product review

Product reviews for gamers; reviews of the best video games, consoles, accessories and gaming technologies.

  • Aaron Dennis
    Published about a year ago
    'Rebelstar Tactical Command'

    'Rebelstar Tactical Command'

    Fortunately, this isn’t Rebel Alliance….
  • Mac78321
    Published about a year ago
    'Watch Dogs'

    'Watch Dogs'

    Watch Dogs is an action, adventure video game developed by a well known company called Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It was released worldwide on May 27, 2014 on almost every platform you can imagine. When I saw the first trailer and game-play video of it, I fell in love with the game instantly. I just have to have this game. As soon as the music came on and the story got started I was in my own little world. I didn't know what to expect from the game, I just instantly fell in love with the characters, even the character Aiden Pearce was a role model in his own terms.
  • Max Brooks
    Published about a year ago
    "It All Led in the Direction of 'Natural Selection'"

    "It All Led in the Direction of 'Natural Selection'"

    Natural Selection is the differentiation of individuals in a species, leading to those best suited to the environment being able to pass their genes on down the line. It is a key element of evolution, the feature that proves most adept at surviving in the biome is passed on to its children and so on and so forth.Natural Selection 2 is a video game. A bold decision to make the sequel a completely different medium in my opinion.The game's a combination of real-time strategy and first-person shooters. The big difference is that in RTS you have total control over every individual unit: every soldier, tank and building is yours to command. In Natural Selection 2 the combat units are under the control of individual players. As a result, whenever I was the commander I didn't get to do what I normally do in an RTS (build up a colossal army, point at the enemies base and say "kill"). This was actually pretty good, as it had me thinking on my feet. You're giving orders, placing buildings for your team to set up, occasionally dropping health and ammo for them.There's two factions, the Marines (TSF) are a ranged combat faction who have a small advantage in how quickly they can deploy and adapt to the enemy and the Aliens. (Khaara) are a melee focused team with an edge in stealth and maneuverability. A lot of work has been put in to making the two sides distinct and balanced, even their similarities are varied, (the Khaara must control a room by spreading spores all over it before they can build structures, the Marines need to just plug the power on, the Marines have flashlights, the Aliens have night-vision) or balanced (the Khaara can move through air vents and small gaps, but the Marines have access to teleportation). The biggest factional difference is how they vary their weapons and load-outs; resource gathering grants both commandeer their resources, but also give some of the points to individual players who can use them to tailor their weapons to the approach they want. For the humans you just go to an armory and buy the weapons you want: shotguns, grenade launchers, flamethrowers, a variety of grenades, and even some power armor at later levels. The aliens have to stop where they are and mutate into another form, they also get a little more flexibility with their upgrades, with each player picking up to three additional powers, ranging from invisibility, enhanced speed, even regenerating health.This is definitely the sort of game that you want to go into knowing the mechanics, luckily there's four tutorials teaching you the basics on being both commander and infantry for the Marines and for the Aliens. As well as one that goes more in-depth into two of the Alien sub-classes, the Lerk who excels in aerial attacks on ground units and the Fade who are a stealth based assassin. I say tutorial, its basically a survival/ horde mode with you playing as whichever of the creatures you've picked (at time of writing my high score is 15, as a Fade and three as a Lerk). While I would have preferred a more in-depth tutorial on how to make best use out of these two creatures, I did appreciate that there was a game mode where you could get the hang of them in the first place, as getting to grips with a class or character I'm unfamiliar with puts me off going out of my comfort zone in a lot of games.Another fun not-quite-tutorial mode is a gametype where you race Skulks (the starting Khaara lifeform). I found this a lot more fun, as it's giving you a few more tips, a little bit more encouragement and giving me a little more fun getting to grips with the controls, rather than frustratingly killing me over and over again, as marines attack me while I struggle to find out which button turns me invisible...
  • Jamie Papworth
    Published about a year ago
    'Resident Evil 2' Remake Review

    'Resident Evil 2' Remake Review

    For a very many people across the world, modernised remakes of their favourite childhood games are a dream come true. The way things are going, more and more games developers are starting to realise there’s money to be made in the art of recreating old classics for an audience of gamers eating it up like cake.
  • Aaron Dennis
    Published about a year ago
    'The Legend of Zelda'

    'The Legend of Zelda'

    The Legend of Zelda, The Wind Waker was a phenomenal work of art released back in 2003 on the Game Cube. This is debatably my favorite Zelda game. I say debatably, because I think I enjoyed Phantom Hourglass just as much, but I haven’t played that one as many times, because it’s on a handheld console, whereas Wind Waker is on the Game Cube; at least the version that I owned and played was on the Game Cube.
  • Max Brooks
    Published about a year ago
    All I See Are Hexagons, All I Hear Are Chiptunes

    All I See Are Hexagons, All I Hear Are Chiptunes

    Oh God, this game is so hard.Part of me hates it.But I also can't stop playing it.I've made it my mission to play all the games that I've neglected over the years, and I knew that I owed Terry Cavanagh's Super Hexagon the courtesy of playing more than a few seconds at a friend's house. I figured that at least finishing the first level would do the game justice.I had no idea what I was in for.Super Hexagon, likeLittle Inferno, is a game from the first Humble Bundle I bought. This bundle also included Hotline Miami, a game I've wanted to play since I saw Michael Jones of Rooster Teeth make a RageQuit video about it. He also did one for Super Hexagon and honestly that should have prepared me for this.Super Hexagon, as I've said, is a game by Terry Cavanagh released for Windows in 2012. When I opened my browser to start writing I was unsure what genre to call it. I was ready to say "puzzle" until a quick browse down its Wikipedia page for the basics on its release and platform history mentioned it was a "Twitch" game: A game that tests your reaction speed.Now from playing this I've come to the realisation that my reaction speed is pretty great.My actual reactions, however, are garbage.The game has a deceptively simple concept. You are a triangle, dodge the walls coming towards you. Get hit by the wall and you have to start the level over. You get a new rank every ten seconds (line, triangle, square, and so on and so forth) and I assume every level lasts 60 seconds so that the final rank is "Hexagon." I say "assume" because I haven't gotten further than eighteen seconds in before I see a wall and instantly react by positioning myself straight in front of it.Like I said: I have good reaction times—my reactions themselves are bad.It's addictive, though.The music, provided by Northern Irish musician "Chipzel," is a perfect match for the hectic and intense gameplay. The outward simplicity of the game makes it easy to recognise where you went wrong ("I overshot there," "I didn't move enough there," "I should have moved left because there was more space," etc.) and helps you figure out what to do next time as best you can.Typically what happens for me is I'll play a few rounds and get a score of about six or seven seconds then one glorious run where I push past my high score by point-seven of a second and feel very happy. Until I slam myself straight into a wall. Then I'll mutter "dammit" under my breath, take a minute, and restart.It's frustrating, but seeing that I'm making progress, however minute, is a nice feeling, and as I mentioned none of my deaths or failures feel like they came out of nowhere. It's one of those games where you need to zone out for a second and just go with the flow. I've had times where I see something coming and immediately push the button towards it rather than away, and other times where I'll spam button commands when all I really need to do is just hold down one key as it's just a big spiral. I've caught myself giggling and saying "How did I do that!?" aloud as I get through some of the quicker and more intense segments.And remember all of this is in the first level.Super Hexagon is great. I am definitely a casual gamer and I'm not determined to get every achievement in the game. It's a challenge I don't think I'm up for. But it's definitely fun, engaging, and I'm not good at it, but I'm still determined to do that first level if nothing else. And who knows? Maybe if I can do level one I'll feel that I'm skilled enough to try the other difficulties, and I can start all the panic over again.As a last note, Super Hexagon is considered a "Full" version of a game Cavanagh whipped up for a 12 hour game jam. And I'd recommend giving Hexagon a go before you try Super Hexagon, just to see if it's your thing.---Super Hexagon is a game by Terry Cavanagh. It's available from superhexagon.com, or on Steam. It's also available on Android and iOS. Terry Cavanagh also has his own website.
  • Max Brooks
    Published about a year ago
    "You Can Go as Far as You Like, but You Can Never Come Back"

    "You Can Go as Far as You Like, but You Can Never Come Back"

    The following article contains Spoilers for Little Inferno, and I mean BIG spoilers. I mean spoilers so spoileriffic that I actually feel like I misled people by saying there were major spoilers in my last article. Like, spoilers so big that when it happened I had to come back and write another article to rave about it!So if you've read my last article, then you'll know that I've been playing Little Inferno. If you've played the game, AND read that article, then you'll know that I was nowhere near the point where I could start talking about it in depth. I'd been happily burning all the possessions I ordered from magazines, throwing them in the furnace, watching the flames, getting letters from Sugar Plumps, all-in-all having a cheery time.Then Sugar Plumps' house burned down, and I got a little scared.But! I continue to persevere, burning more and more things to unlock more and more combos. Then when I've got all of them I get given instructions for another combo and when I try that ...(Here's where the spoilers come in and they're REAL spoilers this time.) You see it turns out you can burn your house down. And once you do then the game changes from a fun little puzzle about burning your things...
  • Max Brooks
    Published about a year ago
    "It's Little Inferno Just for Me!"

    "It's Little Inferno Just for Me!"

    SPOILERS: This game is gonna have some pretty major spoilers for Little Inferno! Don't read if that's the sort of thing that bothers you!!So, I checked my Humble Bundle library recently. I'm sure like many of you you've bought more games than you're comfortable counting and end up forgetting about most of them. Hell, I bought my first Humble Bundle purely because I wanted to play Hotline Miami.I'd actually forgotten that there were other games in there when I bought it. Including the oddly named Little Inferno.Feeling that I should be getting my full money's worth I downloaded Little Inferno expecting a cute little game about some kind of fire sprite trying to escape a chimney, or maybe making himself bigger by finding more sources of flame to eat. I don't know why this assumption was in my head but I was certainly surprised when the game turned out to be about burning your most treasured possessions, and other people's most treasured possessions.Sounds fun right?It's actually incredibly fun and addictive, we get a catalogue full of items we can order (so we can burn them in the fireplace) and as we unlock more items with the money we get from burning we get more catalogues with more items. One feature of it, that encourages us to burn items together to see how they interact, is the Combo System, that awards us stamps (that speed up how long items take to arrive from the catalogue to us). The Combo system gives you a hint such as "Cold War" or "Pirate Bike" and you have to figure out which two or three items it's asking you to burn together.Right off the bat, I got a bit of a Doodle God vibe from that, combine two things and you get a reward for being creative or figuring stuff out. The big difference, in my eyes at least, is that it's a little more fun. Doodle God, for those of you who haven't played it, gives you a bunch of elements and you combine them to make more elements. The big difference to me is that Little Inferno handles it in a slightly more engaging way. Now part of that's down to the fact that Doodle God, brilliant as it is, just gives you the two elements spinning and a "Hallelujah!" as you get a new element. Little Inferno is a tad more visceral. Many items react in fun ways; corn on the cob explodes into popcorn, dragon toys breathe fire, bugs explode into brightly coloured flames, marshmallows scream (don't ask). It makes the Combos more like a reward than a goal, if that makes sense. This is helped by the stamps we get expediting the gameplay whereas in Doodle God I did end up waiting for the hints to time in.The soundtrack is absolutely gorgeous, by the way, if the game doesn't sound like it's your thing, then at least download the OST, because it's so atmospheric and really makes you feel calm and secure, or scared and nervous. Kyle Gabler did a stand out job on making a set of tunes that sound eerie and uplifting at the same time, there's a dreamlike quality to the music and it gives you a feeling that something's watching you out of the corner of your eye.The story of Little Inferno starts off silly: "Burn your things! Because fire is fun!" and indeed the other main character, Sugar Plumps (who writes letters to you in the embarrassing "Lol, I am so random" way that I did when I was 14 and still fills me with a deep, deep shame), seems like a Burton-esque little girl who likes burning things and making new friends. (Even if she does say things like "It's not a face! But it still watches youuuuuuu!")And then (Oh, here's where the spoilers come in by the way) she burns to death in her house.Surprise, surprise there IS a plot! There had been letters and bits and pieces about the Earth getting colder and colder while the Tomorrow Corporation pumps out more and more stuff to just incinerate. And I thought that I could spend a late night pumping out the rest of the combos I needed to put the game out and then that absolutely incredible music got dark and angsty and the screen started shaking and I thought to myself "Maybe I should play this game when it's light outside..."I'm far from done with Little Inferno, because what I thought was going to be a strange little widget has got me entirely invested in what happens next. It's a wonderful little game with a lot of imagination ...... Also a good outlet for any firebug tendencies we may or may not be hiding.——
  • Eris Willow
    Published about a year ago
    Crimson's 'Fallout Shelter' Review

    Crimson's 'Fallout Shelter' Review

    Most mobile games are just a grind fest of mindless gathering of resources and this game isn't really that much of an exception. Figuring out the strategy to keep the vault running is pretty fun, but once you do you may end up getting bored of it. If you want a more successful vault you don't want to really play it all the time, but rather come back to it once it a while to touch it up. You also need to balance the growth of the vault by how many resources you have available. If you have too many dwellers, you may find them going hungry and dying of radiation poisoning. If you have too many rooms you might find you don't have enough man power to run them all sufficiently. You go on missions and gather resources. It's a mobile game so yes, more mind numbing resource gathering. The survival mode adds a bit more challenge, but the game mechanics stay the same. It's good for a mobile game and I'd recommend it for anyone who likes the Fallout franchise and mobile gaming. Personally not my favorite of the franchise, but it is free, so giving it a try won't hurt your wallet.
  • Brian Anonymous
    Published about a year ago
    My Review of 'Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown'

    My Review of 'Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown'

    I didn't get into Ace Combat until I discovered Ace Combat 4 on the PlayStation 2. That game had me hooked. It had a nice variety of missions and the gradual difficulty was just about right. I had a great sense of satisfaction when I finally completed that final mission.
  • Roy Jones
    Published about a year ago
    Retro Review

    Retro Review

    I'll be honest when I say that when I picked up Max Payne 3 for X Box 360 for around £12.50, I didn't expect to play it for long. About four years later and I'm actually on to my eighth play through. Needless to say I got my money's worth when I purchased this title. For those of you who haven't heard of Max Payne it was a franchise that began on PC. The game is an action shooter, which uses 'Matrix like' slow motion action sequences as a cool gameplay gimmick. Basically you'll be in the middle of a shoot out with a bunch of baddies, and you can slow down time to pick them off one by one. This third installment of the series is probably the best, with it's ridiculously detailed graphics and tactical gameplay. Max Payne is the tragic story of a talented police officer who's wife and baby daughter were murdered. While the previous games have Max chasing drug cartels and secret society members, this game has him doing bodyguard work for the rich elite in Brazil.
  • Leigh Hooper
    Published about a year ago
    'Spyro: Reignited' Trilogy

    'Spyro: Reignited' Trilogy

    At the end of 2018 a thousand childhood memories came rushing back to me when I heard the news: Spyro was coming back! The reignited trilogy was going to enable me to play the games I loved as a kid and I was so excited. I got the game for Christmas but only started playing it this last month and it’s safe to say that I am in LOVE.