Reviews

Quarrel, XBLA – Review

Quarrel, XBLA – 400MSP

Review by Will Templeton

Quarrel’s been through a lot on its journey to XBLA. Rejected several times by publishers everywhere, Denki’s taken the stance that the publishers are playing it safe rather than playing the market – that their little word game could stand on its own two feet in the land of guns. Finally, following its success on iOS, Denki was able to secure a publisher and release a much more full-featured version, including the simultaneous multiplayer that was so tragically cut from the mobile app.

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Brink, PC – Review

Brink, PC – £14.85 delivered

Registers on Steam.

Review by Lewie Procter

I often feel like I’m too old to properly get into multiplayer shooters these days. I’m only 23, but in my teenage counterstrike heyday I could keep up the pace in online games, whereas I just get slaughtered playing CS these days. It’s hard to say whether Brink having successfully sucked me into a team based FPS is a huge success of design, or just it being a game that is in tune with my skills, or a mix of the two, but I’ve been kicking ass at Brink online, and thoroughly enjoying myself in the process. Here’s why.

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Darkspore – Review

Darkspore, PC – £23.49 delivered


Review by Ben Tyrer

When I heard that Darkspore was comparing itself to Diablo, a favourite series of mine, I immediately knew I would have to take a look and see what all the fuss was about. I was surprised that Maxis had decided to have a stab at creating something a little more daring than their usual expansions of the never-going-to-disappear Sims franchise. I just didn’t think Maxis had it in them to create a visceral action RPG, but was I counting my loot before it had been identified?

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Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – Review

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, PC – £3.39

PC version review by Ben Tyrer

Lara Croft art

Right now, this game is on offer over at Steam as part of the Square Enix week promotion. What better time to share my thoughts on the latest escapade of beloved raider of tombs, Lara Croft?

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AI War: Fleet Command, PC – Review

AI War: Fleet Command, PC – £5.32 (DRM free, direct from the developer, but also can be registered on Steam)

Review by Bobby Foster

If I could take only one videogame with me to a desert island, it might be this one. There is so much depth and challenge here that even if I spent a lifetime in solitary confinement playing it, I might still never be able to say I’d mastered it.

Unfortunately, away from the desert island, my patience was too short.

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Fallout: New Vegas – Review

Fallout: New Vegas, PC – £22.99, or if you don’t care when you get it, The Hut have it for £22.44 when you use a 10% off voucher.

PC version review by Ben Tyrer (Tumblr)

New Vegas Art

The days leading up to the release of New Vegas were something of an emotional roller-coaster for me. My anxiety was painfully high, having read the numerous terrifying accounts of it being a hilariously broken game from the onset. Had I squandered my pennies on nothing more than a broken mod? Not only that, but I received my disc copy (having decided the Steam servers were too much for my already-frayed nerves) excruciatingly early. Normally, this is an excellent thing, but the game being tethered to Steam’s unlock countdown meant I was in for a gruelling wait, and the box smiling down at me served only as a teasing reminder of that fact. When I was finally presented with the game’s splash-screen, I had no idea what to expect. Twenty-something hours in, here’s what I think.

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Batman: The Brave and the Bold – Review

Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Wii – £13.99 delivered
Batman: The Brave and the Bold, DS – £13.99 delivered

Review by Lewie Procter

You can punch dinosaurs as Batman.

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Super Meat Boy – Review

Super Meat Boy, XBLA – 1,200 MS Points (800 MS Points at release, til November)
4,200 MS points – £25.98 delivered
Spend 2,400 points in October, and get 800 points back.

Review by Lewie Procter

Every single time I died in Super Meat Boy, it was my fault.

That’s not strictly true, there is one boss that bucks the trend, but every other death in Super Meat Boy was entirely my fault. I misjudged the jump, I ran into the spinning death saw, I fell into the lava pit and I got impaled on the spikes. 4,260 deaths I’m up to now, and I’m only part way into the post game, there’s plenty of marrow to suck from this game yet. With all those failed attempts, it’s a bloody good job that Team Meat have stitched some kind of amnesia educing witchcraft into the fabric of the game. My overriding memory is that one time I beat that one difficult level, not the thousands of other times I didn’t make it. I kick ass at Super Meat Boy. I kick ass at video games. Nothing can stop me.

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Amnesia: The Descent, PC – Review

Review by Ben Tyrer (Tumblr)

Amnesia Artwork

Fresh from the Penumbra series, I pre-ordered Amnesia: The Dark Descent with a spring in my step. Interested not only to see whether the formula had improved any, but whether my experience with Overture and Black Plague had made me any less of a coward, I launched into the grissly world of Brennenburg Castle. Was I still a pathetic craven? Was the game scary? And just what makes a survival horror horrific?

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Blade Kitten – Review

Blade Kitten, PC – £9.99
Also available on XBLA and PSN.

Review by Ben Tyrer (Tumblr)

Blade Kitten Artwork

My first concern with Blade Kitten was the notion that two vastly different words could be juxtaposed in such a disconcerting way. A blade is a weapon of slashing and maiming, whereas I have it on good authority that a kitten is a device used only to a fluffy and endearing end. In what twisted world could the two drastically dissimilar nouns coexist in a single, shameless title? Surely not a world I would want to live in, and yet there I was. Linguistic emotional rollercoaster aside and images of murderous felines suppressed deep into my subconscious, my second concern was that I hadn’t even heard of the comic series on which the game was based. Not a good start at all, I’m sure you’ll agree, but this didn’t seem to matter once I got down to actually playing the thing. So, how was it?

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Tidalis – Review

Tidalis, PC/Mac – £7.68 (actually a little cheaper on Steam, but do them a solid and buy it direct from them)

Review by Ben Tyrer (Tumblr)

Tidalis. A vast, unexplored continent, shrouded in mystery and void of all life… But is it really?

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Limbo – Review

Limbo, XBLA – 1,200 MS Points

Review by Lewie Procter

LIMBO Box Art

Limbo is a story.

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Super Mario Galaxy 2, Wii – Review

Super Mario Galaxy 2 – £29.74 delivered

Apply coupon “FTSL15-1″

Review by Bobby Foster

Super Mario Galaxy 2 artwork

Seriously? You want to read about Super Mario Galaxy 2 instead of play Super Mario Galaxy 2? You are, quite simply, wasting precious moments of your life that could otherwise be spent enjoying the greatest videogame ever made. Really. Honestly. I promise I’m not just saying that to catch your attention.

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Joe Danger – Review

Joe Danger, £9.99 on PSN (£20 PSN money for £17.91)

Review by Lewie Procter

Joe Danger Artwork</a>

I’ve been playing this same level over and over. I’ve learnt every single obstacle. I know where they are, and I know how to get past them all. The controller has become an extension of my body, the buttons are mapped to my muscle memory in extreme detail.

I can do it. I know I have got a perfect run in me. Just one more try.

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Iron Man 2 – Review

[DEAL GOES HERE]

Review by Will Templeton

ironman

I’ve been trying to write a review for the Iron Man 2 game since it launched. I’ve been writing and scrapping paragraphs for weeks, unsatisfied with every single one of them in the end, and I realised why – I was trying to see something that wasn’t there. I was wrestling with myself, trying to convince myself that it wasn’t all bad, that surely it had some redeeming qualities, and then maybe somewhere – God knows where, but somewhere – there was someone that this game was designed for and who would get some enjoyment from it.

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APB – Review

It’s not very good.

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Trine – Review

Trine, PC – £4.99 delivered

Review by Laura Michet

Trine artwork

A friend of mine sidled over and took a peek at my laptop screen. “Wo-oah,” he said. “That’s pretty.

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Splinter Cell: Conviction – Review

Splinter Cell: Conviction, Xbox 360 – £27.95 delivered

Apply code “APRIL2″

Review by Lewie Procter

I’m not sure exactly how to approach distilling my opinion on the new Tom Clancy’s™ Splinter Cell™ game down into text. Unlike the game itself there is more than one way I could accomplish that goal. Tom Clancy’s™ Splinter Cell™ has had a complete overhaul. Remember how in the old Tom Clancy’s™ Splinter Cell™ games you had to think? Not any more. In the place of intelligent stealth action is flashy whiz bang punchy shooty nonsense, where the most complex challenge you’ll ever have to solve is “how do I press the button that the game tells me to”.

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Persona 3 FES, PS2 – Review

Persona 3 FES – £14.95 delivered

Review by Bobby Foster

Routine is important. I get that. Like most people, I learnt young that failing to brush your teeth every morning has disastrous consequences both hygienically and socially. And although I’ve always kinda felt that the alarm clock is the cruellest machine mankind ever made, I’ve come to accept that you have to use one to be successful in the modern world.

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PixelJunk Shooter – Review

£20 PSN card, £17.95 (Game cost: £6.29)

by Will Templeton

There’s something about PixelJunk games that distils the absolute best mechanics of a genre down to a seemingly simple experience. It’s a pattern and an ethos that Q-Games have followed for each of the series – take a base mechanic, stretch it to the best of its ability without straying too far from it, build a game around the abilities that are produced and release it, all within the span of an extremely short development cycle.

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Mass Effect 2 – Review

Mass Effect 2, Xbox 360 – £32.99 delivered
Mass Effect 2, PC – £19.99 delivered

Review by Bobby Foster

The first thing you’ll notice about Mass Effect 2 is the quality of the Brylcreem all the characters use. Every haircut in this universe stays perfectly shaped at all times, even when the hair is really long. It’s a truly exciting vision of what the future of hair care holds.

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Tales of Monkey Island: Series One – Review

Tales of Monkey Island: Series One – £21.48

Review by Bobby Foster

Tales of Monkey Island artwork

Games in the early 90s mostly didn’t bother with narrative. The titles that sold best recreated the kind of experiences people were having in arcades, and you’d probably only catch a glimpse of a “plot” in the opening couple of screens. Even there, the aim was mostly to explain what the player needed to do and what was meant to be represented by the crude in-game graphics. Games that aimed to build a meaningful relationship between player and avatar were almost non-existent.

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Blood Bowl, Xbox 360 – Review

Blood Bowl, Xbox 360 – £17.73

Review by – Mr Chris

Blood Bowl was a Games Workshop board game first released some time back in the, oooh, 80s or 90s or something. A while ago, anyway. Basically (for those of you who don’t know) it’s an American football style sports game played by the various denizens of the Warhammer fantasy universe. Your little plastic or lead team of Orcs, Goblins, Humans, Undead or whatever played a turn-based game of Extreme Rugby against each other on a big gridded board. Many dice would be thrown. People would get injured, or killed (and that’s just the argumentative teenagers disputing a dice roll). Touchdowns might be scored. Girls would likely be absent.

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VVVVVV – ReVVVVVView

VVVVVV, PC/Mac/Linux – £9.36

ReVVVVVView by Lewie Procter

VVVVVV Artwork

VVVVVV is the story of a little bloke with a big smile. He’s Captain Veridian. He has to save the day via puzzle platforming.

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