FIFA 16: 7 BPL Debatable Player Rankings

Another year, another set of FIFA player rankings to debate. These ratings judged by EA are now as high profile as the actual game itself so they are usually not taken lightly. Who has been granted a major upgrade? Who has slipped down the pecking order? Here we find out which players in the Barclays Premier League have been given an unjustified upgrade or an unnecessary downgrade.

Note: This is just my personal opinion and is not suppose to be contentious. My own views are not here to annoy or insult, they are purely my choices for who I believe deserved a bigger upgrade or did not deserve a harsh downgrade. Enjoy.

 

Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) 82 – 78

Liverpool did not have the greatest of seasons last year nevertheless Mignolet was one of their few standouts, yet he has been given a downgrade. The Belgian was joint second in clean sheets for the season with a commendable thirteen. So if anything he deserved an improvement on his ranking or at the least should have retained his previous score.

Simon Mignolet, Liverpool v Everton

 

Radamel Falcao (Chelsea) 88 – 83

Once one of the most sought after strikers in Europe, now seen as another Premier League flop.I still believe this rating is harsh. Falcao was mostly a bit part player under Louis Van Gaal at Man United and never really got a decent run of games to prove himself. Yes it was a poor year for the Columbian but all in all a downgrade to 83  is brutal. I think an 85 or 84 would have sufficed.

Image 2

 

Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea) 75 – 78

Swansea are a team that most football fans enjoy to watch. It’s taken them a while but they are now seen as a regular in the Premier League. One defining factor of last season was Lukasz Fabianski. With thirteen clean sheets under her belt. he was pivotal in Swansea making it to 8th in the table. An upgrade to the 80 mark would have felt more fair.

Image 4

 

Mesut Ozil (Arsenal) 86-87

Now I like Mesut Ozil as a footballer. When he plays well, he is extraordinary. Since his arrival in England however he has yet to hit his top form. Last season was certainly not a bad season for the German, but I wouldn’t say it was deserving of an improvement to his current 87 Rating. Moving him slightly down to an 85 would have made more sense. It would have seem fairer too when you consider his team-mate Alexis Sanchez is an 86.

Image 5

 

Juan  Mata (Manchester United) 85-84

One of their most expensive signings ever is starting to become more prominent. Very underrated in my opinion. Compared far too often as the “poor mans David Silva”, Mata has a lot to offer that is overlooked. His assist rate is one of the highest in the Premier league and his passing is up there too. Long balls are one of his key assets that have helped United out more often than not. David Silve is valued at 88 which I understand. In my eyes Mata does not veer far from his Spaniard team mate. I think retaining his position at 85 would have been justified.

Image 6

 

Fraser Forster (Southampton) 75-76

Yes another Goalkeeper, Get over it. Like both Mignolet and Fabianski, Fraser Forster was a vital asset to his club last year. Again joint second with thirteen clean sheets is something to be proud of all around. Southampton achieved one of their strongest finishes to date with 7th place so why was Forster only given the bare minimum of improvements. Easily deserving to be an 80 or more, the English Saint has been constantly consistent and is likely to rise more and more.

Image 3

 

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) 86-87

One of the top strikers in the world who delivers every year. Aguero is seen by most as currently the best player in the Premier league and i’m inclined to agree. With an astounding 26 goals winning him 2014/2015’s Golden Boot its surprising that Sergio hasn’t been given more of an enhancement. Not faring far from the likes of Messi and Ronaldo, the Argentinian’s score should be edging closer to the worlds best. Eden Hazard was shot up to 89 so why is Aguero not around that mark. On the basis of consistency and where they should be ranked, Aguero should be a 90 if Hazard is an 89. That’s coming from a Chelsea fan too…

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 16: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on August 16, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

So there you have 7 FIFA Barclay’s Premier League rankings that I disagree with. Whats your view on the above players? Who else do you think deserves their score adjusted? Leave us a comment below to tell us why.

Star Wars Battlefront Beta – First Impressions

Yesterday (08/11/15), we heard echoing, hysterical squeals as a countless number of Star Wars fans finally finished installing the Star Wars Battlefront Beta onto their gaming systems. As it’s not due for release for another month, this was just another fantastic teaser for this highly anticipated installment to the Star Wars Battlefront game series, developed by EA (EA Digital Illusions).

The open-beta let us indulge in several aspects of Star Wars Battlefront which isn’t considerably far from it’s release date. The beta taunts fans with only two available mulitplayer maps to play, both of which assigned to a different game mode. In Drop Zone, players navigate the dusty, mountainous map, Sullust, whereas in game mode Walker Assault, players are almost able to live the events in The Empire Strikes Back as they traverse the snowy, barren landscape of Hoth. Other game modes that will become available with the full game upon release are: Supremacy, Fighter Squadron, Blast, Cargo and Droid Run. The maps that will be incorporated into these game modes, however, are not yet known. The beta also allows the player to test themselves and become familiar with game dynamics in Survival mode, available under the missions section of the main menu. As the title states the player must simply survive against the waves of enemies. The only Survival open to play with the Star Wars Battlefront Beta is Survival Tatooine however, we can see that when we are finally able to get our hands on a copy of the game we will also be able to play survival on Sullust, Endor and Hoth.

Here is some of my own gameplay on the Star Wars Battlefront Beta including some survival gameplay:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSMqKW8TKIg

”I Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing”

Generally speaking, going by the Star Wars Battlefront Beta, I have high hopes for the game upon its release. The multiplayer dynamics are relatively typical of EA. Furthermore, the servers run incredibly smooth and there is little trouble joining games and lobbies in which your friends are in. The character customization is simple and easy to come to terms with within a game or two. You merely earn credits after playing a game, the amount varying and dependent on how well you perform in game. Using these credits the player purchases weapons and Star Cards which then can simply be equipped to the players Hand. In addition to all of this, power-ups are littered throughout each game mode. By picking these up, the player is entitled to do any of the following dependent on what is picked up: Gain use of powerful artillery and weaponry, pilot a ship or AT (varying on your alliance) or even play as a Jedi/ Sith master. The power-ups are simply great for allowing the player to explore the different aspects of Star Wars alongside the tactical advantage it brings.

STAR WARS™ Battlefront™ Beta_20151008211838

But enough of the technical stuff. The beta has allowed us insight into how thoroughly awesome Battlefront is going to be when released. Everything about the graphics, gameplay and game content really harnesses that true Star Wars ”Feel”. As mentioned breifly before, it is almost as if you are living out the events from the films. Trudging through the snow on Hoth through blaster rifle crossfire, the accurate sound effects and typically triumphant Star Wars music, even the ships battling relentlessly above your head as you fight below, every little detail contributes to making the game feel so real and it is so well executed by EA.

On another note, the graphics are simply…WOW. The planets are incredibly accurate to those in the movies. Every bit of graphical content is perfectly designed to create the perfect atmosphere to the game. The crashed Star Destroyers and X- Wing Fighters really create the perfect battle scene. The maps are vibrant and really bring the game to life.

 

STAR WARS™ Battlefront™ Beta_20151008214121

 

”I’ve Got A Bad Feeling About This”

During my time playing the Star Wars Battlefront Beta, the only noticeable faults I found were to do with teaming up on survival which you have the option to do locally or online. I found that, despite all means of trying, I could not team up with my friends online to play survival. Whether or not it is because you are intentionally restricted from doing so in the beta is beyond me, but regardless, it was a flaw I noticed. The other possible flaw I noticed was perhaps that the power-ups were a little over-powered. I understand that this is subjective, but I found that a relatively common pick-up on Hoth was the AT-Walker power-up. 45 seconds on each of the occasions I picked it up was enough to secure myself at least 20 kills. It makes the Walker Assault on Hoth incredibly difficult when playing as the rebels especially.

”May The Force Be With You”

All in all, I found the Star Wars Battlefront Beta a lovely insight into how fantastically popular Star Wars Battlefront is going to be when released next month. EA has cleverly incorporated every aspect of Star Wars and combined with its commendable multiplayer, Star Wars Battlefront does the series justice, satisfying ongoing Star Wars fans, fans of the game series and also possessing potential to earn itself a mass of new fans. The game dynamics are simple and easy to come to terms with and collectively I think it will be giving the Black Ops 3 multiplayer a run for its money upon release. I just hope that the majority of the Star Wars fanbase doesn’t keel over in depression when the Beta is over.

 

STAR WARS™ Battlefront™ Beta_20151008212923

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture Review

In the 5-6 hours it took me to unravel the mysteries within Chinese Room’s Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, I found myself experiencing an abundance of feelings. Confusion, wonder, despair and pity all overwhelmed me as despite it’s seemingly simple premise, Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture’s story turned out to be deceivingly intricate.

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture is set in an abandoned, post-apocalyptic rendition of fictional Yaughton Valley in Shropshire (England). The player must explore the valley, interacting with phones and radios in the area in order to uncover the nitty-gritty details of the apocalyptic event. Alongside the various means of telecommunications the player may interact with for guidance and information, there are also fascinating orbs of light that accompany and loosely lead the player throughout the game. Occasionally, these orbs trigger various visions of once residents of the valley. Although some visions are initiated naturally, others must be activated. This is done by tilting the controller in order to tune the frequency of the orb, in a sense. When done correctly, surroundings will darken as if night has fallen and the the recollection of past events will play out. Using a combination of the past events visualized and the information from radios and phones, the player must piece together a timeline of events, in order to try to unveil the primary cause of the disappearance of an entire valley.

Everybody's Gone To The Rapture™_20150909105753

Unsettling Setting

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture’s setting is a key aspect to maintaining interest and intensity throughout a evidently slow-paced playthrough. The peaceful and tranquil setting can become almost uncomfortable at times in contrast with the dark and sinister plot of the game. I mean, come on, the 1980’s village setting is eerie enough in itself, let alone with no trace of life anywhere. The setting is equally brilliant for toying with the players ideas of what could have happened. Everything seems untouched, cigarettes sit in ashtrays as if left mid smoke, picnics left prepped upon hilltops, there is no real trail of destruction. This consequently will truly lead the player into questioning the reasoning behind the apocalyptic occurrence.

Finally, there is the matter of how aesthetically pleasing the setting is generally speaking, With lack of human existence, Yaughton Valley appears so pure and naturally rich. Accompanied by an outstanding and extremely haunting soundtrack by composer Jessica Curry, the ambiance of the setting is almost melancholy despite it’s apparent beauty.  The setting as a whole is so well developed by Chinese Room and just adds an important level of depth and emotion to Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture.

Everybody's Gone To The Rapture™_20150908173802

Getting In On The Gossip

Throughout playing Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, the player will encounter apparitions of light – as mentioned prior, in the form of a select few former residents of the valley. These characters include a parishioner at war with himself, a couple – both of which being scientists, an owner of a holiday camp on the valley outskirts, a farmer and also a pushy mother that is renowned for almost watching over the Valley residents. Not only will the player indulge in these stories for their significance in ultimately piecing together what happened, but also for investigating how each story intertwines with the next, gradually developing a more vivid idea of the timeline of events leading up the apocalypse and the many personal questions looming over the residents. The fun in this is derived from the lack of structure to the assortment of information provided. The structure must be the players own. I’d have a notebook ready if I were you.

The characters within Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture are well developed and casted and in being so are easy to revel in. As mentioned briefly before, the complex and riveting stories of the characters within the game are vitally important due to the generally slow-paced style in which the game plays out. There is no combat or particularly fast movement within the gameplay. However, the intensity of the story compensates wonderfully. As you rush between visions and feeds of information, it becomes easy to forget the whole ideal of finding answers as you almost become lost in the soap opera unfolding between the characters you meet.

Towards the end of the game, the player will feel inclined to a great feeling of satisfaction. Their theories on what could have happened are revealed to be correct or not alongside the many loose ends of the stories throughout are tied. They can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Emotionally Ensnared 

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture is a game orientated around making the player ‘feel’. To say it accomplishes just that is an understatement. To compare a game that had me feeling how this game made me feel, I could only use Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us. This is mainly because it is the only game that has left me feeling so empty upon it concluding. Despite Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture’s finale, as I watched the credits roll to the hymnal music, I felt uncertain despite having all my questions answered, feeling the only way I could fill the void the game had left within me would be by playing a second time.

Alongside the ending there is the span of emotions the residents’ stories and radio installments will make the player feel. As they come to terms with the relationships between the characters, they will be overcome with feelings ranging from pity to anger to happiness. It is all really overwhelming to be quite honest.

Overall, throughout the player’s journey through Yaughton Valley, it is apparent there is a prominent feeling of fear as the player will no doubt question how they play and proceed throughout the game as if they were living the events occurring within the game for themselves.

Everybody's Gone To The Rapture™_20150908194822

All In All  

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture does well to exhibit that a game does not require intense, hands-on combat, a dangerous and unpredictable setting or even ‘living’ characters in order to be a wonderfully emotional and memorable game. Developers masterfully ensure players have guidance if required via the orbs of light, but can also explore the post-apocalyptic setting to their own leisure if they wish. With its primary focus being enlightenment of the unknown, Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture is quite a frightening and uncomfortable game. The setting, Yaughton Valley in which most residents live in each others pockets, aware of one another’s business is perfect for making the game more believable and all the more creepy in being so.

Despite the profound sense of emptiness I felt upon finishing this game, I would still recommend it to anyone that loves a game with the ability to not only test you mentally, but to also truly make you feel.

The King of Fighters XIV Announced for Playstation 4

Fighters XIV

Fighters XIV

During Sony’s conference at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, the next installment in the long-running King of Fighters series was announced as an exclusive for the Playstation 4.  The King of Fighters XIV will be the first entry in the main series to use 3D models for characters as opposed to 2D sprites, but will still play on a 2D plain similar to recent Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat games.  The debut trailer, shown below, shows off series regulars Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami duking it out.  King of Fighters is well-known for bringing characters from across all SNK properties together, so there are plenty of possible fighters to follow from Fatal Fury, Samurai Shodown, and even Metal Slug.  There are currently no details on how this new installment will standout from its predecessors beyond the new visual approach.

Hopefully, The King of Fighters XIV will be a return to form for SNK Playmore as the company has been struggling with releases in recent years.  Once a venerated name in the fighting game community on the level of Capcom, they’ve mostly relied on rereleasing their older titles through various digital services to keep running.  Their last new release was The King of Fighters XIII in 2011, which received mixed to positive reviews.  However, their last attempt to transition a series to 3D was the critically-panned Samurai Shodown Sen.  If handled poorly, The King of Fighters XIV could strike a massive blow to SNK Playmore’s ability to develop more new titles in the future.  Sadly, things aren’t looking too good for The King of Fighters XIV at the moment as the animation quality shown in the trailer is surprisingly poor, especially for a series that has always prided itself on visual flourish.  There’s just something unnatural about how the hits connect.  Hopefully, that’s just a result of working with an early development build, but fans should remain cautious with this new title.  The King of Fighters XIV is set to release in 2016.

Street Fighter V: Who Could Be Left?

With the release of Street Fighter V drawing ever closer, the roster of fighters is coming together more and more.  Actually, there only remain another five characters to be revealed.  In an official statement made by Matt Dahlgren, the initial roster will have only sixteen playable characters, with eight being series regulars, four being returning characters that have been out of action for a while, and four being entirely new characters.  Of the familiar faces, six will be Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Cammy, M. Bison (the dictator also known as Vega), and Vega (the claw-wielder also known as Balrog).  Most of the long-lost veterans have been revealed with Charlie Nash, Birdie, and Rainbow Mika making their returns.  Finally, we know two of the newcomers will be the savage beastman of presumably Aztec background, Necalli, and the wind-wielding Arabian with a gadget-addiction, Rashid.

We could throw wild speculation at the newcomers without luck for days (with one possible exception), but the remaining returning fighters are much easier to speculate on.  Keep in mind that this is all merely speculation on my part and not a preview of any characters that have been officially announced.  As such, I highly encourage readers to argue my points in the comments below on who may or may not appear in the initial roster.  After all, I can’t honestly saw I was ever expecting to see Vega or Birdie make the launch line-up, so Capcom could have plenty of surprises in store.  Also, consider that the sixteen characters that will be included on the disc will only be the beginning as Street Fighter V will consistently update its roster with more characters in a business model similar to League of Legends.  With enough time and resources, we could potentially see every veteran fighter make a return.  Still, these are the safest bets for the roster we’ll all be getting right out of the gate.

Juri

Juri

There’s a good chance we’ll see at least one fighter that debuted in the Street Fighter IV games.  If we go off of popular opinions, it’s pretty easy to narrow the options.  Abel is too boring, Hakan is too weird, Rufus is too annoying, El Fuerte seems redundant with Mika and Rashid, and let’s not even talk about Seth.  I’d also rule out Gouken for being both a shoto-style fighter, something we’re unlikely to get another iteration on in the launch line-up when Ryu and Ken are already in, and a boss-level character as we’ll likely only see Bison and maybe one newcomer in that category.  That leaves only Crimson Viper, Juri, and Poison.  It’s a toss-up between any of them, but I’m going to lean more towards Juri making the cut.  Not only is she generally more popular in the competitive circuits, she’s also had a large marketing push to establish her as a mainstay of Street Fighter femme fatales alongside Chun-Li and Cammy as the resident bad girl.  Fan-response has definitely been positive and it only makes sense to strike while the iron is hot and bring the Taekwondo assassin back for another round.

Blanka

Blanka

This is the most obvious of the series regulars to make a return and many have already assumed that he’s in.  After all, series director Yoshinori Ono has already given a far from subtle hint that the electric beast-man will be revealed during the Brasil Game Show this October.  Given the fact that Ono has never made it a secret that Blanka is one of his favorite characters, always having a Blanka figurine on hand, I didn’t bat an eye when I first saw him throw on that Blanka outfit to tease his return.  With that said, it should be noted that, much like Mortal Kombat director Ed Boon and Super Smash Bros director Masahiro Sakurai, Ono loves to play with people’s expectations and take his audience by surprise.  I have no doubt that Blanka will be returning as a complete bait-and-switch would be too cruel, but I can’t help but suspect that there’s more in store for the Brasil Game Show.

Alex

Alex

Alex is easily the fan-favorite for bringing back a forgotten veteran.  He was the main character introduced in Street Fighter III, but his only appearance since was in Tatsunoko Vs Capcom.  Because of his role in Street Fighter III, Alex is easily the biggest fan-favorite for making an overdue return.  Of all the characters to debut in Street Fighter III and didn’t make a return in any version of Street Fighter IV, Alex is the safe bet.  His only real competition in that category would be Sean, who is another shoto and it just doesn’t make sense to flood the limited roster with a single archetype.  However, one has to wonder if there will actually be any Street Fighter III characters in the initial roster.

So far, every returning character we’ve seen was playable in the Street Fighter Alpha games.  Following that logic, it seems more likely that Sodom or Juli will make a return before anyone from Street Fighter III.  Then again, the devs are going to want a variety of characters in the line-up, so saving the last spot for someone from III rather than having a royal flush of Alpha characters makes more sense.  Although…

Karin

Karin

If we are going to see a royal flush of Alpha characters, the most likely candidate is definitely Sakura’s snobbish rival, Karin.  A few supposed leaks have insisted that she’s in, but comparing those leaks against the actual roster debunks them.  Instead, the best indicator that she may get in is a popularity poll that Capcom held a few years back.  In Japan, Karin managed to take the number one spot on the poll.  Despite being the Ken to Sakura’s Ryu, Karin isn’t a shoto fighter and instead uses a style of her own invention called Kanzuki.  While her moves aren’t especially flashy, she does have a strong balance of offensive and defensive moves that could make her viable inclusion for the starting roster.  Including her in the starting roster while Sakura gets stuck in line post-release would make them even after Sakura got in Street Fighter IV while Karin was left waiting in the wings.

MikeHaggar

Mike Haggar

While newcomers are anyone’s guess, there is one new fighter that everyone is banking on joining the roster: Final Fight‘s Mike Haggar.  Street Fighter and Final Fight have always existed in the same universe and several heroes and villains from the Final Fight series have already appeared as playable characters in Street Fighter games, including Cody, Guy, Hugo, and Poison.  However, the main character of the series, Mike Haggar, has yet to appear as a playable fighter in any Street Fighter game.  The closest he’s come is appearing in Marvel Vs Capcom 3 which provides some basis for how he could work in a Street Fighter game, but would not be a 1-to-1 transition.

The biggest piece of evidence in Haggar’s favor is that he actually already appears in Street Fighter V.  In the England stage, there is a large poster hanging in the upper-left showing four of Final Fight‘s heroes, including Haggar.  It definitely looks like the wait is over and Haggar will finally be joining Street Fighter proper.  The only downside is that there’s no way Zangief will be on the launch roster with him as a second heavy-weight grappler, so their long-awaited showdown will have to wait until post-launch.

Necro

Necro

Last but not least, I have my wild card prediction with the genetically-modified Necro.  While I certainly don’t consider him a more likely candidate than Alex or Karin, he may be still be included over them simply for the sake of having a long-range fighter in the starting roster.  Dhalsim is the most famous example of this archetype, and Necro is the only other character in the series history to attempt this style.  While I’m a big fan of Dhalsim, I can’t really see him making the initial roster over several other veterans, so a revival for Necro may be in order.

Granted, Necro has never been an especially popular character and scored pretty poorly on the poll I mentioned earlier.  However, Birdie ranked even lower on the poll and look where he ended up.  It seems that Capcom is using the initial roster to experiment with characters that saw little use back in the day and breath new life into them.  Both Birdie and Mika were low-tier in Alpha 3 and now have bold new changes to make them viable.  It actually makes sense to experiment with these forgotten fighters early and save the fan-favorites for post-launch as characters like Alex and Karin would be easier to sell individually, while bundling revitalized versions of previously unplayed fighters in the starter package drastically raises a renewed interest.  Alternatively, Q is in the same position as Mika as a low-tier that has developed a following over time and may be a safer bet, but I’m still banking on Necro given his long-range style and greater need for a renewed interest putting him just ahead.

Those are my best guesses on who we can expect to see in Street Fighter V, now let’s hear yours.  Could Viper or Poison beat out Juri?  Is there room for one more shoto fighter?  Will Zangief crush heads like sparrow’s egg between thighs?  Is Turkish oil wrestling truly the greatest in the world?  Will Joe from the original Street Fighter finally make his triumphant return (don’t count on it)?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

6 Games To Get Excited For This Autumn/Winter

You may be thinking 2015 is coming to an end so we should start looking to the future. 2016 is edging closer and there seems to be promising possibilities with a New Zelda, Uncharted & Dark Souls on the horizon, nevertheless there is nothing to fear as the remainder of 2015 has some fantastic titles lined up; Possibly the strongest for years.  So what should I play? Yes there are far too many games with far little time to explore every single one. True even one of these games could last you longer than the chilly season but really in our hearts all us gamers are greedy.

So to make things slightly easier I’ve created a list of 6 games to excited for this Autumn/Winter. Yes traditionally 5 games would have been chosen though this time I found it impossible not to include these enormous franchises. So lets get this list rolling:

Star Wars: Battlefront (Playstation 4, Xbox One & PC)

Image 1

Many feel the golden days of Star Wars Video Games are long gone. Rogue Squadron and Knights of the Old Republic are titles of a time now extinct. Then Star Wars: Battlefront was beamed out to the world. Could EA create the perfect game that every fan has long awaited for? Will my 10 year old self finally get to be amerced in an authentic Star Wars Universe? Early gameplay sure does look encouraging however I’ve had my hopes dashed before. So I’m trying to stay grounded, even with the mouth-watering premise of storming across the planet Hoth. All I know is that this galaxy has never looked so beautiful. Stunning set pieces seem to be preparing us for an experience like no other. It’s just a shame about the absence of single player…

 

Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One)

Image 2

Microsoft’s flagship franchise is already onto its fifth entry (Not including spin-offs). Master Chief is nowhere to be seen and as Spartan Locke you are given the responsibility of finding the soldier whilst also stopping a plot to destroy the entire galaxy. No pressure. Throwing Locke into the protagonist’s role gives the Halo series a fresh approach which it has been needing for a years. Being released as a beta in “The Master Chief Collection” players have had sometime to adapt to the new mechanics and therefore we can hope 343 Industries have had enough time to eradicate any bugs. The last thing anyone wants is a broken launch. Deja vu anyone?

 

Super Mario Maker (Nintendo Wii U) 

Image 3

The last major stop on the 2015 Nintendo train finishes in September with the much hyped Super Mario Maker. After years of wanting to be able to design your own Mario levels, Nintendo have opened the “fludd”gates, finally giving their seal of approval to Modders everywhere. In true Nintendo style they have gone all out, giving us access to four generations of Super Mario which includes Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World (My personal favorite) and New Super Mario Bros. Having the ability to create your own levels is awesome, but to witness what the online community can conjure up is beyond my imagination.

 

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC, Playstation 3 & Xbox 360)

Image 6

Lately Kojima and Konami have not be on the best of terms, so here’s hoping that when Snake’s latest mission drops all can be forgotten and normality will resume; Highly unlikely. Oh well at least we have the newest entry to keep us going. Arriving in early September, The Phantom Pain is set after the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and throws everyone favorite sleuthing hero into depths of Afghanistan right in the midst of the Soviet-Afghan war. Seeking revenge for his fallen comrades you know there are no limits for how far Snake will go to succeed.  With talented actors like Kiefer Sutherland returning and facial motion capture being installed (A first for the series) it’s no wonder why we all cant wait to jump back into Snake’s shoes.

 

Fallout 4 (Playstation 4, Xbox One & PC)

Image 4

Now this is how to announce a blockbuster of a game. After years of pining for a new entry into the Fallout franchise suddenly nonchalantly Bethesda dropped the announcement that not only have they been working on a new iteration but its complete. Want gameplay footage? Here you go. When is it out? This November! Wow talk about knocking us all out of our seats. Bethesda showed companies everywhere that revealing a game a couple of months before release gets you all around public praise. On top of this I have no doubt that business wise it will get you sales too.

Roughly taking place around the same time period as Fallout 3 the newest entry has gone all out including regions resembling Boston, Massachusetts and New England. The game unlike it’s predecessors begins on the day the bomb drops creating this post-apocalyptic world. I think its fair to say Bethesda have something special planned with this game.

 

Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox One & Xbox 360)

Image 5

Remember these are games that are released this Winter. Sorry Playstation users, Microsoft have taken this one for the kill. Planned for release simultaneous with Fallout 4 the timed exclusive that every Xbox owner has been waiting for comes Rise of the Tomb Raider. Following on from the events of 2013’s widely praised “Tomb Raider”, Lara’s continued search of the supernatural leads her to Siberia to try and uncover the truth. Keeping in the same strong style the series adapted, footage was one of the highlights of E3. It’s no wonder why as the glorious world Lara is uncovering only becomes more picturesque at every turn. Can it top the original though?

So there you have it my top 6 games to get excited for this Autumn/Winter. From the planet Hoth to the apocalyptic land of Boston, Winter sure does have vast collection of titles lined up. What will you be playing this season? Leave us a comment below to tell us.

What’s Missing From Batman: Arkham Knight?

Arkham Knight has soared in sales and all around critical acclaim. And why shouldn’t it? Its a fantastic game that has expanded the Batman Universe on a gaming platform like never before, but for all of its attributes there are still a some omissions that take away from the overall game.

I’ll start with one of the biggest and most obvious departures from the series; Boss Fights. Now who doesn’t love a Boss fight? The moment you trek through monotonous meaningless tasks to find a fearsome foe that you have to try and overcome. There were plenty of iconic villains you got the chance to take down in previous titles from Poison Ivy to Solomon Grundy. Arkham Knight on the other hand has decided to abandon this for mostly two new formulas. The first is where after fighting dozens of enemies to reach their leader you end up fighting more of their henchmen as they watch. This is usually followed by one punch to the main bad guy. The second is the most controversial topic of the lot. The Batmobile. In the Batmobile you transform into Tank mode and take on an army of enemies. Lackluster to say the least.

Image 1

As I found myself progressing through the story I kept checking the percentage to see If I thought I was getting a Boss fight soon. Then as 10% rose to 20% and through to 30% the realisation set in… It’s a shame Rocksteady went another direction as the formula they had was perfect. Nobody complained about the Bosses before so why replace them with repetitive Tank battles. Squaring up to one of the Bats’ foes in a unique gadget filled fight to end all fights were magnificent. Now they feel like any other low-level criminal you run into which degrades villains like Two-Face and Penguin. They deserve better.

What else is missing? Is it Riddler trophies? Nope, plenty of them annoying question marks lurk everywhere. The next omission is gadgets. Yes Batman has many gadgets at his disposal throughout the game but the use of them is never really fully realised. Arkham Asylum & Arkham City both used the gadgets in a great variety. Arkham Knight however reduces their importance in favour of the Batmobile. Its been said before and it will be said again. The Batmobile is used far too much. Yes it is but I’m not as critical as some. I enjoyed the Batmobile thoroughly, I just wish Rocksteady spread out the puzzles between the gadgets and Batmobile. Every challenge required the Batmobile and by the end I was fatigued.

Image 2

New gadgets were minimum too. The only new addition to Batman’s arsenal is the Voice Synthesizer. Now dont get me wrong I absolutely love the innovation of this gadget but by the end I felt it was hardly used. There were a few uses through the story but apart from that I felt it was well under utilised; again in favour of the Batmobile. Taking the Voice Synthesizer out there are no new gadgets. Everything else returns from previous games and have started to outstay their welcome. Rocksteady could have even gone to the lengths of being comical and choosing to give Batman “Shark Repellant spray” in a throwback to the Adam West Era. Anything to shake it up.

For me predator missions also felt lacking. The new open world mechanic was fun but when it comes to being locked down in a small, compact room with nothing but your wits and reactions to help you cant beat it. In Arkham Knight there was never any close quarter predator missions because at any time you could fly out back into the Gotham to get yourself out of trouble. That claustrophobic feeling was all but gone. Batman is all about shadows and darkness but here I felt more exposed and therefore took away from what were debatably some of the best moments of the series.

Image 3

These are some of the key essentials that for me could have escalated Batman: Arkham Knight from a strong fun game to an absolute masterpiece. What do you think is missing from Batman: Arkham Knight? Leave us a comment below to tell us why.

Never Alone: Foxtales Announced

E-Line Media has announced a new expansion for their Alaskan adventure game Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna), the new story driven expansion is called Foxtales.

In Never Alone: Foxtails Spring has come to the Arctic as Nuna and Fox climb aboard their umiaq (a sealskin canoe) and take to the waters of the coasts, rivers and lakes of Northwest Alaska. They’ll travel across open seas, swim through the ruins of a sunken village and paddle up the Noatak River on a mission to rescue a new friend.

Foxtales will feature three all new levels full of environments to explore, puzzles to solve and enemies to face. And just like in the original game the dlc was developed in partnership with an Alaska Native community, Foxtales will also contain five new unlockable Cultural Insight videos that include the family of Willie Panik Goodwin, Sr., whose telling of “The Two Coastal Brothers” inspired the game.

 

 

Never Alone: Foxtales will be available on the Xbox One, PS4 and Steam (PC and Mac) on July 28, 2015. E-Line Media did not say if or when the new content will be available to the Wii U and Nvidia Shield versions.

Street Fighter V Introduces New Character And Reveal New DLC Policy

The best fighting games players from around the world gathered this weekend at Las Vegas to duke it out at EVO 2015, the largest tournament of the genre. At the event, Capcom brought us new announcements for its upcoming game Street Fighter V. First of all we got an entirely new character called Necalli. (picture above)

The fighter that will compete against Dee Jay for the coolest character that wear dreads in games ever seems to use a really offensive grappler style. His move set appears to mix Wolverine from Marvel vs. Capcom series but also appears like SNK’s Iori Yagami Orochi from King of Fighters’ 97. Please check his reveal trailer below:

Even more important than a new character, Capcom revealed its new policy regarding additional content after game’s release. Instead of launching new expanded versions like Super and Ultra Street Fighter IV, new content will be directly available for purchase in the main edition. However, if you don’t feel like emptying your piggy bank in order to buy the new characters, you will be able to add them to your collection just by playing and dedicating yourself.

The number of characters in the final version was also revealed: 16 world warriors will join the fray and four of them will be newcomers to the franchise. For now, Capcom revealed Ryu, Chun Li, Charlie (Nash), M. Bison, Birdie, Cammy, Ken and Necalli. As reported, Blanka was teased and will surely be included in the roster, but an official announcement will be made by Yoshinori Ono himself on October, when he will be visiting Brazilian fans at Brazil Game Show 2015.

Street Fighter V will be released on PS4 and PC on October 2016.

Ken Confirmed In Street Fighter V

The eighth character in Street Fighter V was confirmed. But don’t expect to see him in his usual red gi, as the character gained a new wardrobe. Although his special moves will still be the same as Ryu’s, their presentation will be most different, especially the Tatsumaki Senpuu-Kyaku move. As we can see on its reveal trailer below, you will be able to use diagonal-based Tatsumakis, for example.

He also seems to be faster and even more aggressive than his Ultra Street Fighter IV version. Aesthetically, his clothes have a more Western look and he seems to have adopted his long hair once again.

Also, his Asian heritage (his mother was Japanese) is easier to detect than in previous games, where he would be easily recognized as an American. Another character is teased at the end of the trailer. His identity is still unknown and most of the players are guessing Akuma will be the next reveal. In my opinion, the character in question is E. Honda, not Akuma. Unless Akuma decided to use face paint as well.

Street Fighter V have seven characters confirmed: Ryu, Chun Li, Charlie, M. Bison, Cammy, Birdie and Ken. Earlier this week, creator Yoshinori Ono sent a video to Brazilian fans confirming a Brazilian stage and announced his visit to Brazil in October, which he will reveal another character, strongly hinted to be Blanka, the electrical green beast. Street Fighter V will be released on Spring 2016 on Playstation 4 and PC.