Login | Signup

Jonathan Lester

Nintendo unveils the NEW 3DS: beefier CPU, second stick, Xenoblade Chronicles!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
New 3DS, New 3DS XL, Nintendo

Nintendo unveils the NEW 3DS: beefier CPU, second stick, Xenoblade Chronicles!

Nintendo are infamous for their handheld hardware revisions, but today's Japanese Direct presentation unveils their most ambitious update yet. The New 3DS and 3DS XL models contain a host of upgraded features including the long-awaited second circle pad, wider 3D viewing angles and a faster processor that can support a new wave of more graphically intensive games.

Unfortunately they won't be out in time for Christmas here in the UK... meaning that you might want to strike a 3DS off Santa's list, but fence-sitters might finally get the push they need.

Click here to read more...

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Review | Holiday Special

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Adventure Games, NIS America Europe, PS Vita games, Puzzle games, Spike Chunsoft, Visual novel

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Review | Holiday Special

Platform: PS Vita

Developer: Spike Chunsoft

Publisher: NIS AmericaReef Entertainment

Once more with feeling: Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is magnificent.

Seriously, I'll keep banging on about it until you buy it or show me a letter from your GP proving that you're allergic to visual novels. Halfway between Corpse Party, Cluedo, Battle Royale and Ace Attorney, this grim and frequently disturbing tour de force managed to be both an engrossing page-turner and a gripping videogame. Great characters, fantastic story, despair and hope in equal measure. It's still my GOTY thus far.

The reason I'm telling you this now is that you absolutely mustn't play Danganronpa 2 without fully enjoying the original. Partly because the sequel builds on the revelations of its predecessor, but also because it's worse.

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Review | Holiday Special

Not bad, mind you. It's actually rather good. But stacked up next to Trigger Happy Havoc, Danganronpa 2 lacks the subtlety, pacing and restraint to be a truly effective mystery, and often feels like a fan-service holiday special instead.

Click here to read more...

Get an Xbox One Kinect Sensor for only £129 from Microsoft... wait, are you serious?!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Kinect, Microsoft, Xbox One

Get an Xbox One Kinect Sensor for only £129 from Microsoft... wait, are you serious?!

Xbox One Kinect Sensor | Microsoft | £129.99
Xbox One review | Kinect Voice Commands Guide

Did you pick up a Kinect-less Xbox One and want to add voice command functionality to the Xbox experience? Fancy trying out auto sign-in and playing the tiny number of Kinect-enabled games the way they were meant to be experienced? Well you'll soon be in luck, because Microsoft are releasing the standalone Kinect sensor for the bargain price of...

... £129.99?!

This deal is over. Now it's ranting time.

DEAL ABORTED. CLICK HERE FOR THE ENSUING RANT >>

Rayman Legends only £16.99 on PS4 & Xbox One at GAME

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Platformers, PS4 games, Ubisoft, Xbox One Games

Rayman Legends only £16.99 on PS4 & Xbox One at GAME

Rayman Legends | GAME PS4 / Xbox One | £16.99 (save £6)
Rayman Legends PS4 review

Rayman Legends is fantastic, and if you absolutely must own it on PS4 or Xbox One, GAME are currently the cheapest retailer around. It's important to note that we've seen it cheaper before, though -- and its PC and last-gen versions will often set you back half as much with feature-complete 60FPS gameplay.

Thanks to Bure11 @ HUKD!

Black PS4 Destiny bundle only £319.99 at ShopTo (eBay outlet)

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PS4, Sony

Black PS4 Destiny bundle only £319.99 at ShopTo (eBay outlet)

Destiny is so close we can taste the moon-wizards, but what platform to play it on? If you're in the market for a PS4, ShopTo might be about to make you an offer you can't refuse, seeing as they'll sell you a black Destiny bundle for £319.99 -- £30 less than a solus console at RRP!

Hot. HOT. Thanks to vimaltailor1 @ HUKD!

Super Time Force rampages onto Xbox Live Games With Gold

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Xbox 360 games, Xbox One Games

Super Time Force rampages onto Xbox Live Games With Gold

"Super Time Force delivers the depth of Braid with the intense SHMUP satisfaction of an old-school run and gunner, letting you assemble a ridiculous army of skateboarding dinosaurs and Uzi dolphins by abusing time paradoxes. Something we don't get to write often enough," I gushed in my 9/10 Super Time Force review.

"An outrageous, hilarious and potent shooter on its own merits becomes something utterly unique; deep without pretension and never losing the sense of anarchic fun. Fans of bombastic sidescrolling action and experimental indie gaming will find common ground here."

I mention this only because Xbox One Gold Members can download and play it for free from next Monday. And should download and play it. Because it's wonderful. Be sure to grab Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut while you can, though, and stay far away from the atrocious Crimson Dragon.

Meanwhile Xbox 360 owners will get Halo: Reach and Monaco. Chances are you all own the first one, but it's out in perfect time to set you up for the Master Chief Collection. Thoughts?

Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited Review | Sweeter On Vita, Dood!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Editor's Choice, Games reviews, NIS America Europe, PS Vita games, RPG, SRPG, Strategy games

Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited Review | Sweeter On Vita, Dood!

Platforms: PS Vita

Developer: Nippon Ichi Software

Publisher: NIS America Europe | Reef Entertainment

Handhelds and strategy RPGs were made for each other, and Disgaea continues to be one of the biggest names in the business for those in the know. Nailing that sweet spot between quirky upbeat humour, insane social life-destroying tactical depth and adorable exploding demon penguin murderers, the irreverent series always feels more at home on portable consoles than it does in the living room.

Case in point, Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited, which provides the ultimate definitive edition of arguably the strongest game in the franchise.

Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited Review | Sweeter On Vita, Dood!

Sardines, dood! Yes, once again, Disgaea isn't ashamed to be deeply silly when it comes to the storyline. We find ourselves following Lord Valvatorez, a once-terrifying vampire tyrant now relegated to a lowly exploding penguin instructor in the depths of hell thanks to some hastily-made promises. His mission, not to mention his obsession with the nutrient value of sardines versus human blood, quickly derails as all manner of crazy characters show up and hilarious diversions poke fun at established conventions, but a strong central theme and great localised dialogue keeps things interesting even if you've never played a Disgaea game before.

It's a surprisingly engrossing tale, even providing alternate 'bad endings' with their own non-canonical epilogue when you fail certain battles. Just remember not to save after seeing one! More importantly, though, Valvatorez is by far the most interesting protagonist in the series. Older and more experienced (but no less bizarre) than his predecessors, he's genuinely hilarious, likeable and benefits from a believable and relateable motive. Move over Laharl.

Click here to read more...

COMMENT | The Vita isn't dead, but it's not the console you thought you bought

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
PS Vita, Sony

COMMENT | The Vita isn't dead, but it's not the console you thought you bought

And that's okay!

Everyone keeps telling me that the PlayStation Vita is dead in the water. From our own Brendan Griffiths to James Portnow and co, it's hard to argue with the logic. Sony didn't mention the device once during their Gamescom presser, sales figures are buried in their financial reports and landmark releases have slowed from a trickle to a standstill over the last few months. If Sony hadn't nailed it to the shelves it'd be pushing up the daisies.

But there's a problem. If the PS Vita is floundering and fading as badly as many pundits believe, then why am I constantly spending every minute of my free time reviewing PS Vita games? I'd nail down the coffin lid, only there's so much new software spilling out of it! And I have to finish off my Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited and Danganronpa 2 reviews for tomorrow. And play some more Borderlands 2.

So no, dear reader, the Vita is very much alive. But the idea of the Vita, the whole philosophy behind it and even the reason many of you bought it, has radically changed. It's life, Jim, but not as we [no, stop it - Ed].

COMMENT | The Vita isn't dead, but it's not the console you thought you bought

Click here to read more...

PREVIEW | Quantum Break: Xbox One stunner or samey slow-mo shooter?

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, Gamescom 2014, Microsoft Studios, Remedy Entertainment, Xbox One Games

PREVIEW | Quantum Break: Xbox One stunner or samey slow-mo shooter?

Max Payne meets Bernard's Watch... Max Bernard?

Quantum Break is still one of the Xbox One's biggest wildcards. Promising to transcend the boundaries between games and television, Remedy's latest creation finally broke gameplay cover at Gamescom, revealing that the creators of Max Payne are still capable of creating a handsome shooter with some nifty slow-motion mechanics.

We had to know more, so naturally I attended the Quantum Break showcase at the first possible opportunity. The lights dimmed. Our guide stepped up to the plate. And Remedy unveiled... an expanded version of the demo we already saw during Microsoft's press conference.

Wonderful, quoth Jonathan sarcastically. However, it's clear that while Quantum Break's gunplay looks rather fun, the time-based puzzling and intriguing transmedia setup are what's really going to set it apart from the crowd. Like Max Payne crossed with Bernard's Watch and Blinx: The Time Sweeper, perhaps.

Click here to read more...

PSN Store Sale includes big games and niche gems

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PS Vita games, PS3 games, PSN

PSN Store Sale includes big games and niche gems

Another week, another sale, another hilariously poor offering of PlayStation 4 "discounts." Oh ambassador, with this £39.99 Watch Dogs deal you are really spoiling us. No Ferrero Rochers for you, Sony.

Thankfully it's a different story on PS3 and Vita, which boast plenty of actual savings to be made. XCOM: Enemy Within is only £9.99, including the original game, while the Splinter Cell Trilogy will set you back £5.49. For me, though, it's an opportunity to sample a host of niche localised Japanese titles at a serious discount, including the "dangerously sexy" Demon Gaze for £15.99, the Atelier series alongside Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable and 2025. Forget the Ferrero Rochers, have some Pocky instead.

EDF! EDF! As always, we've got the prices and links below courtesy of the PlayStation Blog and voyager123 @ HUKD!

Click here to read more...

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster Vita just £16.85 at ShopTo & Amazon

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
JRPG, PS Vita games, Square Enix

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster Vita just £16.85 at ShopTo & Amazon

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster | ShopTo & Amazon | £16.85
Final Fantasy X HD Remaster ReviewX-2 HD Remaster Review

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD remaster is one of Matt and Carl's favourite games of 2014 -- or technically two of their favourite games, I suppose -- especially on Vita. Square's HD rebuild really shines on that luscious screen, while the gameplay apparently still holds up. £18.99 is a £1 saving versus ShopTo, while Amazon are out of stock at a similar price. Thanks to Wortho @ HUKD!

EXPIRED | Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a totally rad £2.49 at Amazon

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
FPS, PC, PC games, Ubisoft

EXPIRED | Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a totally rad £2.49 at Amazon

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon | Amazon UK | £2.49 (RRP:
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon review

Update: The listing is no longer available.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a self-contained bundle of 80s awesomeness; taking everything we loved about Far Cry 3 and making it more radical than we'd ever dreamed possible. Michael Biehn, D&D references, Long Tall Sally and epic laser dinosaurs make this an essential play for shooter fans - and an proper bargain at £2.49.

Shame about Uplay, though. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!

Commandos Collection only £1.99 on Steam

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

Commandos Collection only £1.99 on Steam

Commandos Collection | Steam | £1.99 (save £3)

I've lost count of the number of times that we've run a deal for this fantastic collection over the years, but that shouldn't detract from the fact that it really is a fantastic collection. The Commandos games are hardcore strategy titles with real personality, a proper blast from the past. And £1.99 is a screaming deal. Thanks to Nicko1387 @ HUKD!

Project Cars Video Interview | 'Not the most cars, but the RIGHT cars'

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Gamescom 2014, PC games, PS3 games, PS4 games, Racing Games, Wii U games, Xbox One Games

Funded by Kickstarter, assisted by real drivers and powered by impressive cutting-edge graphical tech, Project CARS is set to become an automotive tour de force. After trying out the latest build at 4K resolution and on the Oculus Rift, I caught up with lead producer Pete Morrish for a chat about the new title and what sets it apart from other racers.

INTERVIEW | Eugen Systems co-founder introduces Act Of Aggression!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Eugen Systems, Gamescom 2014, PC games, RTS, Video interviews

New RTS, Old-School flavour

Eugen Systems are going back to their roots with their next RTS. Act Of Aggression will serve as a spiritual successor to Act of War, playing much like a classic strategy game of base-building, resource collection and massed conflict with new features and automation. I caught up with Eugen Systems co-founder Alexis Le Dressay for the latest at Gamescom 2014.

INTERVIEW | Can Shape Up make fitness fun on Xbox One?

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Fitness games, Kinect games, Ubisoft, Video interviews, Xbox One Games

Despite being a superb physical specimen myself, thanks to years of training by the biggest names in the business (Fray Bentos, Colonel Sanders, all the greats), I'm always looking for new ways to get fit. Specifically, ways that are actually fun. Shape Up seemed to be the answer when Ubisoft announced it at E3 2014: a lighthearted and very 'gamey' collection of crazy activities with RPG-style progression designed to keep you engaged while burning calories. Xbox One's Kinect sensor ought to be a perfect fit.

So when Gamescom rolled around Matt told me to get plenty of footage of myself... well, rolling around. Unfortunately, live code being a tricky beast, the software was unfortunately bricked.

Never mind, though, because I quickly grabbed Shape Up creative director Charles Huteau for an interview about the game, and what the team thinks about Microsoft's Xbox One U-turn.

PREVIEW | Being a Templar has its perks in Assassin's Creed: Rogue

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Games previews, Gamescom 2014, PC games, PS3 games, Ubisoft, Ubisoft Sofia, Xbox 360 games

PREVIEW | Being a Templar has its perks in Assassin's Creed: Rogue

Being a Templar has its perks.

Sure, the Assassins have a noble cause to fight for and a trillion useless collectibles in the vault, but a life on the run wasn't enough for Shay Patrick Cormac. Thankfully the Templars are equal opportunities employers, meaning that even former enemies get immediate access to the latest military technology (including psychotropic drugs and air rifles) subversive experimental gear and insanely generous expense accounts... on the proviso that they agree to track down and murder all their former associates.

And hang out with Haytham Kenway -- who we've already identified as the coolest character in the entire series bar none -- as a bonus. Frankly you'd be mad not to.

Assassin's Creed Unity may be jumping time periods and console generations this Christmas, but for those who haven't yet invested in a PS4, Xbox One or gaming rig, there's still some unfinished business to take care of.

PREVIEW | Being a Templar has its perks in Assassin's Creed: Rogue

Click here to read more...

Grab some Xbox 360 bargains in the Xbox Live Deals Of The Week

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Xbox 360 games, Xbox Live

Grab some Xbox 360 bargains in the Xbox Live Deals Of The Week

Xbox One ignored again

Are you ready for some massive Xbox One deals of the week?Prepare to be disappointed, then, because all we've got are a few discounted DLC packs for Need For Speed Rivals.

Never mind, though, because once again the real flavour can be found on Xbox 360. There's a wealth of publisher promotions to take advantage of, such as the entire first season of The Wolf Among Us for £6.59, PvZ: Garden Warfare for £16.74 and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon at £3.29. Check out all the prices and marketplace links below, but not before giving full credit to Rodders89 @ HUKD, who was Johnny-on-the-spot this this morning!

Click here to read more...

INTERVIEW | Is Assassin's Creed: Rogue a fitting sendoff or a game too far?

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Assassin's Creed: Rogue, Gamescom 2014, Interviews, PC games, PS3 games, Xbox 360 games

Assassin's Creed: Rogue will let us play as a Templar and hunt assassins on last-gen consoles this Christmas. With poison bombs. And Haytham Kenway. It's a great premise, but will Rogue be a fitting sendoff for the Assassin's Creed III arc or a game too far for the franchise? I sat down with Ubisoft Sofia producer Karl Luhe to get the latest details on the new features and the party line.

Stay tuned for our hands-on preview!