Epic Mickey 2 failed to set the gaming world on fire, but its colourful stylings and co-op focus make for a decent stocking family filler (so long as you've played all the LEGO games, that is!). £5.95 is a very good price for it nevertheless. Thanks to Ninbox4 @ HUKD!
You want horror? Do you? You don't know horror, child. You've never experienced the creeping dread, the skin-crawling nightmarish cyclopean nerve-jangling vomitous terror of having to play... Amy.
Actually, neither have I, because Matt reviewed it and I dodged that bullet like a slippery weasel. Make sure you don't pick up one of the worst games ever made in this disappointingly half-hearted Xbox Live Halloween sale. To be honest, the £6.60 Titanfall Season Pass is the star of the show on Xbox One, but £5.99 for The Walking Dead: Season 2 isn't a bad deal. Here are the deals, in case you're interested - Xbox Live Gold Members only, I'm afraid.
A big week for Microsoft, with one of their big exclusives finally hitting the shelves. We also have the new pretender to Dark Soul’s bloodthirsty throne, a farming sim, a futuristic co-op demon hunt and a gloriously muddy battle between dirtbikes and quads. Have a look below for our full weekly guide of upcoming releases along with links to our past coverage and the best prices.
This is Nordic’s first MX release since acquiring the series from THQ and with 17 tracks to tear up with dirtbikes and ATVs, we’re quite sure this will be the muddiest release of the week. Fingers crossed it’s a hit as we’d like to see the series make the jump to PS4 and XO sooner rather than later. Hmm, next-gen track deformation.
Best Price: Base: £19.99Click here to read more...
I've been playing a great deal of Sunset Overdrive recently. My hands are tied until our full review goes live next week, but for now, I can confirm our earlier assertions that it feels like an outrageous and anarchic mash-up of Crackdown and Jet Set Radio Future. Only twice as meta.
Ah, Crackdown and Jet Set Radio Future. Two truly excellent Xbox exclusives from generations past -- has it really been seven and twelve years?! -- that I'd dearly love to revisit. If only we had some sort of semi-regular article format where we glorify classics from yesteryear and explain why they still have a place in our hearts through rose-tinted spectacles.
Oh wait. We do. It's time to reboot Blast From The Past, and I think there's only one place to start. We'll cover Jet Set Radio Future next week... and start with one hell of a super-sandbox, agent.
Click here to read more...
Batman: Arkham Origins can't hold a candle to Rocksteady's two original games, but it's still an enjoyable open-world BatRomp now that the technical issues have been all but ironed out. GAME's exclusive steel pack Heroes & Villains edition is currently only £9.99 on last-gen consoles, which boasts beautiful presentation. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!
Platforms: Xbox One (reviewed) | Xbox 360
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
I genuinely love my Kinect sensor and the musical legends at Harmonix, but I think they might have missed the point here.
Guitar Hero and Rock Band make you feel like a rock god, whether you're shredding on a plastic guitar, smashing the drums, laying down a bass line or howling into a microphone. Rocksmith literally teaches you how to play a six-string, much like Dance Central teaches you a selection of hilarious dance moves. Child Of Eden makes you feel like a transcendent electric death machine. You're only stood in front of a telly with a plastic peripheral or Kinect sensor, but the physical movements feel empowering and rewarding in and of themselves.
Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved is supposed to turn you into the Sorcerer's Apprentice and grant you dominion over music itself... but playing it feels like directing traffic at a busy intersection. Or attempting to guide a light aircraft in to land in your living room. You're just waving your arms about in time to music, more like a weather reporter in front of a greenscreen than a magical orchestra conductor.
It's a shame, because Disney Fantasia is otherwise one of the most fascinating and unique projects ever developed for the Kinect sensor, letting you create crazy remixes out of classic and current music.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360 (reviewed)
Developer: 2K Australia
Publisher: 2K Games
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is ridiculously good fun. I really can't stress that enough.
This awkwardly titled segue might appear to be a lazy off-year cash grab, but it actually delivers the most fundamental mechanical update the series has ever received. Low-gravity combat. We're still shooting and looting, but now we're soaring merrily through the air (or vacuum!), using a nuanced double jump to gain extra height or boost our way around sprawling three-dimensional stages.
It's awesome, and unlocks a host of exciting new encounters as we take on airborne foes in the air, rain down firepower onto smart squads of jetpack troopers or employ an epic Butt Slam attack to smash down into enemy formations; cracking their faceplates and watching them asphyxiate to a wub wub soundtrack. On top of that, insanely powerful laser cannons and freeze-shattering Cryo weapons slot perfectly into the Borderlands experience, giving us more ways to brutalise anyone stupid enough to stand against us. Now that I'm used to The Pre-Sequel's very Australian humour and voice cast, I don't think I can go back.
It's so much fun, in fact, that while I'm playing I can ignore all of its many, many, many flaws.Click here to read more...
Anarchy Reigns is amazing. It's one of the most ridiculously brilliant online multiplayer ever released, hailing from the developers of Bayonetta and God Hand, but SEGA royally screwed the pooch by staggering the release date, leaving the player base fragmented and very sparse.
£2.78 is an absolute steal, but remember that Amazon charge delivery on orders under £10 unless you have Amazon Prime. Worth adding onto an existing order, perhaps, or getting from a mate who subscribes for the Instant Video. Thanks to Wishwash182 @ HUKD!
An absolute blast from the recent past. Saints Row: The Third is a crazy adrenaline-fuelled sandbox that pushes fun factor to the absolute maximum, and is still well worth checking out. For all you last-gen holdouts enjoying all the big savings without shelling out for new hardware, the Full Package is available for a paltry £7.98 from Zavvi as a PS3 Essential or Xbox One Classic title. Thanks to badger2609 @ HUKD!
A great week for Wii U owners who can feel super smug as the Umbran witch makes her Nintendo debut. There’s quite the musical theme elsewhere with the latest Just Dance title and Harmonix’s motion-controlled take on Fantasia. The words Firaxis and Alpha Centauri are probably enough to get our PC-gaming readers excited, not to mention a certain Dreamfall title. Read on for the full rundown along with links to our past coverage and the cheapest prices.
Fans have only been waiting since 2006 to find out what happens next in the Dreamfall saga, so yeah, they’re pretty pumped for this one. We get the feeling this is going to be a Kickstarter success story and can’t wait to play the new episodic format. The game is also coming to PS4 at some point, but release dates vary from next week (wrong), to November, to next year. Expect reviews of the PC version from our very own Carl Phillips soon.Click here to read more...
The big question to be posed to the latest in a line of yearly, iterative games is always "what's new?" People won't drop fifty quid for a game that makes the odd cosmetic change or just swaps old rosters for new. We like progression, we like to envisage some sort of movement forwards in the quest to create the most authentic, awesome representation of a sport or pastime, as if there's a perfect goal to be reached that yearly series creep closer to each year.
Of course, when a new batch of consoles have been released, but you're still tethered to the old bunch, I would imagine that keeping up, let alone trying to improve in meaningful fashion, can seem like a Sisyphean task. Unfortunately, in a year where games are shinier and sparkier than in previous ones, you have to make some strides in terms of gameplay.
Sadly, F1 2014 doesn't really do that. In fact, in many ways it does the exact opposite.Click here to read more...
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is out today in the UK, and our full review will be going live very soon. It's a fun and famililar burst of shooting and looting, meaning that our Borderlands 2 survival guide is still packed with plenty of relevant tips, but the low-gravity setting, ace bouncy combat, new enemies and brand new characters mean that even Vault Hunting veterans can potentially be caught unawares.
Never fear, because I'm here with a few useful, practical and sometimes completely esoteric survival tips that are as spoiler-free as humanely possible! Ten, in fact, though I don't really see much point in ordering them this time.
Double-jumping is all the rage these days. Taking a look back at the platformers of yesteryear, Titanfall did the business and now everyone else is falling over themselves to follow suit.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, however, takes a totally unique approach to double-jumping. In a low-grav situation, you'll gain extra height if you hit the button without touching the stick, but holding a direction turns it into a powerful lateral boost instead (depending on your momentum at the time). You'll need a few hours to fully get used to it, as the additional altitude can be used to pour devastating firepower down on foes or engage aerial foes in the air.
Conversely, the boost provides a major speed increase, the ability to circle strafe in the air or the extra oomph you need to make it to a distant platform. Or even pulling back from a botched jump and ensuring you return to the platform rather than falling into the abyss. Practice makes perfect.Click here to read more...
LEGO Batman 3 promises to go "Beyond Gotham," but TT Games are thinking bigger. Sure, the Justice League's bid to stop Braniac from abducting major cities takes our heroes around the world and even outside Earth's atmosphere, but at its core this is nothing less than a love letter to DC's entire sprawling universe. It's an attempt to cram in characters from throughout the most obscure parts of the canon, comics, Elseworld stories, the films and everything in between; from the snarling antihero we know today to Adam West's legendary 1960's romp.
And Batcow. And The Condiment King. And Mister Mxyzptlk. And... Kevin Smith?!
It's a veritable DC fan's dream crossover, but fans of the LEGO series can also expect some new gameplay features, enjoyable stud-collecting adventures and the gentle yet anarchic humour you'd expect from the Manchester-based studio.Click here to read more...
It's all in the name. LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham takes us beyond the iconic city on a quest to save the entire world, drawing on a massive pool of characters from every part of the DC universe, fan favourites and Elseworld stories.
I recently sat down with TT Games producer Matt Ellison to discuss how they approached development, what new features to expect and how LEGO Batman 3 promises to be a DC superfan's dream crossover. Not to mention a blast for aficionados of Adam West: the one true Batman.
In my opinion. Watch it all above, including what Ellison other classic franchise TT Games would love to give the LEGO treatment if they could get hold of the license.
There’s a lot to be excited about with next week’s releases. Take a trip to Pandora’s moon with friends, explore creepy mansions packed with gibbering lunatics and well, probably buckets of giblets too. Fans of racing are sorted this week too (you know, because DriveClub is probably still offline) as they get to choose between a super light set of four wheels or mud-encrusted bikes. Forget all those pretenders though, what you really want to do is drop a ball and watch it bounce around...
Exciting! Of all the early exclusives on the Xbox One, this is the one that had most PS4 owners seething with jealousy. If you're yet to experience Peggle, you should really go and check out a PC or mobile demo and then be prepared to throw money at the sequel on PSN next week. There's no word on pricing yet, but we expect it to be around a tenner.Click here to read more...
The release schedules are fattening up nicely now and we have a great selection of titles hitting the stores this week. Like hiding in lockers? Well the horror fan in you might find something Alien-related to enjoy, while the perv in you is also catered for via the latest browser-troubling release from Japan. PS4 racing fans rejoice as a certain much delayed racer is finally on the starting grid and XO owners, get those creative juices flowing for your answer to LBP. Failing that you’ll have to settle for some basketball or running around Hong Kong with a meat cleaver and handcuffs.
Creative Assembly’s title ditches the pulse rifles for a survival horror experience which seems so well suited to the Alien universe we don’t know why it’s taken someone this long to try it. Early reviews are largely positive and we’ll have our own soon. Be sure to check out our past coverage below.
Best Price: Simply Games: £32.85 (PS4/XO)Click here to read more...
Platforms: PC | PS3 (reviewed) | Xbox 360
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Cards on the table. Fair warning. Be advised. I am not a big fan of Naruto Shippuden.
I love the premise, the setting, the character designs, the amazing powersets and abilities (those wild and disturbing Kugutsu puppets are my favourite), the art style, the themes and Kakashi in all of his slightly pervy glory, but I've never been able to get into the series no matter how many times I've tried. God knows I've tried.
For me the pacing kills it, the drawn-out interminable waiting between interesting events and the hours of angsty posturing when characters should be fighting. Sometimes I wish that I could just skip between the superbly-choreographed battles, preferably with subtitles so I don't have to listen to Maile Flanagan's horrendous nails-on-a-blackboard English dub.
That's probably why I really dig on Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution. Everything I like about the series is present and correct -- the diverse well-designed characters with incredible abilities and OTT climactic brawls -- except that the overarching narrative has been replaced by just enough non-canonical premise to hold it together. Unfortunately, I'm also not convinced that it's worth forty quid.Click here to read more...
Microsoft has announced their next selection of Xbox Live Games With Gold, and they're... okay.
Xbox One Gold Members get to try out Chariot, a new cooperative platformer, though sadly also still have to put up with the frankly offensive Crimson Dragon for another month.
Meanwhile Xbox 360 owners get Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and a surprise offering in the form of Shadowrun, which is an odd FPS adaptation of the legendary roleplaying setting. We should give some credit to silverchriz @ HUKD for that last spot!
The Xbox Live Deals Of The Week are now live, and once again, Xbox One owners don't have much to shout about. 33% savings on a full-price download and shortcut DLC? Shameful display.
The real action, as per usual, can be found on Xbox 360. Gold Members can net some discounts on the Skate series and crazy scrolling platformer Abyss Odyssey, while an Ubisoft publisher sale is open to everyone. Beyond Good And Evil HD is a steal for £1.68, even if it's the only thing you buy.
You can find all the links and reductions below,
straight-up lifted from courtesy of Major Nelson. Credit must also be given to yarkiebrown @ HUKD!
Call me crazy, but I don't think I'm in Pac-Man & The Ghostly Adventures 2's target audience.
As far as I can tell, it's aimed at fans of an animated television show that turned Pac-Man into a totally radical 90s mascot even though it's now 2014. Whoops. Our spherical yellow pal now has arms and legs, lives in a town called Pacopolis, fights the evil Betrayus and hangs out with a disposable cast with names like Spiral and Cylindria. He's basically Sonic, then. You'd therefore expect a tie-in to be a fairly simple 3D platformer with a basic hub town and some rail shooting segments, but in an incredible twist that's exactly what Pac-Man & The Ghostly Adventures 2 is.
However, never let it be said that I won't give a game a fair shake. It's not going to set the gaming world on fire and we've seen the same licensed template hundreds of times -- Scott Pilgrim this ain't -- but it does at least make eating things really, really satisfying.
Click here to read more...