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Category Archives: Reviews

Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations review


When I heard that a brand new Adventure Time title was making its way to the Xbox One, I was beyond delighted and was even happier to hear that it was an adventure-puzzle game – one of my favourite genres. I had missed out on previous titles due to numerous reasons, and had to get my gaming fix from the excellent mobile games available, but now was my chance to get my hands on a Finn and Jake adventure for the new generation.

One quiet afternoon, Finn and Jake are relaxing in their treehouse, pondering what to spend their day doing, when suddenly BMO discovers an old investigations printing machine called the “Tickertype”, which belonged to their parents. Naturally Finn and Jake set out to solve these mysteries, whilst honing their puzzle-solving skills, battling bad guys, and just having fun in the Land of Ooo.

Each of the five mysteries are laid out just like an episode of Adventure Time and feature many smaller puzzles which need to be solved to then complete the main investigation of that episode. In the first investigation Finn and Jake take on they must prove to Princess Bubblegum that the Wizard, Abracadaniel, is innocent of kidnapping Peppermint Butler. To prove his innocence Finn and Jake must search for clues and question the members of the Candy Kingdom. However, it soon becomes apparent that there is a much larger mystery to solve, and the mathematical duo must escape the Candy Kingdom to discover the fate of the kingdom’s missing residents.

Finn and Jake Investigations plays very similarly to other well known point and click titles, such as Monkey Island or Broken Sword, using the controller face buttons to interact with other characters and items within the environment. Whilst exploring the Land of Ooo, you will pick up » Continue Reading.

Fallout 4 review

Fallout 4

The wasteland is full of dangers, wonders and mystery. It’s powerfully compelling, practically longing to be explored. Moreover, exploration is profusely rewarding. Every nook and cranny hides ammo, medical supplies, crafting and building resources, wasteland lore, easter eggs, enemies, missions and general adventure. It’s meticulously crafted to look lived-in as well as match aesthetically with every other aspect of the title. It’s truly a delight to roam this nuclear wasteland.

This does, however, make it a daunting experience for the uninitiated. Indeed those who haven’t played previous Bethesda titles of this ilk – Elder Scrolls and Fallout – are in for an open world brimming with life; a fully functioning ecosystem that brings with it a common set of rules and limitations fit for a world where mosquitoes have mutated to the size of eagles, and it’s considered completely logical to eat canned good hundreds of years past their sell by date. Welcome to Fallout 4.

200 years after a devastating nuclear war you emerge from vault 111 and into a vast, decimated wasteland. Your home is in ruins, as are the majority of the structures littered around the Boston area. Plant life is largely dead, water sources are irradiated and the local wildlife is horribly mutated. The surface dwelling human population is now scattered amongst small, ramshackle settlements with many having turned to crime and forming raiding parties. Meanwhile mutations have taken hold of the less fortunate and desiccated their flesh, where it’s only a matter of time before their mind goes and they turn feral, wondering the wasteland looking to savagely tear apart any passer-by. The nuclear powered, 1950s style pre-war technology offers minimal computing power and robot assistance in its dilapidated form, and society reverts back to a more selfish, insular time; a new Wild » Continue Reading.

Star Wars Battlefront review


Chances are that if you grew up with the original Star Wars Trilogy then you may have dreamt of being a character in a galaxy far, far away… playing Star Wars Battlefront is the closest you will get to that feeling and it’s the most cinematic experience to be had on console.

DICE have lovingly recreated the universe of Star Wars. From cargo crates and power couplings to X-Wings and Lightsabres – nothing has been left to chance or imitation – everything has been modeled from the original props and it makes for a wonderful experience and looks absolutely stunning.

Rushing across the snowy plains of Hoth, or charging through the dense foliage of the forest moon of Endor is exhilarating, especially with laser fire going off all around you while the iconic Star Wars score rings in your ears. It’s easy then to get caught up in the moment and be swept away by the sheer joy of a Star Wars game that makes full use of its license.

Gunplay is a casual experience, and although each weapon has a unique set of attributes, each one handles similarly with many players favouring the same blaster. Laser fire looks great and maps light up with firefights. Like Halo’s Spartan Laser, you have to lead your shots making the gunplay tricky to get used to at first and a little haphazard as to whether your shots hit their target. In true Battlefield style, newcomers aren’t welcomed and will be victim to higher ranked players who have access to the better weapons and buff cards, making the initial experience a hard one to love.

Running or shooting highlights you on the mini-map, which points out the rough direction of enemies rather than pinpointing them. Air combat is simple » Continue Reading.

Rock Band 4 review


When I was a bit younger, I had aspirations. There were times when I thought I could be the best rock singer in the land. Then reality hit and what is arguably the country’s greatest undiscovered vocal talent had to get a proper job. From my point of view the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises reignited that inner rock star. It gave me the opportunity to be the Trent Reznor I always wanted to be.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a new Rock Band release. Indeed we’re talking back in October 2010. Taken into context, the Xbox One is very nearly two years old at the time of writing this review. Despite the longevity and endurance of music the game was starting to feel tired. Imagine my surprise and delight then, when Harmonix revealed a whole new Rock Band experience for the current generation of consoles. What can we add to a game that despite its quirkyness and niggly little issues, I kept coming back to?

Despite reported stock shortages, I managed to get my hands on the base game with legacy adapter. With my wife and I still clinging desperately to our Xbox 360 instruments, it simply made more sense. We’ll more than likely invest in new instruments at a later date though. What struck me initially with the adapter was the size. It’s an odd size. Not as big as I was expecting, yet at the same time, bigger than it needs to be. It’s obvious that a little design effort has gone into it. It all feels like an afterthought though. It’s very light, almost cheap feeling, but it does the job of connecting up to four legacy controllers so I can’t grumble too much.

I have to admit to a certain » Continue Reading.

TiX takes a look at the Fallout 4: Pip-Boy Edition

PipBoyf4 (9)

I’ve not seen a special edition cause as much of a stir as the Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition has, at least not for a while anyway. From the limited number available, the special extras for being one of the first 10,000, to what the Pip-Boy Edition actually has in it. There was website crashes, order issues and delivery problems surrounding it. So it almost begs the question. Was it really worth it?

I love that the Pip-Boy came in its own capsule case. It so could easily have been put in a big see through plastic box. There was just a simple plastic sheaf over the top of it with all the usual back of box gubbins, by the way. Opening the big plastic box you get the steel book edition, a Pip-Boy manual, and of course, the Pip-Boy and stand itself. There’s supposed to be a perk poster as well, but I’ve been too busy with the rest of the stuff to figure out where it is.

I found it a bit of a kerfuffle getting my phone into the holder. But once it was in, it looked pretty sweet. The buttons and dials all move and click, by the way. Obviously, they don’t affect the phone. You need to use the touch screen for that. I still found it a nice extra. They could easily have been static.

Even the manual is great. Half of it actual instructions for how to fit your phone, half in game. Check out the images below.

So, was it worth it? I suppose this will boil down to whether or not you like collecting things. My purchase wasn’t without issue. I spent a good hour on hold when I first pre-ordered due to confusion with my purchase. I watched as » Continue Reading.

Yasai Ninja review

Yasai ninja

Yasai ninja is abysmal. The slightest sliver of adequate variety and aesthetics is completely undone by a mass of poor level design, feckless combat, atrocious checkpoints, a combative camera, noticeable slowdown and rushed storytelling. It reeks of bad design and insufficient play-testing, leading to infuriating situations where the mechanics and gameplay are at such odds that’s it’s barely playable at all.

There’s was certainly some promise initially. You play as either a samurai spring onion or a ninja broccoli, fighting against a vegetable army largely consisting of cucumbers but with the odd squad of chilli peepers and spring onions filling the ranks. Meanwhile, the odd boss battle breaks out between more vegetables, such as a giant cabbage. It’s a quirky setting brought to life by cell shading, sharp, defined edges, and a comic book framing device complete with white border surrounding the play-area and carving out speech bubbles.

Unfortunately this promise is shattered quickly. The opening cutscene is delivered in Japanese with subtitles but the subtitles are coloured white over a white or lightly coloured background, making them largely unreadable. Once you do take control of the pair of protagonists things get progressively worse.

As the spring onion samurai there’s a slight delay in swinging your katana, and after performing up to three swipes an additional delay before you can perform another combo, leaving you wide open at the beginning and end of your attacking animation. The combat is also horrendously rigid, tying you into very specific combos and punishing you for deviation with the aforementioned animation delays. It all makes for a slow, unresponsive system that is completely devoid of skill and nuance. The ninja broccoli has a slightly faster attack but suffers the same issues overall, and despite additional moves and combos added as you progress, the » Continue Reading.

Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition review


I used to love RPG gaming. Fighting unrealistic odds with nothing more than cold steel and some fantasy magic on your side to save the world from impending doom. I last played a decent RPG when I still had a console from the dark side. That game was Champions of Norrath, based on the Baldur’s Gate universe, and it was excellent. For me, nothing has come close to it for sheer playability and unforgiving punishment for any player mistakes. I approached Divinity: Original Sin with some trepidation as I desperately wanted to find a title worthy in my estimation of sneaking into the castle of my memories and stealing the RPG crown from Champions.

Cranking open the lid on Divinity came with a certain amount of worry that was compounded initially by the opening campaign cinematic. There’s no full animation here which was evident from the ship’s mate disappearing up the stairs in stages. This worried me greatly as I thought I’d be in line for a disappointing experience. As it turns out, I needn’t have worried at all and here’s why.

Starting out as a party of two Source Hunters, Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition drops you into the marvels of the world of Rivellon. Within it, the town of Cyseal is besieged by the undead on one side and a marauding horde or Orcs on the other. Something is afoot and the murder of a town councillor has caused you and your companion to be summoned to solve the crime. At least, that’s the initial story. The scope of the task ahead of your team is gargantuan and only gets more and more complicated.

The story itself is extremely well crafted even if it is a little on the random side. You can keep up with » Continue Reading.

Call of Duty Black Ops III review


The Call of Duty cycle goes round again. This year, Treyarch step back into the light with their excellent Black Ops series, unfortunately the campaign doesn’t hold up to the excellence of the previous titles but zombies and competitive multiplayer more than fill the void.

Black Ops has gone über futuristic. What Advanced Warfare started, Black Ops has continued, and then some. Consequently it feels like the story has jumped series rather than continuing the dark and sinister storyline of Black Ops. The campaign plods on but goes out with a bang, ending on some mind twisting missions and a sequence that sticks you at the controls of a VTOL.

The campaign is rife with tech, futuristic weapons and robots – it’s like Syknet has brought down Judgment Day and you are smack bang in the middle of it with little to no explanation as to what the purpose of the mission is. The story then is rather lost, poorly told and tries to be too clever for it’s own good. By the time the credits rolled it had lost me on the way, with little care for the soldiers I met or the story it attempted to tell. The level structure can’t escape from being linear either. Each area might be large enough to offer multiple routes through, but it’s little more than the usual CoD shoot ‘em up grind with the odd set piece thrown in.

New to the game are cybercore abilities – cybernetic enhancements that can be used to manipulate electronics, close the distance to your target or generally create chaos among the enemy ranks. The cores are fun to use and offer a slight distraction from the run and gun CoD mechanics, however, they are a little cumbersome to select and choose the correct attack for » Continue Reading.

Rise of The Tomb Raider review


I enjoyed the last Tomb Raider game so much that I bought it for the Xbox 360 and then again for the Xbox One. Unsurprisingly then, I’ve been a little bit excited about Rise of The Tomb Raider. After just under 20 hours of climbing, crafting and exploring I can finally give you my thoughts.

Rise of the Tomb Raider starts in Siberia with Lara and her friend from the last title, Jonah. They are on another adventure looking for an ancient city hidden somewhere within the snowy mountains. In typical Tomb Raider fashion the tension is high as the blizzard around them causes them to become separated. Here you’ll get a taste of how the game plays out with some dangerous jumps as you scale the sides of a mountain.

After the excellent intro the game goes back in time to fill you in on why Lara and Jonah are in Siberia. You’ll head off briefly to Syria where you’ll get your first look at a what the new tombs have to offer, as well as a new gameplay mechanic – translation.

In true Tomb Raider Tradition, exploration is key, whether you are filling in parts of the story by picking up tape recorders that have been dropped, or hunting for wood to be used to create more arrows to use, there is always something to discover. Different locations have ancient tomes, notes, tablets and art that Lara can read that reveals extra information such as locations on maps. Read as much as possible, some items require a certain level of language knowledge to allow Lara to translate everything.

After making your way through the different puzzles that include all the different skills expected from Lara, you’ll end up back at Croft Manor to discover just why she needs to be in Siberia and once back » Continue Reading.

Fallout Beer review

Fallout 4 Beer

With Fallout 4 a mere couple of days away from release, fans are getting in the mood for exploring the wasteland by listening to the OST and even drinking Fallout branded beer. I’ve been preparing for the wasteland with the latter. So, how did the Fallout Beer turn out?

Rather well, it turns out. A pleasant flavour of hops, grains, pine needles, sorrel and Danish summer apples floods your senses as you take a gulp, with the bitterness of the hops harmoniously balanced by the apple-like sweetness.

The singleplayer experience is a well-paced one, quickly leading to a dizzying sensation, slurred speech and blurred visuals. I did encounter a couple of game-breaking bugs, such as highly inappropriate phrases spewing from my mouth as well as a powerful urge to hump anything that moved – team mates included.

The multiplayer experience differs depending on how many players get involved. It supports a maximum of 12 local players, providing a single level of inebriation with a thirst for more. Unfortunately, t’s all over very quickly and is therefore better suited to two player cooperative play.

The big let-down comes from the bottle’s aesthetics. The labels are crudely stuck on and sport a fairly austere design. Meanwhile the bottle caps have no artwork at all, feeling like a massive missed opportunity.

In the end it’s fairly over-priced, re-labelled set of 12 bottles of Carlsberg Pilsner larger.

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