Nathan’s Top 5s of the Year

Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to be sharing our top 5s of 2015, from everyone who writes here at The Lost Lighthouse. Here is Nathan’s Top 5 of everything he consumed this year.

So here it is my 5 top 5’s of the year. I have gone for Games, Apps, Songs, Films and TV Shows. I would’ve included comics but I haven’t read that many and I would’ve liked to have included albums too, but the app category will clarify why I haven’t. There will be a few honourable mentions too. I will note that some of the choices may not have been from this year, however they are films, songs or TV shows I have been introduced to this year. I have also split the games between apps and consoles as well.

 

App’s

5. Candy Crush – Soda Saga
I know a lot of you find this annoying because everyone plays it, but it is brilliantly addictive and keeps the mind going. Also has the added advantage of being offline which makes things useful when you’re in the middle of nowhere and want to play some games.

4. 9gag
If you haven’t been introduced to 9gag yet, I suggest you get on the website and you’ll never leave. The app version is a quick and handy way to see all the hilarious posts of the day. You will be forever entertained with 9gag.

3. Spotify
I have always shunned away from Spotify as I wasn’t a fan of paying monthly for music, however I got it for free with my phone contract and I have to say it is possibly the most used app on my phone. Mainly because I am driving everywhere but the new Discover feature is brilliant. Every week I get 30 tracks I may or may not have heard before. It actually turns out that all my top 5 songs are from Spotify Discover. I haven’t tried the Running feature yet though, because that involves running.

2. Monument Valley
The only paid app in this list, but my god is it worth it. This game (also available offline) is a puzzle based adventure game, where you have to traverse levels and move the environment around you in order to open up new paths and doors. It is absolutely brilliant and worth the price.

1.Fallout Shelter

fallout-shelter4
I think everyone played this game. I couldn’t put this game down for ages. My girlfriend had to pretty much give me her iPad so I could play it. What a way to keep you interested in Fallout 4 by giving you this little gem. Many of my friends have shown me their shelters and some of them are extremely impressive. Definitely my app of the year.

 

Songs
Honourable mention to August Turns Red – Wrecking Ball, love a hilarious metal cover of a pop song.

5. The Hunter – Slaves
Not my normal genre of music but there’s something very likeable about this song. It is Royal Blood meets Sex Pistols, with a bit of 90’s britpop thrown in. Truly brilliant if you’re angry and want something to sing a long to to get the anger out.

4. Rasputin – Turisas
I will say that I am a massive fan of a metal cover of a pop song. This is one of the many songs that appeared on my Spotify list this year. Turisas are a Finnish folk metal band (I never knew such a thing existed) and the cover of Boney M’s ‘Rasputin’ is brilliant. They’ve even thrown in an extra verse to be safe. Fantastic cover that everyone should listen to.

3. Drink – Alestorm
If you like Pirates and if you like drinking, this is the track for you. The song reminds me of a famous night out I had and every time it comes on I am reminded of that night. Guaranteed you will singing this loud and clearly when you have a few beers and rums down you and surrounded by good friends.

2. Sail – Devildriver
Another metal cover yes, but I feel that this song is the song that the original should’ve been. Sail originally by Awolnation is brilliant in itself, mixes a chilled out dance vibe with screaming lyrics. Devildriver took it and added guitars and heavier lyrics. You can’t hate the track, it is fantastic.

1.Cirice – Ghost


Now if you have heard of Ghost, you may be thinking good lord how can you listen to this. Ghost are a controversial band, with many songs about the devil and including satanic lyrics, however it seems like this is all an act (hopefully). Cirice is the song that first introduced me to Ghost and I have to say Meliora (the album) has managed to make its way into my desert island discs. I absolutely love this song and the album. Everyone should give it a listen, if you’re into that sort of thing.

 

TV Shows
Honourable mention to Kill La Kill, very good series and I’m sure it would’ve made the top 5 if I’d finished it.

5. Peep Show
I know the show just finished but I love Peep Show, nothing makes laugh out loud so hard than Peep Show. Odd-couple meets Britain. Mark and Jeremy would not be friends in real life yet they have struck this hilarious friendship together and their thoughts throughout the series are absolutely brilliant. The series ended quite weakly but it still didn’t stop it making my top 5.

4. Attack on Titan
The only anime in this list, but what a fantastic anime. Storyline is epic and it tugs your heart strings throughout and what an ending, literally cannot wait until the next series comes out. I did feel that the story jumped around a little too much but still, what a watch.

3. Sherlock
What? This is show is old. Yes I know it is but I’ve just started watching it this year and I really wish I hadn’t waited. What a brilliant series. Still trying to figure out my favourite episode from the whole saga. The Hounds of the Baskervilles? Maybe the one with Moriarty and the bombs? It’s a tough choice.

2. Game of Thrones
I’ll admit that this season of Game of Thrones has been a bit slow to start off with but still it doesn’t matter as it finished so strong with an incredible ending. Cannot wait for next year’s season to start *************************** (edit – Nathan said a bunch of spoilers) *********** Plus we’ll get to see what Bran has been up to, lazy bastard made no effort last season.

1.Narcos

Narcos
A Netflix original, but wow what a series. It follows the dealings of Pablo Escobar, the infamous Colombian drug dealer and the DEA agents trying to capture him. It is all based on true events which makes it brilliant and terrifying all at the same time. I enjoyed this show so much that I didn’t want to binge watch it, I wanted to make it last. Honestly stop any TV show you are watching and put this on instead.

 

Films

5. Blackfish
A documentary? Really? Yes, this does make the top 5. I  went to SeaWorld when I was younger, as well as Discovery Cove and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. However since watching this film, I actually now feel ashamed that I went there. It is a very in-depth insight to the cruel world that the Killer Whales endure whilst performing and what can happen when things go wrong and let’s face it, they’re called Killer Whales for a reason. Also a film with such a huge message to cause a $15 million loss to such a large enterprise.

4. Big Hero 6
I adore this film. Pixar kind of meets anime in a way, but obviously the film isn’t as successful as Inside Out, but I believe it is better. It is a film about a boy and a robot that tries to help and heal people. It should be noted that the robot is shaped like a large marshmallow. A classic Pixar film, definitely worth a watch.

3. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Of course this was in my top 5 and the only Marvel film to make the list. I’m sure Ant-Man would be in here but I haven’t seen it yet. It was nice to see the Avengers really struggle to being with and then completely overcome everything against all odds. Also I thought the introduction of Vision was a nice touch. Can’t wait for phase 3 to be in full swing, looking forward to the next Captain America film especially.

2. The Lego Movie
Yes I know this film was released last year, but I only saw it in January and I have been watching it all year. Everything about this film is awesome. Love the voice acting, Will Arnett as Batman is brilliant, as well as Morgan Freeman, but I have to say that Liam Neeson’s character was absolutely hilarious. A chair as a weapon of choice is brilliant.

1. Mad Max: Fury Road

Fury Road
This is it, the number 1 film of the year and I bet I’m not alone with this choice. Star Wars probably would’ve been number 1, but again haven’t seen it yet and I do plan to, but this film is absolutely brilliant. Not too dialogue heavy but filled with a huge amount of action, hilariously modded cars and a brilliant man who only plays the guitar on top of a huge lorry cab. I did think this film would be rubbish as it was a remake of sorts, however I was wrong, so very wrong.

 

Games
Honourable mention to The Witcher 3, game of the year, I imagine it is fantastic, just not my cup of tea

5. Sunset Overdrive
Probably not the best release this year, but I really enjoyed this game. It was colourful and fun throughout the entire thing. Also grinding on rails to travel is brilliant, and the weapons you had were hilarious. What a great game, but maybe not worth the full price when it first came out.

4. Evolve
One of my games on my top 5 to look forward to at the start of the year and I was 100% right. Running around trying to capture a truly terrifying beast or even better, be the beast and destroy all who try to stop you. It is tons of fun and really worth playing.

3. Dragon Age: Inquisition
I really enjoyed this game. Didn’t enjoy it at first as I was just stuck doing sidequests but then the storyline really opened up. The sidequests were fantastic too, I really did try my best to take down every dragon I could get my dirty hands on, just a shame my tactic is going in head first and hoping that I would deal enough damage to take it out quickly. I was right once, the rest I was dragonmeat.

2. Batmam: Arkham Knight
This was my number 1 game I was looking forward to this year, but only made number 2 on the list? Yes that’s right but don’t get me wrong, this is probably the best Batman game created, probably easily one of the best games ever created. The storyline is brilliant, keeps you going throughout the entire game but the sidequests were just as good. Chasing Firefly around the city, to uncovering a serial killer’s lair and taking him down. Also you have the Batmobile, or Bat Tank, enough said really.

1. Metal Gear Solid V:The Phantom Pain

MGSV
This was a shock to me, bought this on a whim because I enjoy Metal Gear Solid games. I’m still playing this game now, wanting to conquer all the sidequests, collect all the weapons and invade everyone’s base. Also there’s something gratifying taking down tanks with bazookas whilst listening to “The Final Countdown”. However it may be the last proper Metal Gear Solid ever made. Hideo Kojima is no longer working with Konami. He has said he will continue to create games elsewhere, but that may be a while yet. However, congratulations to Metal Gear Solid V:The Phantom Pain, you are my game of the year.

 

Nath

Late Video Game Review – Sunset Overdrive

Nath sometimes reviews games. This is one of those reviews.

I know this is very late considering Sunset Overdrive was released last year (not really, more like 2 months) but I was told not to buy it as it would be a Christmas present for me, so I have dedicated some playing time to it in the very busy schedule I have had over Christmas.

So this is the first official Xbox One exclusive game released for the console that I have been excited about, I know there are others but Forza 5, even though it is very pretty, is just driving a car in a circle. Created by Insomniac games (creators of Ratchet and Clank) Sunset Overdrive is a sandbox, action/adventure style game. The premise is that a popular drinks manufacturer has created a new energy drink and during the launch party, it has transformed the drinkers into monsters or OD as they are called. The OD are basically similar to the zombies in 28 days later, they see you and they run after you. Pretty scary right? Of course not, you seen how colourful the game is? How could you be scared.

Anyway, you play a simple janitor who happens to work at the launch party and when everything goes tits up, you basically escape. You run back to your apartment and are held up there for about a month, having a few nice cold pints and waiting for all this to blow over. However the OD are soon on to you and you are rescued by an old man with a gun. You then start running errands for various colleagues and rescuing people throughout Sunset City. Very simple idea for a game, however what makes this game unique?

Well character creation is a good start, and its not the simple haircuts, there are some hilarious ones out there, so of course I gave myself a red and blue fauxhawk and a blue beard. Next is then equipping your clothes, so I went for a ripped shirt and jeans and Vans shoes. Easy enough, so I was ready to face the world of OD, my first weapon, a fire shotgun that looks like a penis. Sold. I love a game where there are ridiculous weapons with equally hilarious names. The fire penis shotgun is called the Flaming Compensator, but my favourite weapon so far is called the TNTeddy, a gun that fires exploding teddy bears. Again sold, however its all very well having hilarious weapons, but the gameplay is just as important.

Controls are simple and easy but allow you to perform a variety of tasks. Navigating the system is done by walking, grinding, bouncing, wall running and perform the act of Christ (walking on water). It makes navigating the large area a lot of fun, especially as you can melee as you grind. You can also shoot and grind, bounce and melee etc to increase combo points in order to unlock other features such as amps and overdrives that further power your weapons and abilities. Your hammer can now throw fireballs and your weapons can do extra damage and status damage.

The multiplayer, entitled Chaos Squad is also brilliant. You run around the city performing certain missions in order to upgrade your character. This mode is ridiculous. It is absolute carnage, you and 7 other players run around the city, taking out enemies with ridiculous amounts of violence and endless amounts of fun.

Basically from what you can see, this game is pretty, mental and hilarious all in one. It is a fantastic game, a real mix of Walking Dead survival and Saints Row insanity. However there are some drawbacks. The grinding and shooting is a huge cop-out even if you are encouraged to change the style once in a while. You can spend the entire game grinding and shooting but its no fun. The enemies do adapt to shoot you off the rails, but they can be dodged. The storyline isn’t brilliant, but most sandbox survival games don’t have amazing storyline, it’s enough to keep me playing but nothing spectacular. Overall I would give this game a solid 8 excuses not to drink energy drinks out of 10. Brilliant but not one that will go down in history.

Nath

KiiGX: Part Two

Adam and Kii went to EGX in London on Friday. Here is Kii’s coverage.

A continuation from my Part One!

Mortal Kombat X
I missed quite a lot of the Mortal Kombat series. I remember playing one of them when I was a kid but in my memory it’s just a sea of pixels. However, I did play Mortal Kombat 9 pretty extensively and later Injustice: Gods Among Us from the same development team.

Mortal Kombat X has made some pretty drastic changes right off the bat. Mainly being that at the end of Mortal Kombat 9 (Spoiler) they’re all fucking dead. Barely any of the roster actually made it to the end of the game thus, it was a pretty bold move to continue canonically with the series instead of having another reboot or ‘alternate dimension’ type deal. Due to this, we have an array of entirely new characters that people have never seen before and ones that have popped up in previous games but never been playable. Whereas MK9 was the complete series done right, MKX is the fresh blood it needs. And there’s lots of it.

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I managed to play through two battles, firstly as D’Vorah (Bug Lady) against a Subzero player (I won) and secondly as Ferra and Torr (Piggy Back Chums) against Adam on Cassie Cage (I let him win, mostly). Both characters are from the completely new roster, D’Vorah being a very quick and venomous assassin style and Ferra and Torr being more brute force. Both were extremely fun to play as, especially with the new system implemented in MKX where you have three styles of moves to choose from for each character. For example, with D’Vorah I could choose to focus on her venom, her strikes or her swarm and this gave me different combos and moves for the match. With a presumably smaller roster than previous games, though the total count isn’t in yet, I thought it was an excellent way to give more variation to the characters and keep repeated match ups interesting.

One thing that NetherRealm have brought over from Injustice is the interaction with the background mechanics. Again, this gives great variation to fights as not only do your characters and move set groups vary, but your stage is now much more than a pretty picture behind you. With Injustice, it was pretty obvious what you could grab and chuck at your opponent but I had forgotten about that mechanic entirely until Adam threw a corpse in my face that had washed up on a wave in the Kove. Since he hadn’t done it on purpose it was hard to replicate on the fly, however it was clearly a natural and fluid part of the fighting animation as there was no pregnant pause whilst Cassie Cage lifted said corpse and lobbed it in my direction with me standing there like a numpty.

All in all, it’s a hilariously fun game and I feel that Mortal Kombat X is a fantastic evolution of the series. It’s not often that a franchise has been able to stay around for so long and still be standing up in its own right against all the new and indie fighters that have come in its wake.

 

Sunset Overdrive
I’ll be honest it’s nice to have a good humoured shooter that is devoid of beige. Sunset Overdrive, as the E3 trailers showed, does not take itself very seriously. We played a kind of horde mode where you protected vats of energy drink from monsters that were people mutated by said energy drink. I adore the designs of the game; I played as a small lady with a military helmet adorned with bunny ears, pretty much an animated version of myself. The movement around the level is extremely fast-paced due to being able to grind on rails, hook onto overhead lines and zip line and each character having a really good jump. I hate realistic jump heights in ridiculous games.

We had a wide variety of weapons, all of which were unique and silly which was awesome. I was particularly fond of ‘The Over Compensator’, a fire gushing blunderbuss and because of my fiery over compensating I came second in our group. Fire not your thing? Don’t worry, I also got my hands on a rocket launcher that shot giant ethereal jade dragons and a gun that flung 10” vinyls. If you imagine that the Saints Row team were given LSD and some crayons, that’s pretty much what the weapon blueprints are like.

This is the game that had me interested in the Xbox One and I still really want to play the entire game. Nathan may find that the rest of the Lighthouse team have crashed his house to have a go.

 

Splatoon
Oddly enough, playing Splatoon after Sunset Overdrive, I felt a good few similarities. By no means are the game actually the same in game play or design, what I mean is that they are both bright, cheerful and fast-paced with unique ways of travelling through the level. Splatoon, being a Nintendo title, is extremely accessible to all ages and abilities. You play as an adorable little squid person who has an ink gun. The name of the game is to have the most floor coverage of your coloured ink by the end of the round. Kills actually mean very little, so if you’re just jumping around and ‘splating’ people but not getting your ink coverage then you’re not actually being any use to your team. On the flip side, if you’re playing with your little brother who isn’t very good, he can hang back and ink everything from a safe distance without having to be in contact with enemy players whilst still being helpful to your score.

Onto my aforementioned unique movement. Being an adorable little squid person, you can jump into your ink and swim around in it. This allows you to go up walls, under grates and into trees whilst being completely invisible to the enemy. One tactic I saw was a player sitting in a tiny ink spot that the enemy thought nothing of, when the opposing team had run ahead, the player jumped out and starting inking everything in the enemy base with their colour. So whilst the game looks childish, there can be some pretty decent strategies if you want all out squid warfare and thus isn’t patronising to more experienced players.

And then…

I was going to add a segment about Smash Bros since we managed to watch the final of a tournament whilst we queued for Splatoon. But who am I kidding, it looks great. It’s all I can really say on the matter, the cast is strong, the game play looks great and it’s really fun. I didn’t get to play it but I have been playing my demo copy on the 3DS almost non-stop. I was also insanely jealous of people on my street pass who had been playing the ‘Special Demo Copy’ which has all of the characters unlocked and that one Japanese guy who actually had the full game. I’m buying it, I’m playing it and no I will not shut up about it.

So, there we are. EGX as a whole. It was a fantastic experience and I’m so happy that The Lost Lighthouse got to attend. Adam and I were absolutely exhausted by the end of the day and I really wish that we could have covered more. Sadly we are merely human so until we evolve into mythical cyborgs we were destined to be, we’ll cover as much as physically possible (and maybe get more people to go to more days). I really enjoyed the show and I’m looking forward to being able to attend more.

On that note, Fenton and I are covering PlayExpo on the 11th October in Manchester! If you’re coming then feel free to say hi. I’ll be the tiny person with the Hylian Shield with the big guy who’ll be glued to Mortal Kombat X.

Kii

EGX Round Up – Part Three: Bayonetta 2, Sunset Overdrive and Splatoon

Adam and Kii went to EGX in London on Friday. Here is Adam’s coverage.

And now for the final part of my EGX round up from last Friday, which Kii and I attended as press for the first time to check out some of the various games coming out soon. So far I’ve mostly just talked about survival horror games (see part one!) or other violent supernatural games (part two!), so I’ll finish off with some of the more light-hearted ones we had some time with.

 

Bayonetta 2

I think I’ve said before on The Weekly Rapture podcast, but I absolutely love the first Bayonetta game. Platinum Games delivered a wonderfully over the top experience, with gameplay that feels totally chaotic without a loss of control over what you are doing. The story of Bayonetta the witch and her fight against the angelic forces is ridiculous, as she wields a range of different weapons including guns attached to her heels, torture executions and hellish attacks that render her naked as she uses her hair (which makes up her latex-looking costume) to summon huge attacks that devastate her enemies. The character is imbued with a heavy dose of tongue-in-cheek sexuality and fan service, with the game knowing it is being silly and having a lot of fun with it.

Unfortunately for WiiU-less people like myself, the sequel is only coming out on Nintendo’s system and not a Sony or Microsoft platform. My knee jerk reaction to this would be to get angry at exclusivity for a game I really wanted, but reports were that there simply wasn’t the support for Bayonetta 2 and that the project was effectively dead in the water until Nintendo swooped in and saved it by acting as publisher. Understandably they would want exclusivity for this (and this hasn’t made me anywhere near as annoyed as the Rise of the Tomb Raider kerfuffle on Xbox One), and it is down to Nintendo that the sequel is actually coming out at all.

bayonetta 2

With that in mind, I still really wanted to give the demo a go. Gone are the days where I can afford multiple consoles in a generation, so I’ll have to resort to good, reliable friends to get the chance to play the game when it comes out (i.e. I’m going to go to Kii’s and play the WHOLE game in one night). In the Nintendo WiiU section of EGX, after a short queue, the attendant asked me if I had played before, and was I any good. I resisted saying ‘actually, I’ve got a platinum trophy for the first one on PS3’ because that would make me sound like a dick, and instead decided to play it down because this would be the first time I would have had my hands on a WiiU controller, playing a game I hadn’t touched in three years. We were given the option of playing a tutorial and a single verse (sequence), or going straight into a boss fight. I thought the former would probably be a good idea, lest I make a fool out of myself.

The gameplay was exactly as I remembered it, and I eased into the controls relatively quickly (I have been playing games for nearly two decades now, so I learn quickly). The DMC style gameplay, as with the first game, makes it very easy to feel like you are kicking a lot of ass, and the witch time mechanic made a welcome return as well as some more torture kills. The brief verse we got to play was fun and familiarly ridiculous, fighting members of the angelic horde on the back of a fighter jet that the upcoming boss was trying to knock out of the sky. There was a quick glimpse of Bayonetta’s BFF Jeanne, standing on another jet upside down (because witches), then your fighter takes a big hit and heads towards the boss. Then the demo was over. Despite an unfamiliarity with the controls, I still managed a silver medal for the verse too. Kii got bronze. ‘Nuff said.

The demo was a little on the short side, but this is looking like more of the same but better,which is really what you want in a good sequel. In a later conversation with one of the Nintendo attendants, while Kii was hunting all sorts of monster ultimately, I was told that Nintendo are bundling in an HD version of the first Bayonetta with the special edition of the game, and in a way that is pretty uniquely Nintendo they are including extra skins for Bayonetta to wear in the game (not sure if this was just the sequel or the first game too) using Nintendo characters, like Samus or Link, that include unique moves and actions based on those skins. This struck me as pretty cool, and interesting as usually extra skins are just that and therefore a little boring. It’s nice that Nintendo are going the extra mile with it, and while I am genuinely sad that I won’t be able to get my hands on Bayonetta 2 easily, I am glad that Nintendo are ensuring that the series can continue. It’s already out in Japan, but is due out over here on October 24th.

 

Sunset Overdrive

The only game we actually got the chance to try out over in the Microsoft section was Sunset Overdrive, an Xbox One exclusive from Insomniac Games and published by Microsoft. We queued for a while, and we were flagging quite a bit by this point in the day. Lots of wandering around with the crowds, bright lights and various demos at the end of a long week led to us needing a serious pick-me-up at this point. Sunset Overdrive looked to be that sort of game, with the trailer from back at E3 making it look like a lot of insane and colourful fun.

Sunset overdrive

While I think the game actually supports eight player co-op, we put in a team of 6 and took part in ‘Chaos Squad’, in which we had to defend vats of an energy drink from hordes of OD’d. Looking it up now, the OD’d are humans who drank too much of the newly released energy drink Overcharge Delirium XT and were transformed into monsters, and the player controls customisable employees of the company that made it to take out these monsters. You’re given a pretty decent range of weapons, from highly explosive rocket launchers, shotguns and the harpoon gun the ‘Captain Ahab’, all of which are great fun, and you move around grinding rails and lines exploding the creatures trying to get more energy drinks. Being somewhat addicted to caffeine in all it’s forms (I can quit any time I want!), this was a somewhat harrowing look at my future as a mindless zombie needing a fix. After a lot of colourful kills of the various OD’d, nearly dying myself a couple of times, we finished the mission successfully. I came last, but the other group playing at the same time failed. So I was better than them at least.

This game looks like it will be a huge amount of fun, with either online and local multiplayer. I have no idea what the single player will be like, but with a set up as ridiculous as this I’m sure it will be entertaining. The game is heavy on style, reminding my visually of Jet Set Radio and other similarly vibrant games. The team behind Rachet and Clank seem to be putting out another interesting IP here, and I hope I get the chance to play it when it comes out on October 31st (I’m going to trick Nath into buying it).

 

Splatoon

The last game we played was Splatoon back in the Nintendo section on the WiiU. There was a really fun vibe from all the folks working there, cheering on the two teams facing off against each other. On top of this, there was a Smash Bros. final going on on the big screen behind us that we kept watching too, with the emcees throwing out loads of Nintendo goodies in between events. We soon got to the front of the queue for the game we were supposed to be watching, and one of the Nintendo attendants showing off the game very patiently showed me the controls. I clearly struggled a little bit with the motion action of the WiiU controller to look around, especially as it was attached to the stand by a cable which dramatically reduced the range of movement (though I understand why they would need it secured).

In Splatoon you fire ink from what looks like a super-soaker, and the aim is to cover as much of the level with your team’s ink as possible. When you run out of ink, you can dive into sections that are your colour already, swimming around in it as a squid and replenishing your ink. You also move more quickly this way, but can only move in your ink and can’t attack. You can spray members of the enemy team with ink too and blow them up, gaining more points for your team. Covering as much as possible can also unlock a limited time bazooka, which lays down a lot of paint and devastates your enemies.

The game was extremely fast paced and animated, and was a really enjoyable multiplayer. We used absolutely zero tactics as a team, and as a result lost the round by only 0.1% ink coverage. I did get the highest score on our team, and the second highest in the game, so clearly I’m better at WiiU than I am at Xbox One. This was great fun, and I think it would be a good party game, but I am interested to see what other modes Splatoon has. I’m sure we will see more before the release early-to mid 2015.

 

 

After we we finished with Splatoon we headed upstairs to check out the indie games section. We looked around and tried a couple of games, but by this point we had been wandering around EGX for nearly seven hours and we were totally shattered. Kii and I both decided that it was time to call it a day, a real shame as we hadn’t finished our list of games that we wanted to check out, and had barely touched the indie section properly that really deserved a couple of dedicated hours to check out. However, we had managed our time through the day as best we could, so we had essentially overestimated how long everything would take. To get through everything we had wanted to get to, we really needed at least two days at the expo.

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But overall, for a first time attending a games convention like this as press, with the intent on covering our experience in various articles, I think it was pretty successful. The opportunity to play several games that aren’t out yet was great, and I really enjoyed all of them. EGX was busy without being heaving (though Saturday may have been a lot worse), and with no queue being ridiculously long (though the COD Advanced Warfare did look pretty damn long). I definitely want to go to more events like this, but I think to give the convention its proper due and cover everything we would like to we would need to be there for more than one day or take more than two of us to cover it (or both). Looking forward to the next one!

Adam

Kii3: An E3 Round Up

Kii brings us her round up of last week’s E3 expo!

So, the huge event of the summer is here. I am, of course talking about E3 and not the other thing with the kicking. There is an awful lot to cover and people will obviously look into the areas that they care about most; however, I’m going to sum up the conferences and announcements that were my favourites or that I feel need mentioning. Compared to last year the only conference that stayed steady was Ubisoft, everyone else has fluctuated from massive improvement to down right ‘Why did you guys turn up?’

  • Ubisoft:

Ubi have had a very strong conference every year since they picked up Aisha Tyler as a show host. Most of their on stage team don’t read from autocue and appear to be genuinely passionate about what they’re doing.

  • Sony:

Sony… What? The brotherly spats between Sony and Microsoft have always irked me as in my opinion; the joys of your company should speak loud enough without having to shit on your competitors during press conferences in the hopes of gaining more sales. Last year, Sony were not quiet about how little Microsoft talked about games compared to the other entertainment functions of the Xbox One. But this year they have a conference that is almost exactly that, very little time given to games and the game announcements they made were either not Sony exclusives or timed exclusives at best. Disappointing.

  • Microsoft:

Actually talked about games! And quite a variety of them! I was impressed by the range of genres covered in the MS conference instead of just shooty, shooty, halo halo. Also there was Halo. I’m not enthralled by the Super Master Chief Boner Collection but I would rather they do that instead of releasing an anniversary edition of every friggin game before releasing Halo 5. Some of the speakers for games were clearly on their first day out of the office and I really want to find a video of the guy turning WAY before camera cues to some sweet techno.

  • Nintendo:

Mother. Fucking. Zelda. Reddit has already exploded with conspiracy theories. Nintendo really showed up in comparison to last year. I feel like they’ve found their legs as a company now that they’ve realised that the gaming market has changed significantly since they started out. They made a bunch of great game announcements, specifically ones that people really care about and really wanted to see, though there were a couple of announcements that maybe should have been made in the main Nintendo direct instead of in their ‘Tree house’ event afterwards. A new Starfox game being mentioned off-hand took the entire audience by surprise.

  • EA:

EA seemed to forget it was E3? It’s like they flipped the calendar and suddenly went ‘SHIT!’ Barely anything they showed was beyond concept art including an announcement of Bioware’s new IP which seemed to be ‘Hey look, we rendered a tree’. If you’re going to tease, give me a teaser, if you’re going to announce, make a proper announcement. What was delivered instead just felt unprepared.

 

And now, what we really care about: VIDJA GAMES.

 

  • Scalebound:

DMC meets How to Train your Dragon. Sassy Punk kid with Dragon BFF fighting giant monsters. Oh, he can also ‘Flame on’ with matching dragon scale armour at will. It looks pretty, looks fun, seems to have a good sense of humour and also hints at multiple dragon classes and Co-Op/Multiplayer. My friend Timber literally threw his wallet at my TV.

  • Assassins Creed Unity:

It’s in France, looks fluid and you can have some good times with your chums in four-player co-op. The new Assassin sounds pretty good though the controversy of how much work it would have been to render some playable ‘Wimens’ I think they’re called, is tainting it a bit for me. Personally, it’s the first time I’ve cared for AC since Ezio’s introduction game but Ubi, don’t tell me that you can’t even be bothered to reuse your female multiplayer model to make one of the four assassins a Lady-face. Though they would probably give her Assassin garb a Boob Window.

  • Shape up:

Fitness disguised as a game is the right amount of psychological manipulation and competitiveness to trick me into doing cardio. It looks hilarious with things such as graphics of heavier and heavier items being put onto your back during a push-up challenge and a DDR cardio work out.

  • Sunset overdrive:

The humour of Saints Row, numerous ways of killing people of dead rising and the fluidity of movement of a Tony Hawk with some kick ass tunes. I was flagging on Sunset Overdrive due to it not being released after being announced at 2013 E3, however, the development team arrived in costume on a giant bus with a zombie/mutant on the fender. Yes. It’s bright, colourful and has comic book-esque POW, OUCH and BOOM graphics. Yes. Yes. Yes.

  • Amiibos:

Nintendo are very good at manipulating our addictive personalities hence why Pokemon has been going for so many years. Nintendo’s new idea is Amiibo, which are small models (similar to Skylanders) that you can add into various Nintendo games. Your little Amiibo is an A.I that you train yourself and thus even if you and your friend have the same one, they will fight completely differently. Oh yeah, you can make them fight each other and your friends. You can also fight them yourself by popping them into Super Smash Bros which is meant to provide a harder challenge than the Wii-U A.I. Essentially, you have your own friggin pokemon. A POKEMON THAT CAN LOOK LIKE LINK. I’M CALLING MINE WIGGLES.

Kii