All posts by Derek McRoberts

Gamer and technophile. Destroyer of the scourge that are motorbikes. Gaming since I could hold a Competition Pro and trying to instill a gaming mentality on the next generation through my son. Frequent imbiber of ales and curser of shooters.

101 Ways To Die launch trailer released

101wtd_2The release date for the dark and insidious physics puzzler, 101 Ways To Die, is creeping ever closer. As such Four Door Lemon and Vision Game Publishing have announced a new launch trailer showing off the murderous mayhem that ensues behind the closed doors of the Splatenfuder mansion.

As Professor Splatenfuder’s lab assistant, you are tasked with finding the most violent and brutal ways to maim, slice, burn, explode, rip and impale lab-created creatures known as Splatts by utilising a variety of madcap and deadly implements, in order to replace the professors life work – his book on 101 ways to die.

101 Ways To Die is out on the 22nd March and will be priced at is priced at £10.99/$14.99/€14.99.

Dare you delve into the depravity of Professor Splatenfuders magnum opus, and ensure none of the Splatts surive?

 

Quantum Break playable at Insomnia

Quantum-BreakFor those living in or near the Midlands, this month offers a chance to get hands on with Quantum Break at Insomnia.
Microsoft  will be showing the title in the Exhibition Hall, The NEC Birmingham, between 25th and 28th March. Gamers will be able to experience a section of Quantum Break using the Xbox One Elite Controller. Quantum Break is the latest title from Remedy Entertainment and is part hard-hitting video game, part in-game live-action show – both featuring a stellar cast. The title will be available to all visitors at Insomnia Gaming Festival during the Easter bank holiday.

Insomnia continues to host some of the most exciting gaming titles and UK first plays from leading games,

said Craig Fletcher, Founder and CEO of Multiplay.

We’re delighted to have Quantum Break available at Insomnia57 for all our visitors to play, especially providing a unique experience with playing through the Xbox One Elite Controller. We like to provide our visitors with numerous games for them to get their hands-on, whilst they also discover and enjoy new games, such as Quantum Break.

Tickets for Insomnia57 are currently on sale and can be purchased from the official website at https://insomniagamingfestival.com/tickets.

Insomnia57 will take place at The NEC Birmingham, 25-28 March, 2016. For more information, please visit the Insomnia Gaming Festival website https://insomniagamingfestival.com/ or contact MultiplayPress@premiercomms.com

 

Styx : Shards of Darkness environment screenshots

styx_shards_of_darkness_03Styx: Shards of Darkness, the sequel to Cyanide Studios’  cult classic Master of Shadows, comes to consoles on Unreal Engine 4 in 2016.
In the screenshots released today, we witness Styx prowling through some of the huge environments of the game. From the City of Thieves, built from the wreckages of lost ships, to the great Elven city of Korangar hidden in the mountains, the environments of Styx: Shards of Darkness are enormous and semi-open, with an emphasis on verticality. They allow for a lot of freedom to complete the various missions’ objectives. They are fantastic playgrounds for Styx to test his stealth and assassination skills, and try out his new moves such as rope-swinging and zip-lining.

styx_shards_of_darkness_04

These are just some of the huge open spaces oozing with verticality to explore in Styx’s new infiltration adventure! With new ways to traverse the landscape, a deep and original story, as well as huge new features yet to be revealed, Styx’s 2016 mission will be his biggest yet!

Tenebrae: Twilight of the Gods coming to ID@Xbox

TenebraeThanks to Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program, Troglobytes Games will be able to port its upcoming game “Tenebrae – Twilight of the Gods” to the Xbox One platform.

Tenebrae – Twilight of the Gods is a story-driven, fast-paced 2.5D Action/Adventure Platformer with a dose of RPG elements to further spice up the gameplay. Paying homage to the 80’s/90’s classics of old such as Ghost n’ Goblins, Shadow of the Beast and Metroidvania games, Tenebrae is set to add a whole variety of unique twists to the genre, thanks to the technology of procedurally generated content.

The massive underworld of Tenebrae is procedurally generated from hand-crafted rooms and gradually unravels before the eyes of the player with a plethora of traps, secrets and hidden treasures while blending in larger, open Safe Zones.

Zombie Vikings coming to Xbox One

ZombieVikings_screenshot600After being released on other platforms, Zoink Games is now releasing Zombie Vikings digitally on Xbox One with a lot of bonus content. Included is the Raybjörn and Frostbjörn Character DLC, 5 additional versus levels, a behind the scenes making-of video, and Raz-ombie, the reincarnated embodiment of Raz from Psychonauts.

The Xbox One version will be released later this year and besides the added content it will have Xbox One specific features such as Hero Stats, where you can measure your progress with your friends and unlockable achievement wallpapers.

In addition all the content from the Majör Update (like Oink the unicorn pig!) will be in the mix as well. If you’re new to Zombie Vikings, or just want to take another look at it, check out the Xbox One trailer below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl_IAkdIjvA

RDR Backwards compatability update

red_dead_redemptionThis weekend the internet was abuzz, when several sites revealed a method to install and play Rockstars western opus, Red Dead Redemption, on the Xbox One.

By exploiting the Find Someone function, gamers have been able to download and install the game. At the time of writing the other games, including Left 4 Dead 2 and Halo Wars, were still showing as unavailable but following a simple step by step process you could download Red Dead Redemption, but be prepared for disappointment if you do.

Like previous cases, the ability to view and interact with 360 games that others own allows access to the game by going to the users profile, viewing their following list, finding the game then clicking the “See in Store” function to access the Xbox Live back end for that game, even though it is not available directly on the store front.

It appears that in an effort to curb the in-proper download of Red Dead Redemption, players are now being redirected to downloading Hexic HD instead.

It is safe to say that this gives the first true indication that Xbox have been listening to the community and the top voted games are on their way to us, so we can expect Red Dead Redemption to arrive on our download lists very soon.

For now, patience appears to be the best course of action as Xbox Support have confirmed that following the unsanctioned process to obtain the game is a breach of the Terms of Service.

 

Amazing Princess Sarah review

Amazing Princess Sarah

Amazing Princess Sarah is a call back to the games of my childhood, its 8 bit style and game design triggering memories of Castlevania, Megaman and Mario that have long remained dormant. Its simple story focuses on your father, the King, who while entertaining what appears to be the majority of enemy types you will face within the game in his throne room, is enthralled by a succubus called Lilith and you are whisked away by a demon to prevent you from interfering. As such, you must battle your way through a myriad of castles in order to rescue your father.

Combat and gameplay as a whole takes a lot of cues from these 8 bit classics; enemy attacks have a great deal of variety, environmental items contain health, and successful enemy hits cause a knockback effect, yet there are some innovations here worthy of note.

Aside from your standard sword attack, which can be used to dispose of the majority of enemies, you can also utilise items from the environment and even the enemies’ defeated corpses themselves in your battle against the minions of Lilith. Each of these corpses have differing properties; bats can be thrown long distances, ghosts travel across the screen in a straight line, elementals cast out a fire attack that sweeps across the platforms it hits, and archers disperse a volley of arrows over a short distance. When the screen becomes heavy with enemies, all of whom are attacking and moving in their own way, utilising these special attacks becomes all the more strategic.

Amazing Princess Sarah1

Additionally, APS has a light smattering of RPG elements, with each enemy defeated awarding experience and additional hit points being gained as you level up. This experience is carried even if you die, giving the levels a rogue-like quality with your ever-increasing health pool allowing you to traverse further between checkpoints purely through your ability to take more punishment following each death.

Each Castle is a series of checkpoints, with a lot of platforming tropes contained within; disappearing platforms, moving platforms, bottomless pits, and typically involves a bit of exploring, switch activation and backtracking in order to move on to the next checkpoint. That said, most of the maps are pretty linear and its difficult to actually get lost within the level and the checkpoints are numerous enough that frustration over repeated deaths never really has the chance to kick in.

At the end of each castle you must face a boss battle, and each of these bosses have their own unique attack patterns that you must learn in order to overcome them.  These bosses look somewhat out of place with the overall aesthetic as they appear drastically different from the 8 bit sprites you encounter throughout, but this does not affect the gameplay or hit detection on these enemies, and once you learn their pattern they can be easily overcome. Most can be done at your leisure, and only once did I encounter a boss where a particular attack could not be avoided, lending an air of urgency to that particular battle.

AmazingPrincessSarahBoss

Once completed, you effectively unlock a new game +, and with seven of these in order to “fully” defeat Lilith, there is plenty of content to get through to actually complete the game. These change the mechanics enough to prevent the game feeling like a retreading of the original levels. A ghost version of yourself chases you throughout the game, enemies resist certain attacks, or a constant bleed effect that forces you to speed run from checkpoint to checkpoint help to refresh the game enough to make it feel different.

The game though, is not perfect. Certain enemy attacks can reach you through solid walls, and combined with the knockback effect, (which also makes you drop any item you are carrying), can cause untold frustration when the screen becomes increasingly crowded. I was also able to trick the game’s physics as well, bouncing miles into the air when chaining enemy head bounces together in a specific way. That said, the phasing attacks and breakable physics are the only two gripes I can level at the game, (if I ignore the pixelated jiggle physics that seem to have been added for no particular reason other than to garner attention).

Amazing Princess Sarah almost lives up to its name with pitch perfect platforming and varied attack mechanics, although its reliance on certain old school mechanics and frustrating bugs hold it back. Those issues aside, this is certainly a game that should be on your radar if you are a fan of action platformers.

Thanks to Xbox and Haruneko for supporting TiX

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Dying Light Nightmare Mode confirmed

dyingLightTheFollowingTechland published another episode of its ‘Highlights’ video series, in which the developer details the multiple improvements and additional content being added to the upcoming Dying Light: The Following – Enhanced Edition. The new video focuses on the Nightmare Mode – a new difficulty level that restricts overpowered Easter Egg weapons, introduces XP penalties for dying, ramps up the difficulty of enemies, and more.

We’ve designed the Nightmare Mode for those seeking a really challenging and immersive experience. Nightmare Mode takes everything that was brutal in our Hard Mode and twists it even more

says producer Tymon Smektała.

We’re trying to bring the Dying Light experience closer and closer to the feeling of a real apocalypse survival experience where every move you make can really determine if you live or die. We’ve added one bit of salvation though. Playing Nightmare Mode in co-op will earn you XP faster and increase your chance of finding gold tier weapons.

Nightmare Mode will be a part of Dying Light: The Following – Enhanced Edition, which launches February 9, 2016. Players who already have the base version of the game will be able to buy the expansion Dying Light: The Following individually as downloadable content. All the buying options are detailed on the official website.

 

 

Homefront : The Resistance Freedom Fighters video

homefront-the-revolution-key-artDeep Silver have today released their latest video, “Freedom Fighters”, which reveals details of the online co-op “Resistance Mode” within their upcoming Homefront : The Revolution title.

Resistance Mode is a  four-player co-operative online experience, which tasks you with setting up a Resistance Cell with your friends and taking the war to the KPA in a series of story led missions around occupied Philadelphia.

Purchasing skills, finding and earning weapon blueprints, equipment and combat gear allows your rag tag team of civilians to transform into hardened resistance fighters.

Xbox One owners can be the first to try it out when the Closed Beta runs February 11-14 exclusively on Xbox One.

In addition, registered members of the Homefront community may also be invited to participate in a sneak preview of Resistance Mode via one of the upcoming Closed Beta Stress Tests which will take place on Friday, January 29th and Friday, February 5th on Xbox One.

Homefront: The Revolution is this team’s most ambitious project yet,

said Hasit Zala, game director at Dambuster Studios.

In addition to our epic 30-plus hour single-player campaign, we expect to launch Resistance Mode with 12 Missions, packed with re-playability, and hope to release another 20 Missions within the first year. To ensure our community can always play together, all Resistance Mode Missions will be free to download.

Homefront: The Revolution will be available in North American retail stores on May 17th, 2016 and May 20th, 2016 in all other territories. Players will also enjoy major free content updates as part of an extensive post-launch support program from Dambuster Studios.

 

Platinum officially announce Turtles game

TMNTActivision Publishing, Inc. and PlatinumGames Inc. have joined forces to create Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™: Mutants in Manhattan, a third-person action game featuring New York’s crime-fighting Heroes in a Half Shell.  Players will protect The Big Apple from aliens, mutants and the Foot Clan in a single-player campaign or partner with up to three friends in four-player online co-op. But be prepared – defeating Bebop, Rocksteady, Shredder and other iconic bosses won’t be easy.

PlatinumGames’ flair for stylish visuals and fluid combat are on full display in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan. Fast-paced, team-based brawling will challenge gamers of all skill levels. Each Turtle has a distinctive combat play style and can be customised with a unique set of Ninjutsu moves, combat items and special bonuses.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan also features gorgeous, cel-shaded art design, with an original story from prolific author of IDW Publishing’s acclaimed ongoing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, Tom Waltz.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan is expected to arrive this summer as a retail and digital release.