Here's yet another fine pre-order deal over at Rice Digital thanks to this voucher code, which knocks 10% off any pre-order price on the site. In the case of this deal, it will save you £4 over the next best offer elsewhere. While it may well be yet another Warriors-style game from Omega Force, word has it that this one is actually pretty good. Better yet, it's based on recent anime adaptation of The Heroic Legend of Arslan by famed illustrator Hiromu Arakawa (the creator of the absolutely fantastic Fullmetal Alchemist.) Let's just hope that the game does the source material justice.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is going to be fun. Properly, ridiculously, outrageously, magnificently good fun.
How could it not be? As we learned with Pirate Warriors 2, Eiichiro Oda's outlandish characters and the irrepressible personality of the series are a perfect fit for the glorious chaos of the Dynasty Warriors template, allowing us to pulverise hundreds of hapless goons with the same barmy attacks and superhuman abilities we love in the anime.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is going to push that fusion of personality and pulverisation even further on PC, PS3, PS Vita and PS4, adding both new fan-favourite characters, new mechanics, a new storyline and features into the formula while upping the ridiculous factor. Having tested the latest PS4 build and spoken to Executive Game Director Hisashi Koinuma, I can honestly tell you that it was the most fun I've had in ages.
You could even describe it as... "SUUUUUUPER!" But I won't. But it is, at least, so long if the preview build is a taster of things to come.Click here to read more...
I can't get enough of Hyrule Warriors. It helps, of course, that I'm quite a fan of the musou genre, but Omega Force have quite outdone themselves with this hybrid mashup. I spent much of yesterday listening to the game's outstanding soundtrack, which mainly consists of epic, widdly, J-rock variations on an abundance of Zelda themes.
Much like the OST for Pacific Rim, it instantly makes whatever you're doing seem more awesome than before.
Anyway, our review is already out, in which I gave it 8/10 and called it a bunch of fun, along with branding it as probably the best Warriors game to date:
Hyrule Warriors doesn't pretend to be anything that it isn't. It does exactly what it says on the tin, producing what is probably the best Warriors game to date, and doing so by taking many of the best aspects of The Legend of Zelda and successfully incorporating them into the classic 1-vs-1000 gameplay. The fan service is astonishing, the level of detail very welcome indeed, and the action can be truly satisfying, with the various bosses going a long way to making the repetitive action seem quite refreshing at times. A triumphant mash-up indeed.
Not only that, but we've also gone and captured the game's first battle on Hyrule Field, which features lots of Spin Attacks from Link, and an appearance from King Dodongo.Hit the jump to see Hyrule Warriors gameplay in action >>
Nintendo are usually fairly strict when it comes to their own IPs, especially when it comes to their big hitters. But their slight history of sharing isn't without success stories... along with other, admittedly contentious, results. Take the Metroid series, for instance. Retro Studios' Prime trilogy is still a benchmark in fantastic reimaginings of a yesteryear favourite, even if Other M proved that sometimes there'll be mixed results when a Nintendo IP is loaned out into other creative hands.
Unlike those games, though, Hyrule Warriors is not representative of Nintendo giving another studio relatively free rein with one of their most beloved franchises. Here we find a very specific mashup, and one that tends more towards the latter part of its name than the former. Hyrule provides the sizzle, but Warriors the steak.
It's worth bearing in mind that I like the various Warriors series that have emerged over the years. My favourite is still probably Dynasty Warriors 4, but that has more to do with it being an incredibly cathartic game at a certain point in my life rather than anything that game does especially well over any of its fellows. You generally know what you're getting with a Warriors game: a range of playable heroes, amusingly nonsensical cutscenes, 1-vs-1000s combat stuffed with button mashing and epilepsy-inducing special attacks, taking over enemy keeps and knocking out Outpost Captains.
Hyrule Warriors does all of those things.
But it does them in better fashion than I've ever seen from a Warriors game before.
Hyrule Warriors is basically a Warriors game as modded by the world's biggest Zelda fan. It's a spectacular piece of fan service that manages to frame everything in terms of the various adventures of Link and Zelda over the years, from playable characters and weapon sets to fairly pretty maps based upon locales from a number of different Zelda titles, to an entire adventure mode that plays out on a retro map plucked from the original Legend of Zelda NES game. Rupees burst out of downed enemies, fulfilling certain requirements on the battlefield will cause chests to spawn that tinkle in familiar fashion when they appear, and deliver the same anticipatory music when you take a peek inside. Variations on Koji Kondo's musical themes weave in and out of the wildly-soloing electric guitars that accompany most Warriors titles.Click here to read more...
I love The Legend of Zelda games. To me they represent some of the finest examples of game design we've been blessed to enjoy over the years. The adventures of Link have proven time and time again to be some of the most innovative, ambitious, and polished games to have graced this industry. Dynasty Warriors, on the other hand, is a series that's barely changed at all over the years, staying true to its formula of a button-mashing frenzy of smashing up enormous swathes of mindless, characterless AI fodder, punctuated occasionally by the odd absurdly-overpowered mini-boss.
Still, I do have something of a soft spot for Dynasty Warriors.
Hyrule Warriors is not your typical Zelda game at all. It's very much something of a Zelda reskin of traditional Dynasty Warriors gameplay at first glance. I went hands-on with the game at the recent Nintendo E3 showcase and was merrily massacring multitudes of Bokoblins within seconds. The scale is fantastic, and the sense of cathartic empowerment is glorious, helped along by a better draw distance than we've typically seen in the past. One of Dynasty Warriors' foibles over the years has always been an alarming amount of pop-in, but Hyrule Warriors seems to have managed to mitigate that slightly. It's still there, but it's not so offensive to the eyes this time around.
Visually, at least, Hyrule Warriors manages to engage the player to a far greater degree than its spiritual predecessors, eschewing the drab, washed-out palette of previous Warriors games in favour of a brighter, more vibrant colour set and art style that breathes a little more life into proceedings and firmly roots you in Hyrule. There's a distinct lack of detail -- this game won't win any prizes for astonishing beauty -- but generally the game appears to do a decent job of selling the setting. It's actually a little thrilling to feel part of some sort of grand battle for Hyrule, wading into war with Gorons and Hylian guards by your side, as Lizalfos and Moblin generals marshal their troops.
Of course, it wears thin rather quickly, and even over the course of my initial fifteen-minute demo the combat became repetitive. The Warriors games have always been titles that, for me at least, are best enjoyed with a friend by your side, drinking beers, and chatting absolute rubbish. They're the sort of games that you don't really have to focus too much attention on because all you're really doing is mashing the same buttons over and over again. They're a catalyst for conversation, something to be doing in background while you catch-up with a mate you've not seen in some time. Sometimes I don't really want to think when I'm playing a game, and Warriors games are great for that. Hyrule being no exception it would seem.Click here to read more...
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developing a Dynasty Warriors anime tie-in is a little like baking using one of those ready made kits. The simple yet empowering Dynasty Warriors ingredients come pre-mixed, so all Omega Force needs to do is sprinkle on some flavour from a beloved cult anime franchise, pour into a colourful cel-shaded mold and throw into the oven. It's foolproof, meaning that the end result should be delicious every time. Unfortunately, as we've often discovered, it's just as likely to be downright inedible... if not execrable poison.
Fist Of The North Star: Ken's Rage 2 was so atrocious that I actively encouraged potential consumers to watch an imported box set while pounding their knuckles to rags with a ball-peen hammer instead. To use my earlier analogy, it resembled a half-baked Arctic roll stuffed with human sewage rather than vanilla ice cream. There was no excuse for such a shoddy waste of a classic license.
Luckily, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 finally washes that sour taste from our mouths. It's an enormous tasty gateaux, perhaps a little stodgy in parts, but covered with colourful icing and packed with varied chunky chips that makes each bite taste sweeter than the last. Before I get sidetracked and run down to my local bakery, let's make one thing clear: Omega Force have more than redeemed themselves with a tie-in that One Piece deserves.
Plus, you get to take the field as an afro-sporting skeleton rock star and kill legions of Marines with mid-air guitar solos. Which is nice.Click here to read more...
If you've already played Dynasty Warriors 7 then picking up the Xtreme Legends stand-alone expansion might not be the best use of your time, however if you've not played the original then it's probably worth a punt. There are a couple of new characters in the forms of Guo Jia and Wang Yi, plus you'll get to check out a few extra weapons and modes too. The merchants listed above are parting with copies of the game for £19.99, which should save you around £4 on the next best offers out there. Thanks to shezza123 @ HUKD.
If you simply want to beat up a load of bad guys for a bit of stress relief, then this is the one for you, especially if you're a fan of the original manga series. The combat's alright, there are plenty of different stories to play through, and you've got a fair amount to unlock too. My Memory are currently selling Xbox 360 and PS3 copies of the game for £15.95, which'll save you almost £2 on the next best offers out there.
Unfortunately, this one feels pretty dated and there isn't really much variety, so long sessions quickly become boring, however if you're a fan of the series then you'll probably enjoy it. There are loads of character to try and smash your opponents to bits with, and they're upgradeable, so you'll become more formidable as time goes on. My Memory are parting with Xbox 360 copies of the game for £21.95, which'll make you a saving of just over £8 on the next best offers out there.