Category Archives: Reviews

FIFA 10 (Review)

Last years quality game firmly put FIFA back on top over their Konami rival, so what next? A tougher challenge and enough off the pitch enhancements to last you till well after the end of the season and beyond is what.

The tougher challenge is made evident by smarter AI that closes you down mercilessly and some questionable refereeing. Last year’s problem of players constantly wondering offside has been fixed. Unfortunately it has been replaced with them constantly giving free kicks. While getting flagged offside was annoying the replays always proved that you were. It was never wrong and EA explained they couldn’t show officials to be making mistakes because of the official FIFA branding, fair enough. Shame they couldn’t extend the courtesy to fouling as the replays will leave you baffled as to why you’ve given away yet another free kick as the slightest nudge is penalised. Continue reading FIFA 10 (Review)

Dead Space: Extraction (Review)

It was a bit of a surprise to all of us finding out that the next game to follow the excellent Dead Space would be on the Wii. It might be an ‘on-rails shooter’ but fans will enjoy this prequel to the original game, especially the first level which has a neat twist that they or anyone that’s seen the anime might appreciate.

The game starts before the Ishimura planet cracker mining ship was overrun by an alien plague causing severe psychosis and mutation in their human hosts. Haven’t played the first game? Don’t worry, the prequel nature of the game welcomes newcomers by letting them play through preceding events. Veterans will enjoy some familiar locations and characters and being a part of earlier events from a different perspective on how the shit hit the fan in the first place, as the first game had you starting well after the infection had already spread. Continue reading Dead Space: Extraction (Review)

Fallout 3: Operation: Anchorage (Review)

After Broken Steel raised level caps to 30, PS3 players are totally ready to get their teeth stuck into some more missions. This time you’ll get to interact with a bit of Fallout history that you may be familiar with from scraps of info picked up along your travels.

Using a virtual reality pod you can get involved with the famous battle at Anchorage, Alaska where the US forces had to repel the Chinese invaders. It’s not just a game though. Some members of the Brotherhood of Steel Outcasts need you to beat it so they can gain access to a sealed vault in a bunker, promising you a share of the spoils. Free stuff? Plug me in kiddo. Continue reading Fallout 3: Operation: Anchorage (Review)

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (Review)

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 arrives with memories of its predecessor filling most gamers’ hearts with a self-doubting terror from being made to feel utterly rubbish at games and having to call it a day by the time the motorbike ninjas arrived. Only the old school, challenge hungry, were really up for that madness.

Don’t worry if the first one handed your ass to you on a plate though as the sequel is much more accessible. That doesn’t mean you can happy slap it into submission, but you’ll probably make it half way and maybe even whisper it… finish it.

Continue reading Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (Review)

Fallout 3: Broken Steel (Review)

It’s been a long wait, made all the worse by 360 gamers having these DLC downloads months before the PS3, but the expansion packages for Fallout 3 have finally started to arrive.

The first of which is Broken Steel. It’s more of a taster and a foundation for the new adventures of Fallout’s post-apocalyptic hell (that we love so much). The new chapter starts two weeks after the final events of the original game. No spoilers here for those of you who aren’t there yet, but you WILL have to finish the main game before the extra missions and plot are made available to you. So I hope you’ve kept a save near the end of the game. Continue reading Fallout 3: Broken Steel (Review)

PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe (Review)

After becoming something of a cult classic on the PlayStation Network it was only a matter of time before somebody realised this would work even better on PSP. For those of you who haven’t played the PS3 version this is a tower defence game. You build defence towers out of trees, using a limited supply of money in order to defend your village’s twenty inhabitants from multiple waves of invaders.

The towers are designed to be effective for ground or air attacks with some of them spreading themselves thin to do both. There’s plenty to choose from if you can afford them. There are canons, freeze guns, Telsa (electricity spewing towers), mortars, flamethrowers, crossbows, anti-air guns, lasers and electric barriers. Continue reading PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe (Review)

The King of Fighters XII (Review)

After the heyday of the duelling beat em’ up in the ‘90s it’s surprising how slow the genre has been to get going on current generation consoles. Virtua Fighter 5 and Street Fighter 4 eventually turned up and dazzled everyone for about a month while Soul Calibur added a bit of polish but left most fans shrugging in indifference as it offered nothing new. So what chance does The King of Fighters XII have? Looking at the lack of current competition (I’m pretty much ignoring the ever-delayed Tekken 6 until it decides if it wants a PS3 or PS4 release) it might be worth a look. Continue reading The King of Fighters XII (Review)

Trine (Review)

Now on PSN for £15.99This is an essential lesson in how 2D gameplay is still a force to be reckoned with. Trine’s levels are deceptively simple with the aim generally being to progress to the far right of the map like many past classics but with some physics based gameplay puzzles. This platformer looks far from retro though with some gorgeous fantasy realms inspired level design that sparkle with HD richness. Continue reading Trine (Review)

Wet (Review)

Rubi: a hired gun, thief, errant son deliverer, car roof surfer, the works, with no questions asked. Along as said ‘Wet work’ involves shooting in slow-motion, wall-running, diving, sliding around on her knees (stop it) and stabbing things a lot. Gameplay wise it’s PS2-era Prince of Persia meets Stranglehold.

Style points earned from racking up combos of kills in slow-motion or with the sword can be used to upgrade Rubi and her weapons with extra health and moves or for extra damage, ammo and faster rates of fire. If you played the demo and felt a bit under whelmed it’s a pleasure to say that the full game does feel a lot better once you’ve got some upgrades under your belt. Continue reading Wet (Review)

Need For Speed: Shift (Review)

EA has decided to reinvent their own wheels as the Need for Speed brand disowns its street racing vibe in a much cleaner break than 2007’s NFS: Pro. Shift is the full transition to track racing to try and compete with the likes of Gran Turismo and Race Driver: Grid. They’ve managed to successfully re-invent FIFA over the last couple of years, so maybe they’ve got a shot.

It’s clear that a lot of time, effort and money have been thrown at the game with a Top Gear style dream collection of ludicrously expensive, top name cars such as the Zonda and Bugatti Veyron all fighting for dominance on dozens of familiar tracks from the USA, Europe and Japan. Continue reading Need For Speed: Shift (Review)

MotorStorm: Arctic Edge (Review)

They’ve done the desert and the tropics so now the MotorStorm tour has decided to cool off and head to the Arctic. There are 100 events to rip through in such frostbitten locations like ice caves, mud bowls, gargantuan bobsleigh tracks (or should that be tubes?) and mountain passes.

The biggest problem facing the PS3 MotorStorm games is they don’t exactly ease you in gently. And if the general lack of interest for last years rock hard sequel has shown anything, it’s that the series needed to relax a little.

Apparently new developers Bigbig Studios may have agreed, as it’s obvious from the off that this time around you’ll be winning races early on and not constantly begging for a top half of the field finish. Continue reading MotorStorm: Arctic Edge (Review)

Colin McRae: Dirt 2 (Review)

What you have here is the best rally game this generation of consoles has seen, it might even be an all time racing great worthy of the late, great Scot. It even (just) survives an ill-advised X-games style make over outside the races.

As a rookie driver you’re given a free Subaru Impreza (very nice) and unleashed on a world map stuffed with over 100 events in Japan, China, Malaysia, Croatia, Morocco, London, Utah, LA and Baja.  Continue reading Colin McRae: Dirt 2 (Review)

Batman: Arkham Asylum (Review)

What is it that makes the world of Batman so cool? Costume? Detective skills? Unmatchable martial arts? His gadgets? The ability to strike terror into the hearts of criminals? The setting? The sheer madness of his foes?

It’s all of this and developers Rocksteady Games know it, and have shown the best understanding of the Dark Knight yet.

Story
The story begins with Batman delivering a gibbering Joker to Arkham Asylum. Only problem is that it seems he gave himself up way too easily. Like Michael Schofield in Prison Break, the Joker has a hidden agenda in getting locked up (ok, what he wants to do inside is slightly different). He manages to escape the useless Arkham guards before they’ve even put him in his cell, with a little help from the ever-doting Harley Quinn (brilliantly acted). So it’s up to you to chase after the Clown Prince while he leaves a trail of released psychopaths and familiar villains. Continue reading Batman: Arkham Asylum (Review)

Killzone 2: Napalm and Cordite Map Pack (Review)

Killzone 2 DLCThis is the third map pack released for Killzone 2. It features two new multiplayer maps and two new weapons. All of which you should be familiar with to some extent as they appear in the single player campaign.

The first map is Suljeva Cliffside, which is from one of K2’s dustier browner levels. This is from a very brief section of the single player game that you will have passed though in a matter of minutes.

It is a fairly straight map with a couple of underground tunnels with sentry guns guarding the passages. Outside there are twisted remains of metal huts which make for handy hiding spaces. The level itself is on a hill with one team at the top and the other at the bottom, it’s almost like a valley with a high verge on one side and buildings on the other meaning you’ll be wide open in this gauntlet like section. Continue reading Killzone 2: Napalm and Cordite Map Pack (Review)

Fat Princess (Review)

Now on the store for £11.99It cheers me up every time I explain this game to anyone. It’s a 32 player, medieval era game of capture the flag, except the flag is a Princess. And to make it extra difficult to get away with her, the other team stuff her with cake making her a Fat Princess meaning it takes much longer to carry her back to your castle. If you don’t laugh every time you hear her scream “CAKE!” you probably never will.

The maps are symmetrically designed so no team has an obvious upper hand. As you can see by the pictures, the game’s gone for a cartoonish, cell-shaded style that belies all the blood and gore plastered all over the battlefield. It’s a treat to look at and is razor sharp on a HD set. The locations include forests, volcanoes, tropical islands and mountains. Continue reading Fat Princess (Review)

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (Review)

The Western genre in recent years has been criminally underused both in the cinemas and gaming. The only games that spring to mind in the last five years are Red Dead Revolver, Gun, the vampire flavoured Darkwatch and the first Call of Juarez title (PC and 360 only).

Hopefully we’ll start to see a few more, as Bound in Blood marks a series and genre really starting to demand (and be worthy of) attention as an alternative first person shooter contender to the sci-fi of Halo and Killzone or the near-future of games like COD: Modern Warfare and the Tom Clancy titles.

Like any decent shooter this game knows it’s all about the weapons and atmosphere. As such it borrows from a wide range of western cinema including classic John Wayne style to Clint Eastwood cool. Continue reading Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (Review)

Mirror’s Edge Review – Have some faith

Dice have done the impossible. The Swedish developers have taken the fist-person perspective game that has barely evolved fundamentally since the days of Wolfenstein and Doom, and injected new life into it with a quite literal leap of faith.

Despite its first-person perspective this is definitely not a shooter. You play as the aptly named Faith, a rooftop Runner, a courier of sorts. Your aim is generally racing across skyscraper rooftops, through underground train tunnels, office blocks, shopping malls and building sites, usually while evading police and security forces and making death defying leaps between buildings, often requiring a last minute grab onto a ledge or drainpipe. If you’ve been waiting for a game that let’s you play out your fantasies of Parkour and free-running as seen in movies like District 13 and Casino Royale, this is the game for you. Continue reading Mirror’s Edge Review – Have some faith

WipEout HD: Fury (Review)

Fury is the first expansion pack to the leading futuristic racer, WipEout HD. Saying it’s an expansion is underselling it to say the least though.

Fury features 8 new race circuits, 13 new ships, 13 new Trophies, 6 new music tracks and most importantly three new game modes. Continue reading WipEout HD: Fury (Review)

Gunstar Heroes (Review)

gunstarpsnrevnsgMore retro goodness from Backbone Entertainment, the team that resurrected a disc full of retro classics with Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection. Next up is what got left out, namely this little classic from the Treasure dev team.

Chances are if you had a Mega Drive in the 90s you’ll remember this, if not here’s your chance for only £3.99. Out of the scores of side scrolling shooters this is among the best along with the likes of the Metal Slug series. Continue reading Gunstar Heroes (Review)

Battlefield 1943 (Review)

If you missed our launch party article for the game here’s a quick reminder. Downloadable only, team-based World War II first person shooter based on three (soon to be four) beautifully designed Pacific island maps. It’s like Bad Company has gone on a sunny holiday. Continue reading Battlefield 1943 (Review)