Jun 30
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

It’s an eventful week for the Nintendo Switch. Not only has the first piece of Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC landed – with a second add-on pack due this winter – but the eShop also sees the first Switch discounts, with Snake Pass and Bomberman R down to £9.59 and £29.99 respectively.

The Master Trials – part of Zelda’s £17.99 expansion pass – includes the Trial of the Sword challenge, four new armour sets, the Korok Mask, a new Master Mode difficulty level and the Hero’s Path Mode, which keeps track of areas players are yet to explore.

Here’s the official trailer:

The Switch also gets two new titles. The exceedingly colourful ACA NeoGeo Magical Drop II (£6.29) is welcome addition given the lack of puzzle games on the Switch, while GoNNER (£8.99) is a devilishly tough roguelike platformer.

Nintendo Life thought GoNNER was deserving of an 8/10. “If you’re the type who enjoys a serious challenge we recommend giving this title a go; it is one that will reward those who stick with it the most,” they said.

The 3DS gets just one new game, but it’s a good’en – Mighty Gunvolt Burst (£8.99) went down well on Switch earlier this month, described by many as a brand new Mega Man.

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Jun 28
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

We’re being treated to a couple of blasts from the past this week, with both Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Micro Machines World Series due out Friday. We could also throw Diablo III into the mix here – the 2012 classic has received new DLC, in the form of Rise of the Necromancer. It’s available as part of the Diablo III: Eternal Collection, which hit PS4 and Xbox One on Tuesday.

Activision’s Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy – which is heavily rumoured to also grace Xbox One before the year is out – is hotly anticipated, riding Amazon’s pre-order chart high since being revealed.

Although surprisingly challenging, the original Crash games were designed around the limitations of the PSone, digital controls and all. There’s every chance they haven’t aged too well, despite featuring fancy new visuals. Those without a nostalgic fondness for the series may also be left wondering what the fuss is about.

Vicarious Visions has worked on Crash games before though, including 2003’s Crash Nitro Kart, so this revamped trilogy has at least been created by a studio familiar with the box-breaking marsupial.

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We’re hoping that Micro Machines World Series will be a return to form for the much-loved series, building on the foundations of the good, but not great, Toybox Turbos from 2014. Pre-launch footage is encouraging, but the jury is still out.

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Jun 27
By Matt Gander In Features No Comments

Because the natural passage of time has occurred, we’re taking another look at Xbox One game trials with achievements. Gamerscore for gratis – who could possibly resist?

Most of the trials detailed below offer an hour of play before prompting you to head to the Xbox One store to purchase the full game. With this time limit in mind, it’s a good idea to check achievement lists on TrueAchievements or Xbox Achievements prior to playing. You may want to consider skipping cut-scenes too, in order to squeeze out a few extra minutes of play.

We’ll start with one of the newest Xbox One games – Air Missions: HIND. This scrappy but satisfying helicopter sim has some weighty achievements to unlock – a potential 445G, although you’ll need a co-op buddy for one, and maybe a boosting partner for ‘Multiplayer Ace’ which entails shooting down 10 helicopters in deathmatch or team deathmatch. The rest are for shooting a helicopter at close range, destroying five helicopters, and killing 100 ground troops. These can all be obtained within the ‘Instant Action’ mode.

Air Missions HIND

Constructor HD is another new release, and this trial is more of a demo – it allows you to play the main game for thirty minutes; once the time limit is up, your main base explodes and it’s time to start again. After paying attention to the tutorial, this being a fiddly business management sim and all, a few achievements are easily obtainable. These are for upgrading all rooms in a property, solving a complaint, and taking over three rival properties. You may be able to get the one for knocking out five rival workmen, too.

Then we have a cubic tonne of casual hidden object puzzle games. Specifically, Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom, Dark Arcana: The Carnival, Eventide: Slavic Fable, Nightmares from the Deep 2: The Siren’s Call, Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride, and Grim Legends 2. These trials are also demos, allowing you to play the opening chapter as many time as you please. They have very similar achievement lists to one another, involving solving their first puzzle, finding three hidden objects within three seconds, finding all hidden objects without making a mistake, and for finishing puzzles without using hints. You may have to play these trials a couple of times over to unlock everything possible, but they shouldn’t give you too much trouble.

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Jun 26
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

Nintendo has ended months of speculation by officially announcing the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Due out across Europe on 29th September, it includes a heady mixture of 21 Nintendo classics and third-party hits, including the never-before-released Star Fox 2.

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Curiously, Eurogamer notes that the once scrubbed sequel won’t be playable out of the box – you’ll need to complete the first mission in the original Star Fox (née Starwing) to unlock it.

This could be Nintendo’s way of devaluing it to ‘unlockable extra’ status, compensating for the fact that it may not be a 100% finished version. We’re speculating, of course, but locking one of the system’s most prolific games does strike us as an odd move.

Due to the inclusion of an extra controller, the price is a tad higher than the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System. Currently, both GAME and Amazon has it listed for £79.99. An AC adaptor for the USB cable will be required, as this isn’t included.

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Jun 26
By Matt Gander In UK Charts 1 Comment

In what was an allegedly quiet week for game sales, GTA V managed to retake the UK chart top spot.

This is its thirteenth week in total, putting it on par with Zumba Fitness. The two titles now share the third longest time span spent at no.1.

Codemasters’ DiRT 4 rises to #2, giving it its highest position since launch.

FIFA 17 moves up to #3, Ghost Recon: Wildlands re-enters the top ten at #4 – up from #14 – and then at #5 it’s Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, with replenished Switch stock to thank.

Overwatch is at #6, ARMS falls from #2 to #7, Horizon Zero Dawn – last week’s chart topper – falls to #8, while the ever-popular Forza Horizon 3 is at #9.

Then at #10 it’s Tekken 7.

Injustice 2 and WipEout: Omega Collection both depart the top tne this week meanwhile, falling to #13 and #14 respectively.

As for new enteries, 505 Games’ Dead by Daylight was the highest, arriving at #16. Final Fantasy: Stormblood made #23 while Ever Oasis entered at #28.

Jun 22
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

Nintendo picked the perfect week to release Ever Oasis – it’s absolutely scorching outside. The review embargo lifted today, and we’re pleased to report this RPG shouldn’t be left in the shade.

The Metacritic currently stands at 81%, comprising of a few 7s, a wealth of 8s and a couple of 9s. “Ever Oasis is basically a Harvest Moon-esque game with semi-open world roaming and Zelda-like dungeons. It’s nice, aesthetically and thematically, with lovely solid chibi style characters and some wonderfully twee music that I just can’t stop humming,” said God is a Geek, who opted for an 8.0.

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Destructoid dished out an 8.5 meanwhile: “The longer I play, the more I enjoy it and that is far more uncommon than it should be. If this game is to be the first of a new franchise, it’s a damn good starting point.”

The Switch gets its own Zelda-alike this week, in the form of Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas (£13.49). This one borrows heavily from Wind Waker, and despite its mobile roots, it went down well on Xbox One and PS4. If you don’t go into it expecting a masterpiece of Zelda proportions, you won’t be disappointed.

That’s joined by ACA NeoGeo Fatal Fury 2 (£6.29), which was one of the console’s most popular games. You’d still be better off with excellent Garou: Mark of the Wolves, mind – it’s a tad more refined.

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Jun 21
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

While this week’s line-up of new titles is lacking a standout big hitter, plenty of new games are vying for your cash.

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, in particular, stands a very good chance of breaking the UK top ten next week, and that’s despite a lack of reviews – being online focused, critics are taking their time before penning a final verdict. Kotaku and Destructoid both have work-in-progress reviews though if you’re eager to read up on early impressions.

Other retail releases include Dead by Daylight and Get Even on PS4 and Xbox One, Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls on PS4, and 3DS JRPGs RPG Maker Fes and Ever Oasis.

DeadBy

Slasher horror Dead by Daylight hit PCs in 2016, offering 4v1 asymmetrical multiplayer similar to Evolve and the much more recent Friday the 13th: The Game. It’s launching on consoles for around the £25 mark, and while the absence of reviews is a tad concerning, it’s looking like a safe enough purchase. The PC original managed to gain a respectable Metacritic of 72%.

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Jun 20
By Matt Gander In Most Played No Comments

Role-playing games usually don’t hit their stride until around the 8-hour mark, with most starting with a slow-burning introduction sequence that sets up the stage for what’s to come. THQ Nordic’s The Dwarves – a tactical RPG released right at the end of 2016 – breaks this tradition, being an incredibly fast-paced and condensed experience with little to no flab.

After around just 8 hours of play the story was heading towards the point of no return, and it wasn’t long until the final blow was delivered to the end boss. With the plot being an amalgamation of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, based on a trilogy penned by Markus Heitz, there’s an undeniable Tolkien-esque vibe present, references to bearded female dwarves and all.

Over the space of two evenings, I’d grown familiar with likeable protagonist Tungdil, completed the majority of side-quests, saved entire towns from orc armies, forged a mighty weapon to rid the world of evil, and tracked down the main villain to their lair. In any other RPG, I’d be squaring up to the first boss roundabout now.

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Indeed, the speed of which the plot develops is pretty astonishing, with drama-filled cut-scenes appearing at the end of almost every battle. Each chapter lasts around 2 hours, mostly comprising of a couple of large scale battles and a handful of surprise encounters. These encounters often occur when visiting a town or tavern via the map screen, and mostly involve ‘Choose your own Adventure’ dialogue boxes with multiple choices. In a few instances picking the wrong answer leads to insta-death, which is mighty frustrating, but generally finding out what happens next is compelling, especially in prickly situations.

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