Tag Archives: Gaming

4 Reasons For Wii U Owners To Be Cheerful

7 Jul

Wii U

The Wii U is coming remarkably close to a year on general release, with little to distinguish it from the console crowd. While the technology has been given the thumbs up, the public have shrugged en masse. Granted, the Wii U is far pricier than its forebear – even after the price cut – and apparently there’s some other consoles on the horizon, but maybe it deserves a second look.

After all, Nintendo has often experienced sluggish starts. You don’t have to look very far back, either – the 3DS was launched with a catalogue that made the Wii U’s look impressive. However, Kid Icarus and Monster Hunter Tri G broke the walls down, and since then it’s proved a worthy successor to the DS.

Much panic has centred around the lack of third-party support. Indeed, big names have ignored the console outright, and substandard, lazy ports have sat alongside exclusives jumping to other platforms. But I reckon the Wii U’ll look a better prospect once its competitors are released. Let’s break it down…

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7 Reasons Why Assassin’s Creed III Is Vastly Underrated

23 Jun

Ac3 11

So this is my first ever post, which means you probably don’t know how much of a fanboy I am with anything concerning Assassin’s Creed. The series is by far my favourite, and the first thing I checked when the new consoles were announced was which was getting AC IV: Black Flag first.

I have played all of the main series games, as well as two portable versions, have read two of the books (I’m reading another currently), and my favourite Christmas gift of all time still has to be my prized white and red hoody. The latest installment in the series (excluding the forthcoming Black Flag), while being generally well received by reviews, is not exactly loved by the fans. In fact, it’s often called the worst in the series. I highly disagree, and have many reasons for doing so. Here’s ten of these reasons…

(Minor spoiler warning)

7. The “Kenway Family Saga”

Assassins Creed Iii

This is a rather weak point, so I’m getting it out of the way quickly. Ubisoft have said many times they’re doing a Kenway family saga, which would show how each of the Kenway men (Edward, Haytham and Connor) chose very different paths through life. I think that this saga is good, as it can show similarities and differences in all three characters, and show more about how each’s actions have influenced each other. We know that AC IV is starring Edward Kenway: assassin, pirate and l’Oreal posterboy of the past, but is a Haytham-centered game on it’s way? I tend to disagree, due to the book “Assassin’s Creed: Forsaken” detailing his life, but anything is possible. Speaking of the book…

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4 Aspects Bioshock Infinite Shares With Donnie Darko

22 Jun

Bioshock Infinite Booker Elizabeth

Bioshock Infinite is one of those games that upon finishing will put you into a daze for the foreseeable future. The story that unfolds as you play through the epic sky city of Columbia is riveting, insane, entertaining, and out of the box crazy! There are a lot of great aspects of this game that I found to be exciting but I couldn’t shake the thought out of my head that I’ve collectively seen all of these aspects somewhere else.

That somewhere else I’m referring to is the undoubtedly confusing 2001 Richard Kelly science fiction film: Donnie Darko. DD had most people scratching their heads by the end of it’s one hundred and thirteen minute run and had the remaining people fibbing about how they understood everything right off the bat after their first go.

Both Infinite and Darko share some of the same aspects that I couldn’t keep out of my head and this article is my way of getting it out there! I do want to include, and I cannot stress this enough, that this list is just my own personal opinion and I welcome, scratch that… I encourage you to respond below and tell me your thoughts! I’m not claiming to know the full extent of Darko’s story but I understand enough to pen this article and the same goes for Infinite.

NOTE: Post will contain major spoilers!

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State Of The Game: The International

7 Jun

DOTA International

Its come down to this: Two powerhouse organisations. Both the top contenders for the title. The final is going the distance in more ways than one. The crowd on the verge of cardiac arrest and yet, simply cannot look away. It’s the final push. One last stand. The players leave nothing left in the tank. Desperation on a level that dwarfs anything that has come before it. The commentators scream the victor’s name. One team rejoices in the arms of each other. The other is consoled by their captain. And so begins, the long road to The International 4.

After 5 gruelling days and nights (many of them without sleep) as a spectator, feeling drained is probably understating it. I can only imagine what the players would feel when the stakes are so high. Even the captain of Na`Vi, Clement “Puppey” Ivanov requested his interview after the finals to be done sitting down, thanks largely to what I would attribute to a roller-coaster of emotions.

The International just may well be the crown jewel of esports. Assembling the 16 best DOTA 2 teams and pitting them against each other for a grand prize pool that exceeds over 2.8 million dollars. Add to that, the hundreds of thousands of spectators watching across the world with a multitude of commentators, streaming in four different languages; and you could say you have the recipe for a great tournament. But The International goes well beyond the numbers; its not simply a tournament, it’s an event by the fans for the fans.

The interactive compendium

The interactive compendium

It may seem hard to fathom a prize pool of 2.8 million dollars. But what’s more is that close to 1.3 million dollars was crowd funded through the purchase of an interactive compendium. Over 500,000 compendiums were sold, helping to drive the prize pool to the highest ever seen in esports. Through it, fans were able to participate in a fantasy league, make tournament predictions, collect and stamp trading cards, vote on the players they wanted to see in a 1v1 tournament as well as decide the participants of the all-star match.

For those who were lucky enough to attend the event, they were able to interact with many well known members of the community including content creators, casters and even players. Every activity at the event netted attendees in game items; from autograph sessions with players and voice actors to buying merchandise from the shop or simply watching the games. With so many things in play, it simply ensured the link between the fans and game never stopped.

Conversely, for many around the world who watched via the streams; they were treated with nothing short of an impeccable broadcast. The four man panel which included both a current and former professional player were more than qualified at previewing and dissecting the matchups. But what made them enjoyable as a team, was the organised chaos that they produced. From their insistence that they had been testing Half Life 3 in the back rooms, to the flamboyant nature of one Statsman Bruno and his outlandish wardrobe; they allowed not only a professional presentation but one that included plenty of quirks and personality to shine.

Statsman Bruno summons the spirits for help in the next matchup

Statsman Bruno summons the spirits for help in the next matchup

Valve, who are innately aware of the complexities behind the game brought in Kaci Aitchison, a news anchor from a local television station. While she admitted not knowing anything about the game, her knowledge came a long in 5 days. As a reporter she got the most out of the players and fans, many of whom you could tell weren’t quite comfortable with the cameras. She brought a refreshing air of professionalism that I believe has never been seen in esports. Her presence was a reminder for those who were afraid at taking steps into such a confronting game, that it need not be all that daunting at all. She embraced the community and in turn, the community welcomed her with open arms.

Kaci Aitchison interviews a Team Liquid fan

Kaci Aitchison interviews a Team Liquid fan

It’s obvious that beyond showcasing the best teams in the world, it is a place where the community unites, whether they be at the event or watching through the stream. There is almost something strangely poetic about the game of DOTA. Starting as a mod and then subsequently taken by Valve; the game belong to no one, but has rather been given back to the community, for them to drive how they see fit. The game and its community has come full circle, and at the head of it all lies The International.

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10 Harsh Truths We Don’t Want To Admit About Awesome Games

23 May


Few will argue with the fact that the below games are fantastic – hence why the fiercely-debated Call of Duty, though popular, didn’t make this list – though that doesn’t stop them from harbouring some less-than-savoury truths that they hope most gamers won’t ever come to realise.

Whether it’s their true lack of substance, an ill-advised tonal change that their franchise took, or simply the fact that a classic game hasn’t really aged all that well, these 10 games impressed most of us, though on reflection, we have to recognise that not a single one of them is even remotely close to “perfect”.

Granted, each of these games is awesome enough that we’re prepared to look past the harsh reality, but we should never forget it, otherwise we risk just becoming another blind fanboy (as may account for many of these games’ enduring popularity in the first place). Take a step back and realise that these 10 games are glaringly flawed, if still excellent…

10. World of Warcraft Requires No Skill Whatsoever


The Awesome: For the better part of a decade, World of Warcraft has reigned supreme as the world’s most popular MMORPG – peaking at 12 million users, and presently resting at roughly 7 million – while also spawning countless expansion packs, pop-culture spoofs, and even an impending movie.

The Truth: Though infamous for its fiendishly addictive gameplay, WoW really is just another repetitive MMO that doesn’t require much skill to beast through. It’s all about how much of your existence you are prepared to pour into the game – that is what will largely determine how much you get out of it.

Though the large player base helps us become immersed in this huge world, it’s really pretty simple stuff that relies on players spending their time away from work just throwing themselves into another kind of grind.

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Before GTA V: Top 8 Cheats We All Used

8 May


Despite how brilliant the Grand Theft Auto games are without cheating, there is no denying that they have contained some of the best cheat codes that have ever appeared in a video game. Not only are they (mostly) useful, but they also enhance the experience by providing the gamer with a whole new perspective. Not to mention countless more hours of fun, of course.

In my opinion, I feel the best cheat codes in the GTA series were in 2005’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. As you read this article, you will notice that the cheats from that particular game appear a lot. Not only was it the most customizable game (until GTA V is released later this year) but it was the game that Rockstar really did let loose and have some fun with. I can only hope that GTA V will see the return of cheats like this, as GTA IV was slightly disappointing on that front.

Without further adieu, I present the Top 8 GTA Cheats We All Used. How many do you remember the button combinations for?

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FIFA 14 UK Cover Art Revealed Next Monday

27 Apr


Electronic Arts will reveal who will be joining Lionel Messi on the cover of the UK edition of FIFA 14 next Monday.

The company have already revealed the global box art, featuring the Barcelona superstar, who will be flanked by additional players specific to each region.

Last year, the UK cover featured Messi along with Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart.

And EA have teased who the latest UK cover stars may be with a short trailer, which you can watch below.

FIFA 14 promises to be the most groundbreaking iteration in the series so far. Featuring a new physics engine known as the “Ignite Engine”, the popular football title promises improved graphical and gameplay changes with more realistic player movement and shooting.

According to EA, FIFA 14 is the “most authentic football game in history,” with stadiums that “come alive” and help influence matches.

Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez will join Messi on the North American versions of FIFA 14, which launches on September 24th.

Fans in Europe can get their hands on a copy three days later, on September 27th.

FIFA 14 will launch on Android, iOS, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, Wii, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and the Xbox One.

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8 Most Overrated Video Games Of The Seventh Generation

25 Jan

Gta Iv

“Overrated” is a word that gets thrown about like a hacky sack at a California beach party. It’s the modern person’s go-to term for describing something which they believe is getting way too much credit (incidentally, these folk always try to redirect your tastes onto some obscure thing only they’ve heard of). And although you’ll hear people using the word to describe the latest Oscar-winning film or a praised music album, it’s in the video game world that it really comes into its own.

It’s true that for every gamer who praises a game for its innovations, storyline and mechanics, there’s somebody out there who can’t fathom why a game is getting so much praise. Thing is, that somebody isn’t even wrong, given that the inherent quality of any video game is highly subjective – everyone is allowed an opinion, and coherent, well-formed arguments are always welcomed when it comes to this particular medium (there’s a notable lack of them, to say the least).

As soon as the word “overrated” gets mentioned, though, people tend to turn away because it conjures up feelings of somebody trying to provoke a reaction for the sake of it. “Oh, Nintendo are way overrated – they’ve been making the same game for years,” is the sort of single-minded, mis-informed comment that generally serves no purpose and stinks of arrogance. You just know the person who utters those words doesn’t play Nintendo games (or hasn’t in a long, long time).

So why I am explaining all this? Well, put simply, it’s because this article isn’t intended to approach the subject of overrated games with the same amount of ignorance. I actually like all of the games mentioned in the article – some of them have provided me with some awesome experiences. But given their critical ratings and reputations, I wanted to take a look at these games from the perspective of somebody who both appreciates them and happens to think they’re overrated, too.

Note: Given that there’s no truly objective way to judge whether a game is technically “overrated” or not, I’ll be referring to Metacritic’s critical rankings throughout this article, whose scores for the games mentioned – collected by averaging the opinions of professional gaming critics – probably serves as the fairest method to prove that a game is considered to be particularly well thought of.

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10 Video Games That Nobody Bothers To 100%

25 Jan

Connor Kenway Assassin's Creed

In the age of achievements and trophies, many games encourage you to aim for that 100%, no matter how difficult it may be. Reaching 100% is considered to be, funnily enough, an achievement. You need more encouragement than that. Gamers need to be given a reason to keep on playing past the end of the story, or in some cases, play the entire game again. Some just don’t deliver on that front.

Now obviously, someone would have completed at least one of these games 100%, it’s naive to think otherwise. I’m looking at reasons as to why perhaps the more casual gamer would be put off striving for that coveted 100%. Some games have so many hidden secrets that it’s unrealistic to even think you could complete it fully; others are just pathetically dull. Speaking of which…

10. WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw 2011

Wwe Smackdown Vs Raw 2011

It’s not the most popular yearly release on the calendar, but the WWE games are consistent sellers with a dedicated fanbase. As the years have gone on, the franchise has tried its best to increase its authenticity and replay value, largely to great effect.

However, Smackdown Vs. Raw 2011 was a snorefest. The gameplay was mundane and repetitive, thus ensuring that the makeshift campaign modes suffered also. The Road To Wrestlemania mode that had been introduced two years prior was a nice, refreshing instalment to an otherwise one dimensional game. However, it began to show its age quickly, as it placed an emphasis on no risk, no reward matches that failed to impact the story whatsoever. What’s worse is, you have to complete this style of play five times in order to reap the rewards: a couple of characters and outfits you’ll never play as. 100% on this game wasn’t the hardest thing to attain, but it sure felt like it.

Thankfully, they had done away with the tiresome formula by WWE ’13 (WWE ’12 reduced the number of paths from five to three, but the less said about that game the better) and replaced it with a much fresher Attitude Era mode, allowing players to relieve the nostalgia of arguably the finest years in wrestling.

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Football Manager 2014 Tips: 10 Ways To Guarantee World Domination

17 Jan

Football Manager 2014

Well, Football Manager’s been out for a little over a week now, and I’m willing to be that the hardened veterans have already conquered their first season. To them, it’s just so easy – braving the spreadsheet-heavy plains of FM, dragging bargains out the woodwork and slotting them into fine-tuned tactical machines. They’ve already plundered major trophies, left their digital opposition in tears and are looking forward to another season in the Champions League, or indeed League Two, if you plumped for more modest environs. Hey, to each their own.

But for the newcomer who was beguiled by tales of lives well misspent and the prowess of Tonton Zola Moukoko, joining the FM addiction conga now can seem a bit daunting. After all, for the majority of us diehards, we’ve been playing SI’s interactive masterpieces since the heady days of Championship Manager, back when Carl Cort and Michael Duff were prospects and the screen came emblazoned with AFC Wimbledon having a kick-about in the background. We’ve adapted to every incremental improvement and every add-on feature by taking it in our stride, year-on-year.

Yet to those who wish to join the party bus now, it can seem like a little overbearing. Even if we take out the exhaustive tactics screens and all the permutations there, navigating transfers, board interactions, squad management and even the press can all seem a bit too much, especially if you’re new to FM’s shores.

So with this in mind, I’ve decided to write a list – born of my experience playing FM – which can help the new player adapt to SI’s crazy, text-heavy world. Keep in mind, this is in no way a definitive, exhaustive list – it’s just simply a bunch a well-meaning tips strung together with barely coherent writing. But still, if it gets more people into this wonderful game, I’ve done my job.

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