• It’s been a great number of years since Tekken 6, although it wasn’t the last instalment it was the last story related game in Namco Bandai’s hit franchise. Last night marked the return to a more story focused game, stepping away from the hustle and bustle of the dream matches TTT2 presented. Although it was not official many knew T7 was on its way due to a leak earlier on in the day and Harada addressed it as such. Asking for the crowd to pretend they didn’t see it and get hype after the trailer.

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vLHR9zg-Ug%5D

    On inspection the trailer contains Heiachi, Kazuya and Kazumi for sure but what’s more interesting is what we didn’t see. Another interesting point is the big bit that said “The Final Battle”. Does this mean it’s the last entry in the Tekken Series or the last battle for the Mishimas? This is the first in-game appearance of Kazumi, Kazuya’s mother who we had only seen previously in the Tekken animated Movie. I’m hopeful this is a sign that we will see some new and fresh faces in the Tekken roster to compliment the story and potentially a new move set to figure out. Kazumi is also seen addressing an unknown figure, could this to be a new character or is she providing the story another member of the Mishima clan? Kazumi also addressed her powers being present in Kazuya, hopefully this means a new awakened Kaz with some new moves. The battle worn veteran’s play style has become a trade mark of the series and a benchmark for execution. It would be revolutionary to see a change in his style, then again this could simply be a reference to the Devil Gene (implying that Kasumi has some sort of Devil form too).

    anniversarySpeaking of the Mishimas if we pay close attention to the trailer we catch a glimpse of Jinpachi rising from the ashes in what appears to be some sort of flashback and is closely followed by what looks to be Devil Jin. Could we see a whole array of God Fists again in Tekken or is Harada merely teasing us? This could be the battle of Mishima in which they all fight to the death in the reoccurring volcano in the Tekken series.

    What’s more interesting is the way in which Harada did approach this subject. Insinuating this wasn’t the announcement he had planned, so what could the other potential announcement be? Here’s hoping we hear a little more about the now near vaporware T x SF. The great news is that we only need to wait until July 25th at the San Diego Comic Con to find out more! Dorya!

  • Team17 have once again added to the ridiculous, hilarious and absurdly insane franchise that is Worms. For those who have never played a Worms game (hard to believe, I know), it is an artillery based strategy game, in which players must battle each other using an array of devastating weaponry that rely on timing, trajectory and power. Worms Battlegrounds, a ported version of Worms Clan Wars(PC) for next generation consoles, doesn’t differ much from the standard equation by giving the player a whacky arsenal of firepower to play with and a near limitless amount of randomised landscapes in which to use said arsenal. Much like its predecessor on last gen consoles (Worms Revolution), it implements the use of water and object based physics in which to drown and clobber the opposition.

    Worms Battlegrounds offers three different modeWorms Battlegrounds Maps to compete in: Story, Worm Ops and Versus.The story sees the player being recruited by Miss Lady Pinkle, a crypt robber and entrepreneur. Questing the player on a journey to defeat the evil Lord Crowley-Mesmer and prevent him from enslaving all of wormkind. The campaign itself takes place in the World History Museum and spanning across several exhibits from the early prehistoric era through to the industrial age, consisting of 5 stages; Prehistoric, Viking, Incan Empire, Feudal Japan and the Industrial Revolution. These landscapes encapsulate a total of 25 missions over the course of the campaign. Unfortunately the majority of these missions are linear, tutorial based stages telling the player how to use specific pieces of equipment and where to use them. These stages often dull down the A.I controlled worms for the benefit of the player while they ease into the game and sometimes halting the A.I completely, stopping them from attacking the player. I can understand that it wouldn’t be so bad if these tutorials took place over a couple mission but this trend doesn’t let up until the player is about 3/4 of the way through the story. I feel as though I’ve been taken on a virtual tour of this fictional World History Museum rather than immersing myself in a game of good ol’ fashioned Worms.

    Worm Ops is the challenge mode of Worms Battleground, featuring 10 Individual unconnected missions varying in difficulty and style. Some missions will have the player negotiating landscapes filled with deadly contraptions in order to reach their goal or be given a limited amount of weapons at their disposal to defeat overwhelming odds. Also, the player is ranked on how fast they complete each mission. The faster the task is completed the more stars they will earn for that mission. Worm Ops is a good change in pace from the campaign, as it lets the player think for themselves and doesn’t hinder them with constant “go here”, “do that” mission directives. But instead encourages the player to utilise their abilities and understanding of the games mechanics to complete increasingly difficult challenges.

    Versus is where Worms BWorms Bananasattlegrounds is at its best. Indulging in some friendly – or unfriendly – head to head, locally or online. There’s not much better than wreaking mayhem on the opposing team by using Armageddon to unleash an airstrike of meteors from above. The only thing better than Armageddon is watching your friend’s face drop as you crush them with a concrete donkey, while their worms go hurtling 100 feet in the air and drop to their demise. If facing off against your friends is too hard to handle then why not team up? Clan forming is one of the franchises newest additions. Players can now jump online and team up to take to the world leaderboards, besting a set amount of clans online will permit your clan to enter a division and climb your way to the top. Clan leaders can also customise their clan logo to reflect the team; slap on a Banana Bomb sticker to show the world your clan means business.

    Customisation is still as important as ever this time around, after all what is “Worms” without the quirky voices and hilarious quips? Although not offering much in the way of variance since Worms Revolution the content still remains just as funny. Adorning your worms with silly hairdos, moustaches, helmets and glasses will help your team become more unique. The more outlandish the better. Still included is the variety of voices you can choose from for your worms. Notable humorous voices such as the Angry Scot and Rastafarian are still a part of the Worms sound bank, along with newer additions like the “Memes” voiceover which will have your worms blurting out the worlds most popular memes phrases.

    Worms Battlgrounds outfits

    Another new feature to be included in Worms Battlegrounds is the Landscape Creator. A quick and easy level creator that allows you to create and share your own works of art with the world. With simple tools this editor is for all ages but can be awkward to handle on a console remote. The creator shares similarities with, I hate to say it, Microsoft Paint. The tools at the creator’s disposal consists of brush and line tools to help craft the landscape and a fill tool to help cover larger areas. The creator isn’t exactly that sophisticated, but with a little time and effort your patience can pay off.

    Worms Battlegrounds is still an entertaining and fun game, to say the least. Hours upon hours of your time can be invested in the online and offline versus mode with never a dull moment to be had. Worms Battlegrounds does have the same lasting feeling it’s predecessors had. However, if you’re a player who’s looking for a  new Worms game with a good single player experience then perhaps it’s best you give Worms Battlegrounds a miss and opt for an earlier, and cheaper, iteration of Worms instead.

    3 Cluster Bombs out of 5

  • As E3 winds down the avid gamers who speculated and scrutinised every bit of the conference are just getting fired up. For me, I would say Mortal Kombat has stolen the show. The ingenuity of the fighting system and the new characters have me all kinds of excited.

    First of all we were teased Pre-E3 with a glorious cinematic trailer. Hints of interactive scenery, new specials and X-Ray moves were all showcased in one way or another. It was an exciting time be a fan of the most brutal fighter on the market. What’s more exciting is that both of the series most iconic characters were sporting new gear. Sub-Zero’s and Scorpion’s new outfit are shaping up pretty damn good, although I do think Sub-Zero looks like his head is slightly too small.

    Following that was another new trailer the next day with some awesome looking new characters and the confirmation of a lot of pieces that had been speculated from the cinematic trailer. I was frothing at the mouth. For the first time we could see Sub-Zero make use of his ice clone by throwing it at somebody as well as creating some bad*ss ice weapons to boot. There was so much information to get lost in with the trailer. We even got a brief glimpse of four new characters, which have since been elaborated on. Even if it was just for those split seconds, we saw a Mayan God, a towering behemoth accompanied by a small child-like companion, the love child of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade and an insect queen to boot. There was just so much to see. Hell there even looks like there could be a run button, ex-styled moves and multiple play styles.

    The next day was a chance to see game play footage and the confirmation that each player would have multiple different styles. That means old characters return with a new set of moves we have never seen before and completely rejuvenated abilities based on their different play styles. Ed Boon has stated that each character will have three different styles that will grant them access to different moves. This could be in the shape of an aggressive rush down moves and strings/ a more defensive play style with fireballs and zoning/ or a more character specific type of move set that enables the to play in another way.

    The new characters look great. For once they aren’t just new ninjas in a new colour. The are a new, diverse cast of characters with an array of varied moves.

    Firstly we have D’Vorah who utilises insect swarms and poisoned based attacks. D’Vorah looks like a mix between Thane from Mass Effect and Syndra from Killer Instinct. Although she looks vaguely familiar there is a lot to love about her style. She can sacrifice damage to inflict poison damage as well as using projectiles to zone out other characters.

    maxresdefault29445.jpg29445-640x360Next is Cassie Cage, the daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade and combines the best of what each character has to offer. Cassie can use a mid range gun move and Ed Boon has reported that the Hollywood play style gives her a sweet pair of shades. Like father like daughter, eh?

    Ferra and Torr are the new grapplers in the game; the dynamic duo consists of a hulking giant with a small girl on his back. The play styles available even let you play without Torr and become a more grapple centric character with a greater damage output. When working with Torr however Ferra can use her as a projectile and go for team up attacks.

    Finally we have the Mayan Kotal Khan, because there aren’t enough K’s to be found in Mortal Kombat. Kotal Khan has some really cool mechanics, including the ability to summon different totems on screen to give him buffs and the ability to summon a healing ray of light for himself that burns the opposition. During the trailer we also seen some brutal moves he can pull off.

    MortalKombatX_Kotal_Scorpion_SnowForest_Choke-610x343Competitively these new additions add masses of depth to an already match-up specific game. There will hopefully be no bad character match ups, only issues with the variation you choose. It will mean that high level players might not have specific pocket characters but have their own style and preference of variation that will diversify them from the rest. The amount you will need to learn might seem overwhelming but I for one can’t wait to sink my teeth into the roster and everything it has to offer.

    Ed Boon as usual has teased us to no end with tidbits of information, new characters and even a newish logo, delivered with great enthusiasm and love for the series. It’s these kinds of things that keep us fighting game fans interested. Overall the game looks more fluid and insanely fun in every aspect. The bone crunching madness is even coming to next gen consoles and will hopefully maximise what they have to offer.

  • “Welcome to the Future” are the first words uttered in RedLynx’s recent instalment, Trials Fusion. Accompanied by the harmonics of electronic beats it leads into a memorable but somewhat cheesy opening soundtrack. Coupled with the bright and polished visuals the player is able to visualise the world they are about to traverse and conquer.

    Fusion_Multiplayer_SupercrossTrials Fusion is the fourth in a series of physics based motorcycle games focused on obtaining the fastest time possible through a series of daring tracks which get progressively harder with each successful medal the player earns. The categories for these medals are your standard Bronze, Silver and Gold each with varying requirements in time and how many times the player bailed. Alongside the standard medals is an additional Platinum medal which can be earned by those who complete the game and wish to re-task themselves with trying to get the fastest times all over again. These medals usually require the player to get incredibly fast times and zero faults.

    This time round there is a dim but present story conveyed to the player at several key points throughout each track by two AI announcers. The female (friendly) announcer more or less encourages the player to move forward, keep trying and not give up while the second male (antagonising) announcer continually tells the player to turn back or die, as well as saying some nonsensical statements about your surrounding environment.

    Fusion_Single_TurbineTerrorThe tracks themselves are oriented around the futuristic theme of the game and the majority consist of neon infused skylines, cities and factories. Out-with these are a generic mix of grassland, snow and desert levels each accompanied with their own futuristic constructions which sometimes seem to contrast with the surrounding environment. A pristine white building in the middle of a blistering desert just feels slightly out-of-place to me. Each stage consists of 5 or more tracks made up from your standard trials tracks, FMX trial track and a skill game to top it all off. The tracks in each stage get progressively harder until you hit the extreme difficulty tracks which will require the player to have “Ninja” like skills to complete, otherwise they will just have you shouting and screaming and the TV until your body gives way.

    In addition to the incremental increase in difficulty, tracks now offer up to three challenges each. Challenges are a new addition to Trials Fusion to help increase replayability of each and every track and adds a new spin on the traditional point A to point B excursion. Challenges can usually be categorised into three distinct sets. The first being trick based, having the player perform a desired/multiple tricks before they hit the finish line. The second is for exploration, tasking the player with finding hidden secrets by jettisoning their rider to out-of-bounds areas or pressing switches placed throughout the track. The final category is based on player skill, meaning the player will have to attempt part of a level or even a full level without leaning on the bike or letting go of the accelerator, other times the player may be required to avoid certain obstacles while navigating the track. Each challenge offers an EXP bonus for leveling up. The harder the challenge the bigger the reward.

    Fusion_Single_ArcticAs the player overcomes the increasingly difficult tracks and with the completion of the track challenges they will quickly progress in rank with each rank rewarding the player with either a big wad of cash or the unlocking of a new outfit or bike body kit. The money the player earns can be used to purchase these previously unlocked outfits and parts, but only add to the aesthetics of the character and bike rather than performance and durability. It is still fun none the less to dress your character in outlandish gear ranging from the Outsiders outfit -which makes the rider look like a bandit reject from a Mad Max film- to the dredd-esque Enforcer outfit. Those who purchased Trials Frontier and obtained the relevant gold medals on each specified track will have access to the Dashing Hero costume fashioned after the late dare-devil Evel Knievel. The customisation options for the motorbikes this time round are limited at best. Purchasing new body kits and wheel rims slightly alters the look of your bike but none so elaborate that you’ll see any real difference or that will blow you away, especially when you’re going to be destroying the bike more than half of the time anyway. One of the newest and most noticeable additions to the roster of bikes is the TKO-PANDA quad bike, which is a heavy but speedy behemoth used to traverse the desert portions of the game. Unfortunately these are limited to a minimum of five out of the sixty tracks meaning the player is confined to the predetermined tracks built for the quad making this new addition feel underused; unless the player decides to explore online.

    Trials-Fusion-featuredThe same can be said for the newly added FMX trials which introduce a trick system to spice things up a bit. The trick system consists of the user pushing the right analogue stick in a given direction to alter the position of the rider, in conjunction with the angle at which the bikes at, to perform various tricks. Unlike how easy it sounds, it is rather awkward in practice. The game offers the player a tutorial to help them get to grips with the trick system by placing them in a wind tunnel and telling them to perform the trick seen on the monitor behind the rider, the problem here is that the trick itself isn’t conveyed to the player properly. Arrows on-screen tell the player how the rider is supposed to be positioned for the trick to be successful, but I often found myself confused as to whether I was to do the exact movement the tutorial was telling me -with the right stick- or this was simply how my rider was to move to get into that position. This resulted in me doing semi-circles with the right stick to find the right position, rather than get to that appropriate angle first time. Once the player has successfully completed the tutorial they can then venture into one of the FMX trials tracks to try out their newly acquired “skills”. These tracks are mainly a series of jumps where the player can, with enough airtime, perform tricks to add to their point total and increase their multiplier. The timer for the traditional trials level has been replaced by a point counter in the FMX tracks meaning the player can essentially take their time to understand the track and know what to do next, without fear of losing a medal grade.

    As there is limited selection of tracks for the quad bike, there is also a limited amount of FMX trials tracks. Thankfully, for myself, this is a blessing. As I ventured into the more difficult levels of Trials Fusion I found that the FMX trials became more and more aggravating, not because the tracks themselves became harder and more complex; which they did not, but because the desired amount of points to earn a gold medal had increased. This meant I had to become more familiar with a system that I had already started to dislike back in its given tutorial stage. The harder tracks only differ in point total and not complexity, giving the player 4 to maybe 5 jumps to gain the desired score and hit the finish line all while not faulting to keep your multiplier at its limit. While trying to perform tricks more often than not I found myself being thrown around by my bike, like a dog playing with a chew toy. It must be said that this was by fault of my own as trying to perform a combo of tricks and flips before my face inevitably hit the ground proved difficult, as my riders limp body flailed in mid-air trying to reposition himself on his bike. Your riders physics based movements make performing and landing tricks a task and not fun or rewarding, and your riders body parts can easily get tangled round the handle bars or a stray foot find itself lodged in the bikes wheel. I can’t help but feel that if tricks were performed by the press of a button instead of a flick of the analog stick that this new feature might actually be easier let alone fun.

    trials-fusion-17-04-2014-2For players who have conquered Trials Fusion’s main career mode and are still itching for more trials fun then they can visit Track Central, home of the creative and ever lasting trials addicts. Track Central allows players to view and download tracks that the community has created and where you can share your own. Tracks created by the community tend to be more inventive and original than that of the actual career tracks that were designed for the game if I’m being honest. The Track creator has had a slight few changes since the last iteration in the trials franchise. Mainly the addition of large structures, such as skyscrapers, refinery’s and other large buildings. These all focus on verticality rather than complexity, and the result is fewer small, cluttering objects. Creating a variety of expansive and complex tracks is more viable this time round, as the editor lets you fit more on the screen at once without the issue of performance loss. The editor map has several distinct areas allowing players to create tracks with their preferred environment (Snow, Desert, Grassland, Industrial, City and Jungle).

    Multiplayer was a huge concern with Trials Evolution in that the online multiplayer tended to suffer from severe amounts of lag, drawing players away from the online multiplayer aspect altogether leaving the lobbies vacant. In Trials Fusion however the online Multiplayer has been completely removed, focusing solely on local play, with up to 4 friends competing on the same console. It has been mentioned by RedLynx that the online multiplayer will be returning at some point but there has been no news thus far of when this will be.

    Ultimately Trials Fusion is, as it ever will be, a Trials game. RedLynx has provided us with more than a quick detour as Trials Fusion is filled with all the content that came before and more. Offering up new challenges and features keeps us entertained, and the unlimited supply of tracks via Track Central ensures that the game will never die. Trials Fusions downfall is that of the new FMX trials. It is an unnecessary addition to a game still provides the player with the same fun factor as its predecessors without it.

    4 awkward tricks pulled out of 5

  • Paying to be better than others has always existed in gaming to an extent, although not in the sense we have grown these days. It used to exist in the form, and still does, of pre-purchasing and importing games to practice and get better at them before their actual release on the sunny shores of the UK (or where ever you live). There are even some instances in which you can be fortunate enough to shop around or spend some extra dough to get games early from retailers in the UK too, although that’s occasionally risky, under-the-counter business that we only whisper to one another about for fear of reprisal.

    LOL3It’s frustrating to say the least. I find myself struggling to keep up with the in crowd when it comes to specific games because they managed to get that Japanese PS3 specific import months before I had, or managed to buy one of the finite few the local independent retailer had access to. Even time zones can dramatically impact the few steps some countries manage to stay ahead. In fact this occasionally has a hilarious outcome, like the near breakdown of a well known British journalist on Games Master over Super Mario 64 many eons ago.

    Although that is not what I am here to discuss. Today’s bugbear is microtransactions; an ever growing trend in gaming and one that often makes it possible to succeed through spending more money. The latest addition to the pantehon of pay-to-win games is another EA game too. Surprise surprise right?

    pvz_headerPlants verse Zombies: Garden Warfare has leapt in to the fray proclaiming that they are almost doing you a favour by allowing you to purchase the in-game currency used to buy random packs in the bid to unlocking new characters. Previously these new characters were hard to acquire and took a lot of time and investment, adding value to the progression. These characters were obviously stronger than others and they took a lot of time and patience to unlock. Now if you have enough money you can skip the grind and essentially pay for superior characters.

    Microtransactions are definitely the thing of importance in free to play games, but to add them to games that we have already paid a fair amount seems like another sucker punch on our wallets. Personally I feel that League of Legends offers a great value proposition, as although you can buy champions which leave you ahead, they are frequently available for free and on deals based on a cycle. Even the currency in League is easily accumulated and paying for a specific champion doesn’t give an instant upper hand (arguably) and anything that you can only purchase with money is purely aesthetic.

    Hearthstone1This is where I have a small issue with Hearthstone. Yes you can earn everything, but the amount of time it takes to grind out card is insanely arduous. Completing daily challenges and then going to the arena or buying packs takes a dramatic amount of time longer and you are still facing a 1 in 100 chance of pulling a legendary which isn’t necessarily the one you want. There is also the argument that you don’t needs these legendary cards to win, but the most common decks do utilise at least one and are comprised of some other rare cards that fall just short of legendary. Whereas you can always take a gamble and spend £50 on cards and hope for the best, you will inevitably build up enough dust and obtain many of the key cards in the process, which make it easier to build decks to grind out daily challenges fast and inevitably you will get a much greater lead on the opposition.

    Ultimately companies need to make money in some way and paying to win is obviously one approach. People do like winning after all, but it kills competition and for me personally it puts me off a game completely. I definitely won’t be going back to PvZ now, but so long as people are willing to pay to get ahead companies will find a way to shoehorn in a way to exploit it.

  • Meta is deeply engrained in all facets of competitive gaming. It is what drives competitive play and keeps the game alive beyond the purely superficial level.

    street-fighter-2-ryu-endingThe term meta is a prefix that originally meant “after” or “beyond”. In broad terms the meta in games is something existential in it’s origins and is developed outwith the game . Meta is something that is perpetuated beyond the actual game and can be found in its community. Different areas have different “meta” and the culmination of communities can create a whole new meta entirely.

    Prime examples of meta can be found as paradigms in competitive gaming. In fact a great example of such is very prevalent in Hearthstone, where different servers have slightly tweaked meta in regards to decks and play styles. This meta is what drives the community to figure out new tactics, optimum decks and creates a sort of counter-meta to dictate how the game will evolve.

    The issue with meta in a game that doesn’t have updates and is regularly supported is that a meta can become stale and the same teams come to dominant places in tournaments. For instance in Marvel Versus Capcom 2 it transpired that certain characters were so much better that shells were built around them and more than 80% of the roster didn’t get any playtime in competitive scenes. The meta based around this was to have a good assist character; mainly Psylocke, Cyclops, Sentinel or Captain Commando, coupled along side a god tier character such as Magneto, Storm and Sentinel. Inevitably the game boiled down to two team compositions of Magneto/Storm/Psylocke and Magneto/Storm/Sentinel due to their strength, with very few players breaking the mold. There were a few excpetions, with unique teams like Clockwork’s team or DucDo’s team, but those were a true testament to the effort and dedication of these players. This meta developed over a course of 10 years though.

    UMVC2Following a meta allows you to dominate the vast majority of people or at least play competitively, but you will find that those who dictate and predict meta are truly ahead of the curve and remain dominant. For instance in the current meta for Hearthstone you will find that in reasonably high level play, Hunter decks make up for about 60% of the populace and the rest is mainly dominated by Warlock decks and the odd Shaman and Rogue deck. It will be those who find counter decks and tweak the current decks to perfection that make it to “Legend” ranking. These decks became strong because those who developed them truly understood the current meta and found a way to counteract it and change it, arguably, for the better. As these decks become popular you will find that those who started the trend of Kolento hunter decks and Warlock decks will already be thinking through there next deck to counter them and looking to the next update to adjust their decks to remain on top form.

    To stop a meta becoming stale or reaching an inevitable conclusion developers like Blizzard and Riot balance their games based on seasons. Each season bringing a wave of changes that adjust perceived overpowered items and rebalancing to make competitive play more even. This is usually accompanied with a new competitive season. Leagues of Legends is currently in its fourth season with fixes and balancing going on all the time with new champions being added and items being slightly tweaked. I had stopped playing around the time of season 2 and even then I wasn’t a big player, but I could see massive differences made and a new meta of sorts emerging when I came back recently to play in season 4.

    LOLTo truly dominate a game you have to go beyond the meta, no matter how hard that may seem. This starts with a truly solid understanding of how the meta came to be and why it is as such. This goes beyond understanding what specific things do and branches out in to the mentality of the community. Understanding those cooks who run odd cards in Hearthstone or play odd AP champs in League or even unfamiliar teams in UMvC3 is vital because they may be on to something you weren’t aware of, or they are just as barmy as their decisions.

    I love the emergent meta in games. It’s a thing of beauty, but in a modern age I struggle to keep up with it. The internet and forums are full of conspiracy and gossip, and theory fighters are already predicting the next meta in Hearthstone based on cards that aren’t even out yet. Meanwhile, games like UMvC3 have already boiled down to some very finite shells in such a short period that I feel the life is slowly being drained from them.

    There’s always more to discover though. The true game begins beyond the Meta.


    When Bruce Lee considered the meta of kung fu (for him it was Wing Chung) he found it to be too rigid. Effective but fragile, easily defeated by those who were creative and flexible. Reactive. So he created his own system. His own meta. Jeet Kun Do. Let Bruce Lee be your inspiration. Be like water. Move beyond the meta.


  • You can find Part 1 here.


    Welcome back to the game soundtrack hall of fame. It’s been a week and we have debated the pros and cons of our favourite tracks in to the depths of the night once again in a bid to find the best of the best.

    Tony Hawk Pro Skater (Series):

    As a youth and malleable youth I sought out new music in the games that I played, a high bpm and a variety of different genres was the ideal. So naturally I would gravitate to Tony Hawk’s for my musical kicks, where else could you hear Powerman 5000 and Dub Pistols in the same soundtrack? There is a great mix of funk, rap, punk rock and metal spread across all the games and I find it hard to pick one specific game that really captures all the songs that I like because I love them all. I still listen to the same music today and I doubt I would have ever have even given any of the bands a look in if it weren’t for the wonderful folk at Activision.

    Highlights: We the People – Lateef the Truthspeaker, Superman – Goldfinger, Peace Frog – The Doors, 96 Quite Bitter Beings – CKY


    Final Fantasy series:

    I struggle to come up with words that haven’t been used to describe Nobuo Uematsu’s music from the Final Fantasy series. In my opinion, no one creates music to fit a theme or feeling better than he does. From Aeries’ quiet and melodic wander through the flowers of the church to the hugely dynamic ranged opening from Final Fantasy VIII, Uematsu has proven that music written specifically for the material in the game can immerse you deeply in its content and that he is the master of it.
    They don’t have concerts with full orchestral performances solely with Final Fantasy music for nothing!

    Highlights: Aeries’ Theme from VII, Lindblum from IX, Bombing Mission from VII



    Mass Effect Trilogy:

    The soundtracks of the Mass Effect Trilogy are often cast aside as a
    bunch of bleeps and bloops but they are much more than just that; they are bleeps and bloops in an orchestral score that adds so much to the science-fiction identity of the franchise. From the moment you meet your Shepard on board the Normandy to the shocking climax of Mass Effect 3, the soundtrack does not only accompany to the stories and gameplay – it enhances them.

    Highlights: Saren, Suicide Mission, An End Once and For All.


    SSX Tricky:

    Not only was this soundtrack the perfect mix of licensed and original music, but the placement of it was genius. Each song was paired to specific tracks to build atmosphere and also had the ability to change based on how you rode the track, all thanks to the stylings of Mix Master Mike.

    Highlights: It’s Tricky – Run DMC, Board Burner – Mix Master Mike, Peaktime – Rasmus, Gin & Sin – John Morgan


    The Persona series:

    It’s difficult to describe Persona’s music without doing it injustice (seriously just listen to it) but I guess you could start by saying it’s an eclectic mix of funky hip hop, poppy harmonies, rhythmic horns, groovy jazz and soothing melodies. There’s also adrenaline pumping battle music.
    The music of Persona 3&4 is also integral to the game. Spending your days hanging out with friends, going to school or trying to catch a date wouldn’t be complete without it’s soundtrack. There’s an almost rhythmic feel as you click your way through conversations and battles to the games brilliant music. Expertly written and taps into the very core of Persona.

    Highlights: Mass Destruction (Persona 3), I Want To Be Close (Persona 3), Joy (Persona 3), Make History (Persona 4 Golden), Backside Of The TV (Persona 4 Golden), Like a Dream Come True (Persona 4 Golden)

  • ThumbnailIt all started with Demon Souls, a formidable and unforgiving beast, on the Playstation 3. Unfortunately it was a game I had very little exposure too but generated a lot of interest around the hardcore gaming […]

  • Original soundtracks in games are some of the most vital contributors to our gaming experiences. When we’re growing up, they can influence and shape our taste in music, and as a mature player they make us emote […]

  • ThumbnailWelcome back to another guide on Hearthstone by Calm Down Tom. This time round we look at tips to really bolster your decks and your understanding of Hearthstone.

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