Trials is as punishing and perfect as ever. It's a game of ludicrous excess and controlled restraint, as you scream over a ludicrous gravity-defying jump one moment and deftly feather the throttle to make it across a nasty gauntlet of overhangs the next. The interplay between speed, power, weight, balance, gravity and physics is one again spot-on, challenging us to excel through skill and perseverance, all while desperately attempting to shave miliseconds off our par time, beat our ghost and humiliate our friends.
Trials Fusion should be everything we want from a Trials sequel, then, but some new features and window dressing deserve a closer look.
We're in the future now, and Trials Fusion won't let you forget it. From the first second you boot it up, an annoyingly brain-worming theme song proudly proclaims "welcome to the future! Man! Machine! The futuuuuuuuuure!" while displaying a shiny armour-clad rider atop a slick skyscraper. It'd be a great excuse to introduce some futuristic new technology, but no, it basically boils down to a somewhat forgettable storyline involving two AIs (which features a few fun one-liners that you'll hear repeated ad nauseam each time you restart a checkpoint) and a vibrant colourful new aesthetic to punch up the tracks. We've come a long way since Trials HD's uninspiring collection of brown crates and grey pipes.Click here to read more...
BROFORCE is utterly outrageous in all the best ways. This rambunctious sidescoller puts us into the boots of over a dozen legendary action heroes, homages to everything from Judge Dredd and Commando to Men In Back, Machete, Rambo, Robocop, Terminator, the A-Team and Die Hard for starters, then runs us through an orgy of huge guns, massive explosions and gore aplenty in a quest to bring peace to the world through gloriously over-the-top ultraviolence. It's outstanding - and it isn't even finished yet.
Having caught our eye ever since its reveal, we made a beeline for BROFORCE at EGX Rezzed... where it managed to turn two bro-fessional games writers into fist-bumping, whooping, hollering reprobates in only a few short minutes.
Now that it's available on Steam Early Access, it's high time we took a closer look Free Lives' patriotic blast'em up and explain why it's handily one of our most anticipated games of 2014.Click here to read more...
Here we go. I shouldn't have to tell you how brilliant Rayman Legends is (*cough*betterthanMario*cough*) , and though the last-gen version already ran at 1080p 60FPS, the next-gen port is still a treat... and nice and cheap at £17.99. Is this the sub-£20 level you've been waiting for?
Thanks to Rory Joe @ HUKD!
What a classic. I still have fond memories of Superfrog on my Amiga 600, and this excellent remake does a great job of sharpening things up, smoothing things out and basically making sure the rose-tinted specs stay intact. We've seen it slightly cheaper on Vita before, but Team 17 are currently selling Superfrog HD's PC version at £2.38, directly from their online store.
I do miss all the Lucozade. Perhaps they should have replaced it with Mountain Dew as a sign of the times?
Flushed with success from addictive Vita skateboarding game OlliOlli, Roll7 have revealed that their brand new title is a very different kettle of fish. Not A Hero blends cinematic cover-based shooting with two-dimensional platforming, casting players as a washed-up failed hero who performs increasingly bizwetworks to further his boss' political career.
His boss being a "giant purple rabbit from the future" called Bunny Lord. Because... why not.
Keen to learn more, we grabbed Roll7's John Ribbins for an interview at EGX Rezzed, during which we discussed Not A Hero's setting, gameplay, stern difficulty level and inspirations. With our site's official mascot -- Toby The Dealspwny -- overseeing the proceedings from his shoulder.
You can watch it all in the video above, or on our YouTube channel. Stay tuned for our video preview at 17:00!
Rayman Legends is a fantastic platformer and one of the finest games of the last generation, absolutely Though the new-gen version doesn't have much to improve upon, seeing as it already looks amazing at 1080/60 on Xbox 360 and PS3, it's still well worth playing if you missed it the first time around. GAME are currently retailing at £19.99, saving you £4 vs the nearest contenders and undercutting the RRP by a tenner.
Platform: PC (£7.99)
Developer: Magiko Gaming
Publisher: Namco Bandai
It's here! It's finally here!
Excuse my excitement, but Platformines has been on our radar for years. Halfway between Spelunky, Contra and Borderlands -- Borderconky, perhaps? -- this retro-themed platformer has been in development for an eternity, promising us seed-generated mines full of traps to overcome and enemies to blow up with enormous guns. Looting, shooting and exploration beckoned to us way down in the depths, and I've been beside myself with anticipation. We covered Platformines extensively since 2011 until it fell off the radar, only to be reborn and finally playable on Steam. I feel giddy and silly like a kid at Christmas.
Ooh, actually, Contralunkerlands might sound better.
The problem with excitement, though, is that it can lead to unrealistic expectations... and Platformines has a lot to live up to. Maybe a little too much as it turns out.Click here to read more...
Platform: PC (£14.99)
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Cloudbuilt was always going to be great. How could it not be? Here we have a cel-shaded Sci-Fi platformer that straps you into a sleek mech suit, points you at sprawling versatile levels and then lights the blue touch paper under massive rocket boosters. Free to defy gravity and pull off insane jet-powered parkour against the clock, we're loosed into a speed running playground. It's effortlessly stylish, overcoming humble roots with achingly beautiful art direction, set within the unrestrained imagination of a mysterious military operative with time on her hands.
And it's fast. So impossibly fast, quick enough to literally take your breath away and put some windburn on your cheeks. First impressions are like being strapped to a Saturn V and holding on for dear life... but once you've learned how to steer it, you'll point yourself straight up at Cloudbuilt's distant skill ceiling and never look back.
After a lot of vicious and uncontrollable swearing, mind, because Cloudbuilt is made of seriously stern stuff.
Click here to read more...
Rayman Legends is utterly fantastic... and though the Kung Foot multiplayer minigame is worth the price of admission on home consoles, it feels right at home on Vita. Those vibrant visuals and tight controls are a perfect fit for Sony's handheld - and better yet, a copy will only set you back £12.85 thanks to SimplyGames.
Thanks to Jas10 @ HUKD!
Cloudbuilt, the gorgeous and blisteringly fast speed-running time attack platformer from Coilworks, has released today on Steam at a 10% discount - saving you £1.50. As I explain in our hands-on preview (and as mentioned in Steam's store listing), Cloudbuilt presents an intense, technical and satisfying challenge, especially if you're a perfectionist with feline reflexes and saintly patience. Expect fluid parkour, only with enough rocket-powered mech suit action to make Titanfall blush.
Our full review is coming soon, but for now, why not watch our Let's Play video above?
New Super Luigi U may look like pointless DLC at first glance, but it's actually a full rebuild of New Super Mario Bros. U designed to provide a very different (and much more challenging experience). Every level has been torn down and reassembled, putting the focus on crazy speedruns and last-ditch victories. It's not entirely successful, but if you like what you read in our review, you can get a physical copy for twenty quid from Amazon. Thanks to ElectroDragon8 @ HUKD!
Developer: Strange Loop Games
"Vessel is a truly superior puzzler and one of 2012's biggest indie hitters. More impressively, though, it's also destined to be one of the very best games of the year, period. Quality, quantity, innovation and competence abound, making for an essential PC purchase. Get involved and ensure that this surprise success story becomes a sleeper hit." - Vessel Review, 9/10, March 2012
They say that empty vessels make the most noise, and perhaps the reverse is also true. Despite being a true modern indie classic in this reviewer's opinion, Vessel never received the mainstream recognition lauded on many of its peers, instead quietly languishing on Steam and participating an the occasional bundle. The masterful liquid platform-puzzler failed to materialise on either PSN or XBLA, following two years of delays and an arduous porting effort from Overbyte, who had to lock horns with a bespoke engine and complex fluid modelling that even relatively beefy PCs found taxing back in 2012.
Mission accomplished. Vessel is now available on PS3 for a brand new audience, and we're going to give it some fanfare. Since we've already reviewed the game in detail and the PS3 port is 100% feature complete, we'll keep things snappy.
M. Arkwright really is a clever chap. This maverick inventor revolutionised industry by creating Fluros: devices that can animate any liquid into robotic automatons capable of fulfilling simple tasks. Now that the world has an inexhaustible supply of tireless labour, he's free to sit back and enjoy his success... at least until an uncharacteristically mischievous Fluro locks him out of his lab and kickstarts an epic adventure through the bowels of his own production plants. What follows is 12-15 hours of sublime puzzling, in which you'll utilise the differing properties of various types of fluid to overcome increasingly complex physics-based challenges. Wetter is better.Click here to read more...
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is true Kickstarter success story. What could have just been a lazy reboot of a notorious clone revealed itself as an utterly superb platformer, meticulously designed and gorgeously-realised, sporting an innovative reality shifting mechanic. It made me eat my words in our full review, and better yet, its DLC pack is included in Steam's £3.99 deal.
However, since Giana Sisters is no stranger to the occasional indie bundle, be sure to check your backlog. If you already own it then you can buy the DLC separately for 99p. Thanks to theg @ HUKD
After a year and a half of Microsoft exclusivity, indie darling Fez is finally set to make the jump onto Sony platforms in what the developers describe as "the best-looking and smoothest FEZ experience you can get on a TV set." Better yet, you'll only need to pay once to unlock Phil Fish's dimension-defying platformer on PS4, PS3 and Vita, with save files shared across all versions.Click here to read more...
Developer: Double Helix Games
Strider is the best game that Double Helix have ever made.
The bar was admittedly scraping along the ground, since their mediocre past form includes the likes of Battleship, Front Mission Evolved and that shocking Green Lantern tie-in. But be in no doubt: their suitably challenging and respectful remake of Capcom's classic slice & dice platformer is very good indeed, and worthy to bear the name. As soon as master assassin Hiryu goofily cartwheels over a crowd of robotic rifleman, flips off a wall and carves his first foe into tiny pieces, its pedigree is unmistakeable.
When Strider is content to be a faithful reboot, it's really rather brilliant. Having arrived in the sprawling city of Kazakh to murder its evil 'Grandmaster' and bring peace to the world with ultraviolence, Hiryu is as spry and blisteringly fast as we remember, barrelling through the corridors in a blur of precisely-aimed steel and perfectly-timed wall jumps. Packing a climbing sickle that can scale any surface, robotic combat enhancements and even a teleporter, he's a force to be reckoned with, but the Grandmaster's robot army and mercenary henchmen will give him a retro-tough run for his money.Click here to read more...
Risk Of Rain really is a superb little game, offering frenzied old-school run & gun platforming with compelling Rogue-ish progression. Deployed onto a hostile planet as one of a bevy of unique classes, you'll race to blast through hordes of foes in procedurally-generated levels as the difficulty inexorably mounts up over time, constantly weighing up grinding with the need to keep pushing forward. Loads of unlockables and sensational replayability make it an absolute steal, as we explain in our Editor's Choice review.
La-Mulana | Steam | £1.19 (RRP: £11.99)
If you thrive on tough challenges, you'll get a massive kick out of this superb platformer. Exploration, puzzles and bosses await you in the depths, reminding us a little of Spelunky and Demon's Souls. It's an outstanding achievement and a steal for £1.79, since you'll save well over a tenner.
Platform: Xbox One (£11.99)
Developer: Press Play
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood may look like a throwaway kids' platformer at first glance, but it plays like a colourful gameplay hybrid of Trine and Limbo.
After our improbably-coiffured hero banishes his annoying brother to an evil realm with a spell he found on the internet (one weird trick to cast your sibling into another plane of existence?), Max sets forth to save Felix from the evil Mustachio and save a bizarre world in the process. A Saturday morning setup to be sure, but the puzzle gameplay is surprisingly serious business.
Things start out simple, easing players into the extremely basic moveset. Max can waddle at a slow jog, jump over small obstacles and drag objects around, much like the Limbo lad, but is otherwise completely defenceless. A couple of nicely choreographed chase scenes set the tone nicely, before introducing Max to his magic marker, the only object he's thought to bring with him from the real world. As a sort-of-sequel to unappreciated WiiWare puzzler Max & The Magic Marker, Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood uses his Sharpie to twist reality in some excellent brainteasers.
Well, it is a magic marker, after all.
Click here to read more...
DuckTales: Remastered is an impressively faithful revamp of the original platformer, complete with all of its enjoyable pogo-stomping gameplay and annoying flaws that stand out in the 21st century. At £11.99, it was simply too expensive, but fans of the original should definitely consider picking it up at this price.
It was 1p cheaper in the holiday flash sale, if you're interested.
Platform: PC (RRP: £6.99)
Developer: Hopoo Games
Risk Of Rain is madly brilliant and brilliantly maddening.
It was always going to be. Blending the thumb-shredding twitchy action of an old-school run & gun platformers with compelling roguelike elements and MOBA-esque skills results in a seriously addictive proposition. Or in less flowery terms: it's the best of three worlds - and fit to kick your arse even as you beg for seconds.
Controlling one of a selection of Sci-Fi heroes, we'll hare around the surface of a hostile planet as foes rain down from the heavens, desperately attempting to blast our way to safety and fill out an enormous list of items and enemies. Now that the two-person student team has ironed out most of the annoying bugs that shipped at launch, it's high time we gave Risk Of Rain our full and thoroughly deserved attention.Click here to read more...