Vocaloids are amazing. Half international pop phenomena, half musical instruments, Hatsune Miku and her friends/fellow synthesiser applications have taken the world by storm. Crowd-sourced virtual idols who'll sing anything you write for them, so long as you own the software. Despite existing as little more than anime advertising, animated music videos and fan art, these non-existent divas pack out shows, hold conventions and are no less real than any other pop star out there.
We really are living in The Future.
Confused? If so, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd is not the game for you! The original will be more your speed, plus I start our 8/10 review with a deeper explanation of what/who vocaloids are. Project Diva F 2nd, meanwhile, is very much a direct sequel that pushes the intense rhythm gameplay into satisfying new territory while providing a more rounded selection of tracks, providing greater challenge and a wealth of new content for dedicated fans.
Click here to read more...
Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!! is out today in the UK, offering a colourful and content-packed all-female fighting game experience with a wealth of localised dialogue. If you want to get in the door early, The Game Collection have undercut everyone else on the internet by a couple of quid, offering the brand new game for £27.95 on PS3 and PS Vita.
You can read our Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!! review for all the details, but suffice to say that it's a capable if slightly stiff brawler with a varied character roster, crazy aerial attacks and neat customisable movesets courtesy of the Arcana system. Expect quite a lot of fan service though.
When it comes to the murky world of all-female fighting games, Arcana Heart has more pedigree than most. Pre-dating the likes of Skullgirls, Girl Fight and Senran Kagura by several years, Examu's fighting franchise brought crazy aerial combat and customisable movesets to Japanese arcades in 2006, finally leading us to the recent release of Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!! on PS3 and Vita. As a remake of Arcana Heart 3 with rebalanced gameplay and loads of extra content, it's definitely a major event for franchise veterans and lovers of all things moe, but does the latest NIS America localisation job deserve its five exclamation points?
Well, perhaps two or three of them at least. Maybe four if you're a fan of cute anime girls.
After seeing so many fighting games provide little or no story for solo players, it's great to play a brawler that takes its narrative seriously and offers a robust singleplayer experience. There's an entire visual novel's worth of dialogue and storyline here -- or more accurately an entire visual novel -- told through a full story mode for each character, epilogue 'After' story mode that ties up loose ends, plus loads of unlockable skits that shows the cast interacting in their daily lives that usually feature their own battles too. Though experience with the previous games will help you to understand some of the nuances, the first page of the instruction manual sums up the situation in an easy prologue (which many of my fellow reviewers seem to have embarrassingly ignored!), while the cast's personalities conform to familiar enough anime tropes that you'll soon work out what's what.
In short: Japan and by extension the entire world is threatened by a dimensional rift that can only be repaired or worsened by finding some crystals. Some characters want to stop it, others want to exacerbate it, others just have their own adventures or agendas in the background. Yes, I've mullered the fine detail, but that's basically it. I'm not sure what many of my peers were complaining about.Click here to read more...
What a week for Nintendo fans! New Pokémon remakes and a brand new Persona title for the 3DS and Smash Bros finally makes its new-gen debut. Elsewhere, Geometry Wars makes its multiplatform debut third time of asking and PS4 owners can finally start designing levels again with the series that started the Play. Create. Share movement. The less said about Amiibo, the better though. Don’t forget to enjoy our links to our past coverage and the cheapest online prices.
With over 50 stages to enjoy, the series is set to make a huge splash when it lands on all digital formats next week (sorry, not you Wii U). With the first two games making a name for themselves on XBLA, everyone is going to be able to get a taste this time. The retro shooter action has expanded to feature game worlds with a more 3D feel. Essentially, Geometry Wars has hopped into bed with the likes of Resogun and Super Stardust. That’s right shooter fans; you’re having it all this year.Click here to read more...
Need some retro awesomeness in your life this Christmas? Well, GAME have got pre-owned copies of the SEGA Mega Drive Ultimate Collection back in stock, and they're going cheap.
Essentially a Greatest Hits album for the Mega Drive, you get over 40 classic SEGA games including Sonic The Hedgehog 1, 2 and 3, Columns, Alien Storm, Ecco The Dolphin, Space Harrier, and Streets Of Rage 1, 2 and 3. Thnaks Ninbox4!
Anime fans are in for a treat with this week's PSN sale. After last week's PS4 deals, this week is mainly about discounts on PS3 and Vita, and they feature anime games and tie-ins, and JRPGs rather heavily. Here are a few of our favourites:
Those are just a few highlights, so be sure to check out the full list of this week's PSN deals.Click here for all of this week's PSN deals >>
LEGO Batman 3 is a must-buy for DC superfans.
You'll rarely see a licensed game with this much love and respect for the source material, nor attention to detail. Going beyond Gotham City, hence the title, TT Games have assembled more than 150 characters from throughout nearly eighty years of franchise continuity, all with their trademark skills, gadgets, costumes and personality. Wonder-Woman doesn't just wield her Lasso Of Truth and bracelets, rather her 1970s theme song blares out every time she takes to the skies. DC mainstays like Green Lantern and The Flash rub shoulders with Firefly, the Condiment King, Mister Mxyzptlk, The Green Loontern, Plastic Man and BatCow.
Even Adam West -- The One True Batman -- steals the show with frequent cameos and a bonus stage that could curl Cesar Romero's moustache.
The story is similarly excellent. In stark contrast to DC's own convoluted crossovers and crises, LEGO Batman 3 tells a ripping yarn as the Justice League teams up with legendary villains to defeat Brainiac, who's attempting to steal the Earth's major cities with his shrink ray. Stuffed full of subtle in-jokes, larger-than-life humour, great voice acting and a little LEGO slapstick, all of the cast act in caricatured yet deeply believable ways, at least until a mishap involving the Lantern Rings sees several characters assume hilarious temporary new personalities. It's an absolute riot and arguably worth the price of admission by itself.
A good thing too, because this deep respect and love for the universe carries what is otherwise a disappointingly unambitious LEGO title.Click here to read more...
With a week to go until LittleBigPlanet 3 arrives, this pre-order deal is a mighty tempting proposition for the Play.Create.Share title. By using that delightful voucher code below, both the PS3 and PS4 version become the cheapest offer around... which funnily enough would otherwise be over at The Game Collection proper.
As Matt put it yesterday, LittleBigPlanet 3 is exactly what the PS4 needs this Christmas. Our review is currently on its way, but I think it's safe to say that, despite the change in developer, it will be more of the same enjoyable creation gaming we've come to expect from the franchise. But with with flying birds and weird dog things. Be sure to check out our video interview for all the details. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!
It’s another week closer to Christmas, which means another week packed with more games than sense. Highlights include charging around the Himalayas on the back of an elephant with a machine gun, men in spandex, returning to Los Santos, taking on bloody big dragons with a pointy stick and building blocky civilisations in your pocket. We’ve been warming up for Black Friday a bit early by hunting out the very best of cheap game deals too, so be sure to check out the links to the best prices the net has to offer. Keep an eye on our Deals section too for a regular flow of cheap prices for the best of old and new games.
World War II strategy fans have been waiting for this expansion for a while and according to Matt’s recent hands-on preview, it’s shaping up rather well. Take a look below.
Best Price: G2Play: £22.20Click here to read more...
Like the look of Metal Gear Solid V? Well you better play Metal Gear Solid 4 first then, right? Don't worry about the timelines being the other way round, it's always good to see how a series has evolved with each release. £2.99 gets you a super cheap pre-owned copy, but at least there are plenty of high-street stores to return it to if you have any problems. Cheaper and more reliable than eBay too.
The series' debut on the PS3 was a standout title, featuring some of the best graphics around and an epic story line that made a sterling effort at tying up multiple threads while taking long-time fans back through some classic memories. Of course, the overall run time of cutscenes is longer than the time spent playing it, but what did you expect from Hideo Kojima?
Thanks to loopylloyd.
The retail version of Telltale's The Walking Dead: Season 2 has received a tasty pre-Black Friday discount over at Rakuten thanks to the discount code. With the digital PSN version sticking at around £15, this is a great deal as you get a physical copy of the game - always handy if you want to sell it or trade it in at a later date.
For me, Season 2 was a slight stumble as I felt The Wolf Among Us beat the zombie series at its own game. Traditional gameplay is stripped down to the bare minimum in favour of choices. Some of these are fantastic in their unforgiving nature though and the journey you’ll take Clem on is full of drama and heart-break. The new cast are a miserable bunch of bickering bores though that will make you pine for the fallen friends of Season 1. That said, there's no way in hell you can ignore it if you played Season 1 and this is likely to be a hot price before Christmas.
Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII.
LittleBigPlanet 3 is out next week, and I sat down with Sumo Digital designer Jonathan Christian for a massive last-minute chat. Over eighteen minutes we cover the new story details, brand new gameplay features, differences between versions, amazing new create mode functionality and working with Hugh Laurie.
This is pretty much everything you need to know about LittleBigPlanet 3 in one convenient place.
Just as far Cry 4 and GTA V are due to release... there's some PSN maintenance coming! Woooooo, we get to crack out our PSN no entry pic again!
Oh, wait... the opposite... BOOOOOOOOO!
Yes, that's right folks, the PlayStation Network will be taken offline for maintenance at 6PM GMT this coming Monday, November 17th. It'll be out of action until midnight on Tuesday, November 18th.
As per usual, PSN users will be unable to log in to Account Management, PS Home or the PlayStation Store during this time, however if you're already signed in, online gameplay and third-party services should still be available.
Sony have covered their butts with a further disclaimer, saying that there "may be some additional downtime after the maintenance period for testing purposes". With GTA V and Far Cry 4 on sale at midnight on the Tuesday, that might be a bit of a problem.
Huzzah for price-matching, as now you have two places from which to get Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel for £25. This latest deal will save you around a fiver over the next cheapest offer for either console version.
Although it didn't really offer anything particularly new, and the story didn't capitalise upon the potential that was there, it doesn't change the fact The Pre-Sequel is great fun, especially in co-op. You can read all about it by checking out our review. Thanks to Ninjin00 & raph65536 @ HUKD for the heads-up!
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has been a fantastic return for the mega-selling first-person-shooter franchise. In my review I heaped praised upon both the campaign mode and the fun multiplayer options, mainly because of the excellent shift in style afforded by the exoskeleton. All in all, it's the best Call of Duty game in years. But that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. There are still ways in which Call of Duty could blow away the competition and here are seven ways they could do it.
For years, Call of Duty games have had AI companions bossing you about through the campaign modes and we'd give our left foot to dump them for a human partner in splitscreen or online co-op. Frankly, the lack of co-op makes the series seem a little behind the times. COD has nailed multiplayer, the campaigns are fun, but this is the missing jewel in the crown. Fingers crossed for next year.Click here to read more...
Before Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare landed on our doormats, this has been a year to remember for the first person shooter. The likes of Titanfall and Destiny have made vital efforts to push the envelope in terms of what we can expect from a shooter.
Titanfall has been a fun-packed title with awesome mechs, jetpack parkour and some decent DLC, despite server issues that made the early months a little rough. And Destiny, well the jury's still out a little there as Bungie's MMOFPS has been a little light on content for many gamers, but there's a solid foundation. It's been a year where developers have attempted to shake things up, and for that they should be applauded. And let's face it, the sequels could be incredible if they take the feedback on board.
But what about Sledgehammer's new innovations with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare? It's not the futuristic setting or the hiring of Kevin Spacey that has us more excited than usual (although it certainly helps), it's the prospect of the huge impact the exoskeleton will have on player movement. It's the biggest change to the series since Modern Warfare and after playing through the game, it's become clear that running around like your average Joe just won't cut it anymore.
The abilities on offer vary throughout the campaign as they're pre-assigned at the start of each mission. Generally though you always have the ability to double jump and dash sideways or backwards via clicking the left analogue and pointing it in the desired direction. It's an awkward control input that I would have preferred to be handled via a shoulder button press and the left stick, but it works as intended throughout. I didn't use it much in the campaign, but online it becomes a fantastic way of buying yourself a split second to get out of someone's sights. The enhanced jumps add some much needed freedom to level design though and looking for a higher vantage point is usually your first instinct in each level.Click here to read more...
Apparently, one week is enough to get away from the blast radius of the Call of Duty death train. So much so, Ubisoft are launching two new Assassin’s games. Why play new games though when you can take Master Chief through some old favourites in 1080p with super slick 60fps visuals? Or maybe get your hipster on and try out the underdog rival footy series? Or there’s always a new Lego title for the little ones (you, it’s always you that wants to play them, little Jimmy is tired of your hoarding all the blue coins). Or, seeing as the season to renew a life crippling addiction is fast approaching, why not pick up the latest WoW expansion. We’ve got the full rundown for you below, including links to the cheapest prices and our past coverage at Dealspwn.
It’s a brave brand that releases a FPS so soon after Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, but if anyone can try, it’s Halo. Including Halo 1-4 and running at a silky smooth 60FPS, Master Chief’s adventures have never been so smooth. Oh and there’s always the fact that it includes all the multiplayer maps to play in a playlist of your choosing.
Cheapest Price: Game Collection: £39.75Click here to read more...
If you're a retro SEGA fan who hasn't treated themselves to a complete collection, GAME are running some cheap PSN deals for classic SEGA titles. Alex Kidd In Miracle World, Wonder Boy In Monster World, the Sonic games, Gunstar Heroes and more downloads are all £1.85 apiece if you're inclined to cherry-pick.
Note that, as it stands, the SEGA Mega Drive Collection will set you back £11.99 from BASE - though not all of these games are included.
Wow. Every once in a while, a game you'd barely even noticed socks you right out of left field and presents something truly unique. Tears To Tiara 2 is one of those wonderful anomalies, but at first glance, you'd probably wonder what the fuss is about.
Half incredibly wordy visual novel and half Strategy RPG, Tears To Tiara 2 certainly seems like standard localised roleplaying fare. A young hero with fabulous hair, Hamilcar Barca, fights to retake his homeland against an evil empire, assisted by a scantily-clad war goddess called Astarte (Tarte for short) and a cast of colourful characters. Over the course of a long campaign he'll go from slave to legend, bringing the fight to the empire with war elephants, fireballs and a little fanservice to keep things interesting.
So far, so generic, except that Hamilcar Barca actually existed. He was the father of Hannibal who resisted the Roman Empire's occupation of Carthage in 247 BC. Astarte really was worshipped as a battle goddess by the Carthaginians. Tears To Tiara 2 isn't just another throwaway RPG setting, rather it's a fantastical yet astonishingly well-observed retelling of the Punic Wars! In fact, you could even call it... don't panic!... edutainment.Click here to read more...
A whole host of new deals go live on the PlayStation Store today, with many featured titles enjoying up to 50% off of their usual prices. Admittedly, those usual prices are the PS Store digital ones, but there are still a few bargins to be had.
Elsewhere, the Deals of the Week see Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition and Tales of Xillia 2 drop to £19.99, and you can pick up Danganronpa 2 on Vita for under £15. It's worth checking out the deals for LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, Scott Pilgrim, and Farming Smulator 14, too, the latter of which gives me an excuse to embed this video once again.
Seriously, any excuse.Click here to read more...