Video Games / Platform / PS3

The Best Of February: Monsters & Cooking Cats

The Best Of February: Monsters & Cooking Cats

February was a pretty decent month of video game releases. The 3DS enjoyed two major releases, while the consoles welcomed Dying Light. The PS4 ushered in it’s new exclusive IP The Order 1886, mental reviews included. One of the biggest surprises of February, was the quality of downloadable games released. Resident Evil Revelations 2 – Episode 1 was surprisingly good, and a utter steal at £5. Hand of Fate may have been flawed, but the creativity of it’s concept is worthy of respect…and investment. Normally I’d only select one game as my ‘game of the month’ but truth be told, everything that came out in February was worth checking out. There is one game that stands head and shoulders above the rest, and another unfairly treated by some media outlets.   The Order 1886:   A few months back, I suggested that The Order 1886 would be a case of visuals over gameplay. I was never scathing towards the game, it was more of a case of curiosity. The Order 1886 is exactly that, it’s a curiosity. While some sites (mostly big ones that rated broken games highly) would have you believe The Order is a ‘bad’ game, the truth is, it’s just average. It’s average, at least in terms of it’s dated gameplay, it’s perfectly serviceable but utterly stuck in it’s ways. The technical achievement of The Order 1886 are pure brilliance. While the likes of InFamous: Second Son and Ryse look great, The Order 1886 looks real. The way characters moved, the way their eyes and facial expressions projected their emotions, it all felt organic. The sheer detail in each and every part of The Order 1886 is staggering, bar the lack of reflective surfaces. I enjoyed The Order 1886, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. The universe is genuinely interesting, with a ton of potential, the world is beautifully grim. The story may have been a little on the predicable side, with a hollow ending, but it’s satisfying. Even with my enjoyment of the game, I have to judge it fairly. The Order 1886 has it’s issues, but it’s far from a bad game. Short, enjoyable, and the first in a series with a lot of promise.   Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate:   Oh my, this isn’t just the best game out in February, it might just be one of the best games on the 3DS. With a improved single player, that also gives new players a more detailed starting point, Monster Hunter 4U is brilliant. Gather, plan, equip, hunt. The concept is simple, the devil is in the detail. On the surface, Monster Hunter 4U looks like a button masher, but it’s much more than that. Monster Hunter 4U has a hidden depth, it’s a pure depth which rewards skill rather than investment. Each weapon type alters the gameplay, they all offer a unique experience. The magic in Monster Hunter 4U is mastering a weapon, feeling a genuine sense of personal skill progression, rather than a number increasing on a stat screen.   I could honestly gush over how good the game is for days, but even than I’d be doing it a disservice. The newly added online multiplayer works like a charm, no lag and barely any connection issues in sight. Teaming up with three other hunters to take on huge creatures is thrilling, every single damn time. In a month where a games length has been questioned, Monster Hunter 4U offer hundreds of hours of play. After years of creeping into the West, Monster Hunter 4U has seemingly been the game to truly break into the territory. The only genuine fault Monster Hunter 4U has is a lack of voice chat, and it’s the ONLY fault. A masterpiece, a modern classic, February’s best game and maybe, just maybe, the 3DS’s best game....

Battlefield Hardline & Final Fantasy Type – 0 Discounted Among Other Titles At Zavvi.com

Battlefield Hardline & Final Fantasy Type – 0 Discounted Among Other Titles At Zavvi.com

As per every Monday, UK retailer Zavvi are running their Mega Monday sale.   The 24 hour sales includes a range of items from video games to memorabilia. This Monday contains a few deals worth looking at including: Final Fantasy Type – 0 (XB1/PS4) – £30.98 Xbox One (white) console with Sunset Overdrive – £279.99 Drive Club: Special Edition (PS4) – £29.98 Samurai Warriors 4 – Anime Edition (PS4) – £19.98 Battlefield Hardline – (XB1/PS4) – £39.98 Pre-order DMC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition – (XB1/PS4) £22.98   Zavvi are currently running a 2 for £40 offer on ‘Next gen games’. The choice is a little small but the following titles stand out:   Child of Light – Deluxe edition: Short, but a beautifully relaxed video game experience. Strong art style and great soundtrack are note worthy   The Wolf Among Us – TellTales lesser known success story, but arguably more interesting game.   Lords of the Fallen – Dark Souls style effort that may not be a total success, but it’s enjoyable in it’s own right  ...

A Solid Start, Ending The Rot – Resident Evil Revelations 2 – Episode 1 Review

A Solid Start, Ending The Rot – Resident Evil Revelations 2 – Episode 1 Review

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 1 feels like the game Resident Evil 6 should, and wanted to be. The episodic approach to Revelations 2 isn’t just another experimental move by Capcom, but a beneficial move for the sake of game. Filled with fan service, references and the positive elements of the original, Revelations 2 is a curious step in the right direction. For £5, Episode 1 is two hours of setting up the rest of the series. Franchise familiars Claire Redfield and Barry Burton both feature, both of them with their own experience and gameplay style. Diverting away from the awful fire fights featured in Resident Evil 6, Revelations takes a much more subdued approach to it’s gameplay. Claire’s portion of the game is a slow burning affair, with less ammo and fire arms available to her. Barry is armed to the teeth from the get go. While his sections may be more action orientated, there’s still a degree of vulnerability lurking. There’s a distinct difference in both respective sections, giving the game a genuinely varied experience that consistently remains enjoyable. Both parts of Revelations 2 feature co-op mechanics. Claire is accompanied by Moira Burton (yes, THAT Burton) while Barry teams with a young child named Natalia. Both newcomers have their own unique uses that feed into the tone of their sections. Moira, as a result of the plot, only wields a crowbar and flash light. Natalia possess the ability to see enemies through walls, alerting Barry to their presence, as well as crawling into small spaces.   The co-op nature of the game is the weakest element of Revelations 2, at least as far as Claire’s part goes. Moira, as a character, is utterly insufferable thanks to a mixture of weak writing, voice acting and a annoying personality. Her constant whining and f-bombs grinds throughout the entire time the player is with her. Moira’s self proclaimed roles of ‘torch holder’ and ‘door opener’, make the character feel a little pointless. It’s utterly bizarre when a character’s main role is to point a torch at something.She does posses some usefulness in the shape of her ability to stun enemies by blinding them. Natalia is much less of burden. There’s a clear relationship developing between both her and Barry, giving the game a little touch of humanity. Her abilities of pointing out enemies, and crawling into small spaces, give her a legitimate place within the game. There’s something sinister behind the character that’s hinted at, obviously setting up plot point to be revealed in later episodes.   The biggest issue with the co-op focus is the AI and mechanics. Switching between characters can be down with a button press. The problem is, when the player switches characters, it often leaves their past choice frozen on the spot for a few seconds. It’s a issue that rears it’s head towards the later stages of Claire’s section. A few nagging issues with AI running into enemy attacks also make a cameo from time to time. When in control of Moira or Natalia, who both lack any real ranged attack, the AI tends do little. Claire and Barry, when controlled by the AI, will stare into space, or trot around in circles. Even when the relevant skills have been unlocked, the AI is near useless in a combat setting. The ease of switching between characters does curve the majority of frustration thankfully. Underneath the core gameplay is a skills system. Players earn points by their how well they perform in-game, as well as collecting items dotted around the levels. Skills range from improving the healing factors of herbs, improved weapon and ability damage, among a few other curious enhancements. It’s not exactly an essential addition, but it does add a little bit of welcomed depth and customization. Revelations 2 – Episode 1 does a fairly decent job of placing the player in a interesting setting. The prison island provides for some challenging encounters, most of which carry that classic Resident Evil feel. The level design is similar to that of the tight, dark spaces of the first Revelations. The chaotic nature of Resident Evil 6′s level design is a long distant memory.   It’s fair to say Capcom have successfully implemented the best of Revelations enemies into the follow up. From slow traditional zombies, to more aggressive La Plaga variants, there’s decent range of threats to encounter. The slower enemies do tend to run into a few issues when it comes to movement. Getting caught on the environment seems to be a growing trend towards the end act of Barry’s segments. While it’s not a major issue, it does detract from the players immersion, cheapening the atmosphere. By the time the two hour episode is over, there’s very little of the plot revealed. Beyond a few minor hints, the plot remains distant, allowing for the characters to be firmly established. It would be harsh to criticize Revelations 2 for it’s plot so early into the series, it is episode one after all. From what is shown, and previewed via the ending, there’s promise within the story, albeit a typically Resident Evil plot.   Replay value comes in the form of ‘Raid mode’, a Mercenaries like mode that’s surprisingly well crafted. Players choose a character, their gear and a set of skills, before being deployed into the field. Raid mode is a nifty run through multiple levels, gunning down enemies left, right and centre. Each enemy rewards the player with experience, allowing them to purchase more skills for their character. New weapons can be found across the map, allowing players to further customize their load-out. The mode is pretty basic, but hugely satisfying. There’s a odd sense of progression at the core of each run, even more so when beefier weapons are found and equipped. Much like Mercenaries before it, Raid Mode feels like it could become Resi’s next big mini-game. For a game released on both current generation and last, Revelations 2 hold up fairly well in terms of presentation. While there is a lack of detail in parts, the visuals on the whole are decent. Enemies provide gory imagery, with decent amount of detail on show. Human character models are adequate but look slightly robotic at times. The environments, at least indoors, look good enough to carry the brooding tones. Outdoors, the game struggles to look as slick. Rocks and trees have a noticeable lack of detail compared to the rest of the world, but this is merely nit picking. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 1 is fine starting point for the series. Solid gameplay, decent production values , allow the game to blossom into a enjoyable bite sized experience. Capcom have managed to dial in their efforts into a much more precise experience, avoiding the messy nature of Resident Evil 6. With all the traits of the first Revelations present, a long with some improvement, Revelations 2 could just be the next big Resident Evil. It’s just a shame there’s no offline co-op. For £5, it’s hard to find reasons not to at least try Episode 1. The Raid Mode is genuinely great, the core experience is solid, with a promise of more to come as the series goes on. Capcom have seemingly found their feet once more. The nose dive in quality the Resident Evil franchise has suffered, it finally seems to be over.  ...

The Playstation Vita: From Promise To Peripherals

The Playstation Vita: From Promise To Peripherals

The Playstation Vita is honestly one of the most curious products I’ve ever witness launch in the video game industry. After a decent marketing campaign, with various appearances across a number of events, the Vita launched. I purchased the system a day after it’s release, mostly as a ‘New job’ treat. The Vita instantly impressed me. The sleek design, the beautiful screen and visuals, the nifty bits and bobs, I loved it all. It remains as the best hand-held, at least technically, I’ve owned. The problem is, the Vita never quite fulfilled it’s potential. The release calender of Vita games was often quiet, mostly populated by ports of games I’d already played. The likes of Rogue Legacy, Child of Light and Hotline Miami fitted the system perfectly. Even though the games were a good fit, it always felt like the Vita was missing it’s own unique library. As time went on, the system hosted more quality ports of games released on the consoles. It wasn’t a bad thing, far from it, but It never felt like a ‘big’ release for the Vita. Buyers remorse never fully set in, mostly thanks to the likes of Persona 4: Golden,Gravity Rush and Wipeout. While Persona 4 was a re-release, it felt like a genuinely big deal for the Vita. Gravity Rush went mostly under the radar, but was a utter joy to play. The rare case of a Vita game making full use of the technology, Gravity Rush remains as a jewel in the Vita’s delicate crown. To their credit, Sony tried to put some fire in the belly of the Vita by pumping it with more ‘western friendly’ games. Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified, Resistance: Burning Skies and Killzone: Mercenary all hit the system. Big name franchises with wide spread appeal in the West, it made perfect sense. The quality of the games ranged from decent, to utterly awful. Resistance: Burning Skies, while not terrible, was a pretty basic experience. Flashes of promise were present, but these cases were few and far between. The controls and gameplay were adequate, but extremely standard. The overall experience felt uninspired and ultimately forgettable. Black Ops: Declassified was a huge failure, for a number of reasons. God awful AI, fiddly gameplay, dull visuals and a bare basic single player, all of it resulted in a truly vile experience. Killzone: Mercenary was the game the Vita needed to prove it could handle first person shooters. Gameplay wise, Killzone nailed everything it needed to. With a experience that didn’t feel too different from what you’d expect to play on the consoles, Killzone: Mercenary was a true success. The whole first person shooter experiment seemingly ended with Killzone, while the game was the best shooter on the system, it’s poor sales resulted in the end of any potential follow up. The Vita’s attempts to seduce the West with video games decreased over time. The system became the home of more quirky and Japanese titles. The Vita’s presence and relevance started to drop, Sony’s approach to Vita changed, with the system being touted for it’s features and remote play, rather than it’s own video games. It’s weird how things turn out. When the Vita was nearing it’s launch, I recall a number of GAME stores hosting Vita booths. The booths were big, loud and proud, with a number of people buzzing around them. Fast forward to 2015, the booths are gone, but the Vita is still there. Sony’s little black beauty is still present and playable…as peripheral to the PS4. Neatly tucked under Sony’s latest machine, the Vita has found a home on the PS4 booth, as a third controller.   Sony’s decision to present the Vita in the retail space like this is not surprising, but it’s still a little bit sad. The Vita had all the power, all the features and all the promise to go onto great things. While the Vita still has it’s place in the industry, it’s no where near the place it could, and should, be in. Seemingly demoted to nothing but a PS4 accessory, the Vita will forever be the system that fell short of it’s potential.  ...

Vote With Your Wallets: The Threat Of DLC

Vote With Your Wallets: The Threat Of DLC

The great thing about the internet, or the worst, is everyone has a voice. Every single last person has the freedom to say exactly what they want to say. This has changed how businesses make,market and sell their products. The consumer has changed how they buy products, all because everyone now has a voice and digital soap box to stand upon. The video game industry knows all of it’s customers, and potential customers, have a voice…and it’s normally pretty damn vocal. The video game community/culture is never afraid to say exactly what they think about video games, consoles or any of the people within the industry. No one, and nothing, is immune to criticism, it’s pretty nifty. When it comes to video games, people’s voices are heard loudly, and often. The problem is, these voices only go so far, and it’s not far enough to force change.   The rise of DLC and pre-order extras has created such a dangerous form that it’s slowly becoming a ticking time bomb. A full retail price no longer gets you a full game, far far from it. Games like Destiny and Evolve are examples of how video games are going into a awful direction. It’s a direction that’s bad news for you, for me, and for anyone else who has a interest in video games. Serving as little more than a bare bones games, with a catalogue of DLC, they lack content and value. ”£44.99 please” is often followed by ” would you like to buy the season pass for £15.99?” A season pass? What is a season pass exactly? I’ve just bought the game, surely I have all the content on offer at the moment? Well not exactly. In the case of Destiny, you bought half a game, with the rest of the game being sold to you as DLC for the price of… £19.99. Destiny was hacked up, torn apart, and separated like a Cow on a butchers board.   Destiny highlighted the dangers of DLC and greed. The core Destiny package lacked basic features, it actively locked a decent sized segment of it’s players out of content. Add to that, the lack of story and content on the whole, and what your left with is a bit of a game. The sad fact is Bungie/Activison weren’t even subtle about their plans. Open up the case of Destiny and boom, promo material for DLC and season passes. The fact that Destiny was a commercial, and critical, success is bad news for everyone bar it’s developer and publisher. Never before has a game been pulled apart in such a way, all to support DLC. To make things even more sticky, Destiny limited it’s content even further, depending on what system you played it on.   Evolve is yet another game that heavily abuses DLC. There’s a basic game there, but there’s also a ton of DLC dangling in front of the player. What can you really expect from a game that announces its pre-order DLC before the actual game is announced? There’s that many DLC packs for Evolve, it’s a genuine challenge to understand exactly what your money gets. Season passes, a truck full of skins, characters and monsters all neatly packed behind a pay wall…prior to release. If Destiny is a worry sign of things to come, Evolve is the problem right in your face. The problem is, yet again, the game is being received well by critics, some of which barely mention the volume of content locked away. User reviews have been less favorable, with most of the criticism being aimed squarely at the DLC and the lack of content NOT hidden behind a pay wall.   This is why everyone having a voice is a great thing. The customers can have their say, they can tell potential customers the truth, the flaws. The public are not stuck behind ‘review guides’ nor do they have to keep advertisers sweet like so many popular sites. The consumer, the blogger, the independent Youtuber, even the person twitter, they can tell you unfiltered thoughts. A voice and a opinion is not enough however. This is where the old saying ‘Vote with your wallets’ comes into play. It’s pointless criticising the bull shit video game consumer have to put up with if you still buy the product. Buying into these glorified DLC catalogues, makes them a success. The publisher rakes in the money and sees a new vein to mine. The video game industry, at the moment, is the only industry that constantly finds new ways to fuck over their customers. Penny pinching at every turn, trying to make you pay more, for less.   The good old ‘Season Pass’ is one of the oddest creations of late. It’s a concept that sounds good on paper, but is rarely anything decent when put into practice. Pay X amount of DLC…often unknown, often never detailed, just promises. Where else in life would you throw up £15.99 – £20 for something that the seller can’t even tell you about? The chances are if you open up a modern game, you’ll find a flyer for a season pass. The only way to halt this behavior is to stop buying the products. Supporting the process, while denouncing it, does nothing. These business practices are no longer taking the odd weapon skin away from games, it’s taking huge chucks of playable content away. Evolve is missing monster types, games like Destiny, Evil Within, Watchdogs, Thief and Far Cry 4 are missing content…all sold as DLC/pre-order incentives. It’s getting to the point where a ‘Triple A’ release requires a spreadsheet to display what each versions offers. DLC, Season passes, pre-order incentives, retail exclusives pre-order extras, it’s all gone mad. Buying a game is no longer that, you’re often buying just part of a game. Leaving a thumbs down on a trailer, posting a negative comment, it’s not enough any more. Vote with your wallets.       Side note – If you’re happy to support DLC practices like the one’s mentioned in this post, that’s fine.     second side note – Destiny plays well, and has a good game at it’s heart…just the goodness is covered in DLC...

So How About That Resident Evil 2 HD Remastering?

So How About That Resident Evil 2 HD Remastering?

With the news that Resident Evil HD Remastered is the fastest selling Digital game, it’s only natural questions about Resident Evil 2 HD Remastered are asked. Capcom have done some pretty vile things to the Resident Evil franchise, but the HD Remastering of the original is pure gold. It reminds us of why Resident Evil became such a favourite, such a memorable classic. Capcom seemed quite open to releasing Resident Evil 2 HD Remastered, as long as the fans wanted it. How could the fans show their desire? Well that’s simple, make Resident Evil HD Remastered a success, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. Capcom, the ball is in your court. Not only does remastering Resident Evil 2 HD make sense financially, but it would also shed positive light on a fleeting franchise. Resident Evil has pretty much been beaten from pillar to post, soaking in some serious brand damage. No longer is the franchise seen as the powerhouse it was once, it’s more of stumbling mess these days.  If Resident Evil 2 HD Remastered replicated, if not surpassed, the success of it’s predecessor, then attention would turn towards Resident Evil Nemesis. Three remastered greats, supplying the gameplay the franchise has been lacking for some years now. Nostalgia is a powerful marketing tool, it’s safe to see any future remastered releases would do fairly at the very least. If we were to go all out with a theory, a retail box set of Remastered Resident Evil games would be a fine thing indeed. Resident 1, 2, 3 and the under appreciated Zero, all of them would make a brilliant retail/online bundle. This is of course nothing but wishful thinking, but surely Capcom have at least entertained the idea. Resident Evil 2 HD Remastered feels like a certainty at this point. Capcom have discovered a goldmine, a goldmine that also pleases the fans.        ...

February’s Biggest Games: Monsters, Evil Moons & Sideburns

February’s Biggest Games: Monsters, Evil Moons & Sideburns

After a quite start to the year, February plays host to some big games. From returning classics, to a new IP with a lot of responsibility on it’s shoulders. These are the biggest games due for release in February 2015   Evolve (PS4/XB1/PC) -   The concept of Evolve is interesting, but the recent open Beta exposes some flaws. Having a strong focus on multiplayer for a new IP is always risky. With four players working together to hunt down a player controlled monster, Evolve won’t be to everyone’s tastes. The concept works well, with player using their chosen classes skills to effectively hunt down their target. Team work is necessary, a single lone wolf can all but doom a player group. Arguably, playing as the monster is where Evolve truly shines. Hunting down smaller creatures scattered across the world, growing, evolving, hunting down players, it’s intriguing. The problem is, Evolve, is rather one note. The Beta raised this concern among many players, with many worrying the game would become repetitive within a matter of weeks. With no single player camping, the whole game is dependent on it’s player base. Given the fact Evolve is a new IP with a concept that’s not exactly familiar with the masses, the game may struggle to bring in players and maintain them. If you happen to have three/four friends willing to play the game, Evolve could be a wise investment. The shady nature of the DLC dealings may put some off, others may be cold towards the lack of single player. Pixel Gate Verdict: Wait awhile to see how popular the game is. PC users, Evolve has Steam Sales hit written all over it.     The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D (3DS) -   The darkest entry into the franchise, and a remake people have wanted for years. There’s not a huge amount to say about Majora’s Mask that hasn’t already been said. The customer base is already there, the chances are if your interested in Majora’s Mask, you’ve already pre-ordered it. While the core game might be 15 years old, it’s still worth playing. It’s not the best starting place for people to get into the franchise, but it’s certainly a decent place to start. Pixel Gate Verdict: Anyone whose interested in the game has already ordered it. The fact the moon looks even more terrifying in it’s new slicker form is testament to how well they’ve done with the visuals. Not the typical Legend of Zelda game, but still one of the best. You can’t go wrong picking it up at any price, be it full retail or second hand.     Dying Light (PS4/XB1) -   The retail version of Dying Light finally hits stores in late February. Even with copies popping up all over E-bay, most Europeans were forced to endure the delay…unless they paid £55 for the digital only version. Dying Light is another zombie themed effort from Dead Island’s developer Techland. It’s been received fairly well across the board, with praise being aimed at it’s free running mechanics. If you’re still not jaded by Zombies, and loved Dead Island, Dying Light is the perfect release for you. The retail version comes packed with a season pass, as well as the ‘play as a zombie’ mode that was offered as a pre-order intensive. Pixel Gate Verdict: If you’re not utterly burnt out on zombie media, then Dying Light is a sound purchase. The player movement is sleek, the visuals are decent, but the story is rather generic. The bundled in Season Pass and DLC also give the whole package more value for money. A decent purchase at full price, but a gut feeling says Dying Light may be discounted not long after it’s EU release.       Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS) -   While the franchise is a pop culture icon in it’s native Japan, Monster Hunter has never quite had the same success in the Western world. That hasn’t stopped the franchise gaining a cult following, with tight communities thriving around each release. The sublime Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate brought in a new fold of players, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate looks to do the same. The fantastic online play, the genuine sense of team work and community, it all gives Monster Hunter a real sense of character. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is skipping the Wii U, at least for now, and heading to the 3DS. With full online co-op, and more focus on adventure and story progression, Monster Hunter 4 could be the definitive hand held experience of 2015. The Guild quest system brings a whole new layer to the core game, freshening up the core game. New loot, new enemies, new quest mechanics and the return of some familiar monsters, Monster Hunter 4 is packing it all. Pixel Gate Verdict: While Monster Hunter is still considered as a niche game in the West, it’s quality in undeniable. After dabbling with Monster Hunt 3 Tri, and then heavily investing in Ultimate, the fourth installment is a must buy. The online community is extremely welcoming and supportive, feeding into the core concept of team hunting perfectly. Monster Hunter 4 is the perfect place for newcomers to start, and will surely be a place veterans will frequent for years to come.   The Order 1886 (PS4) -   So far, neither new console has had a exclusive that screams ‘Must play’. Titanfall was fun, Second Son was a blast, Killzone: Shadow Fall and Sun Set Overdrive were decent, but not unmissable. The Order 1886 is the next exclusive to try and make a impact. Boasting some impressive visuals, The Order 1886 has created quite a buzz around it, not all of it good. There’s been lingering worries about the game being nothing but another shallow, but pretty, third person shooter. Some see it has the pinnacle of cinematic video games. Set in a re-imagined Victorian era London, The Order 1886 places players in the middle of a centuries old conflict. Equipped with advanced technology and mythical items, players battle against fantastical enemies, as well as rebels threatening the State. The setting is interesting enough to warrant paying attention to, the gameplay however may not to be everyone’s taste. While the visuals look great, the gameplay hasn’t exactly blown people away. Cover based shooting, familiar third-person gameplay and quick time events may not be what people want from their next gen exclusives. There is certainly a market for the game, those looking for visual eye candy, bundled with a quick fix, will undoubtedly already have their pre-orders complete.   Pixel Gate Verdict: It’s fair to say that most owners of a PS4 will pick up The Order 1886 on release. This new generation of systems is lacking exclusives that define a console, and The Order 1886 may just be the game that defines the PS4, at least for now. The gut feeling is that The Order 1886 will be enjoyable, and beautiful, but short. Those on a budget may be well severed to wait a few weeks after release before they pick the game up.     Pixel Gate Picks – While these games aren’t the ‘biggest’, they still look like they could be worth checking out.   Dead or Alive 5: Last Round (PS4/XB1) - The franchise may not be as popular as it once was, but DoA 5 was a pretty fine fighter. Smooth gameplay, fluid controls, and well paced, it’s a decent title. Boasting the largest DoA roster to date, along with over 300 open and unlockable costumes, Last Round may cure that fighter itch. At a retail release of £28.99, it’s no too harsh on the wallet.   Resident Evil Revelations 2 Episode 1 (PS4/XB1/PS3/360/PC) - Capcom continue to use Resident Evil to experiment with. Revelations 2. In all fairness, media from the game hasn’t painted it in that great of a light. The fast paced gameplay, the generic environments, the sloppy AI, it doesn’t exactly scream quality. The only real reason Revelations 2 Episode 1 is worth checking out is Barry Burton…and the fair price point of £4.99.   Suikoden 1 & 2 (PSN) - The original releases are quite tricky, and pricey, to get a hold of. Both games have achieved the status of ‘classics’, and for good reason. If traditional JRPG’s are your thing, and for some reason you’ve never played both Suikodens, then now is the perfect time to invest countless hours into these deep classics.    ...

Game of Thrones Episode 2: The Lost Lords Review (PS4/Xbox One/PC)

Game of Thrones Episode 2: The Lost Lords Review (PS4/Xbox One/PC)

The first episode of TellTale’s Game of Thrones set the scene for a vast, and layered, story. With a host of new characters, new houses, and some familiar faces, episode one was a success. The various character story arcs were set, with each arc hinting at big things, all of which were drenched with the brutal twists and turns you’d expect from Game of Thrones. With all that being said, Episode two: The Lost Lords doesn’t exactly stay on the road paved by it’s predecessor. The Lost Lords opens with a huge mount of confidence. The writing is distinct sharp nature people expect from TellTale, only this time it’s complimented with a fairly long action sequence. In between quick time events, players engage in conversations with the supporting cast. This pattern of action sequences followed by conversation is what forms the heart of this episode.   While past TellTale games would often give the player the time to explore the environment, and solve puzzles to progress, The Lost Lords does nothing of the sort. This episode is purely about progressing the plot in the most efficient and streamlined way possible. It’s a jarring switch in formula, but given the sheer amount of characters and story arcs going on, the switch makes perfect sense. The game it’s self is not bad, far from it, it feels like it’s treading on thin ice. The sheer amount of stories going on per episode leaves little time for the player to truly feel like they’re playing a game. The Lost Lords does not feel like a point-and-click light experience are known for, instead it feels more like a interactive movie. This was true with the first episode, but the focus on pushing the player through feels far more intense in episode two.   TellTale have managed to craft a decent story, with each character having a distinct tone or theme at the heart of their tale. A broke house trying to rebuild amidst tragedy, the sell sword set for greatness, and the innocent soul trapped in a web of politics. Each character feels like a natural fit within Westeros, giving the plot a sense of legitimacy. Fans of the book/show may find things a little predicable at times, detracting from the impact of some of the plot developments. Voice acting is at a relativity decent standard, as too are the appearances from characters in the show, all of which are voiced by their actors/actresses. Lord of The Lost suffers from various issues that come in the form of audio bugs, crashes, and some shabby textures. Character dialogue had a habit of repeating it’s self at times, or just cutting out all together. Some character models would fail to load up fully, leaving them looking like splodges on a page. The overall visual presentation teeters on the edge of adequate to messy. Textures tend to look rough, especially in some of the games brighter locations. The last act of the game was met with a few crashes that resulted in starting scenes all over again. While the crashes were far and few between, it’s still an annoyance.   Game of Thrones: The Lost Lords builds upon the foundations of the first episode nicely. While the plot is decent, it’s pacing and constant switching of characters can become rather grating. The lack of gameplay and puzzle solving (beyond quick time events and dialogue options) does result in The Lost Lords feeling like a interactive episode, rather than a playable experience.          ...

January’s Game Of The Month: Resident Evil HD

January’s Game Of The Month: Resident Evil HD

January was a pretty odd month for video game releases. Dying Light totally skipped stores, instead hitting only services for the low low price of £55. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was officially released, even though some store had been selling it for the past month, for some reason. For the start of the year, there was a void felt when it came to ‘big’ games. Thankfully, at least two games managed to impress. One title was the return of a much loved game with fancy new visuals…again, the other was the previously mentioned Treasure Tracker. If I had to pick a single game to label as ‘Game of The Month’ then Resident Evil (HD?) would get the nod. While the game has been remade/re-released multiple times, I always find myself picking up the latest version. The Directors Cut offered a few new scraps, the Gamecube version remains as one of the best ever remakes, heck even the DS version was decent. This new version adds nothing more than slightly new controls and better quality visuals. All the additions from the glorious Gamecube version make a return, making this the most technically accomplished version of Resident Evil.   Even after playing all previously released versions of the game, this latest release is still brilliant. It serves as perfect reminder to days gone by, when video games weren’t all about the spectacle. Resident Evil is a perfect example of why modern installments lack any sense of identity. The original oozed of confidence, the game didn’t need, or want, to hold the players hand. The game wasn’t willing to give the player a easy ride just so they could see the ‘cool’ things. Resident Evil was filled with puzzles, near death experiences and plenty of sweet sweet back tracking. The atmosphere the Spencer Mansion plays host to is still some of the best in video games. The design of each section, combined with the devilish camera angle/placement, is beautiful. There’s a constant sense of menace with each turn of a corner, especially towards the later stages of the game. This is one of the main differences between classic horror and modern horror games, the player is genuinely vulnerable.   At the fair price of £15.99, it’s hard not to recommend Resident Evil to literally everyone. In a industry that has bastardised the term ‘survival horror’, and horror in general, Resident Evil is a prime example of what those terms truly mean. A combination of nostalgia, respect and appreciation for good design, leave me smitten with Resident Evil HD. A history lesson, a experience, a classic. Memorable mention of Treasure Tracker is needed. Nintendo have crafted a truly charming slice of video game bliss. The concept is simple, the execution is beautiful, it’s hard not to simple while in control of Captain Toad. While some may see it as a cheap cash-in, I beg them to try the game, those beliefs will be squashed. Classic Nintendo charm, gorgeous visuals, creative and ultimately fun....

Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin System Comparisons Detailed

Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin System Comparisons Detailed

With Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin coming closer to release, Bandai Namco have listed the differences between each format. Releasing on the Ps4, Xbox one and PC, as well as the last generation system, Scholar of the First offers various improvements and features on each system.   The improvements on the PS4/Xbox One include upgraded visuals and improved performance, as well as all the previously released DLC. More online players and new enemy placement also head up the PS4/Xbox One versions of the game.   A chart has been released for a easy point of reference, it can be found on the official Dark Souls 2 site.   A number of new screenshots have also been released,...

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