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Anton van Beek  |  Sep 17, 2012  |  0 comments

This GTA clone started life as a reboot of the lacklustre True Crime… franchise, only to be dumped by publisher Activision due to spiralling budgets and countless delays. So it was fairly surprising when Square Enix stepped in to save the project. But not half as surprising as the game itself.

Anton van Beek  |  Sep 13, 2012  |  0 comments

Ironically for a game entitled Brave, this licensed tie-in to the latest Pixar film plays it incredibly safe. Sure, some people might argue that it doesn’t need to be particularly imaginative as it’s aimed at family audience. But the same thing could also be said for Disney’s enjoyable Toy Story 3 or Cars 2 games. And what about Traveller’s Tales’ Lego games, which are still phenomenally popular with players of all ages?

Anton van Beek  |  Sep 13, 2012  |  0 comments

Ever since Nintendo first unleashed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the N64 in 1998, other publishers have struggled to match up to that epic action-adventure game. And while Darksiders II doesn't quite achieve that lofty goal, it's still a blast to play.

Anton van Beek  |  Sep 08, 2012  |  0 comments

You may not be able to watch Sony Pictures’ new Spider-Man reboot on your home cinema until later this year, but in the meantime you can always try your hand at swinging through the streets of Manhattan yourself that to this videogame.

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 28, 2012  |  0 comments

Traveller’s Tales has been churning out Lego games based on licensed characters for years now and we keep eating them up. Yet very little has changed about the basic template of the series. You (and maybe a friend) take control of a couple of cute Lego characters and set about playing through a series of levels, based around the principles of solving puzzles by building things out of Lego and collecting studs that can be spent on extra characters. And Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes does nothing to break the mould.

Mark Craven  |  Aug 25, 2012  |  0 comments

The latest entry in this bullets-‘n’-brains franchise sees you once again join a team of Ghosts (hard-as-nails special operatives) in a globe-trotting tale of dodgy Russians, nuclear weapons and hi-tech weaponry.

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 10, 2012  |  0 comments

The first couple of Max Payne games played like the hard-boiled crime fiction of Frank Miller’s Sin City comics filtered through the action of vintage John Woo movies. With the franchise now coming under the control of Grand Theft Auto creators Rockstar Games, this belated third entry looks to shake things up in terms of aesthetics. As evidenced by the mis-registered imagery, random subtitles and sickly green and yellow palette, this is Max Payne as envisioned by somebody who has spent too much time watching Tony Scott’s Man on Fire and Domino [that’s me – HCC Ed].

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 09, 2012  |  0 comments

There has been no shortage of games that try to make you feel like a superhero, with Batman: Arkham City still reigning supreme as the benchmark for the genre. If Prototype 2 doesn’t quite measure up to that title, it’s not for want of trying, and in the process it comes closer than any other game.

Anton van Beek  |  Jul 10, 2012  |  0 comments

Psychological horror is a tricky thing to pull off in a videogame. But it’s something that the first couple of games in the Silent Hill series managed with aplomb. Unfortunately, recent years haven’t been quite so kind to the franchise, with a greater emphasis being placed on combat at the cost of the more subtle chills that once proved so effective.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 16, 2012  |  0 comments

The Ridge Racer franchise has always been about one thing and one thing only – drift racing through city streets. No matter what instalment in the series you played, the basic set-up was the same: jam your finger down on the accelerator and never let go, carrying as much speed as possible into every corner as you modulate your braking to powerslide around every bend in the road.

Anton van Beek  |  May 16, 2012  |  0 comments

The two biggest rivals in the beat ‘em up genre – Capcom’s Street Fighter and Namco’s Tekken – have put their differences aside to, ahem, beat the crap out of each other in this super-charged arcade smackdown. But can any game really live up to the kind of expectations that surround this one? Well, as far as this reviewer is concerned, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

Mark Craven  |  May 09, 2012  |  0 comments

I must have spent half my adult life playing various Tony Hawk skateboarding simulators, so I had high hopes for Electronic Arts’ SSX, a game which threatens to ‘pit riders against both mountain and man’. Yet somewhere in the transition from baggy skater shorts to wraparound snow goggles and luminous ski wear I’ve lost in all interest in hurtling around on a plank of wood. You see, in the Tony Hawk universe it seemed perfectly natural to grind your way along a pavement or whizz around the railings of a cruise ship, but I found pulling stunts off an oil-pipe halfway down a mountain faintly ridiculous.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 06, 2012  |  0 comments

Released in the early 1990s, Bullfrog’s isometric squad-based shooter Syndicate is still fondly remembered by former Amiga and PC owners as one of the genuine high points of 16bit computer gaming. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that the same kind of legendary status awaits this reinvention of the franchise.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 22, 2012  |  0 comments

It’s now 15 years since the PlayStation release of Final Fantasy VII brought the Japanese RPG franchise to the attention of mainstream gamers across the globe. But the intervening years have seen a change of fortune for developer Square Enix, with the Final Fantasy brand becoming a victim of its own success and struggling to live up to former glories.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 16, 2012  |  0 comments

While it doesn’t quite have the same kind of brand recognition as either Street Fighter or Tekken, Namco’s SoulCalibur series has still carved itself a sizeable following amongst beat ‘em up fans. Much of this can be put down to the fact that – despite being based around similar one-on-one tournaments – the games play quite differently from the competition.