Video Games / Platform

ZombiU – The Unappreciated Gem

ZombiU – The Unappreciated Gem

While the Wii U may be faltering on a number of fronts, I have still had some of the best video game experiences on the system the last generation. Oddly, for a new IP with no connections to previous brands, the sense of nostalgia while playing the game was immense. ZombiU was one of the most refreshing games I’ve played in the last five years. Sure the concept of anything zombie related is now long in the tooth, but ZombiU managed to make the undead threatening again. When ZombiU was released, the market was filled with games in which players would lay waste to hundreds of zombies for laughs. ZombiU went in a different direction, a single zombie could end the players life. It added a sense of challenge to the game , as well as forcing the player to think out each encounter.   Player death wasn’t just a simple case of reloading a checkpoint, it actually had consequences. Upon death players would respawn as a new survivor, stripped off all their gear. This played up the whole ‘surviving the zombie apocalypse’ theme ZombiU was going for. The combination of vulnerability and deaths with consequences made the game an intense experience. Playing ZombiU became awful to play, but in a good way. The threat of losing all of my hard earned gear in an instant was awful, almost foreboding. Every hour I played, I would have a story to share when talking about the game to a friend. I’d not had this experience since playing the likes of Silent Hill and Eternal Darkness. Survival horror had truly reached the next generation, and I was loving it. There’s a number of features in ZombiU that supplements the survival horror aspects, most of them using the Wii U pad.   Sorting out the inventory became a period of weakness for the player, as well as a means for the game to amp up the tension. Seeing zombies shambles towards you on the TV screen ,while you scrambled to pick your desired item of use on the Wii U pad, resulted in some genuine moments of panic. The same applies to opening locked doors and doors protected by key codes. They were neat features which made great use of the Wii U pad. ZombiU was truly one of the best video game experiences I’ve had in a long time. Admittedly it’s a short game, and it’s not perfect, but it’s certainly a awesome survival horror. It’s a shame that ZombiU became one of last years most overlooked titles. Given the struggle the Wii U has been going through, I fear that ZombiU will become one of the hidden gems. It’s also unfortunate that one of the few cases of true survival horror has went under the radar of many.  ...

Destiny- A True Game Of The Year, Or Just Another Commercial Victory?

Destiny- A True Game Of The Year, Or Just Another Commercial Victory?

A few weeks ago the Video Game Bafta awards resulted in a few raised eye brows, and a lot of angry tweets. Destiny may of been a finical success, but critical it was a mixed bag. With all that in mind, did it deserve to win Bafta’s 2014 Game of The Year award? did finical clout topple quality? was the negative reaction justified? Here’s a video of some youtubers lying about what Destiny is, even though one of them heavily criticized the game, but BAFTA don’t seem to mind using him to forward the nomination…for some reason. While the Bafta awards have always been a bit questionable, Kane & Lynch being nominated before it’s release stands out, tonight’s were a mixed bag. There were a number of games that deservedly won , while others lost out in what can only be described as a sponsored win (yes, this means Far Cry 4 beating The Banner Saga for best music). The biggest award is, of course, the ‘Game of the Year’ award. In a category consisting of Alien: Isolation, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mario Kart 8, Shadow of Morder, Monument Valley and Destiny, it was Bungie/ Activisons DLC catalogue that came out on top. Destiny’s victory was not exactly met with approval. Forget the fact the category was missing games such as Shovel Knight, Bayonetta 2 and Wolfenstein: The New Order, Destiny winning was simply odd. It made no sense, but then again, most of the video game BAFTA awards rarely do. Destiny’s victory was not exactly met with approval. Forget the fact the category was missing games such as Shovel Knight, Bayonetta 2 and Wolfenstein: The New Order, Destiny winning was simply odd. Twitter reacted in the best way it knows how, with snarky tweets. The reaction isn’t exactly unjustified. After years of development, and mammoth budget, Destiny shipped as half a game. No match making, end game locked less grouped with friends, no real end game to speak of, small amount of PvP maps and chunks of story simply missing. Destiny, while it did play beautifully, was half baked. To make things worse, retail copies came with two flyers advertising the first two £20 expansion packs, making the lack of core content all the m ore frustrating. Bafta’s credibility has been questionable for sometime, and 2015′s awards is a perfect example of why. On what planet does Far Cry 4 beat The Banner Saga for best video game music? A corporate planet. The award success of Destiny makes even little sense when compared to the critical success of games surrounding it. Each category is judged by a different panel, mostly made of people within the industry from various fronts. It would be interesting to here the justification for Destiny being the chosen game of the year. While Destiny did well commercial, critical it was hit or miss. If sales determine quality, then surely the winners would look totally different since the video game Baftas started?   Back in 2009, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 scooped Baftas Game of the Year award. The reaction to that is pretty much the same as it is to Destiny’s win. The year after that, Call of Duty: Black Ops won the title. Again, the reaction to Call of Duty winning was mostly negative, mainly due to other games out that year. Discussion began to generate, most of it wondering if heavy marketing and sales had trumped quality. For the most part, Bafta has always had a few questionable winners, but Destiny victory has resulted in a particularly vocal response. While of the reactions across the internet, especially Twitter, has been negative mixed with snark, there are a few people who genuinely agree with the choice. Looking at Destiny subjectively, it plays nicely, looks great and is initially enjoyable. While it may suffer from a list of issues, most of which were previously mentioned, does that make it the wrong choice for Game of the year? It all depends on who judged the category. This years nominees were distinctly of the Western variety, with Mario Kart 8 being the only none-Western game nominated. Destiny ticks nearly all the boxes of a big name, Western developed, hit. Large open maps, flashy visuals, constant action, first person shooting, minor RPG elements. It’s the prototypical product of Western video game development. Perhaps tradition and familiarity is what helped Destiny win the award. Alien: Isolation’s hide-and-seek gameplay is to a acquired taste, some may think Mario Kart is too simplistic, Dragon Age too long, Shadow of Morder too much like Assassins Creed. Monument Valley almost felt like the token indie nominee. The sad fact is, we will probably never know why exactly Destiny was selected as the overall winner. Bafta has descended further into the lands of confusion, with big name games winning awards they arguable did not deserve, and perhaps Destiny typifies that more than any other.    ...

Evolve, Splatoon & Xenoblade Chronicles 3D All Discounted

Evolve, Splatoon & Xenoblade Chronicles 3D All Discounted

  4 vs 1 shooter Evolve is slowly dropping in price. After a somewhat controversial launch, Evolve is now available for £33.60, on PS4, from Xtra-Vision. With a batch of free DLC on the horizon, it may be time to at least check the game out. Nintendo have been making the news today, mostly due to their new mobile plans, but two of their respective systems ‘killer apps’ are on the cheap. Splatoon, the little game making waves at the expos, is up for £25 at Gameseek. Zavvi currently have Xenoblade Chronicles 3D up for pre-order. Using the code VOUCHC5, customers can order the game for £25.64. That’s a whole lot of game for a decent price.    ...

The Order 1886 On The Cheap, Driveclub & Dark Souls 2 Also Discounted

The Order 1886 On The Cheap, Driveclub & Dark Souls 2 Also Discounted

It’s the end of the working week, and what better way to celebrate than bagging a bargain.   The biggest money saver comes in the form of The Order 1886 over at Xtra-Vision for the price of £33.60 This is a standard PAL copy, no imports like the E-bay sellers are offering. Another PS4 exclusive is available for a cut down price. Driveclub may have had a messy launch, but after a number of patches things are going smoothly. £21.85 is a decent price for a standard, brand new, copy. Alien: Isolation has been steadily decreasing price, especially the Xbox One version, and now the PS4 version has caught up. The Game Collection are currently selling the Nostromo Edition for £18.95 on PS4, a top price for a fantastic game. Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin marks the much loved franchise’s début on the new generation of system. Game Seek have listed both the PS4 & Xbox One versions for £31.75, with free shipping.    ...

Toukiden: Kiwami Gets A Pre-Release Discount On Vita & PS4

Toukiden: Kiwami Gets A Pre-Release Discount On Vita & PS4

Toukiden: Kiwami isn’t out yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save some money on it.   Both the PS4 and Vita version are available, with DLC, for £32.96 using the code POSTABARGAIN Set for a March 27th release, Toukiden: Kiwami is often compared to Capcom’s Monster. With the Vita lacking a entry into the Monster Hunter franchise, Toukiden might just be the game to fill the gap. A demo for Toukiden: Kiwami will be released on both PS4 and the Vita on March 25th. Check out the following gameplay videos and trailers, it might just be the game you didn’t know you were looking for.  ...

Bloodborne Has This Generation At Its Feet

Bloodborne Has This Generation At Its Feet

As Bloodborne slowly creeps closer to release, the buzz around the game is feverish. It’s hard not to get excited, From Software have worked their PR campaign almost perfectly. No in your face Internet adverts, no social media spam, no promises of the world, just gameplay footage and screenshots. From Software have almost created the anti-hype train, without even uttering a word. The fact there’s still immense amount of interest surrounding Bloodborne, without any of the typical Triple A marketing, is a testament to a game’s potential trumping that of a game’s marketability. There’s a argument to be made that over promotion is a typically Western trait. Bloodborne has a lot of responsibility on it’s shoulders, but not by choice. This generation, as young as it may be, hasn’t exactly blown anyone away. The exclusives on both the Xbox One and PS4 have been decent, but not great. There’s been a level of expectation around each exclusive, that expectation has carried from game to game. People are still waiting for that one game to truly deliver the ‘next generation’ experience. A game that screams quality, engrosses the player, gets people talking about their in-game experience. Bloodborne is on track to do exactly that, but it’s being coy about it.   The lack of a marketing assault may just be the best thing to happen to Bloodborne. Some may say it could jeopardise the sales numbers, but I disagree. Much like Demon Souls and Dark Souls before it, Bloodborne can easily become a word of mouth success story. From Software’s pedigree is enough to sell a decent amount of copies to the already established fan base , that fan base will sell further copies via word of mouth. Is it enough to sell PS4 consoles? That’s a whole different question. Exclusives are there to bring in the consumer, it’s one of the main defining factors when it comes to buying a system. At the moment, the PS4 and Xbox One are pretty much on level ground in this sense, Bloodborne could change this. It’s one of the many reasons why Bloodborne is such a interesting release. As a fan of Demon Souls, and a casual player of Dark Souls, Bloodborne is a must buy. I can’t help but shake the feeling that From Software are onto a winner. There’s no obvious warning signs of a bad game, no DLC controversies, no social issues, just a straight up release. Bloodborne is coming out at the perfect time, From Software could very well be on their way to claiming the ‘New Generation’ as their conquered land.  ...

The Order 1886 Collector’s Edition Receives Huge Discount

The Order 1886 Collector’s Edition Receives Huge Discount

The Order 1886 may not of been the critical success some may of expected, but sales wise it’s done well. With arguments that the game’s length does not justify the price tag, the recent price reductions may be warmly welcomed.   For £49.99, the price of standard version’s RRP, you can pick up the Blackwater Collector’s Edition. Packed with a copy of the game, a replica of the Knight’s vial pendant, woven coat of arms patches, sticker, artwork, DLC and a fancy case.   This is by far the cheapest this edition has been available at, and when you consider just a copy of the game costs £40 from some stores, it’s not a bad buy.   Standard copies can be found at Base.com for £40, or if you trust E-bay sellers at £29.99 (import)...

£289.99 Claptrap-In-A-Box GAME Exclusive Edition Goes Up For Pre-oreder

£289.99 Claptrap-In-A-Box GAME Exclusive Edition Goes Up For Pre-oreder

UK retailer GAME have officially listed their exclusive Claptrap-in-a-box edition of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection. For £289.99, customers get themselves a copy of the game, steel book casing, 12 lithographs and a remote control Claptrap. The Claptrap is controllable via IOS or Android devices. Other features including a working camera that streams direct to your phone, and the ability to mutter some of Claptraps famous lines.   If remote control spy cameras are your thing, and you also happen to like Borderlands, this is the edition for you.   PS4 Version Xbox One Version...

This War of Mine DLC To Support War Child Charity

This War of Mine DLC To Support War Child Charity

11 Bit Studios, creators of This War of Mine, are teaming up with street artists in the name of charity.   The ‘War Child Charity DLC’ contains unique street art pieces made by prominent street artists such as M-City, Gabriel “Specter” Reese, SeaCreative, Emir Cerimovic, Fauxreel and Mateusz Waluś. The art can be found in-game, as well as in a in-game gallery. Each piece of art reflects upon the human condition during times of war. 100% of the proceeds made by the DLC will go to charity. There are three tiers, all of which include the same DLC, for those who wish to donate more money to War Child UK. The tiers are $0.99 – $9.99- $19.99.   This War of Mine became a cult hit last year, mainly due to it’s view point on war as average person, instead of solider. The bleak tones, and genuine sense of human struggle, all result in This War of Mine being a truly unique experience.    ...

The Old Blood Is Exactly What We Need

The Old Blood Is Exactly What We Need

One of last years best games just got a follow up, and it’s not even going to cost you much. Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has been announced, and oh my days is it what we needed. Balls out, no nonsense, sheer video game joy, it’s exactly what The Old Blood is bringing to the table. Releasing as a standalone experience, The New Blood looks set to bring the fun pack to first person shooter, much like it’s predecessor. Those who missed out on The New Order did themselves no favors. A combination of brilliant gameplay, crazy encounters, and a heavy dose of dark humour, The New Order was sheer enjoyment. It’s rare a modern first person shooter manages to recreate classic genre thrills in the way The New Order did. It filled a gap in the market, and that is still there, making it The Old Blood the perfect filler. Bethesda’s trailer for The Old Blood screams character. It’s dripping with influences from grind house cinema and old B-Movies. It’s the perfect combination. All of The New Order’s humor is present within the 1:53 minute Old Blood trailer. The game knows it’s audience, it knows the strengths of the original, and it revels in them. Thankfully, The Old Blood is seemingly getting the attention of the masses. People who haven’t experienced The New Order are even turning their heads. The Old Blood, a prequel to The New Order, could potentially bring in a new audience for franchise, resulting in a fully fledged sequel. Going back to basics, while applying modern technology, has resulted in one of the purest forms of modern video game entertainment. The Old Blood is exactly what we needed, even so after the stumbling ways of 2015′s initial few ‘next gen’ titles....

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