Tagged "Spider-Man"

Jun 14
By Matt Gander In Features No Comments

It could be argued that most, if not all, of the big-name publishers played it safe at E3 by sticking to their franchises and annual outings. Even so, this year’s expo could become one for the ages.

The big boys bought out their biggest guns, resulting in an extravaganza of exceedingly promising titles.

Sony had a strong line-up of system showcases; the usual assortment of new and classic IPs that we’ve come to expect. Microsoft knuckled down and finally revealed some new games; 42 titles, no less – 22 of which are exclusive in some way. As for Nintendo, while we would have liked to have seen at least one new IP, and a few more third-party titles, their line-up was incredibly strong. By the end of 2018, we should have a Switch catalogue that eclipses that of the Wii U. A dizzying prospect.

We’ve picked out six showstoppers that had the crowds whooping and hollering. Woo!

A Way Out

EA’s conference marked the beginning of E3, and so it makes sense to start with a new game from good old Electronic Arts. Step forward A Way Out, a story-driven adventure that can only be played via online or local co-op in split-screen. Maybe not the most enticing of set-ups, but consider this – it’s from the guys behind Brothers, which also had an unprecedented focus on teamwork.

Essentially Prison Break: The Game – excusing the fact that such a thing already exists – it sees two criminals escaping from prison and going on the run, fleeing through forests and taking to the city streets to reunite with their families. With different scenarios unfolding each time, playthroughs should vary significantly.

Our only worry is that the online experience is going to heavily depend on whom you’re paired with. Online etiquette isn’t what it used to be, but hopefully, the more mature tone will attract a fanbase with decorum.

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Aug 25
By Matt Gander In Features No Comments

The last-gen formats have reached the age where they’re being handed down to younger siblings, with the Xbox One and PS4 taking pride of place under the main TV instead. Both consoles have also fallen in price heavily over the past year or so, making them affordable (and more viable) for children.

Unlike the Wii and Wii U, the Xbox 360 and PS3 never saw a steady slew of children’s games – just the odd movie or cartoon tie-in here and there, plus the usual LEGO, Skylanders and Disney Infinity games.

The aim of this guide is to highlight some of the alternative kids’ games out there while sorting the good from the bad. Contrary to popular beliefs, kids can tell the difference. They may not be able to exactly point out why a game is bad, but they know the difference between boring and entertaining.

With this guide you hopefully won’t be hearing “this game is boring” too often.

The obvious choices


Let’s get these out the way first, as chances are your child already owns a few of these. We’re talking about the games that are always prominently placed in supermarkets and GAME, such as LEGO, Skylanders, Disney Infinity, Just Dance, FIFA Soccer and Minecraft.

Disney Infinity was axed earlier this year, meaning retailers are starting to clear out stock. The first DI features Disney and Pixar franchises and packed in a lot of content, with worlds based on Monsters Inc, The Incredibles and Pirates of the Caribbean. You do however need two characters from the same universe to play two-player in these worlds, which obviously goes against the whole ‘Infinity’ aspect.

Disney Infinity was axed earlier this year

The second DI favours Marvel superheroes and has a quickly cobbled together feel to it, with just one campaign that soon becomes tedious. The Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man add-on packs also scored poorly by the gaming press.

For the third and final DI, Star Wars is the theme and this iteration focuses heavily on the premium priced add-ons. Despite featuring characters from all different Disney lines, the majority can only be used in the Minecraft-style Toy Box mode…which is due to go offline next year. It can still be accessed, but the ability to share creations with the community will cease.

Children are likely to lean towards their favourite franchise, but for our money, the original DI is the one to go for. With three campaigns lasting around 3-4 hours each, it offers the most out-of-the-box value.

As for Skylanders, we recommend the recent Skylanders Superchargers – which has online co-op play and Mario Kart-style races – and Skylanders Giants, which wasn’t too demanding when it came to extra figures. Although Skylanders Giants is also knocking on a bit now, it’s the prices for the giant figures have hit rock bottom. A full set can easily be obtained for around £20.

While not bad games – the Skylanders games have a rare consistency to them – both Trap Team and Swap Force lock a lot of content away, with the former requiring £5 coloured crystals to capture bad guys in, and Swap Force adding new areas that only Swap Force characters can enter. These two are by far the most money grabbing.

LEGOMovie (1)

Then we have the LEGO games, which too are constantly good…and sometimes even great. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones and The Lord of the Rings are generally seen as some of the weaker entries, while Harry Potter, Star Wars, Batman, Marvel Super Heroes and The Avengers are perceived as the best.

LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga are the ones commonly found in bargain bins nowadays, both of which are recommended.

LEGO Dimensions stuff meanwhile is slowly starting to come down in price due to the arrival of season two. The starter set hasn’t quite hit the magical £30 mark yet, but it’s almost there. Out of all the ‘Toys to Life’ franchises, LEGO Dimensions is the most demanding on the wallet, and the upcoming second season looks set to be even more so with packs based on Sonic the Hedgehog, Gremlins, Adventure Time and dozens more. At least LEGO tends to hold its value, eh?

This leaves us with Minecraft, which needs no introduction. Several years from launch, it’s still a big seller and just as popular. Thankfully for parents, it isn’t a full price release – expect to pay between £15-£20. If your child is into Minecraft in a big way, also be sure to check out Minecraft: Story Mode – which features a collection of episodic adventures to play through – and Terraria, which is often referred to as Minecraft’s 2D cousin. It’s slightly trickier to master, but chances are your child has friends who’ve already learnt the ropes and will be keen to show off what they know.

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Mar 08
By Matt Gander In Retro No Comments

Regular readers will know that we have something of a soft spot for the SEGA Game Gear, having penned numerous 8-bit related features over the past couple of years. It’s one of those formats we could talk about all day long and for reasons aplenty.

We aren’t blinkered to the fact that the ageing handheld’s screen quality is atrocious when compared to today’s standards, but we do hold its software library in very high regard. SEGA was seemingly very picky about what games to publish in Europe, and because of this the handheld’s catalogue is rife with hidden gems and import-only titles almost entirely unheard of.


Indeed, Europe really got screwed over when it came to the Game Gear’s release schedule. It’s understandable that publishers would shy away from releasing US sports sims and text-heavy RPGs, but denying the release of comic book tie-ins, arcade conversions and even a few big-name first-party efforts from SEGA Japan is another matter. A good example here is the 1994 racing spin-off Sonic Drift – the sequel was released in Europe under the guise of Sonic Drift Racing in 1995 – but the original never left Japan. Incidentally, and rather lazily, Sonic Drift Racing’s title screen still bared the name Sonic Drift 2.

This feature originally began as a straightforward list of games European Game Gear owners missed out on, but due to sheer number we ended up sorting them by category.

Next time you’re feeling miffed that some little-known RPG is passing western gamers by, just remember that European Game Gear owners didn’t exactly have the pick of the litter.

Arcade conversions


Just like the Mega Drive, the Game Gear’s initial line-up comprised mostly of arcade conversions. The likes of Space Harrier – which was far more than a simple conversion of the Master System version – fared well on the system and were strong sellers. Namco’s Mappy however was never released outside of Japan, with the simple reason being that Namco didn’t publish GG software outside of their home turf.

Out of the nine games Namco released for the format, Galaga ’91 (aka Galaga 2) was the only one picked up for a western release.

Two from Taito escaped European gamer’s clutches also. It’s easy to figure out why Bust-A-Move didn’t make it – when it arrived in 1996 software sales were slowing down drastically in the US and pretty much non-existent in Europe – but as to why 1991’s Chase HQ didn’t make it is a mystery.

Movie tie-ins


Battle hardened gamers will know that the vast majority of ‘80s and ‘90s movie tie-ins were terrible – it was a time when publishers could always bank on licensed software to turn a profit, even if the game itself was an abomination. Say hello to Cutthroat Island, Surf Ninjas, Cliff Hanger, The Last Action Hero and The Lost World: Jurassic Park. At least we got Acclaim’s True Lies tie-in, eh?

Majesco’s re-issue of the long lost Super Battletank notwithstanding, 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park takes the honour of being the Game Gear’s last ever release. If it wasn’t for FIFA 98, it would have been the last European Mega Drive game too.


As mentioned already, by 1996 the Game Gear was fading fast. Clearly, SEGA must have thought that the license was so prestigious that even such a belated release would still generate some cash. Although the ability to play as a dinosaur holds some appeal, both the 8-bit and 16-bit Lost World tie-ins were painfully average.

Surf Ninjas, Cliff Hanger and The Last Action Hero weren’t up to much either, with Cliff Hanger in particular having all the hallmarks of a rush job. Acclaim’s Cutthroat Island – based on one of the biggest flops of all time – isn’t without merit though, borrowing more than a couple of elements from Prince of Persia. It’s one of those rare games that’s actually better than the film on which it’s based.

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Jul 16
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

There weren’t a great deal of new releases out last week, and as such this week’s UK top 40 is devoid of all new entries.

We were expecting Namco’s Inversion to enter in the bottom half of the top 40 but it hasn’t even managed that. According to Chart-Track it entered at a lowly #50. It’s not total doom and gloom for the gravity bending shooter though – it’s in at #22 in the Xbox 360 chart and #23 in the PlayStation 3 chart. It could have performed worse, but not by a great deal.

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is the UK’s #1 for the fourth week running. Blocky Batman is then followed by London 2012, The Amazing Spider-Man, Dead Island: GoTY Edition and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Solider.

After entering the chart last week at a respectable #19, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy has already left the top 40. That’s a bit of a shame as it’s rather good. Its vanishing act could be down to lack of stock however – we’ve hardly seen any copies while we’ve been out and about.

Jul 09
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Even with the The Amazing Spider-Man movie out now, Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes has managed to hold onto the top spot of the UK chart for a third week running.

Spider-Man has to make do with #3, as London 2012 has risen up to #2. Spec Ops: The Line drops to #4 and at #5 it’s a new entry (of sorts) – Dead Island: Game of the Year Edition.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy hasn’t done too badly arriving at #19. We hope that developers have realised now that releasing 3DS demos on the eShop does wonders for sales figures.

The last new entry is PC MMO The Secret World at #38. That’s just the sales for the boxed retail version, we should probably point out. Apparently it’s the most refreshing MMO in years.

Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise misses out on a top 40 placing but enters the Wii chart just shy of the top 10 at #11.

Jul 02
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

We very nearly had an all-new UK top 5 this week. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes remains at #1 and is followed by new entries The Amazing Spider-Man at #2, Spec Ops: The Line at #3 and London 2012 at #4. FIFA 12 falls from #2 to #5.

See, Activision. If you release decent Spider-Man games, plenty of people will go out and buy them.

Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection is back in at #10 due to the release of the PS Vita version. Apparently sales were only a little bit behind PS Vita-exclusives Gravity Rush and Unit 13.

Not far behind is The Ratchet & Clank Trilogy – which we forgot to mention in last week’s new release round-up because the dates kept changing – at #11.

Mass Effect 3 has shot back up to #15, due to price cuts. A few online retailers were selling it for £14.99 last week. We assume that the alternative ending DLC has helped fuel sales of it too.

Oct 17
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

For a reason we cannot understand, Just Dance 3 was released on Tuesday last week rather than Friday. Even with a few extra day’s worth of sales behind it Ubisoft’s dancing game hasn’t been able to outsell FIFA 12, entering at #3 in the top 40 UK chart.

Forza Motorsport 4 on the other hand has managed to tackle FIFA 12 this week and enters at the top of the chart knocking FIFA 12 to #2. It was a close call though – according to Chart-Track Forza 4 only beat FIFA 12 by 700 copies.

RAGE drops from #2 to #4 while Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 makes its mark at #5. Last year’s rendition managed to enter at #2. It’s the PlayStation 3 version of Pro Evolution 2012 that has shifted the most copies so far, according to the individual formats chart.

The new entries don’t stop here. Far from it. At #10 there’s Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon at #12, the budget-priced Dead Rising 2: Off the Record at #14, Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure at #16 and Spider-Man: Edge of Time at a very poor #39. Oddly, it’s the Xbox 360 version of Skylanders that’s proving to be the most popular and not the Wii version as some may expect.

The PlayStation 2 chart continues to be a source of amusement, and hopefully not just for ourselves. This week the top 10 contains FIFA 12, FIFA 11, FIFA 09 and three rather ‘hardcore’ RPGs. Yes – people went out and purchased FIFA 09 on PlayStation 2 last week. Crazy.

Oct 13
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

You have to laugh – Capcom are charging £14.99 for downloads of their old Resident Evil titles, yet online retailers are asking a mere £17.99 for retail release Dead Rising: Off The Record. It’s not an entirely new game, but there’s a good 15 hours of play at hand along with a new theme park area and the chance to play as photographer Frank West. Xbox World magazine gave it an 8.0, claiming it to be a good place for Dead Rising newcomers to start. They said that the long loading times have been fixed and there are now more zombies on screen then ever before. Eurogamer weren’t that keen on it though, giving it a 6.

Whereas FIFA 12 has been getting 9s almost across the board, Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 has been getting a steady string of 8s. A decent alternative to EA’s offering it would seem, but not quite as polished. You’ll easily be able to tell which of your friends owns a copy – one new feature for this year is Facebook stat tracking. Joy.

Likewise to Dark Souls, early purchasers of Namco’s Ace Combat: Assault Horizon get a upgrade to first class for free. Or rather, they get the limited edition set for the same price as the standard. This limited edition pack sounds different to most – it comes with a notebook signed by the developers, along with a music CD and an extra craft to download. Review scores have mostly been 8/10s and there’s a demo now available so you can try before buying.

Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure is a curious one. It’s yet another reboot for the purple dragon, but this is the most ambitious yet – it comes with action figures and a device that’s used to scan extra characters into the game. The character design meanwhile has been handled by a designer from the Shrek movies, with Spyro himself looking more psychotic than usual. It’s out on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii and 3DS. The 3DS version could have potentially used AR cards for the scanning of extra characters, but we assume Activision are able to make more money off the back of the additional action figures. Activision are also unleashing Spider-Man: Edge of Time on all formats this week. It can’t be any worse than X-Men Destiny.

Microsoft are publishing two Xbox 360 titles – Kinectimals: Now with Bears and Forza Motorsport 4. Kinectimals isn’t a new game; if you own the original you can get the new critters as DLC. Oddly, the original suggested that it was canines to be on the agenda next. Forza 4 scored a 9 on Eurogamer. They didn’t think much of the AI and said that the Top Gear track is a little misappropriate but they still went on to say that “Forza has always been a series to admire, but now it’s a little easier to fall in love with it too.”

Contrary to popular beliefs, the Just Dance series is far from awful – Just Dance 2 has a Metacritic of 74%. Just Dance 3 – for Wii and Kinect – doesn’t appear to be any worse, or indeed better, with reviews including a 7/10 from GamesRadar. Dance Central 2 is out next week though, so it might be an idea to hold on for that. If singing is more of your thing, X-Factor also hits PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii this week.

This leaves us with Michael Phelps: Push the Limit from 505 Games. It’s another for Kinect, and one that could be a good way to shift those bingo wings, featuring both local and online multi-player modes. There’s a video here if you’re curious about splashing the cash.

Next week: Batman: Arkham City (PS3, 360, PC), Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact (PSP), The Adventures of TinTin: The Secret of the Unicorn (PS3, 360, Wii, 3DS), Captain America: Super Soldier (3DS), Dance Central 2 (360) and Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One (PS3).

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