WorldofGoo
Mar 24
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

The Switch receives its first sports game this week in the form of ACA NeoGeo Neo Turf Masters (£6.29). Don’t let the fact that it’s a re-release of a sports game from 1996 put you off – it’s held in high regard, often referred to as one of the greatest arcade sports games of all-time. Easily up there with NBA Jam, Punch Out!! and Windjammers. That last one has a good chance of appearing on Switch at some point, too.

Another three indie titles are available on Switch this week, all of which are from the same developer – Tomorrow Corporation. World of Goo, Little Inferno and Human Resource Machine graced the Wii and Wii U some time ago. Little Inferno – a minimalistic puzzler based around burning things – was a Wii U launch title, in fact, while physics-based World of Goo was one of the finest WiiWare titles.

HumanResource

Human Resource Machine meanwhile is Tomorrow Corp’s newest release, which is also a puzzler. This one is set in an office and involves sorting tiles with basic commands to get your staff to work efficiently. NintendoWorldReport gave it an 8/10, claiming that there’s no better place to play it than on Switch.

Time appears to have been very kind to 2009’s World of Goo too, with Destructoid giving this new Switch iteration a 9/10. “After all these years, it remains a delight from damn near top to bottom” they said. Little Inferno has received scores quite as hot, but it’s going down well enough to garner a 72% Metacritic.

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Andomeda
Mar 23
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

Upstart publisher Maximum Games are yet to break into the big leagues, with the biggest release so far – to use a term lightly – being the mediocre Mark McMorris Infinite Air. Troll and I – out this Friday on PS4 and Xbox One with a Switch release to follow – doesn’t look set to change things with the first reviews to go live being lukewarm at best.

It’s a co-op adventure with a focus on teamwork, similar to The Last Guardian and Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, using the troll’s brawn combined with the stealth tactics of his newfound chum Otto to progress.

“The cinematics lack any production value, and are often janky and impetuous which isn’t helped by every cut scene maintaining gameplay graphics like some low-quality PS2 game” said CGM before handing out a 4/10.

TROLL

Forbes wasn’t too impressed either, giving it a 6.5 while highlighting technical issues and other problems, albeit minor. “Here’s hoping the bugs get patched out and that we eventually get a Troll and I sequel, one that focuses on cleaner controls and a more emotionally engaging story,” they said.

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lw5
Mar 21
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

When it comes to dissecting LEGO Worlds’ DNA, the ever-popular Minecraft is the obvious benefactor. Scratch the surface just a little and you’ll find a less obvious influence: 2016’s still frequently discussed No Man’s Sky.

Like Hello Games’ space tourist sim, LEGO Worlds has a similar focus on exploration and discovery, complete with a busted spacecraft that must be upgraded to reach further flung parts of the galaxy.

The tutorial is set over a trio of themed worlds with narration provided by the ever-charismatic Peter Serafinowicz. Over the space of a couple of hours a variety of tools are slowly added to the inventory, with each tutorial mission based around using a shiny new plaything. Build a house, paint a tower, etc. It’s clear a lot of effort has been spent here to avoid overwhelming young minds, as plenty of time is given to acquaint with each tool before introducing the next.

lw3

Unlike the rest of the galaxy the three opening worlds aren’t randomly generated, and so it’s only here that a ‘personal touch is present. This is something that’s notably missing once the tutorial is out of the way, so enjoy it while it lasts.

the lack of licensed material has prompted a raid on the LEGO brick archives

While touring the plastic landscapes new items, animals, characters, and structures can be discovered and added to the ever-growing list of things that can be plonked just about anywhere. In a nutshell, that’s LEGO Worlds’ discovery aspect. Coming across a new vehicle, especially something like a helicopter or a terrain destroying digger, is often wondrous. Discovering a new kind of wildflower, tree stump or rock formation; less so.

As for exploration, the ultimate goal is to collect 100 gold bricks in order to become a Master Builder. Each world contains several of these elusive bricks, either as quest rewards or hidden inside the treasure chests found underground or on top of tall structures. Glowing beacons indicate where quests and chests are located, so there’s always something, or somewhere, of interest to visit.

Twenty-two different biomes feature, each with their own unique items and quests. While this may sound like an impressive amount, many are just slight variations of the same theme: lots of forests, woodlands and meadows with varying flora and fauna, and a few desolate sand-covered realms including safari and Egyptian biomes. Large worlds often feature more than one biome in addition to underground caverns and oceans filled with sea life. Bustling towns and monster-filled dungeons, sometimes too, with the latter putting the weapons often found in treasure chests to good use.

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ME1
Mar 20
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

Reviews Bioware’s latest space opera are now live, a few days ahead of Thursday’s launch.

While Mass Effect: Andromeda hasn’t received the warmest of receptions, it hasn’t exactly been critically mauled either – even the reviewers who dished out a 6/10 claim that it’s enjoyable enough, if ultimately disappointing. 6/10 is the lowest score at the time of typing, incidentally.

Not a patch on ME2 and ME3, and certainly not worth the five-year wait, is the consensus. Dull missions, forgettable characters, glitches and an over-complicated UI appear to be the biggest problems, but if you look past these faults you’ll still find a huge world to explore with some surprisingly satisfying combat.

Eurogamer even went as a far to say that the combat is the game’s saving grace. That wasn’t enough to bag it one of EG’s ‘recommended’ badges, mind.

Here’s a round-up of what else is being said:

8.5 – Post Arcade: “The Mass Effect games have always revelled in delivering a memorable visual experience, in creating a sense of awe in players as they explore the far off reaches of a vast universe. Happily, that’s still the case in Andromeda”

8.5 – Forbes: “I have a feeling that Mass Effect fans will enjoy the game, but I don’t think anyone will claim it outclasses the original trilogy, outside of maybe the very first game”

8.5 – God is a Geek: “A welcome return to Bioware’s space opera, introducing great characters, an interesting story and some fantastic designs, always providing things to do”

8.0 – GameInformer: “Mass Effect: Andromeda has the series’ signature mixture of story, characters, and combat. Though its success rate varies in each area, it still provides dozens of hours of fun”

8/10 – TheSixthAxis: “Sadly the glut of technical missteps serve to cheapen proceedings, but this is still an adventure you don’t want to miss out on”

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Wildlands3
Mar 20
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands has taken the UK chart top spot for a second week.

When combined with For Honor’s two-week run, Ubisoft is now the publisher with the most weeks at number one in 2017 so far.

Bullt

LEGO Worlds’ second-week sales appear to be fuelled by word of mouth – it’s up one position to #2, with launch week sales down only by 37%.

Horizon Zero Dawn fell to #3, GTA V moved up to #4 and then at #5 it’s FIFA 17.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild dropped two places to #6, Rocket League shifted to #7, Infinite Warfare moved to #8 while Minecraft: Xbox Edition and Forza Horizon 3 both re-entered the top ten at #9 and #10 respectively.

It seems retailers are clearing out old Xbox One stock once more, with launch titles Forza Motorsport 5 and Ryse: Son of Rome re-entering at #16 and #31. Rare Replay meanwhile re-appeared at #27.

Stealth adventure Styx: Shards of Darkness was the only new top 40 arrival, making a lowly #37.

The ‘Xbox Greatest Hits’ re-release of Bully: Scholarship Edition did manage to make #7 in the Xbox 360 chart, however.

NSwitchDS_AcaNeogeoTheKingOfFighters94_05_mediaplayer_large
Mar 17
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

C-c-c-changes! Nintendo has chosen to move their UK eShop schedule to a Thursday, the day the eShop itself updates. The annoying thing about this, of course, is that it doesn’t give much of a heads-up about what’s around the corner. It also shakes up our site schedule up a tad, so look out for our eShop round-ups on a Thursday or Friday from now, instead of a Monday or Tuesday.

As our headline states, twelve games hit the UK Nintendo eShop this week, but only one is for Switch. That game is ACA NeoGeo King of Fighters ’94 (£6.29), a fan favourite. Incidentally, publisher Hamster recently patched their past Switch NeoGeo games, improving sound quality and such.

WiiUVC_Neutopia_03_mediaplayer_large

It’s easily the humble Wii U that has the most exciting line-up, including two Turbografx-16 titles: the Zelda-alike adventure Neutopia, and Dungeon Explorer, a five-player RPG. Both launched on the Wii VC years ago. If you purchased either back then, they can be had on Wii U at a special reduced price. Otherwise, they’ll set you back a modest £5.39 each.

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Styx
Mar 15
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

After the recent whirlwind of big name releases, this week is but a gentle breeze. The calm before the next storm, if you will – next Thurs sees the release of the long-awaited Mass Effect: Andromeda.

It’s Styx: Shards of Darkness, FlatOut 4: Total Insanity and Danganronpa 1/2 Reload that find themselves sandwiched between, while the digital services receive the typical assortment of oddities.

No reviews of FlatOut 4: Total Insanity – out Friday on PS4 and Xbox One – are live yet, which is hardly encouraging. This latest instalment of the crash and smash racer is being published by BigBen and developed by French studio Kylotonn, best known for Motorcycle Club, WRC 5 and WRC 6. If those games are to go by, we’re in for a middling experience – we’re yet to see anything truly amazing from Kylotonn.

Flatout4

Reviews for stealth adventure sequel Styx: Shards of Darkness surfaced a few days ago, with scores mostly around the 6/10 and 7/10 mark. “Once you get past the slightly budget look of the UI and occasional control jank, there is a solid core of a pretty damn good stealth game here” said Destructoid’s reviewer, who scored it a 7 (while adding the word ‘jank’ to our lexicon).

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image
Mar 15
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

As a game that entails little more than making and spending money, Clicker Heroes could only ever exist within the realms of free-to-play.

The action takes place on a single screen, and it all begins with a single tap of the attack button to kill an enemy. Another then takes its place. An endless loop, no less. Enemies don’t fight back, or do anything other than merrily bob up and down, and each is defeated by mindless button bashing.

Defeated enemies drop gold, and soon enough falls your way to be able to hire a hero. Heroes do the clicking for you, and so now there’s almost no input required at all. From here on in its a (ridiculously) simple case of raking in the cash, hiring heroes and levelling them up.

Bosses must be defeated within a time limit, and so sometimes you’ll have to revisit past stages to grind for cash to level up heroes, but that’s about as in-depth – and interactive – as it gets.

Clicker

The package is held together, albeit loosely, by an in-game achievement system. The amount of money earned, and the potential damage your party can deal, soon skyrockets into millions and billions, and so achievements are for such unlikely things as levelling up 25,000 times.

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