With only Hustle Kings to really compete with, Pool Nation enters the digital pool hall looking to wipe the floor with the posers. No cutscenes, no irritating voice-overs, just pool. We like it already.
You can dive straight into the lengthy tournament campaigns without bothering with the tutorials if you just want to get stuck in. Basic shots are a breeze. Some very handy aiming lines are turned on by default showing the path of the white ball and a separate path for the ball you’ll hit, making even the sharpest angled shots effortlessly simple.
Continue reading Pool Nation (Review)
After a return to form for Sega’s Virtua Tennis 4, EA really have their work cut out for them if they want to take on the champ. In typical EA fashion, they’ve chucked a horde of player and tournament licenses and right analogue stick controls at the game in an attempt to dazzle us.
The first impression as I fired up the game was the usual disappointment with the menus that are the same clunky, basic ugly boxes we’ve seen FIFA drowning in for years. Yes, all the options you want are there, but why does every EA Sports game have to look the same?
Continue reading Grand Slam Tennis 2 (Review)
A cheap price and pool on the go are certainly good ingredients for the Vita’s take on our favourite pub game. No arguments over whose 50p is on the table at 3am either, which is always a good thing.
A very long tutorial begins well enough by telling you how to use the three different cue shot methods and spin shots. But the help and controls for jump shots and straight backspin are terrible and anyone who can do these shots in real life will no doubt be shouting “Bullshit!” many times over.
Continue reading Hustle Kings (Vita Review)
Sport games are off to a good start on the Vita and the trend continues with Sega’s Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition. This game is almost identical to the PS3 version, which is certainly no bad thing. In fact, I’d go as far as to recommend this version over the PS3 one as the gameplay is better suited to the stop/start nature of handhelds, not that you can’t lose yourself for hours as well.
Graphically the game is on a par with the big consoles and has even inherited the dodgy likenesses. Take Djokovic, they’ve nailed the geeky haircut, but there’s something unsettling about his face. Oh and talking of unsettling, wait until I tell you about putting your own face into the game later on. It’s a bit Silence of the Lambs.
Continue reading Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition (Review)
In many ways, Everybody’s Golf is a perfect fit for the PS Vita handheld. It’s a fast-loader, gameplay is quick and it can be played for hours or just a few holes at a time before slipping the game into sleep mode when the ad break finishes. One negative that it does find though is being on your new, shiny and expensive console that probably has no desire to be thrown at a wall, punched, bitten or burned, which are all possibilities when the game f**ks you over again then runs off giggling with its stupidly happy cast of freaks. So, um, yes, I really like Everybody’s Golf on the Vita, but I want to kill it.
I suppose I should talk about the rest of the game before the red mist takes over again. If you’ve played the PS3 or PSP versions, then you’ll know what to expect. The game provides a generous six 18-hole courses (plus the mirror versions) for you to play and I’m pleased to report that they’re new and not just ports of the PS3 ones.
Continue reading Everybody’s Golf (Vita Review)
PS3 gamers already know of Joe Danger’s brilliance and now XBLA customers finally get to see what all the fuss was about thanks to this Special Edition. For those of you not in the know, Joe Danger rocked onto PSN last year to unanimous applause, combining motorcycle stunt riding, platforming, speed runs and item collecting into one incredibly slick experience.
The game plays across 2D planes, left to right. On your way to the finish line, there are multiple objectives for each of the 100+ levels. Collect all the silver stars, beat a par time, grab coins, hidden icons, land on all targets and maintain a combo for the whole level are some of the tasks at hand. You’ll only need a couple ticked off to progress, but mastering a stage is where the fun really starts.
Continue reading Joe Danger: Special Edition (Review)
If the Wii U makes it in time for next Christmas, this could be the original Wii’s last family outing. We’ve had some great times with Wii Sports, Resort, Play, Mario Kart and the last two Olympicstitles, so we were looking forward to a warm-up for next year’s London Games.
Thinking we’d start with some multiplayer games, we headed straight to the London Party mode. Instead of simply choosing a random mix of games or selecting specific ones from a list, we’re given something much worse.
Continue reading Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Review
After not quite doing the job Henman and Murray style with Virtua Tennis 3 and VT2009 on this generation’s consoles can Sega’s arcade tennis classic still cut it? Thanks to a long awaited upgrade to the World Tour career mode, they’re in with a fighting chance.
Before getting stuck into the World Tour mode you might want to warm up with a few exhibition matches. The leading names of modern tennis are all present except for one of the Williams sisters for some reason. The PS3 has a few exclusive classic characters too, leaving the 360 version with a comparatively small roster. There isn’t particularly much scope for extra players via DLC either as the favourites of Nadal, Federer, Murray, Sharapova and so on are all present and tennis isn’t exactly brimming with superstars like the WWE.
Continue reading Virtua Tennis 4 (Review)
Immediately you’ll realise there’s a problem with playing darts with a PlayStation Move controller. Compared to a dart it’s like throwing a wacky TV remote, it’s just way too big.
Despite this and the hand-cramp it causes during longer sessions, there’s actually a decent darts game here that is fun to play once you get used to it.
Continue reading PDC World Championship Darts: Pro Tour (Review)
PlayStation Move and golf games. Surely a good match, yes? Well, keep saving up for those real golf clubs because we’re not quite there yet. This may be the best golf game that uses the Move, but that’s only because the competition is the half-assed implementations of existing titles like Tiger Woods and Planet Minigolf. This is very much a case of being the best of a bad bunch.
The first-person view of the ball during the swinging of the golf club is meant to be innovative, but apart from seeing the ball as you hit it, it’s a hindrance because you can’t see where it’s actually going to go without pressing various camera buttons and then aiming by holding the trigger as the aim marker goes nuts. It’s a clunky set-up that never quite gels. Why there’s no option to use the standard third-person viewpoint for aiming and throughout the swinging motion is just baffling. Continue reading John Daly’s ProStroke Golf Review (PlayStation Move)
So, out of the four launch titles for Sony’s new motion controller, which should you go for? Well, the answer is simple, Sports Champions. I’d advise getting at least two motion controllers to get the most out of the game, even for single-player action. Games like Archery and Gladiator Dual can be played with one, but using two adds so much to the experience.
All the games have single player modes where you compete in bronze, silver and gold tournaments with short individual matches. There are mini-games for each game too. Multiplayer is definitely King here, but the wide range of difficulty levels the AI offers, means they are a fun challenge for anyone playing on their own. The graphics are bright and crisp with everyone who played it over the weekend warming to the more realistic looking characters as better alternatives to the Wii’s deformed monsters. Anyway, to the games… Continue reading Sports Champions (Review)
Ah minigolf games and Demon’s Souls in the same weekend. Will my pads survive? Will my sanity hold? Probably not.
£6.29 gets you an impressive amount of crazy golf shenanigans with 144 holes, 6-player local or online multiplayer and a course editor to create your own knuckle mawing middle finger salutes to reason. Continue reading Planet Minigolf (Review)
The Winter Olympics might be a while off yet but Mario and Sonic have got an early assault planned for space under Christmas trees again after the massive success of their first Olympic Games title on the Wii.
It’s a more relaxed affair this time around with most of the games being about balance and leaning rather than frantic arm swinging. If any players have been glued to Wii Fit they might just have an edge here. Continue reading Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (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)