Tagged "Xbox One"

Feb 17
By Lauren Relph In Reviews 1 Comment

Microsoft has been curiously quiet about Xbox Fitness. You would have thought they’d use the fact that it’s a free download to tempt people into purchasing an Xbox One. That said, who exactly would pay attention? It has had prominent placement on the marketplace, yet people seemingly glance over it because of what it is – a fitness game. And it uses Kinect, something many Xbox One owners, and gamers in general, said they were absolutely not going to use for any of their games ever, if they could help it.


But this is less of a game, than a fitness tool. While there are scores, and achievements and even challenges available, the real reward is what you put into it.

There are dozens of workouts available, from short ten minute exercises to full body workouts more than half an hour long. Perhaps the following names mean nothing to you, but these guys are the business when it comes to personal fitness home workout programs: Tony Horton and Shaun T – who respectively bought us Beachbody’s P90X and Insanity – and Jillian Michaels (of 30 Day Shred fame), who has been labelled as America’s toughest personal trainer.

the real reward is what you put into it

There’s also celebrity fitness trainer Tracy Anderson, as well as Ten Minute Solutions and MOSSA, who aren’t quite as well known but are definitely ‘up and comers’. MOSSA for definite has the potential to be much bigger than it is, providing some of the workouts specifically designed for Xbox Fitness.

Many of the workouts are free, but there is the option of purchasing the entire workout program if there is one available. However, there are enough free workouts for every part of the body that if you didn’t want to spend the money. You really don’t have to – the range is already that extensive.


People complained about the Kinect being bundled with the Xbox One, but it certainly is essential here. A window in the top right hand corner displays a ghost of yourself, and this is integral to the experiance. In this one small box, your muscle groups are highlighted as you use them, giving you visual feedback on which muscles you’re using and how well. Thankfully the ghost of yourself isn’t the lumpy space creature games like Your Shape: Fitness Evolved provides, but rather slightly more tactfully svelte; because who wants to be reminded they’re a moose when they’re trying to exercise anyway?

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Nov 25
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Literally mere minutes before this week’s UK chart went live it was reported that a million Xbox One consoles were sold during launch.

It stands to reason that around 140-150k of those were sold in the UK. 70,000 Xbox 360 units were sold during launch back in 2005 and Microsoft claims that the Xbox One has managed to outsell it by two-to-one. Hurrah for math!

Unsurprisingly then, it’s the two bundled Xbox One games that have charted the highest in this week’s top 40. With sales up a massive 328 per cent FIFA 14 is back on top – knocking Call of Duty: Ghosts down to #2 in the process – while Forza Motorsport 5 has proven to be most popular Xbox One-exclusive by arriving at #5.

Dead Rising 3 made #7 and at #10 it’s Ryse: Son of Rome. Battlefield 4 has been boosted by Xbox One arriving too, shooting up from #5 to #3.

Curiously, no less than 10 of the 16 Xbox One launch games managed to enter the top 40. That’s exactly the same amount as Xbox 360 launch titles all those years ago. For those with a thirst for facts, the Xbox One single format chart informs that it was Angry Birds Star Wars that was the least popular title, followed by NBA Live 14.

Back to the top 40 now, and Nintendo fans will no doubt be thrilled to hear that Zelda: A Link Between Worlds managed to outsell Ryse – it’s in at a very respectable #9.

That’s better than what the equally wonderful Tearaway managed, which tears in at #26.

As we expected given the unusual lack of promotion, Need for Speed Rivals hasn’t got off to the best of starts – it’s in at #13. Expect it to rise over the coming weeks as NFS games are always strong sellers over the festive period. Perhaps that’s why EA has chosen not to splash out on advertising.

FIFA 14 and Assassin’s Creed IV on PlayStation 4 shifted a fair few copies last week too, entering at #13 and #17 respectively in the individual format chart. That’s not bad going for a system that’s yet to be released.

Nov 22
By Matt Gander In Retro No Comments

It’s easy to forget that there were four months between the American and European Xbox launches. US gamers gained their black beast on 15th November 2001, while we Europeans had to wait until 14th March 2002.


The wait wasn’t an entirely bad thing – a few more games were added to the line-up, and it also gave something of an advance warning for the launch day stinkers.

The Xbox certainly did have more than its fair share. As we’ve noted numerous times before, Microsoft wanted the original Xbox line-up to feature games from every single genre. The bad thing about this is that quality wasn’t really an issue.

Nightcaster was called in to fill the RPG shaped slot, and was so poorly received that Microsoft was quite happy to let Jaleco handle the sequel. How Nightcaster gain a sequel is another matter entirely.

Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee fared far better. If your memory needs a jog, it was originally due out on PlayStation only to then become an Xbox-exclusive. Although arguably an adventure game, Microsoft intended it be the console’s premier platformer. Abe may not have been as well known as Sonic or Mario, but did – and still does – hold some creditability.

Like Nightcaster, Microsoft was seemingly happy to let another publisher take control of the sequel – the much celebrated Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath. EA, in that case. The interesting thing about this is that according to a press release issued in October 2000, Microsoft originally planned to publish four Oddworld games in total.


The Japanese launch featured another platformer – Nezmix, a game starring a Stuart Little-alike that showed off the Xbox’s ability to pull of fur effects and nothing more. Nezmix did eventually gain a US release under the name of Sneakers, where it was a Toys R Us exclusive. A sure sign of quality.

There was also Shrek, from TDK. This was another system exclusive that Microsoft used to show off the system’s visual prowess. Proving that looks will only get you so far, review scores were middling.

Fuzion Frenzy filled the slot of being the ‘family friendly party game’ – should such a genre actually exist – and simply seemed to have been developed to justify the Xbox’s four controller ports. It went on to gain a sequel on Xbox 360, developed not by British studio Blitz Games but rather well-established Japanese developer Hudson Soft. Incidentally, both of these studios are now defunct with Blitz closing their doors in September.


Halo: Combat Evolved, Dead or Alive 3 and Project Gotham Racing were of course the big three launch titles. Halo had been in development for quite some time before Microsoft picked it up as an exclusive, going from RTS, to third-person shooter to eventually the first-person shooter than went on to turn the genre completely upside down. EDGE’s 10/10 review was a significant boon for Microsoft, particularly when taking into consideration that at the time the magazine had given very few other games a perfect score. We also gave it a 10/10. And yes, we have been around for that long.

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Nov 20
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

Credit cards at the ready – the next two weeks are shaping up to be the biggest in gaming in a very long time. On Friday the humble Xbox 360 will be rendered outdated after eight years of honourable service, while the 3DS and PS Vita receive their big Christmas games – The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and Tearaway.

Then next Friday it’s the launch of the PlayStation 4, alongside the Wii U’s Super Mario 3D World – a game that plays a highly critical role in shaping the console’s future.


This week also sees the release of Need for Speed Rivals. As we said back on Tuesday, we were worried that it was going to be a lazy annual update in the way that The Run was. Thankfully, even with Criterion only partly involved it has turned out to be a rather robust racer. Scores include 9/10 from Eurogamer, 8/10 from gamesTM and 4.5/5 from The Escapist. It’s a good job that it has turned out to be surprisingly great – with Driveclub delayed, it’s the only racer available on PS4.

Those ‘jumping ahead’ with Xbox One have the luxury of choosing either Forza Motorsport 5 or NFS Rivals for their racing thrills. Or both, we suppose. Reviews of Forza 5 went live today, generating strong opinions. Polygon reckons that it’s the first must-own Xbox One game, giving it a 9.0, while Eurogamer felt that the overall experience had been stripped back a bit in order for it to arrive on launch day. They gave it a 7.


EGM’s review echoed this, pointing out that the career mode feels like a step back and that the line-up of vehicles is “dismal”.

Their 6.5 is the lowest score the racer been given (at the time of typing). Regardless, we still think it’ll be a safe purchase for those looking to show off their shiny new console.

Other safe purchases for those buying an Xbox One include FIFA 14, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Zoo Tycoon, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and Skylanders: Swap Force.

Then there are the other sports games to take into account – Madden NFL 25, NBA 2K14 and NBA Live 14. Although Madden and NBA 2K14 are arguably the best their respective series have ever been, EA’s NBA Live 14 has gained bit of a kicking. “NBA Live’s flaccid return is made all the more disappointing because we waited three years for it” said IGN before handing out a 4.3.


We won’t know if Ryse: Son of Rome is any good until Friday, but early previews didn’t provide much encouragement with many suggesting that it’ll be another typical Crytek game – pretty but vacuous. The online gladiator mode might give it some legs after the novelty of the visuals has worn off, but we suggest waiting for scores to surface before taking the plunge.

Dead Rising 3 on the other hand, we can recommend. Well, other critics can. EDGE gave it a surprisingly high 8/10 while the Metro (née GameCentral) said it was the best Dead Rising yet. Download Killer Instinct has also been gaining some surprisingly high scores after been written off by many when first shown. “A year from now, Killer Instinct could be one of the best fighting games ever made” said GamesRadar. EDGE meanwhile dished up a solid 7/10.


On the somewhat questionable side of things there’s Fighter Within and Angry Birds Star Wars. GAME are offering Ubisoft’s motion controlled brawler for £19.99 with the Xbox One itself if you do fancy testing out the new fangled Kinect. As for Angry Birds…it’s not exactly a showcase for the system, is it? The same can be said about Just Dance 2014. Ultimately, only you can decide if you want to strut around in front of the Kinect. It will see all, you know.

LocoCycle, Powerstar Golf and Crimson Dragon form the Xbox One’s first digital downloads, which now offer a full 1000G. So, good news if you’re an avid achievement hoarder. All three have gained mixed reviews though, as we reported earlier this week.

And that, ladies and gents, is the Xbox One’s line-up. Sticking with current-gen? Don’t leave home without your handheld? Here’s what else is out:

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Nov 18
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

Microsoft are staggering the rollout of Xbox One game reviews, seemingly to ensure a steady slew of coverage for their new console over the course of the week.

Today saw full price retail releases Dead Rising 3 and Zoo Tycoon have critical eyes cast over them, along with downloads LocoCycle, Powerstar Golf, Crimson Dragon and Killer Instinct.


Incidentally, reviews for Need for Speed: Rivals also started to trickle out today, and according to Eurogamer it’s pretty darn good. We have to say that we’re relived – when it was first announced we thought we were in another slapdash annual update akin to NFS: The Run.

Anyway, Thursday sees Forza 5 Motorsport reviews rev up – whatever that means – while on Friday we’ll finally discover if Ryse: Son of Rome can rise to the occasion. Given that it’s under embargo until launch day, we seriously recommend holding off buying it until reviews go live.

Dead Rising 3 seems a safe purchase though, having turned out far better than many expected. The Metro’s review is well worth a read, pointing out that in places it doesn’t even look as good as GTA V. Despite giving it a 7/10, they went on to heralded as the best Dead Rising yet.

Killer Instinct has been getting some surprisingly high reviews too – “A year from now, Killer Instinct could be one of the best fighting games ever made” said GamesRadar. That’s some mighty high praise indeed.

Downloads LocoCycle and Crimson Dragon, which both started out as XBLA games, haven’t been gushed over quite as much however. We really didn’t expect LocoCycle to walk away with a miserable 2/10 from EDGE.

Let’s have a look at the rest of the scores, then:

Dead Rising 3


9/10 – Destructoid: “Although it sacrifices a tad of its loveable camp factor and neon style in favor of a few other advancements, the outcome is a much stronger, more involved Dead Rising game”

8.75 – GameInformer: “Thinning out the undead of Los Perdidos is worth your time, but the bugs infesting the sandbox are an unwelcome scourge”

8/10 – EDGE: “Dead Rising 3 is a sandbox in the purest sense, one that urges you to experiment with its innumerable toys at your leisure”

8/10 – NowGamer: “Dead Rising 3 is more of the same, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t compulsive, time-absorbing and – most of all – fun”

7.5 – Polygon: “Dead Rising 3 is a promising, ultimately clumsy next-gen debut”

7/10 – Eurogamer: “It’s no kind of technical showcase for Xbox One, although that didn’t really bother me once I got into it, and if all you want for a launch title is something passably entertaining to plug away at for a few long evenings, it will suit you fine”

7/10 – GameSpot: “Despite a wonky presentation and obvious technical hiccups, Capcom has successfully made Dead Rising 3 a more welcoming experience than its harsh predecessors”

7/10 – CVG: “Its problems, though many, are somewhat saved by all of the effortless fun had dicing up zombies with bizarre weaponry”

3.5/5 – JoyStiq: “The persistent hiccups are hard to ignore, but they’re not so great as to stall the engine for goofy creations that is the heart of the game”

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Oct 01
By Jake In Blog No Comments

I thought it was some extreme creative license, but actually an LMP1 prototype sportscar at Laguna Seca isn’t as far-fetched as I initially assumed. Nonetheless, the Audi R18 is quite a fun car to have included in the Forza Motorsport 5 demo. Certainly it was too much for me to resist when I spent some time with the game at the Eurogamer Expo.

So, is the Xbox One ushering in a new generation of racing games? Well, not obviously, no. But there are some neat ideas, such as shoving your performance data to the cloud for processing, to endlessly tailor the AI in future races. It also features open-wheel single-seaters for the first time – IndyCar and classic F1.

Forza Motorsport 5: IndyCar

It certainly looks terribly pretty, with a low sun clearly chosen for the demo to showcase some particularly distracting lighting effects. By ‘distracting’, I mean ‘realistic’. And also ‘it nearly made me crash once’.

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Sep 04
By Jake In Blog 8 Comments

With Microsoft’s announcement yesterday, we finally know when and where Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will launch this November. So let’s have a look at the world according to Microsoft and Sony.

The easy one first: Microsoft. Xbox One will be available in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom and USA, all on 22nd November.

Sony is a little more complicated. PlayStation 4 launches in Canada and USA on 15th November, then on 29th November in: Europe – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom; Australia and New Zealand; South Africa; and Latin America – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Peru.

Let’s have a look at that on a map. Xbox One is launching in the countries coloured green; PlayStation 4 is launching in all of those, plus the blue countries:

PlayStation 4 & Xbox One launch territories

Sony have yet to announce anything about Asia, but it would be surprising if Japan didn’t get a November launch. It’s been suggested that the Tokyo Game Show later this month might bring news.

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Jun 11
By Matt Gander In Blog 3 Comments

Microsoft didn’t so much pull a rabbit out of the hat for their E3 conference, but rather a whole warren’s worth of them – the return of franchises new and old, and surprises galore.

Apart from a short SmartGlass demo, the conference was solely about software and began in the best possible fashion – in-game footage of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, which showed of Konami’s new FOX engine with style. Snake’s latest has been revealed to be an open world affair, set in a very sand environment presumed to be Afghanistan. Snake makes his appearance riding a horse – which thus lead to Red Dead Redemption comparisons – with other modes of travel including tanks and jeeps. The demo ended by revealing a line-up of new characters, including Skullface – a ghost sniper.


The next announcement was rather unexpected – a new model of Xbox 360 is being released today across the US, Canada, UK, Ireland and Australia. The sleeker new design is intended to resemble that of the Xbox One, but it won’t cost any less than the current model. Three different “editions” are being released – 4GB, 250GB, and a 4GB Kinect bundle.

Sticking with announcements for the current Xbox, Xbox Live gold members will receive two free full game downloads a month from 1st July until 31st December. This would appear to be a knee-jerk reaction to PlayStation Plus, which has proven to be more than slightly popular. The first two confirmed freebies have been aren’t exactly the freshest of faces – Assassin’s Creed 2 and Halo 3 – but decent titles nevertheless.

Xbox Live gold members will receive two free full game downloads a month from 1st July

Fable III is also available for free, this month only. Eagle-eyed gamers spotted this early this morning, where upon first glance it was understandably thought to be a glitch. It’s about time Microsoft gave gamers a little bit back in return for their subscriptions, especially seeing that countless adverts are creeping onto the Xbox dashboard.

The freebies don’t end there – global hit World of Tanks is coming to Xbox 360 as a free to play title, albeit for gold members only. We very much doubt this is because Tank! Tank! Tank! is now a free download over on the Wii U eShop.

Next IP was revealed next. Well, kind of – it was kept very quiet that 2D platformer Max and the Cursed Brotherhood is sequel of sorts to the not very popular Wii/DS game Max and the Magic Marker. The next game on show couldn’t be any more different – Dark Souls II. Production values look significantly higher than the last Dark Souls, although we’re still slightly anxious about the new casual approach.

The next demo bore resemblance to Saving Private Ryan’s famous beech landing scene. Quite amazing seeing that Ryse is set in ancient Rome, without even a rife or gun in sight. When Crytek’s Ryse was first unveiled it was destined for the Kinect, but with Kinect sales on the decline it has now been shifted over to Xbox One and gained joypad controls along the way. Visually it looks impressive, with a very cinematic look to the presentation, but the amount of button-bashing QTEs was rather worrying.

Panzer Dragoon’s spiritual successor Crimson Dragon has made a jump from Kinect to Kinect 2.0 also, making an appearance much later on in the conference.

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