Video Games

We Happy Few Hits Kickstarter June 4th

We Happy Few Hits Kickstarter June 4th

We Happy Few, the bizarre 60s themed first person title from Compulsion Games, is heading to Kickstarter. The announcement was made via a press release, with the Kickstarter date being set for June 4th. Compulsion Games also introduced weekly developer updates which will chart the development cycle of the game as well as showing off various assets.   We Happy Few’s trailer has been doing the rounds online for some time now, generating a lot of buzz thanks to it’s quirky tone. The unique art direction is worth checking out alone. It’s refreshing to see a game tackle a period of time not normally covered in video games, even more so given it’s distinctly English tone similar to that of The Wicker Man. Compulsion Games last release was 2013′s Puzzle/Platformer Contrast.  ...

Why Ask For Female Led Games Only To Ignore them?

Why Ask For Female Led Games Only To Ignore them?

The last few years has seen a huge push for more female representation in video games. A number of video game journalists, pop culture critics (still not sure what that exactly entails) and industry figures demanded to see well rounded female characters leading video games. It’s a admirable stance, but the issue of practicing what you preach quickly reared it’s head. A small Brazilian indie developer, named Swordtale, recently released a game by the name of Toren, a puzzle adventure that explores gender roles and the concept of growing up. Toren was reviewed on this very site, and slated for it’s poor mechanics and dated gameplay…but not it’s attempts at exploring a female character. Toren’s main character is a young girl named Moonchild, her role throughout the game is the find her place in the world. Moonchild is neither objectified, sexualised or portrayed as weak. Moonchild, for all intents and purposes, is exactly what a number of people have been asking for…so why have they ignored the game? It’s hard to pin down exactly why Toren was ignored. Press releases were sent out, both big names and little names were offered review codes along with a link to the trailer. From the small site that is PixelGate.co.uk, to James Rolfe (The Angry Video Game Nerd), Toren’s PR did a good job of offering codes for review across the board. As they say, ignorance is bliss, and that certainly seems true in Toren’s case. For a game that provided what many were asking for, there sure wasn’t a whole lot of support from the people you’d expect. Toren may not be packing the ‘big’ names behind it, but Swordtale are undoubtedly contributing to the library of female led video games, a library not as small as some would have you believe. The method in which Toren explores it’s character is organic and well woven into the context of the story. There’s no misplaced attitude, no ‘issues’ that some people feel is a requirement for any female character. Moonchild’s journey from young child, to mature young women, happens before the players eyes in well crafted manner. Perhaps Toren wasn’t promoted in the right way. If Toren was thrown out into the public space and marketed as a game with the main selling point being a female lead, then perhaps social media would of buzzed with interest. Torren was marketed it as a video game, a video game with interesting themes and art style, and not just a vehicle for a female character. It’s a shame that a game like Toren fulfills the wishes of a vocal majority, yet receives barely any of their backing. Denying the scent of hypocrisy is a hard feat. When people are making a living off bemoaning the lack of female lead games on the market, should we really be shocked when they chose to ignore games like Toren?    ...

Bloodborne & Splatoon Prices Drop, Hard To Resist

Bloodborne & Splatoon Prices Drop, Hard To Resist

One of the finest video games in recent years has been given a healthy discount. From Software’s Bloodborne is now available for a mere £33.95. Given the quality, and the amount of content, £33.95 is a fine price. With the new generation of systems lacking ‘must play’ games, Bloodborne came about at the perfect time. Nintendo’s experimental title, Splatoon, is already being discounted. Gameseek has the standard version up for £22.50 when using the code SPREE5. The recent play tests resulted in a spike in pre-orders, a price drop would surely push Splatoon further towards the levels of success Nintendo may quietly be expecting. David Cage’s Beyond: Two Souls was the definition of a love/hate game. Left to rot in the bargain bin pretty early on, Beyond: Two Souls remains as one last gens curiosities. For £5 you’d be hard push to feel out of pocket, even if Ellen Page’s soulless performance kills your enthusiasm.  ...

The Most Exciting 11 Seconds Of Your Life – Doom

The Most Exciting 11 Seconds Of Your Life – Doom

Normally a press release would come packed with a bunch of guff about features, mechanics and DLC plans. Doom just came with a 11 second trailer to announce that gameplay footage will be shown at E3. Enjoy the 11 seconds of ART.            ...

Is This The Most Exciting E3 In Years?

Is This The Most Exciting E3 In Years?

With E3 fast approaching, people are already discussing their expectations when it comes to the ‘big three’. Last year represented some pretty big changes, at least in terms of presentations. Nintendo’s Direct plan drew initial criticisms and concerns. Not physically holding a conference at E3 sounded like a truly risky move, but when all was said and done, Nintendo Direct was a success. Their brave move proved that the face of E3 was changing again, E3 2015 could be another year of change, at least for Sony and Microsoft. E3 2015 will be a key event in both Sony and Microsoft’s consoles life cycle. Neither system has truly defined it’s self, with both systems hosting some great games, but no where near enough of them. Consumers are still looking for that ‘big’ game, that exclusive that will shape the image of it’s respective console. Bloodborne is the only ‘new gen’ exclusive that has seemingly made a impact upon release, but one game is not enough, and Sony knows this, Microsoft knows this. For the most part, both systems are on equal footing, but E3 could be event that changes that. The Order 1886 was a disappointment, The Master chief Collection was a utter wreck. Both Sony and Microsoft suffered, and now the people expect better, arguably they deserve better. This sets up E3 2015 to be one of the more interesting expos for some time. All eyes will be on the battle between Sony and Microsoft, as they both lay claim to the throne of the console market once again. There’s the obvious expectations that the likes of Uncharted and Halo will make a appearance at some point, but it’s the ‘new’ games that will create the biggest impact. The market is crying out for new IPs, truly next generation titles, rather than already familiar mechanics wrapped with slightly better visuals. Breaking habits of old will be key for both Sony and Microsoft. Both companies have a history of rambling on about non-game app services for far too long, often killing any momentum their conferences have built up. Spending prolonged time on multi-format third party games (e.g. Microsoft and Call of Duty) would also produces more groans than cheers. This year’s E3 has to be the year for both companies to come out swinging, showing off reasons to own their system. It’s a genuinely exciting that we don’t know what to expect from either Sony or Microsoft. There’s the odd franchise that’ll make a cameo, but for the most part, the field is wide open....

The Beauty In Boredom -Toren Review (PS4)

The Beauty In Boredom -Toren Review (PS4)

For their first game, Brazilian developer Swordtales decided to make more than ‘just a game’. Exploring themes such as growing up, gender and expectations, Swordtale have displayed some genuine ambition, and bravery, with Toren. Taking inspiration from various games such as Ico, Journey and The Legend of Zelda, Toren isn’t trying to simply entertain, it’s trying to provoke. Toren proudly shrouds it’s self with mystery, forcing the player to connect the dots of the story. The basic outline sees Moonchild, a young girl stranded on a tower overseen by a dragon, tasked with uncovering her purpose. Her goal is to reach the top of tower, slay the dragon, and understand her place in the world. The basic plot may reek of generic staples of fantasy video games, but it’s far from it. The core goal of the game exists to direct the player, but the result is only made worthwhile by the journey. Moonchild’s journey from the bottom to the tower, all the way to the top, is not merely to fight a dragon and save the day, it’s more of personal journey. Each step towards the top of the tower is accompanied by Moonchild growing, in more ways than one, progressing her story as well as her development.   Toren’s strongest aspect is clear from the off. The art direction is utterly stunning, lush colours fill the screen, giving Toren’s environments teem with life. Soaking in the sheer beauty of the world is the most rewarding element Toren has to offer,. Much like a beautifully painted picture, the art direction posses a strange ‘hand made’ quality to it, allowing the world to transcend that of a video game, appearing organic. The sheer range of environments the player indulges in leaves Toren feeling dream like, producing a overwhelming sense of relaxation, forcing the player to succumb to the game’s beauty. In a strange turn of events, the actual textures of Toren are a mixed bag of fair to terrible. Character models lack any real detail, this leaves them feeling rather alien from the world they inhabit. Bizarrely, some of the backgrounds look totally untouched, it’s genuinely jarring to be hooked into a beautiful environment, only to see a large ugly rock protruding through the world. Textures aren’t the only issue Toren suffers from, the animation is painfully awkward, failing to compliment the before mentioned art direction. Robotic movements restrict Moonchild from ever feeling, or looking, like a believable character. Watching her awkward shuffles, with such beauty around her, is utterly frustrating. In truth, most of the games real issues revolve around the gamplay and mechanics. Jumping never feels responsive, or satisfying, the same can be said for the combat. Simple button presses should result in instant and tangible responses, Toren never achieves this. Puzzles make up a large part of the overall experience, unfortunately, these puzzles are neither challenging or even engaging. The core mechanics feel dated, limited and ultimately boring. Wrestling with the camera is the biggest challenge Toren presents. Trying to traverse the bland level design is made increasingly difficult by the camera refusing to play nice, instead it stubbornly locks it’s self at awkward angles. Technical issues plague Toren from start to finish, from physics bugging out, frame rate drops and some irritating screen tearing. Toren’s technical issues detract from it’s strongest aspect, the art direction, which is truly a crying shame. On the plus side, the gorgeous soundtrack is left utterly untouched by any issues, allowing it to flow in perfect motion with the story. Toren is a much more enjoyable game to watch than it is to play. The poor puzzles, dated and repetitive mechanics leave the game feeling like a struggle to play. It’s sad that the wonderful work with the art direction is not vindicated with competent gameplay. The attempts at exploring gender and maturity are admirable, but never truly taste complete, leaving the climax of the 4 hour campaign feeling underwhelming. Swordtales have plenty of promise, particularity with their art design, but Toren is a messy first outing needed more time in development. More enjoyable to witness, than to play, Toren often looks the part, but unfortunately falls short in most areas....

Another Exclusive Remastering Is The Last Thing The Xbox One Needs

Another Exclusive Remastering Is The Last Thing The Xbox One Needs

The rumors have been floating around for some time now, but it seems Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is real. Microsoft’s Xbox One will play host to a new version of the classic 360 title, but is it really what Xbox One owners want to hear? Or even play? However way you spin it, both the PS4 and Xbox One have hardly got a exclusive games library truly worth boasting about. The scales have shifted towards the PS4 in recent times, mostly due to the brilliant Bloodborne, but there’s hardly a wealth of ‘killer apps’ on either system. The likes of Ryse & The Order 1886 failed to make a impact beyond looking pretty and Titanfall turned out to be a flash in the pan success. Killzone and Second Son were met with various amounts of success, but never truly felt like the ‘big’ titles many were expecting them to be. While Sony seem to taking steps in the right direction, Microsoft apparently see re-releases as path to success. The continued lean towards re-releases feels less of a safe option, especially after the utterly disastrous Master Chief Collection, which hurt the Halo brand. It’s undeniable that Gears of War is a franchise that carries a huge level of fan love with it, but the franchise took a few dents along the way. Bringing back Gears of War is not all that much of a issue, but the fact it would be seen as one of the Xbox One’s ‘big’ exclusives would present a whole new problem. Microsoft are still searching for a identity for their newest machine, supplying their system with regular exclusive remakes isn’t exactly the best way forward. If the Xbox One was to become known for it’s remakes, it’s easy to see the system falling behind it’s competition in the long run. Exclusives sells systems, but only the good ones positively define a system, and remaking past glories is not the way to build a systems legacy or user base. The Xbox One has the brand power, Microsoft’s hard work with pushing the 360 resulted in them becoming a household name in terms of consoles, and yet they seem to be struggling to replicate that success again. It’s not like the Xbox One has no exclusives coming, it’s more that they’re normally pushed aside and barely marketed or even talked about. The heavy focus on pushing The Master Chief Collection and timed Call of Duty DLC  as two of the main reasons to own a Xbox One was was fair enough, mostly due to the status of the franchises, but Gears doesn’t have that same power behind it. The chainsaw-chest high wall-shooter resonates with a large group of people, but it’s never been on the levels of Halo or Call of Duty, the Xbox One needs to resonate and interest and many people as it can. Gears of War on the Xbox One is a nice addition, but not a needed one, Microsoft need to give their system a identity, remastered Xbox 360 games is not the way to achieve that.     @linko64...

Mortal Kombat X DLC Wishlist – Karts, Chess & Costumes

Mortal Kombat X DLC Wishlist – Karts, Chess & Costumes

Mortal Kombat X is currently sitting pretty as the ‘new gens’ best fighter. With a rather messy story, and some questionable micro-transactions, Mortal Kombat X is arguably the best of the series. Attention turns to how well Mortal Kombat x will be supported in terms of DLC, and with one pack already out, people have began to note their hopes for future content. The following is a list of content that would be more than welcome to Mortal Kombat X, from characters to mini-games, this is the Pixel Gate UK list of desired content…yeah, we can dream!     Motor Kombat: During the PS2/Xbox/Game Cube era, Mortal Kombat struggled to find it’s feet. A hugely saturated roster, questionable game mechanics and bad stories left the franchise bruised and battered. It wasn’t all doom and gloom, in Mortal Kombat’s madness came a stroke of sheer genius, Motor Kombat. Sure it was silly, and yes it didn’t exactly play all that well, but the element of fun was certainly there. Bombing through a number of tracks set in the Mortal Kombat universe, while controlling a ‘kute’ (couldn’t resit, sorry) version of the MK roster, was bizarrely brilliant. Mortal Kombat X feels like the perfect home for a flashier version of Motor Kombat, even more so with online lobbies.     Chess Kombat: Yet another slice of weird, Chess Kombat appeared in Mortal Kombat Deception. A mixture of chess, RTS and classic fighting, Chess Kombat was a nice distraction. It wasn’t flashy, it wasn’t all that complex, but it was surprisingly addictive. It’s surprising Chess Kombat never appeared in a online enabled Mortal Kombat, now seems like the perfect time.   Puzzle Kombat: Mortal Kombat Deception boasted one of the oddest mini-games in the franchises history in the form of Puzzle Kombat. Two characters battled it out on the bottom of the screen, with their success being determined by the players performance in the simultaneous Tetris like puzzle game. It was hardly a new concept, Street Fighter doing a similar thing previous to Mortal Kombat, either way, Puzzle Kombat was a hilarious pursuit.   Klassic Costumes:   The ball is already rolling with this one with the addition of Klassic Sub Zero. Future patches will see Klassic Scorpion added to the game for free, and hopefully it doesn’t stop there. Reptile and Ermac would seem like natural choices in terms of Klassic costumes, even more so given their ‘pallet swap’ legacy. In a throw back to the original Mortal Kombat, the addtion of original costumes for Kano, Sonya and Johnny Cage feel like good choices for free additions. With decades worth of franchise entries, the sheer potential for Klassic costumes is near endless.   Klassic Stages: Like most fighters, Mortal Kombat has a rich history of iconic stages, most of them with their own fatalities. From temples to bridges, and a few dungeons in between, Mortal Kombat has a large selection of settings that oozed with the universes trademarks. Mortal Kombat X has a decent, and unique, selection of it’s own but jumping back into past battlegrounds would flare up some serious nostalgia.   Meat & Mocap Guy: The pinnacle of running out of ideas for characters, even if they are utterly hilarious.          ...

Super Smash Bros Gets Too Cheap To Resist

Super Smash Bros Gets Too Cheap To Resist

One of the main reasons to own a Wii U just got a whole lot cheaper. Super Smash Bros has been given welcomed discount resulting in a new copy costing a mere £24.99, or £22.99 pre-owned. The deal can be found at UK retailer Grainger Games. A new copy is probably more of a safe bet, mainly due to Grainger Games having a patchy track record when it comes to quality pre-owned games. For £24.99, you would be hard pressed to find a game as fun, and with as much re-play value, as Smash Bros....

Amiibo Prices Doubles, Are They Even Worth It?

Amiibo Prices Doubles, Are They Even Worth It?

As the Amiibo fever continues to spread, it seems even the retailers are starting to get in on the scalping action. ShopTo have decided to increase their prices to a sicking £19.99 per Amiibo, after months of being top dog in terms of value and service, at least for Amiibos. To put the price spike into perspective, Amiibo started of at £10.99 on Shopto, and remained at that price till about a month ago when they went up to £14.99. This price matched up with all other retailers, namely GAME. The further increase to £19.99 now makes ShopTo the most pricey option outside of E-bay and private sellers. ShopTo have yet to comment on why they have decided to raise their price in such a sharp manner. It’s interesting that all previous waves have now been desisted from their site. Is £20 per Amiibo too much to pay? Are retailers getting just as bad as scalpers? ShopTo certainly feel like they are.     - @linko64...

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