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XCOM's perfect demo

Posted on 30th Oct 2012 at 09:24 by David Hing with 17 comments

David Hing
Demos are dangerous marketing moves for the games industry. It could be a misleading demo that misrepresents the game (it's ok, we forgive you Brutal Legend) or just a plain bad demo that doesn't show it off enough. Either way, it can seriously eat into a game's release sales figures.

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One nuclear war is enough

Posted on 25th Oct 2012 at 07:52 by David Hing with 13 comments

David Hing
A pile of games that you haven’t got around to playing yet is a surprisingly common feature for anyone that considers gaming to be a hobby. It’s not a problem I ever expected to have, but I have noticed a startling number of unfamiliar names creeping into my Steam library, hopefully as a result of various summer sales and Humble Indie Bundles as opposed to the dreaded combination of one click payments and more beer than is strictly speaking healthy.

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DOTA 2: Back in the saddle

Posted on 16th Oct 2012 at 08:10 by Harry Butler with 38 comments

Harry Butler
Valve’s endlessly-in-beta-might be-released-soon-pro-gamer-trap DOTA 2 is game that’s intrigued me, along with its whole genre, since its announcement. I played the game a lot back when it was a Warcraft 3 mod, but hadn't picked up a creep wave in anger for years. Today I finally had a bash at DOTA 2 and amazingly found a game that was just as engaging as it ever was. Even if I didn't really know what I was doing.

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Obsessive Compulsive Time Trial Disorder

Posted on 12th Oct 2012 at 09:23 by Harry Butler with 37 comments

Harry Butler
Recently I’ve re-acquired one of my most irksome gaming traits, an affliction which only strikes in racing games where you’re primarily racing against the clock. I’ve dubbed it Obsessive Compulsive Time Trial Disorder. In short it’s the inability to let even the slightest of errors go when playing a racing game. Missed the apex on turn 3? Restart. Clipped a curb and spun out? Restart. Braked too early for that hairpin and lost a position? Restart. It’s an incredibly time consuming and not a little bit masochistic way to play, and one I feel I’m cheating myself with.

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The Jumping Game

Posted on 2nd Oct 2012 at 09:49 by David Hing with 27 comments

David Hing
You've all played the Jumping Game. Maybe you've only played it once and didn't care for it. Maybe you only ever play it for short spaces of time. Maybe, like me, you have identified its signature across many different games.

More commonly found in first person or third person games that allow some degree of freedom in movement and feature irregularly formed terrain, the Jumping Game is played by trying to jump up something that may or may not be a wall.

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What We're Playing: Game of Thrones & Warhammer Invasion

Posted on 27th Sep 2012 at 09:31 by Paul Goodhead with 3 comments

Paul Goodhead
A little while ago we took a gander at a couple of board games that we’d been playing recently, and both were pretty obscure titles. This week we’ve got a look at another two games, both of which are from IPs that you should recognize. Let the games begin.

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When should game servers be retired?

Posted on 20th Sep 2012 at 10:30 by David Hing with 34 comments

David Hing
Modern game production dictates that everything released must have multiplayer functionality, regardless of development budgets and how appropriate a multiplayer feature might be to a particular title. Although this trend is a headache for many a developer, it can also be a heartache for those who end up becoming particularly attached to a game's multiplayer option as sadly, these features have no guaranteed permanence.

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The world of unknown games

Posted on 12th Sep 2012 at 07:49 by David Hing with 13 comments

David Hing
Slouching awkwardly against one of the hand rails on the train during my daily commute the other week I found myself captivated by a gentleman sat in my line-of-sight playing something on his iPad. Until his gaze flicked up causing me to nonchalantly drift my eyes away and pretend I was just glaring at everything in the carriage like a normal person and not just him, I had been transfixed by whatever it was that he was playing because of one simple fact: I had no idea what it was.

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The decline of memory challenges in games

Posted on 11th Sep 2012 at 07:52 by Ben Mansell with 25 comments

Ben Mansell
“You fight like a dairy farmer...”

Anyone who has played Monkey Island, and even a fair few who haven’t, will immediately know the correct response is “How appropriate, you fight like a cow”. Insult swordfighting is one of the most famous examples of a gameplay mechanic which has utterly fallen out of fashion in recent years: memory challenges.

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What We're Playing: Evo & Memoir '44

Posted on 6th Sep 2012 at 09:27 by Paul Goodhead with 3 comments

Paul Goodhead
While online multiplayer is great, sometimes there isn’t a substitute to simply having a few friends round, opening a case of beers and playing some board games. Here’s a look at a pair of games we’ve been playing recently, and our thoughts on whether they're worth a punt or not.

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Custom PC Issue 125

Custom PC Issue 125

Our latest issue is bursting with premium PC goodness, as we enter the land of dream PCs, full of expert customisation and modding, as well as gorgeous water-cooling loops.

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