Tagged "Borderlands 2"

Jun 02
By Matt Gander In UK Charts 2 Comments

Ubisoft’s Watch_Dogs is the UK’s new number one, smashing the record for the fastest selling new IP in the process. The previous record holder was 2011’s L.A Noire, if you’re curious.

It has had the 17th best launch week in the UK, putting it alongside the likes of GTA, Call of Duty and FIFA. Although seventeen may not sound too impressive that’s a personal best for Ubisoft, toppling Assassin’s Creed III as their biggest ever launch.

Watch_Dogs has also contributed to a PS4 console sales spike of 94%, 53% of which were the Watch_Dogs bundle.

That’s nothing compared to sales boost Mario Kart 8 has given the Wii U though. Console sales were up a hellish 666%, with 82% being the Mario Kart 8 bundle. The colourful kart racer makes #2 in the chart.

Wolfenstein: The New Order falls to #3, FIFA 14 drops to #4 while Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition now sits at #5.

After Watch_Dogs and Mario Kart 8, the PS Vita version of Borderlands 2 is the next highest new entry, making a respectable enough #18.

Also of note is The Amazing Spider-Man 2 leaving the top ten this week, going from #8 to #17.

Jan 17
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games 1 Comment

Last week gave us hack and slashers Anarchy Reigns and Ninja Gaiden: Razor’s Edge, and this week we’re on the receiving end of another – DmC: Devil May Cry. As fans of the genre, we couldn’t have asked for 2013 to have got off to a better start.

DmC

Reviews of the franchise reboot appeared online early Monday morning, ahead of its Tuesday release date. Although the game had its fair share of naysayers prior to release, reviews so far have been incredibly positive. Currently it has a Metacritic average of 87%, based on 37 reviews. As predicted, Metacritic user reviews have been less favourable. The best one we’ve read so far is the one where somebody describes the graphics as “being boring”. Draw your own conclusions there.

Where has all the negativity from fans come from? Many aren’t happy that it has been handled by British studio Ninja Theory, of Heavenly Sword and Enslaved fame, while others aren’t too chuffed with Dante’s new image. Our opinion on this is that if developers didn’t rejuvenate their franchises every once in a while, Lara Croft would still be looking like this. Shudder.

4Elements3DS

There are a few other games arriving at retail, three of which appear near identical judging by screenshots alone – The Treasures Of Montezuma 2 and 4 Elements 2 on DS and 4 Elements on 3DS. All three are gem-smashing puzzle games available at budget prices. There’s also Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects on DS, which is yet another one of those hidden object games.

For a second week running there doesn’t appear to be anything new on XBLA. PSN is looking quiet as well, apart from Siren and Disgaea: Hour of Darkness arriving as PS2 Classics. It does appear though that PS3 owners are also getting some exclusive Far Cry 3 DLC in the form of the High Tides co-op pack, which picks up where the six original co-op chapters left off.

Borderlands 2 has received its third piece of DLC too – Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt. Eurogamer gave it 8/10.

TokyoCrashMobs

Something has caught our eye on the 3DS eShop. That something is the pleasingly nonsensical sounding Tokyo Crash Mobs. It’s a puzzler based around throwing and rolling people into queues of people, complete with a story mode based around a pair of bargain hunters. It’s being published by Nintendo themselves so we’re surprised by the lack of press coverage. Nintendo Life gave it 7/10 earlier this week.

Nintendo fans have another two to consider as well – Mahjong Mysteries – Ancient Athena on 3DS eShop for £4.49 and Zombie Skape on DSi for £1.79. A video of that last one can be found here.

Next week: Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth (Wii U), Power Rangers – Super Samurai (360), Corpse Party: Book of Shadows (PSN) and The Cave (PSN, XBLA, Wii U)

Nov 12
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Due to a certain game being released tomorrow, it’s looking like Halo 4 will only get one week at #1. That week is this week – Halo 4 sits on top of the UK chart, proudly selling more copies than Assassin’s Creed III managed at launch.

However, it hasn’t sold as well as either Halo 3 or Halo: Reach did during their launches, and has ‘only’ become the UK’s 18th fastest selling game in regards to week one sales.

Last week’s #1 Assassin’s Creed III drops to #2 and is followed by FIFA 13, Need for Speed: Most Wanted – which is up one place this week – and Football Manger 2013.

GAME’s current £19.99 deal for Borderlands 2 seems to have an effect on sales. It’s back in the top ten at #8, up from #13.

The only other new entry in the top 40 is LittleBigPlanet Karting at #24. Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth does make an appearance in the Xbox 360 chart though, at a not too impressive #30.

Oct 19
By Matt Gander In Blog 2 Comments

The fact that Borderlands 2 has a shotgun called ‘Customer Focused Thinking’ automatically gives the array of arsenal present an edge over that of the competition, let alone taking into consideration that there are a gazillion different weapons to choose from.

Not all vary cosmetically – usually it’s just the statistics that change from one to another. At first we were simply picking up the weapons that were more powerful than the ones in our possession, but soon realised that it’s not always about power. It’s worth looking at magazine size and accuracy too. What good is a sniper rife that gets one hit kills if you can’t aim the bloody thing and have to reload after every shot? As useful as a hole in the head is the answer.

Experimenting with weapons is just one of the many small joys that Borderlands 2 has. Here are some of the finest we’ve come across.

The entire Tediore catalogue

All weapons made by Tediore can be thrown like a grenade when their clips are empty. Most of the pistols and such are simply lobbed like a standard grenade, but we did once have a rocket launcher that turned into a missile and spun around uncontrollably in the air, occasionally colliding with groups of enemies. The Tediore range are designed to look cheaply made – hence why they’re disposed of when spent.

Nova shields

Most shields do the obvious – shield you from damage – and nothing more. Others though have a few perks. The most handy of these is a fire shield that emits a burst of flames when energy is depleted, scolding all around it. There’s even a challenge linked to getting five kills with this shield type.

Singularity grenades

So called because they single enemies out, homing in like a homing missile. These come in different types offering corrosive or shock damage. When surrounded by enemies they’re very helpful to lob onto the battlefield to even the odds while waiting for your shield to recharge.

Absorb shields

These shields simply absorb damage, right? Nope. They absorb ammo which is then added to your inventory. Very cool, and more importantly, environmentally friendly to the world of Pandora.

Transfusion grenades

Similar to the above, these sap the health from foes which is then added onto your own health bar. A vampire grenade if you will. It’s not the coolest grenade available though – the one called Fuster Cluck gets that accolade.

The Jolly Roger

This shotgun is part of the Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty DLC. When fired it sprays bullets in the shape of the notorious Jolly Roger symbol. We would have preferred a weapon that fired sharks, like the one seen in the oft-forgotten Xbox shooter Armed & Dangerous, but we suppose we can’t have everything.

And finally…the least helpful weapon in the game:

Curse of the Cackling Designer

This one is a curse, there’s no doubting that. When throwing this MIRV grenade, which splits into smaller grenades, they then fly back in your direction. Useless but amusing – at least the first time you try it.

Oct 11
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

It’s crazy to think that there was once doubt about whether Borderlands 2 would happen. The original entered the UK chart at #7 and proved to be a slow and steady seller, very much a game that sold on word of mouth alone. A strong following and a bigger advertising spree helped Borderlands 2 to become the UK’s biggest launch of 2012 (prior to FIFA 13), outselling even Mass Effect 3. Like we said – it’s crazy that at one point this sequel wasn’t a sure fire thing. Crazy.

Fallout 3’s hyperactive cousin – that sums up Borderlands 2 nicely. The plot isn’t particularly deep but that’s not a problem – as you travel the hostile world of Pandora to prevent the charismatic bad guy Handsome Jack opening an almighty vault, there are plenty of creative sub-missions thrown your way. It also helps that Pandora is full to the brim with distractions.

There’s plenty to impress here with the first thing being the character customisation options. Four different classes are yours to choose ranging from a Ninja Assassin to a hulking Gunzerker, while an extra character class – a Mechromancer who can summon a robot – is now available as a download. Rare artefacts let you kit out your character with that extra personal touch as do the not quite as rare ‘class only’ upgrades. New clothing colour schemes and changeable heads are gained throughout.

In typical action RPG fashion skills are improved by levelling up but there’s also something new called a ‘badass rank’. There are near countless challenges that, upon completion, give you the chance to increase a skill by a tiny percentage. Most of these are completed on the fly simply by playing in a normal manner, mainly for killing X of one enemy, or getting Y kills with weapon Z. It’s the rate that these challenges are completed that not only makes Borderlands 2 scarily addictive, but also makes you feel that you’ve achieved something in very little time.

The weapon assortment too is superb. Loot is found just about everywhere – even in grotty toilets – and just when you’ve found a gun that you honestly believe won’t be bettered any time soon, something even greater is found. There are guns that can be thrown as grenades when ammo is depleted, quadruple-barrelled shotguns, shields that adsorb ammo and add them to your inventory and even grenades that pull enemies into a vortex before exploding. At the start your backpack space is limited and only two guns can be held, but later you’re allowed four in your possession and a much bigger backpack.

Dialogue and mission objectives have clearly had a lot of time spent on them. The opening takes place on a snowy landscape where intentionally irritating robot Claptrap rescues you from near death and thereafter refers to you as his ‘minion’. Claptrap has some great lines and a few off-beat missions like handing out invites to a birthday party that raise a smile, while Handsome Jack’s brilliantly twisted radio conversations also amuse.

Surprises are frequent, especially for those who step off the beaten path. The opening ice world is full of bandit hideouts and no matter where in Pandora you are one-off boss-style enemies can appear without warning. While searching a graveyard for loot, which resulted in a three-way stand off, we accidentally disturbed the nest of a colossal Spiderant and a raging battle ensued. Another decent mission sees you helping a town which has been forced into slave labour which involves building and then testing a giant shield to protect the town.

A few hours into the game you find yourself in Sanctuary. The world of Pandora is a hostile place but Sanctuary is the closest it has to a safe house. Here there are a few familiar faces plus extra missions to pick up. Just when we thought that we were starting to bring the story to a conclusion about ten new missions appeared which then took another 15 or so hours to complete. This truly is the game that keeps on giving. More than one mission can be on the go at any time – we were once out searching for documents for one character while killing wildlife in the name of research for another.

Online play has been designed to be part of the experience instead of some sort of ‘bolted on’ extra. Three other vault hunters can be joined and missions completed cooperatively. Be warned though – other players can take loot before you’ve even had the chance to examine it, and if they rush off and complete missions without your involvement then you might miss out on a few minor plot details. As a whole though online play is very well balanced. The more players there are the stronger the enemy gets while loot drops become more common. Everybody gets a share of any cash picked up too plus a small amount of XP from every kill. Thanks to the unique ‘second wind skill’ – get a kill while downed to be instantly revived – you don’t end up respawning miles away from other players too often either.

Our highlight with the co-op mode was spending two hours with three other players trying to get the achievement for surviving five increasingly difficult waves of enemies at a slaughter house. This mission in particular has a brilliant emphasis on teamwork.

Borderlands 2 is one of the few games out there that does very little wrong. It’s impressive in scope and scale, impeccably designed and has an addictive streak that not commonly found in games of this ilk. The only gripe we had is that there’s a fair bit of backtracking due to the sheer size of the environments, but to complain about the size of a game – especially when there’s always something to kill and loot – is a bit like complaining about getting too much cake for your birthday.

Sep 24
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Borderlands 2 has become this year’s biggest release so far, outselling the previous best – Mass Effect 3 – by 4,000 copies.

71% of copies sold at launch were on Xbox 360, with 22% on PlayStation 3 and 7% on PC. 2K Games are in fact the only publisher to have two games in this week’s top 10, with the other being Max Payne 3 at #10.

The original Borderlands only managed to chart as high as #7, back in 2009.

Obviously, then, Borderlands 2 sits on top of the chart this week. At #2 it’s F1 2012 followed by Pro Evolution Soccer 2013, Sleeping Dogs and LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes.

It’s another new entry at #6 – LittleBigPlanet PS Vita. That’s not too shabby at all. One Piece: Pirate Warriors at #34 in the only other new entry in the top 40 this week.

In the single format charts The Testament of Sherlock Holmes makes an appearance in the Xbox 360 chart at #34, while the apparently surprisingly good Learn with Pokemon: Typing Adventure enters the DS chart at #21.

Although that may not sound like a bad start for Learn with Pokemon, it was outsold by the likes of Ice Age 4 and the seven year old Mario 64 DS.

Sep 18
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games 1 Comment

Borderlands 2 has been creating a buzz ever since it was first announced.

Reviews suggest the hype hasn’t been for nothing. UK magazine GamesMaster had the first review, where it bagged a resounding 95%. That was then followed up with a 9.0 from IGN. “Borderlands 2 preserves the best parts of the franchise while also making numerous, much needed improvements to areas like narrative and class skill design. Additional visual customization options would make it better, and the occasional technical issue takes away from the experience, but overall this is an excellent shooter no one even remotely curious should overlook”, they said.

According to 2K’s blurb there are now 87 bazillion different weapons. The Simpson’s Moe Sizlack would approve.

As well as the standard version there’s a collector’s edition that comes with a bobblehead, stickers and an artbook. GAME was also offering the ‘Ultimate Loot Chest Edition’ which comes in a replica loot chest but that’s now sold out.

IGN has an unboxing video, if you’re a fan of those.

If the reviews of Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 are to be believed then the series is back on top form. IGN gave it 8.5 claiming that it “feels like a game with a sense of identity and direction”. The Official Xbox Magazine meanwhile gave it an 8.0, pointing out the improved player control and visuals. There’s not one but two demos available to try out. A FIFA 13 demo is also available now for those who want to compare the two.

It’s out on just about every format – even PlayStation 2. TheHut currently has the Wii version for £14.95 and the 3DS version for £19.95.

F1 2012 reviews appeared on Monday too. Eurogamer found it to be good, but not a massive improvement. “It’s another small step forward for the series, but that’s not quite enough to dispel the suspicion that Codemasters’ F1 team doesn’t have the resources to create iterations compelling or different enough to justify the annual churn”. They award it a 7/10. Videogamer.com liked it a bit more, giving it an 8/10. They did agree though there hasn’t been any major changes this year.

Having already been released on the original PSP, in our eyes the PS Vita version of LittleBigPlanet consequently doesn’t quite feel like a system seller. It’s still worth a look though. EDGE’s 9/10 review has vanished off the face of the internet, but they did say that the “5 inch OLED screen is a chance to see Media Molecule’s staggering achievement afresh, and to witness one of this generation’s most intriguing engines of creativity at its most energetic and effective.” It has received plenty of other 9/10s too, such as this one from Polygon. GamesRadar didn’t enjoy using the rear touch-screen very much, but still gave it a glowing review.

Then we have a trio of less than full-price releases – The Testament of Sherlock Holmes on PS3, 360 and PC, Funky Barn on 3DS and the Xbox Live Collection Pack from Ubisoft. That last one contains Beyond Good & Evil HD, From Dust & Outland and can be found for around £14.99 online. All three are very good games, although since the pack was first revealed (way back in January) all three have been on offer at various times on XBLA at vastly cut prices.

Kinect Sesame Street TV and Nat Geo TV also cost less than your standard release. Oddly, the online retailers claim that they’re out today (Tuesday). Nat Geo TV is by Brighton-based Relentless Software, who created the Buzz! series for Sony while Microsoft Soho is responsible for Sesame Street. They’ve got quite a job on their hands to better the surprisingly good Once Upon a Monster.

As for downloads, XBLA owners get Jet Set Radio HD and Fire Pro Wrestling (out Friday) while 2D adventure game LA-MULANA arrives on WiiWare. There’s a trailer of that here. The publisher behind it is also releasing Abyss on DSiWare this week, which looks a bit like an underwater version of Thurst.

We think we would rather have had Fire Pro Wrestling in 2D, like the older versions, but we’ll reserve judgment for now.

Next week: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (PC), FIFA 13 (Everything), Dead or Alive 5 (PS3, 360), Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse (PS3, 360), Mugen Souls (PS3), Puzzler World 2012 3D (3DS), Rocksmith (PS3, 360, PC) and Thundercats (DS).

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