Itâ€™s Valentineâ€™s Weekend where small and adorable seems to be the theme â€“ sounds like half the GGUK staff! Awwww. Show yourself some love by shedding some MPâ€™s and buying some rather lovely games on XBL!
Stacking â€“ 1200MP
Ah, itâ€™s great to see another top quality and rather charming game in the arcade. Set in the beautifully stylish 1920â€™s, you play iddy-biddy Matryoshka Russian Stacking doll, Charlie Blackmore. A chimney sweep by family tradition, he has to become a puzzle-solving detective in order to free his family who have been enslaved by an evil Baron. In order to do this, he can jump inside over 100 other unique dolls of various sizes, each with their own special abilities to overcome the inventive challenges â€“ which to make things interesting also have multiple solutions. Youâ€™re told how many ways there are to complete each puzzle so completionists will be happy. Combining and experimenting with dolls talents (which range from their heads conveniently becoming keys, handy mechanical skills or being able to fart pot-pourri â€“ come on – thatâ€™s a skill we all wish we had) is great fun, plus there is a limited edition doll in each world to hunt down. From train stations and zeppelins, the delightful sepia environments are quaint and really well presented. Overall Stacking is a game you will want to revisit time and time again and should appeal to all ages. Despite a very un-Russian sounding name, Charlie B is a great character in a great game. Top recommendation of the week.
TNT Racers -Â 800MP
16 of the cutest and most colourful vehicles await in Tracks N Tricks, a four player racer that looks a bit like Micro Machines crossed with Pixarâ€™s Cars â€“ except for a weird UFO with 8 eyes. Zoom around 18 ice, desert, jungle and twisty canyon levels and donâ€™t forget to pick up helpful items on your way. These are not quite what you would expect â€“ Confetti Mines? Candy Cannons? But fret ye not action addicts, there are also rockets and what appears to be a giant hammer that you can bolt to your roof at your disposal. Winning isnâ€™t gained by being the fastest; TNT is all about knocking your opponents clean out of the way. The Shadow Race feature lets player who have been knocked out, stay in the race so they can create yet more carnage so thereâ€™s a chance even seasoned gamers might lose out to their apparently â€˜weakerâ€™ competitors. You can always customize tracks and determine the conditions for victory if you really are losing whilst those climbing the leader board are rewarded with new cars and tracks. A neat little racing package and good value for all the family.
Darksiders – Â£14.99
This game will very quickly feel familiar as it references and is influenced by countless other great games. Itâ€™s like all your favourite weapons (re-imagined swords, boomerangs, crossbows etc) and combat systems (button prompt halos for finishing moves) mixed in a big bag of beautiful rage! You play War! What is he good for? Well, smashing and slashing demons! You are outraged as you stand falsely accused of messing in Heaven and Hells affairs and seek revenge using the best named sword in the world ever â€“ the massive Chaoseater with which you can strike your enemies down and there are loads of disgruntled baddies waiting to have a go! You can exchange collected souls to unlock an even massiver scythe and a more massive gauntlet later on, plus you can upgrade your special abilities and armour. There are some puzzle rooms to break up the relentless, blood gushing pace in the 15 hour single player mode. The overall presentation is colourful, smooth and impressive with ravaged cities and cathedrals to explore whilst the demons die in gruesomely spectacular fashion. Not the most innovative game out there but a harmonious blend of other games you like and one hell of a good show!
Mini Ninjas – Â£14.99
A big linear adventure for Hiro, a small Ninja, who with his four fighting friends â€“ who you also get to play â€“ sets off to fight an evil Samurai Warlord. This if course means there are lots of magical Samurai army bods to stealthily dispose of. Each mini ninja has their own unique fighting style and weapon and part of the fun is swapping between characters just to see what they do. In fact the whole game looks great with the rich colours perfectly conveying the passage of time on their journey. Hunt around shrines and hidden paths to unlock spells that control nature or animals if you like but being a ninja is all about sneaking around in the grass or on rooftops then unleashing deadly projectiles onto your opponent. In combat you have a strong main attack and a weaker second attack and both are pretty simple to execute whilst the enemies are easily overcome but it doesnâ€™t stop this being a tidy little game. I like it.
Add-Ons and this week, youâ€™re gonna need a bigger wardrobe:
Test Drive Unlimited 2
Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano China Edition â€“ 80MP
In a game that is all about excessive customisation and luxury, this pack is the daddy. Not only do you get a very limited edition Ferrari with a pearly porcelain paint colour complete with red leather interior but you get an exclusive leather jacket for your avatar as a freebie! All I got free with my last new car was a tree shaped air-fresher… How the other half live. You can have it all for only 80MP!
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Sang Bleu â€“ 80MP
If the recent weather has been making you feel a little off colour recently, or you didnâ€™t get any Valentine cards, express yourself with this steely, carbon fibre Bugatti with midnight blue two-tone finish. Lavish property, clothing and cars always cheer me up so don your matching free leather jacket and hit the singles highway baby!
Mass Effect 2:
The Alternate Appearance Pack 2 â€“ 160MP
Genetically modified ladies first; Miranda gets some bad girl black Cerberus armor which should suit her cold nature whilst Super Soldier Grunt gets some Krogan-built, bullet proof plating that literally weighs a tonne. Finally, this pack also allows the treacherous Tali to get her envirosuit upgraded. Never has fighting the Collectors been so â€˜On-Trendâ€™.
Zombie Sausages â€“ 80MP
From the same team behind Nice Try which I highlighted back in August comes a crazy mash up of deadly food. I love Zombie games and this is crazy. German developer Magma 2280 doesnâ€™t need to explain why some of these walking dead sausages are wearing skirts and sunglasses and lipstick but this simple shoot â€˜em up is great fun! Sausages are literally everywhere, crowding the streets in their bid to take over the world â€“ itâ€™s a little disturbing to see them taking over a fast food joint. Gather all your vegetarian strength and enjoy blasting pork bodies all over the screen.
Battle High â€“ 80MP
Fans of Super Street Fighter or Blaz Blue pay attention! This is retro-fuelled 2D fighting game is a real bargain for battlers. Set in a special school for kids who have elemental powers, you can play one of 8 students battling for justice against bully gang â€œThe Rivalsâ€ whose reign of terror on fellow students is about to come to an abrupt end! There are of course special moves like fireballs etc but the combos are the real draw and are full on ridiculous! The option of assigning actions to whichever button you choose makes it adaptable and addictive whilst dash cancelling out of moves and leaping into others is great fun â€“ try it in mid air for some impressive chain jump kicks. Thereâ€™s a challenge mode to try out said combos which works pretty well and overall Matt DeLucas of Mattrified Games has produced a little gem here and perhaps initiated the start of a new wave of great value fighting titles on XBLIG.
N.B. on the XBL marketplace, this game may appear as Battle High: San Bruno but is in fact Battle High: Elemental Revolt. Either way, itâ€™s worth the 80MP!
Enjoy your week! SWALK from GGUK!