It’s hard to mention either Demon’s Souls, or its successor Dark Souls, without the words ‘difficult’ and ‘frustrating’ springing to mind.
However, laborious qualities aside, the highly rewarding nature and sense of achievement that conquering the challenges on offer by these games can’t be understated. These tests have always been something that series veterans have somewhat lauded, especially over those that can’t rise to the challenge.
During development of Dark Souls II it was revealed that the aim was to make the title ‘more accessible’ — this rang a lot of alarm bells for the franchise faithful. So, does this ‘approachable’ move mean that the game is easier, or does Dark Souls II retain the same ‘soul’ of its predecessors?
Razer’s Kraken gaming headphones are not hard to miss. Sporting a neon-green finish, the distinctive and chunky £55 cans may look every bit the true booming headphones, but do they sound it? We put them to the test.
Out of the box you of course get the foldable headphones, complete with a generous detachable extension cable and the usual 3.5mm analog connection jack.
Despite being predominantly plastic, the Kraken’s build quality is assuringly sturdy and appears durable. The extendable headband can be adjusted to your preference, with confidence that the plastic won’t give. On a whole, the overall unit feels flexible enough to withstand plenty of day-to-day wear and tear.
Despite all the complex 3D graphics that modern day PCs can produce there’s still plenty of fun to be found in the simplicity of 2D visuals. Platforming titles like Super Meat Boy and Braid have proved this point by garnering critical acclaim. Rush Bros is yet another title in this genre aiming to make an impact with its own interesting blend of music, racing and competitive multiplayer.
Jeremy McGrath, known for his illustrious supercross career, decided to ditch the motorbikes for his latest, swapping it instead for a new passion: off-road 4×4′s. Offroad may have time to rev its engines on Xbox Live for a while now, but in March 2013 the racer finally appeared on the European PlayStation Network.
So, has this cut-price downloadable run out of grip, or is this PSN release worthy of a fresh set of tires?
When it comes to gaming peripherals, Razer offers a vast amount of devices, catering to all sorts of players and genres.
The companies Naga mouse range is very much aimed at MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) players, with its abundance of buttons and high level of customisation.
So, does this myriad of options enhance gameplay or end up being more trouble than it’s worth?
Lara Croft hasn’t had the best of times in recent years. The Tomb Raider series found itself slowly declining in popularity, following a handful of games that failed to capture the magic possessed by the original titles.
Not only that, but when Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series arrived in 2007 it quickly took the crown as gamers ‘tomb and treasure’ game of choice.
Now, developers Crystal Dynamics have gone back to the drawing board to bring Lara Croft and her escapades back to their former glory.
Accessory maker Razer — known for its gaming mice, keyboards and headsets — has an ever growing array of mid-range products available, all hoping to tick the demanding boxes of PC gamers. Razer’s Arctosa Gaming Keyboard is one of company’s more economical products, catering to those with lower budgets and touted as a “bare essentials” device.
Auditorium HD sits amongst Journey, Unfinished Swan and Flower as a game that undoubtedly revels in putting art at the same level as gameplay in its list of priorities.
It’s a title that started life as a internet-based flash game in 2008, but has slowly made its way onto numerous platforms, wowing audiences with a simple premise that’s both entrancing and engaging.
Far Cry 3 is the story of Jason Brody, a thrill seeking rich kid, who parachutes with his friends into the unknown Rook Islands. While this adventure may have seemed like a good idea, the tides quickly turn as the group are split up with Jason and his brother captured by the maniacal pirate Vaas.
Vaas’ aim is to ransom the brothers for an extortionate amount, however the pair attempt to escape which cleverly forms the games tutorial section. Without spoiling all too much things don’t go to plan. Jason is rescued from the brink of death by local tribe the Rakyat who give him the tools to get his friends back.
This is easily one of the best narrative journeys in recent memory, helped by a superb cast, with Michael Mando being a particular stand-out with his performance as main antagonist Vaas. There are plenty of twists and turns, notably the distinctive strong use of drugs which lead to highly visual and mind-bending sequences, similar to the Scarecrow sections of Batman: Arkham Asylum.
As with any game that gets a retail release, it is almost a guarantee that there will be a downloadable equivalent to scratch the itch of those looking for a similar experience at a lower price of entry. While Codemasters DiRT series is without doubt the current best of the off-road racer genre, up until now only SEGA Rally Online Arcade had been solely representing the genre on the digital marketplace.
This is where developers 2XL enter with Jeremy McGarth’s Offroad to provide some needed competition.
Magic: The Gathering is undoubtedly one of the biggest active trading card games in the world today with around 12 million players and fans across the globe. It’s then no surprise that this made the transition onto home consoles in 2010 with the original Duels of the Planeswalkers. Its initial success spawned yearly releases culminating in this year’s Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013.
The original Prototype was a game that found itself a victim of bad timing. Released within a few weeks of the popular and critically acclaimed Infamous back in 2009, both gave players the opportunity to experiment with superpowers in an open world setting. Unfortunately Prototype didn’t quite win the hearts of gamers, but now developers Radical Entertainment are back to show what their franchise is capable of.