gtav
Jan 16
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

We expected to see Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare still at no.1 in the UK chart this week, but instead the top ten has undergone a shuffle.

It’s GTA V that takes the top spot, making it 10 weeks in total. This puts in a small band of other titles – including GTA: Vice City – that have also reached the milestone of 10 weeks at the top.

Infinite Warfare can be found at #2. FIFA 17 moves down to #3, Battlefield 1 holds onto #4 and then at #5 it’s Forza Horizon 3.

Watch_Dogs 2 sits at #6, Rocket League moves up to #7, Mafia III falls to #8, Steep slides to #9 while Gears of War 4 sees us out at #10.

We’re still waiting on the first of 2017’s retail releases, and so there were no new entries this week.

We did see a few re-entries at the bottom of the top 40 though, with Mario Kart 7, Infamous: Second Son and The Crew back at #35, #36 and #37 respectively.

Titanfall 2 meanwhile look set to depart the chart, currently clinging in at #40.

SwitchConstructor
Jan 14
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

One titbit of news that eluded gaming sites yesterday is that System 3’s HD re-release of Constructor is heading to Nintendo Switch on launch day – 3rd March. In Europe, anyway. We have a feeling this one isn’t going to make it stateside, like the publisher’s own Putty Squad before it. Good job the Switch is region free, eh?

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The game’s announcement marks the first time we’ve ever received a screenshot titled shite.jpeg. Classy.

The toilet humour doesn’t end there, for better or worse. Taken from the press release: “Using the Nintendo Switch, Constructor fans will be able to seamlessly take their construction empire with them, allowing players to build, sabotage, and cause construction chaos anywhere. Caught short and need to lay some pipe during Constructor? Undock your Nintendo Switch, take your place on the porcelain throne, and continue building your empire in uninterrupted comfort. Just remember to flush.

For those too young to remember, Constructor – like the name suggests – entails running and managing a building company. It delves into the shadier side of things, with the ability to send thugs over to a rival building company’s turf, or become tangled in a criminal underworld. You can even send a group of maniacal clowns to terrify your enemy. How topical.

Over 5 million copies were sold on PC back in 1997, leading to a PSone release via Acclaim. Because Acclaim used to spend huge sums on marketing, adverts for it were everywhere – most people remember the garish CGI characters adorning the paging of gaming mags, if not the game itself.

It’s also due out 28th February on PS4, Xbox One and Steam. Unless it gets delayed again – it was originally due out later this month.

[Update] System 3’s Constructor Facebook page reports the Switch version will miss the system’s launch and is now due 28th April.

Untethered
Jan 13
By Jake In Mobile Games, Reviews No Comments

Don’t feel self-conscious enough sat flailing around with a VR headset on? Untethered wants you to talk to it too.

It’s quite a barrier to entry – as for that matter is the price, and the fact that it’s a Google Daydream exclusive. But it’s worth getting over the ludicrousness of talking to your phone while it’s strapped to your face: this “quirky episodic VR series mixing comics and radio drama” from That Dragon, Cancer developer Numinous Games is completely convincing.

Untethered

Set in a coastal Oregon town where there have been reports of strange goings on, this first episode casts you as a local radio DJ, and takes place entirely in the studio. It’s an inspired choice of location, perfectly suited to a seated VR experience, and totally believably rendered. There’s a realistic amount of ‘stuff’ around, most of it interactive in some way, some obviously relevant to the story, but a lot just there to surprise and delight.

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riseshine
Jan 12
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

This week finally sees the gaming industry wake from its post-Christmas slumber, bringing us a handful of new games. No retail releases just yet, though – we’ll have to wait until next week to see some fresh faces on store shelves.

Rise & Shine and Dead Effect 2 are both due to hit Xbox One this Friday. Rise & Shine comes from Adult Swim, and although it may resemble a typical run and gunner on initial inspection, it also features puzzle elements. It appears to be quite the looker too.

Dead Effect 2 meanwhile made its debut on PC back in 2015. It’s a sci-fi FPS that gained mostly positive reviews on Steam but received a bit of kicking from critics. We’ll have to wait and see how it fares on Xbox One, as no reviews are currently live.

dead2

We may also see the intriguing horror adventure Sylvio before the week is out. It isn’t clear if its 13th January release date is for the US, or both US and Europe. Launching a horror game on Friday 13th is pretty smooth move – it would be a shame not to make the most of it.

Over on PS4 there’s the all-singing, all-dancing Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone from SEGA, which is a free download with paid-for content. You get two music tracks to start you off, with two additional song packs priced £24.99 each (or £44.99 for both). We dare anybody to describe these as ‘micro-transactions’.

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barrattsoniccardstop
Jan 11
By Matt Gander In Features, Retro No Comments

Here’s an elongated story about one man’s junk becoming another man’s treasure. While scouring the stalls at a car boot sale a few weeks back (the local boot sale runs all year round, come rain or shine) I came across a small collection of ‘90s candy stick packets. Empty confectionary boxes which I was keen to hand over money for; literally junk – something most people would have thrown away.

barrattsoniccards3

It was brightly hued Sonic the Hedgehog branded packaging that caught my attention, standing out from the rest like a sore thumb. With its official Sonic artwork and all, this packaging was so quintessentially ‘90s I couldn’t pass it by. I paid £1.50 for the lot, with empty Looney Tunes, The Real Ghostbusters and Jurassic Park boxes making up the rest of the assortment.

For the uninformed, candy sticks are small and white – or in this case, blue – and have a chalky texture due to being made from a mixture of sugar and tapioca. Despite still being around today they’re often seen as a ‘vintage sweet’ like Wham bars and Drumstick lollies. Their inexpensive cost – around 20p a packet – made them a popular after school treat, and the fact that they looked a bit like cigarettes probably helped boost their popularity with school kids too.

Although I was a huge SEGA fan in the ‘90s, I don’t recall ever seeing these in stores. My local newsagent clearly wasn’t up-to-date with current candy stick trends.

barrattsoniccards4

Upon closer inspection of the packaging, I noticed they originally came with picture cards – 48 in total, featuring screenshots of popular Mega Drive games along with a cheat code and plot synopsis.

Eager to find images of these, or perhaps a full list for reference, I took to Google. A search for ‘Barratt’s Sonic the Hedgehog candy stick cards’ brought up little, aside this confused Sonic fan asking what the heck candy sticks are. eBay was slightly fruitful if discouraging – a small smattering of single cards for 99p each (plus p&p).

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Google Daydream View
Jan 10
By Jake In Features No Comments

What’s VR for? It’s still early days for this latest generation of screen-strapped-to-your-head technology, and it’s yet to find a completely convincing purpose. Virtual reality could yet go the way of 3D TV, but for £69, Daydream isn’t an unreasonable punt to take.

Now to be clear, the Daydream is Google’s VR platform. Daydream View is their first headset, but there are others coming onto the market. And of course £69 doesn’t include the phone you need to strap into the headset. There are a tiny – but growing – handful of options, and I’ve been using the Google Pixel, which is the worst option – it has a full HD rather than quad HD screen, which means when it’s an inch from your face it’s more, well, pixely. Good name, in that respect. But the phone actually just about fits in my pocket, so sod the lot of you.

Soft wear hardware

And actually the Pixel with Daydream View is fine. Fortunately I’ve not spent any time with Oculus Rift, Vive or PlayStation VR – and in this case, I think ignorance probably is bliss. But with no expectations, this is a pretty good VR experience.

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banner-mercsaga3
Jan 09
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

Last week’s meagre offering of new Nintendo titles ended up being more than what other formats received. Unless mistaken, the PS4 and Xbox One didn’t see a single new release last week.

Perhaps we shouldn’t have been quite as quick to judge. We can safely say that this week is a little disappointing, though – just two new 3DS games are due.

Tactical RPG Mercenaries Saga 3 (£5.89) hit the US market last month but it appears nobody got around to reviewing it. Mercenaries Saga 2 didn’t review too badly, gaining a steady string of 7s, so we’re expecting this to be above average at the very least. It may even prove to be a decent budget alternative to Fire Emblem.

Mercenaries Saga 3 is joined by Shift DX (£4), a 2D monochrome puzzler in which rooms must be flipped to reach the exit. It’s by the same developer as early – and similar – 3DS release Shifting World, if you feel like you’ve seen this one before. It features all stages from Shift 1 and 2, plus 100 new puzzles to beat.

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pok__pelago_160729_rgb_72dpi
Jan 09
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare enjoys an 8th week at no.1. If it’s still there next Monday, it’ll be on par with Modern Warfare 2 in terms of time at the top of the the UK chart.

It still has a long way to go to beat record holder Black Ops III though, which had 11 weeks in total.

Far more interesting is the fact that Pokemon Sun in back in top ten – it’s back at #9, all the way up from #36. Pokemon Moon meanwhile went from #27 to #16. This is due to Nintendo finally replenishing stock.

Forza Horizon 3 also had a small sales boost, rising from #12 to #5 thanks to price cuts.

As for the rest of the top ten, FIFA 17 holds onto #2, GTA V moves up to #3, Battlefield 1 falls one place to #4, Watch_Dogs 2 falls to #6, Mafia III is at #7, Rocket League drops to #9 and then at #10 it’s Ubisoft’s Steep.

We’re still waiting on the first retail releases 2017. As such, there were no new entries.

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