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When BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger exploded onto the 360 in a spectacular display of 2D craftsmanship, we didn’t just review it the once on import, we reviewed it again when it finally found its way to European shores after nearly a year’s hiatus. And just to make sure our readers knew how awesome it was, we even scored it a nine on both occasions. But what was it that made this Guilty Gear successor such a revelation? More or less everything, thanks to sumptuous sprites, ingenious mechanics and the most lag-free online experience ever to grace the genre, Calamity Trigger was the hardcore fighter fan’s new game of choice and a serious contender for Street Fighter IV’s crown.
15:08, 23rd May
Gears of War: Judgment is a strange game. After three generation-defining blockbusters, it’s odd that a fourth outing is squeezed into the end of the 360’s life with a far shorter development cycle than any of the numbered sequels and no Marcus Fenix in the main role.
Tags: Gears of War: Judgment
13:00, 23rd May
How clever, a game with a name that refers to the branch of physics that describes the behaviour of energy and matter, and how they behave like both particles and waves and are related and… stuff. Clearly, quantum theory is a lot more complex than that and involves numbers and symbols we’ve never heard of, nor can we even begin to imagine them without us suffering nosebleeds and going insane. We’ll just get to the end of this intro by stating that within it you can only change some of the physical quantities by the teeniest, tiniest, most little and small amounts or the maths will fall apart, stop shaving and only be seen walking around the high street shouting at pigeons. Now that’s a pretty clever name when you consider that Quantum Theory, the game, is Gears of War but with the teeniest, tiniest, most little and small amounts altered in its make-up. Unfortunately, these changes are exactly too small and often in the wrong direction, making the result immediately tiresome, ugly and pointless, and not totally unlike bobbing for turds in a bucket of sick.
Tags: Quantum Theory
10:06, 22nd May
Bip, bap and bang goes the theory that only Western developers know how to make this sort of thing. Bang it goes again, and again, pummelled by a barrage of homing lasers, rockets and heavy machine gun fire – shot by a man in a super silver suit as he breakdances between cover points, pausing only to take a quick but loving drag on a cigarette.
16:01, 21st May
It’s a bit like Wii Sports only with full body Kinect controls. There, we’ve said it, and before the hardcore Nintendo fans start whinnying about a lack of originality and Microsoft and Rare following the market leader they should riddle us this: what gaming genre do you think would best suit a new motion control peripheral? Exactly, though that’s a hard angle to push once you see your Avatar in motion. Comparisons are going to be made, but there is a fundamental difference. Kinect Sports isn’t about casually waving a wand and you can’t play it while sat down eating instant noodles. It wants your entire body to get involved, your ceiling to be high and for participants to not mind that much if they accidentally kick each other in the shins. Despite some slight finesse issues, the results are exhaustingly excellent.
13:55, 21st May
The watchword has always been “authenticity”. Throughout Medal of Honor’s development, Danger Close and EA have waxed lyrical about the game’s realism, citing their work with veterans of the Afghanistan conflict – as well as the headlining figures that are the Tier One operators – as evidence of their dedication to military accuracy. That, despite the discomfiting aspects of the multiplayer game (killing for points in a digital recreation of an ongoing war still makes us feel uneasy), the campaign manages to capture the intensity of a contemporary conflict while demonstrating respect for its combatants is something of which the developer can feel rightly proud.
10:22, 21st May
We’re training our children to see man-eating animals as cute little playthings now, are we? Apparently so, and very engaging and happy the results are too – even though you can use your own voice to make your Bengal tiger respond to the name ‘Hitler’. We’re probably not Kinectimals’ target audience, clearly, but even so there’s no denying its quality is so high that it offers far more than many of the other launch titles. It’s not just about tending to a virtual creature; it’s about showing what Kinect can do more than any current title can.
16:04, 20th May
ture the scene. It’s Christmas day, snow is falling all around, Cliff Richard has just left, his aftershave still hanging in the air as flakes fill his footprints, and so the kids’ attention goes to those presents lying suggestively under the tree. After an ecstasy of fumbling – ‘wow, a Kinect! Thanks Santa!’ And what’s this? It comes with a game? Good job, because it seems Santa forgot to provide any more.
15:02, 20th May
The Fable series has always given us reviewer sorts a bit of a headache. You see, sit us down with one of the games for a couple of days and we’ll usually emerge with a list of flaws, faults and gripes that under normal circumstances would sound the critical death knell for any other title.
Tags: Fable III
16:00, 19th May
People who spend much of their time sitting on their bums playing games aren’t usually the fittest of human specimens, especially if we’re talking about the same sorts who spend their working day sat on their bums, writing about games. You know, us. Sure, we’ve played and even enjoyed the likes of Dance Dance Revolution and can stamp on buttons with expert timing that’s a little bit frightening. We’ve just never been asked to dance properly while not obscured by gloom and numbed by drink before, and the results were concerning. At least for this reviewer since his muscles are still begging for some Deep Heat. For Harmonix’s first foray outside the world of Rock Band in three years is surprisingly pleasing, invigorating, and commendable. Step up Dance Central, it seems that you are one of Kinect’s few must-have titles.
14:00, 19th May
“Stick with it for a few hours and it gets quite good.” Now we’ve all heard someone at sometime use that occasional truism for a game that takes its time to enter high gear. Usually it’s the defence used for an RPG, but it can also be applied to LucasArts’ follow-up to the adventures of Starkiller. The problem is that the entire game lasts but a few hours and the bit that’s “quite good” is actually the final battle, and even then it only stands out because what precedes it is so much of a letdown.
12:00, 19th May
Despite being released almost 30 years ago, it’s quite astonishing how much buzz the return of Tron has managed to garner. Somehow tempting the younger generation – even though we’re sure the mere mention of ENCOM would be met with bewildering looks – and the veterans who still remember being bowled over by the original’s effects, the franchise’s comeback has a healthy amount of momentum. Of course, as we would expect, the powerhouse’s homecoming has started a media frenzy, complete with merchandise and the always popular videogame tie-in. Unfortunately, the old stereotype rings true once again…
Tags: TRON: Evolution
10:00, 19th May
When Western audiences first witnessed Fist of the North Star in the early Nineties the effect was nothing short of jaw-dropping. This was a time when anime imports were scarce and when most people saw 'animation' and 'cartoons' as interchangeable. So imagine Joe Public’s surprise when he strolled into the local cinema, only to find a promotional poster for an 18-rated martial arts film starring an animated Bruce Lee lookalike. Surely it couldn’t be that bad, right?
16:00, 18th May
Larian Studio’s original Divinity II: Ego Draconis, released back at the end of 2009, was a bit of a shambles. The 360 port featured random freezes, unreliable skill point assignment and goblins who liked to get stuck in walls, to name just a few of its foibles. It was still immensely enjoyable and perhaps some were a little harsh on it. None of the bugs were game-breaking, they were just incredibly annoying. So after all that fuss, this debugging (or 're-mastering' as it’s been called) of Ego Draconis and the new Flames Of Vengeance expansion pack is extremely welcome.
14:00, 18th May
They could have just let it go this once, picked it up again later for the third game, and everything would be hunky dory. And we really wish that they had. Renaissance Rome, three times bigger than Florence, provides an ample and gorgeous playground, after all, and you also get missions in other cities. What is wrong with the idea of simply carrying on Ezio’s story, from his own viewpoint, and letting players fully enjoy a stunning period setting, bloodletting, team-building exercises, murky Machiavellian intrigue and the murkier world of real estate?
12:00, 18th May
It’s rather disconcerting when you first load up Test Drive Unlimited 2. As soon as you’ve got to your caravan, been bored silly by the numbing ‘storyline’ and just want to go drive, the second you pull out of the driveway the world is in chaos. Real people are everywhere, exhibiting all the signs of confusion that can possibly be conveyed through the medium of car. They’re parked in the middle of the road. They’re spinning out of control because they picked the wrong handling settings. Some will even be rubbing hopelessly against the scenery, wheels spinning in a futile attempt to escape being driven into the side of a luxury apartment building.
Tags: Test Drive Unlimited 2
10:00, 18th May
American politics clawed back a shred of credibility last month when Linda McMahon’s Republican Senatorial campaign came to a screeching halt (losing the general election to her Democrat rival, Richard Blumenthal, who garnered 54.3% of the vote to Linda’s 44.1%). Some of the comedy of that campaign – which cost the McMahons $50 million of their personal fortune – can still be seen at www.linda2010.com. Sadly that’s as much comedy as you’ll get out of WWE these days, because as a televised entity World Wrestling Entertainment is as stale and in need of a makeover as it has ever been.
15:05, 17th May
The Xbox 360 has many great action games, but in modern times the once great adventure genre has been sorely overlooked. After years of space marines and grey corridors, Majin And The Forsaken Kingdom attempts to bring some colour back to our consoles and remind us of the classic Japanese adventures that so many of us grew up with. Forget about timing active reloads and running from cover to cover; in the fantasy world of Majin it’s all about monsters, myths and magic.
12:00, 17th May
The tragic truth, for many years, was that Parappa The Rapper was the best rap-related videogame. But while hip-hoppers waited in vain for Activision or Harmonix to show us some love, 4mm Games was preparing to answer our prayers with Def Jam Rapstar – the game that heads have been long been waiting for, combining a diverse tracklist with superb vocal recognition, mountains of DLC and perhaps the best online suite yet seen in a videogame. In short, it represents for rap music what Rock Band was to guitar music.
Tags: Def Jam Rapstar
10:00, 17th May
Activision is rapidly ramping up its reputation as the Ocean Software of the, uh, whatever cute abbreviation we’re using for the 2010s (Eighties, Nineties, Noughties… Tennies?). Spider-Man, Transformers, Shrek, James Bond – it’s the new go-to publisher for big-name licenses and franchise games. This isn’t a criticism or a compliment – merely an observation.
Uncooked Media Ltd
Uncooked Media Ltd
3 East Ave,