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Jonathan Lester

BioWare Working On A New Mass Effect Game & Next-Gen Project

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
BioWare, EA, Mass Effect

BioWare Working On A New Mass Effect Game & Next-Gen Project

Plus More Mass Effect 3 DLC

The good doctors may have left BioWare for pastures new, but the veteran company plans to move forward in some new and exciting ways. They're working on new IPs on "all new gaming technology" (read: next-gen hardware) and are planning a new Mass Effect title. Mass Effect 3 players will also be able to reunite with Aria T'loak to retake Omega from Cerberus in a new DLC pack.

According to the latest update, BioWare are embarking upon a "whole new era of games."

Click here to read more...

Jet Set Radio HD Review | Cel-Shaded Spectacles

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Blit, Jet Set Radio HD, PC games, PSN, Sega, Smilebit, XBLA

Jet Set Radio HD Review | Cel-Shaded Spectacles

Platforms: PC | PSN | XBLA (reviewed)

Developer: Smilebit | Blit

Publisher: SEGA

Jet Set Radio released into a perfect storm of demand and opportunity at the dawn of the new millennium. The Dreamcast was already in decline and desperately needed some unique and exciting exclusives to buoy things up, and Smilebit were ready to deliver. Sporting a timeless cel-shaded presentation that poured molten gobbets of awesome into our willing retinas, featuring a killer soundtrack and boasting fun and accessible gameplay, Jet Set Radio became a cult classic. Even now, it still feels fresh and funky if you're willing to dig out your Dreamcast. Which I am. Usually on an annual basis.

You can rely on SEGA to tap into its back catalogue every once in a while, and they've finally turned their attention to Jet Set Radio after delivering a number of seriously slapdash rehashes.

But have the ravages of time and a vastly superior sequel been kind to this 'warts and all' re-release? When the cel-shaded specs come off, the answer is more difficult than you might expect.

Jet Set Radio HD Review | Cel-Shaded Spectacles

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PS3 Super-Slim Console Announced, Dated & Priced For Europe

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
PS3, PS3 4000, Sony, Super-slim

PS3 Super-Slim Console Announced, Dated & Priced For Europe

Sony has announced that the rumoured PS3 super-slim model is indeed in production... and it's coming to the UK sooner than you might expect. The skinny console will be available to buy on September 28th with a 500GB hard drive, costing €299.99 in a bundle with FIFA 13, Wonderbook or Assassin's Creed III.

A cheaper 12GB version will release on October 12th for €229.99 standalone. However, UK retailers have been given free rein in terms of setting their own prices.

The 4000 series is 25% smaller and 20% lighter than the PS3 slim. We've got the totally riveting specifications below. [Thanks to RiKx and ODB for spotting this story early and keeping us up to date.]

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BioWare Co-Founders Greg Zeschuk & Ray Muzyka Leave The Games Industry

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
BioWare, Dr. Greg Zeschuk, Dr. Ray Muzyka

BioWare Co-Founders Greg Zeschuk & Ray Muzyka Leave The Games Industry

"I No Longer Have The Passion That I Once Did"

There's no easy way to say this, so let's rip the plaster off. BioWare co-founders Dr Greg Zeschuk and Dr Ray Muzyka have officially announced their resignation from the company - and plan to pursue new careers outside the games industry.

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Dustforce, Rochard, Shatter, SPAZ, Torchlight & Vessel | Pay What You Want | Humble Indie Bundle | PC, Mac & Linux

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Dustforce, Indie Games, PC games, Rochard, SPAZ, Vessel

Is this the best Humble Indie Bundle ever? Possibly. For the bargain price of whatever the heck you want, you'll get the utterly superb liquid puzzle sensation Vessel (one of the best games of the year), the brilliant puzzle-platformer Rochard, insane strategy/shooter hybrid SPAZ, the gorgeous Shatter and the inestimable Torchlight. If you're willing to beat the average (currently £3.52), you'll also get Dustforce, which we rated 9/10.

Wow. This is a big one.

Summer Uprising III Review Roundup | Week One: Genetics, Gateways, Dungeons & Call Centres

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Diehard Dungeon, Gateways, Hermit Games, Heydeck Games, Indie Games, MichaelArts, Qrth-Phyl, Sententia, Smooth Operators, Smudged Cat Games, Summer Uprising, Tricktale, Xbox Live Indie Games

Summer Uprising III Review Roundup | Week One: Genetics, Gateways, Dungeons & Call Centres

If Summer Of Arcade 2012 left you with crushing disappointment and a fat stack of Microsoft Points, the Xbox Live Indie community are on hand with a promotion of their very own. The Summer Uprising has entered its third year of championing quality XBLIG development and the latest selection is already very tasty indeed.

After kicking off last Monday, Summer Uprising III has brought us Qrth-Phyl, Sententia, Diehard Dungeon, Gateways and Smooth Operators: an astoundingly varied selection of different genres, art styles and gameplay concepts.

The silly season may almost be upon us, but there'll be plenty of time to deal with the oncoming AAA tidal wave soon enough. For now, here's a rundown of the first week of Summer Uprising titles, complete with links to the marketplace and brisk micro-reviews for your purchasing convenience.

Qrth-Phyl

Developer: Hermitgames

Get Trial/Buy Now: 80 Microsoft Points

Half Snake, half Blockade and half history lesson, Qrth-Phyl is another astoundingly deep title from Hermitgames. Matt James (Leave Home & Frenze) has proved to be a master of layering deep metaphor and meaning into mechanics and art direction, and this is no exception: an addictive and evolving experience that serves to educate players about classic arcade games and hereditary genetic code.

Click here to read more...

Sonic Adventure 2 & NiGHTS into dreams HD Dated For Download

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
NiGHTS into dreams, PSN, Sega, Sonic Adventure 2, XBLA

Sonic Adventure 2 & NiGHTS into dreams HD Dated For Download

Listen up, SEGA fans. HD remasters of Sonic Adventure 2 and cult Saturn classic NiGHTS into dreams will be hitting PSN and XBLA in October.

On PSN, NiGHTS and Sonic Adventure 2 will be available from October 3rd for £6.49 each. Xbox 360 owners will have to wait for Friday October 5th, with prices set at 800 Microsoft Points apiece.

Sonic Adventure 2 will offer Battle Mode DLC at launch for an additional $3.00/240 Microsoft Points (yay?), while NiGHTS will freely include the Christmas expansion that was previously only accessible through a limited edition Saturn bundle or short-lived promotions (yay!). Jet Set Radio HD is also out this week - and I'm currently working on our full review in case you haven't already tried it out as a PS Plus subscriber.

Halo 4 | £30.39 With Voucher Code | Sainsbury's Entertainment | Xbox 360

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
343 Industries, FPS, Halo 4, Microsoft Studios, Xbox 360 games

Halo 4 | £30.39 With Voucher Code | Sainsbury's Entertainment | Xbox 360

343 Industries have everything to prove with Halo 4. Will they be able to continue Bungie's legacy? Will the new Promethean enemies be fun to fight? Will the multiplayer live up to expecations? There are many questions that need answering, but we can tell you the cheapest place to get a pre-order: Sainsbury's Entertainment.

As I understand it, the SETOK12 voucher code can only be used once per customer, but can be used on multiple titles in the same transaction.

Thanks to tinodz at HotUKDeals.

Open Source Bluetooth Controller Hits Kickstarter

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Bluetooth, Controller, iControlPad 2, Mobile gaming, Tablet gaming

Open Source Bluetooth Controller Hits Kickstarter

If touchscreen controls are stopping you from getting excited about mobile and tablet gaming, the minds behind the Pandora open-source handheld/emulator may just have the answer to your prayers. The good news is that their new gadget, the iControlPad 2, promises to be compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled device and is small enough to conveniently carry around. The worse (though predictable) news is that you'll need to put your money where your mouth is on Kickstarter.

Trailer and details below.

Click here to read more...

We Sing 80s Preview & Full Song List | Don't You Want Me?

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Karaoke, Music games, Nordic Games, We Sing 80s, Wii games

We Sing 80s Preview & Full Song List | Don't You Want Me?

The Wii U may have finally gotten an imminent release date, but with many gamers concerned about the recession-unfriendly price point, it's clear that the Wii will still command a sizeable install base desperate for something to play. You can usually rely on Nordic Games to get on base with a decent karaoke title, surprisingly innovative dance game or ill-advised Karting clone (best forgotten, really), so with Christmas party season looming, there's never been a better time to release another We Sing game. With UK Hits, Robbie Williams and Pop already covered, not to mention the sensational Rock setlist - Nordic are looking to the 80s for their next singalong song selection.

We Sing 80s is built upon the same foundation as its numerous predecessors, which is to say that it's functionally identical. Nordic has iterated on the interface over several years, providing a slick and accessible way to choose a few tunes to belt out as loudly and proudly as possible using USB microphones. One to four players can get involved; either competiting, cooperating or swapping the mikes depending on how seriously you're willing (sober?) enough to take it. As an Eighties-themed title, however, cheesy garish neon is the order of the day (see also: Double Dragon Neon), providing one of the most colourful and engaging overlays we've seen yet. You've still got a range of singleplayer modes and comprehensive training tutorials, a jukebox mode that allows you to watch the music videos and, most importantly, a suite of multiplayer and party gametypes designed for tipsy afterparty karaoke.

So, what's the track list like?

We Sing 80s Preview & Full Song List | Don't You Want Me?

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Hitman: Absolution Trailer Shows Us "The Tools Of The Trade"

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Hitman: Absolution, Io Interactive, Square Enix, trailer

Hitman: Absolution Trailer Shows Us "The Tools Of The Trade"

Hitman: Absolution promises to offer us a smorgasbord of innovative ways to dispatch our targets - everything from poisoned narcotics to precarious scenery elements - but you'll probably want to get your hands on a weapon from time to time. Agent 47 can use guns and improvised melee weapons to devastating advantage, as witnessed by this latest gameplay trailer entitled 'The Tools Of The Trade.'

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Cliffy B Would Love To Reboot Unreal As Open-World "SciFi-Rim"

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Cliff Bleszinski, Epic Games, FPS, Unreal

Cliffy B Would Love To Reboot Unreal As Open-World "SciFi-Rim"

If Epic Games were ever to return to the original Unreal, Cliff "Cliffy B" Bleszinski would dearly love to reboot the 1998 shooter as a Skyrim-like openworld title featuring tight shooting and epic exploration.

"SciFi-Rim," if you will.

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Rumour: Black Ops II Maps & Mission Descriptions Leak Out Of Beta

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Activision, Beta, Black Ops II, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, FPS, multiplayer, Rumour, Treyarch

Rumour: Black Ops II Maps & Mission Descriptions Leak Out Of Beta

Spoiler Alert?

According to a post on se7ensins.com, a list of Black Ops II's multiplayer maps (some of which appear to be based on singleplayer missions) along with descriptions of each level's gameplay experience may have been teased out of the game's beta build. We've got it all below, so continue at your peril.

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Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Multiplayer Details

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
3DS Games, Capcom, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, multiplayer, Nintendo, Wii U games

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Multiplayer Details

No Online Functionality For 3DS Version

Capcom has announced a couple of fairly divisive tidbits regarding Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate's multiplayer, which is headed to both Wii U and 3DS as a cross-compatible title. Apparently it will run on Nintendo's own servers, but the 3DS version will have no online multiplayer whatsoever.

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Wii U USB Storage Confirmed

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Hard Drive, Nintendo, USB, Wii U

Wii U USB Storage Confirmed

Reggie: "You Can Plug In A Three Terabyte Hard Drive If You Want"

Though most of you either knew or suspected this already, Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime has reiterated that the Wii U will allow for USB storage. Which should make up for the 8-32GB onboard memory somewhat.

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Bohemia Interactive Confirms The Facts About Arrested ArmA 3 Devs

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
ArmA 3, Bohemia Interactive

Bohemia Interactive Confirms The Facts About Arrested ArmA 3 Devs

Buchta & Pezlar: "The Conditions Are Tough"

Bohemia Interactive have sent us a statement to clarify the state of play regarding two developers arrested by Greek authorities last week. The duo, who currently face espionage charges that could lead to two decades of imprisonment, are apparently the victims of an "unfortunate and deep misunderstanding."

The developers themselves - Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar - have spoken out to suggest that they're facing "tough" conditions but are being treated "fairly."

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Namco Bandai Bolsters Wii U Launch Lineup

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Namco Bandai, Tank! Tank! Tank!, Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition, Wii U

Namco Bandai Bolsters Wii U Launch Lineup

The Wii U's November 30th launch lineup was looking slightly bare despite a couple of heavy hitters, but Namco Bandai are bringing four more games to the party - Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Tank! Tank! Tank! amongst them.

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Project Eternity Kickstarter Romps Past Target, Stretch Goals Revealed

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Chris Avellone, Kickstarter, Obsidian Entertainment, Project Eternity, RPG

Project Eternity Kickstarter Romps Past Target, Stretch Goals Revealed

$1.1 million Pledged In Less Than 24 Hours

Obsidian's Project Eternity kickstarter campaign smashed its $1.1 million pledge target within a single day, meaning that the spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale is definitely going to get made. Now that the total stands at slightly under one and a half million, Obsidian have deployed some stretch goals to add new races, versions and features to their RPG.

Just in case you missed the memo: "Project Eternity will take the central hero, memorable companions and the epic exploration of Baldur’s Gate, add in the fun, intense combat and dungeon diving of Icewind Dale, and tie it all together with the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment."

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Back To School Bundle | £Beat The Minimum | Indie Royale | PC

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

  • What: Cute Things Dying Violently, Bunny Must Die!, Flying Red Barrel, Lunar Flight, Qlione, Sequence & Swords & Soldiers
  • Where: Indie Royale
  • Current Price: Beat the minimum (fluctuates)

Indie Royale's latest bundle aims to beat the back to school blues with a selection of seven games for a low fluctuating price. Highlights include rhythm/adventure hybrid Sequence, the accessible Swords & Soldiers and underrated puzzler Cute Things Dying Violently. To get involved, you need to match or beat the fluctuating minimum price, which currently stands at around £3.30 at the time of writing.

Total War Shogun 2: Fall Of The Samurai | £8.49 | Impulse | PC

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
RTS games, Sega, The Creative Assembly
Total War Shogun 2: Fall Of The Samurai | £8.49 | Impulse | PC

Total War Shogun 2 is one of this generation's finest strategy games, and its standalone expansion is practically a full game in its own right - featuring new clans, setting and weapons. For £8.49 (which saves you over a tenner due to most traditional retailers being OOS), it's seriously impressive value.