RPG games are usually big-budget epics with the promise (threat?) of at least forty hours running time. Ubisoft’s Child of Light is here to change that assumption by providing a low-priced downloadable alternative.
Others have failed quite miserably (Hello, Mars: War Logs), but ze Germans made a solid effort with the tough Rainbow Moon. But with Ubisoft providing genre classics in action, shooters and platforming (Assassin’s Creed IV, Far Cry 3 and Rayman Legendsif you’re asking), we can’t wait to see how they handle an RPG.
The first thing we all noticed about Child of Light was of course the visuals -and they don’t disappoint. Using Rayman’s UbiArt engine, Ubisoft have this time favoured a watercolour approach to the visuals instead of bright colours and cel-shaded lines. This has resulted in a classic fairy tale aesthetic that gives the game its own unique endearing personality throughout the ever-changing landscapes.
Continue reading Child of Light (Review)
Traveller’s Treasure or Witless Worm?
Yes, this is a review, not an advanced preview for a game which (with any sense) wouldn’t see a release until December when the final Hobbit movie hits cinemas. Instead, this Lego title encompasses the first two films with the third to be added as DLC later this year.
It would take the most upbeat of optimists to suggest that WB will do the right thing and release the add-on (the rest of the game) for free, but my cynical nature tells me to expect something around £15.99 –an oddly specific guess I admit. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see this game re-released complete with the remaining content in December for the same price it is today. So, I guess the only real question left, is how many Lego games do you need in your life? With Lego Marvel and the Lego Movie tie-in released just five and two months ago respectively, you have to wonder why WB didn’t wait.
Continue reading Lego The Hobbit (Review)
Despite critical acclaim two years ago when released on XBLA and PC, Fez has taken its time to come to the PlayStation Platforms. Rather than a discount for its tardiness, the asking price of £7.99 gets you a cross-buy copy of the game that you can download to your PS4, PS3 and PS Vita complete with cloud-based cross-save functionality.
For those of you new to the world of Fez, allow me to catch you up. This is a puzzle platformer that opts for an 8-bit retro style. What’s decidedly not retro though (unless you count Echochrome and Crush as retro) is the rotating mechanic adding depth to the 2D platforming. With a tap of a shoulder button, the whole game world rotates 90 degrees. This begins simply enough when you’re just navigating a singular structure, you could even be forgiven for thinking it’s just a gimmick as it’s essentially a traditional flat 2D stage that you push forward with these ‘rotations.’
Continue reading Fez (PS4 Review)
Has it really been thirteen years since Final Fantasy X on the PS2? The biggest name in RPGs hasn’t had a great time with the PS3, as the XIII trilogy consistently misfired and many of us are still clinging to the hope of a remake for VII. So, a HD remaster of Final Fantasy X and X-2 didn’t exactly strike me as much to celebrate, despite enjoying the first game all those years ago.
I was wrong though. Dead wrong. Final Fantasy X is arguably better than ever and an essential purchase for anyone pining for the good old days of Square Soft-developed RPGs. If Final Fantasyis to have a bright future, the developers need to look back at games like this to understand why the series went global post FFVII in the first place.
Continue reading Final Fantasy X HD Remaster (Review)
Summary of the News articles I posted at Dealspwn.com in December 2013 as Weekend Editor.
Continue reading My Dealspwn.com News Posts Roundup – December 2013
For years, PSN and XBLA gamers have been enviously staring at the generous offerings PC gamers can gorge themselves on via sites like Steam, GOG and Green Man Gaming. The ever-increasing number of sites sees regular price war over these digital titles, leaving PC gamers the clear winners for cheap games.
For console gamers, it’s been a very different story as PlayStation and Xbox gamers have been left with one first-party option for a digital game store on their console. With only one option available, this has of course meant that there is no need for competitive prices or discounts bar the odd sale.
Continue reading Consoles Doomed to Pay High Digital Prices Forever?
Summary of the News articles I posted at Dealspwn.com in November 2013 as Weekend Editor.
Continue reading My Dealspwn.com News Posts Roundup – November 2013
Dragon’s Crown is a fond throwback to classic side-scrolling beat ‘em ups like Streets of Rage, or more specifically, Golden Axe (you can totally ride dragons!). Stages involve going from left to right with a four-strong group consisting of knights, amazons, dwarves, elves, wizards or sorceresses. There’s a boss with a health bar as wide as your TV at the end of each one too, with one of them being a clever nod to a certain Monty Python film. Sold yet?
You’re spoilt for choice, with six different character types to choose from. They’re ranked from beginner to expert, but to be honest you’ll be fine going with whichever takes your fancy from the start and you’re allowed to have a few on the go at once.
Continue reading Dragon’s Crown (Review)
The Vita’s Knight Rises
Past industry form indicates that you’d be forgiven for dismissing the presence of a handheld game when it has a bigger and shinier counterpart on your main console. So often we’ve seen them stumble into our hands as shabby ports or overly simplistic, barely related tie-in fodder. Armature Studio is here to change things with their new Vita game. From what I’ve played, it truly deserves a place on your shopping list if you’ve enjoyed the last two Rocksteady games and are planning on picking up Origins on October 25th.
This game will follow on from the events of the console game Arkham Origins, rather than rehash the same story. The Blackgate in the title refers to the prison where the majority of the game will be set. Home to the non-insane criminals of Gotham -although a few are clearly borderline- various well-known villains ‘run’ different parts of the prison. So expect to take on some infamous faces to get the jail back in order. The story is delivered via motion comics, which I suppose is reasonable given the source material, but there’s no getting around they’ll always feel and look like the cheap option.
Continue reading Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate (Hands-On Preview)
Earlier this week, Sony took to the stage at the Tokyo Game Show to announce the excellent-looking PS Vita TV micro-console, which will be released in Japan later this year. Sony haven’t announced anything about a Western release beyond “stay tuned”, but considering the high interest the device has received from this half of the world, we’re expecting to get our hands on it early next year at the latest. We can’t complain really, especially as Japan is getting the Vita TV device instead of the PS4 this year. I bet they’re furious deep down, but in a really polite way.
So, is Vita TV really just a consolation prize for gamers in Sony’s homeland? Far from it, in fact, I really want one. Is that because I’ve been told I can’t? Very possibly, but here are another seven reasons why I’m crossing everything in the hope we’ll soon be plugging the little white box into a nearby TV.
Continue reading The Sunday Seven: Reasons to be Excited about PS Vita TV
Last week, I looked at how Microsoft could come out on top in the next-gen console wars despite their initial self-inflicted setbacks. So it’s only fair that I give the same treatment to Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4. Both consoles are going to release around the same period, just in time for the Christmas madness. We’ve not had consoles launch head-to-head for generations, which means we’re going to see a real fight between the two. Ring that bell Mr. Shopkeeper. It’s so on.
Continue reading The Sunday Seven: How the PS4 Could Win Next-Gen
This is our concluding part of our Soul Sacrifice review. If you’d like to catch up on the basic game mechanics and the single player experience, you can read Part 1 here. Ok, up to date? This could go either way right? The remainder of my review is going to focus on the online multiplayer side of the game.
A range of options allows you to set up public or password protected games with invites via the Vita’s messaging system being a simple if slightly clunky affair. You can label your room to give other players an indication of which chapters you’re playing and if you prefer saving or sacrificing bosses. There were a healthy number of players online during the launch weekend, meaning I never had to wait long for players to join. Although it’s often worth waiting until you have a full group of four to take on some of the boss battles. Continue reading Soul Sacrifice Review | Part 2 – Getting slayed with friends
Monster Hunter is a handheld system seller. That’s a fact, particularly in Japan. Yet we’ve only heard the slightest of rumours about the mega-series bringing its giant-chasing exploits to Sony’s underperforming handheld.
We don’t know if it’s a case of Sony not being able to agree a deal with Capcom, but until that champagne spraying day arises, Soul Sacrifice is here to carry the burden and an hefty amount of expectation in the face of the Vita’s barren landscape of recent or future releases. Continue reading Soul Sacrifice Review | Part 1 – Slaying Solo
After looking at the insane mashup that Sega, Namco and Capcom have put together for the upcoming Project X Zone on the 3DS, it got me thinking about other gaming brands I’d like to see pushed together. These could be games pitting legends against each other in a fight to the death or something involving them working together. Publishers and IP owners can be very protective over their brands, but here’s a selection I think would work well together given half a chance.
Continue reading The Sunday Seven: Most Wanted Gaming Crossovers
Review note: This review mainly focuses on the Vita version of the game. A few days ago (after already finishing the game on the Vita), I was also sent the PS3 version, which allowed me to test the Augmented Reality and cross-save features too. All images are my own screen grabs from the Vita version of the game. If you buy the PS3 version, you will get a free digital copy of the Vita game too.
Aside from the excellent HD re-release a while back, we’ve not had a Sly Cooper game since 2005. This has left a gaping wound in the platforming genre that nobody has even attempted to heal. Sucker Punch have long since left to work on the InFamous games, leaving unknowns Sanzaru to take over full-time after successfully overseeing the aforementioned HD collection. While probably not under as much pressure as 343 Industries with Halo 4, there are parallels. Let’s see how they got on.
Continue reading Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (Review)
At first glance, I was caught by Sumioni: Demon Arts’ looks. As a massive fan of Okami, I was able to compare art-styles and upon watching the trailer and finding out I’d be drawing ink lines to affect the game world, I was ready to embrace the game.
Sadly, fond memories of another game are about as good as it gets for Sumioni. The game got off to a rough start with a dreary and lengthy text-based opening. By the end of it, I didn’t know if I was a good guy, bad guy, demon guy or anything. He’s red and likes to wield a blade. Hellboy, Feudal Japan-style, if you will. Continue reading Sumioni: Demon Arts Review
If it wasn’t for the Lumines games on the old PSP the underperforming handheld would have faded into obscurity and the back of our cupboards much sooner than it sadly eventually did. As the Vita approaches its first birthday with a distinct lack of killer apps, I’ve been looking over its back-catalogue, desperate for something to justify charging the thing up more than once a month. Now available for under a tenner, Lumines: Electronic Symphony seemed like a good place to start and certainly better value than its initial £35 price tag.
Lumines is a block-puzzler but one that bears little resemblance to games like Tetris andBejeweled 2. By rotating falling blocks of four squares you must create patterns of like colours in 2×2 or bigger blocks. These blocks will then become highlighted and the constantly sweeping timeline comes and clears them from your pile.
Continue reading Lumines: Electronic Symphony (Review)
Requested and rumoured for years, we finally have a game putting together a rich collection of the finest PlayStation-exclusive characters along with some top names from third-party brands for a mighty punch-up. The comparisons to Nintendo’s Smash Brothers are obvious, as they always were going to be, but I’m here to review the game on its own merits.
Buying the PS3 game also gives you access to a free download of the Vita version and I’ll go into details about the portable options later on. Let’s get stuck into the game itself on PS3 first.
Continue reading PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale (Review)
What with the gaming industry still being keen to strangle itself every year by releasing all the good games at once, I’m going to be playing catch up on some of the great titles long into next year. This might even give me something to do next summer if the lineup for the ‘sunny’ bit of the year is as grossly thin as it was this year.
I’ve played some great stuff this year though, many of them get a mention below, but a few other honourable shouts go out to Dishonored, Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed, Black Ops II,Sports Champions 2 and WipEout 2048 and Virtua Tennis 4 on the Vita.
Continue reading Game of the Year 2012
Nihilistic’s first Vita game, Resistance: Burning Skies, proved that first-person shooters were a suitable match for Sony’s dual-analogue sporting handheld. Admittedly, the game was a bit basic, a bit ugly and rough around the edges, but compared to using the face buttons instead of a second analogue stick like we were forced to on the PSP, it handled like a dream.
On learning that they’d be handling the Vita’s first Call of Duty title though, I was a little concerned as I thought development would go to someone with a more impressive CV. But hey, I was probably worried when Sony gave a little known studio called Ready at Dawn the reigns to create aGod of War PSP game and they utterly nailed it.
Continue reading Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified (Review)