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We missed Stardew Valley in 2016, and it's great

Posted on 5th Jan 2017 at 10:49 by Jake Tucker with 2 comments

We missed Stardew Valley in 2016, and it's great

Christmas, for me, is a time to catch up on all of the great games I've missed throughout the year. I've dabbled with Tyranny, I've spent several hours driving into 1337 multiplayer hackers in Watch Dogs 2, but, for my money, the biggest surprise of the year has been Stardew Valley.

I've been playing it with my partner, and it's proven to be remarkably compelling. I didn't expect to be so invested in building our tiny San Junipero farm — pilfering the name from an episode of Black Mirror we'd recently watched — until we got a couple of days in and suddenly we were quite invested indeed. Farming is fun; you can fish if that's your bag, and apparently you can romance the whole village located next to the farm, but our sole interest in that place is trips to the local shop and having a rummage in people's bins.

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Hitman, I love you, but your Elusive Targets are getting me down

Posted on 22nd Dec 2016 at 11:01 by Jake Tucker with 0 comments

Jake Tucker
As I write this opening paragraph, a timer is ticking. It's The Guru, you see. He's only in Sapienza for another 60 hours, and then he'll vanish forever.

I'm tapping away at some work. In a little under nine hours I have to leave for a flight to Berlin and what constitutes Christmas holidays for a freelancer. Honestly, I want nothing more than to leave the work, finish packing, and go to bed, but then I'm reminded of the timer. 60 hours and The Guru escapes. I'll never get another chance to claim the contract on his head, and I'll never be able to claim the successful reward, either.

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Blood Bowl 2 is the best eSports I've watched in 2016

Posted on 8th Dec 2016 at 17:15 by Jake Tucker with 2 comments

Some friends and I have recently started up a Blood Bowl 2 league. The 10 of us started it last Friday night, and we're already halfway through the season, playing the games wherever we can fit them in, slid into a lunchtime or evening.

One thing has become clear: Blood Bowl 2 is the best eSport I've ever watched, and I say this as someone who's been sat in decent seats for CS:GO and League of Legends tournaments, basking in the atmosphere.

Blood Bowl 2 is the best eSports I've watched in 2016

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Hello Games did the right thing by keeping quiet after No Man's Sky; here's why

Posted on 28th Nov 2016 at 17:14 by Jake Tucker with 27 comments

Jake Tucker
On Friday, Hello Games broke a three month silence to announce a new chunk of content it's calling the Foundation Update. The Foundation Update works on several levels. First, it's a foundation for what's to come next; secondly, it includes the basics of base-building, building being something that you often need a foundation for.

Clever, huh?

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In defence of high chaos

Posted on 25th Nov 2016 at 13:46 by Jake Tucker with 12 comments

Jake Tucker
Whenever an immersive sim comes to market, people move as quickly as they can to try to get through it as quietly as possible, doing their best to pull apart the game's stealth systems and crouch-walk their way to the bragging rights of finishing the game without a single drop of blood being spilt, or an alarm raised.

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VR Worlds is virtually the best selling point for the PlayStation VR

Posted on 28th Oct 2016 at 18:36 by Jake Tucker with 0 comments

Jake Tucker
I'd like to start by saying that I made a mistake.

Previously, I called Battlezone the PlayStation VR's killer app. I said that the tank-brawler, that I've written about plenty - including yesterday - was the best reason to own a PlayStation VR, but I was incorrect.

It's VR Worlds, the collection of fleshed out tech demos you can pick up for a cut price. The reason is simple: It shows you everything that VR can do, and even lets you play around with your Move controllers while you do it.

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Lego Dimensions is a surprising breath of fresh air

Posted on 12th Oct 2016 at 13:51 by Jake Tucker with 8 comments

Jake Tucker
I've spent a lot of the last week playing Lego Dimensions.

I didn't think I'd enjoy Lego Dimensions much, and stopped buying the Lego games after I got bored ploughing through Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. Warner Brothers sent over a Lego Dimensions starter set and Lego Dimensions Wave 6 packs out for review and within 30 minutes I was hooked.

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Streets of Rogue is going to eat your lunch break today

Posted on 9th Sep 2016 at 11:14 by Jake Tucker with 4 comments

Jake Tucker
Streets of Rogue is, at first glance, everything I hate. It's an open alpha of a rogue-lite with a pun name for a title, and it takes inspiration from a mass of different sources. A single paragraph on the website suggests the game takes inspiration from Binding of Isaac, Nuclear Throne and Deus Ex.

But, this first alpha is open for everyone to play, so I thought why not, if it sucks I can just get back to playing Rainbow Six Siege forever.

It doesn't suck. In fact, Streets of Rogue is fun in a way I haven't seen in games in a long time.

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Games journalism isn't corrupt, but Youtube has a problem.

Posted on 2nd Sep 2016 at 09:18 by Rick Lane with 59 comments

Rick Lane
Allegations of corruption have dogged games journalism for almost as long as games journalism has existed. Where exactly this belief stems from isn’t entirely certain. But if you went by the average comments section on a game review, you’d think the entirety of games journalism was more corrupt than Silvio Berlusconi’s hard-drive.

Like any form of journalism, games media isn’t short of examples of shoddy work. Evidence of that goes as far back as dodgy reviews of games like Nemesis for the ZX Spectrum, where Sinclair User appear to have reviewed a beta version of the game in order to get ahead of the competition. But the vast majority of complaints and conspiracy theories about games writing aren’t concerned with laziness or cutting corners. Instead, they revolve around a very specific and far more serious subject – the idea that critics are routinely paid-off by publishers to artificially inflate review scores.

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We should be applauding No Man's Sky for letting us believe

Posted on 10th Aug 2016 at 10:40 by Jake Tucker with 24 comments

Jake Tucker
Don't worry, we're still planning on reviewing No Man's Sky; Rick's in deep space as we speak.

I didn't like No Man's Sky when I played it, back in the spring. The hype-train had already left the station, and now, on the day of its PS4 release, and just a couple of days before PC owners get to carve out their own chunk of the universe, that trainload of hype is at maximum speed.

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Gigabyte Aorus Motherboards: A Closer Look

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