Oh man Serious Sam 3 is awesome. Truly fantastic, particularly if you're looking for a bit of no-holds-barred old-school FPS action, with massive guns, lots of humour, hordes of enemies, and tongues planted firmly in cheeks. Its OTT brilliance still thrills us, and now Gold subscribers can get it at half price.
Not that there's a lack of stellar FPS titles available this Christmas, mind...
2012 has been an odd one, that's for sure. We were a little worried initially, truth be told. After all, Sony's big handheld release proved to be something of a damp squib as far as sales went, leading to some spectacular corporate trolling from Nintendo later in the year. This was the year of delay, as we saw plenty of titles we'd been excited abut for years pushed back. As this console generation entered its twilight years, we wondered if developers and publishers would simply save their best material for the next one. And finally, with the middle ground squeezed hard this year, we couldn't help but wonder if there'd be gaps in the calendar.
We needn't have worried.
It feels like it's been a longer year than usual, and that's frankly down to the fact that the benchmark for quality has been so very high this year. It took mere seconds to essentially pick out the highlights of last year, but across the board there've been some staggeringly good games from those some might term "the B-team" studios or unknown entities.
The likes of Treyarch, 343 Industries, Arkane Studios and more stepped up to the plate to deliver where those such as Infinity Ward, Bungie, and Bethesda Game Studios had run riot the last year or two. And they knocked it out of the park. Double Fine's advertisement for Kickstarter suddenly empowered consumers, wit successes such as the Giana Sisters and FTL proving that crowdfunding really could work. We saw indies step into the mid-range, using marketplaces and downloadable platforms to offer damn fine gaming experiences at low-to-mid-range prices.
And it was one hell of an emotional rollercoaster of a year...Click here to read more...
The rather impressive Bullfrog Collection over at GOG serves to remind just why Peter Molyneux remains one of this industry's most beloved developers. Includes Dungeon Keeperand its sequel, Magic Carpet, Populous, Populous 2: Trials of the Olympian Gods, Populous: The Beginning, Syndicate, and of course Theme Hospital.
The games are all available individually for $1.49, which is about 92p.
Jon has praised The Bigness mightily on this very site. It is truly big, far more comfortable than the standard 3DS, and doesn't feel like it'll come apart in your hands as the original does.
However, there are a few caveats. You'll probably need to keep your existing 3DS around to transfer your content licenses over when it arrives (if you've downloaded anything from the eShop), and you'll also need to keep the charger or buy a new one since Nintendo didn't see fit to provide an AC adaptor.
Remember to use SEVCFTS1212 to get it at this price.
It has it's faults, not to mention a couple of region-specific specialisation gripes that really need ironing out, but Halo 4 marked a triumphant return for Master Chief, and an impressive proper debut from 343. Amazon and GAME did have this below £25 last week, but whilst GAME has shot back up to the £30 mark, Amazon are holding firm just below £28. Nice spot, MoneyEyes
Developers: Level-5 | Studio Ghibli
Publishers: Namco Bandai
Being invited to spend three hours in the company of Ni No Kuni is akin to delightful torture. A twenty-minute, combat-oriented demo can give you a flavour for the game, not to mention something to write about, without sucking you in too much. The fact is that, having lost track of time with Oliver and Drippy in Level-5's gorgeous JRPG, I didn't want to leave. Thank god we don't have too long to wait until it's actually out, then!
We covered the game's opening scenes in our last hands-on preview, but here's a quick refresher. Our hero is a young chap named Oliver who, one a fateful night, decides to sneak out of his house in Motorville and test-drive the souped-up car he's built with his chum. Only it goes wrong, the wheels literally fall off, and Oliver ends up in the local river, unable to swim. Anyway, to cut a long story short, his mother rescues him, then dies because she has a weak heart, Oliver wakes up an imprisoned fairy after crying all over it, and the fairy (named Drippy) reveals that the world he comes from is inhabited by close doppelgangers of those who live in Oliver's, and that their souls are connected.
Essentially, our man Olly decides that he's going to venture into Drippy's world, learn to become a wizard (one of the last of a dying breed), save Drippy's world from the nefarious machinations of an evildoer known as Shadar - the Dark Djinn, save his mum's doppelganger, and thereby hopefully restore his mum back in Motorville.
Simples.Click here to read more...
UPDATE 12/12/12: Down to £17.99 today.
Though perhaps not the best karting racer out there, LBPK does have a few things going for it, best of which come in the form of the extensive creation suite. A must-buy for fans of ModNation Racers, it'll appeal to the Builders amongst you too, and at below £20 is well worth a look. Splendid spot from sunnyfiesta on HUKD.
Mmm...the most immersive Albion has ever been. That's not actually a joke, Fable: The Journey manages to flesh out Lionhead's patchy parody of world and make it seem lived-in. It's just a shame it knackers your arms so much, and the aiming leaves much to be desired.
Still, it's a damn good price if you've had your eye on it.
Thanks to Syzable at HotUkDeals.
Happy Holidays folks! The busy elves over at GOG have delivered an early present for retro shooter fans, making Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition completely free. It'll also be available for the first time to Mac OS X owners.
Hail to the king, baby. Now go get some!
Fun Fact: City of Heroes is, to this date, both my first and final MMO. As a kid who'd grown up surrounded by Marvel comics, fixated on Saturday morning cartoons, I'd always fancied being a superhero. Even before City of Heroes was announced, I was excited. Less excited, of course, by the subscription, I wasn't too keen on that, but here was a game that would let me live out my superpowered fantasies and team up with others like me.
I was a little apprehensive, truth be told, both that it wouldn't match up to my expectations, and that I wouldn't necessarily enjoy this new experience, predicated on co-operation with a whole bunch of people I'd never met before, who'd been engaged in the world for weeks before me, who might not be kind to a newcomer. I'd heard tales of veterans in EVE preying on the wide-eyed and innocent, ranging bands of rookies in World of Warcraft found themselves overrun by those who deemed them easy pickings, and I feared the same might befall me.
"It is not like any other MMORPG currently available," Mercedes Lackey, the best-selling fantasy author and avid #SaveCOH spokesperson tells me, only a couple of days after NCsoft followed through on the statement that they issued back in August, and pulled plug on City of Heroes. "The game mechanics favour cooperative play, rather than competitive play. The User Interface is easy and intuitive to use, and does not rely on fast reflexes and the "twitch" control of console games.
"The player base tends to be older and more mature; people who find something they like and stick with it, rather than burning through to the endgame and going on to something new. Because of all this, it is very easy to find a large group of people within the game that become friends and share interests and concerns outside of the game. It is VERY rare to hear things like 'LRN 2 PLY N00B!' in broadcast chat, or to be kicked from a team because one is a beginner and making beginner's mistakes.
"Families can play together with their young children, or their grandparents. My husband and I regularly play with with his father (a retired Army Special Forces Sergeant-Major), who lives 1500 miles away from us, and has a very ill wife who needs constant care, limiting his options for recreation. City of Heroes evolved over time into something much more than a mere game."
I was never so glad to be wrong.Click here to read more...
There's a boatload of new apps coming to Xbox LIVE between now at spring 2013, Microsoft have announced. Alongside MS's microtransaction-oriented Karaoke service, the platform will feature applications from the likes of orange-clad supermarket chain Sainsbury's, cloud storage service SkyDrive, and music streaming service Napster. The last two re slated to launch this week.
The Karaoke channel will be free to download, and you'll then pay for the amount of singing time you desire. It'll be 240 Microsoft Points for two hours, 400 Points for six hours or 800 Points for 24 hours. "Karaoke fans will be able to sing along to more than 8,000 tracks while their Xbox LIVE avatar performs the song on stage with a full complement of stage props, backup band and an adoring audience," said Microsoft.
Karaoke is set to launch today.
According to data apparently procured from Enterbrain, the Wii U's first week in Japan has been a little underwhelming, with Nintendo's latest console failing to match up to the first week figures for it predecessor...and, interestingly, the Vita.Click here to read more...
It's somehow still not yet official, Blizzard have once again confirmed that they are working on porting Diablo III to console, even if they can't come out and announce it as A Thing.
What this means is that there are working builds up and running already, but they're not ready to announce anything yet, probably because as soon as they do, the internet will transform into a swirling mess of slavering hordes.Click here to read more...