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Category Archives: Reviews

Spy Chameleon Review

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An amusing, colourful, fun and stealthily styled puzzle game brought to you in the form of a Spy Chameleon. I enjoy a puzzle game every now and again and can certainly say this game took me by surprise as if it was blending into the Xbox environment waiting for its time to strike, We’ve caught ya now! I found this top down puzzler to be instantly likeable while still posing an interesting challenge with a twist.

You start off eased in to the life of a Spy Chameleon with a tutorial that shows you the basics of what to avoid and what to collect, this quickly becomes a lot more fun as more things are thrown into the mix. There are four different chameleon colours to choose from all depicted by the colour of the button you press, Red, Blue, Yellow or Green. These correspond with colourful rugs, floor tiles and paint cans to blend against, So being aware of your surroundings will help you avoid detection. Enemies start off as easy stationary robots and work their way up to having lines of vision and quick mobility. Cameras will always be able to see where you are in the current room unless you use your chameleon abilities to blend in to suitable backgrounds.

Every section has 15 levels and for each individual level you have three challenges that you can complete to progress through the game. Spy Chameleon stays interesting with the use of these challenge objectives on each level. There are pick ups, speed-runs and leader boards to show your friends you are the best! At the end of each level you can replay to beat your previous times, collect other items or compete for glory on the leader boards. There is a separate leader board for » Continue Reading.

Ultratron review

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The twin-stick shooter genre is a path well-travelled on the Xbox platforms, with these typically highly challenging titles being an alluring game to twitch reaction players and pixel perfect performers, all vying for those hard to achieve achievements and those precious top spots on leaderboards. Ultratron is a little different, bringing a couple of refreshing tweaks to the formula that makes it a far more accessible shooter for newbies, but one that still delivers on its rewarding challenge for the veterans.

You take control of a robot, capable of firing energy weapons in 360 degrees, whilst moving around a small battle arena as waves of enemy robots spawn in and try to gun you down. Wiping them out is your mandate, with a multiplier kicking in and increasing your score for every enemy you destroy, and lost for every hit you take. Meanwhile power-ups randomly appear to enhance your weaponry or aid you with friendly turrets, and fruit travels across the arena, boosting your score and striking a nostalgic tone. In fact Ultratron plays heavily on a sense of nostalgia, providing charmingly basic 8 bit geometric enemies, as well as your character, along with recreating the CRT shape and flicker on-screen – with the flicker reserved for the end of level stats screen so not to compromise combat. However, despite its 1980 visual identity, its lightning pace, oodles of enemies, and neat lighting and particle effects on weapon’s fire hint at the modern power underneath.

As you destroy enemies they drop coins for you to collect, and at the end of each short level this currency can be spent on upgrades for your robot. It’s a cleverly implemented system, as your lives are tied to the amount of shields you have. Once you take a hit and lose » Continue Reading.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt review

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What’s your ideal game? For me, it’s an adventure across a vast land, that’s not only beautiful, but immerses me the more and more I play. It’s a world full of interesting people, each with a tale to tell. My character would be well-versed in magic and swordplay and there would be a variety of fantastical creatures for me to slay. Does such a game exist? It does…it’s called The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Once again, you take the role of monster hunting Witcher, Geralt – a master swordsman who dabbles with light magic, and is a keen alchemist able to craft potions and oils that buff skills or give an added edge against certain enemies. Geralt is a drifter – a merc for hire – able to hunt down anyone or anything with his sleuth skills. He likes treasure and the company of a good woman or two, his deep voice would even give Solid Snake and Batman a run for their money. It’s a good job he is a likable character, because you will be spending a lot of time with him – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is huge, and not just in terms of content, the world is massive and begging to be explored.

Tamaria is full of life – from lush vegetation that sways in the wind to majestic castles lavished in fine furnishing. From dank hidden caves to flee infested peasant villages, the world feels alive and lived in. You’ll need to ride on horseback or sail the seas if you want to get about quickly, and like Far Cry 4, you might not fancy travelling across long distances. Thankfully, The Witcher also has a fast travel system that allows you to quickly travel between discovered signposts. When riding horseback, you can » Continue Reading.

Sliced Zombies for Kinect: Review

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Having not used kinect on my Xbox One for proper gaming in a while I was excited to get back into the fray of things when asked to review Sliced Zombies for Kinect. So while the game downloaded from the store I cleared my lounge of breakables, remembering what happened the last time me and a friend played Dance Central and started limbering up and stretching in anticipation of releasing my Bruce Lee moves on a horde of zombies, I was ready but were they?

However my pumped up adrenalin fuelled rage was short-lived. Having clicked the start button I was warmly welcomed with a lovely opening loading screen and a soundtrack that only can be described as a fusion of techno and a local brass band, very catchy though and I found myself bobbing along in time while I waited for the main menu. On arrival of the main menu this is where it started to go wrong as I raised my hand to interact with the large play button and nothing happened. I waved it a bit more slowly at first and then faster but still nothing. Eventually my hand icon appeared on my third attempt and I managed to click start and prepared to slice and dice kung-fu style.

Kinect games are all about the ability to track and Slice Zombies for Kinect is a real mixed bag when it comes to this. Many occasions between rounds and in the main menu I found myself fighting to be recognised and had real trouble trying to get my hand gestures tracked. Add to this the fact that you have to use Kinect and there is no way to interact with menu’s via a controller like you have in Kinect Sports, » Continue Reading.

Project CARS review

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I’ve always loved racing games, starting way back when playing F1 Race on the original Game Boy, playing through the night on Gran Turismo, buzzing round Gymkhana events at Battersea Power Station before cruising my way through roads trips on Forza Horizon 2. I love all the different disciplines and of course winning races. At no point have I said I’m any good at these games, but I love playing them.

Simulation racers (for me anyway) are that bit more difficult, but despite that I had a keen eye on Project CARS, could this be the one that I clicked with? Or would I finally give up the idea of trying to enjoy simulation titles?

Project CARS career mode give you the chance to play across 8 tiers of competitions, I started a new career to be presented with a vast range of different disciplines to choose from, being a traditionalist I decided to start at the bottom and work my way up, so I signed up to race go-karts. The karts take a fair bit of getting used to, but eventually I began to get the hang of them and managed to win a few races. Eventually it was time to race some touring cars and it was at this point the game started to click with me.

The touring cars are great fun, jostling for position with the other cars all while trying keep on the road is a challenge but a brilliant experience, I managed to scale the difficulty of the AI just right, they were challenging but not to the point where the enjoyment reduced, you can decide on the difficulty before every session you take part in which is a neat idea.

Project CARS allows you to define your own career by starting in any discipline, want » Continue Reading.

Lifeless Planet: Premier Edition review

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When I was younger I wanted to be an astronaut, what child of the 70/80s didn’t! So when a code for Lifeless Planet landed in our inbox I was quick to snap it up, but what I didn’t plan on was something far from the space adventures I dreamed of as a child.

You step into the moon boots of a nameless astronaut, seeking out life on a distant planet. After crash landing and losing your crew, it’s quite the surprise when you stumble across an abandoned Russian settlement.

An empty ghost town in the middle of a dusty desert is rather unsettling and soon you’ll discover that the planet’s root wildlife is trying to kill you, but rather than focus on action, Lifeless Planet’s gameplay is very subtle, particularly in its storytelling – focusing on creating an isolating experience of discovery as the sole survivor of an exploratory mission.

Lifeless Planet tries to create a deep emotion by focusing on isolation and loneliness, but I feel that many may miss the point of what it sets out to achieve. With a lack of cutscenes, it’s left to the superb voice acting to drive the story forward, although you will also need to read the various data packs you find in order to make some sense of what has happened to the Russians that first inhabited the planet.

The story is quite vague, which only serves to drive you forward in the hope of making sense of the world you find yourself in. Soon after landing, you meet a strange girl who seems to want to help you – but why is she helping? How did she get there? Why doesn’t she need a space suit? Some of these questions will be answered, but by the end of the » Continue Reading.

GameLoading: Rise of the Indies review

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You’ve likely noticed that we at TiX have a love for Indie games, whether it be titles released via the ID@Xbox program or up and coming games needing support and featured in our TiX crowdfunding spotlight, our staff are big supporters of the Indie scene. To that extent I was invited and asked to review GameLoading: Rise of the Indies the latest production from StudioBento, and a movie that itself was a Kickstarter-funded success story, documenting and exploring the rapidly growing indie community.

GameLoading: Rise of the Indies is a movie that showcases the craft of Indie games development, the games themselves, the dreams of those making them, and for those that release their games and how they have forever changed the landscape of games culture.

A star-studded line up of Indie personalities are featured in the movie with a mix of high-profile as well as up and coming developers and industry figures. Rami Ismail (Vlambeer fame), the brains of Davey Wreden (The Stanley Parable), Christine Love (Analogue: A Hate Story), Trent Kusters (Armello), the founds of id Software John Romero and Tom Hall, Mr Minecraft Jens Bergensten, Richard Hofmeier the creator of the humbling Cart Life title, Mike Bithell and many more.

Indie games, the developers and community behind them are disrupting the big-budget industry. Indie games have altered the art form through their innovative, varied and personal games. Small teams of passionate and creative developers are offering an alternate voice to players. While there’s no question the games industry has continued to expand and explode on the international level, GameLoading: Rise of the Indies is a refreshing reminder that it’s also growing in a more intimate way as well.

Sitting back and watching GameLoading: Rise of the Indies makes you realise and appreciate that although those featured in » Continue Reading.

Shovel Knight review

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When I was asked to review Shovel Knight, I was in two minds. Some might say that neither of those minds were my own. As one of the elder statesman on the TiX team, I have very fond memories of some of the home entertainment sector’s greatest offerings when it comes to 8-bit and 16-bit platformers. Indeed, most of my formative gaming years were spent joystick bashing to the delights of Dizzy, Magic Pockets, Rick Dangerous and of course, Ghosts ’n’ Goblins. Would Shovel Knight live up to my memories, would it exceed them, or would I be left hankering for the good old days?

To say Shovel Knight has its roots firmly in the 8-bit era would be an understatement. It’s a symphony of 8-bit simplicity. If Shovel Knight’s visuals were a cake, it’d be a Victoria sponge. Not just any Victoria sponge though, it would be a Women’s Institute award-winning sponge, with jam and cream and little dab of icing sugar over the top to finish it off perfectly. The graphics are blocky, and simplistic and that is the whole point. It’s not burdened by slick, realistic visual effects and it makes the game.

The story is pretty simple. In days of old, there were two adventuring knights, Shovel Knight and Shield Knight. They journeyed across the world together, and while exploring the Tower of Fate, Shield Knight was enchanted by a cursed amulet sealed herself in the tower and left Shovel Knight all alone, who placed himself in exile. An evil Enchantress rose to power. Stories are fed and the Tower of Fate is unsealed. Shovel Knight wants to rescue his beloved and begins his journey back. Shovel Knight must face the Order of No Quarter, eight dastardly foes to defeat along the way to rescue his beau.

» Continue Reading.

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood review

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Like it’s older brother, The New Order, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood brings the same nostalgic, mostly hip firing, fast paced action of old-school FPS titles but with precisely the kind of refinements you’d expect from a modern shooter. The result is a spectacular romp through Castle Wolfenstein and a neighbouring village, fighting the advanced World War 2 tech of the Nazi’s paranormal division, and, a little on in the story, a horde of Nazi zombies.

Indeed this is more than just a side story or expansion to last year’s Wolfenstein, The Old Blood is instead a standalone adventure acting as a prequel to the events of The New Order, placing you in the boots of B. J. Blazkowicz once again as he battles the Nazi menace. It’s far less story focused affair this time around, but snappy dialogue between the few characters that are present, and some introspective monologues, set the scene and drive the tale brilliantly through this 6-7 hour adventure.

It’s also less reliant on grand set-pieces and shoot outs than The New Order. Whilst these are indeed present, and offer a wonderfully intense bout of frantic shooting, weapon switching, and copious amounts of blood and dying, the focus is instead on stealth and evening the odds through guerrilla tactics. Ammo, as abundant as it is, is heavily outweighed by the sheer amount of enemies you’ll encounter and the amount of damage they can absorb, and an aggressive, cunning AI, takes cover, attempts to flank, calls and waits for reinforcements, and sets about hunting you down and killing you in a highly effective manner, making the title a true challenge throughout.

Ammo is also liberally varied across your arsenal, forcing you to use different weapons frequently, which proves a terrific way of making each shootout more » Continue Reading.

Project Root review

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Shoot-em-ups were one of my favorite things to play in the days of old when games where harder than the walls in your house. Just seeing loads of bullets on the screen and being able to barely dodge while dishing out punishment was one of the better ways to spend an afternoon. The sound and trailer of Project Root got me excited and I wanted to see if it could live up to games I have played from this genre.

Project Root is a single player game that does not disappoint on this front, I do like the spin on the classic shmup system as you can explore far and wide with the objective play that is constantly going on. The system of no checkpoints is back, this means you are going to have to treat this game as you did with older games that were equally hard. Easy mode does not show any kind of mercy as you’re constantly pelted with various speed bullets and lots of homing missiles that will not leave you alone until you’re a burning wreck or have shot them down. Story mode for this game was quite hard to follow as a fair bit of dialogue takes place while you are surrounded by ships, land vehicles and bullets. As the text is quite small and makes no noise when it is pops on to the screen it is hard to pay attention, I found myself going back in to the fray just to find out what was said.

Your ship initially handles sluggishly and is fairly unresponsive, your guns are weak and it will take a while to kill stronger enemies, the odds are heavily stacked against you. For me this presented a challenge I have not seen in years so I gladly accepted! I do » Continue Reading.

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