The Simpsons come to Minecraft

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Minecraft players now can recreate their favorite adventures in Springfield with the release of The Simpsons Skin Pack. Available on both Xbox One and Xbox 360 the Simpsons skin pack brings the entire Simpsons family as well as 19 of their friends from Springfield Elementary School.

The full character list is as follows;

Homer Simpson
Marge Simpson
Bart Simpson
Lisa Simpson
Maggie Simpson
Principal Seymour Skinner
Mrs. Edna Krabappel
Groundskeeper Willie
Otto Mann
Milhouse Van Houten
Nelson Muntz
Jimbo Jones
Ralph Wiggum
Martin Prince
Kearney
Dolph
Wendell
Database
Üter
Janey Powell
Superintendent Gary Chalmers
Mr. Dewey Largo
Sherri
Terri

With the likes of Mr Burns, Mo and Chief Wiggum missing further skin packs might be on the cards in the future. In the meantime grab your copy now as this is exclusive to Xbox at the moment.

The Simpsons Skin Pack is available from the Xbox Store priced at £2.39

Mortal Kombat X – official story trailer

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NetherRealm Studios has issued another video to keep us on the edge of our seats whilst we await the up and coming release of Mortal Kombat X.

For those of you who don’t know, Mortal Kombat X takes place 25 years after the events of Mortal Kombat (2011). The new generation of characters discover that Outworld is not the only threat they face.

This video, the official story trailer, shows us the newest fighters to join Cassie Cage, including Jacqueline Briggs, daughter of Jax, Takashi Takeda, son of Kenshi, and Kung Jin, descendant of Kung Lao.

Let’s Play video: Resident Evil Revelations 2 – Episode 1: Penal Colony

You’ve read the review – right? You’ve the read the review? –  now watch the game in action.

Join This is Xbox Video Editor, Greg Giddens, as he play through Penal Colony, the first episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2. Playing as both pairs of characters, Greg experiences a little fear, frustration, foul language, and a few laughs during his play-through of the latest Resident Evil adventure.

Destiny – The House of Wolves screenshots leaked

Recent information has appeared on Reddit supposedly showing leaked screenshots of the new Destiny House of Wolves expansion. The source, Megamanexe4, has a good reputation of posting information and in the past has supplied news on new weaponry and missions within the game before it’s officially announced.

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As we can see from the screenshot it clearly shows The Reef as a new social space within the game.  There was rumors when the game was in development back in 2013 that such an area would exist giving guardians an alternative to the Tower but when nothing appeared in the final release most people thought it had fallen through the cracks. Even though we don’t know what and how this area will be used, it’s good to see The Reef being used for something apart from a one-off cut scene.

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The moon seems to be popular again for quests and we can see  a level 30 Nightcrawler quest and a level 28 Belly of the Beast Strike, giving opportunity for guardians to get back into the thick of it again. The Belly of the Beast Strike apparently occurs when “A Fallen Wolfship holding an infamous Walker has touched down in the Ocean of Storms. Breach the Ketch and see to this Walker’s end.” Sounds promising.

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As always though this is all speculation and we’re still awaiting Bungies announcement of when The House of Wolves expansion will be officially released. The word on the street at the moment seems to show mid May, but as we know things can change very quickly in a game.

Halfbrick confirm release date of new fruitfulness

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I have a feeling that nearly everyone on the planet has played Fruit Ninja on one platform or another. I’ve played it many times on a couple of different platforms and it’s a lovely way to pass some time in a gaming way. Developer, Halfbrick Studios have announced a release date for their follow-up to the smash-hit, swipey, fruit butchering ninja game.

Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 will feature all of the fun and excitement of the original, plus five new game modes for the whole family to enjoy.

These new multiplayer modes will allow up to four simultaneous players to jump in on the action, with Battle and Party modes providing the perfect place to test those seasoned ninja skills. There’ll be a new progression system, allowing you to earn blades, dojos and belts in exchange for completing challenges.

Each mode takes place at the Blueberry Moon Festival and is presented by one of the new Fruit Ninja team members, Katsuro, Mari, Han and Nobu. Become a master of stealth by dodging shurikens, hacking through bamboo and avoiding those spotlights.

Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 is coming exclusively to Xbox One on the 18th of March and to celebrate, Halfbrick have released this rather funky live-action trailer. What do you think?

Pneuma: Breath of Life review

Pneuma. In Greek it means “Breath of life”, amongst other things. Which is handy, as the title of the game suggests exactly that. I wasn’t sure what to make of Pneuma if I’m honest. From the trailers it looked like Pneuma would be a pretty first-person puzzler with a crazy God-like voiceover with little substance. In many respects it reminded me of Total Eclipse 2 on the Amstrad. Appearances can be deceptive however, so did Pnuema meet, exceed or fall short of my expectations?

The opening number from Deco Digital and Bevel Studios starts you off in darkness. For a game that has hinted at being visually stunning, this might seem like an odd choice to make, but all will become clear, or lighter, eventually. The darkness slowly subsides, through the power of your character’s thought alone, it would appear and the game introduces you to the basic fundamentals of the controls before you get the opportunity to do anything else. This is a good thing and seeing as the controls have been stripped right back, this makes the game as simple to pick up as the aforementioned breathing. As this first level progresses, you’ll notice that the developers have a certain eye for detail.

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The graphics, then, as you run through this familiarisation with the controls and the environment, will strike you right in the mush. They are simply stunning. The polished stonework, buttons, stairs, walls, ceilings, corridors, plants are all perfect, as you’d expect if you’d created them yourself. There are imperfections though, and the way the good bits are excellent simply makes these look worse. The premise of this tale, as when you finish this Prologue, you’ll discover, is that you are as close to a god as you’re going to get. You’ve willed yourself into existence and now you’re on a journey to discover yourself and the meaning of everything you’ve attempted to achieve in your immediate environment. The world around you responds to you, not necessarily only by touch, seemingly by mere thought.

This Prologue introduces you to the basic controls in the game. The mechanics are simple enough. There are some symbols that require only your attention to interact with. There are glowing eyes that are the main interaction theme. The idea is that keeping these in focus will cause the target object to move or activate or do something spectacularly miraculous when you either look at them then move or look away from them. The latter is particularly amusing. It’s almost as if these objects are embarrassed by your gaze. The puzzles that you are to face throughout this game will be solved by a variety of these methods, or perhaps something different.

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How you solve these puzzles is left pretty much up to you. I’m fairly certain that there would be more than one way to solve specific puzzles, while some have a set resolution in order for you to progress. One thing I was disappointed with while solving the puzzles was the difficulty ramp. It does seem to be set at too gentle an angle and you’re three quarters of the way through the game before you feel like you’re being mentally challenged. The verbal hints help, even if they do sometimes verge on the irritating.

Pneuma is a Utopia graphically, with the visuals set around the classic Greek look. The audio, not so much. It’s more of a background amble from the local 6-piece orchestra overlaid by the voice of god. The penitent man would feel sorry for the voice-over artist, as throughout this game-long monologue, he’s had to keep an air of excitement around his performance, when listening to the nature of his dialogue, it must have been extremely difficult for him. I’m not saying that the dialogue is bad, it isn’t, it’s probably a little too deep for the average gamer to want to follow however. The pros and cons of being a deity and existentialism are not the everyday conversational habits of your average gamer.

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This, in truth, is about the only real gripe I have with Pneuma, although the dialogue does in some way give you hints about how you can solve the puzzle that is facing you, it is tightly woven into the ending of the entire game, which I won’t give away. Needless to say, the developers have obviously spent many nights pondering pre-destiny and whether life is driven in a spiritualistic way or whether we are masters of our own destiny. Pneuma may just get you answering the self-same questions after you’ve finished it too. And finish it you probably will. It’s an agonisingly short 8 levels, something that seasoned gamers will rack off in a single session, although there are extra achievement points to be had with some hidden bonus levels if you want them. Also, if I’m going to be hyper-critical then the loading times are a little on the lengthy side, but then, given all of that graphical goodness, perhaps that is to be expected.

I wondered if Pnuema: Breath of Life would meet my expectations. In some respects it did and then some. The graphics are nothing short of phenomenal. The lighting and reflections alone are worthy of a Hollywood studio, but all of that means nothing if the gameplay isn’t there. Thankfully for Pnuema, the gameplay is there and while the puzzles won’t need you to be the Einstein of lateral thinking, they get just enough on the devious side to be challenging by the end of the game. The voice acting is enthusiastic while the background melodies won’t earworm your day into oblivion. By far the most surprising thing for me though, was the way the storyline develops into an existential questioning of the role of developer, gamer and character and deciding for yourself who controls who in the worlds that are created for our enjoyment. The developers have been very clever in taking you on a fundamental ethereal journey through life as a gaming character but in reality is the character really a god or merely a puppet being controlled by some outside force?

Thanks to Deco Digital for supplying TiX with a download code

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Far Cry 4 – Valley of the Yetis release date announced

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Our friends at Ubisoft have just announced the release date for the next DLC pack in its gripping Far Cry 4 game. The expansion places you on top of a mountain, stranded with no immediate way off. You find a camp but have to battle for it, defending it from waves and waves of a strange mysterious cult. You think your alone but you’re mistaken, something lurks in the dark, you are in the Valley of the Yetis.

The new Far Cry 4 DLC Valley of the Yetis is a pure fight for survival and the choice is yours, do you take on the fight alone or with a friend. Will you survive and make your way off the mountain and will you discover the mystery behind the yetis.

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The Valley of the Yetis DLC will be available on March 10th and comes as part of the Season Pass, otherwise you can buy it separately. This looks like another great addition to the already existing DLC’s and if you are itching to find out more check out the trailer below.