Homefront
Jul 01
By Matt Gander In Most Played No Comments

Even though it’s hardly the freshest game around (six weeks old to this day, no less), I was still considering giving Homefront: The Revolution the review treatment. It had something of a muted launch, and once the reviews arrived – resulting in a 49% Metacritic on both Xbox One and PS4 – it swiftly vanished into thin air. Nobody has even felt inclined to champion the few things it does well.

The decision not to review Homefront was an easy one to make – approximately 15 hours in I hit a game breaking bug, and subsequently spent an entire evening reloading old saves and trying other methods to find a workaround. With no luck whatsoever, it came pretty clear that a review was out of the question.

I’d encountered several glitches before this point, all of which were easy to look past. Quite amusing glitches, to be fair – NPCs trying to walk through closed doors, floating spades, enemies carrying invisible guns etc. The game breaking bug I encountered however was no laughing matter; just as I was starting to get into the storyline and had grasped the developer’s unrefined ways of doing things, that enjoyment came to an end. What should have been a simple mission to head into a ruined apartment to locate some schematics, resulted in searching Google some thirty minutes later to find out what the hell I was supposed to be doing. Incidentally, it appears i’m not the only one scratching my head here – others have been left stumped too.

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See, the schematics aren’t located in a draw or similar but are instead hidden in a ceiling panel marked with an X. To make things even more confusing, the panel apparently changes at random. After shooting all four marked panels, the schematics were still nowhere to be seen. I reloaded saves, killed myself, attempted to fast-travel back to completed zones but to no avail. After some reloads the ceiling panels would still be intact, while other times they’d be hanging loose. It was a mess, basically.

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Techno
Jun 29
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

We’ll start this round-up with The Technomancer, as it seems that the post-apocalyptic RPG has flown under the radar. Not that it sounds like you’ll be missing much – like Spider’s Bound by Flame before it, reviews suggest that it’s a barely above average affair.

“Somewhere below The Technomancer’s drab grey and brown sand is a solid action-RPG, but it’s buried deep beneath dull player characters, cliched NPCs, boring busy-work missions and a general lack of imagination or identity” said God is a Geek before handing out a 5/10. The SixthAxis and Push Square also dished out middling review scores, as did IGN.

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LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens meanwhile arrives to 7/10s from VideoGamer and GameSpot, an 8.5 from GameInformer and a lofty 9.0 from IGN. “The story is great, the levels are dense with fun puzzles, and unlocking all of the secrets is a blast” beemed their rather enthusiastic reviewer.

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Jun 29
By Matt Gander In Retro No Comments

When it comes to Ghostbusters games a few instantly spring to mind. Activision’s original movie tie-in from 1984 is likely to be well-remembered as it ended up being released on just about every format from the ‘80s. Even the humble Atari 2600 saw a conversion.

That game spawned a run-and-gun sequel, which while wasn’t as popular as the original, hasn’t made this list. Neither has SEGA’s Mega Drive Ghostbusters platformer, which was an early release for the then fledgling format. Of course, we can’t count Atari’s multi-format 2009 Ghostbusters game either – a game with a script so witty that fans often refer to it as the Ghostbusters 3 movie we sadly never received.

The games below are scarcely known due to various reasons. Some were PAL only, one was a lazy reskin while another arrived so late in a system’s life that it didn’t stand a ghost of a chance. Let’s heat’em up!

The Real Ghostbusters – Arcade/Multi

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Konami’s arcade games based on the X-Men, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Simpsons are much loved classics. Filled with references from their source material, they captured the spirit (no pun intended) of the cartoons of which they were based.

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Developed by Data East in 1987, this ten stage top-down shooter is the complete opposite. Visuals were small and weedy, lacking appeal, while backdrops were equally drab. Even the four playable characters failed to resemble the cartoon’s cast – Slimer (used here as a power-up) is the only recognisable star. The result is a game that’s as dreary as its colour palate.

The Ghostbusters HQ is another example of the game’s vapidness, appearing to be made entirely out of sand.

Over in Japan it was released under the guise of Meikyū Hunter G and all traces of the license were removed. This may explain why only generic ghouls and ghosts feature, rather than the likes of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. A release for computers was eventually secured via Activision, arriving on the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum in 1989. The developers of these versions added faithful renditions of the Ghostbusters theme tune, along with new artwork for the loading screens.

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Jun 27
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

Hot on the heels of last week’s double whammy of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE and Mario & Sonic: Rio 2016 comes another Wii U big hitter – LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

According to both Amazon and GAME, the physical release of TT Games’ latest blockbuster isn’t due out until 5th July, so those looking to take down Kylo Ren this week have just one option – go digital. It’s your only hope.

The eShop price has been set at £39.99, with a release date of 28th June. The 3DS version meanwhile will set you back £29.99. Although it’s likely to be a safe purchase, the Wii U LEGO games are known to be slightly more glitchy than on other formats. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the belated physical release can be pre-ordered for around a tenner less than its digital counterpart.

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The Wii U also gets a surprise release of Ziggurat (£12.00), a first-person dungeon crawler that gained a cult following upon debut. The PS4 and Xbox One versions arrived to a mixture of 7s and 8s, and so unless something horrid has happened while en route to Wii U, we reckon it’ll be worth investigating.

Also on Wii U this week: physics-based puzzler Midnight 2 (£1.79), a demo of Runbow, Hyrule Warriors: Legends of Hyrule Pack (£8.99 for Wii U only season pass or £15.29 with 3DS season pass), Hyrule Warriors: Character Pack (£10.79), and the Hyrule Warriors: Link’s Awakening Pack (£4.49 or part of Legends of Hyrule Pack).

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RocketT
Jun 27
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Considering the usually quiet season of summer is upon us, it’s somewhat surprising to find that five new releases have made the UK top 40 this week.

Before we rattle them off, let’s cover the top five. For a second week running DOOM takes the top spot, followed by the recently discounted FIFA 16 at #2.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End holds onto #3, Overwatch drops to #4 and then at #5 it’s good old GTA V.

At #6 it’s the highest new arrival – the physical release of the indie smash Rocket League.

The next new entry is the Wii U exclusive Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE at #18.

Then at #23 it’s the ravishing remaster Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir, the PS Vita iteration of which takes #1 in the PS Vita chart.

At #30 we find Mario & Sonic: Rio 2016 Olympic Games, shortly followed by the allegedly terrible Dino Dini’s Kick Off Revival at #37.

Mighty No. 9 didn’t get a top 40 look in at all, breaking only the Wii U chart at #7.

PacMan256
Jun 24
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

In the words of Bruce Forsyth (and later Joe Pasquale), the price is right. You certainly wouldn’t want to pay more than £3.99 for this mobile conversion – it’s a no-thrills package, that hasn’t seen any major enhancements other than a new four-player mode. Well, that and the removal of in-app purchases.

Thank Pac for that.

Due to their heavily stylised nature, we can live with the fact that the graphics haven’t been improved, but the lack of music strikes us as a very peculiar omission. Remember that compelling, pulsating, soundtrack that featured in the wonderful Pac-Man Championship Edition? Here, there’s a short remix of the classic theme-tune on the title screen, and after that you’re left only with Pac-Man’s infamous ‘Wakka wakka’ noise to tap your toes to. It’s really quite odd.

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Being a mobile game originally, the game’s structure feels rather out of place on console too. It’s a score chaser like granddaddy arcade Pac-Man, only now an assortment of power-ups are drip-fed to keep players hooked, all of which can be upgraded to improve chances of survival. On mobile, you could pay to (potentially) win. With IAPs removed it’s now a sheer case of focusing on completing challenges in order to acquire enough upgrade points to max out power-ups. Upgrades start off cheap, rising to the point where they become several games apart. “Free” gifts do thankfully speed up this process, while also serving as an unwelcome reminder of the game’s roots.

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Umbrella Corps
Jun 22
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

With over 20 new games either out now or imminently, it’s a very busy week for new releases. In the words of just about every YouTuber ever, let’s get straight into it.

We’ll start with the Wii U first, as the system sees four new retail releases – an unprecedented amount, considering we usually see just one or two a month. J-Pop infused JRPG Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is the big one, which has gained a thumbs up from Eurogamer since penning our weekly eShop round-up. “I don’t know if I’d recommend it to anyone who isn’t already a fan of all things Japanese, but for those of you who are, you’re likely to find a very good time” they said.

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Those remaining three are Terraria – which is set to retail at around £20 – the allegedly mediocre Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Mighty No. 9. The Wii U’s digital release of Mighty No.9 was something of a shambles, with reports of glitches galore. A patch went live yesterday, which the developers claim will fix these issues. Consider us skeptical.

Sadly, it has an abundance of faults that’ll never be fixed – Mighty No. 9’s reviews are mostly around the 5/10 mark, due to mixture of poor design choices, low production values and lack of direction. The Xbox 360 version has been hit by a delay, incidentally, while the handheld iterations still have no firm release date whatsoever.

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Jun 20
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

Here’s something we didn’t expect, especially with summer now upon us: it’s a ridiculously busy week for Wii U and 3DS releases, both on the eShop and at bricks and mortar.

How busy, you ask? The Wii U alone has four retail releases lined-up – roughly the same amount due between July and the end of the year. Indeed, the pickings look mighty slim after LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens launches. We’re planning to write a few words about this sordid state of affairs soon.

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In addition to arriving at retail, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, Mario & Sonic at the 2016 Rio Olympics Games, Mighty No. 9 also hit the Wii U eShop this week. That leaves us with the belated retail release of Terraria, which was released digitally some time ago.

At £49.99, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE – a JRPG with a J-Pop twist – is arriving at a price higher than anticipated. At the time of typing EDGE is the only outlet to review the Shin Megami Tensei/Fire Emblem crossover, where it garnered a solid 7. More reviews will doubtlessly be available before Friday’s launch, and we’ll squeeze in a few choice cuts during this week’s new release round-up. Several pieces of DLC are due Friday too, including the Atlus Collaboration Costume Set for £1.79.

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