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Jan 23
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

Reviews of Capcom’s Resident Evil 7: Biohazard bare a few recurring opinions. Almost every critic claims that it’s an ideal place for franchise newcomers to start, and that it’s also the best RE in years. In fact, it was refreshing to see one critic gleefully report that it’s the best survival horror since Alien: Isolation, as most compare it to RE4 – the franchise benchmark.

Critics are almost entirely in agreement that it’s a decent mixture of ideas old and new, and despite the new perspective it still has the soul of a Resident Evil game. That’s something we’re sure fans will be pleased to hear.

Scores so far include top marks from Destructoid, The Guardian, The Daily Dot and God is a Geek, plus a long list of 8/10s. Time was the only outlet far from smitten, reporting that it’s hard to know who it’s aimed at. With such contrasting opinions, it’s a review that’s worth a read. Keep scrolling down and you’ll eventually find it:

10/10 – God is a Geek: “The pacing is perfect, always keeping it moving at a steady rate, and it changes things up constantly, so it never gets old. No mean feat for a game that lasts 8-10 hours”

10/10 – Destructoid: “Resident Evil 7 went beyond my expectations, and I feel we have an instant classic here. I want to jump back in right now, and I have a feeling I’ll be doing so for years to come”

5/5 – The Daily Dot: “Resident Evil 7 is a delightfully layered experience, managing to carve its own identity even if its influences are easy to spot. It not only borrows from other first-person survival horror games but from the Resident Evil series itself”

5/5 – The Guardian: “Reinventing older game series’ to fit ever expanding technological boundaries while maintaining their quiddity is one of the great challenges in game design. Indeed, it’s one that Resident Evil’s creators have failed to meet on numerous occasions. Resident Evil 7, by contrast, is a masterclass: breezily new, yet quintessentially in character with its illustrious forbearers”

9.5 – EGM: “This is easily the best Resident Evil game in years. It masterfully blends Eastern and Western horror sensibilities into a truly terrifying package that also harkens back to the series’ roots”

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GR2
Jan 23
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

The UK chart can be an unpredictable beast at times. We expected Gravity Rush 2 – the first major PS4 exclusive of 2017 – to break into the top ten, but instead it arrived at #16.

It was even outsold by Dragon Quest VIII, which entered at a slightly more respectable #13.

There’s every chance that Gravity Rush 2 will rise in the coming weeks – it’s likely some gamers are yet to receive their first pay cheque of 2017.

It’s GTA V that claims for the top spot, making it two weeks running and 11 weeks in total – the most for any GTA game. FIFA 17 and Infinite Warfare switch places at #2 and #3, Battlefield 1 remains at #4 and then at #5 it’s Watch_Dogs 2.

Rocket League moves up one position to #6, Steep rose two places to #7, Forza Horizon 3 dropped to #8, Mafia III falls to #9 and then at #10 it’s Overwatch, up from #18.

Over in the single format charts, Fate/Extella and Atelier Shallie Plus entered at #1 and #2 respectively in the PS Vita chart. The PS4 version of Fate/Extella meanwhile was a no-show.

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Jan 20
By Matt Gander In Features No Comments

As much as we’d like to see the esteemed likes of The Witcher III, Overwatch and Battlefield 1 on Nintendo Switch, it’ll never happen. The system simply lacks the horsepower, and the fact that Nintendo has opted for cartridges probably doesn’t help the current software situation either.

It appears the system has more in common with last-gen tech, with FIFA on Switch allegedly running on the Xbox 360 version’s engine. We have a feeling that NBA 2K is based on the last-gen iterations too. That’s not to say we aren’t going to see any current-gen stuff, though – I Am Setsuna and Steep are on their way. Developers must either put the extra effort in – hence why Steep isn’t out until later in the year – or choose games that aren’t too graphically demanding.

So here are five games that could feasibly be released on Nintendo’s shiny new system, all of which we’d be very pleased to see. Day one purchases all around.

Rocket League

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A quick kickabout on FIFA, a couple of rounds of Splatoon, some 1-2-Switch shenanigans to liven up a dull party – these are the kind of experiences the Switch is intended for, thanks to its portable nature and focus on multiplayer.

In an ideal world, Nintendo would be chasing Psyonix for a Switch version of Rocket League. Perusing software isn’t exactly the Kyoto giant’s strength, however, so we can only hope that Rocket League makes the jump somewhen – it’s a perfect fit for the system, offering short bursts of instantly gratifying entertainment. It holds huge appeal too; a sports game that anybody can pick up and play.

The vehicles may have to be made slightly less curvaceous to bring the polygon count down, but we’re still confident the Switch could handle a competent conversion.

With Nintendo planning to charge for the Switch’s online service, it’ll need a strong line-up of online games to justify the cost. Splatoon and MK8 are fine and dandy, but the chance to play online Rocket League while on lunch break could help make Nintendo’s online fees easier to swallow.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

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No, we haven’t overestimated the Switch’s power – lest you forget, Lara’s latest graced the ageing Xbox 360 alongside Xbox One. While the last-gen version didn’t receive a great deal of press coverage – there are no critic reviews on Metacritic whatsoever – it was apparently an excellent conversion, with a sturdy frame rate and impressive visuals.

Once Breath of the Wild is done and dusted, core gamers are likely to be hankering for another adventure, and so we’re sure Rise of the Tomb Raider would go down a treat on Switch. It’s not like Lara is a stranger to Nintendo formats either – Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider: Legend graced the GameCube while Tomb Raider: Underworld made it to the Wii.

Square-Enix is one of the few publishers to announce more than one title for the Switch, which makes this conversion likelier than some of the others on this list. Perhaps even the most likely.

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GravityRush2
Jan 19
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

There’s a Japanese tinge to this week’s new release round-up – all four retail release due out originate from the orient.

Gravity Rush 2 is the one getting the most attention, with a fair bit of promotion from Sony themselves. Reviews scores are mostly around the 8/10 mark, with the exception of Slant Magazine who handed out a miserable 1.5/5. “Gravity Rush 2 doesn’t defy gravity so much as it just lifelessly hangs there” they said. Ouch. Obviously, they’re in the minority – the Metacritic currently stands at 81% from 69 critics.

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Both PS4 and PS Vita get the anime hack n’ slasher Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star. Our man Michael wasn’t too impressed, handing out a mediocre 5/10. Scores have been a tad higher elsewhere – God is a Geek dished out a 7.5 – but it’s still safe to say that the Musou series can sleep easy.

Then we have a couple of handheld JRPGs – Atelier Shallie Plus on PS Vita and a PS2 conversion of Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King on 3DS. Atelier Shallie has gained some decent reviews, including a 4/5 from Hardcore Gamer, while DQ VIII is often regarded as one of the finest JRPGs of all time. This is the one that made a huge impact in the west, taking magazine covers and selling rather well. It the years that have past it has lost very little, and it fits the 3DS perfectly.

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Jan 18
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

Those with a penchant for gaming collectables might want to pick up the latest issue of The Official PlayStation Magazine (UK), as it comes with a Yooka-Laylee soundtrack CD. Quite possibly the best magazine freebie since OPM’s own Sackboy keyring, back in 2013.

Eight music tracks feature, composed by Grant Kirkhope and David Wise. We had a quick listen while driving home from work earlier and are pleased to report that it’s incredibly Banjo-Kazooie-esque, with numerous xylophone jingles and whatnot.

Yooka-Laylee also takes the magazine’s cover this month. The 8-page preview looks at the levels, characters and multi-player modes. Plenty of insight into the game’s development, too. One fan apparently sent the team a crisp £10 note in the post as they were too young to back the project on Kickstarter.

Issue #132 hit the newsstands earlier this week. The next issue isn’t out until 14th February, so there’s plenty of time to track down a copy.

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Jan 17
By Michael Halton In Reviews No Comments

Although a fan of anime, I have never watched either Fate Stay: Night or Fate Stay: Zero. Personally, I prefer shows like Hunter X Hunter and Full Metal Alchemist, but in preparation of this review I researched the anime series on which this game is based, and also consulted my wife who has watched the whole thing. How she found the time to do so I’ll never know.

Turns out the anime has earned itself a cult following and is an enjoyable series with the prequel, Fate Stay: Zero, appearing to be the fan favourite. Sadly, and as we all know, a good show doesn’t guarantee a good game. You only have to look at last year’s TMNT tie-in to see that.

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Explaining what Fate/Extella is about is tricky due to the insane complexities of the gradually unfolding story. I’ll give a shot, though. After picking either a male or female lead, you’re greeted by a generously proportioned female (if you know what I mean) known as Nero. It turns out that Nero is your servant, which came about after the Holy Grail war was won by yourself after obtaining a ring called the Regalia. The ring has been duplicated and fallen into wrong hands, and so you need to travel to different areas clearing out baddies and “super” bosses. Even with my wife’s expert knowledge, it’s hard to untangle the storyline any further.

From the off, this single player hack and slasher fails to make a favourable impression. The graphics remind me of Skies of Arcadia on Dreamcast, if only a tad better. The character models are appealingly sharp and full of colour, but they’re teamed with mundane backgrounds and uninspiring battle arenas. Rumour has it a 4k patch is on its way, but it’s hard to see how this could fix the dullness of the environments.

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Jan 16
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

Taking the focus away from the Nintendo Switch for a moment, this week sees a smattering of new Wii U and 3DS games on the eShop.

Here be dragons. Well, maybe – when Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King launched on PS2 all those years ago we don’t recall seeing any majestic flying beasts. The RPG classic – and the first in the series to make a real impact in the west – hits the 3DS this Friday. The eShop price has been set for £34.99, so you may want to go the retail route for this one – it’s currently £28 to pre-order at Amazon.

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Reviews are full of praise, including a glowing 9/10 from Nintendo Life. “This isn’t just one of the best RPGs on the 3DS, it’s one of the best RPGs full stop — and one of the best Dragon Quests to dive into for the uninitiated” they said.

New 3DS owners can pick up RCMADIAXs newest score-chaser COLOR CUBES (£1.39), while all and sundry can test their management skills in Gourmet Dream (£4.79), which puts you in charge of a restaurant.

Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World can also be put through its paces this week, via a free demo. The full game is out 3rd February.

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gtav
Jan 16
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

We expected to see Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare still at no.1 in the UK chart this week, but instead the top ten has undergone a shuffle.

It’s GTA V that takes the top spot, making it 10 weeks in total. This puts in a small band of other titles – including GTA: Vice City – that have also reached the milestone of 10 weeks at the top.

Infinite Warfare can be found at #2. FIFA 17 moves down to #3, Battlefield 1 holds onto #4 and then at #5 it’s Forza Horizon 3.

Watch_Dogs 2 sits at #6, Rocket League moves up to #7, Mafia III falls to #8, Steep slides to #9 while Gears of War 4 sees us out at #10.

We’re still waiting on the first of 2017’s retail releases, and so there were no new entries this week.

We did see a few re-entries at the bottom of the top 40 though, with Mario Kart 7, Infamous: Second Son and The Crew back at #35, #36 and #37 respectively.

Titanfall 2 meanwhile look set to depart the chart, currently clinging in at #40.

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