All posts by Brendan Griffiths

I've set up this Video Games blog to display my articles that I've written while at University for assignments and the student newspaper / magazine, Pluto / PR1. Now that Uni's finished I'll be updating regularly with lots of new articles too. At Uni I studied Film & Media with Journalism (grade pending). I'm going to write about anything games related, including reviews, previews, news, interviews and occasionally the odd rant I imagine. I'm new to blogging and this software so hang in there while I experiment with a few layouts and hope I don't accidentally destroy it from within...again. I have recently started to submit articles here: http://www.game-hub.co.uk/ too but it's pretty much the same stuff as I'll be putting here. You can see my profile at that site here. My aim is to get work for a magazine or website, so don't be shy you hiring types. If you'd like to offer any feedback, laugh at any dodgy spelling or grammar, or find a broken link, feel free to message me or add a comment to the article. *I only set up the blog in May 2009, but I've back-dated some of the articles to match when they were originally written at Uni. Hence the massive gaps between the early articles.

Remember Me – A memory worth saving

Reviewing a game always comes with some degree of time pressure. We can pretend it doesn’t, but it does. Even with no official deadline, it’s sometimes hard to just play a game at your own pace. Bit bored? Tough. Stuck on a boss? No time for a breather – and so on.

I didn’t review Remember Me when it originally came out in 2013, but the game has been sat in my PlayStation + collection for a while now and I finally got around to playing it over the last few weeks. Some days I’d play for twenty minutes, others it would effortlessly pull me in for hours.

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DmC: Definitive Edition (Review)

DMC-ps4-boxCapcom and Ninja Theory’s DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition is essential for two types of gamer. Those who have never played Ninja Theory’s reboot and those who have and adored it but crave an extra challenge. I’ve already seen this going from as little as £20 during launch week. Considering the content, the telling tweaks, extra modes and the DLC being thrown in too, that’s a bargain.

First, a little on the base game itself. DmC (or Devil May Cry) is an origins story for Dante, the son of a demon father and an angel mother. His mere existence is a threat to the Demon lord, Mundus, and as such Dante is public enemy number one. Mundus controls much of the human world through debt and has demon minions running everything from soft drink companies to news networks, making it easy to track Dante down and make him out to be a menace.

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Uncharted 4 delay paints a tough Christmas for PS4 this year

So, Uncharted 4 has been pushed back to Spring 2016. As news goes for PS4 gamers, it’s pretty damn heartbreaking. But as we’ve said time and again here at Dealspwn, delays aren’t always a bad thing for a game. We’ve had enough of unfinished releases like AC: Unity and DriveClub, and are trying to be as patient as possible for the likes of Batman: Arkham Knight and The Witcher III, both of which have needed more time before the developers have been ready to unleash them. And major kudos to them for that and as much as it pains me to say it, Kudos to Naughty Dog too.

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It’s time developers finally left ‘last-gen’ behind

Last week we learned that the upcoming Mad Max game has had its last-gen platform versions cancelled for the PS3 and Xbox 360. This makes enormous sense to us and we think it’s time developers of full-sized games started to make this their norm. It’s time for them to say goodbye to last-gen and the PS3 and Xbox 360.

We’ve seen too many games suffer during development due to resources being stretched during cross-generational development. To be honest, we’ve seen it since the PS4/XO launch, with titles likes Need for Speed Rivals. There was barely any difference between the two visuals-wise and the next-gen version of the game felt like it was held back by having to maintain values with its chugging twin. But one of them was £10-£20 more expensive. At least you can get it cheaper nowadays.

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I’m a console gamer and Valve are killing my Steam Machine dream

Earlier today we were given some extra details on over a dozen new Steam machines, including prices for the base models from multiple manufacturers.  Many things remain unclear, but the consensus amongst the PC-savvy crowd seems to still be that they could build their own equivalent gaming rig for considerably less. This is hardly earth-shattering news though.

Steam Machines are all about the convenience for the non-savvy consumer looking for a way into PC gaming, namely people who own a PC or laptop solely for work or console gamers. People like me. I know this, you know this. So why doesn’t Valve?

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Celebrate 15 Years of PlayStation 2 with its 15 Greatest Games

15 years. That’s how long the PlayStation 2, the most successful console ever made, has been around. The PS2 wasn’t just important for games, Sony were massively influential in making DVD the film format of choice by slyly slipping a DVD player into millions of homes too, much like they’ve did again with Blu-ray and the PS3. The games are what mattered though. Here’s our list of the Top 15 titles we felt were amongst the most important. Of course, some tough choices had to be made, but that’s how strong 15 years of PS2 really was. PS3 and Xbox 360 didn’t get close to those numbers, but with the PS4 already at 20 million, maybe Sony fancy their chances. Here we go then, in order of release year…

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12 ways The Order: 1886 could match the hype with a sequel

Would we take a sequel to The Order: 1886? You’re damn right we would. Despite the first game being rather disappointing, we still feel there’s enormous potential with Ready at Dawn’s new IP. Hey, we gave Assassin’s Creed a second chance after that ‘meh’ original and it went onto much better things -until Unity at least.

So enough beatings for The Order, instead we’ve got some tips on how it can get it right next time. Let’s face it, we’re not going to be asking for better graphics. The engine is clearly up to scratch and capable of running the gameplay and graphics without a hitch. But we’re going to need more than pretty next time. Don’t worry, you won’t find any game one spoilers below.

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Sony no longer guaranteeing DriveClub PS+ Edition, but you shouldn’t care

In a recent Metro interview with Sony Europe President/CEO Jim Ryan, he was unable to guarantee that the PS Plus version of DriveClub will ever be released.

Metro:  And… is there still going to be the free PlayStation Plus version?

Jim Ryan: That’s still being looked at.

Metro: You can’t guarantee that it will ever happen?

Jim Ryan: I can’t say anything at this stage.

Well, that doesn’t sound good does it? DriveClub was originally planned to be a launch game for the PS4, but was delayed numerous times before its eventual release last year. The game was also originally supposed to be released for free on PS Plus, but as time went by, it emerged that the PS Plus version would be a slimmed down version of the game featuring only the India-based tracks.

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The Order: 1886 Survival Tips Guide

If you’re finding that your thumbs are going to sleep during all those cutscenes in The Order: 1886, you’ll want to check out our Survival Tips to make life that little bit easier for Galahad in his fight against rebel scum, lycans and whatever else those filthy (but oh so pretty) streets of London throw at him.

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The Order: 1886 – forget about length, the lack of gameplay is the problem

Many gamers have been quick to bash or defend The Order: 1886’s short length. Yes, five or six hours for a game doesn’t necessarily mean it’s too short. Vanquish is a similar length and is insane amounts of fun from start to finish.

The thing is, for the Order’s, let’s say six hours, you only actually ‘play’ it for around half of that time. The rest of the game involves a lot of cutscenes or an abundance of what I’ll call ‘walking cutscenes.’

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Life is Strange: Episode 1: Chrysalis (Review)

For years, Telltale has been the only name associated with quality (yet incredibly buggy) episodic gaming, but we’re delighted to see some new blood enter the blossoming genre. Life is Strange is leading the way with Remember Me developers, Dontnod Entertainment, bringing us a brand new IP over five episodes through digital platforms.

I’ve always been rather cautious with this type of game. Knowing I have little patience for waiting, I’ve played the likes of Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us once a season has finished, as I didn’t want to wait weeks/months between episodes to find out what happens next. It’s a Netflix mentality that’s going to drive me insane with Life is Strange. I’ve played one episode and I’m hooked. The time between episodes is going to draaaag.

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Resident Evil HD Remaster (Review)

The original survival horror brand is back and for once we’re not rolling our eyes at another HD makeover. Rather than an unnecessary PS4 port of Resi 5 or 6, this is a HD makeover of the 2002 GameCube exclusive remake of the 1996 PS1 Resident Evil. For those of you yet to play the GC version, this will be a remarkable experience if you enjoyed the original game.

The remake was extremely faithful to the original, meaning lots of fixed camera angles and pre-rendered backgrounds. There’s no need to worry about the dated ‘tank’ controls as there’s an option to switch to modern analogue movement rather than having to spin on the spot before moving. The different camera angles as you move onto a new screen can still have disastrous results that see you accidentally turn around and run straight back into a zombie’s bitey embrace though.

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7 Ways to Stop Hackers Ruining Your Christmas Gaming

Hacker losers have once again screwed over gamers by hacking into PSN and Xbox Live just in time for one of the busiest times of the year. Sure, the hackers think they’re punishing the big companies, or ‘sticking it to the man’, but in fact, they’re affecting regular folk who want to enjoy a bit of online gaming with friends over the holidays before heading back to work. Let’s face it, Destiny is more useful as a coaster when offline. Rather than list the painful punishments we wish on the hackers, we’ve come up with seven things to do with your consoles that the hackers can’t interfere with.

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The Sunday Seven: How Assassin’s Creed Rogue smashes Unity

Assassin’s Creed Rogue has been living under the shadow of Assassin’s Creed Unity since it was announced that both games would be sharing a release window. When both were moved to the very same day, faithful and eager new-gen fans of course opted for Unity. Sadly, that loyalty was rewarded by a broken and oddly dull entry. But now that we’ve had time to play through both games, it’s clear that Ubisoft has released a fantastic Assassin’s title this year, but one you’ll have to dust off the PS3 or 360 for. So then, here are seven reasons why Rogue has absolutely smashed Unity.

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The Sunday Seven: Top 7 Influential Brands on PS1

Earlier this week, the PS1 (or PSX for our US readers) turned 20 years old since its Japanese birth in 1994. Think about that, we’ve been playing PlayStation for 20 years. There have been some incredible innovations and games from the multiple generations of PlayStation. But let’s take a look at seven of the most influentialbrands that shaped the original PS1’s success and turned the gaming world upside-down.

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Never Alone (Review)

never-alone-review--Never Alone is an indie platformer about the adventures of a young Iñupiat girl and an arctic fox. The Iñupiat are a native Alaskan tribe, whose culture has inspired the setting and story of the title. This culture is no mere window dressing either, throughout the game you’ll unlock video interviews with Iñupiat folk who discuss various elements of their culture, usually neatly setting up the next part of the game.

Unlike most mini-documentary videos in games, these are incredibly interesting and perfectly woven into the experience. You don’t have to watch them in between levels, but I found the warm anecdotes allowed me to appreciate the new environments and characters much more than I would have done if I watched them after finishing the game.

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Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (Review)

lego-batman-3-boxPlaying Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham after Lego Marvel does little to hide the comparative paucity of star power in DC’s lineup. Beyond the Batman and Superman universes, you’re almost constantly left shrugging your shoulders at the characters on your screen.

This is notable from an early cutscene with a selection of naughty Lanterns messing about in space, which will have all but regular DC readers shrugging their shoulders with indifference until the Joker and Lex Luthor show up to add a bit of class to the villains stable. Continue reading Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (Review)

Are Ubisoft Taunting Gamers With Female Assassins in Unity?

Are Ubisoft Taunting Gamers With Female Assassins in Unity?

Remember when Ubisoft said they didn’t have the resources to include female character models for the co-op mode Assassin’s Creed Unity? Well, Ubi, what the hell are these two doing? I’m pretty sure those are boobs.

It would seem Ubisoft found enough ‘resources’ to include a bit of eye-candy around the Brotherhood. To be fair, it doesn’t look like these two are using the 8000 animations that apparently would have been required to include female character models in the co-op mode.

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The Sunday Seven: Assassin’s Creed Unity Survival Tips

assassins_creed_unity_survival-tips-guide

Assassin’s Creed Unity is seriously tough. Even when the various glitches and bugs aren’t making Arno’s life hell, there are plenty of other factors that make pulling off hits an unforgiving gauntlet of snipers and swordsman. We feel your pain though, and have come up with seven top tips to put you on the right path. And no, one of them isn’t buy Assassin’s Creed Rogue instead. I eventually came up with a seventh in the end. Happy hunting!

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The Sunday Seven: Improvements for the next Call of Duty

The Sunday Seven: Improvements for the next Call of Duty

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.

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