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Demon Souls Review

In February of 2009, a game called Demon’s Souls was released in Japan. Later that year in October 2009, the game was released in the USA. Now in June 2010, this title has finally hit South African shores. Developed by From Software and published by Namco Bandai, Demon’s Souls is an action role-playing game set in medieval times.

Demon’s Souls takes place in the kingdom of Boletaria. It has been enveloped in something called the “Deep Fog” as a result of the king using a dark ritual to gain power and bring prosperity to the land. The ritual was successful and brought prosperity to the kingdom, but the Deep Fog followed and covered the outskirts of Boletaria. The kingdom was cut off from the outside world causing other kingdoms to send scouts to investigate the lack of communication. However, none of them returned after wandering into the fog. Eventually someone did manage to breach the fog and tell the world about the terrible problem that burdens the kingdom of Boletaria. With the fog came bloodthirsty demons, hungry for the souls of mankind. Warriors tried to break through the fog to save Boletaria and some wanted to harness the power of the fog. Needless to say, they did not return. You play as a warrior who has made it through the fog and actually entered the castle. Thus begins your journey to defeat the evil awoken by the ritual and save mankind from annihilation.

The atmosphere in the game is incredible. It’s very dark in nature considering it’s the medieval period. It can be pretty dark at times and even with the brightness turned all the way up, you might struggle to see. The worlds that you will visit in the game are varied and very well done. They’re just beautiful in style and scale. The creatures that you will be facing really show good design. Props go to the developers for being original. Quite a bit of detail has gone into the animation for the main character. The animations change depending on your weapon setup and also if you’re holding the weapon with one hand or two. It’s a very nice touch. The graphics are really good except for a few hiccups here and there. There isn’t really music during the game until you face a boss and even then, the music could be better. The voice acting of the main cast is done well but the same can’t be said about the side characters as they really seem to lack energy. There were a few frame rate problems in the areas that were full of activity but it’s a very small problem in relation to the rest of the game.

The game starts with creating your own character and choosing the type of class you wish to use.  However, the great thing is that you are never restricted to that class’s skill set. The depth of upgrading is unbelievable. There are 8 different categories that can be increased such as Strength, Endurance and Luck. When you kill enemies, you will receive Demon’s Souls. These souls are what would be used to increase stats but it is also the game’s currency, so they would also be used to upgrade or purchase weapons and armour. However, as you increase your stats, your Soul Level does as well. This means that upgrading will become more and more expensive. You’ll never really have the option of upgrading a few things at once. More often than not, you’ll end up having to choose what to upgrade. There’s no denying it, Demon’s Souls is a very hard game. It’s going to beat you down and rub your nose in the dirt like a bully at school (But enough about my school life…Moving on). It’s not going to hold your hand at all. You are going to die and you are going to die a lot! When you die, you go right back to the beginning of the level. There is no pausing the game. When you hit the Start button, it will bring up a menu but the action will still continue. If you have unused souls when you die, you lose all of them. Yes, that’s right…All of them! When you respawn, you spawn in a phantom form. You can go back to the spot where you died and get all your souls back but all the enemies respawn. So if you’re killed while in phantom form, those souls are gone forever. Another feature to be mentioned is that the game is designed in such a way that if you keep dying, the enemies become tougher. It’s not a cheap way to kill you or to make you frustrated, the game is actually trying to teach you to play better. You’ll develop tactics, discover locations of treasure and notice patterns of enemies. You’ll also learn to take things slow and always defend yourself by blocking. The game is very hard, but it is a good change from all the relatively easy games out there.

The multiplayer in Demon’s Souls is pretty unique in that it has no lobby and there is no chat. No voice chat, no text chat. But if you do decide to go online while playing, you will be able to see ghostly figures of other players that might be exploring the same world that you are. The only difference is that they will be in another dimension. Also, if you find a blood stain, you will be able to see the last 10 seconds of the life of the player that died, which might alert you to hazards in the area. There is also an option to leave preset messages for other players online. You might want to alert them of possible dangers or maybe tell them how to defeat a certain enemy. Another really cool feature is the ability to summon other players to assist you with a tough situation. In which case, the summoned player will be in phantom form. The only real downside is the lack of chat in the multiplayer, which can be frustrating for players needing to communicate in a difficult situation.

Conclusion:
Overall, Demon’s Souls is a really good game. It might be very challenging but it is also very rewarding. If you come out of any battle alive, you’ll feel like a real badass. It’s a nice reminder of all the old school games from the NES that would have us pulling our hair out with frustration. You might want to pull out your hair with this title too, but probably not as much. If you want a real challenge and a really good game, then Demon’s Souls might be the next addition to your collection.

Predominantly reviewed on PlayStation 3.

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Blur Review

Shift into gear with a remarkable racing game! If you think your vision is impaired, wait till you play Blur!

Developed by Bizarre Creations and published by Activision comes a feature packed racing game with a difference.

So what’s the Big Deal?
Blur incorporates real-world cars and locations, with arcade style handling and intense vehicle combat, which is well implemented in this racing title with a difference.

Although the story-line is not so different from the rest of the titles out there, the game-play is well worth experiencing.

Massive attacks and power-ups await the gamer in this fast and exhilarating title, power-ups range from Mines, Shock attacks, Defensive Shields and Nitro speed boosts, which can be collected throughout the race and used all at once, creating some devastating combos to knock the opposition to the curb.

The Racing impact!
While not all the focus should go into the power-ups, Blur does focus on racing which is the most important part of the game. Get ready to face some tough AI in the story-mode which will test your skills on track. Blur is fast and when I say fast, I mean get ready to have an extra set of wet wipes handy to scrape the perspiration off your face as your reflexes will be tested!

Drifting is a nice addition to the game, but will take some getting used to as you sample each unique photo-realistic vehicle that this title has to offer. With some practice you will be flying past the opposition with style, elegance while dropping land mines to further hinder your rivals.

Bizarre Creations’ community-based interface enables gamers to acquire a network of allies, fans and those all important rivals, throwing in a unique personal racing experience that gamers will find truly fresh when it comes to racing games of this genre.

Can I play with my friends?
Blur features a 4 player split screen racing experience, as well as a 20 player online experience which consists of either, competitive or team based racing.

Blur is a game you will want to play online with a host of unlockables which can be acquired while dominating the online community. The online experience is addictive, so don’t think you will be letting go of that control anytime soon, as you will be looking to dominate the opposition over and over again!

Musically in tune?
Blur hosts a selection of artists which set the mood for this fast paced title, these artist include, The Emmy award winning Jacknife Lee, The Crystal method, Coldcut, The Qemists and The Herbalisers.

If these artists are not entirely to your taste, the option to turn off the music is located in the options menu, although they do intensify the racing experience of Blur.

The checkered Flag!
Blur is a great racing game, which is a blast to play.

The intense game-play is complimented by great visuals, especially when blowing away any rivals on course that take you on.

The AI is highly challenging and well worth taking on, although any frustration can be dealt with by dropping the difficulty level.

The online gaming is superb especially in the team-based racing modes, although, going up against 19 other opponents in competitive online racing, can be slightly frustrating at first but once you get the hang of it you will be dominating in no time.

The music has an impact in Blur it brings excitement to the intense racing world around you.

Bizarre Creations’ have definitely hit the sweet spot in this intense title.

Predominantly reviewed on PlayStation 3.

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Red Dead Redemption Review

Ever wanted to be a cowboy? Or even play as one in a video game? Maybe an outlaw robbing banks and jumping on moving trains. Possibly being the sharpshooting hero, eliminating all opponents who decide to challenge you. The setting of the Wild West has been a somewhat neglected one, as not many games have been set during this era. Red Dead Redemption is finally here and the West is going to seem wilder than ever.

You play as John Marston, a former outlaw looking to turn over a new leaf, after the gang he rode with left him for dead. John starts a new life but the government then forces him to track down his old gang and either capture or kill all of them. You might be thinking right now, “How do they force him to do this?” Well, the government has some collateral which will not be mentioned as that just spoils it for those who haven’t played the game. The characters you will end up meeting really drive the story along, although John Marston’s character seems somewhat inclined to help anyone and everyone he meets despite the fact that he has his own problems to deal with. Other than that, the story is great. You will also be able to meet strangers across the vast land that might be in need of some assistance.

Rockstar Games have become the kings of the open world genre after creating the Grand Theft Auto Series (commonly known as GTA). Red Dead Redemption is no exception. Anyone who has played a Grand Theft Auto game will notice that the presentation is very similar in this game. Examples of this are the blips on the mini-map and the conversations between characters on route to their destination. But this is more than just GTA of the Wild West. There is so much to do and so much to see. You can hunt animals and sell their fur, meat and skin in the stores located in towns. People will challenge you to quick draw gun duels where you can teach them a lesson for being too cocky. Bounties will be offered for wanted criminals and you can choose whether to kill them or hand them over to the authorities. You will also be able to lasso and break wild horses so that they may become your trusty steed. Different outfits can also be found that have abilities to assist you with certain situations. Those are only a few of the things you can do. One of the greatest features about Red Dead Redemption is the fact that random people that come up to you and ask for assistance with small tasks. Be it retrieving someone’s stolen horse or saving a woman from being kidnapped.

Red-Dead-Redemption-3

The presentation of the game is excellent. Rockstar has really captured the essence of the Wild West. The graphics are some of the best seen and the art style is very nicely done. The characters look great and the horses in motion look very lifelike. However, a few graphical bugs are present but when looking at the entire game, it’s a very small problem.

The audio in the game is just as great as the graphics (Never hurts, right?). The soundtrack has the classic Western music you would expect to hear in a film of the same genre. The voice acting is also top notch and brings the characters to life.

Conclusion:
Overall, Red Dead Redemption really is an excellent game. You have the story but so many other factors to keep you occupied for quite a long time. It offers you so much! A lot of work has gone into the development process. Red Dead Redemption was definitely worth the wait, the story is awesome and so are the characters. Plus it’s just so much fun to play. Red Dead Redemption is a definite must have in any gamer’s collection.

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Demon Souls Review

In February of 2009, a game called Demon’s Souls was released in Japan. Later that year in October 2009, the game was released in the USA. Now in June 2010, this title has finally hit South African shores. Developed by From Software and published by Namco Bandai, Demon’s Souls is an action role-playing game set in medieval times.

Demon’s Souls takes place in the kingdom of Boletaria. It has been enveloped in something called the “Deep Fog” as a result of the king using a dark ritual to gain power and bring prosperity to the land. The ritual was successful and brought prosperity to the kingdom, but the Deep Fog followed and covered the outskirts of Boletaria. The kingdom was cut off from the outside world causing other kingdoms to send scouts to investigate the lack of communication. However, none of them returned after wandering into the fog. Eventually someone did manage to breach the fog and tell the world about the terrible problem that burdens the kingdom of Boletaria. With the fog came bloodthirsty demons, hungry for the souls of mankind. Warriors tried to break through the fog to save Boletaria and some wanted to harness the power of the fog. Needless to say, they did not return. You play as a warrior who has made it through the fog and actually entered the castle. Thus begins your journey to defeat the evil awoken by the ritual and save mankind from annihilation.

The atmosphere in the game is incredible. It’s very dark in nature considering it’s the medieval period. It can be pretty dark at times and even with the brightness turned all the way up, you might struggle to see. The worlds that you will visit in the game are varied and very well done. They’re just beautiful in style and scale. The creatures that you will be facing really show good design. Props go to the developers for being original. Quite a bit of detail has gone into the animation for the main character. The animations change depending on your weapon setup and also if you’re holding the weapon with one hand or two. It’s a very nice touch. The graphics are really good except for a few hiccups here and there. There isn’t really music during the game until you face a boss and even then, the music could be better. The voice acting of the main cast is done well but the same can’t be said about the side characters as they really seem to lack energy. There were a few frame rate problems in the areas that were full of activity but it’s a very small problem in relation to the rest of the game.

The game starts with creating your own character and choosing the type of class you wish to use.  However, the great thing is that you are never restricted to that class’s skill set. The depth of upgrading is unbelievable. There are 8 different categories that can be increased such as Strength, Endurance and Luck. When you kill enemies, you will receive Demon’s Souls. These souls are what would be used to increase stats but it is also the game’s currency, so they would also be used to upgrade or purchase weapons and armour. However, as you increase your stats, your Soul Level does as well. This means that upgrading will become more and more expensive. You’ll never really have the option of upgrading a few things at once. More often than not, you’ll end up having to choose what to upgrade. There’s no denying it, Demon’s Souls is a very hard game. It’s going to beat you down and rub your nose in the dirt like a bully at school (But enough about my school life…Moving on). It’s not going to hold your hand at all. You are going to die and you are going to die a lot! When you die, you go right back to the beginning of the level. There is no pausing the game. When you hit the Start button, it will bring up a menu but the action will still continue. If you have unused souls when you die, you lose all of them. Yes, that’s right…All of them! When you respawn, you spawn in a phantom form. You can go back to the spot where you died and get all your souls back but all the enemies respawn. So if you’re killed while in phantom form, those souls are gone forever. Another feature to be mentioned is that the game is designed in such a way that if you keep dying, the enemies become tougher. It’s not a cheap way to kill you or to make you frustrated, the game is actually trying to teach you to play better. You’ll develop tactics, discover locations of treasure and notice patterns of enemies. You’ll also learn to take things slow and always defend yourself by blocking. The game is very hard, but it is a good change from all the relatively easy games out there.

The multiplayer in Demon’s Souls is pretty unique in that it has no lobby and there is no chat. No voice chat, no text chat. But if you do decide to go online while playing, you will be able to see ghostly figures of other players that might be exploring the same world that you are. The only difference is that they will be in another dimension. Also, if you find a blood stain, you will be able to see the last 10 seconds of the life of the player that died, which might alert you to hazards in the area. There is also an option to leave preset messages for other players online. You might want to alert them of possible dangers or maybe tell them how to defeat a certain enemy. Another really cool feature is the ability to summon other players to assist you with a tough situation. In which case, the summoned player will be in phantom form. The only real downside is the lack of chat in the multiplayer, which can be frustrating for players needing to communicate in a difficult situation.

Conclusion:
Overall, Demon’s Souls is a really good game. It might be very challenging but it is also very rewarding. If you come out of any battle alive, you’ll feel like a real badass. It’s a nice reminder of all the old school games from the NES that would have us pulling our hair out with frustration. You might want to pull out your hair with this title too, but probably not as much. If you want a real challenge and a really good game, then Demon’s Souls might be the next addition to your collection.

Predominantly reviewed on PlayStation 3.

Categories
PlayStation 3 Reveiws PlayStation Reveiws Xbox 360 Reveiws Xbox Reviews

Blur Review

Shift into gear with a remarkable racing game! If you think your vision is impaired, wait till you play Blur!

Developed by Bizarre Creations and published by Activision comes a feature packed racing game with a difference.

So what’s the Big Deal?
Blur incorporates real-world cars and locations, with arcade style handling and intense vehicle combat, which is well implemented in this racing title with a difference.

Although the story-line is not so different from the rest of the titles out there, the game-play is well worth experiencing.

Massive attacks and power-ups await the gamer in this fast and exhilarating title, power-ups range from Mines, Shock attacks, Defensive Shields and Nitro speed boosts, which can be collected throughout the race and used all at once, creating some devastating combos to knock the opposition to the curb.

The Racing impact!
While not all the focus should go into the power-ups, Blur does focus on racing which is the most important part of the game. Get ready to face some tough AI in the story-mode which will test your skills on track. Blur is fast and when I say fast, I mean get ready to have an extra set of wet wipes handy to scrape the perspiration off your face as your reflexes will be tested!

Drifting is a nice addition to the game, but will take some getting used to as you sample each unique photo-realistic vehicle that this title has to offer. With some practice you will be flying past the opposition with style, elegance while dropping land mines to further hinder your rivals.

Bizarre Creations’ community-based interface enables gamers to acquire a network of allies, fans and those all important rivals, throwing in a unique personal racing experience that gamers will find truly fresh when it comes to racing games of this genre.

Can I play with my friends?
Blur features a 4 player split screen racing experience, as well as a 20 player online experience which consists of either, competitive or team based racing.

Blur is a game you will want to play online with a host of unlockables which can be acquired while dominating the online community. The online experience is addictive, so don’t think you will be letting go of that control anytime soon, as you will be looking to dominate the opposition over and over again!

Musically in tune?
Blur hosts a selection of artists which set the mood for this fast paced title, these artist include, The Emmy award winning Jacknife Lee, The Crystal method, Coldcut, The Qemists and The Herbalisers.

If these artists are not entirely to your taste, the option to turn off the music is located in the options menu, although they do intensify the racing experience of Blur.

The checkered Flag!
Blur is a great racing game, which is a blast to play.

The intense game-play is complimented by great visuals, especially when blowing away any rivals on course that take you on.

The AI is highly challenging and well worth taking on, although any frustration can be dealt with by dropping the difficulty level.

The online gaming is superb especially in the team-based racing modes, although, going up against 19 other opponents in competitive online racing, can be slightly frustrating at first but once you get the hang of it you will be dominating in no time.

The music has an impact in Blur it brings excitement to the intense racing world around you.

Bizarre Creations’ have definitely hit the sweet spot in this intense title.

Predominantly reviewed on PlayStation 3.

Categories
Nintendo 3DS Reviews Reviews

Steel Diver Review

Welcome to the world of submarines:
When I first came across Steel Diver I felt very intrigued by this title, it seemed very different from other games on the market and offered some very unique gameplay on the 3DS console. Let’s find out if Steel Diver is as unique as it looks… Periscope down, review up.

Story: 
Steel Diver takes place in 19xx (yes, this is not very specific) when a rogue nation has invaded its neighbouring countries and is placing the world in danger. A secret submarine fleet has been banded together to stop the chaos and destruction. Ok, so the storyline is a little shallow but it works for Steel Diver.

Gameplay:
The campaign mode in Steel Diver is not particularly long , although it can be very addictive and engaging. In the beginning of each mission, you are given a rundown of the conflict that you will be facing and then it’s off to select one of the three submarines to use in the mission. You can either choose either a compact, midsized or a large submarine to go about destroying other ships.Compact submarine: The compact submarine offers easy movement, although no pitch wheel is used for positioning the sub. Torpedoes fire vertically and horizontally, which comes in handy when facing multiple enemies. The downside is it only fires one torpedo at a time.Midsized submarine: The midsized submarine offers easy movement and can fire off two torpedoes one after the other. The downside is that the torpedoes are fired horizontally, so you will have to position the sub using the pitch wheel in order to fire at ships that are on the surface.Large submarine: The large submarine is slightly harder to manoeuvre and can be a slight pain, but it does fire four horizontal torpedoes that results in maximum damage on enemy ships and submarines. Similar to the midsized submarine in order to fire at ships on the surface you will need to use the pitch wheel to position your torpedoes trajectory.In most missions, I used with the compact sub as it was far easier to manoeuvre through each mission and easier to destroy ships or other submarines. The downside was it took a little longer to do all this.

Periscope Strike:
In this gameplay mode players need to control their periscope by using side-to-side movements while tapping on the touch screen to fire torpedo’s at enemies. This is by far one of the best features of Steel Diver.Steel Commander:
Steel Commander is more of a turn-based gameplay mode. Each player takes a turn moving their fleet and the game is over once all the ships or supply ships are destroyed. This mode offers a think before you act approach and brings a very nice multiplayer aspect to this title (I would call it a modern day version of battleships).


Controls: 

The submarines are controlled via the touch screen, which is made to look like a control panel in a submarine (Thumbs up). Players can use the touch screen’s interface to control several different functions of the submarine, from the speed, depth, pitch and offensive measures. In theory, this sounds simple enough but becomes tricky when you are faced with multiple enemies. You may find yourself stumbling with the control system at first but after a little practice, you will be blowing enemy ships and submarines out of the water very soon.Sound: 
Steel Diver offers great sound; you can hear the sonar of your submarine in the background, as well as the bubbling of the water around your sub. The background music definitely sets the mood in Steel Diver. A note I would like to make is the Nintendo 3DS itself sounds fantastic and is far more superior in the sound department than other handheld console on the market at the moment.Graphics:Although this title is a 2D side-scroller it does not seem to make much use of 3DS’s 3D potential, except while playing Periscope Strike, which looks amazing in 3D. Overall, Steel Diver looks great in the Periscope Strike mode but not that great during the side-scrolling missions.

Conclusion: 
Steel Diver is definitely a title you should have in your 3DS collection; it offers unique intuitive gameplay, great sound and a decent control scheme. The only downside is the fact that Steel Diver does not look as great as it should. Periscope Strike is where this title shines and honestly, it should have had loads more missions that incorporated it.The Breakdown: 
Storyline: 5/10
Gameplay: 7/10
Controls: 8/10
Sound: 8.5/10
Graphics: 6/10

Predominantly reviewed on Nintendo 3DS.

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News Nintendo 3DS Reviews Nintendo Reviews

Old faces and very new tricks: Nintendo stand at rAge 2011

‘I waited impatiently behind a kid who didn’t really seem to know what he was doing’ a twenty-five year-old male rAge Expo visitor tells me, as he begins to talk about his experience of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. ‘The funny thing is I didn’t even know that the game was going to be here, as it was one of this years most highly anticipated 3DS release.’

It is interesting to me that Nintendo has managed to constantly breathe new life into its now long-standing characters such as Link and Super Mario. I watched children that were as young as I was when I first met Super Mario on the SNES console, enjoy a mass multiplayer game on the handheld 3DS console with all too familiar characters. It got me thinking that Nintendo has managed to establish its virtual concepts as a real-world playground of Cops and Robbers or Tag; As Nintendo is becoming a fundamental part of how children learn and develop through playing.

It is no surprise really, that Nintendo has managed to do this. After all, the company has been around since 1889, when it started out creating card games. It has a lot of experience in being sensitive to the needs of a changing society. The real question is, does the company simply ‘leave luck to heaven’ or does it have a multitude of ingenious minds that continually reshape old ideas into something new and relevant for today’s gamers, be it the long time fans ot those just getting their hands on their first console?

ITF Gaming, editor and owner, Darryl Linington says, ‘Nintendo has built a phenomenal reputation over the years, and I personally believe that the company has a great approach when it comes to fun, education and family orientated entertainment.’

He continues by saying, ‘I remember back when I was 6 years old, my father came home with this contraption that would change my life forever. The contraption was a Nintendo NES and I had heard about them on the playground at school. I watched eagerly as my father set it up, and then eventually let myself and my older brother figure out how it actually worked. Once we figured it out, I remember playing Duck Hunt, Hogan’s Alley, Excite Bike and the ever so popular Super Mario Bros for days on end.’

‘I thank Nintendo for introducing me to video games and compliments of this introduction, I have learnt so much over the years. I feel that video games have inspired me to be the person I am today, and I hope that the industry will continue to inspire and focus on developing young minds through education, imagination and inspiration.’ He concludes.

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Reviews

Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D Review

Developed by Capcom, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is the latest third-person shooter for the Nintendo 3DS, but do Zombies truly shine in 3D? Let’s find out.Gameplay:
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D places you in various locations and allocates a time limit in which you have to take on as many Zombies as humanly possible. Although each level is more like a mini-game you seem to get sucked in quite easily (who doesn’t enjoy shooting zombies!). The gameplay itself is addictive, challenging, great fun. Rushing to dispose of that last Zombie before the timer runs out is especially exhilarating, the one thing I found myself doing on various occasions was try to beat my previous score; this adds a nice element of replayability to the mix.During the first few levels the controls felt awkward and often made me wish the 3DS had a second analogue stick, but to honest the control structure is perfect and actually works quite well. The only downfall to this title is the fact that each character seems to move around as if they are on a summer vacation.When it comes to the actual title itself, it feels like the developers rushed through the development process, slapped on a cool looking cover and shipped it quicker than a Zombie outbreak. My reason behind this conclusion is that this title offers no storyline and only six group missions to play through. This was disappointing as I expected so much more from this title.A great new feature called Skill Slotting allows you to unlock 30 skills and equip three of these skills to a character; these vary from better weapon handling to resistance against being instantly turned into a pile of moosh by a larger enemy. Although this is a great feature it still doesn’t make up for the lack of storyline and the unfinished feel of this title.Resident Evil: The Mercenaries also features a demo of the upcoming Resident Evil Revelations, although this is a very short demo of Revelations it is looking pretty promising.

Graphics: 
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D looks amazing and it’s probably one of the best looking titles available on the 3DS, it even looks better than The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time when it comes to visual appeal. The characters, enemies and environments look great regardless of whether you are playing in 3D or not. Speaking of characters Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D has a selection of eight characters Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Claire Redfield and hunk; I wont mention all of them as that kinda spoils the fun. 

Sound: 
The sound in Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is fast paced, action packed and definitely suits the title, but just like the rest of the title it lacks variety. Before each mission starts you are given a brief overview on what you will need to accomplish, this is done via a well scripted voiceover that sounds fairy decent.

Online: 
Local and online play is available to play, but just like the single player counterpart it lacks storyline and depth.

Conclusion: 
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is honestly fun and addictive its only downfall is the lack of content provided and the absence of a much loved Resident Evil storyline. The graphics are superb and the sound is fantastic it’s just a pity that it felt like a rush job as it could have been such a stunning title.
The Breakdown:
Gameplay: 7/10
Sound: 6/10
Graphics: 8.6/10
Online: 5/10

Predominantly reviewed on Nintendo 3Ds.

Categories
Nintendo Wii U Reviews

rAge 2012: Nintendo Wii U on show

At the main stage at rAge, Nintendo were showcasing their soon to be released console: the Nintendo Wii U. As with the previous coverage, the new Wii U game-pad was showcased, the touch screen in particular being showcased and its uses being specified. In short, the Wii U’s controller will allow for use with both the television screen and on-controller screen for gameplay, and certain games will not even require the use of a television set for visuals. If this sounds a daunting prospect, worry not, all 3 versions of the Wii U Console will ship with the new gamepad, and the original Nintendo Wii’s peripherals can also be used with the new console.

The intention of this presentation, however, was to showcase the Wii U Fit – the next gen extension of the Nintendo Wii Fit functionality. Furthering the intention of the original device, the Wii U Fit intensifies the workout and gamers will feel the proverbial “burn” as they play their Wii U Fit games. Fitness stats will be able to be recorded, as will a player’s progress, mass and height statistics. Self-conscious users will be able to keep their statistics to themselves, as they will be displayable on the Wii U game-pad screen. Unfortunately, at the time of the presentation, the Nintendo representatives were not able to get the Nintendo Balance Board for the fitness activities working and no gameplay could be shown; However, the Nintendo stand had a working Wii U Fit system at the time and I will be covering the Nintendo presentation tomorrow morning and adding onto this article from what is shown.

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Nintendo 3DS Reviews Nintendo Reviews

Super Pokémon Rumble Review

Super Pokémon Rumble has finally ventured onto the Nintendo 3DS. While this title is the first Pokémon game to grace our presence in stereoscopic 3D, we ask ourselves does it live up to the standards of the previous Pokémon titles or is it just a weak attempt to get Pokémon on the Nintendo 3DS? Let’s find out!

Super Pokémon Rumble is the latest spin-off developed by Nintendo-owned studio Ambrella, creators of Hey You, Pikachu! for the N64, Pokémon Dash on DS and Pokémon Rumble, a bite-sized downloadable game released into the wilds of Nintendo’s WiiWare service.

Gameplay: 
The basic premise of this title is simple, take on numerous toy versions of Pokémon in a button mashing mini-adventure. The mini-adventure allows you to travel through different areas filled with multiple Pokémon that you will need to defeat, which will help you gain access to various Battle Royale arena’s. The Battle Royale arena’s put you up against a vast collection of Pokémon in a timed out battle… win the battle and you will be announced the winner of the Battle Royale and hordes of respect will flow automatically from your fellow Pokémon peers.

While this does sound simple enough, Super Pokémon Rumble provides gameplay that is fun and at the same time a great challenge; however, it seems to lack depth and variety. While there is indeed a vast number of different Pokémon to collect within this title, Super Pokémon Rumble still seems fairly linear and repetitive.

While battling it out through the various areas and Battle Royale’s, you will need to keep your Pokémon collection’s health in check. By switching out your injured Pokémon with a fully healed Pokémon frequently, you will prevent yourself from loosing valuable, high-powered Pokémon. Although, not many switches will be needed as the levels tend to be fairly short and the enemies can be bypassed quite easily if you just make a dash for it. One thing I did notice within this title is the fact that elemental damage still reigns supreme, which basically means that water Pokémon will still have a massive advantage over fire Pokémon.

Super Pokémon Rumble has an additional 2-player feature, which is a fun addition that will help you collect items and figurines at a much faster pace. Although, while playing 2-player you both need to complete a chosen level separately before attempting to hook-up via the 2-player mode.

While Super Pokémon Rumble is a decent title to play, I feel that it comes off as incomplete. The linear based gameplay is something that needed to be worked on more, and the addition of a much larger in-depth storyline would have been fantastic.

Super Pokémon Rumble

Graphics:
Super Pokémon Rumble looks fairly decent, I will say that Toy Town does look good when you are introduced to it; however, the Pokémon featured in this title don’t! The Pokemon models tend to come off as blocky, jagged and awkwardly shaped. This is rather disappointing as the Nintendo 3DS has shown some brilliant graphics, especially in titles like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 3D Land.

Sound:
I tend to personally find that most Nintendo 3DS titles feature the most annoying, irritating, aggravating music on the planet; however, Super Pokémon Rumble tends to feature music that is pleasant and easy on the ears.

Conclusion:
Super Pokémon Rumble is great title for those of you who are fans of the series; however, it is rather linear and tends to lack a unique storyline that will captivate or entertain you. The 2-player mode will however keep you and a friend entertained for hours though.

Super Pokémon Rumble is one game that does deserve praise when it comes to the music aspect; however, the graphics featured within this title tend to look outdated especially with the jagged, awkward looking blots on the screen that try to resemble Pokémon.

If you are looking forward to grasping the world of Pokémon on the Nintendo 3DS… Fantastic! Although we would rather suggest looking at other titles, which are far more deserving like Mario Kart 7, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time or Super Mario 3D Land.

The Breakdown: 
Gameplay: 6/10
Graphics: 4/10
Sound: 9/10
Lasting Appeal: 6.5/10

Predominantly reviewed on Nintendo 3DS.