Sep 18
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Destiny 2 managed to fend off all newcomers, holding the UK chart’s top spot for a second week running. No surprise there, really – Bungie’s sci-fi opus is still the talk of the town.

The fact that NBA 2K18 outperformed PES 2018 does come as a surprise, however.

Take 2’s sports sim had the biggest ever UK launch for a basketball game, and its chart position (#2) is also the franchise’s highest so far.

Konami’s PES 2018 had to settle for #3, with a sales difference of 1.5k copies.

The budget-priced Dishonored: Death of the Outsider made #6. Its arrival seems to have had a knock-on-effect on Dishonored 2, which fell from #6 to #20 this week.

The well-received Metroid: Samus Returns rolled in at #8, while also claiming no.1 in the 3DS chart.

Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition on Switch narrowly missed a top ten placing meanwhile, debuting at #11.

Finally for this week’s new arrivals, NHL 18 turned up at #23. This means it was a no-show for EA’s NBA Live 18. It even failed to break the individual format top 20s.

As for the whereabouts of recent releases, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is now at #14, Knack II plummeted to #25 on its second week of release, while Monster Hunter Stories on 3DS fell sixteen places to #37.

Sep 14
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

How’s about that Nintendo Direct, eh? We had a feeling a new mature title was on the agenda given the 11pm show-time and the conference’s 18+ age rating, but we never expected a double-whammy of DOOM and Wolfenstein II. Minecraft for New 3DS was a nice surprise, too.

As for games you can play right now, oh boy oh boy, it’s another busy week with ten new Switch releases in total, plus a demo of Square-Enix’s JRPG project OCTOPATH TRAVELER. That’s a working title, if you couldn’t guess. What’s the betting it remains as Octopath Traveler? High, we’d imagine.

NBA 2K18 (£54.99) and Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition (£29.99) arrive on both the eShop and at retail. Unlike the upcoming FIFA 18, NBA 2K18 has the same content and features as the PS4/Xbox One versions. As for Rayman, the consensus is that it’s a great version of a great game, but the new features – including a Kung Foot tournament mode – aren’t worth the asking price if you already own it on Wii U.

Like last week’s new arrivals, many of this week’s titles are belated conversions. Procedurally generated platformer 36 Fragments of Midnight (£2.99) makes the jump from PC, Beach Buggy Racing (£9.99) debuted on Xbox One to mixed reviews, fetching pixel art strategy RPG Kingdom: New Lands (£13.49) went down a treat on Xbox One and iOS, while turn-based dungeon crawler Quest of Dungeons (£7.99) was met with a positive reception on Xbox One back in 2015.

Read more

Sep 13
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

With a site revamp on the agenda, this week’s new release round-up features a new format. It’ll no doubt evolve slightly over the next few weeks, but hopefully, it’ll prove to be easier to read as well as being more informative.

Best of all, this new format gives every new release an airing; no game left behind.

This week sees another slew of sports games, with NBA 2K18 and PES 2018 likely to storm the UK charts next week, while Samus makes a triumphant return on 3DS, along with accompanying amiibo.

Then we have Dishonored: Death of the Outsider. No reviews are live yet, but the £15-£20 price tag makes it less of a gamble, not to mention the series’ solid reputation.

Hopefully it won’t be the last Dishonored game we ever see.

Retail and digital releases:

PES 2018 (PS4/XO/PS3/360)

‘Where Legends Are Made’ encapsulates the return of PES, with new features, modes and an unparalleled gameplay experience. This year’s edition brings the biggest changes to the award winning series seen in a decade, which will set a new standard for soccer games, and raise expectations for the future of the franchise.

No part of PES 2018 has been left untouched, giving you new ways to play with a number of gameplay improvements, Online Co-op, Random Selection Match, and a complete presentation overhaul with lifelike player models, new menus and real player images.

PES 2018 embraces the world of eSports with new integration of PES League across Online modes, including a new 3v3 competitive mode allowing users to join forces to win big prizes. This, alongside bringing the PC version to a level that meets the quality standard of its PlayStation 4 counterpart, only scratches the surface of the significant changes to PES 2018

NBA 2K18 (PS4/XO/PS3/360/Switch)

The highest rated* annual sports title of this console generation returns with NBA 2K18, featuring unparalleled authenticity and improvements on the court.

*According to 2008 – 2016 Metacritic.com”

Dishonored Death of the Outsider (PS4/XO/PC)

Take on the role of Billie Lurk (aka Megan Foster), once one of Dunwall’s most notorious killers-for-hire. Reunited with your old mentor, the legendary assassin Daud, you undertake the greatest assassination ever conceived: killing the Outsider, a god-like figure whom Billie and Daud see as instrumental to some of the Empire’s most dishonorable moments.

As you venture deep into the grimiest corners of Karnaca to uncover the mystery of the Outsider and his origins, you will face deadly opposition, ancient powers, and difficult decisions that will forever change the world around you

Read more

Sep 13
By Matt Gander In Retro No Comments

Those who frequent Twitter may have come across @SEGACDGames, a rapidly growing account featuring spoof box art for SEGA’s ill-fated add-on.

The choice of format is a stroke of genius – the SEGA CD (aka the Mega CD) had a rather eccentric library, comprising of low budget FMV games, platformers starring quintessentially ‘90s heroes, terrible movie tie-ins, and numerous games with endorsements from long-forgotten celebrities.

Many of these never made it to Europe, which only makes the SEGA CD’s line-up even more intriguing. Today we’re looking at five of the weirdest games the system had to offer.

Panic!

Known as Switch in Japan, Panic! was billed as a point ‘n click adventure. That was pushing the definition somewhat – like many of the FMV games of the era, the whole thing was nothing more than a trial and error memory test.

After being sucked into their TV, Slap and his dog Stick had to find their way out by interacting with numerous everyday objects. Each button press generated a different animation, with some Monty Python-esque humour on display. Statues would flap their arms and fly away, elevators would grow and shrink and size, while messing around with a vacuum cleaner prompted it to suck up the backdrop, leaving nothing but a white screen.

Pressing buttons in a correct order was the only way to progress; there was no inventory, puzzles, or anything of the sort. A point ‘n clicker in the loosest sense.

US magazine GamePlayers wheeled out the good old “The developers must have been on drugs!” line for this one. Generally, though, critics found it to be rather pointless.

3 Ninjas Kick Back

The movie on which this platformer is based was a critical and commercial failure, making only $11m back on its budget of $20m. The game itself didn’t fare too well either. It wasn’t terrible; just an incredibly bland 2D platformer that offered nothing new.

Knowing that they had a possible flop on their hands, Sony Imagesoft (the Japanese giant had a small presence in the industry prior to launching the PlayStation) even made the decision to throw in fellow movie tie-in Hook to sweeten the deal.

Now here’s the weird part. Occasionally the action came to a standstill and Grandpa Mori Shintaro – the franchise’s equivalent of Mr Miyagi – popped up in the corner of the screen to explain objectives. He appears utterly confused by the whole thing. Bewildered, even. Think along the lines of Patrick Moore on GamesMaster after being asked yet another question about Zelda III.

Shame there wasn’t a cheat code to make Shintaro randomly pop up and yell “Toasty!”

Read more

Sep 11
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Coming as a surprise to absolutely nobody, Destiny 2 is the UK’s new no.1. It had the biggest launch of 2017 so far, beating previous record holders Horizon Zero Dawn and Ghost Recon Wildlands.

There’s a slight sting in this tale, however. Physical sales were down an estimated 58% over the original Destiny, which launched three years ago. According to leaked figures, D1 sold 417k copies at launch whereas D2’s week one sales were 175k.

There are a few explanations for this shortfall. Firstly, digital sales aren’t included in the UK chart – it’s likely digital pre-orders far exceeded that of the original, with many eager to play the moment servers went live.

Secondly, the PC version isn’t due out until next month. And thirdly, the original Destiny launched on a Tuesday, giving it an extra day to generate sales.

We’d wager that some gamers have simply chosen to wait for a ‘complete edition’ instead, due to the franchises’ DLC oriented nature. The lack of pre-launch reviews may have also had an impact.

Despite all this, Destiny 2’s launch shouldn’t be marked down as a failure – Bungie reported 1.2m players were online concurrently over the weekend. US sales are yet to be revealed too, which could show an all-together different story.

The UK top 40 saw a few other new entries this week. Sony’s Knack II made #12, Capcom’s Monster Hunter Stories arrived at #21 – while also topping the 3DS chart – and the Switch’s Binding of Issac: Afterbirth debuted at #36.

As for other occurrences of note, ARK: Survival Evolved and Everybody’s Golf have both left the top ten after just one week on sale, while Yakuza Kiwami has left the top 40 entirely. It won’t be long until Agents of Mayhem suffers the same fate – Deep Silver’s colourful shooter is currently clinging in at #39. Only a sub-£20 price drop can save it now.

Sep 07
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

Nine new Switch games make their merry way to the UK eShop this week – an unprecedented amount, trouncing even the console’s launch line-up.

LEGO Worlds (£24.99) and The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ (£35.99) are both tardy conversions. We weren’t entirely smitten with LEGO Worlds on PS4/Xbox One – the toolset gives plenty of potential to build structures wild and wonderful, but the exploration aspect – which is structured similar to No Man’s Sky – is sloppy, and too random for its own good.

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ may be less familiar to Nintendo fans. It’s a remake of a popular PC dungeon crawler/Roguelike from 2011, which caused a degree of controversy due to its biblical storyline. It plays like a twin-stick shooter, with the idea being to escape from a basement. US gamers received it back in March where it gained numerous 8/10 reviews. If you can swallow the step price tag, it’s worth your time.

Whereas the above two titles are available both at retail and on the eShop, the following are download only.

Our NeoGeo title for this week is Blue’s Journey (£6.29), a colourful platformer from 1991. It looks visually crude when compared to later NeoGeo releases, so we’re going to go out on a limb and say it’s probably showing its age. Might be an idea to wait for Top Hunter’s eventual release.

Next up is a surprise release of Double Dragon 4 (£8.59). Unlike DD Neon, this instalment uses authentic 8-bit sprites. Reviews of the PS4 version from January were far from positive, resulting in a shameful 49% Metacritic.

Read more

Sep 06
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

Plenty of jokes have already been made about Sony’s decision to launch Knack 2 on the same day as Destiny 2, one of the most anticipated games of the year. While Sony’s timing is open to scrutiny – few new releases are out this week, seemingly because of Destiny 2 – it’s unlikely to harm Knack 2’s sales overall.

Not only has this unexpected sequel gained some surprisingly high review scores – including an 8.5 from God is a Geek and an 8.25 from Game Informer – but it’s aimed at a different demographic to Destiny. It may even manage to break the UK top five next week – Sony is on a roll with their PS4 exclusives currently, as seen with last week’s Everybody’s Golf.

So, Destiny 2. We were expected to see a handful of reviews on launch day, but the actual number was a big fat zero – servers didn’t go live until a few hours before launch. This lack of reviews isn’t too concerning – initial impressions are mostly positive. It apparently feels much more MMO-like than its predecessor, and it’s also a contender for one of this generation’s best looking – and best sounding – games. Eurogamer has their review planned for next week, and you can expect other outlets to follow suit. Some sites may even wait until the first raid goes live.

Read more

Sep 06
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

Last month Retro Gamer magazine teased the return of a classic ‘90s gaming mag. Making good on their word, the latest issue – #172 – comes packaged with a 52-page Super Play tribute magazine.

Super Play is regarded as one of the finest Nintendo magazines of its era, mostly due to its focus on import gaming and love of JRPGs. Indeed, it has been attributed to introducing a whole new audience to the genre, daring to put the likes of Final Fantasy III, Secret of Mana 2 and Chrono Trigger on its cover. This was during a time where most publications relied on over-hyped licensed games and movie tie-ins to fly off newsstands.

Retro Gamer’s one off special brings the original Super Play team back together, complete with a cover illustration from Wil Overton. The SNES Classic Mini is the focus, with Star Fox 2 being the cover game. The long-lost SFX shooter gets the preview treatment (no review, sadly – blame NDAs), along with a developer interview.

The remaining SNES Classic Mini games are all reviewed in full, with those only found on the Super Famicom Mini appearing in the Import Reviews section.

Even by simply flicking through the pages it’s easy to tell that an incredible amount of thought and effort has gone into this, with the colourful page layouts and jaunty ‘90s writing style mimicked to perfection. It even has a couple of pages dedicated to the anime scene – a former Super Play staple.

While we’d love to see more one offs from Retro Gamer (Future Publishing’s acquisition of Imagine has obviously opened new doors), it clearly takes an incredible amount of planning. All that hard work wasn’t for nothing – this mini mag is a delight to behold.

Retro Gamer #172 hits newsagent’s shelves tomorrow, priced £5.99.

© 2001-2017 Games Asylum