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Jonathan Lester

The Morning Papers | Assassination Compensation

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

The Morning Papers | Assassination Compensation

Good morning!

It's currently Thanksgiving across the pond, so news is likely to be a little thin on the ground today, but Ubisoft have stolen the headlines with an absolutely massive scoop. By way of apology for Assassin's Creed Unity's launch, they've cancelled the season pass and will give everyone the DLC for free. Meanwhile season pass holders can get a free game, including The Crew, which is an unprecedented move that's bound to generate some much-needed goodwill.

Are you taking notes, 343 Industries? A new Halo: The Master Chief Collection update has just gone live, but if it doesn't work, you may need to consider some manner of compensation too.

In Case You Missed It...

Xbox Live Games With Gold revealed for December

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Games With Gold, Worms Battlegrounds, Xbox 360 games, Xbox Live, Xbox One Games

Xbox Live Games With Gold revealed for December

Microsoft has revealed the next clutch of free games for Xbox Live Gold members next month.

Worms Battlegrounds will be free to download on Xbox One throughout DecemberI rated this lazy clone of Worms: Clan Wars a 6/10 in our full review, but for free it's a steal and packed with multiplayer funtimes.

Xbox 360 owners, meanwhile, can download The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief between December 1st-14th, then SSX for the remainder of the month.

Not a bad haul, and here's hoping that Worms Battlegrounds will get a major player boost. What do you make of it?

The Mystery Bundle 2 costs 63p at Indie Royale, contains 10 Steam games

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC games

The Mystery Bundle 2 costs 63p at Indie Royale, contains 10 Steam games

Like a touch of intrigue, risk and danger with your cheap PC games? Yes? Well Indie Royale has the bundle for you. You'll get ten Steam games for £0.63, though you'll only find out what they are over the next few days.

To be honest we can't recommend blind-buying a bundle, but for 63 pennies, how bad could this be? Vanguard Princess is £2.53 in the Steam Sale, making this a saving already, and ye trading cards. y've got trading cards too. Thanks and credit to jaystan @ HUKD, who found this before I did!

Get a Nintendo 2DS with New Super Mario Bros 2 for £79.99 at Tesco

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
2DS, Console bundles

Get a Nintendo 2DS with New Super Mario Bros 2 for £79.99 at Tesco

The 2DS is a great way for thrifty gamers or undiscerning kids to access the DS and 3DS' amazing game library, so don't overlook the strange yet adorable little handheld. Especially when you can get one for £79.99 with a 4GB memory card pre-installed with New Super Mario Bros 2 at Tesco!

Be sure to use voucher code TDX-7KPG for the extra saving - you'll need to set up a new account (i.e. just a new email address). The 2DS is a reasonable piece of kit with some fantastic games, and you can get all the details in our 3DS & 2DS Christmas Buyer's Guide. Thanks to stevieMon@ HUKD!

Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor only £24.99 on PS4 & Xbox One at GAME

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Action Games, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Monolith, PS4 games, Xbox One Games

Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor only £24.99 on PS4 & Xbox One at GAME

Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor is a surprisingly great game, and if you're looking for a cheap PS4 deal or Xbox One deal ahead of Black Friday, GAME are delivering the goods with a sub-£25 price for both versions.

It's great to see Monolith back on form after so many years in the doldrums, and it's even better to see a genuinely fantastic Lord Of The Rings game that genuinely expands on the universe. This stealthy stabby brutal bloodsoaked experience shines thanks to the quality of its systems and its unique Nemesis mechanic that creates unique bosses to hunt and take down depending on your performance. Thanks to Bure11 @ HUKD!

Heads-up! White Xbox One, Sunset Overdrive & extra controller only £319 at Tesco on Black Friday

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Black Friday, Console bundles, Xbox One

Heads-up! White Xbox One, Sunset Overdrive & extra controller only £319 at Tesco on Black Friday

Tesco have revealed a sizzling Xbox One bundle deal that will be going live from tomorrow. You'll be able to get a white limited edition Sunset Overdrive Xbox One bundle and an extra controller for £319.99. Alternatively you could swap out the console for a standard edition black unit with FIFA 15 or Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin's Creed Unity.

You can currently see the prices on site, but the deals aren't live yet! Here are the links for your bookmarks:

Not cheap enough for you? Okay, then how about some vouchers. TDXR-WRTP grants £15 off £75 for some existing customers (try it and see), while you can set up a new account to get £10 off with the TDX-7KPG. Worth bearing in mind, but we'll keep shopping around to find you the best deals in what's likely to be a crazy few days. Thanks to Assassin82 @ HUKD!

The Steam Fall Sale is now live - let the deal mayhem begin!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC games, Steam Exploration Sale, Steam Fall Sale 2014

The Steam Fall Sale is now live - let the deal mayhem begin!

It begins.

The Steam Fall Sale is now open for business, offering 138 specials and some major discounts on PC games large and small. Dubbed the Exploration Sale, we assume that it will be a great opportunity to check out some niche gems alongside some AAA titans as it runs throughout Black Friday and Cyber Monday to end on Tuesday December 2nd.

Highlights

The Steam Fall Sale is now live - let the deal mayhem begin!

That's just scratching the surface and contending with the straining servers, so there's much more to dig through and discover. As per usual we'll keep you up to date with the hottest deals and I'll round up some of the niche indie games to stop them falling under your radar.

For now, tell us what you're buying!

Pre-purchase Total War: Attila for £22.50 at Greenman Gaming, if you dare

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC games, Potential bugfest, Strategy games, The Creative Assembly, Total War: Attila

Pre-purchase Total War: Attila for £22.50 at Greenman Gaming, if you dare

If you haven't learned to steer clear of Creative Assembly games until all the bugs are fixed, Greenman Gaming are offering a cheap PC pre-order deal for the next Total War title. Total War: Attila will run you £22.50 with their voucher code du jour, saving you £7.49.

Use voucher code 1MZ9FW-H92JSD-2CT74F for the discount! Total War: Attila takes us back to 395 AD, the start of the Dark Ages, overhauling some of the mechanics and bringing "apocalyptic destruction" to the proceedings. Following the shockingly unpolished release of Rome II, we'd suggest that you wait and see whether Attila actually works next year, or if it ships with another hilarious cavalcade of problems. Still an early saving for die-hards, mind.

Ultimate NES Remix Review | Zany Fun At A Silly Price

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
3DS Games, Games reviews, Nintendo, Ultimate NES Remix

Ultimate NES Remix Review | Zany Fun At A Silly Price

I love the NES Remix games. They plainly show that Nintendo still has creative fire and fight in them; willing to look back on a majestic legacy and gleefully mess about with it in zany new ways. NES Remix and NES Remix 2 were both stuffed with crazy minigames that blend legendary NES titles into bonkers bite-sized chunks, perfect for a few minutes or hours at a time, and my only major gripe was that its pick-up-and-play action would work better on 3DS.

You might expect Ultimate NES Remix to be the perfect package, then, but it actually puts me in a bit of a bind. It may be fantastic fun and a great fit for 3DS, but it's also far too expensive despite containing less content than the two previous games.

Be in no doubt, though, the series really does feel made for 3DS. In case you don't know, the NES Remix games lie somewhere between a greatest hits compilation and an addictive arcade time trial, splitting up legendary NES titles like Super Mario Bros, ExciteBike, Kirby's Adventure, The Legend Of Zelda and more into crazy time-based challenges. One moment you'll be trying to wheelie to the finish line in ExciteBike, the next you'll be slotting a pill into place in Doctor Mario or leaping over barrels in Donkey Kong. It's a brilliant way of bringing back some of our favourite games from yesteryear without cracking our rose-tinted spectacles.

Ultimate NES Remix Review | Zany Fun At A Silly Price

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Zut alors, Assassin's Creed Unity only £24.95 on Xbox One today

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Assassin's Creed: Unity, Ubisoft, Xbox One Games

Zut alors, Assassin's Creed Unity only £24.95 on Xbox One today

Assassin's Creed: Unity targeted Xbox One as its lead platform, and if you're in the market for a cheap Xbox One deal, CDKeys are currently charging £24.95 for one day only. Saving you a tenner in the process and ticking another game off your Black Friday checklist.

Remember to 'like' them on Facebook for an extra 5% discount! Whether you like Assassin's Creed Unity will be another matter, though. The game's notorious technical issues may be nowhere near as pronounced on Xbox One, but Matt describes it as a "corpulent, broken mess that plays neither to its own strengths nor to its fanbase" in our 5/10 review, even if there are "flashes of promise." It sure does look pretty though.

The PC version is also on sale for £22.79 with the Facebook discount.

Sonic Bust - Five Failing Franchises That Need To Take A Break Or Go Away

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Assassin's Creed, Final Fantasy, lego, Resident Evil, Sonic Boom

Sonic Bust - Five Failing Franchises That Need To Take A Break Or Go Away

Even the most stalwart old warhorse needs to take a break sometimes. Partly to recuperate and refresh, but also because it can't keep up with being ridden so hard to ridiculous deadlines.

Stuff the analogies; though the world of gaming is full of new ideas and fresh concepts, these great games all too often mutate into stodgy, bloated and rushed franchises that grimly release year on year with diminishing returns, often losing track of what made them great in the first place. We see it happen time and time again, and this year in particular, we reckon that it's high time for some of the industry's biggest franchises to step back, take a break and focus on how best to bring them back once we're good and ready.

If they even need to brought back at all. Seeing as it's been a while since we last ragged on Sonic, let's get this thing rolling.

Assassin's Creed

Sonic Bust - Five Failing Franchises That Need To Take A Break Or Go Away

We love Assassin's Creed here at Dealspwn. The core idea of a three-dimensional assassination sandbox is as brilliant as it ever was, while each game tried its best to present new time periods, characters, gadgets and meta-narratives to keep things fresh.

Unfortunately you can have too much of a good thing. Assassin's Creed did well to remain as good as it was for so long, Assassin's Creed III notwithstanding, but Unity proves that the insane annual release deadlines have finally caught up with us. A technical mess with half-baked mechanics, paradoxically shown up by its own last-gen counterpart.

So it's time to take a break, Ubisoft. Give us two years to start missing Assassin's Creed, then spend the time looking at what made the original games brilliant, and how best to bring the action into a totally new setting that really advances both gameplay, visuals and narrative. Plus, hell, the extra QA probably wouldn't hurt...

Click here to read more...

The Morning Papers | Let's Build This Thing And Go Home

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

The Morning Papers | Let's Build This Thing And Go Home

Good morning!

The big news today is that Minecraft has received its first major Xbox-exclusive DLC in the form of Star Wars characters. Now that Microsoft owns the brand, we can expect plenty more where that came from. Sony have finally started making a bit of noise, though, including rumblings of a new David Jaffe action title for the PS4. And Criminal Girls, a localised version of a very kinky SRPG, coming to Vita. Here are your headlines.

In Case You Missed It...

The Morning Papers | Let's Build This Thing And Go Home

Battlefield 4 for £7.49 headlines the Origin Black Friday Blowout

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Black Friday, PC games

Battlefield 4 for £7.49 headlines the Origin Black Friday Blowout

Origin are keen to get a bit of the Black Friday deal action, releasing a massive flood of major discounts onto their store with some amazing highlights -- including Battlefield 4 for £7.49 and Mirror's Edge for £1.24.

There are some seriously great deals here, such as UK favourite Theme Hospital at £1.99 and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon for £2.99, though I'd personally give a big shout out to The Secret World for £6.24. You can read my in-depth love letter to one of the bravest MMORPGs ever made here -- and it's buy once, play free forever too.

Thanks to jaystan, andreas0013 and Elevation @ HUKD!

Paradox Interactive launch their own Black Friday deals

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Black Friday, Paradox Interactive, PC games

Paradox Interactive launch their own Black Friday deals

Even Paradox Interactive are getting in on the Black Friday deals mayhem this week, including Crusader Kings II for £6.00 and Ancient Space for £11.99. They've released a slew of cheap PC games onto their store, meaning that savvy strategy fans might need to set another bookmark.

However, I'd urge you now to buy anything just yet, seeing as the Steam Fall Sale is likely to be going live today (at 18:00 GMT if so), Wait and price match to maximise your bargains.

The Evil Within £15.75 at CDKeys on PC

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Horror games, PC games, Tango Game Works, The Evil Within

The Evil Within £15.75 at CDKeys on PC

The Evil Within hasn't been out long, but it's already approaching the £15 mark ahead of Black Friday. CDKeys are charging £15.75 for a Steam code.

Remember to 'like' them on Facebook for the extra discount! "The Evil Within is a good game, an assembly of Mikami's best work and a rather pointed lesson in classic survival horror that Capcom would do well to note, but it's also unashamedly rooted in bygone years," explains Matt in our 7/10 review. As such, expect a few jump scares and serious gross-out factor, but little true psychological terror. We love that you can freely input console commands to activate cheats instead of buying DLC, though!

Dreamcast fans rejoice: Humble SEGA Bundle starts at 64p

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

Dreamcast fans rejoice: Humble SEGA Bundle starts at 64p

SEGA fans will be in nostalgic heaven with the latest humble bundle, which includes the Dreamcast Collection, NiGHTS Into Dreams and Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed for as little as £0.64!

As a fan of the Dreamcast myself (which probably would have been the best console of all time if it wasn't so far before its time!), I'd suggest buying in at the lowest tier for maximum value. Especially since Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed makes this a bargain all by itself. However, you can beat the average to also unlock Empire: Total War (not one of the best) and one faction in Company Of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies -- to be honest it might be worth holding off until they reveal the bonus games. I'd probably predict Jet Set Radio at the very least, but we'll see.

Thanks to Dr4gOns_FuRy @ HUKD!

Tropico 5: Special Edition just £19.98 on Xbox 360 at Zavvi, El Presidente

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Kalypso, Strategy games, Tropico 5, Xbox 360 games

Tropico 5: Special Edition just £19.98 on Xbox 360 at Zavvi, El Presidente

Tropico 5 is the latest in Kalypso's banana republic despot simulator series, and Zavvi are currently carrying what appears to be a £10 saving on the Xbox 360 special edition.

Reviews are positive and the consensus is that Tropico 5 is really rather good, not to mention the fact that this Xbox 360 deal is incredibly cheap even compared to Steam's £34.99 PC price! Even Gamersgate are charging £17.50 for the PC version, which doesn't include the physical merch, such as a map and postcards from your sunny new island. Thanks to leepaget1 @ HUKD!

Xbox One with five big games only £369.85 at ShopTo

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Console bundles, Xbox One

Xbox One with five big games only £369.85 at ShopTo

Black Friday approaches, but retailers are already offloading a whole heap of stock with some great deals. ShopTo's eBay outlet recently offered a smashing 5-game Xbox One bundle deal for a shade under £350, and though out of stock, the main store is offering the same deal an extra £20 -- which is still a saving.

The five Xbox One games are really rather good (so we'll link to our reviews!): Titanfall, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Forza 5, Battlefield 4 and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. A great haul at a great price despite the original eBay deal. Even if you don't get on board now, this is the sort of level you want to match or beat come Black Friday. Thanks to preparationiskey @ HUKD!

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd Review | Stealing Our Hearts, Breaking Our Fingers

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Games reviews, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd, PS Vita games, PS3 games, Rhythm games, Sega

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd Review | Stealing Our Hearts, Breaking Our Fingers

Vocaloids are amazing. Half international pop phenomena, half musical instruments, Hatsune Miku and her friends/fellow synthesiser applications have taken the world by storm. Crowd-sourced virtual idols who'll sing anything you write for them, so long as you own the software. Despite existing as little more than anime advertising, animated music videos and fan art, these non-existent divas pack out shows, hold conventions and are no less real than any other pop star out there.

We really are living in The Future.

Confused? If so, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd is not the game for you! The original will be more your speed, plus I start our 8/10 review with a deeper explanation of what/who vocaloids are. Project Diva F 2nd, meanwhile, is very much a direct sequel that pushes the intense rhythm gameplay into satisfying new territory while providing a more rounded selection of tracks, providing greater challenge and a wealth of new content for dedicated fans.

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd Review | Stealing Our Hearts, Breaking Our Fingers

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The Morning Papers | Prepare To Die Again

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

Good morning! The big news today is that Dark Souls II will hack and slash its way to PS4 and Xbox One next year, courtesy of a new edition with rebalanced gameplay, all the DLC packs and extra content. If you're prepared to prepare to die... again... only shinier... then you're set.

In other news, think twice about pre-ordering The Crew. Ubisoft will not be handing out review copies before launch, meaning that you won't know if Uplay or the netcode is actually up to the task. We don't mind having to wait, but we do take issue with incentivising gamers to pre-order something that won't even have pre-release reviews. Better to wait and let us test the waters.

In Case You Missed It...

The Morning Papers | Prepare To Die Again