Monthly Archives: September 2009



So there I was, about to have a rummage around a tomb when the quartet of giant moths that I’d been running away from finally managed to catch up with me. Suddenly I heard a voice. “Don’t worry, I’ll help you!” yelled a nearby farmhand. I knew that his attempts to kill the moths would be futile so I sat back and watched him get stung and clawed to death. And then I went and raided his corpse and stole his weapon, before vanishing into the tomb to carry on my pilfering spree.

It’s during the unscripted events like this which Risen really shines, which is slightly ironic given how dull and washed-out the visuals are. I can’t vouch for the PC version but on Xbox 360 it looks like a fuzzy old PlayStation 2 game at times. If you’re expecting blistering combat then you’ll also be disappointed. The politest thing I can say about the combat system is that it’s simplistic, being merely a case of standing in front of an enemy and bashing the A button. A lock-on function would have been a massive help as if you aren’t standing exactly in front of a foe then your blows won’t register, and if an enemy sidesteps it takes ages to swing the camera around which leaves you open to attack.

You do get the impression though that developers Piranha Bites simply wanted to create an interesting, living and coherent island that’ll take weeks to explore And if that really was their aim, then they’ve succeeded – the island is genuinely exciting to travel around, with caves, crypts, and abandoned buildings to discover and countless people needing your help.

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Go! Go! Halo!

UK Charts Another week, another new #1. This time it’s the less than full price Halo 3: ODST. Chart Track says it hasn’t sold as many copies has Halo 3 did – which was released exactly this week two years ago –...
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Spies Like Us

This Week’s Games You can count the amount of spy related games out today on no less than three fingers. There’s the better than expected MySims Agents on Wii and DS, Capcom’s mediocre Spyborgs on Wii and the smashing Professor Layton and...
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Section 8


In the world of videogames timing is crucial. Not just attacking an opponent at the right time to cause maximum damage but also where releasing games is concerned. SouthPeak managed to get this out of the door barely two weeks before Halo 3: ODST – the sequel to the most played games on the Xbox 360. Had it come after, I doubt it would have even managed to get into the top 40 chart at all.

The plot and setting is your typical sci-fi affair involving two factions waging war on distant planets. What this really boils down to is two teams of up to sixteen players competing to reach a score of 1000. How you contribute to a victory though up to you. A kill is only worth 5 points whereas capturing bases and destroying gun turrets will earn you twice as much. The real big earners are gained from completing the missions that randomly commence such as escorting convoys, killing (or protecting) VIPs and the like.

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UK Charts After just one week at #1 Guitar Hero 5 has been forced off the top spot of the UK top 40 chart. Need for Speed: Shift is the game to do so, with the PlayStation 3 version selling the most...
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Kirby Sucks

This Week’s Games Xbox 360 owners might be jealous that Katamari Forever is released on PlayStation 3 this week but they really shouldn’t feel green – they’ve already had an exclusive Katamari game in the form of Beautiful Katamari. Game are asking...
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Rub it out and start again

If Eurogamer’s 7/10 review is to go by then Scribblenauts falls slightly short of reaching the level of quality of Nintendo’s own DS outputs. Personally I’m going to wait and see what NGamer Magazine says before I open my wallet. But at...
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Disney Pixar’s Up


This movie tie-in isn’t the first videogame to feature an OAP as a playable character (I’m guessing that Supergran on the Spectrum has that honour) but it’s quite possibly the first Xbox 360 game to do so. Worry not – this isn’t about shuffling down the shops to buy a new pair of slippers and a bag of Werther’s Originals. It’s actually about a retired balloon salesman who ties thousands of balloons to his house and sails off to a tropical island, unknowingly taking a boy scout along for the ride.

What we have here is ten levels of Lego Star Wars inspired platform adventuring with a couple of “My First Flight Sim” airborne combat battles. For 90% of the game you play as Carl and Russell, swapping between the two at the press of a button to use their skills accordingly to progress. Carl can use his cane to push heavy objects and scare off bats with his faulty hearing aid; Russell can shimmy along ledges and cut through vines and spider webs with his keys. The third playable character is Dug the dog who can crawl through small gaps. And pilot a bi-plane.

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