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Jonathan Lester

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

Click here to read more...

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

Tales Of Hearts R only £22.97 at Gamestop on PS Vita

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Bandai Namco, JRPG, PS Vita games

Tales Of Hearts R only £22.97 at Gamestop on PS Vita

Tales Of Hearts R is one of the Vita's biggest games of the year and an amazing remake of a brilliant DS JRPG -- which now looks gorgeous and plays brilliantly on Sony's handheld with new combat. You can save £2 at Gamestop.

Gamestop may have a chequered history with customer service and returns, but they're also the cheapest retailer around when it comes to this brand new Vita experience.  "Tales Of Hearts R is a fantastic handheld RPG and one of the most impressive remakes of recent years," I wrote in our 8/10 review. "Expect a top-quality JRPG experience from start to finish, even if it's a touch familiar in parts."

It's properly brilliant, even if  a few dungeon puzzles can be a little vexatious. Not a bad price ahead of Black Friday though we'll keep our eye out for more cheap Vita games and bundles.

How cheap can it get? Jet Set Radio HD only 56p at Greenman Gaming

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Jet Set Radio HD, PC games, Sega

How cheap can it get? Jet Set Radio HD only 56p at Greenman Gaming

Jet Set Radio is a Dreamcast classic that still holds up; a funky, fresh cel-shaded shot of pure awesomeness straight into your eyes and eardrums, baby! Whoa. Sorry. I tend to channel DJ Professor K in situations like this. All you need to know is that Jet Set Radio is exeptionally cheap at Greenman Gaming, costing a meagre fifty-six Pence.

Make sure to use voucher code 1MZ9FW-H92JSD-2CT74F and check out our full Jet Set Radio HD review! It's still a gorgeous game with a great soundtrack, even if the Original Xbox-exclusive sequel was the superior game in terms of mechanics and experience. Until SEGA finally see sense and revamp Jet Set Radio Future, this will more than tide you over. Thanks and credit to Dr4gOns_FuRy @ HUKD, who found this before I did!

Xbox Live Deals Of The Week - Strider £6.00 on Xbox One, Kingdoms Of Amalur £2.99 on Xbox 360

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

Xbox Live Deals Of The Week - Strider £6.00 on Xbox One, Kingdoms Of Amalur £2.99 on Xbox 360

Microsoft has revealed this week's Xbox Live Deals With Gold, which is a pretty impressive collection befitting Black Friday week. The Xbox One gets short shrift again with an admittedly great price for Strider (7/10 review) and Warframe premium currency (free to play, 7/10 review), whereas the Xbox 360 is absolutely awash with discounts. From Battleblock Theatre for under a fiver to the entire Gears Of War series at knockdown prices, this is a pretty decent showing.

Personally I'd suggest picking up Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning and Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit for £2.99. Check out all the offers below, and full credit to teddy1590 @ HUKD who rounded these up earlier today.

Click here to read more...

Grand Theft Auto: The Complete Package only £7.00 on GamersGate

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Grand Theft Auto: The Complete Package, PC games, Rockstar Games

Grand Theft Auto: The Complete Package only £7.00 on GamersGate

If you're willing to take a punt on PC deals before the Steam Fall Sale and Cyber Monday, GamersGate are currently willing to part with Grand Theft Auto: The Complete Package for £7.00, which is an awful lot of brilliant sandbox crime mayhem with change for a tenner.

Grand Theft Auto: The Complete Package is guilty of false advertising, but in an unexpectedly brilliant way. Contrary to the store description, it actually contains the original GTA and GTA 2 right through Vice City, San Andreas, GTA IV and its excellent DLC - so the only missing piece is GTA V! Cheap as chips too, even if we've seen it £1 cheaper during a Greenman Gaming sale. Thanks to dodgydealings @ HUKD!

In case you needed any more incentive, here's the latest GTA IV mod: none other than RoboCop's ED-209! Hurry up with GTA V's PC version, dammit...

Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!! out today, save £2 at The Game Collection

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!!, Fighting Games, PS Vita games, PS3 games

Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!! out today, save £2 at The Game Collection

Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!! is out today in the UK, offering a colourful and content-packed all-female fighting game experience with a wealth of localised dialogue. If you want to get in the door early, The Game Collection have undercut everyone else on the internet by a couple of quid, offering the brand new game for £27.95 on PS3 and PS Vita.

You can read our Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!! review for all the details, but suffice to say that it's a capable if slightly stiff brawler with a varied character roster, crazy aerial attacks and neat customisable movesets courtesy of the Arcana system. Expect quite a lot of fan service though.

Get the Skylanders: Swap Force 3DS starter pack for £19.50 at John Lewis

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
3DS Games, Activision, Nintendo, Skylanders: Swap Force Starter Pack

Get the Skylanders: Swap Force 3DS starter pack for £19.50 at John Lewis

If you or your kids are Skylanders-crazy and didn't pick up Swap Force last year, John Lewis are on hand with a potential Christmas stocking filler. The Skylanders: SWAP Force starter pack will run you £19.50 on 3DS, which is a nice cheap deal and a major saving since Go2Games and GAME are out of stock!

The Skylanders: Swap Force Starter Pack includes the 3DS game, Portal of Power peripheral, two Skylanders Swap Force Figures, a Skylander Figure, three Trading Cards, sticker sheet with secret codes and a poster. A good haul at a very good price ahead of Black Friday, but note that the Portal is not forwards-compatible with Skylanders: Trap Team. You'll want to arrange in-store collection to avoid £3.00 postage, though it would still be a saving regardless. Thanks to myarse (heh) @ HUKD!

COMMENT | Steam's new Early Access guidelines mean nothing without quality control

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Early Access, PC games, Steam

COMMENT | Steam's new Early Access guidelines mean nothing without quality control

I love Early Access in the same way I love DLC, microtransactions and crowd-funding. They're all perfectly legitimate ways to make money -- the likes of Dungeon Of The Endless, Minerva's Den, Zen Pinball and FTL are all prime examples -- but they're also ripe for abuse. Whether from big publishers or tiny studios, willingly or even unwittingly.

We've certainly seen our fair share of Early Access disasters over the last year. From Spacebase DF-9 to The Stomping Land, Earth: Year 2066 and The War Z, developers often promise too much and deliver too little, turn their titles into vapourware, purposefully lie to consumers or just naively launch their game on the service with the best of intentions... only to discover that they can't actually follow through.

Steam recently updated their Early Access guidelines to better forewarn developers against the risks of launching an Early Access, but in this pundit's opinion, it's time they stopped talking tough and started flexing some muscle.

Click here to read more...

Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!! Review | Girls Just Want To Throw Down

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!!, Examu, Fighting Games, NIS America, PS Vita games, PS3 games, Reef Entertainment

Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!! Review | Girls Just Want To Throw Down

When it comes to the murky world of all-female fighting games, Arcana Heart has more pedigree than most. Pre-dating the likes of Skullgirls, Girl Fight and Senran Kagura by several years, Examu's fighting franchise brought crazy aerial combat and customisable movesets to Japanese arcades in 2006, finally leading us to the recent release of Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!! on PS3 and Vita. As a remake of Arcana Heart 3 with rebalanced gameplay and loads of extra content, it's definitely a major event for franchise veterans and lovers of all things moe, but does the latest NIS America localisation job deserve its five exclamation points?

Well, perhaps two or three of them at least. Maybe four if you're a fan of cute anime girls.

Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!! Review | Girls Just Want To Throw Down

After seeing so many fighting games provide little or no story for solo players, it's great to play a brawler that takes its narrative seriously and offers a robust singleplayer experience. There's an entire visual novel's worth of dialogue and storyline here -- or more accurately an entire visual novel -- told through a full story mode for each character, epilogue 'After' story mode that ties up loose ends, plus loads of unlockable skits that shows the cast interacting in their daily lives that usually feature their own battles too. Though experience with the previous games will help you to understand some of the nuances, the first page of the instruction manual sums up the situation in an easy prologue (which many of my fellow reviewers seem to have embarrassingly ignored!), while the cast's personalities conform to familiar enough anime tropes that you'll soon work out what's what.

In short: Japan and by extension the entire world is threatened by a dimensional rift that can only be repaired or worsened by finding some crystals. Some characters want to stop it, others want to exacerbate it, others just have their own adventures or agendas in the background. Yes, I've mullered the fine detail, but that's basically it. I'm not sure what many of my peers were complaining about.

Click here to read more...

The Morning Papers | The Perfect Deal Storm

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

The Morning Papers | The Perfect Deal Storm

Good morning... and welcome to the cheapest yet paradoxically most expensive week of your life!

A perfect storm of videogame deals is fast approaching. A scorching hot front of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is passing overhead, but an ice cool slew of cheap PC games is heading straight for us courtesy of the Steam Fall Sale. The forecast is for sizzling deals and falling prices, not to mention a few more PC games you'll never even install. The storm is coming, but we'll be right there with you with our buyer's guides, game deals and reviews.

In other news, Grand Theft Auto V is now officially the best-selling game of all time in the UK, while new Destiny DLC details have emerged. Here are your headlines.

In Case You Missed It...

The Morning Papers | The Perfect Deal Storm

Buyer's Guides!

With Black Friday approaching, here are the deals you want to match or beat, along with essential information for prospective new console owners.

 

PSA: Steam Fall Sale tipped for Wednesday, the dealpocalypse is nigh

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
PC games, Steam Fall Sale

PSA: Steam Fall Sale tipped for Wednesday, the dealpocalypse is nigh

According to a circular email from PayPal, the Steam Fall Sale is set to begin on November 26th -- this Wednesday -- running through Black Friday and ending on Cyber Monday. If true, and the timing makes perfect sense since we're now overdue, we can expect some massive bargains and cheap PC games galore.

Do we need any more cheap PC games considering that we've all got plenty of Steam titles that aren't even installed, let alone played? Of course we do. We'll do our best to steer you right in what's going to be an absolutely insane week for videogame deals, and I'll try to pick out some great prices on quality niche titles that might have slipped under your radar too. [VG247]

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Steam Fall Sale in a single week. Truly, 'tis the dealpocalypse.

Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare £29.00 on Xbox 360 at Tesco

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, FPS, Xbox 360 games

Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare £29.00 on Xbox 360 at Tesco

Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare sets a new benchmark for the series with its double-jumping mobility and Titanfall-inspired verticality. If you haven't made the jump to Xbox One yet, Tesco are running a pre-Black Friday deal for the Xbox 360 version, which clocks in at a cool £29.00.

You can click here to read our Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare review. However, there are a couple of caveats to this deal, namely that we're talking about Tesco the supermarket rather than Tesco Direct. You'll need to set up store collection or home delivery, so probably best to pick it up as part of a grocery shop. Still, a real bargain ahead of Christmas. Thanks to steve9011 @ HUKD!

Be Mine Bundle 16 includes Betrayer & Beyond Space for 64p

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC games

Be Mine Bundle 16 includes Betrayer & Beyond Space for 64p

Groupees' bundles lack the wow factor of Bundle Stars and Humble, but we never say no to cheap PC games! Be Mine Bundle 16 includes four games for £0.64: Beyond Space, Betrayer, Blue Rose and Kingdom Rush.

Beating £2.56 unlocks 1954 Alcatraz, Quest For Infamy, Point Perfect and World War 1 Centennial Edition. A niche haul with inconsistent quality, but the price is right!

Nintendo 3DS & 2DS Christmas Buyer's Guide

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
2DS, 3DS, 3DS XL, Buyer's Guide, New 3DS, New 3DS XL, Nintendo

Nintendo 3DS & 2DS Christmas Buyer's Guide

With Christmas and Black Friday fast approaching, it's time for our annual console buyer's guides packed with useful advice, cheap console bundle deals and the best games bargains for the hottest software.

Finally we come to the Nintendo 3DS, which has been our console of the year for two years running. Delivering an utterly superb games lineup, Nintendo's handheld has gone from strength to strength, with its unique Streetpass functionality making even the most boring commute an adventure in and of itself. The 2DS has also been on hand for those with lighter wallets, eschewing stereoscopic 3D to provide a sensationally low price point.

Unfortunately, seeing as a new 3DS model with enhanced functionality and exclusive games is set to release next year, it's also very difficult to recommend buying one this Christmas. Luckily there are plenty of great deals about!

3DS & 2DS Bundle Deals!

Nintendo 3DS & 2DS Christmas Buyer's Guide

We'll get to the differences between the 3DS, 3DS XL and 2DS in the next section, but first let's take a look at the hottest console bundles ahead of Black Friday.

ShopTo will also part with an Ice White 3DS and Professor Layton & The Miracle Mask for £99.99, which is a massive bargain.

Super Smash Bros fans looking for a 3DS XL will currently find Nintendo to be the cheapest place to get the limited edition 3DS XL bundle. You'll also get a free game as per a promotion detailed later in the article, as well as a charger and free carry case.

However, if the less capable yet much cheaper 2DS is more your speed, there are a smorgasbord of options available. For starters, Tesco will sell you one for £89.99 with their TDX-7KPG voucher code bundled with New Super Mario Bros 2. Thanks to GemmaOd and allgonewrong @ HUKD!

Argos are currently charging £99.99 for a 2DS with curious life sim Tomodachi Life and a free copy of Pokemon White for £99.99. Make sure to scroll down for the special offer. Thanks to aing69 @ HUKD!

Alternatively you could get a 2DS with Mario Kart 7 and a Mario-themed carry case for £109.99 at GAME. Thanks to Ninbox4 @ HUKD!

Nintendo are also running their own 2DS deal, which includes Mario Kart 7 and and New Super Mario Bros 2 and a special carry case for £129.99. Arguably more competitive than the two above. Thanks to Melee1012 @ HUKD!

Finally, Nintendo will also sell you a special edition 2DS with Pokemon Alpha Sapphire or Omega Ruby, and a carry case, for £114.99. This will also net you a free game download as per a promotional offer outlined later in the guide. This effectively nets you the carry case for free, since GAME, Amazon and others don't include it!

We expect Black Friday to offer some seriously cheap 3DS deals, so this is the level you'll want to match or ideally beat.

Click here to read more...

Halo: The Master Chief Collection update fixes everything... except matchmaking

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
343 Industries, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, multiplayer, Updates, Xbox One Games

Halo: The Master Chief Collection update fixes everything... except matchmaking

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is an incredible package, but like any great hero, it has an Achilles' Heel. Matchmaking. Post-launch, what appeared to be solid and stable matchmaking descended to a mess of interminable wait times, broken parties and hilariously unbalanced teams. 343 Industries were quick to apologies and have been working around the clock to sort things out, culminating in a 1400 MB patch yesterday that promised to address the major issues alongside a host of minor tweaks.

So does it work?

Not really.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection update fixes everything... except matchmaking

Click here to read more...

The Morning Papers | Dark Friday

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

Good morning!

Only one week to go until Black Friday, so the deals are falling thick and fast. As are the trailers and leaks. Telltale's Game Of  Thrones tie-in has received its first teaser, while a Destiny player has somehow managed to download and capture the opening for Destiny's Dark Below expansion. Speaking of leaks, though, be sure to change your Windows Live, 2K and PSN passwords since some malevolent ne'er-do-wells with too much time on their hands might have compromised your accounts.

Bloodborne has also received a tasty info dump, revealing new locations, a new hunter and a procedurally generated dungeon. Here are your headlines.

In Case You Missed It...

 

PS4 with GTA 5, Destiny Vanguard Edition, The Last Of Us Remastered & 12 months PlayStation Plus £399.99 at GAME

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Console bundles, PS4

PS4 with GTA 5, Destiny Vanguard Edition, The Last Of Us Remastered & 12 months PlayStation Plus £399.99 at GAME

One week to go until Black Friday, but even us Brits are getting into the action early. GAME have another PS4 bundle deal for your attention, this time including Grand Theft Auto, Destiny's Vanguard Edition, The Last Of Us and a year of PlayStation Plus so you can get online straight away. £399.99 may be a lot, but it's also a cumulative saving.

Though we're not convinced that Destiny lived up to the hype, it's still a pretty addictive game, while Grand Theft Auto 5 will tide you over for ages. Not to mention The Last Of Us Remastered, which is a great way for those who didn't own a PS3 to experience one of the most critically-acclaimed games of recent years. Thanks to Dhiraj1 @ HUKD!