So ‘Coming Up’ this week, we have a fairly quiet one after the last couple of weeks bit hitters…. I am also a day late with this one…. you can blame the booze… so we’ll be short n’ sweet!
First up, on our only day of game releases is Angry Birds Star Wars II (PC) makes its way to the PC, just one easy download from Rovio’s website for a tiny price of $4.95 and comes with pretty much everything the mobile version had, except the telepod apparently… I’ll be honest, I have no idea if this makes a difference or not, but at least your favourite birds will be home to roost…
Another one for Assassin’s Creed – Heritage Edition (Xbox 360/PS3/PC), this includes the first 5 Assassin’s Creed games including Assassin’s Creed I, II and III, Revelations and Brotherhood… Now you should own/played all of these games, but like me probably a copy or two has been “lent” to a friend never to return, or you traded them in, if thats a case, and you love this franchise as much as I do, this is amazing value for money. 5 Games for the price of 1, £40 gets you all of it, so you can play from start to finish to your hearts content!
For the rest of this week we are heading over to the handhelds, first up Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate (3DS) a scaled down companion game to its recently released bigger brother; is a 2.5D side scroller, with seemingly slower clunkier moves, puzzle solving adventure that we’ve come to see on the 3DS fairly often… Basically its not a scratch on its bigger brother, so unless you have a particular fondness for 2.5D side-scrollers, this isn’t going to be knocking your socks off.
Next up, we have Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games (3DS/Wii U), their biannual olympic series is back, same format as always, with 18 different sports to play, and even online multiplayer and challenges. Unfortunately all I’ve heard from reviewers who have played the WiiU version have said, that the motion controls are horrible, barely giving you any control of your character, and for that reason alone, avoid…
And then last for this week, we have Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS), the 6th instalment of this series of, puzzle solving, mathematical, IQ testing game play, all wrapped round a nice story, with nicely drawn 2D graphics and 3D cutscenes. The only downsides I have heard about this, is that it can get a little math heavy, and for the story to matter, you need to start with an earlier game first.
Anyways, thats all for this week! Don’t forget to tune into the podcast this week, we talk about Thor 2, and a review of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag (so far) and why no good story starts with a salad…. Oh and Jon rants… a lot!
Cya later alligators!
So “Coming Up” is back! We’ve had a couple of months off due to, well life, but now instead of trying to bring you one massive monthly update, we’re going to cut it down to some nice weekly chunks, and with all the new consoles coming out now in a matter of weeks now, we’re going to have ALOT to talk about! And hopefully give us the chance to discuss more in depth the big releases, so you can buy your next game with confidence.
So pull yourself away from GTAV , and let’s get started!!
Batman Arkham Origins (Xbox 360/PS3/PC/Wii U) starts off this weeks game releases with a bang, and easily this weeks biggest release. A prequel to the Batman: Arkham franchise, Origins has been brought to us by Warner Bros. Games Montreal, unlike its predecessors Arkham Asylum and Arkham City which were produced by Rocksteady Studios. This news perturbed many gamers, but Rocksteady were confident that passing on the torch was was the right move, and what do the reviews say?
Batman Arkham Origins still has a great combat system, a great origins narrative, all in a great open world with enough references and ‘bat-moments’ to keep any Batman fan happy…. I’ve used the word “great” a lot I know, and for a reason… By all accounts this a solid, fun and good addition to the franchise, but it does apparently retread a lot of old ground, no surprises, no shiney new graphics all with a touch of slight déjà vu…. Like a good cover song, not better than the original, just a great addition.
But all that been said, for fans of the franchise, this is a good addition and worthy of a purchase, especially if you are a lucky UK resident that has ordered the exclusive collectors edition from Amazon, which comes with in addition to the game, an 80 page art book, metal game case, the Deathstroke Challenge Pack, and a ‘1st appearance’ Batman skin, plus an 8 page dossier with information on the assassins hunting Batman…. But the real treat, a 12″ statue of Batman and The Joker…. Oooo we do love a good box set!!
Just Dance Kids 2014 (Xbox 360/Wii/Wii U) is next to join the party, with a kid friendly 30+ song list, including acts like One Direction…. It should go down well with all 12 and under girls! The WiiU also comes with the Dance Director Mode, in which the game pad player can surprise dance move suggestions on the other players in the middle of the songs. A bit less exciting is the Parents Corner function to put the parents in control, with fitness tracking, custom playlists and calories tracker…. Time to break out the hair brushes!
Now let’s try to get our tongues round this mouthful…. Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst (Xbox 360/PS3/PC). Now the none Full Burst landed earlier this year, so what’s different about this version? It’s basically an upgrade, with a new story mode chapter, new character, 100 new challenge missions and dlc costumes. With some stunning cel-shaded visuals to recreate the Naruto world, fans of the show will eat this up… Well if you haven’t already picked up Storm 3, because Full Burst doesn’t otherwise have much new to show…
Next a unusual new release for the rhythm game genre Rocksmith 2014 (Xbox 360/PS3/PC), an update on its predecessor, Rocksmith combines the Guitar Hero like interface with a full scale proper guitar, so no need to dust off those plastic relics no doubt in your attic. It’s note recognition technology allow you to do technical lessons, chord charts, song and guitarcade mini games, plus a new mission mode in which you decide how to progress, letting you perfect certain solos. There is even a session mode for you to explore and create with your new skills, all in all, this is an aide in guitar practice, but it has a ceiling in how much it can really teach you.
Now, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Xbox 360/Wii/3DS) this made the child inside me excited when I heard about this, in fact it was a Lets Play from those lovely Achievement Hunter guys, but the thoughts I had then, were definitely wide spread. Glitches all over the place and an unruly camera made the action hard to follow, and I spent half my time squinting at the tv because I couldn’t tell which character was which, cause it was just so dark! Don’t get me wrong, they have clearly thought out and well executed the characters, each with unique moves and cheesy on liners; and with a combat system alike to the Batman Arkham series, this could have been brilliant… It’s just a shame the game play and production just isn’t up to scratch!
And so we will move on, next up is The Guided Fate Paradox (PS3)… Now I’ll be honest I still don’t think I quite get the narrative of this game! your a god, and you have to make wishes come true with the help of a machine, by battling monsters….? I think that’s it… Basically this game is a tactical JRPG dungeon crawler, which by all accounts it does well! But the preachy religious confusion vibe I get from this game, just isn’t for me.
And then last up for today is Wii Party U (Wii U), trying to score another point with the casual gamers and families, this game aims to do pretty much the same as it’s predecessor, a mini game collection for all the family to join in together. I all honesty, most of the games sound dull, unimaginative and just plain boring, with as much interaction as rolling virtual dice… If Nintendo were hoping this would turn around the WiiU’s fortunes, they have been woefully mislead.
Now for all of us mobile gamers out there, Angry Birds Star Wars (Xbox 360/PS3/Wii/3DS/Wii U/Vita) came out last year on iOS and Android, but now it’s available on nearly every console you can think of as of Tuesday. (I really don’t think I need to explain Angry Birds)
The only other release for the 29th though is a big one…. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Xbox 360/PS3 ). Now this is more like it! An earlier release for the 360 and PS3 makes me very happy (Assassins Creed IV comes out on XboxOne and PS4 at launch next month), quite simply I love this franchise and I wasn’t willing to wait until we could afford a next gen console to play it! So off we will go to the Caribbean, pirates and assassins for more of what we know from this franchise, with more of the popular sailing aspect from the previous game, and hopefully a better character in Edward Kenway, I am quite looking forward to this one. Yes, obviously it’s not going to blow us all away with stuff we haven’t seen before, it’s a tried and tested franchise on a generation of consoles they have already pushed to the max, but for the fans, it’s more of what we want.
The big question is, is it worth waiting for on the new consoles? The next gen’s will have more dynamic environments, and a whole more natural feel, which I’m sure will blow me away when I see it… But will I notice it when I’m neck deep in battle? Ubisoft have tried hard to ensure they didn’t end up with two different games, trying to put any new gen console discoveries into the current gen as well…. That I’m not sure that it will really matter which edition you go for, one will just be a little bit prettier….
And then lastly for this week of game releases, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Collection (Xbox 360/PS3) re-release comes out on Thursday ahead of Lords of Shadow 2 due out in Febuary. The collection includes Lords of Shadow, plus the Reverie and Resurrectiom DLC, and Mirror of Fate HD which was originally only on the 3DS, and of cause a demo for LoS2 to whet your appetite.
So thats it for this week, but while you wait for more from us, why not listen to this weeks 3 Legged Sofa podcast? Ta ta for now!
So August brings us a quiet start to the month, but that pace soon ramps up by the end of the month, and the race begins to Christmas! Wait…. What… Oh let’s just get started!!
Were going to start with last weeks release of Tales of Xillia (PS3), part of a long series of JRPG’s, it has a strong battle system, but the graphics and repetitiveness will let it down. But if your a fan of the Final Fantasy style gameplay, then this could be an enjoyable 30hrs…
Duck Tales Remastered (PC/WiiU/XBLA/PSN/3DS eShop) makes an unusual mid week release, but from the sounds of it purely because they didn’t want anyone to notice it, a shallow reimagining of a retro classic, that shows its age… Avoid.
Pay Day 2 (PS3/XBOX360) is the first to come out later this week, the name of the game? Select your crime, plan the best way to pull it off, and then try to achieve it. All reviews point towards a shakey game, with technical issues galore that could have been better. But look beyond that, and you might find a greatly entertaining multiplayer.
Next, you’ve got it, another movie tie in spin off, Planes (Wii/DS/WiiU/3DS) also come out this week… Get it for your Cars/Planes obsessed young child, it’s all it was made for.
Disney Infinity (Xbox 360 /PS3/Wii /PC/3DS/Wii U) starts off our choca-block couple of weeks as summer holidays starts to end. Now at first I wasn’t sold on this, but then as soon as I discovered you could as well as play in the worlds of the Disney characters, but also make your own, I realised this could be good fun for Disney fans out there! Disney meets Lego/Minecraft…. I know that’s a big ask, but there is potential… Just maybe not a story….
Next up, its a biggie! Saints Row IV (Xbox 360/PS3/PC), its been in all the news, either from its purely crazy weapons, to struggling to get classification in Australia… This game looks… Well quite frankly mental, you the president of the world, must save us all by the most ridiculous means possible….. sexual violence and drugs as rewards aside (which is why it has been banned by our down under relatives)… I think it will be a games of tastes, either you will love its outrageousness, or you will loathe and be offended by it… Only you can decide…
Set in 1962, just after the Cold War The Bureau: XCom Declassified (Xbox 360/PS3/PC) tells the story of XCOM’s first encounter as a third person tactical shooter… Now I know some people who love this series, who will obviously enjoy this game… To be honest I’m more interested in the era it’s set in, oh so very Roswell.
Next up is a WiiU exclusive with The Wonderful 101 (Wii U), superheroes vs aliens in which you will have to work together, this is a unique mass-hero action game. Cartoony, fast paced with lots going on, you have to draw your formations on the screen to perform actions… This looks like it could be good fun!
Then last up this week is Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Xbox 360/PS3/PC/Wii U), if I remember rightly this impressed us from this years E3, so we’re definitely glad this is coming out sooner rather than later. Dubbed as the best Splinter Cell game yet, not only taking influence from Assassins Creed, but also Mass Effect and Metal Gear…. This definitely looks like the game to have this week, and is going to live up to the hype.
Now FF are always impressive in scope, and this MMO revamp looks to live up to that… Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS3/PC) trailer game us lots to see, but I must admit I don’t think this will be as amazing as us FF fans would want, I’m usually blown away by new FF trailers, and this left me wanting, but I may still pick it up cheap when I can.
Then into our final week, we will start with Etrian Odyssey IV (3DS), making its move to the 3DS, it’s a an old school dungeon crawler with modern enhancements. Build your own guild of explorers, and brave the dangers of the under and over worlds… It may be a little old fashioned, but will appeal to some.
Killer is Dead (Xbox 360/PS3) is next, with its highly stylised look, very Frank Miller? The trailer in fact left me confused about this game, and the only thought I came away with was “Well that looked like a button mashing what the hell…” So yup… Confused, and will probably miss this one….
Next up is a series I have long been told I would enjoy, Ive simply just never gotten round to it, but I’m not sure I would be sold on the trailer for Lost Planet 3 (Xbox 360/PS3/PC). It didn’t win me, and if anything looked clunky, don’t get me wrong I will still give the series a go… But this doesn’t look like a strong game, but will apparently answer a lot of questions for existing fans… I guess I will see when I get to it!
One for James, Madden NFL 25 (Xbox 360/PS3/PS4/Xbox One) is also out this week, with next definition visuals, better physics and AI, this will be a must buy in our household…
More anime next, with One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 (PS3)… Anime through and through, down to the weird character design, and outlandish moves, not to mention the odd graphics… I think this is for the serious hardcore anime fans only…
The trading/economic simulation games Port Royale 3: Gold Edition (Xbox 360/PS3/PC) is also released this week, including the expansion pack Treasure Island, and the micro expansions Harbour Master and New Adventures.
And then last but not least is Rayman Legends (Xbox 360/PS3/PC/Wii U/Vita) with a new adventure, with online games, new characters, environments and game engine, this should be a great addition for the Rayman fans out there.
And that’s it for this month, it’s a bit of a wired one, but there a couple of games in there to keep you going until next month all been well through these last months of the current gen… Will we see some swan songs next month, we will have to wait and see…
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…