Rise of the Tomb Raider, PS4 Review

untitled20 years with Lara? Sounds like a long time for a cultural icon that is right up there with Mario and Sonic as somebody your grannie would recognise. The PS4 version of Rise of the Tomb Raider is 12 months behind the Xbox and PC versions thanks to some silly men in big suits with big money. However the upshot is that the PS4 gets the game bundled with a whole heap of bargain.

Touted as the 20 Year Celebration version, RotTR comes bundled with a few new modes and all the DLC that accompanied the season pass, which is nice. Not forgetting a pleasant stroll around Croft Manor in VR, should you be lucky enough to own such a device.

Picking up the narrative and character arc from the excellent Tomb Raider reboot from three years ago we find ourselves guiding Lara through a snowy Siberian adventure, tussling with the mysterious goons of the mysterious Trinity as she races to Raid some Tombs and seek out the Lost City of Kitezh.

Its not about the goal, its about the journey.

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skylander_logoReady, Set, Create! Skylanders® Imaginators is now available at major retailers worldwide from Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI). For the first time, Portal Masters can create their own Skylanders, designing the wildest Skylanders imaginable including customising appearance, powers, abilities, names, catchphrases, musical themes and much more. Fans will also enjoy Crash Bandicoot and Dr. Neo Cortex as guest star Skylanders, as well as a new mobile app Skylanders™ Creator and the upcoming Netflix original series, Skylanders Academy.

sky_im04Developed by Toys For Bob, Skylanders Imaginators empowers players to unleash their imaginations and bring their creations to life in an all-new adventure with puzzles, battles, a compelling storyline and new line-up of heroes and villains.  As part of the Creation Celebration, fans who purchase a Skylanders Imaginators Starter Pack at selected retailers nationwide will receive a fully-playable Kaos toy for free.  Offer while stocks last.

“This year, we’re letting fans create the magic of Skylanders by giving them the power to express their imaginations in ways never before possible,” said Josh Taub, senior vice president, Skylanders at Activision Publishing. “Skylanders encompasses an award-winning videogame franchise, top toy property and now a new television series Skylanders Academy from Netflix. We’re proud that we’ve created a beloved franchise that has touched fans lives worldwide in so many ways.” Continue reading

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XCOM2, PS4 Review

XCOM2_packXCOM, a marvel of a franchise with a pedigree that has followed me for over 20 years, in fact there has probably not been a platform where I haven’t played an XCOM related title. Firaxis blew us away a few years ago with their XCOM reboot and having played it to death on Xbox360, PS3, iPad and PSVita I’m ready for a new challenge.

XCOM2 pitches you back into the fray 20 years after the first game, yes you won, but the aliens still had their claws into the world. Taking on the mantle of Commander again it is your mission to lead a guerrilla resistance building up a network of interdiction, desperately trying to overthrow the aliens and their sham world government Advent. It’s like being in V, only cooler.

XCOM2, is big, brutal and very beautiful. I’ll go out on a limb right now, I’ve not finished it and I won’t finish it quickly – then when I do I’ll be replaying the dickens out of it. XCOM2 is as near a perfect game (for me) as I will encounter this year.


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NBA 2K17, Xbox One Review


So, another year has passed and here we have the next NBA 2K coming our way. This year we have, um, Paul George on the cover. I know this because his name is also there. He plays for the Pacers, I know this because it is on his shirt. And I think his left elbow gives him trouble. Other than that, never heard of him. Makes me wonder why 2K don’t regionalise covers like the old Rugby games.

Chuck Steven Adams on the cover down here in New Zealand and I bet sales would go up. Surely there is top NBA players from most regions of the world to make this viable and even profitable for 2K. Just remember to send me a cheque from the increased profits.

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XCOM 2 – Launch Trailer

XCOM® 2 Available Now on PS4™ and Xbox One

 Join the resistance and reclaim Earth from alien rule

 Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #XCOM2

Sydney, Australia – September 29, 2016 – 2K and Firaxis Games announced today that XCOM® 2, the sequel to the Game of the Year* award-winning strategy title, is available now in Australia and New Zealand for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, and Xbox One.

“Firaxis took the XCOM franchise to a whole new level with XCOM 2’s epic story and replayability, making it the most thrilling game in the series,” said Sarah Anderson, Senior Vice President of Marketing at 2K. “We’re pleased to now bring that experience to gamers on PS4™ system and Xbox One.”

In XCOM 2, humanity had lost the war against the alien threat that established a new world order on Earth. XCOM, formerly a secret paramilitary organization, is largely forgotten and must strike back from the shadows to reclaim Earth from the aliens’ rule and free mankind from their evil plans.

 XCOM 2 is rated ‘MA15+’ in Australia and ‘R13’ in New Zealand and is now available for the PlayStation®4 system, and Xbox One, for AUD$69.95/NZD$79.95. XCOM 2 is also available for Windows PC, Mac and Linux by Feral Interactive. For more information, please visit www.XCOM.com, become a fan on Facebook, follow the game on Twitter or subscribe to XCOM on YouTube.

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EB EXPO 16, LiveBlog

logo_eb2016It’s 2016 and we embark once more to Sydney’s Olympic Park (maybe Brisbane next year guys?).

This should be an interesting collection of thoughts as the day goes by in a blurry exhausted haze.

Remember to read from the bottom up.



Skylanders Imaginators, making amends.


Had a play with Imaginators and while it may just another Skylanders game it is fair to say that they are bringing something really new this year.

Forgetting the vehicles of Superchargers, Imaginators lets you build your own Skylanders from hundreds of options.

So, the traditional figures are pretty much bunk. Time to throw Creation Crystals into the mix, but here’s the rub. Once you create a character it’s pretty much locked to that crystal, some people won’t like it, but I don’t mind. It makes you think about the strategy of building your ultimate Skylander and probably being priced around. .99 cheaper than the figures of 2015.

The crystals are elemental based and give access to base body types, then you can dress them up with unlockable skins and weapons. I like the system, it’s breathing life into the franchise. There will be Sensei figures that will add upgrades and experience to your creations, so there is still the need to gather some of the new batch plus you will be able to introduce your old characters too.

After that it’s a classic Skylands adventure, platform and smash and level up, with a few experience earning gizmos thrown in. In fact the selfie mode is more appealing than the Dead Rising one.

Back to Skylands? Yes please, sign me up.

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Driveclub VR hands on.

PlayStation Stand EBExpo16

Ok, managed to get into a quiet slot and jump behind the wheel of some Driveclub VR and it was awesome.

The depth of field is nice with a floaty 3D effect, the response time of the visor to the screen is good enough. Not forgetting this is a mass market product for the home. And the immersion just got me straight off the bat.

The race started and I was driving, really driving, while the VR and sound did a lot for that you have to credit the steering wheel and force feedback with som of it. Regardless, I’m so in – even with a minor problem. I am somewhat myopic and not wearing glasses with VR doesn’t work for me. As such my varifocals struggled to keep everything in focus, I may have to resort to contacts and that’s my excuse for hitting a few walls, even if I did manage to bash my way to the front and win.

VR 10 mins in? Yes please.

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Hands on with Steep.


Steep is a mountainous playground for thrill seekers in the snow.

What more do you need, the demo offered all types of the 4 sports on offer. Controls are pretty intuitive and the visuals are really quite breathtaking, if a little white.

I jumped onto a snowboard eager to relive some1080 style skills, which almost got there, but ended up being more of a Snowboard Kids wipeout.

I might not manage being the fastest on the snow, but love the Wingsuit and Paragliding for some nice views.

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So, Phil Spencer the actual Head of Xbox came to Sydney and addressed the crowd. I have to admit initial scepticism, but the man sells a genuine story his focus is the community and exploring the best future for his brand.

I have to say I was won over by his no nonsense approach along with the rest of the crowd. The message is clear Xbox might not be launching into VR this year, but they are laying the foundations for the future.

The line up of recent and future games looks strong, Forza started the session along to the tune of “I don’t want to fall in love” – the game obviously has other ideas. It’s stunning and the social aspects or Blueprints that were demoed are a step up.

Follow that with an enthused showing of Dead Rising 4, even though it’s hard to forget the failings of the series back in my 360 days.

Gears of War looked shiny and exciting, returning to an older Marcus is the draw for me, but being without Xbox – it can likely wait.

As for the hardware, the recently released XboxS looks very nice in the flesh, more compact and sexy. However the chat was all about the Scorpio which will be raising the bar come 2017.

Now, where’s mister Spencer – I need to ask for an Xbox handheld…

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Popping Corn Theatre
Phil Spencer and Xbox presentation – imminent.

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Farming Sim

Strangely quiet over here….

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Hands on with Tombraider PS4.

Yes it’s been on the XB for a year, but this is the first time I have had a play and it look terrific. The weather effects (I was in a blizzard) are top notch and it feels very familiar to the recent reboot, amongst other third person leaping adventures.

My only concern after 5 minutes was Lara’s relentless internal monologue…

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PlayStation Stand EBExpo16

It’s been a long day so far, waking late and racing for a plan, 4 trains and now an hour into the show. I need coffee and bacon STAT.

First impressions, the show is loud and full of hands-on experiences as usual, but exhibitors do seem a touch thin on the ground. Sony have the majority of real estate with a heap of VR hands-on and queues to match, not forgetting CoD and Skylanders, as they brought Activision and partnered with Warner too.

With Battlefield 1 weeks away the absence of EA is noticeable, Ubisoft and Xbox have hefty stands while Namco/Square and 2k are present. 2K with their Mafia 3 inspired movie theatre.

Bethesda have a big Dishonored 2 showing, More on that later.

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