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Jonathan Lester

Nintendo 3DS & 2DS Christmas Buyer's Guide

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
2DS, 3DS, 3DS XL, Buyer's Guide, New 3DS, New 3DS XL, Nintendo

Nintendo 3DS & 2DS Christmas Buyer's Guide

With Christmas and Black Friday fast approaching, it's time for our annual console buyer's guides packed with useful advice, cheap console bundle deals and the best games bargains for the hottest software.

Finally we come to the Nintendo 3DS, which has been our console of the year for two years running. Delivering an utterly superb games lineup, Nintendo's handheld has gone from strength to strength, with its unique Streetpass functionality making even the most boring commute an adventure in and of itself. The 2DS has also been on hand for those with lighter wallets, eschewing stereoscopic 3D to provide a sensationally low price point.

Unfortunately, seeing as a new 3DS model with enhanced functionality and exclusive games is set to release next year, it's also very difficult to recommend buying one this Christmas. Luckily there are plenty of great deals about!

3DS & 2DS Bundle Deals!

Nintendo 3DS & 2DS Christmas Buyer's Guide

We'll get to the differences between the 3DS, 3DS XL and 2DS in the next section, but first let's take a look at the hottest console bundles ahead of Black Friday.

ShopTo will also part with an Ice White 3DS and Professor Layton & The Miracle Mask for £99.99, which is a massive bargain.

Super Smash Bros fans looking for a 3DS XL will currently find Nintendo to be the cheapest place to get the limited edition 3DS XL bundle. You'll also get a free game as per a promotion detailed later in the article, as well as a charger and free carry case.

However, if the less capable yet much cheaper 2DS is more your speed, there are a smorgasbord of options available. For starters, Tesco will sell you one for £89.99 with their TDX-7KPG voucher code bundled with New Super Mario Bros 2. Thanks to GemmaOd and allgonewrong @ HUKD!

Argos are currently charging £99.99 for a 2DS with curious life sim Tomodachi Life and a free copy of Pokemon White for £99.99. Make sure to scroll down for the special offer. Thanks to aing69 @ HUKD!

Alternatively you could get a 2DS with Mario Kart 7 and a Mario-themed carry case for £109.99 at GAME. Thanks to Ninbox4 @ HUKD!

Nintendo are also running their own 2DS deal, which includes Mario Kart 7 and and New Super Mario Bros 2 and a special carry case for £129.99. Arguably more competitive than the two above. Thanks to Melee1012 @ HUKD!

Finally, Nintendo will also sell you a special edition 2DS with Pokemon Alpha Sapphire or Omega Ruby, and a carry case, for £114.99. This will also net you a free game download as per a promotional offer outlined later in the guide. This effectively nets you the carry case for free, since GAME, Amazon and others don't include it!

We expect Black Friday to offer some seriously cheap 3DS deals, so this is the level you'll want to match or ideally beat.

Click here to read more...

Halo: The Master Chief Collection update fixes everything... except matchmaking

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
343 Industries, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, multiplayer, Updates, Xbox One Games

Halo: The Master Chief Collection update fixes everything... except matchmaking

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is an incredible package, but like any great hero, it has an Achilles' Heel. Matchmaking. Post-launch, what appeared to be solid and stable matchmaking descended to a mess of interminable wait times, broken parties and hilariously unbalanced teams. 343 Industries were quick to apologies and have been working around the clock to sort things out, culminating in a 1400 MB patch yesterday that promised to address the major issues alongside a host of minor tweaks.

So does it work?

Not really.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection update fixes everything... except matchmaking

Click here to read more...

The Morning Papers | Dark Friday

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
The Morning Papers

Good morning!

Only one week to go until Black Friday, so the deals are falling thick and fast. As are the trailers and leaks. Telltale's Game Of  Thrones tie-in has received its first teaser, while a Destiny player has somehow managed to download and capture the opening for Destiny's Dark Below expansion. Speaking of leaks, though, be sure to change your Windows Live, 2K and PSN passwords since some malevolent ne'er-do-wells with too much time on their hands might have compromised your accounts.

Bloodborne has also received a tasty info dump, revealing new locations, a new hunter and a procedurally generated dungeon. Here are your headlines.

In Case You Missed It...

 

PS4 with GTA 5, Destiny Vanguard Edition, The Last Of Us Remastered & 12 months PlayStation Plus £399.99 at GAME

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Console bundles, PS4

PS4 with GTA 5, Destiny Vanguard Edition, The Last Of Us Remastered & 12 months PlayStation Plus £399.99 at GAME

One week to go until Black Friday, but even us Brits are getting into the action early. GAME have another PS4 bundle deal for your attention, this time including Grand Theft Auto, Destiny's Vanguard Edition, The Last Of Us and a year of PlayStation Plus so you can get online straight away. £399.99 may be a lot, but it's also a cumulative saving.

Though we're not convinced that Destiny lived up to the hype, it's still a pretty addictive game, while Grand Theft Auto 5 will tide you over for ages. Not to mention The Last Of Us Remastered, which is a great way for those who didn't own a PS3 to experience one of the most critically-acclaimed games of recent years. Thanks to Dhiraj1 @ HUKD!

Daily Bite: Halo Unplugged

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Funnies
Tags:
Daily Bite

You've never heard it like this before.

PlayStation Vita Christmas Buyer's Guide

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Buyer's Guide, Christmas Buyer's Guide, PS Vita, Sony

PlayStation Vita Christmas Buyer's Guide

With Christmas and Black Friday fast approaching, it's time for our annual console buyer's guides packed with useful advice, cheap console bundle deals and the best games bargains for the hottest software.

The PS Vita is a premium handheld with incredible specifications and a deceptively deep games library. Despite having an unfair reputation for providing few AAA exclusives, Sony's portable offers some of the best handheld games ever made, on par with home console titles, alongside a thriving g indie scene, excellent localised Japanese games and a back catalogue spanning the PSOne and PSP. Not to mention nifty remote play functionality when twinned with a PlayStation 4.

Put simply it's a must-own device for gaming connoisseurs. In this guide we'll discuss the hardware, software and then the cheapest way to get up and running.

PS Vita Bundle Deals!

PlayStation Vita Christmas Buyer's Guide

PS Vita bundle deals are fairly thin on the ground, but a few spring to mind. The first is the Slim console with an 8GB memory card and the 5-game adventure pack which includes some absolutely astounding games. Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush, TxK, Tearaway and Escape Plan can all be yours for £149.99 from GAME, saving you £5 versus Grainger Games.

Speaking of Grainger Games, they also happen to still be in stock with the 10 game Mega Pack Bundle, which will set you back only £154.99 compared to Amazon's silly £229.

Otherwise you can't go wrong with the action Mega Pack, which will cost you £159.99 pretty much everywhere (including Amazon if you want to try Flubit). I did say it was thin on the ground! It's likely that Sony and retailers want to prioritise the newly-released PS Vita TV, which we haven't yet tested comprehensively enough to recommend one way or the other.

Click here to read more...

Trainz Mega Bundle only £2.99 at Bundle Stars

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC games, Simulations, Trainz

Trainz Mega Bundle only £2.99 at Bundle Stars

Trains. So many trains. Traiiiins... sorry. Bundle Stars are currently selling an enormous cheap PC bundle of Trainz games and DLC packs, which you already know whether you're going to buy or not.

This is a niche bundle t be sure, but considering that Trainz Simulator 12 costs roughly £13 by itself, Bundle Stars have secured yet another hefty saving even without the extra games and content packs!

PREVIEW | Deathtrap: Diablo meets Tower Defence in a bloodsoaked gothic romp

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Deathtrap, Early Access, Games previews, Neocore Games, PC games, RPG, Tower Defence games

PREVIEW | Deathtrap: Diablo meets Tower Defence in a bloodsoaked gothic romp

"The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing 2 punches well above its weight and ends up as a markedly superior game. Seriously, even the optional tower defence sections are good enough to be a standalone game in their own right."

I'm not trying to take credit for Deathtrap -- even I'm not that egotistical -- but I certainly called it in our Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing II review. NeoCore are already masters at creating rock-solid action RPG gameplay with compelling progression and great combat, so having discovered a knack for tower defence too, they decided to build a brand new game mixing all three elements together.

The result is half Diablo-style dungeon crawler, half tower defender and all delightfully OTT gothic horror romp. With multiple classes, tricky mazes, hordes of enemies, addictive levelling, versatile upgrades, co-op, infinite user-generated content and more besides, Deathtrap expertly blends the strategy of tower defence with the insanely hectic combat of Diablo. It's an example of a tower defence RPG hybrid that actually tries to break the mold, and rise above the pack in an otherwise crowded sub-genre.

PREVIEW | Deathtrap: Diablo meets Tower Defence in a bloodsoaked gothic romp

And because it's built on the dependable Van Helsing foundation, it's also an example of an Early Access game that actually works!

Click here to read more...

Get a Wii U Basic Bundle with Mario Kart 8, New Super Mario Bros U, NintendoLand, Wii Party U & extra Controller £209.99 from Amazon

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

Get a Wii U Basic Bundle with Mario Kart 8, New Super Mario Bros U, NintendoLand, Wii Party U & extra Controller £209.99 from Amazon

The console bundle bargains may be hotting up as Christmas approaches, but this cheap Wii U bundle takes some beating. £209.99 will net you the basic console with Mario Kart 8, Nintendo Land, Super Mario Bros U and Wii Party U, plus an extra controller to boot.

What makes this pre-Black Friday deal so magnificent is that you'll get the console with two of its best games. Super Mario 3D World is utterly superb, while Mario Kart 8 brings the multiplayer funtimes like an absolute boss. You'll even get an extra controller for instant local showdowns, not to mention two more games to get stuck into with friends or family. Why not mug up on our Wii U Christmas Buyer's guide? Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!

UPDATE: It appears that Amazon have used the wrong image, and this bundle in fact contains New Super Mario Bros U, not Super Mario 3D World.

The Morning Papers | Super Classy Bros?

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
The Morning Papers

The Morning Papers | Super Classy Bros?

Good morning!

Today brings us the news that Nintendo aren't working on paid Super Smash Bros DLC right now, and Masuhiro Sakurai concentrated the team's entire efforts on a fully-featured standalone. We absolutely love this approach, because if DLC does emerge down the line, it will be an expansion developed after the fact rather than cut content. If true, this is what we like to call a class act even though it should be the default way of doing business.

UPDATE: Except that it might alternatively be a load of old cobblers.

In other news, Halo: The Master Chief Collection's matchmaking may finally get fixed following a major patch due today. The inconsistent netcode has been tantalisingly broken during the week since launch, breaking enough to nearly break your spirit, but working just enough to tempt you to try one more time. Here are your headlines.

In Case You Missed It...

The Morning Papers | Super Classy Bros?

Xbox One turns One this week, Microsoft gives away celebratory tat

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Microsoft, Xbox One

Xbox One turns One this week, Microsoft gives away celebratory tat

It's nearly been one year since the Xbox One launched, and what a year it's been. A £429 entertainment system became a £329 console in less than twelve months, and we've had a front row seat on a seriously wild ride. To celebrate, Microsoft are giving away some digital tat!

Well, perhaps that's a bit harsh. Everyone will get a free rental of Halo: Forward Unto Dawn (which is on Netflix, oops), a gamer picture, some backgrounds, a PC wallpaper and... no, it's fair. Every Xbox One owner will be entered into a DLC prize draw, which is nice, though us Europeans don't get to win the physical rewards and bundles.

Nevertheless, this shouldn't diminish what the Xbox One has accomplished this year: turning a bloated box on the rocks into a fierce affordable and attractive console with a fantastic games lineup. We'll run our Xbox One Year In Review piece soon, and for now, why not mug up on our Xbox One Christmas Buyer's Guide?

Click here to read more...

PlayStation 4 Christmas Buyer's Guide

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Buyer's Guide, Christmas Buyer's Guide, Playstation 4, PS4

PlayStation 4 Christmas Buyer's Guide

With Christmas and Black Friday fast approaching, it's time for our annual console buyer's guides packed with useful advice, cheap console bundle deals and the best games bargains for the hottest software. Now we're ready to give the PS4 its dues.

Sony's console has been flying off the shelves this past year on the strength of its beefy specifications, best-in-class controller, affordable pricing, nifty features and the promise of more quality first-party exclusives. Unfortunately we'll have to wait until next year for big hitters like Bloodborne and Uncharted 4, but the PS4 makes up for it with canny third-party deals, superb indie games and an impressively varied lineup of software big and small.

In this guide we'll discuss the hardware, software and then the cheapest way to get up and running.

PS4 Bundle Deals!

PlayStation 4 Christmas Buyer's Guide

For those who want a taste of both new and old, GAME are currently running a PS4 bundle with The Last Of Us Remastered and either Far Cry 4 OR Grand Theft Auto 5 for £349.99. Bargain. Thanks to preparationiskey @ HUKD!

Argos are also running some straightfoward PS4 bundle deals at the moment, the best of which includes the console with Grand Theft Auto V and Far Cry 4 for £359.99. Scroll down to see the special offers. Thanks to Jabbypans @ HUKD!

If you want to make sure you don't run out of games to play, you can net a PS4 with five decent games for under £400 at ShopTo, including Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Wolfenstein and Minecraft. Thanks to preparationiskey @ HUKD!

Dragon Age fans can also get Dragon Age: Inquisition with a new PS4 console for £329.85 at ShopTo.

Finally, if you're in the market for a standalone glacier white console, you can grab a bargain at Gamestop for £299.97. Note that their customer service leaves much to be desired, though. Thanks to ahmadfirdausazmi @ HUKD!

Naturally we expect Black Friday to be bountiful for cheap PS4 bundle deals, but this is the level you want to match or beat! Also be sure to keep an eye on Amazon, who recently offered several bundles at £329.99 and may do so again come the end of November.

Click here to read more...

Forza 5 deals start as low as £13.99 on Xbox One

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Forza 5, Racing Games, Turn 10 Studios, Xbox One Games

Forza 5 deals start as low as £13.99 on Xbox One

We've got two cheap Forza Motorsport 5 Xbox One deals for your attention today. The first is for the digital GOTY Edition, which is being sold for an insanely low £13.99 by very reputable eBay seller wanna-bid (Gamesbite). The code will have to be posted out to comply with eBay regulations, mind.

However, if you'd rather not use eBay or otherwise take the risk, 365Games are also selling the standard edition for £18.99 via email.

In case you were wondering, Forza 5 is an excellent track racer, as detailed in our 8/10 review, especially now that the worrisome microtransactions have been ironed out. Forza Horizon 2 is the superior game, though, so keep an eye out come Black Friday. Thanks to jazzywildchild @ HUKD!

Get an Xbox One with PES 2015 for only £299.99 at Zavvi

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PES 2015, Xbox One

Get an Xbox One with PES 2015 for only £299.99 at Zavvi

The ultimate console price war continues with yet another cheap Xbox One bundle. This footy fan-pleasing package includes the Xbox One console and PES 2015 for £299.99, which is £30 less than the solus console is supposed to cost by itself!

The Xbox One has become a fierce little gaming machine with some great exclusives and useful functionality, while PES 2015 is genuinely reckoned to be something akin to a return to form. It took long enough! Anyway, yet another option to think about before Black Friday rolls around. Thanks to Gooner @ HUKD!

PSA: Defiance is finally free to play on Xbox 360

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Defiance, MMO, Trion Worlds, Xbox 360 games

PSA: Defiance is finally free to play on Xbox 360

It took long enough, but Defiance is finally free-to-play on Xbox 360, making the ambitious multi-platform MMORPG shooter free on all platforms after making the transition on PC and PS3. Though saddled with a rubbish TV series and some design issues, we actually found Defiance to be an absolute blast (well, Matt hated it) and a game that was a fun enough shooter to carry its weaker elements. Excellent instanced missions and crazy random flashmob boss battles really helped to give Defiance game a solid backbone.

Carl's in-depth Defiance review still holds true, but there have been numerous content updates and patches over the last few years, meaning that there's a lot of game here costing absolutely nothing. You could do a lot worse than giving it a go. Thanks and credit to sweetnugget @ HUKD for bringing this to our attention!

Microsoft started the bloodiest price war in console history

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Microsoft, PS4, Sony, Xbox One

Microsoft started the bloodiest price war in console history

I've never seen a price war like this before.

Sure, console manufacturers and retailers tend to sling together a few bundles ahead of Christmas and Black Friday, but usually it's a token effort intended to make the most money from put-upon parents, Christmas presents and stocking fillers before the big January sales. Often we even see prices go up to grab as much Christmas cash as possible, and false savings instead of real discounts.

Now, however, Microsoft has broken the rules and started a console bundle price war of monstrous proportions, where there's only likely to be one winner.

Us!

Microsoft started the bloodiest price war in console history

Click here to read more...

The Morning Papers | GTA Chickens, Blue Flamingoes

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
The Morning Papers

Good morning!

The biggest story of the last 24 hours has been and gone. Grand Theft Auto V's save file transfer functionality was broken -- shock horror! -- but now Rockstar has fixed it with an emergency patch. So, erm, I suppose our lead story is that Franklin can turn into a chicken.

In other news, Far Cry 4 contains a clever trap for pirates, the 3DS has finally been homebrew hacked and a stop-motion shooter has sneaked onto Steam. Might & Delight created and filmed real models to create The Blue Flamingo, resulting in a unique look.

In Case You Missed It...

The Morning Papers | GTA Chickens, Blue Flamingoes

Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate only £17.99 on Xbox One at Base

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, Xbox One Games

Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate only £17.99 on Xbox One at Base

You know what Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate is and what it does. If you need more cathartic and satisfying feudal Japan-themed mayhem in your life, Base.com will part with an Xbox One copy for £17.99, which is a seriously cheap deal and a fiver saving.

Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate doesn't reinvent the wheel. It's just another deeply enjoyable Warriors title with loads of generals, missions, weapons and infinite hordes of goons to beat up. However, the amount of content is spectacular, while the new visuals do a great job of giving the franchise a new lick of paint. £17.99 is an absolute steal, especially this side of Black Friday. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!

GoD Factory: Wingmen only £7.49 on Steam, huge free update out now

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Arcade space sim, GoD Factory: Wingmen, multiplayer games, PC games

GoD Factory: Wingmen only £7.49 on Steam, huge free update out now

Space combat fanatics should pay attention, because GoD Factory: Wingmen brings zero-G dogfighting back with a vengeance. Its 4v4 carrier assault missions with massively customisable fighters are superb, and better yet, a new update adds a slew of new maps. £7.49 will save you 50%, making this a nice cheap discount ahead of Cyber Monday and an absolute bargain.

Our GoD: Factory Wingmen editor's choice review provides an in-depth look at how this latter-day space game makes dogfighting fun again, and how its ship design suite, progression and unlocks provide a compelling draw outside of battle. A brand new update has released to fix my major concern, the single starfield, by delivering new arenas with unique features and flair. Definitely worth checking out, and supporting a game that deserves a thriving community.

The Darkness II Limited Edition only £2.85 at SimplyGames

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
FPS, The Darkness II, Xbox 360 games

The Darkness II Limited Edition only £2.85 at SimplyGames

The Darkness II mixes gangsters and demons to create an ultraviolent romp that's well worth playing. This cheap Xbox 360 deal sees the limited edition slashed down to £2.85 delivered, saving you a few quid ahead of Black Friday.

You can read our 8/10 The Darkness II review for all the details, but suffice to say this is a seriously satisfying shooter that uses 'quad wielding' to devastating effect. Two guns, two horrifying demon arms and an army of goons to use them on. Well worth playing and a bargain at less than three quid delivered. Thanks to Ninbox4 @ HUKD!