Skylanders Imaginators, PS4 Review

skylander_logoAnother year and another update to the Skylanders franchise, not something I was expecting early on in the year given that Infinity seemed to be dropping dead, Lego wasn’t flying off the shelves and Skylanders Superchargers, well, less said about that the better.

We could go into the whole Skylands is in trouble again now that Chaos has found another time bending way to be, er, nefarious. There’s not a lot of point in that really, it’s the same old thing just with a new gimmick. Last year the gimmick was vehicles, which on the face of it should have won the hearts and minds of fans everywhere. Only they didn’t, there was something annoying about Superchargers, maybe the fact that they had pretty much ignored everything Skylanders fans had worked for in Trap Team or maybe it was the lack of identity in the game that was a hodge-podge of ideas that never really gelled.

So, its 2016, Christmas is coming and its time to strap in for another run at saving Skylands. Imaginators is taking a new direction, it’s putting the player in charge of design and customisation. This is where Imaginators wins, big time.

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NBA 2K17, Xbox One Review

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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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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.

 

17.33

Skylanders Imaginators, making amends.

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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.

15.43

Driveclub VR hands on.

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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.

14.20

Hands on with Steep.

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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.

14.12

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…

10.39

Popping Corn Theatre
Phil Spencer and Xbox presentation – imminent.

10.02

Farming Sim

Strangely quiet over here….

09.56

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…

09.54

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.

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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Destiny: The Taken King – Launch Trailer

I for one have been looking forward to getting a bit of Destiny mojo going again and this Led Zeppelin backed live action launch trailer is pushing me along.

You killed his son. Now Oryx, The Taken King, wants revenge. Gather your Fireteam and take on the greatest threat this universe has seen with Destiny: The Taken King.

Blurb about the video follows… Continue reading

Resident Evil – Revelations 2 Review (Xbox One)

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I have to admit to not being a fan of episodic releases, no real reason, other than hating the fact of having to stop playing because the developer says so. Thankfully all the episodes for Resident Evil Revelations 2 were released in a timely manner and are available as a full download and complete pack on disk as well.

The make up of Resident Evil Revelations 2 is four regular episodes and two special episodes, all of which can be finished of in around two hours each. The first episode does include Raid Mode, a timed challenge style game, which has some great replayability to thankfully increase the gaming you will get out of the package as a whole.

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Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor – The Bright Lord DLC

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It’s time to send Guy back, back to Mordor, in the land of darkness where shadows lie…

Shadow of Mordor was my game of the year for 2014, and the latest batch of DLC is full of the Uruk slayin goodness I love.

‘The Bright Lord’ is its own self-contained Campaign which focuses on the back story of Celebrimbor, the Elvin Wraith who later, in the main game gives Talion his supernatural abilities.  He has Saurons ‘Ring Of Power’ and must use it to ‘brand’ all of Saurons Uruk so they will help him seek vengeance on the dark lord.

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Assassin’s Creed Rogue Review (Xbox 360)

AC Rogue - BoxThe Assassin’s Creed franchise has become a regular and well known release over the last few years. Admittedly there has been a few average titles but overall this has been one franchise you can count on to give you some top notch gaming time.

The most recent releases were split with Assassin’s Creed Unity going to the latest generation of consoles and Assassin’s Creed Rogue going to the last generation of machines. Like anyone with systems from both generations, I am always keen to get titles on the new one over the old one, but this time it seems fate dealt me a good hand in the form of the highly polished, and stable, Assassin’s Creed Rogue. Even if it is a bit of a ‘been there, done that’ experience. You don’t stop drinking beer just because you have had one before, do you?

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