• Action/Adventure,  Indie Gaming,  Reviews

    First Look at BeatBlasters III

    You could easily be forgiven for having not caught BeatBlasters 1 and 2. This is mainly because they don’t exist. BeatBlasters III is the first title out of Canadian developer Chainsawesome Games and their choice to lead with a title numbered “three” is a little unconventional, but it definitely seems to set the tone for the game. BeatBlasters III touts itself as a hybrid of a platforming game and a rhythm game. Whilst it’s certainly true there are elements of these genres in there, the product as a whole is decidedly stranger than the sum of it’s parts. You take on the role of either Joey or Gina, a young…

  • Preview,  Shooter,  Xbox One

    Hands-on with the Titanfall Beta

    This past weekend saw the test drive of Respawn Entertainment’s upcoming Titanfall, and I consider myself lucky to be amongst those able to get to grips with it. Titanfall is the first title developed by Respawn Entertainment, a company comprised largely of staff from Infinity Ward, the team responsible for the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series, so the game already comes with an excellent pedigree, and the team’s roots are very evident in Titanfall. Titanfall is, at its heart, a military shooter, and yet manages to stand out and be different in what is rapidly becoming a saturated genre. Set in the near future, Titanfall sees war raging between…

  • Indie Gaming,  Rant

    Love and Other Games

    Quick, name a recent title whose story has shaped the gaming industry. Okay, done that? The ones that readily spring to mind, and I suspect some of you may have picked, are Call of Duty’s shocking Modern Warfare stories and Bioware’s Dragon Age and Mass Effect stories with their homosexual romance options. Call of Duty generated a lot of buzz in the press in MW2 by allowing the player to participate in terror attacks, gunning down civilians and in MW3 by graphically blowing up a small child. While it got people talking about it, it’s really serves as a cycle of oneupsmanship to create the most shocking, and therefore by…

  • Free2Play,  Reviews,  Shooter

    Free2Play Spotlight: Bullet Run

    Bullet Run is a brand new first-person shooter from ACONY Games and published by Sony Online Entertainment. Honestly, I almost thought I wasn’t going to be able to review this game; the install process was distinctly nontrivial. Between installing punkbuster, patching and setting up an additional Sony Station account to be able to play it took far longer than strictly necessary. And then the launcher helpfully puts an animated bar next to the Play button that looks akin to a loading bar at a casual glance. I waited at the launcher for about half an hour before I realised patching was complete. Oh well, you live and learn, I suppose.…

  • Action/Adventure,  Indie Gaming,  Reviews,  Strategy

    Orcs Must Die! And Explode. And Dissolve. And Burn… 2

    Orcs Must Die! by Robot Entertainment was one of the most successful indie games of 2011, receiving the accolade Game of the Year and being one of the most fun games I’ve personally played in a long time. The anecdote you can oft catch me telling is that I picked it up about three days before PAX East this year and ended up resenting having to leave for Boston just because it meant I had to put Orcs Must Die! down. Scarcely 8 months later we now have Orcs Must Die! 2. Historically, even the benevolent titans Valve have caught flak for such a fast turnaround on a sequel, so is it…

  • Action/Adventure,  Reviews,  Shooter

    Shoot Many Robots

    Shoot many Robots is all about the American dream. Living in an RV, drinking beer and shooting killer robots with a rifle.       Okay, I’ll admit I could be a bit hazy on the definition of ‘the American dream’ there. But it plays up a lot of the American stereotypes and I still haven’t figured out if it’s supposed to be ironic or not. You play a bald, grizzled American redneck type character. Your pickup truck is immediately destroyed by robots, shortly followed by your house. Seeking vengeance, you set out armed with a submachine gun, rocket launcher and quantities of health-restoring beer and narrowly save your RV…

  • Uncategorized

    Minecraft, Technically Speaking

    I make no secret of it, I got bored with Minecraft a few weeks before its full release. I’m not denying that it is a thoroughly excellent game. Few things in this world have the power to connect total strangers in quite the same manner as Minecraft. Everyone gets something different from it and yet people get common experiences and stories they can bond over. My thing was always survival mode; I’m not in any way artistic enough to play in creative mode. But once you’ve survived everything where do you go from there? You build a fort, pyramid, bunker, levitating city, whatever you call home. You have diamond weapons…

  • Free2Play,  Reviews,  Shooter

    Free2Play Spotlight: MicroVolts

    MicroVolts, by NQ Games is a title I’d seen before. It took me a while to realise it, though. Almost two years ago today a trailer for a Korean game appeared and made some waves in Team Fortress 2 communities. It appeared to advertise a class-based shooter and on the face of it was an exact copy of TF2 with the mercenaries we know and love replaced with dolls and toy robots. The trailer very obviously lifted scenes straight from the TF2 launch trailer. The game was H.A.V.E. Online. MicroVolts is H.A.V.E. Online re-branded for a western audience. If you’re still reading after that, do not be dissuaded because, for all that…

  • Uncategorized

    Penny Arcade’s: Fanservice 3

    Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness is a niche appeal title, there’s no escaping that particular fact. It’s been perfectly constructed from the ground up to appeal to fans of the Penny Arcade webcomic leaving all others both befuddled and bewildered. Fortunately, I’ve been a fan for many a year, so it’s definitely one for me. The third title in a planned quadrilogy, headed up by Zeboyd Games after Hothead Games dropped it in favour of working on their Deathspank series, the game takes the series in a new direction from its predecessors. Where the earlier games attempted to mimic Mike Krahulik’s comic art style as closely as possible, with…

  • Action/Adventure,  Indie Gaming,  Puzzle,  Reviews

    Indie Royale June Bug Bundle

    Indie Royale are the guys bravely trying to play catchup to the overwhelming success of the Humble Bundles. The first real imitators on the scene, they’re easily dismissed as a rip-off attempting to cash in on Wolfire’s lucrative model. But that’s enough negativity; what they might lack in originality they make up for in quality. Where Wolfire usually have the bigger-name indie titles, Indie Royale cater more to titles you likely won’t have heard of, but that doesn’t make them any less worth your while. The current bundle available is the June Bug Bundle, consisting of  PixelJunk Eden, Escape Goat, Noitu Love 2: Devolution, and Auditorium. Thrown in as extras…