BOOK TITLE: The Australia Times - Games magazine. Volume 3, issue 13

Vol. 3 No. 13
July 2015
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
The Games magazine is all about the
gaming community. Whether youre actively
involved in the gaming industry, have played
games since the Atari Pong or just pick up a
controller every now and then, the gaming
community is all about connecting people,
telling stories, fun, and about passion.
We want to connect you, the gamers of
Australia and beyond, to what you are
passionate about. We uncover upcoming
talent, review new and retro games, and
bring you features, previews, opinions, and
interviews from the gaming industry.
We welcome your feedback and
contributions as well – after all, we are your
voice in this diverse and ever-changing
landscape. So whether youre a Pokemon
Master or can remember when
Call of Duty
was cool, here’s your chance to sit back,
press Start, and jump right in.
Nathan Franklin | Benjamin White | Axdsilva | Daniel King | Je Wong
Kassie Whitehair | Nathan Griths | Vincent Duval Latreille
We oer both veteran and undiscovered writers the opportunity to get published.
Have something to communicate, or an opinion to state, we are your voice!
Want to join a like minded community in a great project
Editors Note ....................................................................... 6
Byte Sized News ............................................................... 8
New Releases .................................................................. 11
Video Gaming ................................................................. 14
Hidden Gems and Buried Treasure! ........................ 20
Clarication Request: Second Person Perspective .... 28
Yoshi’s Woolly World ................................................... 32
The Elder Scrolls Online Tamriel Unlimited ......... 36
Ronin .................................................................................. 44
Hitman Sniper ................................................................. 50
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his year I realised I have the power
of foresight. I predicted 2015
would be a great year for gaming
and thus the gaming gods have smiled
on me gracefully. How so you ask? Just
take a gander at my editor’s note inside
this year’s rst issue.
Mmmhmm. My prophecy never hints at
a lie.
It’s the end of the nancial year and
anyone who’s anyone is counting
down the days until they receive their
fat tax refund and begin stocking up
on those newly reduced consoles and
swipe heavily discounted titles into their
basket of backlogs.
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We’re halfway through 2015 and we’ve
just about summed up the year as one
of the greats maybe not Rocky Balboa,
but denitely Apollo Creed (albeit a
little more alive). In saying this, it’s
not exactly a challenging competition
coming out of the disappointment
that was last year’s cluster of over-
hyped let downs and broken promises.
Regardless, it’s a thrill nonetheless.
Let’s just hope the remaining two
quarters hold up as much relentless
excitement as the rst half. I mean,
damn, what an exciting year it’s been!
E3 just passed by and dropped a
gargantuan amount of reasons to toss
money at our game retailers, and we
may have already played the year’s
greatest games.
‘But there’s still more to come’ I
hear you crackle in your best Igor
How right you are! Let’s not decide
the winner without seeing all the
contestants just yet; everyone knows
the biggest games are saved for the
Christmas holiday window (biggest,
not greatest). Because, you know,
Fallout 4
is now just four months away.
Can’t I slap the GOTY sticker on its
cover right now? I mean, I DO have the
power of foresight.
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Nintendo’s next-gen console, the NX, will
be launched in July 2016. Nintendo will
provide a pilot production in October of this
year if that goes to plan, the NX will be
manufactured by Foxxcon Electronics with a
July 2016 launch date and production hitting
20 million in the rst year. As of yet, there is
no solid information regarding Nintendo’s
new platform, only that it is going to be a
“new concept” platform for a wide range of
gamers. Nintendo will reveal all as the launch
date gets nearer.
Recently, Warner Bros. have taken PC copies of
Batman: Arkham Knight
off the shelves due to
numerous reported technical difculties despite developer Rocksteady feeling that the game was up
to scratch before shipping. However, anonymous sources talking to the website, Kotaku, have claimed
that these technical difculties which include sporadic freezes, framerate stutters, audio glitches and
texture degradation were known about beforehand and “were the exact same, unchanged, almost a
year ago”. It was conrmed that Rocksteady Studios did in fact not actually work on the PC version; it
was instead outsourced to Iron Galaxy Studios due to the developers already experiencing challenges
creating the game for next-gen hardware and thus causing enough delays as was. The Quality
assurance team, on the other hand, found difculties xing bugs in the game’s massive sprawling
world, saying in a statement at the time of initial testing that it will “take some time before [they] can
get the right xes in place”. Currently, Rocksteady are working on the bugs and hope to re-release
the PC version on an unconrmed date.
What NX will be is a complete mystery until 2016
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PC gamers will have to wait a while for this...
© Image
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Another day, another round
of exciting
Shenmue III
Among the ever-extensive list of
potential rewards that dedicated
fundraisers of the game could
earn, is a video from English Ryo
Hazuki himself, Corey Marshall.
Yes, that’s right, folks the
original voice actor from the rst
two games is coming back due
to popular demand from the
fanbase. Many would question
why – especially when the games
hardly excelled when it came to
voice acting and Mr. Marshall
was no exception there. It was so
bad that it was good, perhaps?
Corey Burton is reprising his role as Ryo in Shenmue III
© Shenmue Wiki
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Moto GP 15
Another year, another update to the Moto GP series. If youre a fan of the exhilarating speed and
intensity that comes with this sport then this game will be right up your alley. It features the ability to
race opponents both on and oine as well as a slew of new features and gaming modes. The career
mode has been expanded and given more depth; players will be able to start o from the bottom of the
MotoGP ladder and have to work their way up in their career until they can eventually face o against
such legends as Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez. Other features include the ability
to negotiate with sponsors to fund your career, switch teams and build your championship-winning
squads. To add to the integrity of the game, developers Milestone s.r.l have enlisted the help of such
famous bikers as Yamaha duo Lorenzo and Rossi to improve the physics of the riders and the bikes,
adding more realism to the gameplay. Since this release will be the rst biking game to reach current-
generation consoles, it will be interesting to see how new technology will improve this popular genre.
(Xbox One/Xbox 360, PS3/PS4/Windows) 9
July 2015
© Facebook
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Formula 1 2015
Again, for those of you motor-sports-inclined, theres a promising racing title to keep you
satised this month.
Formula 1 2015
, more so than previous games, promises to give the
player full control of their vehicle; whether that be weight distribution, suspension settings
and even fuel burn. That’s not the onl injection of realism that the game will be given; A.I will
be given a huge upgrade, moving in the same way a human would, making more advanced
passes and thinking in accordance to their environment. In terms of modes, a new Pro Season
mode will be introduced where players are locked into a full season and restricted to the rst-
person in-car view with no assists and no ability to restart. If theres one thing the developers
are looking to achieve with this instalment, its ultimate realism, making
Formula 1 2015
potentially the most advanced racing-simulation game to date.
(PS4/Xbox One/Windows)
© WCCFTech
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God of War III: Remastered
If the current Hollywood trend is rebooting their movie franchises, then gamings current
trend is denitely remastering titles of previous generations t current-gen consoles. Also like
Hollywood, not every re-release is guaranteed to be worth your time. Luckily,
God of War III
is a game that is certainly worth a second look for its visual overhaul. The game, as with its
previous entries, is loosely based on Greek mythology and follows the brooding badass, Kratos,
as he strives to nd Pandoras box which will help him end the reign of the Olympian Gods.
Now, the
God of War
games are famed for their fun and engaging combat and platforming
mechanics and this third instalment is certainly no exception. Connecting combos together
and hacking o the heads of waves of baddies is likely to be as fun as it was when the game
was rst released and not to mention the godly graphics-topping boss encounters that have
become welcome staples of the series. If you haven’t checked
God of War III
out in its initial
release, then there’s no excuse to miss this remaster.
(PS4) 15
July 2015
© DualShockers
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BEN WHITE shares his latest picks from
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BEN WHITE shares his latest picks from
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Video Games, like every other medium, are sometimes unfairly critisised by the media. But it seems
video games are critisised more than most by the media. Most of the time these so called ‘critisims’
about how games are not good for a child’s health, or this person went and killed some people because
he played
Grand Theft Auto
lack convincing foundation. The media usually focuses on the negative
things involving playing games and sometimes ‘negative’ things supported by BS surveys. They make
stories focused on these things rather than stories on the positive effects games can have on people,
like how it has been scientically proven that games help young kids develop better reaction times.
Or how games can be educational. This video highlights legitimate issues with video games, but also
contrasts them with all the good things this wonderfull medium has to offer. It is an interesting 9 minute
video about positivity and how great games actually are. While this topic is opinion based, and can
cause a lot of tension between the yay and nay sayers, it is still all based on some truth and it’s about
time games are treated a little better in the media.
Batman has just come out and it is amazing. I have been playing a lot of this recently, doing all the
side missions and the campaign. Finding all the Riddler trophies as well as I really want to get the
100% ending to the game. The devs make you work for it. This video is simply some gameplay from
the opening but it’s performed by H20 Delerious and I nd this guy very entertaining. When I started
watching this video I wasn’t intending to watch it all as it was really long and I had already played it
but it was funny listening to Delerious react to the game and pretending to be the Batman.
Warning: Video does contain some spoilers from early in the game. Watch at your own risk!
In Defence Of Video Games - The Game Overthinker
Batman Arkham Knight - H20Delerious
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Moving on from that topic, here is another video game known for its violence,
Grand Theft Auto.
I think
I may have shared a
in real video on here before, but this is by far the best one I have seen. The way
it has been editied together and shot really makes it feel like a
game. Plus they also visit locations
as well. It is really cleverly made and worth checking out.
Real GTA
Batman Arkham Knight - H20Delerious
OF June!
by Jeff Wong
by Jeff Wong
Developer: Gamious
Genre: Oil Tycoon Business-Management Sim
Turmoil is an early-access, quasi-management sim, which would function very well as a
mobile game. Now, usually I would follow that description with something along the lines
of, “And that’s why I would rather pass a whole large pineapple through my digestive
system rather than play it”, but not today!
Turmoil is a quirky little game where you play one of the early oil industrialists looking
to reap the untapped wells of the rapidly industrializing Texan landscape. The gameplay
mechanics start off quite simply; you invest some of your capital in a land auction, bidding
against three other wealthy individuals searching for black gold.
Once you have your plot, you hire diviners to search for the pools of oil underneath the
surface. Once they gure where the reserves might be, you build towers and draw lines
to determine which direction to drill pipes. This part becomes a bit of a puzzle game -
since you can’t exactly see underground, you have to go off the diviner’s skill and a bit
of guessing to determine exactly how far underneath the surface you need to drill before
you tap into the oil. Pipes cost more the longer they are, and because you start off with a
limited amount of funds, it becomes a careful balancing game to ensure you have enough
money left over to transport the oil to the buyers to get a steady income.
What seems like a simple game quickly becomes fairly intricate. You only have a limited
amount of time in your land lease before you’re booted off the plot, so you have to get
as much prot from your oil schemes in the time allotted. After progressing a bit, you are
given two locations where you can sell off your oil stores, but both sellers have rapidly
uctuating prices, and it’s up to you to work out when to hoard and when to sell for
maximum prot.
© Steam store page
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It can get pretty frantic pretty quickly. If your towers aren’t emptied of their oil stores
efciently, they can spring a leak, which will lead to you copping a ne for wasting precious,
precious oil. Compounding this is when both sellers refuse to raise their rates about 0.30
cents, and all your carriages and oil silos just sit around, lled to the brim, waiting for an
ofoad opportunity.
The game provides plenty of upgrades where you can sink your newfound prots for an
opportunity of greater return. Better pipes, faster and larger carriages, even trained moles
that can reveal sections of the underground, giving you a bit of insight as to what lies
beneath the surface.
Meanwhile, while all of this is happening you’re competing against the three other AI oil
barons and baronesses, each spending extraordinary amounts of money trying to buy out
the best and most oil-rich lands. After a land has been tapped, it receives a score as to how
much oil was available there, and you therefore proceed into a bidding war for the lands
adjacent to those.
Despite all the frantic oil management and aggressive competition, Turmoil is surprisingly
Zen. There’s something very calming about watching your carriages ll up with the luxury
liquid, and denitely something euphoric about watching your prots steadily climb with
each successful sale.
© Steam store page
That’s great Ricardo, but the goal is oil mate, get your head in the game.
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Turmoil is still in early access, which means there are a few bugs and typos here and there,
such as when tutorial text boxes overlap each other, resulting in a mess of illegible words.
On the ipside, the developers are open-minded and actively listening to community
feedback - after playing for a fair bit, you reach a point where the game displays a message
saying you’ve played all their content for now, and invite you to a discussion forum to
suggest improvements or new features.
Turmoil is a great little game. For those moments when you want to take a few hours out
of your busy day, to step into the shoes of a land-ravaging, oil-obsessed industrialist, pick
up your divining rod and Turmoil, now available in early access from Steam.
Legends Of Pixelia
Developer: SimaGames
Genre: Dungeon Crawling Sword Swinger
Legends of Pixelia; it’s an RPG dungeon crawler inspired by the classic Legend of Zelda
dungeons, and it has a heavily pixel inspired art style. Really, everything you need to know
to get you started is in the title, but beneath the surface lies a much more intricate game.
You take control of one of three characters, the knight, the barbarian, or the paladin, with
potentially more characters to unlock, who each have their own unique set of skills and play-
styles. Progress from room to room within a dungeon, and face off against a menagerie of
monsters, each with their own character traits and strategies.
For example, many of the monsters have coloured shields, which correspond to specic
attacks required to break them. The four different shield colours relate to the four different
colours on the Xbox Microsoft controller you can use to play the game with, so it all comes
together quite intuitively.
I mean, I hear you, but you’re buying at less than half the cost of
the other guy. You bastard.
© Steam store page © Steam store page
Things can get pretty hectic.
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Each character has different moves corresponding to colour buttons. The knight’s blue
attack for example launches enemies into the air, so you can juggle them with attacks, while
the barbarian’s blue attack crushes the ground with a powerful blow, which can potentially
be used to execute enemies who have been knocked over with your basic combo.
Sounds pretty simple so far, right? Hang on; you also have a slew of stats to navigate, as
well as a skill-point-tree, the likes of which I had never seen in a semi-roguelike dungeon-
You have offensive stats, defensive stats, inventory management of weapons and armour,
skill-trees that provide percentage based bonuses among other things, and much more.
I went into Pixelia thinking that it was a couch co-op dungeon crawling experience, but it
was so much more than just that.
Graphically, it’s quite simplistic in its art style, and the animations of both the player
characters and enemies are fairly basic, though I can imagine that this may be to its benet
in multiplayer games where it could be quite crowded.
Pixelia is also in Steam Early Access, which means that it has plenty of room for improvement.
I can imagine a lot of potential for a game such as this, for example incorporating more
diverse forms of combat in the way of improved ranged or magical offensive abilities. More
characters to play as could extend the game life, and more creative enemy types could
bring a much more dynamic aspect to a genre which usually tells the player that the best
way to overcome their enemies is to spam attacks until they disappear.
Who even makes chests this big? Who does that? © Steam store page
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Pixelia may be a bit more intricate for the local multiplayer scene than most games, perhaps
something that could live up to what Risk of Rain is in terms of co-operative play and
intricacy. If you’ve got some friends to get around, and a healthy love of dungeon crawlers
and RPG’s, then this might be right up your alley.
Developer: Lucky Pause
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Sadness Simulator
Let me tell you a something about how I go about reviewing these games for Hidden
Gems. These are rst impressions, which means I play the game for as long as I think I need
to, to form a decent opinion. With three games usually on review for Hidden Gems, trying
to nish all of them simply isn’t realistic. But you know what, I nished Homesick.
Haunting; that’s the word I kept coming back to throughout the game. It wasn’t explicitly
scary, but I denitely started the game with a sense of unease. The game does things in a
minimalistic manner. You start the game, waking up in an apartment that looks like it hasn’t
seen human contact for decades, abandoned with paint peeling from the walls, rusted
basins and cracked windows. Bright light streams through your broken balcony, but the
light is so bright you physically cannot stray into sunbeams.
Homesick is one of those games where you decipher the story as you progress, nding clues
and hints about the world from leftover newspapers and letters. At the core, it’s a puzzle
point-and-click game that focuses heavily on discovery, and it does it extraordinarily well.
It’s difcult to explain what you do in the game, without spoiling key aspects of the game
itself, so I’ll say that your character has history with the ramshackle apartment complex, and
you ought to nd out what happened, and leave it at that.
Smack a ghost with a hammer. Why not? © Steam store page Punch a ghost. Why not? © Steam store page
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The game itself is supremely gorgeous; the sheer amount of detail in everything from
dripping water to the rendering of the sunbeams is breathtakingly beautiful. Also, though
it may seem a small, innocuous thing to comment on, the mouse smoothing adds so
much to the atmosphere, as you’re not jerking the camera to and fro as you explore the
abandoned but beautiful environments.
The game utilizes a lot of juxtaposition; there’s the ruin of what the building used to be,
but here and there are tufts of grass, beautiful owers and plant life sprouting from the
very tiles. Though it’s crushingly empty of other sentient life, you hear echoes of people
chattering and community as you stroll through the vacant rooms, again haunting your
steps. The music is also eerily beautiful, a perfect accompaniment to the exploration.
The puzzles themselves are well crafted too; they’re not too elaborate that you’d often get
stuck, but they’re not so easy that you’d question why anyone would leave such an obvious
clue there. Rather, all aspects of the puzzles just lead to more questions about the story,
and it all ties in extremely well.
For a game that leaves the story for you to discover, with no other physical characters, and
as a puzzle game, I was extremely invested into the story itself. I wanted to know, to nd
out and discover, and that feeling of curiosity and intrigue overcame any sense of fear or
haunting sensation that I started with. It became a desire for explanation, and ultimately
when it did, it became sadness.
That’s all I can say. A lot of what I’ve said here has been vague and nebulous, but honestly
that’s all I can say without spoiling any essence of the story. If you love exploration, if you
love a mystery, then Homesick is for you.
You know, this would be beautiful if it wasn’t so unsettling. © Steam store page
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No time for basketball in the post apocalypse. © Steam store page
This isn’t a pre-rendered cinematic, this is actually what the game looks like. © Steam store page
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Query accepted. Extracting Denition… by Axdsilva
What is second person perspective? First and Third person games these days dominate the
playing experience, with several of us switching between the two of them in a single sit down.
But doing this, it can be certain that somewhere in our heads this question of second perspective
lingers, popping up through mics on multiplayer until they recede to the back of the mind. The
answer is: rst person is to interact as the controlled character as a part of the world; third person
is watching the controlled character interact, with us viewing into the world. Second person is
watching the controlled character interacting with a non-controlled character watching as part
of the world.
Is Second Person Perspective something gamers just made up?
Second perspective is not solely exclusive to
games, a similar concept can be seen in the study
of literature such as historical texts. In historical
terms a rst person perspective or ‘primary source’
of information is an original document directly
related to the subject. A secondary source is based
on a ‘primary source’ in the forms such as a non-
original sourced related article, detailed analysis
or interpretation usually from the same time
being studied. A ‘tertiary source’ is more a broad
overview in style and not critically relevant to study
of the subject. Examples: Primary: Autobiography,
Secondary: Biography, Tertiary: Encyclopaedia.
This is similar to gaming as rst person has a very
direct involvement in the action where all risks
are presented to the player in a limited intensely
aecting the perception and risks, compared to
third person where the situation would be viewed
wholly without risk to the watching party. Second
person perspective would have the players dangers
presented to them through the eyes of another/
second character with risk to both, the situation
comprehended through this viewing character. It is basically viewing the controlled player
character through the eyes of a non-player character in the same world, usually creating a third
person eect that is more directly linked to the environment or level that character is in.
Battle through the BOSSs Eyes
Lakitu aka My rst Dynamic Cameraman
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Has it ever been used in games before?
Second person perspective elements are more common than most players seem to realise, it
is even at work these days in games that are currently on the market, as well as older gems
from the ‘-bit eras. In the days of TMNT a direct rival created was Battle Toads, which despite
their laughable concept today produced some of the better games of the era. During the rst
boss battle, the ght was viewed from the perspective of the Boss themselves with the player
forced to dodge the crosshair and throw barrels at the screen to win. The Nintendo 64 gained
a 3D platformer launch title in Super Mario 64, and to introduce the new dynamic 360 camera
system Lakitu was presented as the cameraman for Mario as he ventures to once again rescue
Princess Peach. This camera control was constantly acknowledged thanks to Lakitu and camera
appearing as an icon throughout the game, as well as several cuts to show Lakitu and camera
reposition to better capture Mario.
More secondary perspectives are found outside the console and arcade experience, with many
text adventures making use of a dynamic narrator. In these days of the Oculus and XBONE, it is
easy to pass over the simple text adventure joys that fully make use of displaying current events
feeling both directly and indirectly involved. The presentation of a exible narrator would be a
natural role for a compelling second person perspective experience. No surprise that the concept
transcends electronic games with an ever-popular appearance in the form of a dungeon, which
may or may not have some dragons.
What about current and future use?
Second person elements are active in todays games, several AAA Titles have already used this
as a function of their gameplay. A common example is Grand Theft Auto V where the chaos that
certain players love to cause can often be viewed thanks to a little gem called cinematic mode.
While this seems to be nothing more than giving us greater angles on our vehicle rampages,
during the inevitable police chases that this ponderously attracts, the cinematic camera angles
change to the dash and helicopter cameras of the LSPD vehicles as they hunt down the player
for the ‘Busted’ and/or Wasted’ screens. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 demonstrates the element
of having another character directing the other. While both remain in third person, this use of
a main combat character in the form of Barry requiring aim assistance from Natalias pointing
literally uses a second person element that assists the intensity of the game. The Army of Two
series also features gameplay elements in-line with this style. Watch_Dogs has also taken a similar
quality to some missions where Aiden Pearce (the main character) must use cameras to guide
an NPC through an occupied area undetected and unscathed, under limited control situations.
These missions almost limit the player to a viewership of the games events (compounded by the
game using this chance for a bit of characterisation and storytelling) whilst still maintaining the
sense of interactivity. More often than not, we as players interacting with each other in seeming
cooperation strain that word during those games that give the option. Whether for mixes of fun
or aggravation anyone with a mic or another person sitting next to us will try to redirect or guide
the other player according to their view of the game.
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Given the nature of the second person perspective, there will unlikely be any second-person
shooters in the gaming industry, but while projectile combat may be out of the question
there remains potential for cooperative and story-based gaming. Second person is often
used as a contextual key to the atmosphere, some shooters can temporarily portray this
despite their genre. The scripted moments where we are merely viewers to the main story
and not actually participating almost mirror this narration quality. Other games seek to take
this more into account by limiting control and adding tension to entice a dierent but equally
involved game and story experience. Second person itself favours cooperative playing with
more than one active participant, despite various adversarial multiplayer modes, many
story based games and indie works potentially mean that second perspective with a second
person could just be a release or two away.
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A great yarn by Kassie Whitehair
This is for the new generation falling love with gaming, and Yoshi, who will eventually
grow into shooting zombies and rage games making them throw keyboards. Or for
those like me who grew up on a N64 and have no issue with being a Nintendo fan-
girl, this is like eating mac and cheese and watching bad sitcoms at the end of a really
bad day. Yoshi’s Woolly World is a comfort game. Highly reminiscent of Yoshi’s Story on
the N64 and of Kirbys Epic Yarn, made by the same developer, this is cute, sweet and
simple. And a reminder about why people still love Yoshi.
We meet the Yoshis on Craft Island, their little utopia in the middle of the Handmade
Ocean, when all of a sudden Kamek rolls in on his broomstick and turns everyone in
to yarn (or wool if you live in ‘Straya). With only two Yoshis escaping, they then task
themselves with nding all the pieces of their missing friends and stitching them back
Yoshi gathers balls of wool instead of eggs in this incarnation in keeping with the
general theme. The balls of wool are used classically like eggs but they can also be used
to tie up enemies and knit together platforms and warp pipes.
Aside from nding all ve Wonder Wool in each world to knit your Yoshi mates back
together, youre also collecting jewel beads some with stamp symbols for Miiverse
stamps which otherwise act as coins letting you buy and use power badges as you earn
them. You’re also looking for smiley sunowers. Get all ve in a world for a bonus game
which lets you earn more jewel beads.
Now the exciting bit. Once you clear a world with all ve Wonder Wools you knit a
yoshi back together giving you a super cute new playable Yoshi! Theres a technicolour
Circus Yoshi, Moo Moo Yoshi and Shy Guy Yoshi to only name a few with my personal
favourite, Poochy Yoshi.
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Gameplay feels a little similar to Super Mario 3D World, except theres no time limit and
you can go back. Theres a two-player mode; play with a friend to achieve the same goal.
And theres two modes of play: Classic for the experienced, and Mellow Mode making
things a little easier, giving Yoshi wings letting you glide over obstacles. A nifty little
feature is that you can change the modes while youre playing. Say you nd a bit youre
really stuck on, you can’t get past it and youre feeling guilty because youre killing Yoshi
repeatedly. You can switch to Mellow Mode, give Yoshi wings, get over it and move on.
© Game Dynamo and TinyPixel Publishing
© Zavvi.com and The Hut.com
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Its the kind of game where you can’t take anything for granted. Its easy to get caught
up in nostalgia or how pretty everything is but stray threads, suspiciously empty spaces
and those dubious solid-ish looking walls can reveal secrets, jewel bead payloads,
sunowers and Wonder Wool.
The design is gorgeous. The texturing of all the dierent kinds of materials used is so
rich its as if you were looking at the real thing and you just want to touch it. Theres
wool, cotton, sponge, felt, leather, denim, buttons and sequins all repurposed to create
the Yoshis’ crafty universe. The little details make such a dierence, like some of the Shy
Guys have crotchet hooks which look like jousting lances or the denim walls have those
little stud things in them like your jeans do.
The mould-ability of the materials gives Yoshi a new feel too. When Yoshi runs his
feet transform into button wheels. As he jumps and hovers (making that adorable
but constipated sound) his feet become a propeller. Yoshi can also change into a
motorbike, an umbrella, a digger and a giant tail-whipping Yoshi in some secret games
with awesome payloads in some of the worlds.
The Amiibo features allows a double mode where one player can control two Yoshis at
once. This can make it more challenging trying to control more than element, easier
if you run out of wool balls because you can use the other yoshi as a substitute, or
perhaps let you feel better about yourself if you don’t have any friends to play it with.
You can save you favourite yoshi pattern as your Amiibo too, but my favourite bit is that
Yoshi can also take on the appearance of your Amiibo. Say you have the Mario Amiibo.
Yoshi will change to look like Mario. Imagine a yoshi with a moustache in red with blue
overalls. I want to see Ganandorf Yoshi. So if someone could do that and send us a pic
we (but mostly me) would be most appreciative.
© WASDuk
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If you want a more adult perspective to the game I could wax philosophical about how
the yoshis are literally torn apart, dismembered and harvested for their very physical
matter, Wonder Wool, then scattered across many worlds. And if you fail to collect all
the Wonder Wool in a world then that poor yoshi must stay in that disembodied state
until it is potentially used in Kameks evil scheme.
However, lighten up. Its a Yoshi game and a beautifully designed one at that. Woollen
Yoshi in HD is truly a thing of beauty.
© One Angry Gamer
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This once single-player series gets the new-gen MMO experience.
by Nathan Griths
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The Elder Scrolls was never a series anyone expected to take a turn into the dangerous
world of MMOs, but here it still stands a year on, with the Tamriel Unlimited rerelease
on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. I’ve had a while to explore the world, using a few dierent
builds of character, though most of my time was spent with my favourite ES class
setup, the Nightblade, armed with a bow and magic, playing on Xbox One.
When I started up ESO I was met with a few problems right o the bat. After the
17GB update nally completed, I discovered that there is nothing even close to
Oceanic servers. You get a choice between North America or Europe, guaranteeing
you a minimum ping of 200+ at best. To make matters worse, I frequently met
with incredibly long login times, since everyone was trying to login to the one
megaserver, as its known. The very worst was a consistent four-hour wait just to
login, over the best part of a week. Whilst logging in isn’t as bad now, it’s still not
Now, once I got in game, I found it hadn’t changed too much from its nal beta. As
with a standard ES game, you pick and choose from dierent skill sets to level up. This
time, though, the combat is a lot closer to World of Warcraft in mechanics, focusing
on unlocking combat moves based on the gear and class you chose. The four classes
available feel reasonably unique, each one having three dierent possible tech
trees to play with that grant entirely dierent abilities to the others. Your weaponry
also grants you a range of abilities, and youre encouraged to multi-spec between
two dierent weapon types, so your gameplay style can change up fairly quickly. I
quite enjoyed the combat, which felt uid and fast paced, with the dierent moves
available combining well from your class and weaponry. Dragonknight may be
at its core a Tank, but since half of your moves come from your weaponry, you’ll
play entirely dierent depending on whether you dual wield or take a sta. The
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Dragonknight who takes a shield instead of dual wielding is going to be far better
at taunting, but hey, its the Elder Scrolls, and if you aren’t playing how you want,
youre playing it wrong.
ESO feels good with a controller, with your ve abilities and one ultimate move
mapped pretty accessibly. However, the combat loses a lot of fun when you realise
that youre going to have to battle constant server lag to land moves properly,
especially if you decide to be a ranged combatant like I did. Questing uses a lot
of the standard MMO tropes of “kill X amount of Y along with a decent amount
of more story based quests to help keep interest. However, if you want to loot
anything, you better hope you can burst down mobs or otherwise have abilities
to poach kills, because whoever lands the last hit takes all the glory and the gold.
Between the guessing game of where is my arrow going to land” and the constant
interference from other players, the questing, which takes up a good amount of
your levelling content, can be incredibly frustrating. The problem isn’t as bad if you
choose to get up close to your targets, but it’s still noticeable enough to drive you
close to madness.
Anyone who’s played an MMO knows that they’re all a game of two parts; levelling
to maximum, and everything that takes place after you reach max. I’ve talked a
little about the rst half, but the second is far harder to deal with in Australia. See,
ESO is PVP focused once you’re at maximum level, not raid based. As I previously
mentioned, the ping for us starts at 200 and only gets worse from there, so if you’ve
ever tried to play DotA 2 or League of Legends with a bad connection, you know
exactly what hell awaits. My opponents all seemed to teleport around at worst, and
even when my ping stayed stable, I had to predict around what I thought my foes
were going to do.
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This leads me into another of the major aws I found with the game. The Elder
Scrolls is known for its stunning visuals and unique locales, but ESO doesn’t feel
like it has any of that. A lot of the landscapes don’t feel like Tamriel, they feel like a
standard fantasy world that you’ve seen in a billion other games. There are some
places that feel closer to the realms we’ve known and loved, but its still reaching
for something it can’t attain. To make matters worse, ESO is not up to par visually
one bit for this generation of console. It still feels like a mid-life Xbox 360 or PS3
game at best. Graphics aren’t everything, of course. World of Warcraft is still one of
the biggest MMOs in the world, and until last year, it was still using an awful lot of
character models from roughly ten years ago.
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Mechanically, theres nothing wrong with The Elder Scrolls Online. It has sound
gameplay that’s been tried and tested over years of using the MMO formula set
down by WoW, the game is visually decent, and the community is denitely active
right now. Its just that being decent isn’t enough to make ESO stand out, for me
at least. If you want a fun RPG that you can play with friends, and you think you
can manage with the latency and possible login timer problems, then you and
your friends should have a great time together. But, if you want something to ll
the MMO shaped, Blizzard sized hole in your life, you’re going to nd it lacking. If
Bethesda unveils an Oceanic Server where we can experience the game as people
on the other side of the world get to, I’d be able to recommend this; as it stands right
now, think carefully before you buy.
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by Daniel King
Gunpoint in disguise
Developer Tomasz Waclawek speaks with
a condent, yet cheeky, tongue when he
claims Ronin is unique. We know we’ve
played this before. Theres no escaping the
fact Ronin feels just like another indie title.
So as we booted up the game and tackled
the familiarity of Bullfrog hopping our way
through windows and across towers with
arc-based precision, a message popped up
to ease our deja vu: This is not Gunpoint.
Fortunately Tomaszs bravery to claim
such independency is in comical vein; a
jest poking fun at being innovative in the
gaming world since everything has already
been done before. This made me smile.
“How quaint, I thought in the voice of a
pretentious monocle-wearing industrialist.
Because just when I was ready to turn this
in as a Gunpoint clone I was pleasantly
surprised by the games inspiring innovation.
Unfortunately that cheerful glow was short
lived. Ronin eventually started to descend
into a tedious trip.
For anyone who sank hours into Tom Francis’
break out hit, they won’t be able to shake
the been here done that feeling right o
the bat. Ronin initially plays just like a loose
sequel to the former PC Gamer editor’s
Gunpoint, albeit more stick-gure cartoony.
Though while that stealth, puzzle-platformer
denitely had its claws in the minds of
Devolver Digitals latest contribution, Ronin
isn’t shy of making the comparison between
the two evident. Hell, there’s even a level that
features a less than subtly titled club called
Swordpoint - a quirky ri altering the name
of 2013’s indie hit.
Both Ronin and Gunpoint sees the player
assume the role of a vigilante of sorts, using
a mouse rather than a simple key binding
to bounce through two-dimensional
oorscapes and barge enemies out of
windows. This control scheme feels a little
sticky at rst but warms to you once past
the initial slog. Your character, the unknown
assassin running on the fuel of murderous
motivation, is able to leap across small
buildings in elegant parabolas and cling to
walls as if bitten by a radioactive spider. Both
games share similarities in design, yet they
dier greatly in overall execution. So lets see
how far we can get without mentioning the
G word again.
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You full the role of a female assassin on a
vaguely motivated but intriguing mission to
assassinate a powerful organisations head
honchos. Equipped with a desirable set of
skills the heroine leaps across rooftops and
in between shadows to inltrate a number
of scalable buildings, inching her way closer
to separate her targets head from their
torso. Sure, now you’re probably thinking
Mark of the Ninja. You also wouldn’t be too
far o believing this was Kill Bill the video
game. Au contraire. Ronin has a face of its
own. Developer Tomasz Waclawek breathes
fresh life into the side-scroller genre with
an innovative turn-based mechanic thats
equally satisfying and rewarding.
While Gunpoint (look how far I got!)
embellishes a sophisticated crime neo-noir
with moments of comical gameplay, Ronin
feels more like a mature narrative with the
personality of a jovial adolescent pulling
the strings. A boisterous tutorial narrator is
always around to drop ‘hints’ and distract your
intentions, though the voice fails to maintain
anything but repeated jokes. I chuckled the
rst time I read “hint: these hints are really
helpful” but cringed after the third or fourth
I’ll be honest. I, too, thought Ronins elevator
pitch would be a collaboration thatd work
as well as an ashtray on a motorcycle. How
someone can match-make a fast paced,
action oriented platformer with stop and
wait tactical strategy seemed like a pipe
dream too bizarre for its own good. Ronin
makes it work. How it works is when youre
climbing buildings or arching your bullfrog
jump across levels, the game will pause once
a guard has caught your sight so you can take
note of the best way to stab their face then
slip back into cover.
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Most guards produce a line of sight that
triggers a shot once you nish your turn,
always one step behind your movements.
Herein lies the games deep strategy. When
theres a gargantuan amount of enemies
observant of your existence, a plethora of
red lines ll the screen each aimed at your
body. You’ll need to use your mouse to
jump through the gaps in their line of re,
while synchronously trying to take them
out. Clever, precise movements can see you
smacking one guard into another so theres
less attention on your end, though deciding
whether or not to kill someone when given
the option rarely strikes a balance. More
times than not you’ll be able to take out a
guard, but doing so when another enemy
has their gun aimed at your head will prove
foolish lest you enjoy being a corpse.
Depending on how far you judge each
parabola-esque leap, chances are you’ll often
still be falling before the next turn should the
jump prove too long or too high. Thankfully
you’ve prepared for these situations by
bringing along a grappling hook and can
now gracefully change the speed or even
alter direction in-between those red lines like
Vincent Cassel rhythmically dances through
laser beams in Oceans Twelve. Theres an
overwhelming amount of accomplishment to
be shared after smashing through a window,
hooking onto the roof and swinging onto the
head of an unsuspecting victim, and many a
st pumping moment being able to pull it o
without being spotted.
The inclusion of a limit break that grants
unique abilities on top of your already
agile reexes oers further strategy to a
progressively challenging puzzler. Each time
you successfully make contact knocking
guards o their feet lls up the limit break
which, when full, grants you an additional
turn to skedaddle. Bonus objectives also
exist to keep completionists satised and will
earn skill points which are used to purchase
upgrades along the skill tree.
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Avoiding alarms and sparing no one’s lives
but the civilians’ are part of the criteria to
unlock said paths. Its an odd design choice
to make a progressive upgrade system
optional as it makes the developer seems
too condent that the game can be nished
without the perks whatsoever, though with or
without it the game still plays relatively well.
Being able to use a decoy or throwing your
sword thus altering the arc of your direction
makes for easy work during the earlier levels,
though that’s where the charity ends. You’ll
be thankful you retried those earlier missions
once you gain the ability to stun everyone
in the room because Ronin has such a steep
learning curve. Almost too steep.
Civilians will rat you out if you make yourself
visible or leave murderous traces so you’ll
always want to stick to the shadows should
you chase down those optional objectives.
What makes this worse is the inadequate
checkpoint system. Get spotted by a civilian
then reach the next checkpoint curses you
with a never-ending loop of your mistake,
making it impossible to full those bonus
objectives unless you restart the entire level.
I’m not proud of this but I may have vented
out my anger on those damn snitches.
Furthermore, in some cases, you even have
to get spotted to progress, which makes the
game lose its satisfying stealth core. Those
situations where you’ll exit an elevator into
a room of caeinated guards is tough but
theres an insurmountable amount of triumph
after pulling o so many murderous acrobatic
movements, pirouetting through gunshots
and stabbing spines before brushing yourself
o and moving on.
A majority of these goons are nothing more
than a trigger nger in a suit waiting to be
stabbed in the back so theyre easy to take
down in small numbers. The real challenge
arrives with the introduction of robot ninjas
that hone in on your presence as well as the
guards with assault ries that empty their clip
for two turns straight. I couldn’t get enough
of smacking a goon right into the automatic
slash of a robotic ninja. He’ll have trouble
lying to his boss about those accidental
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These moments can be fun once you pull
them o but they eventually become more
of a relief than actual satisfaction. Ronin
becomes less about slipping in between
shadows and more about how quickly you
can kill foes in quick succession. There are
too many moments where youre dropped
into a room with a dozen henchmen already
wary of your presence and not enough times
where you can pat yourself on the back
having made your way through to the end
Additionally, the game’s turn-based
platforming doesn’t always compliment the
vertical level design. I’d often get stuck in a
loop where I was unable to ascend buildings
because turn based movements restrict some
of your platforming mobility. It was seldom
possible trying to tackle the guard two oors
higher than me as I couldn’t even hop up a
ledge that I was directly underneath.
I couldn’t help but laugh at the times the
game would glitch to my advantage. A few
times I’d see myself grappling through a glass
window then somehow teleporting to the
centre of the room, or magically jumping my
way through the oor into a sealed o area.
They weren’t entirely unpleasant as I was now
given an advantageous perspective, though
bugs aren’t exactly something to praise.
Ronin is a condent game, even if it does
draw heavy inspiration from other works.
While a lot of its design thrives from an
ingenious level of innovation, there’s no
ditching the fact that the game feels like
Gunpoint’s developer won the rights to a Kill
Bill video game spin-o. Nevertheless theres
still plenty of fun to be had. Diving through
your enemies line of sight vision only to
bowl them over like dominos or appear
behind them for a swift cut to the neck is
exciting and genuinely rewarding in some
parts though theyre short lived. Had the
game maintained a consistent approach to
stealth then the satisfaction of reaching your
end goals would be far more rewarding.
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by Vincent Duval Latreille
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In position, check. High powered ries, check. Multiple targets locked, check. Suited up,
check. Time for Mr. 47 to do what he does best.
Following on from the excellent Hitman GO mobile game, Square-Enix have released the
next version of the killer console series, Hitman: Sniper. This game lives up to standards,
so be careful: things are about to get bloody.
Inspired from the concept originated in Hitman Sniper Challenge, a game that was released
as a stand-alone auxiliary for Hitman Absolution, Hitman: Sniper takes all components of
that mini game and has expanded on that idea and made it mobile on the go with a
competitive leader board for all around the world and friends.
There is one map with 11 main targets to kill, but you don’t know they are until you
play the challenges that are present in the chapters. These challenges test your skill on
discovering then achieving them, ranging from getting a (x8) undetected kill streak to
getting a certain amount of accident’ kills and moving head shots, whist making sure you
still kill one of the main targets to nish the challenge.
As you progress through the chapters you will start to learn the enemy movement patterns
and this gives the opportunity to setup kills ahead of time increasing your overall score.
When playing I focused every time on doing a challenge and aiming to get a high score
by taking out all targets that I could without raising the alarm to boost my overall score
at the end.
The leader boards start you o in bronze 3 and you rise up to bronze 2, bronze 1 and so
on. You’re aiming for the highest spot which is the Assassin tier but getting there is half
the eort.
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You also have access to a range of sniper ries and each has their own unique abilities that
you unlock when you purchase an upgrade for them. Each challenge that is completed
gives money at the end and you use the money to purchase new upgrades to make the
current rie better.
The ries also have passive perks that players should take advantage of as they do help
boost your overall score. For example more points are given when the player can make an
accident, hide bodies and kill targets at minimum zoom.
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The game allows players to purchase only 3 sniper ries with real money but that is all,
the rest of the ries have to be unlocked by increasing your sniper rank, reaching a certain
division rank tier, and from mission rewards from targets that give sniper rie parts to
help build your next rie.
With over 200 challenges if you have what it takes to climb the ladder and show who is
better at sniping then this game will provide hours of good fun. If not then you can enjoy
a few good moments of sniping your targets and escaping without anyone knowing you
were there.
Hitman: Sniper is available on the App Store and Android for $7.97.
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