"EDF! EDF! EDF!"
No-one can resist the call to arms. Eight long years have passed since the brave lads and lasses of the Earth Defense Force kicked the Ravagers off the planet in a deliciously silly battle royale, but now the ravening aliens are back for another round with some new toys, a massive fleet and more genetically modified killer insects the size of Transit vans. It's time we locked, loaded and deployed back into the fight to make a right royal mess of things.
Like the superlative Earth Defense Force 2017, Sandlot's long-awaited sequel is technically a terrible game. Sporting graphics that wouldn't overly tax a PS2, primitive animations, shuddering frame rates, clumsy controls and B-Movie production values, there's a case to be made that Earth Defense Force 2025 is truly awful, or at best, "so bad, it's good."
Not so, because even the best part of a decade on, it's hard to find a game that does a better job of making you feel like you're in the middle of a massive alien invasion... and your own personal creature feature.
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Publishers: Namco Bandai
The Ultimate Ninja Storm series is arguably too good at capturing the spirit of Naruto Shippuden's long-running anime.
Superbly choreographed and memorable battles are bookended by countless hours of grinding exposition, usually involving two angsty youngsters growling intense monologue at each other for what feels like an eternity. All while the tone teeters uncomfortably between lighthearted fun and gritty emotional outpouring, as characters schizophrenically transform from happy-go-lucky kids into depressive angst merchants like flicking a light switch. There's a lot to love once the shuriken start flying (along with corpse puppets... and animated wood... and crazy magical eyeballs...), but you've got to put up with an awful lot of bumf to get to the good stuff.
I could equally be describing the anime or the games, and the clumsily-titled Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3: Full Burst is no exception. The enormous campaign delivers a blow-by-blow playable recap of the Fourth Ninja War story arc featuring intense one-on-one battles, which in turn unlocks characters to use in freeplay. As always, the fighting mechanics are a cut above what you'd expect from a licensed tie in, but only hardened series fans will be able to wade through the storyline. And understand what all the jargon means. Be warned: if you don't know what a "Jinchūriki" or "Sharingan" are and why Sasuke Uchiha is on a bit of a downer, the rest of this review is better off skipped. It's not for you.
However, as effectively a 'complete' edition of a game that released last year, I'm not entirely sure who Full Burst is for. Swimsuit aficionados, probably.Click here to read more...
In shock news that is bound to cause a stir throughout the gaming community, Namco Bandai are rebranding around the world to face the new console generation with a slick new identity.
Prepare yourself. Are you ready? From April 1st, Namco Bandai will become... Bandai Namco.Click here to read more...
Chances are you know whether you love or hate Dark Souls by now, but if you want to know what all the fuss is about and happen to be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber, you can download a copy for less than £4 on Xbox Live. Whether you find it a truly rewarding or utterly hateful experience comes down to your personal taste, but most of us enjoy it here in the office.
Dark Souls II is only two months away from its March 14th release, an event that's likely to split our readership and office straight down the middle. Some love the brutally tough yet rewarding experience (Carl and Chris), other hate it with a passion (Matt)- and yet others (weaselly noncommittal fence-sitters like myself) mumble things like "coherent art direction" and "fascinating concept" but can't bring themselves to like it as much as they think they ought to.
For those in the so very prepared to die again camp, though, a new trailer is cause for celebration. It's three minutes of lore-building, monster-revealing horror, time well spent if you're the slightest bit interested in Dark Souls II.
If that grabbed you, you'll go absolutely nuts for Carl's hyper-detailed Dark Souls II beta hands-on videos.
It's been a long road filled with death, more death, red phantoms dealing out death, and fat things with giant sickles that have a taste for slaughter, but we've finally reached the end of our dedicated episodes of Dealspwn Playthrough from Dark Souls II's Beta. In our final look at the recent Network Test, we change classes once again to show you the nimble Archer in action.
But during the recording of this video, Namco Bandai decided to put the game into High Difficulty mode, and push Carl to his limit. Can he get to the Skeleton Lord before the servers shut down with increasingly challenging enemies now in his way? You'll have to watch to find out.Click here to read more...
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We're back with more from the Network Test for Dark Souls II. In today's episode, Carl hops back onto his Warrior to take on the opponent that bested him in the previous Network Test - the shielded Red Phantom. Will he manage to best his ancient nemesis? Will he be cleaved in half by that ridiculously large sword? If he does survive, will he find anything new and exciting waiting for him? There's only one way to find out...
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We're back with yet another look at Dark Souls II from the recent Network Test. In today's episode of Dealspwn Playthrough, Carl once again logs in on his Warrior to conquer a dark cave he previously didn't have the guts to go inside and face off against foes lurking in wait. After that, Carl has a quick hands-on with the Sorcerer class, firing off some spells and, yet again, comes face to face with a murderous invading player. Does he survive any of this? Find out by hitting the jump.
Thanks to an issue where US players were unable to connect during the previous test, we were given another chance to get hands-on with Dark Souls II a few weeks ago. As such, we continue our coverage as Carl shares his experiences from the latest Network Test from November 2013.
In today's episode, Carl switches classes from the Warrior to try out a new addition to the roster - the Dual Swordsman. Giving his first impressions on the all-out-attack melee specialist, see how he fairs against familiar foes (and a murderous invading player) after the jump.Click here to read more...
With its sequel now just a few months away, this deal from ShopTo might be the perfect chance to brush up on your hollow-killing skills. Overall you can save yourself around £7 over the next cheapest listing.
Acting as a GOTY Edition of sorts, it contains a number of new additions that the console releases didn't initially include such as a new chapter, new enemies and bosses, new items and NPCs, and an online matchmaking system for both co-op and PvP modes. In other words, prepare for even more ways to die in this revision of one of the most divisive titles of recent years. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!
The midweek sale on Steam sees a rather tempting bargain for Trion's transmedia online shooter. Overall you can save yourself over £3 compared to the next cheapest offer over at Gamersgate. You can make further savings if you have three other friends that would like to get involved by purchasing the 4-pack.
At this price, it's certainly worth forgiving the array of issues that plagued the game during its launch, and with more content to get through now it might surprise you how Defiance can steal away the hours despite its simplicity. Be sure to read our extensive review to learn more about it. Thanks to jaystan @ HUKD!
Developer: Mine Loader Software Co., Ltd
Publisher: Namco Bandai
It may come as a surprise to some of you younger gaming ragamuffins out there, but despite my age, I missed the Pac-Man craze when it first came out by a good 5 to 10 years, and as such have never really grown up with it close to my heart. Sure I’ve played it through the years, but only fleetingly, and so I’m in probably quite a unique position as I write this review, that I won’t be weepy-eyed over hours spent in an arcade spending all my pocket money on the early 80s smash hit. Besides getting all soppy would undo all the hard work I‘ve done to build up this manly, butch guy image you all see me as here at Dealspwn, right?
Ahem. Moving on…
This latest iteration of the Pac-Man series is the tongue-twisting (and presumably Street Fighter-inspired) Pac-Man: Championship Edition DX+. The game looks to build on the 2007 release, Pac-Man: Championship Edition. The ‘DX’ version came 3 years later on XBLA, and now Namco Bandai have released a DX+ version of the game – as the current definitive version. Still with me? Good, let’s go eat some ghosts.Click here to read more...
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He's faced dastardly ambush after ambush, he's bested sickle-flailing red phantoms, and he took down the Skeleton Lord on the first try, but the greatest test is about to happen. In the final part of our videos from last weekend's Network Test of Dark Souls II, Carl retraces his steps to seek revenge on those enemies that bested his before, only to discover a new path with his greatest challenge yet - five Red Phantoms. Can he defeat them all before the servers shut down? Find out the answer after the jump.
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We're back with Part 2 of our misadventures in last weekend's Network Test for Dark Souls II. In today's episode of Dealspwn Playthrough, a slightly-more-awake Carl continues to forge a path towards the boss fight for the beta - the Skeleton Lord. Before he does that he has to come across a new foe in the Red Phantoms. See how he fares after the jump.
We begin a series of episodes where Carl dives into last weekend's Network Test for From Software's upcoming RPG Dark Souls II. In today's episode, a very sleepy Carl gets his bearing as he gets hands-on for the first time, remembers how to play the game, and then uses unconventional tactics to take on the various enemies on his march to glory.Click here to read more...
Developer: Codemasters Birmingham
Publisher: Codemasters | Namco Bandai
“It’s lights out, and away we go!” Yes, it’s that time of year again, as Codemasters deliver us their latest annual offering of Formula One racing - putting you in the driving seat against the most highly skilled and highly paid drivers in the world. And Max Chilton. And the big USP of this year’s iteration is that of classic cars and tracks to race around as opposed to just those on the current calendar. But will this addition and the package in general, see you racing to the shops, or leave you looking for an early retirement? And yes, the racing puns get worse.
Firstly let me be really clear on something. I place myself in a (what I hope is a fairly broad) demographic of gamers that love watching Formula 1 on TV, but when it comes to displaying that passion in an F1 simulator game, I’m useless. Seriously, I’m very, very bad at F1 games, and whilst this means that I won’t ever win the World Championship without some help (more later), it does also put me in a spectacular position to critique the game for the less skilled in F1 games, or those new to the genre or series. So strap yourself in, and prepare for the ride (told you).
Your first step into F1 2013 will be the famous ‘Young Driver Test’ that happens each year to find F1’s latest prodigal talent. It’s a way for the game to not only introduce you to the controls and mechanics of the game, but also provides a premise for unlocking teams that you can drive with in the main career mode. The better you perform in each of these tests, the more notice you’ll attract from better teams, giving you more options in Career Mode. It’s a great introduction, both with its pacing but also with its unforgiving policy of performance. If there’s anything newcomers can learn from the Young Driver’s Test, it’s that that driving in an F1 game is all about precision, control and skill. Any wayward braking or cornering will be punished through lack of car performance, and failing tests. It sounds hard, harsh even, and it is, but this is F1, and the sport itself is a specialist sport for a reason. F1 gaming veterans will eat this test for breakfast, with it offering little difference from previous iterations, but as a familiarisation exercise, it still works competently enough.Click here to read more...
One for the anime fans, but an absolute blast nonetheless. Thanks to iamthebatman01 @ HUKD!
Thanks to jaystan @ HUKD!
Developers: Project Aces
Publishers: Namco Bandai
After getting hands-on with two levels of the upcoming Ace Combat: Infinity and chatting to series producer Kazutoki Kono (via a translator) for well over half an hour, I'm still not entirely sure of the big picture regarding Project Aces's free-to-play title. And neither it would seem, are the developers themselves.
Let's start with the hands-on. There are fingerprints of Assault Horizon visible here: the blistering damage modelling, the gloopy oil splashes that hit the camera when a plane goes down. But the best thing about that game -- the whole 'Make Metal Bleed' mentality and the up-close-and-personal, Close-Range Assault system -- is nowhere to be found. Instead, Infinity plays a lot like Ace Combat 6, and that's no bad thing necessarily. But I do kind of wish we could have had the best of both worlds, with a more dynamic camera when it comes to dogfighting.
The controls have been simplified to a certain extent to cater for players who've never taken to the skies in an Ace Combat game. The whole point of this F2P venture is to attract new attention to the series and expand the franchise's audience, that's something Kono was very upfront about. Standard controls will automatically attempt to balance out the plane for you, but if you purposefully want to throw your aircraft into loops and barrel-rolls (and you should!), then the full control that Expert controls offer is really the only way forward.Click here to read more...