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Games

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I literally had to place my Nintendo 3DS into a different room just to write this. I tend to do this with most things in my life that are extremely addictive; gadgets, toys, even cute pets if they keep giving me googly eyes whilst I’m trying to work (I love them really). Super Smash Brothers has arrived in portable form for the first time in the West and it’s insanely similar to the fast paced action known from the Wii and Game Cube versions. This is a successful dangerous combo: everything we know from Super Smash Brothers and it being playable on the move.

Why all the hype?

The Super Smash Brothers games have been utterly successful internationally over the many years dating back to its first release on the Nintendo 64 in 1999. Mascots, heroes and villains from all eras on the Nintendo thrown into battle, what more could you ask for from an all stars brawler? Fast forward to the current day and we’ve seen more 50 characters grace our screens. From retro familiar faces like Mario, Zelda and Metroid’s Samus, to the current day characters like the Villager you play in Animal Crossing and even the Wii Fit Trainer. So why all the hype? Well the games have a huge following in tournaments, it’s charm and roster goes down well with gamers of all ages and my personal preference, its accessibility for gamers at whatever skill.

Super Smash Brothers on the 3DS feels great to play as a handheld fighting game. Even though there’s less buttons to use in comparison to using the Game Cube’s controller you’ll still have full control to dominate the battlefield. This, as well as the same characters that will be in the Wii U version released soon and the fact it’s portable is the main reason why this game is spot on and pretty much the reason we’ve all been excited for it.

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The many features

There are various features in this game that’ll be favourable to different players. There’s literally a brawl mode for every occasion; Smash, for a quick battle against the A.I or other local players; Online, if you prefer to play distant friends or strangers across the globe using the 3DS’s Wi-fi; Smash Run, the new mode for collecting power-ups and facing familiar Nintendo foes before battling your rivals; as well as a host of many other game modes such as the classic Stadium challenges and the All-Star mode. I played through each and every mode before writing this review and I must say that when I tire of one mode there’s always something else that would keep me interested within the same game. This is pretty impressive as other fighting games on the market rarely offer more than a handful of additional things to do other than duking it out.

The traditional story mode that most fighting games have isn’t here however. The previous outing ‘Brawl’ on the Wii had a fantastic story where we followed the game from several fighters’ perspectives that fought and traversed across platformer stages. This is something I thought I would have missed more than I did but I certainly couldn’t ask for any more than we already have. In it’s place we have the Classic solo mode where you pick your player, choose the intensity of the matches as a wager balancing option for more prizes, follow a path which you can choose who you want to fight next and then take on the Master Hand boss. Fancy a harder challenge? Simply up the wager which boosts the difficulty, choose the paths with the most coins for harder fights which will also include Master Hand and Crazy Hand, two bosses which turns into several ghost-like incarnations including your own character with a bigger pay off if you survive.

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Mii Fighters

I’d say my favourite new feature has to be the ability to customise your fighters and the cherry on the cake being the creation of your very own Mii Fighters. Choosing your 3DS profile’s Mii you can literally have your head on a fighter’s body. With the option to choose the Brawler, Sword Fighter or Gunner fighting type for your Mii you can choose one of three moves for each of the special attack inputs. For instance I chose a Helicopter kick over an Uppercut for my brawler fighting to fit into my fighting preference. Whilst playing through the game you’ll unlock additional outfits and headwear for them to fight making your Mii Fighter more unique to you when you play locally or online.

Furthermore, the option to change your Mii fighters’ and other character’s strengths is now an option for the first time in the series. Tweaking their Attack, Defence and Speed using a combination of unlockable equipment is a fun new customisable feature. But beware; adding vast amounts of one thing lowers something else to keep a balance. So my Sword Fighter Mii might have boosted Attack and Defence but my overall Speed suffers thus making this character slower and heavier. You can do the same with the already perfectly balanced traditional fighters but you’ll find that default would always triumph for all rounder reasons.

Playing with others

Now we all know that we have more fun when we can play with other humans, well some of us anyways. And playing Super Smash Brothers couldn’t be any easier with quick navigations to find exactly what you need. If you fancy a quick game with up to 4 of your local friends you’d simply hit the Group option and either host a game or join them from the list. The same applies to the Smash Run mode, choose the group option and connect. Want to play over the internet with friends? It’s pretty much the same as before after you just connect. I have to admit that the choice to play with others as opposed to your friend did have the better game modes. As well as spectating you can choose to fight For Fun, which includes playing with items on every stage, or For Glory, which is the core battling gameplay without items, simplified stages, optional 1-on-1 fights and access to your fighting records for bragging rights.

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Everything else

The game has some other options for you to get excited about other than the main game modes. StreetPass on the 3DS will allow you to play a mini game with collected data from other players who have passed you by. You’ll collect their profile in token form and will be able to play an air hockey type game where you’ll have to knock their token off the stage by moving your piece with the analogue stick and attacking with the A button. The Wii U has its own tab for when Super Smash Brothers is release on that format so you can use the 3DS as a controller or exchange your custom fighters from the console. Trophy Rush is available as another mini game to destroy falling blocks to earn prizes which is surprisingly addictive and difficult for some less agile characters.

The Stadium is home to the returning Home-Run Contest mode, the new Target Blast equivalent and Multi-Man Smash that features 6 more variants within. What more could you ask for? Replays and Screenshot snaps are available too to capture your most epic moments to share or save to your SD card in your picture album.

Verdict

At first getting to grips with the analogue stick on the 3DS is a little strange at first especially after using the Wii’s Nunchuck stick. I found at times when I’m not concentrating on the inputs I’ve mistakenly done a Up/Diagonal direction instead of Right/Left which, for a game that requires precision and accuracy, has lost me a few games. But with practise I’ve curbed this issue and I do it less but it’ll always be there waiting for me to slip up whilst using this stick. I’ve rarely had any lag whilst playing locally or online which brings a huge smile to my face. I’d have thought other than the Smash fighting mode online there’d at least be the option to play some of the other local modes such as Smash Run, All-Star or Multi-Man modes online too which is a shame.

Other than this I must say I’ve very impressed that Super Smash fits into this handheld console. I was genuinely debating with myself whether to get it solely for the Wii U as I wanted a fast paced game that looked great and I can play with my friends online. Now I have all the above with the ability to leave my home and play on the go with the option to play locally too. This is defiantly the definition of perfection.

The next multiplayer map for Call of Duty Advanced Warfare has been revealed and its called RETREAT and we got some hands-on with it.

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Set in the year 2054, the game will pit players in a future where both technology and tactics have evolved.

Here is RETREAT with the KILL CONFIRMED mode:

And here is RETREAT with the HARDPOINT mode:

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare will be available November 4th.

So what do you think of Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Multiplayer? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Activision recently announced multiplayer details for the new Call of Duty game Advanced Warfare and at Gamescom I sat down with Sledgehammer Games co-founders Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey to talk about it.

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Set in the year 2054, the game will pit players in a future where both technology and tactics have evolved.

Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey are the co-founders of Sledgehammer Games, so over to Glen and Michael:

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare will be available November 4th.

What do you think of the new Call of Duty? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

At Gamescom, Lords of the Fallen from CI Games and Deck 13 was once again shown to both the press and this time to the public, and I spoke with the Executive Producer Tomasz Gop about it.

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In an unforgiving world where no sin is ever forgotten an army of the long-ago defeated god attacks the human realm. You are Harkyn, a convicted criminal who is given a chance at redemption. Released from prison, Harkyn and his mentor, Kaslo, set out on a mission to stop the war.

In his journey, Harkyn will forge strong alliances and face even stronger enemies. He will learn the true power of the Rhogar Lords – commanders of god’s army. He will even bring the battle to the Rhogar, travelling to the heart of the demonic dimension.

Will the god manage to enslave humans again? Is mankind really able to banish evil? Will Harkyn’s sins ever be forgiven?

Tomasz Gop

Tomasz works with a small creative team at the CI Games HQ in Warsaw, Poland. He is ultimately responsible for the project, ensuring that the designers and developers on both teams work towards a consistent vision.

Before entering the games industry, he was a part of the Army’s IT Corps. After that he worked as a Senior Producer on the first two games in The Witcher franchise. He joined CI Games in 2011 to lead the Lords of the Fallen project.

In the interview, Tomasz talks about some of the new things revealed for the game, including the demon realm. Over to Tomasz:

And check out some brand new gameplay below:

Lords of the Fallen will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on October 31st, published in the UK by Square Enix.

What do you think of Lords of the Fallen? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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On August 13th in Cologne EA will be holding their Gamescom 2014 press briefing, and you can watch it right here on Connected Digital World.

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Tune in on August 13 at 10am CET for your chance to get a look at upcoming EA gaming experiences with Battlefield Hardline, Dragon Age: Inquisition, EA SPORTS FIFA 15, The Sims 4, Dawngate and more.

Let us know what you hope they show, and what you think of it by leaving a comment below.

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Today, Disney Interactive officially announced that the lovable, street-smart Aladdin and his one true love, Princess Jasmine, will be entering the Disney Infinity Toy Box 2.0.

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Fans will be able to use these magical characters along with a variety of Disney fan favourites, including the popular Marvel Super Heroes, and hundreds of themed items, locations, props, vehicles and more to create all-new adventures and “whole new worlds” born from the imagination of players.

Key highlights include:

* Aladdin: With a scimitar and a magic lamp at his disposal, Aladdin’s brand of action is the answer to all your Disney Infinity Toy Box 2.0 wishes. You’ll want to seek out this diamond in the rough. A proven fan favourite, Aladdin has consistently been one of the most requested characters since Disney Infinity was released last year.

* Jasmine: From within the walls of the Sultan’s palace in Agrabah, Princess Jasmine leaps into acrobatic action in Toy Box 2.0. With the help of a magic carpet, Jasmine can summon desert winds to keep enemies at bay.

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There will also be Aladdin-themed Power Discs that will enable players to customise their Toy Box experiences. The Power Discs include:

* Jasmine’s Palace View: Transform the Toy Box skyline with this Power Disc and you will feel as if you’re in the land of Agabah.

* The Sands of Agrabah: Transform your Toy Box terrain into the dunes and desert of Agrabah.

* Aladdin’s Magic Carpet: Your wish for flight has been granted. Soar above the Toy Box on Aladdin’s Magic Carpet with this rare Power Disc.

* Rags to Riches: Slip on this Prince Ali costume for added style and increased riches.

Disney’s Aladdin figure will be available in retail stores this Autumn and Jasmine is scheduled for release in early 2015.

Additional Disney and Marvel characters will be announced in the coming months.

We recently review the M.O.J.O. Micro-Console for Android from Mad Catz and now there has been quite a big update.

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Mad Catz and OUYA announced that the OUYA storefront and hundreds of games are now available on the Mad Catz M.O.J.O. Micro-Console for Android. M.O.J.O. owners can now access OUYA’s impressive library, from quirky independent titles like Duck Game and Amazing Frog to established games such as Final Fantasy III and Sonic the Hedgehog.

Announced in March as the first device to feature OUYA, which aims to bring OUYA content to a wide variety of TV-based devices, M.O.J.O. is a $199 Android-based Micro-Console and media player, featuring high-performance hardware and an open software platform that supports a wide variety of gaming and media content. Part of Mad Catz’ GameSmarteco-system of mobile products, M.O.J.O. is compatible with a wide variety of accessories, providing a near endless array of entertainment and productivity uses.

This is all part of a new and FREE firmware update to the Micro-Console which adds 4K (UHD) compatibility and vastly enhanced Google Play access which pretty much removes the need to root your device.

So what are you waiting for, the M.O.J.O. just got even better!

We got invited down to try out some of the announced games from the Nintendo conference at E3.

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From the vast selection I’ve chosen 3 favourites which are all different and offer so much.

I played several rounds of the new Super Smash Bros on the Wii U and the 3DS which featured 20 playable characters at the event. Mario Maker which lets you create and play through your own levels from the classic side scrolling game. And Splatoon which is a fast and frantic multiplayer game with the focus on using paint as your weapon and your tool.

What are you most looking forward to? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

At E3 I sat down with Adam Duckett to talk all things Homefront: The Revolution.

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Trapped in this American nightmare, Philadelphia – Birthplace of Independence – has become a police state, where surveillance drones and armored patrols keep her once-proud citizens at heel, crushing any dissent with savage force. To overcome their oppressors, players will have to engage in guerrilla warfare and use ambush, infiltration and hit and run tactics in thrilling un-scripted firefights.

Over to Adam, and there’s some new gameplay in there too:

Don’t forget to check out Sean’s First Look of Homefront: The Revolution here.

What do you think of Homefront: The Revolution? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

One of the surprise hits of E3 was Lords of the Fallen from CI Games and Deck 13, and I spoke with the Creative Director, Jan Klose about it.

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In an unforgiving world where no sin is ever forgotten an army of the long-ago defeated god attacks the human realm. You are Harkyn, a convicted criminal who is given a chance at redemption. Released from prison, Harkyn and his mentor, Kaslo, set out on a mission to stop the war.

In his journey, Harkyn will forge strong alliances and face even stronger enemies. He will learn the true power of the Rhogar Lords – commanders of god’s army. He will even bring the battle to the Rhogar, travelling to the heart of the demonic dimension.

Will the god manage to enslave humans again? Is mankind really able to banish evil? Will Harkyn’s sins ever be forgiven?

Jan Klose

Jan is the Creative Director at Deck 13 in Frankfurt, Germany, supervising all processes and helping shape the creative and artistic vision of the game. He also maintains and supports the key publisher-developer communication.

The last 13 years of his 18-year career in the games industry have been spent at Deck 13. Some of the titles he worked on include Venetica, Blood Knights, Tiger and Chicken, Exodus and series such as Jack Keane and Ankh. Jan is a jury member of the German Developer Award.

Over to Jan (and there’s some new gameplay in there too):

Lords of the Fallen will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC in the Autumn, published in the UK by Square Enix.

What do you think of Lords of the Fallen? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Activision recently announced the new Call of Duty game Advanced Warfare and at E3 I sat down with Sledgehammer Games to talk about it.

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Set in the year 2054, the game will pit players in a future where both technology and tactics have evolved.

Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey are the co-founders of Sledgehammer Games, so over to Glen and Michael:

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare will be available November 4th.

What do you think of the new Call of Duty? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Last week at E3 I had the chance to talk to some of the voice talent from Borderlands 2.

E3 2014 Borderlands 2 Voice Talent Interview

Turtle Beach put on a voice panel, and afterwards I managed to grab David Eddings, Ashley Burch, Dameon Clarke and Mark Petty for a quick chat.

Over to the guys:

Who is your favourite character from Borderlands 2? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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