Video Games / Platform / WiiU

Bethesda Goes Big At E3, Doom Emerges As Potential Game Changer

Bethesda Goes Big At E3, Doom Emerges As Potential Game Changer

It’s beautiful, it’s gorey, it’s Doom. The gameplay shown was pretty much exactly what most die hard Doom fans wanted. It’s literally a jaunt through various corridors making a utter mess of the various hell spawn the Marine encounters. Gun porn was also included, as too was some cheerful chainsaw footage. It started violently, and ended violently. Doom, much like the original, is a complete package. Single player, old school multiplayer (power ups, rocket jumps, no dial up internet), editing tools. This is a modern Doom in every sense. Snapmap could the difference between the game being a flash in the pan, or online power house. Doom showing closed with a showing of Hell, it’s as grim as you’d expect. The smoke effects seemingly went unappreciated, but they do set off the environment perfectly. Overall, Doom maintains it’s classic DNA, while splicing it with modern day features and more open levels. Personally, I find Doom to be a much more interesting prospect than most other games we’re aware of. One slight concern, Doom’s old school approach may be jarring for the modern day console player. They’ve come to expect cinematic story driven games, blitzed with QTAs and cut scenes. Doom says ‘fuck that’ and throws you a shotgun. Battlecry is one of those games that has never truly felt like it’s doing anything ‘big’. There’s still questions over exactly what it is, even with a decent amount footage being out in the wild. It’s going into world wide Beta, it still looks like it could be fun, but nothing that’ll set the world alight…even more so given competition in the same space. Dishonest 2′s big reveal was ruined after they ‘accidentally’ mentioned it during a stream that was ‘accidentally’ broadcast. In truth, Dishonored feels like it came out years ago. With the Thief franchise all but dead, Dishonored fills the gap nicely. One of the new leads is a female, so Polygon will surely be creaming themselves before ranting about the character not being conflicted enough about her gender/sexuality. The penis bearing character option still exists, so don’t worry. Elder Scrolls Online takes front and center. It’s boring, as in truly boring. Think of all those MMORPGs that came out in 2001-2002 that had no quality of life features, awful questing mechanics and no real reason to party up for the most part, that’s Elder Scrolls Online. The flower picking system is good however. But brutal honesty aside, it’s a decent enough experience now it’s gone free to play, but there’s much better on offer in terms of MMOS both on PC and console. Elder Scrolls Card game (Legends), because you know, Hearthstone and Magic The Gathering are making card combat ‘cool’ again. Hard to see them knocking off Hearthstone from the Card Combat throne, but what ever, the more the merrier. Fallout 4, the game we all knew was coming (at some point), then all acted surprised when it was announced. Even after the years of wanting Fallout 4 to be real, people still moaned when it became reality. Concept art was shown, there was a ghoul pirate which looked pretty radical (get it? RADical?). Fallout 4 goes into the unexplored Pre-war, which feels a little off , mainly due to the showed content feeling like fan service. The complaints about the visuals some people had come off even more silly, Fallout 4 looks beautiful, the art style fits the tone perfectly. All the characters are fully voiced, with dynamic dialogue. Pip Boy is all fancy, mini games, holotapes, 3rd renders of items, it’s like the Iwatch with a actual point. There’s a collectors which will no doubt sell-out, and be sold on e-bay for five times the RRP. Fallout Shelter, a mobile game for people who love the Sims, love Fallout, and cramp riddled necks. Micromanagement with a Fallout twist. It’s free, no pay wall, no internet connections, it’s almost like free-to-play actually exists. The most interesting feature of Fallout 4 is the ‘re-building’ feature. The player can build settlements, which attract other NPCs to live in, which in turn increases the size of the settlement. Build defences, market stalls, caravans. This is how you add infinite replay value. The crafting systems scope carries over to weapon customization, the sheer amount of options at hand is staggering. Power armor is fully customizable, it’s almost like Bethesda want you to give up your social life…and job. Fallout 4 looks like the next step in the franchise, genuine progression for the series, and the industry. If the Devil is in the detail, Bethesda are covered in virgin blood and blasting out Swedish death metal. The release date is this November, but there’s always a hint of cynicism when it comes to release dates and E3.     So Bethesda started off the E3 showings with a bang. Doom is setting up to be the dark horse of their line up. The gameplay won’t be to everyone’s taste (history shows this on consoles) but the Snapmap feature could place Doom as a long term success, and not just a flavor of the month. Fallout 4 is Fallout 4, it’s going to sell well, the hype is already there, people want it. The scope of the game is insane, the release date is still a little suspect but either way, it’s Fallout 4. Dishonored 2 was only shown in trailer form, and it’s oddly went under the radar across social media. The market needs Dishonored 2, the lack of stealth games is hugely apparent, and the recent demise of the Thief franchise has left the door open for Dishonored 2 to take it’s seat of power. Bethseda paced their showing perfectly, moving from game to game. They gave facts, and not promises, smaller reveals were covered quickly and precisely, never out staying their welcome. Fallout 4 will obviously be the game on everyone’s lips, but Doom is the game to watch, purely down to Snapmap, that feature could change the console scene for the better.                ...

Splatoon’s Main Problem Is Amiibo

Splatoon’s Main Problem Is Amiibo

Splatoon is great, it’s a triumph in almost every sense…but there’s one nagging issue. Every time I boot up the game I’m treated to a instant reminder of this issue, it’s always there, it can’t be avoided. Who would of guessed a piece of plastic would be the only fault Splatoon truly suffers from, them god damn Amiibo. While Amiibo’s are merely a novelty in other games, Splatoon treats them with more respect, perhaps too much respect. The three Splatoon Amiibo’s unlock challenges, which in turn unlock items. These items just so happen to be some of the best items in the game, and not just cosmetically. The way in which clothing works in Splatoon affects the gameplay resulting in the Amiibo awards feeling a little irritating.   Each item of clothing carries a perk, enhancing a certain aspect of a characters abilities. The higher tier items offer four perks, the Amiibo gear falls into this tier. Looking past the fact the items look far better than anything else In the game, the advantage they give players early on is annoying, and unfair. Having content that is only unlocked by purchasing ‘other’ items outside of the core game, be it DLC or related promotions (Mass Effect/ Dr.pepper promo for example) is nothing new, but the Amiibos are a different beast. What started out as a nice collectible, with some extra uses within certain games, has now become a bit of a farce. Amiibo are the modern day version of Cabbage Patch Kids/Thunderbirds, stock is low yet demand is high, really high. Each wave of Amiibo always has at least two Amiibo everyone wants, yet no one can find. People invest into the supply and demand culture, selling the rarer Amiibos for double/triple the price they paid for them. To make matters worse, even the stores are starting to scalp. GAME increased their prices from £10.99 to £15.99, Shopto went one step further by going from £10.99 all the way to £19.99. The Splatoon Amiibos were initially tricky to get a hold of, but recently the boy and girl inkling have became quite common…but the Squid is a whole different story. Sold as part of a bundle with the core game, the Squid Amiibo is a tricky thing to track down outside out e-bay. Content is essentially out of reach, all down to a piece of plastic. As a collector of Amiibo, even if I refuse to take them out the box, I can still see the issues. I may own all of the Amiibo released in Europe at the moment, but I can sympathise with people who just can’t get their hands on certain Amiibo, the Squid included. Having content tucked behind a pay wall is awful sin of modern gaming, but trapping it behind a pay wall that’s also a effort to obtain, that’s inexcusable. As much as I love Nintendo, their implementation of Amiibo in Splatoon is worrying. For years now Nintendo has generally stayed away from the dirty business practices other big names indulge in. Buying a Nintendo game has always meant getting a full, complete, video game in your hand. Splatoon, and it’s Amiibo support, bucks the trend and creates a small shroud of doubt. Hopefully Nintendo does not continue to go down this path, or at least doesn’t hide too much content behind their Amiibo line. It’s a shame the main fault of Splatoon is partly due to Nintendo’s newest success story.      ...

Fresh, Fun, Pure Nintendo – Splatoon Review

Fresh, Fun, Pure Nintendo – Splatoon Review

Nintendo isn’t exactly known for creating all new properties. Often relying on their classic cast of characters, Nintendo like to experiment with new games and genres, but always front their games with the likes of Mario and Link. Splatoon marks a break through moment for Nintendo, and indeed the Wii U, as their first completely original release in some time. Splatoon is typically Nintendo in tone, yet a whole new adventure for the industry veterans. At it’s core, Splatoon is third-person shooter that tips the industry standard on it’s head. Only Nintendo could take a concept known for it’s focus on kills and turn it into a exercise of innocent fun. The real success of Splatoon is not what is, but what it does.   The 4 v 4 team based action on offer is far from the expected standard fair. Teams battle it out to cover the map in their respective teams ink colours with various weapons and gadgets. While other games focus on racking up kills, Splatoon frolics around encouraging players indulge in the simple act of mass vandalism. Complete with a interactive player city hub, Splatoon feels extremely old school, but with all of the modern flare. If there’s one thing that could have killed off Spaltoon early on it would be the controls. Motion controls still carry a stigma to theme, even more so when it’s a vital element to the gameplay. The way in which the Wii U’s motion controls are utilized is such a smart, subtle, and none-intrusive manner that it easy to forget they’re even there. Player directional movement is dictated with the Wii U pad’s analogue sticks, while the aiming is exclusively controlled via motion controls. Initially, aiming is fiddly, but quickly becomes second nature. The camera can be re-centered with a simple push of a button, a hugely important feature that oils the motion controls resulting in the whole scheme feeling like a genuine victory for the Wii U’s pad.   Splatoon’s lack of class roles is a true deviation from the modern standard, but it’s a deviation that suits the game perfectly. Players, after creating their ‘kid’, can purchase clothing and weapons that affect how they play. The play style of each weapon is where Splatoon’s true depth can be found. The distinct difference between the tools on offer is what keeps each session feeling fresh, even more so with certain maps encouraging the use of mixture of weapons. They all have their trades off, they all have their advantages and counters, for a ‘kids’ game Splatoon has a true hidden depth. Players can further customization their play style by purchasing items of clothing, all of which come with various perks. Each item is rated in terms of it’s quality on a four star scale. For every star the items posses, there’s a perk to unlock. The perks range from the likes of damage increases, speed boosts and reduced spawn times. Saving up the coin in order to buy both weapons and clothing forms the spine of the replay value. Battling through a number of games, earning the coins, buying the items, leveling the items, it’s a constant cycle that rewards.   With a number of big budget ‘Triple A’ games trying to redefine online shooters, it’s bizarre that Nintendo’s first attempt is so simple, yet so successful. The primary goal of Splatoon is to cover each map in your teams coloured ink. This is achieved by spraying said ink all over the environment, or by ‘splatting’ opposition team members (it feels wrong to call them enemies). The ink it’s self is not merely a means to victory, it’s also a unique method of transport and strategic resource. Splatoon’s main selling point is the way in which players can switch between a humanoid kid into a squid, allowing them to dive into the ink splattered around the environment. While it may sound like a cheesy gimmick, it’s actually a slick mechanic that opens up a tactical edge to player movement. It’s a genuinely smart feature that Splatoon makes perfect use of, enhancing the core gameplay tenfold. Firing ink up the wall, turning into a squid, and swimming up the wall to reach a advantage point produces undeniable giddy moments. Nintendo’s lack of experience with team based competitive shooters does show in places. The recently added ‘Ranked Mode’ features a game mode similar to King of the Hill in which player battle to control a point on the map. Some of the weapons and gadgets become far more useful than others, resulting in the game being all about who has the most rollers or sprinklers. Given players can’t change their loadout mid game, there’s a certain element of luck attached to Ranked mode that detracts from the sense of ‘free flowing’ fun. The mode it’s self is fair, but is inconsistent depending on the map it’s hosted on. Splatoon’s most surprising feature is it’s short, but sweet, single player experience. Beneath the player city hub, the five single player zones can be found. Each zone offers a number of challenges along with a final boss battle. The challenges mostly consist of using the Squid/Ink mechanic in various clever fashions. It may only be a brief distraction, but the single player portion is genuinely enjoyable, even if it does result in a longing for more. By the time the single player comes to a close, new items are unlocked and fun time is had, it begs the question of what else could be achieved if Nintendo spent more time on the singe player aspect.   All the hallmarks of Nintendo can be seen and heard in Splatoon’s visuals and soundtrack. The bright environments, the beautifully adorable character models, the oddly engaging music, it’s all typically Nintendo. The Wii U isn’t known for it’s power, but it’s more than capable of looking beautiful, and when the ink is flying, and the squids are leaping, it’s hard not to enjoy the visual splendor on display. Nintendo’s bold has paid off, they’ve created a wonderfully solid game with plenty of room to grow. The staggered release of DLC is good idea, allowing players to come to terms with how Splatoon works and plays. The simple nature of Splatoon is what separates it from other games in the same space. The core gameplay elements, the impressive player ink/squid mechanic, the sheer joy on offer, it all result in Splatoon being such an appealing experience. The only true sour note is the fact the Amiibos unlock high end gear and more single player challenges, which is annoying given the current state of Amiibo availability. It’s not a huge problem, but it’s still a niggling annoyance.   Bold, bright, fresh, enjoyable, Splatoon proves you can teach a old dog new tricks.   8/10      ...

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.  ...

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...

Smash Bros Wave 4 & Splatoon Amiibo Go Up For Pre-Order At ShopTo

Smash Bros Wave 4 & Splatoon Amiibo Go Up For Pre-Order At ShopTo

The latest wave of Amiibo have finally popped up for pre-order on UK retailer ShopTo, arguably the best site for Amiibo. Ganaondorf, Palutena, Jigglypuff, Dark Pit and Zero Suit Samus all appeared for pre-order, with the new price tag of £14.99. After selling all the previous waves for £10.99 each, it’s a disappointing that ShopTo have increased the prices to match those of GAME. All three Splatoon Amiibo are also available for pre-order. Both the Splatoon Girl & Boy are present, along with the Splatoon Game bundle which includes the Squid Amiibo. The fact the Squid is not available separately is quite frustrating, but in all honestly, it was expected. Make sure to secure your orders before the scalpers get in on the act.    ...

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.  ...

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.    ...

New Wave Of Amiibos To Include Splatoon Characters?

New Wave Of Amiibos To Include Splatoon Characters?

A recent listing by South African online retailer Raru, may have leaked a new wave of unannounced Amiibos.   Jgglypuff, Greninja, Splatoon Boy, Splatoon Girl and Splatoon Squid have all been listed, with a release date of May 29th.   The inclusion of Splatoon Amiibos hints towards to the game supporting Nintendo’s latest money spinner. Splatoon Squid Amiibo is only listed as part of a bundle, at least for now anyway. The listings do not feature any images of the products. This could all be down to a simple mistake on Raru’s side, or perhaps the listings are just place holders. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see if any of the Splatoon Amiibos actually happen....

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