Oct 27
By Matt Gander In Retro No Comments

As far as light-gun shooters are concerned, The House of the Dead and its sequel are stone cold classics. The third game in the series isn’t anywhere near as fondly remembered, however. We’d even go as far as saying that the console-exclusive House of the Dead: Overkill is more renowned.


After playing through the Wii version recently, I’ve found myself questioning why HotD3 isn’t as highly regarded as its predecessors.

It could all be down to timing. Around 1999/2000, SEGA managed to spark a small arcade renaissance with the likes of Virtua Tennis and Crazy Taxi able to woo gamers back into arcades, bowling alleys and such. HotD3 arrived in 2002, long after the Japanese giant had ditched the Dreamcast. SEGA’s short but sweet resurgence was over, which may explain whereas HotD3 – with its pump-action shotguns – is seldom seen in UK arcades.

For the home conversion, SEGA decided upon making the gloriously grizzly shooter an Xbox-exclusive. This could also have impacted the game’s popularity as the Xbox had very few light-gun games when compared to the PlayStation 2. In fact, there was just three – HoTD 3, Silent Scope and Starsky & Hutch. While shooters were certainly popular on Xbox, those of the on-rails variety were not – games with an arcade-like nature tended not to fare well on Xbox full stop.

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Oct 26
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

And so Titanfall 2 finds itself sandwiched between Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinity Warfare. We’ve already voiced our concerns, worried that it’s going to end up shoved to the wayside. Now that reviews have surfaced however we’re a tad more optimistic about chances of success – like Battlefield 1 before it, reviews with scores lower than 8/10 are hard to find.

Critics are almost entirely in agreement that it’s the game that the original should have been, ergo the epitome of a perfect sequel. Amongst the high scores, we have 9.5s from both GameInformer and God is a Geek. “In a year of incredible shooters already released in Gears of War 4 and Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2 is another outstanding example which absolutely stands out from the crowd” said the latter.


As you may be aware, reviews of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition won’t be going live before Friday’s launch. This is all down to Bethesda’s new policy of withholding review code until a day before a game’s release. To quote: “We want everyone, including those in the media, to experience our games at the same time.” It’s a move that has angered some, opening a whole can of worms in the process.

Reviews of World of Final Fantasy have gone live in good time, thankfully. “World of Final Fantasy feels like a game that celebrates the series’ massive legacy while also making it friendlier to a younger audience. Unfortunately, it stumbles in a few key places, making it more of an awkward mixer than the all-encompassing RPG party players might be anticipating” warned GameSpot before handing out a lukewarm 6/10.

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Oct 25
By Matt Gander In Most Played No Comments

Blizzard’s Overwatch is full neat twists and innovative ideas, with one standout being the ability to give well-performing players a ‘like’ at the end of the match. Putting past rivalries aside, it’s even possible to give the opposition a ‘like’ if you felt their skills outrivalled your own.

It so transpires that this idea isn’t wholly new. Raiden V – which dropped to a bargain £9.99 on Xbox One last week – features a similar ‘cheer’ system. It’s something I quickly became incredibly fond of.


When taking to the skies in this top-down shooter you’re automatically connected to an online network. The left-hand side of the screen then acts as a newsfeed, informing of feats that other players have performed. This is displayed in real-time, and it’s possible to give fellow players a ‘cheer’ as and when they achieve high scores, beat bosses, find hidden characters and acquire copious amounts of medals.

A push of the ‘Y’ button is all it takes; a method that doesn’t distract too heavily from the near-constant barrage of enemies Raiden V throws your way.

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Oct 24
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

It seems that EA can do no wrong currently – just like last week’s Battlefield 1, we’re struggling to find a review score lower than 8/10 for Titanfall 2.

Consensus has it that it builds on the sturdy frame of the first game in a specular manner, with a kind of craftsmanship that’s second to none. Most critics also agree that it’s the game the first Titanfall should have been, thanks to the addition of a single-player campaign that’s darn good.

US Gamer was a little concerned about the lack of maps, but with all future DLC free other critics weren’t too worried about this. More will be released eventually. Give it time.

Take a look at the scores that dropped earlier today:

9.5 – GameInformer: “Titanfall 2 is that rare game where both its single-player and multiplayer modes are exceptional and highly entertaining in their own ways”

9.5 – God is a Geek: “Titanfall stands out as an example of how there is still plenty of room for innovation and newness in a crowded genre space. It’s superbly executed and incredibly fun to play”

9.0 – PlayStation Lifestyle: “Controls are tight, action is fierce, maps are intricately designed, and Titans are badass. The cherry on top is a campaign that is genuinely enjoyable, and one that fans of the first game are likely to be satisfied with, which expands upon the universe of the series. Group all of this together with an ambitious free DLC plan, and the choice of which shooter to buy this holiday season becomes obvious. Titanfall 2 is second to none”

9.0 – GameSpot: “In many ways, Titanfall 2 feels like the game Respawn should have made in 2013. It’s a fantastic sequel. It’s a fluid shooter. It’s a spectacular game”

9/10 – TheSixthAxis: “On the one hand, you have Respawn’s short, but fun single player that’s more free and open than most FPS campaigns, and on the other, a multiplayer that’s an iterative improvement on an already fantastic game. In other words, Titanfall 2 is as exhilarating and refreshing now as the original was back in 2014″

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Oct 24
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

Following on from last week’s eShop Halloween sale, which is still underway, a trio of spooky games head to Wii U and 3DS this week. Well, two if we’re being brutally honest – Gurumin 3D: A Monstrous Adventure’s bright colour palette prevents it from being truly monstrous.

On Wii U there’s Mr. Pumpkin Adventure (£3.99), a 2D point and clicker that first released on PC back in July. The titular hero has lost his memories, and while trying to remember his past, accidentally uncovers an evil plot. With Steam reviews favourable – and a super low asking price – it could be one to consider.


The Wii U also gets Solitaire (£4.49) and Just Dance 2017 (£39.99) this week, along with an assortment of Minecraft: Wii U Edition Halloween skins (£1.59) and the Battle Map Pack 4 (£2.59).

Owners of the delightful Runbow meanwhile can add Shantae to the character roster for free.

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Oct 24
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Battlefield 1 is off to a resounding start – launch week sales were stronger than Battlefield 4 and Battlefield: Hardline combined, putting it in first place in this week’s UK chart.

Chart-Track also notes that Battlefield 1 wasn’t far off from outperforming Tom Clancy’s The Division in terms of week one sales.

FIFA 17 drops to #2, Mafia III remains at #3, Gears of War 4 falls to #4 and then at #5 it’s a new arrival – Batman: Return to Arkham.

WWE 2K17 moves down two places to #6, Rise of the Tomb Raider drops to #7 and at #8 it’s Forza Horizon 3.

Positions #9 and #10 are filled by two top ten re-entries – GTA V and Minecaft: Xbox Edition. There’s no keeping these two away.

Civilization IV was the next highest new arrival, making an appearance at #15. Then we have the PS4-exclusive LEGO Harry Potter Collection at #19.

As for last week’s PSVR games, just two remain in the top 40 – Until Dawn: Rush of Blood at #21 and PlayStation VR Worlds at #29. The PS4 top 20 chart echoes this, with only the same two present.

Oct 23
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

It’s easy to be critical about Horse Racing 2016 on Xbox One. Not only is it one of the ugliest games of recent times – a fact not helped by the inconsistent art direction – but it’s also basic to the extreme.

Moreover, it’s £23.99. Twenty-four ruddy quid.

When the product listing went live earlier this month, and we cast our collective eyes upon the hideously dated visuals, we honestly expected it to launch for around a fiver.


Amazingly, and thankfully, a trial is available so that you can witness this abomination without spending a penny. The trial lasts two hours and gives access to the first season, which comprises of five different events. Each of these takes around 2 minutes to finish, making that two-hour limit more than generous.

Achievement hunters take note: it’s possible to gain the achievements for completing 10 events and winning 10 races just by playing the 30 second time trial repeatedly. We managed to notch up a handsome 110G after just 20 minutes of play.

It appears that rather than spending time on bringing the visuals up to modern day standard – and implementing a handling system so that it feels like you’re riding a horse rather than a motorbike – Indian developer Yash Future Tech Solutions spend the bulk of development time finely balancing the game’s difficulty.

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Oct 20
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

Nintendo has finally ended months of rumours and speculation – their next console is officially known as the Nintendo Switch, and it has a targeted release date of March 2017.

Nintendo is marketing the Switch as a home console that can be taken out of the home, rather than a handheld that can be played on a TV. It’s a home console foremost, in other words. A dock is used to connect the Switch to a TV; once removed, gameplay instantly transfers over to a tablet.

As the alleged developer leaks suggested, the tablet has detachable ‘bookend’ controllers (officially known as Joy-Cons). Joy-Cons can be used for two-player games – held in a similar manner to a Wii remote – or clicked into a frame to form a twin analogue stick controller. A more traditional Pro Controller will also be available, complete with a fetching translucent casing.


The tablet has both a headphone jack and a foldout stand, making it perfectly suited for playing while at work, school or similar.

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