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Feb 06
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Like a filth encrusted squatter, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard continues to occupy the UK chart‘s top spot.

Team Ninja’s Nioh is the only major new release for this week, and while we don’t doubt that it’ll manage to break the top 20, it may struggle to make the top ten. With nothing to challenge it, RE7 may very well see a third week on top. That’ll put it on par with RE3 and RE5, the current franchise record holders for an unbroken run at number one.

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Hitman: The Complete First Season was the highest new arrival, making its debut at #4 – a position that Square-Enix is no doubt delighted with, considering Agent 47’s latest has already ‘done the business’ on the download services.

Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World at #20 was the only other new face in the top 40.

As for last week’s new arrivals, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 HD fell all the way from #3 to #21 while SEGA’s Yakuza 0 has left the top 40 entirely. This could be down to availability – it’s currently showing as out of stock on both Amazon and GAME, suggesting SEGA underestimated demand.

Going back to the top ten, GTA V held onto #2 while FIFA 17 rose to #3. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare saw a sales boost off the back of new DLC, but held onto #5 regardless.

Rocket League and Battlefield 1 stayed put at #6 and #7 respectively, FF XV shot up to #8 – up from #15 – and WWE 2K15 also make a re-appearance at #9. Then at #10 it’s Mafia III.

Ubisoft’s Watch_Dogs 2 and Steep both departed the top ten meanwhile, dropping to #12 and #17.

EarthShape
Feb 02
By Jake In Reviews No Comments

There’s no getting away from it: virtual reality is a bit of a faff. To get over that, a game needs to be both good and novel – to offer something VR-specific to make it worth the effort. Surprisingly, as a Google Daydream VR exclusive, EarthShape doesn’t.

EarthShape

And frustratingly, EarthShape is good. At heart, it’s a simple puzzle game: a ball enters a grid of dots and travels in a straight line, until it bounces off lines you draw between adjacent dots, to guide it into the circular goal. Complexity is added by time limits and introducing icons dotted around the grid – extra points, speed modifiers and so on. It works. It’s nice.

And it does work in VR: the Daydream controller is effective enough. But I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that drawing lines on a grid would be easier and more intuitive on a touch screen.

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DDIV
Feb 02
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

Double Dragon IV made a surprise appearance on PS4 this Monday, and so far fans are conflicted. Some claim it to be pleasingly authentic thanks to its 8-bit visuals, calling it the NES sequel we never received back in the day. Others see it as a lazy sprite rip, akin to a fan game – a step backwards from the likes of DD Neon and DD Advance.

The £9.49 asking price gives some leeway, while also giving insight to what kind of budget Arc System Works Co had to work with. Reviews are starting to surface now, including 6/10s from both Destructoid and Game Informer. “If you’re looking for a true-to-form Double Dragon title, this is it. However, with decades passing since the original and nothing to propel it forward outside of the ancient IP, you may have difficulty finding the fun” said Game Informer.

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I think we can all agree that it’s far removed from that terrible XBLA DD2 remake – the series has certainly seen worse days.

Reviews of Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World are starting to tumble out now, too. Nintendo Life called it “an elite 2D 3DS platformer” before giving it a 9/10, while Game Informer opted for an 8.5 and reported that “it doesn’t feel like a downgrade”.

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We’re still waiting on Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4: Road to Boruto reviews meawnhile, and we certainly aren’t expecting the likes of Eurogamer to cover Forestry 2017 – The Simulation on PS4 anytime soon.

We can at least vouch for Hitman: The Complete First Season being pretty great. Square-Enix’s decision to give Hitman the episodic treatment seemed wayward at first, but Io managed to keep quality content coming in a timely fashion. Expect to pay around £35 for this retail release, complete with steel book.

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Jan 31
By Matt Gander In Features No Comments

The arrival of the Switch signals the end of the Wii U. This means those keen to keep up with current trends will likely turf out their Wii U collections in order to fund Nintendo’s exciting new plaything.

In a month or two from now, Wii U sections at the likes of GAME and CeX will be bigger than ever, and as such, games that are seldom seen will be easier to get hold of. In principle, anyway.

There are plenty of rare collector’s editions and whatnot – Nintendo was quite fond of packaging amiibo with Wii U software towards the end of the system’s life – but what’s the rarest PAL retail release out there? All signs point to it being Cocoto’s Magic Circus 2, a shooting gallery packaged with two gun accessories, published by BigBen.

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Both Nintendo and Wikipedia claim it was released 26th December 2013. In fifteen years of Games Asylum’s existence, this is the first we’ve heard of a game receiving a ‘boxing day’ release.

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Jan 30
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

Conversions of Wii U games on 3DS haven’t gone down favourably in the past, with Nintendo fans preferring to play the likes of Hyrule Warriors and Super Smash Bros. on a home console.

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Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World (£34.99 – out Friday) may fair better though, being a relatively straightforward 2D platformer.

Reviews are yet to go live, but a demo is available if you fancy taking it for a spin (dry).

Also keep a look out for the amiibo bundle, which comes with a woolly Poochy. Unless mistaken, Nintendo has no plans to sell the cuddly critter separately.

While Yoshi’s Woolly World is definitely this week’s major release, we aren’t without a few other games of note.

Hot on the heels of last week’s Castlevania Dracula X come another two retro classics from Konami – Bomberman ’94 and Gradius, this time for Wii U. They’ll set you back £6.29 each, unless you already own Bomberman ’94 on Wii – performing a system transfer will bestow a “special” upgrade price.

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Nintendo Life reports that both iterations are from the TurboGrafx-16; a first for the Wii U VC.

Wii U owners still clinging to their console have another five new games to mull over. These include top-down retro shooter Shadow Archer (£2.69), bolstered PS4 conversion Koi DX (£3.89), simplistic looking auto-runner Star Splash: Shattered Star (£2.99), and two score-chasers from RCMADIAX – COLOR CUBES and BRICK RACE (£1.39 each).

Then on 3DS there’s Punch Club (£8.99) – a conversion of a very well-received PC management sim – plus Kemco’s tactial RPG Legna Tactica (£8.99), which we’re guessing is a mobile port.

These two are also joined by Lifespeed (£4.99) on New 3DS, a futuristic tunnel racer all the way from jaunty old Ireland.

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Jan 30
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Capcom’s Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is the UK’s first new number one of 2017. It wasn’t able to outperform RE5 though, which still holds the accolade of the fast-selling in the series.

Sales of RE7 lagged behind, leading it to become the 3rd fastest-selling. Chart-Track didn’t reveal what the 2nd fastest-selling in the series is, but we’d wager it’s either RE6 or RE2. Or the maybe original.

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Chart-Track did however report that Resident Evil is Capcom’s most successful brand in the UK, generating a similar amount of lifetime revenue as Crash Bandicoot and Just Dance.

MCV meanwhile claimed that RE7 had a stronger launch than both The Evil Within and Alien Isolation.

RE7 wasn’t the only new release in the top 10 – Kingdom Hearts 2.8 HD made #3 while SEGA’s Yakuza 0 entered at #8.

As for the usual stalwarts, GTA V dropped to #2, FIFA 17 fell to #4 and then at #5 it’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

We aren’t done with new releases yet. Bandai Namco’s JRPG double whammy – Tales of Berseria and Digimon World: Next Order – entered at #14 and #24 respectively.

It should be noted that RE7, Kingdom Hearts HD and Yakuza 0 launched last Tuesday, whereas the JRPG duo launched Friday. This may explain why they didn’t chart higher.

Chart-Track provides one other interesting tidbit to see us out – sales of the new Glacier White PS4 accounted for a quarter of all last week’s PS4 sales. Cool.

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Jan 27
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

After rattling the cages of retro fans with such inept endeavours as Asteroids: Outpost, Haunted House: Cryptic Graves and Alone in the Dark: Illumination, Atari has finally put their back catalogue to a more sensible use by bundling a bunch of classics together for these two budget ($19.99) complications. Let’s just ignore the fact that all 100 games present could easily fit on a single disc.

We did consider giving each volume its own review, but after spending time with both it emerged that they’re very similar in terms of quality and content, which would have ultimately resulted in identical review scores. That’s to say, each has its fair share of undisputable classics, a handful of curios and oddities and an awful lot of filler. It’s no mystery why both volumes are without a game list on the reverse of the case – each has a questionable amount of sports titles, with Vol 1 featuring no less than three American football sims.

Each volume is presented in the same way, right down to identical music on the main menu. Each arcade game has an online leaderboards and some feature online play – something we didn’t expect – plus screen display options and colour scans of box art and manuals. It’s telling that they’re scans – and not mock-ups – as if you look closely some boxes have visible marks where price stickers once were. We found this curiously pleasing, as it proves that developer Code Mystics (plug and play manufacture AT Games are also attributed, oddly) gained their sources from actual products.

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Both volumes feature 50 games – 9 arcade conversions, with the remaining 41 comprising of Atari 2600 titles. Tempest, Warlords, Centipede, Millipede, Asteroids, Missile Command, Gravitar, Super Breakout and Crystal Castles feature twice over as both their arcade and 2600 counterparts are present. While fine for sake of comprehensiveness, almost every single 2600 conversion was inferior to the real deal. The 2600’s rendition of Tempest was notoriously bad as the system was unable to recreate vector graphics.

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Micro Machines World Series
Jan 26
By Jake In Retro 2 Comments

A new Micro Machines game was announced earlier this month. To many, Micro Machines means only one thing: local multiplayer.

This new ‘un supports it, sure, but with those futuristic wireless controllers we have these days. It wasn’t like that back in the ’90s. Back in the ’90s they had to be clever, and they could be, because cartridges. So here are six terrifically clever Mega Drive cartridges that you probably remember.

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Micro Machines 2 Turbo Tournament J-Cart

This is how Codemasters were clever for Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament. The Mega Drive only had two joypad ports, so Codemasters built another two into the cartridge.

That got you to four players, but that wasn’t sufficiently clever. So by shoving one player onto the d-pad, and another onto the buttons on the same pad, you got up eight players. Not impressive compared to online multiplayer these days, but in 1994 we didn’t even have Channel 5 or a carrier bag charge, so expectations were different.

As well as a couple more Micro Machines games, the J-Cart was rolled out for Pete Sampras Tennis and its sequel. It wasn’t the greatest innovation in Pete Sampras Tennis though: that was the opportunity to smash Dizzy into tiny pieces by knocking him off while he walked along the net. I never liked Dizzy.

It was also apparently used for a game called Super Skidmarks. Don’t.

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