Jul 31
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

The UK chart’s top three positions remain unchanged this week.

This means Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy has now spent 4 out of its 5 weeks on sale at no.1. Splatoon 2 is at #2; GTA V at #3.

There’s a small shake-up in the remaining top ten positions. GAME’s ‘3 for 2’ on Bethesda titles – which benefits charity Special Effect – helped Fallout 4, DOOM and Dishonored 2 re-take #4, #5 and #6 respectively. Both DOOM and Dishonored sat outside of the top ten last week.

At #7 and #8 we find two new entries – Nintendo’s Miitopia and Alternative’s Rugby League Live 4.

FIFA 17 felll one place to #9, while Ghost Recon: Wildlands rounds-off the top ten.

Hey! Pikmin at a lowly #29 was the only other new arrival in the top 40, meaning the oft-delayed Devilish Brain Training didn’t touch the chart.

The same also goes for the retail release of Epic’s Fortnight.

Jul 28
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

Dr Kawashima’s Devilish Brain Training: Can You Stay Focused? (£24.99) is a game many European 3DS owners feared cancelled. We even reported as such last year after our long-standing pre-order from 2013 – which we’d forgotten all about – was cancelled by Tesco, who stated that it was “no longer being published by the supplier”.

The arrival of the New 2DS XL is the perfect time to dust it off and finally release it on our shores, it would seem.

This isn’t the first time Nintendo held games back from certain regions. Crusin’ USA on N64 didn’t make it to Europe until 1998 – two years after the US launch – while 1080 Snowboarding had a six-month delay as Nintendo feared a snowboarding game wouldn’t sell well in PAL regions during the Spring. More recently, New Play Control! Pikmin 2 on Wii didn’t hit the US until three years after the rest of the world, where it was called upon to fill a gap in the release roster.

Speaking of Pikmin, Hey! Pikmin (£34.99) is another prolific title launching alongside Nintendo’s new handheld. Word has it that it’s a step-up from than similar spin-off Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash, but still rather lacking when compared to Nintendo’s usual outputs. Review scores are mostly a mixture of 6s and 7s, resulting in a Metacritic of 69%.

Then we have Miitopia (£34.99), an RPG lite spin-off of Tomodachi Life. Nintendo Life’s review went up earlier, where it was awarded an 8/10. “It’s a fitting celebration of the Mii concept, perfect for short bursts of play, and an absolute riot with the right group of Miis — if you’ve ever wanted to take your friends on a grand adventure, complete with silly cosplay and relationship drama, this is a perfect way to do it,” they said.

Oddly, only two new indies are due on the eShop to coincide with the New 2DS’s arrival. These are Kid Tripp (£3.59), a retro-chic auto-runner spread across four different worlds, and SWIPE (£1.39) – a score chaser from RCMADIAX that involves collecting crystals while avoiding nasties.

RCMADIAX also releases former New 3DS space shooter GALAXY BLASTER (£1.39) on Wii U this week. Wii U discounts are a tad more exciting, including Capcom’s Resident Evil Revelations (£6.39), DuckTales: Remastered (£4.79) and Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara (£3.23).

Switch owners have plenty to mull over too. Six new releases, no less. Namco Museum (£29.99) and Overcooked: Special Edition (£17.99) are the big ones, accompanied by throwback party game Ultra Hyperball (£8.99), NeoGeo Super Sidekicks (£6.29), card game Physical Contact: SPEED (£4.49), and 3D art program Qbics Paint (£4.49).

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

Out of the three first-party releases launching alongside Nintendo’s New 2DS XL handheld, Hey! Pikmin is the one gaining the most attention. Understandable, really – it’s one of Nintendo’s most cherished franchises, and the other two releases – Dr Kawashima’s Devilish Brain Training and Miitopia – are arguably of acquired taste.

While a marked improvement on Nintendo’s previous 2D spin-off Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash, review scores for Hey! Pikmin are somewhat mixed. The Metacritic currently stands at 69%, including an 8.5 from God is a Geek, 7/10s from both Destructoid and Polygon, 6/10s from Nintendo Life and GameSpot, and a middling 5/10 from The Metro. “The game does all the basics you’d expect of a Pikmin game, but it lacks any real inspiration or soul,” warned The Metro.

Reviews of Miitopia – which turns Tomodachi Life into an easy-going RPG – are less forthcoming currently. Destructoid has chalked up a few early impressions which may help a purchasing decision. Failing that, there’s a demo available.

And as you may be aware, Dr Kawashima’s Devilish Brain Training launched in the US back in 2013 under the name of Brain Age: Concentration Training. IGN felt it was worth a 7.8 back in the day. “Concentration Training could very well help you overcome the many distractions in your life,” they said.

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Jul 25
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

Don’t come to this tower defence/role-playing hybrid expecting the unexpected. Although it does improve on its predecessor in many ways, innovation and originality are still low on the agenda.

Even if you overlooked the original, anybody who’s played a tower defence game before will know what they’re in for. Hordes of enemies appear out of magical gates and make a beeline to objects you’re tasked with protecting, and so it’s a case of strategically placing traps, turrets and towers in their path to prevent the battlefield being overrun and valuable items destroyed.

Enemies can be dealt with directly too, with the two free characters available being a knight in shining armour – who has some heavy hitting sword swings at his disposal – and a mage with a wand that fires different projectiles. The remaining character classes – plus various character skins, pets, and whatnot – are locked behind a paywall, purchasable with IAPs or elusive gold medals.

It’s more than apparent that Dungeon Defenders II benefits hugely from current-gen tech. The game engine copes admirably with the level of carnage and chaos, and although there is a limit to the amount of turrets that can be built, this is seemingly down to balancing rather than technical constraints. Glowing green crystals are used to buy, repair and upgrade arsenal, gained either from defeated enemies or from within treasure chests that restock between rounds. All the time in the world is provided to set up defences, as rounds only start when all players are ready.

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Jul 24
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Splatoon 2 is off to an impressive start. It had a stronger launch than the Wii U original, and it also had the third biggest Switch launch behind Zelda: BotW and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Ultimately though, it had to settle for #2 in the UK chart as renewed stock of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy has propelled the box breaking marsupial back to no1.

Crash Bandicoot now matches The Last of Us: Remastered with most weeks at #1 for a PS4 exclusive.

Switch stock replenishment sees both MK8 and Zelda: BotW re-enter the top ten, bouncing back at #4 and #6 respectively. 1-2 Switch is back at #24, meanwhile.

Going back to the top ten, GTA V rises to #3 while Overwatch falls to #5.

FF XII: The Zodiac Age – last week’s chart topper – falls to #7, FIFA 17 rises a few places to #8, Fallout 4 is up ten places to #9 and then at #10 it’s LEGO Worlds.

DOOM also saw a resurgence, up from #24 to #12. This is presumably due to Bethesda’s decision to make the Season Pass free.

Also of note are Forza Horizon 3 and Minecraft: Xbox Edition’s dramatic drops. Both were in the top ten last week due to Amazon Prime Day sales, but now sit at #20 and #21.

Injustice 2 also departs the top ten this week, falling from #10 to #22.

Movie tie-in Cars 3: Driven to Win is the only other top 40 new entry, parking up at #34 during its second week on sale.

Jul 20
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

The next fortnight or so is jam-packed with Nintendo goodness. The Switch sees five new releases this week alone, including the anticipated Splatoon 2, while next marks the arrival of the New Nintendo 2DS XL along with a trio of notable new first-party releases.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s a slew of new amiibo out tomorrow too. Good luck to anybody hoping to pick up Cloud and Bayonetta without a pre-order, as it looks like stock is clean out.

Critics are seemingly in agreement that Splatoon 2 offers more of the same, but that’s not exactly a bad thing. The original was one of the most refreshing and innovate online shooters around.

Here’s a mini review round-up:

10/10 – Nintendo Life: “Anyone who says Nintendo can’t do online should be eating their words right now; Splatoon 2 is simply inkredible and continues Nintendo’s trailblazing first year of Switch stunners”

9/10 – The Metro: “It barely classifies as a sequel, but even if you’ve played the original this is still one of the best online shooters ever made”

8.5 – Destructoid: “If you’re the type of person who tried Splatoon for a little while and gave up, Nintendo hasn’t done a whole lot to change your mind outside of adding a horde mode. But with more concessions for higher-level play and a deeper meta, veterans will be jumping ship from Wii U to Switch in an instant”

8.25 – GameInformer: “Splatoon 2 offers a strong stable of content demonstrating familiar fun that newcomers and old fans should check out”

8/10 – GameSpot: “If you played a lot of the original, the sequel has enough to keep you coming back, and if you’re new to the game, it’s a fantastic place to jump in”

4/5 – GamesRadar: “Splatoon 2’s formula no longer feels original, but it looks great, its controls are tight, and there’s enough variety to give you dozens of hours of multiplayer fun”

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Jul 19
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

We get the impression that Aaero – released back in April on PS4 and Xbox One – passed a lot of gamers by despite arriving to excellent reviews. We only discovered it for ourselves a few weeks back, and now we have a good reason to talk about it – a trial version recently went live on Xbox One.

It’s well worth a download, especially for anybody on the fence or merely curious.

The trial offers 30 minutes of play, and although this may not sound particularly generous, it’s still enough time to take in the tutorial, tackle a few stages and give the first boss a walloping. You should be able to squeeze half-a-dozen easy achievements out of it, too.


Aaero combines elements from Amplitude, DJ Hero and SEGA’s Rez to create a hypnotic and vibrant experience accompanied by a licensed dubstep soundtrack. Visually it’s slick, with heavily stylised outdoor areas and fast-paced tunnel sequences.

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

The clue is in the title. Epic’s Fortnite involves building forts to withstand the horrors that appear at night. It has been described as a mixture of Minecraft and Left 4 Dead, complete with a bright and colourful Pixar-esque visual style. Think along the lines of EA’s Garden Warfare series, too.

Fortnite was first revealed in 2011 and since then Bulletstorm/Gears of War: Judgment developer People Can Fly joined the team and began co-development alongside Epic. It’s a game six years in the making, ignoring the fact that it’s still in early access. The £34.99 pre-order only ‘Standard Founder’s Pack’ – with a four-day head start – goes live on the digital services on Friday. Oddly for an early access game it’s receiving a retail release too, scheduled to hit store shelves next week.

Chances are we won’t see reviews of this one, due to the whole early access thing. But don’t quote us on that.


Two acclaimed games jump also from one format to another this week, with Superhot making its PS4 debut and What Remains of Edith Finch finally arriving on Xbox One. Swap it like it’s hot.

Superhot is a shooter with a twist – enemies and bullets only move when you do. This makes it far more tactical than most FPSs, forcing you to plan every move and tread carefully. It arrived to a very warm reception in 2016, with review scores being a mixture of 7s, 8s and 9s.

What Remains of Edith Finch is a very different experience and one that you would be forgiven for not knowing about. This collection of short stories – with each focusing on the death of a different Finch family member – went down exceptionally well on PS4, gaining dozens of 9/10s from the likes of EDGE, gamesTM and the Official PlayStation Magazine.

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