Reviews

Torchlight, PC – Review

Torchlight, PC – £12.35

Review by – TychoCelchuuu

TorchlightLogo

Do you like clicking? Do you like loot? Do you like putting skill points into skills? If you’ve answered yes to these three questions, you’re either pining for Diablo III or you’ve done the sensible thing and purchased Torchlight to tide you over. The brazenness with which Torchlight rips off the Diablo series would be criminal if it wasn’t so cute. This game plays like a refinement and a distillation of the classic hack and slash, and the only thing that hasn’t been pinched from Diablo is its violent, gothic tone. Instead, Torchlight has wholly appropriated World of Warcraft’s cheery stylized visuals, which means you will spend hours clicking on and picking up town portal scrolls from skeletons with endearingly large heads that you’ve smashed with bright, glowing swords.

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Seizuredome, PC – Review

Review by Bobby Foster

seizuredome_titlex200

Seizuredome is about shooting things before they collide into you. In that sense, it’s a direct descendant of the 30 year-old Asteroids. What Seizuredome adds to the mix is sumo wrestling, nudity and amazing music. I think I’ve fallen in love.

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The Path, PC/Mac – Review

The Path, PC – £6.29

Review by Bobby Foster

The Path Artwork

I’ve become a willing participant in the rape and murder of seven young women. I say “young women”, but five of them you’d definitely call girls. What worries me is that I’m not sure I even regret it.

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Secret of Mana – Review

Secret of Mana – 800 Wii points

Review by Bobby Foster

Single-player, fantasy-based roleplaying videogames are often a lonely, tedious experience. You spend hundreds of hours developing your character, trudging through predictable environments, and repeating the same attacks over and over again. Japanese developers in particular have a track record of making games where the core mechanic consists of battling against wave after wave of easily defeatable enemy, who exist solely to dispense the Experience Points you need to beat the more challenging and interesting boss encounters. Any time spent in combat with enemies who never realistically pose a threat is no fun, because a fight without some sense of peril is inevitably dull. Yet it’s become so commonplace in modern RPGs that fans of the genre have learnt to accept it and even name it: ‘grind’.

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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, PS3 – Review

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, PS3 – £29.99 delivered

Review by Amitai Winehouse (twitter.com/amitaiwinehouse)

Uncharted 2 Box Art

If you’ve logged onto the internet (who really “logs on” to the internet anymore?) over the last two weeks, you’ll probably have realised that quite a lot of people like Uncharted 2. Not just like, like, but like, like like. Are they correct to do so? I suppose it’s my job to find out.

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Wet – Review

Review by Will Templeton (continueorquit.com)

Wet artwork

In movies, the best characters are those with which the viewer can sympathise; a character that, while flawed, can be enjoyed and identified with by the viewer. Considering that Wet draws so heavily from cinema, to the extent of running it as a motif throughout the game, it seems somewhat out of place that the protagonist is as blank a slate as she is. Rubi is a humourless, callous bitch, an outcast with only the pursuit of money on her mind and nothing interesting to say, and I simply do not identify with her, nor do I want to.

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Atomhex, Xbox 360 – Review

Atomhex, Xbox 360 – 80MS Points

Review by Lewie Procter

Atomhex Artwork

Dual Stick shooters have seen a bit of a wonderful resurgence in the last few years, and you can very easily track it back to the release of Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved on the Xbox Live Arcade. This indie endeavour has a bit of an interesting history to it though.

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Terminator Salvation – Review

Review by 043

When Epic’s Gears of War was released in 2006, it made a splash on the console shooter scene by bringing the controllability of a first person shooter to the third-person perspective, while retaining a certain cinematic flair. Of course, its over-the-shoulder view was used in Resident Evil 4 a year earlier, and even cited as an influence on the game; but it brought more clones to the market than RE4 ever did. GRIN’s Terminator Salvation can be considered one of those clones, taking Gears’ perspective, cover system and even gameplay segues straight from its Great Uncle Marcus. Only this time, there’s a film license, and as such, a lack of creativity behind its production.

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The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena – Review

Review by Justin Thurman

In order to make some sense of this review, I would like to summarize my feelings on Assault on Dark Athena first and qualify them afterwards: I would very much like to recommend Assault on Dark Athena to you but I find that I am largely unable to do so. I wanted to like it myself. Having loved Pitch Black, been annoyed with but understanding of Chronicles of Riddick, and having not played Escape from Butcher Bay, I came to Assault on Dark Athena expecting (or at least hoping) to find a game wherein I play as the morally ambiguous, very unsettling, sneaky, stabby badass Richard B. Riddick – and at certain points throughout the game, this is exactly what I got. But those points are far too infrequent for me to have felt satisfied by the overall experience or to have felt that Assault properly seizes what makes Riddick such an appealing character.

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Street Fighter IV – Review

Review by Fig-D

Figuring out whether or not you’ll enjoy Street Fighter IV is a fairly simple process:

Did you play Street Fighter II?
Did you like it?

Now, just about every game enthusiast born before 1990 will answer “yes” to the first question, but the real question is whether or not you enjoyed it. Did you throw a large portion of your pocket money into a dingy machine peppered with chewed gum and cigarette burns? Did you rent the game for your SNES or Mega Drive and lose an entire weekend beating up your childhood friends? If “yes” then you’ll probably get a kick out of Street Fighter IV.

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Peggle DS – Review

Review by Lewie Procter

Peggle, in all it’s guises, is a bit of an oddball. Dual Shot in particular.

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Space Giraffe – Review

Review by Lewie Procter

The closest I can come to flat out recommending Space Giraffe is saying “I would feel like an idiot if I didn’t flat out recommend Space Giraffe”.

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Peggle, XBLA – Review

Review by Will Templeton


Peggle on PC, for the uninitiated, is the poster child for the casual game that can break through to the hardcore (or vice versa). It’s Positive Reinforcement: The Game, essentially a mash-up of Breakout and Pachinko wrapped up in pretty colours, classical music and characters based entirely on puns.

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MadWord, Wii – Review

Review by Lewie Procter

Very cool.

Very very cool.

Fuck Mediawatch-UK, Fuck Anne Diamond, and fuck the Daily Mail. MadWorld is fun fun fun fun fun.

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WWE: Legends of WrestleMania – Review

Review by myp

So, wrestling eh? You either love it or you hate it. Me, I think it’s ok, as long as you accept the fact that it’s just a soap opera for boys. The acting is terrible and the plots are weak, but for some inexplicable reason it still manages to draw me in with its implausible story lines and over-the-top circus theatre. This game takes us to the so-called ‘Golden Age’ of the World Wrestling Federation Entertainment of the 1980s and 90s, back when the fights were real and the best man really did win (sub please check).

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S8ek AV8R – Review

Review by Lewie Procter

The S8ek AV8R is a pretty good flightstick.

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The Magic Toy Chest, PC – Review

Review by Bobby

The Magic Toy Chest is one of those games that if it were a flash based web game would be the talk of the internet. One of those meme like popular games posted on message boards the world over. Because it is one of those games. This game however costs $19.95, the question is, is it worth it?

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Deadly Creatures, Wii – Review

Review by The Rev Owen

Deadly Creatures, a third person action game in which you take control of a tarantula and a scorpion in the American desert, has been a difficult game to play through for review. Not because it’s particularly hard. Not because it’s a terrible game I couldn’t face playing. No, it was hard to play because it completely terrified my wife, so I couldn’t play it while she was awake. She’s fine with zombies, monsters and aliens trying to eat my face off while she sits beside me knitting and tweeting, but put me in control of a tarantula and she can’t even look at the screen.

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Age of Empires: Mythologies, DS – Review

Review by The Rev Owen

Some games are the worst kind of supermodel, beautiful but empty. Some are aging drunken actors, full of charisma, but stumbling and incoherent. Some are great scientists, brilliant, peerless but impossible to understand. Some are snake-oil salesmen, promising the world but delivering nothing.

Age of Empires: Mythologies for the Nintendo DS is your friend James. He works in IT, is in a long-term relationship with a plain, unremarkable girl and is pleasant company down the pub. He’s just not going to stumble in with a bottle of red wine in one hand, a pair of handcuffs in another and regale you with tales of amazing adventure in Eastern Europe.

This is because James, despite being a nice enough chap, is fundamentally quite dull. He does what he does well – he works hard, always buys his round and treats his girlfriend well – but he’s not very exciting.

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Rock Band Portable Drum Kit – Review

Review by Will Templeton

When the Rock Band Portable Drum Kit arrived at my door, I was pleasantly surprised at the build quality of the contents – the four pads are exactly the same size as the full Rock Band drum set, and made of good-quality rubber. The drumsticks unscrew for easy transport, and have rubberised ends to dampen sounds. The pedal looks flimsy but feels sturdy, and is mounted with a couple of removable carpet grips to keep it from slipping. It’s clear that MadCatz have put a lot of thought into the failings of the original drum kit and piped those into the design of this portable version – the pedal especially is much upgraded from the rubberised one they initially announced.

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Meteos Wars – Review

Review by Robert Boyd

Meteos Wars is the latest puzzle game to be released on XBLA from Q? Entertainment – publisher of such gems as Lumines Live and Rez HD. As a big fan of Q? Entertainment’s previous games, I went into Meteos Wars with high expectations.

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Crayon Physics Deluxe – Review

Review by Lewie Procter

It’s a testament to how simple and yet compelling the crayon physics core mechanic is that a bunch of clones have sprung up between the initial release of the Crayon Physics tech demo and the release of the proper game, Crayon Physics Deluxe. There have been homebrew clones on the Wii, DS, an iPhone clone, and several PC clones, and those are just the ones I’ve encountered. When I say clone, I don’t even mean that in a derogatory sense, I’m pretty sure they would all happily cite Petri Purho’s IGF winner as their inspiration.

It taps into an idea I know I’ve had since watching Penny Crayon as a kid, drawing something, which then comes to life.

But does it work as a game? For the most part, yes, very much so.

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Home, PS3 – Review

Home, PS3 – Free

Review by Lewie Procter

(as of Home v1.03)

Booting up home, the first thing I got to do was create a character.

No matter what you do, the character will not look like you, they will look like someone from an awful lifestyle photoshoot.

I was unable to give my guy a beard, maybe I have to pay for that.

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Mirror's Edge – Review

Review by Lewie Procter

What on earth are DICE doing wasting their time with the Battlefield series?

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Call of Duty: World At War – Review

Review by Lewie Procter

CODWAW (Cod·Wah) is in an odd position, sandwiched between the ‘proper’ call of duty games.

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