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Jonathan Lester

The Cave Hands-On Preview | When Seven Psychopaths Met A Talking Cavern

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Adventure Games, Double Fine, PC games, Platformer, PSN, Ron Gilbert, Sega, The Cave, Wii U games, XBLA

The Cave Hands-On Preview | When Seven Psychopaths Met A Talking Cavern

Platforms: PC, PSN, Wii U & XBLA

Developer: Ron Gilbert & Double Fine

Publisher: SEGA

When the creator of Monkey Island teams up with Double Fine, the result is a talking cave.

Ron Gilbert's latest game lets us assemble a team of three reprobates from a selection of seven, each of whom has a unique ability and a seriously dark past. Perhaps you'll choose the time traveller on a mission to prevent a future disaster, the heartbroken hillbilly, a chivalrous knight or the cute-yet-twisted twins, who just want to play (honest). Your characters assembled, you'll embark into the eponymous cavern: who is wry narrator, friend, mysterious antagonist and enormous sprawling environment all in one. By replicating key moments of their past - and future - The Cave will reveal who they really are... and what horrible secrets they possess.

It probably won't surprise you to learn that The Cave is an adventure game, considering its pedigree, but you probably wouldn't know it from the screenshots. Indeed, Gilbert feels that the genre is due a serious overhaul.

The Cave Hands-On Preview | When Seven Psychopaths Met A Talking Cavern

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Feast Your Eyes On Numerous Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Screenshots

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
JRPG, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, PS3 games, Screenshots, Square Enix, Xbox 360 games

Feast Your Eyes On Numerous Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Screenshots

So many Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII screenshots have just plopped onto my newsdesk that I could probably attach them all together and make a full-length trailer.

Stupid exaggeration aside, these new images show off some of the battles, environments, improved traversal and cutscenes we can expect from the conclusion of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy. It's out this year on PS3 and Xbox 360.

Note that some of the pictures are annotated versions of existing screens.

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Capcom: No "Late Ports" In The Pipeline For Wii U

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Capcom, Wii U

Capcom: No "Late Ports" In The Pipeline For Wii U

"We're Looking Forward, Not Back"

Unlike some of their competitors, Capcom doesn't want to bring ports of recently-released games to Nintendo's new console.

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Jurassic Park Half-Life 2 Mod Looks Amazing

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Half-Life 2, Jurassic Life, Jurassic Park, Mod

The Jurassic Life mod for Half-Life 2 is looking rather impressive after its six years in development, as evidenced by this new gameplay trailer that shows off familiar locales and the classic music (whether they're legally allowed to use it is another matter, mind).

Indeed, "rather impressive" doesn't quite do it justice. The Jurassic Life team plans to implement "a whole new AI for dinosaurs, so the most clever of them will patiently hide so he can ambush you when you feel safe," and incredibly lush environments to explore. You can keep up to date on the blog, which has burst into life after nearly a year of inactivity.

Sony Patents Anti Pre-Owned Game NFC Tech

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Patent, Pre-owned games, PS4, Rumour, Sony, Used games

Sony Patents Anti Pre-Owned Game NFC Tech

A recently-discovered patent suggests that Sony is keen to suppress the pre-owned games market, potentially using Near Field Communication to tether game discs to specific consoles. Like, just for example... the PS4?

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COMMENT | MiiVerse Is The Wii U's Secret Killer App

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Miiverse, Nintendo, Wii U

COMMENT | MiiVerse Is The Wii U's Secret Killer App

Though it failed to light up the UK charts since November 30th, the Wii U has definitely become a talking point. Pundits, developers and gamers are obsessed with its power and specifications; arguing about whether it has enough grunt to be considered a next-gen console. We've been talking about the excellent Gamepad peripheral and how it could potentially lead to some revolutionary games. We've praised the launch lineup - which includes the excellent NSMBU and ZombiU - but complained that Nintendo's new console doesn't yet have a clear killer app.

What most people haven't been talking about, however, is MiiVerse.

It's hardly surprising. Nintendo has found it difficult to market the Wii U's social features, instead dwelling on asymmetrical multiplayer and family appeal. Without flashy screenshots, adverts or trailers to rely on, MiiVerse has slipped under the radar for many potential buyers, critics and even some Wii U owners.

This is a crying shame, because MiiVerse is nothing less than a revolutionary killer app... and one of the most forward-thinking console innovations of this current generation.

COMMENT | MiiVerse Is The Wii U's Secret Killer App

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Zeno Clash 2 Dated For "Spring" On PC, PSN & XBLA

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
ACE Team, First Person Brawler, Indie Games, PC games, PSN, XBLA

Zeno Clash 2 Dated For "Spring" On PC, PSN & XBLA

ACE Team, the Chilean developers behind the thoroughly bizarre and excellent Zeno Clash, have announced that the sequel will be out relatively soon. Co-founder Carlos Bordeu dropped a "spring 2013" release window on the official forums, along with some brand new screenshots that we've collected after the break.

We described the original Zeno Clash as a "refreshing and brutal foray into a masterfully crafted nightmare" featuring "a monomaniac hellbent on becoming invisible by collecting everyone else's eyeballs and a blind sniper who throws exploding squirrels off the top of a beached whale" in our 8/10 review. You'd better believe that we have high hopes for the next first-person brawler in the series.

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Tomb Raider Multiplayer Details Break Cover

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Crystal Dynamics, multiplayer, Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider Multiplayer Details Break Cover

The first solid details about Tomb Raider's multiplayer suite have come to light. Team deathmatches and various objective modes will be on offer, boasting a few quirks that take advantage of the island setting.

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Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 - 'Brutal War Crimes Bosnia' Trailer [UPDATE]

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
City Interactive, PC games, PS3 games, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, trailer, Xbox 360 games

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 - 'Brutal War Crimes Bosnia' Trailer [UPDATE]

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 isn't pulling any punches with its latest trailer, which puts 'the full cruelty of war' under the spotlight. City Interactive are keen to stress that it consists entirely of CryEngine 3 gameplay footage, though whether the storyline genuinely explores some of the darker elements of conflict remains to be seen.

We'll find out when Ghost Warrior 2 (finally) releases later this year.

UPDATE: Eurogamer Poland reports that City Interactive have delayed Sniper: Ghost Warrior yet again - this time to March 12th.

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New Metro: Last Light Screenshots

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
FPS, PC games, PS3 games, Screenshots, THQ, Xbox 360 games

New Metro: Last Light Screenshots

THQ may be bankrupt, up for auction and newly delisted from NASDAQ, but for the developers it's just business as usual. A brand new crop of Metro: Last Light screens suggests that the gritty survival shooter is looking very pretty indeed ahead of a March 2013 release (all being well).

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The Underdogs Of 2012 | Top Ten Games You Didn't Buy

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Derrick The Deathfin, Dragon's Dogma, Game of the Year 2012, GOTY 2012, Hybrid, The Secret World, Underdogs, Vessel

The Underdogs Of 2012 | Top Ten Games You Didn't Buy

2012 has brought us some massive games and shattered sales records with merry abandon, but the fact is that plenty of deserving titles managed to slip under our gaming radar into pitiful ignominy. It's time that we championed the underdogs: the games you probably didn't buy - or even notice - throughout the last twelve months.

Before we begin, you need to understand that this list is not an objective measure of raw quality. Instead, we passed these games though a hungover discussion on New Year's Day totally amazing top-secret algorithm that also takes sales figures and how little a splash they made in the mainstream gaming consciousness into account.

10: Hybrid

The Underdogs Of 2012 | Top Ten Games You Didn't Buy

Confused art direction aside, 5th Cell's multiplayer shooter had a lot going for it. Jetpacks. Boomsticks. A persistent war fought through multiple seasons. What's not to like?

Sadly, Hybrid spectacularly failed to light up the Summer Of Arcade... perhaps because it came out scant weeks before Counter-Strike: GO. Whoops.

9: Dragon's Dogma

The Underdogs Of 2012 | Top Ten Games You Didn't Buy

Dragon's Dogma gave us everything we've been missing from JRPGs: meaningful customisation that lets us truly become the main character. Then it added responsive combat mechanics, the deep Pawn NPC system and mythical creatures to stab up like nobody's business.

It charted well enough in Japan to warrant a sequel, but we feel that Dragon's Dogma deserved more recognition and sales over here.

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Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
A Valley Without Wind, Best Indie Game 2012, Dear Esther, Defender's Quest, FTL: Faster Than Light, Game of the Year 2012, GOTY 2012, Hotline Miami, Lone Survivor, Thomas Was Alone, Torchlight II, Vessel

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Selecting the best indie game of 2012 is no easy task, and not just because there are so many fantastic titles to choose from. As independent and boutique gaming continues its meteoric rise, it's getting harder and harder to define what the word 'indie' really means. Is it one man in his bedroom or garage? A relatively large team with a multi-game deal from a major publisher? What was once an ostracised segment of games development has become a massive part of the mainstream market, and a force to be reckoned with over the coming years.

We've taken the decision to include Fez and Journey in 'Best Download/Marketplace Game', which went live earlier today, simply because the competition is more relevant in that category.

So, down to business... and Merry Christmas!
NB. Click on the thumbnails for price comparisons and the game's title for the relevant review where available.

Title

Description

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

A Valley Without Wind

A Valley Without Wind is enormous, life-affirming and brilliant. Enormous randomised worlds, tight platforming gameplay and infinite scope for exploration made for an addictive indie classic.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Dear Esther

Though only a 'game' in the most tenuous of senses, this interactive oddity still gives us pause for thought and introspection. Dear Esther may be maddeningly surreal and abstract, but we'd urge you to give it a go.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Defender's Quest

One of the very first indie games of 2012 proved to be one of the very best. Defender's Quest managed to perfectly fuse RPG and tower defence mechanics into a gloriously compelling experience, which we're still dipping into eleven months after launch.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

FTL: Faster Than Light

If you love roguelikes, space operas and always dreamt of being the one in the big chair saying "Make it so!" then this is the game for you. FTL is massively replayable, hugely rewarding and genuinely thrilling at times. Engage!

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Hotline Miami

Hotline Miami is a sleazy, shocking, often unpleasant and thoroughly worthwhile use of a few hours. Dennaton Games' "f*ck 'em up' is as compelling and exhilarating as it is brutally raw.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Lone Survivor

A one-man masterclass in effective survival horror design. Utterly tense, disturbing and unforgettable despite its two-dimensional trappings.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Thomas Was Alone

Thomas Was Alone is a bona fide indie masterpiece that reminds us that you don't need glitzy graphics to create relateable characters with meaningful depth. A minimalist triumph.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Torchlight II

Runic Games may have less than 40 developers on staff, but they delivered what is perhaps the best loot grinder since Diablo II. Practically perfect in every way.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Vessel

A truly superior puzzler and one of 2012's most cruelly under-rated games. Massive quantity and exceptional quality made for a truly wonderful purchase, brought home with exquisite art direction and liquid modelling.

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Battlefield 3: End Game DLC Gets First Details & Teaser

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Battlefield 3, Battlefield 3: End Game, DICE, EA, PC games, PS3 games, Xbox 360 games

Battlefield 3: End Game DLC Gets First Details & Teaser

"High Speed Warfare"

Battlefield 3's next (and presumably last) downloadable content offering has finally broken cover. End Game will include four new maps, fast-attack vehicles and a menacing dropship that can carry troop transports to critical locations.

Details and teaser trailer below.

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Square Enix Reveals A Mixed Bag Of Christmas Deals

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC games, PS3 games, PSN, Square Enix, XBLA, Xbox 360 games

Square Enix Reveals A Mixed Bag Of Christmas Deals

Square Enix are running a fair few promotions across all platforms during the Christmas season, including a site-wide 50% off sale on their PC marketplace and various daily deals on Xbox Live and PSN. We've corralled it all below alone with the relevant dates.

Note that PlayStation Plus members can download Hitman: Absolution for £16.99 for today only, which is very competitive indeed.

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Spoilery Dead Space 3 Achievements Hit The Net

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Achievements, Dead Space 3, EA, PC games, PS3 games, Visceral Games, Xbox 360 games

Spoilery Dead Space 3 Achievements Hit The Net

Dead Space 3's achievements have made their way onto the internet, featuring arbitrary numerical rewards for storyline progression, cooperative feats and various (gory) weapon-related shenanigans. Oh, and Peng's back. The list includes story-related achievement descriptions, so spoiler alert.

We were equally impressed and concerned by Dead Space 3 when we saw it in action at E3 2012. Game's out on February 5th, with pre-order customers netting a Limited Edition that includes some extra DLC content.

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Devil May Cry 4 | £1.69 | Green Man Gaming | PC

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Brawler, Capcom, PC games
Devil May Cry 4 | £1.69 | Green Man Gaming | PC

The outrageously outlandish Devil May Cry 4 is currently available for silly money on GMG, saving you a fair few quid. We're big fans of the responsive, technical and riotously OTT slasher here at Dealspwn, and reckon that this is definitely worth a punt. Note that you'll get a Steam code.

Speaking of Steam, however, Capcom have been dropping some hints about some serious reductions as part of the holiday sale. This might well be included in due course.

Lord Of The Rings: War In The North | £3.74 | Green Man Gaming | PC

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Action Games, PC games, Snowblind Studios, Warner Bros. Interactive
Lord Of The Rings: War In The North | £3.74 | Green Man Gaming | PC

LOTR: War In The North has an EAGLE SMART BOMB. Yes. Really. Press a button and a massive eagle spears down and rips your enemies apart before your very eyes.

Is it worth the price of admission? Probably not, but at least the incredibly mediocre War In The North makes more sense at less than £4.

Rumour: Ubisoft Wants To Buy THQ At "Bargain" Price

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Rumour, THQ, Ubisoft

Rumour: Ubisoft Wants To Buy THQ At "Bargain" Price

According to a new report, Ubisoft is planning to bid on THQ's IPs, studios and assets at a "bargain" price now that the publisher is effectively up for sale. MCV's sources report that the company is keen to acquire the rights to such franchises as Saints Row, Darksiders, Company Of Heroes, Homefront and WWE, and are currently in talks with temporary owners Clearlake Investments.

Ubisoft have previously expressed interest in some of THQ's properties, and are apparently willing to wait until the last minute to snipe the bid. Whether they actually do so - and what IPs they'd decide to add to their own portfolio - remains to be seen.

Dark Souls 2 Concept Art Is Dark, Soulful

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Concept Art, Dark Souls 2, From Software, Namco Bandai

Dark Souls 2 Concept Art Is Dark, Soulful

A bountiful harvest of Dark Souls 2 concept art has found its way online, showing off some of the twisted monsters, powerful gear and haunting environments we might encounter in the anticipated sequel. From Software have confirmed that Dark Souls 2 will be set in a different time period to the original, and will make pains to be more "understandable" to new players, but will still retain its ferocious difficulty.

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Earthbound Writer Teases 'Republication' Effort

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Earthbound, Mother, RPG, Rumour, Slow news day, Square Enix

Earthbound Writer Teases 'Republication' Effort

Shigesato Itoi, the writer and designer behind the Mother RPG series, has coyly spoken out to suggest that they're making progress on a "republication" effort. Since Mother 2 (better known as Earthbound) is one of the best RPGs ever made, we'd all love to be able to legally purchase it instead of, erm, you know.

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