Call of Duty Advanced Warfare review

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare is brought to us from Sledgehammer games for their first entry in the three year cycle of the Call of Duty franchise. With the newest entry Sledgehammer games have gone out of their way to deliver an interesting first run for their time with the franchise and has honestly left me to beg the question where should you start with the game. Taking us away from the traditional spiral of boring campaigns and empty promises Sledgehammer games steps out for their time in the sun with great pride and an amazing accomplishment.

Usually Call of Duty games draw a fine line between the two key components they offer, often this comes down as an average single player campaign to play then often the usually great fun multiplayer. It is rare that the single player campaign presented in this franchise does anything more then be a small distraction you play simply because it is part of the game. I am proud to say though that the single player campaign is honestly well worth your time.

For the full review of Call of Duty Advanced Warfare please click here.

 

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Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag review

Yo Ho a pirates life for me

Assassins Creed 4 left a lot to be expected after playing through Assassins Creed 3. The previous game really was the black sheep of the entire franchise, suffering from so many issues and just overall not being much fun. It is not just me that thinks that, many a fan of the Assassins Creed franchise agree that 3 was not as good as it could have been, and that Black Flag had to be the game that redeems the franchise. While I will say that Black Flag has many issues of its own it does redeem the franchise and turns out to be a good new entry.

The first matter of business in this respect, was ensuring the main character wasn’t as boring as Haytham or Conner. The person you play as, is often very important in whether you will enjoy a game or not, that was half of Assassins Creed 3’s problem, it had pretty boring characters, for Assassins Creed 4 we see an entirely different character to what we have seen before. Edward Kenway is not out to do things for honour or even revenge, all Edward wants is money, and throughout the entire length of the story he often goes on about money and the right price, but still this doesn’t make him a bad character his dedication to the pirates and his ambitions are what help to drive the game.

For the full review of Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag click here.

 

 

 

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire demo coming overseas

Earlier this week a demo for the upcoming Pokemon remakes was announced and released in Japan and with this demo special things are going to happen that affect your full game when it releases this November. Of course when this demo was announced there was a number of people outside of Japan who were hoping this demo would arrive outside of Japan and I can officially say that it has been confirmed.

Here is all the details you need to know about the demo:

Start your next Hoenn region adventure early with a special demo version of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire. This demo features gameplay that you won’t experience anywhere else. During the course of this adventure, you’ll be surprised to encounter familiar Pokémon that can now Mega Evolve! What’s more, you can bring this Pokémon into your full Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire game. You can even bring over the reward items that you obtained during your Special Demo Version adventure. Stay tuned for details on how to bring the Pokémon and items into your full game.

You can play the Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Special Demo Version as many times as you like. Look for special scenarios that occur if you play every day.

Stay tuned for details on how to get a code that will enable you to download the Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Special Demo Version from Nintendo eShop. Don’t miss this chance to start your adventure in Hoenn and discover Mega-Evolved Pokémon you’ve never seen before!

Here’s hoping we get the details within the next week or two.

Smash Brothers for 3DS is destroying some players circle pads

3DS owners beware the upcoming Super Smash Brothers for 3DS could do more harm for your system then good. Earlier this week Super Smash Brothers for 3DS launched in Japan and as we know a lot of Japanese gamers have bought and are currently playing the game however they are currently experiencing a number issues with the 3DS. Now this isn’t to do with the systems inner workings it instead is the fact the game is doing harm to the circle pad, I believe this is a case of the stress a lot of players are putting on the system. According to reports this issue is mostly affecting the original model of 3DS, there have also been a few reports of similar things happening with the XL model, as it stands though there have been no reports about the 2DS facing the same issue. The problem the game is apparently causing is that the circle pad rubber top is being destroyed from over use or from rough play and has been disconnecting itself from the console. There have also been reports of the plastic part underneath the rubber component of the circle pad coming off also. So if you are planning on buying Super Smash Brothers on the 3DS heed caution and be as careful as possible with the circle pad while playing and don’t be to rough.

Of course it is a good thing these reports are coming out now so that we can be cautious with the game, however I also feel this could possibly hurt sales of the game because of this issue but only time will tell.

The Last of Us Remastered review

Platform: Playstation 4

Developer: Naughty Dog

Score: 10

A great game becomes even greater for the next gen

 With the Last of Us recently released on the Playstation 4 what better time then to talk about the game and share my thoughts. I will let you know before this that I am talking about the game as a whole and not just this version of the game. I know what you are most likely thinking – why should I care about the Playstation 4 version of the game when I have already played the Playstation 3 version and still own it? Is the game worth playing again on the new console? The answer to that is yes.

The story of The Last of us is a story of love and loss in a world thrown to the brink of chaos because of creatures known as the infected. This threat has made the world dangerous and has crumbled society right down to its core. Fear and evil are truly the only things that characterize this tale and the story of desperation is literally noticeable through the Last of Us. You play as Joel, who gets tasked with helping smuggle a young girl out of the city of Boston and transport her to a group known as the Fireflies. At the start of the game this seems like an easy task but things happen and the journey becomes a challenge that ties together the destinies of Joel and this young girl Ellie. These two characters that draw you into the game, as we see them struggle through their awkward relationship and go on a cross country journey. They work together to prove there is hope for a dystopian society.

The world of the Last of Us is certainly not a peaceful one. This is evident from the moment you first start properly playing, but it gets even more real as you continue to make your way through this world. You see struggles and things that truly make you think about yourself and how you would react in these characters’ situations. The world is no place for a kind heart and it is kill or be killed. For some this may be a turn off but it is in these themes that the Last of Us shines as it forces you to face your morality and carefully consider how far you are truly willing to go. This mainly comes down to a sense of responsibility you are tasked with caring for Ellie. Naughty Dog has finely crafted this idea of these two characters and their growing bond as the games main premise to urge us on even when things get tough.

For the rest of this review please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Latest issue of Coro-Coro reveals three new Mega evolutions for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire plus other details

What news is better then Pokémon news and as it is that time of the month again we have the latest details coming out of Coro-Coro. The images suggested by this month mostly relate to Mega Evolution and in fact we have three new mega evolutions confirmed for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Coming from this month we have three very exciting Pokémon confirmed as Mega Evolutions and quite frankly before we go on I must say good job to Game Freak for improving Pokémon that needed improving and also say I think the new updated designs look really cool.

So coming from Coro-Coro this month we have confirmation of Sharpedo, Gallade and Camerupt getting a mega evolution. Mega Sharpedo has the Strong Jaw ability and Mega Camerupt has the Sheer Force ability. As it also appears we will see the trainer Wally with a Mega Gallade. Good choices, don’t you agree? They are each different and what I find funnier is that now both Gardevoir and Gallade both have a mega evolution.

By a further look at Coro-Coro this month it also appears both of the title legendary Pokémon also appear to e receiving new abilities. Apparently Primal Kyogre has something to do with spouting the brand new Land of Beginnings and Groudon with Land of Endings. Both will trigger an effect known as Strong Rain and Strong Sunlight though it’s unknown what implication this will have on gameplay. I do wonder might this be how in each game we will get new areas to visit based on how these affect add to the world when they happen. This just all leaves a lot to theorize and imagine and here’s hoping we will see the reveal of more new mega evolutions such as Slaking in the future.

The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker HD review

Set Sail for a glorious HD remake.

Platform: Wii U

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Score: 9.5

Remakes are often a great thing for the gaming industry, they allow developers to provide an experience that has been previously enjoyed by many before but also fill space between major releases. A better part about these remakes is that new players get to experience the game for the first time and receive the best version of the game. Developers also get to use this chance to fix any issues that both the developers themselves and the general public had with the game and add anything that they feel could improve the game, as is the case with Wind Waker.

The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker was already an amazing game on the GameCube with plenty of features going for it that just made it fun. Arguably one of the most iconic features of Wind Waker was its presentation, the beautiful mixture presented by the cel-shaded cartoon-like characters mixed with the beauty of the cel-shaded landscape that existed upon the great sea. It was hard to believe it could get any more beautiful but yet this HD remake has added so much to the look and feel of the game. The skies and the oceans have never looked better, providing beautiful blue textures to the world. Most of the time it was almost impossible to not just stop and sweep around to look at the beauty of the world’s many islands, flowing oceans and fluffy clouds.

For the full review head over to Gameluster.com, you can find more reviews, news and opinion pieces by myself and a series of far better writers for you to read there. Or to more precise you can find the full review of this game here.

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze review

 This review was originally published on Gameluster.com on the 11th of March.

Platform: Wii U

Players: One to two

Developer: Retro Studios

Publisher: Nintendo

Score: 9.5

I must be the odd one of the Donkey Kong fan base, while many praised Donkey Kong Country Returns in 2010 on the Wii I found I couldn’t have cared less about it as I didn’t really enjoy it. In fact it has been 15 years since I last really enjoyed a Donkey Kong game and that was Donkey Kong 64. But even with that I still felt compelled to give the ape another shot and I am glad I did as Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze recaptures the magic of the older games while adding to it to create one of the best 2D platformers in a long time.

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze begins with Donkey Kong and friends Diddy, Dixie and Cranky celebrating Donkey Kong’s birthday. During this little bit everything seems at peace on DK island but as you would expect this peace is short lived as suddenly from across the water comes a new series of arctic animals which are the enemies known as the Snowmads. In the blow of a horn they freeze Donkey Kong’s island and send Donkey Kong and his friends flying across the ocean and they must start their journey back to save their home.

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Level design is key to creating a fun and stable 2D platformer and at all turns Tropical Freeze does this right. Set across 6 islands, each island provides a diverse theme from the other islands and this continues into the very design itself for each level. At no point does any level feel repetitive or like you have been there previously as each level usually adds something new to keep things interesting right up until the end of the game. As you journey across islands levels hold the theme of the African savannah, the traditional jungle, the frozen Donkey Kong island, an island filled with fruit based levels from a fruit factory and even the return of underwater levels. It is a little thing but I was glad to see Donkey Kong able to swim again and so fluently that it makes levels more interesting.

While many of the levels in the game do feel diverse there are definitely a few standouts among the bunch. In one particular level you must ride a mine cart through a sawmill which builds the obstacles out in front of you and halfway through turns into a raft ride, another has you running through a burning savannah requiring that you at times put out fires to proceed, another has you running across a savannah with it dancing to the music and another that literally builds as you go through the level. These may be the standouts for me but each level holds a special place that makes them all fun.

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One of the best additions to the game is the dynamic camera which adds new depth to each level it appears in. It doesn’t appear very often but in a selection of levels it adds a new challenge as well as providing some great views. For the purposes of barrel blasting, rocket barrel riding, and riding mine carts the camera added to each level by providing great opportunity to see the amazing design and also provide new challenges such as changing rails and barrel blasting across locations.

The music in the game is also very good. Retro Studios has gotten hold of Donkey Kong Country music master David Wise to create some beautiful and well done scores behind each level. Most levels have some fantastic music to them which is a joy to listen to and make me want to stop just to listen to each one. Particularly when I came across themes I recognized from the older games which have been brilliantly redone, such as the beautiful Aquatic Ambiance.

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The ability to change supporting characters is one of the best changes Retro has made to the games as we got to see new ways to play and new opportunities for challenge. As usual we got to see Diddy as a supporting character, but we also got to see the return of Dixie and the introduction of Cranky as a playable character. At different points each character has their use but mostly they are used for their additional jumping abilities. Diddy helps to keep you hovering for longer, Dixie adds a form of double jump and Cranky uses his cane like a pogo stick to jump on enemies and little spikes in the ground. Through most of my playthrough I spent my time playing with Dixie as her abilities far surpass Diddy and Cranky’s. In fact I only ever used Diddy if that was my only choice or by accident as I otherwise never actually had a reason to choose him over Dixie.

Retro has hit the perfect difficulty spike for Tropical Freeze continuing from  what Returns did right. The early levels in the game are never overly challenging and are more to teach you how to play, and any deaths are usually just stupid mistakes. Further down the track the levels do start to get challenging, filled with timed jump gaps, tight spots and careful jumps. Even the enemies themselves add to the challenge with new types recurringly added that change up the way you play and even at times being almost unavoidable. Further the levels themselves with the many platforms and the rocket barrel levels provide a decent challenge in timing movements.donkey-kong-tropical-freeze-seal-boss

Likewise, the boss battles in the game are equally challenging. They never get to a point where they are unbeatable or almost impossible but they do put up quite a fight. From beginning to end each boss battle keeps you on your toes as they are often unpredictable and often they are quite hard to hit, requiring adequate timing to launch a throw or jump on a specific part of them. Also it was nice to know that the bosses never repeat themselves and each one is as unique as the last.

Retro Studios did miss out on a few opportunities with Tropical Freeze, namely my biggest issue being the use of the Gamepad. If you are playing on the TV then the Gamepad’s screen is completely blank which makes it feel mostly useless. This was actually my preferred controller though, and because this annoyed me I ended up using the option to play solely on the Gamepad, as it gave the controller more meaning though I do wish Retro had found some significant points for the controller.

Multiplayer also fails to really get anywhere often the second player has a character which has its individual abilities at a better standard then the player that is playing as Donkey Kong. Often I found lead to deaths for myself as Donkey Kong because the other player was faster then myself and in other levels the paths would crumble away under my feet because they would get there first or even or the opposite way around. The multiplayer can work but only if the two players can work in sync and when they’re not it is a travesty, but working together and looking out for one another is the key so hopefully you can find a good partner otherwise I would recommend the single player only.

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Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is a definite stand out in the Wii U’s library and in my eyes a true return to what made the original Donkey Kong Country games so fun. In future I would like to see a Donkey Kong game in the same vein as Donkey Kong 64 but for now this is enough of a tide over that is still fun and reminiscent of the past. If you own a Wii U this game can’t be missed and we must give our thanks to Retro Studios for making this excellent game.

Score breakdown

Gameplay: 10

Presentation: 10

Replayability: 9

Story: 6

Sledgehammer Games confirms Advanced Warfare not coming to Wii U

After month of will they, won’t they the fate of a Wii U version of Call of Duty Advanced Warfare has been confirmed and might I just say I am not happy with the end result. Sledgehammer games co-founder Micheal Condrey has officially made confirmation that no Wii U version will be made of this entry. This was all said in a quick statement:

no, no WiiU. That was an Activision decision. We are focused on XboxOne, PS4, and PC.

So there we have it the fate has been decided and Wii U players are left disappointed that Activision is showing it’s true colours and not even providing the best console platform for Call of Duty the latest Call of Duty game.I am now annoyed as I have said quite nicely in the past the Wii U provides the best experience for a Call of Duty game and this abandonment might just lose some of the new players who started on the Wii U.

However all hope may not be lost, if another studio can step in and make a Wii U port then we will be in luck, however this close to release the chances are unlikely and now we may as well go into a corner wrap ourselves up and cry like the banana fairy in Donkey Kong 64.

Octodad Dadliest Catch review

Ordinarily how a game controls can be a big decider on whether or not we might find enjoyment in a game, if a game controls badly we fail to find a proper level of enjoyment because we struggle with how we play our game. Having a good control system is key to our enjoyment as we find ourselves being able to properly associate ourselves with a character or play the game that works for us. But what about when a game is a combination of both an excellent control system and an awful one, this is exactly the case that we find with Octodad Dadliest Catch a clever yet frustrating game.

As the name suggests or at least you could at least possibly suggest you are an Octopus who has been living on land posing as a human (which in itself proves just how stupid some of these people are). What is your biggest fear, well it is none other then being discovered and your life being torn apart and as such when your wife tells you that your family is taking a trip to the aquarium obviously you’re less then thrilled and concerned about being discovered. With this being the main premise other early parts of the story see you having to get married and deal with daily life as a family man or shall I say Octopus.

Obviously since you’re an octopus getting around is not easy particularly when you are trying to seem human, so clearly you are not going to have an easy time getting around in fact it is highly challenging. Because of this what would ordinarily be a simple task in real life becomes a struggle and due to this we find a good amount of patience is required. So people lacking patience will probably want to steer clear.

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In one of the first levels you are tasked with doing a series of house chores and activities and these quickly prove to be harder than we would have originally thought.  There are countless obstacles to maneuver around and the clumsy control system just makes things even more difficult, though that is not to say it is bad, on the contrary in these points the control system is brilliant in showing us exactly how this character would move around if it was real. We struggle to grab milk out of the fridge and then pour it into a bowl, we have a hard time mowing the lawn as the system controls and moving Octodad around is a struggle and getting him to go the way you want is not always an easy task constantly requiring heavy thought and concentration in order to succeed.

Most of the levels in Octodad are simple chores of life and activities that can take place in our own life, where the game starts you out getting married and struggling around the chapel to find your clothes, you are then facing down family chores as I previously mentioned. Then as well as this visiting an aquarium and not being noticed as a aquatic creatures and of course doing your families shopping is quite a chore requiring the use of your abilities as it can be called to get some of the items. Through each level it was hard not to have fun even if I was frustrated by my attempts to get to higher places and take my time to get to the right point.

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Of course as fun as the game is and enjoyable as the control system was it does struggle to be enjoyable in small parts, namely throughout boss sections. These come down as small sections revolving a chef who is trying to cook Octodad and as such he is always trying to stop him in a wide variety of ways. These boss sections while interesting in theory often require you to run away from the chef and because of how awkward it already is to control Octodad it is a struggle when trying to beat these sections and at no point was I ever having fun during these points I was frustrated by how hard the system was in trying to avoid obstacles while moving quickly.

To put it simply Octodad is a challenging game but this character’s own style is what leads to some really fun gameplay on top of relying on solving your own body control issues there are also a series of puzzles to solve and complete. There aren’t many but there are points where you have to use Octodad’s contortion type abilities to get into small gaps to get to your objective. Of course in these moments where you must try to grab something or get through small spaces are where some of the games biggest struggles are. There are many points where I have found myself all tangled up and struggling to even move anywhere at all but finding my way out of these accidentally self caused situations was always satisfying because of the control struggles.

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The best version of this game is definitely the Playstation 4 version. The controller matches the required skills perfectly and balancing each of Octodad’s limbs works incredibly well with each button having a specific use. The R2 and L2 buttons each control a leg and tied to how you choose to move the joystick is exactly how you get around. Now you can choose to take the gentle approach and just do small steps at a time but this gets annoying fast and full enjoyment is truly given when you are struggling to get to where you are heading to. Likewise it is also a struggle to grab things as maneuvering the joysticks in sequence with your arm to get to what you want, simple enough to say the control scheme presented on the Playstation 4 and the joysticks do at least deal with some of the games potential issues and frustrations and dealing with trying to achieve whatever objectives come your way is challenging with ensuring correct positioning but that is part of the fun.

Octodad is that game that hits the perfect spot between hating and loving the controls as essentially we are not meant to love or hate them, it is part of the game and what makes the game to be played. Octodad Dadliest Catch is a cheap download and a great game that I highly recommend giving a go to if you ever get a chance. Sure the controls are going to annoy you but a great game is a great game and it is hard to deny just how much fun Octodad is. It is possible to beat Octodad in a couple of hours but there are plenty of options for replaying levels and they are well worth it and really fun. If possible I would be very interested in seeing a follow up and seeing more challenges and obstacles to face