So we’re back for another week, and its certainly a week of highs, and lows, but let us know what you think…. So heres the run-down….
First up of our big releases this week is Battlefield 4 (Xbox 360 /PS3/PC/PS4/Xbox One). There are no big surprises here though, DICE have stuck to the tried, tested and probably dated formula of a weak campaign tagged onto a popular multiplayer. Vast multiplayer maps, all with their own flavour, enhanced with ‘Levolution’ a feature which created cataclysmic changed to the map when certain criteria is met, and DICE is thinking big, and it does sound great. The campaign on the other hand is seemingly riddled with dumb AI, a limp story and easy headshots… some nice set pieces though!
Unfortunately, and I agree with this, this old-gen style of multiplayer is soon to be outdated, with Destiny and Titanfall pioneering the online multiplayer front, Battlefield 4 wont be able to keep up. Stretched too thin, DICE developing this game for current & next gen, as well as PC…. and apparently its with the current gen that loses out, with apparently murky textures, low resolution and frame-rate problems. So got that PS4/Xbox One on pre order? Really want to play Battlefield 4?…. Wait until the next gens come out, or alternatively, get a PC; and make sure your friends get the same!
Next up we’re heading over to the DS’s for a team up? Madagascar 3 and The Croods Combo Pack (DS/3DS), and this isn’t the first combo Nintendo are trying today… First you get Madagascar 3: The Video Game, an action-adventure, platforming and mini-game circus related fun for the family with multiple playable characters that you kids love form the films. The second game, The Croods: Prehistoric Party, includes 30 Crood-themed party mini games, to keep the kids entertained with.
Another riveting one up next…….. Monster High 13 Wishes (Wii/DS/3DS/Wii U), a young girl friendly puzzle action adventure, to save Monsters High as their favourite freaky-fab ghoul… I think they can play dress up too….. Moving on….
To the other combo pack from Nintendo, oh yey……. The Croods & Rise of the Guardians Combo Pack (Wii). I wont repeat about what the The Croods game is, but Rise of the Guardians you play as either Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Sandman or Jack Frost, exploring the realms either solo or in multiplayer mode, in the kid friendly action adventure game.
And then last up for today is a subject that comes up surprisingly often on the podcast, and now a new game for it too, WWE 2K14 (Xbox 360/PS3). All the tools you could want to relive those old WWE memories and to create new ones too, with 30 years of Wrestlemania to draw on, with 46 of the most memorable matches, its a faithful curation. And the creation suite is vast, from custom pyrotechnics to tattoos… Sounds like that if this is your jam, then this game will give you hours of fun.
Then last up for this week, its another biggie, Call of Duty: Ghosts (Xbox 360 /PS3/PC/Wii U). Now we first saw this at the Xbox One launch, and even myself who is in no way a CoD fan, couldn’t helped but be impressed by what I saw. Infinity Ward have graphically created a game that is made for the next-gen of consoles (Although it will be out on 360 too, this is a game thats worth waiting for on the new console), the visuals are seriously impressive, and although not reinventing the wheel when it comes to game play, they’ve simply concentrated on perfecting it.
Visually the SubD rendering will blow your mind, and you raise your gun, the texture count increases in real time, to the point you can see blemishes in the skin, and dirt under your nails. There is the HDR lighting, beams of light coming through the canopy causing you to shift your position due to glare, change your view, your eyes will take a second to re focus after staring into all of that dazzling light….. It is neat… really neat… and you get a dog…. I think I might be sold, and I may have to give back my “I hate CoD” badge, because this game, sounds absolutely amazing….
So there is not many games appearing in our stores this month as the summer slow down kicks in, so here’s the run down of this months UK releases for those of us who need our gaming kick!
First up is Dark (Xbox360), a stealth action RPG in which you you are… A vampire. Stealth kill your enemy’s from the shadows, using your vampiric powers, and unravel the mystery behind your origin. At first I thought, yes, finally, brutal vampires rather than ones that sparkle, but when watching the game play I felt let down, mostly by the art style…. Going for the cell shaded look, the clunky black lines around everything makes the game look dated and ugly, not artistic like I’m sure they originally intended, and the animations looked cheap and basic… Overall good idea, but a poorly executed swing and a miss I’m afraid….
Sega and Capcom release their new cross-over game Project X Zone (3DS), an SRPG combining over 200 characters… Street fighter meets flashy lights, is what comes to mind with this trailer… Simple, button mashing fighter… Exactly what it says on the tin… Just don’t expect much more.
Dynasty Warriors 8 (Xbox360/PS3) was released earlier this year in Japan, but finally reaches our store. Expect all the same things as previous entries of the series, with 70 characters, choices which affect the path of your adventure and some new battle mechanics, co-op and new game modes such as commander mode and the return of the free mode… This new instalment could be one of most satisfying of the series yet.
Nintendo bring us a new form of game play on the 3DS this month with Mario & Luigi Dream Team Bros (3DS), splitting us off into two worlds, the top down zelda-ish real world with turn based combat… And the 2d scrolling game play of the dream world in which Luigi is an ethereal being… Plus some surprises… It’s just a shame that it sounds like all this interesting gameplay has come at a price… Of a plot entirely… But fans will just have to wait and see…
Only one release for this week, The Smurfs 2 (Xbox360/PS3/Wii/DS/WiiU) is released along side the release of the live action film in the form of a 2.5D co-op platformer, including an interactive story book and collection of mini games… My reaction is the same as learning of the existence of the movie…. Oh god why….
Its WiiU week for the last week of July, and first is New Super Luigi U (WiiU)… Why Luigi again I’m not sure, but this is pretty much an addition to Super Mario Bros U, it’s a fast paced 2D platformer, giving vets of SMBU something more to sink they’re teeth into… But yet I’m still left thinking…. Why the Luigi obsession Nintendo….
And then last but not least is Pikmin 3 (WiiU), a mass-action strategy game in a world filled with strange creatures, in which you command the Pimkin… It all looks like a very cute, simple, family friendly game….
And that’s it for this month, short and sweet…
Welcome to our new monthly section in which we are going to make sure you have the low-down on all the latest releases for the upcoming month, in not only the major console games, but also PC, Handhelds and Xbox Live Arcade!
We’re going to do all the hard work, so you don’t have to…. What looks hot? What does not? and whats trying to wizz past under all our radar’s, thats a token gem that you really shouldn’t miss!!
So first up, its all about Far Cry 3 : Blood Dragon (XLA/PSN) … I cannot express any more love for the ‘Far Cry 3’, but when they announced this stand-alone expansion, the trailer blew our minds… Think 80’s action movie meets Far Cry, a good splash of fun, oh and your a cyborg! It features a single open world island to play, with about 8 hours of original content, all for 1200MSP, and its out today!! DEAL!
First up is Around The World In 80 Days (DS), not to be confused with the 2004 release, with the same name, on the same device; it has puzzles, its has multiplayer… But we wont exactly be rushing out to buy this one, not much more to say…
Again for the Nintendo DS, Jewel Match 3 (DS), again another updated release on its predecessor, with 100 new levels, and hidden mini games; I’m sure followers of the series will enjoy, but Nintendo are doing nothing new here, so swiftly moving on….
Might and Magic: Heroes VI Shades of Darkness (PC) is the new expansion for Heroes VI from Ubisoft, bringing Dark Elves and the ‘Faceless’ into the mix, which as a fan of this fantasy genre, I find pretty darn cool even though I have never really gotten into the M&M series… is it worth the price tag though for basically a DLC? Averaging about £14.99 online… I think it depends on how much you love and play Heroes VI.
Next up we’re going back to Nintendo with their latest 3Ds title Outdoors Unleashed: Africa 3D (3DS), which has been raising some debate already about what is acceptable content for a game… As this game is all about hunting and killing, of often endangered animals, on-rails shooter… honestly there is nothing else to the plot of the game, it is simply shoot some animals, repetitively… Sounds boring apart from the debate around it if you ask me…
Next up is this months only release for the PSVita, Soul Sacrifice (PSVita) . From having a read around, if you own a PSVita (Which is one of the few we don’t), I think this has to be a buy… Complex character customisation is a plus in any game for me, and this game looks interesting, tailoring your character to suit your style of game play, weather that be light or dark, and if you use a ‘Black Rite’ you have to sacrifice a part of your body; and the same goes for the story, save or sacrifice a soul, changes which direction your story takes… I love these types of games, it’s just a shame is on handheld thats not flourishing…
For more information, this review explains it in detail. http://www.forbes.com/sites/games/2013/04/30/soul-sacrifice-review-ps-vita/
And lastly, Zoo Park: Run Your Own Animal Sanctuary (PC) is from a British publisher Excalibur, and this whole game is self-developed, self-funded, and is the complete opposite to Outdoors Unleashed… This game focuses not on making money so much from your zoo, but in the rehabilitation of endangered animals, research, rescuing animals and helping return them to the wild… Now isn’t that refreshing. Nothing amazing in the graphic dept, but going on how much I loved games like ‘Theme Park’ and ‘Pharaoh’ (And still very much do!) I think I’d still happily pass some time playing this game.
For this week we start off with Mystery Murders: Jack the Ripper (3DS) makes the leap from PC to 3DS; a hidden object, puzzle game, in which you play as 3 characters trying to stop Jack the Ripper from killing again…. Reports say this is a rather repetitive game, so if you like the genre great, but nothing memorable going on here.
Persona 4 Arena (Xbox360/PS3) brings us a new fighting game, but with a 2D anime-artistic twist to it, I think its visually refreshing and how these game types should be with a static player camera. Whats different though is that you play as 2 characters simultaneously, your character and your ‘Persona’, the better your characters work together, the better and more spectacular are the combos… I won’t be splashing out on this game though, as its already having trouble with its online multiplayer… Lag should not exist in this day and age, but here it still exists.
But I am definitely saving the best for last! The award winning Walking Dead (Xbox360/PS3/PC) from Telltale Games (Not to be mixed up with the other Walking Dead game, Survival Instinct!), previously only available as a digital episodic downloads, is getting a new retail release in the UK under Avanquest, which will include all 5 episodes of the games series, all on one disk… Huzzar!!! Based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, your choices and actions affect how your story plays out through the game…. This game is an award winning, and if you don’t own the episodes already, (or even if you do!) you need to go out and buy this game!
So thats it for part 1, but we will be back in time for the rest of May releases next week!!