Recent Posts (Page 5)

  • 15 Stalkers There to Make Your Life Hell, Part 2

    Day two of stalking and here’s the crack team of monsters that come from a nightmarish world. So lets cut to the chase and start with …

    7) Resident Evil: Outbreak – Leech Man

    The Resident Evil series has a number of different stalker creatures though for the most part they all seem to be Tyrant clones.

    Leech Man makes the list not because he’s different but because of his nasty habit of picking on the wounded. His only appearance was in the largely forgotten Outbreak series, an attempt at online play where you and two others had to tackle various scenarios, in this case The Hive chapter. 

    Calling him a man might be going a little too far as it was really a mass of leeches but he/it sure knew how to make your life hell.

    While he would drop in through the vents whenever he pleased, anyone with a bleeding wound would draw his attention faster than an X Factor winner disappearing into obscurity.

    Not only that, if any of your team members died in the mission then they would transform into a leech zombie which then attacks you for the entire chapter and you can’t do anything to stop it. Try solving a puzzle with a slimy monster trying to drain you of all your blood. It often doesn’t end well. (more…)

  • 15 Stalkers There to Make Your Life Hell, Part 1

    A good game has to have a challenge, so what happens when that challenge is nigh unstoppable, ever-pursuing and would like nothing more than to use your head as a crude pillow/garden ornament.

    Sometimes it might be given an axe, sometimes an axe wouldn’t hurt it at all.

    More often than not these stalkers will be the end boss, other times they are just there to add pacing and tension and in some cases giving that game an edge over its competition.

    One thing is certain: stalkers make for stressful encounters. Here are a selection of some of gaming’s finest abominations who lust for your virtual blood, with part 2 on its way tomorrow.

    15) Friday the 13th The Game (Commodore 64) – Jason

    First we start with a horror icon. Jason, well known for his love of killing lusty teens, had in the height of his popularity a lot of merchandise to offload. Naturally with the source material being a sub-standard Halloween clone, the Friday the 13th game for the Commodore 64 wasn’t that good. Jason looked like a guy in a business suit and the areas you roamed lacked character.

    However the concept was good. You play a camper who’s task is to find and kill Jason. The catch? He’s disguised as one of the other campers and is going around killing other campers and will occasionally make attempts on you.

    The problem? Short of stumbling onto Jason murdering another camper the best way to find him was to slaughter the other campers yourself, ironically adopting the role of a serial killer. Jason makes the list for introducing the idea of being hunted in-game as well as those creepy screams whenever a camper was murdered. He also proves that a game doesn’t need to be scary to be horrifying. (more…)

  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Reviewed [PC]

    There are very few recent horror games that actually go for all out scares. Around the time of Resident Evil 4 the action element took precedence over the horror resulting in hordes of undead that could easily be replaced with irate soldiers.

    Few developers understand how to provide even basic scares, whether it be Resident Evil 5’s gung-ho slaughter fest or Alone in the Dark’s sheer retarded terror (not to mention the crime of naming enemies Humanz or Vampirz).       

    Cue Amnesia: The Dark Descent, an independent game emerging from the shadows, proving that horror should have a place of honour in the halls of gaming.

    Frictional Games know what scares and what doesn’t. With Amnesia they have created a game worthy of standing up there with the likes of Silent Hill 2; something which is perfect for those dark nights alone; something which may make you develop an irrational phobia of castles.

    The formula is simple: provide a rich claustrophobic atmosphere, mix in the vulnerability of a five-year-old and sprinkle in some Lovecraftian elements for good measure.  (more…)

  • Sonic Adventure, Reviewed [PSN/XBLA]

    When asked to remember Sonic‘s greatest moments, very few of them will feature a 3D version of gamings most iconic hedgehog. In fact, the only 3D entry in the long running series any fan would even consider mentioning is Dreamcast best-seller Sonic Adventure. Seen as a technical marvel back in the late 90s, can the game achieve the same accolade 12 years later?

    Not a true port of the original game, Sonic Adventure for the Playstation Network or Xbox Live Arcade is instead a remake of the Gamecube version, retaining the additional gameplay tweaks found in this Nintendo version of the game. Though this may seem like a good thing, once you get started, you notice just how broken the mechanics of Adventure have become over the past 12 years, the overriding factor in the score you see below. In short, Sonic Adventure is near unplayable on the HD consoles.

    That’s not to say the game here isn’t the same vibrant and colourful SEGA world that fans have spent years loving, when it works, Adventure still features the best 3D gameplay the hedghog has ever seen. As is customary with the series, when Sonic moves fast, the game improves, and when you traverse the complicated loops and highways that make up a standard stage you can have a lot of fun. That said, the ‘adventure’ side of the experience is once again hampered by control issues, You find yourself fighting to get out of corners, and making sonic run around in the now dated city environments the game includes.

    It’s a shame too that the game’s visuals haven’t been updated too as while back on Dreamcast the sunny beaches and city skylines looked impressive, in HD on your PS3 it can look much much older than it actually is-the ugly blue bars either side of the 4:3 window only adding to the problem. And therein lies the game’s main issue. If you are a Sonic fan looking for the purest 3D sonic experience possible, looking past these graphics is least of your issues. The port is just as, if not more broken than the more recent titles in the series, namely Sonic Unleashed, and so picking between the two is much easier than it should be.

    There is very little reason to play Sonic Adventure on your PS3 or Xbox 360, a real shame given the pedigree of the original release. wait for Sonic 4 Part 1 instead.

    [Rating: 2/5]

  • Left 4 Dead The Sacrifice DLC, Reviewed [360, PC]

    After a month of comics, trailers and an attempt at a week of rolling updates two things were evident. First, the Left 4 Dead team shouldn’t try and mimic the Team Fortress tradition of teasing content each day mixed with humour as it simply doesn’t work with a game that is serious.

    Second is that the combo of the comic and the downloadable content does work, so well in fact that to fully understand the DLC it is probably best that you read them. Without it questions such as why are they turning up in an armoured train or why Bill is willing to kill himself to raise a bridge never get answered.

    By having the comic deal with the story this campaign feels more focused in terms of gameplay which in turn leads to a map that is unlike anything experienced before.

    It is the same formula of getting from saferoom to saferoom but the journey there is an excellent affair forcing you through abandoned brick mills, docks and refuse heaps all just to survive. One minute you could be in a wide open area with a sea view, the next in a dark warehouse filled with twisting corridors steeped in shadows cloaking the infected. (more…)

  • Dreamworks Wants to Make ‘Halo’ Movie. Success?

    Sources have told New York Magazine’s online Vulture column that the success of Halo: Reach has sparked DreamWorks’ interest in making a Halo movie. Microsoft’s involvement is obviously the key factor in this case, with Bungie now out of the IP-holding picture.

    Which means Steven Spielberg’s potential involvement. After seeing the latest Indiana Jones movie, you can call that a good or a bad thing.

    Might it finally, finally happen? It would be nice in the right hands and hopefully it can be spun off into a TV series.

  • Are You Man Enough For The TF2 Mann-conomy Update?

    Saxton Hale doesn’t do half measures. Between hippie beating and aerial battles with endangered species he doesn’t have the time to prolong weapon releases, so when given five class packs to release he’ll make damn sure they’ll burst onto your screen like a sack of angry tomcats. And behold the glorious chaos.

    Servers are flooded with people demanding to know how to make the new weapons, the average forum thread stays on the first page for seconds before it’s buried, TF2 wiki is down for the count. 

    So just what can you do with this new update aside from troll? For starters it introduces the Mann Co. store, a useful tool for the impatient or those who don’t spend long enough online to gather enough random items. Ranging from 29 pence to £29.99 (the entire polycount pack), you can buy any Valve or community item that is available in-game (with a few exceptions like the Gentle Mann’s medal etc).

    Weapons you could buy include the Holy Mackeral (a fish wrapped in newspaper), the Sydney Sleeper (a jarate sniper rifle) and Your Eternal Reward (an identity stealing knife). What makes these new sets interesting is that equipping the full set provides a bonus adding a whole new tactical level to Team Fortress 2. 

    It’s not all for Valve profit. To reward the time and effort put into the creation of the community weapons their creators will receive a percentage of the money spent in store.

    You don’t have to buy these weapons. There’s a chance for random drops in addition to being able to craft the items (the list can be found here), plus there is the inclusion of the trading system, adding a whole new level of spam on servers.

    The full ins-and-outs of the new update can be found on this FAQ.

  • Borderlands Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution DLC, Reviewed [360, PC, PS3]

     

    Ever since Borderlands was released every fan has wanted to do one thing: shut those damn claptraps up. It’s rather fitting then to find that you get to do just that with the final piece of DLC, Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution. Going full circle, the game picks up on the notable ending of the original, the rise of the interplanetary ninja assassin claptrap.

    In this particular piece of content, Hyperion programme a claptrap to hunt down the vault hunters, only to be betrayed by their creation, forcing a temporary alliance with those they hunted to deal with their robot problem, all explained in an intro cutscene. And then the game just starts. 

    Of course the story isn’t developed upon while you play as the little plot there is is sidelined for its intertextual charm and supply of brilliant one liners. And guns.

    Complaining about the lack of any story developments for Borderlands though would be like complaining about that weird fiery ball that appears in the sky every day. When you play a game like this you want action and varied landscapes, except that is not the case this time round. (more…)

  • Nintendo Lowers Profit Forecast

    Nintendo today cut its profit forecast by half for their current fiscal year, ending March 31, 2011.

    The announcement came on the same day Nintendo announced pricing on the forthcoming 3DS handheld. The company previously projected a net income of $2.39 billion, but now expects to bring in about $1.08 billion.

    Nintendo claims the accounting change is due to strong yen appreciation, current sales, the sales outlook for the 2010 holiday as well as the “3DS release environment.” Despite lowering overall handheld hardware and software sales for the fiscal year, Nintendo announced they expects to ship 4 million 3DS units by March 2011, along with 15 million games.

    The shift in profit outlooks might also be because people who’ve already bought the same console four times probably don’t want to but it a fifth, even if the 3D technology on it is outstanding. Another factor could be Wii sales dropping off a cliff.

  • Nintendo 3DS Dated and Priced

    Europe and North America will be getting the 3DS sometime in March next year according to Nintendo at their press conference.

    The 3D handheld that stole the show E3 this year will be available in Japan on February 26. The Japanese model is priced at 25,000 yen which amounts to £188 or $299, though no price has been officially made yet for North America or Europe.

    A little expensive for a handheld, considering you could get a console for near enough the same price, though it does have its little features.

    Of these the inclusion of the Game Boy Virtual Console is handy, allowing you to play Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance titles.

    It also comes bundled with a 2GB SD card that can be used to transfer your Miis onto the 3DS.

    And of course there’s the Wi-Fi sleep mode game linking that downloads and compares data with any nearby 3DS consoles bringing a whole new level of social gaming.

    For those obsessed about looks, the 3DS comes in two ‘exciting’ colours at launch, “Cosmo Black” and “Aqua Blue”.

    Games available from the start include Ocarina of Time, Chocobo Racing, Ridge Racer (or should that be RIDGE RACERRRRR), Starfox 64, Professor Layton and Animal Crossing.