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Jonathan Lester

Luftrausers Review | Mighty Wings

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Arcade games, Devolver Digital, PC, PC games, PS Vita, PS Vita games, PS3, PS3 games, PSN, SHMUP, Vlambeer

Luftrausers Review | Mighty Wings

Platforms: PC | PS3 (tested) | PS Vita (reviewed)

Developer: Vlambeer

Publisher: Devolver Digital

My customised fighter screams into the sepia sky from the holds of a lurking Unterseeboot, a lone aeroplane against an entire air force. The enemy is on my six in seconds, swarming around me like gnats, filling the skies with fire as patrol boats throw up a hail of anti-air ordinance. I merrily dance through the flack, redline my engines towards the stratosphere, then turn on a sixpence and lock into a controlled stall; shredding an entire squadron of fighters as I plummet towards the ocean. My plane hits hits the water, but keeps going, erupting back out of the waves as my machine guns pummel the enemy frigates into twisted metal.

Luftrausers makes me feel like an ace pilot - no, I am an ace pilot. I am Baron Jon Richthofen! I'm a force of nature, the Sky Captain, a real slam-bang honest-to-goodness three-fisted humdinger. I'm a bona fide supraman... oh no, wait, now I'm just a small pile of burning canvas. A battleship zeroed its ruinous deck guns on my position and brought me quite literally down to Earth. Damn.

Luftrausers Review | Mighty Wings

Never mind, though, because next time my plane will have a thicker hull, detonate in an enormous explosion and carry a brace of lasers on its chin.

Vlambeer are masters of taking classic arcade concepts and making them sing, and they've done it again.

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Rockstar games bullied down to size in Xbox Live Gold deals

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

Rockstar games bullied down to size in Xbox Live Gold deals

This week's selection of Xbox Live Gold exclusive deals discounts a handful of Rockstar-developed games, presumably to celebrate their recent BAFTA winnings. Standout bargains include Max Payne 3 for £3.74 and Bully's Scholarship Edition for £2.99, though it's not the biggest sale we've ever seen.

Here are the links via the official Xbox Marketplace splash page. However, thanks and credit to blizeH @ HUKD, who not only found the deals ahead of time but rounded them up too!

Child Of Light deluxe edition £15.99 at Amazon (PC & PS3/PS4)

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC, PC games, PS3, PS3 games, PS4, PS4 games, Ubisoft

Child Of Light deluxe edition £15.99 at Amazon (PC & PS3/PS4)

Child Of Light Deluxe Edition | Amazon PC/PS3 & PS4 | £15.99 (save £0.86 vs ShopTo)
Child Of Light hands-on preview

Child Of Light is halfway between a fairytale poem, inquisitive platformer and turn-based JRPG; and is absolutely shaping up to be a game to be reckoned with. Though a digital download, many retailers are selling a deluxe edition, which contains a download code alongside some merch. Amazon's £15.99 price is unlikely to be much more expensive than the base game, making this a bit of a steal. Thanks to Jas10 @ HUKD!

I'm reliably informed that the PS3 and PS4 version is playable across either or both platforms.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon only £3.19 on PC at Greenman Gaming

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

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon only £3.19 on PC at Greenman Gaming

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon | Greenman Gaming | £2.99
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. Michael Biehn, D&D references, Long Tall Sally and epic laser dinosaurs make this an essential play for shooter fans - and an absolute steal at £2.99. Thanks to godsmote @ HUKD!

The Underground Bundle offers Bionic Dues, Knytt Underground, Holy Avatar & more for £1.49

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

The Underground Bundle offers Bionic Dues, Knytt Underground, Holy Avatar & more for £1.49

The Underground Bundle is another absolute steal from Bundle Stars. For £1.49, you'll get Bionic Dues, Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle, Gravity Badgers, Holy Avatar vs. Maidens of the Dead, Kairo and Knytt Underground, which is an enormous saving.

Personally, I'd suggest that this bundle is worth it just for Bionic Dues, with is an exceptional mech-based Roguelike with strategic elements, and Knytt Underground. Holy Avatar vs Maidens Of The Dead is a spin-off of the Grotesque Tactics series, by the by, which I sadly haven't had time to review yet (because much better games have been releasing - take from that what you will).

Xbox One getting friend notifications & Kinect improvements next month

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

Xbox One getting friend notifications & Kinect improvements next month

Microsoft have been patching the Xbox One like crazy over the last two months, and aren't stopping yet. A new firmware update is slated to roll out next month which will add friend notifications, improve Game DVR quality and improve the accuracy of Kinect's voice commands.

Click here to read more...

SimCity's offline mode goes live today, take the win mayors

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
EA, Maxis, PC, PC games, SimCity

They said it couldn't be done. They said it was impossible. But, at long last, SimCity is finally going to be playable offline when a major update hits later today. Maxis have taken the servers down at the time of writing to prepare for the update, which has long topped many a mayor's wishlist.

Singleplayer sessions are saved locally, granting you access to all region maps, multiple cities and a fixed-price Global Market. Naturally Citylog, leaderboards, achievements, friends lists, region invites and other multiplayer acoutrements won't be available.

This will be great news for many players, but the issue of restrictive city size limits still hangs over SimCity like the sword of Damocles. Hopefully this will be the next priority for Maxis over the coming months (unless, as my inner cynic suggests, they're planning to just shut the servers off later this year).

Spec Ops creator fights AAA "creative stagnation" with new indie studio

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Horror games, Indie Games, Tangentlemen

Spec Ops creator fights AAA "creative stagnation" with new indie studio

Tangentlemen working on new surreal horror title

Cory Davis, the lead designer behind Spec Ops: The Line, was horrified at having to shoehorn pointless multiplayer into Yager's thought-provoking sleeper hit. He's now teamed up with a Tomb Raider veteran to form a new indie studio dedicated to creating new and innovative games, and pushing against the "creative stagnation" that often AAA games development.

Tangentlemen have a great name and amazing beards. It's a promising start.

Click here to read more...

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes Review | New Boss

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Game reviews, Kojima Productions, Konami, PS3, PS3 games, PS4, PS4 games, Stealth Games, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One, Xbox One Games

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes Review | New Boss

Platforms: PS3PS4 (reviewed) | Xbox 360 | Xbox One

Developer: Kojima Productions

Publisher: Konami

"Kept you waiting, huh?"

As soon as Snake opens his mouth and Kiefer Sutherland's soft voice growls out, it's clear that nothing will ever be the same again. Metal Gear Solid V is the biggest shakeup the series has ever received, a complete mechanical overhaul that brings the classic stealth gameplay into a new console generation, keeping the depth intact but making both stealth and action infinitely more intuitive. Everything has changed, from regenerating health to slick gunplay, but in the main it's a change for the good.

However, this ain't Metal Gear Solid V. Neither full game nor free demo, Ground Zeroes is a gaming oddity; a bridging point that acts as a graphical showcase, ephemeral tutorial, versatile replayable sandbox and shameless cliffhanger designed to whip the fanbase into a frenzy before The Phantom Pain's rumoured 2015 release. As such, what will delight some will deeply disappoint others, leaving its value very difficult to pin down.

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes Review | New Boss

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Theme Hospital contracts discount fever (and Bloaty Head), down to £1.49 on GOG

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

Theme Hospital contracts discount fever (and Bloaty Head), down to £1.49 on GOG

Theme Hospital | GOG | £1.49 ($2.39, RRP: $5.99)

Theme Hospital is one of *those* games. You know, the ones that always get mentioned after a few drinks and a chat about the good old days; games that stand the test of time and are properly hilarious to boot. At £1.49, it's well worth checking out even after all these years, especially since GOG.com assure Windows 7 and 8 compatibility. DOSbox, but better than playing Russian Roulette. Thanks to zeroquai @ HUKD!

Waves only £1.74 on Steam

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC, PC games, SHMUP, Squid In A Box
Waves only £1.74 on Steam

Waves | Steam | £1.74 (RRP £6.99)
Waves Review

Waves is still an absolutely sensational twin-stick shooter, offering both gorgeous visuals and a balanced, hectic selection of gametypes to partake of. At £1.74, it's also cheap as chips.

We've run a few Waves deals and bundles before, so as always, be sure to check your backlog to avoid doubling up.

Gameseek teases £299.99 Xbox One deal - coming "later this week"

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

Gameseek teases £299.99 Xbox One deal - coming "later this week"

Gameseek plan to sell Xbox One consoles for £299.99 "later this week," including a digital copy of FIFA 14. Their new Co-Buy promotion (in conjunction with Buyapowa) acts like a flash sale in which the price drops as more customers show interest or make a purchase.

Stocks will be limited, as will the duration of the sale. You can sign up for a notification email if you're interested.

Titanfall Survival Guide, Tips & Tactics

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
EA, FPS games, PC games, Respawn Entertainment, Survival Guide, Titanfall, Xbox One Games

Titanfall Survival Guide, Tips & Tactics

Who's playing Titanfall? We certainly are, and have been doing so solidly for a week (with the exception of Carl who spends all of his time playing Dark Souls II in a padded room with no access to bonfire materials). Though offering impressive scope for expressive versatile gameplay, Titanfall is incredibly accessible and intuitive too, meaning that players with little or no experience can still have a good time without having to mug up on FAQs or forums.

However, we reckon that a few tips, tricks and tactics deserve a special mention... so it's time for a survival guide!

As with Borderlands 2 and a few other games, I'd like to invite you to share your own advice, tips and war stories - and I'll put helpful comments directly into the article itself in a "reader intermission." Okay. Standby for... well... you know.

Hang Tough

Titanfall Survival Guide, Tips & Tactics

Titanfall's tutorial is fairly comprehensive, but it completely neglects to mention a simple yet extremely potent power play at every pilot's disposal - which many new players don't seem to know about. The Wall Hang. While jumping or wall-running, you can casually hold down the left trigger or right mouse button to attach yourself to any surface like a murderous barnacle, recharging your double jump and letting you rain hip fire on unwary targets. On a basic level, wall hanging is a great way of gaining extra elevation or making it up to a tricky rooftop, but it affords some interesting tactical opportunities especially during Hardpoint or CTF matches.

Click here to read more...

Titanfall dominates this week's charts, surprises absolutely no-one

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
UK Games Charts, UK retail

Titanfall dominates this week's charts, surprises absolutely no-one

The latest UK charts play host to a plucky underdog success story, as a practically unknown game called "Titanfall" swoops out of left-field and becomes the UK number one. Apparently this charming little title is some sort of shooter with robots and parkour elements. We love to see obscure little indie games make the big time, and will keep you posted once we know more about it.

Okay, so let's cut the pretence before that joke gets even more terrible. Titanfall has sold incredibly well (becoming the biggest launch of 2014 thus far by a considerable margin), on the merits of being rather brilliant indeed. The tasty £399.99 Xbox One bundle is apparently contributing towards the impressive figures, comprising 70% of all Xbox One hardware sales.

Otherwise, Dark Souls II has been punishing loads of us over the weekend, clocking in at a well-deserved second place and beating sales of the original by 20%. We're glad to see that this week's top five consists entirely of games that came out this year, as opposed to the tedious posturing between FIFA and CoD.

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Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is £3.87 on Gamersgate, £2.90 in four-pack

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

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is £3.87 on Gamersgate, £2.90 in four-pack

Chivalry: Medieval WarfareGamersGate | £3.87 (Save £7)
PC price comparison

As a "first-person slasher," Chivalry: Medieval Warfare tries to bring brutal medieval melee action to the multiplayer arena. And succeeds, verily. Chivalry has gone from strength to strength, and GamersGate are throwing another sub-£4 sale over the next couple of days.

If four of you plan on getting involved, however, go for the £11.63 four-pack, since a single copy works out at roughly £2.90.

Pay what you want for Steel Storm Complete on IndieGameStand

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Kot In Action Creative Artel, PC, PC games

Pay what you want for Steel Storm Complete on IndieGameStand

Steel Storm & DLC | IndieGameStand | PWYW (RRP: £11.99)

If you've got room for a top-down hovertank shooter in your life -- and why wouldn't you? -- IndieGameStand are letting you set the pace for Steel Storm: Burning Retribution and its expansions. Considering that the base game retails for £11.99 on Steam and the minimum price is £0.60, there's no quibbling with the on-paper value.

Pikmin 3 only £22.00 on Amazon (Wii U)

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Nintendo, Wii U, Wii U games

Pikmin 3 only £22.00 on Amazon (Wii U)

Pikmin 3 | Amazon | £22.00
Price ComparisonPikmin 3 review

Pikmin 3 is absolutely superb, and one of the first Wii U games you should definitely check out. Amazon are currently offering the cheapest new copy price around - a penny more than their January GAME price match - so should be your first port of call if you've just bought into Nintendo's console. Thanks to theg @ HUKD!

GOG's Luck Of The Irish sale brings big PC savings

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

GOG's Luck Of The Irish sale brings big PC savings

GOG are running not one, but two, big deals over the weekend.

The Luck Of The Irish promotion is a 'pick 5' bundle affair, offering some sensational games at tiny prices. Fez, Hotline Miami, Dust: An Elysian Tail, Alan Wake, Avadon 2 and all cost less than £1.80 apiece, alongside twenty more titles. For an extra two Dollars, you can also receive a random game, if you fancy your chances.

However, if you're in the mood for something meatier, the BIG games BIG sale should be your next port of call. Flying Wild Hog's Shadow Warrior reboot is easily the highlight here, weighing in at a paltry £6.01.

As always, let us know what you're buying! Thanks and credit to dealhunter1233 @ HUKD!

Titanfall Review | Multiplayer Respawned

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
EA, FPS, multiplayer games, PC, PC games, Respawn Entertainment, Titanfall, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One, Xbox One Games

Titanfall Review | Multiplayer Respawned

Platforms: PC (reviewed) | Xbox 360 | Xbox One (tested)

Developer: Respawn Entertainment

Publisher: EA

As I leap from the exploding carcass of my massive exosuit after crushing an entire squad of enemies underfoot, wall-run across the side of a building, jump several stories into the air and kick an opposing player in the back of the head in the space of ten exhilarating seconds, I can't help but wonder where Titanfall was all my life. It promised to be The Next Big Thing, a new FPS paradigm from the creators of Modern Warfare, replacing traditional military ground pounding with enormous mechs, parkour-enhanced mobility and verticality we've rarely seen from the genre. We were so ready.

Well here it is, and we've finally got the measure of it. Titanfall doesn't do anything truly revolutionary, but Respawn's rollicking shooter delivers a welcome shot of adrenaline directly into the heart of the genre, packaging familiar components in a truly satisfying and accessible way. More importantly, though, it's fantastic fun, regardless of whether you're a hardcore FPS gamer or just want to blow off some steam. Every match feels like an epic battle, from first charge to desperate extraction, set throughout some of the best maps that we've rampaged through in years.

However, The Next Big Thing probably should have been bigger in a few key areas.


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Homebrew driver makes Xbox One controller PC-compatible

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Microsoft, PC, Xbox One, Xbox One Controller

Homebrew driver makes Xbox One controller PC-compatible

The Xbox One controller isn't compatible with PCs yet, despite Sony's DualShock 4 packing the functionality as standard, but a homebrew developer has managed to create a workaround. Lucas Assis freely shared his new driver online, explaining how to use and install it in a new video. Check it out after the break.

"Be aware this is a temporary solution so don't expect it to work 100 per cent," Assis explained, "but it does work for now until Microsoft releases the proper drivers." Install at your own risk, but hey, hopefully this will make Microsoft stop sitting on their hands.

Click here to read more...