Tagged "Need for Speed"

Nov 09
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Despite arriving on a Friday – instead of a Tuesday, as per the previous six games in the franchise – Call of Duty: Black Ops III has shot straight to top the UK chart. Quelle surprise.

Chart-Track reports that it’s the 7th fastest seller in the series in terms of week one sales. Bear in mind that previous CoDs enjoyed 5 days on sale before the UK chart was compiled; Black Ops III only had 2.

Chart-Track also claims that 91% of sales were on PS4/Xbox One. In comparison, 68% of Advanced Warfare‘s launch week sales were on current-gen.

This week’s chart also sees Call of Duty: Ghosts re-enter the top ten, albeit at #10. All signs point to the Xbox One version either being bundled with consoles or heavily discounted somewhere.

FIFA 16 moves up one place to #2, Need for Speed enters at #3 – with the PS4 version proving to be the most popular – while last week’s chart topper Halo 5: Guardians falls to #4. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate rounds off this week’s UK top five.

Positions #5 through to #10 are then filled by Minecraft: Story Mode, WWE 2K16, GTA V, LEGO Dimensions and the aforementioned CoD: Ghosts.

There were no other new arrivals in the top 40. Mario Kart 7 did however make a surprise re-appearance at #14. We believe this is down to the bargain price 2DS bundles currently available.

Over in the single-format charts Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash! made #7 in the 3DS chart, Persona 4: Dancing All Night topped the PS Vita top 20 and Finn & Jake Investigations squeezed into the lower echelons of the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U and 3DS charts. The current-gen versions didn’t get a look in.

Nov 04
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

Even with less hype and fanfare surrounding this year’s Call of Duty, it would seem that only one publisher is willing to go up against Activision’s juggernaut. That publisher is EA with Need for Speed – one of just two big name games out this week.

Reviews of Need for Speed started to surface earlier this week and have been incredibly mixed so far – everything from US Gamer’s 4.5/5 to VideoGamer’s 5/10, with plenty of 6/10s sandwiched between.

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General consensus has it that it’s merely adequate – even top scorer US Gamer described it as “simple” and “straightforward” in their review. Most critics do seem to agree that it has a decent enough foundation to build on though, and that the series is heading in the right direction.

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At the time of typing the Call of Duty: Black Ops III embargo is yet to lift. We’re aiming to bring you a review round-up once they start to trickle through. We suggest approaching the last-gen versions with caution though as it sounds like Activision hasn’t put in any significant effort. There’s no campaign, the weapon paint shop and eSports tools aren’t making the cut and the frame rate has been set to scale between 30 and 60 frames per second, instead of a near constant 60fps like before. Moreover, the PS3 version looks laughably poor in terms of visuals – those who received their copies early and were shocked by how bad it looks, sharing streams and images online for others to gawk at.

We would say that Activision throwing a download code for the first Black Ops in the box compensates somewhat, but it’s likely that most CoD fans already own the original.

Because we’re into November and Christmas is nearing there’s a whole bunch of games aimed at the younger generation also out this week. Specifically, Hello Kitty and The Apron of Magic Rhythm Cooking (3DS), Hello Kitty: Kruisers (Wii U), Peanuts Movie: Snoopy’s Grand Adventure (everything), Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations (ditto) and Phineas and Ferb: Day of Doofensmirtz (PS Vita). Out of these, the only one we can vouch for is the Adventure Time tie-in. Reviews went live last week ahead of its US release and were mostly positive, including a fair few 7/10s.

ChibiRobo

Reviews of Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash have been less positive. Yes, even less positive than a cartoon licensed game. As mentioned in our weekly eShop round-up, scores so far include 4/10 from GameSpot, 2.5/5 from US Gamer and 6.5 from God is a Geek.

Since then it has also received a miserable 4/10 from The Metro. “Despite the name this lacks any kind of zip at all, in what may be the most mundane and unexciting platformer Nintendo has ever put their name to” they said.

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Nov 03
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

Giving a fatigued franchise a break is an approach we wish more publishers took. Putting Need for Speed in the pit stop for two years doesn’t appear to have entirely paid off however. While the once annual series was in rework we’ve seen the release of Project CARS, Forza Horizon 2, Forza 6 and Driveclub.

The racing genre has come leaps and bounds in a short space of time, and if the reviews are to go by Need for Speed’s arcade-like nature now seems rather amateurish in comparison. In fact, the Metacritic is currently lower than PS4/Xbox One launch title Need for Speed: Rivals.

While we’re on the subject of Metacritic – the site everybody loves to hate – the difference in scores between formats is unexpected. Presently the PS4 version stands at 71% – formed of 15 reviews – while the Xbox One iteration is at 63%, comprised of 8 reviews.

We thought there would be more Xbox One reviews out there, seeing the generous 10 hour preview has been available on EA Access since last week. It’s pleasing to see this isn’t the case, as in a large open-world game ten hours probably isn’t enough to experience everything on offer.

Enough of us rambling. Here’s a review round-up:

4.5/5 – US Gamer: “By going back to its roots, and focusing on what made the series great during its heyday, the Swedish studio has created a simple, straightforward racer with five interesting facets that challenge your racing prowess in different ways. It can be tough at times, but the game is solid, addictive, and looks absolutely stunning”

8/10 – GameSpot: “The game is far from perfect, but it is, at points, truly exceptional. Its jaw-dropping visuals, adrenaline-pumping audio, and highly-customizable handling make screaming around the darkened streets of Ventura Bay an intense thrill”

8.0 – PlayStation LifeStyle: “I eagerly await to see Ghost Games’ future plans for this franchise, if they’re allowed the opportunity to continue”

7.0 – Post Arcade: “If Ghost can eventually smooth out the technical hitches (especially that occasionally hitching frame rate), improve storytelling, and increase scope, this new formula could transform succeeding games into something special in open world racing”

70/100 – GamesBeat: “Need for Speed offers meaningful customization, great arcade driving, a cool look, and a five-part advancement system that gives players different things to do. Unfortunately, after a while, doing those things — especially after missions become repetitive — just doesn’t provide that much fun”

7/10 – EGM: “You’d be hard pressed to find an automaker willing to take an extra year to reset their car line much like Ghost Games did here with their second run on Need for Speed. What we get is a more focused and competent racer but one seemingly unwilling to risk standing out from the crowd”

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Nov 17
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

It’s another good week for gamers. That’s providing you have healthy bank balance, at least – there are half a dozen big name titles out this week.

The old-age question if whether Mario can blow stripy balloons up with his arse has finally been answered. As the image to the right shows, he can indeed. We can also tell you that Super Mario 3D Land has been worth the wait. Scores so far include an 8 from EDGE and a 9 from Eurogamer. NGamer said it’s trying a little too hard to be “all things to all people” – “too throwaway for the Galaxy crowd and too soft for the New Super Mario Bros. Wii lot”. They still gave it 90% though.

And what’s this? Another big game from Nintendo? Amazingly, yes. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword reinvents the franchise and then some. It doesn’t even feature Gannon as the last boss. We hope that doesn’t count as a spoiler. Praise has been universal, with a few even calling it the best Zelda yet. EDGE has given it a 10; NGamer handed out 98%.

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games is another that NGamer reviewed this month. They gave the Wii version 84% – “As far as party games go, this is gold standard”. The 3DS version isn’t due out until next year.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is one that we’ve reviewed ourselves and very much enjoyed. Amazon are selling it for £27, as are Tesco.

The last Need for Speed was heavily hyped as the developers behind Burnout were at the helm. Need for Speed: The Run hasn’t had the same attention from the press. Games Radar gave it an 8 even though they found it a little short and to have some unfair difficulty spikes. On the flipside Eurogamer really didn’t like it very much, giving it a 5. The PlayStation 3 version contains vehicles not found in the Xbox 360 version, while the 3DS version should be worth a look – it’s from the guys behind Trackmania on Wii and DS, which were well received.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations doesn’t quite live up to its name it would seem. That’s to say, it isn’t a revelation. EDGE has given it a 7, as has Eurogamer, but there has been a few 8/10 scores. If you aren’t expecting anything more than more of the same, then you won’t be disappointed.

Medieval Moves and Carnival Island are Sony’s newest PlayStation Move offerings. Carnival Island is a mini-game collection while Medieval Moves is by the Sports Champions developers and is a first person adventure. Both are £14.99 on Play.

The big names keep coming. Saints Row: The Third has had some heavy promotion which has already paid off – pre-orders are four times higher than Saints Row 2. Games Radar handed out a perfect 10 but CVG wasn’t quite so positive, giving it a 7. “Some amazing moments… and some truly abysmal ones. Saints Row: The Third is wildly imaginative and frequently entertaining, but a lack of technical polish and weak combat overshadow its achievements.”

Activision are unleashing four games onto the public as well – the Xbox 360-exclusive Rapala Kinect Fishing, Cabela’s Adventure Camp (for the kids), Cabela’s Survival: Shadows of Katmai (for the adults) and DreamWorks Super Star Kartz (for people who really can’t wait until Mario Kart 7). All of these are budget games – the two Cabela titles can be found for £25 online while Super Star Kartz is a mere £14.99 on Play. Play says that Rapala Kinect Fishing comes with a rod, but Amazon doesn’t mention this. There’s a chance Play are mistaken.

While those games above may be of questionable quality we least we can count on LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 being good. It’s out on just about everything – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PSP, Wii, DS, 3DS and PC.

Lastly, THQ are releasing their uDraw tablet on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It comes with Instant Artist and two other games are being launched alongside it – Marvel Super Hero Squad Comic Combat and Pictionary Ultimate Edition. Marvel Super Hero Squad Comic Combat is also out on Wii this week, as is the uDraw compatible Disney Princess Enchanting Storybooks, much to the delight of pre-teen girls everywhere.

Next week: Rayman Origins (360, PS3, Wii), Winter Stars (PS3, 360, Wii), WWE ’12 (PS3, 360, Wii), Zumba Fitness 2 (Wii), The Lord of the Rings: War in the North (PS3, 360, PC), F1 2011 (3DS), King of Fighters XIII (PS3, 360), Professor Layton and the Spectre’s Call (DS), Move Fitness (PS3), ABBA: You Can Dance (Wii), Ben 10 Galactic Racing (PS3, 360, Wii, DS), Cooking Mama 4 (3DS), Cooking Mama World: Outdoor Adventures (DS), Dino Strike (Wii), Happy Feet Two (PS3, 360, Wii, DS, 3DS), Horrid Henry: The Good, The Bad and The Bugly (3DS), Imagine Fashion Designer (3DS), James Noir’s Hollywood Crimes (3DS), Mahjong 3DS: Warriors of the Emperor (3DS), Now! That’s What I Call Music: Dance and Sing (Wii), Sonic Generations (3DS) and Tales of the Abyss (3DS).

Apr 04
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

The eye-ball pleasing Crysis 2 has managed to stay at the top of the chart for another week. The game at #2 may surprise you – it isn’t MotorStorm Apocalyspe (which makes its appearance at a lowly #17) or Shift 2: Unleashed (in at #4) but rather Zumba Fitness. Not wanting to blow my own trumpet or anything, but I did have a feeling it would be quite popular.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters and WWE All Stars go in at #6 and #7 respectively.

MotorStorm Apocalypse’s slightly rubbish placing is likely to be because it was delayed and Sony didn’t do a very good job at telling people the new release date (last Thursday).

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is the highest placed 3DS game at #16, followed by Pilotwings Resort at #21, Rayman 3D at #23, Super Monkey Ball 3D at #29, Ridge Racer 3D at #30 and Nintendogs + Cats at #32.

Nov 22
By Matt Gander In UK Charts 3 Comments

UK Charts

Despite the very fine Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit being released last week, Call of Duty: Black Ops has held onto #1. They have to make do with #2 and #3 respectively. Wii Sports Resort has risen from #19 to #7 but Fallout: New Vegas has fallen from #7 to #13. Football Manager 2011 goes from #5 to #19.

The jolly decent Sonic Colours has had a better second week – it was at a lowly #36 but it’s now at #18. This might be because Play had it for £17.99 last week. The bad reviews have seemingly harmed Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows as it can only manage a #20 positioning.

GoldenEye 007 is still outselling 007: Blood Stone but neither are doing fantastically – the celebrated Wii shooter is at #29 while Bizarre Creations’ effort is at #38.

If you’re wondering how the Kinect games are doing, then wonder no more – Kinect Sports is at #9, Dance Central at #25, Motion Sports at #33 and Fighters Uncaged at #39.

Nov 19
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

This Week’s Games

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood has gone from being a game quietly announced with very little fanfare to being the highest rated game this winter. It currently has an average review score of 92%, which is higher than even Call of Duty: Black Ops (currently at 88%). Eurogamer gave it 10/10: “Never before have we seen a game whose open world is so densely packed with things to do while maintaining such high quality”, they said.

Another game getting glowing reviews is Burnout: Hot Pursuit, sorry, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. It’s by the Burnout boys (and girls, probably) who have never put a foot wrong. Well, apart from Airblade on PS2. That was a bit naff.

Speaking of naff, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One has been getting some awful scores including a 2/10 from IGN. “It’s really doubtful you’d want to play this for longer than an hour”, claims their review. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon on Wii hasn’t been impressing the critics either, especially Eurogamer who dished out a soggy 3/10 for this on-rails shooter.

And although Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit isn’t out on PSP, Disney have been kind enough to release Split/Second: Velocity. The “home console” versions were superb but this one doesn’t appear to be as good.

If your wallet is attracting moths then there are a few budget games out today that are worth a look. Blood Drive is a Twisted Metal-style car-with-guns affair from the developers behind Gripshift while Apache: Air Assault is by the people behind IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey and apparently pretty good. Then there’s Create from EA, which is only £14.99 on Wii and £24.99 on Xbox 360 at Play. NGamer Magazine said it kept them busy for hours and handed out a not too shabby 70%.

As mentioned briefly by us last week, there’s not one, not two, but three Harvest Moon games out today. Harvest Moon: Frantic Farming and Harvest Moon: Sunshine Islands are both for DS (one is being published by Rising Star; the other Namco Bandai) while Harvest Moon: Animal Paradise is for Wii.

Next week: Gran Turismo 5, Epic Mickey, Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, Splatterhouse, Tron Evolution, Def Jam Rapstar, Raving Rabbids Travel in Time, Pac Man Party, Dreamworks Megamind, Karaoke Revolution Glee, Yu-Gi-Oh! Tag Force 5, Michael Jackson: The Experience, PDC World Championship Darts Pro Tour, Hot Wheels: Track Attack, NBA Jam, Red Dead: Undead Nightmare, Worms Battle Islands and Game Party in Motion.

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