Tag Archives: XboxOne

Rivals of Aether preview

Another day, another game. My gaming journey through 2016 continues and I have another title in front of me to trial. Rivals of Aether is an ID@xbox game available through the Xbox Preview Program. Dan Fornace is the mind behind this classic styled beat-em up.

First impressions are good as it’s loaded up, which took about a second as the whole game is only about 180mb. I’m a sucker for retro graphics and as the pixelated start screen pings up its a plus point straight away, and although I hadn’t heard of the game until today it has the word ‘fighting’ in its description, as I have a penchant for anything ‘shooty’ or ‘fighty’ it’s another plus point. This is a side view brawler and the first and most obvious comparison is Super Smash Bros. Not just in the style of the game but in the emotions it elicits as you play. It harks back to the games of the 90’s in look, feel and sound. The music is spot on, being a great blend of catchy cheese that makes for an exciting soundtrack to your button bashing combo’s but without being too distracting or intruding. From the get go I have been pulled in by the game, ‘its general vibe’ for lack of a better description is great and all the little bits add up to create a solid all round package. It’s a little limited in some places (Preview Program situation accepted) but I think this may at least achieve cult status if not picked up by a bigger audience.

Rivals of Aether (Game Preview) (2)

Each fight takes place in an arena (in the currently available game modes, more on that later) and they too pay some homage to classic games. They are beautifully designed and many have interactive points that can act as an aid or a hindrance in the heat of battle, like a water jet to knock back your foe or a rising tide of fire to avoid. They all have a few staggered levels to bounce around on without sides, and you try to knock your opponent out of screen shot. Instead of health bars you have damage percentage which starts at 0% and goes up, the higher you get the damage, the further they get knocked with a blow and easier they are to get off the edge of the arena. The game is easy to pick up and play and it’s simplicity adds to its charm. I could easily see myself sitting down with some friends and battling it out for a few hours. It’s tense, fast paced stuff and each round is gripping. It has four player local multiplayer with a team match option in the verses mode, and you can also set it to tournament mode to create your own mini tournies for you and your friends to play.

Rivals of Aether (Game Preview)

As I like to do, I’m going to make another comparison, or rathe, two smashed together: this is Pokemon meets Street Fighter (circa 1999). It’s almost a Pokemon after dark. I imagine this is where Charizard might come to fight if he needs some quick cash, or Hitmonchans addiction got the better of him and he was forced out of the regular Poke league and started fighting on the underground circuit. Sorry, I’ve got distracted by the thought of a 18+ Pokemon show with scandal, drugs and an underground fight club. I’d watch that. Returning to Rivals and how we got to the dark depths of illegal Pokemon fights, the characters are crazy. All based around animals and elements each with a unique power. The base for their special move is one of the four classic elements: fire, air, water and Earth. They have a small number of other moves as well, simple attacks that combo in sets of three. I have two that I really like and serve as example of the crazy nature of them. Zetterburn is a Lion . . No, a Bear? A Lionbear. With a flaming mane and tail who chucks fireballs and burns things. Then there’s Kragg, a sort of armadillo/turtle who can hurl rocks pulled from the ground and summon pillars of rock up from below. They make up two of the characters from the warring civilisations in the game-world. The fighting system keeps in line with the rest of the game and is simple, a short set of tutorials is available including a character specific level to learn each of the unique moves available. I love the characters, each one is designed well with great animation and they are pretty badass.

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So, in a quick re-cap: cool retro graphics, awesome retro soundtrack, great character design and animation. It’s important to remember that this game is available through the Preview Program and as such is still a work in progress, so bare that in mind. Now, I’ve said a few times that the simplistic nature of the game is a plus and adds charm, which it does, however, despite there being a few moves to learn the fighting is limited. There are no big combo patterns to use and between standard attacks and special moves there are barely ten distinct attacks for each character. Any big fan of this genre who plays the likes of Tekken or Dead or Alive, or any of the other bigger fighting games of the last few years, may find the fighting a touch lacklustre. If you favour the classic arcade games of yesteryear or play Super Smash Bros. then this will be up your street. Also, despite loving the available characters, there are only eight, which in my opinion is a bit low. It could do with getting into the teens for longer playability.

I was unable to play story mode, abyss mode or do the advanced training which I will chalk up to it being in preview and they are still under development, the story mode is tipped to be like street fighter as a side-scroller which for me would add a lot to the game. The online section of the game took some time to find a match (again, a new release preview game and numbers will probably grow) however, after a few minutes of searching I found an exhibition match. I promptly had my ass handed to me three times in a row which means either I’m terrible or the level of player ability online is quite high. Personally I prefer the second option. The game had no problems connecting and so far I’ve found no bugs or suffered any crashes, which are issues you half expect in a preview game.

In conclusion, I have enjoyed Rivals of Aether and I’m sure any fan of classic fighting games will too, but it is a touch limited in its offerings at present. It is still being worked on and the coming options are sure to add to this already very fun little game. As with a lot of indie titles I don’t see this dominating most console’s for months at a time, maybe some long sessions into the night. However, it will be a great party game or filler between your big titles and favourites, and there will be some out there, perhaps converts to Xbox who miss the party games of a certain Japanese hardware producer, who may find the game they have been looking for.

Thanks to Xbox and Dan Fornace for supporting TiX

Neon Chrome review

Here I am now almost half way through 2016 and my quest to play as many games as possible continues. I have a new furry cover for my gaming chair, because I’m a classy guy, and I’m settled in for a session with Neon Chrome, the new title from 10tons studio (who made Crimsonland).  Neon Chrome is a cyberpunk top down shooter. The two comparisons that instantly spring to mind are Spartan Assault and Genre defining Hotline Miami. Of the two I would say it’s closer to Hotline, mainly because of the ruthless and bloody nature of it. The game is set in a sci-fi megastructure which is looked after by the Overseer and the two of you don’t get along. Cue the 30 level fight up through the building to bring the Overseer to justice.

Except it has a lot more depth to it than that. As I played through the different attributes of the game showed and I found more and more to like about it. The gameplay is simple enough, as you would imagine from a top down shooter, but the way in which you go about it added a lot for me. You have 30 levels to go through and large parts are randomly generated meaning no route to the overseer is ever the same. I have played for a fair bit now and haven’t come across the same bit twice which is great. Added to that is the almost RPG style in which you build your character. You can have permanent upgrades on attributes like luck and health for example available to buy with in game currency you earn through playing. Surprisingly to me as I played, the weapons have numbered stats and levels to compare which give you plenty of options for your style of play be it up close and personal or maybe more ranged and stealthy. This also means that just hanging onto the same gun for your play through isn’t an option as the later levels have much stronger enemies to face. There are keys and access keys to collect to gain entry to different bits of the level and sometimes alternative exits. There are some destructible scenery areas such as thin walls you can break through and boss fights spread out along the way that all make it a challenging endeavour. There is in-game loot to pick up, better weapons and currency as well as a range of upgrades available through in level stations. You can build up each run quite differently for different play styles, which I really liked.

Neon Chrome (5)

Here’s the bit that got me, you sit in the immersion chair and then become another character, from a numbered set stasis chamber. When you die, that character is gone and you pick another to start off another run or go back to your last checkpoint (which are not close together). It’s seems odd but the perma-death for each character made me oddly attached to each one, I found myself tight gripped and tense trying to get through to a health station so that Maxwell Lovelace (my first hacker character) wouldn’t die and be lost to the digital graveyard, although he’ll probably come round again in the listing. I doubt it’s truly endless. Side note; he didn’t make it. There are different types of cyborg soldier to pick from with every new immersion and each has different abilities, you have a hacker who can access things that the rest cannot or the Cyber Psyco who deals more damage as two examples. personally I tend to favour the more damage option, but the stealth assassin is good fun too, just my personal preferences really, but I liked having the extra damage when you reach a boss round as its often a high damage scenario. The difficulty of the game also kept me playing, I wanted to get further and beat each level and got frustrated when I died as not only did I lose some progress but also my new character. However, with each death comes a chance to spend some hard earned cash on your next guy or gal and head back in with more firepower or a better gun, and really, isn’t that what it’s all about, bigger and better guns? I really enjoyed the weapon choice as each new loot box was a chance to see if I got a different weapon or maybe a better version of what I have already, either way, loot boxes should always be raided when you’re going through the tower.

Neon Chrome (4)

I found it tough to get this kind of attachment playing Spartan Assault, even though I have strong emotional feelings for the Halo series (bordering on worrying). I just couldn’t get into it in the same way as this game. The whole atmosphere of the game is pretty cool too, it reeks of 80’s influence (very much like the essence of Far Cry Blood Dragon) in the music and the graphics. It all fits together to create a very enjoyable gaming experience.

Its quick paced action makes it fun to play, it’s not an easy game either which is always appealing to me as I don’t like to walk through a game and then be done with it. The random generating for levels certainly gives it more length as even when you have made it to the end you can have another run through and it be a totally different layout and experience. The character progression and upgrading is a nice touch too, it adds more and is welcomed into a style that can be very repetitive and similar. Even though you are just shooting and making your way through the map, the way in which you go about it, the extra options and features mean it was very rarely repetitive and definitely not boring.

TiX thanks 10tons Studios and Xbox for their support

E3 2016 – Ubisoft shows us the wild side

E3 continues and the conference’s keep on coming, this time it was Ubisoft and one of the titles they made time to talk about was the new Ghost Recon game Wildlands. Frankly, it looks spectacular. A huge open world map with strategic freedom to approach a mission as you wish.

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You can play solo or co-op with four players as you make your way through the landscape taking down a cartel’s cocaine operation. As well as an explanation of more of what’s to come there was also a spot of gameplay to watch. Ghost Recon; Wildlands will come to Xbox One on March 7th 2017

 

 

E3 2016 – Bethesda conference round up

Bethesda are back at E3 for the second time and they have landed with a bang (albeit after a slight delay on the start time). A whole host of really exciting news has come out of the conference, here’s a quick round-up for you of the highlights.

Elder Scrolls

  • Skyrim re-mastered for current gen consoles, yes the rumours where true. Skyrim is coming back in a fully remastered version.
  • Two additions for Elder Scrolls Online, the first is the Dark Brotherhood DLC out this week on Tuesday (14th of June) the second is One Tamriel, a level free mode where the whole world is open to you free from level restrictions, you can party with who you like and go where you want. Coming in fall this year.
  • Elder Scrolls Legends – a new game, this is a strategy card game for mobile devices.

Fallout 4

  • Some more dlc coming in a variety of forms. The first named Contraptions adds machinery and more workshop options. A build your own vault and Nuka world, which looked like it may be a theme park of sorts, but we will have to see.
  • In conjunction with the work being done on Bethesda VR Fallout 4 will be released in 2017 on the HTC vive.

Doom

  • Snap map update with logic options single player additions and lots more.
  • 2 new multiplayer modes, Exodus (a 1 flag CTF style game) and Sector a multi zone capture game
  • Unto the evil – the first premium dlc with 3 new multiplayer maps called Offering, Cataclysm and Ritual. A new playable demon called Harvester and a new gun, as well as new taunts and armour sets.

Also

  • Dishonoured 2 announced with a big gameplay reveal and a release date of November 11th 2016, special edition collectors are available with some toys and additions for the big time fan, for a short time pre-orders will also get you a copy of the first game.
  • A reboot of Prey, set on a spaceship with a psychologically thriller twist, a very impressive trailer was shown but not what looked like in game footage#
  • Quake Champions – arena shooter coming to PC
  • fallout shelter – new enemy battle and more content and will be available to play on PC

Loads more conferences and news to come! Can’t wait to see what else comes up

 

 

Madden 15 Announcement Trailer

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Sports games don’t really need an announcement; fans of the franchise all know they’ll be coming out eventually. But, that hasn’t stopped EA from letting us known that the next game in their NFL franchise, Madden 15, will touchdown into shops this coming August.

The trailer below stars Panthers LB, and reigning defensive player of the year, Luke Kuechly transforming.

We’re assuming that EA are going to go down the same route that saw Vikings RB, Adrian Peterson, take the cover of Madden 25. But, it could be a nice change to see both the defensive player of the year, and offensive player of the year lining up together. If EA are going to do this, expect to see the legendary arm of Denver Broncos QB, Peyton Manning, being displayed in future Madden 15 trailers.

Get Even officially announced by The Farm 51

Get Even

Polish developers, The Farm 51 have announced upcoming FPS ‘Get Even’. The developer behind Painkiller, and Deadfall Adventures have been using 3D scanning to create some visually stunning environments like we have never experienced before – don’t believe us? Check out the incredibly realistic looking trailer….

“As an independent developer, it would be foolish to go head-to-head with the larger companies and create a ‘me too’ knock-off, and frankly we wouldn’t be interested in doing it,” said The Farm 51 CEO, Wojtek Pazdur.

“We believe that there is still a ton of content and design creativity that has yet to be explored in first-person genre, as well as an audience beyond the warfare player – those are the people we are going for with Get Even.”

Get Even is due to land at some point in 2015 for PC, XboxOne, and PS4. We look forward to hear more about this title as the game develops over the next year.

Goodison Park Makes its Gaming Debut

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Goodison Park will make its gaming debut in FIFA 14, after Everton penned a new two-year deal to secure EA SPORTS as the Club’s official gaming partner until the end of the 2014/15 season.

The announcement follows on from a successful partnership with the sports entertainment brand over the past two years, and the inclusion of Everton’s iconic stadium in the latest version of FIFA 14 is a prominent feature of the deal.

EA SPORTS committed to featuring Goodison in its most lifelike format in the popular football video game and paid a visit earlier this year to capture the all-important details of one of the oldest football grounds in the world.

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Dan Holman, Head of UK Product Marketing, EA SPORTS said: “We’re delighted to extend our partnership with Everton and especially to be adding Goodison Park to the stadium roster in FIFA 14. This will ensure fans will get a completely authentic experience. We look forward to working closely with the club over the next two years.”

Everton’ s Commercial Director Dave Biggar said: “We’re delighted that EA SPORTS are once again joining our portfolio of official partners – and even more so that Goodison will make its debut in FIFA 14. The game is hugely popular so we have no doubt that Evertonians will be looking forward to playing inside the stadium, even if it is in a virtual sense!”

Not only will Evertonians be able to enjoy playing in the home of the Blues in their virtual world, their favourite stars will be more realistic than ever in the new game.

Everton’s first team line-up underwent a 360-degree 3D digital head scan at the Club’s training ground so that EA SPORTS could make their virtual counterparts as lifelike as possible.

As part of the partnership, a special Everton FIFA 14 cover will be available for supporters to download for free when the game is launched on Friday 27 September. A very limited-edition game with a wrapped Everton sleeve will be also be available to buy in store at Everton One or Everton Two and online at evertondirect.com.

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