Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus (PS3 exclusive, 2013) – 8/10 action game review

Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus (2013)

Ratchet, Clank, Kronk and Zephyr are transporting intergalactic baddie Zendra Prog to prison when her brother catches up to them and breaks her out. Ratchet and Clank wind up marooned on a nearby planet and have to catch Zendra and put her back where she belongs. However, they’re going to need help from an unexpected source.

8/10

Into the Nexus‘ constantly evolving gameplay features lots of toys, lots of fun and lots of quality shooting; there’s so much opportunity for majestic overkill. It helps that these adventures are always good-natured in tone with a friendly feeling between Ratchet and Clank, smack-talking henchmen who aren’t above receiving a good jump-scare and even a scene where someone keeps their word and goes to prison willingly. Nexus‘ antagonists Vendra and Neftin Prog are good value but no Dr. Nefarious. It’s such a shame that the frame rate doesn’t remain smooth; Ratchet and Clank really should be prioritising a 60 frames per second update yet Nexus doesn’t maintain 30. Though it feels impressively frenetic and remains playable, the 30 fps at best means that it is difficult to track anything on screen.

Content Summary

This game contains violence

Cast / crew

Ratchet: James Arnold Taylor
Clank: David Kaye

Links

PS4 vs Xbox One and PS3 vs Xbox 360 Head-to-Head Face Off: September 2015

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the web site icon for a very quick summary.

  • Xbox One better than PS4 Transparent 16x16 Dishonored Definitive Edition
  • PS4 / Xbox One equalXbox One / PS4 equal Transparent 16x16 FIFA 16
  • Xbox One better than PS4  Mad Max
  • PS4 is better than Xbox One  Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Seventh Generation

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  • 360 better  Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

PS4 vs Xbox One Head-to-Head Face Off: March 2015

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  • PS4 / Xbox One equalXbox One / PS4 equal Gaming Bolt favicon Battlefield: Hardline
  • PS4 is better than Xbox One Gaming Bolt favicon Borderlands: Handsome Collection
  • Xbox One better than PS4 Gaming Bolt favicon DmC: Devil May Cry
  • PS4 is better than Xbox One Transparent 16x16 Dragonball XenoVerse
  • PS4 is better than Xbox One Transparent 16x16Gaming Bolt favicon Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires
  • PS4 / Xbox One equalXbox One / PS4 equal Gaming Bolt favicon Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
  • PS4 / Xbox One equalXbox One / PS4 equal Transparent 16x16Gaming Bolt favicon Life Is Strange
  • Xbox One better than PS4 Transparent 16x16Gaming Bolt favicon Zombie Army Trilogy

Seventh Generation

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  • 360 better Assassin’s Creed: Rogue

Tomb Raider (2013, PS3, PC, Steam) – 9/10 brutally violent action adventure game review

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Cast / crew
Director: Noah Hughes
Director: Daniel Chayer
Director: Daniel Neuburger
Producer: Kyle Peschel
Producer: Alexander W. Offermann
Programmer: Scott Krotz
Artist: Brian Horton
Writer: Rhianna Pratchett
Writer: Susan O’Connor
Lara Croft: Camilla Luddington

Tomb Raider (2013)

Lara Croft is the archaeological brains on a TV documentary but their expedition aboard the Endeavour goes horribly wrong when the ship happens upon a violent storm and is broken onto an island. Everyone seems to survive the shipwreck but then an island inhabitant knocks Lara out and she regains consciousness hanging upside in a room of unimaginable gruesomeness.

9/10

This is a really, really good game which does suffer a bit from having to get a good amount of gameplay into it. This translates to, essentially, obliterating an entire nation of bad guys too many and moving the franchise from teen-rated platforming to one of the most violent third-person shooters ever released. It’s an exceedingly good third-person shooter, though, and you just want to play the whole thing through in one sitting. In an important way, it is also extremely ambitious in character. It fails, almost completely, but what it is trying to do is place you in the shoes of Lara Croft and get you to go on her journey from boffin babe to Rambo. It never accomplishes this because the player is in Rambo mode from the start and so it is absolutely no problem for them to start decking dudes left, right and center and you’re never given the choice to do what you would actually do in the circumstance, i.e., dribble some wee down your leg and evade them. I mean, I don’t know how to strangle someone with a bow. Lara did.

This game contains sexual swear words, adult dialogue, sexuality, extremely gory and extremely unpleasant scenes, extreme, graphic and gory violence

Classified 18+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for adults who have reached the age of 18 or over..

Links

PS4 vs Xbox One and 360 vs PS3 Head-to-Head Face off: Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Far Cry 4 and Grand Theft Auto V

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  • Xbox One better than PS4  Assassin’s Creed: Unity
  • PS4 is better than Xbox One  Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • PS4 is better than Xbox One  Far Cry 4
  • PS4 is better than Xbox One  Grand Theft Auto V

Seventh Generation

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  • PS3 better  Dragon Age: Inquisition

PS4 vs Xbox One and 360 vs PS3 Head-to-Head Face Off: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

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  • PS4 is better than Xbox One  Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

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  • 360 better  Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

de Blob 2 (2011, PS3) – 8/10 action platform painting game review

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Cast / crew
Dedicated To and Environment Artist: Russell Hughes
Game Director: Nick Hagger
Art Director: Terry Lane
Lead Artist: Lewis Mitchell
Lead Animator: Shannon Caldwell
Lead Audio: John Guscott
Lead Designer: Mark Morrison
Lead Designer: Christian Canton
Lead Level Designer: Andrew Trevillian
Level Designer 2D: Bryan Duffy
Lead Programmer: Dan Khoan Chau
Audio Programmer: Lindsay Loughlin
Graphics Programmer: Jarrod Smith
Graphics Programmer: Florian Strauss
Technical Director: Graeme Webb
Project Manager: Chris Slater
Music Composer and Producer: John Guscott
Voice Casting and Direction: Douglas Carrigan
Dee Bradley Baker: Blob, Prof, Bif, Inky Scientist, Shepherds, Raydians
Candi Milo: Pinky, Spiky, Graydians

de Blob 2 (2011)

Unsurprisingly, Prisma City’s general election is going very well for Papa Blanc, as he has rigged the voting booths with mechanical arms that always vote for him. Once he has swept to power, he is revealed to be Comrade Black who proceeds to drain the city of colour once more. Only Blob and the Colour Underground can restore things but are they playing into Black’s hands?

8/10

Gentle, tinkly gameplay, beautiful visuals (the reds, greens and blues are particularly gorgeous and there is some excellent non-player animation) and high quality sound make de Blob 2 a good all-ages platformer well worth playing, but awkward jumping from uneven terrain, unintelligent targeting and some infuriating checkpointing mean it is oddly wearisome. John Guscott and Lindsay Loughlin’s dynamic music is wonderful and the large levels feel full of life and happiness when you’ve restored colour to them and how lovely is that?

Classified 7+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 7 or over.
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Links

PS3 vs PS4 vs Xbox 360 vs Xbox One Head-to-Head Face Off: Alien: Isolation and Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition

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  • PS4 logo 75x16  Alien: Isolation
  • PS4 is better than Xbox One  Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition

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  • 360 better Alien: Isolation

Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom (2010, PS3) – 8/10 fantasy action game review

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Cast / crew
Director: Yoshiki Okamoto

Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom (2010)

At the urging of the forest animals, a thief makes his way into the castle in Q’umarkaj with the aim of finding out what’s causing the darkness that is devastating their habitat. Inside he finds a giant creature imprisoned and weakened and it’s clear that, whatever the darkness is, this Majin is the key to clearing it. However, the Majin, Teotl, cannot do it alone: he’ll need a friend.

8/10

Just let the title screen sit and play the attract sequence. That trailer and, especially, the main musical theme is entirely wonderful: uplifting, heroic and full of promise, inspiration and hope. It sets up the mood of the game perfectly which is warm and charming as you befriend a giant, somewhat clumsy, creature named Teotl with whom you will thoroughly enjoy this adventure. One of the main ways this is achieved is because each of you can only be healed by the other. A lovely moment that is replayed delightfully is when you pick fruit to boost and restore Teotl’s power, you can hear Teotl excitingly burble in salivating anticipation. Developer Game Republic and publisher Namco Bandai must have been tremendously disappointed with sales, not just because they were about half what was expected but because this is a good, fun, original, accessible and unusual game. Everyone did a good job and still too few bought it.

This game contains extreme fantasy violence

Classified 12+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 12 or over.

Links

Vanquish (2010) – 9/10 awesome third-person shooter game review

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Cast / crew
Director: Shinji Mikami
Producer: Atsushi Inaba
Art Director: Naoki Katakai
Conceptual Designer: Shinji Usui
Character Designer: Makoto Tsuchibayashi
Story Writer: Hiroki Kato

Vanquish (2010)

After wild over-population brings Earth to it’s knees, the US and Russia are at loggerheads. The tide is turned when a US Space Laser is hijacked by robot Russian forces and destroys San Francisco and war becomes the only option.

9/10

There is a case for this being the best third-person shooter ever made. Platinum Games and Shinji Mikami’s Vanquish is a constantly awesome third-person shooter that is widely regarded as a commercial disappointment despite selling about 1 million copies. The second-to-second gameplay is remarkably fun and rewarding. Some of this is down to wonderful enemies always responding when attacked. I know it seems odd that this is not always the case but even some celebrated big-budget games (such as Bioshock, if memory serves) see a blood spurt as an acceptable substitution for an action cancel (where your action, shooting them somewhere, cancels their action). Even better is that, especially on the larger regular enemies, shooting them in different places (arm, leg, back, head, gun, huge fuel tank) has different results and tactical outcomes. Weapon upgrades are juggled brilliantly; simple but with hidden depth. Special mention for some satisyfing trophies. Several are awarded for achieving some cool and / or challenging objectives during gameplay and individual trophies rewarding progress through the game on harder difficulties (instead of just one at the end). That said, even though it’s a difficult Platinum trophy, it’s not a difficult game, even on Hard.

This game contains sexual swear words, strong violence, unpleasant and extremely gory cut scenes

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Links

Gran Turismo: The Real Driving Simulator 6 (2013, PS3 exclusive) – 9/10 driving game review

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Cast / crew
Director and Producer: Kazunori Yamauchi

Gran Turismo: The Real Driving Simulator 6 aka GT6 (2013)

9/10

Whether coaxing an unwanted Prius into 1st, manhandling a Stratos, marveling at the grip on a Mazda Roadster Touring Car or experiencing cornering speeds that seem beyond human comprehension in the Red Bull X-Series, GT6‘s driving experience is sublime. Every car is a joy to drive and this trumps every shortcoming the game has. On easier difficulties the AI let you win by ostentatiously slowing down (though I’m they removed this from Seasonal Events), the sound is highly variable, the track editor still doesn’t exist eight months after release, none of the career races feature standing starts or qualifying or racing exactly, the ultimate endurance races have been cut short by about 23 1/2 hours and they shouldn’t have wasted processing power on the worthless damage modelling. On the plus side, the graphics are astonishing for PS3, the lighting is wonderfully improved over GT5, the dynamic weather and time of the day is exemplary, the photo mode is as engrossing as ever, the track list is unmatched in quality with a superlative selection of original tracks backing up the old real-life stalwarts (Grid: Autosport is close), the car list is unmatched in quantity, hundreds of the car models are unmatched in quality and the (Dualshock) driving experience is totally unmatched: exquisite, an unending treat, a masterclass in response and communication.

Classified 3+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 3 or over.

Links

Remember Me (2013, PS3) – 8/10 third-person science-fiction action game review

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Cast / crew
Art Director: Aleksi Briclot
Art Director: Michel Koch
Technical Director: Jérome Banal
Producer: Nicolas Simon
Lead Technical Designer: Gautier de Souza
Lead Technical Designer: Jacques Trombini
Lead Environment Artist: Sophie Van de Velde
Lead Character Artist: Alexis Smadja-Fellous
Lead Visual Effects Artist: Timothée Letourneux
Lead Lighting Artist: Frédéric Cros
Lead Animator: Carole Chaland
Lead Animator: Alexandre Cuing
Cinematic Director: Jean-Luc Cano
Lead Designer: Philippe Moreau
Lead Designer: Marc Pestka
Music Composer, Orchestrator, Producer and Adaptor: Olivier Derivière
Director: Jean-Maxime Moris
Kezia Burrows: Nilin

Remember Me (2013)

Nilin is rescued from a memory-wipe facility by Edge and has little choice but to follow his instructions to stay alive. As she gradually remembers more skills he quickly sets her to work as a revolutionary but Nilin is conflicted about the chaos she is causing.

8/10

Remember Me deserved rather better than to be sniffed at by contemporary critics who moaned about stuff that exists in other more lauded games (such as the very mildly unruly camera and completely normal number of enemy types). The gameplay adds welcome wrinkles to the third-person brawler with its Pressen system. These are actions slotted into custom combos that can deal damage, heal, accelerate super-power cooldown or amplify the preceding Pressen; a combined effect that you design then execute during exciting, absorbing action. The gameplay is mixed up, as is the norm, with traversal and simple puzzles but a couple of riddles crop up and are something of an unexpected highlight. The cut-scenes are smoothly integrated and beautifully directed and edited, the art design is superb while Olivier Derivière’s music is unusual, effective and fitting. Remember Me drew me in and I wanted to see it through to the end. Well worth buying; don’t forget Remember Me.

This game contains sexual swear words, bad language, adult dialogue, violence

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

PC vs PS3 vs PS4 vs Wii U vs Xbox 360 vs Xbox One Head-to-Head Face Off: Child of Light

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  • PC DVD ROM logo 75x16PS4 is better than Xbox One  Child of Light

Seventh Generation

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  • 360 WiiU PS3 equal  Child of Light

Motorstorm: Apocalypse (2011, PS3-exclusive) – 9/10 spectacle racing game review

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Cast / crew

Motorstorm: Apocalypse (2011)

The City is in the throes of natural disaster and the Motorstorm circus travel there to race in the most extreme environment possible.

9/10

What happened to the sound and the fury? Pacific Rift and the first Motorstorm are sonic powerhouses; demonstration-level audio experiences. The de-emphasis on engine sound effects make Motorstorm: Apocalypse sound initially underwhelming. However, it is clear where the processing power went: astonishing, smooth, crisp 1080p30 graphics. This is arguably the most impressive-looking 1080p console racing game of it’s generation with spectacular environmental showpiece destruction. (If memory serves, there were four 1080p racing games: Ridge Racer 7, Gran Turismo 5/6, this and Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad) The looks are backed up with a heart-poundingly thrilling racing experience carried across highly-satisfying single- and multi-player modes including dual-login split-screen available both online and off. Motorstorm: Apocalypse is a very generous racing game with plenty of stunning environments, lots of great, highly customisable vehicles and as much quality racing action as your heart can stand. This is the best game from Evolution Studios to date but it’s commercial success was undermined by too-similar events in the real world in the shape of the devastating Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

This game contains violence, dangerous activities (for example, racing down collapsing bridges and across fallen skyscrapers)

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (2014, PS3) – 7/10 fantasy RPG game review

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Cast / crew
Director: Motomu Toriyama
Game Design Director: Yuji Abe
Main Programmer: Naoki Hamaguchi
Art Director: Isamu Kamikokuryo
Graphics and Visual Effects Director: Shintaro Takai
Main Character Designer: Tetsuya Nomura
Music: Masashi Hamauzu
Music: Naoshi Mizuta
Music: Mitsuto Suzuki
Lead Scenario Writer: Daisuke Watanabe
Level Design Director: Takeshi Iwabuchi
Lead Application Programmer: Daiki Hoshina
Lead Planner: Kazuyuki Shindo
Lead Planner: Masahiro Ishihara
Lead Planner: Daisuke Inoue
Lead Planner: Yui Sawada
Battle Design Director: Nobuyuki Matsuoka
Lead Battle Programmer: Satoru Koyama
Character Model Director: Masaaki Kazeno
Lead Technical Engine and Rendering Programmer: Shuichi Ikeda
Producer: Yoshinori Kitase
Lightning aka Claire Farron: Ali Hillis
Hope Estheim: Vincent Martella
Jessica DiCicco: Lumina

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (2014)

Lightning awakes from crystal stasis by the almighty god Bhunivelze and endowed with great power and a skimpy outfit and a mission to save as many souls as she can before the end of the world. Which will be in 13 days. Making things even harder is that the world has been frozen in immortality for the past 500 years and the length of time has crushed some of their souls. These are the ones God wants rescuing and Lightning will have to do whatever it takes to help restore light to their lives and save their souls.

7/10

"You’re just making things up now." – Lightning

While Lightning’s succinct statement applies to most JRPG’s (and most video game bosses in particular), it applies with such eyebrow-raising accuracy to all of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII’s story sequences that you feel that the makers must be doing it deliberately. While the story does get around to sort-of explaining why Lightning has been such an overly-focused near-automaton for three games, that’s about your lot. Everything happens because it does and thanks to good production values, especially the superb voice work and outstanding music, I was happy to break out my wry smile and watch all the story scenes in their majestically daft seriousness. You see, did I mention that you can be wearing a giant hat or silly glasses or a precariously balanced afro or a tail or big bunny ears and an impractical suit of armour or next to no clothes during these world-changing sequences. It’s got to be deliberate. The game itself is generally a lot of fun and marks the first seamless 3D open-world environment for Final Fantasy. It’s easy enough to bumble through for the experience but it has enough depth in the battle system that, on Normal and Hard difficulty, preparation and strategy will be required to succeed. There’s lot to do and you will be happy helping people with their problems, ‘solving’ mysteries and swatting cactuars in the face with a sword that is twice the size you are. I’ve grown rather partial to Lightning and the fact that I can name the entire hero cast of the FFXIII universe and some of their defining character traits and arcs speaks volumes about the quality of this much-maligned trilogy.

This game contains violence, gory and unpleasant scenes

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..

Links

PS3 vs Xbox 360 and PS4 versus Xbox One Head-to-Head Face Off: Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes

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  • PS4 is better than Xbox One  Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes

Seventh Generation

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  • 360 better  Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes

PC vs PS3 vs PS4 vs Xbox 360 vs Xbox One: Strider and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

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  • PC DVD ROM logo 75x16Xbox One / PS4 equal  Strider

Seventh Generation

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  • 360 PS3 equal and better than Wii U  Castlevania: Lords of Shadows 2
  • 360 better  FIFA 14
  • 360 better  Grand Theft Auto V
  • 360 better  Strider

PC vs PS4 vs Xbox One and PC vs PS3 vs Wii U vs 360 Head-to-Head Face Off: Call of Duty: Ghosts

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  • PS4 logo 75x16  Call of Duty: Ghosts

Seventh Generation

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  • 360 better  Call of Duty: Ghosts

360 vs PS3 vs Wii U vs PC Head-to-Head Face Off: Call of Duty: Ghosts

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  • 360 better  Call of Duty: Ghosts

360 vs PS3 Head-to-Head Face Off: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

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  • 360 better  Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

PC vs PS4 vs Xbox One (and 360 vs PS3 vs PC) Head-to-Head Face Off: Battlefield 4

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  • PC DVD ROM logo 75x16PS4 logo 75x16  Battlefield 4

Seventh Generation

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  • 360 better  Battlefield 4

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012, PS3) – 6/10 open-world action racing game review

Cast / crew

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012)

6/10

This feels like a game made by talented, but bored, developers though the more I think about it and the more you play it, the worse the game becomes. Police chases are thrilling but awful as they incessantly spawn what feels like hundreds of police cars everywhere you go and they don’t need to be able to see you or have seen you to know where you are. Handling is heart-pumping but lumpen and inaccurate meaning that threading through traffic is consistently far harder than it should be. This is yet another open-world game that expects you to map-read at 150mph (earlier open-world Need for Speed games do not make this irritating choice; it also spoils Midnight Club: Los Angeles). And this is an open-world game where you spend a lot of time waiting for events to load. Isn’t one of the selling features of an open-world supposed to be "no loading times"? I’ve yet to see one; perhaps that will be something that the eighth generation of consoles will finally deliver. But this? This is only Most Wanted until you play it.

This game contains

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360 vs PS3 vs PC Head-to-Head Face Off: FIFA 14 and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

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  • 360 better  FIFA 14
  • No console winner  Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Beyond Good & Evil (2003, 2011 PS3) – 8/10 action adventure game review

Cast / crew
Director, Game Designer and Story Writer: Michel Ancel
Producer: Yves Guillemot
Dialogue and Story Writer: Jacques Exertier
Game Designer: Sebastien Morin
Technical Manager: Christophe Beaudet

Beyond Good & Evil (2003)

Jade and her uncle Pey’j are looking after orphans in their lighthouse when it is attacked by the DomZ. After dealing with them, the cities’ Alpha Section show up and take all the credit but that’s not all they’re up to. Re-released in 2011 on HD platforms.

8/10

A fun, engrossing and charming adventure whose only shortcoming lies in a malevolently awkward camera. Beyond Good and Evil feels like it was crafted by a master craftsman, someone who knew what they were doing. There’s just enough challenge to get you to pay attention; there are just enough optional areas to make you feel like an explorer and, in gameplay it should be noted, just enough running away from explosions in slow motion to make you feel like a hero. This is a review of the highly welcome HD release.

This game contains violence, unpleasant scenes

360 vs PS3 vs PC Head-to-Head Face Off: Diablo III and Grand Theft Auto V (no PC version)

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  • 360 better  Diablo III
  • 360 better  Grant Theft Auto V

PS4 vs Xbox One vs Xbox 360 vs PS3 vs Wii U vs PC Head-to-Head Face Off: Rayman Legends

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  • PC DVD ROM logo 75x16PS4 / Xbox One equalXbox One / PS4 equal  Rayman Legends

Seventh Generation

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  • Wii U better than 360 or PS3  Rayman Legends