It’s always a good sign when a publisher sets a review embargo date well before a game is due out. Tomb Raider is perfect example of this – reviews surfaced online eight days prior to its Tuesday release.
There are perhaps fewer 10/10s around than Square-Enix had hoped for, but reviews on the whole have been glowing, including a 9/10 from Polygon and 8/10s from both GamesTM and EDGE. “Lara is back and bigger and bouncer than ever,” thankfully not one person has said.
A few Tomb Raider diehards have been a bit disgruntled about how violent the game is though, with Lara now seemingly having a dark murderous streak that we haven’t seen before. On the upside, the multiplayer mode isn’t as pointless as many anticipated.
As is usually case with big name games, a price war is currently raging. Tesco and Morrisons are selling it for £32 currently while a few places online such as Zavvi and TheGamesCollection have it for just under £30.
There’s also a collector’s edition with a figurine and a ‘survival edition’ with an art-book, CD and waterproof pouch to consider. These should set you back around £65 and £45 respectively.
Never been a fan of Lara? Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirrors of Fate is whipping it up on 3DS. Reviews have been mixed and it’s easy to see why – a few reviewers have likened it to a side scrolling God of War, so it’s quite the departure from the usual Castlevania fare it would seem. Scores so far include 4.7 from IGN and 7/10 from Eurogamer. “It’s something of a makeweight, as handheld games far too frequently are – but there’s just enough here to satisfy until the true follow-up to Lords of Shadows is ready,” said Eurogamer’s reviewer.
Anything else? A few bits and bobs, yes. History Channel: Legends of War is marching onto PS3, 360, PC and PS Vita. It’s something we don’t see often on consoles – a turn-based strategy game. There’s a video here on pQube’s website. Be warned if you’re curious – when it was released in the US late last year reviews weren’t exactly full of praise. The Official Xbox Magazine’s 6.5 was one of the higher scores it received, in fact.
Then there’s Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, which blow us down, actually looks rather good. GamesRadar were impressed by the “amazing” story mode, “beautiful” cel-shaded visuals and “fun” combat. They ended up giving it 4/5. Eurogamer Italy dished out an 8/10, calling it “imprescindibile”.
Fans of all things anime may also be interested in Koei’s RPG Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk on PS3, arriving this week also.
Lucky PC gamers meanwhile finally get to play the long awaited SimCity. GAME’s limited edition includes, amongst other things, a super hero HQ and evil villain lair. It’s fair to say, then, that it’s a very different type of experience from the classic SimCity that we used to play while at school. Different in a good way it would seem – Polygon handed out a whopping 9.5. They did later alter that score to an 8.0 though after experiencing a few problems with EA’s servers.
Top-down multiplayer versus battler Dollar Dash and arcade-like WRC Powerslide are this week’s XBLA releases, with the latter due on PSN next week, while Nano Assault EX and Legend of the River King arrive on 3DS. Nano Assault EX costs £12.49 which sounds at expensive at first, until you consider that it was originally a full price retail release in the US. For its download début it has also received some new extras including Circle-Pad Pro support and additional game modes. Good work there, Shin’en.
Next week: Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC), Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 (PS3, 360), God of War: Ascension (PS3), Naruto Powerful Shippuden (3DS) and Monster High Skulltimate Rollermaze (3DS).