Tag Archives: Brendan Griffiths

Lego The Hobbit (Review)

lego_hobbit-reviewTraveller’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.

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Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate – Deluxe Edition (Review)

After not getting around to finishing the final version of the original Vita release late last year, I was delighted to see that Blackgate was making its way to the main consoles in a similar manner to Assassin’s Creed: Liberation HD. Keen to fill the long gap between now and Rocksteady’s next-gen Arkham adventure I dove in with both feet -but sadly without a cape.

Blackgate takes place three months after the events of Arkham Origins, making its original simultaneous release a little odd. But now we’ve had time to finish the console game, we don’t have to worry about spoilers; although I’ll not give any away today.

Continue reading Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate – Deluxe Edition (Review)

Orb Accessories PS4 Headset Range (Review)

Orb-PS4-headsets-reviews

When looking online for headsets you’re usually flooded with options and a range of incomprehensible user reviews or samey tech descriptions lazily copied from the manufacturer’s PR sheet. Well we thought it was about time to try out a few and give you an in-depth opinion.

With the free bundled headset with the PS4 offering terrible mic quality, I looked towards some third-party manufacturers to do better. So today, I’m reviewing three different PS4 headsets from Orb Accessories including the Wired Chat, the Elite Chat and the GP3.

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Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom (Review)

invizimals-lost-kingdom-reviewSony’s Invizimals series has been through some changes since its inception on the PSP and has finally made its way to the PS3, ditching the augmented reality features to bring a traditional action platforming experience to the console.

As expected, it doesn’t threaten the genre dominance of the Ratchet & Clank games, but is worth a look for younger gamers. Parents, older siblings, or other family members of young children should take a look at this one instead of settling for the usual movie/TV licensed guff.

In Magenta Software’s game, you control Hiro, a teenage secret agent who has been sent to a distant world populated by the mystical Invizimal warriors to help them fight a robot army. It’s all very child-friendly and features enough bright colours and energetic characters to keep them entertained in short bursts. It’s is an easy game to play thanks to basic controls and a gentle difficulty curve. Some players may find it similar to the Skylanders games, but parents will be glad to hear that they won’t have to succumb to pester-power for new toys to play with in-game.

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TowerFall Ascension (Review)

towerfall-ascension-PS4-reviewTowerFall Ascension is all about traditional local multiplayer. So much so, there’s no point even reading the rest of this review if you’re not likely to invite friends round to your house to play with you. Still here? Did I mention it would help if your friends were regular gamers with a fondness for pixelated sprite-art games that could have run on a Sega Master System without breaking a sweat? Try not to make too much noise on your way out. Ok you two, thanks for staying.

This multiplayer-focused game features screen-sized arenas to duke it out against each other in 2-4 player deathmatches / team deathmatches or you can play 1-2 player co-op against waves of monsters over multiple maps.

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Fez (PS4 Review)

Fez-PS4-ReviewDespite 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.’

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Infamous: Second Son (Review)

infamous-second-son-box-artThe first massive exclusive on the PS4 since launch day’s Killzone: Shadow Fall is finally here. The adventures of the lightning-powered Cole in the first two games were well received by PlayStation gamers, so it’s fair to say the pressure’s on for Sucker Punch’s debut PS4 game.

The story is set in a world that’s been reeling since Conduits -people with super powers – started appearing seven years earlier, causing widespread destruction and paranoia across America. Since the events of Infamous 2, Conduits have been branded Bio Terrorists and rounded up by the DUP -the Department of Unified Protection. The DUP is run by a sadistic turncoat Conduit Brooke Augustine, who has an ability to create concrete structures or painful torture spikes at will. This earned her a feared reputation amongst both Conduits and regular citizens. There are dark shades of McCarthyism and the similarities to the early X-Men movies or TV’s Heroes are plain to see.

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Final Fantasy X HD Remaster (Review)

FFX_HD_Remaster_VitaHas 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.

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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (Review)

lightning returns“The brightest lights cast the darkest shadows”

Who among us dared to imagine that after playing the miserable corridor that was the first Final Fantasy XIII, we’d be lining up for a third game in the series a few years later. The sequel, XIII-2, eased up on the linearity, but was still a mess on the battlefield. It’s baffling to think that of all the great Final Fantasy games in years gone by, the almost universally slated XIII series is now a trilogy.

But throughout my time spent playing the previous two games, there remained a streak of perseverance. The ongoing story of sacrifice, family and loss always deserved a better game to be a part of. The cast have always been one of my favourites in a JRPG too, despite being a bit on the broody side a times.

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South Park: The Stick of Truth (Review)

Review of the new RPG game South Park: The Stick of TruthThis generation of consoles hasn’t had the best run for licensed tie-ins or traditional RPG experiences. And now, as it winds to a close, the two genres get one last chance in an odd-sounding hybrid. A South Park RPG.

How do you fit South Park into an RPG experience? Simple, just have the kids pretending to be on an epic adventure with elves, mages, wizards and warriors. Adults may know it as LARPing (Live Action Role Playing (like in the movie Role Models), but to the kids of South Park, they’re simply playing outside.

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Rayman Legends (PS4 Review)

After being utterly smitten with the next-gen re-release of Tomb Raider last month, I was keen to see how last year’s rather tasty Rayman Legends fared on the next-gen machines too. Well, there’s good news and bad news.

There’s a strong argument that that Rayman Legends looks exactly the same on the new consoles as it does on the older ones and there’s no truly relevant new material. But on the other hand, shop around and you can currently buy it for only £7 more than the last-gen version, meaning you don’t have to spend much to finally play a decent platformer on your PS4 or Xbox One.

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Tekken X Street Fighter: Going Next-Gen or Cancelled?

Where is Tekken X Street Fighter? That’s the question many of us fight fans have been wondering recently. Nobody has even seen a screenshot of the game, and yet it has been two years since Capcom released Street Fighter X Tekken. Namco’s return effort was set to give the Street Fightercharacters a Tekken-style makeover, but it’s been a notorious no-show for years now.

Recently, we were sent a UK release schedule from Bandai Namco (they changed their name around, remember) and thankfully the game was still on there, but the date was only down as TBC. More interestingly, the formats no longer read PS3/360, instead they’ve also been replaced with TBC. The optimists inside us are hoping this means that we could be seeing the game on PS4 and Xbox One -two consoles desperately in need of a decent fighting game. With a relatively small install-base for the new consoles though, we’d still expect the PS3 and 360 (and probably the Vita) to see the game too.

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Battlefield 4 (PS4 Review)

With the Christmas release schedule being so packed, some games slips through the cracks. But here at Dealspwn it’s never too late to give you a verdict on a game. After all, in these modern times developers are able to add patches to their games to fix issues that may have been around at launch. The next-gen launch versions of Battlefield 4 on PS4 and Xbox One had a few teething issues, so maybe time (and a few patches) have proved to be a great healer. I’m about to find out as I dive into Battlefield 4 on the PS4.

Let’s get straight to it. Battlefield 4’s single player campaign is better than Battlefield 3’s, but still way behind the Bad Company games. For those of you kind enough not to have scrolled down to the multiplayer part of the review already, I’ll tell you why.

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Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition (PS4 Review)

With the PS3/360 generation of gaming pumping out some excellent games right up to the release of the new generation of gaming consoles, there was always going to be the question of whether some of these games should have waited for the new hardware.

That said we were blown away by what our old machines were capable of with the likes of Beyond: Two Souls (visually at least), Bioshock infiniteThe Last of Us, and of course Tomb Raider. So how much do we really need a re-release of a game that’s not even a year old? I admit I was sceptical, but as a fan of the game and a visuals enthusiast (my new name for ‘graphics whore’), there was no denying I’d struggle to pretend a PS4 version wasn’t of interest.

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Are Game Development Costs Set to Spiral out of Control?

Last week we learned via a Eurogamer interview, that 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot only started to make a profit nine months after its March release date, despite selling 3.4 million copies in its first three weeks. If it takes that long for a game that good that sold that well to actually make money, how long can companies afford to make similar blockbuster big-budget games?

Tomb Raider’s budget was reportedly around £60 million ($100 million), which is probably why Square Enix set their sales targets so high (5 million units) in the first month,  which would have seem them move into the black straight away. Continue reading Are Game Development Costs Set to Spiral out of Control?

Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD (Review)

Releasing at the busiest time of year, Liberation went largely unnoticed when it released towards the back end of 2012 on the PS Vita. So when Ubisoft announced they would be polishing it up for a downloadable release on PSN and XBLA it was collective high fives all-round. Sorry Vita, but the big TV wins again.

So often, I cringe when I see the prices of digital games or HD remakes, but Liberation’s £15.99 asking price is very reasonable. Mainly because the original Vita version costs more and the visual upgrade is huge. Some of you may be disappointed to hear that the multiplayer options have been ditched, but this makes sense really. Why would Ubisoft want to dedicate resources to keeping more servers alive when they know most fans will be enjoying the superior multiplayer offerings of Assassin’s Creed IV?

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Consoles Doomed to Pay High Digital Prices Forever?

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.

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Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (PS4 Review)

If you’re a late comer to the Assassin’s Creed series, or your interest for it has waned in recent years, this is the game for you. It’s also an essential purchase for any graphics-devouring next-gen console owners out there, as it’s a visual powerhouse from start to finish.

The story sees you essentially playing a game, within a game. You’re some sort of beta tester at Abstergo Entertainment, using the DNA-memory technology seen in the series beforehand to relive the memories of a famous line of Assassin’s. Rather than trying to save the world from Templars as Desmond Miles, this time you’re running through the life events of one Caribbean-based, Welsh pirate, Edward Kenway, to create a video game. It’s very Meta and inside knowledge of past events is handy for the little snippets of information you may find, but newcomers shouldn’t feel left out. There’s always a quick glance at Wikipedia if you need to catch up on the finale of the previous game(s).

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Are Next-Gen Re-Releases Like Tomb Raider A Bad Idea?

Last week at the VGX Awards, Square Enix finally admitted they would be re-releasing Tomb Raider on the PS4 and Xbox One. This ‘Definitive Edition’ comes with a handful of visual upgrades including TressFX technology for Lara’s hair (like the original PC version), a remodelling for Lara’s face and better leaves and branches on the trees. And presumably better explosions, because that’s the next-gen dream right?

It will also include the previous pre-order incentive Tomb of the Lost Adventurer and there will be some unique touches that are only possible on next-gen machines. The Xbone version will include Kinect voice controls for weapon selection and the PS4’s DualShock light will light up when Lara’s lights a touch.

There’s even more packed in though! Like the extra skins, weapons and eight DLC maps for the multiplayer that everyone plays so much! Making of documentaries that you’d otherwise have to look for on YouTube! That really shitty digital prologue comic! And there’s an extra artbook in the Special Edition of the Definitive Edition for those of you wanting more than the Standard Edition of the Definitive Edition! What!

Continue reading Are Next-Gen Re-Releases Like Tomb Raider A Bad Idea?