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Super Mario 3D Land Review

Developed by Nintendo, Super Mario 3D Land is the latest Mario title to grace the Nintendo 3DS. Super Mario 3D Land is pure Mario to its core, with an additional 3D twist; however does Super Mario 3D Land hold high in the ranks of gaming on a handheld console? Let’s find out!

Storyline: 
Super Mario 3D Land brings the traditional storyline of the Mario world to the Nintendo 3DS. As always, Princess Peach has been kidnapped by Bowser, and it is now up to Mario to save the Princess. Although this is a traditional Mario storyline, I couldn’t help but smile while watching the short animated cut-scenes.

Gameplay:
Super Mario 3D Land is a platform title that combines the elements of the 3D into the gameplay. The main objective is to reach the end of each level by either avoiding or taking out enemies, within the time limit, and grabbing onto the flagpole at the end in order to progress. Super Mario 3D land features some killer power-ups including: The Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, Super Leaf and many more! I will admit that I have been hooked on my 3DS for most of the morning, and I found it hard to pull myself away.

While Super Mario 3D Land uses the 3D feature of the Nintendo 3DS quite brilliantly, it is also an integral part of the gameplay, as it is generally harder to complete without the use of the 3D effect. Super Mario 3D Land is a genuinely fun title to experience especially when it comes to gameplay and it also includes some stylish bonus content.

Mario titles from the past have never been a walk in the park to complete… by saying this, I have not come across anyone who has ever finished the first Mario title; however, completion is still achievable in Super Mario 3D Land. While breezing past the first few levels, I noticed that from World 8 the gameplay tends to shift quite a bit, bringing a sense of freshness to this title.

Super Mario 3D Land also incorporates the use of the gyroscope and StreetPass to further increase the appeal of gameplay. The Gyroscope can be used to look through binoculars and gain a better perception of the level at hand.

The addition of the mystery boxes is an additional bonus. While these tend to be more time challenges, they do allow you to gain those much needed power-ups and special items. While some 3DS titles tend to be too short, Super Mario 3D Land will keep you entertained for hours on end, as well as promote multiple playthroughs.

Graphics:
Super Mario 3D Land looks spectacular and completely utilises the power of the 3DS to its advantage. While this title is visually appealing with the 3D turned on, it looks equally as good without it.  The level design is beautiful and the characters have been designed with crisp, clear visuals.

Each World has a basic theme to it, which showcases colourful forest areas, spooky ghosts and a wide variety of visually stunning elements. When it comes to graphics this title plays smoothly and effortlessly.

Sound:
Nostalgia of note is included in this title! The music is a perfect fit and so is the quirky sound effects featured throughout. Classic Mario based tunes have been included and promote a nice up beat gameplay experience.

Lasting appeal:
Super Mario 3D Land is a title you will want to play over and over again. While the last few levels can be blatantly hard to complete, you will find yourself coming back for more Mario action quite often. Additionally, the StreetPass content included will keep you entertained for quite a few hours more.

Conclusion:
Nintendo has surprised me lately, especially with the amazing titles they are bringing out of late. Super Mario 3D Land is one of these amazing titles and a great addition to any 3DS owner’s collection.

Super Mario 3D Land brings well designed levels, innovative gameplay and sound that really sets the mood to the Nintendo 3DS. Now if you will excuse me, I am off to take on Bowser and his army of awkward looking minions and rescue the beloved Princess Peach.

The Breakdown:
Storyline: 9/10
Gameplay 9/10
Sound: 9/10
Lasting Appeal: 9.5/10

Predominantly reviewed on Nintendo 3DS.

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Nintendo 3DS Reviews

Tetris 3D Review

Nintendo tends to have this unique ability of  breathing new life into even the oldest video game titles to date. Nintendo’s latest rebirth is in the form of Tetris for the Nintendo 3DS; however, does this new version of the classic Tetris of the past live up to today’s standards? Let’s find out!

Key features:
Tetris for Nintendo 3DS  features a range of fun multiplayer options to keep you and your friends engrossed – five Local Play modes and three Download Play modes designed for up to eight people to enjoy at one time. What’s more, the Download Play multiplayer modes only require a single Game Card. Addtionally, you can also go online and compete against the rest of the world over the Internet using the World Battle and Friend Battle game modes.

Gameplay:
While there are plenty of Tetris titles out there at the moment, Tetris on the Nintendo 3DS is by far one of my favourites at the moment. This title features over 20 modes to explore including: Marathon, CPU Battle, Fever, Survival and various ways to play using the AR functions.

Tetris for the 3DS also features various Party modes, which include various options such as: Fit, squeeze blocks into specifically shaped holes; Bombliss Plus, use bombs to explode blocks coming up from below; Capture, strategically cover stars on both sides of the Matrix with Tetriminos; and Jigsaw, solve picture puzzles or import your own pictures. Make sure you also look out for new items available via SpotPass for Fever mode. These modes are fun and entertaining and allow for plenty of hours of Tetris madness.

The standard mode of Tetris is also included in this title, and allows one to reminisce to the good old days of Tetris. Tetris back in the day either had you jumping for joy because you just beat your friend’s highest score, or it made you want to take the cartridge and stick it in a giant bonfire due to frustration and aggravation. However, this it what Tetris is all about it’s a challenging puzzle that will push your brain to its limits.

Tetris for the Nintendo 3DS is a great idea; however, it is an old concept that has been brought back to life. While this version is fantastic, it does however have many competitors on the market already.

Graphics: 
While playing Tetris in 3D, you will notice how much the game actually changes. Animations are brought to life and the backgrounds now seem more involved and show a great sense of visual appeal.

One thing I will note is, while having a Mii character is entertaining and the concept generally brings a lot of games to life. I found the use of the Mii in this title rather pointless and annoying. This is due to the fact that the Mii character will dance in the bottom screen in a highly repetitive fashion, which is ultimately distracting.

Sound:
When I first loaded this title into my 3DS I felt a great feeling of nostalgia. This was due to the classic music and sound effects that have been included; however while this nostalgia only lasts for a few moments, you will find yourself muting this title after an hour or two of gameplay.

Conclusion:
Tetris on the Nintendo 3DS is definitely a title that deserves a lot of credit. While this title is indeed fun and entertaining, it will bring back age old memories from your childhood. Tetris is a great way to pass time and even better way to challenge your friends and family to some good clean fun.

As noted above, while having a Mii character is entertaining and the concept generally brings a lot of games to life. I found the use of the Mii in this title rather pointless and annoying. This is due to the fact that the Mii character will dance in the bottom screen in a highly repetitive fashion, which is ultimately distracting.

The Breakdown:
Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 6/10
Replayability: 9/10

Predominantly reviewed on Nintendo 3DS.

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Top 10 must have XBLA titles for 2012

2012 has been an outstanding year so far when it comes to retail video game releases. We’ve had titles such as Diablo 3, Spec Ops: The Line, The Amazing Spider-Man, Darksiders 2 and Sleeping Dogs headlining video game news. But what about the under-dogs and the titles that tend to fly under the radar? I’m speaking of course about the titles released as exclusive, download only medium, such as those made available on the Xbox Live Marketplace and of course the PlayStation Store.

Being ITF Gaming’s go to guy when it comes to the arcade titles on the market, I thought I’d introduce my top 10 titles on each respective platform (Sony PlayStation and Xbox 360).

Let’s start with Microsoft’s console giant, the Xbox 360.

10. Sine Mora
Sine Mora is a side-scrolling shoot ‘em up titled developed by Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture. It has a very anime feel and fans of such titles as 1942 will really enjoy the gameplay and premise of this title. A must have for fans of the genre.

Read our full review here.

9. Hybrid
A brand new third-person-shooter from the guys who brought us Scribblenauts. 5th Cell brings this futuristic world to life, with never-before-seen dynamics being introduced to the genre. Instead of running around, you instead utilise a jetpack to jump from cover to cover in this fast paced, action-packed multiplayer title. If you’re looking for a new type of challenge, Hybrid is the perfect fit for you.

Read our full review here.

8. Alan Wake’s American Nightmare
A continuation of the Alan Wake story on Xbox Live Arcade. It pits the titular protagonist of the original game against a bizarre evil manifestation of himself, called Mr. Scratch, in a nightmarish world filled with shadows and other gloomy horrors.

7. Joyride Turbo
Microsoft Studios introduces us to a turbo injected sequel to its Joyride Kinect title. Race as your avatar against the CPU or your friends on the same screen or on Xbox Live. A must have family title.

Read our full review here.

6. Fable: Heroes
Lionhead studios introduces us to a different take on the Fable world they have created. Go on a journey with some of the most memorable characters in the Fable universe. Play through several levels in an immersive 2D side-scrolling adventure.

Read our review here.

5. Dust: An Elysian Tale
Humble Hearts presents a story set in a lush and beautifully created fantasy world. It is not your typical side-scrolling game as it introduces various role-play elements into your experience. Craft your own weapons and push stat points into an excellently crafted system as you level-up your character and continue on your quest through a
hand-painted and creative world.

Read our full review here.

4. The Splatters
From SpikeySnail Studios comes an absolutely brilliant new take on the puzzle genre. Shoot your blobs around the level and take out the bombs scattered against the walls and ceilings. If you’re looking for a challenging and fun new type of game to play, give this one a try. I dare you!

Read our review here.

3. I Am Alive
One of the most elusive titles to ever be in development, finally made its way onto the Xbox 360 this year in the form of I Am Alive. Ubisoft Shanghai has really set out to create a breathtakingly awesome setting for what turned out to be one of the biggest post apocalyptic stories to hit the platform for a long time.

Read our review here.

2. Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition
One of PC’s most popular titles finally finds its way to the Xbox 360. Mine your materials and build yourself a home. Go dungeon crawling and fight enemies. Play online with your friends or strangers. One of the fastest selling titles on Xbox Live in history.

Read our review here.

1. Trials Evolution
Trials Evolution has taken Xbox Live by storm. With its breakneck action and sadistic style Trials Evolution has literally evolved into one of the biggest must-have Xbox Live Arcade titles to have in 2012.

I hope you guys enjoyed my Top 10 must have XBLA titles for 2012. The PlayStation Store Top 10 will be hitting your screens soon. In the meantime, please feel free to share your own Top 10 must have XBLA titles for 2012 in the comments below. And if you don’t agree with mine, please feel free to tell us why.

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5 of the best expansion packs and DLC that graced the world of gaming

Editor: Bracken Lee-Rudolph

DLC and expansions share the sole purpose of adding extra playability to games, but while their ends are the same, often their executions are not. There is much controversy about DLC, specifically Day One or On-Disc DLC which could have been included in the original product, whereas some cry out for the return of expansion packs, which they feel held far much more extra content and appeal than their downloadable counterparts. Despite this, DLC sales sky-rocket, adding to people’s experiences daily and their are certainly some that are far better than others; Here are some of the DLCs I feel stand out:

Old World Blues (Fallout: New Vegas) 
While Fallout: New Vegas was by no means a revolutionary game, the one thing it did exceptionally well was downloadable content. Winning the “Best Downloadable Content” award from Inside Gaming and netting a nomination in the Spike Video Game Awards, Old World Blues was undoubtedly the best DLC for New Vegas. The plot had you follow the attempts of the Courier to reclaim his brain after a botched lobotomy left him alive yet brainless. The brief storyline took the player along the comedic mishaps which eventually lead you to your brain and the side quests and exploration of the DLC location, the Big MT, could last up to 20 hours which is fantastic value for the R95 paid for it.

The Shivering Isles (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion)
The Shivering Isles was Bethesda’s way of saying sorry for horse armour, allowing the player access to the realm of Oblivion possessed by Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Insanity. The download/expansion added a whole extra explorable world to the game and with it, an extra storyline and all the extra loot and collectables that come with it. The thing that made The Shivering Isles such an iconic expansion is the nature of the world it added to the game; Sheogorath’s realm was vibrant, irrational and flamboyant as opposed to Cyrodiil’s generally typical RPG cities and locations. Later included in the Oblivion GOTY Edition, which itself is still worth a buy today, The Shivering Isles cemented itself as a legendary DLC.

Peer Review (Portal 2) 
Portal 2 won many people over with its iconic and amusing narrative and engrossing gameplay, especially on the co-op front, where challenges would often test both parties’ skill as well as their logic to the maximum. The Peer Review pack added to this in the form some truly mind-bending extra co-op levels. The pack added about 5-10 hours of gameplay, depending on how quickly you solved the puzzles, but were excellently constructed and added a few of the notorious Glad0s taunts. What truly capped off the excellent performance of this DLC was its price: 100% Free. Need any further motivation?

Secret Armory Of General Knoxx (Borderlands) 
Borderlands was a frenetic, over-the-top, non-stop adrenaline rush of action through about 60 hours for 2 playthroughs, which slapped you around, chased you with guns and left you wanting more. This is where the Secret Armory came in. The Secret Armory was the third of four downloadable add-ons for Borderlands and, in my opinion, the best of them, it was far more difficult than the others barring The Underdome and gave access to new vehicles, a plethora of new enemies, a new area twice the size of Zombie Island and access to the most ridiculously difficult boss battle this side of Dark Souls and the Ur-Dragon, Crawmerax. Now available in the Borderlands GOTY Edition at about R140, there’s almost no excuse to have not tried this out at this point.

The Darkspawn Chronicles (Dragon: Age Origins)
While not the longest, most mind-blowing, largest or even best value for money DLC ever created, The Darkspawn Chronicles was a fantastic piece of DLC because it gave you the “What if?” factor. The premise of the DLC is that your protagonist in Dragon Age: Origins had died in his initiation into the Grey Wardens and the Darkspawn were on the verge of conquering the realm of Ferelden. You were able to find a majority of the NPCs you had travelled and interacted with and kill them, but it also gave some insight into what became of the in-game world and how the characters’ personalities differed from their personalities in your party. Most importantly, it gave you the chance to play as the bad guy, which was a pleasant excursion from your role in the rest of the game.

BONUS: Assassinate The Führer (Sniper Elite V2)
This beautiful piece of DLC was a pre-order bonus, and therefore free to any who ordered the game in advance. It quite simply gave you the opportunity to shoot Hitler (after a short mission through a train station packed with Nazis). The mission itself wasn’t overly difficult on the harder difficulties, although it was by no means easy, and the environment was not huge, but the mission itself gave you the opportunity to shoot a man vilified by a large majority of the world for the atrocities he committed during the course of the Second World War right in his beady little mustache as he flees. Is there any better reason to get your hands on a piece of DLC than that?

These were some of my most pleasant forays into the world of downloadable content, and there are undoubtedly other packs which I either have not had the privilege of using or haven’t mentioned here. Let us know in the comments if there are any DLC or expansion packs which are well worth the money you spent on them!

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Six Ways Video Games Can Benefit Children Through The Holidays

Editor: Celina Jones

Video games can offer light relief from school work as well as being educational in their own right. Here is a look at the six best reasons to allow your kids to play video games during the school break.

Relief And Escapism:
We all need escapism from our daily lives, that is why we have holidays after all. Next time your child asks if they can spend time on the computer think about how much you last enjoyed watching a film or drama on TV. It is just as important as allowing them to watch their favourite TV shows.

Cognitive Skills:
Many games encourage a level of thinking that you simply don’t get from reading a book. Games by their essence require interaction which makes them instantly more enjoyable than passive learning options, especially games such as Scooby Doo. Games which build cities or focus on farms and other occupations will encourage children to make decisions based on weighing up options and then discovering cause and effect.

Hand/Eye Coordination:
One of the biggest advantages to allowing your kids to enjoy video games during the holidays is that it encourages their hand/eye coordination. This is especially true of sporting games such as golf, cricket or football although many games help with this. Several games such as Scooby Doo video games where children are cracking mysteries encourage problem solving skills.

Educational Games:
For children who don’t thrive in the classroom and also for those who do, educational games provide a method of leaning which is far more accessible than they are familiar with. Video games are not necessarily going to replace a teacher and a chalkboard, but they can help shy children learn in a comfortable environment or encourage children who don’t enjoy school to learn through play.

Socialisation:
Many games feature inbuilt socialisation tools. Sometimes this is in the form of a chat box or through a camera or headphones and microphone. Obviously care needs to be taken that they are communicating with other children only. Some games require team skills and kids can play with their friends who are also online. The benefit of this is that you know who they are speaking to and it also helps them learn how to work as a team to achieve their goals.

Let Them Have Fun:
Although games offer a number of benefits as outlined above, it is worth remembering that they were first invented as a means of fun and what is wrong with that? Kids work hard all term and unless you have forgotten – it is not easy growing up. Children are entitled to a childhood and video games are a fun part of this. Provided you set limits on the amount of time they play there is nothing wrong with allowing them to play just because it is fun for them.

Video Games are sometimes open to bad press but in fact they can be hugely beneficial to your child. The constant pressure of school work means that kids need the holidays to relax and unwind and playing games can be a part of this. Many games are educational and help kids with Maths, English, Science and other subjects. Sport games canaid hand eye coordination whilst online games can encourage children to socialise with other kids. Decision making and other cognitive skills can be developed through computer games too.

Video games also offer stressed teenagers some much needed light relief, a bit of escapism and most of all, a chance to have a little fun.

About the Author:
Jones is a parenting blogger who encourages a range of learning methods in her kids. She also enjoys baking cookies and playing football at the weekends. She believes Scooby Doo is one of those cartoon games that can make your kids smile the moment they start playing it.

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The Top 5 iOS Games

Editor: Brady Ruiters

Those in possession of an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad will know that there are a large number of games and apps on the App Store. I haven’t really had my iPhone that long but I have come across quite a few games that have really grabbed my attention. So I’ve narrowed down the amount of games to a list of which I think might just be my Top 5. Here they are in no particular order:

Dead Trigger
This was probably the first action game on my phone and had me quite addicted for quite a while after I had downloaded it. You play as a survivor of a zombie outbreak who finds a settlement of people in desperate need of a hero. The stranger just has the set of skills to help the people out. Dead Trigger is a First-Person Shooter which handles quite well for a game touch screen controls. There are a number of weapons to make use of during the game, provided that you have the right amount of cash saved up from completing missions. Players can also earn gold by completing daily bonus challenges. The gold is used to unlock some of the more powerful guns such as the minigun or as I like to call it, the meat grinder. Dead Trigger is free in the App Store.

The Room
One of my latest acquisitions, The Room, is a puzzle game which challenges the player but also keeps them wanting more. Each puzzle is unique and interesting with different tasks being required to solve said puzzle. It also challenges the player to think out of the box. You find yourself in a room with a safe that has been really well-locked, and the goal is to open it up. There are many other things which detail the story a little more, but you’ll find that the story is hardly the fun part.

Other details which tweak the experience of this game vary from amazing graphics, sound and a quiet, mysterious like feel in the room and of the gameplay, in addition to that safe you so badly want to open. All of these factors as well as the intricate puzzles you’re faced with adds to the desire to get that safe open as soon as possible. The game is never impossible to get through but it is still interesting enough to keep the player hooked. The first puzzle of The Room is free to try on the App Store while $1.99 will unlock the rest of the game.

Angry Birds
I’m sure many of you have seen this one coming but the Angry Birds phenomenon cannot be denied. The game is simple yet so much fun to play; anywhere and at any time. Well, maybe not at your job or maybe a funeral. All the player has to do is launch the birds across the level with a slingshot in order to exact revenge on the always plotting pigs. Players can also challenge themselves to use as few birds as possible when completing levels. A number of themed games have also been released to make the gameplay a little more interesting including Angry Birds: Seasons, RIO, Space and the most recent release, Star Wars. Each game costs $0.99 on the App Store.

ORC: Vengeance
This is quite a recently released game but it hasn’t stopped making waves since its first download. ORC plays very much like a Diablo-style dungeon crawler. The best part is that you can play a quality game like this wherever you go. Players assume the role of Rok, an Orc Warchief that was separated from his clan. The previously imprisoned Dark Lord has been freed because of the ego and pride of humans. Rok seeks to fix things by whoopin’ ass all over the different levels. The controls are pretty easy to get the hang of and the game looks great. Expect lots of loot, Role-Playing Game elements and challenging boss fights. ORC: Vengeance is a whopping $0.00! That’s right, absolutely free.

Infinity Blade
This game created quite a stir at its release in December of 2010 as it was the first iOS game to run the Unreal Engine 3. Infinity Blade starts with the player’s character launching an assault on the immortal God King’s castle. Unfortunately, the King’s guardian defeats the player and the God King drives the Infinity Blade through the character, absorbing his essence. 20 years later, the character’s descendant is out for revenge and decides to battle their way through the castle. The enemies are a little more challenging but the new warrior has all the items and skills of their fallen ancestor. Upon reaching the God King again, the new warrior is still not strong enough to take him down and so rises another descendant to take up the challenge. The gameplay comprises of one-on-one sword battles that can be rather challenging. The controls are easy to learn but quite tricky to master. Infinity Blade also looks amazing for a mobile game so players will not be disappointed with its visuals, especially when playing on some of the later iOS devices. It currently costs $5.99 on the App Store but frequently goes on sale, seeing the price drop to as low as $0.99.

Are there any games that you would like to add to the list? Post them in the comments section below.

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PlayStation Vita Reviews

Army Corps of Hell Review

Developed by Entersphere and published by Square Enix, Army Corps of Hell brings dark humour, vicious combat and a rather interesting storyline to the PlayStation Vita.

Players assume the role of the King of Hell, and additionally control an army of goblins in order to reclaim the title as the King of the underworld. Facing off against demons and massive bosses, you travel through various levels to take back a throne that is rightfully yours.

When it comes to gameplay, Army Corps of Hell reminds of me of Overlord in a sense, which means that your army of goblins are sent out to a targeted enemy in order to rip it to pieces while the King of Hell idles in the background. Goblins come in three different classes ranging from Soldiers, Spearmen and Magi. Soldiers tend to get up close and personal and generate massive amounts of damage to enemies, while Spearmen attack from distance and Magi eliminate magically protected enemies.

Army Corps of Hell has quite a few items and weapons that are scattered throughout each level. Additionally, it also features a really great Alchemy system, which comes in handy when upgrading your goblins weapons and the creation of new items in order to assist you as you take back the throne of Hell.

The graphics featured in Army Corps of Hell are not entirely the best I have experienced on the Vita; however, some of the levels do look rather vibrant and feature some really phenomenal lighting effects.

Army Corps of Hell features a really intense heavy metal soundtrack, which really sets the mood perfectly. This indeed is a major highlight of this title; however, the actual in-game sound effects tend to lack the same enthusiasm as the heavy metal soundtrack.

Conclusion:
While Army Corps of Hell utilises the power of the Playstation Vita quite well, it tends to be slightly repetitive when it comes to gameplay. This can be seen in the repetitive level design and duplicated enemies that you face off against. Army Corps of Hell is truly an interesting concept; however, it is a title that has missed the mark due to average gameplay and its repetitive nature.

The Breakdown:
Gameplay: 6.5/10
Storyline: 8/10
Graphics: 6.10
Sound: 8/10
Lasting Appeal: 6/10

Predominantly reviewed on PlayStation Vita.

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Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands Review

In 1989, a game was released called Prince of Persia (abbreviated as PoP). It introduced an interesting story and awesome gameplay consisting of acrobatics and fight sequences. This 2D action-platform game was only the beginning. It spawned a popular franchise and gained a huge fan base. Over the years, games have been released on multiple platforms such as the PC, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PS2 and even mobile phones. The game evolved from 2D to 3D towards the end of the 90’s, capitalising on the advances in technology. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is the latest outing for the franchise.

The story returns to the series created by The Sands of Time and takes place during the seven year gap between The Sands of Time and Warrior Within. The titular character, only known as “The Prince”; returns after his adventure in Azad to visit his brother’s kingdom. Upon his arrival, he discovers that the Royal Palace is under siege (talk about a welcome home party). After a little searching, The Prince finds his older brother, Malik. The two set off in the same direction but on different paths making every effort to defend the palace from the invading forces. In a desperate attempt to save the palace, the two brothers decide to make use of the ancient power of the sand. The Prince then sets off on an adventure that will teach him about leadership and responsibility. Unfortunately the story is quite forgettable but the manner in the way it is told adds a nice touch to the game. The Prince narrates as events take place during the game, which is pretty well done and helps show some of his personality.

The gameplay features fan favourite elements from the original series but also adds some new innovations. As expected, the ability to rewind time is available from the beginning of the game since this takes place after The Sands of Time. However, unlike the 2008’s Prince of Persia; you are able to die. You have a limited amount of chances to rewind time with the sands but it can be replenished by finding blue energy all around the environment. As you progress, more powers can be learned. One power that you unlock is the ability to freeze water and use it to advance through an area. Depending on how the water is situated in the environment, it could be frozen to form a column, a bar to swing on or a wall that could be run across. The new powers spice up the gameplay and force you to think carefully about your next move. The combat portions of the game are very similar to The Sands of Time. So fans will feel right at home. The Prince is able to fight multiple enemies at once. Up to 50 enemies can be on screen, so crowd control is vital to your survival. Also, the ability to block is absent from The Forgotten Sands and there are no Quick Time Events either. Combat is quite easy though, so the absence of these features will not make your gaming experience less enjoyable.

The in game graphics have been very well done. The environments are beautiful and the Prince is looking good. However, the camera did become a bit problematic. It was especially frustrating when there was a fight and the camera swung around behind a column and obstructed the view of the action. The voice acting is excellent. Yuri Lowenthal, who voiced the Prince in The Sands of Time and The Two Thrones, is back in The Forgotten Sands. So expect the charming Prince and not the brash Prince from the 2008’s Prince of Persia. The music is also well done, giving an epic feeling during those huge battles.

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is a good game. It’s not as good as The Sands of Time, but it is better than the Prince of Persia from 2008. It has great platforming and good combat. The story could’ve been better and the camera needed work but it is still enjoyable. Fans of the series will love this latest adventure with The Prince.

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

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Singularity Review

Stay Frosty Gamers!
From Raven Software and Activision publishing, comes a very fun first-person-shooter.

Welcome to Katorga-12 folks!
Singularity takes place on Katorga-12, an island where the Russians have been experimenting with a substance called E99 now you may think to yourself “Russians” Experimenting? That’s Crazy? Well during the Cold War something went wrong very wrong! A catastrophe called Singularity occurred, which caused the Island to be covered up by the Zee Russian Government.

You get thrown into Katorga-12 when your Chopper has been taken down by what seems to be a massive EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse), Nate Renko has been sent to investigate the highly bizarre radiation, that has been picked up on the island. After regaining consciousness, Nate finds the very cool TMD Device (Time manipulation Device) and realizes the world around him is being fluxed between the past 1955, and the present 2010. While all this craziness is happening around Nate, he still finds time to kick some serious mutant and Russian butt, using some devastatingly cool weapons.

The arsenal in my locker:
Weapons range from the Centurion Pistol, the AR9 Valkyrie machine gun, the Volk S4 Shotgun and the Kasimov SNV-E99 Sniper Rifle which are fully upgradable in the nearest weapons locker. Upgrades include: More ammunition, higher damage and higher capacity for those all important rounds of fire power. While Weaponry combat is fun, the true key to this games success is the Time Manipulation Device, This delivers a huge impact on game-play.

The abilities of the Time Manipulation device include:
Age Revert: This allows Gamers to move objects or humans back and forth through time, its function allows walk ways to be repaired by sending it back to a period where it was all new and shiny.  Age revert also allows gamers to turn blocked paths such as fences into scrap metal, as well as turn human opposition into a grisly pile on bones, which someone may sweep up?

Deadlock: Allows the Gamer to create a sphere, which slows down time or stops anything in its tracks for a momentary period, allowing intense battle to turn into shooting fish in a barrel.

Gravity: Is truly awesome, it allows gamers to grab an object and hold it in time, indefinitely.

Whilst these 3 are the only ones I will cover for now there are some extra awesome abilities that you experience while playing Singularity.

Will it scare the pants off me?
Whilst in the beginning of Singularity you may find yourself wondering around saying to yourself “I knew that would happen” there are many moments where you will possibly run out your room, or switch to some very well deserved cartoons, to block out the images running through your head. But believe it when I say it, you will be back for more! The Russian AI you encounter is vicious and their arsenal of weaponry will have you dodging bullets like wild fire. I won’t forget to mention the hostile mutated residents of Katorga-12 which will keep any gamer on the ready in-case one just bursts through the ceiling above you.

Multiplayer impact:
When I mentioned fun I meant it, Singularity has a great Multiplayer scope, and delivers some intense action in the midst of battle. Although there are only two modes which are available, you will be phoning up your mates, to whack themselves online so you can own everyone one of them, over and over again.

Verdict time!
Singularity is a great title! The ability to control various objects in time is an awesome concept; however, it does feature a few downsides, which include a non-existent mini-map and graphics that could have been polished for the better.

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

Categories
PC Reviews PlayStation 3 Reveiws Xbox 360 Reveiws

Transformers: War for Cybertron Review

Auto-Bots lets roll!
Developed by High Moon Studios and published by Activision, The Transformers series has been revived into a brilliant world of intense single and multiplayer action, unlike its predecessors, which turned out to be something we would rather watch someone else play or watch paint dry. With the release of Transformers War for Cybertron, Activision and High Moon Studios have hit the nail on the head!

Wage the War!
Set on Cybertron, the native beings are waging war against each other, as the planet is slowly being turned to dust, by each rival faction, The Auto-bots and The Decepticons.
The leader, Zeta Prime, has been turned into a pile of scrap metal, which starts the well known destiny of an inexperienced leader “Optimus” who will do anything to stop the infamous Decepticon leader “Megatron” from obtaining the Legendary Dark Energon.

So what can you expect?
Transformers WFC takes it to the next level, as gamers get to experience both sides of the story. Choose your alliance Auto-bots or Decepticons and get ready for some intense campaign combat. Change from Robot to vehicle in an instant at anytime.

Auto-bots in the blue corner!
Include the likes of the forever fearless leader Optimus who is packing enough heat to make a naval base look like a day care centre.

Bumblebee the best scout out there, packing an impressive Energon battle pistol that will smoke any Decepticon, waging war against his fellow Auto-bots.

Ratchet packs some heavy artillery, as he wields his assault rifle on any unsuspecting Decepticon in the way of truth and justice, while repairing any damage to his fellow team mates, it’s all in a day’s work.

Decepticons in the red corner!
Pulling in the most feared Leader, Megatron, the Auto-bots may find it a little tiresome being blown to bits by the most feared Decepticon alive, packing a very powerful fusion cannon, can you say Auto-bots Reassemble?

Barricade is not the kind of scout you would want tracking you down! Armed with a neutron assault rifle and speed this he is surely a force to be reckoned with.

Brawl is the Soldier of all Soldiers, with massive melee attacks expect to be turned into a steaming pile of scrap metal if you don’t take him seriously as an opponent.

Weapons are scattered throughout the world in this epic title, so be prepared to wage an assault against which ever opposing faction you see fit.

The Intensity makes us quiver.
Battle is intense in WFC and thus gamers will feel overwhelmed, as hordes of enemies try to take you down. Quick moves and pin point accuracy will be needed if you want to take on this brilliant title.

Multiplayer that will make you squirm.
WFC has various multiplayer modes which is probably the best we have seen, these modes range from the following:

Death Match: Free for all Auto-bots and Decepticon Action.

Team Death Match: choose your alliance and may the best team win.

Conquest: Capture and hold style game-play.

Count Down to extinction: Destroy the opposition by planting a bomb right where their base is sitting pretty.

Power Struggle: Capture the flag style game-play.

Code of Power: Will pull you in, as you vie for massive melee weapons.

All these multiplayer modes are extremely fun to play, and the intense combat you will experience will make you crave for more, with the bonus of leveling up and obtaining some very awesome perks and upgrades.

Verdict time!
I am going to have to say it, brilliance is a dish served metallic!
Transformers War for Cybertron is well worth having in any gamers collection.
It is truly a massive step up from the previous titles that were released, and is possibly one of the best third person games out there at the moment.

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.