Steam’s Daily Deal on this fine Monday is the incredibly fun Monday Night Combat, which you could be playing this Monday evening (and beyond.) The offer sees the title fall to its lowest price yet, and as with most of Steam’s multiplayer listings you can get yourself a better deal if you and four friends decide to get the game together with the 4-pack, bringing the price down to £1.88 each. When you consider that this is for the price of a pint you get a grand little team-based arcade title here, despite the occasionally annoying bugs and netcode issues. Also, the commentator is a delight when highlighting the antics during a match (Hiyoooooo!) Check out Jon's review for the full details, but act fast if you want this one as the deal ends at 6pm today! Thanks to coolsakil @ HUKD!
For today only, Microsoft have dropped their prices for Limbo, Castle Crashers, Monday Night Combat, Shadow Complex, and Trials HD by 50%, which means that you can get hold of them for 600 Microsoft points, the equivalent of about £4.80 each. It's not a bad selection of games at all, and I'm definitely tempted to run out and grab a few additional points in order to get hold of Limbo whilst it's marked down. If you're still trying to decide whether or not to treat yourself to a game or two at this point, just remember all the games'll be a bit more expensive tomorrow! Thanks to Major Nelson.
Coming atcha live from the Spunky Cola Sportsdrome… brought to you by a promotional consideration from Ammo Mule… it’s Mooooooooooooonday Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiight CombaaaAAAAAaaaaaat! Sorry, it's infectious. PC gamers can now get a £3 saving on this innovative and accessible team shooter on Steam, and I’d personally urge them to do so. Mould-breaking tower defense mechanics allow players to split their resources between class upgrades, defensive turrets and waves of robots to harass the enemy base- with the mix of shooting and swift strategy feeling completely different to anything else on the market (apart from Team Fortress 2, from which MNC merrily plunders its visual cues). However, as an arcadey TPS, it’s arguably more suited for a console controller.
It's also free to play for the weekend! Definitely check out my full review, get online and see what all the fuss is about.
Coming atcha live from the Spunky Cola Sportsdrome… with a promotional consideration from Ammo Mule… it’s Mooooooooooooonday Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiight Combaaaaaaaat! Sorry. PC gamers can now pre-purchase this fast and accessible team shooter on Steam with a small yet significant saving, and I'd personally urge them to do so. Mould-breaking tower defense mechanics allow players to split their resources between class upgrades, defensive turrets and waves of robots to harass the enemy base- with the mix of shooting and swift strategy feeling completely different to anything else on the market (apart from Team Fortress 2, from which MNC merrily plunders its visual cues). However, as an arcadey TPS, it's arguably more suited for a console controller.
Why not check out our full review?
Coming atcha live from the Spunky Cola Sportsdrome... with a promotional consideration from Ammo Mule... it's Moooooonday Niiiiiiiight Combaaaat! Ahem. MNC takes its cues from all-American sport and Team Fortress 2, creating a fast and accessible team shooter that doesn't play by the rules. Tower defense mechanics allow players to split their resources between class upgrades, defensive turrets and waves of robots to harass the enemy base- feeling completely different to anything else out there. Why not check out our full review?
Naturally there's also an avatar item up for grabs. The Plants vs Zombies zombie mask is currently 80 points if you're into disguising your virtual self as putrefying undead horrors.
Rather than overtly choosing a theme, this week's selection of Xbox Live Gold member deals is ostensibly a grab bag of "various" great games. However, there's a decidedly insectoid vibe running through them. It's impossible to top last week's Black Friday insanity, but the four games all offer excellent gameplay and provide great value nonetheless.
Earthworm Jim HD is an eyepopping remake of Shiny's classic platformer- with some nifty avatar awards and new levels adding extra value to the package. Worms 2: Armageddon is a fully featured blast-a-thon that's perfect for settling disputes and killing time with a few mates. Band of Bugs is an accessible tactical strategy outing that offers serious depth beneath the cartoony presentation. Oh... and if you want to relive some creepy crawlie arcade titles, Centipede & Millipede have you covered.
This week's arcade release is Unbound Saga. It's a traditional side-scrolling brawler that has been given some lavish HD treatment. It feels a lot like the classic Comix Zone in many respects, but an expandable skill tree and multiple characters make for an infinitely more replayable experience.
Monday Night Combat has received another bout of free content, including a new arena and yet more tweaks to the formula. Click here to add the free download to your queue! Just in case you haven't caught MNC fever yet, why not check out our full review?
Trials HD has also delivered a hefty expansion of the paid variety. The Big Thrills pack costs 400 points, but is worth every penny thanks to forty new tracks. Expect even more extreme difficulty, massive stunts and plenty of tedious pipes to climb over.
Last but certainly not least, the Noble Map Pack has been released for Halo Reach. The jury's still out on whether 800 MSP represents good value for three new maps- but if you're a Reach Veteran, it's well worth queueing up. For the new achievements as much as anything.
The harsh financial climate has been taking its toll on every player in the industry, both major and minor. Studios and publishers have been forced to adapt or die (or both), and today brings two very different fortunes for two very different companies.
First up, JRPG publisher Atlus has been dissolved by its Japanese parent company in order to concentrate on "more profitable areas." Atlus are best known for the Persona series, though they were also overseeing the worryingly controversial Catherine and and ACE Team's next bizarre offering. There's apparently an indication that the brand and company might live on in some form, but not without a massively reduced staff and rebranding. [Eurogamer]
On a much more positive note, legendary British developer Team 17 has shrugged off their publisher to become a self-publishing studio. We can expect a digital distribution-based sales model from the guys that brought us the Worms franchise, Alien Breed, Body Blows, Super Frog and... unfortunately... the latest Leisure Suit Larry abomination. Every developer gets one, I suppose. We wish them the best of luck. [MCV]
Microsoft have announced that they'll be hiking the price for Xbox Live Gold membership from 1st November. The States has been hit with a seriously nasty $10 increase, but luckily us Brits will only have to pay one pound extra for official monthly membership directly from Microsoft. Annual prices should remain unaffected.
Naturally, we'll continue to bring you the best prices for Xbox Live Gold membership- but I'd seriously consider cancelling your monthly subscription and grabbing an annual card if I were you.
Monday Night Combat was the wild card of this year's XBLA Summer of Arcade. As an independent IP, it lacked the household name of Guardians of Light and the pretentious hype of Limbo. Thankfully, MNC turned out to be an absolutely fantastic blend of team shooting and tower defence; and fans will soon be rewarded by a patch and some free DLC.
The patch will fix a few technical issues and improve the netcode, while the DLC pack will apparently contain "new content". Some more maps would be nice. Or, you know, a straight-up deathmatch gametype. Two more content packs have also been announced, but we can expect to pay top dollar when they roll around. [1UP]
Want to know more? Step up to the plate and read my full review.
We've been featuring a fair few trailers of SEGA's upcoming Sci-Fi shooter on our news roundups these last few weeks... on account of it shaping up to be ridiculously badass. If you've been left weak kneed and salivating by the Vanquish mix of fast-paced cover shooting and bareknuckle brawling with massive robots, you'll be delighted to know that the demo is out later today on Xbox Live Marketplace and tomorrow lunchtime on PSN.
You're going to need a bigger gun. If fututistic gunslinging floats your boat, download it, play it and let us know what you make of it!
Platforms: XBLA (reviewed)
Developer: Uber Entertainment
Publisher: Microsoft Games Studios
Monday Night Combat makes an awful first impression. Upon starting a new game, you'll instantly be whisked away into a simplistic arena tutorial where a hooting idiotic commentator warbles inane sports cliches at a deformed virtual solider. The game may hint at multiple classes, but you only get the opportunity to try out a single build while fighting a depressingly simple stream of idiotic enemies. Seriously, it's enough to put you off the game for good.
Give it some time, however, and you'll discover that it delivers an impressive and nuanced blend of two very familiar genres.
Monday Night Combat first appears to be a straight-up team based shooter. Gleefully plundering Team Fortress 2 for style, art design and concept; it throws a red and a blue team into direct competition over territory. Each team has to simultaneously defend their 'moneyball' (read: base) while attempting to destroy their opponent's stronghold, with six classes providing a range of unique combat options and techniques. Killing other players nets you money that can be spent on skill upgrades and unlockables. So far, so familiar... right?
Not quite. Monday Night Combat also takes its cues from the tower defence genre. Each base constantly spawns a variety of bots that plod along preset routes, continually fighting for every inch of ground. Killing enemy bots also releases money that can be used (amongst other things) to build and upgrade defence towers as well as releasing unique robot attackers into the mix. This cash flow is also used to upgrade your class abilities- meaning that fickle finances and solid defensive play is as important as showing off your trigger finger. The addition of robots and turrets also makes for a gameplay experience that evolves dynamically; requiring players to constantly switch between attacking, harrying, defending, building towers or shepherding their robots towards the foe. It's a reassuringly familiar formula... yet it feels refreshingly inventive at the same time.Hey-oh! Read on, sports fans!