overworld can be collected and stored in your inventory. You pick up many food items to heal Link with and may also hunt wild animals for food. Cooking the food you find is important in Breath of the Wild. By mixing random materials together, you can create a plethora of different meals that offer varied health benefits. This adds a layer to the Zelda game beyond picking up hearts, which no longer appear.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a standout entry in Nintendo’s long running franchise. This is because many changes were made that broke from Zelda tradition. As a Zelda game it does not offer the same charm Nintendo put into past installments, but Breath of the Wild is still an incredible game. It needed a more satisfying overall story, but the open world and freedom to explore offer a truly unforgettable experience.


Rise and Shine Review Sat, 11 Mar 2017 03:17:18 +0000 Rise and Shine is a retro mashup of genres; part puzzle, part shooter, part platformer. The game does a great service in paying homage to retro games of generations past. It’s easy to get lost in the nostalgic game mechanics and art style, but things get bogged down in a shallow story and a short overall experience.

The adventure starts off with a young boy, Rise, lost in the mall during Planet NexGen’s invasion of the retro Gamearth. While trying to escape the mall, he witnesses the death of Gamearth’s legendary hero, an elfen warrior clad in a blue tunic. Before dying, he gives Rise the legendary weapon, Shine, who can grant its weilder infinite respawns. Rise’s mission is clear, use the legendary gun to stop the invasion and save Gamearth. The story of Rise and Shine is filled with obvious references to retro games that never fail to bring a smile to your face. Unfortunately, once the novelty wears off, it’s a case of overused fanfare, which some gamers might end up enjoying. Personally, I found most cutscenes unappealing when I knew the exact direction the story was going. Overall it’s an enjoyable story, but one we’ve seen far too many times.

The gameplay in Rise and Shine obviously aims to let players revisit the gaming experience of the 80’s and 90’s.  Using a magazine that holds between 10-15 bullets, you must face off against a series of minions from NexGen, who each have their own patterns and weaknesses. Your gun, Shine, carries all the aspects of gameplay from shooting enemies to hitting far away switches, and even powering up generators. The game gives you a series of gun mods and bullet types, all of which you receive in the first hour of the game.

Fighting enemies soaks up most of the gameplay. Flying robots saturate the screen in bullets, which are a detriment to Rise’s squishy little body. Ultrabuff human soldiers generally hide behind a shield and throw grenades, backed up by incendiaries parachuting onto the battlefield. Shine’s gun mods, such as arcing grenades and EMP bullets are useful for taking out different enemy types. The gameplay is simple, yet satisfying, and each enemy wave leaves you with a feeling of catharsis when they’re finally defeated.

The other aspect of saving Gamearth is in the many puzzles that stand between Rise and the alien commander. Some puzzles require you to arc your grenades in interesting ways while others need the Remote Controlled (RC) bullet to weave it’s way to a far off switch. The puzzles in Rise and Shine are sometimes confusing and left me feeling pretty dumb, but when I finally figured them out I couldn’t help but give myself a pat on the back.

Graphically, Rise and Shine continues its trend of calling back to the retro games of the 80’s and 90’s, but with an updated feel. Character models are sharp and defined, and bullets from enemies give off enough light to eliminate any hitbox issues while trying to dodge enemy fire. The word to describe the looks of this game would be simple, but it’s a sophisticated simplicity, one that doesn’t use a bunch of fancy graphical tricks and prefers to stay true to the era it takes inspiration from.

The soundtrack can be hit-or-miss sometimes. In moments where you’re stuck in a dark area avoiding one of NexGen’s most prevalent enemies, zombies, the music does a perfect job in setting an eerie tone that can seriously stress you out when you hear them coming. Other times, the music takes on a somber tone at a time where it doesn’t seem appropriate, such as when you’re just riding an elevator and the game plays one of its base sad piano melodies. In games like this, sad music doesn’t exactly make me wanna kick some alien butt.

For as much of a good time Rise and Shine is, it can be short lived. The story takes a little under three hours to complete, and the only thing to do after beating it is trying your hand at ironman mode, playing through without dying at all. With a price tag of $14.99 on Xbox Live, you don’t get the most bang for your buck here.

Overall, Rise and Shine makes for a good gaming experience that will bring feelings of nostalgia rushing in to many gamers. The experience just doesn’t last long enough though, so this won’t be a game you can bleed 60 hours out of, or more than 10 for that matter. If you’re in a mood where you might be missing the good old days in the basement with your NES hooked up to a tiny tv, you’ll get a real kick out of this game. If you’re someone who wants a deep story and complex mechanics, your money might be better spent elsewhere. As in all things, it’s important to know what you’re purchasing. Rise and Shine is a great adventure while it lasts, and you won’t regret that you went on it.


Teslagrad follow up World to the West has a release date Fri, 10 Mar 2017 04:58:37 +0000 SOEDESCO has announced today that World to the West will be released May 5, 2017, for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. It is developed by Rain Games, and is their first game since Teslagrad. World to the West and is a top-down action adventure game set in the Teslagrad universe.

In World to the West, the player may control one of four characters as they explore a lush, cartoony world of jungles, frozen tundras, and ancient civilisations. The game transitions between combat and puzzle-solving. In combat, you may opt to avoid fighting enemies by tricking them or discerning a way around them. The developers promise secrets, clues and ancient powers for those willing to explore.

The four playable characters each have unique national backgrounds, personal motivations, and abilities. They are Lumina the “Teslamancer”, Miss Teri the “mind bender”, Knaus the orphan, and Lord Clonington the strong-armed aristocrat. Their storylines will interweave throughout the game.

Rain Games, founded in 2010, is an independent Norwegian developer formed by a team of local talent with diverse interests but the common goal of making “fun and challenging” games (see Teslagrad, released in 2013, has sold over 1.6 million copies worldwide, and is available on PC, Xbox One, PS4, PS3, and the Wii U.


No Man’s Sky: Path Finder Update Fri, 10 Mar 2017 00:02:14 +0000 Since the troubled release of No Man’s Sky, Hello Games has been hard at work trying to improve every element of the game as well as their public image. This new update by far is the most impressive. Addressing issues from PS4 Pro Support to brand new vehicles (called Exocraft) that help you traverse the difficult terrain of many planets, and much much more.


  • PS4 Pro Support
     4K resolution game play is now supported on the PS4 Pro. As well as support for Automatic Depth Buffer Decompression and Delta Color Compression for the PS4 Pro.


  • Brand New Permadeath Mode
    Death is now permanent in a mode who’s difficulty will match that of Survival Mode. As well as this, Normal Mode, Hard Mode, and Survival Mode have been adjusted. You can expect situations like a damaged ship crash landing on planets in Survival Mode. With the addition of Permadeath Mode, new trophy’s have been added for both Permadeath and Survival Mode.


  • New HDR Mode
    Many new graphical and visual changes come with this update. Most interestingly an HDR Mode for any televisions and monitors with HDR support.



  • New Ship Types and Planetary Vehicles
    All ships now have specialisations and classes: Explorer (warp abilities), Fighter (combat abilities), Hauler (extra cargo holds), and Shuttle (Average, well rounded stats). As well as planetary vehicles called Exocraft’s: The Roamer who’s abilities match that of the Shuttle, The speedy and small Nomad, and every resource hunters favorite the Colossus which features a large amount of cargo space. All three Exocraft act as signal boosters as well.


  • Brand New Shops, Traders, and Currency
    Your relationship with the NPC factions is now more important than ever. A brand new currency called Nanite Clusters can be discovered in various locations. A building trader has been added who you will find on your home planet, he supplies building materials for credits.

While the bullet points above are some of the biggest improvements for the current update, there are various other smaller things that have been added, Like:

  • New Photo Mode with filters
  • New weapons and Multi-Tool modes
  • More original music from 65daysofstatic
  • New damage and resource numbers
  • Added Discovery menu
  • Your constructions can now be shared online and visited by others
  • Various other quality of life improvements

 The amount of content and fixes that have been released by Hello Games for No Man’s Sky in the last six months has been astounding. The release of this update has been met with a small amount of controversy, with many who feel that its all “too little, too late”, I’ve come across countless others who are very excited about all of these new updates and give Hello Games a lot of credit for sticking with their game when they could have walked away and wiped their hands clean of the mess that was the No Man’s Sky release.

Reflex Arena launches Thu, 09 Mar 2017 06:01:09 +0000 Turbo Pixel Studios’ fast-paced arena shooter Reflex Arena has officially launched on Steam today. It had been in early access and began its alpha phase in May 2015.

Reflex is modelled after classic arena shooters like Unreal Tournament or Quake III: Arena. The indie studio behind the game wanted to bring back this classic style of play. From “Reflex Arena is a return to roots, pure, fast, first person  shooter [sic]… [It delivers] a truly rewarding experience based purely on your skill and success… There are no limitations in Reflex Arena, the true evolution of the classic arena shooter genre.” Reflex has classic deathmatch, one versus one, team deathmatch, and Capture the Flag.

The game is built on a custom engine and will target 125 frames per second during gameplay. Reflex also has a map editor with workshop integration in Steam. There are future plans to add bots, matchmaking, and regional ranking ladders. The game opens today with a competitive “Season One”. In competitive play, players earn points that, in turn, may be used to purchase items to modify one’s character.

The game can be purchased for 8.49 USD until March 18th. Its standard price is 9.99 USD.

Check out the launch trailer below.


Looking Back: 5 of the Very Best Games Ever Released on PS3 Thu, 09 Mar 2017 00:32:40 +0000 The gaming industry is one of the most quickly advancing in the world. Developers and companies are coming out with new consoles and technology at a mind-blowing pace. Sony’s Play Station units are no exception, and in 2013 we welcomed the PlayStation 4 as the newest Sony gaming console. It’s predecessor, the PlayStation 3, was released in late 2006 and boasted an impressive number of games and new features during its seven year lifespan. Groundbreaking games and updated reboots make up a lengthy repertoire of entertainment for even the most niche gamers. Here are five of the very best games released for the Play Station 3 console.


  1. Grand Theft Auto V

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The Grand Theft Auto franchise, made by Rockstar Games, has always been popular with its customized characters and vehicles, and general disregard for rules. The fifth instalment is no different, and the franchise has never looked better. It was released in September of 2013 and won VGX Game of the Year, among a slew of other accolades. The game itself features a sprawling and intertwining story as players navigate their crew through a string of heists on behalf of three criminal big wigs. Of course, the story is just one of the many draws Grand Theft Auto has.

Multiplayer options, racing, and customizing houses and cars are just a few extraneous features offered by this understandably popular game. A replay value can’t really be assigned to this unique franchise, as many players don’t stop playing, even after the story missions have been completed, instead jumping into races with friends and creating unique and exciting maps and heists of their own. In that way, Rockstar keeps proving themselves as a leader in not just story-driven gameplay, but also in simulation, giving gamers the freedom to lead an alternate life; for better or worse. Absolutely deserving of all its shiny medals and accolades as well as the positive reception from fans of the franchise, Grand Theft Auto V is a solid and easy pick for one of the best video games the PS3 had to offer.


  1. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

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A collaboration between Level 5 and Studio Ghibli. Yes. Studio Ghibli, the company responsible for countless movie masterpieces including Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and My Neighbor Totoro, to name only a few. To say this game was anticipated for its early 2013 release would be a colossal understatement. It didn’t disappoint, either, ranking number fourteen on Metacritic’s 2013 best game list, and maintaining generally positive reviews since then on a number of sites.

It isn’t hard to see why: Featuring animations done in Studio Ghibli’s unique and endearing style, music composed by legendary composer and Ghbili regular Joe Hisaishi, and a combat system that feels so much like a classic turn based RPG while still incorporating active time, Ni No Kuni is a delight for all the senses. It details the story of Oliver, a young boy who travels to a parallel world with the help of a lantern-nosed fairy after a tragedy leaves him alone. On his travels, he meets a number of fun and memorable characters, not the least of which are the myriad of creatures you can befriend to aid you in battle. The story becomes much more than just a boy trying to find his mother as Oliver learns that sometimes the best way to deal with your own grief is to help erase someone else’s. The stunning visuals, incredible score and sheer number of catchable creatures accompany this long reaching story to provide hours upon hours of enjoyable gaming. A story that begins simple, and ends up becoming so much more in a way that only Studio Ghibli can manage, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is one of the greatest games to ever come to the Play Station 3.


  1. Red Dead Redemption

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Tally up another VGX Game of the Year award for Rockstar, this one for their 2010 release of the western-styled action game, Red Dead Redemption. Featuring a free to roam open world and a beautiful sound track, Red Dead Redemption follows the story of John Marston, a former outlaw who’s been threatened by federal agents to bring order to the lawless American West. Gun duels, bountie hunters, and even a few train robberies mesh with survival game aspects to create this immersive masterpiece of a game.

As you trot about from mission to mission on your horse, you can come across strangers in need of help. It isn’t mandatory to help them, but the availability of optional undertakings encourages you to explore the expansive world provided to you, and the extra money and fame can’t hurt either. Another mechanic featured is Dead Eye, which helps you place your shots in slow motion. It’s most notably used in duels and is especially useful if you don’t want to kill your opponent. The mechanic is also available in regular gameplay, with a cool down system in place to ensure players don’t abuse it. Duels become a common thing the more famous you become and regardless of whether your fame is good or not so good. It’s award as game of the year is well earned, as its rating on Gamestop remains an impressive 9.5, with similar ratings across other reputable sites. Red Dead Redemption has an enviable mix of story driven and free-roam gameplay within a beautifully detailed open world. An example of everything done incredibly well, Rockstar’s 2010 gem of a release is an easy pick for one of the top five games ever released for Play Station 3.


  1. The Last of Us

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Blending horror, survival, action, thriller, and role-playing aspects into one heart-wrenching adventure, The Last of Us is one of the most critically acclaimed games since its release in 2013. The story follows the adventures of Joel, a bereft father as he guides a young girl who holds the key to curing the infection through a dangerous world reeling from a mysterious pandemic.

People come, people go, and even more succumb to this zombie-like illness as Joel and Ellie make their way through a lawless and immoral world of people doing whatever they can to survive. The combat in The Last of Us is unique, as you can create your own weapons from the world around you; not much is off limits. You can take the firearms of the people who stand in your way, or you can craft more primal weapons for closer combat, depending on which suits your style and situation. In The Last of Us, it is best to be prepared for anything, as allies will turn on you the moment it benefits them to do so. The three main characters in the game are Joel, Ellie, and a woman named Tess. Joel’s cynicism is not only understandable, but somewhat contagious as the player witnesses and facilitates violence and savagery.

Tess is a ruthless and determined woman who is equally unpleasant in her single minded drive towards her goal. Ellie, however, is still a young girl with fears and uncertainties as well as dreams and fantasies, making her a heaven sent contrast to the adults around her. The Last of Us is a glorified escort mission through a ravaged world in which society (what’s left of it, at least) has descended into the very bottom of the barrel. It’s unique blend of genres and range of play options mesh with a thrilling and emotional story that has earned it the penultimate position on this list of top games ever released on Play Station 3.


  1. Journey

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That Game Company knocked it out of the park with their 2012 stunner, Journey. This unique game is breathtaking in every sense of the word. The visuals are beautiful in their simplicity and the music is superb. In fact, among its staggering number of awards and accolades, the soundtrack of this game was nominated for a Grammy for best score in a visual medium, which speaks volumes not only for the score itself, but on the impact this game has had on the public. Journey is a short and sweet adventure RPG that features one of the most unique co-op systems ever seen: You are given a partner, but not told their name until the very end. Additionally, your only means of communication between each other are little chimes and blips.

No words are written or spoken between the two of you as you navigate rolling sand dunes, sneak past ancient monsters, and make your way up a brutal mountain together. This unusual communication system shattered language barriers and allowed random people to play and experience Journey’s flowing gameplay together. This games innate ability to bring people together in the most simplistic and unexpected way is just one of the many exceptional thing this game does, and because you play with someone different every time, making new friends is pretty much guaranteed.

The game itself is very smooth to play; you can slide down the sand dunes and float along the mysterious pieces of fabric that make up your scarf as you progress through your journey. The game takes between one and a half to two hours to complete, and the simplistic gameplay and soothing music make it a fun de-stresser that many gamers are more than happy to return to. Its high replay value, unique co-op, and exceptional quality are what put this short and sweet adventure in the number one spot for best games ever released on the Play Station 3 console.

Quake Champions closed beta open for sign up Wed, 08 Mar 2017 23:51:11 +0000 You can now sign up for a closed beta in Quake Champions by going to All you need to do is enter your email address and country of residence, check one or more boxes, and you are set. Quake Champions was announced at last year’s E3, and is Bethesda Softwork’s and id Software’s resurrection of Quake III: Arena. The game will bring back that game’s fast-paced arena style first-person shooter combat, but will also include “champions”, or playable characters each with their own powers and play styles.

So far several champions have been announced. “Ranger”—the marine from the original Quake game and playable character from Quake III—is back, along with other Quake III alumni Visor, Anarki, and Sorlag. New characters include the lumbering Scalebearer, the stealthy Nyx, and the robotic Clutch.

The arsenal includes the signature Quake rocket launcher, the super nailgun, the lightning gun, the railgun, and others.

Two arenas have also been announced, “Blood Covenant” and “Ruins of Sarnath”. Each features gothic themes inspired by the original Quake, and the latter contains a living, imprisoned eyeball (is it Quake III’s Orb?). gives the details on architectural structure, items, and the map’s “Elder God”. This latter point is a reference to the first Quake’s vague narrative that included runes of power and an episode called “The Elder World”.

Quake Champions is expected to undergo a lengthy beta before it officially launches.

Check out the closed beta announcement trailer below.


Games You Should Play: Eternal Sonata Wed, 08 Mar 2017 02:29:47 +0000 Hello and welcome to Games You Should Play, a series where I discuss games you might not have played but should if you love video games.

As an avid JRPG fan there’s a few things that, even I have to admit, hold people back from becoming attached to the genre as much as they perhaps should. This might be setting (everything involves saving the world from armageddon), a difficult to grasp battle system or maybe just an over reliance on the Japanese culture which leads to a downright refusal to “Westernise” the game for international audiences. But every now and then a game like Eternal Sonata comes along and becomes so good that even though it might fall victim to these flaws of the genre, it becomes a masterstroke despite it.

The Elevator Pitch

Take Frederic Chopin, a real historical figure from the 19th century (considered to be one of the greatest pianists of all time), on his deathbed and throw him into an over-the-top fantasy world full of magic, monsters, and political intrigue. Regardless of its seemly out-there plot, Eternal Sonata presents an engrossingly imaginative world with awesome gameplay and a story that you can’t help care about.

Why Should You Play It?


First off, as you can tell from the elevator pitch, this game does have a dark undertone to it with pieces of Chopin’s real life experiences sprinkled in for good measure, but it never necessarily overtakes the fun of the game. Eternal Sonata offers the charm and fun of some of the best JRPG’s. But with the story of Chopin, it adds a much needed weight to what’s going on as the fantasy meets the reality in a very interesting and unique way


Secondly, the battle system is really, really fun. Battles are turned based, but each character has an action gauge that decreases in real-time as you move, attack, and use items and special attacks.


The strategy of Sonata revolves around the distinction between light and shadow. Not only do enemies dramatically change depending on whether they’re standing in a light area or covered in shadow (a small flying bat in the light will transform into a gigantic scorpion in the shadow, for example), but your own party’s special attacks will vary depending on whether you’re in a light or shadowed area. Shadow attacks are generally more powerful, while light attacks can either be offensive or healing. There are also status inflicting attacks that can cast a shadow on someone no matter what, preventing that character from using a much-needed healing attack, and vice versa.


As you progress, your training wheels are slowly taken off by altering the rules of battle to make things more difficult. At the start, your action gauge pauses whenever you pause, but later, it will deplete in real time no matter what you’re doing, giving you less time to think before acting. On initial glance that might seem worrisome if you’re not a JRPG fan but the game is paced out well enough that difficulty spike is like a well made mountain cliff rather than an avalanche of confusion. Also to balance things out, you’re also given extra slots for items and special attacks as you progress, to make up for the increasing difficulty. This dynamic aspect of the system also helps keep things fresh, alleviating some of the boredom that often results from trudging through a JRPG’s many dungeons.

-Unique Experience

This may be the less technical and wholly subjective reason but Eternal Sonata has something to offer for non-JRPG fans and hardcore fans and I can guarantee once you’ve played the game you’ll understand why.

And that’s Why You Should Play Eternal Sonata.

Outlast 2’s Release Date Has Been Announced Tue, 07 Mar 2017 00:32:30 +0000 Outlast 2 was revealed to much excitement back in late 2015 with a planned release for late 2016, this unfortunately ended up falling through with the game then winding up being pushed into 2017. However when this delay occurred no details were given as to when we would see the game, that is until now.

Red Barrel Games (the developers behind the Outlast franchise), have announced that Outlast 2 will be heading to the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC this April, with an exact release date being set for April 25th.

Outlast 2 release dateWelcome to Temple Gate. Outlast 2 will be available digitally on PC, XBOX One and Playstation 4 on April 25th.

Outlast 2 will sell for $29.99 USD. In the same announcement Red Barrel also revealed a physical release for the Outlast franchise known as Outlast Trinity. This will include the original game, Outlast 2 as well as Whistleblower.

Outlast Trinity will be arriving on April 25th as well, and will sell for $39.99 USD, however this physical release will only be available for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

Are you planning on playing Outlast 2? Did you enjoy the first game? Will you get the physical release? Please let us know in the comment section down below.


Bungie details Features that may or may not transfer to Destiny 2 Mon, 06 Mar 2017 22:37:54 +0000 Bungie recently posted details on their site,, on what’s in store for the future of the space RPG that came out in late 2014. Players have spent the long months since the Rise of Iron DLC speculating on the future of the game (when it was first announced) that it would be the final expansion in the first instalment of the supposed 10 year lifespan of Destiny.

The post, which also announced the final yearly triumph challenge, gave details on what players would be able to take with them going into Destiny 2. Unfortunately, characters will not be transferable. According to Bungie, “Destiny 2 will be a new adventure for old and new players alike”. Usually, this would point to there being new classes in the next instalment, but that seems unlikely due to how embedded warlocks, hunters, and titans are in the grimoire texts and Destiny lore.

On a positive note, it was confirmed that players will be able to take their cosmetic items such as shaders, ships, and ghost shells over to the new game. For now though, many players are enjoying the last of a 3-year adventure by completing a set of challenges to gain a final triumph badge.

For more information on everything Destiny, stay tuned to Gameluster.

Super Bomberman R Review Sun, 05 Mar 2017 21:22:27 +0000 In the modern game industry it seems all too common for companies to simply forget about their older franchises. Even when people ask for these games developers seem to ignore them, and Bomberman was one of these franchises. After an unsuccessful reboot in 2006 for the Xbox 360 the franchise simply vanished, but now Konami has found the chance to bring the franchise back and return it to its roots with Super Bomberman R.

Emperor Buggler has awoken the five dastardly bombers and has begun to take over the starry sky solar system. With the goal of mass conquest it is up to the eight Bomberman brothers to gain some enthusiasm and take down their foe. In regards to the overall narrative it is never anything serious, yet does manage to be quite funny at the best of times with a slice of drama thrown in for good measure.

The story mode itself is nothing special but does provide a good amount of fun throughout. Just in terms of the story it is clear that the developers were simply having fun trying to add as many cliché story moments as possible, while also trying to deliver some solid humor to attempt having a story. Yet Bomberman proves it does not need a narrative to set up the action, but it can be appreciated that the developers went ahead and found a way to offer some extra charm with the adventure.

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Where the game matters however is in the actual gameplay. Konami and HexaDrive have done an amazing job at redeveloping the Bomberman franchise to its original form. Just on nostalgia alone, Super Bomberman R manages to offer a breath of fresh air for those looking for some classic arcade style action.

In terms of the actual gameplay things are perfectly made, this is still a game about clearing out blocks from your path, and then working to achieve a goal often related to defeating your enemies. There is something that is so enticing about doing this particularly with the risk and reward system that often turns each level or match into a strategic game.

Your bombs act as your primary weapon, but also quite often they are your greatest enemy. Through each level you can find items that power you up which will offer a bigger explosion or faster movement speed, if you happen to even be slightly close to the blast radius you lose a life. With this you can often end up trapping yourself with a wrong move, or ultimately getting killed by an enemy you tried to trap.

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There is so much satisfaction that comes from beating a level, and as part of that pulling off a perfect strategy that achieves your goal while also keeping all your lives. There is true intelligence built into this game that really forces you to think ahead before you move or ultimately die, a lesson that is quickly learned.

Mission variety is also a strong element of Super Bomberman R, while most missions fall under the somewhat tiresome framework of defeat all enemies. There are other mission types which offer stressful but enjoyable design, in one mission you have to find all the buttons to leave the level, in another you have to escort people to a safe zone.

The strength of these different tasks falls into the well-made levels which make it easy to lose a life, with respawning enemies often causing a problem and an interesting maze that needs to be navigated. There are even survival missions which require you to not lose all your life’s and survive against a constantly respawning army of monsters for minutes at a time which proves quite challenging when your bombs become your biggest enemy.

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The enemy types are also well implemented, across the story modes five main acts Super Bomberman R manages to add a good variety of different enemy types on a regular basis. Even better as you progress through the story many of the older enemies get new forms which require you to employ new tactics to deal with their increased intelligence.

What makes enemies even more enjoyable is that they harken back to classic Bomberman further cementing this installment as a greater nostalgia trip. From small basic enemies, to the annoying frog type that requires even more forethought, the enemies are so well put together and show that the past can be adapted rather than being changed.

Super Bomberman R’s strongest element comes from its multiplayer, up to eight players can join in the standard battle mode, while two players can take on the story. This game managed to become even stronger when the second another player joined in. The story mode becomes a hectic challenge of trying to avoid your own attacks as well as your partners and requires a lot of communication and planning to best optimize your teamwork.

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Battle mode on the other hand is a truly quick and devastating mode, whether you are fighting real players or the computer this mode is fast paced. There is nothing that can truly match the amount of joy and chaos this mode brings as you attempt to take out the opponents with your bomb’s while trying to avoid theirs. Then after dying trying to bring yourself back into the game by defeating someone from the sidelines. There is no denying the amount of fun battle mode brings to the table especially through the random chaos that the mode provides which will act as the greatest reason to keep coming back.

Super Bomberman R is a wonderful nostalgic throwback to the golden era of gaming. After years of absence Bomberman R manages to make up for it by giving fans the Bomberman experience that they wanted, a simple and to the point arcade adventure that understands how to have fun. If you want something that has plenty of replay value and will offer a distraction for a couple of hours, Super Bomberman R has you covered.

Wii U: A Look Back Sun, 05 Mar 2017 20:57:10 +0000 Nintendo has had a rough run through their many years in the game industry, going from one console to the next they saw varying levels of success with some consoles becoming huge hits among the gaming public, while others failed to live up to the companies hopes. The biggest success for Nintendo was of course the Wii, by completely changing their strategy and opting to go down the path of a weaker system while offering what was at the time innovation was a risky move that payed off with the system selling over one hundred million units by the end. But this success was not to be replicated.

The company believed that they could cash in on the brand name alone, they thought that by following up with the Wii U that they would see the same level of success which was not to happen. Many who played the Wii were from the casual market, those that would move on when they grew tired of the Wii gimmick and quickly flocked onto the worse mobile industry.

This left Nintendo without the core demographic which cemented the Wii in history and instead left the Wii U to crumble into dust, people just did not get if the Wii U was simply an expansion to the original Wii or was something new. To the actual game players the difference was clear, but to the casual market everything about the system such as the name just confused them and made them wonder why we should pay all that money for an expansion.

What never helped with this factor was that Nintendo never properly marketed the system, there was never an advertisement that presented people with an overlook of the systems critical features and blatantly said that the Wii U was its own entity. To look over the history of the Wii U we have to consider that Nintendo made so many bad decisions and never tried to actual unbury themselves from the pit that they had placed themselves in, after a poor start nothing was going to help this system especially as its rivals picked up more steam.


It was such a shame as behind the flaws, terrible ideas, and lack of games from major publishers stood an incredible system which I have never regretted buying even once. Unlike so many others I didn’t come from a generation of owning all the biggest games and systems, my major companions for my adventures were my DS, Wii, Playstation 2, and Nintendo 64, so for me the Wii U was this exciting prospect. I loved my Nintendo Wii and had spent the better part of five years enjoying the charm of Wii Sports and Super Mario Galaxy, but finally it was the time to be up to date.

When I learned about the Wii U in 2012 I was excited, another wonderful idea from Nintendo that showed innovation surrounding the core principal of fun. Then after researching what they had lined up for the console I was even more excited, there was so much that I had not played like Batman Arkham City which I could not wait to try, and with this console I wanted to branch out and explore new genres.

I counted the days and finally it arrived, as soon as I could I had my parents take me to EB Games where I had preordered the system and excitedly picked it up making this my first ever day one purchase of a console. With it I got a copy of Ubisoft’s Zombi U, as well as Nintendo Land which I could not wait to try, and after turning everything on and setting up the system I was on my way.

This was the start of a new journey and it was very exciting. I loaded up Nintendo Land and simply played for hours, enthralled in the worlds that Nintendo had created within this minigame collection I soaked in every moment. This was my new Wii Sports, from this moment I was truly proud to own a Wii U, and there was so many moments that I looked forward to in the future.

The initial line up was one major point that caused concern for most game players and in looking back I am able to see why, the system was a mixed bag of games that were already aged and Nintendo’s personal offerings were lacking. Yet, I looked at this system with the same optimism and love that a child in the 90’s felt when they picked up a new toy, I didn’t care what it offered I was excited to play everything.

Call this a lack of knowledge from years of being a Wii enthusiast, or call this general excitement that didn’t choose to judge the system for what it had to offer, there may have been some bad games among the batch but the fun factor was what mattered and the Wii U had that.

Zombi U

I have always seen a console as an investment, like anyone who puts money on something such as a stock in a company my Wii U was an investment for the future. I didn’t actually care what was coming up, I had bought the Wii U in the mindset of investing in my future adventures and being excited for the future’s surprises and this was also a moment where the system suffered.

Why can’t people step into something like a game console unaware of the future, or just keep the system even though nothing has arrived that they want. Sure there have been a few gaming droughts but this investment was one that paid off so many times, and if more people went ahead with my own personal perception perhaps the console could have been better.

Every company always said we need people to buy the system to justify releasing our games, and blind investment would have done so well, sticking through the bad times, laughing through the good and in truth there really was more good than bad. Despite all the problems, Nintendo gave us a great time with this system, they delivered time and time again and the history of amazing games shows.

The Wii U may not be the best selling console by a long shot but whenever I look back over my time with the system I can’t help but smile, the Wii U was undoubtedly the best investment I ever made and it is likely the best console I have ever played. Because of this reason I made a similar investment in the Nintendo Switch, I still dream of the future but I bought the next system with uncertainty for peoples own fickle minds. At least for Nintendo’s next system the future is looking much brighter and I hope it does get a good run.

Nintendo Switch: Day One Impressions Fri, 03 Mar 2017 12:25:40 +0000 After months of waiting the Nintendo Switch is finally here, and like so many I took the chance to head to a midnight launch to grab my console in order to spend a full day looking at the system and a couple of games. Leading up to the console launch I had many concerns that were making me question the design of the console, while the unique features were always good there were small worries which I aimed to address.

One of my greatest concerns going into this console was simply how comfortable it would be. Without having been able to test it before launch I was uncertain of how heavy the system would be, or whether it would sit nicely in my hands. This is a system with the intention of being playable on the go so you want to have some comfort when you play. To my surprise the Nintendo Switch is quite light and is still comfortable to hold after several hours which is wonderful.

Another concern I had was with the screen size, I watched the trailers and always thought that the screen would be painful to play on. This is another point that I am happy to say was not an issue, the screen was perfect for long play sessions running both of the games I looked at with zero issue while still looking stunning. I really look forward to taking this console on the go especially with a screen that does not hinder my experience by being small, and still offering some quality games.

One final issue I had initially was the size of the Joy-Con’s, from watching videos I was bothered by how small they were, and the size of the buttons looked like it would be hard for those of us with big hands to manage. This was another issue put to rest pretty quickly, while the Joy-Con’s do sink into my hands the button size has not been an issue and neither has the odd joystick placement. This latter issue still remains to be seen fully however when used in a single Joy-Con game or through multiplayer which I was unable to look at.

In regards to the controllers themselves I must admit I was impressed with just how nice the Joy-Con’s are to hold. I spent a portion of my time playing Super Bomberman R with just the Joy-Con’s and they were easy to use and were my preferred method of play for this game while the console was docked. I want to note that I only tested this using loose Joy-Con’s with Bomberman and did not take the chance to look at The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with this set up.

Most of my game time spent with the Nintendo Switch was spent using the standard grip controller that comes with the console. I was curious to see how different I would feel using the controllers in different ways and I was actually not overly keen on the Joy-Con grip, this was the first instance where my hands actually started hurting but this was only after so long which is concerning but not overly affecting. I see the value in the grip and I think that most other people might prefer this controller system but this does depend on the game.

The arcade style action of Super Bomberman R can be handled nicely with two loose Joy-Con’s which works nicely across many hours of play. Whereas even without testing I see the grip being the better option for The Legend of Zelda, it keeps the controllers together and does at least offer a solid controller base. I still prefer loose Joy-Con’s but different games do work better under different set up’s.

While there is plenty I have enjoyed about the Nintendo Switch there are some truly notable things that could have been handled better.

One of these comes down to the home menu, when you look at the Wii U it is easy to see just how well set up the system was just from looking at the main content. The Nintendo Switch’s menu is simply bland featuring only a handful of sub-menu’s and your games, there were better ways this could have been handled had Nintendo tried. But I guess they did go for simplicity which was easy to use but lack’s a lasting charm.

The menu screen is also bland with only two theme choices, black or white, I understand the simplicity but the console has a key feature which could have made things more exciting. Being able to take screenshots of your games Nintendo could have enabled us to make those our system’s background. Who would not love to have a screenshot of the beautiful views in Breath of the Wild as their background? Perhaps this could be implemented in a future update at least to add some personality to the system and some more personalization.

Besides these minor gripes I must say I was impressed, any major concerns I had are no longer present, and this console is just so much fun to use. The greatest credit that I can give the Nintendo Switch is its solid lineup of games for launch, it may seem small but there is some wonderful quality especially within Zelda, and Bomberman is a true blast. These games alone should make people buy the Nintendo Switch, it will be great for on the go with its solid screen, and surprisingly decent controls.

I look forward to continuing my adventures with this console and hopefully my opinions continue to stay positive as I am afforded more time to play.

Sony Has Revealed March’s Playstation Plus Offerings Wed, 01 Mar 2017 21:24:52 +0000 March has finally arrived and with it Sony has prepared the latest games for the Playstation Plus service ready for subscriber’s to enjoy. Even with the release of Horizon Zero Dawn, Sony is still hoping to encourage people to check out some of their systems older content with the latest series of games made available.

Leading March’s offerings is Media Molecule’s Tearaway Unfolded, this is an enhanced version of the original Playstation Vita release featuring additional levels, mechanics, and a wide variety of fake out endings. If nothing else the games design is stunning and acts as a key reason to play Tearaway. Also releasing for the Playstation 4 is Disc Jam an arcade sports title which will be available through the service on the same day as its release.

Playstation 3 owners can look forward to a 2D Japanese fighting game Under Night: In-Birth, as well as being able to check out Earth Defence Force 2025 which has risen to becoming a cult classic giant bug shooter.

Finally, isometric platformer Lumo which is available for the Playstation 4 as well as the Vita. Also being offered is Severed which is brought to us from the developers of Guacamelee will be available on the Playstation Vita. Severed is a touchscreen focused action game which makes use of the some of the Playstation Vita’s unique features.

All of these games will become available as of March 7th so make sure you pick up Feburary’s offerings before then or miss out.

Why I Am Concerned For The Last Of Us Part II Wed, 01 Mar 2017 12:40:09 +0000 Back in December Sony and Naughty Dog made the surprise reveal that they were working on a sequel to their critically acclaimed 2013 gem The Last of Us. While this was something many wanted the reveal did come as a shock with a fully made trailer that showed some of the key differences that Naughty Dog had in store. This game is going to have some key different to the original and while that is a good thing we have had some time to reflect on this game and I must say I am truly concerned.

Everyone who knows me well enough would be aware just how much I love The Last of Us, the brilliance found in the gameplay and narrative direction stands as a definitive point of why I enjoyed the game as much as I did. The wonderful construction of the roller coaster ride of a narrative meant you were always emotionally unprepared for what would happen next, even at a time with such moral ambiguity.

To tell the truth I spent the first year upon finishing The Last of Us imagining potential scenarios or further stories that the game could explore with Joel and Ellie. But as I continue to look back I realize that a sequel to The Last of Us should not exist, perhaps I am alone in this but it just does not seem necessary.

Despite the common belief that if something is popular it needs a sequel this is never true, not every game needs a sequel and many are better just being left alone. The Last of Us is one of these games that managed to create a narrative that could be continued on but did not require it with the room allowed for players to conceive their own story conclusion.

Did Ellie know what Joel had done and in turn knew he lied, this is a key point that is fun to speculate on and was enjoyable to simply conceive your own conclusion on. It was this moment tailored with the rest of the game that made The Last of Us so appealing, the twists and turns of the narrative showing how Ellie and Joel’s relationship evolved. In the hopeless world this was the element that made the game so charming, and by extension a sequel won’t live up to this.

The Last of Us Part II Ellie

Sure the games director Neil Druckmann has stated that this is a game that will more closely explore Ellie years after the events of the original game. This will even change a core theme from the original game which was love to be directed at hate, just watching the trailer you can clearly see this element at play. You can see freshly dead bodies everywhere as Joel wanders through, but more directly it is Ellie’s wording that does offer a major insight into this game direction.

Ellie is on a warpath, this will not be a game about a cross country journey to find hope that particular ship has certainly sailed. Now we are off as Ellie to rid some wrongs and I do wonder where the game is going with this, I can’t deny that the trailer has me intrigued and I am certainly open to a new direction for The Last of Us but this fails to really capture that same appeal that made The Last of Us unforgettable.

Taking the road of hate is looking like it will cut off a lot of the heart and soul which made most moments in the original fantastic. It might also cut off those rare moments that meant a lot as the player, say goodbye to random jokes and those moments that made you forget about the state of the world, and more importantly those memorable moments which stand out due to how they hone in on Ellie’s fears and weaknesses.

I am not saying that this game is going to be bad, I just remain cautiously optimistic it could be all too easy to simply ruin the game and by extension the original. The direction they are heading has me worried, not just because it is not needed but because they could struggle to truly build a narrative which truly impacts the player.

The Last of Us Part II teaser Joel

This was another element that made The Last of Us special, through shock value in moments such as Henry’s suicide and the way it really impacts your feelings. From the opening moments this game was a whirlwind of emotion, and if The Last of Us Part II fails to create steady pacing and an evolving character or characters something could really go wrong.

When Naughty Dog does bring this out I will play it, and I will look at the game with an open mind. Honestly I would love to be pleasantly surprised and feel the same way I felt playing through the original, but there are also too many factors in the games design that make me nervous for the final product. Please Naughty Dog you have a great track record but make sure you stick to what made The Last of Us good and accommodate that into the sequel. I want to like it, but I can’t shake the feeling that I want this game to not exist even more.

The Escapists 2 coming to Nintendo Switch Tue, 28 Feb 2017 21:53:49 +0000 The Escapists is a truly exciting game that has managed to achieve a decent following on the PC and consoles, and with the sequel the developers aim to go bigger and better. The biggest thing to come out for this game is the reveal through the latest Nindies Showcase that the game will be arriving on the Nintendo Switch.

The Escapists 2 will offer a bigger experience then the original allowing players to team up with three other players to breakout of prison. In addition this game will also bring in much bigger prisons then the original with multiple floor offerings which will surely make things all the more exciting for teams to pull of a successful jailbreak.

A press release for the game was released along with the original reveal last year stating:

The sequel to the hugely popular prison escape series supports drop-in/drop-out co-op for up to four players (additional accessories are required for multiplayer modes, and are sold separately). Players can tie together knotted sheets and use them to climb down high windows in new multi-level prisons, and find other new ways to make a break for freedom. The Escapists 2 is coming later this year.

The Nintendo Switch could offer a better platform for this jail break adventure, and multiplayer is sure to add plenty of value to the experience. The Escapists 2 will be arriving on Nintendo Switch later this year. Are you planning on some co-operative jail breaking on Nintendo Switch let us know in the comment section down below.

Stardew Valley comes to Nintendo Switch this Summer with multiplayer support Tue, 28 Feb 2017 21:33:44 +0000 Stardew Valley was revealed to be heading to the Nintendo Switch a few ago, but during the latest Nindies showcase more was revealed on when to expect the game. The showcase revealed that Stardew Valley will be headed to Nintendo’s latest console this Summer, but it will also come with some new features. The Nintendo Switch version of the game will be the first to include multiplayer allowing players to team up with a friend or family member to build a farm together.

It is also expected that Stardew Valley will include local multiplayer allowing people with Nintendo Switch consoles to team up and build up their farm together.

You can all look forward to enjoying the farming life as a team and on the go this Summer, expect an official release date to arrive later this year.

Simon’s Top Ten Worst Wii U Games Mon, 27 Feb 2017 23:31:21 +0000 After four years the Wii U has attained a mixed library of many wonderful gems but also a wide variety of average or outright terrible games. After exploring the brighter side of the Wii U collection on multiple occasions, I felt it was time to dig though over one hundred different games on the Wii U to determine which games are the worst on the system. It needs to be noted that this list is made up of games that I have personally played and I have spent many hours digging through my personal library to find the games that are the worst in my eyes.

  1. Assassin’s Creed 3Assassin's Creed 3 second image


I have a mixed history with the Assassin’s Creed franchise, while I love a lot of the later games I don’t find that same appeal in the franchises earlier adventures. But for all that Ubisoft managed to do with the franchise up to this point in 2012, they somehow managed to seriously step down their game quality. Outside of a few rare moments which are pretty well executed such as the battle of Bunker Hill, Assassin’s Creed 3 fails to offer a meaningful game.

The narrative and characters all feel lifeless, whether you are playing as Haytham, Conner, or even Desmond there is no life or fun to any of these characters, and the narrative is simply tiresome. But much more notably was the poor world and mission design, in this game you never feel like an assassin, there is no improvisation or chance to even go off the main path. You decide to go off the set path and you are instantly desynchronised and this is not how you create a fun Assassin’s Creed game, and besides this the world was also pretty bland and is not somewhere that I ever want to come back to.

It is such a shame because the American Revolution does offer so much potential but this was unfulfilled. Come on Ubisoft you did so well with the era of pirates, Industrial Revolution, and sure even the Italian Renascence, what made you go so wrong here. I know you were sticking close to a lot of the historical points but this does not excuse the poor design choices.

  1. Disney Infinity 2.0

Disney infinity 2.02

Avalanche Studios, how on earth do you mess up the second game in the Disney Infinity franchise, and yet create a wonderful first and third installment. This makes no sense, but ultimately seems worse when you consider that this was supposed to be a game about Marvel’s greatest heroes. Yet when you step into this game you are met with a dull story campaign that had potential, a lifeless world, and far too much combat repetition.

In the first game you managed to create a wonderful adventure for the Incredibles, and yet with Marvel there just seemed to be no effort. In addition the toybox which was the main draw of the first game was made increasingly frustrating, it seemed far less user friendly then before and it really managed to ruin the longevity of this game.

  1. Avengers: Battle For Earth

Marvel Avengers Battle For Earth

I remember being excited to play this game, as fast as Avenger’s Battle for Earth arrived on the Wii U I picked up a copy excited for some fun with this particular Marvel action game. However after an hour with this game it was hard not to be disappointed, rather than offering players a fun and varied action game Ubisoft offered players a lifeless experience which clearly had the characters available but not quite the essence.

With only a handful of possible attacks and your character being restricted to only walking a small circle around the opponent Avengers: Battle for Earth failed to make for a fun experience.

  1. Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric

Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric

Sonic has had a rough run across the past fifteen years, and where some of the game typically deemed as “bad” can be fun, Sonic Boom is not. I picked up this game thinking that it surely could not be as bad as many people said, there was always a chance and yet once I played it I could see what people were talking about. Curiosity can be the worst thing when it comes to wanting to play a game, and Sonic Boom is something that needs to be steered away from.

In combination with Supergirl levels of cheesy dialogue and not in the enjoyable way, and some broken game design this game seriously made me question why I bothered to play video games. Yet this is not the worst game on the system, there is at least one good point but that does not redeem a whole game.

  1. Mario Tennis Ultra Smash

Mario Tennis Ultra Smash 1

Mario Tennis is a beloved franchise from the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy era and surely Nintendo had hoped to try to get people’s attention with a new installment. Unfortunately people just don’t care for the gimmicks of these games any longer, and its worse when Mario Tennis Ultra Smash was already pretty gimmicky.

This game relied on its new Mega Battle mode to grab attention and yet this mode felt unbalanced. In another instance this also felt like a less then basic Mario Tennis experience as it was just trying to get people’s attention with little of the magic that was so appealing to older fans.

  1. Rabbids Land

Rabbids Land

I have a soft spot for the Rabbids, there crazy antics from some of their minigame compilations have offered some decent fun. Yet this doesn’t change the fact that Rabbids Land is not exactly a thrilling experience.

This particular Rabbids game took inspiration from the Mario Party franchise but with a Rabbids twist. Players had to wander around a circular board trying to collect all the trophies to achieve victory, meanwhile they would have to play some less then fun minigames. I can’t even say victory was satisfying in this game, the Rabbids lacked their signature charm and this particular board game is just not a great party game.

  1. Sports Connection/ ESPN Sports Connection

Sports Connection gameplay

We all remember Wii Sports right? Sure you do and Sports Connection is no Wii Sports. There is no fun to these sports and there is definitely no long lasting appeal. The developer’s choice to use the gamepad as a crucial part of the game took most of the fun out of playing these sports. If you are looking for a good sports game on the Wii U get Wii Sports Club and stay well away from this game.

  1. Game Party Champions

Game Party Champions

I had a lot of love for Game Party 3 on the Wii, I failed to care for the actual minigames but fell for the trivia section. Game Party Champions does not include this but that is not why this game is bad, this is a series of activities that are better played in person then on the gamepad. Table Hockey is simply annoying but is also the shining example of the best game here. Everything about this game feels like a quick cash grab with bland minigames that simply try to force the gamepads touch screen to be used too little effect. There is no long time value here.

On this system there are far better minigame compilations available, such as Nintendo Land or many different offerings sown throughout the Nintendo eShop.

  1. Stone Shire

Stone Shire

There was once a time where Minecraft was not on the Wii U and during this dark time many developers would bring their clones to the system. While some of them are actually pretty fun, Stone Shire is truly awful. This game fails to understand the appeal of the Minecraft formula with its bland world design, pitiful world sizes, and inability to actually create a world.

Worse still is that the game breaks after around twenty minutes of play. If you have failed to save your progress you lose it and have to start again which is really annoying. This game is bad because the developers have not seemed to have taken the care to build a quality game, and instead this feels like a quick cash grab that people can easily fall for through simple morbid curiosity.

  1. Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival

Animal Crossing amiibo Festival 2

There is no nice way to put this, Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival is just terrible. Nintendo’s quick cash grab to try and sell amiibo figures offers players a bland version of Mario Party that features a nice world but with no other good quality. The board game aspect is lifeless as you are forced to spend around thirty turns traveling around a board to get the most happy points.

This could have been alright but they failed to even offer what makes Mario Party fun, proper competition, truly random elements, and minigames. I literally fall asleep everytime I have to play this it is that boring, come on Nintendo this could have been fun but there was a clear focus on amiibo money over a fun game.

Axiom Verge Is Getting A Retail Release Through Physical Multiverse Release Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:28:58 +0000 Publisher BadLand Games have today announced they’ve joined up with developer Thomas Happ to bring the acclaimed Metroidvania, Axiom Verge as a physical retail release. What is better about this announcement however is the way the physical edition is being brought out, not only will the game get a standard release but it will also be getting a “multiverse” version.

The multiverse version will include a copy of the game, feature a booklet with developer commentary and art, a double-sided poster as well as a “making-of” documentary on DVD. This particular version will be available on the Playstation 4, Vita and Wii U, meanwhile the standard version will only be made available for the Playstation 4.

Axiom Verge developer Thomas Happ discussed the announcement sharing:

“Fans have been asking for a physical retail version of Axiom Verge since the game originally launched. I’m extremely excited that the Multiverse Edition will be coming to retail soon. As a solo developer, it’s always been a dream of mine to see a game that I made end up on the store shelves!”

Both retail versions of Axiom Verge are expected to arrive in Q2 of this year, we will have to wait for now to find out an official release date.

Lego City Undercover Will Arrive On Current Generation Systems This April Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:15:10 +0000 Former Wii U exclusive Lego City Undercover is getting set to make its debut on the Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. Warner Brothers and TT Games have finally announced a release date for the upcoming remaster with the plan to bring the game to all systems on April 4th.

The new versions of the game should see some enhanced graphics but that seems to be all the cosmetic changes made to the game. In a new trailer released for the game we got to see many of the costumes that Chase McCain will wear during the game, it is worth noting that many of these are unlocked outside of the main campaign but there also does not appear to be anything new shown in the trailer. If this is a strict remaster however is still up in the air.

You can watch the new trailer for the game below:

Lego City Undercover follows Chase McCain as he sets out to take down escaped criminal Rex Fury. The big difference this time is that the game will allow you to play with a friend with a new co-operative mode which was never implemented into the Wii U version.

Get ready to team up and stop crime in Lego City Undercover. The game will arrive for the Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch on April 4th.

New Class Revealed For Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood Expansion! Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:54:43 +0000 Those of us who are looking forward to the release of the Stormblood expansion for Final Fantasy XIV, be prepared for the new announcement. The next class for the series’ expansion has just been announced with a new reveal trailer. So what class can we expect along with the Red Mage? Drum roll please…we will see the Samurai class be introduced for Stormblood.

Now to the main question we are all thinking, what category will the Samurai class fall into tank or dps? Despite what we might expect, the new class is set to be a dps class with armor similar to the Monk class. Although some of us may have been hoping for another tank class, the heavensward expansion already gave us a new tank and healer and dps so this time square wanted to bring in two more dps classes to add to the variety. Instead of being a tank class, the samurai will use their lai techniques to cause front line damage and will be a striking dps. The class will also begin at level 50 for the new expansion, there is still time to finish the heavensward story line and prepare for the next expansion which is already promising new areas and more game play.

Arari Flashback Classics Are Coming To The Playstation 4 And Xbox One Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:16:23 +0000 Fans of old Atari games have something to look forward to on their Playstation 4 and Xbox One’s with one hundred of their games coming to system. These one hundred games are set to be released on two separate physical discs, with fifty games available on each. PQube Ltd will be publishing these games in a two pack collection called Atari Flashback Classics.

Some new features are being added with this collection, each game will now feature achievements, as well as the ability to play online and enter leader-boards. In addition each game will be updated to HD. The collections are set to arrive on the platforms on March 31st.

Below you can see the games box arts, as well as the games that will be available in each collection.

Atari Flashback Classics volume one box art

Atari Flashback Collection Volume one includes:

3-D Tic-Tac-Toe Air-Sea Battle, Backgammon, Basketball, Black Widow (Arcade), Blackjack, Bowling, Canyon Bomber, Centipede, Centipede (Arcade), Circus Atari, Combat, Combat 2, Desert Falcon, Dodge ‘Em, Fatal Run, Football, Home Run, Human Cannonball, Liberator (Arcade), Lunar Lander (Arcade), Millipede, Millipede (Arcade), Miniature Golf, Pong (Arcade), Quadrun, Radar Lock, Realsports Boxing, Realsports Football, Realsports Soccer, Realsports Volleyball, Save Mary, Slot Machine, Slot Racers, Space Duel (Arcade), Sprint Master, Star Raiders, Steeplechase, Stunt Cycle, Super Baseball, Super Football, Swordquest: Earthworld, Swordquest: Fireworld, Swordquest: Waterworld, Tempest, Tempest (Arcade), Video Olympics, Warlords, Warlords (Arcade), Yars’ Revenge.

Atari Flashback Classics volume two box art

While Atari Flackback Classics Volume Two includes:

A Game of Concentration, Adventure, Asteroids, Asteroids (Arcade), Asteroids Deluxe (Arcade), Atari Video Cube, Basic Math, Brain Games, Breakout, Casino, Championship Soccer, Checkers, Chess, Codebreaker, Crystal Castles, Crystal Castles (Arcade), Demons to Diamonds, Double Dunk, Flag Capture, Golf, Gravitar, Gravitar (Arcade), Hangman, Haunted House, Major Havoc (Arcade), Maze Craze, Missile Command, Missile Command (Arcade), Night Driver, Off the Wall, Outlaw, Race, Realsports Baseball, Realsports Basketball, Realsports Tennis, Redbaron (Arcade), Return to Haunted House, Secret Quest, Sentinel, Sky Diver, Spacewar, Sprint (Arcade), Starship, Stellar Track, Street Racer, Sub Commander (SUBMARINE COMMANDER), Super Breakout, Super Breakout (Arcade), Surround, Video Pinball.

Are you excited to replay or experience these classic games, let us know in the comment section down below.

Microsoft has revealed the Games With Gold offerings for March 2017 Wed, 22 Feb 2017 22:02:38 +0000 As another month draws to a close Microsoft prepares to look to the future with the reveal of the latest games to arrive on the Games With Gold service for March.

Leading the Xbox One through all of March is Bloober Teams Layers of Fear, the game is described as a psychological horror game featuring elements that work to mess with the players head and containing many truly notable ideas.

As of the 16th of March, Xbox One owners will be able to get hold of Evolve: Ultimate Edition which will be available until the 15th of April. Evolve had an interesting concept but ultimately failed to attain any long lasting impact, but this might be a chance to change its fortunes.

For Xbox 360 owners Borderlands 2 will be available from March 1st to March 15th, this game offers many hours of entertaining gameplay through its humorous narrative, its co-operative play enabled campaign and its excellent role playing game/ shooter mechanics.

Finally, Heavy Weapon will take up the latter half of the month, this is a side scrolling arcade style shooter which saw a decent critical reception at launch.

Don’t forget that Lovers in a Dangerous SpaceTime and Project Cars on Xbox One as well as Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on Xbox 360 are still available until the end of the month so pick them up while you are able.

Dead Rising 4 coming to Steam in March Wed, 22 Feb 2017 21:42:50 +0000 Dead Rising 4 arrived on the Xbox One and Windows 10 back on December 6th 2016, if you were hoping to play this game on PC you were out of luck unless you were willing to buy the exclusive title through Windows 10. This led many to hope that the game might finally arrive on the more popular Steam service so they could their zombie fill on a preferred medium. Luckily the wait will not take much longer.

Capcom has revealed that Dead Rising 4 will be coming to the Steam service on March 14th. Players will be able to join Frank as he heads back to Willamette to confront a brand new zombie horde, a military organization looking to wipe him out, and some aggressive survivors who have their own way of surviving the apocalypse.

\Those interested in checking out Dead Rising 4 through Steam can preorder the game now with a 20% discount which will now cost perspective players $47.99. Upon launch the price will revert back to the standard $59.99, so it is recommended you preorder the game rather then wait for launch.

Capcom has put together a trailer to announced Dead Rising 4 coming to Steam, you can check that out below:

Are you planning on picking up Dead Rising 4 for Steam? Or are you still happy with the Xbox One/ Windows 10 version of the game. Let us know in the comment section down below.

FORZA VS NEED FOR SPEED, WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE? Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:24:32 +0000 I love all types of racing games, no matter whether its a traditional arcade racer or a full on racing sim, you can be guaranteed that it will be on my shelf no matter what. However there is one question that many people ask, a question that few people answer. But a question nonetheless that I hope to answer in this article. So strap in, fasten your seatbelts and hold on tight.

Both of these series are gems in my book and they will always stay that way no matter what happens to the games throughout the ages. I grew up on Need for Speed games but this does not bias my opinion of which is the better series. I have only recently started playing the Forza series and so far I like what I see. But there are some major differences between the two series, firstly Need for Speed focuses on Police chases and recless driving where as Forza maintains its sim like feel and precision. I like to compare them in a way that Need for Speed is a dirty Dodge Viper that has just emerged from a dusty dirt road, and Forza is a shining and brand new Lamborghini just of the show room floor. Not that Forza is better than Need for Speed, thats just the way I feel about the two in comparison.

Image result for Forza

Need for Speed blends a mixture of its iconic and frantic Police chases with high speed runs and crazy jumbs and tricks, Forza on the other hand seems to follow the curvature of the road and blends right in with the realism of what cars are made for and what you expect to feel when you are driving one. It’s obvious when you start comparing both the series side by side that they are two very different Genres of Racing games and they have helped pave the way of what a car game is ment to feel like.

Need for Speed has been making games since the mid to late 90s and the franchise has had some stunning games. Pro Street and the Undercover series are just two of the great games that NFS has managed to crank out but in recent years, some of their games have fallen short of the mark by a long way. Take Need for Speed the Run for example, I purchased this game quite a ways after it had been released and was fascinated by the idea of being chased across America by Police and fellow racers but this game slipped on many aspects and failed to pull me into its frantic and slow moving world that was most of the time confusing. Yes there have been good titles in between such as Rivals and Hot pursuit but it seems that the games have taken away what made a NFS game so enthralling. I still remember spending hours on Pro Street and Carbon detailing every inch of my sick ride ready to take on the best in the business of street racing. But now, where is the detailing mechanic?? where are the awesome cars that feel realistic and powerfull??

Image result for Forza need for speed

Its all fun and games speeding across Americas high country as a cop chasing street racers but it just isn’t the same without the means to customise and own your own car.

Forza on the other hand, never dissapoints. You can speed around Bathurst in New South Wales Australia or race on the Top Gear Test Track. Even challenge the Stig!! and you can do all of this whilst also customising your ride the way you want it. Forza is only about half the age of NFS but that should mean that Forzas games are worse off they have less experience in the field compared to a 20 year old series.

All of Forzas games are nice and slick to play with neat mechanics and a steady and realiable system with a “if it aint broke don’t fix it” feel that WORKS! All of Forzas customization mechanics are easy to use and understand and they supply the player with a decent amout of control over their customisations and the cars that the player is driving.


In conclusion, I dont hate or even dislike the Need for Speed series but in this scenario, I prefer the Forza games for their attention to detail and their consistent good quality content. I still do love the Need for Speed games and there are days that I just need to be racing at 300kmph chasing after a street racer in my sooped up cop car. But most days, Forza is all I need .

Arslan the Warriors of Legend Review. Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:08:41 +0000 Arslan the warriors of Legend is a Third person combat / tactical simulator that tells the story of a Prince on the run from his own country. The whole game is dialogued in Japanese however it does have English Subtitles that are sometimes difficult to keep track of whilst fighting through waves of enemies.

Produced by the same company that was behind the Samaria Warrior games, Arslan the Warriors of Legend combines a mixture of tactical thinking and full on combat in order to win battles and survive the fights. The majority of the game sees Arslan (the main character whom you control) facing off against hundreds of enemies at a time and utterly slaughtering them throughout. There are many different types of combat and characters that you can control within the game and each has their own unique combat style and move sets that set them apart from other characters.

Arslan the Warriors of Legend suffers from little screen lag or jitter which I found surprising considering the amount of action and the scale of the events that take place on screen. Each and every character is detailed in their own way, from enemy horses to enemy generals and even your own soldiers rarely look the same. I was intrigued and surprised by how well the games engine handled all of the events that unfolded on screen without the slightest issue or hiccup.

The Art style of the game is captivating and beautiful. One second you could be standing on a mountain top holding back countless enemy forces and all you want to do is stop and take in the scenery when the next, you could be fighting in a desert with sand whipping around you. In general I am extremely pleased with the Art style of Arslan the Warriors of Legend and I believe that Omega Force has done a fantastic job on their latest title to grace the console world.

The most recognisable and (easily) the best aspect of The Warriors of Legend is its captivating soundtrack. Each and every song that has been chosen for this game is utter magnificence. During a play through, you will be lucky to hear one song repeated during an average two hour play session. To me, Music is the most important and essential aspect of any game as it captivates the listener and literally transports you into the fictitious world of the game that you are playing. Any game with a dodgy soundtrack or bad sound effects, I am not a fan of, however, whenever you get a game that blends a mixture of unique and interesting aspects with a killer soundtrack, you can be sure that I will be the first one in line to pick up that title.

Jumping from one topic to another, the controls within the game are slightly awkward to get used to as there are quite a few combo move sets that you have to get used to. However, once you master the controls, you will be slashing down the enemy left, right and centre.

During my experience with Arslan the Warriors of Legend, I was unaware of any multiplayer features however I was not particularly looking at using those as I was mainly caught up with the single player experience.

Overall, Arslan the Warriors of Legend is a great game that brings many great aspects to the player. There are some slight issues like the lack of English dubbing and the amount of text that you have to read through in order to keep up with what the characters are actually saying. However, there are too many awesome aspects of this game which I loved such as enthralling music and a fascinating story. I highly recommend this game to any fan of Japanese style games and beat em up style RPG’S


Five games that are great to play with your family Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:05:21 +0000 Playing videogames is certainly a wonderful pastime, while it is fun to play alone, sometimes it is nice to simply play with your family, be it your sibling, niece or nephew, parent or whoever. So here are five games that are fun to gather your family together to play.

New Super Mario Brothers series

For games that offer a huge amount of value for family entertainment there is no better place to look then the New Super Mario Brothers series. This particular sub brand of the Mario franchise offers far more for multiple players then the original series mostly due to the way Nintendo decided to revitalize the franchise for a four player cooperative experience.

No longer were you waiting for the other player to take their turn, now you were all playing together and dealing with the fun of multiple people each trying to make their way to the end goal. You were more likely to accidentally kill your fellow player but it was undoubtedly fun every time as you dealt with each and every random occurrence.

New Super Mario Brothers U also took this ability for family to play together to a new level with the ability to let a less skilled player assist the others by placing blocks with the gamepad. In all this was surprisingly enjoyable especially as you could just as easily help as sabotage the players, the options were certainly there to have a great time as a family.

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime battle

Don’t let a silly name fool you this particular game has a lot going for it especially for someone looking for a fun albeit stressful cooperative experience. Up to four people can jump into this simple looking game which quickly proves to be anything but simple, as you race through varying levels trying to find the rabbits while blasting away the onslaught of foes that come your way.

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is one of the few games I can say is best played with as many people as possible. You need to manage your team of players and decide who can handle what jobs on your ship, who will handle which guns, who will quickly man the shield when necessary, who will steer the ship. While arguments are certain to follow, seeing your family complete a difficult mission in this rather challenging game can bring you closer together and at the same time it is surprisingly fun.

Tank Tank Tank

Tank Tank Tank

Of all the games I have played on the Wii U Tank Tank Tank stands out above all others when it comes to a fun multiplayer experience. If you ever need to keep at least three kids happy pull out this game and the Wii Remotes and start tank warfare, this arcade style game thrives on the simple joy of trying to see who gets the most points. Like so many of the best games Tank Tank Tank is easy to pick up and play and within minutes you can be having a good time as you play with the games many modes.

Blasting your foes with an assortment of weaponry, teaming up to take down a whole host of giant creatures, doing team matches, or a three versus one match with the gamepad player playing as a giant monkey. There is always room for fun with this game and while you play with others a smile will always be on your face. So if you own a Wii U track down a copy of Tank Tank Tank get some friends and start having some fun with this wonderfully entertaining game and fight for dominance.



Stress can be a good thing right? Well I hope so because Overcooked is another game that can be quite stressful to play as you get your group of players to manage the task at hand. What better way to bring your family together then some quality teamwork that is more than likely to result in a little impatience. Overcooked is that type of game that wants you to have fun but on the same note will ask for perfect coordination to deal with its demanding formula of constant reorganization and quick communication.

Family grows stronger through a little bit of cooperation and pulling through this incredibly complex cooking game as a team can be an arduous task. Yet you will feel all the better when you all learn to think as one and manage your team around individual tasks and sorting things out by scenario. Overcooked is a right blast and is a perfect game to play together with your family.

Burnout 3: Takedown

Burnout 3 Takedown

Burnout 3 is one of the finest examples of a game that is great to play with your family that I can come up with. This Playstation 2 era gem offered one of the most thrilling car racing experiences you can find in a game, benefited more by the addition of various different modes that further built up the experience. Whether you were into straightforward racing, or were after something just a little more destructive Burnout 3 had you covered especially for a great time with others.

It was easy to lose hours to the thrills of the crash mode which tasked you with causing the most damage in busy traffic, the pure chaos and random nature of this ensured that everyone could have a good time. Burnout 3 is easily one of the best times you can have with a racing game, and is certainly a safe way to cause mass chaos whether you are crashing into traffic, or having fun with a simple takedown mode. Great times are sure to be had by the entire family with this chaotic game.