XBOX ONESIE – Yes, it’s for real and I kind of want one.

Not content with offering the ultimate entertainment and gaming access via the new Xbox One S console, available in 500GB and 1TB versions from today, the team at Xbox Australia has now turned its hand to the world of fashion design, working with some of the country’s biggest film, TV, gaming and sports fans to release their first collection known simply as the ‘Xbox Onesie’. Continue reading

A day in the life of the #EBExpo15 (live-ish-blog)

EBLOGO2015It’s time for the annual mission to Sydney, an early start followed by a redeye flight, a few hours on the show floor and time to chat with some like minded people while poring over this years exciting new releases.

The plan is to hit this post up with a story of the day, so let’s see how it goes.

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2 Weeks and counting… #EBEXPO

EBLOGO2015Just under two weeks before the doors are flung open at Sydney’s Olympic Centre for EB Games and their now annual extravaganza. We might not have an event of E3 calibre, but its a great way to give the industry a pre-xmas hype right on the cusp of Silly Season, also known as the October to November release window.

With hands-on demos galore and the chance to spend time with the occasional developer the show is well worth a visit for anybody remotely interested in seeing what’s around the corner.

Latest press release follows and a few appetite whetting videos.

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Valiant Hearts Review (Xbox One)

VH_packNext year it will be 100 years since the horrors of The Great War took place across Europe. Over 9 million combatants dead. And did the world learn from this? Nope, 20 years later we organised a sequel! Bloody mankind, you have to wonder sometimes.

Anyway, after the slew of games based on the horrific events of war comes Valiant Hearts. A side scrolling puzzler with a leaning to actually teach players historically accurate facts, while enjoying a great game in the freedom and safety given to you by the men and women who were killed in the war.

Lest We Forget. Continue reading

July, August – round up.

Its been a modest while since the last review post here and I can only apologise, its been a funny few weeks. The site has been besieged by intermittent service issues that are now resolved, the release and hype calendar seemed to have a big hole in and there were some personal writing projects to attend to that took priority.

However, it’s September already! Time to look back at the reviews that never actually made it to the site. Continue reading

Sacred Citadel Review (PC)

As a self proclaimed hero of less favourable RPGs Barrie’s on a mission to a Sacred Citadel.

Anyone who knows me will attest to my love of Role Playing Games, even ones that don’t get much love from the general public. Now the Sacred series has been no different, I think I have owned all versions of the original Sacred right through to the ‘Gold’ release, and Sacred 2 on the Xbox 360 is one game I have been meaning to return to for a while. And now with the up coming Sacred 3 not too far away SouthEnd Interactive and Deep Silver have delivered us Sacred Citadel, a prequel of sorts for Sacred 3. But beware, this side scrolling action game is a far cry from the Sacred games you may have played in the past. Bad for RPG fans wanting a fix back in Ancaria, but good for anyone who is looking for a ‘Golden Axe’ style brawler. Continue reading

The Cave Review, XBLA – Chris Leggett

“Chris Leggett “our man in Seattle”, tries his hand at some Doublefine spelunking in The Cave.”

Point-and-click adventure games have fallen from favour somewhat, largely owing to their reliance on a seemingly archaic control interface. One of adventure-gaming’s great minds, Ron Gilbert (Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion), has attempted to apply a more modern framework to the genre’s trademark puzzle-laden foundations in The Cave.

Set in a talking cave that also – bizarrely and humorously – serves as the game’s narrator, The Cave tells the tale of seven adventurers from different walks of life and even different periods in history. These interesting and varied characters (from which the player must select three) seek the cave’s secrets to learn about themselves and who they will become. What’s particularly amusing is that the player also learns a great deal about each of them as their stories progress. There’s a certain dark humour at play, and things are almost never as they first appear…

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Guardians of Middle Earth, XBLA – Guest Reviewer

Who better to review GoME than somebody that grew up with NZ’s Hobbiton in his backyard? Chris Leggett gets stuck in.

Some genres reside almost exclusively on PC largely for control-scheme reasons. The real-time strategy (RTS), for instance, rarely strays from the realm of the mouse and keyboard. While Halo Wars made an admirable attempt to do for console RTS what Halo: Combat Evolved did for first-person shooters, it just didn’t quite get there.

But what of the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) – a genre born from player-created mods of real-time strategy games? Ironically, it turns out that, despite the failings in the translation of RTS to the humble console, this sub-genre seems to make the transition fairly well. Continue reading

Dust: An Elysian Tail, XBLA Guest Review

Kiwi ex-pat Chris Leggett takes a retro-esque spin through time with the product of a modern bedroom developer.

It’s funny how, every now and then, a new IP can evoke feelings of nostalgia. As game design marches in new directions, leaving those classic, formative styles in the dust, some developers opt to revisit and tweak the winning formulas of old.

This is true of Humble Hearts (essentially one man by the name of Dean Dodrill) and its recent XBLA game, Dust: An Elysian Tail, which layers contemporary gameplay elements atop an old-school, Metroidvania foundation to mixed results. Continue reading

Deadlight review, (xbla)

Deadlight is a beautiful game there is no way around that, the animation is fluid and the environments reek of atmosphere.

Following another zombification epidemic Deadlight takes us along for the ride with Randall Wayne, a tortured survivor seeking out his lost family. The narrative picks up as he is separated from a small group of survivors and the actual mission of the game is spent reuniting with them. Taking account of its roots the game fondly brings to mind such classics as Flashback or Prince of Persia, a flick screen platform driven game where you navigate pretty much from left to right or occasionally up and down. Continue reading