Platforms: PS Vita
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Handhelds and strategy RPGs were made for each other, and Disgaea continues to be one of the biggest names in the business for those in the know. Nailing that sweet spot between quirky upbeat humour, insane social life-destroying tactical depth and adorable exploding demon penguin murderers, the irreverent series always feels more at home on portable consoles than it does in the living room.
Case in point, Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited, which provides the ultimate definitive edition of arguably the strongest game in the franchise.
Sardines, dood! Yes, once again, Disgaea isn't ashamed to be deeply silly when it comes to the storyline. We find ourselves following Lord Valvatorez, a once-terrifying vampire tyrant now relegated to a lowly exploding penguin instructor in the depths of hell thanks to some hastily-made promises. His mission, not to mention his obsession with the nutrient value of sardines versus human blood, quickly derails as all manner of crazy characters show up and hilarious diversions poke fun at established conventions, but a strong central theme and great localised dialogue keeps things interesting even if you've never played a Disgaea game before.
It's a surprisingly engrossing tale, even providing alternate 'bad endings' with their own non-canonical epilogue when you fail certain battles. Just remember not to save after seeing one! More importantly, though, Valvatorez is by far the most interesting protagonist in the series. Older and more experienced (but no less bizarre) than his predecessors, he's genuinely hilarious, likeable and benefits from a believable and relateable motive. Move over Laharl.Click here to read more...
South Park: The Stick Of Truth may have taken its sweet time, but was ultimately worth the wait back in March. Trademark OTT South Park humour acts as an accompaniment to genuinely solid RPG combat and progression, making for a game that's as solid as it is hilarious and outrageous. £13.99 is seriously cheap too. Thanks to apollolo @ HUKD!
Nobody expects the Dragon Age: Inquisition! Well, apart from all of you savvy gamers, who are probably already aware that BioWare's fantasy RPG sequel is heading to store shelves in early October. You can now take a good long look at its tactical combat, exploration, companions and massive dragon fights in sixteen minutes of narrated gameplay footage, which was previously only shown behind the closed doors of EA's E3
prefab hype fortress booth.
The dragon encounters, while slightly reminiscent of a certain other game containing oversized lizards, certainly look to be a high point of the game. We dearly hope that BioWare can redeem themselves for the previous game and hark back to the brilliance of the original.
We've danced this dance a thousand times before, but once more for the road: just look at these games. Baldur's Gate Complete. Baldur's Gate II Complete Edition. Icewind Dale Complete Edition. Icewind Dale II Complete Edition. Planescape Torment. (And The Temple Of Elemental Evil, more's the pity).
Now buy them for less than the price of the Baldur's Gate enhanced edition. Thanks to jaystan @ HUKD!
Do I need to explain what Skyrim is at this point? Suffice to say that this is the Legendary Edition that includes all of the DLC, and it's a smart bargain thanks to GameFly's cheap voucher code price. Thanks to shunts36 @ HUKD!
February 24th, 2015.
It's so far away. So very far away. We've got Summer, Autumn and Christmas to get through first, all of which stand between us and playing The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. It wouldn't be so bad if CD Projekt had just announced the date, but nooo, they had to go and deliver a drool-inducing trailer instead.
Seriously, put some kitchen towel on your keyboard before watching this. It's stunning.
Etrian Odyssey Untold is handily the best game in the series, though it probably shouldn't be.
In fact, I shouldn't be able to recommend it at all. Following a heartbreaking European delay (still, at least we got Bravely Default a few months before the US - not that we're bitter or anything), it arrives on our shores as a remake of the 2008 DS original that borrows Etrian Odyssey IV's engine, right down to plundering plenty of assets. The fantastic old-school dungeon crawling is present and correct, the brutally tough yet rewarding exploration and combat that requires us to make our own maps on the lower screen, yet years of improvements have left it behind.
Etrian Odyssey IV introduced overworld airship exploration and other new features when it released last summer, so even with the delay, Untold ought to be obsolete. Lest we forget the cheekily ambitious Demon Gaze, which beat Untold to the punch on Vita.
And yet Etrian Odyssey IV feels like a prototype, a beta test, for something truly remarkable. A game that knows how tough an on-paper sell it is, and boldly flies in the face of the established franchise formula by adding something simple yet devastatingly effective.
Character. Real, genuine, vintage character. Or should that be characters?Click here to read more...
Diablo III was broken, but Blizzard have fixed it. Not only have the recent patches made grinding fun and rewarding, but Reaper Of Souls adds some great meaningful content (including the best act in the game and brilliant new class), alongside a new way to experience the game in Adventure Mode. Some of you have already abandoned Diablo III and frankly I can't blame you... but it's worth a second look to check out the free updates - then pay a competitive £15.95 for the expansion if you like it.
Remember to use the voucher code from liking their Facebook page! You can unlike and re-like them if necessary. Thanks to Trogador at HUKD for this burninating deal!
Platform: PC (pre-order includes Steam beta, £8.88)
Developer: Pixel Ferrets
I'm wearing a chicken on my head, swinging a sharpened carrot around like a vegetarian lunatic and feeling fantastic. See, I worked hard for these bizarre items in Secrets Of Grindea, the indie RPG that glorifies "grind" and shows us that it doesn't have to be a dirty word.
The clue's in the name, see. Grindea. Geddit? Now behold my mighty carrot.
I was lucky enough to encounter Pixel Ferrets and their hot Swedish export back when they were enrolled in Gotland University, whereupon their prototype was already polished enough to win universal acclaim from a panel of industry veterans including Jason Vandenberghe, Ernest Adams and... erm, me. Then it won the Student Choice Awards. And then the Swedish Game Awards. Two years on, and Secrets Of Grindea is finally available to pre-order and play as an early access title.
If you're at all interested in classic RPGs like Secret Of Mana, you probably ought to pay attention. Despite the potential for parody, Secrets Of Grindea is deadly serious about providing a rock-solid gameplay experience to enjoy, ensuring that the grinding and humour are built on firm foundations.Click here to read more...
Nobody expects the Dragon Age Inquisition!
Well, actually, that's not entirely true. Not only does this new trailer set up the basic premise (we're the sole survivor of a disaster with magical powers and a great destiny... again), show off the shiny trans-generation graphics and hype us up for retooled dragon combat, but it also confirms that BioWare's sequel should release in October.
So we therefore know exactly what to expect and when to expect it. What we need to know, however, is whether it can put the series back on form after Dragon Age II totally squandered the first game's potential. We'll be sure to fetch the comfy chair and find out [that's probably enough misquoted Python now - Ed].
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is fantastic, and the director's cut ironed out some of its more annoying wrinkles. It's certainly not too shabby for a fiver, which is The Game Collection's current asking price and a £10 saving. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!
Interceptor Entertainment revealed Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction what feels like an eternity ago: an action-RPG starring the legendary hero developed in conjunction with original series creator Scott Miller. The countdown went live and we were all out of gum.
Unfortunately, Gearbox were having none of it and quickly unleashed the laywers.
A few weeks later and Interceptor are back with another countdown, suggesting that the two companies may have worked out their differences... most likely by replacing Duke Nukem with a legally distinct ringer.Click here to read more...
Platform: PS Vita
Developer: Novarama Technology
Invizimals wants to be Pokemon with augmented reality, real-time battles and Brian Blessed.
High concept formulas don't get any better than that, do they? Pokemon provides the addictive core of catching, training and battling some cool critters, brought to full 3D life by the Vita's processing power. Augmented Reality uses the cameras to merge the game world with our own, letting players discover creatures in the playground or office and throw down on the bus home. And Brian Blessed is a national treasure with an amazing beard. As such Invizimals: The Alliance ought to be the best game ever made, and at the very worst it's exactly the sort of mainstream family-friendly franchise the Vita needs right now.
And yet Novarama found a way to cock it up. They've over-developed it to within an inch of its life; drowning a strong and simple idea in a hot mess of obnoxious minigames.
Then added insult to injury by forcing us to dig out AR Cards every five seconds.Click here to read more...
CapyGames' Below was one of the first indie games announced for the Xbox One: a stylish, haunting and mysterious action roguelike with no text or tutorials. However, they've always had an open relationship, and the timed exclusive has already been confirmed for a Steam release too. Which we couldn't be happier about. Choice is good.
The new trailer plays things close to its chest, giving us a lengthy if maddeningly obtuse idea of what to expect without giving much away. Considering CapyGames amazing past form -- highlights being Sworcery EP and Clash Of Heroes -- you'd best believe we've got high hopes for this one.
Don't worry if you missed yesterday's South Park: Stick of Truth deal? Tesco might have run out of stock, but Amazon are firing on all cylinders and have kept the dream alive...on PS3 anyway. If you've got Sony's last-gen box of tricks, you can still snap up the game for £18.50, and you really should. Because it's hilarious and that preice is damn cheap for a game that only released a couple of weeks back. Good spot oliverreed!
Hot. HOT. I'm being super cereal right now: this deal is almost too sizzling to handle, since Tesco Direct are currently selling the recently-released South Park RPG for £18.50 including free home delivery. It's an immense saving on what turned out to be a genuinely impressive -- if intentionally (brilliantly) offensive game. Thanks to johnwilliamson47 @ HUKD for this fantastic spot!
Penny Arcade's ornately-titled RPG series is fantastic, but should you buy just the last two episodes of it? Though I'd recommend the first pair for their humour alone, episodes 3 and 4 switched developers from Hothead games to Robert Boyd, who crafted a genuinely superb double whammy of sprite-based RPGs that feature unique combat mechanics alongside gags and references aplenty. It's all in our reviews - and it can all be yours for just over a quid.
As the sequel to one of our favourite indie games of the last few years, Defender's Quest II has already got us rather excited... and headhunted some seriously big guns. Having secured the services of Rust: An Elysian Tail's Dean Dodrill to animate the upcoming tower defence/RPG hybrid, Level Up Labs have now announced that their main theme will be scored by none other than the inestimable Nobuo Uematsu.Click here to read more...
South Park: The Stick Of Truth is one of the best licensed games ever made: retaining the anarchic spirit of the source material while still being a good game in its own right. Utterly irreverent, frequently disgusting and wonderfully offensive, it's well worth checking out - and you can save a little extra by getting a Steam code from CDKeys.com.
To knock the extra quid off, you'll need to 'like' CDKeys.com on Facebook and receive their latest voucher code. As far as I know you can just 'unlike' them and repeat the process if you've used it already. Thanks to theg @ HUKD!