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Jonathan Lester

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

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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.

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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!

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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!

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

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

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

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

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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!

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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!

Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger only £2.99 at GamersGate on PC

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

Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger only £2.99 at GamersGate on PC

Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger | GamersGate | £2.99 (RRP: £11.95)
Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger review

If you're a fan of gritty westerns and tight shooters, I recommend this surprisingly excellent download without hesitation. Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger is a rootin' tootin' good time with a strong campaign and addictive arcade mode, not to mention a bargain for three Quid. Thanks to socialjeebus @ HUKD!

Get Lucius, 1000 Amps, Shad'O & more for £1.12 in the IndieGala Every Monday Bundle

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

Get Lucius, 1000 Amps, Shad'O & more for £1.12 in the IndieGala Every Monday Bundle

Hate Mondays? Can't say we blame you, but at least you can grab seven games to play when you get home for £1.12 in the Every Monday Bundle. Highlights include antiChrist simulator Lucius, underrated yet brilliant puzzler 1000 Amps and unique tower defence title Shad'O.

The price goes up this evening, so early birds get the worm. And some games. Thanks to jaystan @ HUKD!

PREVIEW | Lara Croft And The Temple Of Osiris feels more like Tomb Raider than Tomb Raider

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, Crystal Dynamics, Gamescom 2014, PC games, PS4 games, Puzzle games, Xbox One Games

PREVIEW | Lara Croft And The Temple Of Osiris feels more like Tomb Raider than Tomb Raider

Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider reboot was brilliant, but it wasn't really Tomb Raider, was it? Our heroine schizophrenically flipped between helpless and murderous at the drop of a cutscene, there was a distinct lack of tombs to raid (not to mention Keeley Hawes) and the whole gritty thing took itself far too seriously to take seriously. Grit. Grit happened.

Rise Of The Tomb Raider may have dominated the Gamescom headlines for all the wrong reasons, so thankfully the other Crystal Dynamics studio are quietly beavering away at a follow-up to Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Light, which can never be accused of taking anything seriously. Lara Croft And The Temple Of Osiris may be a puzzly shooty platformy cooperative romp for four players, not a purebred action platformer like its predecessors, but it feels like the Tomb Raider titles of old.

Because, quite simply, it's bringing the fun back to the franchise. Along with a billion spike pits, hot pants, loads of priceless ancient Egyptian superweapons and massive arguments after griefing your mates and stealing their gems. It's ridiculous, frequently stupid and absolutely ruddy brilliant. Tell your butler to fetch your dual pistols and let's take a closer look.

PREVIEW | Lara Croft And The Temple Of Osiris feels more like Tomb Raider than Tomb Raider

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Classic EA PC games are 60% off at GOG (again)

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
EA, PC games, Retro games

Classic EA PC games are 60% off at GOG (again)

GOG's weekend deal takes aim at classic EA titles, granting us 60% off legendary games like Dungeon Keeper, Syndicate, Ultima and the Wing Commander series. We've seen them recycle the same offers time and time again, allowing me to recycle the same banner and even the opening line, but te prices are still exceptionally low nonetheless.

As always, click the banner to browse the selection or click this link right here.

VIDEO INTERVIEW | Blood Bowl 2's lead designer reveals killer new features

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Cyanide Studios, Gamescom 2014, Interviews, PC games, Strategy games

Global transfers, realistic AI, eSports & more

Blood Bowl 2 is bringing more than snazzy 3D graphics to the experience. Packing a new transfer system, revamped race-specific AI, deep campaign designed in close collaboration with Games Workshop, retooled economy, streamlined mechanics and more, it's clear that the ambitious sequel plans to be bigger in every way. Perhaps even a major eSport.

After attending a presentation at Gamescom, I naturally had to know more, so thankfully the lead designer was on hand to explain all of Blood Bowl 2's new features and how they've been carefully designed from the ground up in line with player feedback.

Black PS4 Destiny bundle only £329.99 at ASDA

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

Black PS4 Destiny bundle only £329.99 at ASDA

Yesterday we ran a deal for the white PS4 Destiny bundle, which was a good price, but had one major problem. The console is utterly hideous. So if you're blessed with a sense of taste and an AV cabinet full of black devices, why not save an extra tenner and grab a black version of the bundle from ASDA instead?

Unless you want your PS4 to blend in with your kitchen appliances rather than your living room kit, that is. Remember to use voucher code CONSOLE at checkout!

Thanks to hatcher @ HUKD!

Anarchy Reigns just £3.95 on Xbox 360 at The Game Collection

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

Anarchy Reigns just £3.95 on Xbox 360 at The Game Collection

Anarchy Reigns | The Game Collection | £3.95
Xbox 360 Price ComparisonReview

Anarchy Reigns is amazing. It's one of the most ridiculously brilliant online multiplayer ever released, hailing from the developers of Bayonetta and God Hand, but SEGA royally screwed the pooch by staggering the release date, leaving the player base fragmented and very sparse. Still, the campaign is fun, the characters are incredible and the game's and a steal at £3.95. I'd love to organise a proper MP sesh on this at some point.

Thanks to Jas10 @ HUKD!