Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Battlefield 4 Finally Out!

Image from www.ea.com
"That's 1.16GB of pure levolution." (Battlefield Guy)

Good news for all Battlefield 4 players who bought the game almost a year ago and ACTUALLY WANT TO PLAY IT, as the hotly anticipated Fall Patch has come out today, announced on the Battlefield Blog. The update aims to make the game the multiplayer behemoth it should've been at launch (Only a year late!) in all of it's 1.16GB goodness on all platforms, with big changes including the addition of the Obliteration Competitive mode, a de-cluttered and customizable HUD, the finalization of the Community Test Environment and better animations, plus hundreds of other small tweaks. It's nice to see that DICE didn't just abandon the game, despite the fact that it's working on the new Star Wars: Battlefront, but it may have come too late to rescue betrayed and distraught fans. 

In other Battlefield news, Battlefield Hardline, the new mo- SPIN-OFF will launch with 9 maps and 7 game modes, plus the singleplayer campaign that no one will play because they're too busy hanging out of cars. Visceral boss Steve Papoutsis told JackFrags this information, meaning that there's still 1 mode to be announced. Along with the return of Conquest and Team Deathmatch, there are new modes Hotwire, Blood Money, Heist and Rescue, and since Papoutsis said in the interview that 5 modes were never-before seen in the franchise, it's impossible to take a guess as to what this mystery mode will be. Please let it involve more cars.

The real question is: Are 9 maps and 5 new modes enough to convince the gaming public that Hardline isn't some DLC-in-a-box? Battlefield 4 contained 10 maps and 3 new modes in the base game alone, so Hardline is looking to be pretty innovative, but it all depends on the quality and care that have been put into these maps and modes. Gameplay wise, Hardline has impressed recently, and with only two modes that have been in Battlefield before, it's really looking like it can distinguish itself from the 12 other Battlefields before.

What do you guys think? Has the Battlefield 4 update come too late? And will you buy Battlefield Hardline? Tell us in the comments below!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Raucous Reviews: FIFA 15

Image from fifasoccerblog.com
Ever since I shunned FIFA 14 immediately after release for it's huge amount of microtransactions and pace-focused gameplay, I've watched it from afar as it slowly crumbled under the weight of coin sellers and wished that more thought was put into the singleplayer modes. Ultimate Team's great and all, but what's a guy to do when he's done with getting obliterated online? 

Thankfully, it seems that EA have focused a little more than usual on lag-free land of single player. While no new modes have been added, EA has been carefully tweaking and adding small mechanics that make experiences that much more interesting and easier. Skill Challenges have been made more interesting and varied, plus new Goalkeeper skill challenges have been added. But that's the overall feeling in FIFA 15: while it's still the pinnacle of the football simulation market, it seems to be shuffling forward rather than leaping.

Let's start with the raw gameplay: once again, the developers have shifted the power from pace to dribbling. Dribbling is now the way to win, and with slide tackles becoming less powerful, matches can turn out to be a frustrating experience when playing against skillful players, both virtual and real. Even goalkeepers can beat defensive lines with ease. It seems like EA just can't find that balance, and are going back and forth until they strike that golden ratio.

Speaking of balance, your players will be losing a lot of it. Hundreds of new animations mean all players and keepers react to situations in different ways. It's amazing to see how much detail EA have put into the match day experience: players will complain, fight and express emotion when celebrating. Sometimes it's amazing; capturing the feeling of a passionate match and investing you into the game. Other times it just detracts from the experience: players will complain about tackles when the ball is in their possession, and have it stolen from them. Once again, there's a balance needed.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Raucous Reviews: Elminage Gothic

Image from www.otakugamers.uk
I'm not usually the type of person to play an old-school dungeon crawler like Ghostlight's Elminage Gothic. Hell, anyone who knows me will know that I barely go near JRPGs, with Pokemon being my furthest venture east. Still, I gave said crawler a whack, so here's my thoughts on it...

Elminage Gothic is, after all, a localisation of a Japanese game, so I was expecting a bit of a difficulty curve. What I wasn't expecting was a huge slap in the face by the game, where, after a scene-setting cutscene, I was plunged into a menu with no idea what to do, I clicked around until I went into a tavern and was told to recruit some team-members. 

Now here's where my opinion was split: on the one hand, there was a lot of information to go on in terms of choosing the right teammates. On the other hand? No tutorial or explanatory text meant that, once again, I had no idea what any of the stats were and how they factored into the game. As I randomly selected all of my party members, I was told to go and explore a cave. 

Lots of confused walking around and speaking to characters later, I was well on my way to questing it up in the lands of..... I can't remember! Story is really put on the back-burner in EG, so don't come a-knocking and expecting any kind of deep, Final Fantasy-esque tale: Elminage Gothic's heart is in it's gameplay, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Anytime Reviews: Magicmaker

*Casts spell* Pew Pew! Woah, did you see that spell?! That was cool.

Image From: http://www.darkstation.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Magicmaker_PC_05.png

A boss stands in front of me; I bombard it with a screen filling barrage of sparkles and flames and double jump and dash around with my enchanted robe- monster defeated, loot taken, my wizard now ready to make more spells. I did this and made these magic spells in the game Magicmaker (surprisingly), which is made by Tasty Stewdios for the PC. You (Your avatar- a wizard- not really you) play as a security guard for D√∂rwall Community College, and do quests in randomly generated dungeons and areas in 5 separate zones in a 2D, charming cutout cartoon style world that seems almost childlike in how it is presented and all the pretty and innocent colors that are present.

 It has a pretty simplistic story, and could do with some more depth. The writing and characters are lighthearted, matching with the somewhat childlike visual style the game has chosen, although in some parts the writing seems off and bland. Still, the outrageous, awesome fun of the gameplay is where this game shines.


Image From:http://www.twinfinite.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/magicmaker-header.png

The gameplay is like the story (As in, simplistic) but it is very fun, due to the aforementioned huge variety of spells you are able to make. You combine different elements in your spells to create different effects, said elements taking the form of items of varying levels of power and rarity which you can find from chests, as rewards and as drops from the monsters and foes that the wizard defeats. There are laser beams, tornadoes, storms, black holes, supernovas, all at your disposal. This allows you to use whatever spell fits you. The game also allows you to customize looks and names too, which makes the experience even more your own.  In my opinion (All of this is my opinion actually, it's kind of what reviews are) it starts off very slow, but the build up is worth it once you start creating really crazy spells and abilities for yourself. It plays quite platform game like, but when you add enchantments which allow you to dash, double jump and fly the game is significantly more fast paced.


Image From:http://www.darkstation.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Magicmaker_PC_03-e1409772035725.jpg

Everything about this game seems quite simple from its art style, to its gameplay, to its story. I think that only the story needs improving as it wasn't that interesting, but nonetheless the 100,000+ spell combinations keep the gameplay fresh and is the main hook of the game, allowing more longevity. It actually has quite a bit of bang for its buck ( $9.99 of them to be precise) due to the fun spell system. It's worth the purchase if you have some spare money, but although some people may not like its gameplay or art style, Magicmaker will last a long time for the small price with lots to keep you interested.

7.7/10

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

iWasted 2 Nights

Image from mashable.com
"I've eaten 6+ Pot Noodles" (Apple fan with too much time on his hands)

The Great Manhattan Congestion has finally ended, as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was launched this week. Pavements everywhere were freed from the clutches of tents and sleeping bags, but for all who waited, it was worth it. Except for this guy.

Anyways, this big launch was perfect for Apple, too, as Eurogamer reported that Apple have already sold 10 million iPhone 6s and 6 Pluses. But how? Why is this the only case in the phone world, whereas other giants like Samsung, Sony and HTC never sell this quick? Well, it's partly to do with Apple's huge presence in everyday life. Apple adverts are always memorable. Apple stores are always huge and let you go hands on with the product for as long as you want. The OS is sleek and stylish. They, while not being the best, are the definition of the smartphone, whether you like it or not.

This is why everyone's going on about how huge the 6 Plus is, even though phones like the HTC One Max and Sony Xperia Z Ultra are bigger and came about earlier. It's Apple that are quite literally moving markets. Despite tons of smartwatches being released, the Apple Watch still has the most hype. Mobile gaming wouldn't be big were it not for Apple. They're so devilishly good with their marketing and overall style that they've taken a huge hold on many markets. That's why people are prepared to pay huge prices for an Apple product.

What do you guys think? Did you buy an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, and did it live up to expectations? Tell us in the comments!

Sunset Underpriced

Image from gotgame.com
By next year, Microsoft will be giving us money!

Yet another price reduction has happened to the Xbox One to help it compete with the PS4. Eurogamer noticed that, on Microsoft's official page, the Xbox One has been listed for £329.99, meaning that it's now been reduced by £100 in the 10 months it's been on sale. Go people power! Anyways, the weird thing is that even the recently announced Sunset Overdrive bundle is priced at the same amount. I'm not sure if Phil Spencer knows this, but to be a successful company you have to make money.

Image from www.onenewspage.us
"In Sunset Overdrive, WE, YES WE, will be operating at a profit loss." (Ted Price, E3)

But the real question is why would Microsoft need to reduce the price again? Wouldn't that make buying it's poor, unloved Kinect 2 pointless if just getting the console is £70 cheaper? 

Well, the holiday season is coming up, so the Microsoft team seem like they're trying to project a better image of the Xbox One as it goes into its most important Christmas yet. If all goes well, this could be the time where the Xbox One matches, or even beats, holiday PS4 sales, and Miccy Mouse are going to pull out all the stops they can when it comes down to reclaiming lost ground: bundles, exclusives and partnerships with developers that give exclusive items to Xbox owners. That last one may not seem too important, but the majority of Destiny's sales were on PS4, and that's mostly down to how it was advertised as the best Destiny experience - even if it was an underwhelming one. (Famous last words)

Microsoft seem to have got a lot of developers on board to offer exclusive experiences for the Xbox One, with their latest purchase of Mojang, exclusives like Sunset Overdrive, The Master Chief Collection and Killer Instinct 2 plus the little things, like the Advanced Warfare and FIFA 15 bundles.

Of course, this price change might just be an accident, and I've just wasted 16 minutes of my life.

Who do you think will sell more during the Holiday season? Tell us in the comments below!