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Last Tuesday, Sony pictures released their first trailer for pixels. The film is an adaptation of Patrick Jeans short film (2010) of the same name. The world is under attack by characters from old school video games such as PAC-Man, Donkey Kong and Space invaders sent by an alien aggressor who misunderstood the video games we sent into space in 1982, as a declaration of war……right.
Featuring Adam Sandler, Peter, Dinklage and Josh Gad. The movie follows them as they use their arcade gaming skills to save the world from being turned into pixels.
Directed by Chris Columbus whose earlier works include Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire and Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone gives the movie some real potential. Also starring Tōru Iwatani the creator of PAC-Man! Which you do see in trailer getting his arm bitten.
The idea of old school video games destroying the word is solid, and the video effects are amazing.
Pixels will be released May 15th this year, and I look forward to reviewing it with all the good and the bad.
No, I’m not dead, just extremely lazy!
With the flurry of Next-gen releases in their first year, picking my top 5 should be a really difficult task. Although the monumental cock-ups make this list dubiously easy. In no particular order, lets get the list going…
1 – Shadow of Mordor
Shadow of Mordor was one of the games that has slid under the rug in many lists for the overall year and its a rather sad sight when Assassin’s Creed Rogue is consider better. I often find myself questioning he logic of many of the groups to select a game with no innovation on the previous generation console over a new IP with incredible mechanics and gameplay. Shadow of Mordor’s visuals and story occasionally let it down but the creative power struggle system, fun combat, its return too Middle Earth and the vocal talent created something truly spectacular that has great length.
2 – Far Cry 4
Ubisoft’s year has been tainted by bugs, poor gameplay, hype and generally poor creations. Fortunately for them, many of us still bought into the series’ and that’s all they really care about. Although they are likely to pay for that, they have had relative success with Far Cry 4. Unfortunately, I never managed to get around to reviewing much around the October Gamergedon but here is my TLDR version – Incredible visuals, addicting gameplay, fascinating story and characters with the added “I’m not running away from a psychopath in case he gets even angrier” ending that finishes the game in anything up to 15 minutes with gameplay that lets you walk around the room and finally, lets not forget that Troy Baker plays Pagan Min. Who can hate it? PS – Fuck the eagles.
3 – The Wolf Among Us
The Wolf Among Us is another Telltale game based off of the comic book series “Fables”. The story of Bigby Wolf and the sudden murder spree to hit Fabletown is one with bigger twists than a twirl bar, more violence than a Michael Bay movie and an art style which elevates the series to new heights. The wonderful thing about The Wolf Among Us is how engaging it is. The space between episodes was filled with The Walking Dead Season 2 and looking at the Wikia in the vain hope the next episode would appear. Its adventure into fable characters would normally be very Disney or Pixar like but Telltale and Fable’s creator turned the world upside-down to create a dark, atmospheric neon lit world filled with a rising evil and isn’t afraid to get its hands dirty.
4 – Walking Dead Season 2
So, I’ve already mentioned Season 2 and it stands as one of the best game series’ that I have ever played. The Walking Dead game inspired me to watch the TV shows and get into the comics and I’ve never been happier with such a creation. Season 2 follows Clementine’s fight for survival without Lee in her life. The fight for survival by a little girl in a traumatic world is distressing enough but when she feels more like a daughter and your responsibility is to protect her, anything that happens can be disastrous if you get it wrong. Telltale’s knack and style has successfully carried The Walking Dead into 3 seasons and DLC that will stay with me as some of my all time favourites. A must play for any zombie survivalist.
5 – Dragon Age Inquisition
Every Dragon Age fan wet their pants with glee upon the news of another instalment in our beloved series. While 2 is considered the worst and often belittled, some of its characters carry over into Inquisition alongside one or two from Origins that is incredibly gratifying to be reunited with. Bioware has a knack for creating games with vast worlds and territories that bring you into contact with some of the most crazy and loveable characters ever written. As for next-gen visuals, what Dragon Age lacked in texture, it made it up with the lighting. Atmospheric and beautiful, is not it for Bioware, the combat system and gameplay have improved drastically making Dragon Age a deadly competitor in the RPG market.
As a bonus, I feel an honourable mention should be made to another 3 games that I absolutely adore.
Bonus – Titanfall for its incredible reimagining of the FPS genre, Plants VS Zombies for its whacky take on modern shooters with a family friendly game that also appeals to the hardcore gamers and finally, Hearthstone. Not one for Blizzard MMOs and RPGs?, Say no more. Hearthstone blends the World of Warcraft characters into a FREE card game with balance, no pay to win features, a competitive community and all round fun.
How’d I do? Let us know your picks in the comments down below! Also go check out our new writer’s view on this years movie selection. Click here to see his top 5 movies of 2014.
EDIT: The trailer has now been removed.
In the last week news of a foreign retailer releasing a pre-order for a previous generation Assassin’s Creed titled “Rogue” – previously under the codename Comet – has gone viral amongst the gaming community.
Riding on the hype of this news, an apparent still leaked (and trailer) from the upcoming trailer has surfaced on the web. Documenting the release for November 11th which follows Unity’s release on October 27th. Demonstrated by the image sources say that we are keeping to the style that made Black Flag such a success. This being a new assassin, a big ass boat and a vast map to play with presumed to be the Arctic. I can’t deny, no confirm the validity of these claims so we simply will have to hold on to see.
What are you hoping for from codename Comet/Rogue and do you feel its too much for one year? Leave your comments down below!
Over the next few days, The Wolf Among Us – Episode 5 is going live across a large selection of platforms. The highly anticipated finale to the series inspired and influenced by the Fable graphic novels is bitter sweet. As ever with something you invest a lot of time into, you can become attached to the series and it certainly is sad to see Bigby Wolf’s current tale end. With the huge success, it’s quite possible that we will see his return and that is calming to think about.
If you aren’t aware of The Wolf Among Us, you must experience it. From the studio that brought you The Walking Dead, Telltale studios have brought the comic book world into an experience that can only be described as an interactive show where your choices and actions form the story around you. Starring the Big Bad Wolf, Bigby, you are Fabletown’s protector; a detective of sorts. Over the 5 episodes you must solve the murder of a young Fable, but its never going to be that simple with Telltale. Without divulging the story, I can say that nothing really goes to plan for you. you’re thrown from pillar to post trying to work out who the murderer is but also get stuck into the affairs of many of Fabletown’s citizens who fate YOU decide.
Telltale’s success is not simple down to its innovate gameplay or story telling, it’s also down to the characters that it creates. Lee and Clementine from The Walking Dead series are the perfect examples of this. Their bond and partnership was endearing and you couldn’t help but fall in love with them. The same can be said about Bibgy Wolf. Although he’s not the loving sort of character, he is a reformed character with a troubled past. His big persona, strength and forwardness are great fun and he knows he’s doing what needs to be done in a place where many fear his past. A man seeking redemption if you may. As a much more aggressive character, he’s accustom to violence so many of his actions can be extreme. Personally for me, this makes him even cooler and has sold me onto buying the graphic novels.
As I’ve already mentioned, the gameplay and story are wonderful, mixed with the amazing art style that uses thick and heavy outlines with many saturated colours, the colours actually pop. With news that Telltale are creating a Borderlands series, the blend of styles will make it one of the best visually. The vast amounts of work that goes into creating the art and story do have it’s drawbacks. Waiting patiently each month for a download means that many, like myself, have to suffer with a poor internet connection to download a substantial file and is a bit of a pain on days/times when internet traffic is high or your internet is down. The other problem is that the game can be a little fragmented with framerate issues. Dropping from time to time when loading and presenting itself as frozen does interrupt the flow of the story. Many of the Xbox users may also notice an achievement glitch which awards you the achievements but doesn’t acknowledge them on the Xbox hub. Currently the situation has yet to be fixed and little news opens up why this is happening.
I’ve been very careful not to reveal any spoilers for this series due to the fact that it is just epic and everyone’s experience can be different. The overall ending is set but why should I ruin that? Episode 5’s release was heavily anticipated and you will not be disappointed with this instalment. I’m a little confused by the end scene myself but I hope we will see some answers in the near future.
Wolf Among Us as a whole series deserves a 9/10. Sure, it can be buggy at times, but everything else works in it’s favour. It’s not convoluted and it’s not pre-school level. A very well written (with some very funny moments), voiced and styled first outing for Bigby and I can’t wait to see him return…Please let him return!
Want a game for your next-gen console at £40 that isn’t finished? Well this is you game! Rush to your local retailer and purchase this game with a story shorter than that thing you call a penis, next-gen graphics from 2002’s Gamecube, a 16GB install, a frame rate that drops as often as an alcoholic in a vineyard and glitches enough to make EA’s UFC proud. Having seen nothing about Sniper Elite III at EGX until a few months back, I was fairly excited. X-ray kill-cams and an intuitive mechanic for snipers sold me on V2 and returning with “Improved works” and some new extras just seemed like a much stronger game. It may simply stand that the Xbox One version of the game is supremely glitchy but that’s no excuse for a game that cost £40 and just appeared out of nowhere one day without much warning.
If you’re looking for a story that engages you in an action packed adventure with colourful lead character and a dark villain to boot, Don’t play this. Both of these feel non-existent. Considering you only meet the villain in the final mission and kill him a little later, it feels really unjustified to pave the way for an insane Nazi, only to cut him down without any enforcement of what he is doing that is anything other than following orders. Our lead man whose name is never mentioned in game but is Karl Fairburne is practically faceless. With the emotional range of Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool, the only difference is that Karl talks to himself like a madman…
The redeeming factor for Sniper Elite is the X-ray cameras. Trying to get good shots for the recording (Will be up on the Black Ribbon Youtube channel soon!) was great fun. A yelp of happiness spewed from my mouth once I finally managed to achieve a testie shot on some poor bugger. Playing on the ‘normal’ rating was fairly simply to do as long as you didn’t go getting sighted and make a lot of noise. Bullet drop was the only gimmick that affected that particular setting of difficulty with several others ramming up the difficulty for those with the patience not to draw everyone out and play whack-a-mole with dozens of Nazi craniums.
As a pre-order bonus, I was ‘rewarded’ with DLC. The trend sweeping over the industry to stick DLC straight after the game is released has to be the worst idea in history. So you couldn’t just place it in the game to warrant the money I’ve just spent on something that’s only positive part is shooting AXIS forces in slow-mo, in the nuts and just general violence? I would continue to rave on about the game being screwed. So badly screwed that I had to replay a mission from the begin just so I could get a recording that didn’t feature a tank locating me 12ft underground. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy shooting people and it’s just a mind-numbing experience which anyone can enjoy while investing the same brainpower as a breastfeeding baby. 6/10 is where I have to place this. With no characters, a story which was already written in for them, just dumbed down and it’s fuck-ups are infuriating to battle with. DO NOT WASTE £40 on it. Wait until it’s cheaper! Then you may enjoy it.
Murdered: Soul Suspect seems like its been heavily under-publicised. The overall advertising campaign is sufficiently weak for a Square Enix production that steps away from the common horror thriller of shooting everything with a pulse. Soul Suspect has opted for a non-combat approach with the need to immerse the player into the world and the story. Our protagonist is Ronan O’Connor; a detective with a rough past whose in search of Salem’s serial killer threat — The Bell Killer. Through an encounter with the Bell Killer, Ronan is thrown from a 4th story window, barely concious after the fall, the killer plants 7 rounds from Ronan’s own sidearm into O’Connor’s chest killing him in a matter of seconds which are the burning lights emanating from his chest. Upon watching his death in his ghost form, Ronan now takes on the mission of finding his killer alongside the other victims of the Bell Killer to head towards the light.
The story is actually very short. I would put it down to the fact that the story appears to happen over a single night and in real-time could be the 6-8 hours I playing the story and maxing out the achievements. Going back through to get some extras I had missed meant I had to go to the 80% mark of story completion and got there in a little over 2 hours considering the fact that clues and information were fresh in my mind. Being so short, many would suspect the story of being weak, limited in character development and basic. Only one of these stands true and to my dismay its the character development. Although we get little eye-dents throughout the gameplay which review Ronan’s life, they are fairly lacking and generic TV tough cop. The loss of his wife was never explained but can only be assumed that it may have had something to do with the Bell Killer and his rough past as a delinquent who served time is a little different but play no role in his progress as a protagonist. Unless you go through and read every little note, you probably can’t connect to him as well as could be hoped and its saddening for a character that drew me into a genre I’m very unlikely to play. In comparison, the story is filled with unexpected turns and a finale that’s exciting and enthralling.
With a track record of gorgeous looking Final Fantasy’s visual expectations for the game are enormous. Disappointingly enough, the cut scene quality was good, but no Final Fantasy and when in game, players look like they are made of rubber rather than flesh and bones. Considering that I play on the next gen Xbox One, quality of visual aspects is what is selling these consoles. However, I digress. The quality of the world is perfect. The creepy atmosphere of Salem’s dark night life coupled with their afterlife is brilliantly portrayed through the pallet of dark hues and ghostly memory imprints of past structures. Glossing over the rubber faced characters and AI’s, visually the movie is great and the set of the world is amazing to look at and occasionally run straight through. Including a soundtrack which immerses you in the land of the dead. Gradually peaking in moments of excitement and dropping its tone sharply when shit is about to hit the fan.
Now the gameplay isn’t simply walking about and finding clues. We all know the notions that the midpoint between life and death that is filled with spirits of not just lost souls but also of the broken and tormented who terrorise those lost. The demons that haunt the world stand as a danger for Ronan and commonly appear though their demonic forms or portals that clasp their victims and drag them to the pits of hell. The only way to defeat these apparitions, you must avoid the portals through possession and rip the corrupted from their form, freeing them of their binds. The game plays almost like a platformer with puzzles to solve and dangers to avoid and is surprisingly enjoyable even if you can’t use a physical weapon to kill. Inspiration looks as if Alan Wake was involved with its unique system for dealing with demons in a really simply and easy method meaning that the overall market for the game is vast. Not just the hardcore gamers. Although, it really appeals to achievement hunters like myself. With incredibly easy achievements based simply on roaming the streets and solving deaths and regular story missions, many of the achievements are simple to get. For the large collections you are more than likely going to need to use the games online interactive map on the Square Enix site as the game lacks this function or the flurry of videos popping up on youtube. With it being so short, rounding off the missed collectibles won’t take long on a speed run. I would highly recommend doing these as the ghost story collectibles reward you with tales that are very grim and chilling to the bone.
Although it misses a map for direction, the interactive map can guide you but doesn’t look very good whatsoever and can be ignored. I cannot confirm the prices on other deals but I managed to get my hands on a limited edition copy for less than the standard package which includes this neat little book which holds clues, story hints, some artwork and a message from the artists. The little addition is well made and is a wonderful extra on top of a wonderful game that I shall be rating an 8/10!
Have you played Murdered: Soul Suspect yet? Let me know what you thought in the comments!
As many of you may have noticed, the Titanfall Beta ended last week. I’ve left a little time between posting this to allow for it to settle down and hear some new information running up to the release. Down below is one of the first videos I uploaded to Youtube of my Titanfall antics. If you’d like to like, subscribe or anything else, simply go to the channel/video!
Titanfall is undoubtedly one of the, if not THE biggest game coming out this year. With rumours circulating about MLG competitions and Xbox One bundle with reduced price, this game is going to sky rocket even further than before. Based entirely online, the game has one weakness; No single player campaign. The lack of story worries me initially as it removes a lot of the potential. The story could be extremely fast paced and would be great to understand the warring factions. Although news of an online campaign within the multiplayer matches addresses these, it relies on others to pull their weight and also a stable internet connection to enjoy for a long period of time.
Ignoring the story, the Beta was simply an online stress test of their servers and checks on any glitches or bugs that may occur. Looking back at GTA V and others, the popularity of a beta would have solved many of the problems that plagued (and still do) its launch. With games like Bungie’s Destiny later this year and Defiance (based on the Syfy channel TV show), it feels as if we are journeying towards multiplayer being the key component for gaming on the next generation consoles and Titanfall is the first to really open this.
If you care to look at my videos, it is easy to see how chaotic the game is. It feels like an all-out war zone although it’s only 6v6, the inclusion of AI minions/grunts/spectres and the auto Titan function, the battlefield is packed. All the space is usable and easily accessible with the double jump and wall run functions but you cannot camp out as accessibility to every spot is incredibly easy. The fast paced nature and goals of each game also force you to keep moving and stop people from hiding in a corner under the stairs and delve right into the thick of it. All of it’s mechanics are flawless and it flows brilliantly. All of the additions can switch the tide of a game for better or worst in a matter of seconds and it truly gets the blood pumping with no “WTF, How the fuck did he get me” when you no damn well how they got you. I couldn’t get angry or rage quit like Call of Duty can do from time to time. Titanfall puts you in a zone and just doesn’t let go!
As it stands, the game has the potential to be the biggest thing coming out this year. Smashing the CoD franchise into dust with it’s new take on first person shooters and multiplayer team play. Jumping from this to CoD is probably the worst decision I have made and simply cannot wait for it’s release!
Looking back over the year of games, I have noticed that very little actually caught my attention. Apart from the generic continuation of the basic and repetitive instalments of CoD and Battlefield, that leave little to be desired apart from a new 6 hour campaign and new maps for the online play. I would have written have like to have done an unboxing video on the youtube channel (Black Ribbon Gaming Youtube Channel) of the new generation of consoles but seeing that I could just about afford the Xbox One and only just received it, I felt it a little pointless to do one so late on. I would also like to stress that I only have an Xbox 360. PS3 games, unfortunately, cannot make it into my top games as of yet.
In no particular order:
1 – The Walking Dead – Telltale Series.
Yes I know that it came out last year but the full hard copy came out earlier this year with every episode and also the 400 Days dropped too. Plus the new one comes out in a few days and I’m wetting myself with excitement. Possibly one of the most innovative games in many, many years. A cinematic story that forces you to make moral decisions that affect you later on (Don’t worry, forums and Wikia will help you to get the perfect ending that will help you in the next series!). With a creative art style and brilliant script writing, this game will stand as one of the best for many years too come. The Walking Dead – Review
2 – Bioshock Infinite
Originally destined for release in 2012, Bioshock was pushed back into the earlier part of this year. Saddened by the wait, hopes were high for an even stronger game. In true fashion, it was out of this world. A change in scenery was worrying to think about but the overall outcome gave you a new story that can go so many different ways. Take the DLC for example. You get to return to Rapture and it’s just awesome to see the world again but with people actually living there, not some crack heads and adorable Big Daddies… A tense and exciting game. Ken Levine has done it again and should just be aloud creative freedom to do what he pleases! Bioshock Infinite – Review
An unexpected favourite of mine. Earlier this year, Josh wrote a review praising it for being amazing. I held back for a while. I didn’t want to spend too much money on something that I may not enjoy. Eventually I caved in and bought the special edition box set version with some really cool additions in it for only £20. Bargain! I kid you not, the game was awesome. A mix of fantasy carved into a survival story doesn’t always work but Square Enix knocked it out of the park. A vast landscape with lots of free-reign to do as you please but enough guidance to keep you on track without being too intrusive. Combat is simple and realistic and the visuals are astonishing. Nothing short of incredible and too think they have just released a special edition with upped graphics for the next gen consoles. Square Enix have a prize winner by keeping their trademark cinematic footage but moved away from sponging from the Final Fantasy series. Tomb Raider – Review
4 – Assassins Creed 4 – Black Flag
Yeah. Do I really need to explain this? Pirates, Assassins, Sailing, killing shit and all that fun stuff that we’ve come to expect from the AC franchise. I’d have to question you if you did not enjoy this. The story is far superior to AC3, the visuals are fantastic, sailing is no longer a gimmick and you’re a motherfucking pirate assassin! The game drops the mini games and really focuses on experiencing the incredibly vast world. It’s sandbox but MASSIVE. A very similar combat system with little change makes it easy to jump back in and frolic around the deck of your ship, pestering the local wildlife or stabbing anything in a red coat… Assassins Creed 4 – Review
5 – Grand Theft Auto 5 (Not the multiplayer)
One of histories most successful games, this list simply could not ignore it. Seeing that GTA4 bored me, I wasn’t expecting to have so much fun. Yeah, it lacks top of the range visuals and is extremely glitchy but the huge story and the mad antics are entertaining. It’s a game you can pick up and enjoy without having the use your head. However, I don’t enjoy the multiplayer much. It’s a cluster of people paranoid that they’re going to get wiped and will shoot without a thought. Simple, crazy and unruly. Great with a few friends, some beer and some terrible food.
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