As a zombie survival title, you could say that How To Survive is a little fish in a pond the size of the Atlantic, something akin to a krill or a prawn. But that’s on the outside looking in and upon playing the EKO Software developed and 505 Games published title you’ll understand that the undead genre could perhaps make room for one more.
Adventure Time Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know is a spin off of Pendleton Ward’s popular Cartoon Network series, Adventure Time. But is the dungeon crawling caper as fun and entertaining as the Emmy-nominated show that it’s based on? We’ve reviewed the game on PS3 so that you can find out.
To call Proteus ‘just’ a game would be almost entirely inaccurate, plain wrong, even. For this indie game from developer and publisher, Curve, is an experience.
After 2013 saw 2K’s meatball sim win a championship ring of its own whilst making a play to take everyone else’s, could this year belong to NBA 2K14 once again?
Becoming the Best is an Uphill Battle
It’s fitting then, that the game initially thrusts the challenge of being The Best upon you, with Started from the Bottom by Drake on a loop in the background as you go about creating your own ‘MyPLAYER’ character to thwart the NBA with your balling skills. You pick a head, choose a body type and customise facial hair tattoos and a name, basic stuff, but 2K seem to have more customisations than you can shake a mirror at. They’ve also included a note about how much voice support a name has which is a nice touch.
“To be the best, you have to work the hardest.” is what LeBron James says in the opening featurette and and anyone who’s played 2K13 can tell you, this game can be a grind. But, with myCAREER, 2K14′s primary game mode, you have a chance to upgrade both you and your player, using VC (Virtual Currency) that can be earned during games or drills, or, in a new feature, bought for real money through the PSN. Before you head to the courts though, you’d better pick a nickname, how does “Mr. Perfect” sound? Good, because fans and commentators will soon be calling you it.
Click ‘Continue Reading’ to read the rest of the NBA 2K14 (PS3 review.
As of late, there’s been a lot of debate over whether or not indie titles, particularly downloadable ones from small studios, are viable. The question is whether quality can come in small sizes with miniscule budgets, yet still being able to deliver a double dose of ‘fun’. If there was ever a good example of a tiny title done correctly, then it’s Critter Crunch, a bright and colourful puzzle game from indie dev Capybara Games that serves up gameplay excellence and leaves you, quite literally, hungry for more.
In Critter Crunch you play as Biggs, a giant fluffy creature whom, in his habitat of the tropical island of Krunchatoa, Biggs sits firmly right at the top of the island’s food chain, helping other ‘Critters’ get their dietary requirements. Biggs does this using the very simple gameplay element of using his giant tongue to nab critters from the rows of generated beasties, delivering them into the mouths of bigger critters. The tiny fly like creatures feed the slightly bigger and more cutesy animals who can then be fed into the (still very adorable) globe sized beasts. Feeding them makes them explode out of happiness (this is how the game justifies the critter bursting) which in turns rewards Biggs with the points required to beat ‘most’ levels and jewels, which he then digests in his ginormous stomach.
All of this adorableness is presented and explained to you via an in-game documentary. Yes, as part of the game, there are animated cutscenes in which a curious explorer with an impressive moustache explains to you some of the history of Biggs and his place in the food chain. The explorer’s short and often humorous talks function as a tutorial too. While these scenes are hardly the visual spectacular you’d expect from a big budget blockbuster, Capybara Games is certainly utilising its funds well as this is beyond the production value I’d expect from a game of this size. And what’s more is that these cutscenes really do function as an unobtrusive Critter Crunch guide, helping you quickly and easily get a firm grasp on the game’s skills and requirements, handy for when the game gets trickier…
Critter Crunch does ease you in rather well, with a gentle learning curve that you’d want from a casual title. However, the two level types in the game do try to challenge your critter crunching abilities. You get a map where you have to complete levels to unlock the next part of the island, but while some challenges are just ‘stick to the basic gameplay, throw everything at the wall to get points’, others are the far trickier puzzle levels, where you have a certain amount of moves in which to clear the board completely. There are also optional bonus levels just in case you get bored.
While it’s unlikely that playing for around half an hour (your recommended daily Critter Crunch allowance) will see you getting bored, Critter Crunch is very much a casual title, as its iOS and PSN availability would have you believe. That’s not to say that it can’t be enjoyed for longer, but the game provides its optimal ‘fun’ level when it’s being enjoyed in short bursts. A ramped up level difficulty, e.g using more Critters as well as introducing toxic kinds of critters (these can pass their toxicity to other critters and harm your points score), attempts to remedy this but it runs the risk of forcing you into frustration.
What does keep you occupied in the game, besides Critter Crunch’s insanely vibrant graphics, which threaten to challenge triple A titles with its use of the colour wheel, is that Biggs is actually on a mission to feed his son. As you’ll learn in an early stage of the game, Critter Crunch’s protagonist isn’t just out to digest jewels for the ‘lulz’, as when you achieve a particularly high scoring streak, you can transfer some of your digested loot into the open, waiting mouth of Biggs’ child…via, you guessed it, rainbow vomit. As you can lose the non-puzzle levels by the critters running out of space (this can and will challenge your logistical management) and falling out of the level grid, feeding your son requires some serious grid watching, as they race down the grid faster due to the rainbow stuff being one of their favourite treats. However, you get multiplied points for feeding Biggs’ offspring so despite the challenge, you’ll absolutely want to do your best to get him fed.
Critter Crunch does of course make the task less straightforward for you in some cases, with Capybara Games’ decision to include a plethora of helpful powerups. Amongst these are special powered up foods such as slices of watermelon which provide you with seeds to shoot at critters and pop them instantly. Then there are the bomb Critters, which, just under Biggs on the food chain, are one of the biggest creatures in the game. They require one full critter to burst, or two critters before exploding and taking out a whole giant chunk of the level rewarding you with a crazy amount of points as a result. There are also glowing critters which provide extra points when they explode, and can be indicated by the bright light that they emit.
There’s not a lot of bad that can be said about a game this cute and the fact that Critter Crunch somehow matches the horror of food chain with an adorable father and son partnership is a testament to Capybara Games. A talented studio, they’ve even managed to wrap it all up in a package adorable graphics and some fantastic sound production that caresses your ears like and energetic lullaby. So if there’s any doubt remaining that indie titles don’t belong, let them eat Critters, for Critter Crunch will surely prove them wrong.
Overall Score : 9
Warriors Orochi 3 is to put it into simple terms: Tecmo Koei’s Hack and Slash Smash Bros. Originally a mix of Dynasty Warriors with Samurai Warriors Elements and taking characters from both games, the series has branched out to taking characters from the entirety of Tecmo Koei’s history. The game is a hack and slash game created by Omega Force, mainly known for their Dynasty Warriors series. What makes it different to Dynasty Warriors? You control a team of three characters who you have full control to switch between at any time, characters are organised into four types “Power, Speed, Wisdom and Technique” that allow you to pick a character based on their skills instead of just their look.
What makes Warriors Orochi 3 different from it’s past games? You now have three brand new abilities brought into the mix: Triple Team Attack that allows you to automatically kill all enemies that you can hit in a short time span and reap the rewards. Along with the ability to bring in a team mate to knock back an enemy if you’re under attack, a feature that you will take for granted but can actually save you in a wide range of situations. The third feature which is the most surprising is the introduction of an R1 attack, this ability takes up a small amount of the Musou (Special) gauge and unleashes a deadly, quick and powerful attack that causes some serious damage.
Back to the basics, the main focus of the Warriors’ series are to hack and slash hundreds of foes as you capture enemy bases and go forward in completing objectives such as defeating enemy officers, defending an ally officer or escorting an NPC. The game has a combo system that is simple yet rewarding, you have 5 levels of attack using Square/X that can be expanded into a longer combo by using triangle. This, combined with the addition of an R1 attack and the Musou Gauge (Circle, special move) makes the game simple to pick up, but hard to put down.
Moving on to the amount of characters, there are over 120 characters in the game, all unlockable after fulfilling certain requirements. Some characters are unlocked by going back to do ‘Redux’ versions of stages you have already done, others, such as Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden, have their own dedicated stages to play.
Story mode, the main focus here, starts you out with just three characters as you travel through time to save characters from the past so that you can build up enough of an army to take down the Hydra which wiped everything out of the Demon Realm. Warriors Orochi 3 includes a recap for the other two games if you haven’t played them. The storyline is not too forced upon the player, it’s a lot less structured than Dynasty Warriors but it does it’s job in having it’s moments, having great introductions and conversations with many of the series’ characters. I’m not going to spoil much, but there’s a cutscene where Lu Bu finally is provided with a decent challenge by a brand new character in the cast.
One disappointment, however, is the lack of an English dub. Following Dynasty Warriors 7′s excellent localization improvements such as fully English lipsynced cutscenes, it is pretty disappointing to be playing the game in full Japanese.
The game’s soundtrack is what you can expect from any Orochi game, a mix between the Techno sound of Samurai Warriors and the Hard Rock guitar sound of Dynasty Warriors, a mix that works surprisingly well and leads to it having one of the best soundtracks, in my books.
New to the introduction of the Orochi series is a feature which debuted in the Conquest mode of Dynasty Warriors 7: Online Co-op, the entire game is playable in splitscreen and online co-op with two people. I’ve tried out co-op and I can say that the netcode is stable and easily playable with friends but could be improved to make it easier to group with randoms. A disappointing part of only online co-op and not splitscreen is that you both have to go through the level before playing it online.
Warriors Orochi 3 is completely packed with content for fans, easily allowing people to play for hundreds of hours. This isn’t going to turn any haters of the series into lovers but if you have ever been interested in the series, Warriors Orochi 3 is easily the best that has been released, improving on the formula of the game by even beating my own expectations. I started playing the game with neutral expectations as I didn’t want to be biased in any way, but even after playing a small amount of the game I was already extremely impressed by how well Omega Force have made this game.
While Warriors Orochi 3 isn’t going to win any awards for it’s originality, it already has a cult following of dedicated fans and it shows, this game is easily one of the best in the Warriors series, Omega Force have expanded on a concept that worked and pushed it to a new level.
Considering that Tales of Graces f for the PS3 just came out, I think It’d be good to do a retrospective on one of the earlier titles in the series that inspired many of the features that are in the game series today.
Tales of Eternia was released in 2000 in Japan and 2001 in North America as Tales of Destiny II for the Playstation 1, however a real Destiny 2 was actually released on PS2 in Japan so for convenience I’m referring to the game as Eternia as that’s what the European PSP version of the game was called.
Moving on to the game however…(click ‘Continue Reading)
Now let’s not beat around the metaphorical video game bush, Tron:Evolution is a movie-game tie-in. But not just any movie game tie-in. It’s the game for the immensely popular new film ; Tron Legacy, the sequel to the original blockbuster ‘Tron’ and features Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges, House M.D actress Olivia Wilde and the chiselled, handsome, Hollywood newcomer Garrett Hedlund. The film has already taken in $165,555,591 across box offices worldwide and it seems that nothing can stunt its success (which broke records set by super-movie Avatar). I also had high hopes for the game as Disney are known to make fantastic movie-games, so with with my wireless dualshock in one hand and with my PS Move controller in the other, I headed into the grid to play Tron : Evolution.
Keep reading to find out if Tron Evolution is as good as the film it’s based on.
The Sims Bustin’ Out, The Sims Urbz, The Sims 2, The Sims 2 Pets (all for PS2)
The Sims 2, The Sims 2 Freetime (both for PC)
Those two lists above make up my entire collection of ‘The Sims’ games. I was latecomer to the series, missing out on the fun of the original God-hand game but I’ve been through every iteration of The Sims games (minus most of their additional content packs) since. From the very first time The Sims were brought to consoles, to the annoyances of dealing with your pets, I’ve been there for all of the things that made The Sims franchise great in the first place and now The Sims is back, jumping from PC to PS3 and Xbox 360, as The Sims’ introductory outing to the next-generation of consoles.
Click ‘Read More to read what I thought about the game
Wii. Move. Kinect. 3 forms of next-gen motion control gaming. White, black and green, together in the world of fanboyism and ultimate brand loyalty. It’s time for the suits behind our favourite consoles to step their game up and really show us what they can do. Nintendo has the upcoming 3DS and Microsoft has the ever-intriguing ‘shout at the telly’-tech of Kinect and Sony have just released Move to the braying public.
Last Friday, because I wasn’t able to pre-order PlayStation Move, I sent my Dad to HMV to pick up some Move tech on my behalf. I bought a PS Move Starter pack (with a demo disc), an extra Move ‘sphere’ controller as well as a navigation controller and a copy of Start The Party.
Here’s a pic of all of the stuff that I bought, which, surprisingly, wasn’t at all too expensive. All of this cost just under £150 (£149.96) and 75% of the things I bought weren’t even required as you only need the PS Move Starter Pack to play.
Click for full-size image.
I’ll be reviewing the Move tech, the Starter Pack as well as Start The Party all in an unbiased way (apparently unbiasedly isn’t a word – pfft!) because Sony didn’t pay me to say nice things, all opinions are my own and I had to buy all of my own Move things etcetera, etcetera, so on and so forth. Also, I won’t talk about the navigation controller as there isn’t much/anything that you can actually do with it at the moment.
Click ‘Read More‘ to read my review of PlayStation Move and to learn more brilliant jargon such as ‘pfft’!
To use PlayStation Move, you will need a sphere controller, a PlayStation Eye (PS camera) and a game. These are all found in the Starter Pack with the “game(s)” being those found on demo disc (as well as the full game Sports Champions if you buy the Starter Pack in North America) and are need to play.
Here’s another picture, this time it’s of my PS Eye/PS3 set-up.
Click the picture for a full-size image.
The camera was really easy to set-up, all I had to do was find a space for it (which was simple given that it’s small enough to hide with my hand), plug it into the USB slot of my PS3, make sure that it was working by looking at ‘Accessory Settings’ on my PS3, from there I went to ‘Camera Settings’ and voila! The camera worked perfectly.
From there it was even easier to connect my sphere controllers. They basically just worked like a Dualshock/Six-Axis controller. Press the PS button in the middle and they switch on. There was also a bit of frustrating calibration that I chose to do to get the most out of the 1:1 motion tracking which was TOTALLY worth it! I have to admit that I spent a fair amount of time just scrolling through the XMB randomly just for fun just to test the precision of the Move controllers and I have to say that I was amazed by the effectiveness of it. It honestly WOWed me, and that was before I’d even started playing a game!
Click the image to make it bigger.
Like the creepy homeless guy with the ragtag beard who seems to have an identical minion on every street, or, like the video game blogger who spent all of her money on a new set of video game accessories and games, I love stuff that I don’t have to pay for. Demos, competitions, freebies of any kind – if it’s free and to do with video games, it’s on like Donkey Kong! Hence the reason why I tried out the demo disc as my first playable experience with my brand spanking new PS Move controllers.
Since I don’t have the original EyePet, refuse to play a game associated with Tiger Woods (unless it’s that one from South Park!) and have no desire to be a TV Superstar or a Sketcher of Beats, any game that’s not those few that I just mentioned is reviewed below. Plus, since I know that you lost interest after the 3rd word in the post “Kinect” (damn fanboy!) the reviews are also sort-of-short and sort-of-sweet.
It seems like following the ‘motion control + sports games = fun’ trend set by Nintendo has worked really well for Sony. The two games that I could play in the SC demo were Disc Golf and Table Tennis ; two amazing games that are both a lot of fun and show off the 1 : 1 motion tracking that Sony keeps going on about. The motion control took a little bit of getting used to with the game and I suffered several defeats at the hands of Giselle, the cold-hearted Ping Pong warrior, as a result! Even my mother, who had spent the better part of an hour claiming that the PS Move controller is exactly like the motion controller of the Nintendo Wii, enjoyed it. Needless to say, my Mum was thoroughly impressed as she played some Table Tennis and kicked Giselle’s ass for me. Thanks Mum! She even let me quote her as saying
The PlayStation Move controls are better than the Wii!
There’s also the aforementioned ‘Disc Golf’ which is basically just a Frisbee game for tech enthusiasts. I’ve never been very good at Frisbee throwing , AKA ‘the ridiculous British holiday sport’ and it was quite fiddly even for a game in which you pretend to throw a Frisbee a bunch of times. However, for a peculiar concept, it worked quite well and the graphics weren’t half bad either, which is a plus.
In a real example of it does what is says on the tin, The Shoot is a game in which you shoot things. Imagine that. Again I was astonished at the preciseness of the motion tracking which Sony has clearly put a lot of time and effort in perfecting though I was more than a little bit disappointed at the fact that the game is so simple. I could think of plenty more things to use the PS Move tech for ; I call for a remake of the original EyeToy classic Wishy Washy! The Shoot is a great way to showcase the motion control’s talent though. (The Shoot is also quite difficult to calibrate!)
I didn’t like the first game in the echochrome series and I understood it up to the part where you actually start playing so I suppose you could say that I started playing the sequel’s demo expecting a whole lot of un-fun-gaming. And it was ; fun for some, not for me, unfortunately. I love the premise of the game, controlling shadows and using your PlayStation Move controller as the light. It’s creative and it’s a pretty ingenious way of using motion control too. However, maybe it has something to do with the genre of games that I like, in fact I’m sure it is, but I prefer my games to be Katamari Damacy weird not far-too-difficult-to-control kind of weird.
It’s called Tumble and if you click the picture for a full-size image, you’ll see that there is a brick in the middle of the letter ‘b’.. If you guessed that Tumble is a game in which you stack blocks made out of different materials in a certain way, give yourself 10 ‘guess the logo’ points to congratulate yourself. FYI, the points aren’t worth anything apart from being there to boost your self esteem
The idea for the game, while making a lot more sense than that of echochrome, is still a little odd. Though just remember all of the fun times you had stacking Lego, stickle and other sorts of toy bricks. Now you can do it with 1 : 1 super precise motion control, OMG! And I have an un-put-together Lego Technik tractor packed away somewhere that verifies the fact that there are Lego sets that cost more than the PS Move Starter Pack. There’s depth control in Tumble which means that the game is a lot more complex than just being a ‘block-stacking’ sim. Also, while it may not be the primary reason for buying a 3D TV for some, I do think that it’s very cool that the game boasts 3D support.
Start The Party
Of course there’s the wonderful game of Buzz! , the original PlayStation party game (in my opinion) but you absolutely HAVE to make room for a second party game in your video game collection as Start The Party is so much fun! I could only afford to buy 1 full game for PlayStation Move as I rather foolishly (in hindsight) bought an un-needed (as of right now) navigation controller. Though I think buying just the one game was worth it as although I’ve heard that some people think that the game is too short, I think that it’s perfect. There are quite a few mini-games to play to keep yourself amused and if you play them in Party Mode, there are a few extra games in between too. Because my mother had grown bored with the 2 levels of Table Tennis offered in the Sports Champions demo by this point, my father is an Xbox 360 fanboy and my sister wouldn’t know the difference between Chloe and Elena from the Uncharted series even if you made her play through both games twice (!) I opted to play the game in solo player mode. Apart from being a little lonely without the company of my family and not being given access to the other little features of the game such as getting to doodle over your opponents profile pictures (which you can take yourself using the PlayStation Eye) I still managed to have a lot of fun.
I also loved getting all of the easy trophies (you know there’s even one for playing Start The Party on Christmas Day?) as well as being able to take a host of random pictures to use in the game, the actual mini-games are ace too. Anyone want to slice fruit with me? For a game at launch, apart from maybe having an online mode and perhaps a few more mini-games just to keep the gameplay original, I don’t see why Start The Party can’t be classed as a near-perfect PlayStation Move launch title.
Thanks for reading this epically long post, I hope you enjoyed it!
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