Dec 11
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Despite a 41% drop in sales, Call of Duty: WWII manages to hold onto the UK chart’s top spot for a sixth week running.

EA still has two titles in the top five, with FIFA 18 remaining at #2 and Star Wars Battlefront II at #3.

Super Mario Odyssey leaps to #4, while AC: Origins holds onto #5. GTA V remains as popular as ever, moving up three places to take #6. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also rose a position last week, moving to #7.

At #8 it’s WWE 2K18, up from #12, while The Sims 4 moves up from #18 to #9.

Then at #10 it’s LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2.

Rival racers GT Sport and Forza Motorsport 7 both depart the top ten, meanwhile.

Gearbox’s Hello Neighbor on Xbox One was the week’s only new arrival, making #37. Rocket League: Collector’s Edition did make a return at #21, but it’s debatable as to whether it can be considered a “new” release – the evergreen sports title recently vanished from the chart, following a change in publisher from 505 Games to Warner Bros.

Finally, in the Switch chart the physical release of This is the Police made #39 while the golden oldie Syberia 2 slipped in at #50.

Dec 09
By Richard In Blog No Comments

There are a few different origin stories for the ‘Nintendo Seal of Quality’ found on Nintendo games.

One of the theories states that after the American video games ‘crash’ of 1983, Nintendo wanted to reassure purchasers that what they would receive would work. Too many games on other consoles failed to meet the basics of quality control. Anyone who wanted to make games for the Atari 2600 could, for instance, make a game without any need for permission from Atari and put it out to market. This lead to a flood of games and no quality control.

I thought about the Nintendo Seal of Quality this week when I bought The Sexy Brutale on Nintendo Switch, a game we were looking forward to.

Unfortunately, the game has not arrived in a good state. The frame rate is massively variable. At times the frame rate is so bad the main character can appear to ‘blink’ across the screen. There’s also additional loading in odd places and the music has some sync issues. For a game that relies so heavily on atmosphere the end result is incredibly frustrating. On Switch gamers simply do not get a good experience, and I would recommend that people wait for a patch (if one ever comes) before their purchase.

Read more

Dec 08
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

We’d like to think the development of post-launch DLC is relatively easy going. Work on the base game is done and dusted, release dates are seemingly more flexible, and both critical and fan feedback provide developers with something to strive towards.

Significant DLC – as in, new missions and extra chapters – tends to be a little outlandish too, aiming to draw players back in by offering an experience unlike anything found in the main campaign. The Surge’s A Walk in the Park DLC is a good example of this. Not only does it offer something remarkably different, it also goes some way to fixing the faults found elsewhere.

We quite enjoyed Deck 13’s sci-fi take on Dark Souls, awarding it a 7/10 at launch, but found the abundance of dark corridors and dull industrial complexes to be far from thrilling. Ticking one fault off the list,A Walk in the Park takes place in the bright and colourful CREO World theme park. Around the park, audio logs that flesh out the character traits of protagonist Warren can be found, and so he now comes across less of an uncharismatic bore too. That’s another fault off the list.

The theme park wasn’t left unscathed from the main campaign’s events. Far from it, in fact – the robotic mascots also had their circuits sizzled, and as such are now more murderous than merry, and the park has been struck by sinkholes, causing parts of it to break away. One survivor remains, holed up in a teetering Ops Centre. He calls the shots, giving out missions as well as a few helpful pointers.

The first port of call is getting the park back online, which requires the power to be reactivated and the comms server reset. These two tasks can be completed in any order, giving chance to explore both ends of the park at free will. The parading robot mascots – based on various fast foods – go down easily, taking just a few hits to defeat. They have slightly different attack patterns to one another, and if you manage to perform a takedown there’s a chance to add their oversized novelty headpiece to your armour collection.

The park guards put up a tougher fight. The indoor facility containing the comms server sees several of these larger enemy types attack in waves, and it’s here that the camera problems return – this location is far too cramped, causing the camera to rapidly swing around and reposition itself as it tries to cope with the high volume of enemies. Thankfully, the remaining part of the DLC is set outside. Amongst the merchandise stalls, attractions, the wrecked rollercoaster track towering high above, and the bloody remains of the park’s last guests, there’s a lot to take in.

Read more

Dec 07
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

Considering the Switch is tipped to sell out during the run-up to Christmas, it’s no surprise to find developers tumbling over one another to get their new releases on the eShop before the big day.

Fans of all things retro are particularly well catered for this week. The Switch gets the cult 2D Psikyo shooter GUNBIRD for Nintendo Switch (£6.99), the excellent Rayman/Metal Slug hybrid ACA NeoGeo Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy (£6.29), and the Joe & Mac inspired Caveman Warriors (£8.76 until 28th Dec, £11.69 thereafter).

We reviewed the Xbox One version of Jandusoft’s caveman caper back in September and found it to be pretty good. It’s a bit of a slog when on your lonesome, though, so it’s only recommended if you’re planning to play co-op.

The Wii U receives a couple of Virtual Console corkers too – Gradius’ sequel Salamander (£5.39) and falling block puzzler Bomberman Panic Bomber (£7.19).

Then we have Slain: Back From Hell (£17.99), a Castlevania style 2D hack ‘n slash platformer. Despite holding much promise, it’s hard to recommend – an unfair difficulty level sucks all the enjoyment out of it, leaving pretty pixel art and little more.

We can at least vouch for Tennis in the Face (£4.49), a fun little Angry Birds style physics puzzler. The Xbox One version garnered 7/10 from ourselves roughly a year ago.

As for the biggest Switch release of the week, it’s a toss-up between WWE 2K18 (£54.99) and The Sexy Brutale (£17.99). No reviews of WWE are pinned down at present, but it sounds like 2K Games has given it their all – all the major features are present, right down to a dreaded season pass.

The Sexy Brutale meanwhile became a sleeper hit over the summer. It’s a murder mystery set around a 12-hour loop, with the idea being to solve and prevent murders – including your own – as the story unfolds in real-time.

The PS4 version receive a whopping 10/10 from Jim Sterling. “I fear this one will get lost in the shuffle of big budget games, but make no mistake – The Sexy Brutale deserves as much attention as any Horizon, Zelda, Nioh or Persona,” he said.

Read more

Dec 06
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

We don’t recall Frank West blurting out innuendo during Dead Rising’s cut-scenes, but that hasn’t stopped Capcom from subtitling Dead Rising 4’s PS4 debut Frank’s Big Package.

While Dead Rising 4 wasn’t a bad game – we awarded the Xbox One version an above average 6/10 – it’s easily the weakest in the series, watered down to appeal to a wider audience. We whizzed through the whole thing over the course of just a few evenings and found it to be utterly forgettable.

The new Capcom Heroes mode is apparently good fun, however, gaining comparisons to Dynasty Warriors. Good enough to make Frank’s Big Package worthwhile? Perhaps, but certainly don’t expect anything to put your finely tuned gaming skills to good use.

Ubisoft’ Steep: Road to the Olympics is another 2016 releasing making a return. The first review out the door is a 3.5/5 from Hardcore Gamer. “Steep: Road to the Olympics brings enough new content to the table to make it a worthwhile acquisition,” they said.

We’re still waiting on reviews for Hello Neighbor and Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris. Humorous stealth adventure Hello Heighbor – which receives a retail release via Gearbox – isn’t out until Friday, so expect reviews in a day or two.

Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris doesn’t seem to be going down well with fans. Despite the £17-odd price tag, it’s reportedly slim on content and most of the Exotics are lifted from D1. It doesn’t fix the faults of the main game either, although that’s perhaps to be expected.

The sci-fi Dark Souls alike The Surge receives new DLC too, in the form of A Walk in the Park. We’ve rounded-up reviews below and have our own piece in the pipeline. First impressions are positive – the theme park setting is fun to explore, adding some much-needed colour and pizzazz, and the new audio-logs help to expand on Warren’s backstory. A ‘Complete Edition’ has just launched, too.

‘90s throwback platformer A Hat in Time also hits consoles this week, while the stylish pixel-art turret defence shooter Let Them Come reaches PS4. We gave the Xbox One version 7/10 back in October, making comparisons to Acclaim’s well-regarded 16-bit Alien 3 tie-ins, of all things.

New release showcase:

The Surge: A Walk in the Park – PS4/XO/PC

80% – Gaming Trend: “The Surge: A Walk in the Park is an over-the-top, hilarious expansion to a great game that sadly ends far too quickly”

4/5 – True Achievements: “Overall, “A Walk in the Park” is easy to recommend — if you liked The Surge and you want more of it, that’s what you’ll get here and you’re in for a great time at the theme park”

3.5/5 – Windows Central: “If you’re looking for a reason to get back into The Surge, this will give you a new area to explore. However, A Walk in the Park doesn’t add anything revolutionary to the experience which makes it a must-buy”

A Hat in Time – PS4/XO

8/10 – The Metro: “A hugely entertaining 3D platformer that channels the imagination and unpredictability of older games without becoming a prisoner to the past”

8.0 – PlayStation Lifestyle: “A Hat in Time is delightfully charming and always manages to take a left turn, surprising and challenging even a storied gamer like myself”

7.0 – God is a Geek: “Despite some frustration with the camera and some platforming issues, A Hat in Time is a decent game that captures some of the magic of classic 3D platformers”

Dead Rising 4: Frank’s Big Package – PS4/XO

9.0 – PlayStation Lifestyle: “While not all of the DLC is a home run, the tweaks to the main game are all a net positive. The new Capcom Heroes mode is also a blast, and basically turns Dead Rising into a crossover musou title”

7.5 – God is a Geek: “It’s certainly the best version of the game to buy, and Capcom Heores is fun, but their are some technical issues, and it does make you wonder just how many more games Capcom can get from a fading franchise”

6/10 – The Metro: “At times it feels like a reanimated corpse itself, but as mindless and predictable as it may be Dead Rising 4 can still offer hours of inoffensively dumb entertainment”

Read more

Dec 04
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

The UK top five remains unchanged this week, despite a 24% decrease in sales after Black Friday.

This means Call of Duty: WWII celebrates a fifth week at the top of the chart, putting it on par with Activision’s own Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy – the previous record holder for weeks held at no.1 in 2017.

Could Call of Duty claim a Christmas no.1? It’s highly likely – PUBG on Xbox One is the only remaining big-name release of 2017. We shouldn’t rule out FIFA 18, however, and there’s also chance that The Last Jedi fever could propel Star Wars Battlefront II up the chart.

Going back to the here and now, FIFA 18 saw a 30% dip in sales, remaining at #2. Popular PS4 pack-in Gran Turismo Sport is at #3, Star Wars Battlefront II holds onto #4, with sales down 33%, while AC Origins is at #5.

Super Mario Odyssey, Forza 7, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, GTA V and Crash Bandicoot claim positions #6 through to #10.

Sony’s Knowledge is Power remains just outside the top ten, rising from #16 to #11 to this week. Fellow new release Hidden Agenda remains in the top 20 too, now at #16.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was the top 40’s only new release, entering at #19 – 9 places higher than the Wii U’s Xenoblade Chronicles X.

Sticking with Nintendo, the Switch top fifty (!) sees a fair few new arrivals. LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 made #9, Gear.Club Unlimited parked up at #32, Super Putty Squad debuted at #38, Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack entered at #42, while Stern Pinball Arcade bounced in at #46.

Dec 03
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

The dealer in this card based role-player is something of an enigma. He’s neither a friend or foe, praising and rebuking your decisions in almost equal measures. He also seemingly enjoys casting doubt over your chances of success, suggesting you don’t have the intellect to beat his game. Pity for him, this only makes surpassing his expectations that touch more rewarding.

As you progress through his finely crafted card game, the shadowy figure becomes increasingly irked, in some instances raising his voice to almost threatening levels. He genuinely believes he has created the ultimate game; one to test the mettle of all those who step into his dimly-lit caravan.

There’s an underhand element of truth in all this. Since the release of the original Hand of Fate in 2015, the Brisbane-based Defiant Development has slogged away to create an all-around better game. Every single feature is improved and expanded upon, resulting in a far deeper and richer experience. There’s more variety, too, even if this mostly stems from simple skill-based mini-games.

Although card based, Hand of Fate 2 is a very different beast from the likes of Magic the Gathering and Gwent. It has more in common with Ian Livingstone’s Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, in fact, as most cards trigger events with multiple choices. Together they form a variety of multifaceted quests, with requirements to meet and an occasional boss to defeat.

Combat is handled in real-time, taking cues from the Warner Bros’ school of close quarters encounters. Mad Max, Shadow of War, Batman: Arkham Knight – take your pick. Enemies are quick to surround and glow a certain colour when they’re about to strike, giving precious seconds to act accordingly by either blocking or evading. Beating a combat sequence completely unscathed is incredibly satisfying, especially upon entering an arena with little to no health.

Read more

Dec 01
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

To indirectly quote Eurogamer, the Switch’s special first year ends as it began – with a colossal, 100+ hour RPG epic.

While Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (£49.99) hasn’t received as many 10/10s as Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it has gained dozens of 9/10s and 4.5/5s from such sites as Nintendo Life, Trusted Reviews, Switch Player, TheSixthAxis, and US Gamer.

Not every site has was entirely smitten though, with both The Metro and GameSpot dishing out 7/10s due to weak dialogue, unhelpful tutorials, and an overly complex interface. The Metro still recommended it to those who have seen everything Zelda has to offer, so don’t be too put off by their less-than-glowing final verdict.

The eShop sees a fair few other big hitters this week. The gap in the racing genre finally gets filled, thanks to the arrival of Gear.Club Unlimited (£44.99) – an above average arcade racer from the creators of Test Drive and V-Rally. Then we have the well-received LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 (£49.99), which ties in with the recent Thor: Ragnarok, and a double whammy of Resident Evil Revelations and its sequel.

For whatever reason, Resident Evil Revelations 1 & 2 aren’t receiving a retail release in Europe. Capcom has thought to put eShop discount scheme in place, fortunately – if you purchase one for £19.99, the other can be had for £15.99.

Reviews so far a full of praise – they’re very good versions of very good games. RE Revelations 2 was a return to form for classic RE, and this marks the first time it has graced a Nintendo platform. Capcom has also seen fit to include two mini-games, including the retro throwback Ghouls ‘n Homunculi.

SUPERBEAT: XONiC (£39.99) may also be of intrest to those looking to get their groove on, featuring over 70 tracks. This rhythm action title gained positive reviews on the likes of the PS4 and PS Vita, with most scores clocking in around 8/10.

Read more

© 2001-2017 Games Asylum