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SingOn Review | Your Streaming Karaoke Machine

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Karaoke games, Music games, PS3 games, PSN, SingOn, SingOn Inc.

SingOn Review | Your Streaming Karaoke Machine

Platform: PS3 (PSN, free client download/trial) | Other platforms TBA

Developer: SingOn Inc.

SingOn feels like the next generation of living room karaoke.

If you want to sing without complications, fuss or spending much money, this revolutionary Finnish upstart is pretty much everything you could want. It's a streaming service client as opposed to a locked-in boxed game, granting you access to hundreds and hundreds of songs that are updated on a weekly basis, always including the very latest charts alongside rock, jazz, cheese, rap, film classics and even Finnish folk music. Every decade is represented, every genre has plenty of choice on offer, and it's all delivered on our terms.

SingOn Review | Your Streaming Karaoke Machine

£2.99 nets you full access to the entire library for three hours, more than enough for an evening of crooning, letting you stream and sing to your heart's content while laying out considerably less than the cost of a London pint. Or an entire weekend sorted for £5.99. The days of having to spend £40 on a limited selection of tracks, many of which you won't like and will never sing, are well and truly over. If you've got a microphone, a PS3 and an internet connection, it's game on.

However, SingOn is more of a karaoke machine than a karaoke game - and it's clear that the service still has a way to go before it can cement its place in the lounge.

Click here to read more...

Rayman Legends on Wii U just £10.99 at Base

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Platformers, Ubisoft, Wii U games

Rayman Legends on Wii U just £10.99 at Base

Rayman Legends | Base | £10.99 (Save £4)
Price ComparisonReview

You probably already know that Rayman Legends is utterly amazing in every way imaginable. But you might not know that the Wii U version only costs a meagre £10.99 at Base, saving you four quid.

In all honesty, I don't personally think that the touchscreen sections really add much to the game (in fact, I feel like they slightly detract and distract from the awesome platforming), but this is still a bargain for the original version. Thanks to Jas10 @ HUKD!

OUYA micro-console is £79.99 at Amazon & GAME, save £20 (or don't)

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Ouya

OUYA micro-console is £79.99 at Amazon & GAME, save £20 (or don't)

OUYA console | Amazon & GAME | £79.99 (save £20)
OUYA Review |  Three months on, still a £100 punt

Cards on the table: I'm ready to call 'time' on the OUYA as a home console. The thrill of backing the device has worn off, leaving us with an underpowered if gorgeous Android-powered cube with an anaemic games library and dwindling support, not helped by some atrocious management decisions and PR over the last few months. Be sure to read our extensive reviews and retrospectives to find out why (links above).

However, for £79.99, you might find that the OUYA becomes a neat little box for XBMC, media streaming (nothing too intensive, though) and emulation. Not that any of you fine upstanding people have a bunch of ROMs just sitting around, of course. Thanks to cooliusxp @ HUKD!

UPDATE: It's also £79.99 from GAME. Thanks to Chris Vint for the heads-up!

Wii U premium console with Zelda: Wind Waker HD only £220 at Amazon

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Nintendo, Wii U

Wii U premium console with Zelda: Wind Waker HD only £220 at Amazon

Wii U Premium 32GB Console + Zelda: Wind Waker HD | Amazon | £220
Console ReviewZelda: Wind Waker HD Review

Amazon and GAME's rivalry peetered out as the high street retailer's stocks ran dry, leaving Amazon with the best price for the Wii U premium edition, limited edition GamePad and The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker HD. A true classic has become even better thanks to a gorgeous makeover and a few tweaks, making it one of the true essentials. I'd also suggest grabbing Pikmin 3, Super Mario 3D World and The Wonderful 101 as a matter of priority. Thanks to Trebor_omatic @ HUKD!

Oh, and NES Remix 2 is pretty great. I'll have a review for you soon, before tonight's launch.

Daily Bite: Frozen GTA IV

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Funnies

Wait, that's not "Let It Go". And that's definitely not Arendelle.

Red Orchestra 2 is FREE on Steam!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
FPS games, PC games, Tripwire Interactive
Red Orchestra 2 is FREE on Steam!

Red Orchestra 2: Heroes Of Stalingrad | Steam | FREE
Red Orchestra 2 Price Comparison | Red Orchestra 2

If you're a fan of authentic World War II shooters and free stuff, Red Orchestra 2 is about to make your day thanks to a 100% discount on Steam. Or, in other words, it's free to download for the next 24 hours.

Well, you'd be mad not to really.

COMMENT | BioWare has a lot to prove with Dragon Age: Inquisition

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
BioWare, Dragon Age II, Dragon Age Origins, Dragon Age: Inquisition, EA, RPGs

COMMENT | BioWare has a lot to prove with Dragon Age: Inquisition

To this day, Carl will occasionally drop the words "Dragon Age II" into conversation just to send me off on a ten-minute rampage about how bitterly disappointing and shoddily constructed that game was.

It's all relative, of course. Dragon Age II is not a dreadful game. One would actually struggle to describe it as bad. But in comparison to the past glories of a company I grew up adoring for their mature, choice-stuffed RPGs, BioWare screwed the pooch with Dragon Age II. They abandoned the expansive approach that made Origins a modern classic, threw away the narratives we'd all spent hours constructing in that first game, and gave us a boring city surrounded by cookie-cutter dungeons and endlessly repetitive quests for a story that offered little bite.

COMMENT | BioWare has a lot to prove with Dragon Age: Inquisition

I'm still annoyed by Mass Effect 3's ending (that's a whole other can of worms), but Dragon Age II exhibited warning signs long before the Reaper starchild showed up to retcon everyone's favourite interactive space opera. The lazy design is undeniable and was never fully addressed in the post-mortems after the game released. Accusations of rushing the game to completion, which would've explained an awful lot, were laughed off, as were suggestions that EA's high pressure corporate culture had negatively influenced the game.

We never got answers, but the results spoke for themselves. Something had gone wrong: BioWare were making games that looked better than ever, but had lost something underneath the surface.

Click here to read more...

Our first look at Call Of Duty 2014

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Activision, Call Of Duty, FPS, Sledgehammer Games

Our first look at Call Of Duty 2014

Sledgehammer Games have revealed the first image of their debut Call Of Duty title, which is due out this Christmas.

Click here to read more...

Payday 2, Puppeteer & more coming to PS Plus next week

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PS Plus, PS Vita games, PS3 games, PS4 games, Sony

Payday 2, Puppeteer & more coming to PS Plus next week

All change, please! Sony has announced the next slew of free games headed to the PlayStation Plus instant game collection, along with a few departing titles that you should queue up ASAP on PS3, PS4 and Vita.

Click here to read more...

Murasaki Baby Preview | Touch The Weirdness

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Games previews, Murasaki Baby, Ovosonico, PS Vita, PS Vita games, Puzzle games, SCEE, Sony, XDev

Murasaki Baby Preview | Touch The Weirdness

Platform: PS Vita (PSN)

Developer: Ovosonico

Publisher: SCEE

Murasaki Baby is terrifying.

In fact, "deeply unsettling" might be more appropriate. This odd Vita exclusive sees you guiding an adorable teetering tot through puzzly levels as she clings onto her favourite balloon, but everything is... wrong. Horribly distorted tentacle-nosed freaks lurk within the nightmarish backgrounds, hiding nearly out of shot. Atonal scraping sends shivers up your spine as our baby staggers across atrocious hellscapes or twisted uncanny interiors past things you'd rather not look at directly. Then reveals that she has an enormous toothy maw in the top of her head.

Murasaki Baby Preview | Touch The Weirdness

Underneath the weirdness, however, lurks a fascinating little game that's designed to hold your hand in a very literal way, while showing off the Vita's wild array of input methods.

If you can imagine a touchscreen blend of Ico, Limbo and Frobisher Says... perhaps directed by David Firth (yes, the Salad Fingers guy)... you might be somewhere near the mark.

Click here to read more...

"Not all gamers are teenage boys" - Why we still need more variety in our gaming protagonists

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Choice, Female characters, Female protagonists, Game development, game industry, Jade Raymond

"Not all gamers are teenage boys" - Why we still need more variety in our gaming protagonists

We need more variety when it comes to gaming protagonists.

It seems like a no-brainer written down, after all everyone games these days, from toddlers to pensioners. Yet still there seems to be a prevailing idea of a majority market ruled over by a male, teenage demographic who demand the greatest attention.

It's getting better, of course. It takes less time to point to a game with a female protagonist, or at least the option for one, but we're still a long way off. There'll be those who scoff and argue that little needs to change, and I'd wager that the vast majority of those reactions will be from male gamers. I don't want to bash people over the head with talk of privilege, but it's important to take a walk in someone else's shoes from time to time.

"Not all gamers are teenage boys" - Why we still need more variety in our gaming protagonists

As I explained in a vid on my personal channel over the weekend, I like playing female roles: I enjoyed Tomb Raider, No One Lives Forever is one of my favourite game series of all time, and I'll frequently take female characters for a spin in RPGs just to see how characters react differently to a protagonist of the opposite gender than to those when I'm role-playing as myself. But I also imagine what it might be like were the tables turned, with upwards of nine out of ten games released featuring female protagonists. I'd like to say that I'd be totally fine with that, but I'd be lying. Eventually I'd want to just be able to invest wholly in a character without compromise. It doesn't matter how well written the women in those imagined games might have been, at some point I'd want a character I could truly relate to. As a person. As a man.

Click here to read more...

Mighty Wings or Cheap Trick? - Ace Combat Infinity launches next month

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
F2P, Project Aces, PS3 games, PSN

Following a successful beta earlier this year, Ace Combat Infinity is too close for missiles and other lazy Top Gun references.

In fact, let's get them out of our system now, shall we? You can be my wingman any time. Highway to the Danger Zone. Take me to bed or lose me forever. Yeehaw, Jester's dead! Paging Doctor Loggins... oh, hang on, that was an Archer reference.

Never mind, because the take-home message here is that Ace Combat Infinity will release on the European PSN on May 28th. It's free-to-play and designed about competitive co-op, and set in the brilliant Strangereal universe, making it the gutsiest move I ever saw, Mav. Come on, I had to leave one for last. Matt delivered a hands-on preview if you want a closer look.

Pool Nation only £1.04 for PC on The Humble Store

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC, PC games, Sports Games

Pool Nation only £1.04 for PC on The Humble Store

Pool Nation | The Humble Store | £1.04 (RRP: £6.99)
Review

We've seen it cheaper on XBLA, but Brendan describes Pool Nation as "a must buy for pool fans." The AI can be very challenging, perhaps too much so at times, but the multiplayer is where the flavour is. The user-friendly trick shot implementation raises Pool Nation above the competition and will tempt you to try them out down the pub. Thanks to jaystan @ HUKD!

The Last Federation £9.00 on Greenman Gaming with voucher code

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Arcen Games, Indie Games, PC games, Strategy games

The Last Federation £9.00 on Greenman Gaming with voucher code

The Last Federation | Greenman Gaming | £9.00 (RRP: £14.99)
Review | Voucher Code: OFU76E-1C6RHK-OX6OMC

Just in case you didn't read my review yesterday, The Last Federation is a fantastic space strategy game set within a 4X simulation. AI races go to war, live and die - but we play as a wild card capable of toppling governments, burning fleets and manipulating the galaxy to our whim. It's revolutionary, newly-launched and £11.24 on Steam for the next couple of days, saving you 25%.

However, the ever-reliable Greenman Gaming will save you an extra couple of quid with their OFU76E-1C6RHK-OX6OMC voucher code, bringing things down to a cheeky £9.00. Bargain.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch only £7.99 on Steam, save £4

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Indie Games, Octodad: Dadliest Catch, PC games, Young Horses

Octodad: Dadliest Catch only £7.99 on Steam, save £4

Octodad: Dadliest Catch | Steam | £7.99 (RRP: £11.99)
Review

Octodad: Dadliest Catch is adorable and hilarious, as you try to pull off everyday chores controlling a slippery suckery cephalopod disguised as a family man. The joke can wear thin at times, especially when things get too 'gamey' and contrived towards the end, but if you love the idea you can save £4 on Steam. Thanks to jaystan @ HUKD!

The Last Federation Review | Hail Hydral!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
4X games, Arcen Games, Indie Games, PC, PC games, Strategy games, The Last Federation

The Last Federation Review | Hail Hydral!

Platform: PC

Developer: Arcen Games

I've never played anything remotely like The Last Federation, even if it looks like any number of space 4X games from yesteryear at first glance. Eight unique races reach out to the stars from their home planets, seeking conquest and coexistence depending on their philosophies. They build fleets, research technologies, make treaties and break them with impunity; thriving and dying in a meticulously-modelled situation that's detailed down to internal politics and populations.

And we can't play as any of them... because they're all AI.

The Last Federation Review | Hail Hydral!

We stand alone as the Hydral, the last of an extinct race of interstellar tyrants with dreams of uniting the galaxy into one eternal federation... and crushing any species who stands in the way. We're the dark heart lurking at the centre of the universe, the multi-headed tentacular puppet master, working behind the scenes to apply pressure through political coups, financial skullduggery, science and fleet combat; subtly influencing the balance of power with both the carrot, stick, cloak, dagger and gravity lance.

It's really rather wonderful, and a revolutionary twist on the 4X legends of yore.

Click here to read more...

Short SEGA sale springs onto GamersGate for 24 hours

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC games, Sega

Short SEGA sale springs onto GamersGate for 24 hours

GamersGate's Spring Sale, which I so cleverly referenced in the headline (please hold your applause), has taken a decidedly SEGA-related turn when it comes to the flash deals. Several SEGA games are heavily discounted for the next 24 hours, including Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Oh dear, I seem to have forgotten to link to the store page. Whoops. Never mind, though, because I'll link to some good games instead. Highlights include:

Thanks to MrCollective @ HUKD, who also corralled the other discounts on offer!

Everybody expects the Dragon Age: Inquisition in October, thanks to new trailer

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
BioWare, EA, Game trailers, PS3 games, PS4 games, RPG, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One Games

Nobody expects the Dragon Age Inquisition!

Well, actually, that's not entirely true. Not only does this new trailer set up the basic premise (we're the sole survivor of a disaster with magical powers and a great destiny... again), show off the shiny trans-generation graphics and hype us up for retooled dragon combat, but it also confirms that BioWare's sequel should release in October.

So we therefore know exactly what to expect and when to expect it. What we need to know, however, is whether it can put the series back on form after Dragon Age II totally squandered the first game's potential. We'll be sure to fetch the comfy chair and find out [that's probably enough misquoted Python now - Ed].

Fatal Frame should make the Wii U GamePad relevant again

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Nintendo, Survival Horror Games, Tecmo Koei, Wii U, Wii U games

Fatal Frame should make the Wii U GamePad relevant again

I love the Wii U GamePad. It's a fantastic piece of kit in terms of build quality and comfort (let's forget the crippling battery life for a moment), with a screen that should allow developers to offer new features and radical usability improvements with context-sensitive icons. Unfortunately, very few games actually use it to any great effect beyond just being another regular controller.

However, an incoming Fatal Frame sequel could change all that.

Click here to read more...