Category: Wii & Wii U

BUCKLE UP, NINTENDO FANS: EA’S AWARD-WINNING NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED RACES ON TO Wii U THIS SPRING

Need For Speed Most Wanted      GmP Gaming    image Wii U coverart 1Team up to top the Most Wanted List! EA and Criterion Games announced today that  Need for SpeedTM Most Wanted, winner of more than 30 industry awards, is coming to Nintendo’s Wii UTM system on March 19 in North America and March 21 in Europe.   Need for Speed Most Wanted unleashes gamers into a connected, open world where they race, chase and explore their way to become Most Wanted amongst their friends.

Utilising three unique features of the Wii UTM  GamePad controller and including bonus content, the Wii U game makes the race to become Most Wanted more fun and social than ever before. Firstly, introducing an all new local co-op mode, Co-Driver, one player drives using the Wii RemoteTM  controller or Wii U Pro Controller, and another player uses the Wii U GamePad to provide control and navigation assistance on a fully interactive real-time map. Using just their fingertips, a partner can distract pursuing cops, switch from night to day or activate enhanced performance for any car and even control the amount of traffic on the road. This is the ultimate advantage for gamers who like to stir up trouble for the cops, their friends or just for fun.

For another competitive edge, players can change their mods, switch into their favorite cars, track milestones and uncover the city’s hidden gems, all on the fly with the Wii U touch screen, ensuring nothing ever slows them down.

Finally,  Need for Speed Most Wanted on Wii U brings the blockbuster action of the open world racer to players’ fingertips. The entire game is playable off-screen using the Wii U GamePad, so gamers never have to put the game down.

Need for Speed Most Wanted on Wii U also includes the Ultimate Speed Pack, so players can take to the streets five of the sickest, most ludicrously fast cars ever made: McLaren’s F1 LM, Lamborghini’s minimalist artwork, the Aventador J, the track-focused Pagani Zonda R, Bugatti’s reigning world speed champion, the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse and Hennessey’s savage 275 mile-an-hour ragtop beast, the Venom GT Spyder  .

Need for Speed Most Wanted lets gamers compete against the people they want to defeat most – their friends  . With EA’s innovative online technology Autolog 2, the game automatically tracks and compares best race times, high scores and more. These stats are broadcast throughout the open world, fueling friendly competition and rivalries. Curious if you’re still dominating the leaderboards? Autolog 2 alerts you every time you’ve been knocked off the top, reminding you it’s time to reclaim your position.  Need for Speed Most Wanted’s online multiplayer also ups the ante for social competition. Gamers pick a car, meet up with their friends and are immersed in a non-stop playlist of action-packed events. Whether it’s competing for the best starting position, the ultimate jump, or finishing first place, if there’s something to do, there’s someone to beat. Any Speed Points earned on Wii U will add to your existing total if you are playing the game on any of the other available platforms.

Need for Speed Most Wanted for Wii U will be available March

 

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Announces LEGO® BatmanTM 2: DC Super Heroes for Wii UTM

lego batman 2 dc super heroes wii u               GmP GamingWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games are excited to announce that LEGO®  Batman™ 2: DC Super Heroes, one of 2012’s best received family games, will soon be making its way onto the Wii U™ system from Nintendo this Spring 2013.

Releasing to critical acclaim in June 2012, NBC News hailed it as “the best LEGO game yet,” while IGN called the story “…entertaining from start to finish.”  Since its summer 2012 debut, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes has sold more than 3.4 million units worldwide to date.

LEGO  Batman 2: DC Super Heroes will take advantage of the innovative Wii U™ GamePad controller.  Players will navigate through Gotham City using an enhanced interactive map and select their favorite DC Comics characters to assemble a powerful team of heroes, all with the use of the controller’s touchscreen.  They can even enjoy the entire game experience on the GamePad in off-TV mode, or have a second player join in on the TV, so they can fight crime together without having to share a single screen.

The award-winning LEGO  Batman 2: DC Super Heroes  gives players the chance to step into the shoes of the Caped Crusader and fully explore a LEGO version of Gotham City.  Once again under threat from the Joker, Batman must defend Gotham with the help of powerful friends like Superman and Robin, to put a stop to the diabolical plans of his nemesis and his entire team of super villains including Lex Luthor, The Penguin and Harley Quinn.  Encounter all of the Dark Knight’s iconic allies and enemies in a charming, hilarious, family-friendly adventure full of exciting gameplay.

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is also available for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, the Wii™ system, and Windows PC, as well as the Nintendo DS™ handheld system, Nintendo 3DS™ handheld system, and PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system.

Gioteck GC-2 Wireless Controller Review

gioteck logo 1       GmP GamingThe latest peripheral from the UK manufacturer launches with a veritable blast of power as the Gioteck GC-2 controller hits retail shelves. But will the third-party controller be dogged by latency and dead zones, or will it rise above the flotsam of wannabee’s to the top of the pile in a blaze of glory? Let’s jump into the review and find out, shall we?

Never one to shy away from a Gioteck review, we kind of like the British based boffins behind some of the industry’s most cost-effective and user-friendly gaming gadgets and gizmo’s, we leapt at the opportunity to get our hands on the latest controller from the innovative young company not because it is just a handy freebie, to use with either Wii U or Playstation 3, but because we genuinely like to look around the market and bring to the attention of our readers the best value for money products in these difficult economic times.

Gaming has never been the most wallet friendly of pastimes and, if truth be told, trying to keep up to date with all of the latest hardware, games and peripherals is probably one of the most expensive hobbies a person could have. So, with that in mind it is our distinct pleasure to be able to say that, in a time of £180 Scuf Gaming controllers, that are really little more than a basic package with a couple of paddles tacked underneath, that Gioteck have once again managed to pull out another diamond from the rough with their latest GC-2 Wireless Controller for the PS3 and Wii U systems.

Starting off with the aesthetics of the Gioteck controller is a good place to begin this review as the new look high polished finish to the GC-2 is in stark contrast to Gioteck’s more familiar ‘digital camo’ styled offerings, but one, we feel, that will have potential customers smiling all the way to the local retail outlet. The underside of the GC-2, however, has been given an altogether  different look with its matt black almost ‘rubberized’ feel that allows players hands to settle in nicely for extended bouts of gameplay, without being bathed in sweat thanks to the profuse outpourings from slick palms when glossing over glossy finishes.

The controller is set up in a more Xbox360 styled ‘offset’ positioning with the D-Pad being horizontally positioned with the right thumb stick and the left thumb stick being mirrored by the control buttons. The bumpers and triggers are housed in the usual shoulder setting, but there is a ‘turbo’ button next to the ‘pause’ and ‘back” buttons allowing for a greater range of customization properties than even the Dualshock or the Wii U Pro controllers.

Moving right along to the ‘brains’ of the GC-2 and we come straight into what makes this controller all the remarkable, considering its paltry £24.99 price tag, and that is the amount of leading tech that is contained inside this little beauty for  what is not a lot of money at all.

Housed beneath the ‘two tone’ exterior of the latest Gioteck hard shell design is something which is far more than just the latest technology in videogames control systems, and it is far more than just being a twin delight in that the GC-2 is perfectly adapted for use across both the Playstation 3 and Wii U consoles. The Gioteck GC-2 is a ‘message’. We just have to make sure that people, gamers, designers and manufacturers alike, hear what it has to say. But more on that point a little later, let’s first concern ourselves with the practicality of the GC-2’s design and the flawless nature of its performance.

We have tried so many controllers here at GamesMediaPro that have all claimed to be ‘perfect’ for use with the Playstation 3. We have tried all the Power A’s, the Mad Catz, Scuf Gaming, Razer and Cyborg’s and one thing is uniform throughout every single third-party peripheral that makes it to production. To a product they all fall far short of their promises and expectations. The problem is unanimous across them all, and it is ‘Dead Zones’  You know what we mean, right? That moment when you are in the middle of a boss fight with a huge hulking monster and you are required to execute even the most deft of thumb stick movements to perform a slick ‘dodge’ manoeuvre, and thus give you the time to load, cock and fire your weapon and destroy the encroaching monster before it rips your spine out from between your shoulder blades in an explosion of gory detail.

But wait, what the….?  Nothing happens? You stare incredulously at your controller wondering just what in the heck is going on, only to discover that because of ‘Dead Zones’ such performance enhancing abilities are out of reach for your ‘Turbo Twister 3 ‘trolla with mappable buttons and rapid fire adjustments’  Oh well, back to the retail or online outlet to troll the shelves and internet pages for yet another third-party controller to give you the edge over your opponents, and yet another £150 thrown straight down the gaming drain.

Gioteck GC-2 controller  GmP Gaming    image 1Dead Zones’ affect just about every single controller we have ever encountered, maybe with the exception of the Razer Onza Tournament Edition and the Scuf Gaming Wired Pro, but when you consider that even at this present moment in time we currently have 26 different controllers from all manner of manufacturers sat  gathering dust on our shelves, well, that should at least give you some insight into just how many actually deliver on the promises they make.

The problem is that the ‘Dead Zones’ and the ‘Latency’ both are deal breakers, in our opinion. To move your thumb stick in any direction and to feel no ‘bite’ from the motion of the character on-screen is just unforgivable. Thankfully, the Gioteck GC-2 Wireless controller is one of the only controllers that has pin point precision straight out of the box.

The merest touch of your digit lightly stroking the rubberized thumb stick produces a definite movement toward the preferred and indicated target. There is no pause, no delay and there is certainly no need to force your thumb stick across in a wild sweeping motion just to get the controller to…well, ‘control’ your avatar on-screen. The Gioteck GC-2 also comes with a prepared install on the company website that will allow customers to download alternative sensitivity settings should they require their controller to perform with even more accuracy and agility.

One area that we were a little worried over, however, and this is another one of those ‘universal issues’ for all third-party manufacturers, is in the controllers ‘latency’. For those of you who don’t quite get the problem of ‘latency’ we will explain it quite simply. You know when you are online and you are lagging so much and so badly that it drives you to despair as your character just doesn’t seem able to do anything you ask, or if they do it always seems like they are doing it ten minutes afer you have issued them with the command? Well, that’s ‘latency’.

This same issue affects ‘all’ wireless controllers, and indeed all wireless products, but it always seems to hit Bluetooth controllers just that little bit harder. Unfortunately, the GC-2 is Bluetooth, and unfortunately there is a known issue of ‘latency’ in  all Bluetooth peripherals. But, joy to the world, there has to be a time when a manufacturer takes the issue to task and manages to eradicate the problem with a careful attention to detail and some ingenious ingenuity. Gioteck have managed to do such a thing with their GC-2 controller.

Every single button press, every moment of the thumbsticks and every single bumper press or trigger pull produces startling results that are instantaneous. We have yet to experience anything that even comes close to a wired controller in any wireless product, regardless of manufacturer or design. But Gioteck have, it would seem, conquered this.

Now we come to the absolute cherry on top of Gioteck’s delicious cake, the Wii U compatibility. Ever since Nintendo launched their new console, gamers who have been used to a more traditional controller have cried out for a third-party controller to come along and give them the option of not having to buy the Premium Edition Wii U just to get their hands on a suitable controller. Gioteck have satisfied this demand.

The Wii U Pro controller is a good product, and it is  a viable option. But when you consider that for the same amount of your hard-earned cash you could, in fact, by two of the GC-2 controllers and enjoy your Wii U exclusives with a friend or loved playing Co-oP, and let’s face it here, it’s a total no brainer.The GC-2 performs just as well in most area’s as its Wii U counterpart, and even better in others.

So, then, to summarise. The Gioteck GC-2 controller outperforms both of the brand versions of its rivals on both the Playstation 3 and the new Wii U console. It is decidedly cheaper than both, and in the case of the Sony and Nintendo websites and stores they are actually around 50% cheaper. They operate with a far greater responding Bluetooth set up that gives greater range and has zero latency, lag or dead zones. The new look sleek black design is as pleasing on the eye as the price tag of a mere £25 is soothing on the wallet.

Earlier in this review when we said that the GC-2 was more than mere technology and design, it was a message, we deliberately paused before delivering that speech to allow our readers the time to see if they could work out this ‘message’ for themselves, and knowing the standard of readers that populate our site we already know that you will all have worked it out.

The message is this, and it is a simple as it is obvious. The GC-2 is showing the rest of the manufacturers the direction that future tech and future peripherals should be taking, as it delivers everything that other companies are charging you almost three or four times the amount for. If Gioteck can deliver a product that has the latest design, the latest hardware and the latest Bluetooth technology all housed in its sexy black casing for a mere £25 quid, then why are other peripherals manufacturers charging you as much as £180-200 for the same kit?

number-9-pool-ballGaming is not exempt from the current economic downturn, and if the manufacturers believe that they can continue to churn out over priced products one after the other in a never-ending line of barely different products then they are sorely mistaken. Gamers now have less disposable income than ever with which to fund their hobby, and considering that you may now purchase either an Xbox360 or a Playstation 3 for less than the price of some manufacturers controllers and headsets is a travesty. Gioteck have seen the writing on the wall, it would seem, far sooner than a good deal of their over charging rivals, and long may they continue to lead the way in this fight to deliver the very best products for the littlest cash.   The Gioteck GC-2 scores  9 out of 10

 

Readers should note that the Wii U version, as well as the downloadable sensitivity updates, will be available in April, 2013

 

For more details regarding the GC-2 then go directly to the Gioteck website via this link

 

 

Resident Evil 6 Review

Resident Evil 6     GmP Gaming      image 7Capcom revive another fantastic franchise with their latest offering in the Resident Evil series. But will it be a case of breathing new life into an old corpse, or just a jump lead to far for another Frankensteins monster? Let’s have a look in the GamesMediaPro review of Resident Evil 6.

Believe it or not, and we have a bit of a confession to make here, Resident Evil, ( as well as that other Capcom classic franchise that we have just reviewed: Devil May Cry ), have never been our favourite titles. In fact, if anything, they were two games that we completely shied away from during the early console gaming years Why? We aren’t quite sure? Maybe it was the fact that we were up to our ears in goblin innards and orc blood as we battled every RPG and JRPG that we could get our grubby little hands on, or maybe it was the fact that we were blinded by our loathing of load screens back then and so ultimately never truly strayed too far into the console market? Whatever it was we are glad to say that this famine of fantastic franchises ended when we delved deep into Resident Evil 4, and then were dumbfounded at the shenanigans and ground lost in Resident Evil 5. As for Devil May Cry? Stay tuned to learn of our progress there with our DMC review on January 15th.

So, Resident Evil 6. What to do? Do we pass it along to the girls for their scaredy cat opinions, based solely from what they could see out of one eye as they crouched terrified behind the office sofa? Or do we put away our disappointments from Resi Evil 5 and plough on with the true kind of professionalism only found at PS3 Universe? ( sniggers   Ed. ) Decisions, decisions.

Well, speaking of the ‘decision’ we faced we are pleased to be able to inform you that not only did we make the correct one, in opting to review Resident Evil 6 ‘for the boys’, but that without a shadow of a doubt that it was also one of the best choices we have made in quite some time, in relation to videogames.

Resident Evil 6 came into the public eye on a wave of negative publicity, but there is no doubt in my mind, that the vast majority of gamers who have sampled the many delights that await you in Capcom’s stunning sequel will agree with us on this one, that as a modern survival horror title Capcom have pulled out all the stops and ticked all of the right boxes in updating their flagship franchise and bringing it screaming into the next millenia like a wailing mutant zombie banshee.

New look visuals, new locations, new storylines and new characters all bring Resident Evil 6 back into the limelight as they combine with a completely overhauled set of game mechanics that grant gamers the kind of freedom to enjoy their survival horror action like the have always wanted too…on the move and with all guns blazing. Naturally the format has not changed so much that die-hard followers of the franchise wouldn’t recognise is as a Resident Evil title, but the new approach to not only the graphics, but also the way the game is played itself, will play a major role in securing new visitors and inhabitants to Raccoon City for many a year to come.

Resident Evil 6     GmP Gaming      image 4Moving along into the latest storyline and the premise behind the goings on, currently inflicted on the beleaguered residents of this ‘city under siege’, see’s a new kind of destruction and madness being unleashed by a nemesis worthy of taking over the mantle from any one of the usual Umbrella Corporation suits. ‘Simmons’, to give our ‘bad guy’ his title, is a slimy as they come. You know the type? The kind of man you feel you have to wipe your hands on a towel after meeting them for fear of being forever tainted by their oily handshake.

The plot entails any number of interweaving campaigns, in an extremely nice touch by Capcom, that gives gamers excellent value for money right from the outset with four converging stories that are all just begging to be played in what has to be on of the finest examples of Co-oP gaming in recent memory. Of course, single player is there for the asking, but nevertheless co-operative gaming is where the true heart of Resident Evil 6 lies.

Players, even throughout each of the solo campaigns, are tasked with executing their own segments of the convergent mission’s that will see our foursome of deadly duo’s, albeit that there is the only solo expeditionist in the enigmatic figure of the sultry Ada Wong, as they all work towards linking up in the explosive finale. Leon and Helena, Jake and Sherry, Chris and Piers, and Ada Wong have each been granted so much variety to their individual missions that special commendations need to be awarded to each of the development teams separate sections for allowing gamers the vastly differing range of weapons, skills, attributes and even the heads up display’s, that come as part and parcel of each of the quad-core of campaigns that link up to be a single storyline.

Leon and Helena kick things off, as well as the various soft bits of the advancing night crawlers, with their tutorial-cum-introduction to the games weapon format and inventory system. Both of which are incredibly simple to use and even easier to master as you progress throughout the game’s storyline. D-Pad for your weapons, as you scroll silkily through the arsenal of available armaments, whilst the ‘Y’ , ( triangle for PS3 players ), button brings up the list of lovelies that make up your inventory for everything from the familiar green and red herbs, to the more explosive ingredients of hand grenades and heavy weapons ammunition.

In a complete reversal of fortunes for Resi Evil players everywhere, Capcom have managed to totally eradicate the cumbersome clutter that was the outgoing inventory system of previous titles in this best-selling franchise, and have, instead, implemented a new simplified version that will leave players with blister free digits blissfully gliding across the D-Pad with far greater efficiency.

Resident Evil 6     GmP Gaming      image 1Starting players out with the Helena and Leon mission was something of a genius move, as these two sizzle and crackle with sexual tension in the games’ tangibly dramatic build up, that will leave players on the edge of their seats as they become ever deeper embroiled in this twisting and turning plot that has suspense and style oozing out of ever splintered door that the pair must warily open, or through every shattered window that the duo must peer through as they strive to find their way out of their university starting point and get to grips with the hordes of infected now roaming the streets of an embattled Raccoon City.

Handling is spectacular, especially when compared to its elder sibling Resident Evil 5, and the fact that players may actually do something as basic as ‘move’ when they are shooting the head’s off encroaching undead is somewhat of a revelation. If truth be told this was one of our biggest gripes when faced with playing the earlier editions of this famous franchise, the fact that the inventory made it a chore to select defensive, or even offensive items, items when facing down a constant stream of screaming brain munchers was bad enough, but to be firmly rooted to the spot every time you pulled your pistol from its holster was always asking a bit much of my patience, especially during boss battles with hulking mutated demon-like brutes intent on ripping my head off with their bare…well, claws.

The combat mechanics are a joy to behold, thanks in no small part to the Capcom’s new movement system during the fisticuffs, but whereas the fighting may have been vastly improved the variety of enemies now facing you down across the rubble strewn streets of Raccoon City have been positively blessed.

There are so many new features in Resident Evil 6, so many little surprises and suspenseful shock a minutes, that it is sometimes quite easy to overlook the fact that Capcom have designed a veritable entire zombie army of mutant warriors from scratch, just for your digital enjoyment. Every foe you face is a new demon, and every boss you battle has different moves , different weapons and different murderous skills all aimed at separating your spinal cord from your brain.

This Resident Evil revolution continues throughout the entire campaign regardless of which character you are currently inhabiting, and in an extremely nice touch the handling and the familiarity of the format for the inventory and the weapons carries across to each of the new storylines. Although that is the only thing that is a constant, as everything else about the quad of corking tales is like chalk and cheese.

Resident Evil 6     GmP Gaming      image 6Moving on through the game takes you now to Jake and Sherry. This pair of unlikely Co-oP partners reveal a continuation of story’s past, as well as a hint to possible stories future, with Jake being the son of Wesker no less, and Sherry being the now womanly figure of the former 12 year-old girl we first saw padding through the means streets in Resident Evil 2.

Back for more, though, Sherry, now a fully fledged operative and DSO agent, joins forces with the spawn of Wesker as the two are tasked with doing their part in bringing an end to the current terror that stalks Raccoon City. Of course, the two also come complete with their own particularly impressive set of acrobatic moves and manoeuvres as they shoot, slash and pound their way across the city in pursuit of their objectives and ultimate goal.

The same can also be said of the third pairing of the game, as Chris Redfield returns complete with new partner in tow in the shape of fresh-faced marine ‘Piers’. This is where Resident Evil flexes its impressive set of rippling muscles and shows off its diversity as it drops players firmly into what is, in effect, a third person shooter. Now, although this is normally the point when the reviewer scathingly claims that this is nothing more than a shameless attempt at appealing to the more Western audience, and subsequently raps Capcom’s knuckles with a ruler for it, much like an irate geography teacher who has just been asked by his 12 year-old nemesis where “Uranus” is, I do not jump on this band wagon, and I do not scold Capcom for this decision. Instead, I do feel that Capcom have  managed to offer  gamers a title that allows them to sample, pretty much, all of the industry’s latest best-selling genres, and all in the comfort of a single title, in one of the best-selling franchises that videogaming has ever seen.

Condemning Capcom for offering players variety is like slapping the waiter at a Mexican restaurant for bringing you multiple dishes of dip for your tortilla’s. How ‘dare’ he bring you a smorgasboard of the chef’s best-loved samples, how ‘dare’ he serve you choice, as opposed to firmly planting a meagre single portion serving of generic slop. Would that have made you happier?

No. In this reviewer’s humble opinion, and now you will understand better my earlier statement when I said that ‘in a way’ I was glad that I had not been a long time player of the franchise, as it seems to me that Capcom have been caught in that infamous catch 22 situation by their own success, and that is being ‘damned of they do and damned if they don’t.’

Judging from some of the scandalous abuse levelled at Capcom in recent years, regarding their desire to bring in new players to their audience, and attempting to work out just how to implement this whilst at the same time staying true to their original fan base of hard-core gamers, has been somewhat disgusting. The fact of the matter is that times, technology and tastes change. Things mature, things move on, and as we stated in the Devil May Cry review also, if Capcom must learn to adapt to survive and be successful, then why cannot the detractors who still think that the Playstation 2 was the ‘golden age of gaming’ do the same.

Resident Evil 1996  GmP gaming image 1Well. lets just look at that for a moment. Imagine, then, if you will, that when this game launched it had done so with NO previous PR or trailers for you to get a taste of what was in store for you, and now take that suspense and return it to launch day and now picture yourself eagerly running home with your new copy of Resident Evil 6 in hand and inserting into your console with bated breath only to discover that the game on-screen is not some technological wonder of cutting edge graphical movement and design, but is instead a single joystick controlled, non-camera operative, bland run through of 16 bit styled graphics with clanking mechanic’s and flickering backdrops.  Imagine, then, just how ‘thrilled’ you would have been to have ‘gotten what you wanted’ as Capcom released their latest title in the same vein as the games you wish that they had harkened back to?  Now see the ridiculous nature of your argument and get with the 21st Century and all of the wonders it brings  with it.

Finally, we come to the solo segment of Ada Wong. This tainted temptress that has more than one trick up her sleeve, and is definitely not afraid to use them. This high-kicking, crossbow hunting hard ass is as awesome as any Jill Valentine, and is as bad to the proverbial bone. Players will soon come to realise that the converging stories still have a surprise or two in store for them as they watch the cut scenes in each of the four ‘campaigns’ as they march ever onward to the storylines conclusion. But, in Ada Wong there is much mystery and intrigue still in store no matter how much information you glean from the myriad of Resident Evil 6’s cinematic moments.

number-8-pool-ballThankfully, however, Capcom has dispensed with the need to pander to the few as they seek to bring the next level of survival horror action and entertainment to old players and new. Resident Evil, as a franchise, has never looked and never played  as good as it does right now, ( and yes, I have since gone back to replay the original games to back up this argument ).  Capcom have ironed out all of the creases and smoothed out all of the wrinkles from previous titles and has now introduced its all-new format with this latest outing for the zombie killing king of the hill. This is one franchise that has certainly arose from the dead of its past and risen , much like the red-eyed monsters you are charged with releasing from their unGodly nightmare, and returned Resident Evil back to the top of the tree as it reclaims its rightful position as champion of its genre.           8 out of 10

 

Resident Evil 6 :      PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox360             ( version tested     Xbox360 )
Developer:  Capcom
Publisher: Capcom

 

 

 

Mad Catz Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Fightstick Review

Mad Catz   TTT2 Fight Stick Tournament EditionThe future of fight sticks arrives with all the formidable force of a high-powered Hadouken as Mad Catz unveil their latest tournament edition peripheral for the discerning beat’em up player! Check out the full rundown of this technological titan as we review the spectacular Mad Catz Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Fightstick.

Back in the day when videogames were the pollinating roses, embedded as they were in the lush verdant gardens of the amusement arcades and fun-filled back street offices of taxi ranks and greasy spoon cafes, the nectar they contained, that attracted the hordes of honey bee’s that swarmed to their mesmeric lights, whistles and noises, were the children who flocked in their droves to play such unforgettable titles such as Streetfighter and Tekken.

How we laughed, cried and cursed at these new challenges set forth by our digital nemeses, with their stunning array of dazzling moves and fantastic finishers, and how we longed for mastery over these new-found heroes from a new breed of interactive entertainment.

Fast forward, then, to a future time and date, when the ‘honey bees’ have matured and they are no longer the children of teenage salad days gone by, and the once youthful players are now themselves the gamers passing along their passion for all things interactive to their own kids, and with that passion comes the undying love for titles such as the aforementioned Tekken, and the well-spring of inspiration and adoration from which all of this explosive entertainment sprung forth.

Of course, one of the things that had always been an undying wish, both personally as a child and professionally as a man, was to be able to have a full-sized arcade machine in my home with which I could gain as much practice as possible to ensure that my fighting skills would be adequate enough to mount a serious challenge, not only to the dashing and flashing figures on the screen, but also to other similarly enthusiastic players online. Thanks, then, to Mad Catz, with their cracking collection of table top styled arcade sticks, all of this has now been possible in recent years.

Smashing its way onto the arcade beat’em up scene, like a fist to the lips from chop-sockey merchant Paul, comes the pinnacle of fighting peripherals: The Mad Catz Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Fight Stick. This sleek and sexy set up quite literally lifts the control system from an arcade cabinet and transports it directly into the comfort of your own home, and boy! does it feel good!

TTT2-Rotator-1024x783Constructed from the ground up almost as if you have removed the control’s from a cabinet the TTT2 Fight Stick has all the familiar left side positioned joystick and eight-button control format of the arcade units. ( albeit that there are also the additional two extra buttons of the front facing ‘fascia’ of the set up ).   In a nice touch, however, Mad Catz have also included an extra ‘skin’, if you will, for users to customize their controller base unit for more personal stylings, giving the option of a bevy of beauties to adorn your fight stick as opposed to the standard image of  ‘broken glass’.

But, for those of you who would still like a little bit more ‘bite’ to your blisteringly paced battle of bombastic brilliance, then look no further than the handily positioned ‘Turbo’ button that is innocuously housed at the top left corner of the unit, adjacent to the central ‘Home’ button as well as the turbo counter clock and ‘Left Stick/Dual Purpose/Right Stick’ and ‘Locking’ selectors.

Moving along to the actual specifications and included technology, that, if this were a car review the host would now be instructing you to “take a look under the hood”, and we come to the nitty-gritty of the TTT2 Fight Sticks make up. Underneath the glossy black casing of the Xbox360 unit, complete with Microsoft ‘Green’ trim, ( the Wii U has its own Nintendo ‘Silver’ surround, whilst the Playstation 3 gets a spiffy ‘Blue’ piping ), there is a staggering amount of cutting edge technology that hs been conjured by Mad Catz for you delectation.

Naturally, and all as self-respecting fight stick owners will have come to expect from a Mad Catz product, the TTT2 version comes with some rapid response control system by way of the well-respected design first introduced to the fighting community with the best-selling 2009 launch of the Tournament Edition. Although there will undoubtedly be some that will bemoan the fact that the Tekken Tag 2 version is little more than a repainted package, we can only offer up a sage old saying that instructs ‘Doubting Thomas’ and his pals that ‘if something ain’t broke then don’t try to fix it’.

Thankfully, Mad Catz have not altered their winning formula, put together with sage advice from venerated fight game figures of both Tekken’s Mark Julio, and also Capcom’s Streetfighter legend Yoshinori Ono. So, with that, payers can once again expect to find the sharpest control system on the market to once again outdo the offerings of main rival Hori, thanks to superb Sanwa buttons set to almost touch sensitive response times, as well as the now stereotypical ‘ball topped’ Sanwa joystick.

Mad Ctaz Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Fight Stick         GmP Gaming         image 6Of course, should you want to personalize your TTT2 Fight Stick to better favour your personal preferences, then, as ever, the Mad Catz fight stick’s are still just as easy to customize as they ever where. So, if a Fanta topped stick is your wont? Then its an easy fix to slide one on there? New buttons from Sanwa are also an installation dream, but we would advise caution with the Laugh stick from the Omni-styled control pad. Rumours of troubled times during embittered battles have only served to help steer players away from the Virtua Stick High Grade clone.

Performance from the Tournament Edition version of the Mad Catz marvel is once again as flawless as the Culinnen Diamond, with lighting fast moves being but a mere wrist stroke away as you concoct elaborate, but snake strike fast button depressions to deliver fantastic finishers every time. Although there may well be far more pricier models on every digital dojo corner, and there will always be the shady forum lurker offering to build you a ‘custom’ version ‘tailor made’ to suit your fighting style, when push comes to turbo powered shove then there is little else on the market that truly operates or out manoeuvres the Mad Catz Tournament Edition Fight Sticks.

Feted on every fan site, virtual fight club and chatroom from San Fran to Saipan the TTT2 Fight Stick has already earned its rightful place among its esteemed brethren thanks to an undoubted masterclass of design and durability that is only surpassed by its perfection in performance. Mad Catz have come a very long way since the days of 1995 and appealing to the lower end of the market, and ever since they launched into the higher end  it cannot be denied that they have made in roads into every major retailer and manufacturers stranglehold grip on their chosen area’s of the videogaming industry. Its now thanks to a wealth of outstanding products and peripherals, such as their recent stunning collection of headsets and standard game controllers, and now their next generation arcade stick, the fight genre is no different.

number 10 pool ballNow the undoubted ‘one to watch’ and with a wealth of pro gamers ready to stand up and be counted through first-hand testimony of the terrific times that they have had with their Tournament Edition, this latest move by Mad Catz, into the Tekken branded realm, serves only to confirm that, as Mad Catz swallow up yet another massive chunk of the fight game market care of the Tekken licence, heads are most definitely turning away from their rivals and into the direction of Mad Catz as they look for a fight stick that will deliver the goods on promises made, in both style and stature, and the Tournament Edition’s are most certainly ‘it’.  The Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Fight Stick is everything that it claims to be…now go grab yours and prove your worth in the arena…well, what are you waiting for?  FIGHT!     10 out of 10

 

 

 

 

Toshiba Canvio Stor-E 1TB External USB 3.0 HDD review

toshiba canvio stor-e             GmP Gaming       image 1Hot on the heels of the latest console launch from Nintendo, with their highly anticipated Wii U, comes the answer to the brow-furrowing issue of the units memory space, or the lack there of. But thanks to Toshiba’s cracking new collection of external HDD’s for the discerning gamer, and in particular the Canvio Stor-E 3.0 USB HDD, with their whopping 1TB worth of untapped resources, these extremely versatile hard drives are helping to put paid to any doubts that they will ever need anything else to secure all of the important data and game saves.

Ever since the specifications were revealed for the Nintendo Wii U, followers of the legendary gaming corporation have been getting it in the neck from their fanboy counterparts, firmly ensconced in the Sony and Microsoft camps, that the Wii U is as under powered as it is understated. Well, thanks to the latest third-party peripherals from Toshiba, in the shape of the rather excellent Canvio Stor-E 3.0 HDD’s, all of those headaches and troubles seem so far away, almost like yesterday….? ( stop that right now!  Ed )

The Canvio Stor-E 3.0 1TB HDD comes in a neat little bundle in its snug fitting 3.5″ durable hard plastic shell that it is capable of withstanding just about any rage quitting temper tantrum that even the most potty-mouthed anarchic gamer may choose to throw at it. Tough, hardworking and easy on the eye, in its optional colour schemes of solid black or white, or a mixture of both, the Canvio Stor-E is perfectly suited to settling in nicely alongside either your white Wii U, or your sleek all black version should you have made the decision to opt for the Deluxe model.

But, here is the beauty of the Canvio Stor-E for Wii U gamers. Regardless of which system you plumped for, whether it was the entry-level 4GB model with its lower end memory specifications, or whether you chose to go all out on the top end of the deals and purchased the 32GB Deluxe Edition, you are now all equals in the eyes of the gaming public thanks to Toshiba’s whopping 1TB of available space.

toshiba canvio stor-e             GmP Gaming       image 2This now means that instead of shelling out an extra £100+ for the Deluxe Wii U, and then still at some point in the future having to fork out even more of your hard-earned cash for the external HDD that any gamer worth their salt will tell you that you will need, all you have to do, instead, is to choose the cheaper option of the basic 4GB package, and then off you trot to the local Toshiba salesman with your bonus wedge of saved cash and instead of getting a mere 32Gb for your £100 you will now get a staggeringly attractive 1TB of much-needed memory space. As a certain well-known furry rodent would say ” Simples! “.

It really is a no-brainer when it comes to a sound financial decision, and one that will pay off regardless as the Canvio Stor-E can also be hooked up to anything that uses a USB 2.0 and 3.0 thanks to the compatible connections. So, with that, you may opt to have multiple consoles connected to the Canvio Stor-E, or your PC or lap top even, and then split the memory as you see fit across a wider range of you technological necessities.

Connection itself is simplicity to the point of A-B-C with little more required of the user other than merely hooking the Canvio Stor-E across to your Wii U via the provided USB cables and then powering up using the AC adaptor. Although it has to be said that thanks to the Canvio Stor-E having multiple USB ports at the rear of the unit, it does make things a whole lot easier for those gamers who have their set up in an entertainment centre, and would wish to connect, say, both there Xbox360 as well as their Wii U to the Canvio Stor-E, or Playstation 3 whatever is your want. As the available USB ports are al now within handy reach of each other and so offer flawless performance.

toshiba canvio stor-e             GmP Gaming       image 3The super fast connections offered up by the Canvio Stor-E’s 3.0 USB is second to none, and there are also the extremely beneficial features that see’s password encryption there should you require it, as well as a truly easy to understand, and even easier to operate, back up software set up built  right into the unit itself. There is optional file formatting for Mac users also, as well as the availability of even greater memory space, should you require it, with the whooping 2TB and 3TB versions both for little extra cost.

Speaking of the Canvio Stor-E’s price tag, which we hinted at earlier when mentioning the savings to be made, should you follow our advice and go out and select the 4GB version as opposed to its more expensive Deluxe Edition sibling, and we have to say that with Toshiba’s outstanding Canvio Stor-E 1TB HDD that you do get a whole lot of bang for your buck, as our American cousins may say.

Coming in well under the expected £100 mark for any other similar quality product in its class, the Canvio Stor-E is readily available across multiple sites and retailers for as low as £80 and £83 from both Kelkoo and Best Price.com ( UK ) respectively. In fact it has to be demonstrated that Amazon UK  have the humongous memory monster that is the Canvio Stor-E 2TB and the simply must have Canvio Stor-E 3TB versions for a mouth-watering £103 and £111 respectively. Now if that doesn’t tempt you into making the right decision then nothing will.

All in all, then, if you are a gamer, Nintendo or otherwise,  who cares about hanging on to their saves, music, photographs, video’s, installs, gamer pic’s, themes, updates and so very much more, then the Toshiba Canvio Stor-E has to be the one for you. Whether you choose the 1TB, 2TB or the seriously impressive 3TB version is entirely your decision but when you weigh up all of the Canvio Stor-E’s many endearing and imperative pro’s against the myriad list of cons, then to even say it is a ‘no-brainer’ is to credit the decision with too much intelligence.

number 10 pool ballThe Canvio Stor-E is the best option for Wii U owners bar none, and one, we feel, that will continue to serve its purpose with a more than adequate performance for many a year to come. When all is said and done the decision to buy is yours, but the decision, we hope, has been helpfully tipped in favour of not only Toshiba, but also your wallet and your console, with the unsurpassed quality of any one of the Canvio Stor-E range.  If ever an external HDD deserved a maximum  then it is the Canvio Stor-E, and it gets its just rewards for delivering on promises of perfect design, performance, reliability, longevity and affordability.   10 out of 10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elgato HD PVR review

gchd-gallery-05Once every so often an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, the resulting collision sends shock waves throughout the surrounding realm and changes the outlook of that environment forever. Never again will things be quite the same as they were before the arrival of the inbound meteorite. Such things occur within the boundaries of the entertainment industry with great infrequency….until now.

Ask any gamer who frequents the internet, and in particular such websites as our own Youtube channel, or Twitch TV page, about which video’s they watch to further glean all of the necessary information that they require to further aid their progress in their desired videogame, and to a man, ( or woman_EiC ), they will all point to channels and websites that feature gameplay captured by ‘genuine gamers’ during their own play through. Delve deeper into the event,  to put a question to the director of said video’s regarding the very hardware and software that they used to make this magic happen and it used to be the case that to a ‘person’, ( happy now Ed? ), they would all have been capturing their exploits via any one of two options, The first up being the Hauppauge PVR, the second the Roxio.

Of course, there were always cheaper, and less fruitful choices on offer to the player who was looking to save a few meagre shekels in their pursuit of a Youtube partnership, but if the truth were told the fact of the matter was  that the Roxio and the Hauppauge were the only two legitimate options on the market.

This continued for some considerable length of time before options such as FRAPS and the expensive Black Magic reared their heads, but it is with the birth of one of the gaming scenes more youthful contenders that our attentions now lie, thanks in no small part to the hardware’s second to none features and simply flawless production values, and that is the all-new Elgato HD PVR video capture unit.

With the advent of this seminal set up we have been given a rare opportunity not yet afforded to any other website, and that is that we have been granted authorised permission, for the very first time, by both concerned parties, to conduct the very first official comparison of the Hauppauge  and Elgato HD PVR’s. We relish the challenge, as well as the prospect. Without further ado, then, we will put to the test the latest HD PVR Game Capture 2 from Hauppauge, as well as the super slim Elgato HD PVR. May the best man win.

Elgato HD PVR                 GmP Gaming    image 2First off we will compare, right of the box, the contents that consumers will receive when they part with a similarly matched price tag of around £170, and right from the word go gamers should be instantly impressed by the sheer lack of clutter and cables that come with the sleeker version of the gameplay capturing units. Whilst the Hauppauge may indeed be the ‘elder statesman’ and current ‘King of the Hill’, as far as the internet gaming communities are aware, the assorted metres of PS3 component cables, and the noticeable lack of a compatible Xbox360, Wii U or even PC friendly HDMI cable, should not come as any great shock to those who have sampled the earlier versions of Hauppauge’s capture devices. Albeit that they have, indeed, been rectified with the latest PVR 2.

In stark contrast to the veritable smorgasboard of wires and attachments of the Hauppauge, the Elgato HD system comes with scant cabling to confuse and confound the customer. Offering up little more in the packaging than the bare essentials required to make bringing your latest MOAB or 24789-1 killstreak to your ever faithful Youtube viewers. The Elgato HD does exactly was it says on the box, but with the littlest amount of fuss and headaches.

So what’s in the box?:

Game Capture Device | AV Cable(PS3) | Unencrypted HDMI Cable(Xbox or use as pass-through) | Component Cable | Micro USB – USB cable.

Minimum system requirements:
* Mac: Mac OS X 10.7, 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU.
* PC: Windows 7, 2.0 GHz dual core CPU.
* Sound card | 4 GB RAM | Built-in USB 2.0 port | You will also need an internet connection to download the software from Elgato’s official website as there is no software disk required.

gchd-gallery-02Trusting the users desire for the mot effective format with the least amount of headaches the Elgato HD has to come out the clear victor by way of its super sexy sleek black system with little more required of gamers to operate it other than plugging in their console and PC via the included cables, HDMI as well as USB, and then installing the software free of charge from the manufacturer’s website. The Hauppauge HD PVR 2, on the other hand, comes with a myriad of multiple cables, all of which produce varying effects depending upon the console that you input the wires too, as well as the editing software that you decide to run with. ( even though the Hauppauge does, in fact, come supplied with the Arcsoft Showbiz edit suite, this is not always the best option as, more often than not, the complimentary software always seems to fall short of either offering up A)  the most basic of functions, or  B) the latest, whichever is you want? ).

Speaking of software, ( stay with us here we do have a point mixed in among all of this waffle, honest we do! ), and the crux of the biscuit is no longer the ‘apostrophe’, as according to the late great Frank Zappa, but moreover it is in the fact that the Elgato HD PVR is quite literally light years ahead of its well-known competitor’s thanks, in no small part, to the constant free upgrades and updates that come in thick and fast to ensure that the product you have purchased always stays one step ahead of the competition.

A quick example of this would be the additional feature that allows players to upload directly to either Youtube via the video capture in saved file format, or the outstanding inclusion in the latest software update of the ‘Live Streaming’ feature that will allow Elgato HD PVR users to upload live commentaries and live gameplay ‘as it happens’ directly to the new kid on the block in social media platforms such as  Twitch TV. ( an example of this can be found on the GamesMediaPro Twitch TV account here ).

The sheer ease of use and undoubted superior quality of the Elgato HD PVR is self-evident in the peerless performance of not only style and design, but also in actual production and output thanks to a second to none format that allows users to capture, or live stream, their chosen gameplay with a whopping 1080p throughout the Xbox360 and Wii U consoles, and a truly impressive 1080i even from the PS3, ( which suffers none of the headaches of the rival Hauppauge’s and Roxio’s of this World due to Sony’s encrypted HDMI output signal )

Speaking now of output, we will walk you through the uncluttered and uncomplicated set up of the Elgato HD PVR connectivity, admittedly there is a similar process, now, for the Hauppauge HD PVR 2 which is severely lacking in the earlier edition, but neither the Hauppauge, nor indeed the Roxio, the two heavyweights at the top of the PVR challenge tree, come even close to the simplicity of the Elgato HD, nor do they produce anything like similar results.

gchd-gallery-01First up, then, we will take you through the ‘idiot proof’ Elgato with its A-B-C set up that offers as painless an experience as you are ever likely to encounter with any tech, let alone an HD PVR:

Step 1) Download the game captures software.

Step 2) Connect your console to the ‘Game Capture HD’ using the appropriate cable:

– PS3: You need to use the AV cable rather than HDMI cable, this is because the PS3’s HDMI port is encrypted (You can still get 1080i quality).
– Xbox & Wii U: Use the HDMI cable provided.

Step 3) Link the ‘Game Capture HD’ and HDTV together via HDMI cable.

Step 4) Insert the USB cable included to both your computer and ‘Game Capture HD’.

Step 5) Load up the software.

Step 6) Turn on your console.

Enjoy!

PLEASE NOTE *PS3 Information: Playstation 3 owners will need to go to their PS3 “Settings” and then onto  “Display Settings” – “Video Output Settings” and ultimately “Components / D-Terminal” to achieve the desired effect.  Users should also take into account that when selecting resolution that they should ensure  “1080p” is NOT selected, and instead PS3 users must select only the ” 1080i ” option.

This is due to the Playstation 3 HDMI output signal being encrypted at source by Sony for anti piracy measures.

So, after hooking up your all-new Elgato HD PVR, which took up a whopping great 3-4 minutes of valuable gaming time, what results can you expect from the three major consoles that are currently the cream of the crop in home entertainment for the videogaming masses? Well, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say, and so with that we will let you decide for yourselves what you think of the quality of each consoles with the results being shown in the video below:

As is expected the Wii U and the Playstation 3 both offer up clone quality performances care of the Elgato’s spectacular system, and examples of both of these consoles performing perfectly using the market leading game capture device can be found on both our Twitch TV account, as well as out Youtube channel by following the links displayed on the corresponding names. ( Hell, you can even hit that ‘subscribe’ button while you are there! )

Of course, we are not going to say that the Hauppauge and the Roxio systems both do not offer up quality game capture, because they do, particularly when utilised with a more powerful editing suite. But, if straight out of the box, no-nonsense results is what you are looking for then the Elgato HD PVR is the clear winner of this three horse race by a country mile.

To take on additional software such as a Sony Vegas Pro 11 or a Camtasia 8 is to take the supreme qualities of the Elgato HD even further past the reaches of its two main rivals, regardless of software, edit suites and additional extra’s that you may have been told will enhance their performances.

When all is said and done, the main point of this review was to offer up the services straight out of the box, and not with added features and bonus extra’s from third party software that does not come as standard with any of the three big players of the HD game capture market. So, with that in mind we can come to but one conclusion and that is that the Elgato HD is by far and away the most bang for your buck, whilst still being highly affordable for the every day gamer.

number 10 pool ballThe quality, ease of use, connectivity and outright customer care shown by the manufacturer and distributor of this genre defining peripheral is absolutely top drawer and flawless in both its performance and product. Far neater, smaller and much more compact this sexy little number would look good adorning the entertainment centre of any pro gamer or online gaming commentator, and the fact of the matter is that it probably already does. Elgato HD PVR’s may well be ‘The New Kid on the Block’, so to speak, as far as game capture devices are concerned, but this young upstart has come into the arena with weighted gloves and a whole list of special moves and outstanding finishers with which to record a flawless victory for you in more ways than one. Quite simply the very best game capture device on this or any other market.             10 out of glittering 10

 

 

 

Tritton Kunai review: Mad Catz light the way for Nintendo and Sony gamers

Following the launch of their delightfully delicious Tritton Warhead 7.1 headset for Xbox360 gamers, Mad Catz, never one to rest on the laurels, have gone straight for the jugular of rival manufacturers with their latest piece of peripheral perfection; The Tritton Kunai Headset for Wii U players.

Fresh off the production line this cracking collation of the latest technology and ergonomic design grants Nintendo users a level of interaction and comfort  previously unheard of for the gaming giant. Yes, the outgoing SD console may have had a few third-party bones tossed its way, but nothing comes close to matching the level of the Kunai’s.

Sleek in their design the latest headset from Mad Catz does its best to offer Wii U players a high-end feel for a budget price tag, and we have to agree with Mad Catz Head of PR and Marketing Alex Verrey here when he stated that the ‘there is nothing quite like the Kunai currently on the market for Nintendo gamers’.

After a solid seven days of online and offline action, trying and testing all that the wonderful Kuna’s have to offer, we have come to the conclusion that should you be looking for a set of scintillating gaming headphones, that offer up al of the depth of clarity, as well as a fantastic range of built-in features, then the Kunai’s just have to be it. But dd to that the bonus bonanza that comes by way of the fact that the Mad Catz magnificent muff’s are also just as at home on the 3DS, Playstation Vita, Playstation 3 as they so obviously are on the Nintendo Wii U, and what you have is a staggering amount of confident connectivity across for of the gaming industry’s top platforms for the meagre price of£49.99. ( some stores are even offering these little beauties for as low an asking price as a quite unbelievable £34.99?  )

Straight out of the box the Kunai’s look, and feel, a far more expensive product than their retail tag would suggest, but truth be told they deliver on all fronts. As anyone with an ounce of common sense should know that when someone is offering you a deal that, on paper, looks too good to be true, it is usually because ‘it is’. Not so in the case of the Kunai, where the manufacturer had put together a product of such remarkable design and engineering, giving it a healthy dose of the ‘pretty’s along the way, that customers feel so pleased with their purchase that it is almost like you have put one over on the retailer by managing to get away with such a classy headset for little to no money.

Constructed from tough wearing dura-palstic with a glossy finish in any one of three vibrant colours, the Kuna’s from Mad Catz give as good as they look with a sound system that is simply second to none, for their price bracket. But when you consider that this is a headset that has such functionality across not just multiple handheld systems but across a selection of home consoles too, then you begin to see some of the blatant value for money that just oozes from these sexy little numbers.

Although not blessed with the same Wi-Fi set up as their Xbox360 related sibling, the Tritton Warhead, it is perfectly understandable when you consider the sheer connectivity afforded the Kunai’s across multiple formats, especially with the handhelds. So, taking that into account is to forgive Mad Catz their decision to install the Kunai as a wired headset, as opposed to wireless.

Set in motion with some crisp sounding 40mm Neodymium speakers in an in-line aural cup setting, which allows for perfectly presented separate functions of voice and volume controls, the Kunai packs a lot of punch into its compact design. The sound quality is quite remarkable, considering these are not touted as the most expensive headsets ever to grace the market, but that should allow for a far greater customer base to sample all that Mad Catz has in store for them with these wonderful USB powered princes.

One surprise that we were more than pleased with was the sheer ease of use, considering once again the amount of systems that the Kuna’s are compatible with. Gamers from both the Sony and the Nintendo camps would be forgiven for thinking that there were bound to be issues when switching even from handheld to home console, let alone from Playstation 3 to Wii U, or even more seemingly convoluted, the move from PS Vita to Wii U, or 3DS to Playstation 3. But Mad Catz have taken care of any such worries with a simple design that is genius in its uncluttered and uncomplicated presentation.

All customers need do, to operate the Kunai’s on any one of its four major platforms, is to merely connect whichever system ou are currently opting for through either a very simple 3.5mm jack, or should ou be going for the consoles then its just a case of using the corresponding composite set up that you have always used via any other gaming headset, and that really is it. Nothing more and nothing less, the Kunai really is that easy across all formats.

The design also allows for extreme sessions of multiplayer madness, or extended solo sessions as you run rampant through Skyrim in some epic 14 hour expedition thanks in no small part to the excellently outfitted headband and ear cups. Both have been fitted with extra padding that afford the user superb levels of comfort that permit marathon sessions to go unhindered by the usual suspects of cramp, headaches and ear bleed from excessive white noise.

In a nice touch Mad Catz have also introduced the all new feature of the ‘Voice Mute’ button on their in-line remote. This is an extremely handy function that completely obliterates the idiotic ramblings of some inane random across Playstation Network who thinks that his pathetic attempts at trash talking are actually the life and soul of the lobby. It is not. It never has been, and it never will be. But thanks to the ‘mute’ option players may eradicate all of that dribbling drivel from spoiling their fun at the mere flick of a finger and instead opt to listen only to the in-game sound effects and dialogue. Bliss!

But we all know that functions and features are but assets to the overall picture of a new gaming headset, and what the readers really want to know about is the sound quality delivered by the product. Well, this is where Tritton have come into their own. If you thought that the sound quality of the bassy Warhead’s was good then be prepared for a shock as the lower priced Kunai’s produce more of the same bang only for considerably less buck.

Deep bassy rumblings blend with the singling out of solitary sounds of a higher tone with these perfectly pitched headsets. Players who like to go into online match ups of a certain shooter will be pleased to know that not only can you pick out the encroaching footsteps of an advancing enemy, but that you can also even make out the magazine changes being hurriedly completed by your opposite number as their feverish fingers fumble with the rounds, allowing you to know the perfect time to leap out from behind cover and spray his innards all over the multiplayer map. Sweet!

All told the Mad Cat, Tritton, Warheads were a thing of beauty to behold, and so to are their Nintendo and Playstation brothers in arms, the Kunai. Versatile and very reasonably priced players are now able to get high-end performance for entry-level prices. East to use, simple to set up and a delight to don atop your mullet, the Tritton Kunai are the must have headsets for the Nintendo Wii U gamer for all the right reasons, the fact that they also work across the 3DS, PS Vita as well as the Playstation 3 just make them altogether that much more attractive than they already are.  A true 10 out of 10 product if ever we saw one!

Batman Arkham City hits retail shelves as the Armoured Edition comes to the Wii U

Hit videogame franchise debuts on Nintendo platform as a Wii U launch title featuring enhanced gameplay developed specifically for the Wii U GamePad

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment announced that Batman: Arkham City™ Armoured Edition for the Wii U™ system from Nintendo will begin shipping to retailers today. Developed for Wii U by WB Games Montréal, the game builds upon the critically acclaimed, award-winning action game of 2011 created by Rocksteady Studios and makes its first appearance on any Nintendo platform as a launch title for the revolutionary new home console that hits stores today.

Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition brings gamers back to Arkham like never before with enhanced gameplay features for the Wii U and the Wii U™ GamePad. Packed with the same intense action and powerful story telling as the original, the game includes all available downloadable content, plus added gameplay elements developed exclusively for the Wii U version of the game.

“The team at WB Games Montréal focused on developing new features for Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition in order to create an immersive gameplay experience on the Wii U and Wii U GamePad,” said Reid Schneider, Vice President and Executive Producer, WB Games Montréal. “Rocksteady made an outstanding game with Batman: Arkham City, so we believe Batman fans will be thrilled with the enhanced combat and new gameplay elements added on Wii U.”

Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition introduces Battle Armored Tech (B.A.T.) combat mode and new Armored Suits for both Batman and Catwoman. The upgraded battle suits give players the ability to store kinetic energy during combat, allowing them to enter B.A.T. mode and deliver hard-hitting justice to Gotham’s villains. Fans are also introduced to a more seamless experience as they are given convenient access to the Batcomputer, which is made available instantly through the Wii U GamePad touch screen that allows players to select objectives, choose their gadgets, track forensic evidence for important clues, set off explosive gel and more, all while staying immersed in the on-screen action.

Batman: Arkham City is an intense, atmospheric adventure that sends players flying through the expansive Arkham City, the new maximum security “home” for all of Gotham City’s thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds. Featuring an incredible Rogues Gallery of Gotham City’s most dangerous criminals including Catwoman, The Joker, The Riddler, Two-Face, Harley Quinn, The Penguin, Mr. Freeze and many others, the game allows players to genuinely experience what it feels like to be The Dark Knight delivering justice on the streets of Gotham City.

For more information on Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition, visit www.facebook.com/batmanarkhamcity.

Assassins Creed III review

Ubisoft return to the forefront of gaming with the latest in the long line of smash hit titles for everyone’s favourite band of killers as we take to the time machine and transport back to the American Revolution for the fantastic Assassin’s Creed III.

The final instalment in this time line in the multi award-winning Assassins Creed franchise comes to a dramatic conclusion with Ubisoft’s latest title in this smash hit series. But, with everything from the graphics to the gameplay, the engine to the enigmatic assassins and everything else in between getting a new look and feel to them, you could be forgiven for wishing that the series went on with this storyline for at least another title, such are the huge leaps and bounds in this stunning sequel.

So, after stepping back through time,, care of the ingenious ‘Animus’ portal, we find ourselves unceremoniously dumped into the felt boots of another iron jawed assassin as he seek’s to recruit new inductee’s to his cause in Colonial America. Once again Ubisoft have done a simply stellar job of transporting players back to the dawn of the War of Independence for our cousins from across ‘the pond’, with some truly remarkable visuals that have benefitted enormously from the all-new game engine that has given the graphic’s and the game play a new lease of life.

As is expected players once again begin Assassins Creed III by first filling the shoes not of the 16th Century gentleman’s killer Haytham, but as the ever put upon Desmond Miles. The forlorn figure that was whisked away from his life as a lowly barman, in the first instalment of Ubisoft’s masterclass of open world acrobatic adventurism, and now, after developing some impressive new muscles and a fire and brimstone personality care of his newly stiffened backbone, Desmond is anxious to put an end to his life on the run by bringing about the final acts that will cause the blockbuster finale to this epic saga.

‘Quantum leaping’ into  another distant ancestor Desmond finds himself inhabiting the body of one Haytham Kenway aboard an English cutter as he sails across the vast open sea’s of the Atlantic Ocean. The plot centres around our first hand experience of Haytham’s expertise in ‘offing’ people, as he takes out a target in the game’s opening sequences better known in the Animus timeline as The Beggars Opera. Following this quick and resourceful homicide Haytham now finds himself on his sea legs as he leads the way on a path of discovery to the ‘New World’ in the games main storyline of unearthing the truth behind the little known ‘First Civilisation’.

A main difference, however,  to the earlier, more convoluted Assassins Creed titles, is that in this latest edition players are granted far greater detail and explanation, which is offered right from the outset, so that players may better understand the character that you will be spending most of your time with in the game. Of course, all if this takes place once you have actually impregnated the boy’s mother and then watched as she gives birth to the little ‘bundle of joy’, ( and hidden blades ), a you play through the early years of the ‘boy who would be king’s’ life, and watch his growth  into the  debonair assassin that we know so well from the myriad of terrific trailers that have tantalised and teased us all for so long.

This helps to explain the background to your main character as the story of Connor’s life, his reasons for adopting the code of the Assassin like his father, as well as his training as he strives for perfection in his chosen path. Players will also get to better fathom the reasoning behind  the events that lead up to his involvement in the coming end of innocence for the American Colonies, as all are all played out in the extended memory sequences during Desmond’s time spent in the Animus.

Although the background build up of the games’ main character, Connor, is somewhat long and seemingly a drawn out affair,  which takes up the best part of a couple of hours depending on players individual skill levels, it must be stressed that this time spent as the boy’s father, as he watches his son turn from boy to man, serves its purpose well as a dual functioning extended tutorial, as well as offering a far more in-depth and detailed account of the early years of this amicable assassin.

The game itself follows a main plot that see’s Connor taking up arms against the British, and their army of Red Coat infantrymen, as he seeks to protect , not only his people’s heritage from his mothers Native American ancestors, but also his fellow assassins as he strives to complete the work of The Brotherhood during the turbulence of the War of Independence. This patchwork quilt of reality coming together and amalgamating with the inventiveness of the games writers and designers works supremely well as it effectively stitches together all of the pieces of historically accurate fabric with the more fictional based stuffing from the gameplay, and it is a true testimony to the literary talent that Ubisoft have among their ranks that the interwoven strands of fact and fiction come together so well.

Connor, or to give our boy his native title “Ratonhnhaké:ton“, gets to experience to genuinely historic events on his quest to unlocking the secrets of the First Civilisation, as well as trying to discover what happened to them and why they could not prevent their own annihilation, such as riding into the sunset with Paul Revere, conspiring with Samuel Adam’s and attending such iconic locations events like Bunker Hill and the touch-paper happening of the Boston Tea Party. All of these ‘reality bites’ give extra weight and added credence to the games’ plot as Connor’s plight is steeped in tradition and truth.

The eternal struggle between the Knights Templar and the Brotherhood of Assassins that has reigned with fire and fury since time immemorial battles on anew amidst the carnage and destruction of one of history’s most brutal conflicts. In amidst all of this pain and suffering stands our hero, Connor, as he gets caught up in his own titanic struggle, battling one tyrannical empire that seeks to rape and pillage the very land and people from which his ancestral blood flows, and yet at the same time he must strive to replace this evil with a possible new one, as he works behind the scenes to help create the free America that we all know today. A true battle of conscience with devastating outcomes whichever side of the battle line Connor will ultimately find himself on, but one that offers a tantalising insight into the time period that saw a new breed of soldier committing unbridled acts of savagery against his fellow man.

The game play is Assassins Creed at its very best with Ubisoft taking everything that they have learned over the previous titles, and also how they have been received by the franchises adoring and extremely loyal fan base, in area’s ranging from everything that they have loved,liked or loathed, about the first four titles, and then taken on board and put through a fine toothed comb everything that they have unearthed before developing this latest game with the new controls, combat, movement and graphics all of which the wonderfully adaptive new ‘Anvil Next’ game engine provides.

The story also lends itself particularly nicely to the games actual mechanics as you get to experience historical figures in their roles as would have befitted them during the actual time period in history. Although a generous smattering of tongue-in-cheek liberalisation with the fictional side of the proceedings makes use of the fact that Connor will be able to undertake side missions and mini-objectives granted to him by such esteemed American figures as Benjamin Franklin, to name but one of these iconic fellows, as the revered writer and former President puts you in his employ after tasking you with recovering lost pages of his manuscript.

There are many other added ‘distractions’ to keep players more than entertained should they care to take the time to stray from the games more linear plot line, however, it should be noted that only some may be revisited after completing the main story. But whether you fancy sticking like glue to the plot in Assassins Creed III, or if you would rather spend some time working as a courier or Frontiersman hunting and skinning the local wildlife, the game always makes you feel comfortable in your chosen role, not least in part by at allowing you the decency to make mistakes as you learn what is required of you without punishing you too harshly for committing early errors. There is a definite learning curve in Assassins Creed III, and players would do well to take heed of the pointers, tips, notes and messages that can be picked up by a vast array of people, mini quests, objectives and tasks along the way.

The combat system in this ‘end of the road’ thriller is as bloody and as brutal as anything else that has come before it, with Connor putting to good use his trusty tomahawk as he splits skulls and severs limbs with his crude, but very economical weapon. Naturally there is a veritable smorgasboard of  choice in the assassin’s arsenal with players getting to use such classic firearms as the fantastic ‘flintlock’ pistol as well as the merciless musket. Swords also play a major part in the opening of vicious wounds and sliced arteries, but the true stars of the murderous show have to be the dazzling array of assassins ‘tools of the trade’. As with all his fellow ‘brothers’ before him, Connor favours the use of the hidden blade whenever the opportunity for a quiet kill presents itself, and leaves his pistol, rifle or sword firmly holstered lest they attract the unwanted attentions of the local militia, or maybe the prying eyes of a bribe seeking witness?

Of course, there are many other lethal and non-lethal attributes and skills that players must learn to master if they plan on being a successful assassin, and we are pleased to be able to tell you that once again the assassins skills are fully upgradable following the collection of the required XP from completing various tasks, tests and story based objectives. Players will also be granted the option to enhance their physical attributes to better aid Connor in his quest to free his people, and The Brotherhood, from the British.

The stealth portion of the gameplay comes back into being with exceptional results as players get to sample the hidden delights of the shadowy underworld code that operatives of The Brotherhood employ. The only complaint of which we would have is that it is not possible to alter Connor, or the initial character  Naysmith’s, stance, so that you cannot creep about in a crouched position, or commando crawl your way across the rain-soaked tiles of an objective building, in your approach to either an intended target or victim. Instead the game play will ‘auto position’ you when it deems it necessary to do so. This may be one of the only gripes that we had throughout the entirety of the game, but it is as far away from being a ‘deal breaker’ as the Sun and the Moon are to a would astronomer.

Also making a comeback to the proceedings in Assassins Creed III is the interactivity between your main character’s, be it with the games’ opening protagonist Haytham or with the young assassin Connor, are the myriad of sneaky tactics and skills that separate the men from the boys when it comes to being the slickest killer with the deftest touch. Pickpocketing is back with players now getting three bites of the apple as they can acquire bonus items and bigger wads of cash with an extended button press.

But standing on the shoulder of all of this new addition giants and tweaked head turners has to be the sheer power offered up by Ubisoft’s latest engine, the ‘Anvil Next’. Players who are new to the franchise will wonder if the games have always looked this brilliant in the achingly beautiful details and lag free environment. or if the game play has ever offered up as much slick movement, enhanced AI that make for genuinely challenging non-Human counterparts, or even if the games have ever looked as expansive as they do in this latest edition of the best-selling series. We can answer those questions for the greenhorns quite simply with four words: “Not on your life”.

The Anvil Next engine has taken Ubisoft’s flagship franchise and pushed it into the realms of the next generation of videogaming titles, and if this has something to do with the game engine being introduced to take advantage of the forthcoming Wii U and its reportedly developer friendly format, then all we can say is that the future is bright indeed for the videogaming industry.

Everything in Assassins Creed III looks just so much bigger, brighter, bolder and better, and we do mean ‘everything’. Even in the multiplayer fan’s of the series who have dipped their toes into the pool of perfection that is the online assassin experience, will not be able to go three steps in to a match without noticing the dazzling scenery, silky smooth controls or highly intuitive artificial intelligence that powers the milling NPC’s.

Even in the aforementioned multiplayer the new additions are clear for all to see, and not just with the aesthetics of the game, as a new mode is introduced to an ever-increasing online community. ‘Wolfpack’ fattens out the experience with an almost ‘Team Deathmatch’ styled offering that see’s team’s of assassins pitching in together to ply their deadly trade, and show off their amazing skills, against their opposite numbers who are all viewing to do the same to you.

So with the level of new inclusions to every facet of Ubisoft’s simply stunning open world action adventure title what does the future hold for Assassins Creed and its legions of devoted fans around the World? Well, if the new ‘Anvil Next’ engine is proof of anything it is that the cutting developer and publisher have got big plans for the franchise, of that there is no doubt. But in the meantime, sit back and soak up everything that is going on in this latest spectacular addition to what is fast becoming one of videogamings greatest ever franchises. Assassins Creed III is, without a shadow of doubt, the most fluid, fun-filled, action packed and entertaining title in the entire series. Gorgeous game play is complemented by jaw dropping visuals as you gaze from your lofty perch the panoramic views of a fledgling country torn apart by war. If you have never played an Assassins Creed title before, and are just starting out on your adventure with this game, then all we can say is get ready to shell out on five more of the little beauties as a better advertisement for not only Assassins Creed, but also for the future of videogames, has not yet been created. Assassins Creed III is ‘the’ gaming event of 2012 so far, do not miss out on this title!   10 out of 10

 

Assassins Creed III:      PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox360             ( version tested     Xbox360 )

Developer:  Ubisoft Montreal

Publisher:  Ubisoft