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Jonathan Lester

Final Fantasy XIV £2.95 on PS3 (with free PS4 Upgrade)

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, MMORPG, PS3 games, Square Enix

Final Fantasy XIV £2.95 on PS3 (with free PS4 Upgrade)

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm RebornGame Collection | £2.95
Price Comparison

I never thought they could do it, but lo and behold, Squeenix managed to polish a turd hard enough that it compacted down into a beautiful diamond! Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is an MMORPG worth shouting about, and one that you can play for a month on PS3 - and PS4 if you use the free upgrade - for only £2.95. Remember that you'll then then have to start paying monthly though. Thanks to TOMBOY25360@ HUKD!

Destiny Vanguard Edition £34.85 on PS4 and Xbox One at SimplyGames

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Bungie, Destiny, FPSRPG, PS4 games, Xbox One Games

Destiny Vanguard Edition £34.85 on PS4 and Xbox One at SimplyGames

Destiny Vanguard Edition | SimplyGames | £34.85
Destiny Starter Guide | Review

Destiny is an odd little thing: beautiful to behold, fun to play, yet lacking meaningful content and using a chance-based loot system to fill the void (and give you the illusion of accomplishing something). Still, multiplayer is great fun when you get a fireteam together, and I bet that plenty of you want to get involved just to be part of the conversation. SimplyGames' £34.85 price is nice and cheap for the Vanguard edition, which includes some extra DLC.

Thanks to BuzzDuraband @ HUKD!

The Morning Papers | Leaks, Bugs & Balls

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

Good morning!

Oh look, is that Destiny in the headlines again? Say what you want about Bungie's virtual slot machine that incidentally contains first person shooting -- and I do, regularly -- but it has been a fantastic title for debate, opinion and awesome crucible shotgun rampages. Unfortunately we'll probably have to buy the story separately, even though it might be on the disc already.

Still, at least some smaller and more intriguing games are also making the morning papers, like... FIFA 15. Right. Here are your headlines.

In Case You Missed It...

Gamers, Start Your Engines! | The 2014 Racing Game Showdown

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
DriveClub, Driving games, F1 2014, Forza Horizon 2, Project CARS, Racing Games, The Crew

Gamers, Start Your Engines! | The 2014 Racing Game Showdown

Despite starring supercars, insane track toys and monstrous custom jobs, racing games are actually a lot like buses. You spend ages waiting for them and suddenly a whole fleet turns up at once, regardless of what current-gen console or PC you own. This holiday season is going to be absolutely jam-packed with racers, simulations and driving games, all of which are crying out for your attention and jostling for grid position.

This might seem rather annoying at first glance, but look a little closer and you'll discover that they're all very different and offer a totally unique take on the genre. Whether you're all about finishing first or just in it for the raw thrill of driving itself, there's something here for you. So it's high time we gave you the lowdown on which game (or games) will most likely to suit you best.

Or, perhaps more accurately, the showdown. Let's do this in release date order, though it turns out that we're starting very strong indeed....

Forza Horizon 2 | Out Now

Gamers, Start Your Engines! | The 2014 Racing Game Showdown

Forza Horizon 2 is a superb driving game, and I've picked those words very carefully. Yes, there are loads of cars that are fairly awarded and boast loads of tuning options, not to mention a whole mess of races across a gorgeous open world, but Playground Games' latest is actually more about the simple act of driving.

"It's the thrill of sliding a 1969 Ferrari Dino around a perilous mountain road to The Marriage Of Figaro. The heart-stopping roar of your Lamborghini Diablo perfectly setting off the William Tell Overture as you cruise over a sun-baked hill, or getting air in a VW Camper Van during a midnight thunderstorm as fireworks explode in the distance. A thousand beautiful, personal, perfect automotive moments," I wrote in our Editor's Choice review. Gorgeous visuals, great scalable handling and beautiful scenery to match the cars make for a game that comes alive when you stop racing and start driving.

Click here to read more...

PREVIEW | Hands-on with F1 2014's expanded scenario mode

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bandai Namco, Codemasters, F1 2014, Games previews, PC games, PS3 games, Racing Games, Xbox 360 games

PREVIEW | Hands-on with F1 2014's expanded scenario mode

Another year, another spectacular season of Formula 1 racing, another Codemasters tie-in. F1 2014 is out next month on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, giving racing fans their authentic simulation fix without having to buy into any new hardware to calm the shakes.

Having tested the in-development project at Namco's UK headquarters last week, I can report that it is indeed an F1 racing game. I'm not sure what else really needs to be said on that front.

Despite being a relatively early build awaiting visual polish and optimisation, it's clear that the handling is still delightfully scalable and the experience feels authentically F1 thanks to the updated team rosters, cars and the addition of the Sochi Autodrom. New players can leap straight into a one-lap evaluation, which automatically grades their skill level and sets the rebalanced difficulty appropriately, whereas veterans can get to grips with ERS and the new fuel limits.

PREVIEW | Hands-on with F1 2014's expanded scenario mode

However, rather than slogging away at a full season (which can now be approached in marathon sessions or smaller chunks), I decided to revisit my favourite feature from F1 2013: the Scenario Mode. Newly expanded in F1 2014, it's another selection of bite-sized challenges that throw you straight into an exciting situation and forces you to overcome increasingly long odds -- many of which are drawn directly from recent racing history and feature some well-observed cutscenes whether you win or lose.

Once again, I suspect that completing your gold medal set is going to be one of the most compelling parts of the package. Since I'll be describing many of these challenges in detail, I suppose you could argue that we need a spoiler alert. Maybe.

Click here to read more...

Titanfall: IMC Rising Review | Out With A Bang

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
DLC, EA, Map pack, PC games, Respawn Entertainment, Titanfall, Titanfall: IMC Rising, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One Games

Titanfall: IMC Rising Review | Out With A Bang

Platforms: PC | Xbox 360 | Xbox One (reviewed, £7.99)

Developer: Respawn Entertainment

Publisher: EA

For many, Titanfall was the vanguard of a year of games that didn't live up to their hype. I am not one of those people.

Titanfall has kept me coming back week after week, month after month, because its gameplay is evergreen. I'm not just throwing myself through the grinder for randomised loot or arbitrary metagame levels, rather I'm playing simply because the thrill of snapping necks, dropping mechs and effortlessly traversing an entire map without touching the ground is nigh-on perfect, and worth every minute. The small yet dedicated fanbase clearly feels the same, enjoying the fact that the skill ceiling is as high as the lofty maps themselves.

So the third and final map pack is Respawn's opportunity to go gonzo; to create a crazy, visually diverse and utterly innovative last hurrah before presumably concentrating on a multi-platform sequel.

This didn't happen, sadly, but IMC Rising is still an excellent expansion that subscribes to a familiar template: two undeniably brilliant maps and a third that reveals a unique edge after a few matches.

Click here to read more...

The Morning Papers | Legen... wait for it...

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

The Morning Papers | Legen... wait for it...

Good morning!

If you're holding on to a Legendary Engram, go identify them as soon as possible. This week Bungie are guaranteeing Legendary-level loot from purple engrams in Destiny patch 1.02, but existing purples will be dumbed down into blues, so get cracking. Otherwise this is great news, as it's always struck me as an odd system, as if Deckard Cain decided to identify a legendary drop as a cracked voulge just because he felt like trolling your sorry hide.

Ah, "Voulge." One of those wonderful words we'd never know if we weren't gamers, like "pauldron" and "voxel." Anyway, here are your headlines.

In Case You Missed It...

Get Knytt Underground for £0.62 minimum at IndieGameStand

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Knytt Underground, PC games, Platformers

Get Knytt Underground for £0.62 minimum at IndieGameStand

Knytt Underground | IndieGameStand | £0.62 (RRP: £4.99)

First things first: Knytt Underground has been in countless bundles over these last few years. Check your Steam backlog and see if it's there.

If not, you can now pick up this excellent indie platformer for £0.62 at IndieGameStand. It's got exploration, a great aesthetic, neat characters and is basically strong across the board. Again, though, check your backlog.

The Binding Of Isaac Complete just £0.74 on Steam

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Edmund McMillen, PC games, SHMUP, The Binding of Isaac
The Binding Of Isaac Complete just £0.74 on Steam

The Binding Of Isaac | Steam | £0.59
The Binding Of Isaac Review | Best Indie Games Of 2011

The Binding Of Isaac made our Indie Game Of The Year 2011 shortlist, and with good reason. It's an addictive, infinitely replayable and utterly reprehensible 21st centuryhybrid roguelike from the artistic half of Team Meat, and it's as exciting as it is thoroughly stomach-turning. You can currently grab it for £0.59 on Steam, but Value-wise, it's probably best to grab the DLC too for 74p all-in. If you already own it from one of a thousand bundles, the DLC is available separately for £0.29.

Thanks to jaystan @ HUKD!

 

Child Of Light deluxe edition £10.66 at Amazon on PS3 & PS4

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Child Of Light, PS3 games, PS4 games, RPGs

Child Of Light deluxe edition £10.66 at Amazon on PS3 & PS4

Child Of Light Deluxe Edition | Amazon PS3 & PS4 | £10.66 (save £0.86 vs ShopTo)
Review

Child Of Light is halfway between a fairytale poem, inquisitive platformer and turn-based JRPG; and is absolutely a game to be reckoned with. Though a digital download, many retailers are getting in on the action selling a deluxe edition, which contains a code alongside some merch. We've seen the digital version cheaper, but Amazon's £10.66 price is one of the most competitive ever run for the Deluxe Edition.

In case you were wondering, you get both the PS3 and PS4 versions. Thanks to M3NDEREZ @ HUKD!

Wasteland 2 £13.99 at CDKeys

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC games, RPGs, Wasteland 2

Wasteland 2 £13.99 at CDKeys

Wasteland 2 | CDKeys | £13.99

Wasteland 2 is fantastic by all accounts, so long as you love your faithful old-school RPGs (which we adore to a man), so this £13.99 price has to be worth checking out. Thanks to BattleMoose87 @ HUKD!

You can get an extra discount by 'liking' the Facebook page and using the voucher.

The Groupees Giveback Bundle is free to previous customers

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC games

The Groupees Giveback Bundle is free to previous customers

Have you bought any Groupees Bundle over the last 12 months? If so, the Groupees Giveback Bundle will have been automatically delivered to your profile and free to download!

If you haven't, you can still consider spending about 63p for an odd little package of games, OSTs and comics, highlights being SanctuaryRPG and Borealis.

HANDS-ON | The Crew is an insanely ambitious adventure playground

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Games previews, PC games, PS4 games, The Crew, Xbox One Games

HANDS-ON | The Crew is an insanely ambitious adventure playground

But does it work?

There's a reason why The Crew has taken so long to develop. It's breathtakingly ambitious.

Ubisoft describe it as an "MMO driving experience," but it's really an enormous adventure playground for cars shaped like the United States. Instead of swings and roundabouts we have enormous caricatures of American cities, national parks, famous landmarks, miles upon miles of road and terrain to explore. Instead of slides and climbing frames we have ski slopes, ramps and hills. The Crew is stuffed with events, races and mingames, whether you're hammering around a street circuit, ramming a high value target into the Grand Canyon or smashing through a dense forest like the Endor scene from Return Of The Jedi. Only with a LaFerrari instead of a speeder.

HANDS-ON | The Crew is an insanely ambitious adventure playground

We enter this crazy canvas alone and offline or online with other players streamed into our session, able to meet up with our friends, join factions, and complete all events in competitive co-op. We'll continually earn new cars, parts and upgrades. And on top of all that, there's even a story.

This all sounds good, but the more moving parts a game has, the more likely it is to go spectacularly wrong. After testing the latest Xbox One production build for several hours at Ubisoft UK's Guildford HQ, I'm inclined to believe that the The Crew is more or less on the right track -- and significantly more fun when you leave the track behind to go exploring with a few mates.

Click here to read more...

The Crew Video Interview | "We trust you. Go and have fun!"

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Driving games, MMO, PC games, PS4 games, The Crew, Video Interview, Xbox One Games

The Crew is utterly enormous in scope and ambitious in scale, but with so many moving parts, there's a lot to take in. It's an 'MMO driving experience' in a massive open world with numerous events, a storyline, factions, exploration, progression, 'shared-world' multiplayer and unlockable cars to consider. How will it work? Will it work at launch, given Ubisoft's track record with Uplay and PC?

Luckily Creative Director Julian Gerighty was on hand for a lengthy interview.

Stay tuned for our detailed hands-on preview later today!

COMMENT | Destiny's Loot Cave is fixed, but a deeper shame remains

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Destiny

Destiny's Treasure Cave may be gone, but should not be forgotten.

If it could talk, I think it would sound a lot like Halo 2's Gravemind. "I am a monument to all your sins," it would growl, accusingly and cryptically, before spitting out some more identical mobs to players to grind at. Though now fixed, the very fact that players willingly spent hours shooting at a hole is deeply embarrassing, and more to the point, throws the spotlight on a greater shame and a more fundamental problem that Bungie absolutely has to face up to.

Click here to read more...

Ms Splosion Man, Defender's Quest, Long Live The Queen and more in the Humble Leading Ladies Bundle

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC games

Ms Splosion Man, Defender's Quest, Long Live The Queen and more in the Humble Leading Ladies Bundle

The Humble Leading Ladies bundle is now live in support of Girls Make Games, and a smart little bargain to boot.

Pay what you want for Lilly Looking Through, which I can't personally vouch for, but also Ms Splosion Man, the utterly magnificent Defender's Quest and chilling point & clicker The Cat Lady.

Beat $6 (£3.68) to also receive Long Live The Queen (a crazy deep visual novel that's I bought too late to review) and The Yawg. Thanks to BuzzDuraband @ HUKD!

DualShock 4 PS4 Controller just £35 at Amazon

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
DualShock 4, PS4

DualShock 4 PS4 Controller just £35 at Amazon

DualShock 4 Controller | Amazon | £35.00
Review

The DualShock 4 is the biggest leap forward in PlayStation controllers since the D.A.C. Improving on the hilariously awful DualShock 3 in every way imaginable, it's now the premier console controller on the market in terms of functionality, value and comfort, despite its big glowing whale mouth.

£35 is a good price for one too, unless you're willing to make yet another new Tesco account. Be aware that there's a 3-5 week wait, though. Thanks to striker33 @ HUKD!

The Morning Papers | RIP Treasure Cave

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

Good morning!

I hoped to be able to tell you all about Titanfall's final map pack today, but sadly a major cock-up hid it on the marketplace and tried to make season pass holders pay again for the privilege. You'd like that, wouldn't you EA? Still, the issue was on Microsoft's end and it got sorted, but only in the wee small hours.

I couldn't even grind at Destiny's infamous loot cave, since Bungie has seen fit to fix it and promise to address loads of blatant balance issues and problems with their vapid Roulette-style progression system. Yay? Still, finally in some good news, you can watch all the Metal Gear Solid V TGS trailers in English now, and the devs who used to work on The Last Guardian have revealed the latest on Vane. Looks lovely, no? Here are your headlines.

In Case You Missed It...

 

 

PREVIEW | Shadow Warrior cuts a bloody dash on PS4

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bandai Namco, Devolver Digital, Flying Wild Hog, FPS, Games previews, PS4 games, Xbox One Games

PREVIEW | Shadow Warrior cuts a bloody dash on PS4

Shadow Warrior was a proper breath of fresh air in an industry obsessed with 'shared worlds' and 'cinematic narratives' when all you really need are great big guns and hordes of beasties to point them at. Plus sprawling levels stuffed with hilarious secrets.

"If you miss the thrill of classic old-school shooters, the simple joy of blasting hordes of foes with oversized weapons and ferreting around for secrets, quicksaving and circle-strafing all the while, you should buy Shadow Warrior immediately," I wrote in last year in our Shadow Warrior PC review.

Now Flying Wild Hog's retro-themed slaughterfest is coming to Xbox One and PS4, the latter of which I was able to test out earlier this week. The result? Shadow Warrior is still a real, slam-bang, honest-to-goodness, three-fisted humdinger.

PREVIEW | Shadow Warrior cuts a bloody dash on PS4

Click here to read more...

Valve complete pack just £18.99 on Steam

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC games, Valve
Valve complete pack just £18.99 on Steam

Valve Complete Pack | Steam | £18.99 (75% saving vs RRP)

This is some great value, at least if you don't own the majority of these bona fide classics. You get all the Half-Life games, both Portals, both Left 4 Deads, both Team Fortresses (the second is F2P but still on here for some reason), all the Counter-Strikes including GO, Richochet, Day Of Defeat...

Hang on a second. £18.99? 1+8+9+9 = 27 = 3 x 3 x 3 ... HALF LIFE 3 CONFIRMED! You heard it here first.